Saturday, April 2, 2011

California Snow

Tom Russell is one of my favorite singer-songwriters. He writes about shit I can relate to. I'm not 100% certain, but I think his accompanist on this is Nina Gerber. Even if I'm wrong, you should know about this wonderful guitar picker.

Those of you who follow my antics should know that I have a bountiful surfeit of 'California Snow'. My lot runneth over. It's been T-shirt weather since I had my roof cleared and it's melting at a prodigious rate and thank you Jesus for that.

21SEP08 at AMSDconcerts, A San Diego CA concert series, with video by Steve Laub


Thanks to AMSDconcerts.

Saturday Crazy Redneck Music Blogging

Famous old-time country gospel singer Robert Plant lets one fly!

Robert Plant & The Band Of Joy (July 30, 2010) at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL

Of course the best way to bring down Satan's Kingdom is don't vote for Repuglicans.

Robert Plant & The Band Of Joy "Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down"


Thanks to LizaJaneAudiophile.

A tale of two governors

Seeing as how the Brain is a bicoastal effort from remarkably similar yet remarkably diverse rocket scientists in New York and California, I found it interesting that this article in the EssEffChron draws some similar parallels between a coupla other NY and CA rocket scientists with bigger rockets. Whether they attain unimaginable soul-stirring heights (like the Brain) or topple over on the launch pad is yet to be seen.

In New York, home of what has been called America's "most dysfunctional legislature," Democrat Andrew Cuomo has been showered with praise this week as he prepares to sign a budget deal that cuts billions of dollars from schools and health care without imposing new taxes.

In California, where the "most dysfunctional" legislative title may also apply, Democrat Jerry Brown is being hammered: His budget proposals look shattered, his calls for a June special election dead, his Plan B uncertain and the two major parties in Sacramento no longer speaking, at least publicly.

Cuomo, the son of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, and Brown, whose late father was California Gov. Edmund "Pat" Brown, are three months into their terms and leading solidly blue states that are deep in the red.

Much more. Enjoy.

He'd probably do a better job ...

Than Secaucus Fats. I can't listen to this whiny kid (he's been all over the news here) who wants to be governor of New Jersey anymore, but if I lived there I'd vote for him before I'd vote for Christie.

Say what you will ...

About Islamic fundamentalists (and you know how I feel about fundamentalist religionists of any stripe), you don't see them going out and burning bibles. What the fuck is with the Christian fundies that they can't show the same respect for others' holy scriptures? Personally, I think they all should be used for kindling but I also believe in respect for my fellow humans and their beliefs (as long as they don't try to force them on me). Jackholes like this piss me off:

...

Jones originally gave up the idea of a Koran burning, but I guess life got boring without some media attention following Rep. Peter King's fearmongering hearings. Jones's ignorant book burning took place a little over a week ago, though it was largely ignored in the American media.

...


And now a buncha UN workers are dead. Good job, asswipe.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Emmylou Harris performs "Darlin' Kate" live at the Driskill Hotel, Austin, Texas on March 18, 2011.

For more videos, visit npr.org/tinydeskconcerts
For more SXSW coverage visit npr.org/sxsw

NPR Music Tiny SXSW Concert: Emmylou Harris


Thanks to nprmusic.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Stand up! Hook up! Shuffle to the door...

Fixer inspires me sometimes. This vid ain't very good but you get the idea. Happened 10 minutes ago. The deck railing is 10 feet off the ground but it's only a foot and a half to the snow below it.

Tami chases her ball. Taken on my deck. And off it. Boy, did I get The Look from the Mrs. for conning Tami into doing that, but Tami didn't seem to mind.

Stoned ...

And not the good way.

You all know about my garden hijinks lately. Well, come Wednesday, I'll be building one of these:



Pic from here.


On Wednesday at 0900, they drop a couple tons of flat stones* in my yard. The bright side is that it's only gonna be 6" high and 50' long (a border around the center bed). Shoulda never took the Mrs. with me ("Do you remember those stone fences we saw in the Azores? Wouldn't one of those be beautiful?") when I went out pricing flagstones this afternoon. We also came away with 12 more plants** while we were there. Still ain't found flagstones for the walk ...

*And, believe it or not, it's cheaper than the cast stuff they sell at the Home Depot and regardless of the material, I'm still lugging a couple tons of stuff, 20lbs at a time. I have to agree with the Mrs. that the real thing will probably look better and more authentic.

**Note to Jay in NC: I'll let you know what we got when I plant 'em on Sunday.


Update:

The stone fences in the Azores the Mrs. was talking about. This is on Ponta Delgada.

Maybe I do need one...

When I turned 65 I started getting all kinds of ads for old people shit, including the little electric scooters.

Just as an aside, a lot of these have 'disconnect' switches in the back. The operator can't reach it from the seat. I had a lotta fun with this feature at the VA hospital. Vets ain't exactly known for being politically correct, but we wouldn't leave the guy stranded for much longer than for him to realize he'd been had. I don't do it to the old farts who use 'em at the supermarket. But I digress.

One of the features of the scooter ads is usually something like "If one of the following has happened to you, you need our scooter!"

Q: Have you fallen in the last year?

A: Yeah, I fell off my trials bike, dipshit.

Here's one I could live with. I wonder if Medicare will pay for it...:


Thanks to colinfurze, UK.

The asylum is getting crazier by the minute

The Rude Pundit follows up on Fixer's post:

Let's add one more piece to this puzzle. Expressing what must be the angst felt by a great many people who once proudly called themselves "conservative," if not "Republican," once-proud conservative Andrew Sullivan wrote this week, "Conservatism cannot be defined as whatever is the most extreme right-wing narrative of the moment. Time matters. Conservatism needs to be flexible enough a governing philosophy to be able to correct for conservative ideology itself. When such an ideology threatens fiscal balance, a prudent foreign policy, and a thriving middle class, it has become the enemy of real conservatism, not its friend."

He's right. However, the exigencies of time and the actions of fools change things. 19th-century liberalism is nearly the mirror opposite of today's liberalism. Eisenhower Republicans would think that today's GOP is filled with barking mad idiots and then wonder why in the fuck would leaders pay attention in any way, shape, or form to the maddest of them all. Sorry, dear, once-loyal opposition, but "conservative" has been co-opted and remade in the image of the extremists, much in the way that "Christian" now generally means "fundamentalist" in the United States. Whatever Buckley-esque resonances of decades past you may want it to have, "conservative" now means a devotion to untenable financial policies, obeisance to the needs of corporations and the very wealthy, regressive social policies, and, indeed, belief in things that are demonstrably false. The word belongs to the nuts and to the imbeciles and to those who profit off their devolved sense of the nation and the world.

What do you do, in such a relationship, where you have been abandoned by the progress of the world beyond your reach? If you have any sense, you break up. It's that simple. And you try to figure out how to make your life have meaning again.

(Note: unless it becomes absolutely necessary because of some event or other, this is the last time the Rude Pundit will talk about the godforsaken fucktardery of birtherism.)

You'll be back, Rude-Man. Those fuckers won't quit even when they're full of embalming fluid.

Yes, Boehner is really 'boner'

Weiner: ‘Who is Boehner fooling? What am I, like, Anthony Waynor?’

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) brought the house down last night at the Congression Correspondents’ Dinner, touching on the proper pronunciation of his name, his “seventies Jew-fro” that adorns with Twitter page and the proper method for engaging with journalists in live videos to show the proper amount of respect.

Video too!

Headline of the Day

Arianna: The Huffington Post is not a ‘lefty’ publication anymore

It's not on my reading list any more either. Ya still got a nice rack for an old hide, Red.

"...behold this carousel of whiny self-victimhood"

Here's a coupla ¶ from Glenn Greenwald on Richie Rich's Pity Party.

For billionaires to see themselves as the True Victims, to complain that the President and the Government are waging some sort of war against them in the name of radical egalitarianism, is so removed from reality -- universes away -- that's it's hard to put into words. And the fiscal recklessness that the Kochs and their comrades tirelessly point to was a direct by-product of the last decade's rule by the Republican Party which they fund: from unfunded, endless wars to a never-ending expansion of the privatized National Security and Surveillance States to the financial crisis that exploded during the Bush presidency. But whatever else is true, there are many victims of fiscal policy in America: the wealthiest business interests and billionaires like the Koch Brothers are the few who are not among them.

[...] They single-handedly fund advocacy groups and covert campaigns on a wide variety of highly controversial issues that adversely impact huge numbers of people. That they expect to be able to do that without any vigorous response or opposition or anger is just reflective of their oozing sense of entitlement: the same syndrome that leads them to perversely believe that the True Victims in America's political culture are its wealthiest and most powerful.

This strain of delusional self-victimization is not uncommon. One commonly finds those who are the strongest and most powerful convincing themselves that they are the oppressed and the marginalized. Many Americans believe that -- as they invade, bomb and occupy countless Muslim countries -- that they are the ones being victimized by the Muslim world, while many Israelis and their loyalists believe that the nuclear-armed, constantly invading, occupying and bombing nation is the real victim of aggression and militarism in the Middle East. [...]

This is exactly the psychological affliction that leads Wall Street plunderers and tycoons and billionaires to see themselves as the victims of the resentful lower-classes and the "radical egalitarians" who run the U.S. Government. Even as they get richer and everyone else gets poorer, even as the very few remaining restraints on their political power are abolished, even as the disparities in wealth and power grow ever-larger, they become increasingly convinced that everything is stacked against them, that there is a grand conspiracy to deprive them of what is rightfully theirs. All of this could be confined to a fascinating, abstract psychological study if not for the fact that the people who think this way exercise the most political power and continue to exercise more and more.

But...but...but...nobody was supposed to know...our Supremes said so...the peasants have found out and now they don't like us...waaaaaaaah...

Note to the Kochs et alia: you are crunchy and will taste good with ketchup. If there's anything left after cleaning.

Huckabee: All Americans Should Be Forced at Gunpoint to Listen to David Barton

This is at Talk To Action.

While most eyes were on the Conservative Principles Political Action Committee conference in Iowa on Saturday, many of us who follow the religious right were more interested in another conference, also held in Iowa, on Thursday and Friday. This other conference was the Rediscover God in America conference, where all the same potential 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls that appeared at the Saturday's Conservative Principles PAC conference told us what they really think -- that America should be governed by biblical law.

Sure, there was a lot of talk about important issues like the economy at the Conservative Principles PAC conference, but it was at the Rediscover God in America conference that we learned that all of our economic policies should be based on the Bible. And who did we learn this from? None other than Christian nationalist pseudo-historian David Barton, who kicked off the conference with a lengthy presentation of his usual historical hogwash. Then, one by one, as the potential Republican presidential candidates took the podium to let the audience full of pastors know just how Christian they are, each began by gushing about what a great historian and good friend David Barton is.

You can read the rest of this, and there's video with Suckabee's 'gunpoint' comment left in although it was edited out of the webcast. Edited out for good reason - Huckeeboy let their true feelings slip out.

Yes, to these crazies we should all be forced at gunpoint to listen to the lies and rantings of the American Taliban. Do what the religious right wants or they'll shoot you. Good Xtians to a man and damn white of 'em.

Not getting involved ... (revisited)

Being I've operated with both of these aircraft, one has to wonder how uninvolved we're actually becoming:

...

But unlike the attack aircraft used in the war’s first days, these planes fly low to the ground and fire cannons instead of dropping bombs. Experienced in Iraq and Afghanistan, the A-10’s 30 millimeter “Avenger” guns to shoot holes at ground targets; the A-130 loiters over its targets at 15,000 feet before firing its 25 mm, 40mm and 105 mm guns. If you want to take out enemy tanks, trucks and artillery pieces from the sky — with friendly dudes on the ground nearby — these are the planes you fly.

...

The other side ...

Of the Cattle Dog coin.

Remember about a month an a half ago, when I posted a vid of my little idiots dogs roughhousing while I was trying to blog? Well, this is the other side of the coin, when they're beat and don't want to be bothered.



Sorry but you'll never get that minute back. Heh ...

And yes, that's the Beeb on in the background.

I realize ...

We've been dumbed down to the lowest common denominator but shouldn't an elected representative know a little about geography?

The old joke goes that most people can't find whatever country the United States is at war with on a map.

...


I mean, I guess sitting on the House Foreign Affairs Committee doesn't require knowing much about anything "foreign". Seems believing anything French is no good is qualification enough.

Oh yes ...

You see it all the time. Women fake rape to get abortions. Christ ...

Summing up ...

The political discourse in America in the beginning of the 21st Century. The Rude One:

...

Something's seriously fucked beyond fucked when, in order to be considered at having a real shot at winning Republican primaries, you gotta not just go nutzoid anti-choice and anti-gay (which is stupid enough), but you gotta at least leave the door open for genuine madness in order to appease the inmates at the asylum.


Getting crazier by the day too.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Progressive crazy ...

See, this is what gives political adversaries ammo:

... I'm not sure that this kind of gimmickry doesn't diminish the seriousness of PETA's cause ...


They want San Francisco to change the name of the "Tenderloin" district. Mr. Aravosis calls it right.

... I think it important that someone keep pressure on the food industry to better its practices, make them as humane as possible, etc. But is complaining about the Tenderloin district really worthy of PETA? ...


Dennis Kucinich is another one. He has some great points, and does some great work for the progressive cause, but his dives into the realm of nutty diminish his message and makes it too easy to disregard everything he says.

Let the conservatives play on the crazy side, but if anybody's gonna take progressives seriously, they gotta get away from the nitpicky shit that makes them look like obsessive nuts.

In this day and age, with the conservative opposition research machine going full bore, it might help the cause if those on our side with a national forum thought about what they are about to say before they opened their traps.

Isn’t it time for a no-fly zone in Arizona?

I've been having a hard time finding something to get worked up enough to post on today. Usually it's easy. The Repugs have gone from shooting themselves and each other in the foot to blasting each other's feet off with high explosives. I like that, but it's getting so common I've become blasé, jaded even, about it. Ho-hum. I mean, Fixer's garden and my snow are more interesting.

Libya? Opinions are all over the place, including mine. ¿Quien sabe?

I came when I found Laura Flanders combining the two! Joe Arpaio is a self-serving bully who likes to humiliate inmates with green baloney and pink underwear, which is easy since they're in his jail, and take law enforcement resources away from the important stuff like safeguarding the community and blowing them on grandstanding and publicity seeking. Using a TANK to bust up a chicken fight fer chrissake?!

Right-wingers love this asshole, which is reason enough to dislike the pig.

Text at AlterNet.


Thanks to lauraflanders.

Not getting involved ...

It just gets better:

President Obama has a signed a secret presidential finding authorizing covert operations to aid the effort in Libya where rebels are in full retreat despite air support from U.S. and allied forces, a source tells ABC News.

...


Mark my words, this is gonna bite us in the ass.

Off to the garden center for more junipers ...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Update ...

In a comment on my earlier post, Gordon said: "We will, of course, require photographs of this marvel as it develops." Ask and ye shall receive:

Yesterday, I laid out the perimeter and the bed around the tree. There was nothing here but the big ol' maple and the gnarly old wisteria in the corner (you can barely see it on the far left in the 2nd pic) When I was a kid, this was my baseball field (home plate was about 10 feet to the right of the maple). When I took these two, I'd started putting in the heather and creeping juniper.





Today, I planted the rest of the shit around the tree and the anchor shrubs in the perimeter. The lilacs are on the perimeter, every 5 feet, but they're hard to see. They came as saplings (see 3rd pic) and they are tiny. If I knew they would have been this small, I would have waited and bought mature bushes. I can just picture my yard rabbits having a field day with them but we'll see by morning. Might be the last thing they eat (where's my .22). Heh ...



Update:

I put this in comments (for our pal Jay in NC) but it'll probably be easier here (using the above pic as reference):

...

Perimeter:

On the corners are Dwarf Alberta Spruce
In the middle is a Japanese Holly
The Lilacs are of the Old Fashioned variety, standard color

Bed (l to r):

The fan looking things are Broom Evergreens
The purple shrubs are a combination of Heather and Heath
The plants with the green and white leaves (closest to the tree) are Wintercreepers
The green plants closest to the edge are Blue Star Juniper
The little round grass balls are Blue Fescue

...


***






Click pics to make bigger.


I still have to get the stones for the border around the tree and I have to head up the street to 9 Brothers Gravel Yard (a good, mostly, buncha Italian boys who I went to school with) to look at flagstones for the walking areas.

If anybody wants to know which shrubs are which, let me know and I'll put up a list of what I used.

Update Zwei(Thursday):

So I got a little carried away this morning. Heh ... I added some depth to the perimeter, pairing an English Dwarf Boxwood (l) with the Alberta Spruces. In front of the old Wisteria(r), I put two more clumps of the Blue Fescue and Sweet Flag Variegatus. I also stuck a Blue Pacific Shore Juniper(c) with the Japanese Holly.

Thankfully, I got everything planted before the rain really started, but it's been a constant drizzle all morning. I wasn't gonna take the little mud balls dogs out with me but the Mrs. is in Hartford on business and I'd be damned if I trusted the two of them alone in the house for 4 hours while I'm playing in the dirt.







Now you have us out in the rain?

Shopping Day

We're off to The Big City to spend some of our Gummint Welfare rockin' chair money! Keep working! Heh.

See yas.

Hypocridiot-O’-The-Day!

The whackjob wingnut M.O. in a nutshell.

VIDEO: Oops! Michele Bachmann demands freedom of speech… except for the L.A. Times
...

Priceless. Just perfect. Watch all the way to the very end:

Fox News ate my nuclear dolphins

If it's Wednesday it must be Morford, who's all, er, aglow in the wake of the disaster in Japan.

It is 2011 and here is what we know: Reality is fluid, fact is malleable, cause and effect completely uncertain. We know what we don't know, but we also know the opposite. We are told multiple stories, versions, ideas, adaptations of truth that cannot be verified or confirmed, because our global media has lost nearly all credibility, largely because of, well, you, because everyone wants it all for free, the value of an engaged, highly informed populace has plummeted, and also because media conglomerates have shamelessly whored out their once-respectable newsrooms as a profit centers.

Result: Fox News. Result: Andrew Breitbart. Result: A shamelessly malevolent GOP that openly loathes its own constituents and fellates the rich like never before. Result: The truth simply doesn't have much of a chance. Wait, does it? Maybe it does. After all, positives abound.

There has never been a better time to be an optimist. There has never been a better time to be a fatalist. There has never been a deeper collective urge to tune out all the careening white noise and dash off to the woods with a packet of poppy seeds and a copy of "Sailing to Byzantium" and start your own cult.

Except that the woods are full of pesticides, meth labs and redneck Tea Party inbreds who think Obama is a Muslim Nazi socialist, guns are for licking, and you, yes you, are a despicable godless commie pervert for caring enough to read this column right now.

Damn right I am!

So much ...

For "handing over responsibility":

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is engaged in a fierce debate over whether to supply weapons to the rebels in Libya, senior officials said on Tuesday, with some fearful that providing arms would deepen American involvement in a civil war and that some fighters may have links to Al Qaeda.

...


We're still paying for our interference in Afghanistan in the '80s when we armed the "freedom fighters" against the Soviets. How long will we pay for this?

Theme of my day ...

Same as yesterday:



Elton John - Empty Garden




The Beatles - The Walrus


Lyric:

...

Sitting in an English garden
Waiting for the sun
If the sun don't come
You get a tan from
Standing in the English rain

...


The reason I was turning the garden yesterday is because today I have 16 shrubs in pots (that I picked up at 0600 this morning) that I have to plant plus 20 lilac bushes coming via UPS later in the morning that all have to get into the ground before I close my eyes tonight.

The Mrs. always wanted an English garden and now that I have the time (sorta) and our friends Chris and Terry from Wales are staying with us for a week over July 4th, I figured better now than never.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tahoe's winter: 'The snowiest March we've ever seen'

Good. I thought it was just me...

Sierra Sun

Ski resorts are reporting either record or near-record snow accumulations, causing many to extend the ski season into mid- to late- May, and boaters are preparing for a summer season that figures to feature high water levels for Lake Tahoe, Donner Lake, the Truckee River and other regional waterbodies.

Squaw Valley USA is reporting its best season ever from a snow accumulation standpoint, reporting 691 inches as of Tuesday, March 29. Thus, the resort announced it will extend its ski season to May 30.

“With this much snow, Squaw Valley will have great coverage through May 30 and possibly even longer,” said Andy Wirth, Squaw's chief executive officer. “We will certainly be examining the possibility of opening for July 4, conditions permitting.” (my em)

According to the Associated Press, California Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to declare on Wednesday an end to the state's 3-year-old drought, an announcement expected after completion of the state's final snow survey.

Heavy snow and drenching rains have left California reservoirs at high levels. The Sierra Nevada snowpack was 159 percent of normal as of Friday.

Damn good thing there's no 'climate change'. I'd hate for this past winter to become the norm.

Breakin' trail to the dryer vent

It looks like Fixer 'n me are both doing shovel work today. He's turning his garden (two posts down), I'm tryin' fer warm underwear. Let's just say we is both ho-ing...

This was my recon job yesterday. At one point Mrs. G saw the dogs going by outside the office window and hollered hello and I hollered 'hi' back.

Also, with one day of sunshine and mid-40s temp my snow pile went down almost a foot. It was like summer! More, more...! If I wait a coupla weeks for clean skivvies maybe the dryer vent will clear naturally...no, no, there must be something in the Geneva Convention about that.



Update:

I got the dryer vent dug out. I sat on the snow under my dripping eaves wearing a hooded rain jacket. I now understand the full meaning of "colder'n a well digger's ass". My jeans are in the dryer, the venting of which is melting that pile of snow at a prodigious rate. I wish.

I had to dig straight down about three feet. I used both long and short handled shovels. I broke a short handled one the other day and when I went to replace it I found the cutest little shovel I've ever seen. I'da bought it if I hadn't needed it. Its use is limited but it worked well for this close-clearance job until the hole got so deep I couldn't reach any farther. It's called a Razorback Little Hog and I got it at our Ace Hardware store. Under 20 bucks, but I had a $5 coupon.

Thar she blows!

Worst of Durst

Sarah Palin visited Jerusalem's Wailing Wall, and was very excited because whaling is a big industry around Alaska.

Don't we get an attorney?

No.



Turning out the garden this morning and, for utmost efficiency (I got no fucking time), my little "helpers" were confined to the kennel while I was working.

"Drunk" food all the rage in Shakytown

For us Krautophiles. Brand X via the LATimes:

Eating: L.A. bars and eateries sprechen Deutsch

But lately a new breed of late-night destinations is sweeping into Los Angeles, catering to a younger crowd that associates late-night cool, clubbing and great food with cities such as Berlin.

Last month, Angelenos saw the debut of nighttime hang Steingarten LA, and in the coming months at least two more spots serving up German-themed late-night thrills — Kai Loebach’s Currywurst on Fairfax and W├╝rstkuche Venice — are rushing to meet the demand for “drunk” food and imported craft beers.

“People are already going to be drunk when they come in here,” says Kai Loebach, the Westphalia-born owner of the forthcoming Currywurst on Fairfax. It is not related to the Berlin Currywurst in Silver Lake.

“I was born and raised on currywurst and I’ve always craved the quick fix satisfaction of eating it after midnight in L.A.,” he said.

Currywurst and beer after midnight, blow the blankets right off the bed by morning. Sounds good to me!

Ya think?

Maybe, if you're having a meeting about the fate of Libya, you might want to have a Libyan or two among the attendees?

(CBS/AP) LONDON — World powers were meeting in London on Tuesday seeking to plot out an endgame for Muammar Qaddafi's tottering regime and to strike agreement on plans for Libya's future.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Arab League and as many as 40 global foreign ministers were joining the talks — seeking to ratchet up pressure on Qaddafi to quit.

...


Just sayin' ...

Addendum: And, again, just sayin', maybe we should send our own war criminals to The Hague before we demand the Libyans turn Gadhafy over.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Accidental Priceless Video

I went and broke trail to check on the dryer vent a little while ago. Video of that later, but this is a quickie and it's priceless!

She asked if she could pick the scene for me to show. I asked her if she had jumped up and down and waved her arms and hollered "That's the one! That's the one!" anytime in the last 45 minutes. When she replied in the negative I accused her of a lack of showmanship and told her I'd pick it. Heh.

My wife likes to look at houses we can't afford. Looks like she found a nice one.

This is what happened when I missed the 'off' button on the Active-i glasses/vidcam and set it on the desk whilst awaiting my turn on Hal. I could not have planned this and I have 45 minutes of it. Heh.

Willie Nelson’s prosecutor wants to see marijuana decriminalized

A 'must read' for all you heads, at Raw Story.

The Texas county attorney who's letting musician Willie Nelson plea his marijuana charge down to a fee and a song told Raw Story in an exclusive interview that he wishes authorities could just drop the criminal penalties for pot altogether and make getting busted more like getting a parking ticket.

Kudos to the DA!

County Judge Becky Dean Walker, he said, refused to allow Nelson a plea-by-mail, which is typical for misdemeanor marijuana possession cases in some Texas counties.

"She said to me: 'You ain't letting him plead by mail, 'cause I'm not accepting that,'"' Bramblett explained. "I said to her, 'Why?' And she said, ''Cause I want to meet Willie Nelson.'"

Fuckin' A! Shit, lady, if you'da asked, he'da let ya get high on his bus!

Note to prosecutors everywhere: If you bust me for weed, please just let me pay the fine. If you ask me to sing, it would be a case for The Hague as a violation of the Geneva Convention.

Oh please, please, please...

Richard Clarke Says U.S. Chamber May Have Committed A Felony With Hacking Plot

It's only a crime if someone looks into it. Fat chance.

Joe Bageant 1946-2011

Talk To Action

Our friend and occasional guest front pager Joe Bageant died yesterday after a four month bout with cancer. He was 64. Right now, I do not have the words to say much more than that I will miss him and that our country was a far better place with his distinct, original and I think, historically important populist voice in it. He was a great story teller who had great stories to tell. Unsurprisingly, his essays were among the most popular ever posted on this site.

His 2005 book, Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War is still a great, wise and humorous read. One friend said: "Bageant writes in the tradition of Mark Twain's Letters from the Earth." High praise, and right-on. His next book Rainbow Pie: A Redneck Memoir, will be published in the U.S. next week.

His essay, What the 'Left Behind' Series Really Means, originally published in December 2005 and posted here at Talk to Action in February 2006 is reposted (along with the comment thread) on the flip. -- FC

Go read an excerpt from "A Whore That Sitteth Upon Many Waters".

Joe Bageant is someone I like to read and haven't read enough. He will be missed.

(Un) American Thought Police

Paul Krugman on the Repug witch hunt of U. WI historian William Cronon after he published something they didn't like.

If this action strikes you as no big deal, you’re missing the point. The hard right — which these days is more or less synonymous with the Republican Party — has a modus operandi when it comes to scholars expressing views it dislikes: never mind the substance, go for the smear. And that demand for copies of e-mails is obviously motivated by no more than a hope that it will provide something, anything, that can be used to subject Mr. Cronon to the usual treatment.

The Cronon affair, then, is one more indicator of just how reflexively vindictive, how un-American, one of our two great political parties has become.

I will ass-yoom that Mr. Krugman is being sarcastic. Neither of our big political parties is exactly 'great', and one of them is criminally despicable.

After all, if you go through a large number of messages looking for lines that can be made to sound bad, you’re bound to find a few. In fact, it’s surprising how few such lines the critics managed to find in the “Climategate” trove: much of the smear has focused on just one e-mail, in which a researcher talks about using a “trick” to “hide the decline” in a particular series. In context, it’s clear that he’s talking about making an effective graphical presentation, not about suppressing evidence. But the right wants a scandal, and won’t take no for an answer.

Is there any doubt that Wisconsin Republicans are hoping for a similar “success” against Mr. Cronon?

Someone like Mr. Cronon can stand up to the pressure. But less eminent and established researchers won’t just become reluctant to act as concerned citizens, weighing in on current debates; they’ll be deterred from even doing research on topics that might get them in trouble.

What’s at stake here, in other words, is whether we’re going to have an open national discourse in which scholars feel free to go wherever the evidence takes them, and to contribute to public understanding. Republicans, in Wisconsin and elsewhere, are trying to shut that kind of discourse down. It’s up to the rest of us to see that they don’t succeed.

Facts, especially when they're the truth about them, are anathema to Repugs of every stripe, and by 'stripe' I mean the hash mark residue on their lips from Big Corpora's skivvies. The last thing in the world they want is 'honest discourse' because they know it'll sink 'em. Crank up the RS3M* and make critics afraid. They're good at that.

If we don't fight back, we lose, and there are no rules. A Repug ballsack in yer teeth means you're doing it right.

*Repug Spin, Slime, and Smear Machine

My pet desire when it comes to the lyin' sacks a' shit is a creatively edited video of Breitbart pourin' the pork to his butt boy O'Keefe. A disturbing yet lovely visual.

Headline of the Day

Dutch bankers' bonuses axed by people power

Mama Don't Send Me to the Big-Box Store

Via BuzzFlash. I like this and I think I've found a Las Vegas that doesn't need to be a bombing and gunnery range impact zone.


Thanks to hymiehymie.


Related:

What Happens When We Become the United Nations of Walmart?

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Poll: 29% Can't Name Vice President
Poll taken in West Wing of White House.

Maine's Governor Orders Removal of Mural on Dept. of Labor Depicting Rosie the Riveter, 1st Woman Cabinet Member Frances Perkins, Other Labor Heroes
New mural will show Koch brothers playing tennis.

Glenn Beck May Start Own Channel
For viewers fed up with Fox's liberal slant.

Prehistoric Texans May Have Been First Humans in U.S.
Many still there.

Tea Party Fundraiser Features Joe the Plumber, Sheriff Joe, Joe Miller
All to honor Joe McCarthy.

And you wonder ...

Why we're so fucked up?

...

Really? Am I the only one who is astonished that Market Gods are robots that can't tell the difference between Ann Hathaway and Berkshire Hathaway and obviously just buy and sell on "buzz" whether it's good or bad? That's not even remotely rational.

...

Stay classy, America ...

Since the Earthquake/Tsunami/Nuclear Meltdown began, the world governing body of real football soccer has mandated a minute of silence before every match out of respect for the Japanese. Now, I probably see more soccer matches in a week than most Americans see in their lifetimes and I've seen the "minute of silence" a hundred times since the catastrophe. In every match, in Europe, in Asia, in South America, the referee had to blow his whistle to end the silence. Caught the US - Argentina match the other night from Jersey's Meadowlands. Let's just say I was somewhat embarrassed.

Snakes in the Bronx!

I guess this ain't helping revenue at the Reptile House. Heh ...

NEW YORK -- A poisonous cobra has vanished from an enclosure outside public view at the Bronx Zoo, and its Reptile House remained closed Sunday as a precaution while zoo workers searched for the missing reptile.

...

Don't know why ...

But this has been going through my head since I woke up this morning:



Led Zeppelin - When The Levee Breaks


Update:

Figured it out. I must have heard the soundtrack from the trailer of this stupid movie.

And, as I'm catching up here after running around all weekend, this popped into my head after reading Gordon's post:



The Police - Canary in a Coal Mine

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Meskins are on my roof!

Four guys showed up at 8AM. They put the ladder on my freshly shovelled (by me) deck and in about two minutes it looked like a blizzard out my front window and the snow on the deck is four feet deep. I have to wait for them to move to the sides to go shovel myself out because if I went out there now they'd have me buried up to my neck in a New York minute!

This deserves telling - one of the gents is wearing leather street shoes, probly the ones he walked into the U.S. with. He put plastic shopping bags over cotton socks and another pair of socks over that.

Don't anybody ever tell me Meskins don't wanna work. An Anglo woulda complained up one side and down the other that he couldn't do this work because he didn't have the proper footwear.

More as this develops. Photos later. This is kinda my day today.

Update:

The vatos are back up on the roof after comida at the Siete-Once. While they were gone, I was scoopin' dog poop off my driveway and the plastic D-handle on the shovel broke. Got all four knuckles, two of 'em big time. It's only a flesh wound, but I left a blood trail headin' for the band-aids.

The snow is off the front of my roof and they are working on the back side. I've got a pile of snow in my driveway I can't believe. Loader time.

Later.

Update II:

2PM. The snow's off the roof, the Meskins are gone. El jefe Jose said one more big storm and my house would have broken in two so it was money well spent.

I'm still tunnelling from my front door to the driveway. Making good time. I've got about six feet down at the deepest spot and twenty feet out to go, just one shovel width will do for now.

More when I have time.

Update III:

Here's some photos. No pics of the Meskins. When I pointed the camera at 'em, they all dove off the roof for some reason. They were on the clock and I couldn't afford the lost time to dig 'em out again. Heh.

Before:

Click photos to embiggen


After. You can see the access I dug on the left. I need to go down another foot or so but that's enough for today.



Another perspective of the snow that's now on the driveway. It's like that all the way around my house. All you can see out the windows is snow and the windows in back are six feet off the ground. Tomorrow I have to dig down and make sure the dryer vent is clear so Mrs. G can dry the laundry. No energy left today.

Yesterday I shovelled five feet of snow off my deck and I'm damn glad I did. It has five more feet of snow on it today and I'da had to shovel ten feet off it.

As you can see, I'm well and truly snowed out of my garage. I can climb over the pile and get in but I can't get anything out that I can't carry. Like my snowblower. I'm going to see if the Honda can take that pile down a little at a time by climbing and blowing and backing down and repeat. Hey, it might, who knows? Not the whole pile. I may be crazy but I'm not stupid. Just enough to get the snowblower out when it snows again. If it won't, I'll dig it a path. My other recourse is to get a loader in to haul it out. Problem is, the 'hood is pretty full and it might be hard to find a place to put it. Fuck it, it'll melt.



I know it looks like I bought myself a pain in the ass, but it's a pain in the ass I can deal with myself. From now 'til July if that's what it takes. The Meskins put the snow right where I told them to - off the roof. I'm not exactly thrilled with that pile of snow and the many future hours of communing with nature that it represents but it's harmless now and it's better than a broken house.

I are happy now. Well, relieved. Tired too. This is the 7th day in a row I've been workin' snow around here and I'm taking the rest of the day off.