Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Other London...

Ah, London...sophisticated, stylish, urbane. I envy the Fixers. I wonder if they'll make the Ace Cafe scene?

The Bikes...The Beat...The Burn-ups...
Tritons,Norvins & Goldies. Lewis Leathers, Levi blue Jeans and a white silk scarf. Leather Boys, Ton-Up Kids & Coffee Bar Cowboys. Southend, Brighton and everyone back to the Ace. British beat on the jukebox, the smell of Castrol 'R' and a big steaming mug of tea.

After Elvis but before The Beatles, the 'Cult of the Cafe Racer' A very British documentary. Red Button Films Manchester & Ace Cafe London. Spring 2008

Thanks to rebuttonmanchester, UK.

In reference ...

To what I said yesterday. Alex Pareene:


On 9/12, people in New York (and DC) did not feel as "great" as Glenn Beck. They just felt like shit. They felt scared and confused and depressed. Many of them were drunk. And only an idiot or an actual terrorist would want to always feel like it was 9/12/01. And eight years later, normal people, with brains and souls, have decided that some emotional distance from that disaster is healthier and wiser than trying to recapture the dread.


Fuck him, and all of his like.

I tell ya, after I got Mrs. F home that night, more than a couple bottles of Grey Goose and Jack Daniels' gave their lives to drown what we felt, or what we didn't. To this day, I still can't figure whether it was unbelievable sorrow or numbness over the impossibility of what happened a few hours before.

The scumbags like Beck who've exploited that should be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

Great thanks to Dr. Attaturk (Podiatrist to the Stars) for the link.


As of 5 pm yesterday afternoon, I'm on vacation. Sorely needed. We'll be leaving for London tomorrow night to catch up with our old friend Queen Mary 2 in Southampton. Of course you'll be able to follow us through Europe and then on a North Atlantic crossing (which are always fun this time of year) on Worlds.

With London in mind:

The Clash, Dave Grohl, and Bruce Springsteen - London Calling

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

An old Hank Snow tune from a 1984 concert. The song came out during the Korean War, but nobody does my favorite lyric any more:

"Mamasan a-movin' down the track
With a Gyrene baby strapped on her back.
I'm movin' on..."

Emmylou Harris ~ I'm Movin' On

Thanks to 1000Magicians, UK.

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Every year on this day ...

(Stays on top today - G)

We are all New Yorkers."

With all due respect, Mr. President, no, you're not.

You, and all the other folks who like to wrap themselves in the flag who weren't here. We are the ones who sat, waiting for news of their loved ones, who went to funerals month after month, who dealt with the problems of those who survived, who, every time the morning gives us a clear, blue sky without wind, call it a "9/11 day", you will never know what it means to be a New Yorker on the best day, let alone on the day of our greatest tragedy.

If you were all New Yorkers, you wouldn't have allowed the memory of our friends and neighbors to be used to exploit the nation, to lie us into wars, to use as a lever to pry away our civil rights, to use as a cudgel to silence righteous debate. To be a New Yorker is to be tough and strong when you have to be, to be kind and compassionate when it matters, and to not take crap from people who hold us up as something to be scorned (except when it's politically advantageous), like they do with San Francisco. Most folks in this country wouldn't qualify.

I'm tired of politicians and folks from somewhere else invoking 9/11 as some sort of excuse for doing anything we want, anywhere in the world. I'm tired of people from somewhere else coming here and acting like that hole in the ground is some sort of carnival sideshow ("Hey, ma, get a pic of me hanging on the fence!"), instead of showing any sort of respect for what happened there. I'm tired of being used.

I get what people mean by "all of us are New Yorkers on 9/11". I understand the sentiment and accept that it's said from the heart, but unless you lived it, and then had to watch how the memory of 3000 of our relatives, friends, and neighbors was perverted to achieve goals most civilized people would shun, you don't understand the disgust we feel at those who only see political and monetary gain in our loss.

We will grieve, as we do every year, in our own ways. Some will do it in public and most will do it privately and then we will go on, just as we did in the days directly after the tragedy. We remember every day for the scene remains, neater now and no longer smoldering, but still a 16-acre hole in the bedrock of Lower Manhattan, a gap in the skyline that can be seen from 10 miles away.

On this day, remember us, say a prayer if you will, but don't think you can know what the people of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and the relatives of people from 40 nations who had to witness the deaths of their loved ones on television, went through that beautiful September day. And please, whatever you do or don't, let this day remain as a marker for a tragedy, not as an excuse to get in touch with our baser instincts. I'd rather the sacrifice made 8 years ago change this nation for the good instead of as a reason to torture and oppress.

May they rest in peace.

The Free Light Bulb & Rebate Store

This has been quite a summer for new appliances and rebates around here, and an added fillip in terms of free energy efficient light bulbs.

Back in June, we got a washing machine to replace the old worn out one, paid for by a federal stimulus in the form of a tax rebate. It qualified for a $100 rebate from our local utility company, about whose conservation program I've referenced before.

This past week was kicked off by our water heater catastrophically disassembling itself and its subsequent replacement.

Ferguson's, which calls itself a 'Bath & Kitchen Gallery' and indeed has a small showroom with a coupla faucets and the like, is a pretty big plumbing supply store, and there are always more plumbers' trucks there than Volvos, if ya get my drift. They musta had fifty water heaters there. They had exactly one that fitted my needs and it is humming away under my house now.

Just as an aside, I took the junk water heater up to the Eastern County Landfill and paid a very reasonable $10.75 to properly dispose of it. The Mexican lady took my money and directed me "Up the hill. Number 9.". No. 9 was the appliance pile, and there were several water heaters there just like mine. The folks up there do an absolutely first rate job of recycling everything and have cut actual landfill usage by 50% over the last few years. Our town has a 'blue bag' recycling program which is pretty successful, and in addition to that the landfill takes every bit of trash that comes in there through the regular trash pickup process and sorts it. Picture a conveyor and a buncha Mexican ladies with gloves and clothespins on their noses and you get the idea. They also do oil, batteries, all kinds of hazmat, everything. My hat's off to them. If you come visit, one of the highlights will be a tour of the joint. You'll be dazzled. Go see what their program looks like. What used to be called 'the county dump' is now called 'the solid waste management and material recovery facility'. Sign of the times.

I think the landfill itself is closed and they just do material recovery up there. The landfill stuff is shipped to Nevada. Good place for it and the best use of space. They won't run out of room over there forever and there's no one around for any smell to bother. Heh.

I thought I'd go to the PUD and see if my new water heater qualified for the energy rebate. Frankly, I was much more interested in getting hot water restored to my house than in energy efficiency. Remember, I got the one water heater available in my town that would work for my application.

I went into the office there that handles this kinda shit and thought I'd walked into a light bulb orchard. More on that in a minute.

The rebate & light bulb lady and I hit it off instantly because a) we're both really nice people and b) we have the same last name. She had a book with the energy efficiency scores of every appliance on the planet. My water heater missed qualifying for a rebate by one point. Oh well...

Then she started in on light bulbs.

I've been replacing my incandescent bulbs with CFLs for a coupla years now, and I'm doing pretty good at it. One of the big drawbacks is that the curly bulbs look funny in some applications and people don't want their lights to look funny. We have four-bulb vanity lights in both bathrooms and I hadn't yet replaced those bulbs with CFLs just because of that.

Well, the light bulb manufacturers are getting better at it. I walked out of the PUD with four 40-watt-equivalent 9-watt CFL vanity bulbs that looked just like round vanity bulbs!. I hadn't known they existed. When I installed them, until they got warmed up the first time, I could see the curly bulbs inside the globes. Clever. And boy are them suckers bright! A good score and for free!

I mentioned to the PUD lady that I'd gotten new kitchen appliances in 2007, but hadn't known about the rebate program at the time. She said the program applied to any appliances purchased since May '07. I got them in September. She said to bring in receipts and she'd see what she could do.

Yesterday I traipsed back on over there with the paperwork on the kitchen appliances that I had dug out. I never throw anything like that away. There was a different guy there and we chatted until the light bulb & rebate lady got back from lunch. Turns out that energy programs are required by California state law for utility companies. Some do more than others. He said that the local light bulb giveaway program, "here kid, first one's free", had reduced electrical usage by 3% so far. I thought that was pretty good. He loaded me up with more vanity bulbs and some other ones in a free cloth shopping bag and told me to check back in the near future for CFL bug lights and night light bulbs.

The best part came when the lady returned. They don't offer rebates on ranges, power suckin' monsters that they are, but the icebox and dishwasher both qualified! $200 more dollars are coming my way outta the blue!

I'd say it was a pretty good trip to the power company. I had so many free light bulbs stuffed in my saddlebags that it woulda sounded like a popcorn popper if I'da went down! Heh.

One more light bulb story. I finally got some 3-way CFLs for my end table lamps. One of them screwed right into Mrs. G's lamp, but it was too big to fit inside the harp on mine, and it had an odd style of harp that I couldn't get at the hardware store.

The lamp was a cheap piece of Chinese shit that I've had for long enough that I've had to replace the 3-way socket and the cheapass lampshade disintegrated. The replacement shade was a little longer than the original, and the light shone on my arm instead of up where I could read by it, so I had the lamp sitting up on a pile of books from the horrendous backlog in my reading schedule. I went to Lowe's and got a new table lamp that eliminated the books, but the bulb still wouldn't fit so I got a replacement harp and now it all works just fine.

The bulb claims that I'll save $46.95 over its life. Damn good thing, that! That's what it cost me to get to where I could screw the light bulb in!

I'll close this with a money shot, literally. Since I've gotten the new washing machine and the 3-way CFLs, my electric bill has gone from about $170 every month to $114 on the last bill. I'll have to see if that holds, but for now it's looking good. A penny saved is a penny earned even if you had to put a buncha pennies out front to get it.

‘I’ve Come to the Conclusion That Cheney is Just Crazy’

This is from an interview of Lawrence Wilkerson by Andy Worthington at The Public Record about the Bush administration's policy toward detainees in the War For Political And Financial Gain On Terror. A 'recommended read':

Lawrence Wilkerson: Well, to keep it brief, I think the problem is that this is a national security issue, and there are so many more challenging issues — as one official put it to me the other day — on which the President has already shown some ankle, whether it’s about talking to Iran or whether it’s his rather pronounced silence vis-à-vis North Korea, or whether it’s something as minuscule as lifting some travel restrictions on Cuban Americans for Cuba. They don’t believe they can show another square centimeter of ankle on national security, because the Republicans will eat their lunch, and every time I’m told this I die laughing. I say, your guys are captured by the Sith Lord, Dick Cheney, you’re captured by Rush Limbaugh, whose real radio audience is about 2.2 million, and whose employer, Clear Channel, lost $3.7 billion in the second quarter of this year. I said, when are you gonna wake up? These are kooks. And Cheney is the kook leader. But [Nancy] Pelosi and [Harry] Reid are such feckless leaders they haven’t got any spine. We have no leadership in the legislative branch on either side of the aisle.

Andy Worthington: I agree with you absolutely there …

Lawrence Wilkerson: I become exasperated. There’s just no courage, there’s no moral courage whatsoever in the Democratic Party.

Gee. Someone besides us has noticed that.

On The Dick and The Dickless Media:

Lawrence Wilkerson: I think the principal figure in this — Vice President Cheney — would say, in response to what you’ve just said, “So what?” I mean, I really do. I wouldn’t have said that a couple of years ago, but now I’ve come to the conclusion that the man truly is — whether he was that way when I knew him before, when he was Secretary of Defense, I don’t know, that’s not at issue with me any more — the man now is just crazy.

Andy Worthington: Yes, well, I’m glad you said that. In March you called him evil. Crazy is — you know, he just seems to be a deranged man, I’m surprised he’s been getting so much air time.

Lawrence Wilkerson: It’s our media. Our media loves to keep it going. They love to throw him out there and, you know, stoke the fires. I asked a couple of people fairly high up in our media world, “Why in the world do you continue to give him and Limbaugh an audience? Why? Why do you even put them on the same plane as the President of the United States? Why do you have these dueling speeches? You guys made them dueling speeches, not the two principals.” Well, you know, they’re running out of business. People are canceling their newspaper subscriptions every day. They want news.

Andy Worthington: And they’re more interested in hearing this than they are in hearing that this madman was the driver of manufacturing false intelligence through torture to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Lawrence Wilkerson: Well, they helped in that.

Andy Worthington: Of course, that’s why they don’t want to talk about it.

And the merest glimmer of hope that we may get some justice on The Crazy Evil Dick Bastard yet:

Lawrence Wilkerson: No. My wife thinks that ultimately there’s going to be something. I’m a little more cynical than she, but she’s convinced that this investigation that’s been going on [by John Durham] — very low-key, the guy’s very persistent, he’s very determined, he reminds me of [Patrick] Fitzgerald on the Valerie Plame case, and his starting point is the destruction of the videotapes, and I’m told he’s got a plan, and he’s following that plan, and I’m told that plan is bigger than I think.

It better be a lot bigger than they're letting on. The analogy might be to not let your shadow fall on the spot where you're trying to catch trout. If they don't see you coming, you stand a lot better chance of catching them.

I think I'll change this to 'must read'. Lotsa good shit.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The long war ...

Cdr. Huber:

The long war just got longer, by fiat of Minister of Peace Robert Gates. In an interview with al Jazeera’s Abderrahim Foukara, Gates said, "both Afghanistan and Pakistan can count on us for the long term." To paraphrase the punch line to a joke about asylum inmates, we’re freaking nuts and we’re never getting out of there.


We're gonna be paying for our mistakes there for a long time, on many levels. If anyone in the White House has any sense, they should be running around with their hair on fire telling everyone who'll listen that we have to get out now. Our involvement in Afghanistan won't, can't, end well.

You cannot bring people who prefer to live in the 10th Century into the 21st in a decade. They have no understanding of what we expect from them, no frame of reference (don't forget, for the last two generations, they've only known war) for 'democracy'. All we will do is waste money and lives until we realize it's a futile, dry hole.

Ah, to dream...

Click to embiggen

Quit writin' and jerk that fuckin' plug outta the wall!

Thanks to YubaNet.

Bellingham mayor offers 'Daily Show' host key to city

The Bellingham (WA) Herald

Mount Vernon might be planning to give Glenn Beck the key to the city, but Bellingham Mayor Dan Pike thinks the city to the north can do better.

Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's satirical news program "The Daily Show," is being offered the same honor here, and Pike says he thinks it's appropriate.

The mayor's invitation comes after Mount Vernon Mayor Bud Norris announced that conservative Fox News commentator and radio show host Glenn Beck would come Sept. 26 to receive the key to that city.

Here's the irony, brought to you by the only person on the planet who could possibly see it in his unique and twisted way:

September 26 is not only my birthday, but has been known for years on the Easyriders calendar as "Whatdafuck Day". Heh.

So... Happy Whatdafuck Day to Crazy Becky. I hope the key fits yer ass.

"YOU LIE!" Revisited

Fixer's not the only one to have this thought:

Thanks to Pavlovian Obeisance.

And from El Rude-o after a few of Wilson's quotes through the years:

At least if you're wrong and an asshole, Joe Wilson, you've been wrong and an asshole your whole life.

I guess there's something to be said for consistency...

Sick And Wrong

Today's 'must read'. One of the best overviews of the health care debacle that I've seen. All the usual suspects and then some.

Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone:

Just as we have a medical system that is not really designed to care for the sick, we have a government that is not equipped to fix actual crises. What our government is good at is something else entirely: effecting the appearance of action, while leaving the actual reform behind in a diabolical labyrinth of ingenious legislative maneuvers.

We might look back on this summer someday and think of it as the moment when our government lost us for good. It was that bad.

This is what the prospects for real health care reform come down to — whether one of three Republicans from tiny states with no major urban populations decides, out of the goodness of his or her cash-fattened heart, to forsake forever any contributions from the health-insurance industry (and, probably, aid for their re-election efforts from the Republican National Committee).

Yeah, like that'll happen. When we're dodging falling excreta from aviating porcines.

Heading into the health care debate, there was only ever one genuinely dangerous idea out there, and that was a single-payer system. [...]

In the real world, nothing except a single-payer system makes any sense. [...]

Huh? This isn't a small point: The president and the Democrats decided not to press for the only plan that makes sense for everyone, in order to preserve an industry that is not only cruel and stupid and dysfunctional, but through its rank inefficiency has necessitated the very reforms now being debated. Even though the Democrats enjoy a political monopoly and could have started from a very strong bargaining position, they chose instead to concede at least half the battle before it even began.

The public option is hardly a cure-all: [...]

The logic behind the idea was so unassailable that its opponents often inadvertently found themselves arguing for it. "Assurances that the government plan would play by the rules that private insurers play by are implausible," groused right-wing douchebag George Will. "Competition from the public option must be unfair, because government does not need to make a profit and has enormous pricing and negotiating powers." In other words, if you offer a public plan that doesn't systematically fuck every single person in the country by selling health care at inflated prices and raking in monster profits, private insurers just won't be able to compete.

This White House makes a serial vacillator like Bill Clinton look like Patton crossing the Rhine. [...]

Cold shot, Matt! Right on the money too. Keep in mind what Patton did when he got to the middle of the Rhine. He couldn't keep it in his pants either. Heh.

But Reich's comment assumes that Obama wants to give the bill coherence. In many ways, the lily-livered method that Obama chose to push health care into being is a crystal-clear example of how the Democratic Party likes to act — showering a real problem with a blizzard of ineffectual decisions and verbose nonsense, then stepping aside at the last minute to reveal the true plan that all along was being forged off-camera in the furnace of moneyed interests and insider inertia. While the White House publicly eschewed any concrete "guiding principles," the People Who Mattered, it appeared, had already long ago settled on theirs. Those principles seem to have been: no single-payer system, no meaningful public option, no meaningful employer mandates and a very meaningful mandate for individual consumers. In other words, the only major reform with teeth would be the one forcing everyone to buy some form of private insurance, no matter how crappy, or suffer a tax penalty. If the public option is the sine qua non for progressives, then the "individual mandate" is the counterpart must-have requirement for the insurance industry.

All that's left of health care reform is a collection of piece-of-shit, weakling proposals that are preposterously expensive and contain almost nothing meaningful — and that set of proposals, meanwhile, is being negotiated down even further by the endlessly negating Group of Six. It is a fight to the finish now between Really Bad and Even Worse. And it's virtually guaranteed to sour the public on reform efforts for years to come.

It's a joke, the whole thing, a parody of Solomonic governance. By the time all the various bills are combined, health care will be a baby not split in half but in fourths and eighths and fractions of eighths. It's what happens when a government accustomed to dealing on the level of perception tries to take on a profound emergency that exists in reality. No matter how hard Congress may try, though, it simply is not possible to paper over a crisis this vast.

Sure it is. The broke-dick system will still be there, maybe changed a little, but most definitely papered over and shined up. Dems and 'Pugs'll both call it a victory and go on to fuck up the Next Big Thing and the only losers will be the American people.

Like what else is new?

Quote of the Day

Our pal Montag on the latest Republican moral values initiative sex scandal:

... When you are 56 and she isn't, it ain't your prick she wants from you.

On the speech ...

Eloquent and well-presented. Not sure how much it'll do this late in the game. As Jill says:


Real reform? I'm from New Jersey. I'm a Mets fan. I've been down this road too many times before. Show me.


No shit, being a Met fan for 40-odd years has me accustomed to disappointment. I want reform as much as anyone at the left end but I'm not expecting much. If the Mets happen to make the playoffs in a given year, I consider it gravy. If we get real reform I'll be pleasantly surprised, but the Mets never won anything going away either.

And an addendum: With players like this on your team, it makes it tough to want to take the field:


"We’ve achieved the victory of not having a vote on the House floor that will give every member a chance to digest what’s in the bill, whether it’s in a markup that occurs in Energy and Commerce or whether it’s as the bill exists right now," she [Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-Insurance Industry)] said. "It is because of the Blue Dog Coalition that there is no floor vote before the August break."

Got that? This is considered a "victory" by the Blue Dogs. That's beyond appalling.

Okay, I'm done with the baseball analogies. I'm starting to sound like George Will.


I said to the Mrs. that I could imagine what would have happened to a Dem had he said that during one of the Chimp's speeches. Digby speculates as well:


The capitol police later apologized, but stifling the slightest criticism of the president wasn't particularly unusual at that time as I'm sure you remember. In those days, just a few years ago, yelling at the president in that setting would have been considered treason and the Democrats who did it would have been waterboarded.


A-yup ...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Live Whiskey-Blogging the President's Health Care Speech

The Rude Pundit. Just go...

8:11: Obama enters, Mitch McConnell behind him looking as happy as a leather queen at a prison rodeo,...

8:16: He's starting by establishing his street cred: "Hey, motherfuckers, I've gotten shit done."

IF ONLY he'd say that!

8:33: Okay, sure, same coverage as Congress? For those unable to afford it, there will be tax credits. Immediately offer catastrophic care - a McCain idea. He's reaching out to Republicans, who will no doubt respond by trying to fuck his face.

8:36: Gets laughed at for saying there's details to work out. Yeah, he kind of deserved that.

8:47: Says he's talking to seniors, yet he doesn't raise his voice, so he doesn't really care if they hear him.

What? Whaddja say?

8:52: Brings up tort reform and a whole group of white men in dark suits just stood up in the room, which ought to make any black man nervous.

8:53: Compares the cost to the Iraq/Afghanistan wars and the Bush tax cuts. Republicans sit down and cry. (Gotta say: $90 billion a year ain't a whole fuck of a lot in the scheme of the American budget.)

8:54: He just cut off a bunch of Republicans at the knees, like Jim DeMint, by saying he won't deal with people who want to kill the bill.

8:55: "If you misrepresent this plan, we will call you out."

He shoulda been doing that all along. Better late than never, I guess.

9:02: He says, "We did not come here to fear the future. We came here to shape it." Republicans don't stand. This is for Americans now. He is shaming Republicans and they are gonna be mightily pissed. Look forward to right wingers saying, "He's a masterful speaker, but" on an endless loop.

Oh, wait...9:06: Charles Boustany of Louisiana? The Rude Pundit has met that backwards ass fucker and his racist family. What's he saying? Ah, fuck him.

Yep. Fuck him.

But you can have Bush ...

Love me some Texas:


Denied the chance to view a peptalk from the historic President of the United States, fifth graders will be taking time off from school to listen to gibbering drooler Tokie McCokespoon, who will appear with his wife Pickles Stepford and that manly example of all that is good in America: greasy, arrogant asshole and criminal-coddler Jerry Jones.


Can we just move all the Republicans to Texas? I'm willing to pay for their health care and anything else they want as long as they stay there and leave the rest of us thinking people alone. They can be like the safari exhibits at the the theme parks, you know, in their natural habitat with the rest of their herd. We wouldn't let them out (high, electrified fence ... with a moat ... and machine gun emplacements ... and ...) but when we needed to get a dose of stupid we could take the tour and then go back to the normal world where we had single-payer health care, no 'vanity wars', and sane government.

Oh noes!!!!!!1

Мы были все познакомлены к обучению Ленина.

Family values ...

Why can't these moralists just shut the fuck up?

Quote of the Day

This pretty much has nothing to do with the rest of The Rude One's post on tonight's health care speech, but I like it:

Sarah Palin's role in the world right now is to have her face photoshopped onto pictures of spread-eagled, nude MILFs, with the images emailed around the dorms of Dartmouth or Pepperdine so that she provides fresh spanking material for young conservatives who just want to jack their spunk onto her glasses. It puts her in the pecking order of usefulness somewhere between tribute bands and moon shoes.

Heh. My first thought was that it's like extra pathetic for wingtard college kids to jerk off to an image of a usually fully dressed woman old enough to be their mother. Better than doing it to Ann Coulter, I suppose. That'd be sick. Yuck.

One would think that they'd be fantasizing about women more their own age. I know I do. Thanks for the memories, Emmylou.

He's ours???

Maru finds out Glenn Beck's hometown wanted to honor him:

Mayor of Glenn Beck's hometown to present him with key to city during ‘Closeted Neonazi Loon Glenn Beck Day.’ Winner of the Biggest KKK Hat contest to be awarded tomorrow.


Seems the idea wasn't popular with most of the town fathers:


Fun fact: when Mayor Bud Norris asked the City Council members if they wanted tickets to the event, "six of the seven declined."


Ha-ha! [/Muntz]

And stay out ...

Got this from Jill. These are the people who live like the Hapsburgs on our backs and now, when being forced asked to pay their fair share of taxes, like all the rest of us, they don't want to pay any:

As offshore havens comply with transparency demands, a growing number of ultra-wealthy Americans are handing back their passports

Private client lawyers and relocation specialists are reporting a surge in wealthy Americans living abroad who are prepared to give up their citizenship to avoid the scrutiny of US tax authorities.


I see it every time I'm in Monaco:


Because of this, many ultra-wealthy individuals who have chosen to become stateless now cruise outside coastal waters in their mega-yachts in the belief that if they stay on the move, tax authorities will not be able to catch up with them. One analyst who did not want to be named, has estimated the number of stateless tax evaders amounted to a few thousand.

This implies the quantity of money outside the grasp of global tax authorities could be trillions of dollars.


They're all there, in the shadow of the Cousteau Society (and the casino from the other side) which overlooks the harbor from the heights, the same yachts (with the Bentley or Ferrari on the fantail for the crew to use) every year.

Being an American means paying taxes. If you don't want to pay yours, get out. We won't miss you and there's a place in the world where you can get together with others like you. You know, Monaco has free wifi for all its citizens, something else you won't have to pay for.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The British called them ...

"Colonial Governors". We call him "Karzai". Mr. Philadelphia (in toto):

No one cares about election fraud in Afghanistan because we all understand that it was basically a farce anyway. A farce which hopefully would've gone the "right" way without fraud, but which was inevitably going to go that right way.

We basically installed Karzai, and he'll be in charge as long as he wants to be. That's usually how these things work.

Quest For Hot Water

As astute readers of yesterday's comments will know, my water heater popped over the holiday weekend in perfect accordance with Murphy's Law (If it can fail, it will, at the worst possible time), so I gotta go find an energy-efficient one that will fit and get some BTU-rich water goin', so light blogging today.

Go see the 'Obama kiddie indoctrination speech' cartoons at YubaNet.

See yas later.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

International Monitors Certify Afghan Election Results
Experts from Iran, Florida, Myanmar see no anomalies.

Nevada Most Distressed State
Unemployment among Elvis impersonators approaching 100%.

Report: 93% of New Hires in Next Decade Will be 55 and Older
Remember to speak up when ordering a hamburger.

Anheuser-Busch Decorates Bud Light Cans in Colors of Local Colleges
To support academic excellence.

400 years ...

The Verrazano - Narrows Bridge, over the mouth of the Hudson from MS Noordam (Brooklyn on the left, Staten Island on the right. Click to embiggen.)

Since Henry Hudson sailed up the river that would eventually bear his name to explore what would become the greatest city in the world.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Giovanni de Verrazano was said to be the first European to see the river. But it was Englishman Henry Hudson, sailing for the Dutch, who was the first European to explore it.

That was 400 years ago. How times flies.

And starting Tuesday, the celebration begins.


"It is the most compelling untold stories in American history," Reynolds said. "The Dutch made the only settlement in North America that was multicultural."


I'm happy to report, the Niew Amsterdam settlement still is.


"When you come in through the narrows, no matter if there is a bridge now and wasn't 400 years ago or whether you see Manhattan, you still get a thrill," he said.


I've done it more than once on cruise ships and ocean liners and all I can say is, indeed!

Great expectations ...



I, for one, won't be obsessing about exactly which pieces of proposed reform he emphasizes — because that’s not what's driving the politics. Americans haven't become skeptical about Obamacare because they'd rather shave an extra $30 billion a year off the cost; they have not, contrary to "centrist" fantasies, been turned off by the details of the stimulus plan or cap-and-trade. What has been missing is a vision. And this is probably the last chance to supply that vision.


Personally, being the cynic that I am, I believe it will be a chance squandered. We'll see, but I don't expect much. As long as 25 - 30% of Americans won't listen to a word he says anyway, and another 20% have been scared shitless by the Republican (insurance industry backed) Noise Machine, anything he says will be ineffectual. As long as the Republicans are dead set on sabotaging and derailing any initiative, the best we can hope for is more insurance company welfare with the burden, once again, falling on us. From what we've seen so far, there ain't enough testicle in the White House or Dem 'leadership' to do what needs to be done.

The 'public option' is little enough (single-payer should still be on the table), without it, there's no point in bothering.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Music Blogging ...

Workin' ...

Huey Lewis and The News - Working For A Living

Harry Belafonte - Banana Boat Song


For Gordon and his water heater.

Sam Cooke - Chain Gang

Heh ...

Brain Bleach Warning ...

In aisle 2! Don't go here at 7:00 in the morning like I did. It's gonna fuck me up all day ...

Thanks ... I think ... to Mr. Aravosis.

Poster children ...

Over at Creature's place.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday Crazy Redneck Music Blogging

A belated dedication on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of me 'n Fixer hookin' up to SouthKnoxBubba, where we met, and the other members of The Rocky Top Brigade. East Tennessee rocks!

Live at Johnny D's, Somerville, MA - May 28, 2009

Rhonda Vincent & The Rage ~ Rocky Top

Thanks to jaysarajevo.

Two Marines duke it out in Afghanistan

Thanks to keieyz.

Harwood: "They're too stupid to raise their kids"

Thanks to amcomis.

I'll go a step further: I am positively sure those people are too stupid to be allowed to breed.

When my 'inner Polack' starts agreeing with Fixer's 'inner German', things are getting bad.

And, oh yeah, the giggling bimbo in that clip is pathetic.

Moyers On Heath Care

Thanks to PBS.

So ...

The Republicans can call Obama every name in the book, make up shit about him, and do everything they can to derail his presidency and little is said. Obama's guy signs a petition and calls the Rethugs 'assholes' and he's forced to resign.

This country is extremely fucked up.