Saturday, May 1, 2010

Saturday Krazy Kraut Redneck Music Blogging

These guys step out of their TexMex bag a little for this song, but you get the idea. Ya oughta hear 'em do 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer'...

German TexMex band is performing the all time caribic classic margaritaville. Live at Kneipenfestival Dachau 19.04.2008

Wild Taco ~ Margaritaville

Thanks to Texmex4you, Germany.

The Lowdown from Hightower

Good piece on Jim Hightower (website).

But it was the convention speech by Hightower that I especially remember. He was the Texas agriculture commissioner in those days -- an important job in the Lone Star State -- and described Bush as a "toothache of a man," a cruel but remarkable metaphor. And he said that Bush behaved like someone who was "born on third base and thought he hit a triple... He is threatening to lead this country from tweedle-dum to tweedle-dumber."

Maybe Hightower didn't originate those lines (as Milton Berle used to say, "When you steal from me, you steal twice"), but he delivered them with a gusto akin to genuine authorship and over the years has come up with enough original material of his own to absolve him -- mostly -- from the sin of occasional joke-filching.

Now others steal from him. It was Jim, I believe, who came up with the notion that all elected officials be required to wear brightly colored, NASCAR-like jumpsuits with the corporate logos of their biggest campaign contributors, an idea I've heard appropriated by several others without proper attribution.

And I think it was Jim who first said of George W. Bush, "If ignorance ever reaches $40 a barrel, I want the drilling rights to his head" (On hearing that another politician was learning Spanish, Hightower is supposed to have remarked, "Oh good. Now he'll be bi-ignorant.").

"What created democracy was Thomas Paine and Shays Rebellion, the suffragists and the abolitionists and on down through the populists and the labor movement, including the Wobblies. Tough, in your face people... Mother Jones, Woody Guthrie... Martin Luther King and Caesar Chavez. And now it's down to us.

"... These are agitators. They extended democracy decade after decade. You know, sometimes we get in the midst of these fights. We think we're making no progress. But... you look back, we've made a lot of progress... The agitator after all is the center post in the washing machine that gets the dirt out. So, we need a lot more agitation...


Much more.

Run For Your Life, Mr. President! It's Frank Luntz!

Obama Interviews Elena Kagan For Supreme Court

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Mary Chapin Carpenter, Sheryl Crow & Emmylou Harris with Marty Stuart ~ Flesh And Blood

Thanks to LarryMusicMan, Germany.

Friday, April 30, 2010

¡Viva Mexico!, or Screw You, Arizona

This is from 57silverhawk who lives out east of Fresno and takes a lot of videos of different kinds of mostly homegrown music that I like and puts them up on YouTube.

If there are religious experiences in my life, they come when I am face down in a plate of Mexican food, which we do about once a week as a more thankful act than going to church. I thank my lucky stars I'm a Native Californian and grew up with Mexican food and culture, too.

My husband's niece Sandy Fernandes singing "Viva Mexico" with Mariachi Colonial.

The white-haired lady with the balloons behind her was celebrating her 95th birthday!

Recorded June 7, 2009 at Los Portales restaurant in Visalia, California.

Sandy's got a heckuva set of pipes on her, and I think "Mariachi Colonial" roughly translates as "the 4th item on the combination plate". Enjoy.

Arizona: Poster-State for Republican Rule

P.M. Carpenter

[...] Arizona, that microcosm of Republican Government Unbound, is "a state in mob-rule frenzy of cranky old men."

Harrumph. Speaking as an old man who can be crankier'n shit, I resemble that remark...

Jon Stewart, noted Egan, has aptly called the state the "meth lab of democracy." "But," Egan continued, "Arizona is more than a laboratory for intemperate times: this place is a warning of what a state" -- or our country -- "can look like when it’s run by talk-radio demagogues and their television cohorts. [Its] crackpot laws owe their genesis to the crackpots who dominate Republican politics, who in turn cannot get elected without the backing of crackpot media."

I guess the craziness has to run its course. I hope people realize someday how bad they've been suckered and STFU and slink away in shame and let the country progress for a while.


At least AZ's stupid-ass 'birther bill' won't become law.

Illegal Eagle, The Killer App!

Christian Science Monitor via Yahoo!News

You're going to love using Illegal Eagle, the iPhone app that helps you determine who's an illegal.

Step 1: Take a photo of the suspect. Then watch as the app sifts through multiple data points based on solid anecdotal evidence from thousands of interviews with police officers who have busted illegals in the past. For example, does the suspect have greasy hair? That could be a tell. It's aknown fact that illegals don't have regular access to shower facilities.

Could just be they use the same hair grooming product the rest of use on our wheel bearings.

But let's say you're in northern California, and they've just passed a similar law. You're in luck as long as you have the Illegal Eagle app. You'll be prompted with prototypical photos of people from Asian countries.

Living in Detroit? You'll be able to browse pictures of people from obscure Middle Eastern countries.

Step 3: Now the app shows you one of three verdicts. Illegal. Legal. Not enough anecdotal evidence.

The Illegal Eagle: Made in America, by legal software programmers working in my garage. And because this is America, several of these programmers were not originally born in America, if you know what I mean. (I assure you they have green cards). Anyhow, one of them came up with another app, one designed to help Congress pass comprehensive immigration reform.

It's a sort of video game called Home of the Brave. Each elected official selects an avatar and then selects what country he or she is from. Then the senator or representative has to get that avatar through a world of pain to the shores of America. Lots of action along the way ­ daring escapes, secret roundezvous. Apparently, it's based on empathy theory or some such thing.

Empathy my ass. Make sure the payoff is measured in votes. All they care about is staying on the gravy train.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Look Ma, No Hands!

garrufat — April 28, 2010 — Player Piano in lobby of the El Rancho Hotel in Gallup, NM Dec 2009

Obama's tyranny is a sore loser's opinion


Ken Blackwell, Author Of 'Blueprint,' Tries To Convince Jon Stewart That Obama Is A Tyrant, Fails (VIDEO)

Blackwell, you will no doubt remember, was the, you should pardon the expression, HNIC of making sure the Ohio ballot count came out in Bush's favor in Ohio in '04.

Ken Blackwell, author of the new book, "Blueprint: Obama's Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency," was on "The Daily Show" last night where Jon Stewart tore to shreds his argument that the Obama administration is tyrannical and unconstitutional.

Stewart pointed out that the level of rhetoric in the book does not match what is actually happening in government, adding that the "tyranny" that Blackwell discusses is actually the constitutional use of executive power to do things that Blackwell and other conservatives don't like.


If the debate is "I don't like your programs," or "I don't like the philosophy of the judges you have the right to appoint," that's a very different conversation than "You are becoming a tyrant and subverting the constitution," because that's a very emotional, loaded statement that's not seemingly backed up by a tremendous amount of, I guess you'd call them facts.

Anything Blackwell says is pretty fact-free.

Go watch Stewart hand this guy his ass in a three-part video.

Quote of the Day

MoDo on the "Government Sachs"/Senate Kabuki:

You know you’re ethically compromised when Senator John Ensign scolds you about ethics.

Pot, meet kettle.

Queen Of Denial

Angry Mouse at Kos. Links at site.

Oh, how cute. Laura writes a book.

But rest assured, she doesn't just complain about those mean Democrats calling her incompetent, lying, loser husband an incompetent lying loser. She also gives some more details about how she feels really bad about that time she killed a man. But it's not like it was really her fault. As she points out, even Ralph Nader said the car the victim was driving was unsafe at any speed. And who would argue with Ralph Nader?

I read Nader's Unsafe At Any Speed many, many years ago. Nader was right, if somewhat overstated although he made a name for himself, about early model Corvairs - they had a long wheelbase that let the weight of the rear engine drift the rear end in turns at too high a speed, and an axle design that produced peculiar handling qualities and had a propensity to cause rollovers.

They haven't invented a car yet that's very safe when a drunk teenager runs a stop sign and plows into it, and in those days before seat belts, "Nader bars" in the doors, collapsible steering columns, and when the sheet metal was designed to look good instead of crumple around you, you were just screwed, maybe dead.


NYTimes book review:

Throughout her tenure in the White House, Laura Bush was often described in faintly condescending terms as an old-fashioned first lady, as “the perfect wife,” as the anti-Hillary who “knows her place” and wanted only to stand by her man. At worst, she was described as a Stepford wife with a faintly medicated aura; at best, as a gracious foil to her blustering frat boy of a husband. Commentators found it hard to believe that her favorite book was “The Brothers Karamazov,” or if they did, they wondered what she was doing married to that language-mangling gut player, George W.

That's easy - she was counting on the Chimp's drinking to kill him and leave her a rich widow. When that didn't happen, 'faintly medicated' doesn't begin to describe it.

The book? "Spin and canned platitudes". If she told the truth about that wimp sonofabitch husband of hers, the Bushes would put out a hit on her.

Headline of the Day

From Media Matters:

Glenn Beck has lost 1/3 of its TV audience since January

Finally ...

I got my old ass motivated to put up pics and a post from the trip so far. Off to the pub crawl!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sorry ...

Sorry I been silent fr a couple days but the itinerary got screwed up because of the weather and it just cleared yesterday afternoon. Heading off to dinner now and I'll have something up tomorrow morning. We blew off the mooring at St. George and went directly to Hamilton where we've been tied up to the quay since yesterday. Hamilton is a beautiful little city and I'll have pics up in the morning. I've also organized a pub crawl with about a dozen passengers for tomorrow afternoon and I'll post on that after we get back ... or Friday morning. Heh ...

Blues 'n Blahs

So on Monday the weather was beautiful. I dug my 'sickle out and put the battery in, topped off the gas and tires and went for the first ride of the season. Super. Since then it's been been raining, then snaining, now it's snowing. Blah.

I found a place in Michigan that will repair the dead stator on my Sherco (photo). He specializes in low production oddball Spanish motorcycle electrics, primarily Motosplat, but he says he can fix my Leonelli component. It's really arcane niche shit, but I wanta get it off to him so maybe I'll get it back in time for the consistently nice weather that may come. What this means is I have to take a buncha parts off the sled in freezing weather.

So I guess you could say I've got the blues - mood, fingers, toes, nips. Blah.

I hope ya like this pretty song and slide show.

The Desert Rose Band ~ Shades Of Blue
Thanks to nipsterstang, Western Michigan.

Quote of the Day

Under the headline "Birthers Plan To Storm Washington For March On 'Obama Birth Certificate,' 'Obamacare':

[...] The cause is to jibber incoherently at the scores of media professionals who will be pointing cameras at them.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How the Racist Anti-Immigrant Law Will Destroy Arizona

Kos via AlterNet.

But if I were an Arizona government official, this is the clause from the law that would keep me up at night:

In short, anybody can sue their local government if they believe that the municipality isn’t pursuing brown people aggressively enough.

I don’t think it’s crazy to predict that within one year, a substantial number of municipalities in the state of Arizona will be facing lawsuits by anti-immigration zealots. They’ll walk down the street, see a couple of brown youths hanging out on the street corner, and BAM! lawsuit filed.

That’s the reason that the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police opposed the law.

The police chiefs were ignored, and now citizen lawsuits will cost municipalities valuable time and non-existent money to defend themselves from such lawsuits, and police departments in those municipalities will have to waste valuable time and non-existent money to try and prove that yes, they have been xenophobic enough in harassing brown people.

Thus, Arizona law enforcement will have to balance the need to keep the peace, with the need to sufficiently go after brown people in a way that could provide a defense for the inevitable lawsuits to come. And if they can’t prove their xenophobic bona fides, it’ll cost their schools, law enforcement, and other valuable government services to the tune of $1-5,000 per day that they haven’t eliminated all undocumented workers from their jurisdiction.

For a party desperate to defund government and destroy its ability to serve people, Arizona Republicans may have finally figured out the best way to accomplish that.

You shit the bed, Arizona. Now you have to lie in it. Sweet Dreams.

We'll show those mojados...

Thanks to YubaNet.

Monday, April 26, 2010

It's already begun ...

Well, my head didn't explode yesterday, thankfully. The weather's been shit since we left Pier 90 on NYC's West Side. We're now about 500 miles SE of Cape Hatteras, due to make St. George by 0800 tomorrow morning.

We've been battered by 40 - 60 mph winds across the deck and 20 foot seas since we entered the Atlantic. Highly entertaining (though 24 hours in I've already seen about a dozen poor old folks with broken noses), people wobbling down the corridors from one side to the other without imbibing in a single drop of alcohol. I have no such excuse. Personally, we love it because we sleep so well when the ship is rocking and rolling.

As for the title of this post, a little explanation. Seems this cruise attracted a buncha retirees, mostly American; a serious Fox 'News' demographic. It took until we were seated at dinner but as soon as we got to the table (the other couple was already there), the husband comes off with some sarcastic bullshit about global warming and Al Gore; trying to break the ice I'd guess.

I looked up from my appetizer and pointed my fork at him and said "don't go there, I'm on vacation."

His wife opened up and said "but you agree with my husband, right?"

And I said "listen, I'm a half-breed, socialist, atheist (you shoulda seen her face) and I don't wanna hear that crap."

Needless to say, the rest of dinner was uncomfortable - for them - and as soon as it was over, they got up and went straight to the dining room officer to get their seating changed. The Mrs. and I got a good laugh out of that. (I did check with the Purser to make sure this wasn't one of the NRO Cruises; if it were, I'd jump ship in Bermuda) Let's see what happens tonight. Heh ...

From what the weatherman says, this weather is the remnants of the storms that hit the southern U.S. a couple days ago and it should blow out tonight. Hopefully we'll have a little sun once we get to Bermuda. See yas tomorrow ...

Somali Pirates A Subsidiary Of Goldman Sachs

Andy Borowitz via YubaNet.

NORFOLK, VIRGINIA (The Borowitz Report) – Eleven indicted Somali pirates dropped a bombshell in a U.S. court today, revealing that their entire piracy operation is a subsidiary of banking giant Goldman Sachs.

There was an audible gasp in the courtroom when the leader of the pirates announced, "We are doing God's work. We work for Lloyd Blankfein."

The pirate acknowledged that they merged their operations with Goldman in late 2008 to take advantage of the more relaxed regulations governing bankers as opposed to pirates, "plus to get our share of the bailout money."

"There are lots of laws that could bring these guys down if they were, in fact, pirates," one government source said. "But if they're bankers, our hands are tied."


Cover your tweedle...


And the winner is: the Center for Biological Diversity, for the oddest Earth Day commemorative.

The organization that spends most of its time suing the government to protect endangered species is passing out a quarter of a million endangered-species condoms in U.S. cities, Mexico and Puerto Rico on Thursday.

Actually, the nonprofit had been passing out the prophylactics since February but upped the pace for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. The group says it wants to highlight the role of human overpopulation in the elimination and endangerment of other species.

Several thousand volunteers will hand out the two-condom packets at concerts, bars, universities, spiritual-group meetiongs, local events and farmers' markets. Each package includes information on the species, facts about overpopulation and species extinction, and suggestions on how the human population can be stabilized.

Go see the endangered species condoms. Ringtones too!

Hey baby, wanta see my Blue Whale...?

Boycott Arizona

Mrs. G already emailed the Arizona Department of Commerce, informing them that we love to vacation in Arizona but their state has seen the last of our money because of the 'papers-please' law.

Mother Mags at Kos expands on this theme.

If you’d like to know more about the people behind this shitstorm, notably Arpaio and Pearce, take a look at The Statesmen Behind the Arizona Bill, where I put this disastrous bill in context. Arizona’s racist image is not new, dating to the appalling tenure of Governor Mecham who, in the late 80s, rescinded the MLK holiday, leading to a boycott. State tourism leaders often brag that tourism is Arizona’s largest industry, so when people and conventions stay away it has tremendous economic consequences. That was the case with the MLK fiasco, where the boycott's downturn led to the formation of a committee of human rights and business-friendly groups who got the holiday on the ballot, where it passed.

To Our Friends in States Where You Can Walk Around Without Papers

First thing: boycott Arizona in whatever form you can. As Congressman Raul Grijalva said, stay away. And if you choose not to attend 2011 spring training, tour the Grand Canyon, or visit any of our other wonderful attractions, please let the Arizona Office of Tourism know why you’re taking your money elsewhere. Maybe you've always wanted to see the red rocks of Sedona or the OK Corral in Tombstone. Let their chambers of commerce know why you're taking the family to New Mexico instead. Similarly, if your business or organization has a convention set for Scottsdale, Phoenix or maybe ASU, cancel it and let those cities’ convention and visitors bureaus know why. Are you thinking of sending your kid to one of our universities? They're good schools but think again, and let them know why. Were you contemplating relocating your company to Arizona? Let the Arizona Department of Commerce know why you’ve scratched our state off your list. Perhaps you're being recruited by a university or company here; turn them down and explain why.

Another option is, we throw it in their face. Now, for some, like undocumenteds and others afraid of being deported for whatever reason, even if they’re here legally, this is real life and they can’t afford to flaunt their disrespect for SB 1070. But for those of us who look, talk, and act like we “belong” in the state (we have the correct shoes), let’s practice a little in-your-face street theater, beginning with T-shirts and bumper stickers. I live near an INS building, where police mill around all the time. So I think I'll go walk by with a few of these T-shirts, feel free to add your own.

She offers a selection of catchy t-shirt slogans and invites you to vote for your favorite. Here's a few of 'em:

Want My Papers? Have a Zig-Zag

Papers? We Don’t Need No Steenking Papers

“Fighting Immigration Since 1492” - Hopi Elder

By The Time I Get To Phoenix I'd Better Be White

And just because I can:

Joe Arpaio: Go Fuck Yourself

Heh. You better be Anglo and a little careful where you wear that one.

Much more.

Behind the Arizona Immigration Law

A 'must read' by Greg Palast:

Our investigation in Arizona discovered the real intent of the show-me-your-papers law.

What moved GOP Governor Jan Brewer to sign the Soviet-style show-me-your-papers law is the exploding number of legal Hispanics, US citizens all, who are daring to vote -- and daring to vote Democratic by more than two-to-one. Unless this demographic locomotive is halted, Arizona Republicans know their party will soon be electoral toast. Or, if you like, tortillas.

In 2008, working for Rolling Stone with civil rights attorney Bobby Kennedy, our team flew to Arizona to investigate what smelled like an electoral pogrom against Chicano voters ... directed by one Jan Brewer.

Brewer, then Secretary of State, had organized a racially loaded purge of the voter rolls that would have made Katherine Harris blush. [...]

But Secretary of State Brewer followed the Rove plan to a T. The weapon she used to slice the Arizona voter rolls was a 2004 law, known as "Prop 200," which required proof of citizenship to register. It is important to see the Republicans' latest legislative horror show, sanctioning cops to stop residents and prove citizenship, as just one more step in the party's desperate plan to impede Mexican-Americans from marching to the ballot box.

The horde of five million voters who swam the Rio Grande just to vote for Obama was calculated on a Republican website extrapolating from the number of Mexicans in a border town who refused jury service because they were not citizens. Not one, in fact, had registered to vote: they had registered to drive. They had obtained licenses as required by the law.

The illegal voters, "wetback" welfare moms, and alien job thieves are just GOP website wet-dreams, but their mythic PR power helps the party's electoral hacks chop away at voter rolls and civil rights with little more than a whimper from the Democrats.

Indeed, one reason, I discovered, that some Democrats are silent is that they are in on the game themselves. In New Mexico, Democratic Party bosses tossed away ballots of Pueblo Indians to cut native influence in party primaries.

But that's the point, isn't it? Not to stop non-citizens from entering Arizona -- after all, who else would care for the country club lawn? -- but to harass folks of the wrong color: Democratic blue.

I'll buy it. Rovian tactics are still at work.

Ancient Ignorance: Arizona Ups the Ante

P.M. Carpenter on the passage of the Arizona racial profiling law:

It -- the Tea Party, Republican Party, whatever -- is a sorry collection, wrote Robinson, that "encompasses gun nuts, tax protesters, devotees of the gold standard, Sarah Palin, insurance company lobbyists, 'constitutionalists' who have not read the Constitution [my italics], Medicare recipients who oppose government-run health care, crazy 'birthers' who claim President Obama was born in another country, a contingent of outright racists ... and a bunch of fat-cat professional politicians pretending to be 'outsiders.' "

To that description we can now add this: It's an oddball collection that further claims to idolize individual, don't-tread-on-me freedom but in reality adores "papers-please" police states.

Adores, as in Adorno, as in The Authoritarian Personality -- that ubiquitous species that aggressively asserts a fidelity to freedom yet longs to submit to a strong authority; that which patriotically brays about law and order but inwardly warms to a destructive, anarchic vigilantism.

But only for white Repuglican'ts and teabaggers. Hitler is smiling.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Mattel Debuts Reverend Barbie in Some Markets
She replaces Father Ken, who's been transferred to another diocese for undisclosed reasons.

Massey Denies Miners Time Off to Attend Friends’ Funerals
Since they already got time off when mine collapsed.

“Right Network” to Make its Debut
Cable channel aimed at viewers “fed up with left-leaning Fox News.”

60 Passengers Injured As Carnival Cruise Ship Lists
When all-you-can-eat buffet opens on port side.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

How many chickens?

Thanks to willyr9.

So long boss, don't worry 'bout a thing...

It has become a tradition to send Fixer off on his cruises by playing one of my favorite songs by way of wishing him bon voyage.

Have a good time, pard.

Jimmy Buffett ~ Gypsies In The Palace

Thanks to Kinja98, Netherlands Antilles.

Ugh ...

Getting the last minute packing done. By rights, we shouldn'ta gone to dinner with friends last night. Shoulda stayed home and got to bed early but noooooo, that would have been too easy. Had a great time but boy am I hungover.

The car comes in 3 hours and I'll see yas once we get aboard and figger out the technical stuff (never been on Veendam before). That's if my head doesn't explode first. Come on aspirin!

Just imagine...


Just Imagine How the Right Wing and Corporate Media Would React if the Tea Partiers, NRA Handgun Toters, and Limbaugh Incendiary Types Were Black. Think About That and Read This Commentary About It.

Whitey'd kill 'em all.