Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mt. Whitney Update

Follow up to Thursday's post:

LATimes

So far this year, five people have died on Mt. Whitney, and an untold number of hikers have suffered minor injuries, U.S. Forest Service officials said. Earlier this week, more than 75 searchers combed the mountain area for separate groups of climbers marooned for several days after day trips under clear blue skies turned into howling, snowy ordeals.

Three of those climbers — Phillip Michael Abraham, 34; Stevan James Filips, 43; and Dale Clymens, 45; all of Omaha — were plucked off the mountain by helicopter Thursday. The group had taken refuge in a rock hut for three days. Only one of them carried a sleeping bag, according to hikers who crossed their paths during the week.

During the transition from fall to winter, storms frequently gather on the western side of the mountain's crest, then roar over the top with biting 60 mph winds, whiteout conditions and sub-zero temperatures, Thompson said. It is not uncommon for even experienced hikers to slip on rocks frozen over with ice as clear as glass, or to get lost in heavy snowfall, or have a heart attack on the trail with a vertical ascent of more than one mile.

"I was in the back of the store grilling hamburgers when I overheard them talking about going up the mountain" he recalled. "I walked out of the kitchen and said, 'Hey, we've got some snow up there and more storms on the way.' … I even showed them a map on my computer screen showing a bunch of storms heading this way at more than 40 mph," he said.

"One of them said, 'That's impossible.' Another walked outside, looked up at the mountain and said, 'I'm going up anyway.' So off they went with light gear and the assumption that they could get to the summit in one day. You give folks information, but what they do with it is their business."

Yes, always trust your city-slicker instincts over the info you get from the guy who runs the store AT THE TRAILHEAD before you do the 22-mile round trip to the summit of the highest mountain in the lower 48 in the month of its iffiest weather! Yeesh.

I'm glad all the dumbass hikers are OK, and may I suggest to them that Death Valley, only a little over 100 miles from Whitney (you don't even have to change motels), is very nice this time of year.

Safest bet in the area, of course, is the cowboy movie museum. On display now is the Nudie Mobile. Heh.

Update:

Here's a nice video of the Mt. Whitney summit hike. Take note of the amount of snow up there on the date, and that these are young folks in pretty good physical condition.

This is a video of me and a group of friends hiking up Mt. Whitney on July 1, 2006. We made it up and down the Mt. Whitney summit in 12 hours.


Thanks to joen1369.


Heh. If anybody doesn't know what '1369' stands for, here's a hint: '13' stands for 'unlucky'...

Quote of the Day

Yikes McGee's blog

It's true that the Democrats are total chickens, but they're our chickens for the most part, and if we abandon them to the wolves they'll get eaten and then we are all screwed.

Then They Came for Me

Bob Koehler

Speaking out a year ago against the idea of holding civilian trials for terrorism suspects, Liz Cheney captured the paranoid arrogance of the past decade with stunning efficiency:

"This demonstrates conclusively that we are going back to a pre-9/11 mentality," she said.

Oh the horror! Fair trials, rule of law, habeas corpus, Miranda rights, blah, blah, blah - remember what a nuisance our justice system used to be before Liz's father and the rest of the neocon High Nooniacs made us safe by hustling us off to a police state and perpetual war?

I can't help but think about the younger Cheney's comment - and the fear it implies, not of terrorists but of liberals -
...

And when I do, the first words that come to my mind are those that Martin Niemoller, a conservative German Lutheran minister, famously uttered at the end of World War II [...]

A fear- and vengeance-driven post-9/11 mentality could yet become the done deal it is in Liz Cheney's mind. She and other war-on-terror promoters still have enormous political and financial power. They also have an outsize media forum from which to bloviate and intimidate, despite all the harm they have wrought this past decade, not just to millions of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan and to the American troops who served their ends, but to the financial and moral integrity of their own country.

And a wishy-washy Obama administration, unable to break publicly from the worst policies of its predecessor, mostly serves the agenda it was elected to stop. In this political void, lawsuits such as the one brought by Abdul Razak al Janko are our stand-in for the truth commission, or the war crimes investigation, that should be convened to begin reversing the Bush era.

Amen.

Flying ...

So, about 10 days ago, our older (20 month) dog Chooch went under the knife. As responsible dog owners, spaying/neutering is de rigeur.



Da Chooch


I dropped Chooch off with Dr. Grove on my way to work and the procedure was done. No complications. I picked her up on the way home and Dr. Grove gave me strict instructions to keep her calm for a few days, no running or jumping for 7-10 days, let alone doing steps. Fine. She also sent Chooch home with a "Cone of Humiliation" around her head so she wouldn't pick at the incision (the cone lasted about 20 minutes before she got it off).

A little background on Chooch: She's fast, unbelievably so, and she's a jumper. She takes four or five steps at a time going up and just jumps both flights on the way down (we call it flying). She also has a 3 month old little sister (Ziva) to roughhouse with (which they do constantly). So keeping her calm, off the steps, and not jumping for a week has been an interesting exercise. Mentioning of course that Australian Cattle Dogs are stubborn and determined, in addition to being extremely intelligent.

Well, Thursday she was given the okay to resume her normal activity and everybody's happy again. Chooch, who was going stir crazy, Ziva, who has her playmate back, and me and the Mrs., thankful that the ordeal is over.

Now Chooch can fly again and she's doing it with relish.



Sugar Ray - Fly

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

A very nice clip of Emmylou harries. Unfortunately a WMG Chappel. si expect it to go off and me with it.


Thanks to fairopinion, UK.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Win-win ...

Heh ... Breitbatshit refuses to go on NPR until they rehire Juan Williams*. I'd say that's a win-win for NPR.

*And just to make clear, I don't think Williams should have been fired for his "scary Muslims on an airplane" comment, I'm glad he's out because he's an idiot.

Before I go totally fucking crazy...

The run-up to election day - this way madness lies. I'm so disgusted by all the crap the Repugs are pulling, you know, tons of money to spread lies (thank you, Roberts court), voter suppression, making the firing of an asshole by NPR into a phony 'free speech' issue, hatred, racism, ignorance as a virtue, and on and on, I needed some spiritual uplift before I nut up and strangle the first car bumper I see with a teabagger sticker on it.

This song works, and serendipitously me 'n Fixer have a spiritual connection with Knoxville and East Tennessee.

Will Kimbrough performing "Wings" at WDVX's Blue Plate Special.


Thanks to kmoxnews.

Headline of the Day

Witness: I quit al Qaeda over lack of health benefits

Not much of a burial program either. Nothing left to bury.

The Pulpit Of Bullies

Michael Winship

Here in New York State, of course, we have Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, who combines the boyish charm of J. Edgar Hoover with the sunny quirkiness of Pol Pot. So extreme are Paladino's views, so volatile his temper, that even Rupert Murdoch's right-wing New York Post has endorsed Democrat Andrew Cuomo, which is a bit like the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano dissing the Pope and singing the praises of Lutherans.

Heh.

Which brings us to Joe Miller, [...]
...

The plainclothes rent-a-cops, complete with Secret Service-type earpieces and Men in Black-style neckties and business suits, come from an Anchorage-based outfit called DropZone Security, which also runs a bail bond service and an Army-Navy surplus store - with one of those anti-Obama "Joker" posters pasted to its window. One-stop shopping for the vigilante militiaman in your life - kind of like that joke about the combination veterinarian-taxidermist: either way you get your dog back.

All of this would be funnier if not for the fact that this kind of hooliganism and casual trampling of First Amendment rights from people who claim to embrace the Constitution as holy writ is symptomatic of a deeper problem.

The only way to fight back against bullies and thugs is to stand up and tell them to go to hell. To do otherwise is to give an inch and prepare to be taken for the proverbial mile. That way lies madness. And worse.

It bears repeating: The only way to fight back against bullies and thugs is to stand up and tell them to go to hell.

Somehow ...

I don't think this was the doing of the evil Muslims:

LATEST: The package that was sent to [Rep. Raul] Grijalva’s office today was covered with swastikas and the white powder has been CONFIRMED to be a toxic substance!

This should now be classified as an official TERRORIST attack, just like these types of events immediately after 9/11 were.

...


I wonder if the media will call it a "prank"?

Regular folks and small businesses ...

As we all know, the definition of "small business" in the United States is a very wide, gray area. The other day, Idiot Glenn Beck implored his listeners to contribute to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Beck expressed solidarity with Chamber of Commerce: "They are us." As Media Matters noted, on October 14, Glenn Beck launched a donation drive for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, saying on his radio show, "I would like to make this the biggest fundraising day in the Chamber's history." He also said, "I don't know why we're not" a member of the Chamber and asked, "Can't we join the Chamber of Commerce in New York?" Beck's websites, GlennBeck.com and TheBlaze.com, also encouraged visitors to make donations to the chamber:

...


Yeah, just a bunch of regular folks. Small businesspeople just like "us"*:

Prudential Financial sent in a $2 million donation last year as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce kicked off a national advertising campaign to weaken the historic rewrite of the nation’s financial regulations.

Dow Chemical delivered $1.7 million to the chamber last year as the group took a leading role in aggressively fighting proposed rules that would impose tighter security requirements on chemical facilities.

...


I wonder when the rank and file of the Angry White Person Party will figure out they're supporting the people who are trying like hell to separate them from whatever little they have left. I can't believe, still, in my seventh year of blogging, that Americans can be so delusional to willfully blind themselves to their own best interest.

I know a guy who's a full-on teabagger, (he's preparing to take his country back, armed to the teeth, and it's all the immigrants' fault). He gets Social Security, Medicare, State Disability, and a pension from the union job he worked at since he got out of the Navy. What does he bitch about most? The government getting too big and too many people get entitlements. The unions ruining the economy. I just don't get it ...

TGIF!

*Thanks to Chris for the NYT link.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Defense of Juan Williams and Other Media Idiots

The Rude One follows up on Fixer's post:

One part of the picture that's missing here is that the journalistic landscape has changed. Now, news anchors on all three of the news networks regularly offer commentary on the stories that they're reading off the teleprompter. You can't watch CNN without John Roberts or Tony Harris scoffing at something. And while Fox may have started the smearing of the line between news and punditry, CNN and MSNBC just as surely have stuck their fingers on the painting. That distinction is so blurred now that Wolf Blitzer seems quaint in his attempts to keep objectivity against a full-blown Cafferty assault.

If you're gonna blur that line, if you're gonna encourage your news people to mouth off, if you're gonna tell your commentators to push the boundaries, then don't be surprised if they say something offensive. It's like if you have a lover who wants you to do all kinds of crazy, kinky stuff to him: shoving huge dildos in his ass, stomping his balls, making him wear nipple clamps and a cock ring, jacking him off while he hangs by hooks through his skin, shitting on his chest. But then you punch him in the face and he says, "Whoa, whoa, too far" and breaks it off. How the hell were you to know what was too far at that point? Rick Sanchez's show was essentially about what giant self-righteous douchebag Rick Sanchez was. And they were surprised when he acted like a giant self-righteous douchebag elsewhere? And Williams has said tons of backwards ass shit on Fox over the years, most recently about the Park 51 community center, which he emphatically opposes.

Free speech ain't pretty. It's not supposed to be. But as long as it doesn't get in the way of you doing the job that you have been hired to do, the only combat for it ought to be more speech. And, sure, in the abstract, NPR has a right to fire someone they find offensive, but you know what else it could have done? A story about how a pretty smart guy (even if you disagree with him) can have the kinds of fears and prejudices that Williams talked about. But that would have been more about exploring an issue than having a knee-jerk reaction to anything that might piss off people. NPR was looking for a way to get rid of Williams. Mara Liasson better watch her ass.

NPR and F**Noise are incompatible, to say the least. F** no doubt pays better and I'm sure the gasbags would rather get fired from NPR.

If they bunch up in one place, we can get 'em all with one round.

Snowstorm hampers search for 3 Mt. Whitney hikers

EssEffChron

Snowstorms are hampering the search for three missing hikers on California's Mt. Whitney.

Park spokeswoman Dana Dierkes says the three men from the Omaha, Neb.-area went missing on a hike Monday evening on the 14,494-foot Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the continental United States.

The Fresno Bee says about 45 people are assigned to the search but snowstorms are making it difficult. A command post dispatcher says Thursday that there's snow above 8,000 feet.

Welcome to California, gents, and I hope you're OK. Notice any differences from Nebraska yet?

GOP candidates' problem in California? Their party

And yer point is...?

Last coupla ¶ of an op-ed by George Skelton, LATimes:

A blogger who calls himself the Cowboy Libertarian, Dorinson added: "There's an old saying that when you're riding out ahead of the herd, you might want to look back now and then to make sure the herd is following you. The herd hasn't been following the Republican Party for some time."

Whitman has been trying, but she's saddled with a bad brand.

Whitman with a saddle? Ride 'em, cowboy?! Make the visuals stop!

Also, I assume her brand is a wingnut lying on its side under a dollar sign (the Lazy gRafter Whackjob?), but I do not care to see it or contemplate where it might be. I know where they put them on bovine cows. Make the visuals stop, please! Maybe a notch in her ear would be OK...

Emaciated Corpses and Zyklon B

Der Spiegel, a 'recommended read'.

US Tea Party Should Keep Its Hands Off Hitler

For most Germans, though, the Hitler comparisons are vastly more offensive. It is almost impossible to finish high school in Germany without going on a class visit to a former concentration camp. They are not pleasant places to be. While the sites themselves might now be little more than windswept rows of foundations where hopelessly overcrowded, disease-ridden barracks once stood, the museum exhibits tend to be much more disturbing. Images of trucks full of emaciated corpses, ovens where tens of thousands of bodies were burned, photos of SS commandos on the Eastern Front shooting row upon row of Jews, a canister of the poison gas Zyklon B -- all are likely to be on display.

During his show on Oct. 5, Glenn Beck said that Obama's science adviser John Holdren's concern about the global population and White House health policy adviser Ezekiel Emanuel's warnings about global warming are "the kind of thinking that led to … the extermination program that eventually led to the Holocaust."

It would be hard to find someone on this side of the Atlantic who wouldn't cringe at the ignorance of that statement. Leaving aside the question as to whether or not one should be concerned about climate change and an overcrowded planet, the kind of thinking that led to the Holocaust was a different one. Hitler wanted a racially pure Germany. People with handicaps didn't fit. Neither did Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, blacks, Asians, Arabs or homosexuals.

Let's just say that diversity was not part of Hitler's program. How'd that work out for ya, Adolf?

Us lefties made the same kind of comments about the Bush maladministration of course, but I didn't see a Spiegel article decrying it. That's because we were right.

And as far as the 'racially pure' country the teabaggers wish for, I suggest they wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which hand fills up first.

Word ...

Fez:

No intelligent statement has ever followed, "I'm not a bigot, but..."

Understanding ...

Most of the time, when Long Island makes news lately, it's because some redneck, cracker assholes (and boy do we have our share) decided to beat an immigrant half to death (or actually kill the poor bastid) or some stupid shit like that.

This, however, is one of the reasons I love living here. As I've said many times, I live in one of the most ethnically diverse places in the country and we generally get along*. In an attempt to further that understanding, our local Mosque invited all the non-Muslims around here to afternoon prayers the other day and many of my neighbors attended.

At 75, Jan Sepulveda, a Roman Catholic, stepped foot in a mosque for the first time in her life Wednesday.

She took off her shoes, wrapped a black scarf around her head, and entered the Masjid Darul Qur'an mosque in Bay Shore while an imam prayed in Arabic.

"I hate bigotry," Sepulveda said in an interview. "I want to know more about people who are different from me."

...


Makes me proud to be an Islander.

...

Wednesday, the entrance at the mosque in Bay Shore was decorated with red, white and blue balloons, as if to underscore the congregation's allegiance to the United States. The sanctuary was visited by politicians, ministers, community leaders and ordinary citizens.

[Imam] Rehman explained some of the basic practices of the faith, such as the removal of shoes in the sanctuary, the separation of males and females into different areas during prayer, and the five times a day that observant Muslims pray.

...


That, my friends, is what America is all about.

Update:

*Come to think about it, I did yell at the Afghani next door to keep his chickens in his own damn yard so my dogs wouldn't pick up any parasites. Heh ...

Heh ...

Being I'm doing the puppy thing right now, this little vid gave me a laugh:



Thanks to Watertiger.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I ♥ New York!

It ain't just Fixer any more! Nuevo York's gubernatorial debate was a heartwarming demonstration of democracy in all its glorious unmitigated silliness.

The Daily Voice, with video.

This week's New York governor's debate was supposed to be a clash between Democrat Andrew Cuomo and Republican Carl Paladino. Instead, by some accounts, it turned into a "farce" in which independent candidates stole the show.

Among the highlights: Kristin Davis, a former prostitution madam, told jokes about brothels and gay bars. And Republican Paladino surprised the audience by actually walking off stage in the middle of the debate to use the bathroom. "When you gotta go, you gotta go," his campaign manager told the New York Times.

But the real show stealer was Jimmy McMillan of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party, who spoke repeatedly about the high cost of rent, which had made it difficult for families to pay their bills, put food on the table, and take care of themselves.

Note to Mr. McMillan: You are one colorful dude! The whiskers are magnificent! Your "The Rent's Too Damn High" philosophy is closer to the truth than most would like to admit if you'd drop that "the Jews" shit, and of course you're as crazy as a loon to most people. Kudos also for collecting the 15,000 signatures necessary to get on the ballot by yourself.

You ain't got a chance and I hope you win. The Jews'll wise ya up as soon as you're in.

Mr. McMillan has been endorsed by the AMI.

Reuters

NY state a brothel in need of a madame – governor candidate

At their first debate on Monday, candidates for New York governor made the usual use of metaphor and cliche about the state’s economic woes.

But candidate Kristin Davis (go look at her logo! Whee!) took it a step further when she compared the state bureaucracy to a badly run brothel, and New York politicians to whores.

And she would know.

She sure would! From the look of this lady, she earned every dime she ever made the hard way. One NY politician at a time.

She hasn't got a chance either, of course, and I hope she wins too.

Most gubernatorial and other political 'debates' wouldn't have let these candidates participate because they're a distraction from the corporate message. I am so glad New York did. We all needed it.

If I were not already blessed by being a Californio, I'd wanta be a Noo Yawkah! They're just as crazy as we are.

Three Things to Do When Clarence Thomas’s Wife Calls You

Andy Borowitz

I know what you're saying: "It'll never happen to me. Virginia Thomas doesn't even have my phone number!" Well, that's what I thought, and several years of trauma counseling later, I've come to realize (the hard way) what a fool's paradise I was living in. Consider this: according to a recent study, the odds of Virginia Thomas leaving a threatening voicemail for you are higher than those of Christine O'Donnell correctly identifying the First Amendment. With those grim statistics in mind, here are three simple steps you can take if and when Mrs. Clarence Thomas calls.

3. Get in the habit of answering your phone, "Long Dong Silver residence."

One final note: if you get a call in the middle of the night and there is silence on the other end, that is not Virginia Thomas. That is Clarence Thomas.

Now that's creepier still.

Dozens of law professors nation-wide endorse Calif. marijuana legalization

Raw Story:

The professors, from schools such as Yale, Harvard, Georgetown, New York University, UCLA, Berkeley, George Mason University, Emory and the Washington College of Law, signed an open letter published by the "Yes on 19" campaign, all calling for legalization.

To the Voters of California:

For decades, our country has pursued a wasteful and ineffective policy of marijuana prohibition. As with alcohol prohibition, this approach has failed to control marijuana, and left its trade in the hands of an unregulated and increasingly violent black market. At the same time, marijuana prohibition has clogged California’s courts alone with tens of thousands of non-violent marijuana offenders each year. Yet marijuana remains as available as ever, with teens reporting that it is easier for them to buy than alcohol across the country.

Moreover, we are deeply troubled by the consistent and dramatic reports of disproportionate enforcement of marijuana laws against young people of color. Marijuana laws were forged in racism, and have been demonstrated to be inconsistently and unfairly applied since their inception. These are independent reasons for their repeal.

This country has an example of a path from prohibition. Alcohol is subject to a regulatory framework that is far safer in every respect than the days of Al Capone. Just like the State of New York did when it rolled back Prohibition 10 years before the nation as a whole, California should show leadership and restore respect for the law by enacting the Tax and Control Cannabis 2010 initiative this November.

Damn, ya get them lawyers out from behind the boilerplate for a minute and they can speak straight and well. Who knew?

Teabagger Freak Show

El Rude-o on teabagger candidates in the wake of The Dumbest Candidate Ever's misunderstanding of the Constitution she claims to revere and knows nothing about:

The scramble was on in the mainstream media for a way to present O'Donnell's statements without saying the truth. Last night, on Anderson Cooper 360 (motto: "AC doesn't think his sexuality is any of your goddamn business"), Paul Begala and Jeffrey Toobin came preciously close, but still tiptoed around the obvious explanation: Christine O'Donnell is a fucking idiot, so fucking dumb that she has to remind herself to breathe. It's the 800 pound motherfucker just sitting there: she's too fucking stupid to be a Senator.

It ought to be okay to say that. It's actually important information for voters. Brian Williams ought to be able to declare, "By any objective measure, by any stretch of the imagination, Christine O'Donnell isn't qualified to be elected Cart Wrangler of the Month at Wal-Mart. Because she's just a fucking idiot." Now, there's a good chance people will still vote for her because, yeah, there are idiots who do see themselves in O'Donnell.

There's no mystery here. All the answers are plain to see when it comes to the array of bizarre and unqualified Republican candidates who are in the running for senator, which we used to consider an important position. Let the freaks and phonies huckster their way in the House, which is a Fellini film set of midgets, geeks, and contortionists.

[...] Joe Miller is a bushel of dicks and a gun fetishist who wants to wreck the Constitution."

So it could go. Sharron Angle? Fucking crazy. Rand Paul? Fucking psycho.

A real media would have eviscerated this collection of buffoons and bastards. The fact that we are talking about three of them as serious candidates means we are skidding toward the edge of a very steep cliff and that we are a very unserious electorate. The look on the face of Chris Coons in that debate with O'Donnell said it all. It was the look of a man who thought he had come for a debate to help voters decide who is going to be one of the most powerful people in the country. But when he showed up, it was a pie-eating contest.

So's the media and we're all going to suffer because of it if any of these idiots get elected. The 24/7 freak show will go on as usual.

Are you not outraged?

If it's Wednesday it must be Morford. On American outrage:

It goes like this: the more ridiculous, tiny, arcane or completely irrational the object of your outrage is, the more you know you have attained ultimate freedom. You are living the real American Dream, hereby defined as being endlessly upset and miserable about totally meaningless bulls--t for no valid reason whatsoever because you have everything you could ever want or need in this life, ever.

It all adds up to one conclusion: We are so wildly, stupidly free, it's rather hilarious. And savagely ironic. Because you can also say it culminates in perhaps the ultimate expression of Outrage USA, the single place where all such screeching congeals in a shrill, silly little group, signifying nothing.

It's called the Tea Party, that gaggle of terrified, white, middle-aged men whose actual slogan is "mad as hell." What are they mad about, exactly? They have no idea. What do they want to do to change it? No clue. From whence does their timorous fear and dread come? They can't quite say. Perfect.

This is aimless, abortive outrage in its purest form, just infantile rage aimed straight into the Void, like a baby that has every comfort and hug and blankie imaginable but still screams like a banshee, wailing and squirming at the sheer terror of ... well, of merely existing. Of being alive. Inhaling and exhaling, over and over again, trying to make sense of it all, somehow, even just a tiny little bit, in a glorious neverending tinkling hellride of pure existential terror, until you die.

Wonderful.

BTW, I've been on "tinkling hellrides". When the bike's pistons and/or con rods start going 'tinkletankletunk' in the hot lane at rush hour, by the time the rapidly slowing 'hellride' to the right shoulder is done, some other 'tinkling' has occurred as well.

Welcome Back!

Dan the Man is back in the Army!

Lt. Dan Choi, the Iraq war veteran, Arab linguist, and West Point grad turned "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal activist, today got what he had said he wanted from day one: the opportunity to serve his country in the armed forces again. This afternoon, amid dozens of reporters, and thousands of passersby -- most totally unaware they were seeing history in the making -- Lt. Dan Choi, the former Army infantry officer, re-enlisted in the military, this time, as an out gay man.

...


Thankfully, our armed forces will be able to welcome many other good soldiers and talented people back into its ranks.

The past is never dead ...

Think Anita Hill is having a PTSD episode right about now?

WASHINGTON — Nearly 20 years after Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his contentious Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Justice Thomas’s wife has called Ms. Hill, seeking an apology.

...

"Good morning Anita Hill, it’s Ginni Thomas," it said. "I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband."

Ms. Thomas went on: "So give it some thought. And certainly pray about this and hope that one day you will help us understand why you did what you did. O.K., have a good day."

...


Assholes, she and her husband, and, for as long as he is alive, he will play a part in shaping the direction of this nation. Thank you, Republicans.

"Whites Only" ...

That's what it all boils down to:

Senate candidate John Raese, vying to replaced deceased Senator Robert Byrd in West Virginia's delegation, may have inadvertently been outed as a member of a problematic Florida country club by no other than Rush Limbaugh.

...

Limbaugh is a member of the Everglades Club in Palm Beach, which is infamous for having virtually no membership rules but still managing to keep from ever letting a single African-American join through 2008.

...


"Take my country back" ... to the time when people of color had to do as massa told them or fear for their lives. 150-odd years and we have yet to move past the Civil War.

Great thanks to Ol' Fez for the link.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Grip & Reality-free Zone

WaPo

WILMINGTON, Del. -- Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell of Delaware on Tuesday questioned whether the U.S. Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, appearing to disagree or not know that the First Amendment bars the government from establishing religion.

The exchange came in a debate before an audience of legal scholars and law students at Widener University Law School, as O'Donnell criticized Democratic nominee Chris Coons' position that teaching creationism in public school would violate the First Amendment by promoting religious doctrine.

Coons said private and parochial schools are free to teach creationism but that "religious doctrine doesn't belong in our public schools."

"Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?" O'Donnell asked him.

When Coons responded that the First Amendment bars Congress from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, O'Donnell asked: "You're telling me that's in the First Amendment?"
...

"You actually audibly heard the crowd gasp," Widener University political scientist Wesley Leckrone said after the debate, adding that it raised questions about O'Donnell's grasp of the Constitution.

No questions here. Like most teabaggers, her grip is, to be charitable, a little tenuous. On reality, let alone the Constitution and the Bible.

"Talk about imposing your beliefs on the local schools," she said. "You've just proved how little you know not just about constitutional law but about the theory of evolution."

I rest my case. Yeesh.

Family values ...

...

So we have Gingrich on his third marriage (with two adulteries thrown in), Palin with a kid who got pregnant out of wedlock (and, according to the NYT, whose own first pregnancy appears to have happened a tad early with respect to her wedding day, shall we say), Limbaugh on God knows how many marriages now (it's four, I believe), a party chairman who holds events at S&M bars, the party chairman before him is gay and raising money for gay marriage, a GOP spokesman who reportedly gets more "tail" (that's promiscuous unmarried sex) than anyone in DC, and a possible incoming Speaker whose response to charges of cheating on his wife is simply "no comment."

...


Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

False idols ...

A libertarian opens his eyes:

In trying to understand how so many Americans adore people like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh I have come to this critical understanding: Poorly educated, terribly informed, intellectually deficient and downright stupid people need idols. They feel angry, frustrated, ignored, cheated and disillusioned by so much going on in American society. They find the emotional, political and philosophical rants by talk show, loud mouth celebrities matching and justifying their feelings. Of course, those celebrities work hard to fan the flames of all that unhappiness and discontent, and also perpetuate ignorance. They sell stupidity to gullible dummies, teaching them who to blame for their misery.

...


This guy probably wants a different result than I do, but at least he realizes that most of the conservative 'base' are gullible lemmings and are being used by the right wing 'power players'.

...

I can easily relate to the many people treated unfairly, unjustly and even brutally by the political and economic system. But those who have drifted over to the dark side of the right-wing, conservative arena and become addicted to the rhetoric of delusion have nothing in common with those that once made the United States a noble nation worthy of respect. Their idols talk a lot about the Founders and Constitution, but share none of the fine qualities of those that created our republic. They also pick and choose what parts of the Constitution to adore, mocking the rule of law.

...


Seems, if the TV 'pundits' predictions are correct, we're in for a whole lot more stupidity after 1 January.

Thanks to Tommy T for the link.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"If East Germany can do it, we can do it!"

Firedoglake

At a town hall meeting Sunday afternoon(1) in Anchorage, U.S. Senate campaign GOP nominee Joe Miller was asked a long question on how we should keep illegal immigrants out.

His short answer: "If East Germany can do it, we can do it!"

Jaw, meet floor. From the link:

As many of you are no doubt old enough to remember, the barrier separating East and west Germany was no mere fence. It was called "The Iron Curtain", and it certainly lived up to that name and then some.

This so-called "fence" had armed patrols watching for anybody foolish enough to climb over. And they killed between 100 to 200 people who attempted to get around, or over, the obstacle to reach freedom in the forty or so years of its existence. Is THIS what Joe Miller envisions for the southern borders of California, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico?

Just long enough to get him elected, I think.

Also, at the same meeting, he had a lefty journalist/blogger put in irons by his 'security' goons for trying to ask questions Miller didn't want to hear about alleged improprieties and possible felonies he may have committed whilst he was an attorney for the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

Go read this stuff. Not only is Teabagger Joe an arrogant IOKIYAR type and "noun, verb, unconstitutional" unless it helps him, he's a less-agreeable(!) Palin with a five o'clock shadow and no rack.

Update:

Shannyn Moore

Joe Miller's Alaskan Militia

Shorter: right-wing goons, mercs, former Blackwater types.

Having a personal militia is not common. Joe Miller's narcissistic, militant disorder has come to full light with the detainment of journalist Tony Hopfinger. Political candidates with their own mercenaries are a recipe for disaster.

Update II:

Sam Stein

Tony Hopfinger, Reporter Detained By Joe Miller's Security Guards, Speaks Out About Ordeal (VIDEO)

A good read, but now a few personal words about handcuffs.

I have been handcuffed more times than I care to admit. Always applied by cops per their SOP. No problem there. Resist a cop, the charges will be worse than they would have otherwise been. Their rules, their courts, their jails. I get that.

I have had civilians try to handcuff me as a gag. I do not permit this under any circumstances and none of them succeeded. Bottom line: enough thugs can probably put me in irons, but they will motherfucking PAY on their way to it. Anybody but a cop that wants to handcuff me is gonna have to bring some to get some.

Headline of the Day

11 Freedoms that Drunks, Slackers, Prostitutes and Pirates Pioneered and The Founding Fathers Opposed

Now we're talkin'!

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Report: U.S. Still Leads World in Two Major Industries
Porn and spam.

Record Amounts of Undisclosed Money Pour Into Campaign Coffers
Unknown sources give uncounted millions to unproven candidates to do unfathomable harm.

Lack of Hitting Has Baseball Owners Worried
One change under discussion: fewer drug tests.

The American Bible ...

The fucking idiot teabaggers see the Constitution like the Bible, though it's obvious they don't understand either of them:

...

The truth is that for all their talk of purity, politicians like Palin, Angle, and Miller don’t seem to be particularly concerned with matching their actual positions to the Constitution they profess to worship. For them, the sacred text serves a higher purpose—and in the end, that purpose isn’t hard to pinpoint.

...


Just like Jesus, the Founders are puking.

Great thanks to Skippy for the link.

Meghan knows nutjobs ...

Much as I love Christiane Amanpour, I try to avoid her "Round Table" if there's nobody good on. Unfortunately, I was doing some work in the house and couldn't change the channel, so I was subjected to the abominable George Will, the hack Matthew Dowd, and Meghan McCain (I have no idea what she's supposed to be). Blind squirrel that she is, she did find at least one nut, though, unlike the other two:

...

But Meghan knows nutjobs. Because Meghan's dad brought to national attention the original model: Sarah Palin. And for Meghan to opine on the vacuousness of Christine O'Donnell without acknowledging that trail was blazed by her father's running mate is disingenuous and laughable.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday dope blogging ...

If you didn't get the gist of my last post (you gotta stop hanging out with so many white people), I posted a comment about getting dope and paraphernalia into the United States from Europe (I go to Amsterdam regularly) and I linked to this in comments, which I sing every time we have to cross a border. Sometimes I'm serious, sometimes I'm not (When the Mrs. hears me start, she gets all uncomfortable because she doesn't know if I'm serious or not either. I don't tell her if I'm carrying or not. Keeps her on her toes.). Heh ...



Arlo Guthrie - Comin' Into Los Angeles

The Real Terrorists

Go see the video at montag's place.

Ratigan explains who the terrorists are and he is says more in 5 minutes than all the talking heads on cable TV have crapped out in the last 9 years. And he did it on Morning Joe.

Sto mi e milo

Here's Lilly Drumeva, the "Bulgarian Bluegrass Sensation!" and a pick-up version of her band "Lilly of the West" performing in Budapest. She sings a lot of bluegrass and country songs in English, but I know all those. Here's a Bulgarian bluegrass tune I hadn't heard:

Lilly Drumeva from Bulgaria (guitar, vocals) performed together with musicians from Slovakia: Lubos Yurkovic (guitar, vocals), Michal Barok (mandolin), Peter Szabados (Dobro), Richard Cifersky (banjo) and Anton Naroda (bass)


Thanks to LillyDrumeva, Bulgaria.


Country music is country music, don't matter which country.

Heh ...

Needless to say, I was researching a subject (cleaning one of my ... antiques from Amsterdam) and of course I had to stumble across this:

...

Investigators say Garcia admitted to setting his own home on fire with a bong.

"While cleaning his bong with rubbing alcohol, he turned the bong over and ignited the rubbing alcohol and decided he was going to set his mobile home on fire,” Bo Nevarez, DASO Investigator, said. “[Garcia] went to the curtains and lit the curtains on fire then went to the children's bedroom."

...


Never been that stoned ...

Note to self: Put cigarette out when cleaning ... antiques.

The Tea Party and Himmler's Black Legion

Omer Bartov lays into Nazi-symp House candidate Rich I(di)ott:

The revelation that Rich Iott, the Republican candidate for the 9th Congressional District seat in Ohio and a Tea Party favorite, has been in the habit of dressing up as a Waffen-SS soldier, is just one more sign of the heroic ignorance that characterizes large sectors of American politicians, the media that covers them, and the public that votes for them. Such monumental ignorance, of truly Wagnerian dimensions, [...] Criminal war and genocide are not a joke, and before one dresses up in the uniform of its military instruments, one should be informed of their deeds.

Freedom is apparently a relative term. The SS fought for a Jew-free Europe; it also disliked the Sinti and Roma (gypsies), blacks, the disabled, homosexuals, Slavs, as well as liberals, democrats, socialists and communists. It was a serious, quite humorless organization, and it never joked about its ideology. Hence, it was deeply involved in the genocide of about 6 million Jews, alongside the mass murder of altogether millions of Roma, Catholic Poles, Soviet citizens and PoWs, gays, inmates of insane asylums, members of trade unions, and so forth. The Soviet Union alone sacrificed about 28 million lives in the struggle against those who allegedly "gave their lives for their loved ones and a basic desire to be free." Under the rule of these freedom-loving SS legionnaires, Europe and possibly much of the rest of the world would have indeed become free of all those who were not healthy and Fuhrer-worshipping Aryans.

[...] Playing at being a Nazi is playing with fire. And political pyromaniacs are a very dangerous lot indeed, perhaps especially when they have no idea of the kinds of demons they may awaken, having sheltered themselves so hermetically from any knowledge of the past.

Note to Iott: you and your moron friends dress up like a Nazi SS outfit and go re-enact the Battle of Stalingrad on location, you fucking idiot, and let's see what happens. You like re-enactments? The old Russians would rush out of their senior citizen homes and tear your Nazi ass to shreds like they did last time.

Related:

Hitler Exhibit Explores a Wider Circle of Guilt

This show, “Hitler and the Germans: Nation and Crime,” opened Friday. It was billed as the first in Germany since the end of World War II to focus exclusively on Adolf Hitler. Germany outlaws public displays of some Nazi symbols, and the curators took care to avoid showing items that appeared to glorify Hitler. His uniforms, for example, remained in storage.

Instead, the show focuses on the society that nurtured and empowered him. It is not the first time historians have argued that Hitler did not corral the Germans as much as the Germans elevated Hitler. But one curator said the message was arguably more vital for Germany now than at any time in the past six decades, as rising nationalism, more open hostility to immigrants and a generational disconnect from the events of the Nazi era have older Germans concerned about repeating the past.

“The only hope for stopping extremists is to isolate them from society so that they are separated, so they do not have a relationship with the bourgeoisie and the other classes,” Mr. Thamer said. “The Nazis were members of high society. This was the dangerous moment.

“This we have to avoid from happening.”

“I think if you had someone like him today, it could be very dangerous,” he said halfway through his walk through the displays about Hitler. “There are a lot of people out there who want jobs, who are not happy with the political leadership, who would vote for someone like him if he came along.”

“This exhibition is about Hitler and the Germans — meaning the social and political and individual processes by which much of the German people became enablers, colluders, co-criminals in the Holocaust,” said Constanze Stelzenm├╝ller, a senior trans-Atlantic fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Berlin. “That this was so is now a mainstream view, rejected only by a small minority of very elderly and deluded people, or the German extreme right-wing fringe. But it took us a while to get there.”

We have farther to fall before we re-learn the lessons of the past. The Germans are way ahead of us on this one. Their first clue was the absolute destruction of their nation. What will our first clue be?

Repug Mean Girls

MoDo

We are in the era of Republican Mean Girls, grown-up versions of those teenage tormentors who would steal your boyfriend, spray-paint your locker and, just for good measure, spread rumors that you were pregnant.

These women — Jan, Meg, Carly, Sharron, Linda, Michele, Queen Bee Sarah and sweet wannabe Christine — have co-opted and ratcheted up the disgust with the status quo that originally buoyed Barack Obama. Whether they’re mistreating the help or belittling the president’s manhood, making snide comments about a rival’s hair or ripping an opponent for spending money on a men’s fashion show, the Mean Girls have replaced Hope with Spite and Cool with Cold. They are the ideal nihilistic cheerleaders for an angry electorate.

The rest of her column is mostly about Crazy Sharron.

I finally figured out why I don't like Carly Fiorina, besides her abysmal record at Hewlett-Packard that is - she's got the same arrogant I'm-better-than-you-are perma-smirk that Bush did.

The Rage Won’t End on Election Day

Daddy Frank is not optimistic.

That wave of anger began with the parallel 2008 cataclysms of the economy’s collapse and Barack Obama’s ascension. The mood has not subsided since. But in the final stretch of 2010, the radical right’s anger is becoming less focused, more free-floating — more likely to be aimed at “government” in general, whatever the location or officials in charge. The anger is also more likely to claim minorities like gays, Latinos and Muslims as collateral damage. This is a significant and understandable shift, if hardly a salutary one. The mad-as-hell crowd in America, still not seeing any solid economic recovery on the horizon, will lash out at any convenient scapegoat.

Don’t expect the extremism and violence in our politics to subside magically after Election Day — no matter what the results. If Tea Party candidates triumph, they’ll be emboldened. If they lose, the anger and bitterness will grow. The only development that can change this equation is a decisive rescue from our prolonged economic crisis. Not for the first time in history — and not just American history — fear itself is at the root of a rabid outbreak of populist rage against government, minorities and conspiratorial “elites.”

So far neither party has offered a comprehensive antidote to our economic pain. The Democrats have fallen short, and the cynics leading the G.O.P. haven’t so much as tried. We shouldn’t be surprised that this year even a state as seemingly well-mannered as Connecticut has produced a senatorial candidate best known for marching into a wrestling ring to gratuitously kick a man in the groin.

I'm a little more optimistic about the Dems staying in the majority, but not very optimistic about the future of our country as long as the loudmouth fringe right continues to be suckered by their Big Biz masters into thinking we should do things their way and damn the cost to the rest of us.

Sunday Homebrew Crazy Redneck Music Video Blogging

Kathy Kallick sings "You Took Me Away" from her 2003 CD "Reason & Rhyme". A signature tune of hers and one of my favorites

Nina Gerber - guitar
Herb Pedersen - vocals
Sally Van Meter - dobro
Downtown Cindy Browne - acoustic bass

Video is Brockway Rd. in Truckee , from McIver Rodeo Grounds through rush hour traffic to the Post Office.

Sunday Morning Music Of Faith And Inspiration Blogging

More modern-day gospel featuring the Reverend Tom Pittman and the heavenly sounds of the Austin Lounge Lizards — recorded live @ the Armadillo Xmas Bazaar 08


Austin Lounge Lizards ~ Jesus Loves Me But He Can't Stand You
Thanks to coondogtheman1234.