Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday Slide Job

Many years ago a friend of mine gave me this advice on how to get over in life which I've tried my darndest to follow:

Cold steel, hard cash, dry socks,
And stay away from red-headed women.

Three outta four ain't bad!

Bonnie Raitt ~ Coming Home

Thanks to beebopbeedoobi, Sri Lanka.

Dissent = Terrorism. Again. Still.

Raw Story

Zodiac actor placed on terror list for opposing oil drilling method

Indie actor Mark Ruffalo says he found himself on the Pennsylvania Homeland Security office's terror watch list for organizing screening of an oil-drilling documentary.

According to the World Entertainment News Network, Ruffalo -- who has starred in such films as The Kids Are All Right, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Zodiac -- told GQ magazine he found it "pretty f--cking funny" that he would be suspected of terrorism for raising the alarm about what many say is an environmentally harmful way of drilling for oil and gas.

The Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security appears to be at least as heavily focused on anti-oil and gas documentaries as it is on international terrorism. In October, it was revealed that the department had declared the documentary Coal Country to be a "potential catalyst for inspiring 'direct action' protests or even sabotage against facilities, machinery, and/or corporate headquarters."

Hey, it works when the anti-choice assholes actively foment to goad nutbags to kill abortion doctors. False equivalence strikes again.

The drillers are exempt from environmental protections and The Clean Water Act. Thanks Dick. Did I mention that Halliburton developed this method of drilling that lets you set your tap water on fire?

Description of the video:

GASLAND - (2010) Directed by Josh Fox. Winner of Special Jury Prize - Best US Documentary Feature - Sundance 2010. Screening at Cannes 2010.

It is happening all across America and now in Europe and Africa as well - rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from a multinational energy conglomerate wanting to lease their property. The Reason? In America, the company hopes to tap into a huge natural gas reservoir dubbed the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. Halliburton developed a way to get the gas out of the ground—a hydraulic drilling process called fracking—and suddenly America finds itself on the precipice of becoming an energy superpower.

But what comes out of the ground with that natural gas? How does it affect our air and drinking water? GASLAND is a powerful personal documentary that confronts these questions with spirit, strength, and a sense of humor. When filmmaker Josh Fox receives his cash offer in the mail, he travels across 32 states to meet other rural residents on the front lines of fracking. He discovers toxic streams, ruined aquifers, dying livestock, brutal illnesses, and kitchen sinks that burst into flame. He learns that all water is connected and perhaps some things are more valuable than money.

Some things are more valuable than money? Not to the oil companies and Big Biz in general.

Thanks to CMGOpMgr.

Headline of the Day

Fox Nation readers confuse Onion article with real news

Those morans'll believe anything if Fox says it. Yeesh.

The President's in stitches. Yuk yuk.


Apparently no good deed goes unpunished for President Obama, who was trying to make sure he didn't get a flabby belly after Thanksgiving but wound up with a fat upper lip instead.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the President received a dozen stitches after getting hit with an errant elbow during a Friday morning basketball game with White House aide Reggie Love and some unidentified family members at the Fort McNair military base in Washington.

The elbow belongs to Rey Decerega, who works for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. According to White House aides, Decerega went up for a shot and turned into the President, who was playing defense and accidentally got hit in the mouth.

"I learned today the President is both a tough competitor and a good sport," Decerega said in a statement released by the White House. "I enjoyed playing basketball with him this morning. I'm sure he'll be back out on the court again soon."

Asked by CNN if Decerega will be getting a presidential pardon, a top White House aide laughed.

Mr. Decerega will be OK. Barry's a good sport. Remember when The Chimp fell off a Segway (damn hard to do!)? The Segway's still at Gitmo.

When Mama's happy ...

Everybody's happy. The new cooktop came this morning and it's already installed. It just fit, by the way (36" cooktops aren't created equally).

She's already started cooking with it and the Dingo Sisters are waiting for the spoils. Heh ...

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

From 1980's Nashville Now

Emmylou Harris ~ Heartbreak Hill

Thanks to 1000Magicians, UK.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The TSA, the Right, and My Busted Watch

William Rivers Pitt

What I do know is that the leading voices of outrage over this issue are the likes of Charles Krauthammer of the Post, Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, incoming House Transportation Committee chairman John Mica (R-FL), a bunch of rabid right-wing websites which are also leading the "Obama is not a citizen" birther charge, and a "mainstream" media that continues to push messages that auger inexorably toward the claim that the "Tea Party" is right about everything even remotely related to government.

That is not the kind of company I like to keep, and it gives me great pause about jumping on the TSA-outrage bandwagon. I mean, sure, I have a busted watch at home that's right twice a day, so it's possible these far-right mouthpieces may have stumbled onto some truth for a change. But the fact that the attacks against Obama and the TSA happen to be coming from the same people who have made a cottage industry out of claiming Obama is a secret terrorist who wants to bring Sharia law to America, yet who are now saying he has gone too far in defending the nation from terrorism, even in the face of credible threats to the airline industry, leads me to suspect there is a different game afoot.

Bank on this: if the year was 2002, and President Bush declared these TSA measures to be absolutely necessary to the security of the nation, the same right-bent people currently screaming about the heavy-handed Obama TSA policy would be defending those exact same policies to the teeth, with the "mainstream" media right with them all the way down the party line. For the right, this is opposition simply for the sake of opposition itself, and thanks to the media, they have once again managed to shoehorn another "Government sucks" screaming match to the forefront of the national conversation.

Nothing from the "mainstream" media about how the GOP is scuttling the all-important START treaty for no other reason than the fact that a Democrat is in the White House. Nothing from the "mainstream" media about how the GOP is letting unemployment benefits for millions of Americans lapse for no other reason than the fact that there is a Democrat in the White House. Nothing about how 71% of air travelers, like me, do not appear able to work themselves into the seemingly-required media-driven froth over the issue. That's no fun to report on. And it's awfully, awfully convenient that, instead, we have yet another circus inspired by the always-effective loudspeakers of the right.

His busted watch? It's right twice a day, a helluva lot more often than the Right.

White Trash At The Gates

I've been going on today about Palin's gaffes, but in a serious post Robert Reich says it's all part of her plan. The ignorance of others is her power.

It’s all part of The Palin Strategy for becoming president in 2012 — or 2016 or 2020.

The Republican establishment doesn’t get it. Celebrity is part of The Palin Strategy – as is avoiding the insider game. She doesn’t want to do what Huckabee, Pawlenty, Gingrich, or Romney have to do. She has an outside game.

No prospective candidate so sharply embodies the anger of America’s white working class as does Palin. And none is channeling that anger nearly as effectively.

According to the right-wing narrative, the calamity that’s befallen the white working class is due to the global and intellectual elites who run the mainstream media, direct the government, dispense benefits to the undeserving, and dominate popular culture. (The story and targets are not substantially different from those that have fueled right-wing and fascist movements during times of economic stress for more than a century, here and abroad.)

As I believe will become clearer, the Palin Strategy will involve a political threat to the GOP establishment: Deny her the nomination she’ll run as independent. This will split off much of the white working class and guarantee defeat of the Republican establishment candidate. It will also result in her defeat in 2012, but that’s a small price to pay for gaining the credibility and power to demand the nomination in 2016, or threaten another third-party run in 2020.

More than anything else, the Palin Strategy depends on the continuing fear and anger of America’s white working class. She’s betting that their economic prospects will not improve by 2012, or even by 2016 and beyond.

Sadly, this is likely to be the case. [...]

It all fits into Sarah Palin’s strategy.

We can laugh at her blunders, and there are many and it's almost too much fun, but we'd better not underestimate her. Since ignorance and anger have been elevated to qualities, and the 'elites' are now those of us who can think and read and decide things for ourselves without FOXProp, we'd better be on guard.

Class Warfare


In an interview Wednesday with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, Sarah Palin fired back at former first lady Barbara Bush, opting to make a class issue out of Bush's comments earlier in the week. Bush told CNN's Larry King in an interview that aired Monday that she hoped Palin would stay in Alaska. From Palin's interview with Ingraham:

"I don't want to concede that we have to get used to this kind of thing, because I don't think the majority of Americans want to put up with the blue-bloods -- and I want to say it will all due respect because I love the Bushes -- the blue-bloods who want to pick and choose their winners instead of allowing competition," Palin said.

For once, and amazingly enough, Battle-Axe Bar and Moosebreath are both right. This is one 'class war' I'm all in favot of!


Might as well include The Rude One's take on the one-woman clusterfuck from Wasilla:

Think about that for just a second. Ask yourself what happens when any Democrat you can think of says something like it, about how the nation is most Americans versus old money. Oh, how the right wing media would explode with accusations of class war and socialism and MarxAlinskyAyers and other people with scary-sounding names that virtually no one who mentions them knows a goddamn thing about. But Palin? When she says it, it's just Sarah bein' Sarah, God love her First Dude-fellating mouth.

By the way, in case you need a magical Black Friday laugh, the Taiwanese take on the Palins is like a hit of pure heroin. At about 1:16, you can learn how she wrote her latest "book," and it's as good an explanation as any.

He's right. Great rush! Funny and on the money.

Quote of the Day

Sarah Palin is drawing criticism from around the world after declaring that the United States has to stand with "our North Korean allies."

How d'ya say "Oy!" and "brain-dead" in Korean?


From Mad Kane, whom I stalk (your rose bushes need trimming, dear. Ouch...) adore:

Palin Unveils Our Newest Ally — North Korea
By Madeleine Begun Kane

North Korea’s an ally, says Palin.
Her brain cells have clearly been bailin’.
Though her knowledge is weak,
She hastens to speak
With her fact-free assurance prevailin’.

Hi. I am now going to touch your junk

If it's Friday it musta been Morford a coupla days ago. You just knew he'd do this!

It seems so obvious. You want to ignite some delicious outcry in this brutally divided country? You want to unite the wary populace around a single, seething hotbutton of patriotism, privacy and putrefied civil liberties?

Do not launch bogus wars that cannot be won. Do not tell them lies about a major health care reform package that actually helps millions. Do not invade their dreams with thoughts of happy gay people holding hands in a wedding chapel. Do not rip their retirement accounts to shreds, sell them bad home loans with a grunt and a slippery Wall Street grin. What are you, an amateur?

What you do is, you go direct. You grope them right on their tingly 'n forbidden genital regions, AKA God's country, AKA Father O'Malley's special secret, real and true and WTF-do-you-think-you're-doing. Works every time. Just ask the Vatican.

Just...go read the rest.

But of course ...

Our American conservative idiots have to weigh in on the tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Of course, their answer to everything is to start another war. I guess they didn't learn from the Chinese response to MacArthur crossing attempting to cross the Yalu (that's right, history isn't one of their strong suits).


Instapundit: "If they start anything, I say nuke 'em. And not with just a few bombs." In a November 23 post on Instapundit, blogger Glenn Reynolds wrote that if the North Korean military were to "start anything," the US should "nuke 'em." Reynolds went on to say that a nuclear attack on North Korea "would be a useful lesson for Iran, too." From the post: [em in orig]


If they think the Chinese won't come to North Korea's aid should American troops (or aircraft, or ships) cross the 38th Parallel, they're just as misguided as MacArthur was. North Korea is China's buffer with the West, much as the Eastern Bloc was for the Soviets. They won't let us, or the South Koreans, approach their border. If they think the Chinese wouldn't respond to a nuclear detonation spitting distance from their border, they're smoking something really good.

Like their adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, should the conservatives dictate Korea policy, the best case would be a protracted, drawn out war like the other two. North Korea might have a half-fed, mostly broken down army, but backed up by a million Chinese it's a whole different story (and just for perspective, you can see the lights of Seoul from the DMZ at night; think about the casualties). Like I've said since the latest hostilities began, this could get real ugly, real quick, especially if the conservatives have anything to say about it.


It just gets better:

YEONPYEONG ISLAND, South Korea – North Korea warned Friday that U.S.-South Korean plans for military maneuvers put the peninsula on the brink of war, and appeared to launch its own artillery drills within sight of an island it showered with a deadly barrage this week.


It's time, if we were smart, to drop this squarely in the laps of the Chinese. Maybe some trade sanctions against the Chinese might give them the impetus to rein in their vassal state and create a few thousand American jobs in the process.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

For Anthony Bourdain Fans

Yeah, like you're thinking about more food right now! Heh.


The Omnivore's Agenda: An Interview with Anthony Bourdain

MJ: Once your daughter figures out that Ronald McDonald does not actually have cooties, how do you hope to keep her from the perils of food marketing?

AB: Well, we'll just go to Italy if we have to. McDonald's uses local meat in Italy, actually. My wife likes Italian McDonald's. But I don't want my daughter to see it; I don't want to go near there. It's like huffing crack in front of your kid.

MJ: Speaking of which, is there any shameful food that you give in to once in a while?

AB: I like the macaroni and cheese at Popeye's. I'll even eat the stuff at the Colonel, because I can slip in there late at night when no one's looking. I'll eat it in the street, huddled in a doorway, 'cause I don't want my wife to see. I don't want anyone to see.


A little hot air, please, Maestro

Me 'n Fixer loves us some ICE. That's "Internal Combustion Engine", not the folks that shoo the Meskins back south, or the potent "Marathon Midnite Wrenchin' Powder"... hmmmmm...belay that last one...

We like engines. From little 1-cylinder sneezers that can blow snow 50 feet to earth-shakin' 3000 HP V-8 behemoths that can get a car up to 300 per in the quarter mile. Aero engines from the ones with their crankshafts bolted solidly to the airframe that beat the Kaiser to the great hulking twin-bank 18-cylinder radials named for stinging insects and the supercharged V-12s named for birds and apocryphal occultists of yore that saved the free world and everything in between. Stationary engines that can pump water out of the ground to a cattle trough or power an oil refinery, and everything in between and beyond, from the Otto Cycle to the Schnurle Loop to the Diesel in all their variations.

We like engines. The sounds, the smells, the power to move things, from pumping water a thousand feet straight up to getting the space shuttle to its launch pad, the bloody knuckles...ah, a step too far. As usual. Then there's raw speed, but that's for another time.

We of course leave leaf blowers out of this. Rake 'em up, yingyangs. But I digress...

As much as we like the damn things, their time is up. 120 years ago they were a great improvement over tracking horseshit everywhere you went, but they went through their heyday and Golden Age years ago. Now there are simply too many of them spewing their noxious byproducts of prehistoric flora and fauna into the atmosphere and thence our lungs. There have been great improvements in performance and emissions of course, but they've gone about as far as they can go, he says not really knowing what may come next that changes everything but doubts it. They'll be with us for years to come, but they're on the way out.

The basic, yet little-known fact about Internal Combustion Engines is that they run on air. That's right, your car runs on expanding hot air. The fuel you put in the tank, whether it be gasoline or diesel oil or a mixture of yak butter and moonshine like some of my stuff, merely helps the air to burn rapidly and expand, allowing it to do work, generally by pushing on reciprocating parts that make other parts turn, thus creating circular rotating movement that can be harnessed to do work.

That said, I see a use for this clown. Why let all that hot air go to waste? If we could get his kind under our hoods blowing into the intake manifold, we could skip the 'gas pump' step and drive forever for nothing! He's fat enough for thousands of miles without refueling and when he's done we ditch the smelly remains and get another one. There seems to be an inexhaustible supply of these odious critters.

The trick is to get them to run quietly. That may be the insurmountable problem. Maybe some sort of 'closed-loop' system, he's got his head up his ass already.

Maybe we could all just use the one Limpbaugh. If we could hook our cars' AM radio speakers (in a well-insulated compartment so we wouldn't have to hear him) to the wheels, we could adjust our speed with a dashboard-mounted remote volume knob! Or a reg'lar ol' foot-feed rheostat, mox nix.

Listen to this moron equate environmental transportation progress to some evil liberal form of world view, aka you and me and everyone with a brain. It's almost unbelievable, but then the bar of unbelievability has not been raised (or lowered) lately. It's been thrown out.

Kudos to Motor Trend as well.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Headline of the Day

Fox reporter rewrites history, claims socialism almost killed Thanksgiving

Equating 'working together for the common good' with 'socialism' like it's a bad thing? The blanketasses kickin' down some eats as 'welfare'? Yeesh.

No wonder we can't get anything done in this country.

Fuck you, Stossel, and the wingnuts you rode in on.

Turkey Day Music Blogging

Happy Turkey and what Gordon said. I'm sure some pshrink would have a good time figuring out how, and why, all these tunes were playing in my head when I opened my eyes this morning but who cares? Enjoy!

Argent - God Gave Rock & Roll To You

Righteous Brothers - Rock & Roll Heaven

Jethro Tull - Too Old To Rock & Roll, Too Young To Die

Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band - Rock & Roll Never Forgets

Giving Thanks

I'm thankful for everything I have in this world - health, family, home, circumstances, the works. I'm thankful to be associated with Fixer, and I'm thankful for all of you who read this and hope you get everything you need in life.

We all say that kinda stuff every year and we ought to be thankful every day, and on this day in particular I'm especially thankful for:


Bwa-fuckin'-hahahaha! There may be justice after all.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Resupply Run

Since me 'n Mrs. G thought we would be out on the coast for her family Thanksgiving, we let groceries run low. We're going out early to recop on eats before The Locusts get to the supermarkets for their four-day weekend. There's plenty of snow, the ski hills are all open, and the skiers/tourons are expected in droves. Great for business, and we need it, but not so great for locals unconnected to the tourist biz. Lay in supplies, spend the weekend under the bed is Plan A.

We're a little low on snowthrowers too, so we're gonna do some Heavy Metal shopping as well.

See yas later.

Heavy Metal Update:

Bit the bullet and bought the Honda HS928TAS. Had ta hold a gun to my own head to write the check, but I'm glad I did. I was looking for the price tag and another customer told me that Hondas were like a fancy French restaurant - the prices aren't on the menu. If you have to ask, you can't afford it. Ask the waiter.

The waiter showed up toot de sweet. His name is Mike, the owner of the joint, whom I've known for thirty years. I finally bought something more substantial than starter rope and shear bolts. He said he knew someday I would and was ready for me. Boy, was he! Heh.

I asked him about all the discounts I'm entitled to - veteran, senior citizen, retired clergy, old fool, whatever. He said those were in August. It was a coupla hunnert less than MSRP anyway, so that's OK.

He made a point of telling me that the tool kit that came with it had a special thin-walled 13/16" spark plug socket and that a regular one wouldn't fit. I was amazed to discover that apparently not everyone has a custom self-made thin-wall spark plug socket for getting at the center plug on a 3-cylinder Triumph Trident (or BSA Rocket III) like I've had for 40 years! Imagine that! I thought everyone had one of those. Live and learn.

A nice young gent had it in my driveway thirty minutes after the walletectomy. He showed me how to work it and was off to deliver another one. They're sellin' like hotcakes and I'm glad they had the one I wanted in stock.

I just brought the machine up the driveway and parked it, but now I see why folks spend the extra money. Damned easy to run and boy can the sonuvabitch eat snow! Flings it a long way too.

I'm a little poorer of purse, but a lot happier in spirit. A good day.

"Gee, what's that little black badge for?"

Science Friday

Why do dentists, doctors, med techs, etc.. who work in other x-ray environments gladly wear these exposure detectors on their clothing but TSA employees do not or cannot?

Because then the world would know beyond the shadow of a doubt how dangerous those scanners are. We'll find out in a few years anyway when the cancers show up.

How close we came...

Ray McGovern writes about Bush's dismay at failure to get us in a war with Iran. A 'must read':

Nowhere in his memoir, Decision Points, is Bush’s bizarre relationship to truth so manifest as when he describes his dismay at learning that the intelligence community had redeemed itself for its lies about Iraq by preparing an honest Estimate that stuck a rod in the wheels of the juggernaut rolling toward war with Iran.

But can you blame Bush for his chagrin? Alas, the NIE had knocked out the props from under the anti-Iran propaganda machine, imported duty-free from Israel and tuned up by neoconservatives here at home.

How embarrassing. Here before the world were the key judgments of an NIE, the most authoritative genre of intelligence report, unanimously approved “with high confidence” by16 agencies and signed by the Director of National Intelligence, saying, in effect, that Bush and Cheney were lying about the “Iranian nuclear threat.”

"But after the NIE, how could I possible explain using the military to destroy the nuclear facilities of a country the intelligence community said had no active nuclear weapons program?”

Thankfully, not even Dick Cheney could persuade Bush to repair the propaganda juggernaut and let it loose for war on Iran.

Think our military's dicks are in the dirt in Afghanistan and Iraq? How fucking close we came to an even larger disaster. Please read the rest.

Rachel Maddow’s high school graduation speech

The woman constantly amazes me. She has done some of the best work I've ever seen on TV, and of course she's a stone commie, being from Castro Valley (not to be confused. though I do it all the time, with Castroville which is famous for artichokes and once had Marilyn Monroe as Artichoke Queen). No artichoke, this gal. No Marilyn Monroe either, though every bit as beautiful in her own way and we're the better for it.

The Political Carnival

This was at Castro Valley High School, in California, back in 1990. Rachel Maddow, complete with Birkenstocks, makes a speech as a teen that rivals any adult speech I’ve heard.

Amazing then, amazing now:

Thanks also to jfortuo.

The Boner Party

Since I live right where the Donner Party spent their awful winter and everything for miles around is named after them, and historical accuracy be damned, I thought this was cool!

Note to the Boner Party: Tradition is important. Eat hearty, me lads!

Photo from BuzzFlash.

Pretty ugly, becoming worse ...

Looks like the whole Korea mess is getting kicked up a notch:

After weeks of feints and indecision, the USS George Washington will make an appearance on the Korean Peninsula this week, according to the Pentagon.


U.S. and South Korean officials said in June that they would organize additional joint war-fighting exercises in the region as a show of force. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters Monday that the George Washington would participate in joint exercises with South Korean forces as soon as it departs Pusan on Sunday.


Hmmmm ... Wonder what's gonna happen if the North Korean Navy takes a hostile stance with a U.S. Navy carrier battle group? Can't be good.

Now it's official ...

I realize the Mrs. and I partied our asses off a couple months ago, celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary, but today is the actual day she said "I do". We're just going for a quiet lunch to mark the day. I still can't believe she said "yes" ... twice. Heh ...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

'Winning' ...

Oh yeah, the war is going so well:

KABUL, Afghanistan — For months, the secret talks unfolding between Taliban and Afghan leaders to end the war appeared to be showing promise, if only because of the appearance of a certain insurgent leader at one end of the table: Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, one of the most senior commanders in the Taliban movement.

But now, it turns out, Mr. Mansour was apparently not Mr. Mansour at all. In an episode that could have been lifted from a spy novel, United States and Afghan officials now say the Afghan man was an impostor, and high-level discussions conducted with the assistance of NATO appear to have achieved little.

“It’s not him,” said a Western diplomat in Kabul intimately involved in the discussions. “And we gave him a lot of money.”


When it comes to winning a war, the last guy who got it right was FDR. This one's going the way of Korea and Vietnam. The current bunch looks as if they'll be as successful as the previous bunch. Idiots ...

It's gonna be a long day...

We're headin' out to the coast today. It's snowing about an inch an hour and I have to go clear the driveway and knock the snow off the truck and hope I don't have to do it again once we get the whole travellin' salvation show loaded up. Not that I can't get out of the driveway, but I'd like a chance, however slight, that I can get back in on Saturday. Believe me, clearing the driveway after a 400 mile drive just to get the truck off the street is worse than doing it before the drive. I've done it before and may have to do it again.

Then there's the drive itself. Right now, I-80 is closed in at least the eastbound direction, but this changes from minute to minute depending on how many idiots come to a 'circular misunderstanding' and park it in the snowbank or end up on their roof. It's looking like at least fifty miles in four wheel drive at 30 mph. If the road is open when I get there. Been there, done that, doing it again.

It's the price I pay to live in Paradise. Without the 72 virgins. Hell, there ain't 72 of those within a hundred miles. But I digress...

Signin' off now. Things to do. See ya when I see ya.


Discretion being the better part of of valor, we cancelled our trip.

I cut one swath down the criveway to the street and the 'thrower broke its drive wheel in three pieces and threw a track. Snow thwow no go no mo'. There was a plow clearing our neighbor's driveway and the operator agreed to plow me out for a Jackson, which is dirt cheap. Me 'n my broken snowthrower rode up the driveway in the loader bucket. Whee! He was runnin' on the edge of late like all private plows and took off before I could pay him. I'm sure he'll be back.

Somewhere, and I can't remember exactly where, I slipped on a fresh-plowed place and landed on the back of my head. Rang my bell pretty good. It hurts from that little knob down my neck and out to my shoulders. The 800mg Ibu is kickin' in but I don't want to be out on the road and realize I'm hurt to the point where I need a doctor.

That and the fact that I can't plow myself back in if I need to convinced me to suggest we go for Christmas instead. Mrs. G agreed and that was it.

I'm damn glad I don't have to deal with the non-inclement-weather-drivin'-pukes public as well.

It just wasn't in the cards. The omens were not good. The way de bones landed was not encouraging.

This snowthrower, like Fixer's range, served me well for many (16) years and doesn't owe me a damn thing. Mrs, G has been after me to get a new one anyway and we're arguing about whether to get the $900 Craftsman 357cc 33-inch cut job with wheels or the 928 Honda tracked rig for $2900. She wants me to get the Honda, which is the ne plus ultra of snowthrowers, and says we're not getting any younger and it'll probably be the last one we need. Since I'm the el cheapo around here, I counter with we're not getting any richer either. We will see, and husbands know how that goes. I guess when I slam it sideways for the last time and brakeslide up to the Pearly Gates I might as well be broke too. Heh.

I'll fix the 'thrower of course, but a new one would be nice.

All you folks take it real easy out there. Read the comments.

Headline of the Day

Tea Party threatens '2nd Amendment remedies' if Palin doesn't win 'Dancing with the Stars'

Where are we going? And why are we in this handbasket?

TSOs: Dicks in the Dirt

From a comment on this post by Badtux in response to a comment I made about the screeners' morale:

Let's face facts -- the screeners are still screeners either because they're scared wimps, or because they're sick sadists. All this bullshit about their morale being in the crapper... fuck, that's hot air from people scared to be god-damned MEN rather than wimpy whiners. Sorry, just sayin'.

I tend to agree with The Mighty Penguin, though not as strongly about 'wimps' and 'sick sadists', and I'm not gonna go into how some people actually need their shitty TSO job because they have mouths to feed and might not be able financially to tell their supes to shove it.

From Flying With Fish:

A few days ago I contacted 20 TSA Transportation Security Officers (TSO) to ask their opinions of the new “enhanced” pat downs. Of the 20 I reached out to, 17 responded. All 17 who responded are at airports where the new “enhanced” pat down is in place … and the responses were all the same, that front line TSOs do not like the new pat downs and that they do not want to perform them. I expected most to not like the pat downs … but what I didn’t expect was that all 17 mentioned their morale being broken down.

Each of the 17 TSA TSOs that responded to me detailed their personal discomfort in conducting the new pat downs, with more than one stating that it is likely they are more uncomfortable performing the pat down than passengers are receiving them.

Some comments from these TSOs include:

Go see if you wish.

I wouldn't do that shitty job if I was starving to death, which is easy for me to say because I'm not and I'm not much of a people person anyway, particularly when it comes to actually touching them in places I only touch those I like. I'm not sympathizing with the TSOs, but they're people too and have a point of view.

Just sayin'.

A tip o' the Brain to CAFKIA for the article.

Told ya ...

I had a bad feeling about the situation in North Korea. So, what do I see as soon as I put on the news this morning? This can't be good:

Following shelling in disputed waters off Yeonpyeong Island in South Korea in August, North Korea has made an attack on the Island itself, causing damage to homes and injuring residents and military personnel according to reports this morning.


If this is some sort of negotiating ploy by the insane midget, he's stepped over the line. There are hawks in South Korea who look forward to refighting the Korean War and the more the North provokes, the more leverage they'll have. This could get really messy, really quick.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Benedict's Trial Balloon

Thanks to YubaNet.

Gobble 'til ya wobble

Do not miss Will Durst on Thanksgiving!

The fourth Thursday of November is definitely the bestest holiday. Food, Family, Friends and Football. Four of the five F's. I most fondly remember the Thanksgivings of yesteryear. The big, old family reunions, which I looked forward to, until about five seconds after I hit the driveway, then it all comes back… why I left home. And they always made me sit at that stupid fold-up cardboard kids' table. Never got to graduate to the wooden table because none of them would die. Darn medical advances.

There are enough kids in Mrs. G's family these days that we got moved to the big table a coupla years ago. It's a blessing - less of a reach to nephew Sean's famous "three pounds each of butter and cheese, a quart of sour cream and a potato" mashed potatoes! To die for! Literally. And dressing. And yams. And...

Thirteen-bean salad. No, I wish I were making this up. I had no idea there were 13 different types of edible beans. I had no desire to eat them all at one sitting. I certainly would not have chosen to be in a houseful of 23 other people who had eaten 13 types of edible beans. "Crack a window, Billy. Well, break it then." Candle flames turning blue all over the house. "Methane is our friend."


The evening ends with two matriarchs locked in a mortal death clinch, bumping bellies on the back porch with 100 mm. menthols dangling from their mouths while their spouses trade wild, drunken blows on the driveway and the kids pelt them with greasy poultry bones from behind raked piles of leaves. Aah, memories. And that was way back in 2009. Some traditions never die. This year, I'm bringing the Dupamouche.

Much more.

"Mystery dishes" at Thanksgiving are a tradition. So are screw-ups. Mrs. G's niece Tracy is most famous for making a pumpkin pie without removing the paper from the pie crust. She has a photo of that on a T-shirt and wears it every year whilst looking busy by rearranging things in the kitchen and waiting for her husband to bring dinner from the supermarket he owns.

Well, it had to happen, didn't it?

X-ray-proof underwear.

Buske of Las Vegas, Nev.-Rocky Flats Gear says the underwear's inserts are thin and conform to the body's contours, making it difficult to hide anything beneath them. The mix of tungsten and other metals do not set off metal detectors.

The men's design has the fig leaf, while the one for women comes in the shape of clasped hands.

It's unclear whether it would lead to an automatic, more intrusive pat down by federal Transportation Security Administration officials.

Necessity, thou art the mutha of invention, but I think if TSA wants to get to your junk they'll find a way.

I carry my metal VFW membership card outermost in my wallet for similar reasons.

Headlines of the Day

First Olbermann, Then Scarborough, Now MSNBC Suspends Star of ‘Lockup’

GOP on START Treaty: Combust and Vilify

Stove update ...

Can't get a new one (that the Mrs. wants) until Saturday. Contingency plans for Thanksgiving are already in the works. Fuck if I know what they are but I'll get a memo when my assistance is needed. Heh ...

The Party of National Security?

The first sentence in this NYTimes editorial is also a Quote of the Day:

The world’s nuclear wannabes, starting with Iran, should send a thank you note to Senator Jon Kyl. After months of negotiations with the White House, he has decided to try to block the lame-duck Senate from ratifying the New Start arms control treaty.

The treaty is so central to this country’s national security, and the objections from Mr. Kyl — and apparently the whole Republican leadership — are so absurd that the only explanation is their limitless desire to deny President Obama any legislative success.

The Republicans like to claim that they are the party of national security. We can only hope that other senators in the party will decide that the nation’s security interests must trump political maneuvering.

I'm sure they will claim that reducing our nuclear arms from 2,200 to 1,550 and allowing the Russkies to verify is a Kenyan Muslim Communist plot.

And since when do the nation's security interests trump political maneuvering? It's a quaint idea but not Repug policy.

'Toon from YubaNet.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Stonehenge Gets Multimillion-Dollar Grant
It will pay for removal of large, unsightly rocks at historic site.

Ending Estate Tax Would Save Walton Family $30 Billion
Enough to buy rest of Congress, elect John-Boy President.

??? - News Quiz - ???

What is wrong with the Fox News headline, “Obama Praises Indian Chief Who Killed U.S. General?”
A ) Obama did not praise Indian Chief who killed U.S. General.
B ) It was Crazy Horse who defeated Custer at Little Bighorn, not Sitting Bull.
C ) Custer died at Little Bighorn, but nobody knows who killed him.
Hint: you can choose “all of the above.”

I wonder ...

If McCain/Lieberman/Republicans still insist that bombing Iran ASAP is the way to go?

WASHINGTON — North Korea showed a visiting American nuclear scientist last week a vast new facility it secretly and rapidly built to enrich uranium, confronting the Obama administration with the prospect that the country is preparing to expand its nuclear arsenal or build a far more powerful type of atomic bomb.


Personally, after having spent time in that part of the world, I'd take the North Korean idiot a bit more seriously than the Iranian idiot. Then again, I'm not paid to pormote Israeli foreign policy.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Firsts ...

Having lived an ... interesting life, I don't get many "firsts" anymore. This afternoon I got one. Never have I had a glass cooktop blow up in my face before.

Click to make big

The Mrs. has been saying that one of the burners had been acting up so, at halftime in the Napoli-Bologna match I went in the kitchen and turned it on, fiddled with the knob a bit, and watched it work. Not 15 seconds later she blew like a grenade. Fortunately, the Mrs. was standing behind me and the dogs were behind her. Also fortunately, the blast went straight up. We were showered with glass but it didn't come at us. Also fortunately, I got the most of it, a cut above my right eye and the Mrs., Chooch, and Ziva walked away unscathed. Thank god the Mrs. wasn't cooking with a hot pan of grease when it happened. By the way, that steak was supposed to be my dinner. Pizza guy has already been called.

Oh well, interesting day ...

1st Snow, Day 2

Here's yesterday:
Here's today:

Mrs. G took the pups on their morning walk and got just out of the yard and turned around and they were nowhere to be seen. They had already gone back to the house and were waiting by the front door. Here they are investigating the path of least resistance when I stepped out to take the photos:

The kickoff of the Annual Winter Games yesterday went reasonably well. The snowthrower fired right up, but developed a little water in the float bowl at the end, not uncommon after sitting with an empty gas tank for six months.

New snowthrowers all seem to come these days with a nice manufactured stick to clear the discharge chute when it clogs. I just put a large screwdriver or tire iron in my boot for handy access. I'm just hopelessly Old School, I guess.

I just happened to be standing looking out the bathroom window about 3 o'clock this morning. The sky had cleared and the moon was nearly full and it was light as day and absolutely peaceful and beautiful.

The Games will continue...

Tools For Tools

Eugene Robinson

For what it's worth, my advice for Obama is to forget the Republicans. Not literally, of course -- the new House leadership is going to make itself hard to ignore. But ultimately, it's the president who sets the agenda, and who ultimately is held accountable for America's successes and failures. Obama's focus should be on using all the tools at his disposal to move the country in the direction he believes it must go.

Including Gitmo.

Progressives are right when they complain that the White House must do a much better job of making the case for its policies. But the challenge goes well beyond communications. Judging by the way they snubbed Obama's invitation to break bread together, Republicans seem eager for gridlock -- and the chance to blame the president for not getting anything done.

If I were President and those assholes had snubbed me like that, they would have arrived for lunch in the company of a couple large MPs each, whereupon they would have been served a nice lunch and been informed politely in my best drill field voice that an 'invitation' from the President is a summons, not an option.

Dessert would then be served along with a nice slide show of their future accommodations in a lovely sunny clime with gentle tropical breezes should they transgress again, with a gentle voice-over explaining how the Bush rule that the President decides who is an 'enemy of the people' is still very much in effect. Maybe just a coupla slides of a CIA Gulfstream with a nice, er, rendition of "They're Coming To Take Me Away".

Bipartisanship, much less capitulation as compromise, my ass.

Could She Reach the Top in 2012? You Betcha

Not only did I wake up to another foot-and-a-half of snow this morning, Daddy Frank's column is not exactly cheery either:

f logic applied to Palin’s career trajectory, this month might have been judged dreadful for her. In an otherwise great year for Republicans she endorsed a “Star Wars” bar gaggle of anomalous and wacky losers — the former witch, Christine O’Donnell; the raging nativist, Tom Tancredo; and at least two candidates who called for armed insurrection against the government, Sharron Angle and a would-be Texas congressman, Stephen Broden, who lost by over 50 percentage points. Last week voters in Palin’s home state humiliatingly “refudiated” her protégé, Joe Miller, overturning his victory in the G.O.P. Senate primary with a write-in campaign.

But logic doesn’t apply to Palin. What might bring down other politicians only seems to make her stronger: the malapropisms and gaffes, the cut-and-run half-term governorship, family scandals, shameless lying and rapacious self-merchandising. In an angry time when America’s experts and elites all seem to have failed, her amateurism and liabilities are badges of honor. She has turned fallibility into a formula for success.

With Murdoch, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity on her side, Palin hardly needs the grandees of the so-called Republican establishment. They know it and flail at her constantly. Politico reported just before Election Day that unnamed “party elders” were nearly united in wanting to stop her, out of fear that she’d win the nomination and then be crushed by Obama. Their complaints are seconded daily by Bush White House alumni like Karl Rove, Michael Gerson, and Mark McKinnon, who said recently that Palin’s “stock is falling and pretty rapidly now” and that “if she’s smart, she does not run.”

This is either denial or wishful thinking. The same criticisms that the Bushies fling at Palin were those once aimed at Bush: a slender résumé, a lack of intellectual curiosity and foreign travel, a lazy inclination to favor from-the-gut improvisation over cracking the briefing books. These spitballs are no more likely to derail Palin within the G.O.P. than they did him.

Revealingly, Sarah Palin’s potential rivals for the 2012 nomination have not joined the party establishment in publicly criticizing her. They are afraid of crossing Palin and the 80 percent of the party that admires her. So how do they stop her? Not by feeding their contempt in blind quotes to the press — as a Romney aide did by telling Time’s Mark Halperin she isn’t “a serious human being.” Not by hoping against hope that Murdoch might turn off the media oxygen that feeds both Palin’s viability and News Corporation’s bottom line. Sooner or later Palin’s opponents will instead have to man up — as Palin might say — and actually summon the courage to take her on mano-a-maverick in broad daylight.

Short of that, there’s little reason to believe now that she cannot dance to the top of the Republican ticket when and if she wants to.

I don't think she could win but, deep down, I could never be sure that our electorate wouldn't ride the crazy train off the rails and our nation with it. The time between her nomination and the election results would be the most fear and apprehension for the longest time I've ever felt. Victory for me would be simply surviving it.

More moral hypocrisy ...

You know, maybe these idiots might get the hint one day. When I hear one of god's mouthpieces getting all verschimmelt over the morality of something or another, I immediately think they're projecting their own insecurities or failings upon their flock and, ultimately, upon all of us. This latest weenie who just got his '15 Minutes' told his congregation to delete their Facebook accounts or they'd be excommunicated (or whatever his flavor of Xtians call it). "So, he's fucking one of the church ladies he met on FB, or got caught at it," was my first thought. I wasn't far off:

A pastor who said Facebook was a 'portal to infidelity' has admitted to having threesome sex with his wife and a male church assistant.

The Rev. Cedric Miller's secret past was exposed after he ordered church leaders to delete their Facebook accounts or resign.

He blamed the social networking website for causing married couples to have illicit affairs and igniting 'old passions'.


All of you, from now on, please just shut the fuck up.

American idiots ...

And we wonder why this country has turned into Bizarro World?

There are a lot of rather depressing findings in this latest Pew knowledge poll, including the fact the while 75% of the public knows that the Republicans 'won" the last election, only 46% know they only won the House of Representatives. I joked before election day that a lot of Tea Partiers were going to be upset to find out that Barack Obama was still president on the day after, but I didn't think it might actually be true.


The Republican Party and conservative groups have been quite successful over the past 30 years in dumbing down the population. The ignorant are easily led.

Anybody who actually thinks is demonized as an 'elite' and an 'intellectual', one whose 'subversive comments' are dangerous to the country. When I was young they were called 'bleeding hearts', people with a social conscience who believed in the betterment of all Americans not just those who could afford it. People who believed unnecessary wars in far off places were detrimental to the American way of life. People who believed polluting the environment would come back to bite us in the ass.

All that was true 40 years ago is still true today (as we've seen over the past 10 years), and still the ignorant vote against their own interests. In these days of instant communication and easy access to the knowledge of the world, you'd think we'd have become a smarter society but instead we've become even more clueless. A population who believes voting in an election is equivalent to the audience participation on American Idol or Dancing With The Stars.

I believe, at this point, we've crested the hill and are on the down side. The America we knew in the 20th Century will be no longer and we are well on our way to mediocrity or worse. I suggest an epitaph for our national gravestone: "Keep your government hands off my Medicare". It explains it all.