Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday Crazy Redneck Music Blogging

Ths goes out to the guy who crashed in front of Fixer's house last night who was obviously cramming for his finals just previously. Heh. One of my favorite bands as well.

The Derailers ~ Bar Exam

Thanks to seacow797.

Sarah Palin Book Jokes

Just set your drink down and go.

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little...

A good day for America, a horrible day for the new "hate America" crowd

Will Bunch at Attytood on the decision to try the terrorists in New York.

Jim Riches, whose firefighter son, Jimmy, died in the attacks, welcomed the decision.

“Let them come to New York,” said Mr. Riches, a retired deputy chief with New York Fire Department. “Let them get on trial. Let’s do it the right way, for all the world to see what they’re like. Let’s go. It’s been too long. Let’s get some justice.”

Meanwhile, I can't decide whether to laugh or cry at the unvarnished, infantile fear and the abject anti-Americanism that I heard or read today expressed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Hannity-wannabe Mark Simone, Rep. John Boehner, Sen. John Cornyn, Rudy Giuliani and so on. Their rage - why do they hate our freedom? -- was laced with some of the most inane logic or phony rhetoric I've ever heard, that Mohammed will be wearing suits and eating lunch at a fancy New York restaurant during recesses in the trial (he'll probably be shackled), that KSM's lawyers will get the trial delayed endlessly (not mentioning how George W. Bush and Dick Cheney delayed justice in the case for seven years), that the defendant will be found not guilty because of waterboarding (wait, now they're against waterboarding?), that New York City will now be a target for terrorists (not to be flip, but I think they've already thought of that)....

...and, most importantly, that the American legal system and the constitutional rights that so many soldiers fought and died to preserve, is actually -- it can now be revealed after 233 years! -- a joke, a farce, not worth the parchment paper that it's written on. And that deep down they think the country that they profess to love so much in all their best-selling books is so weak that it can't even keep a handful of two-bit extremists safely in custody. Of course, the only thing the Limbaugh-Giuliani-Boehner crowd really revealed today is their own pathetic fear to breathe the air of a free and just country. How sad.

I hark back to Jack Nicholson's line in Easy Rider forty years ago: "They're scared to death of freedom". Worse, they want us to be as well. We're easier to control that way.

For the rest of America and the rest of the world, if they want to see in the coming months how a nation can prosper and defeat terrorism by respecting human rights within a system of real justice, I can only echo the Kennedyesque words of everyday citizen Jim Riches.

Let them come to New York.

New York took the punch and it's karmically appropriate for New York to get to hit back. Rule of law is a mighty fist.


I useta think Noo Yawkahs was just fast-talkin' city slickers and snooty Easterners. Since I been hooked up with Fixer, I've come to like fast talkin' city slickers and snooty Easterners. Heh.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

The streets are cracked
And there's glass everywhere
And a baby stares out
With motherless eyes
Under long gone beauty
On fields of war
Trapped in lament
To the poets core

Emmylou Harris ~ Where Will I Be (Daniel Lanois)

Thanks to ernst810, Netherlands. Skeeter Davis fans should go see.

Conservatives Are Scared of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed; Liberals Are Not

The massively hung-over Rude One:

Why does the notion of putting Khalid Sheikh Mohammed on trial drive them past the edge of insanity and "get the rhino tranq" frothing? Mohammed will more than likely get their beloved death penalty. Erickson seems to think Mohammed might pass classified information on to terrorists. But one of his readers inadvertently hits the nail on the head. In a comment, jdub19 writes, "I see this as another way to bash the Bush years. No OBL and after all the years in custody, KSM will be brought to justice. They have to keep reminding the public of GWB failures."

Ah, dear jdub, there is the problem. It's not that Barack Obama is going to put us in danger. It's that he's showing how justice is supposed to be done. Just doing that simple thing, abiding by the laws of the land, demonstrates the failures of the last administration. The Rude Pundit's said it before and he'll say it again: so much of the anger at Obama is a projection of right wing anger at George W. Bush. Obama has to fail at everything in the right wingers' sad world, just to show that they didn't devote eight years of their pathetic, deluded lives to abetting the destruction of the nation. They are shitting themselves in fear, not just in the intensely unlikely scenario of hot terrorist on terrorist action. They are afraid of what evidence at trial might reveal about how far down the rabbit hole to actual tyranny we fell.

We on the left are not afraid. We have the courage to confront the truth and not hide it away in a cell forever.

Just to reiterate another point: it's not weak to say that our laws are strong enough to take care of terrorists. In fact, believing in our justice system actually makes Barack Obama more patriotic than all waterboard-loving, conservative pricks and cunts who just want Mohammed disappeared. Nidal Hasan killed more people than just about anyone ever at Gitmo, yet no one's saying that he should be detained forever without charge or trial.

I have nothing to add.

Note to RP: Ya hit the nail right on the head, son. If a hangover helps yer insight, I'm in. Name yer brand.

Headline of the Day

Republicans Are Shocked The Public Is Mad At Them For Voting Against Franken’s Anti-Rape Amendment

And they wonder why they're in the shitter. Yeesh.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Sitting in bed, watching Olbermann with the Mrs. and we hear a huge crash in front of the house. I thought some genius pulled into my driveway and hit the dumpster there. Fat chance. Some drunken idiot drove square into the light pole in front of my house, then takes off running. This is the scene as of 20 minutes ago.

Twit hit the pole at full speed and spun backwards into my driveway.

I guess Friday the 13th is my lucky day. Idiot missed my car by 10 feet and the electric wires are hanging a foot over the roof.

I gave my statement to the cops (I din't see nuthin', officer; just heard a big fucking bang.). Told the Long Island Power Authority guys that if the wind blows up the block, my power goes out but some genius can take out the pole in front of the house and the shit stays on. Then I told them all that I have to be up at 4 in the morning and I'm going to bed, and if they have to bother me, wait until morning. Wake me up in the middle of the night and I start shooting.

A little excitement for a Friday. Hope that busted up Toyota is outta here by the time I wake up.

Update (Saturday morning):

The LIPA guys were here first thing with a new pole. Poor bastids, working in the wind and rain to get everything squared away. I'm sure the overtime is good though.

Update Zwei (Saturday afternoon):

Well, there was one casualty. The bush on the corner was totaled (too bad it wasn't George W.) and I'll have to cut it up and replace it, but that's a job for spring.

Click pics to make big.

"Accused 9/11 Mastermind to Face Civilian Trial in N.Y."

As it should be. We should be the ones to satisfy our vengeance:

WASHINGTON — Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and four other men accused in the plot will be prosecuted in federal court in New York City, the United States attorney general announced Friday.


And we will be the ones to exact our pound of flesh. Legally. Under the Rule of Law as the Founders intended.

It's about time.


Pic stolen from Digby. Click to make big.

Quote of the Day

The National Organization for Women's President Terry O'Neill:

I don't know where the Internal Revenue Service is, but I hope they're paying attention.

Like I've been saying for a long time. It's time to jerk the tax exemptions from religious institutions, starting with the Catholic Church.


Today is cancelled due to lack of interest.

Linda Ronstadt
Stadthalle Offenbach
, Germany
November 16, 1976

There's probly some Krauts still tryin' ta pronounce 'Tehachapi' and 'Tucumcari". Heh.

Linda Ronstadt ~ Willin'

Thanks to PretzelFarmer.

Cheerleaders ...

Greenwald takes apart David "Bobo" Brooks (not a really difficult thing to do, but to do it well ...) and the media cheerleaders who just loves them some war:

David Brooks' column today perfectly illustrates what lies at the core of our political discourse: namely, self-loving tribalistic blindness laced with a pathological refusal to accept responsibility for one's actions. Brooks claims there is a unique evil that one finds in the "fringes of the Muslim world":


There's a unique evil at the fringes of every religion. Some might even say within the leadership of every religion.


So here's a person who is constantly advocating and justifying the killing, bombing, and slaughtering of Muslims, including well over 100,000 innocent civilians. And yet today he writes a column saying: Look over there at those radical Muslims; can you believe how degraded and inhumane they are? In fact, he says, "they" -- those Muslims over there -- "don’t see others as fully human. They come to believe others can be blamelessly murdered and that, in fact, it is admirable to do so." That's from the same person who cheerleads for the endless deaths of Muslims and destruction of the Muslim world while thinking that it makes him strong, resolute, Churchillian, righteous and noble -- exactly that which he accuses "fringe Muslims" of doing. And even as he blames the U.S. for "absolving" radical Muslims for the "evil" of their choices, Brooks will never make the connection between what he does and its results because he believes he is free from accountability and that his righteousness justifies the killings he desires -- again, exactly that which he says today is the hallmark of Islamic monsters ("They come to believe others can be blamelessly murdered and that, in fact, it is admirable to do so").


I think it's what bothers me most about the wars. Those raving on from the sidelines can casually look at other (different, whether by nationality, race, religion, or color) people, the "they" Greenwald speaks of, as subhuman. The last thing we hear in the corporate media is about the thousands of innocents killed in our quest for oil, or territory, or whatever the motives were at the time.

I don't know how those people can stand to look in the mirror. I guess denial is a powerful drug.


If one needs to reduce my point to a single sentence, one can try this: "if you constantly cheer on one war after the next that results in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings and the extreme suffering of millions more (as Brooks has done -- beyond Iraq and Afghanistan -- and continues to do), then you can't coherently claim that the targets of your wars have a unique disregard for human life; that they -- but not you -- "don’t see others as fully human"; that they -- but not you -- "cause incredible amounts of suffering"; and that they -- but not you -- "come to believe others can be blamelessly murdered and that, in fact, it is admirable to do so." [all ems in orig]


Indeed. A buncha folks in Germany thought that way 70 years ago. Brooks, and the institution he represents, shed their humanity when they denied a significant part of the world's population theirs.

A note: Be sure to check out Gord's posts (here and here) re:"Tattooed Under Fire" about some of the other consequences of the wars these clowns cheered for, and demonized those who didn't. There are more than the deaths of innocents on Brooks' hands.

Figures ...

Via Mr. Philadelphia:


Federal Election Commission Records show the RNC purchases its insurance from Cigna. Two sales agents for the company said that the RNC’s policy covers elective abortion. [my em]


Yeah, just in case some lily-white senator's daughter gets knocked up by the big black offensive lineman on the high school football team. Gotta have a way to deal with that, ya know, there's reelection to think of. The only reason Bristol got to keep the kid is because Levi is white.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Violence is endemic at Fort Hood

This ties in uncomfortably all too well with yesterday's post about Fort Hood. In the show "Tattooed Under Fire" (extended trailer) one of the locals said that Killeen is "like Dodge City when the sun goes down".

New York Times, with video "In War There Are No Unwounded Soldiers". Please read.

Fort Hood is still reeling from last week’s carnage, in which an Army psychiatrist is accused of a massacre that left 13 people dead. But in the town of Killeen and other surrounding communities, the attack, one of the worst mass shootings on a military base in the United States, is also seen by many as another blow in an area that has been beset by crime and violence since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began. Reports of domestic abuse have grown by 75 percent since 2001. At the same time, violent crime in Killeen has risen 22 percent while declining 7 percent in towns of similar size in other parts of the country.

The stresses are seen in other ways, too.

Since 2003, there have been 76 suicides by personnel assigned to Fort Hood, with 10 this year, according to military officials.

In TUF it was brought up that in fifteen months in Iraq, the 4th ID had 50 KIA and double that in drunk driving fatalities in the few months since they returned.

One day, it is a homecoming, with hundreds of families waving flags and homemade signs along T. J. Mills Boulevard leading into the base’s main gate. The next day, crime reports increase, especially cases of domestic violence. “Unfortunately, you see the trend every time there’s a homecoming, when the divisions come home,” said Olga Pena, the paper’s managing editor.

It's just my opinion, but I think they're getting home from the combat zone too quickly. No time to decompress.

Vietnam returnees came home as individuals on government-leased flights. One day, Vietnam, the next, a west coast Air Force base, the next, home with their heads still in the war zone. We've had forty years to see how well that didn't work.

Now they're coming home as units, which I think is good, but they need to stop somewhere for a couple of weeks, maybe in Germany. They need to get some counseling, some rest, some time to realize they're not in the war zone and some time to adjust. Probably wouldn't hurt 'em to get good and beered up in a reasonably controlled environment a coupla times as well.

Beered up. There's one of the biggest cruxes of the biscuit. The only service-acceptable chemical relaxant and self-medication is alcohol, a demon drug in the right, or wrong, circumstances.

In Iraq, alcohol is forbidden to the troops due to the Islamic nature of the joint. The troops had to brew their own hooch if they wanted any. A bucket with a lid, fruit or starch, yeast and sugar, and bingo, pruno like in prison. I wouldn't doubt they could get booze from KBR bootleggers, but I think there was probably a lot less drinking while they were over there.

In my day, we didn't make much money and most of us didn't have cars. Motorcycles were absolutely forbidden at Camp Lejeune after some yo-yo burned a buncha donuts on the CG's lawn with his Honda 90. Heh. We took the bus to town (Jacksonville NC) and got sloshed on three-deuce beer in a two-square-block area of beer bars, got back on the bus, called the 'vomit comet' for the return trip, went home and went to bed in the barracks, since 90+% of us were single, and most of the few married men left their wives at home, at least in the lower ranks. Other than a fistfight once in a while, no harm done. The Marine Corps turned a blind eye to all this because they knew all too well that young men need to let off steam. Constantly.

Nowadays, servicemen make a lot more money and a lot of the unmarried soldiers live off base, unsupervised. For all intents and purposes, they're civilians after working hours. They all have cars and motorcycles and like young men everywhere, they need to constantly let off steam and they go out in the evening and get in trouble. These aren't just any young men. They're warriors in a warrior culture, even off base. Maybe especially off base where the Army can't see them. Wanta cause trouble? Go into some other unit's home bar and holler an insult. Or just hang around and wait for it. Mostly, it's just relatively harmless young man's mischief and the biggest danger is drunk driving, which seems to be a huge problem at Fort Hood.

There's more criminals, hoodlums, and bums in the service these days too, and their mischief can be anything but harmless.

As to the married soldiers, and there are a hundred, a thousand times more of those than years ago, what they don't need is to be instantly plunked down in the midst of all the crapola that developed at home while they were gone. Instant decompression from one war zone, and right in the middle of another one. Welcome home, honey, and you ain't makin' enough money and you stay gone too long and the fuckin' kid's outta diapers and oh yeah I'm six months pregnant.

Add alcohol to that and you've got real trouble.

Booze is legal and it's everywhere. They even sell hard liquor off-sale at Class Six stores right on the base, for taking home to consume in on-base housing. Swell.

I didn't mean to turn this post into a temperance lecture, but I guess I did. Take all the stresses of instant decompression from a war zone, PTSD diagnosed or not, Army chickenshit, domestic problems, the realization that you've just been unnecessarily screwed, blewed, and tattooed by the military-industrial complex and a neocon weakling for fifteen months, maybe four fifteen monthses, in a place you should never have had to go to, that 99% of the American people have no skin in the game and use you for political purposes, that they're going to throw you away after they're done with you and you should just man up and STFU and be grateful they let you go catch lead for the ruling elite who doesn't want anything to do with you that costs money, and add alcohol. Happy landings.

Welcome home boys and girls.

Lou Dobbs resigns

Market Watch

CNN anchor Lou Dobbs announced his resignation from the news network late Wednesday, effective immediately.

Hey Luis, don't let the puerta hitcha in the culo on yer way out.

Dobbs may move to News Corp.'s Fox Business Network.

Heh. That's like the gentle slowing down of an elevator so he won't hit the bottom at high speed.

Adios, pendejo.

Yoo's lawyers warn of flood of political suits


A ruling that allowed a prisoner to sue former Bush administration attorney John Yoo for devising the legal theories that justified his alleged torture threatens to "open the floodgates to politically motivated lawsuits" against government officials, Yoo's lawyers say.

Gee, he says that like it's a bad thing.

Bolder by the day: Unapologetic Nazis are coming out of the woodwork

David Neiwert at Crooks and Liars, with links and video:

James Verini at the Daily Beast notices something we've been tracking here at C&L too: Neo-Nazis and far-right extremists are not only recruiting more openly, they're being much more public in their full-on expressions of racism, nativism, and xenophobia. Unlike David Duke, these characters aren't even trying to hide it:

The outcries of right-wing tea-partiers, death panellers, birthers, and the like are accompanied by increased activity all along the paranoid fringe.

“We believe there is a real resurgence,” adds Lieutenant David Hall, director of the Missouri Information Analysis Center, which tracks antigovernment extremist groups around the Midwest. “The atmosphere is ripe.”

Reporter: Do you consider yourself a National Socialist?

Ready: National Socialist? I am.

Reporter: Weren't Nazis considered National Socialists?

Ready: Well, there's a term that starts with an 'N' for calling black people too, uh, so I think that the 'N' term for National Socialists, calling them Nazis, is the same thing.

*Sniff* Gosh, we all should bow our heads in shame for having referenced National Socialists derogatorily. Lord knows they don't deserve it.

As Verini suggests, much of the naked bigotry these people express is being encouraged by the rise of extremist rhetoric generally, within the supposed conservative mainstream:

The Nazi bubbles we're seeing now are bubbling up out of a much bigger cauldron of toxic garbage that is being stirred up by the Right. Look for a lot more bubbles in the coming months.

Pardon me for getting up off the good Progressive peacelovedope shit, but I recommend bullets for popping that kind of bubble. Or baseball bats up close and personal. Start by deflating the teabagger gasbag enablers and work out into the street.

Goldmine Sachs

From Modo:

“Saturday Night Live” was tougher on Goldman Sachs than the government, giving the firm flak about commandeering 200 doses of the swine flu vaccine — the same amount as Lenox Hill Hospital got — while so many at-risk Americans wait.

“Can you not read how mad people are at you?” demanded Amy Poehler. “When most people saw the headline ‘Goldman Sachs Gets Swine Flu Vaccine’ they were superhappy until they saw the word ‘vaccine.’ ”

Seth Meyers chimed in: “Also, Centers for Disease Control, you sent the vaccine to Wall Street before schools and hospitals? Really!?! Were you worried the swine flu might spread to the Hamptons and St. Barts? These are the least contagious people in the world. They don’t even touch their own car-door handles.”

And as far as doing God’s work, I think the bankers who took government money and then gave out obscene bonuses are the same self-interested sorts Jesus threw out of the temple.

He got crucified for it too, but it was only a temporary fix. 2000 years later we're still suffering from both bankers and christianity.

Party like it's 2001 ...

Or, Welcome to America:

TAMPA — Marine reservist Jasen Bruce was getting clothes out of the trunk of his car Monday evening when a bearded man in a robe approached him.

That man, a Greek Orthodox priest named Father Alexios Marakis, speaks little English and was lost, police said. He wanted directions.

What the priest got instead, police say, was a tire iron to the head. Then he was chased for three blocks and pinned to the ground — as the Marine kept a 911 operator on the phone, saying he had captured a terrorist.


If he'd seen action, maybe I'd understand ... a bit, but I'd lay down a $5 bill that this guy spends his spare time parked in front of the TV watching Fox 'News' and reading NRA pamphlets.

I thought we got over beating on people who looked different once the craziness after September 11th died down. And you wonder why others in the world (There's something else beside America out there?) think we're grand assholes?

Christ ...

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

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On Veterans Day ...

Men and women still die just as horribly as they did when the Armistice was signed. War is still as dirty and bloody as it always was and we have learned few lessons from the last century.

Regardless of what anyone says in the many speeches given today, history will not treat us well when describing the beginning of the 21st Century and the American role in it.

Movin' on up ...

Hey, a quarter million guys with a god complex doctors can't be wrong:

The American Medical Assn. on Tuesday urged the federal government to reconsider its classification of marijuana as a dangerous drug with no accepted medical use, a significant shift that puts the prestigious group behind calls for more research.

The nation's largest physicians organization, with about 250,000 member doctors, the AMA has maintained since 1997 that marijuana should remain a Schedule I controlled substance, the most restrictive category, which also includes heroin and LSD.


Only a matter of time, though the way things work, I'll be long gone when they get around to legalizing it.

And just because:

Heh ...

Tattooed Under Fire

This is my Veterans Day post. I offer it in tribute to our servicemen and women who are taking it in the shorts for the unfettered greed of capitalism, for the imperialistic wet dreams of neocon warmonger cowards, and for The American Way which will forget them as soon as they are out of uniform.

I watched a show on PBS the other night called "Tattooed Under Fire" about soldiers at, appropriately enough, Fort Hood getting ready to go to Iraq and after they returned 15 months later. It was a unique approach in that it showed their feelings about their experiences through their choice of skin art. I highly recommend that you see it. It will show in November. Check your local listings.

We read all the time about how 30% of Iraq returnees have PTSD. After seeing this show I'd bet that's a little optimistic. I'm scared for these people and for our society in the years to come.

From ITVS:

In the heart of central Texas lies the city of Killeen--home to Fort Hood, America's largest military base. Across the street is River City Tattoo Parlor, a place where many of the war-bound and returning soldiers go under the needle, openly profess their patriotism, share their secrets and confess their deepest fears. TATTOOED UNDER FIRE looks at the unconventional work of tattoo parlor owner Roxanne Willis and gives a highly personal glimpse into the human and cultural cost of war.

Here's a preview. There are more previews here.

It is a dark and disturbing film from the soldiers' point of view and I highly recommend you see it. The tattoo folks, Killeen townspeople, weigh in with some wisdom from their point of view as well.

My hero in the film is Consuelo, 20, a member of a bridge company of engineers. She's in one of the preview vids prior to her deployment, all worried about the non-stop convoy policy that has gotten a lot of Iraqi kids and others run over. When she returns from Iraq she's really glad that she didn't run over anybody. She also says that she saw a lot of herself in the poor kids in Iraq. A poor kid herself from Los Tecomates, Jalisco, her mom paid a coyote to smuggle her into the U.S. Now she's working on her U.S. citizenship and looks at her Iraq service as the price she has to pay.

Also see:

TATTOOED UNDER FIRE Filmmaker Discusses Fort Hood Shootings

The massacre at Food Hood was a terrible reminder of the vulnerability and mental fragility of our forces currently engaged on two war fronts with the prospect of multiple tours. One could only imagine last week’s fatal event––young men and women recruits waiting for flu shots and filling out paperwork, nervous and anxious about their eminent deployment, when suddenly they are being shot at with an automatic weapon. They had no means to escape or defend themselves.

I've been thinking about this for days and this is likely to be the most politically incorrect thing I've ever said here.

I am absolutely appalled that a lone gunman with two handguns was able to get off 100 rounds in a crowd of supposedly ready-to-deploy-to-a-war-zone combat-trained soldiers.

They had no means to escape or defend themselves.

Horseshit. Granted, they were taken by surprise. In military parlance the technical term for that is an 'ambush'.

When we do it, the saying is "Ambush is murder, and murder is fun".

When they do it, the saying is "React quickly and assault the ambush. You may die in the attempt, but if you don't, you most surely will die where you are".

This was not a crowd of Christmas shoppers at a mall or a McDonald's full of people eating lunch. This was a crowd of supposed warriors. Were they all company clerks and truck drivers? Were there not some amongst them with the training, discipline, and the warrior instinct to attack that nutjob sonofabitch with whatever means were available? The shooter had to reload at least five or six times, and in my experience that takes two hands, a few seconds when he was vulnerable. A shout of 'follow me', a headlong rush, throwing furniture? SOMETHING? ANYTHING?

Maybe someone tried and died doing it. I don't know. What I do know is that the folks who died and were wounded went from being combat-ready soldiers to victims in a few moments of panic and terror, slaughtered like sheep in a pen.

The dead soldiers were given a memorial service as if they had given their all in battle. There won't be any Purple Hearts for them because they died from 'fratricide' or 'friendly fire', which is the absolute worst phrase in the world. It remains to be seen how the PTSD some of the survivors will surely have will be treated by Army propagandists and bean counters.

They should get all the benefits due any soldier, for they died and were injured in the war Bush and the neocons started against the people of the United States and the world.

Fixer and I have been saying for five years that Bush's War is a criminal act that will fuck this country up for generations. Sadly, we are more right after the Fort Hood incident than we even knew.

One more thing:

The Fort Hood shooting was the Army's fault as surely as 9/11 was Bush's. They had enough information on the shooter that they should have given him the boot. Instead, they promoted him to Major. Whether by omission or commission, bureaucratic intransigence, or because they did not wish to appear intolerant or were shorthanded, that yo-yo had no business counselling soldiers. Maybe they coulda had him issuing mattresses.


Got this via email from Kristin Fellows:

just saw your blog, gordon -- thanks very much for your comments on "tattooed under fire."

i'm impressed, you watch pbs and you checked out the website, itvs and the director's blog.
very thorough!

thanks for the plug,
(part of the TUF team)

Thank you, Kristin. I'm impressed too. We were on the 4th page of the Google. You waded through a lot of stuff to get to us and looked close enough to find my email. Glad to help.

I sent her this:

Hi Kristin

Thank you for the nice words. Thoroughness is our middle name. I was trying to get our maybe 300 readers to watch TUF as I think it's an important film, being a lightly tattooed veteran myself. Links are the way for folks to investigate on their own. If I get one or two other folks to see it, my post is a success.

I updated the blog post with your email. It was like an 'attaboy' and I can't pass that up!


Socialist health care ...

I keep saying this to people who tell me that "government health care" will kill us all, or something to that effect. Now, I've spent a good part of my life in Europe, especially when I was a little kid and, as a rambunctious boy, I got dinged up quite a bit (worst was a broken leg when I was 5 or 6) while there. In all my experience with the German health system, I have never had a problem getting the care I needed. To hear some folks tell it, you could imagine every third European dropping dead in the streets on a regular basis and the rest languishing in pain for months at a time.

While I can speak of the German system, another American can fill you in on what they have in France:


In the United States, waiting six hours in an emergency room to receive medical care or five days to get an appointment with a general practitioner is so common that Americans have begun to think "it's just the way things are." This bothers me because, having lived in France for nearly five years, I know that it is not the way things are in France and in many other parts of the world, and it is not the way things have to be in the U.S.


We've been conditioned by the insurance companies to accept this shit as a way of life.


Prepared for the worst, I picked up the phone directory for my arrondissement (neighborhood) and scanned it to see if there were any doctors listed. To my surprise, there were a couple of pages of them: pediatricians, gynecologists, chiropractors, and a whole lot of generalists. There were two general practitioners, in fact, within six blocks of my apartment. I dialed the one closest. A woman answered the phone and I stammered that I needed an appointment for a sore throat. She asked when I wanted to come in and I told her, "As soon as possible," thinking, My throat is killing me. I hope I can get in on Monday. She sighed and said that she was sorry, but she didn't have an appointment available right away.

"Could you come in at twelve-fifteen?" she asked.

"Twelve-fifteen on what day?' I replied.

"Twelve-fifteen today," she said, sounding incredulous that I had asked.


Single payer works well, and the only people you'll hear speaking against it are the insurance companies (and our elected reps whom they've bought) who have a lot to lose.

It's time to quit playing around with these special interests (Are you listening, Mr. Obama?) and give the American people what works so well for everybody else.

Great thanks to Mr. Aravosis for the link

No room for moderates ...

As we've seen lately, the Republican Party is moving steadily to the far right, perpetuating a pogrom against whatever moderates are left. The latest was NY-23, where we watched with glee as they convened a circular firing squad and managed to lose a seat they've had since Reconstruction.

Seems the lady in the middle, a true moderate Republican (if you want to be a Republican in NY, you have to be 'moderate'), has had enough:

Just when you thought you wouldn't have to spell "Dede Scozzafava" anymore, the Republican nominee in that upstate New York special election is back -- lashing out at Sarah Palin and others who worked against her bid.


She attacks Palin, R-Alaska, for endorsing the Conservative Party candidate, Doug Hoffman, even though Hoffman doesn't even live in New York's 23rd congressional district.


You know, a good portion of folks in Upstate NY are conservative; descendants of farm folk and they know bullshit when they see it. They're a pragmatic bunch who do what they have to in order to get by. They know who 'their people' are and some dumbass brought in to steal an election doesn't pass the sniff test. They're also pretty tough.


And Scozzafava has this message for the Club for Growth and other Republicans who are vowing to bring down moderates.

"There is a lot of us who consider ourselves Republicans, of the Party of Lincoln," she said. "If they don't want us with them, we're going to work against them.

Governor Quitter and the Drug Addicted Lintball shoulda passed up the opportunity to piss them off.

Great thanks to Maru for the link.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Quote of the Day

Comrade Misfit:

... the GOP's effective policy is "once you're born, you're on your own, bucko."

The Birthday Ball

Caution: DO NOT type "Marine Corps Birthday Ball" in at YouTube unless you've got nothing to do for a while! There are hundreds of 'em! Professionally filmed and filmed on cell phones, serious to silly, a few seconds to 10 minutes, and everything in between and outside the lines. I was trying to find an all-encompassing one to show you, but I gave up. That didn't stop me...

Here's one that's unusual for a coupla reasons:

1) These Gunnies remembered ta take the canes outta their asses, and
2) The only times I remember seein' Gunnies dance, they wuz doin' it on my ass!

Thanks to 702USMC.

Full disclosure here: I've been to a few Birthday Balls over the years, but never while I was on active duty. This is more like what I remember. It's a little unusual for a Master Sergeant to share quarters with the Great Unwashed, but when he does, here's how to show the Top a good time. It always works, probly better these days 'cause the kids have sexier underwear. Watch the Top pull his feet outta danger like the kid's gonna light a fart. Yeah, Top, like you've never been farted on in 20 years in the Corps:

the italian stallion does a sexy dance for the highest ranking guy with us.

Thanks to lilbigd21.

For a more serious look at the tradition of the Marine Corps Birthday Ball, please go here.


Courtesy of the Westchester County Detachment #254 of the Marine Corps League, White Plains, New York.


United States Marines represent the best young men and women our Nation has to offer. To be a Marine is to be a member of America's warrior class - to be one of the few who steps forward with the courage and conviction to face whatever dangers await. Our Nation expects her Marines to be ready when the Nation calls; to leave family and the comforts of home behind; to march into battle and thrive under austerity; and to come home under a victory pennant.

From Al Anbar in the west of Iraq, to Helmand Province in the south of Afghanistan, our Corps of Marines can always expect to be found where the fight is toughest. Such is our history. Today, as we write the final chapter on our victory in Iraq, we will increasingly take the fight to the enemy in Afghanistan and add new pages to our legacy in places called Delaram, Now Zad, and Garmsir. One day, we will return to our naval heritage and patrol the high seas with our Navy brothers* (my em). Such is our future.

As we celebrate our Corps' 234th Birthday, we first pause to reflect and pay tribute to those Marines who have given the last full measure in defense of freedom. We extend our deepest gratitude to our Marine Corps families - the unsung heroes who endure hardship and sacrifice so that we are able to go forward and accomplish any mission. We extend our appreciation to our countrymen who have answered our every need. And we celebrate the magnificent men and women who willingly and selflessly continue to go into harm's way to protect this great Nation.

To all who have gone before, to those who wear the uniform today, and to the families that give us the strength to forge ahead - I wish you all a heartfelt Happy 234th Birthday!

Semper Fidelis,

James T. Conway
General, U.S. Marine Corps

*If they still remember how. The Marine Corps has been terribly misused as a little land army that talks funny for far too long. They're supposed to kick in the door and protect the Seabees while they build the O Club for the Army and then GTFO.

I'm glad General Conway recognizes this and put that little dig at the powers that be in there. I hope the day will come.

Happy Birthday and Semper Fi, Jarheads.

Scary ...

Thank god less and less people still identify as Republicans, but Christ, it blows my mind that so many can be so stupid. Tristero:


I want you to think about this for a moment. You're in your local shopping mall, wherever you happen to be in this fair country of ours. And exactly 1/2 of the people walking your way are so completely unhinged from consensual reality that they think Michael Huckabee - Michael Huckabee! who let a convicted rapist go scot-free in order to win brownie points from his rightwing pals - is qualified to be president.


I know it's an old cliche, but we could put a man on the Moon, yet our general populace can plumb the depths of idiocy at the drop of a hat. The moron quotient in this country scares the shit out of me.

Long Island Racists ...

Not a new sports franchise, a crop of assholes the give this moslty progressive place a very bad name. My neighbor Blondie:

Last night though I was talking to someone who lives in the town just south of me and he told me they were fighting to keep black people from the next town over out of their village. He said it was sickening. Oh for god's sake, I thought that we were beyond that crap by now. But nooooooo


On most of Long Island, it is not socially acceptable to be openly racist so I was not really aware that it was so prevalent here (and I suppose that since I mostly associate with liberals and progressives, I didn't see the whole picture.) The island is becoming more and more populated with Central American immigrants, and from my experience thus far, these folks are lovely, hard working people. There are many folks from El Salvador now living in my town and taking the place of the Italian immigrants who were here when I moved in. As far as I know, there haven't been any hate crimes taking place in my area and I pray that we remain tolerant and welcoming to new arrivals to the US... and I think we need to totally kick the butts of the white KKK types and let them know in no uncertain terms that their behavior will not be tolerated.


Indeed. It's one of the reasons I love where I live so much. Aside from world class beaches and history that goes back to the founding of this nation (we can even claim a President, Theodore Roosevelt), its diversity is a great thing. We are, and always have been, at the apex of the Great Melting Pot, most immigrants entering the country here before finding their own little niche of America.

Racism should have no place anywhere in the U.S. but especially not here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

How do these yingyangs get my address?

Just got back from the mailbox. Got a mailer from some outfit in Maryland that wants to preserve Civil War battlefields and wants me to send money to Robert E. Lee IV fer chrissake! Fat fuckin' chance. The hell with the ground they lost on. We send 'em enough money as it is to keep their ignorant asses afloat.

I sent 'em this instead. Thanks for the postpaid envelope, suckers.

Note to the South: Hey, you fuckers lost. We won. Get over it.

That said, if you wish to secede again it's OK by me, give it a try. It'd be no loss to anybody and we'd get to keep more of our own money.

"One Crazy Ride - A Recommendation

I don't usually do movie reviews or make recommendations as to spending your money, but I am now. I watched this movie and was so taken with it that I'd like to recommend you do the same.

This is a very sweet and funny movie, which I have subtitled "Fools Rush In Where Angels Fear To Tread". Even if you don't particularly care about motorcycles, the film is more about the human spirit that makes people do oddball "crazy" shit in search of adventure than it is about motorcycles. Watch Our Heroes contend with nearly unnavigable roads, flat tires and breakdowns, and the drunk tribal lady and equally inebriated Chinese-appointed very-large-knife-equipped mayor of a village. Also with crossing several rivers including the Brahmaputra and a gorge crossing that made me cringe. There's one grisly scene of some locals convincing a pig to be dinner, though it's nothing compared to autopsy scenes on NCIS.

Also see them being congratulated for being Indians instead of Pakistanis who "come to town and blow things up".

The film is mostly in English and Mr. Jani has come a long way since Riding Solo as far as subtitles, but if you are comfortable with Hindi and northeastern Indian tribal dialects, you needn't bother selecting 'subtitles' off the menu.

Since your local video rental store's copy will probably be out, you can order the DVD from Dirt Track Productions. In Rupees if you are so inclined, but they take US dollars, believe it or not! The DVD will come from India in the nicest packaging I've ever seen. I had to go the post office counter and sign for it, probably some Homeland Security deal from bureaucrats who can't tell friend from foe and all brown people look alike anyway and are probably up to no good.

A motorcycle expedition on uncharted roads across the Himalayan state of Arunachal Pradesh, situated in North-east India, but more than an expedition, it's a film about friendship, camaraderie and the "never say die" attitude of five motorcyclists in the face of unforgiving terrain.

Shot without a back-up vehicle or film crew, in parts of India hardly seen, filmed or explored, the documentary captures the interactions and experiences of the riders who are trying to chart a route, which according to everyone, does not exist.

If you think of riding from Frisco to L.A. without using paved roads, you get the idea.

And if you happen to like Indian music, as I do, you'll love the score.

(Note: Something might be wrong at YouTube. If the video isn't here, click here.)

Thanks to dirttrackproductions, India.

Also see the trailer for Riding Solo To The Top of The World. Another good film.

Good news! Timeless irritants of humanity still alive and well in GOP

Mark Morford on the Maine vote against gay marriage:

In case you forgot: the Bible was very serious about that one bogus line in Leviticus calling people of the same gender getting it on being an abomination against God. Just as it was dead serious about sundry other abominations -- like, say, trimming your beard, sleeping next to your menstruating wife, eating shrimp, or purchasing slaves from too far away. Yay Bible! Always a terrific reference for modern life.

All told, it was a pretty good week for fear, for looking around nervously because you don't really understand what's going on in this gul-dang world, and therefore you should clutch your dying ideology and hang on for dear life.

This is particularly true if you happen to be a Republican, aka the Party of Not in My Backyard, aka the Party of Hey You Kids, Get Off My Lawn, aka the Party of Screw You, Get a Job If You Want Health Care You Lazy Hippie -- if this is you, well, you came away from the week mildly giddy indeed.

After all, aside from bashing gays in Maine, your party is still working like a feral demon to derail genuine health care reform, won't even show up to discuss serious climate change legislation, and many of your fine, macho leaders recently voted against helping women who have been gang-raped by U.S. government contractors.

How proud you must be!

Much more.

Headline of the Day

South Korean woman passes driver's exam on 950th try

No comment...

Quote of the Day

From a 'recommended read' by The Rude Pundit on the Stupak amendment to the House HCR bill:

Or, in other words, goddamn, these pro-life fuckers have their heads jammed so far up their asses that they lick the back of their uvulas.

Kinda makes me think of Ouroboros if he got the directions slightly wrong. Heh.

KBR may have poisoned 100,000 people in Iraq

Raw Story

Defense contractor KBR may have exposed as many as 100,000 people, including US troops, to cancer-causing toxins by burning waste in open-air pits in Iraq, says a series of class-action lawsuits filed against the company.

At least 22 separate lawsuits claiming KBR poisoned American soldiers in Iraq have been combined into a single massive lawsuit that says KBR, which until not long ago was a subsidiary of Halliburton, sought to save money by disposing of toxic waste and incinerating numerous potentially harmful substances in open-air "burn pits."

According to one of the lawsuits (PDF), filed in a federal court in Nashville, KBR burned "tires, lithium batteries ... biohazard materials (including human corpses), medical supplies (including those used during smallpox inoculations), paints, solvents, asbestos insulation, items containing pesticides, polyvinyl chloride pipes, animal carcasses, dangerous chemicals, and hundreds of thousands of plastic water bottles."

They'll defend themselves and pay off any judgments with American taxpayers' money too. They have plenty. Bastards.

Let's Bail Out the Pot Dealers!

Joel Stein in Time magazine. Links, related stories and videos.

Some dude outside my supermarket just asked me to sign a petition to legalize marijuana. Apparently he was so high that he forgot he's in California, where pot is already more legal than budget-balancing. Last year I was granted a medical-marijuana license, even though I'm healthy and I don't smoke weed. I went to a doctor's office that consisted of a desk, a TV, two cans of air freshener and a man wearing a Hawaiian T-shirt. I told Dr. Magnum P.I. about my constant anxiety, insomnia and headaches — two more conditions than any previous patient had bothered to mention. He freaked out and gave me a pot license for only six months until I saw a psychologist. My lovely wife Cassandra, however, got a full year's prescription by claiming she was afflicted with a condition called "menstruation." Looking back, I'm pretty sure I could have used that too.

[...] So when Attorney General Eric Holder declared that the Federal Government would quit busting dispensaries, removing even the hint of consequences for medical-marijuana use, my heart ached for small-time American pot dealers. They can't compete on price, selection, customer service, quality control or not-getting-arrestedness, and they have no skills that translate into another industry. They're almost as bad off as journalists.

Of all the potheads I know — did I mention I live in Los Angeles? — only one still uses a dealer. He hasn't made the logical switch from purchasing illegal drugs to committing medical fraud partly because he doesn't want his name on a dispensary list for professional reasons, partly out of loyalty to his dealer and partly because to motivate a stoner, the invisible hand of capitalism first has to endure a long, boring conversation about how cool it would be to have an invisible hand.

The drug warriors were right that medical marijuana would lead to pro forma legalization. But they were wrong about every other consequence, like the coming wave of donations from pot dealers to the next presidential candidate willing to criminalize medical marijuana. Also, legitimizing pot hasn't created more users; it has just produced more annoying ones, who now apply Whole Foods-ian levels of snobbiness to the differences between Hawaiian Sativa and Humboldt Indica.

As always, federal decisions have lots of unintended consequences, and many of them are good. As dispensaries wipe out pot dealers, teen drug use will fall dramatically. Instead of buying pot from a dealer, teenagers will have to struggle with the same imperfect methods they use to get alcohol: begging older siblings, stealing from their parents and waiting outside a dispensary until they find a guy creepy enough to accept a $20 bribe.

The bad part is that without any business to do, the last remaining pot dealers will now have absolutely no reason to stop talking and leave your apartment.

If this kinda stuff is making it into am international news magazine, can legalization be far behind?

Just as an aside regarding teenagers and the imperfect methods they use to get alcohol, our local cops set up stings around here from time to time wherein they set youngsters to hang around outside local liquor and convenience stores and the grocery stores to try and get adults to buy them beer. Then the cops bust anyone stupid enough to do it.

I tell these kids I ain't about to commit a felony so they can get a buzz and to say hi to Officer Friendly for me.

I wonder what would happen if I agreed to buy them some beer and then just swung with their money? I'm not brave enough to try it.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Goldman Sachs, Citigroup Got Swine Flu Vaccine
Due to large number of swine.

20th Anniversary of Fall of Berlin Wall Celebrated Around Globe
Crowds in West Bank and along Mexican border join in fun.

Los Angeles Has More Medical Marijuana Shops Than Starbucks
Starbucks will test market hash brownies.

??? - News Quiz - ???

The American Academy of Family Physicians will be offering health information on soft drinks on its website, which will be sponsored by:

A ) The American Academy of Family Physicians
B ) The U.S. Department of Public Health
C ) The Coca-Cola Company
Hint: it's the real thing.

Now that Nancy ...

Has given us a somewhat decent bill from the House, it's up to the House of Lords to fuck it totally beyond recognition. How much you wanna bet we're gonna see Whiny Joe on our TV more often than he already is?

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I., Conn. Attention Whore) said he was "concerned" about the health-care bill passed by the House on Saturday, and reiterated that he would oppose any legislation that included a government-run health insurance option.

"If the public option plan is in there, as a matter of conscience, I will not" support the legislation, Lieberman told "Fox News Sunday."


Tell me again why the Dem leadership kissed this rotten bastid's ass until their lips were sore?

The beginning of the end ...

Of the Soviet Empire. For my people at least. After 30 years of a divided Germany, the people of East and West Berlin began chipping away at the Wall. My cousin Bettina's husband Hans, a trucker who drives throughout Europe, was in Berlin on that day 20 years ago and chipped off some pieces of the Wall. This is mine.

Click to make big

Ain't even looked at a computer this weekend, trying to get as much done on the Mrs.' office as possible.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Will it never end?

Once again, discrimination rears its ugly head

Dr. Hook

Don't ask me how I got going on this, but YouTube is a strange and wonderful place with more twists and turns than a Repug's logic. I had forgotten how funny Dr. Hook was and listened to a buncha his stuff. Enjoy.

This one looks like it was shot in my ol' stompin' grounds in Westwood CA, home of UCLA. I've seen many, many movies at the Westwood Village theater.

Dr. Hook ~ Baby Makes Her Blue Jeans Talk

Thanks to djmahogany.

Also see:

Hey Lady Godiva (Us old farts remember Esquire pinups, you bet we do! Heh.)

Acapulco Goldie

Roland The Roadie And Gertrude The Groupie

Sunday Church Lady Freedom Music Blogging

I couldn't decide which version of this song I liked better, so...

Thanks to Geepereet, Netherlands.

Thanks to vianneyjeans, France.