Saturday, March 22, 2008

Battlefield ...

One of my favorite ELP tunes. As poignant today as it was in '71.

Emerson, Lake, and Palmer - Battlefield

Clear the battlefield and let me see
All the profit from our victory.
You talk of freedom, starving children fall.
Are you deaf when you hear the season's call?

Were you there to watch the earth be scorched?
Did you stand beside the spectral torch?
Know the leaves of sorrow turned their face,
Scattered on the ashes of disgrace.

Every blade is sharp; the arrows fly
Where the victims of your armies' lie,
Where the blades of grass and arrows reign
Then there will be very little sorrow,
Very little pain.

Confusion...will be my epitaph
As I cross a cracked and broken path
If we make it, we can all sit back and laugh

Back to packing ...

Sorry for the shitty recording but it's the only one I can find. When I get back I'll have to upload my own video of the tune.

And just because the video above wasn't the best, here's more from the same album, recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in '92. Just so you get the full effect:

Emerson, Lake, and Palmer - Tarkus

We Be Boopin'

This is one of Fixer's favorites.

The cartoon in its entirety here.

It's Shopping Saturday. Over the mountains and through the woods, to Carson City we go. See ya later.

Bush's Legacy

Note to Canuckistan: Keep this shit up and we'll bring you democracy. Heh.

Toronto Star

Historians will argue over whether George W. Bush is the worst president the United States has ever endured. But that is not the point. Five years after Bush's ill-starred invasion of Iraq, three years after Hurricane Katrina and seven months into the unravelling of the U.S. financial system, the point is that the 43rd president of the United States – regardless of his ranking in the pantheon – is a unique and unmitigated disaster.

Whether Bush is more of a warmonger than James Polk, who in 1846 manufactured a crisis with Mexico in order to seize what is now California, more tolerant of cronyism than poker-playing Warren Harding (1921 to 1923), or more unlucky than William Harrison (he died after catching cold at his 1841 inauguration) is interesting but irrelevant. What we do know is that this president, this "decider" (to use his favoured term), decided his way into a war that has destroyed the nation he was allegedly trying to free, destabilized further an already rickety Middle East and given Islamic terrorism a whole new raison d'etre.

In short, the road to Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay was open well before Bush took office in January 2001. But the current president has soared to new heights. His predecessors at least had the grace to be embarrassed about dabbling on the dark side. By contrast, Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney positively gloat about their attempts to subvert human rights.

Part of the reason is ideology. Bush did little when Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans, in large part because he does not think governments should involve themselves in matters of social welfare. His efforts in the current financial crisis are equally half-hearted and for much the same reason.

But there is something else, something disturbingly feckless about Bush. This has nothing to do with his malapropisms ("The only way we can win is to leave before the job is done"), his insistence on snuggling into bed early every night or his alarming propensity for bicycle accidents.

At a very basic level, Bush is incompetent. He likes to play at commander-in-chief of the U.S. armed forces. But in any other country a commander-in-chief who orchestrated an adventure as disastrous as the Iraq war would be court-martialled.

In some public events, he seems fully at ease. But in others – particularly his infrequent, televised press conferences – he seems to be observing events from another dimension.

Among U.S. historians, it has become great sport to rank the country's presidents. Bush vies with many for the title of absolute worst – from Ulysses S. Grant, who oversaw a post-Civil War era so corrupt it was known as Grant's Barbecue, to Richard Nixon of Watergate fame, to Herbert Hoover, the hapless president in charge during the stock market crash of 1929.

But Grant, Hoover and even Nixon did not do as much damage worldwide. Americans may still be debating Bush's legacy. I suspect the rest of the world has made up its mind.

Why can't our newspapers tell it like it is like this Canadian one just did? Oh, I remember...

Church Street Blues

Here's some really good flatpickin' by Tony Rice. This is from an old lesson tape. Lesson: Just play it like Tony does.

Saturday whorage

The next chapter of Thirty Days at Zeta is up at The Practical Press.

And, keeping up the tradition of taking you guys with us when we go on vacation, I'll be posting all our travel pics and stories at Worlds, starting Monday afternoon when we arrive at the pier in Red Hook, Brooklyn (maybe before if I think up some trip-related shit you should know).

And, Nucks found GM is gonna be bringing back the El Camino.

Let us know what's going on at your place. Leave your links in comments.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The McCain/Feingold Bill?

Not so much.

The Vato and the Brother

This is good.

No Country for Old Men: The Reality of Iran in the Shadow of War

Excellent piece at Empire Burlesque 1.0:

What will become of us without barbarians?
Those people were some sort of a solution.

– C.P. Cavafy, "Waiting for the Barbarians"

When it comes, it will come quickly. No big build-up, no new "roll-out of the product." The groundwork has already been laid, the specious casus belli already embraced, enthusiastically, by Congress. Proposed legislation to "compel" Bush to seek Congressional approval for an attack will be ignored, just as Bush blatantly ignores any Congressional stricture he dislikes. If he decides to launch an attack on Iran, no institutional or legal fetter will stop him. That's the stark truth of the matter.

The attack will probably be a limited one at first, with the immediate "reasons" being offered up afterwards or in media res. After all, who is going to seriously question the Commander-in-Chief when our brave boys are in the air over enemy territory in Iran?

And make no mistake, the Bush faction's predatory designs on Iran are business – big business. The entire "War on Terror" is an engine for crony profiteering on a monstrous scale – and the greatest transfer of public wealth into private hands the world has ever seen. Those who believe that the Bushists would hold back from striking Iran because it is too "risky" don't understand the stakes these warmongers are playing for. As they will never suffer personally or financially from even the worst outcome of their policies, the game is well worth the candle for them. Others will do the dying. Others will face the ruin. Others will weep with pain and grief.

Please read the rest.

And then there were three...


WASHINGTON - The passport files of the three presidential candidates — Sens. Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain — have been breached, the State Department said Friday.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the breaches of McCain and Clinton's passport files were not discovered until Friday, after officials were made aware of the privacy violation regarding Obama's records and a separate search was conducted.

This is getting better and better! It'll be interesting to see how it all shakes out. Somewhere between high-level skulduggery and the usual Bush administration incompetence at every level, I think.

The Media-Gone-Wild Promise of Passport-gate: A Short History of Buffoonery

P.M. Carpenter, from his new digs at BuzzFlash as 'The Fifth Columnist'.

Although no one yet knows anything of any verifiable substance -- especially the haplessly in-charge Condoleezza Rice, which naturally is just par for the course -- Barack Obama really needed this.

Thank you, oh "-gate" giving gods, for in all your mysterious playfulness we see that you do indeed giveth what you taketh away. And these days really quickly, too.

This is politics, so imagination and suspicion are happily permitted to substitute for material reality and facts. We watched this axiomatic sordidness unfold with splendid exactitude in the aftermath of the Rev. Wright fiasco -- 1) a "scandalous" story breaks ... 2) a thoughtful, convincing response is offered ... 3) the punditry crowd ensues with half-baked speculations and recriminations about number two, not one. We can rest assured, I trust, that irresponsible network jabber will dominate now, as much as before. It's only fair.

A big and booming business was here to stay -- the obsessive, profitable feeding of the unenlightened masses with heaps-more unenlightenment.

In our unaware darkness we never stopped to consider, for example, that the private and not entirely uncommon act of adulterous fellatio could alter if not end the course of Western civilization, but by golly it could, it just could. All we needed, as good citizens, was the proper news and information and truckloads of partisan, talking-head humbug.

Heh. Adulterous Fellatio. Lends a whole new meaning to the term 'AF weenie', don't it?

Fast forward to the present. Is he black enough or too black? Is he a secret Muslim? Does he hold hand over heart? Does he wear a flag pin? Was he sitting in the pews? Is he, in short, as gullible as we are?

Now that's news, and rightly the kind of crapola we can base our presidential preferences on.

The Media's motto seems to be, "If You Can't Dazzle 'Em With Brilliance, Baffle 'Em With Bullshit". We have to wade through 24/7 meaningless drivel to get a little nugget once in a great while. Like gold in a stream, it's a rare occurrence.

Senior Moments

Tony Peyser

When John McCain made a foreign policy gaffe in Jordan, Joe Lieberman quietly pointed out the mistake, giving McCain an opportunity to correct himself in front of the international press corps. Later in Israel, Lieberman gently intervened when McCain made an incorrect reference about the Jewish holiday of Purim. This is the best dummy-ventriloquist routine since the heyday of Willie Tyler & Lester.

The movie about Lieberman's life finally has a title: "The McCain Whisperer."

McCain is showing the signs of senile dementia before the election that Reagan didn't start showing until he was in office. Fair warning.


Go see some of his dumbass McCainisms:

"I think I'd just commit suicide." --in October 2006, on the prospects of the Democrats taking back the Senate in the November election

Keep yer promises, old man...

Dance on this, bitchez!

Patricia Ward Kelly in toto:

Re “Soft Shoe in Hard Times” (column, March 16):

Surely it must have been a slip for Maureen Dowd to align the artistry of my late husband, Gene Kelly, with the president’s clumsy performances. To suggest that “George Bush has turned into Gene Kelly” represents not only an implausible transformation but a considerable slight. If Gene were in a grave, he would have turned over in it.

When Gene was compared to the grace and agility of Jack Dempsey, Wayne Gretzky and Willie Mays, he was delighted. But to be linked with a clunker — particularly one he would consider inept and demoralizing — would have sent him reeling.

Graduated with a degree in economics from Pitt, Gene was not only a gifted dancer, director and choreographer, he was also a most civilized man. He spoke multiple languages; wrote poetry; studied history; understood the projections of Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes. He did the Sunday Times crossword in ink. Exceedingly articulate, Gene often conveyed more through movement than others manage with words.

Sadly, President Bush fails to communicate meaningfully with either. For George Bush to become Gene Kelly would require impossible leaps in creativity, erudition and humility.

Patricia Ward Kelly
Los Angeles, March 16, 2008

Gene could dance in the rain, the Chimp is whistling past the graveyard.

Link thanks to Avedon.

Quote of the Day

Jeff Fecke channels Yakov Smirnoff:


As Yakov Smirnoff might say: "In Soviet Russia, government reads secret passport files on political opponents. But in America, same thing! What a country!"

As the husband of a Russian Jew, I've heard comments like this around the house for the past 8 years. As someone who was in the military when our greatest enemy was the Soviet Union, my comment is "this isn't the America I put my ass on the line for."

Careful ...

Pic stolen from our pal pygalgia.


A sample of the 'democracy' we brought to Iraq (might be disturbing).

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Old time Rock and Roll

Sometimes Fixer inspires me. To new heights of oldfartism, probably, but I just had to express my sentiments musically, so here we go. And yes, I did dance around in my underwear whilst previewing this, to the delight of my neighbors (I think. I hope they weren't tourists!), but it is as nothing compared to my delight in remembering Tom Cruise getting a grip on himself, so to speak, and practicing up to be the bull goose loony Scientologist he is these days!

Green-card Marine


TWENTY-NINE PALMS, California (CNN) -- U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Mario Ramos-Villalta flashes a broad smile from beneath his camouflage cap as he talks about the country he loves and why he became a Marine.

He's fought twice in Iraq and survived an attack on his Humvee in October 2005. Now, he's preparing for deployment to Afghanistan.

Yet he's not even an American. He's a citizen of El Salvador serving in the U.S. military.

"A lot of the papers I get [say], 'You're a great American,'" the 22-year-old Purple Heart recipient says. "I am not an American citizen yet, but I still fight for it."

He adds, "Sometimes, I do get depressed about still not being a U.S. citizen and going over there."

Ramos-Villalta isn't alone. He is one of an estimated 20,500 "non-U.S. citizens" -- dubbed "green-card warriors" -- serving in the military.

In the case of Ramos-Villalta, he says it's been a painstaking process because he's been deployed to war; he was wounded in action; and is now training for a third combat deployment, leaving him little time to deal with the paperwork and lawyers needed to file for citizenship.

"It's frustrating and sometimes I get real sad about it," he says. "There is nothing I can do about it. I mean it's not up to the military. It's up to Immigration Services."

Paperwork? Lawyers? Fuck that shit. This kid has bled for this country. It makes no difference that he did it in a criminal war. Youngsters don't know much or care about that. He is doing his best, and it sounds like he's doing it well.

Give these 'green-card warriors' their citizenship papers when they graduate from recruit training. If they're willing to fight for us, they should get instant citizenship if they want it.

'Semper Fi' my ass. Just more bureaucratic bungling sung to the tune of 'support the troops'. Shameful.

Passing time by passing gas

Some days, ya just run across interesting fun stuff...

The Body Odd (MSNBC)

Dr. Billy Goldberg: The past eight weeks of my life have revolved around gas. On Jan. 22, I welcomed my second child into the world, a beautiful baby girl. It didn’t take long to realize that she was gassy like her daddy. In the wee hours of the morning when she was wailing from overwhelming intestinal distress, I had a revelation. I came to realize that we can mark the different stages of our life by how we handle our flatulence.

My poor little newborn desperately needed to let one rip. This is how we begin our life, unable to get them out.

I suppose it logically follows then that we will end our lives in a constant aromatic green cloud, largely, er, unattended.

On the other hand, what if a person willfully, premeditatedly, and with malice aforethought, renders himself potently flatulent? What if a middle-school student loads up, before school, on a breakfast of beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and sauerkraut? Can he then claim that the farting was something that couldn’t be helped, that it was “an accident.”

But there’s an even more profound philosophical and legal question to ponder. And that is: should farting constitute a mode of constitutionally protected free speech? If not, what necessarily privileges one orifice (the mouth) above another (the anus)?

Is there some overarching moral imperative that justifies society’s anathematization of the fart? By what usurpation of basic liberty can the state proscribe the natural expressiveness of the sphincter and the anus? In other words, can a fart be “art”?

Heh. Just call me "Rembrandt". Or "Jimi Hendrix"...

The Bush-Cheney Grand Finale of Destruction

BuzzFlash Editor's Blog

Amidst the passionate and contentious Democratic primary, all of us may have taken our eyes off the pending possibility that Bush and Cheney kicked Fallon aside to replace him with a politically-malleable military leader who will go along with nuking Iran.

That may be the final shock and awe that this monstrous administration will leave us with before they exit stage right.

Such an action -- dropping nukes on Iran -- may lead to a conflagration that will finally satisfy the End Times prayers of John Hagee and Tim LaHaye.

God help us all.

I wouldn't put it past those bastards. I hope - pray - there's someone with balls enough to stop them.

Just a thought ...

Before I head out.

If you have been watching the Dow closings lately, you'll notice the only 'up' days are days when the Fed takes action.

Now, I've worked on everything over the past 35 years, from lawnmowers to jets, and I know when something is broken. The banking/credit/investment industry is broken. Look at it like this:

A car comes in to me on the hook (it was brought in on a tow truck, not running). I push it into the shop and determine the fuel pump is shot. Am I gonna push it back out until the part gets here? Yeah, right. I'm gonna undo a vacuum line on the intake manifold and find an aerosol can of something flammable. I'm gonna put the Indian or Sam behind the wheel and tell them to start it while I'm spraying my ass off and we're gonna drive that car out into a parking space, me running along side. Human fuel injector.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Fed is the idiot with the aerosol can running along side the car. Without that constant spray, the market ain't gonna run. The can is just about empty. We got problems.

Off to fix the shit I can fix ...

Devil with a blue dress, revisited ...

I did a double-take when I heard it this morning:

When you read this story, you have to play back in your mind the vision of Brian Ross getting the release of Hillary Clinton's personal First Lady schedule, flipping through his heavily dog-eared copy of the Starr Report, and studiously matching up dates. All the while approving the clip art of the semen-stained dress and Lewinsky, making sure it all fit in the frame, etc. [Brain bleach*, please - F.]

You could bust a guy for sexual deviancy just for the work it took to produce this swill.


So, what was the first Mrs. McCain doing the first time 'Big' John started cheating on her with the current Mrs. McCain? Just askin' ...

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Devil with a Blue Dress medley

*Not for Hil or Monica, but the vision of Brian Ross with his pants around his ankles, flogging himself furiously.

Clueless ...

Stolen from bluegal.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

These are the days ...

I wish I worked in an office. Heh ...

Starting Our 6th Year Of Lies

Two good articles in a Limey rag:

Patrick Cockburn

This is the war that started with lies, and continues with lie after lie after lie

It has been a war of lies from the start. All governments lie in wartime but American and British propaganda in Iraq over the past five years has been more untruthful than in any conflict since the First World War.

Mr Cheney was back in Baghdad this week, five years later almost to the day, to announce that there has been "phenomenal" improvements in Iraqi security. Within hours, a woman suicide bomber blew herself up in the Shia holy city of Kerbala, killing at least 40 and wounding 50 people. Often it is difficult to know where the self-deception ends and the deliberate mendacity begins.

There was never any 'self-deception'. It was a lie from the beginning, and it started in the OVP and the Oval Office. Nothing's changed.

And this one on 'supporting the troops' by Mark Steel:

But more important, what a strange idea that the only true way to support someone is to cheer them into a situation that's likely to get them killed. If these "supporters" ever find themselves looking up at a tower block, with someone 15 floors up threatening to jump off the balcony as friends delicately try to coax him back, they must shout, "Don't undermine him – it's up to all of us to support him – jump, man, jump! Go on – here's Zoe, 22 from Clacton in a G-string and paratrooper's cap. She supports you, so dive!"

Inevitably, once the supported boys started returning from war with bits missing, the governments and newspapers that backed them most enthusiastically decide that they're an embarrassing nuisance. Then their attitude becomes like that of the First World War general who, when he visited a hospital full of soldiers back from the Somme with shell shock, shouted, "Why are you shivering? Only drunkards and masturbators freeze." This must be what causes so many old people to conk out from hypothermia every winter, the filthy minxes.

Speaking as an old drunk who may possibly have masturbated a time or two, that explains a lot...

Please read the rest.

A Discussion On Racial Issues

In case you've been, er, away, and missed Senator Obama's speech on race in America, here's a video and transcript.

There's no dearth of opinion on the speech, but here's the one that counts. Mine. By being frank and speaking to us as if we were adults, the splib dude knocked it out of the park.

Here's a funny microcosm:

More here.

If Avedon ran the world ...

It wouldn't be such a bad place:

...I could probably get rich betting that Team Bush will not do one single thing that could have any positive impact on the situation. But if I was running the world, I'd restore all those regs everyone's been getting rid of for the last 30 years, get rid of the Bush tax shift, and start a government employment program that would put everyone to work who wants to be (on a real salary), rebuilding our infrastructure and undoing as much of the Bush damage as possible ...

Late for work ...

5 years on ...

Well, it's been five years since the balloon went up on the Iraq fiasco.

After five years, all we have to show for it are 4000 American dead, tens of thousands wounded, and a military well on its way to breaking.

We have killed, wounded, and displaced millions of Iraqis.

We have destroyed a goodly portion of the Iraqi infrastructure, forcing those people to live as they did in the Dark Ages.

Chaos prevails where once there was order and a generation (maybe more than one) of Iraqis will never be able to lead a normal life.

We have alienated much of the world and destroyed our reputation as peacemaker.

We have spent ourselves into monumental debt and a financial crisis.

As for the objectives laid out before the war, all were proved to be lies. We have learned over the past 5 years that there was absolutely no reason for us to invade that nation.

WMD? No.

Al-Qaeda? No.

Freedom and democracy? Not hardly.

Ladies and gentlemen, five years into World War Two, major combat operations were over and we were already working to set up stable governments in Europe and Asia.

The Korean War, five years in, was over and the new government in Seoul was functioning, the bombed out infrastructure well on its way to being rebuilt.

This pointless, illegal war has done nothing but destroy the American brand, turn the nation into a laughingstock, and piss away our wealth and blood. We have not only committed war crimes, and sanctioned them, and shaken the foundations this nation was founded on, but we have allowed the perpetrators to remain free and continue their reign of terror. It says we approve of what Bush has done in our name.

We have become no better than those we have come to despise, criminals, despots, and tyrants. To be an American today means you are stained with the blood of innocents and are judged by the actions of a moronic simpleton. To be an American today means you care nothing for the rights of others if they don't serve your own interests. To be an American today means not very much.

After five years of illegal, immoral war, we have done more damage to this nation than at any time in the last century. It will take us decades to repair the damage we have caused and the war should not last a day longer. We cannot afford to pay the cost, be it exacted in blood or money.

Pic thanks to HuffPo.

Five years on, we've hit the iceberg while the leadership is shouting for the stewards to rearrange the deck chairs and for the band to play on. The rest of us are running for the lifeboats. It's time to end it and bring our people home.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

This is what we're liable to get as president...

Think Progress

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has spent a majority of his presidential campaign trying to convince voters that he is the most qualified to tackle foreign policy issues:

Speaking to reporters in Amman, the Jordanian capital, McCain said he and two Senate colleagues traveling with him continue to be concerned about Iranian operatives “taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back.”

Pressed to elaborate, McCain said it was “common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that’s well known. And it’s unfortunate.” A few moments later, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, standing just behind McCain, stepped forward and whispered in the presidential candidate’s ear. McCain then said: “I’m sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda.”

McCain, the so-called foreign policy expert, is confusing reports that Iran was aiding Shiite insurgents in Iraq — one of the groups that virulently opposes al Qaeda. Even some aspects of those reports have been disputed.

Considering he had to correct McCain himself, does Lieberman still insist that McCain is “almost always right on the big issues in foreign policy”?

Jesus Effing Christ! How wrong do you have to be in your 'foreign policy expertise' to be corrected by Lieberman?!!!

Living a Republican War In Iraq

CNN's Kyra Phillips speaks to some Iraqi soldiers about the U.S. presidential election and democracy in Iraq and finds no support for McCain.

Some observations:

First, the Iraqi EMs are as smart as ours. This comes as no surprise.

Second, they're as divided about our Democratic presidential candidates as we are. Heh.

And third, if Kyra wishes to find McCain supporters, she needs to interview al Qaeda.

Absolutely, Postively 100% Politically Incorrect Quote of the Day Revisited And Then Some

Expanding on my own post, here's Tracy Morgan's whole bit at Crooks and Liars. Some snippets:

[...] Let me tell you something, Barack knows how to answer that phone. He’s not going to answer it like, (soft, frightened voice) “Hello, I’m scared. What’s going on?” He is gonna answer it like I would get a phone call at 3 in the morning: “Yeah, who’s this? This better be good or I’m going to come down there and put somebody in a wheelchair.”

3 AM, shit. I'm like that after 7:30 PM. Call me at 3 AM, my house better be on fire, cuz if it ain't, yours is about to be...

[...] People saying he’s not a fighter. Let me tell you something. He’s a gangsta, he’s from Chicago. Barack is not winning because he’s a black man. If that was the case, I would be winning. And I’m way blacker than him. I used to smoke Newports and drink Olde English. I grew up on government cheese, I prefer it. [...]

So these two guys go down to the post office to get some government cheese, but the line was too long so they decided to just swipe the cheese from the next person to come out. This they did, and after runnin' for a while, they stopped and compared their loot.

"I got American cheese. What kind you get?"

"I got nacho cheese."

"How d'ya know?"

"Well, when I grabbed it, they guy hollered, 'Hey! That's nacho cheese!'"


Sorry, my BP meds are makin' me dizzy...

Double Standard II

Expanding on Fixer's post, this from one who actually did it. HuffPo.

Obama's Minister Committed "Treason" But When My Father Said the Same Thing He Was a Republican Hero

When Senator Obama's preacher thundered about racism and injustice Obama suffered smear-by-association. But when my late father -- Religious Right leader Francis Schaeffer -- denounced America and even called for the violent overthrow of the US government, he was invited to lunch with presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush, Sr.

We Republican agitators of the mid 1970s to the late 1980s were genuinely anti-American in the same spirit that later Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson (both followers of my father) were anti-American when they said God had removed his blessing from America on 9/11, because America accepted gays. Falwell and Robertson recanted but we never did.

My dad's books denouncing America and comparing the USA to Hitler are still best sellers in the "respectable" evangelical community and he's still hailed as a prophet by many Republican leaders. When Mike Huckabee was recently asked by Katie Couric to name one book he'd take with him to a desert island, besides the Bible, he named Dad's Whatever Happened to the Human Race? a book where Dad also compared America to Hitler's Germany.

The hypocrisy of the right denouncing Obama, because of his minister's words, is staggering. [...]

Go read the rest of this if you have a strong stomach.

One thing I take away from this is that two diametrically opposed sides - us progressive-leaning reality-based patriotic Americans who wish to see fairness and justice for all under the law of the land, and the christofascist phony religious whackjobs - both invoke the spectre of Nazism when talking about our country for vastly different reasons.

Us, when railing against the systematic dismantling of our freedom under the Constitution, them when railing against secular freedom and wanting it to be dismantled and then doing things their way.

We're right and they're wrong, of course.

Chinese Republicans?

They sound alike:

China blames Dalai Lama for violence in Tibet

Sure. Because he has such a long history of promoting violence, unlike the Chinese government who have never been known to use excessive force against its population ...

'Healthy Forests', 'Clear Skies', 'No Child Left Behind', anyone?

Later ...

Re-logo ...

The CultureGhost (who else, heh ...) is on a mission.

If you don't know The Guys From Area 51, you should.

Off to work ...

Allotting blame ...

For this financial mess we're in. The Misfit calls it correctly:


This is the part where, in a just world, you would see George W. Bush and Alan Greenspan being frog-marched out to the Washington Mall to be publicly executed on the lawn in front of the Capitol, watched live by a world-wide television audience. It was more Alan Greenspan who gutted banking regulations under an ideologically driven belief, which he apparently took from the writings of Ayn Rand, that given total freedom, the market would ensure that bad things never happened. It was George W. Bush's administration that removed banks from control of state regulators and placed them under the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an agency whose main job was the approval of the location of banking branches.


This is your "read the whole thing" post for the day.

Quote of the Day



Senator Lieberman has finally molted his snake skin and emerged as a full fledged Republican, at no ones surprise, especially mine.


Good thing the Dems kissed his ass in '06, ain't it?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Absolutely, Postively 100% Politically Incorrect Quote of the Day

I heard this on Flaccidball. Liquid alert!:

"'Bitch' might be the new 'black', but 'black' is the new President, bitch!" - Tracy Morgan in response to Tina Fey.


Double standards ...


... White, right-wing Christian evangelical rage against America is understandable, respectable, and noble. Liberal black Christian anger towards America is scary, subversive, and despicable.

A thousand words ...

On the economy:

Great thanks to PoliticalCat for the pic.



... It cost JP Morgan less money to purchase Bear Stearns than it would have cost them to purchase Alex Rodriguez’s contract from the New York Yankees.


On a related note, aren’t you glad now that Bush didn’t succeed in privatizing Social Security?


The Rise of American Incompetence


We used to be the world's most skillful entrepreneurs and managers. Now we're laughingstocks. What happened?

The dollar plunged to new lows against foreign currencies this week. There are plenty of reasons for its plunge, but at the most basic level, the dollar's weakness reflects the world's collective, two-thumbs-down verdict about the ability of the United States—businesses, individuals, the government, the Federal Reserve—to manage the global financial system and the world's largest economy. [...]

But now, thanks to widespread incompetence, American management is on its way to becoming an international laughingstock. Faith in American financial sobriety has been widely undermined by the subprime mess. The very mention of the strong-dollar policy now elicits raucous bouts of knee-slapping in even the most sober Swiss banks. (How do you say schadenfreude in German?) Earlier this month, as oil hovered near $100 a barrel, President Bush complained to OPEC about high oil prices. OPEC President Chakib Khelil responded acidly that crude's remarkable run had nothing to do with the reluctance of Persian Gulf nations to pump oil, and everything to do with the "mismanagement of the U.S. economy." Since Bush's plea, oil has gushed to $110 per barrel. (How do you say schadenfreude in Arabic?)

A lot of our economic woes are caused by arrogance of the we're-smart-and-you're-not our-shit-don't-stink sort.

For the rest of the economic story, greed and incompetence are the major points of Bush policy.

Call the metaphor police!


I’ve been worried for a while about the fact that, according to financial reporters, the freezing up of the credit markets is causing a financial meltdown. The world is ending in ice and fire, simultaneously. But this is true cause for alarm:

“The self-feeding downturn now in place shows signs of becoming deeply entrenched,” economists at Citigroup wrote Friday.

Uh oh. we’ve got a downturn that can feed itself and, at the same time, dig trenches.

The fascist octopus will sing its swan song any day now.

Heh. Now there's a metaphor I can get behind!

Cheney Sneaks Into Iraq


A series of bomb blasts greeted Cheney's high-security and secrecy-shrouded arrival, underscoring the deadly violence that still grips the nation five years after US bombs began dropping on Baghdad to topple Saddam Hussein.

The fuckers missed him. They gotta work on their aim.

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

We're just having corned beef & cabbage. I pray it's not green!

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Housing Slump Spreads ⇒
Extraterrestrials are beginning to feel the pinch.

Brits Mull Pledge of Allegiance
It would read: “I pledge allegiance to the Queen, her besotted husband and all the randy members of her family, one nation, inbred, under fog, with boiled beef and warm ale for all.”

Everybody in New York Steps Down Due to Various Mistakes
They don’t want to be a distraction.

Get there early if there's a run on the banks.

Bush, Kissinger Confer
Compare war crimes.

Last week we referred to the U.S. government having a surplus in the billions of dollars. We meant the Iraqi government. The U.S. deficit is approximately $265 billion. We apologize for the error.

Happy fucking Monday ...

As I watch the dollar lose more value*, the Fed seems to want to head down that inflationary road:


So Mr. Bernanke and his colleagues have been doing the usual thing: printing up green paper and using it to buy bonds. Unfortunately, the policy isn’t having much effect on the things that matter. Interest rates on government bonds are down — but financial chaos has made banks unwilling to take risks, and it’s getting harder, not easier, for businesses to borrow money.


Officially, the Fed won’t be buying mortgage-backed securities outright: it’s only accepting them as collateral in return for loans. But it’s definitely taking on some mortgage risk. Is this, to some extent, a bailout for banks? Yes.

Still, that’s not what has me worried. I’m more concerned that despite the extraordinary scale of Mr. Bernanke’s action — to my knowledge, no advanced-country’s central bank has ever exposed itself to this much market risk — the Fed still won’t manage to get a grip on the economy. You see, $400 billion sounds like a lot, but it’s still small compared with the problem.


I used to think that the major issues facing the next president would be how to get out of Iraq and what to do about health care. At this point, however, I suspect that the biggest problem for the next administration will be figuring out which parts of the financial system to bail out, how to pay the cleanup bills and how to explain what it’s doing to an angry public.

I'm not one for government bailouts of any industry. Chrysler should have been allowed to go under, so should the airlines after September 11th. If Bear Stearns is circling the bowl, many others are about to follow. Are we gonna bail all of them out too?

I'm tired of all these big companies taking undue risk, reaping big profits when the getting is good, and then leaving the public holding the bag. It's bad enough my taxes are supporting an illegal war in Iraq, I sure as Hell don't want them going to bail out some obscenely rich motherfuckers who are afraid of losing their mansions in the Hamptons or on Long Island's Gold Coast.

The half-assed package they put through to help homeowners losing their houses thanks to 'subprime' mortgages helps very few in reality (the people who really could use it, though I have reservations about a homeowner bailout too), and took an act of Congress to accomplish. Seems they can move fast enough, without the need for legislation, when one of their cronies is in danger of going tits-up.

The only good thing I can see coming out of the economy going to shit now as opposed to this time next year, is that Bush and the Republican Party will be splattered with it (and the rich should still get more tax cuts, says Mr. McCain). They own this mess and they can't hang it on the Dems, though they'll try; just watch.

Listen to me. The Republicans have no idea how to run a country, they just know how to rape it. They talk a good line but whenever they have control, they run the country into a hole it takes years to dig out of. The Dems might not be choirboys, but at least they make the best attempt at running the government for the people, not the corporate giants the Rethugs are so beholden to.

Off to the shop ...


My neighbor Blondie has more to say (and some good links) on the subject.

Now I'm outta here ...

*Talk about an investment. I have about a thousand Euro left over from our Germany trip a couple months back. I was gonna turn them back into dollars but decided to hold onto them for our Amsterdam trip this September. Over the last quarter, they've returned more than any of my other investments and all they're doing is sitting in an envelope in a drawer. Heh ...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday Crazy Redneck TexMex Music & Comestibles Blogging

I love country music. I don't much care which country, neither. I hereby present the legendary Texas Tornados to a montage of another of my favorite subjects. Caution: Munchie Alert!

Reefer Man

This one's for Fixer.

Go Ahead And Die!

Yesterday, while me 'n Mrs. G were out on our weekly shoppingpalooza, I heard a good song by the Austin Lounge Lizards. When I got home I YouTubed 'em up. I didn't find the song I was looking for, but I found this one. Enjoy.

GOP Meltdown

Here's a 'good news' piece in the WaPo:

"It's no mystery," said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.). "You have a very unhappy electorate, which is no surprise, with oil at $108 a barrel, stocks down a few thousand points, a war in Iraq with no end in sight and a president who is still very, very unpopular. He's just killed the Republican brand."

Good. Now cut it into little pieces and bury it deep in widely spaced undisclosed locations.

Guess who's paying ...

For McCain's campaign stop 'fact-finding' tour of Baghdad?

Congrats America, the ménage à lame is traveling on your dime.


Quote of the Week

"Ferraro decided the hole she was in wasn't deep enough and so she put in a basement."

Ruben Navarrette in his article "Politics of gender, race and Ferraro have no place in Democratic contest"

Nice ...

We're one step closer to Third World status:


Besides the relative strength of the yen and the continuing strength of the euro, another world currency has made a remarkable climb against the greenback over the past few weeks. As of Friday, a Swiss franc now trades for slightly more than a dollar. It had been holding steady in the 89 to 93 cent range for many months, but the recent bad news for the American economy made the franc soar. Unlike the yen being equal to a penny, this is new territory for the Swiss currency, which has never been at equity with the dollar before. Back in the 1940s through 1960s, the Swiss franc traded at between 20 to 25 cents. [my em]