Saturday, August 8, 2009

This'll getcher toes O'Tappin

Sharon Shannon & Steve Earle perform Galway Girl Live at the Kennedy Center Gala for Irish Music

Thanks to daisylabel, Ireland.

Quote of the Day

The Ostroy Report

July Job Losses Down Significantly. Republicans Accuse Nation's Employers of Conspiring to Make Obama Look Good

"...validate Al Qaeda's twisted worldview."

Chicago Tribune

In his first public appearance as the White House counter-terrorism advisor, John O. Brennan said that President George W. Bush's policies had been an affront to American values, undermined the nation's security and fostered a "global war" mind-set that served only to "validate Al Qaeda's twisted worldview."

Gee, ya think?

The sharp language is likely to extend the war of words between the current administration and conservative critics such as former Vice President Dick Cheney, who has carried out an unusually high-profile campaign accusing Obama of abandoning methods that made the country safe.

Given the choice, I'd rather be safe from the likes of Cheney than from terrorists.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Emmylou Harris & Some Jewish Kid From Minnesota ~ One More Cup Of Coffee

Thanks to SHAYMCN2, Ireland.

Friday, August 7, 2009

It's here ...

Stays on top today. You vill do vat Fixer says at the bottom. Iff you do not, ve haff vays of making you... - G

I've been warning about this for years that, under Bush, we were quickly approaching becoming a fascist state. From the stories my mother told me (she grew up in pre-WW2 Germany and was a nurse in the German Army during the war), the Chimp and Cheney's activities were easily recognizable. Sara Robinson sees the results of that regime's policies bringing us to a tipping point:


In the second stage, fascist movements take root, turn into real political parties, and seize their seat at the table of power. Interestingly, in every case Paxton cites, the political base came from the rural, less-educated parts of the country; and almost all of them came to power very specifically by offering themselves as informal goon squads organized to intimidate farmworkers on behalf of the large landowners. The KKK disenfranchised black sharecroppers and set itself up as the enforcement wing of Jim Crow. The Italian Squadristi and the German Brownshirts made their bones breaking up farmers' strikes. And these days, GOP-sanctioned anti-immigrant groups make life hell for Hispanic agricultural workers in the US. As violence against random Hispanics (citizens and otherwise) increases, the right-wing goon squads are getting basic training that, if the pattern holds, they may eventually use to intimidate the rest of us.

Paxton wrote that succeeding at the second stage "depends on certain relatively precise conditions: the weakness of a liberal state, whose inadequacies condemn the nation to disorder, decline, or humiliation; and political deadlock because the Right, the heir to power but unable to continue to wield it alone, refuses to accept a growing Left as a legitimate governing partner." He further noted that Hitler and Mussolini both took power under these same circumstances: "deadlock of constitutional government (produced in part by the polarization that the fascists abetted); conservative leaders who felt threatened by the loss of their capacity to keep the population under control at a moment of massive popular mobilization; an advancing Left; and conservative leaders who refused to work with that Left and who felt unable to continue to govern against the Left without further reinforcement."

And more ominously: "The most important variables...are the conservative elites' willingness to work with the fascists (along with a reciprocal flexibility on the part of the fascist leaders) and the depth of the crisis that induces them to cooperate."

That description sounds eerily like the dire straits our Congressional Republicans find themselves in right now. Though the GOP has been humiliated, rejected, and reduced to rump status by a series of epic national catastrophes mostly of its own making, its leadership can't even imagine governing cooperatively with the newly mobilized and ascendant Democrats. Lacking legitimate routes back to power, their last hope is to invest the hardcore remainder of their base with an undeserved legitimacy, recruit them as shock troops, and overthrow American democracy by force. If they can't win elections or policy fights, they're more than willing to take it to the streets, and seize power by bullying Americans into silence and complicity.

When that unholy alliance is made, the third stage -- the transition to full-fledged government fascism -- begins. [my em]


If you read anything today, read this in its entirety.

Waltzing ...

Mrs F conned, badgered, ordered asked me to go with her to her 30th high school reunion and, being the hell of a guy I am, I said yes (Wouldn't miss it for the world, being that my high school still holds a grudge* - if I am alive at my 60th, they might let me show up). While we're out, I leave you with Pyotr Ilyich's classic:

Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake Waltz

*And no, I'm not sharing the story. Heh ...

Of Birthers, Senators and Morons

Shopping day today, so here's a quickie from Kos:

In the news: John Cornyn thinks fact checking is pretext for domestic espionage. Which he's suddenly against. Chuck Grassley uses Ted Kennedy's medical condition as propaganda for his own false and nonsensical claims about "socialized medicine" killing old people -- and this is who Max Baucus is "negotiating" with to bring us his version of health care. Rush Limbaugh thinks Obama is like Hitler. Glenn Beck muses about poisoning Nancy Pelosi.

The birthers are going strong, and the teabaggers are trying to shut down healthcare reform by making town halls on the subject impossible. Dick Morris and John Bolton agree: we should have left those two journalists to rot in North Korea, because Clinton going there to secure their release made the U.S. look weak, and now other countries will steal our lunch money at recess. And Lou Dobbs never met a conspiracy theory he didn't like, as long as it was about brown or black people, but after people got angry that he peddled false nonsense he says he's now reflexively going to oppose Obama on everything.

It almost makes you want to cry. Between Cornyn, Grassley, Limbaugh and Beck, between Dobbs and Morris and Bolton, between birthers and "socialized" medicine but keep-your-hands-off-my-Medicare, the stupid is overwhelming. It's become a tidal wave of stupid. It's a giant Noah's Ark of stupid, in which two examples of every kind of dumbassery known to man have been loaded up to be set adrift on a sea of their own drool. It's the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" gameshow of stupid -- loud, with big flashing lights, and on every goddamn day of the week. It's the result of drinking conservative bong water and eating the paint chips flaking off Bill Buckley's lead-encrusted casket.

I'd be afraid for the future of our country, but I know that if these people ever actually armed themselves and tried to take over they'd all have accidentally shot themselves in the groin within the first ten minutes. Then they'd all limp to D.C. to hold a rally demanding free government healthcare for crotch-related injuries.

If they need any help to shoot themselves in the crotch, I volunteer.

See yas later.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Gleefully gleeped from YubaNet.

Note to the House and Senate: Beat on that bully sonofabitch with that case in your hand until he cries 'Uncle!'. Then beat him until he shuts the fuck up. Then just beat him. Yeah, like you got the balls to do that.

Khmer Bush


As leaders of the former Khmer Rouge regime testify in a human rights tribunal, in harrowing detail, for the killing of more than a million Cambodians from 1975 to 1979 a central medical question remains unanswered: will the trials help a society heal or exacerbate the lingering affects of widespread trauma?

Tribunals to assess crimes of war and crimes against humanity are becoming more common. In June, Charles Taylor, former president of Liberia, answered questions in an international courtroom in Paris about his alleged role in genocide in Sierra Leone in the 1990s. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, a UN-sponsored trial, has been underway since 1993 and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda since 1995. The Nuremberg Trials is perhaps the most well known.

The Khmer Rouge trials offer the opportunity to better gauge the efficacy of these trials, and those lessons hold relevance across a spectrum of injustice.

“The larger question raised by our study is whether attempts to promote justice for survivors of violence – whether en masse or inflicted by one individual to another – can help lessen its psychological toll,” Sonis says. “We simply don’t know the answers yet.”

Let's have some Khmer Bush trials and find out.

William Jefferson Airplane

The title must refer to the fact that The Big Dawg's got Grace and he's Slick...

First 5 minutes is about Clinton and the return of the hostages. Then it goes into the wingtards' response. Scumbags.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
William Jefferson Airplane
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorSpinal Tap Performance

Clinton says she regrets U.S. is not a member of ICC

Ol' Hil was firin' on all her cylinders over in Kenya! I hereby volunteer a fresh oversize piston should she ever need one...

Reuters via Think Progress:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday it was a "great regret" the United States was not yet a signatory to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

The United States signed the ICC treaty when Hillary's husband, Bill Clinton, was president, but it was never ratified by Congress. Clinton's successor George W. Bush later rejected the idea of joining the court.

If I did what he did, I'da rejected it too. When ya let the war criminals be the shot callers, no good will come of it and none has.

With the recent addition of the Czech Republic, 110 countries have ratified the Rome statute. Absent from the list are the United States, Russia, China and Israel.

The "Big Four" in Non-Accountability World for war crimes, imperialism, genocide, and general all-around human rights abuses.

The court only has jurisdiction over crimes committed after July 1, 2002, in countries that have ratified its treaty.

It's almost like they knew what Bush & Cheney were going to be up to when they formed that outfit. Maybe someone there was on Yoo and Bybee's e-mail list.

It doesn't look at present like Obama is going to change US policy re the ICC. If he does, listen for the sound of printing presses in The Hague burning out from printing arrest warrants for the neoNaziscons and their Bush administration.

Republicans Oppose 'Cash For Clunkers' Program

Tony Peyser

Whatever their complaints may be
The subtext that's always lurking
Is rage at anything Obama's done
That happens to be. . . working.

Oily Taint ...

And the rest of them. Our pal Maru:


Remember when the news used to give you something called… let’s see now, what was it… uh, facts? All we get now is variations on shit like Senator, your republican opponent says your bill calls for the mercy killings of thousands. Why do you hate freedom, you murderer? Even formerly-dignified wonk shows are featuring loonytoon haters such as Michelle Malkin and that Orly Taintz Borat character. I’m so fucking disgusted I could puke.

Surprised the fuck outta me ...

But they actually did the right thing:

Washington -- The Senate will vote today on rescuing the "cash for clunkers" program, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said late Wednesday, announcing a deal he expects to pave the way for an extra $2 billion to keep the initiative alive at least through Labor Day.

The agreement by Senate Democrats and Republicans "accomplishes what we need to accomplish," said Reid, who earlier declared he has the votes to pass the popular program.

The House has already passed the bill, and President Barack Obama has said he would sign it.


Hypocrisy much?

The headline of Greenwald's latest:

Hillary Clinton demands accountability for war crimes

Dear Mrs. Clinton,

I love ya, I really do. I like you a lot more than I like your husband. That said, my dear, I think it might be wise to refrain from calling for war crimes trials in other countries until we decide to prosecute our own criminals. As long as those who criminally lied us into two wars, detained innocents without cause, tortured others, and killed thousands, American and Iraqi alike, remain free, we are in no position to point fingers at, or lecture, anyone else.


We need to teach those Kenyans that if they don't prosecute their criminals in high office, then they'll perpetuate their "culture of impunity," and that would be awful. Those Kenyans apparently fail to understand that if you immunize high political officials when they commit crimes, that creates a "culture of impunity" -- I love that phrase -- which ensures future rampant criminality in the political class. How can those Kenyans not realize this?

Clinton's sentiments echoed what Obama told Africans when he spoke in Ghana last month, when he demanded that they apply "the rule of law, which ensures the equal administration of justice" and vowed that "we will stand behind efforts to hold war criminals accountable" -- meaning African war criminals. As we send murderous, crusading civilian units around the world to accompany our invading armies -- while ushering a regime of torture wherever we go -- and then announce we will only Look to the Future, Not the Past, when their crimes are exposed (despite our best efforts to keep them concealed), do we actually expect anyone to take these sermons seriously? [em in orig]


Other than that, I hope all is well with you and the family. Remember to kick Bill in the nuts once or twice a month, just to remind him who's boss.



Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Who's that Black Man in my White House?

Most of the news is about the Repug shit that's going on. I'm sick of it. I want to kick all their asses up around their ears. Hell yeah, that would be wrong, but it'd sure as shit shut 'em the fuck up and that'd be good enough. I can't do it, of course. I mean, I could but it'd get all the wrong kind of press ("Rampaging Socialist Disrupts Disruptors At Town Hall Meeting!"). Gotta find other ways, and people are working on it.

This is by Spadecaller. Some comments as well.

Spadecaller's poem characterizes a new and frightening voice of the Republican Party. Since the election of our first black President, Barack Hussein Obama, the Republican party has gravitated to the fringes of the partys extreme. A shocking 58 percent of Republicans polled doubt Barack Obama is an American born citizen. Since Obama's entry into the White House there has been a rise of hate crimes, hate speech from mainstream politicians, threats of secession by state officials, open threats of revolution, and numerous threats against the Presidents life. The young presidency has encountered reactionary forces far beyond anything yet experience in American history. In contrast to the astounding fact that a black man succeeded in garnering the support of Americas voting majority, racial tensions have risen to a critical mass and the opposition party is willingly supporting the ideologies traditionally associated with the KKK and White Supremacists.

This is why ...

I don't give a damn if mercenaries live or die.

Vid shamelessly stolen from Larisa.

They should hang the lot of them from a bridge in Fallujah.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Quote of the Day



To extend this a bit, 15 million people protested the Iraq war and the coverage was virtually nil. Lobbyists bus 100 people into a Congressional town hall and the media hypes the "Tehran-like" atmosphere of them ...

Seems like the teabaggers and birthers are the new Joe the Plumber ...

A government program that actually works?!! It must be stopped!

North Korea: 2 US journalists pardoned


All good, but no big surprise.

And who would you have sent to negotiate when it comes to young women? Go Big Dawg!

Anxiously awaiting the video of them thanking him...

"Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away..."*

*Apologies to John Lennon.

Sorry about the light blogging yesterday. I experienced a slight meltdown and then had a vision of life in a post-apocalyptic world. Wait, that sounds like straitjacket time - my computer went on the blink. Literally. It had a blinking orange light where the steady green 'on' light oughta be and wouldn't start. Deader'n a fuckin' doornail.

It was just about the same sensation as when your motorcycle flames out twenty miles from your truck out in the middle of the desert. It gets awfully quiet, the world expands exponentially, and you get the sinking feeling that you're all alone out in the middle of it. And you are. Then you get over it and start in on trying to get it running again so you don't have to walk for eight hours to cover the distance you rode in twenty minutes.

I managed to bang out one little post on Mini-Hal while I was figuring out what to do next. With the desktop out, I was starting to feel as if I had ceased to exist as a human being, same feeling folks get when their car breaks and the mechanic can't get it fixed by lunchtime.

I've almost been expecting it. The cooling fan's been running a lot more than usual lately and it was getting louder. We had a computer years ago that wouldn't start when the fan went bad, so that's where I looked first. I peeled the fan out and sure enough, it had a notchy bearing like the steering head bearing on a motorcycle that's been pounded in a straight line too long. I don't know a damn thing about computers, but I knew that wasn't good. Whether that's what's really wrong with Hal is a moot point until I get a new fan in, but it needs replaced so that's where I'm starting.

I was a radio repairman in the service, so I was ready for anything when I opened Hal up. Imagine my surprise when I discovered there aren't any tubes in it! I should have known - the tube tester disappeared from the drugstore some time ago.

I started looking for parts. I called all three of the local computer joints listed in our phone book. Got three voice mails and am still waiting for call backs. Yeesh. Makes me wonder what those guys do for a living. It used to be that you got drugs at independent motorcycle repair shops that were only open at night. Maybe now it's 'puter shops. Heh.

I tried to look for parts online on Mini-Hal, but our ostensibly 3G air card is hampered by the weakest tower in the AT&T system by their own admission, one bar on a good day, like a wireless dial-up, only slower. It takes five or ten minutes for a page to load, you click on wherever it tells you to next, five or ten more minutes, repeat a coupla more times, and eventually get a "page not found" and start over someplace else. Grrrr. It took hours. Finally got a phone number for Dell and got the part on its way from a nice kid in the Phillipines. It's shipped and in a coupla days I'll be able ta try an' figger out what else needs to be done ta get Hal arcin' an' sparkin' again.

Didja ever have one of those "lights on in yer head, dipshit" moments? I sure did. About the time I was feeling all proud of myself for getting the part ordered against all the forces in opposition, Mrs. G came home for lunch. I told her what all had gone on and she came up with one little sentence: "Why din'tja hook the laptop up ta the DSL?"

Doh. Hand. Forehead. Smack. Get up off the floor. Repeat. She does that shit to me all the time. Actually I think I do it to myself.

Installed some software, cleared some space, hooked up a coupla cables, and here I am, all hi-speed like God intended and all's right with the world, in sort of an 'OK Temp' fashion. About my only problem is pulling out the keyboard from under the desk and wondering why it doesn't work. Hand, forehead...

On a good day, that would have been the end of it. Not so fast, white boy.

Came time to schlep down to the post office and pick up the mail. Went into the spare bedroom, where I can smoke, to watch a little news while I put on my pants (the folks at the PO are a buncha soreheads if I don't) and shoes. The TV is about thirty years old and runs on a box from the cable company. The box itself is so old that the cable company quit charging me rent on it years ago. Pointed the clicker at it and - nuttin' honey. Changed batteries, recalibrated it, bupkis. Oh, well...

As a mechanic, I know all too well that things happen in threes. The thought of "Oh shit, what's next?" came to mind as I surveyed my choices of transportation to go for the mail. I pondered which vehicle was a) least likely to break, b) which one did I stand the best chance of fixing by the side of the road using only my rocket scientist mind and roadside debris, and finally c) which one would I be most likely to be able to push a mile uphill to get home. I chose the Royal Enfield even though it failed to meet criterium 'c' by about 300 pounds, which is what I would have used even if all these dark thoughts hadn't been clouding my mind. Since all my troubles had been with electronics, the RE barely has any, and doesn't need them to run as long as the battery isn't dead. There is something to be said for old school simplicity.

Got the mail, got the cheapest remote they had at RiteAid, got the TV working, so far so good. As the fellow who just jumped off the 30th floor said as he went past the 15th.

I guess ya gotta have a day like that once in a while to remind you of how well things go normally, but yesterday was plenty, thank you, Jesus. Pardon me for bending yer eyeballs with it. Later.

More excuses ...

Excuses are like assholes. Everybody's got one and they all stink. The Dems have a lot of them when it comes to their level of fail. This one, in particular, chaps my ass (using the nearly-dead as an excuse for not pissing off the Rethugs). The Great Orange Satan via Joe:

Democrats have a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate, meaning they should be able to push through the Democratic agenda without interference from an irrelevant Republican minority. Except that it's the Democrats we're talking about, and there's always an excuse why they can't do the right thing.

Now it's that they really only have 58 votes.

You see, Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd are too sick to show up! Both have been wheeled in for key votes in recent months, and one thinks the same could be done for key health care votes, but they have become the newest excuse for Democratic impotence in the Senate.


Investment advice ...

From Maru:

Invest in Kleenex futures now!

The sequel to the conservatard masturbatory fantasy Red Dawn starts shooting September 8th.

Umbrellas and rain wear too. The spooge'll be flyin'. Heh ...

Monday, August 3, 2009


What's a little forgery between friends?


Funny, but I don't know if I like the idea of using a member of my family to make the joke.

Update Zwei:

And Badtux has the real deal. Obama's a fucking alien! I'll believe that before I believe he was born in pre-Kenya.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Economy Slightly Less Worse Than Expected
Translation: you can come in off the ledge, but leave the window open.

Attorney General Still Undecided About Prosecuting Bush Officials
May hold them in Guantanamo until he makes up his mind.

Perfect! That's what it's there for. Take yer time, Eric...

New Jersey to More Than Double Solar Power Generation
Once deal finalized with Mafia, rabbis.

Sex Toys for Dogs Debut
Not shown: leg toy.

Maybe ...

People should pay more attention. Digby's right, and its one of my pet peeves; people don't know enough about how our government works or what the issues are really about. It's your country, people. What those weasels in Washington do affects us directly. Why wouldn't someone want to be as informed as possible?


Everyone in the place was complaining about the insurance companies and how broken the system was. But they were also convinced that the Democrats are trying to pass socialized medicine. When I asked what they thought that meant, they said, "government takeover of health care." And they were seriously worried about how that was going to affect them.

I don't know where these people are getting this. They aren't political, they don't listen to talk radio or read blogs. This is just what's out in the ether, what people are saying in casual conversation. The ear worm is "we've got a problem, but the Democrats are going to take over health care and make things worse." It's not entirely surprising, but it's depressing nonetheless.

Voter apathy is one of the things that really annoys me, along with being misinformed. In this day and age, with the advent of the intarwebs, there is no excuse for not getting what's going on in the government, be it local, state, or federal.

It seems to me, the people who bitch the loudest don't vote and have no clue of what they're really bitching about. To those who don't vote: Shaddap! To those ignorant of the issues: Go find out before you open your trap!

Now, I can tell from the first sentence if someone watches Fox 'News' or not. Usually I don't waste my time with people who watch Fox. It just ain't worth it because they generally don't want to hear anything. The plain old uninformed are fun to watch as their expression changes when you calmly explain what some piece of legislation means to them. You see the light bulb go on over their heads.


Customer/Acquaintance/Friend: "Obama's gonna raise taxes to pay for health care."

Me: "Do you make more than $250K/year?"

C/A/F: "Are you kidding?"

Me: "Then you have nothing to worry about."

C/A/F: "No shit?"

Me: "Dude/Dudette, 95% of Americans won't get a tax increase. Only the really rich are gonna pay more and even those making $250K will only pay 1% more."

C/A/F: "That's not bad."

Me: "Indeed. Go now, and spread the word ..."

I'm tired of people pulling stuff out their ass on subjects they know very little to nothing about. I get it a lot in the car business, folks who think they know something about cars lecturing me. Do they realize, when they flap their traps to an expert on the subject, they just come off sounding like a bigger moron? Just because their buddy or some moron on TV says something doesn't make it accurate or true.

Listen, the reason the Chimp and his henchmen got away with so much is that nobody ever questioned anything, nobody doing anything but the most superficial thinking about the threat from Iraq, or how innocent people ended up at Gitmo, or how the government tapped your phones and read your email without warrant - I could go on forever. Yes, our lapdog news media shoulders a lot of blame but if our populace weren't so ignorant, they wouldn't have gotten away with so much.

There are very few people I trust with my future or my money, certainly no one in Washington. While I can't grab them by the balls and win their hearts and minds, I sure as hell keep an eye on what they're doing to protect myself from their fuckups. If you don't know, or don't care, then you can't bitch about what they do to you.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Oy gevult!

So, the Mrs. and I are done cleaning and we're sitting in bed with my laptop, watching the Mets, picking out shore excursions for our Eastern Europe/Scandinavia/20th Anniversary cruise next August (2010). As most of the regulars know, Mrs. F is a Russian/Eastern European Jew. So we're looking at shore excursions in St. Petersburg, Russia and Talinn, Estonia (she has people from both places) and we noticed they have some Jewish history/culture tours. So then we see that you have to be part of one exclusive Jewish group to go on these excursions. Naturally, my whole civil rights/equality/leftist thing kicks in and I ask the Mrs: "What makes this particular flavor of Jews more equal than you? Shouldn't you be allowed to experience your heritage too?"

"Google the name of the group," she said, not knowing what it was.

I did.

Seems we'll be sharing MS Prinsendam with these folks*.

So we both look over their website and I turn to her and say: "I wonder how many of 'em I'm gonna offend?" Gonna be an interesting cruise. Heh ...

*Not that I have a problem with it. Last year, aboard Prinsendam in the Med, we ended up hanging out with a whole buncha Presbyterians. Fun folks and I only pissed off one or two of them. Seriously, the reason we go on these cruises is to meet people from different walks of life to learn from and about them. Cross-posted at Worlds.

Brewskies, Blacks, Bikes

Daddy Frank on the White House Brew-ha-ha (I've been waiting days to say that! I'm over it now...). Links aplenty.

This one ended with a burp. The debate about which brew would best give President Obama Joe Six-Pack cred in his White House beer op with Harvard’s town-and-gown antagonists hit the front page of The Wall Street Journal. Had Obama picked a brand evoking an elitist whiff of John Kerry — Stella Artois, perhaps? — we’d have another week of coverage dissecting his biggest political gaffe since rolling a gutter ball at a Pennsylvania bowling alley.

Q: Why is Bud Light like sex at the beach?

A: Because it's fuckin' near water...


It’s also stupid to look at Harvard as a paradigm of anything, race included. If there was a teachable moment in this incident, it could be found in how some powerful white people well beyond Cambridge responded to it. That reaction is merely the latest example of how the inexorable transformation of America into a white-minority country in some 30 years — by 2042 in the latest Census Bureau estimate — is causing serious jitters, if not panic, in some white establishments.

Ground zero for this hysteria is Fox News, [...]


What provokes their angry and nonsensical cries of racism is sheer desperation: an entire country is changing faster than these white guys bargained for. [...]

Obama’s election, far from alleviating paranoia in the white fringe, has only compounded it. There is no purer expression of this animus than to claim that Obama is literally not an American — or, as Sarah Palin would have it, not a “real American.” The birth-certificate canard is just the latest version of those campaign-year attempts to strip Obama of his American identity with faux controversies over flag pins, the Pledge of Allegiance and his middle name. Last summer, Cokie Roberts of ABC News even faulted him for taking a vacation in his home state of Hawaii, which she described as a “foreign, exotic place,” in contrast to her proposed choice of Myrtle Beach, S.C., in the real America of Dixie.

Story within a story. Here's how "real America" Myrtle Beach is: they don't like motorcyclists. White or black.

MB has had two separate motorcycle rallies for years. The city council decided to 'cancel' both of them.

“Myrtle Beach is no longer the location for two long-running motorcycle events. After many years, our residents grew weary of three weeks of noise and traffic congestion each May, and they asked City Council to end the events. As a result, the Harley-Davidson Dealers Association Spring Rally and the Atlantic Beach Memorial Day Bikefest will not be held in Myrtle Beach,” Rhodes wrote.

To discourage bikers, the city has implemented stricter noise and muffler rules, will be enforcing a helmet law within Myrtle Beach itself, has established rules against large parties in parking lots and has tightened curfews on juveniles. Increased police DUI checkpoints have been mentioned as possible points for sound emission tests as well. All this with the disclaimer that Myrtle Beach is not “anti-biker or anti-motorcycle.”

The Harley-Davidson Dealers Association Spring Rally is brand-specific and mainly for white riders, but everybody is welcome.

The Atlantic Beach Memorial Day Bikefest is AKA "Black Bike Week".

I guess that's democratic, after a fashion. Throw the blacks out, ya gotta throw the whites out too to make it look good. After all, they're all just scooter trash.

Not everyone agreed:

[...] “The City of Myrtle Beach has initiated a media campaign designed to deter the good, law abiding motorcycle riders from coming to our area. The information being disseminated by the Grand Strand Chamber of Commerce and City of Myrtle Beach does not accurately portray the views of the people of Horry County. The majority of people and businesses look forward to you visiting and desperately rely on your visiting to make it through the year.”

It states that most of the businesses that cater to bikers are in Horry County, which has not adopted the new ordinances enacted by the city of Myrtle Beach. The Harley dealer will soon have maps of the area and routes to avoid Myrtle Beach up on its site. [...]

Bikes ain't motorhomes. They don't have room for beds, kitchens, refrigerators, etc. What bikes have room for is money and credit cards, and riders spend! And local merchants from Daytona to Sturgis (happening as we speak) love it!

Here's the real America: The bikers, white and black alike, told Myrtle Beach to stuff it. Yo, Myrtle Beachoids, hear that rumblin' in the distance? That's thousands of riders ridin' around yer burg to spend their money somewhere they're appreciated. Hope ya enjoy all the peace and quiet.

Atlantic Beach and the Grand Strand hosted Black Bike Week this year, but the Carolina H-D Dealers moved their run up to New Bern NC (Oh swell. That's just north of Camp Lejeune. You thought bikers were trouble? Now yer gonna get Marines!). Myrtle Beach done screwed the pooch for the whole area on this one, and especially screwed is the local Harley-Davidson dealer. The dealerships love rallies with lots of out-of-towners. They won't be hiring extra temps either.

I've got no idea what the black biker set is gonna do. They're resourceful folks and I'm not gonna worry about 'em. They'll think of something. Ride on, brothers and sisters. For more on black bikers, go see this older post of mine.

Back to Pops:

As Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post and Helene Cooper of The Times have pointed out, a lot of today’s variation on the theme is class-oriented. Some whites habituated to a monopoly on the upper reaches of American power just can’t adjust to the reality that Obama, Sotomayor, Oprah Winfrey and countless others are now at the very pinnacle, and that they might sometimes side with each other just as their white counterparts do. Threatened white elites try to mask their own anxieties by patronizingly adopting working-class whites as their pet political surrogates — Joe the Plumber, New Haven firemen, a Cambridge police officer. Call it Village People populism.

Sometimes the most revealing expressions of this resentment emerge in juvenile asides — Bill Kristol (on The Weekly Standard’s blog) ridiculing Gates for writing a flowery travel magazine article about his privileged vacation home of Martha’s Vineyard, or Heather MacDonald (in National Review) mocking Gates as a “limousine liberal” for his supposedly hypocritical admission that he has a “regular car service” and a “regular driver” to fetch him at the airport. Who does Henry Louis Gates Jr. think he is, William F. Buckley Jr.?

The one lesson that everyone took away from the latest “national conversation about race” is the same one we’ve taken away from every other “national conversation” in the past couple of years. America has not transcended race. America is not postracial. So we can all say that again. But it must also be said that we’re just at the start of what may be a 30-year struggle. Beer won’t cool the fury of those who can’t accept the reality that America’s racial profile will no longer reflect their own.

I'm better with down-and-dirty motorcyclists than I am with elites, but Pops does a good job with 'em.

Sunday Spring Cleaning Music Blogging ...

Yes, the Mrs. and I are a little late but now that the construction's done we can really get after the rest of the house. Keeping with that theme, I give you the "Spring" movement of Vivaldi's Four Seasons:

Vivaldi - The Four Seasons (Spring) [Summer, Autumn, Winter]