Saturday, March 28, 2009

Nuked twice ...

And lived for 60-odd years to tell about it. Amazing. Bet he doesn't have to turn on the light when he goes to the can at night. Heh ...

Do not try this at home! But if you do, FILM IT!

I think this is course material from Fixer & Gordon's School Of Happy Motoring! Smoke 'em if ya got 'em! Tires, that is...

Mountain ~ Mississippi Queen

Thanks to TipTucker01. Sounds like a guy who enjoys lap dances, huh?

Saturday Woody Guthrie Skiffle Music Blogging

Skiffle King Lonnie Donegan and his group play the Woody Guthrie song Grand Coulee Dam in 1957. Who said that folk-rock began in the late-1960s? (With Jimmy Currie, lead guitar; Mickey Ashman, bass...

I think Mr. Donegan is mostly remembered in the U.S. by us olde phartes for 'Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour On The Bedpost Overnight?'.

Thanks to lupine22(UK).

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Emmylou Harris, Mary Chapin Carpenter, & Sheryl Crow, with Marty Stuart ~ Flesh and Blood

Thanks to hansenlucia, Netherlands

A romp through the Republican ... budget?

P.M. Carpenter

They took the bait. Assorted commentators, Democratic pols of varying convictions and no less than the faux-appalled president himself kept taunting the GOP to commit the exceptionally stupid, and they -- the now-hapless remnants of the once-powerfully propagandistic House Republicans, anyway -- stepped right up and did it.

Yeah, man! They bent over to pick up that shiny nickel and BOO-YAH! Up their own wazoo...

What difference would numbers have made? I mean, just how does one quantify, "We haven't a bloody clue"? How does one numerically characterize, "Jesus, this just dawned on us -- We can't believe we fell for this trick"? Just how, in heaven's name, can one slap a cold, impersonal figure on the red-faced human realization, "Oops, we're more stunningly hapless than we -- even you -- thought"?

I'll also offer Republicans a little sincere advice: Go away. Just go away for a long, long while. Grab whatever cash you have in the RNC account and hasten thee to a faraway exotic spa, or go on a year-long drunk, or simply hide yourselves at home, shutter the blinds, and shut the f*ck up.

It's not your critics doing you harm. It's you and your non-budgeting budgets which advocate spending freezes during a deep freeze. It's Dick Cheney running around defending torture and denouncing social progress. It's Sarah Palin babbling about deficiently prayerful McCainites. It's your Cantors and Pences and Boehners looking and sounding so insufferably goofy. It's Michael Steele strategizing with God but genuflecting before Rush. For those fond of reifying brevity, it can even be just two words: Michele Bachmann.

Come on, boys. Give it a merciful rest.

I like to read Carpenter, but this time I must disagree with him.

You Repugs must not 'give it a rest'! Please, oh please keep dope-slappin' yerselves stupid, bitchez! I haven't had this much fun in years and I deserve every last laugh I can get outta you irrelevant clowns.

HEIDI, A Modern rendition of the classic Tale....

I got this from my old school pal Steve:

[Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Berlin. In order to increase sales, she decides to allow her loyal customers - most of whom are unemployed alcoholics - to drink now but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).

Word gets around and as a result increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi's bar.

Taking advantage of her customers' freedom from immediate payment constraints, Heidi increases her prices for wine and beer, the most-consumed beverages. Her sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic customer service consultant at the local bank recognizes these customer debts as valuable future assets and increases Heidi's borrowing limit.

He sees no reason for undue concern because he has the promissory notes of Heidi's customers as collateral.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert bankers transform these customer assets into DRINKBONDS, ALKBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then sold and traded on markets worldwide. No one really understands what these abbreviations mean and how the securities are guaranteed. Nevertheless, as their prices continuously climb, the securities become top-selling items.

One day, although the prices are still climbing, a risk manager of the bank, (subsequently fired due his negativity), decided that the time has come to start demanding payment from Heidi for the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi's bar.

Unfortunately Heidi's customers cannot pay back any of their debts to Heidi.

Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations to the bank and claims bankruptcy.

DRINKBOND and ALKBOND drop in price by 95 %. PUKEBOND performs better, stabilizing in price after dropping by only 80%.

The suppliers of Heidi's bar, having granted her generous payment terms and also having invested in the securities are faced with a new and desperate situation. Her wine supplier claims bankruptcy and her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor.

The bank is saved by the Government following dramatic round-the-clock consultations by leaders from the governing political parties. They came up with a miraculous rescue plan that saved the bank.

The funds required for this massive rescue are obtained by levying a new tax on all the non-drinkers.

We all all soo happy that this is just a Fairy Tale...]

Aren't we though...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Historic water. And I was there...grrrr

The Yew-nited States Marine Corps did something yesterday that they haven't done for over forty years: they pissed me off. Not the frustrated, disappointed, goddammit-who's-runnin'-this-chickenshit-outfit kind of pissed off that ya couldn't do nothin' about back then anyway because they owned your young ass, but the smoldering, fuming kind ya can't do nothin' about either.

I was reading my dead tree copy of Time magazine and ran across an ad with a Marine Corps emblem. I'm still brainwashed, so I read it. It was colorful, but I couldn't find it to reproduce it for you. Here's the money shot:

Live or work at Camp Lejeune before 1987?

Well, hell yeah I did! Way before 1987. 1965-'66, when men were men and rifles had wood in 'em!

You may have been exposed to contaminated drinking water.

Register with the Marine Corps by calling (877) 261-9782 Mon-Fri 8:30 am to 5:00 or by going online to

Well, I'm a little leery about 'registering with the Marine Corps'. Been there, done that, got the scars to prove it, but I figured what could possibly go wrong? Hell, I was probably there before water contamination was invented. So I went and 'registered'. Hit the link and go see.

Turns out the time period involved is from 1957-1987, so I was there. I'm not too worried - I didn't drink much water in those days. Beer was cheap and legal for 18-year-olds. I drank the bug juice in the mess hall, but GI koolaid would kill anything, drank water in the field but if the iodine pills didn't kill the bad stuff, the godawful water buffaloes and plastic canteens sure would have, to judge by the taste of the stuff.

So, the Marine Corps is trying to keep me apprised of something that may or may not have happened over forty years ago. That's nice of them. So why am I pissed off to the spring-loaded position?

The effort is called the "Camp Lejeune Historic Drinking Water" project.

Now, around the Brain here, Fixer kids me all the time about my age, calls me 'old man' and stuff like that. While I must admit that when God said 'let there be light!' I was the Duty NCO who threw the switch, I can kid him back with stuff like him not being old enough to have had any nookie with his pants all the way off yet. It goes back and forth, tit for tat. We're both smartass smokers 'n jokers who like one another, and it's all very good-natured. Builds unit cohesion and hopefully entertains people. I like it. It's fun.

But whaddya do when an outfit you revere and gave some of your best years to and came of age in lumps ya in with Old Ironsides (pretty good duty station, btw) by calling the water they gave you to drink 'historic'?

I got this chair I'm sittin' in rockin' so fast in frustration it's startin' ta clank and smoke a little...

Please consider this geezer rant a PSA for those similarly afflicted affected by duty at Lejeune.

In a nutshell ...

Evolution vs. Creation, our buddy 'Nucks makes it real simple. It all comes down to two trees.

Off to work ...

Don't come here ...

Or I'll run you off personally. The reason I give this warning is Fred "The Rotting Cryptkeeper" Phelps and his band of fucked up zombies now seem to have a problem with Walt Whitman:

A church based in Topeka, Kansas, is scheduled to demonstrate next month outside Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda because the school, which opened in 1962, is named for a man who may have been homosexual.

Westboro Baptist Church has been drawing national attention for staging anti-homosexuality demonstrations at military funerals, on the theory that fallen troops are God's punishment for a country tolerant of homosexuals.


I hope Marylanders give them a proper 'welcome'.

Now, Walt Whitman's home is about 3 miles from mine. Whitman is a Long Island icon in league with Teddy Roosevelt and we treat his home with the same deference we show at Sagamore Hill.

If Fred wants to show up here to take up an issue with a man dead over a century, I can assure you his reception will not be friendly. His shit might play in Kansas, but Long Island is a long way from home.

Great thanks to Oliver Willis for the WaPo link.

Thought ...

If MSNBC dim bulb Contessa Brewer owns your ass, you know you got nothin':


When Contessa Brewer is [mad] at you for not being sufficiently serious, you really have a problem. This got so comical that John Boehner had to admit that he'd get back to everyone with an actual budget sometime later on.


As Dday says:


Maybe there's a real opportunity for the Green Party once the Republicans truly sink into utter irrelevance?


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quote of the Day

Comrade Misfit:

If we are so stupid as a species that we are going to start making terminator robots, then we will richly deserve the consequences.

For Bourdainophiles

I dig the shit outta Tony Bourdain (site). The quintessential Noo Yawk/Joisey smartass, and he knows his shit. I never miss No Reservations.

Q&A: Anthony Bourdain
The bad boy of cooking serves up some straight talk

What is the biggest mistake people make going into the restaurant business?

When you rely entirely on market research, you end up with a three-headed, fur-bearing trout. [...]

No recipes for those, dammit...

What's special about L.A.'s cuisine to you?

I generally love the funky strip mall joints. I love Koreatown. I don't even know the names of the places because I was so drunk when I went. What L.A. does so well, better than anyone else, is the low end.

THAT is no shit! I don't know jack shit about Korean food other than kim chee stinks, but I do know Mexican and L.A.'s got plenty of great out-of-the-way and unpretentious Mexican eatin' places. Anyone who's been to the walk-up window joints Tito's Tacos or El Mexicano, or many, if not most, of the thousands of mama y papa taquerias, will attest to that as well. Not much to look at or write home about, but awfully good food for not havin' wheels under 'em!


Repug karma has run over their dogma

Gleefully gleeped from YubaNet.

From a Recon Marine in Afghanistan

I have no attribution or provenance for this other than I got it from our pal Bustednuckles, and that's good enough for me.

[It's freezing here. I'm sitting on hard, cold dirt between rocks and shrubs at the base of the Hindu Kush Mountains along the Dar 'yoi Pomir River watching a hole that leads to a tunnel that leads to a cave. Stakeout, my friend, and no pizza delivery for thousands of miles.

I also glance at the area around my butt every ten to fifteen seconds to avoid another scorpion sting. I've actually given up battling the chiggers and sand fleas, but the scorpions give a jolt like a cattle prod. Hurts like a bastard. The antidote tastes like transmission fluid but God bless the Marine Corps for the five vials of it in my pack.

The one truth the Taliban cannot escape is that they are human beings, which means they have to eat food and drink water. That requires couriers and that's where an old bounty hunter like me comes in handy. I track the couriers, locate the tunnel entrances and storage facilities, type the info into the handheld, shoot the coordinates up to the satellite link that tells the air commanders where to drop the hardware, we bash some heads for a while, then I track and record the new movement.

It's all about intelligence. We haven't even brought in the snipers yet. These scurrying rats have no idea what they're in for. We are but days away from cutting off supply lines and allowing the eradication to begin.

I dream of bin Laden waking up to find me standing over him with my boot on his throat as I spit into his face and plunge my nickel plated Bowie knife through his frontal lobe. I've said it before and I'll say it again: This country blows. It's not even a country. There are no roads, there's no infrastructure, there's no government. This is an inhospitable, rock pit shit hole ruled by eleventh century warring tribes. There are no jobs here like we know jobs.

Afghanistan offers two ways for a man to support his family: join the opium trade or join the army. That's it. Those are your options. Oh, I forgot, you can also live in a refugee camp and eat plum-sweetened, crushed beetle paste and squirt mud like a goose with stomach flu if that's your idea of a party. But the smell alone of those 'tent cities of the walking dead' is enough to hurl you into the poppy fields to cheerfully scrape bulbs for eighteen hours a day.

I've been living with these Tajiks and Uzbeks and Turkmen and even a couple of Pushtins for over a month and a half now and this much I can say for sure: These guys, all of 'em, are Huns Actual, living Huns They LIVE to fight. It's what they do. It's ALL they do. They have no respect for anything, not for their families or for each other or for themselves. They claw at one another as a way of life. They play polo with dead calves and force their five-year-old sons into human cockfights to defend the family honor. Huns, roaming packs of savages, heartless beasts who feed on each other's barbarism. Cavemen with AK47's. Then again, maybe I'm just cranky.

I'm freezing my ass off on this stupid hill because my lap warmer is running out of juice and I can't recharge it until the sun comes up in a few hours.

Oh yeah! You like to write letters, right? Do me a favor, Bizarre. Write a letter to CNN and tell Wolf and Anderson and that awful, sneering, pompous Aaron Brown to stop calling the Taliban 'smart.' They are not smart. I suggest CNN invest in a dictionary because the word they are looking for is 'cunning.' The Taliban are cunning, like jackals and hyenas and wolverines. They are sneaky and ruthless and, when confronted, cowardly. They are hateful, malevolent parasites who create nothing and destroy everything else. Smart. Pfft. Yeah, they're real smart.

They've spent their entire lives reading only one book (and not a very good one, as books go) and consider hygiene and indoor plumbing to be products of the devil. They're still figuring out how to work a Bic lighter. Talking to a Taliban warrior about improving his quality of life is like trying to teach an ape how to hold a pen; eventually he just gets frustrated and sticks you in the eye with it.

OK, enough. Snuffie will be up soon so I have to get back to my hole. Covering my tracks in the snow takes a lot of practice but I'm good at it. Please, I tell you and my fellow Americans to turn off the TV sets and move on with your lives.

The story line you are getting from CNN and other news agencies is utter bullshit and designed not to deliver truth but rather to keep you glued to the screen through the commercials. We've got this one under control The worst thing you guys can do right now is sit around analyzing what we're doing over here because you have no idea what we're doing and, really, you don't want to know. We are your military and we are doing what you sent us here to do.


Recon Marine in Afghanistan
Semper Fi]

Keeping in mind that the only qualifications to be a Recon Marine are the ability to clap your hands, count to four, and run long distances, I will not swear to the authenticity or truth of that, but it's a good story.

Prosecute or Perish

BradBlog with today's 'must read'. Links at site:

Why the survival of our Constitutional Democracy may hinge on factually justified criminal prosecutions of the Bush/Cheney cabal...

"It will remain one of democracy's best jokes that it provided its deadly enemies with the means by which it was destroyed." - Joseph Goebbels

Gradually, as the veil of secrecy lifts, a growing number of Americans are beginning to comprehend the lawlessness of the cabal which seized control of the White House in 2000 in what amounted to a judicially-aided coup d'etat.[i] This lawlessness extended across the board. It included the packing of federal agencies with lobbyists from industries they were designed to regulate, deception to take this nation into a war of choice, fraudulent no-bid contracts, torture, extraordinary rendition, warrantless NSA eavesdropping on the entire stream of domestic electronic communications, and, if Seymour Hersh's recent allegations are accurate, the creation of a highly secretive "executive assassination ring" which reported only to Dick Cheney's office and which had "been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people and executing them and leaving."[ii]

The reaction of leading Democratic politicians to these unprecedented high crimes has been ambivalent, at best. [...]

I believe that sentence to be a masterpiece of understatement. 'Ambivalence' is kinda what the Dems do, though. This time, they gotta sack up and do what must be done.

There are fundamental deficiencies in the President's formulation. First, it is impossible to observe the rule of law without looking back. It would make no sense, for example, for a man charged with armed robbery to come before a judge and say, "Well, the robbery was in the past. You've got to look forward. I have every intention of abiding by the law in the future. So why prosecute me?" Second, looking forward does not mean handling current events at the expense of the rule of law. The point is to look far enough into the future to appreciate that the same people who brought us the last eight years of executive lawlessness could one day return to power...

There's been plenty of times I wish I coulda told a judge that! Wish in one hand...

It's an old motorcyclist's adage that 'the time ya get in trouble is when ya think yer safe'. It's absolutely true and it applies across the board. We thought we were safe after Clinton and let criminals take control of the country. Blatant criminals who barely tried to hide their crimes.

Setting aside the exigencies of having to clean up the disasters the cabal left them, I believe the principle reason stems from a failure to comprehend the true nature of the American hard-right --- a billionaire-funded, well-organized group of anti-egalitarian ideologues. It is a "revolutionary power"[iii] whose agenda is aimed at nothing less than smashing the framework of the American constitutional order. Any doubts as to their radically subversive aims ended with the recent release of a series of Justice Department memos...

The loss of democracy was averted, but only because a right-wing project to remake the federal judiciary had not been completed. [...]

Other set-backs --- Nixon's forced resignation; Iran-Contra convictions --- were followed by Ford's pardon of Nixon and G.H.W. Bush's pardoning of his Iran-Contra co-conspirators. These pardons set a dangerous precedent-impunity-which emboldened the hard-right to return with a vengeance during the Bush/Cheney reign.

Unless the rule of law is restored and applied to the Bush/Cheney cabal, the next time around our constitutional democracy could be lost, forever. The survival of the republic mandates nothing less than criminal investigations and prosecutions not only of war crimes and financial crimes but "crimes against democracy," an apt phrase that should be applied to voter suppression, illegal manipulation of election results and the attempted misuse of the Justice Department to gain partisan advantage.

Note: For those so inclined, they can petition Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor right here.

Done. You know what to do.

We have to keep this out front and keep pressure on this administration until they realize that the American people know the score and will stand for nothing less than - gasp! - JUSTICE.

And maybe a little vengeance, but that's just me.

"A man of extraordinary vision ...

... and brilliance approaching to genius."

Just in case you've gotten used to Barry, Maru has a list of the vision and brilliance we were subjected to over the past 8 years.

Off to work ...

Get out ...

I agree with Jill. there are a lot of good Texans out there (I just get on Texas because I lived there for a couple years and it seems they have a higher stupid quotient than most states) but there's something in the water that breeds dumbassery.

I know Amanda Marcotte is from Texas. I know there are many fine people in Texas. But this is, after all, the state that gave us not one but TWO Bush presidents, and there are plenty of other states that have barbecue. So I say that if Texas wants to secede and make Chuck Norris its king, please be my guest, especially if you're going to become a breeding ground for willful idiocy ...

The evolution-deniers are at it again. With these people in control of the school board, it's no wonder they are saturated with idiots.

Not a big fan ...

Of Steny Hoyer, but it's nice to see him actually call out the Rethugs' hypocrisy:

Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the number two Democrat in the House has put out a fairly suggestive flyer hammering Republicans in both bodies for their sudden and hypocritical aversion to passing controversial legislation via budget reconciliation ...

It's about time the Dems stand up and tell the American people that the reason substantive legislation can't be passed is not because the Dems can't come up with any, but the Republicans obstructing everything that comes down the pike.

Thanks to Dr. Fez-head for the link.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Stop ...

Yer killin' me. Part 2.


And a follow-up.

Beware the vegans!

Mark Morford

The evil gay agenda is nearly complete. Who poses the next horrible, godless threat?

This much we know: We gotta have an enemy.

It's just a basic, nation-defining requirement. We must, as a culture, as a people, always find some sort of scapegoat upon which to blame all our ills. It's just how we roll.

Communists had their turn. Feminists. Hippies. Then came the evil homosexual people, with their famous, much-lauded agenda to destroy the holy sanctimony of Christian marriage via encouraging girls to smoke and listen to punk rock, teaching interior decorating to straight boys and convincing innocent church pastors and Republican senators to fellate them in cheap motel rooms. The horror!

Will it be, say, the polyamorists? Vegetarians? Yoga teachers? Polyamorist vegetarian yoga teachers who like anal sex and Ecstasy and really strong coffee? We must ponder. We must find out.

Some possibilities:

There are many, but this one is mine. Heh.

Old people. Oh my God, of course! Generation Boomer is just about to swarm into retirement, destroy Social Security, ruin Medicare and collectively forget where they parked their golf cart. Their nefarious agenda: black socks with sandals, "Mama's Family" reruns on prime-time, and turning the entire country into south Florida. Watch in horror as grandma lures your children into compliance with stories about long-play records and Pontiac Trans Ams and giving blowjobs to the Grateful Dead. Our country's fallen and it can't get up!

Smart people. And now, the most sinister threat of all. Is there a darker menace to the American way of life, to Christian panic and Republican clenchiness and widespread hysteria, than lots and lots of calm intelligence? After all, knowledge is power. Knowledge is the ability to see past the knee-jerk reactionaries, the sexual panic, the shrill, God-thumping nonsense. Knowledge is, therefore, evil like candy.

It might be too late. The disturbing agenda of President Obama, already one of the most calmly intelligent humans in U.S. political history, is beginning to have a truly nightmarish effect, as he inspires millions to take more responsibility, not merely for their lives, but for their choices, for their kids' future, for the health of their very own brains.

He is, in short, well on his way to destroying the very ideas that made this country great: insularity, fear of the Other, gluttony, lousy grammar and generally not knowin' much 'bout nuthin'. Hide the children.

If we leave it to the wingtards, we'll lose the secrets of fire and the wheel. Enjoy the rest of the article.

Marines train for Iraq at L.A. County Coroner's Office

This is a sobering reminder of the reality of wars, especially one that shouldn't have happened.


Marine Corps Reserve Lance Cpl. Matthew Barlow rides along with Los Angeles County coroner's personnel to retrieve the body of a homeless man found in Hazard Park in Boyle Heights. He is among 14 Marines who were embedded at the coroner's office for three weeks to learn how to collect bodies and personal belongings and identify the dead. The troops are in a special unit that soon will deploy to Iraq, where they will receive the bodies of fallen troops and prepare them for the flight home to the United States.

Lance Cpl. Barlow, 23, was one of 14 Marines embedded for three weeks last month at the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner. They were on their way to Iraq, where their job would be to collect the dead and start them on their journey back to their families.

But first, the coroner's office was going to force them to confront death -- its sights, its smells -- day after day.

Corral believed that some of the things the Marines would see in Los Angeles would be directly applicable in Iraq. Bodies burned in plane crashes, thrown around in motor vehicle accidents and riddled with gunshots were going to look the same.

If ya gotta learn to deal with that kinda stuff, L.A.'s a crash course for sure.

Fox: Business News You Can Masturbate To

The Rude Pundit

From Fox Business "news" anchorbo Dagen McDowell on the AIG bonus tax:
"You don't want to think if you get in bed with Uncle Sam he's going to strip you naked, chain you to the bed, leave you there and then take nasty pictures of you and then put them on the internet."

The Rude Pundit thinks he's in love.

It ought to be pointed out that she's got the order wrong - first you take the nasty pictures and then you leave the naked person chained there, not the other way around. Just sayin'.

Thanks, RP. F** needs to be wised up about everything.


Live Whiskey-Blogging the President's News Conference

8:03: Barack Obama is a no-nonsense motherfucker. There's no goofy winks at reporters. In fact, now that we've moved from homeowners to toxic assets inside of two minutes, the Rude Pundit's pretty sure that Obama thinks we're a lot smarter than we actually are. Hey, thanks for the compliment, but slow down there, Slim.

8:09: See, as far as bargain whiskeys go, you're really not gonna do better than EW. It's rich, with the illusion of weight, even, like a syrup, an elixir. Yes, the Rude Pundit's got a head start before this press conference started.


Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Flying Car Makes First Successful Flight
Breakthrough will allow us to pick ourselves up at the airport.

Ex-Bush Official: Many at Gitmo Innocent
Many at Bush White House guilty.

13 Firms Which Got Billions in Bailouts Owe $220 Million in Unpaid Taxes
Ask Fed for an additional $220 million.

Rep. Bachmann (R-MN): “We're Running Out of Rich People”
Downside of eight families owning everything finally dawns on Republicans.

This next one's for those old enough to get it. Heh.

Malibu: Neighbor Files Complaint About Stench From Bob Dylan's Porta Potty
Also his decision to go electric at Newport.

Former British Defense Chief Says Extraterrestrials “Could Attack at Any Time“
Recommends preemptive action.

The Bush Doctrine against the whole rest of the Universe? Wake me when it's over. If there is an 'over'.

The FixedNoisetards have the right to be hosers, eh?

Apparently, some of the F**Noisetards dissed the Canadian military. Didn't amount to too much, about what we've come to expect from the Rushole Nation. You can get the gist of it at The Political Carnival:

Chalk another one up for the brilliant comedic talents of the Rushpublic mouthpieces.

And a response at CTV to the typical non-apology apology we've also come to expect from the fucking wingtards.

But the host also seemed to defend his program, adding "Red Eye is a satirical take on the news, in which all topics are addressed in a lighthearted, humorous and ridiculous manner."

The fact that Canadian soldiers are fighting and dying in Afghanistan is apparently 'lighthearted, humorous and ridiculous' to those assholes.

Another panelist, Doug Benson, said he didn't even know Canadian troops were in Afghanistan.

Well, I guess that makes it OK. Ignorance as policy on a 'news' channel. Yeesh.

I didn't think too much about this normal fucktard business-as-usual F** shit, but then I ran across a post at Canada Wry that I think is excellent on bad ideas and free speech. A highly recommended read. I don't agree with this Canuckistanian 100%, but it's worth a read.

In a truly FREE society, you cannot demand that your government protect your feelings.

Of course, under current conditions you CAN and do demand that the government protect your feelings and they actually do it.

But it’s WRONG!

You can and should demand that your government protect your RIGHTS.

If someone is engaging in HATE SPEECH, you don’t silence them, don’t tell them to shut-up…


You say, “BRING IT ON”

He's right. Most bullies will STFU all by themselves if you invite them to say whatever pissed you off to your face. I have found that it is a rare bully who will stand up for his bullshit with the prospect of getting his ass kicked staring him in the face.

The flip side is that it may not be a good idea to engage in such subtle forms of debate with a gang of brown-shirted thugs all by your lonesome. Such as the Repugs. There is strength in numbers and the right-wing is well aware of this. When I read about these conservadems, I wonder why the Dems haven't figured out the 'strength in numbers, roll over opposing ideas like a steamroller' strategy like they have. Hell, we're smarter than they are, just not near as organized.

This gent is right in principle, but where I disagree with him is in the actual power of good ideas over bad in the real world. He says that good ideas survive and bad ones fall. To his credit, he also says that bad ideas may last hundreds of years, like slavery, and there's the rub.

Bad ideas have taken control of this country and its mainstream voices over the last 28 years and particularly during the Bush years. We don't have hundreds of years to defeat Repug/F**Noise/Rushole Nation bad ideas.

The great Krugman/Obama smackdown

The Last Chance Democracy Cafe expounds on a quandary I find myself in. I'm not alone! A 'recommended read'. Links and comments.

Like many Obama-Krugman groupies, I find myself torn. My instincts tell me to trust Barack Obama’s bank rescue plan: underestimating him, after all, generally proves to be a mistake. Yet, when it comes to economics, for me, Paul Krugman’s the man.

So what am I supposed to think now that Krugman is attacking Obama’s proposal with all the vigor of Rush Limbaugh tearing into a plate of Viagra coated spareribs? [...]

Sorry. I shoulda warned ya...

Taking all this together, I had just about convinced myself Krugman was right and Obama wrong. But the more I dig into the subject, the more I’m starting to doubt this. Instead, I’m now pretty much convinced that they’re both right. They’re just right about different things.

I'm still confused, but I feel better now. Go read and make up your own mind. After all, that's the way us Dems/Progressives roll.

Stop ...

Yer killin' me.

Off to work ...

Hmmmm ...

Remember when I was musing yesterday about investing in local real estate (were I in the mood to have all the headaches of being a landlord)? Well, this morning I came across this:

Want to buy an island in the Bronx?

For an asking price of $300,000, you can claim ownership to Rat Island.

The 2 1/2-acre rocky islet a half-mile east of City Island in the northeast corner of the borough offers sweeping views of Long Island Sound - and nearby Hart Island, with its Potters Field, where the city's unclaimed dead are buried.


So I ask Mrs. F if she wants a private island.

"Not if it isn't in the Caribbean," was her reply.

Shit, I'll work on her and wear her down. Heh ... I wonder if the city has an ordinance concerning a naval artillery battery on the shore?

It's why ...

They don't call us Republicans. We question our leaders. Greenwald looks at the difference between Dem/Progressives and Republican/Conservatives when it comes to disagreement with the President, though we do have a few who will follow without question:


To recap: Republicans never criticized Reagan, and Democrats should copy that sychophantic behavior and loyally get in line behind the great man in the White House. Obama isn't merely our Leader, but he's Our Great and Wise Leader -- the greatest and wisest that "America, by a wide margin, has had in decades," maybe ever -- and what he deserves and is entitled to is meek and uncritical support to ensure that The Team succeeds. Even if you think that what Obama is doing is wrong and counter-productive, you should keep your mouth shut and pretend to agree with him and realize that he is smarter and better than you and therefore probably right, even if you don't see or agree with the rationale behind his actions. Obama works in mysterious ways, yes he does.


The idea behind genuine, healthy criticism is to make, or do, things better. There is always somebody with a better idea and agreement just "because our leader says so" breeds myopia and stagnation. Earlier on, Greenwald states it succinctly:


A rational citizen, by definition, praises and supports political leaders only when they do the right thing (regardless of motive), and criticizes and opposes them when they don’t. It's just that simple. Cheerleading for someone because they're on "your team" is appropriate for a sporting event, not for political matters. Political leaders deserve support only to the extent that their actions, on a case-by-case basis, merit that support, and that has largely been the behavior of progressives towards Obama.


America is never 'finished'. It is, and was created as such, a "work-in-progress", to be refined and built upon for the greater good. "In order to form a more perfect Union." The only way to make America better is to discuss and dissent, not just for contrarianism's sake but to make the place we live in better for all Americans, not just for moneyed Caucasian men.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I'm ba-ack...

We had a swell time out on the coast. The main reason we went was to go out to lunch with Mrs. G's High School class. The Arroyo Grande High School Class of '63 has a very active reunion schedule due mostly to the organizing efforts of a gal named Edith. I'm not going to say she's pushy or loud or forceful, but rather she has a lot of personality and energy and gets what she wants. Mechanics will understand when I say that she can return electrical parts to an auto parts store with no questions asked because the parts guys know what will happen if they don't!

A lot of these folks have known each other since about 1949 and spent their growing-up years together. Edie has been the ramrod of class spirit and has organized the reunions since '68. She has a committee of folks helping her, partly because they like to do it, and partly because she's hard to say no to. Anyway, she realizes that these folks ain't gettin' any younger and she's going to organize twice-yearly get-togethers in addition to the regular 5 year 3-day extravaganzas.

Here's Hurricane Edie doing what she does. Those hands are loud!:

Click pix to embiggen

In case you can't tell, I like this gal a lot. Edie is of Mexican descent, and her husband is of Filipino-Japanese descent and was born in an internment camp during WWII. An awful lot of good American citizens from Arroyo Grande were relocated to those. Anyway, the mix of whites (a lot of Portagees like Mrs. G, lotta Dust Bowl Okies too), Mexicans, Filipinos, and Japanese was so common in that little seaside agricultural town in those days that Mrs. G's classmates don't even notice it.

Just as an aside, even though AG has grown by a factor of 15 since these folks were kids and now boasts(?) a population of 16,000 and is considerably more upscale than it was, you can still buy fresh strawberries at a stand next to the field they were grown in in the middle of a residential neighborhood within sight of the ocean. Sadly, it's not as common as it was, even in my own memory since the '70s.

This is the Pelican Point Bar & Restaurant where the get-together was held:

Nice joint in a picturesque location. Our party had a buffet, but I looked at the regular menu. The left-hand column made my mouth water, but the right-hand column told me to enjoy it while yer here, peasant, 'cause this establishment is out of your league and you won't be back unless yer numbers hit!

Also, I'm not sure I'd wanta be enjoying fine dining in that place at the same time the North Pacific plate decided to relieve itself. The rapidly changing panoramic view would be a rush, though!

The next picture is from the walkway around the restaurant and is of the spot I took the last picture from. You can see the Pismo Beach pier and on around the Sand Dunes to the right to Point Sal at the other end of San Luis Bay, probably ten miles or so, beyond which lies Vandenberg AFB. 'Sal' is Spanish for 'get out!' as in 'run for your life!'.

Is it any wonder I love the Central Coast? It's all Mrs. G's fault.

The rest of our trip was spent visiting with Mrs. G's family. Her family is a three-generation matriarchy, with her sister as the current matriarch. The rest of us are known, because I named us that, as 'the husbands' and are amicably tolerated. That includes Mrs. G's nephew's wife as well. Heh. Speaking as the oldest, I'm not only the oldest, but currently in the best shape amongst the males. Both of Mrs. G's nieces' husbands have recently proved the old adage that 'there's never been a hoss that couldn't be rode, and there's never been a cowboy that couldn't be throw'd'. Gordie got pitched off his buckskin and has some busted ribs. Sean tossed his 950 KTM away at speed on a dirt road and broke his ankle, exposed his kneecap to the sunshine, and has about an acre of gravel rash. Both are recuperating and have plenty of time to ponder the error of their ways.

Since there's always a little gallows humor in anything that doesn't actually involve funerals, here goes: the guys in the same truck that Sean laid his sled down to avoid gave him and the bike a ride home, from whence his wife took him to the ER, where, in extreme agony, he positively carpet-bombed the joint with f-bombs according to reports. Sean is 6'6" and weighs 300 pounds. The only rig in the whole family they could get him home from there with his knee and ankle immobile was my SIL's pickup. In the bed. With the tailgate open. Heh.

And Sean, if I didn't have some slight experience with young (Fixer's age) men with fast motorcycles, I mighta believed your hopefully-wife-placating claim of 'Honest, honey, I was only doing 35 miles an hour'. Yeah, right. She and my SIL don't believe it either. I think he'll be more careful about making sure he's not going too fast to see to stop next time.

Gordie's wife decided he needed a night out to relax, since he'd been running his store with broken ribs. Where d'ya take a guy with broken ribs to relax? Why, a stand-up comedy show of course! Literally side-splitting humor! Heh.

The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. California is known as 'The Golden State' because it is usually GBD, which, unlike tasty-lookin' food, does not mean 'Golden Brown & Delicious' but 'Godawful Brown & Drier'n a popcorn fart'. Not this time. We've had considerable badly-needed precipitation out here in the last month or so, and the whole drive down and back was gorgeous. Lush, gorgeous, wet green! It only happens for a few weeks every year and I'm not always there to see it. It's just beautiful to an old native Californian like me who's a lot more used to seeing tinderbox dry brown hills. Also, the sun was shining and the air was clear enough to see the Sierra Nevada from the 5. That doesn't happen every day either.

On our way home we took a slightly different route than we usually do that skirted the eastern edge of the Bayarreah Bay Area to see if anything had changed since the last time I lost my mind and did that. It hasn't changed much except for more development and traffic. Oh, and the businesses out there have staggered schedules so there's no one crippling traffic jam at rush hour. It's rush hour all the time!. I had forgotten about that. We cut across and joined up with I-5 at Tracy. We're used to the traffic from that point up through Stockton and Sacramento.

So as soon as our sanity returned from all the metropolitan madness, we stopped for gas at a gas station with a crashed UFO on the roof. Only in California!

The next picture is on I-80 east out of Sacramento, the last leg of our trip. Must be someone who gets Brain posts before they're posted. Sure looks like one of Fixer's fixer-uppers on its way to its final resting place ultimate destination. Right in front of me, naturally. This was about 4:30 PM so it really was rush hour. Yeesh. Thanks, F-Man. When I finally passed this rolling carnival, it had the word 'scrap' spray-painted on the side. Looked OK to me, as it must have done to its proud new owner. Note the big bug on the windshield. At one point, I had so many crashed bugs on there I had to keep my head moving to see where I was going. Spring has done sprung in the valley.

Got home to a foot of fresh snow in my driveway. Spring ain't quite sprung here yet.

I'm just trying to get over truck lag, so I hope you'll forgive me for taking the easy way out today. The politics'll probably still be there tomorrow.

Quote of the Day

Stolen, in toto, from Professor Farley:

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

I tell ya ...

Were I of the mind to become a landlord, there's 4 or 5 houses in my neighborhood I'd pick up cheap, throw a coat of paint on, and rent. If you're in the market to buy a home (especially if it's a first home - just don't get in over your head), now's a good time to get serious. If you're handy, you could probably make a great deal on a fixer-upper*:

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose at their fastest pace in nearly six years in February, data showed on Monday, providing some good news for the recession hit-economy.


"Our analysis shows that distressed homes typically are selling for 20 percent less than normal market price, and this naturally is drawing down the median price," said Lawrence Yun, NAR [National Association of Realtors] chief economist.


*Heh ... Think about it. Heh ...

Thanks to Chris for the link.

Why I love Joe Biden ...

See, I'm one of those who sometimes says what's on my mind without taking my audience into account. I can sympathize with Joe. But let me run and I'll have people rolling all night.


Biden told the fancy-dress audience of 600 guests that newspapers still have a vital role to play: "You can't house-break a puppy on the Internet."


Biden congratulated Ahnold Schwarzenegger "on a really great speech," adding, "I can hardly wait for the English translation."


Heh ... Joe had 'em going. My dad used to say that we had to go places twice. Once, when we were invited. The second time, to apologize for something I said. Biden didn't have to say "sorry" this time.

A thought ...

If Wall St. likes Geithner's plan so much ...

Timothy Geithner, the embattled US treasury secretary, won a burst of approval from the financial markets last night as Wall Street stocks rose sharply on a $1tn proposal for a partnership of public and private investment to rescue Wall Street's struggling banks.

In the biggest one-day rally since late October, the Dow Jones industrial average leapt by 497 points to 7,775‚ a rise of nearly 7%, as a clutch of encouraging economic figures fuelled a sense of relief that the Obama administration is poised to act on the financial crisis.


... why do I get the feeling the Average Joe is gonna get screwed again?

Monday, March 23, 2009

That's what we need ...

To dig up Ronny's corpse and everything will be okay:

My goodness gracious, is Peggy Noonan on drugs?

Does she have an abuse problem?


And, of course, as the #1 Ronald Reagan Groupie, she brings her sweetheart, love bunny touchstone to the forefront, letting us all know that, according to her, if only we had Ronny's steady hand to guide us today, the world (well, her world) would be Shangri La.


I knew a woman like Pegs. All she talked about was her dead ex and how great he was. Well, she's still alone with her memories. What a waste of newspaper space.

On torture ...

Our President on 60 Minutes last night:

I fundamentally disagree with Dick Cheney. Not surprisingly. You know, I think that Vice President Cheney has been at the head of a movement whose notion is somehow that we can't reconcile our core values, our constitution, our belief that we don't torture, with our national security interests. I think he's drawing the wrong lesson from history. The facts don't bear him out. I think he is... that attitude, that philosophy has done incredible damage to our image and position in the world. I mean, the fact of the matter is, after all these years, how many convictions actually came out of Guantanamo? How many... how many terrorists have actually been brought to justice under the philosophy that is being promoted by Vice President Cheney? It hasn't made us safer. What it has been is a great advertisement for anti-American sentiment, which means that there is constant effective recruitment of Arab fighters and Muslim fighters against U.S. interests all around the world. [my ems]

Video at the link.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A time for silence

A 'must read' from our northern neighbors in the wake of Bush's Calgary visit.

By Janice Kennedy, The Ottawa Citizen

Of all the wise observations in Ecclesiastes about seasons -- times to be born and to die, to weep and to laugh, to love and to hate -- the wisest for this moment in history may be the one about speaking and keeping silent. It's tailor-made for U.S. Republicans in the party's far-right wing, and for their fans at home and abroad.

In short, it is now time for the rabid right to shut up.

Four months ago, they were told unequivocally that their time in power -- the eight years they used so spectacularly to transform prosperity into ashes and peace into war -- was over. Finito. Goodbye.

But they don't seem to get it.

Barely into Barack Obama's early attempts to clean up their messes, they've re-emerged into the sunshine, crowing from the roof of the roost as if they still ruled it.

...the enthusiastic reaction in Calgary to Bush's first post-presidential speaking engagement was probably not one that caused hearts across Canada to swell with pride.

Since memories are obviously short, it may be useful to review the legacy of the recent adventure in lunatic right-wing extremism.

And review it she does...

In a just world, they'd be in some dark hiding place, grateful not to be in the slammer. In a just world, they'd hang their heads in shame.

In a just world, they'd realize the time had come for them to shut their malicious mouths.

Canadians are too polite. I'd have written the next line, which she did not:

And if they did not take advantage of the opportunity to shut their malicious mouths, there are plenty of volunteers more than willing to shut their malicious mouths for them.

What burglar? I don't see no f*****' burglar...

It's late in the evening and I'm sitting in my motel room not really watching NCIS reruns. Mrs. G and the pups are asleep and I'm a little bored. It's raining and I don't feel like going to the supermarket for a snack or anything, so I'm just sorta noodlin'...

There was some discussion in 'comments' on this post the other day about the efficacy of different types of weapons for personal defense. Here's my 2¢.

Too much firearm is worse than too little. A .22 Magnum in the right hands is deadlier than a .454 Casull in the wrong ones and a hell of a lot less dangerous to the surrounding countryside. If the noise or blast or recoil of a weapon scares you and makes you flinch or blink, buck in anticipation of the recoil (low and to the left), or jerk the trigger (high and to the right), the weapon is not right for you and is useless to you. You will likely miss the target and it may kill you.

You don't need something that will stop a charging rhino after going through two or three engine blocks to stop a burglar or other miscreant. You need something that is comfortable for you to hold and something you can practice with without discomfort. You also need training, lots of practice, and the mental fortitude to overcome a normally laudable reluctance to kill another human being. All the training and accuracy developed by shooting at paper targets goes for naught if you can't bring yourself to shoot the sonofabitch that's trying to hurt you. It's something to think about. The term 'deadly serious' is exactly what I'm talking about.

Keep in mind that we're not talking about pin-point accuracy over long distances here. For info on that, see your Marine recruiter. We're talking about stopping somebody 5-10 feet away from you from getting up close and personal enough to hurt you. 'Up close and personal' is where you have to stop him.

Q: Is a TV set or stereo worth a man's life?

A: That's a question the person must answer for himself before he breaks into my house. I have no idea what his intentions are, and will shoot first and ask questions later.

Light weight and concealability are important if you're going to carry it around, legally of course. Nothing freaks people out in the supermarket checkout line like a visible handgun, and since everybody has a cell phone these days you are liable to get to watch your groceries roll down the parking lot and get tenderized by passing traffic while you are prone and spread-eagled with a cop kneeling on your back while he checks on your carry permit.

On the flip side, if you know someone is going to try to hurt you, screw the permit. Emergency knows no law. You will at least be alive to answer the illegal carry charge.

Generally speaking, my favorites for carry are the .38 Special, which comes in many varieties and sizes and ammunition is available everywhere, and, a little more esoteric, the .32 H&R Magnum. Small in size and weight, and a little rocket ship of a round. Loud, too!

That said, my absolute personal favorite handgun caliber is the .44 Special such as the short barrelled Charter Arms Bulldog for concealed carry. Relatively low velocity, but a punch like a Louisville Slugger.

I had a Ruger Blackhawk in .44 Magnum once. It was fun to shoot .44 Specials out of, but I sold it after the first time I fired a cylinder-ful of.44 Magnum rounds. Ear-splittingly loud and it tore the web of my hand to shreds. If I ever need that much firepower, I'll call an air strike!

I haven't said anything about semi-automatic or autoloader pistols because, though I'm familiar with them, I think they're too complicated and I don't really like them. They most definitely have their place, military and law enforcement, but for casual use, I'm just an ol' fart wheelgun man. If I can't protect me and mine with 5 or 6 rounds, I probably couldn't with 9 or 14 either. Just a personal preference. If I had any interest in goin' looking for gun trouble, which I don't, I'd carry the biggest gun that held the most bullets. Shit, I'd carry three of 'em!

Which brings me to the title of this post. Let's have some fun!

The late Bill Jordan, old-time U.S. Border Patrolman, innovative pistolero, and author of No Second Place Winner about gunfighting, which I've read several times, when asked what was his favorite weapon in a shootout, answered that if he had ever known ahead of time that he was going to be in one, it would be a 12 gauge shotgun! I'm down wid dat!

On the theory that wretched excess is barely enough (thanks to Mario Batali), enjoy this video. Disclaimer: I hate Blackwater, but they do know weapons.