Friday, November 28, 2008

Questions ...

Avedon asks them:

...

Apparently, now that Paulson has spent all the money Congress gave him, the only effect being to protect the most culpable from having to suffer for their sins while completely failing to ameliorate any of the real problems they've created for our economy, he wants more money he can spend the same way. Gosh, I wonder what Congress will say....

...


Why, "to whom do we make the check out to this time", of course.

If anything, the Dems have proven they are spineless yes-men. Were it not for Howard Dean and the Obama campaign, the Rethugs would control Congress and McCain would be the President-elect. Believe it or not, ladies and germs, we've let them throw $700 bln away with no oversight since the fertilizer met the rotating blade. By the time Barry gets in, we won't be able to afford shit.

Wonder when these ...

Will be killing our guys:

The RPG, or rocket-propelled grenade, has long been popular among insurgents, giving them a cheap anti-armor weapon that requires little training. The latest version is the RPG-30. And it allegedly can take out today's toughest tanks. Recently shown on Russian television, the RPG-30 has already been described as an "Abrams Killer."

...


You know every yahoo in the Middle East is gonna have one soon enough.

Quote of the Day

Jill:

...

There is something very, very wrong with a country in which people are losing their homes and losing their jobs, and yet they trample a minimum-wage Wal-Mart worker to death in their quest for cheap crap made in overseas sweatshops at one of the worst retail operations in the country ...



You know, I love living on Long Island but it seems to me we have more than our share of assholes.

They're coming here next ...

Ah, but for the sound of people shitting their pants, it would have been a perfect Thanksgiving.

Too bad the terrorists in Mumbai picked this time to kill people. Yes, it's heartbreaking so many people were killed, but it ain't about us. India, the majority of whose population are decent, hard-working folks, is a patchwork of crazy Muslims, crazy Hindus, and even some crazy Christians, (not to mention the whole Kashmir issue) all having their own agenda. The idea of taking Westerners hostage is to bring their agenda to the fore in the world's consciousness.

Did you hear Miles O'Brien acting like a little baby while sitting in for Wolfie on Wednesday? Breathlessly asking everyone he interviewed about how they're hunting down Westerners. "They're coming for us!"

And everyone else who's been scared shitless since 9/11 jumps on the bandwagon. The local news was interviewing people at LaGuardia Airport and one guy said it took him 5 years past 9/11 to get on a plane and this thing in Mumbai is gonna fuck him up for another few more.

Grow the fuck up. If I acted like you people, I'd never go anywhere in the world.

Shit happens all over. People get hit by lightning, get run over by a city bus as they walk out their front door, and drop dead from a heart attack at a young age even though they've led very healthy lives.

There are places in the world where just the act of getting on a bus is an iffy proposition. You have more to worry about from a crazy driver fucking you up on the way to work than you do getting blown up by a terrorist.

That's the problem with this country; one of the reasons we've had to put up with the Chimp's bullshit and criminal activity for the last 8 years. A good portion of us have bought into the fear. All so worried they're gonna get blown up at the mall.

I'm tired of the whiners. I'm tired of the crybabies. I'm tired of all the people who run and hide when something blows up 10,000 miles away. Listen to me: You're fucking Americans!

Throughout our history, we've stood up to people who would intimidate us. Somebody hits us, we pound 'em into the dirt. The Nazis and the Japanese Empire learned that the hard way. As little as 60 years ago, we destroyed a regime bent on world domination, one that controlled vast armies, navies, and air forces, one that could just as easily have brought the war here. We fought a Cold War against a regime who could easily have destroyed us and the world five times over.

Nowadays, if a Muslim farts sideways somewhere in the world, everybody hides under the bed. We've become a nation of whiners and bedwetters, allowing anyone who promises us security to abrogate our civil rights and ruin our economy fighting this big, bad bogeyman. We've mistaken platitudes and coddling for leadership and we're paying the price.

My fellow Americans, a grown-up will be in the White House in less than two months. Use him as an example. I'm tired of your crying.

Grow up and act like Americans!



Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here


So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?

...

[Lyric]

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mrs. F and I send out our best Thanksgiving wishes to all our readers, commenters, and staff here at the Brain.

In lieu of the 'weekend whorage', for which I'm disastrously late, I'll whore my other posts now (being that's all you'll get out of me today).

I test drive a 2005 Corvette. Feh ...

And I go from wanting to shoot Mrs. F on Monday to getting the place straightened up for Thanksgiving. By the way, the coffee table in the pics is the last remnant of my bachelorhood. I cobbled it together about 25 years ago when I needed a table and we've always had a use for it.

More chapters from Birthright this weekend ... I promise.

Once again, Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours. For all us Lefties, we have a lot to give thanks for this year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Silence of the Lames

Quote of the Day

"Sometimes, at a precise moment in history, all it takes is for one person to stand up. Or sit down."


&ndash&ndash Roger Ebert, from his review of "Milk."

Size doesn't matter ...

Fuck Grover Norquist and the rest of the neocon assholes. Shaun explains 'big government' simply:

...

I confess to lingering resentment about Bill Clinton's notorious declaration that the era of "big government" had come to an end. That's absurd, of course, in the context of a nation of hundreds of millions, with a vast territorial reach and vital social, economic and security interests on every continent. Worse, it implies that there's some legitimacy to the "big government" boogeyman that the right wing uses as a blunt weapon against every worthwhile government program or regulation.

Our government will be, by most any standard, "big." That's not the question. The question is, of course, whether the government is effective. Efficiency counts, too, but size? "Big" is unavoidable. [italics mine, bolds in orig]

...


You can't take the government, fold it up, and put it in a drawer until you need it to help your ass out. What people don't get is that the Republicans' idea of bad 'big government' is one that makes everyone pay their fair share, as opposed to their dream of allowing the rich and the corporations to ride free on the middle class' dime.

Schadenfreudegastic!

Ann Coulter Breaks Her Jaw, Has it Wired Shut. World Rejoices. Or here.

Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

One of the wingnuts said something like, "Well, she can still write, you Libruls!"

Not very well, and we have better things to do than read her vitriolic always wrong tripe anyway. Anybody dumb enough to buy her books is probably disappointed that they don't have pictures.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Headin' out...

Me 'n Mrs. G are headin' for the Central Coast this morning.

Making sure a fairly new and modern pickup is ready for a road trip is easy. Aired up the tires and topped off the windshield washer fluid. Hardest part was coiling up my air hose in 40° weather. Had to wash the windshield with mayonnaise too. A little messy, but necessary. You folks who know why are noddin' yer heads and the rest of yas must think I'm crazy. Heh. I'll keep ya in suspense for a while.

Mrs. G sorted out and neatened up our CD collection, so we got to pick out all different music than we usually take. It's fun to get out a bunch of oldies we haven't listened to in a while. We do about 200 miles straight down through the Central Valley, and commercial country and about ten kinds of Mexican music are OK but a little of it goes a long way, and you gotta be pretty close to NPR and community radio stations.

I'm looking forward to T'giving dinner. The stuffing, green bean casserole, and my niece's husband's heart attack mashed potatoes (one potato, three pounds of butter and cheese, seems like) are my favorites. I only take a helping of turkey because it is considered bad form not to.

We have more to be thankful for this year than for several years past, so just grin at yer wingnut relatives and eat mass quantities of their food. Probly back blogging tomorrow. Signin' off for now.

Here's a pistol ...

Loaded. It's time to chamber a round and do the right thing.

We suck ...

Anybody who lives in the NYC Metro Area knows about how shitty our airports are to fly into and out of. Now the world does too:

Getting back and forth to Grandma's for the holiday ain't gonna be fun if you have to fly through LaGuardia or JFK.

With the holiday travel season upon us, fliers gave New York's airports abysmal grades in the latest Zagat's survey.

LaGuardia came in dead last among the nation's 27 biggest airports, with the aging airfield in Queens scoring a pitiful 6.8 on Zagat's signature 30-point scale. [my em]


Even picking someone up or dropping them off at a New York airport is an hours-long ordeal. When the Mrs. and I go somewhere, we use a car service to get to the airport, not wanting to put any of our friends through the hassle.

Blame ...



Pic stolen from our pal Nunya. Click to embiggen.

Quote of the Day

Comrade Misfit in toto:

After Chimpy Pardons Scooter

and Duke Cunningham and Mark Milliken and Conrad Black and Ted Stevens and all of Chimpy's torturers, we should all resolve that anyone who ever utters the words "Marc Rich" and "pardon" in the same paragraph with the purpose of denigrating Bill Clinton should be tarred and feathered and no fair using that "cold patch" shit.


Amen, sister!

Whorage later ... probably (sorry, I know I promised last night but it was my anniversary and I was ... distracted).

Wisdom ...

Maddow via Digby:

...

Maddow asked a good question: If you allow it to stand without a full public airing does it "legalize" it for the future. I think so. Once the precedent is set they will use it again. And the public, like the proverbial frogs in the slowly heating water, don't even realize they are losing not just their rights, but even the idea of their constitution.


Indeed, and a lot of Americans are perfectly willing to consciously give up their rights in order to be kept 'safe', whatever in hell that means. You have more of a chance of being hit by lightning in America than being blown up by a terrorist's bomb (unless you're Mrs. F, who's a terrorist magnet). What rights are you gonna give up to be 'safe' from Thor's Arrows?

And it's not just the fact of some future administration 'pulling a Cheney'. It's our credibility in the eyes of the world. If we accept what these people have done without acknowleging, at the very least, their actions were wrong and criminal, we will forever be considered in the same light as rogue nations and tin-horn dictatorships.

For the holidays ...

Don't put up with family wingnuts:

...

I can't tell you the number of times I've said, "Let's not talk about politics" and had it met with even more offensive bullshit than whatever offensive bullshit provoked my demur in the first place. Far as I'm concerned, you get warned off the subject twice, and if you persist, you deserve the mental and verbal ass-kicking you receive. You're a grownup, talking to another grownup, you want to be rude ain't my place to stop you but you'd better bring your A-game.

...


Like I say to Mrs. F's idiot wingnut brother (another one of those conservative Jews who thinks Israel is the 51st State and should be allowed to turn Gaza and the West Bank into the world's largest concentration camp), "I don't talk sex, politics, or religion with your dumb ass". Anybody who thinks Ralph Reed is "one of the smartest guys in the country" ain't worth arguing with.

Monday, November 24, 2008

You can dream ...

But listen to me. It's all nice to want Barry to take over early but changing the rules to suit the players (or the ends justifying the means) is what got us into this big economic mess to begin with.

Sorry, but we all gotta wait until January. You don't think my investments look good, do ya? But we all gotta feel some pain. Unfortunately for some of us, some serious pain. But we gotta remember this for a generation or two, like the parents of my generation.

My folks, Mrs. F's folks, were the children of the Great Depression. She and I grew up with the frugality, the worry that the 'hard times' would return, and the constant reminders to 'save for a rainy day'. I remember and Mrs. F remembers, and so do the rest of my generation.

We just never believed it would happen in our lifetimes.

It's about time the rules of the game were followed and not amended as needs arise. The days of "livin' large on Master Charge" are over.

Training Day

I got a zillion little things to do today so we can get out of town tomorrow for Thanksgiving, You know - find the garage keys which have been lost since June so I had to leave the garage unlocked the last time we left town, cleaning the puppy nose print off the windshield right in front of the driver that's been there for two weeks, you know, that kind of thing, but there's a bunch of 'em.

Anyway, I figured out what I want for Christmas:



I do not want one that does this!

See also M19 v IED!

See yas.

Time for Him to Go

Fixer did a lovely post on dreams. Here's one by Gail Collins (NYT).

Thanksgiving is next week, and President Bush could make it a really special holiday by resigning.

[...] Dick Cheney, obviously, would have to quit as well as Bush. In fact, just to be on the safe side, the vice president ought to turn in his resignation first. (We’re desperate, but not crazy.) Then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would become president until Jan. 20. [...]

As a bonus, the Pelosi presidency would put a woman in the White House this year after all. On the downside, a few right-wing talk-show hosts might succumb to apoplexy. That would, of course, be terrible, but I’m afraid we might have to take the risk in the name of a greater good.

Now there's a risk I'm willing to take! The prospect of seeing their faces turn red and their heads explode is strangely arousing.

Can I see a show of hands? How many people want George W. out and Barack in?

I hope you all didn't spill your coffee on yourselves when your hands reflexively shot up.

If Bush gives up doing nothing by giving up his job, it’s possible that someday history might elevate him to the ranks of the below average. Better than Franklin Pierce! Smarter than Warren Harding! And healthier than William Henry Harrison!

The person who would like this plan least probably would be Barack Obama. [...]

Fuck him. Get his ass in there!

Ah, to dream...

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Suspend Foreclosures During Holiday Season
However, homeowners advised not to give one another home furnishings.

1,800-Year-Old Chariot Unearthed in Bulgaria
It had been destroyed by Thracian chariot builders because it was too efficient.

Unions Announce Major Concessions to Keep Big Three From Bankruptcy
Workers agree to give up their private jets, bonuses, golden parachutes.

Former Sen. Gramm Blames Housing Crisis on “Predatory Borrowers”
Honest, naive bankers easy prey for unscrupulous first-time buyers, many of them high school graduates.

Quote of the Day

Our pal Creature:

... I, for one, certainly didn't vote for Obama thinking he was Dennis Kucinich ...


Off to work ...

Dreams ...



Blondie - Dreaming


If there's one description of me I wholeheartedly endorse is that I'm a dreamer. Been one since I've been a little kid and it's a part of my personality that I hope never changes. Big dreams, little dreams, doesn't matter. I've dreamt up all the architectural changes to our house, 14 novels, countless hotrods and race cars; I would not be the man I am (the man I've always wanted to be) without my dreams.

It's nice to see a tenured professional in his field giving young folks the all-clear to dream:

That's really what I think, and I suppose what worries me as well. The problem is not that students don't dream - they do. The problem is that students too often fail to dream big. If you are going to dream, why waste it on something small?

I'm not sure students are to blame for this. I suspect this is something we, their parents and teachers have done to them. Our intent was to protect them from hurt. We forgot there are things far worse than disappointment.

So my advice to students (and that includes my 20-year-old daughter) is this: Find the biggest, coolest most audacious dream you can and own it. Make that crazy dream yours and go get it.

Your parents will worry, your teachers will patiently explain how hard it is, and you can just smile knowingly. You will understand that the dream, your dream, is not the place where you end up, but the road you will spend your life traveling. You'll understand that while everyone falls down, dreamers always get up and that disappointment, as uncomfortable as it is sometimes, is not nearly as uncomfortable as never having reached. [my em]


Failure in itself is a learning experience (the lesson might be more than you want to pay, however, but that's what makes life interesting) but everyone fails. Everyone has a dream dashed or an attempt foiled, but if fear of failure prevents you from trying to realize your dreams, you'll find, evenutally and when it's too late, life will seem unfulfilled.

Some of my best memories in life were of attempts that crashed and burned, but it was the 'getting there' that was so exciting and fulfilling (not the 'kill' but 'the thrill of the chase'). I agree with Mr. Brown. Dream, dream big, and try to live those dreams. 'Mundane' for me would be a fate worse than death.

***


Sorry for being scarce this weekend, but somehow Thanksgiving went from dad-in-law Fixer spending the day with us to him staying until Sunday and company on top of it to boot. Murder crossed my mind but Mrs. F hasn't been able to entertain since before we went to Germany last Christmas and she's been going nuts (Me and dad-in-law F have been getting more and more elaborate, gourmet meals over the last 6 months and she's hung another 10 lbs. on our asses). She deserves the chance to show off. That said, the house is a hard hat zone and I'm scrambling to make it somewhat safe for everybody before Thursday. I don't need to test my homeowner's policy.

Weekend whorage will happen this evening.

***


And, lastly but most certainly not leastly, 18 years ago today I married Mrs. F which was, by far, the single best decision I ever made in my life. Thank god my con job, browbeating, begging, whining, pleading, proposal was accepted.

She's my best friend, lover, companion, and confidant all wrapped up in one and I couldn't picture my life without her in it.

I'm still gonna shoot her though. Heh ...

Link thanks to Athenae.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Quote of the Day

Tom Friedman(!!!!)

[...] If I had my druthers right now we would convene a special session of Congress, amend the Constitution and move up the inauguration from Jan. 20 to Thanksgiving Day. Forget the inaugural balls; we can’t afford them. Forget the grandstands; we don’t need them. Just get me a Supreme Court justice and a Bible, and let’s swear in Barack Obama right now — by choice — with the same haste we did — by necessity — with L.B.J. in the back of Air Force One.

Hear, hear!