Saturday, January 16, 2010

Quote of the Day



Tomorrow, the former President who was impeached and shouldn't have been and the former President who wasn't impeached and should have been ... will be on virtually every channel asking you for money for Haiti.


Saturday Crazy Redneck Music Blogging

Zac Brown Band perform Manfred Mann's "Fox On The Run" live in an impromptu jam session while on the bus.

Thanks to zacbrownband. I'll be baaaack...

Off the table, Mabel, the quarter's for the beer...

Rare footage of me'n Fixer on liberty, doin' a little thinkin' with the alternate brain...

Thanks to Theaterpalace, who has scads of these. Clip is from What Price Glory? (1926).

It's almost time to pay off your end of the deal, Pat

From the Swampland blog at Time magazine.

Dear Pat Robertson,

I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. And you make God look like a big mean bully who kicks people when they are down, so I'm all over that action. But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating. I may be evil incarnate, but I'm no welcher. The way you put it, making a deal with me leaves folks desperate and impoverished. Sure, in the afterlife, but when I strike bargains with people, they first get something here on earth -- glamour, beauty, talent, wealth, fame, glory, a golden fiddle. Those Haitians have nothing, and I mean nothing. And that was before the earthquake. Haven't you seen "Crossroads"? Or "Damn Yankees"? If I had a thing going with Haiti, there'd be lots of banks, skyscrapers, SUVs, exclusive night clubs, Botox -- that kind of thing. An 80 percent poverty rate is so not my style. Nothing against it -- I'm just saying: Not how I roll. You're doing great work, Pat, and I don't want to clip your wings -- just, come on, you're making me look bad. And not the good kind of bad. Keep blaming God. That's working. But leave me out of it, please. Or we may need to renegotiate your own contract.

Best, Satan

Airports and Liberty

Thanks to YubaNet.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Ol' Lady Liberty has had a rough few days what with Miss Becky totally misconcrewing her raison d'etre to impress Moosebreath, and in the cartoon above, so I thought I'd do something nice for her. This one's for you, Liberty.

Nanci Griffith and Emmylou Harris ~ Good Night, New York

Thanks to ericablue32.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Headline of the Day

Pat Robertson 'A Public Relations Nightmare,' Says God

Almighty Holds Rare Press Conference

'Gator Navy departs for Haiti

USS Bataan (LHD 5), USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), and USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), along with elements of the 22nd MEU, are on their way to Haiti to provide humanitarian assistance.

I've been to some strange places on LSD, but never to Haiti...

Marines have been to Haiti before:

Our countries have had a special relationship, not always good, ever since the former French colony's slaves successfully revolted in 1803.

That musta been their 'deal with the devil' - going against big business that enslaved and exploited them. Just fucking die, Robertson. Yeesh.

From 1915 to 1934, U.S. Marines occupied Haiti to protect our business interests. In the '60s, we winked at the repressive government of President Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier; in 1986 we helped arrange the exile of "Baby Doc," the son who succeeded him.

In 1994, a multinational force led by U.S. soldiers reinstalled former parish priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide as president. But by 2004, Aristide was accused of rampant corruption, and U.S. Marines arrived to maintain order as he was forced into exile.

This time they're going there to help the Haitians.

This is an excellent use of our military might and our tax dollars that pay for it. For once.


California is free to make its own drug laws

"Blowback" in the LATimes. A 'must read' if you are interested in legalizing marijuana as California may be poised to do. Disclaimer: gotta use a lotta weasel words until it's a done deal.

The state's existing marijuana laws are an example of destructive and reactionary public policy. They are largely responsible for the horrific drug-related violence in both California and along our border with Mexico. Thankfully, we aren't stuck with this destructive marijuana policy.

The Times is simply wrong to suggest that California does not have the authority to tax and regulate marijuana. There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that requires states to criminalize anything. We could scrap our entire penal code tomorrow if we wanted to. States get to decide state law, not Washington. This is why California and 13 other states have been able to legalize and regulate medical marijuana despite continuing federal prohibition.

Go read, then smoke 'em if ya got 'em.

Ann Coulter's Favorite Democrat

Follow-up to Fixer's post.

Thanks to bravenewfilms and a tip o' the Brain to ThinkProgress.

Note to Harold: You better stay in Tennessee. Even the Upstate New Yorkers are city slickers compared to what you're used to. They'll skin you alive. Sal si puedes, dude.

The Clarice and Hannibal Show!

In case you missed it, this may undo some of the damage caused by watching the video in the earlier post:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Crazy Like a Contributor
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Good night, Harold ...

From our buddy Nucks:


This guy just moved to New york to run for office and when he was asked if he had been to all five boroughs, he admitted that he had been flown over them in a fucking helicopter.
How much of the local politics does this guy know?
He doesn't even know where to order a fucking pizza from.


And yes, my friend, if he doesn't reconsider, I'm gonna be on his ass every day. New York politics is dysfunctional enough without Harold Ford selling us out.

Christ ...

Why couldn't Obama have recruited the old man?

At the urging of President Obama, that epitome of responsibility and compassion, George Wuhhh Bush, will get off his lazy fucking keister and join former president Bill Clinton to help lead the US relief effort for earthquake-devastated Haiti.


I'm surprised he accepted. I wonder what the little prick will do to embarrass us now.


Maybe someone named Bush might not be the best guy to send over there.

The stupid ...

It burns:

Warning: Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck in the same vid. Hearing and vision damage may result.

Vid stolen from Atrios.

Heh ...

Not so much.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Morphine shows promise against post-traumatic stress disorder

This is interesting:

Early administration of morphine to military personnel wounded on the front lines during Operation Iraqi Freedom appears to have done more than relieve excruciating pain. Scientists believe it also prevented hundreds of cases of post-traumatic stress disorder, the debilitating condition that plagues 15% of those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That conclusion is based on findings published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. They suggest that a simple treatment can stop a single horrifying event from escalating into a chronic, incapacitating illness.

Small clinical trials and observational studies have hinted that opiates and other medications could disrupt the way the brain encodes traumatic memories, thus preventing the incidents from being recorded with too much intensity. The new findings -- troops who received morphine within a few hours of their injuries were about 50% less likely to develop PTSD than those who didn't get the powerful painkiller -- are a strong endorsement of that theory.

Psychiatrists and neuroscientists aren't sure why some people develop PTSD while others don't, but the leading theory is that too much of the stress hormone norepinephrine at the time of a traumatic event causes the brain to malfunction when it records the memory.

The idea behind the preventive treatment approach is to disrupt the transmission of norepinephrine in the brain, either by blocking its release or by preventing it from binding to a receptor. In either case, a drug would have to be administered very early, while the memory was still being encoded.

I think this is fine. Every little bit helps, but what about soldiers and Marines who aren't injured? What can we do for them to prevent PTSD?

Don't send them to unnecessary wars might be a good start.

PTSD often doesn't set in 'til years after a Veteran returns to civilian life. I think experience shows that enough of them have self-medicated with opiates and other stuff and that it has the short term effect they seek, but exacerbates the condition in the long term to the point of ruining their lives and those of others.

Science needs to work on after-the-fact prevention of PTSD. We'll be working on non-physically-wounded PTSD Vets for fifty or more years as it is.

When your nation's only accountability is a late-night comedian

I watch The Daily Show every night. When John Yoo was on the other night flogging his manifesto of self-serving lies I turned it off. I don't need to hear that son of a bitch try to spin his enabling of war crimes into something noble and patriotic. He makes me sick and angry. I will watch his war crimes trial. Fat chance.

Attytood, links at site:

I did indeed watch the interview that torture-enabler, Inquirer op-ed columnist and Episcopal Academy alum John Yoo did with Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show." was what it was, which was an interview of a highly intelligent, unflappable and affable man who did some very, very bad things.

An interview conducted not by a prosecutor, or a congressional investigator, the kind of people who should be asking questions of the former Bush administration official who wrote the memos authorizing torture at Guantanamo and elsewhere.

But by a comedian.

Why didn't Stewart nail him on these statements?! Maybe, um, because he's a comedian -- one that people admire because he has a sense of moral outrage in addition to a sense of humor, but a comedian nonetheless. Stewart was able to "compel" Yoo to testify in the court of public opinion because Yoo needed the Daily Show to help sell his new book. Of course, there's plenty of folks who could compel Yoo to testify in a real court or investigate hearing. But this is America -- we don't really do the whole accountabilty thing.

Call it the new American exceptionalism. As Glenn Greenwald and others have noted, other nations around the world are going through exhaustive investigations of what went wrong during the decade of the 2000s in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, even as the United States -- which masterminded the Iraq invasion, opened up Gitmo, and waterboarded prisoners during that period -- is the nation with the most to answer for. Consider England, where the Chilcot inquiry into the launching of the Iraq war continues to make front-page news. Heck, even Iran is charging people in the deaths of its detainees. Here at home, we refuse to look back, fearful that our massive Jenga tower of militaristic foreign policy might collapse.

The selling of John Yoo is made even more frustrating by the fact that in his case, there actually is the potential for some measure of accountability. More than a year ago, in the waning days of the Bush administration, the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility wrapped up a report that is said to be quite damning toward Yoo and a colleague -- reportedly accusing the lawyers of "sloppy legal analysis, misjudgments and possible political interference" and recommending them for possible disbarment. Amazingly, the report has been kept under wraps by an Obama administration that seems no more motivated to hold torture (d?-G) criminals accountable than the administration that committed the crimes.

In a perfect world, there would be criminal investigations and charges against Yoo and the others behind the Bush torture regime. At the very least, the Justice report on Yoo must be released and disbarment proceedings must begin. Because the idea that America can handle one of the worst stains on our nation's legacy through a late-night comedy show is the biggest joke of all.

Ha-fuckin'-ha. Some joke.

Note to AG Holder: Do your job, which, if you need to be reminded, is to investigate crimes and prosecute criminals wherever you find them and no matter who committed them. These are in plain sight and are a festering sore on this nation.

Why Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh Ought to Be Dropped Into Haiti as Food

Ooooooh...what a lovely visual! Makes me tingle all over! I'm sure the Haitians have some kind of fugu-like process that would de-poison them and make them edible, and some sauce so folks wouldn't have to hold their noses all during lunch, but I don't envy the guy who has to clean them.

The conundrum arises: Should they be dropped in sans parachutes so as to tenderize them, or landed gently so they can enjoy being prepared as food? Decisions, decisions...

Some of you may think it is cruel and inhumane to make people eat the likes of those two. The Haitians have probably never heard of them, so I wouldn't worry about that.

El Rude-O

Seriously, did you think that Pat Robertson wasn't going to be a completely batshit insane fuckbag about Haiti? C'mon: natural disaster, scary black people, hoodoo-voodoo shit? It's the first Jesus boner Robertson's had in over four years, since he blamed New Orleans for being some kind of gay, sinning magnet for Hurricane Katrina. Robertson said that Haiti only overthrew colonial control because the slaves there made a pact with the devil. "True story," he assured us, despite the fact that it's false. (Sure, yeah, fine, Robertson's got relief organizations working in Haiti. Doesn't make him less of an asshole.)

By the way, if you wanna prove your God is so goddamn powerful, let him cause an earthquake somewhere that's not on a fault line, or let him whip up a hurricane in, say, the middle of the desert. Otherwise, shut the fuck up about how big and strong he is. In fact, Pat Robertson, you saggy, sick, senile fuck who needed to be ground up into soylent green about a decade ago or buried alive with Jerry Falwell's corpse, if your God is such a dick that he'd try to prove some bullshit point by flattening a country of poor, beaten down people, then fuck your God. Motherfucker oughta spend some time hanging with his son to learn how to treat the meek. (And as for Robertson's nodding sidekick there, Kristi Watts, others have put it quite nicely.) (Go see - G)

On Rushole using the earthquake to attack President Obama.

According to Limbaugh, there's some kind of equivalence between the deluded fucktard who sparked his balls aflame on an airplane on Christmas and a major catastrophe that has destroyed a country and probably killed tens of thousands of people: "Now, I want you to remember, it took him three days to respond to the Christmas Day Fruit of Kaboom Bomber, three days. And when he came out after those three days, he was clearly irritated that he had to do it. He didn't want to do it. He comes out here in less than 24 hours to speak about Haiti." It's a little like saying, "How dare those bastards in the ER deal with a code blue heart attack while I'm sitting here with an ass pimple that needs popping."

I'd like to pop his ass pimple, aka his brain, from the inside with the climbing spikes on a phone pole.

- Because, ultimately, as Limbaugh says, Obama coming out to talk about Haiti the next day is just a cynical political ploy: "This will play right into Obama's hands. He's humanitarian, compassionate. They'll use this to burnish their, shall we say, 'credibility' with the black community -- in the both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country. It's made-to-order for them. That's why he couldn't wait to get out there, could not wait to get out there." Does it even need to be said that Obama probably needs no help at all with the black vote in this country? That, at this point, he'd have to do something pretty fucking awful in order to lose it? It's not just a cruel statement by Limbaugh; it's dumb.

Oh, by the way, George W. Bush had a statement out about the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami within 24 hours of its occurrence. Guess that was just to burnish his credibility with Sri Lankans and Indonesians.

At this point, Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson need to be bundled up with some canned goods and dropped into Port au Prince in packages marked, "Meat." Griot up those motherfuckers. It's about the only way they'd be useful.

To me, Griot has always been an outfit that sold garage stuff I couldn't afford, so I had to go look up 'griot' in the context of Haitian food. I knew the Haitians had something appropriate for the likes of those two assholes! Fried marinated PIG! My apologies to pigs.

Snotty trivialities do not a Game Changer make...

I'm sure all of us who aren't in a coma or on another planet have seen the perpetrators of, and heard snippets and discussions about, the book Game Change. Here's some opinions:

The last paragraph from Glenn Greenwald:

The real value of a book like this lies in the opportunity it presents for Washington's elite class to distract themselves and everyone else from the oozing corruption, destruction, decaying and pillaging going on -- that these same Washington denizens have long enabled. With some important exceptions, that is the primary purpose of establishment journalism generally. Even better, the book lets our media and political elite -- and then the public generally -- feel good about themselves by morally condemning the trashy exploits of Rielle Hunter and the egoistic hypocrisies of the irrelevant John and Elizabeth Edwards. As The Nation's Chris Hayes so perfectly put it: "Just when you think the news cycle can't get any stupider, Mark Halperin publishes a book." All imperial courts -- especially collapsing ones -- love to occupy themselves with insular, snotty trivialities. As this book and the excitement it has produced demonstrates, providing that distraction is exactly what our press corps most loves to do and what it does best. The media sleazebags who turned Bill Clinton's penile spots, cigars and semen stains into headline news for two straight years haven't gone anywhere; they're actually stronger and more dominant than ever.

The Rude Pundit

The parade of the usual conservatives are outraged, just outraged, over the Reid (and, to an extent, Clinton's) comments. But you can't have it both ways, motherfuckers. You can't embrace the book's supposed revelations about Reid, the Clintons, and the Edwardses without acknowledging that Sarah Palin is a fucking deranged, megalomaniacal retard, like Pinky without the Brain, yet still with an urge to take over the world. The book's either right or wrong, worth credit or discredited.

Oh, wait, that's right. You're conservatives. You can dismiss the stuff you don't like in order to fulfill your worldview and propagate a hypocritical path of self-preservation at all costs, even logic. Almost forgot that that's what you do.

It's a book I won't be buying. Why should I? All the good gossip is on TV all over the place.

I just got this book in the mail about someone I love and respect. Maybe there's some good gossip in it.

If you want to help ...

The poor folks in Haiti, Digby has a list of reputable charities you can donate to. Beware, the scammers are already at work.

A prime spot in Hell ...

Right next to Jerry Falwell and the rest of 'god's mouthpieces' should be reserved for Pat Robertson. Die already ...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Us v. Them

Stays on top today - G

Got a comment yesterday from reader bob plt187:

Sometimes you folks at this site piss me off. I think you're a far left version of the far right and I'm going to wipe you out of my computer. But, I'm addicted to your blog. Why? Because of posts like this. Good job Gordon. I'm proud of you.

And it's been bugging me all night; at least the part of being "a far left version of the far right".

I would beg to differ, on several points.

1. Talking Points: Far right blogs regurgitate talking points from the conservatives and Republican Party without question. Regardless of how stupid or contradictory, if Rush or Billo or any other of the so-called "leaders" say it, it must be true. Here everything is questioned. It's not a question of ideology but of 'doing the right thing'.

2. The Future: The far right looks to the past, we look to the future in hopes of leaving a better place for future generations to live in, long after we're gone. The right does not care about anything but the 'here and now'. The actions of conservatives over the last 30 years, the last 8 years especially, will haunt this nation for a century or more. Now is the time to lay the foundation for a mechanism to correct those mistakes.

3. Racism: There can be no doubt the right is racist. Just a look at the demographic of the Republican Party says more than a thousand words. Listening to their words just reinforces it. When people talk about "real Americans", you know they mean "white, Christian, Americans". We are a nation of immigrants, from the days of Columbus, yet the right seems to forget that fact. Immigrants come in many different colors, speak many different languages, and worship many faiths yet, to the right, they don't qualify as Americans. We would not be "America" without a population as diverse as ours is.

4. USA Über Alles: Sorry to break it to people but we are not some kind of 'chosen land'. In the last 50 years, the world has gotten smaller and we have to learn to live with people in other nations. Imperialism is a dead ideology and we cannot go with the assumption that we can take whatever we need from whomever we want. We cannot force people to see things our way at the point of a gun. We've done that for too long and it's come back, now that the world has shrunk so, to bite us in the ass. Yes, we believe the United States is the best place to live, but we also believe that because people live in different circumstances, they aren't necessarily wrong. If we cause a ripple in the pond, it causes a tsunami in other places. We have to learn to manage our power responsibly, to make as little impact on others as possible, something the right does not see and doesn't appear to care about.

5. Gamesmanship: Unlike the right, we realize that politics is not a game. Political action has definable consequences. It's not a question of which side wins but one of doing what's best for the nation. When every other 'western' nation assures the health of their population is protected, in the most economical way, the right would deny our people that same protection. When the world is coming around to realizing people of the same sex can have mature, loving relationships and the benefits that come from it, the right would continue to deny them that happiness. To them, whatever the ideology prescribes is what should be, solely because it is opposite of what the left wants. In this land based on rights (check out the "piece of paper" called the Constitution), to deny people said rights is completely antithetical to what America is all about.

6. Science: Science is fact, or the pursuit thereof, and we realize those facts do not obey ideology. To put religious dogma on the same plane as scientific fact is ludicrous. To question evolution at this point in time is insane. To question man's effect on the planet is also. We know scientific fact transcends ideology and regardless of who wins an election, the facts will not change. Willful ignorance, by any party, is wrong and we believe that strongly.

Lastly, the term "far left" usually means Communist (not good), as opposed to "far right" meaning Fascist (also not good). I prefer the term Progressive. Progress is what brought the human race to the heights we have attained during our existence. In the past 50 years we have come farther, technologically and scientifically, than we have throughout our history. In the next 50, we will go so much farther and we have to be ready or that. We have to be ready for the vast changes that will take place and longing for the past will surely stagnate us, while others who have already grasped this will leave us behind.

The main difference between Progressives and Conservatives is we are going forward with our eyes open and staring reality straight in the face, not backing into it, looking back at the past with relish. The future will be here soon enough and unless we are open-minded about it and willing to live in it, our progress as a nation will cease, and then we will wither and die (see: Egypt, Rome, Greece, the Ottomans, the Japanese, the British et. al.). Here at the Brain, we want this great experiment known as America to thrive and prosper, now and in the future and it has nothing to do with ideology, it has to do with doing what's right and reminding our readers of that fact.

By the way, Bob, I'm proud of Gordon too and I'm glad you continue to read, regardless of how we piss you off.

What to wear to the Apocalypse

Mark Morford

This much we know for sure: The End Times are going to look extremely cool.

There are, from what I can tell, a few rules:

You do not wear shorts to the Apocalypse. You do not wear flipflops or capri pants or a kicky little pink halter from Betsy Johnson. You certainly don't wear skinny jeans or a nice pea coat and some Mary Janes. There are no Ugg boots at Judgment Day. Tasseled loafers? Please. Sweatpants are sort of tacky, but hoodies are widely accepted if you really must go the bleak oatmeal route. Then again, this is the apocalypse, sweetheart. Isn't it about time you got serious?

We're talking badass dusters and jet-black sunglasses and cool black boots, filthy fitted T-shirts and fingerless gloves and a few rugged industrial-strength duffel bags -- sorry hipsters, no Chrome Messengers at the Rapture -- to lug around your collection of giant sawed-off shotguns and/or enormous machetes, all of which you drive around in your mutant Hummer abomination thing -- a mammoth vehicle, by the way, that must be either black or gray or military green and never bright red or blue or in the shape of a Ford Festiva or Honda Accord or a Chrysler Town & Country. Hey, that's what Jesus drove to cart away all the slobbering faithful, and he's long gone, sucker.

Much more.

Harrumph. All I've got are blue jeans, cheapass hiking shoes, 2-for-$8 Hollywoods, gimme caps, and all my hoodies are sewn into quilt-lined flannel shirts. I wouldn't want to make a fashion faux pas at the Apocalypse, so I guess I won't go.

Headline of the Day

At BuzzFlash:

"I have a dream, that one day we will not be judged by the color of our weed, but by the content of our bongs." Calif Assembly OKs recreational marijuana use

It's got a long way to go, but it's a good start.

A Demonic Hookup

Play this while you read, and I don't wanta hear no jokes about social diseases or All-U-Can-Eat Burrito Nite. Those things are sacred...

Thanks to dreamsforevr.

P.M. Carpenter with a good read on Moosebreath's inevitable deal with F**Noise and the state of what passes for journalism these days:

As a new Fox News employee, her first words were a devilishly playful Fox News lie:

"It’s wonderful," said Sarah Palin in announcing her done deal and upcoming gig, "to be part of a place that so values fair and balanced news."

The easy deconstruction of that calculated disdain is that, unmistakably, even Ms. Palin knows a schoolyard taunt from an advertising slogan, what with those double-barreled adjectives coming complete with vivid Bronx cheer and middle-digit gesture.

Welcome to our twisted snare, she was knowingly saying, where Arbeit Macht Frei. Yes, an excellent joke, Frau Palin; for you it is, I'm sure, quite wonderful indeed.

The former Alaska governor as "commentator," on the other underhand, drops us yet one more one hellish circle.

My dear Prof. Starr, I can only add that the James Callenders of yesteryear and even latter-day Westbrook Peglers were sublime models of informed bias compared to the abjectly clueless Sarah Palin.

But, as the mass-marketing genius of Roger Ailes understands, she's the new standard of huge ratings and towering profits; through that silvery electronic eye, one idiot talking to millions of idiots, reaffirming every conceivable prejudice born of profound density.

My take on Palin at F**? An even more ignorant Coultergeist with no Adam's apple and a nice rack.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Prohibition of pot feeds lawlessness



On Tuesday, members of the state Assembly will vote on California marijuana policy. The Public Safety Committee will vote on Assembly Bill 390, the Marijuana Control, Regulation and Education Act, which seeks to regulate and control the production, distribution, and personal use of marijuana for adults age 21 and older.

Tuesday's vote will mark the first time since 1913, when California became one of the first states in the nation to impose criminal cannabis prohibition, that lawmakers have reassessed this failed policy.

It is high time that they do.

Even an ever-so-vigilant-not stoner couldn't let that slip by:

"It is high time that they do"...uh, so to speak;)

Please read the rest of the SacBee piece.

Not twenty minutes ago I finished watching my tape of last night's Border Wars on NatGeo which I referenced yesterday. The Border Patrol guys found weed headed north in cars - phony gas tanks, secret compartments, inside spare tires. They found 1000 pounds of it in man-packable bundles abandoned alongside a trail in the desert when the smugglers saw 'em coming.

They found tunnels from Mexico to the U.S., nicely engineered and with smooth floors so they could bring dope in on wheeled carts.

They found hundreds of thousands of dollars being smuggled back south.

They probably catch about ten percent of the dope and the dope money.

Speaking as a life-long resident of the United States' #1 (and proud of it!) marijuana producing state, this is a tremendous waste of resources.

California's economy is in the shitter. Legalizing mota i.e. letting folks burn a roadside weed and inhale the smoke legally along with the legalization of growing headache weed aka 'hemp', a renewable product with thousands of uses, would produce tax revenue, help farmers, produce jobs which produce taxpayers, eliminate a whole class of otherwise law-abiding criminals, and keep the money here in the U.S. where it belongs. A beneficial side effect would be to totally piss off the Puritans, the prison industry, the anti-fun busybodies, liquor producers, half of the half of Mexico that isn't already here and some that are, and make their heads explode. Whee!

Simple, huh?

It would also free up a lot of of Border Patrol and DEA agents whose time could then be better spent up north doing the vital homeland security work of preventing the flow of BC Bud into the U.S. and busting senior citizens re-importing cheaper meds from Canada. How hard could it be to catch a charter bus with an SUV anyway? Ooops. I take that back - some of our local Chinese gambling tour buses are absolutely uncatchable...

California leads the way. Our gearheads led the way for the nation on lakes pipes and apehangers. Here's hoping our legislators can finally lead the way on something.

Yurp reducks...

A follow-up to Fixer's post just below and the excellent link therein.

Paul Krugman

As health care reform nears the finish line, there is much wailing and rending of garments among conservatives. And I’m not just talking about the tea partiers. Even calmer conservatives have been issuing dire warnings that Obamacare will turn America into a European-style social democracy. And everyone knows that Europe has lost all its economic dynamism.

Strange to say, however, what everyone knows isn’t true. Europe has its economic troubles; who doesn’t? But the story you hear all the time — of a stagnant economy in which high taxes and generous social benefits have undermined incentives, stalling growth and innovation — bears little resemblance to the surprisingly positive facts. The real lesson from Europe is actually the opposite of what conservatives claim: Europe is an economic success, and that success shows that social democracy works.

Actually, Europe’s economic success should be obvious even without statistics. For those Americans who have visited Paris: did it look poor and backward? What about Frankfurt or London? You should always bear in mind that when the question is which to believe — official economic statistics or your own lying eyes — the eyes have it.

Besides, some of those places have really good food and beer! Some of 'em even give you a choice - good food or good beer...

So why do we get such a different picture from many pundits? Because according to the prevailing economic dogma in this country — and I’m talking here about many Democrats as well as essentially all Republicans — European-style social democracy should be an utter disaster. And people tend to see what they want to see.

Europe is often held up as a cautionary tale, a demonstration that if you try to make the economy less brutal, to take better care of your fellow citizens when they’re down on their luck, you end up killing economic progress. But what European experience actually demonstrates is the opposite: social justice and progress can go hand in hand.

Geez, what a concept...

Yurp ...

I've been saying it for years; they know what they're doing:


The European Union (EU) is the world's largest and most competitive economy, and most of those living in it are wealthier, healthier, and happier than most Americans. Europeans work shorter hours, have a greater say in how their employers behave, receive lengthy paid vacations and paid parental leave, can rely on guaranteed paid pensions, have free or extremely inexpensive comprehensive and preventative healthcare, enjoy free or extremely inexpensive educations from preschool through college, impose half the per-capita environmental damage of Americans, endure a fraction of the violence found in the United States, imprison a fraction of the prisoners locked up here, and benefit from democratic representation, engagement, and civil liberties unimagined in the land where we're teased that the world hates our rather mediocre "freedoms." Europe even offers a model foreign policy, bringing neighboring nations toward democracy by holding out the prospect of EU membership, while we drive other nations away from good governance at great expense of blood and treasure.


Late for work ...

Thank god I'm married ...

Because I might have run into this woman and actually asked her to the dinner she describes. I probably would have got up and left after the aperitif though.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Quote of the Day: Hell Freezes Over Edition

Maru (of course):

Seeing his home-state poll numbers sink like Lindsey Graham on a Cub Scout, the principled and courageous Joe Lieberman turns around and defends President Obama.


Heh ...

If you thought Fox "News" was bad ...

It's about to get much, much worse:


It finally happened. The wedding that has been long awaited. Sarah Palin, the former [governor] of Alaska has signed on as a contributor to the Fox News Channel.


Silliest 'Quote of the Day' Yet and then some...

Chris Buckley on "Is anybody really in charge of Homeland Security?"

Perhaps we need a security czar. What about Dog the Bounty Hunter?

Don't get me wrong - I like ol' Dog. He's made a pretty good career out of going out with his extremely intimidatingly equipped and quite large family and a camera crew and rounding up bail skips, mostly dopers, who didn't show up for their court dates. Not exactly al Qaeda, but Buckley might have a good point: ya gotta find 'em before ya can cuff 'em an' stuff 'em. Dog's pretty good at that. Usually whoever co-signed for the bail and got left on the hook for the balance gives 'em right up.

If al Qaeda's mom put up her house for collateral and they left her in the lurch, Dog could could find their ass with one phone call to her. Heh.

I used to do that kind of work for a friend of mine who was a bail bondsman ("Dennis'll cut ya loose before they cook your goose!"). I just watched his ex-UDT six, not that he would have needed much help. Pretty ho-hum stuff compared to the TV version. Dennis handed me a snub nose .38 once before we confronted a skip in his own kitchen. I stuck it in my hip pocket and forgot about it while he talked the guy into showing up for his next court date. I remembered I had it when I sat back down in his car. Got paid, too. Yawn.

I used to work ticket security at concerts for the same guy. I have actually seen Deadheads avoid having to buy a ticket (they're famous for that) by floating down the Truckee River to listen to a band, get out of the water and walk back upstream and get back in and float down again all afternoon. I got $20, admission for Mrs. G, and a chicken dinner for both of us for this. Pretty laid back gigs. Had ta bust up a fight once in a while but that was about it.

I've also worked Mexican wedding receptions, and a lovely Quinceañera (if you get the chance, go see one of these! Beautiful.) as the Gringo With A Badge required for them to use the park, all by myself at an event with 200 people and as many bottles of Presidente and never had a problem. Here's how it usually went: if someone was causing a problem, usually just too much booze, the host would come get me and take me to the miscreant, whereupon I would tell him the host had asked him to leave. Invariably, the person would apologize for his behavior and leave as requested. Got fed good and paid good.

Contrast that with working a beer-fueled rodeo dance with a coupla hundred cowboys, ten absolutely unarmed security people in teams of two, with county sheriff's deputies present just in case, and we were busy all evening! That was mostly breakin' up fights. Here's how ya do it: two of us would just wade in between 'em, one goes left, the other goes right, and give each combatant a good shove on the chest. It surprises the shit out of 'em and separates 'em and that's usually the end of it, but ya gotta be ready in case it isn't. Knocked a guy right out of his shoes once. Heh.

I'll take the Mexicans any time.

Since I have successfully broken up fights between drunk cowboys and never got hurt, I too probably possess the requirements to be Chief of Homeland Security by Buckley's lights. No thanks.

I could go on and on, but I'll spare you.

It's Monday and I'm bored. Can ya tell?


Since we're talkin' Homeland Security today, I watched the first episode of Border Wars on NatGeoTV last night. It'll be on Mondays at 9. Pretty good show if you like that sort of thing.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

France Bans Psychological Abuse
Except in restaurants.

Mind-Reading Systems Could Change Air Security
Not to mention poker, dating.

Scientists Turn Rattan Wood Into Bone Nearly Identical To Human Tissue
Granny's old rocking chair could soon be granny.

New Smart Bra Expands When Body Temperature Rises
Hers, not yours.

Glenn Beck Honored
Topped every year-end “Worst” list.

Why ...

They "hate us for our freedom". Greenwald says what our elected leaders don't:


The evidence of what motivates Terrorism when directed at the U.S. is so overwhelming and undeniable that it takes an extreme propagandist to pretend it doesn't exist. What is Brennan so afraid of? It's true that religious fanaticism is a part of their collective motivation, but why can't he just say what's so obviously true: "they claim that the U.S. is interfering in, occupying and bringing violence to their part of the world, they cite things like civilian deaths and our support for Israel and Guantanamo and torture, and claim that their terrorism is in retaliation"? Indeed, Brennan's boss, the President, has often claimed that things like Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib help Al Qaeda recruitment (and it seems clear it was part of Abdulmutallab's hatred for the U.S.), so clearly U.S. actions are part of the motivation. Yet Brennan is afraid to acknowledge that not just past actions, but current ones, fuel the desire to target the U.S. for attacks. Speaking of fear of acknowledging reality, note how Charles Krauthammer in yesterday's column -- when mocking Obama's (obviously correct) view that Guantanamo helps fuel Al Qaeda recruitment -- describes the first two grievances cited in Osama bin Laden's 1998 fatwa against the U.S. (troops in Saudi Arabia and death to extremely high numbers of Iraqi children through sanctions) while completely omitting the third (U.S. support for Israel).


Heh ...

Stolen from our pal Montag.

Hypocrites ...

British conservatives are just as bad as their American counterparts.

Just because you convene ...

A 'Kangaroo Court' doesn't mean you'll get a conviction:


The Bush administration -- in which Liz Cheney's papa held a fairly high position, you might recall -- prosecuted, after 9-11, 828 people on terrorism charges in civilian courts. At the time of publication of this excellent report from the Center on Law and Security, NYU School of Law last year, trials were still pending against 235 of those folks. That leaves 593 resolved indictments, of which 523 were convicted of some crime, for a conviction rate of 88%.


All the tough talk was just that, bullshit:


With regard to military tribunals, the Bush administration inaugurated 20 such cases. So far just three convictions have been won. The highest-profile is the conviction of Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's driver. The Hamdan legal saga, rehearsed here, doesn't exactly suggest that military tribunals provide swifter and surer and tougher justice. In the end, he was convicted all right, but sentenced -- not by a bunch of New York City Democrats, but by a military jury! -- to five and half years.

Then, the tribunal judge, a US Navy captain, gave Hamdan credit for time served, which was five years. So he served six months after conviction. Today he's back in -- guess where? -- Yemen.


Wasn't that the reason we sent these guys to Gitmo in the first place? So they wouldn't "return to the battlefield"? I wonder how long it will take this guy to show up on a plane with a bomb up his ass ...

Great thanks to Attaturk for the link.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Negro, please!

Rude Pundit is trying to figure out what was wrong with what Harry Reid said about Obama (other than using the word "Negro," but old people will do that). It seems like he was stating the obvious about racism in America, and that freaks us the fuck out.

I'm 64, so I guess I fit in the 'old' category. I remember when 'Negro' was the only completely publicly acceptable word for black people. 'Colored' was socially acceptable among whites in daily conversation. It degenerated from there. I had a boss once who used the term 'our ebony-hued brethren' in a spirit of irony. The use of 'black' came in the late '60s pretty much at the request of our ebony-hued brethren, and 'African-American' and the less cumbersome and my choice, 'Afro-American' came a little later. 'Brother' ( and 'Sister') came a lot later.

When I was in the service (1963-66), 'Negro' was too formal and 'colored' was considered pejorative, so we used the term 'splib' for black Marines. Staff NCOs and above sometimes used 'dark green Marine', but most of us thought that was as phony as a $3 bill. I have no idea of the origin of 'splib', but I have been told it's an acronym for something and would love to know what it's an acronym for.

The splibs called the white Marines 'chuck', from 'Mr. Charles', the archetypical term for slave owners of yore. Neither blacks nor whites took any offense at these words and they were helpful descriptors since we all dressed alike.

A typical usage might be:

"I'm lookin' fer Corporal Washington."

" Tall splib over there talkin' ta them two chuck dudes."

I wish we had functionally neutral terms like that now.

'Negro' is now considered by some to be an ethnic or racial slur. Not by me. I see it as archaic, but I see nothing wrong with it, though I don't use it much anymore. It is nice to be considered historic and archaic, I guess, you fuckin' whippersnappers...

There's no need to go into the truly hateful words used by both blacks and whites and every other skin color to put each other down. We all know and don't use quite a few of them, and there is nothing to be gained by it.

At this point, I must disclose that since Obama has become President and convinced all the ignorant throwback wingnut white racists that the country is on a steepening slide to socialist/fascist/Nazi/communist/mixed race godless fuckery, that I have used the word 'nigger' to make that very point. I've been called on it too, by people who didn't get my meaning.

I find myself agreeing with George Will (gasp!) on This Week With George Stephanopoulos' Hair this morning who asked the burning question, "What did Reid say that was false?"

Obama is light skinned, and whether that means something less threatening than 'African-so-black-it's-almost-blue' to many whites who don't know any better or not, or he's not black enough like some blacks may think who don't know any better or not, it's a simple statement of fact.

He doesn't have a 'Negro dialect' unless he wants to. He also doesn't have a Hawaiian dialect unless he wants to. He can slip into a light version of either of 'em pretty easily, and I like to listen to him when he does. It sure doesn't make him sound stupid like when Bush would slip into his phony Texican to sound more like Ignorant Joe Six-Pack.

I will not dignify the bullshit comparison of Reid's statement to the statement by Lott that, thank you Jesus, sent him packing other than to say that Lott's statement was demonstrably both racist and wrong. Reid's was not.

Dr. King was absolutely right when he said he longed for a time when men will be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. That day is coming, but as long as there is political advantage to be gained by the exploitation of race in this country, and as long as people teach their children to hate and look down on others on the basis of race, religion, color, or creed, that day will come more slowly than it should. It's been that way since the dawn of time and will probably continue 'til the planet is stardust again, but as individuals we do not have to participate in madness.

Headline of the Day

Calif. judge orders police to return 60 pounds of marijuana

Way ta go, yer honor dude!

Just kill 'em ...

And you don't have to send them back. We're worried about Gitmo and secret prisons? We're doing the same things to illegals detained here waiting for deportation:

Silence has long shrouded the men and women who die in the nation’s immigration jails. For years, they went uncounted and unnamed in the public record. Even in 2008, when The New York Times obtained and published a federal government list of such deaths, few facts were available about who these people were and how they died.

But behind the scenes, it is now clear, the deaths had already generated thousands of pages of government documents, including scathing investigative reports that were kept under wraps, and a trail of confidential memos and BlackBerry messages that show officials working to stymie outside inquiry.


Who cares? They ain't real 'Murikans.