Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Night French Rockin' Boogie

I know Fixer likes French stuff so I went looking for some nice French music for him. Found it! This one's for you, pal.

Geno Delafose and French Rockin Boogie at the Nuits Cajuns Cajun and Zydeco Festival, Saulieu, France in 2004. Filmed by Phil Underwood, UK

Thanks to zphil, UK.

Told ya

I'm wired funny. I was over at our pal PC's place and saw this:

So, naturally, this starts playing in my head:

Frank Zappa - Montana

"Just me and the pygmy pony ..."

Neutered, chickified moderate meows back at Rushole

The Nation

The good folks on the set of Morning Joe spent Friday morning dodging prairie oysters flung by the host at rival Rush Limbaugh, who had called Joe Scarborough a "neutered, chickified moderate." Rush had simply been trying to geld another Republican who dared criticize him, but this time Scarborough gelded back and it was not a pretty sight.

It all started earlier this week, when Scarborough ripped Rush for going "off the deep end" by jiggling with glee over Obama's failure to win the 2016 Olympics for Chicago.

No forgiver of lese-majeste, Limbaugh hit back Thursday at Joe and "PMSNBC":

"I would be careful," Joe replied this morning, "if I had put my testicles in a blind trust for George W. Bush for eight years." He liked the image so much he painted it again, and again: "There are a lot of people on the right that in fact did put their testicles in a blind trust for the past eight years and stopped being conservative and started being apologists."

Eeew! on Joe's suitcase metaphor. But more eeew on's Mark Halperin and his rictal smile as it dawns on him that he's one of the apologists who Joe just sliced and diced.

Joe stood up to the hazing this time, and it doesn't look like he'll blink at some later date. That's in part because the Palm Beach Penguin left him no choice--how else can a true, white male conservative react to being called "chickified"?--and also because some political taboos are loosening, with both David Brooks and South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham already openly defying Rushbo.

But what's really changed is the country, which, most polls show, is no longer buying this Master of the Universe trash talk from anyone. [...]

That ain't gonna make 'em stop, but it's good that folks are catching on. Outside the Dead End Quarter, that is.


This should be required viewing for Dems in 'Balls 101'.

This is Alan Grayson discussing health care on the floor of the House on 10/8/09. He sends a message to Democrats: No one elected Olympia Snowe President of the United States. And he sends a message to Republicans: No one cares about your feelings.

Thanks to RepAlanGrayson.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

This song features Rose Maddox, an old favorite of mine since Town Hall Party days on late night TV in L.A. She was in the vanguard of what is now known as 'The Bakersfield Sound' as a member of The Maddox Brothers and Rose. I even got to meet her once. Musta made her day!

A quiki from her wiki:

She has been called The Original Hillbilly Filly and The Grandmother of Rockabilly.

Laura Cantrell's song "California Rose" was written in memory of Maddox[1] Emmylou Harris* believes Maddox has never received the recognition she deserves, in part because of what Harris calls a reluctance in American society to celebrate the value of white country and roots music.

*I've never seen so many links in my life!

Well, Emmylou, I'm recognizing her a little today.

Emmylou and Rose on the song they recorded for Roses' 1983 album Queen Of The West. John Jorgenson also featuring.

Rose Maddox & Emmylou Harris ~ Down, Down, Down

Thanks to 1000Magicians, UK.


At Siri's house. She's throwing a Nobel party for our President:

... can't wait for the Oslo Award Show, I'll be doing a full open bar with hot and cold catered hors d'oeuvres. There WILL be an ice sculpture of Limpball's with an apple in it's mouth, balls in a vice, plus candle glow and glitter, sequins and light show, fire works and cake pop outs. It'll be bigger than the Oscars here!!!


I'm there!

And on a serious note about this. I understand why the Nobel Committee awarded the prize to Obama. It is a big symbolic gesture by Europe to welcome us back into the fold, so to speak. Thing is, were I Obama, I don't know if I would accept it. I got a problem with being used, on any level, to send a message. Maybe I'm picky but that's the way I am.

That said, party on! Wingnut heads are exploding.

We need immigrants ...

Our pal Comrade Misfit is spot on:


Immigration works in America in a way that it does not in most other nations. The reason it works is because of our Constitution. Not because of the exact words, but because the bedrock, the foundation, of this nation is the Constitution. A immigrant comes to this country, works hard, becomes a citizen. He or she may forever struggle with the language, but their children won't. Their grandchildren may have some passing familiarity with their grandparents' language, but their own children will not be raised with it. They will be Americans to their very marrow.


This is the only place it the world it works that way.

Early Saturday ripoff blogging ...

Well, not really but it sounded good. Now, I love Bob Dylan but there are a few songs of his that others have done far better (in my humble opinion).

First up, a Jimi Hendrix cover:

Jimi Hendrix - All Along The Watchtower

And then:

Johnny Winter - Highway 61 Revisited

It's the guitar work ...

Friday, October 9, 2009

EssEff Fleet Week

Frisco is having its Fleet Week this week, coinciding nicely with the Italian Heritage Day Parade which apparently commemorates Columbus' discovery of America for white people when he steamed into San Francisco Bay....

I like ships, so I clicked on the ones shown. It looks like there's gonna be four.

HMCS Edmonton. A Canuckistanian coastal defence vessel of 55 meters, crew of 37. Geez, Canada, can ya spare it?

USS Green Bay (LPD 20). Gator Navy vessel, hauls Jarheads to war zones. 684 feet, 24,900 tons, 40,000 horsepower.

Interesting statistic:

Crew 360 (28 officers, 332 enlisted), three Marines

That oughta be enough Marines to keep them swab jockeys in line.

"Ten thousand gobs
laid down their swabs
to fight one sick Marine"

Heh. Just as an aside, I was reminded of that ditty the other night when I watched an old silent movie, "Tell It To The Marines" on TCM. Only movie Lon Chaney ever starred in without the makeup and costumery he was famous for. He didn't need any makeup either. Silent movie my ass, as an old Jarhead I could hear him loud and clear! As a hard-boiled Sergeant of Marines, he made Gunny Ermey look like a choir boy!

USCGC Boutwell (WHEC-719), a High Endurance Cutter, nice looking ship, homeported in Alameda CA across SF Bay! The Coasties have spared no effort to make Fleet Week a success!

In fairness, I should say that the Coast Guard works for a living and any effort from them is welcome.

SS Jeremiah O'Brien, a beautifully restored WWII Liberty Ship, tied to the dock as usual. Goes out a few times a year so they can dredge the coffee grounds out from under her.

O'Brien is quite an attraction in Frisco and has quite an extensive website. If you want to impress your date, you can even rent her!

I will close this now. I have admirably restrained myself from making Frisco/gay/semen seaman jokes and it hurts...

The Rams Deserve Him

Think Progress, links at site:

Black NFL Players ‘Wouldn’t Play’ For Limbaugh’s Team: ‘He’s A Jerk’

Earlier this week, the media reported that hate radio host Rush Limbaugh is involved in a bid to purchase the National Football League’s St. Louis Rams franchise. Many sports media figures lambasted the idea of Limbaugh owning an NFL team, with one writer saying it “would definitely hurt” the Rams while another said his “head exploded after hearing this Limbaugh news” because he is “a pungent bowl of stark raving bigoted lunacy.”

Now, the players themselves are piling on. Specifically, many African-American players have explicitly stated that they would never play for a team that Rush Limbaugh owns. “All I know is from the last comment I heard, he said in (President) Obama’s America, white kids are getting beat up on the bus while black kids are chanting ‘right on,’” New York Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka told the New York Daily News, adding, “I don’t want anything to do with a team that he has any part of.” Other black players expressed similar sentiments:

Then follows some players' sentiments and a recap of Limpbaugh's racist remarks.

Advising the NFL to block Limbaugh’s pursuit of an NFL franchise, St. Louis Dispatch sports columnist Bryan Burwell wrote recently, “Dancing with Limbaugh is like dancing with a snake. Eventually, the snake will bite you. That’s his nature.”

I disagree. I hope Rushole buys the Rams and then loses all the black players. It'll serve those goddam Rams turncoats right for leaving L.A. and taking the one pro team I ever rooted for in my life since childhood away from me.

Rushole Update:

Miss America pageant selects sexist Rush Limbaugh to judge its competition.

OK Fixer, I give up. You win. Irony is deader'n a carp.

On the other hand, who gives a shit. That competition is sexist its own self, and according to one commenter over there:

We still have Miss America pagents?

Huh. Who knew?


Ode To Pro-Rape Republicans

Mad Kane

Thirty Senate Republicans voted to keep rape victims who work for defense contractors from having their day in court. How? By voting against an Al Franken-proposed amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill that would withhold defense contracts from companies (like Dick Cheney’s KBR) “if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.”

Franken was inspired to sponsor this amendment by the ordeal of Jamie Leigh Jones, who was gang-raped by her co-workers while working for Halliburton/KBR in Baghdad. A clause in Jones’ KBR employment contract made employer-friendly private arbitration her only recourse, precluding Jones from seeking justice in court.

I hope all those pro-rape Republicans (listed below my limerick) are proud of themselves:

Ode To Pro-Rape Republicans (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Though Republicans yearn for support
From females, they’re bound to fall short:
Their position on rape
Is in criminal shape
Cuz they treat it like less than a tort.

Here’s the list of the thirty pro-rape Republican Senators:
Lamar Alexander (R-TN) John Barrasso (R-WY) Christopher Bond (R-MO) Sam Brownback (R-KS) Jim Bunning (R-KY) Richard Burr (R-NC) Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) Tom Coburn (R-OK) Thad Cochran (R-MS) Bob Corker (R-TN) John Cornyn (R-TX) Mike Crapo (R-ID) Jim DeMint (R-SC) John Ensign (R-NV) Michael Enzi (R-WY) Lindsey Graham (R-SC) Judd Gregg (R-NH) James Inhofe (R-OK) Johnny Isakson (R-GA) Mike Johanns (R-NE) Jon Kyl (R-AZ) John McCain (R-AZ) Mitch McConnell (R-KY) James Risch (R-ID) Pat Roberts (R-KS) Jeff Sessions (R-AL) Richard Shelby (R-AL) John Thune (R-SD) David Vitter (R-LA) Roger Wicker (R-MS)

I think they all need to be buttfucked and teabagged without their consent 'til they see the light. There's a couple of 'em who'd probably like it.

Nobel Sigh Of Relief Prize

The Beeb

US President Barack Obama has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

Call it the Nobel "We're So Glad The Neocons Are Out Of Power We Could Just Shit" Prize.

The Repugs are claiming that the Nobel Peace Prize has lost its credibility. They keep giving it to Liberals and furriners and people who do good things for their fellow man instead of to mass murderers like Kissinger.

It's a little too late ...

To say "my bad". 'Journalism' reached new lows during the Clinton years and Joe Conason (one of the few real journalists around) finds the ones coming clean still have jobs:


At this late date, it is scarcely radical to suggest that Whitewater and all the other "scandals" deployed by the Washington press corps to besiege the Clinton White House (before the Lewinsky affair) were without substance. In the pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post, which created and promoted those stories, even such media mandarins as Thomas Friedman and Evan Thomas now casually assure us that they were overblown, even "bogus." And former New Republic editor Andrew Sullivan today admits that the famous takedown of the Clinton healthcare reforms he published in 1994, Betsy McCaughey's "No Exit," was essentially a fake too.


They just pulled it out of their ass.


Belated as those affirmations are, by more than a decade, they may still matter -- if only because they arrive at a time when the mainstream media is just beginning to descend into some of the same bad habits that plagued us during the last Democratic presidency and the far right is already talking impeachment.


Of course they are and the so-called "liberal media" is gonna give 'em a platform, just like they did during Clinton's time. Not that anything said is new. The pattern of broadcasting any dirt (truthful or not) about a Democratic President and giving a Republican the benefit of many doubts was predicted during Bush's first term (we were hopeful back then that we could get him out in '04).

As bloggers and real journalists ran around with their hair on fire saying we were lied into the Iraq War, the MSM was busy helping the Republicans brand John Kerry a flip-flopper, as a man who didn't deserve the commendations earned in Vietnam while his opponent did everything he could to avoid service, to the point of basically abandoning his post during a time of war. Those opposing anything Bush did were crazy, shrill, Bush-hating, left-wing freaks; idiots sitting around the basement in pajamas spouting off on things they knew nothing about.

We were right, but that means nothing.

When I was young, I learned (and watched examples of) journalists held the highest standards to ensure their credibility to their readers and viewers. You were supposed to trust them, and you did. You knew you would be given the facts as they were known and the opinion of the newscaster, and his superiors, would not affect the story. You knew it as an article of faith.

Sadly, it is no longer so. Money is the bottom line and scandal sells. Be it genuine or not it's put on the air and smeared on a dead tree. Everything you read and hear has to be taken with a weighted slant, with the question "Who is pulling the strings?". Under the guise of fairness and balance, lies and distortions are given an equal platform with the truth. Other facts are omitted in fear of angering a corporate master or powerful lawmaker who could make life difficult regardless of who might be in power.

As Barack Obama tries to find his presidential footing, the tsunami of scandal is once again heading toward shore and the same 'journalists' are riding the wave as they did during the 90s. Their previous behavior is shrugged off as a 'product of the times' or 'the conditions at the moment' and they'll move on, this time giving voice to the people who question the validity of Obama's birth, his religious identity, and his 'far left' (read: Communist) leanings. I'm only surprised something hasn't come up that he dated (heaven forbid) a white girl sometime in his past. It's only gonna get deeper.

The state of journalism in the United States is sorry and until it turns around (not holding my breath) we will have to sift our information for truth. To those of us who've spent the past few years doing it, it'll continue like business as usual. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans still take what they read in the New York Times and Newsweek, and what they hear on CNN (or worse) as gospel, and that's why so many Americans believe Saddam had WMD and Obama wants to convene "death panels" to winnow out the elderly.

So be prepared, ladies and germs. It's only gonna get crazier and the same mouthpieces are gonna bring it to ya, live and in color with a conservative slant. Put on your hip waders and get out your sieve.

Great thanks to Digby for the link.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

If ...

You don't believe me, ask the guy who got us into this mess 30 years ago:


As President Obama considers whether to send tens of thousands of more troops to Afghanistan, Mr. [Charles "Charlie Wilson's War"] Wilson worries that the war could become "another Vietnam."

"It's probably best to make a calculated withdrawal," he said. "If I were the president, I'm not sure what I'd do. I'd probably shut it down, rather than lose a lot of soldiers and treasure." [em in orig]


Back after dinner.

"...Steely Anne, his spiked dildo with Coulter's face on it."

I saw this headline:

Rove smears Obama advisor as advocating for NAMBLA

Then I saw The Rude Pundit's latest take on Turdblossom and realized he's probably pretty well acquainted with the subject, not that I would ever believe a thing Rove says:

Karl Rove has had it. "These microdicked dogfuckers don't know what the fuck they're doing," he says as he clicks through news stories on his computer in his basement, staring at the glowing screen. The very fact that there's still a chance that the Democratic president will get a decent health care bill out of Congress is proof enough for Rove that the Republicans are so very lost without him. The dead male hooker handcuffed to the radiator in the corner doesn't really care, but, as far as Rove's concerned, Ahmad or whatever the fuck he called himself, is a fine sounding board. "They let the lunatics and evangelicals take over," he says, practically spitting at images of Glenn Beck and Betsy McCaughey. "You never let them take over. You tell 'em you'll take care of it and just shut the fuck up."

Rove knows: if the truly, clinically insane right-wing nutzoids take over a movement from the mere sociopaths like himself, then, like a ball gag tied too tightly on an Iranian manwhore, it'll just choke the whole thing, ruin a perfectly good evening, and be a waste of money. "Oh, wait," Rove says to the corpse behind him, "that's just you...Akbar, was it?" He shrugs and continues, "Soon, the whole movement becomes identified with the crazies and that just fuckin' turns off everyone else - the independents, the media, a fuckin' lot of our own. Stupid fuckers."

He's seen the signs, shit that never would have gone down if he were still on the Hill with the power he once wielded like a rhino with a chainsaw horn. He'd've had Lindsey Graham's kneecaps shattered. He'd've made sure that Beck was caught balls deep in a mule's ass. Unity, motherfuckers, that's what's important. He destroyed John McCain. Olympia Snowe would have received black roses in the mail by now. This ain't rocket science.

It's just so easy to make Democrats show their haunches, ready to be fucked. He reads his most recent Wall Street Journal column to the choke chain-wearing body, where he uses the grimmest possible polls to try to demonstrate that Democrats will lose power if they pass health care reform. "You see? You let 'em get that knot in their stomach, that feeling they're gonna shit themselves if they take a risk, even if the absolute reverse is the truth. That's called fear. And fear makes you freeze. And nothing gets done." Set the terms of the battle, Rove knows, create plausible lies first. Add in shit like "death panels" and "socialism" after the doubt's been sowed, not before. "That's the closing argument, not the opener - the icing, not the fucking cake," he says just before clicking over to some necrophilia websites for ideas.

You had yer chance, Karl. What blew it was trying to do it with that dildo Bush. Besides the evil insanity of every idea you ever had, of course.

"Where was dis Google all dis time?"

This is a young gent named William Kamkwamba from Malawi. Watch this. It will make you feel good.

William Kamkwamba recounts his mission to overcome famine and poverty by building a windmill from a picture in a library book.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
William Kamkwamba
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorRon Paul Interview

Must see TV ...

If you didn't catch Olbermann last night, you owe it to yourself to take 12 minutes out of your day and do so:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

8 years on ...

(stays on top today - G)

And we're still in Afghanistan. The way things are going, we'll be there at least another eight. I heard a lotta shit about Afghanistan since I've been back and most of it stupid.

Seems the big idea is to send another 40,000 troops over there. You see the "surge" in Iraq worked (sorta) so naturally that's the thing to do in Afghanistan. The dumbest thing I heard yesterday was John McCain saying:

"The closest parallel we have to Afghanistan is Iraq."

Let me tell you something, the similarities are few and far between and basing an Afghan strategy on whatever we did in Iraq won't work (Not that it worked in Iraq, we're "cutting and running"; remember?). First, the terrain is different, far more inhibiting. Second, the people are different (but let the Republicans tell you how), and they think in very different ways.

How many times do I say "amateurs talk strategy; experts talk logistics"? Listen to me; you think we had problems getting convoys from the airport to the Green Zone, or out into the field in Iraq, where it's relatively flat, with relatively decent roads, without being ambushed?

I think Afghanistan has only one paved highway and most of the roads through the mountains are dirt tracks that are only accessible by donkey. You ain't getting a convoy of semi-trucks up in there. And then let's look at (while we're trying to resupply in that forbidding terrain) the millions of places to set up ambushes in the mountains. How in Hell you think the Afghans chased the Soviets out? Near the end, the Russians couldn't run a convoy without it being attacked, even with support from helicopter gunships. When idiots with RPGs can take positions higher in altitude than helicopters can fly, you got some serious problems. Figure out what it takes to replenish 40K troops and then figure out how to get them their supplies without heavy losses. Once you do that, then talk to me about a surge.

The people themselves are a setback to "winning", generally through no fault of their own. I laugh when they say they're trying to build an "Afghan Army". There are very few in the place named "Afghanistan" who consider themselves Afghans (a moniker and demarche created by the British); they are a tribal people. Their first allegiance is to their family and then to their tribe, be they Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, or Turkmen. There has never been a central government with any power to affect people's daily lives outside the environs of Kabul. Even the puppet goverment we installed has a very limited reach. How can we expect people to rally 'round a flag and a nation they have very little connection to, let alone be willing to fight and kill their own people for? At least the Iraqis understand the concept of central government (Saddam impressed it upon them), the Afghans don't and there's no way we can impose it upon them in 50 years, let alone a decade.

Our strategy in Afghanistan was misguided from the beginning and then allowed to languish while our attention was diverted to Iraq. Any chance we could have imposed some sort of central government on Afghanistan has come and gone and now we're only delaying the inevitable. The mighty British Empire cut their losses and left and the counterinsurgency operation by the Soviets pushed them over the edge of bankruptcy. We will learn another hard lesson forgotten since Korea and Vietnam by the time we leave as well.

Those who rant for 40K American souls to be sent to the front immediately are misinformed at the least but mostly outright warmongers; small men and women who can only achieve 'greatness' upon a pile of bodies. Afghanistan has to stop, in a way where we can keep the threat from them to a minimum (I'm not naive) and still remove our troops from the theater. It is a complete waste of money and lives and we don't have a surplus of either.

Update (Thursday morning):

Thinking about it, in some conspicuous place in Washington, in the medium of white marble, should this be etched:

Democracy cannot be imposed from outside, it can only arise from within. Democracy cannot be forced at the point of a gun.

Once our leaders (who think people in other places are lining up to get themselves some good 'ol American democracy and only need us to give it to 'em) wrap their heads around that, our Afghan policy (and foreign policy in general) will become sensible.

Update II:

Greenwald also makes the point I was trying to:

... Regarding the primary rationale for escalating (or even remaining) in Afghanistan -- namely, that if the Taliban control Afghanistan, Al Qaeda will return and once again have a "safe haven" there -- DDay asks an excellent question: since the Taliban already control a huge portion of Afghanistan and have for a couple of years (up to 80%, in fact), why hasn't Al Qaeda returned? He argues that "this persistent lie about Al Qaeda's aims in the region underpins the entire case for escalation, just the way the domino theory underpinned consistent troop buildup in Vietnam," and makes an excellent argument in support of that view which is well worth reading ...

More on Afghanistan

I don't know what to do about Afghanistan, but no one else does either.

Lara Logan of CBS knows as much about the situation there as anybody. She was on Charlie Rose last night and laid it out pretty good. What a clusterfuck!

In a 25 minute segment, here's the upshot - the way to deal with the tribes is to get them to support you one by one. Here's how she says to do it:

"If you go with us, here's what we can do for you - (whatever).

If you don't, we will kill you."

I'm not saying I think we should do that, but it's probably true.

Charlie's videos are hard to snag, for me anyway and believe me I've been trying (ended up with five of 'em, undid that, couldn't get it again even once. Grrr...), but I highly recommend you go see it. You can access it here, as well as segments on Pakistan with David Ignatius and Shah Mahmoud Qureshi, worth watching if you have the time.



Hidden away in the Scranton Times-Tribune "Arts and Living" section Tuesday was a bombshell from former Democratic Representative of Texas Charlie Wilson.

The man whose adopted mission to save Afghanistan from the Soviet incursion in the 1980s spawned the notion of "Afghan freedom fighters," a book and a Hollywood movie now says we need to get the hell out of Dodge.

What a fuckin' mess. We dropped 'em like a hot rock when the Russians left because we weren't thinking (I could put a period right there) past the Cold War, and we probably should have stayed engaged on other than a military level and maybe the Taliban would not have come to power. Then Bush, who reluctantly picked up what by '01 was a really hot rock when what he wanted to do was unnecessarily invade Iraq and had a little temporary shock effect on al Qaeda and the Taliban at little cost, put the hot rock on the shelf thinking it had cooled off when what it really did was get so fuckin' hot that now we can't hold it without a major effort we don't want to do because his goddam imperialistic criminal effort in Iraq has tired us of all this bullshit. Thanks again, Georgie, you dumb motherfucker.

That sentence was a truly convoluted stream-of-unconsciousness, but that's the way it came out.

Update II:

Robert Scheer

It’s time to declare victory and begin to get out rather than descend deeper into an intractable civil war that we neither comprehend nor in the end will care much about. Terrorists of various stripes will still exist as they have throughout history, but the ones we are most concerned about have proved mighty capable of relocating to less hostile environments, including sunny San Diego and southern Florida, where the 9/11 hijackers had no trouble fitting in.

There is a continued need for effective international police work to thwart the efforts of a widely dispersed al-Qaida network, but putting resources into that effort does not satisfy the need of the military establishment for a conventional field of battle. That is the significance of Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s leaked report calling for a massive counterinsurgency campaign to make everything right about life in Afghanistan, down to the governance of the most forlorn village. The general’s report aims not at eliminating al-Qaida, which he concedes is barely existent in the country, but rather at creating an Afghan society that is more to his own liking.

It is a prescription, as the Russians and others before them learned, for war without end. That might satisfy the marketing needs of the defense industry and the career hopes of select military and political aspirants, but it has nothing to do with fighting terrorism. In the end, it would seem that some of our leaders need the Afghanistan battleground more than the terrorists do.

We need to either a) get out of Afghanistan now and go back when it becomes necessary in a few years like we did last time and will do five more times in this century if we go that route, or b) go in there with a million troops representing every country in the world and fuck the joint up once and for all. The former is more likely than the latter.

Here's the news flash: Afghanistan and Pakistan are not going to go away, and they need to be dealt with and we're not leaving there anytime soon. The best we can hope for is that someone comes up with something that will do some good. Don't hold your breath.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Watch sparks shoot out his...

Steve Martin shows how he's really upped the ante for his performance at Carnegie Hall.

Now THAT'S showbiz!

The clip didn't show the rig on the back of the banjo that did that but Steve did on the show. I guaran-goddam-tee ya it wasn't his $25,000 Gibson Florentine!

Thanks to CBS.

Headline of the Day dos

Sotomayor Asks More Questions In An Hour Than Thomas Has In Years


Want fries with that 'Sacre Bleu!'?

NY Daily News. Read the comments.

In a move guaranteed to wipe the famous smile off Mona Lisa's mug, McDonald's is planning to open an eatery inside France's great temple of culture: the Louvre museum.

There went the neighborhood...

The newspaper said workers at the museum were aghast, quoting an art historian fretting about "the very unpleasant odors" that might waft through the distinguished old palace.

That from the people who invented perfume before they heard about soap!

A country that famously venerates haute cuisine and the joys of regional recipes has fallen hard for standardized American grease bombs. In 2007, France became McDonald's biggest market outside of the United States.

If ya think I'm needlin' my favorite Francophile and epicure Le Fixeur a little, yer right. Heh.

Hardin dodges a bullet

I've been following this for a week or so, backstory here and here.

Raw Story

'Red flags' cause Mt. officials to nix 'American Police Force' deal

Plans for a California company to take over this city's empty jail were put on hold Monday, following last week's revelations that the company's lead figure has a criminal history.

The decision came as Hardin's leaders announced the resignation of both the attorney and the economic development official who helped craft the jail deal for the city. Also Monday, a security industry veteran whose name was linked to the project denied involvement.

Heh. I bet their 'resignation' involved tar, feathers, and a rail.

Go read the rest. The town took my advice and is going after the three Mercedes-Benzes as well as a buncha money.

Not-so-dumbass country fucks: 1

City slickers: 0

Headline of the Day

Homeland Security plans to scan air travelers’ bodily functions

You want 'bodily functions', eh? I'll show you bodily functions! The next time I fly, I'll make sure it's the morning after All-U-Can-Eat Burrito Nite. They won't be able to fly above 12,000 feet because the other passengers will open the windows!

Quotes of the Day, with video!

Max Blumenthal, author of Republican Gomorrah, appeared on Tavis Smiley last night, discussing how the xtian right has subsumed the Repug party and why it is fucking up all over the place. Here's the quote, slightly paraphrased due to my senior memory, from 7:56 in the video:

The sun is setting on this movement and what we're hearing from them now is a death rattle, but a death rattle can be very profound and very dangerous.

Hmmmmm. Fundie and Repug death rattle good. Fundies and Repugs dangerous bad. Profound? Ha! You make me laugh, Max! I getcher drift though.

QotD pt. 2 (10:35):

The conservative movement isn't dead. It's undead. It's like a zombie lurching at Obama.

Take 11:31 and go see the full interview. Worth the time.

Also see Max on Democracy Now. I usually watch that just to lust after Amy Goodman. Max really lays it on the Usual Suspects in this one.

Notable quotes:

Faith in a holy cause is a substitute for lost faith in ourselves.

On their opposition to health care reform:

What we're seeing is a movement that is terrified that government will start to be able to solve people's crises because they survive and thrive on manipulating people's personal crises.

Much more.

It's about time ...

The 'powers-that-be' realize the really great thing about women is they come in all different sizes and shapes. The fashion/marketing/entertainment industrial complex has messed up a lot of young lives in their promotion of 'only skinny is beautiful', causing girls to feel worthless should they not be a size zero.

This is good news:

Germany's most popular women's magazine is banning professional models from its pages and replacing them with images of "real life" women instead.


Good on 'em.

Ladies, please, if you take any advice from this old dog, let it be this: Look at your mother. Generally, you will gain weight in the same places she does. You can't help it; it's all in the genetics. A guy who judges the worth of a woman by her body shape isn't worth knowing.

I can't believe how many beautiful women I've met whose self-esteem is in the dumper because they don't look like the girls in Vogue. You can be as beautiful as you want to be and don't let anyone tell you you're not. Be proud of who you are as an individual, not what some suit on Madison Avenue says you should be.

Quote of the Day

Comrade Misfit:


Only those seditious bastards in the GOP who have never worn a uniform are so ignorant as to dream of a military coup.

Before we get carried away ...

By the New York Times article that Armageddon is nigh, don't believe it:


Obama's National Security Adviser, retired Marine Gen. James Jones, denies The New York Times' report that Iran's nuclear program is more advanced than previously believed; stands by the 2007 NIE conclusion that Iran ceased work on a nuclear weapons program back in 2003; and affirms that, as part of the ongoing negotiations, "Iran has taken positive steps," steps he deems "very significant." ...

Not that I pay attention, but I'm sure I'll be hearing "but the liberal New York Times says so, so we have to bomb Iran now" any time now. Unfortunately, someone whom I know is still connected with Brit intelligence seems convinced the Israelis are gonna hit Isfahan and Natanz early next spring. We'll see.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Anne Frank

The memory of Anne Frank's ordeal and death is one of the best symbols of why we must hate the Nazi and Fascist mentality and never, but never, let it rise again like it tries to do all the time.

I got onto this from a post at YubaNet about Anne Frank House.

July 22 1941. The girl next door is getting married. Anne Frank is leaning out of the window of her house in Amsterdam to get a good look at the bride and groom. It is the only time Anne Frank has ever been captured on film. At the time of her wedding, the bride lived on the second floor at Merwedeplein 39. The Frank family lived at number 37, also on the second floor. The Anne Frank House can offer you this film footage thanks to the cooperation of the couple.

Thanks to AnneFrank, Netherlands.

10 hot news items you might've missed

Mark Morford didn't. Heh.

Let's take it from the top, shall we?

1) Congressional Republicans are furious indeed that uppity Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) claimed, right there on the House floor and using a big piece of paper with large, clear letters they could actually read and everything, that the GOP's health care plan basically consists of hoping that sick people will just "die quickly."

"This is an outrage!" said some not-really-outraged Republican congressmen I'd normally name here, but I won't because he's basically an amalgam of a whole slew of them and doesn't actually exist, per se.

"It's a total lie!" he said anyway. "Republicans often love it when people suffer long, slow inexorable deaths, particularly if it serves our political purposes. Remember Terry Schiavo? Hell, we would've been happy to drag her tragically comatose body around for a good two or three more years if she hadn't been allowed to pass quietly and destroy our big media charade of fake indignation," he did not add, before being devoured by invisible sharks.

2) Top Pentagon officials are calling for an end to the U.S. military's historical ban on allowing women to serve in submarines. [...]

"After all, what young, tough woman in her right mind wouldn't love to be stationed for many, many months deep inside the bowels of a submersible, claustrophobic, phallic-shaped military weapon stuffed like a testosterone Bratwurst with young, lonely, homoerotically supercharged seamen, most of whom haven't seen a real female since 2008 and aren't allowed to relieve any 'tension' except with each other, and therefore and have so much pent-up sexual energy that they spasm uncontrollably every time they pass a loaded missile tube?" Roughhead did not add. "Insert seamen joke here."

Example of 'seamen joke':

You know what they say about being in the Navy...if you don’t sleep on your back.... someone will.

And the joke would be...?

6) Scientists have discovered about 850 mostly blind, pale creatures living deep underground in the Australian outback, with lots more to come.

The pallid, weak, delicate little creatures, collectively nicknamed "the GOP base," are both admired for their weird tenacity and also widely pitied for being so easily pulverized into goopy nothingness by the bright light of even a tiny hint of actual reality.

10) Study No. 3 wraps it all up in a sweet, if completely specious, little package, by suggesting that if your kid eats lots of candy every day, odds appear to be much better that he'll be arrested and go to prison later in life, presumably because he's already developed an addictive personality and Skittles are obviously a gateway drug to artisanal chocolate and anal sex and black tar heroin, which are themselves gateway drugs to becoming a full-on junkie, which will, in turn, make you a huge drag on the American health care system, in which case it would be much better for everyone if you'd just get it over with and die quickly. Thank you.

Stay healthy, Mark. Physically, that is. We need you.

2010 Republican campaign message

The Ostroy Report

Republicans' 2010 Campaign Message: Vote For Us Because Obama Can't Magically Fix in a Year What it Took Us Eight Years to Destroy

To be sure, voters won't hear any mea culpa's from Republicans. Nothing about how sorry they are for decimating the U.S. economy with massive tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% of Americans, or for squandering a trillion dollars on the Iraq War. Or how the war in Afghanistan will likely require significantly more funding and continue sapping America's economy while racking up massive debt. You can be sure they won't talk about deregulation on Wall Street, the energy sector and the insurance industry, or how Bush pushed through trillions in government bailouts before he left office. And voters certainly won't be reminded that Republicans have largely controlled both houses of Congress since 1994 and the presidency since 2000.

Instead, the GOP is going to position the U.S. economy as if it began on January 20, 2009. As if up until that point it was nothing but surpluses and prosperity and good times in America. They will try to dumb-down reality and criticize the Obama administration as if all the pain and suffering voters are experiencing has been manufactured by the president and Democrats, while portraying themselves as white horse heroes ready to ride into Washington and rescue the nation.

Conservatives like to argue that 9-11 can't be blamed on Bush because he was only in office less than nine months when those attacks occurred. Yet after just nine months, Obama is being vilified for not being able to wave a magic wand and fix the colossal shitstorm that Bush & Company left for him on the White House steps.

So, what's the real 2010 Republican campaign message gonna be?: "Watch out Democrats, we're gonna be nastier, dirtier, more unethical and deceptive than ever. We're a bunch of frustrated, angry, frothing, tea-baggin' Town Hall bullies who will stop at nothing to regain power. You ain't seen nothing yet."

It's gonna get even uglier.

The Politics of Spite

Paul Krugman on the 'teachable moment' in the wake of the IOC decision to go with Rio's cute little brown bikini-clad behinds instead of Chicago's big shoulders.

“Cheers erupted” at the headquarters of the conservative Weekly Standard, according to a blog post by a member of the magazine’s staff, with the headline “Obama loses! Obama loses!” Rush Limbaugh declared himself “gleeful.” “World Rejects Obama,” gloated the Drudge Report. And so on.

So what did we learn from this moment? For one thing, we learned that the modern conservative movement, which dominates the modern Republican Party, has the emotional maturity of a bratty 13-year-old.

But more important, the episode illustrated an essential truth about the state of American politics: at this point, the guiding principle of one of our nation’s two great political parties is spite pure and simple. If Republicans think something might be good for the president, they’re against it — whether or not it’s good for America.

The key point is that ever since the Reagan years, the Republican Party has been dominated by radicals — ideologues and/or apparatchiks who, at a fundamental level, do not accept anyone else’s right to govern(my em).

The only difference now is that the G.O.P. is in a weaker position, having lost control not just of Congress but, to a large extent, of the terms of debate. The public no longer buys conservative ideology the way it used to; the old attacks on Big Government and paeans to the magic of the marketplace have lost their resonance. Yet conservatives retain their belief that they, and only they, should govern.

The result has been a cynical, ends-justify-the-means approach. Hastening the day when the rightful governing party returns to power is all that matters, so the G.O.P. will seize any club at hand with which to beat the current administration.

It’s an ugly picture. But it’s the truth. And it’s a truth anyone trying to find solutions to America’s real problems has to understand.

"America’s real problems" are the Repugs and the fringe morons they're scared to antagonize.

Remember the old Service Manager's saying: "When you're up to your ass in alligators, it's hard to remember that your main objective was to drain the swamp."

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

She says she “can't wait” to read it.

U.S., Cuba Held Secret Talks
Cuban officials met with officials from Mets, Dodgers, White Sox.

Sin Survey: Coastal Areas Greedier, Bible Belt Excels in Envy, Wrath, Lust, Pride
Survey on sloth delayed.

Economy Gets Jolt From 2 New Sectors
Medical marijuana, giant cupcakes lead recovery.

Just a note ...

After being gone so long, I sure as hell don't wanna go to work this morning. Heh ...


Told ya I still had my head up my ass. I get in to work today and I have to open up. Unlock the dead bolt. Unlock the door. Walk in, walk up to the alarm keypad, and go blank. Totally forgot the code which I've been entering for the last year. By the time I remembered it, the alarms were going off and Nunzio was just pulling up. Kenny the Cop was too. Got laughed at first thing.

Welcome back.

Oh yeah ...

It's Satan's work:


Some say people in Utah are vieweing porn more than any other state in the country after a study earlier this year by a Harvard economics professor. Professor Benjamin Edelman tracked subscriptions to online porn sites. He discovered that Utah is number one in the nation in online porn.


That's what I love about religions in general. They always have someone handy to blame (Satan) for their 'sins'. If they do something 'wrong', they were under the power of the Devil. Sorry, but "the Devil made me do it" don't fly here. Try taking responsibility for yourselves before you yell and scream about others' moral fiber.

Link thanks to Oliver Willis.

Uppity peasants ...

Nicole goes back and forth with a producer on Little George's Hair; probably to no avail, but at least she wasn't ignored ... at first.


Are you surprised that he had no response to that? Nah, me neither. I don't know if it impacted him at all, but I'm hoping that from now on he has a small voice inside his head reminding him that some of his viewers actually think critically and realize how badly he's--and all the rest of the bobblehead media--doing his job.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Honors ...

To most, it's only a hat. To me, it's an honor to receive ...

Sunday Crazy Redneck Music Blogging

This 'un goes out ta Fixer's liver. Heh.

Watch the fiddle player. She's a hoot!

Callahan Dylan & The American Pie Band ~ Dooley

Thanks to tommyomiller, Indiana.


Here's an older version by the original group:

The Dillards (as The Darlings) ~ Dooley

Thanks to AMSOMmp, Mayberry.

Just as an historical note, I smoked a joint with Doug Dillard once, who is one of the best 5-string banjo players in the world. It was the highlight of my showbiz career, overshadowing even my role in The Thing With Two Heads.

Mr. Dillard is a U.S. Navy veteran who spent his hitch flying backwards while staring at the sky as the rear gunner on a TBF Avenger. Some banjo players are born crazy, some are made crazy, but the best ones are both!

The kids ain't 'just saying no' in Texas

Suzanne Ehlers at Common Dreams. Links at site.

When I graduated from high school in San Antonio, Texas, I can remember at least two dozen girls (out of a class of 600) pregnant or already with babies. It may seem astonishing now, but it was fairly normal in 1991: so normal, in fact, that our high school had responded with an academic track geared toward expectant and young mothers.

Based on this history, I wasn't totally shocked to learn that President Bush's abstinence-only program led to a 57 percent rise in student pregnancy in the Lone Star state.

What was truly shocking were the recent headlines that some Texas schools are abandoning abstinence-only education! No kidding, guys, what tipped you off that it wasn't working?

Abstinence-only programs were big in Texas. The state received more program funding than any other state in the nation. But the biggest experiment of this idea demonstrated the biggest failures. Classic Texas.

Maybe they could cut down on the teenage pregnancies by teaching the kids to do it like Texas politicians do it to Texans. The 'back door' route, so to speak.

Grayson exposed them

Folks are having a lot of fun customizing this clip. I put it up at Fixer & Gordon with captions about Hitler's choice of motorcycles. Heh. It's gone now due to the copyright holders being a teensy bit pissed off, so watch this now because it probably won't be around long.

We hate Hitler and Nazis of course, but they come in handy sometimes to illustrate a point.

Thanks to skitzostudios, Oregon.

Monkees ...

I've been spending the early morning organizing the 1000-plus pictures I took while we were gone and I came across this one of a baby Barbary Ape on Gibraltar.

Click to make even cuter.

And then this popped into my head.

The Monkees - I'm A Believer


What the hell, a little more cuteness couldn't hurt. Heh ...