Saturday, July 9, 2011

Kraut Cup Trial

We're going today to ride the Kraut Cup Trial. I had such a traumatic experience at the trial two weeks ago, on levels I didn't even know existed, that after a period of reflection that lasted about ten seconds I made a few teensy adjustments to my attitude and program. I'll let you know later if it worked.

One thing is for sure: I am ready for zis vun, ja? Vengeance vill be MEIN!

Click to embiggen

A you-ain't-gonna-f**kin'-believe-this Update:

Last year, I stated that my goal for this year was simply to finish an event. Today I did just that and scored a class win to boot! Photo of the trophy below:

Before any a' you clowns ask if there was anybody else in the class, I don't know and I don't care. I showed up, rode the event, and the club saw fit to give me a 1st place trophy. So there.

I will say that my attitude and program adjustments worked.

I'm stiffening up fast. More when I can move something again besides just my typing finger. It was a great day!

Must go now. The Fire Department is here to put me in a hot tub...

U.S. decrees that marijuana has no accepted medical use


The decision by the DEA comes almost nine years after medical marijuana supporters asked the government to reclassify cannabis to take into account a growing body of research that shows its effectiveness in treating certain diseases.

DEA huh? That's like the Prison Industrial Complex saying that not enough people are being incarcerated for profit. Oh, wait, that's exactly what they're saying.

How 'bout we let the medical people say what the medical benefits are instead of law enforcement whose budget depends on them not knowing/ignoring what's up?

A Good Headline To Kick Off The Weekend

Breaking: Arizona Voters to SB 1070 Architect: Papers, Please: Senate President Pearce Has Been Recalled

More at the AZ Republic.

This'll getcher toes a-tappin'!

I heard this song last night almost by accident on one of the three hundred or so 24/7 music channels on my TV ("Tropicales") and liked it. I hope you will too. This was a big hit in 2010. I looked for a live performance. Found one!

Daniel Moncion y Alexandra ~ Vamonos

Thanks to JNJulio.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Emmylou's version of this Townes van Zandt song is one of my favorites. From The Old Grey Whistle Test, late '70s.

Thanks to Thouasu.

Friday, July 8, 2011

This one's for Fixer...

I See Hawks In L.A. acoustic version of "In The Garden," electric version with Gabe Witcher is on 2008 CD "Hallowed Ground" on Big Book Records. Footage is bogs atop Glen Gesh Pass in County Donegal, Ireland. Rob Waller and Paul Lacques, vocals and guitars

Thanks to iseehawksinla.

Murdoch on the Run?

Politics Plus, with video.

After Rupert Murdoch’s phone hacking scandal in the UK, spun out of control, he followed typical right wing logic, he closed the paper, costing hundreds of journalists and workers their jobs, to deflect the scandal and save the job of one corporate criminal. It isn’t working and, although it appears limited to the UK, there is actually a US connection too important to ignore.

And there it is. The man who was overseeing the criminal activity, who subsequently engineered the cover-up and lied to Parliament is Les Hinton. Les Hinton is now the Publisher of the Wall Street Journal.

Republican policy is to concentrate America’s information sources in as few hands as possible. Those belonging to Rupert Murdock do not even deserve the Republican Ministry of propaganda, Faux Noise, let alone the WSJ.

Maybe his heart'll blow. Or his liver. Or his ass. Whatever.


The Rude One

Everything You Need to Know About Your American Media in Three Stories:

2. According to the magical Nexis machine, in the past week, Fox "news" has mentioned, on air, the horrific scandal involving dead children, soldiers, and terrorism victims, and its parent company, News Corp a grand total of just once, on Bret Baier's comedy hour of alleged news, and just to say that Rupert Murdoch's son is shutting down the News of the World because its employees bribed cops and hacked into phones of dead kids. The story lasted about 30 seconds.

CNN has been all over the controversy, which has resulted in the arrest, among others, of a former official for David Cameron. MSNBC has at least spent a little time. But, as with most things, Fox viewers are blissfully unaware. (By the way, we're at the tip of the huge iceberg of awfulness involving one of the largest media companies in America and its CEO, who is, you know, a naturalized American. One would think that the American media would be all over this.)

One would be wrong.

Headline and Quote of the Day

Michele Bachmann: 'I hope' higher unemployment helps my campaign

Headline of the Day

What Obama Wants


I've spent the last coupla hours getting an internet connection. First I called AT&T. Three times - "one, two, three times a maybe" and then a nice young gent in the Phillipines fixed it for me after much opening and closing and clicking and phonetic spelling and "AHA!"s. Apparently some scumbag snuck inta my set and clicked me a proxy setting and the browsers went on strike. IT's a pain in the ass but necessary for us technical illiterates. Now I know what to look for so I learned something.

The Flip kid had me switch ends on the ethernet cable and it made a difference of some kind (see "AHA!"). I asked him why, and he didn't know but said he did that at home and it works. So did I and it does and I don't know why either. Heh.

The last remnant ...

Of America's "can do" generation has taken its last flight. The American Century is now officially in mothballs. I was 9 years old when Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon and the future of space travel was a limitless dream to me. Quite disappointing it ends this way.

God bless 'em ...

I hope they can make it a better place:

South Sudan is counting down the hours until it becomes the world's newest nation on Saturday 9 July.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir and dignitaries from around the world will be attending the celebrations in the southern capital, Juba.



The shed I bought in May was finally installed yesterday afternoon. Now, walking in my garage won't resemble a controlled fall.


I put some pics up from our trip out to The End this past week.

If there were no porn ...

What would the Rethugs do?

... By signing the pledge Bachmann "vows" to "uphold the institution of marriage as only between one man and one woman" by committing herself to 14 specifics steps. The ninth step calls for the banning of "all forms" of pornography ...

If a porn ban actually came to pass, a lot of sheep would be running scared. Heh ...

Link via Pam's Facebook page.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Just sayin'...

The Brain looks really good in Google Chrome!

Invoke the 4th of the 14th

It seems that some folks are actually reading the Constitution these days and it does not say therein what many people would like to believe it does. Heh.

The debt ceiling blackmail/extortion/hostage situation from the Retard Right is a perfect example. From Katrina vanden Heuvel:

In short, we would be thrown back deep into economic turmoil — only this time with even fewer tools to crawl our way out.

In theory, this is unthinkable, and it will be remedied by reasonable political parties making reasonable concessions across the negotiating table. But Republicans have been negotiating in bad faith, unwilling to compromise even an inch on their extremist and absolutist positions. Some are no longer willing to come to the table at all.

With that backdrop, President Obama may find that there is only one course left to avoid a global economic calamity: Invoke Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, which says that “the validity of the public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned.” This constitutional option is one that the president alone may exercise.

Here's the, you should pardon the pun, money shot from the 14th Amendment. I find it ironical that this was put in to protect the Treasury from the South:

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

A little further explanation:

Section 4 confirmed the legitimacy of all United States public debt legislated by the Congress. It also confirmed that neither the United States nor any state would pay for the loss of slaves or debts that had been incurred by the Confederacy. For example, several English and French banks had lent money to the South during the war.[47] In Perry v. United States (1935), the Supreme Court ruled that under Section 4 voiding a United States government bond "went beyond the congressional power".

I think the Prez oughta do what Ms. vanden Heuvel suggests, both to mitigate this before it actually becomes a problem and before Congress comes to its senses and does it, which it will, and basically tell the Repugs this is no longer in their purview and we can do it very nicely without them, thank you very much, and to tell them they just had one of their powers taken away for being childish ideological assholes and they can shove it up their ass.

Unrelated note: I'm tired of playing "Where's Waldo?" with "". There were 5 of them in this post. What's up with that anyway?

The Pigs Are Flying at the New York Times

Bobo Calls GOP a Psychiatric Case (go see! - G)

By Tony Peyser

I gather it's freezing down in Hell
And all pigs are flying:
David Brooks says some higher
Taxes are worth trying.

Bobo got his tit in a wringer for telling the truth for once instead of sticking with evil fantasy talking points. To wit:

The members of this movement have no sense of moral decency. A nation makes a sacred pledge to pay the money back when it borrows money. But the members of this movement talk blandly of default and are willing to stain their nation’s honor.

The struggles of the next few weeks are about what sort of party the G.O.P. is — a normal conservative party or an odd protest movement that has separated itself from normal governance, the normal rules of evidence and the ancient habits of our nation.

If the debt ceiling talks fail, independent voters will see that Democrats were willing to compromise but Republicans were not. If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern.

And they will be right.

Some of us have known that for years of course, but this time it's so egregious that even the faithful can't drink enough kool-aid to cover it up. The sin is saying in public what all the old (read: marginally sane) Repugs are saying in private.

T-shirt image from Things You Never Knew Existed.

"...a gelatinous globule of bile and bullshit that undulates across the weary floorboards of the New Jersey statehouse"

El Rude-o lays into Secaucus Fats.

Chris Christie Is Your Fat Fucking Future (A Post With a Bunch of Fat Jokes Because He's So Fucking Fat)

He makes me look damn near fucking svelte.

You wanna know just how cruel a man can be if he hasn't seen his own penis in decades?

I hope he tries to lean over far enough. Note to anyone standing in front of him: step back and let him crash.

It's override time, of course, and some of these are no-brainers. But what Christie did, in no uncertain terms, and with every pun intended, was throw his weight around. He demonstrated that he's no pussy bipartisan compromiser. Oh, no. He proved that the big man is a big man, sticking it to the poor while sucking up to the rich.

And now Christie's on vacation. Two-weeks away with the family, and you know he went wherever his wife wanted. One thing about grotesquely fat, straight dudes: they are grateful as hell to whatever woman is willing to fuck them. Perhaps a cruise, where there's unlimited food at all hours of the day where Chris Christie, our 21st century icon of gluttony and greed, the massive moral black hole in the center of our obese body politick, can shovel food in his face. And maybe he'll choke on it.

Maybe he'll end up (carefully chosen words) on the same cruise as Fixer. I think Fixer's strong enough to do a 'rail job' on him. We will know the deed has been done when the sea level rises suddenly.

Getting rolled ...

Via TPM, the last two paragraphs of a David Frum column:


Through it all, Obama has played nice, again and again entreating his Republican opponents to emulate his example and play nice too. It's not what Lyndon Johnson would have done. It's not what Franklin Roosevelt would have done. I doubt it's what Hillary Clinton would have done.

Which brings me back to my starting question: Why don't the Democrats rebel? Presumably, they elected Obama to stand up for their shared principles. But he's not standing up. He's rolling over. Or being rolled.

Obama may be a smart guy but unless he's an undercover Republican (I'm not quite ready to believe that yet), he's a babe-in-the-woods in Washington and in over his head. Big dummy's gonna fuck this all up.

Say it with me ...

"Amateurs talk strategy, experts talk logistics."

The U.S. military is rapidly expanding its aerial and Central Asian* supply routes to the war in Afghanistan, fearing that Pakistan could cut off the main means of providing American and NATO forces with fuel, food and equipment.

Although Pakistan has not explicitly threatened to sever the supply lines, Pentagon officials said they are concerned the routes could be endangered by the deterioration of U.S.-Pakistan relations, partly fed by ill will from the cross-border raid that killed Osama bin Laden.


How long we been saying this around here? It don't matter how many "boots on the ground" you have, if you can't resupply 'em you might as well let 'em fight with slingshots. The best strategy and tactics are useless without fuel, food, and bullets. If the Pak Taliban don't attack the convoys (which seems to be a monthly occurrence), the convoys have to bribe their way across the border to their destination. It was one of the major reasons the Soviets (and many others before them) threw up their hands and left.

*And don't think we won't pay "rent" to our Central Asian "allies". They'll shake us down the same way the Paks and Afghans do too.

Great thanks to our pal Montag for the link.

Nothing to see here ...

Move along.

Being I had my British friends here over the past week, I had to listen to the old Limey (Terry is Gordon's age) kvetch about the phone hacking scandal all week.

With almost daily revelations surfacing on the News Of The World/News International/Newscorp/Rupert Murdoch scandal, there is still very little being said in our own mainstream media regarding what could very well become the potential takedown of a government. No big surprise there.


Of course nobody (with the exception of Chris Hayes and Rachel last night) is talking about this because the Village Idiots take care of their own (there are too many examples of other networks giving Fox cover), but the British people are up in arms.

Terry is a Tory (conservative), and likes Cameron, but he has little use for Fox/Murdoch. Fortunately, unlike here, there will be a huge (and public) investigation and heads will roll.

That said, conservatives in England are about the same as Democrats here. Labour are the "nutty left" and after hearing about some of the laws Labour has passed, I'd have to agree (they are also known as "the party of patronage"). Also, unlike here, the government (and one political party) hasn't been captured by big business. Things there, generally, are done for the good of Great Britain (by all the parties) with the best interests of the people of the Kingdom at heart.

As I explained the revolving door of government employees to the private sector and back, our campaign finance laws, and the way the interests of the rich are looked after before the average man, Terry was incredulous. He couldn't believe we'd let ourselves go so far down that line. His quote was: "We all used to look at you with awe, as if you could do anything you wanted, better than anyone. Since Bush, we in Europe see you as a laughingstock. We no longer look to America for leadership or innovation."

Unfortunately, he's correct. We have lost the high ground and unless we get it back soon, we will just be left behind. As Terry said: "We know about the fall of Empires, you will too."


More from Fez.

NYC traffic ...

Nothing like 5 1/2 hours on the road for an 80 mile round trip (my house to the West Side Piers and back). I'm thankful for all the tourists in Manhattan, stimulating our economy, but did you all have to fucking drive here?

A note: If you're from Mississippi, Alabama, Wyoming, Nebraska, or any one of those other states that have less people than NYC itself, maybe you shouldn't attempt to drive in Manhattan. There's an excellent mass transit system below your feet that will save you (getting a talking to by a traffic cop in addition to a ticket that will lighten your wallet considerably, after being bombarded by car horns for 6 blocks because you're clueless), and those of us who do know how to drive in there, a lot of hassle.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Patriotic Odometer

This just happened to catch my eye yesterday. I hadn't ridden the bike since Saturday and thought this was entirely apropos. Yes, I take slop shots too.

Daddy Frank is back!

At New York magazine. Welcome back, Pops! His first outing is to lay into Obama and warn him.

Obama’s Original Sin

What haunts the Obama administration is what still haunts the country: the stunning lack of accountability for the greed and misdeeds that brought America to its gravest financial crisis since the Great Depression. There has been no legal, moral, or financial reckoning for the most powerful wrongdoers. Nor have there been meaningful reforms that might prevent a repeat catastrophe. Time may heal most wounds, but not these. Chronic unemployment remains a constant, painful reminder of the havoc inflicted on the bust’s innocent victims. As the ghost of Hamlet’s father might have it, America will be stalked by its foul and unresolved crimes until they “are burnt and purged away.”

Pops lays into the Mittster ("The savior of the working stiff!" Barf.) too:

[...] As for his fifteen years in the corporate-buyout business, he was best known for the jobs Bain shredded at the once-profitable companies it took over and then demolished for parts.

It’s a record Romney perennially tries to cover up. It may have cost him his Senate race against Ted Kennedy in 1994. In that campaign, Romney was stalked by a “Truth Squad” of striking workers from a Marion, Indiana, paper plant who had lost jobs, wages, health care, and pensions after Ampad, a Bain subsidiary, took control. Ampad eventually went bankrupt, but Bain walked away with $100 million for its $5 million investment. It was an all-too-typical Romney story, which is why Mike Huckabee could nail him with his memorable 2008 wisecrack: “I want to be a president who reminds you of the guy you work with, not the guy who laid you off.” Stephen Colbert recently topped Huckabee, portraying Romney as a cross between Gordon Gekko and Jack Kevorkian because of the profitable mercy killings of companies in Bain’s care (my em). When Romney was governor, his record was no better. A Northeastern University analysis of his term (2003–6) found that Massachusetts was one of only two states to have no growth in their labor forces. The other was Louisiana, which happened to have an excuse named Katrina.

That one's personal. Mrs G was the first to tell me, years ago before Pops and the media either heard about it or would dare report on it, that Romney's fortune (the part he didn't inherit) was made as an asset-stripper. She worked for sixteen years for the wes' coas' branch of The Morilla Co. which was the country's largest wholesale distributor of artists' materials. They were competitors of American Pad & Paper Co. (Ampad). Ampad bought them out and were very good to their employees. Then came Bain (after Mrs. G left to move to the mountains) and now Ampad and its jobs are history.

Savior of the working stiff my ass.

This is an extensive piece by Daddy Frank. He really lets it fly against others as well, like he had a lot of built-up things to say and let a lotta toads outta the bag at once. Go read.

Welcome back, Pops. No need to tell him to write if he gets work. Heh.

Quote of the Day

Mustang Bobby on Bobo Brooks via MJWS:


"May no longer be a normal party"? You don't say. What was your first clue? The fact that they are so obsessed with defeating the president that they sold the soul of their party to a rag-tag bunch of factually-challenged, racist-leaning know-nothings whose leading light is a congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, whose sole contribution to the discourse has been to make Joe McCarthy look like a lightweight?


Off to the pier ...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How to ...

Get fired from a cushy staff officer job at Cunard (as told to me by Terry from a mutual friend at Cunard):

Ask a Japanese guest, as Queen Mary 2 is approaching Hawaii on a world cruise, "Did you warn the Yanks you were coming this time?"

I'm dropping my friends Chris and Terry back at Pier 88 tomorrow morning to meet Mary for their trip back to Southampton. I'll be back to blogging sometime after.

Headline of the Day with video!

Santorum accuses Obama of creating ‘only 240 million jobs’

What's yer point, Frothy Mixture? Sounds like 3 8-hour shifts a day for everybody!

Obama calls the GOP’s bluff

Eugene Robinson

Here’s how to negotiate, GOP-style: Begin by making outrageous demands. Bully your opponents into giving you almost all of what you want. Rather than accept the deal, add a host of radical new demands. Observe casually that you wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to the hostage you’ve taken — the nation’s well-being. To the extent possible, look and sound like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining.”

This strategy has worked so well for Republicans that it’s no surprise they’re using it again, this time in the unnecessary fight over what should be a routine increase in the debt ceiling. This time, however, something different is happening: President Obama seems to be channeling Robert De Niro in “Taxi Driver.” At a news conference last Wednesday, Obama’s response to the GOP was, essentially, “You talkin’ to me?”

Obama’s in-your-face attitude seems to have thrown Republicans off their stride. They thought all they had to do was convince everyone they were crazy enough to force an unthinkable default on the nation’s financial obligations. Now they have to wonder if Obama is crazy enough to let them.

He's not, but neither are the Repugs but they'll take it right to the wall. Standing up to the Repug bullies is what we've wanted Obama to do all along. Too bad it took him so long.

Every independent, bipartisan, blue-ribbon panel that has looked at the deficit problem has reached the same conclusion: The gap between spending and revenue is much too big to be closed by budget cuts alone. With fervent conviction but zero evidence, Tea Party Republicans believe otherwise — and Establishment Republicans, who know better, are afraid to contradict them.

Bullies are almost always cowards, but you have to stand up to them to make it apparent and show them up as being ridiculous. If that doesn't work, just hit 'em. Hard.

The stakes are perilously high, but Obama does have a doomsday option: If all else fails, he can assert that a section of the 14th Amendment — “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law . . . shall not be questioned” — makes the debt limit unconstitutional and instructs him to take any measures necessary to avoid default.

Maybe that’s why, in this stare-down, the president doesn’t seem inclined to blink.

That's what Congressional Repugs, and probably Dems as well, are really worried about - that this kind of power will be taken away from them under the Constitution they claim to love and make them even more irrelevant.


The Rude Pundit weighs in on Gene's point:

If you want your movie references for the current state of the debate, even an ordinary kidnapping situation doesn't work. No, these days, ya gotta go with your mad bombers. Like, say, Dennis Hopper in Speed. When he wasn't hooking up buses or elevators with explosives, Hopper's bad guy was holding Sandra Bullock or Jeff Daniels hostage with bombs and a trigger. His threat to Keanu Reeves was that he was gonna get what he wanted or he would blow up the hostage, along with himself and anyone else nearby. So since a debt default would fuck over most everyone in the United States (except, you know, people who have investments that bet against the country, like Eric Cantor), the GOP is saying, "Give us everything we want or we'll see you in Hell."

Here's the thing, the fucked-up, screaming-into-the-dark, tear your hair out aggravation about the debt ceiling "negotiations" (if by "negotiations," you mean, "An agreement where your lover ties you to a bed, fucks you whenever he wants, gets his friends to fuck you, shits on you, and castrates you, but at least you get to go on living"). It's the reason that the Rude Pundit has written very little about the current pounds-of-flesh demands being made by the Republicans in exchange for not plunging the nation into a depression:

Since one ought to offer something akin to advice (and "don't blink" seems to be au courant), the Rude Pundit believes that the White House should announce that it's directed the Office of Legal Counsel to explore whether or not the 14th Amendment obviates the need for this debate. That's called "negotiating." Giving the other side even more than what it wants and hoping they give you a grain of what you want is not.

Playing chicken is bullshit because we on the left know where that ends. We know who's got the twitchy eyes in the staring contest. What the President needs to do is say, "You know how we were playing this game in the legislative ballpark? We're moving it to the executive one, and you can shove all your budget cuts up your asses." If you want a game-changer, you gotta actually change the game.

Or, to bring it back to the movies, shoot the hostage.

Hmmmmm...lemme see if I'm getting this - hostage-takers usually shoot one hostage at a time to get what they want and then shoot all the hostages after they get it, while the "hostage rescue team" shoots the hostages first so the hostage-takers have no bargaining chips. Either way, the hostages are toast and we're the hostages. Is that about right?

Thoughts on a power pole

William Rivers Pitt

Never mind the bankers and the mortgage-lenders, never mind the hedge-fund hucksters, and for sure never mind the whores, frauds and snake-oil salesmen of our illustrious House and Senate who, in Congress after Congress and year after year, happily re-wrote the rules again and again so as to let the rabbits guard the, no. Shhh....

Never mind eight years of idiot rule by an idiot "president" empowered by an idiot "mainstream" news media. Never mind the two wars and two tax-cuts-for-rich-people that are basically every reason we are down in this ditch...but shhh....shhh...we don't talk about that.

Every single "responsible" person in the American power structure went along with what Mr. Bush was selling, because he peddled it neatly between solemn lines about how terrible 9/11 was for everyone...and now that the bill for Mr. Bush's bullshit has come due, and come due with a lethal, nation-shattering vengeance, all those "responsible" people are suddenly looking around like someone trying to avoid getting the check at the restaurant at the end of the night.

I remember America, and it was not always like this.

Please read the rest.

$5,317 – too rich to receive medicaid

The Conservative Lie

The Republican Governor who spent over $5000 of taxpayers money travelling to see his son play a sports game thinks that level of salary should disqualify you from medicaid.

Adults in a family of three that makes as little as $103 a week would earn too much to qualify for health care provided by Medicaid under the plan proposed by Christie. $5,317 is a third of the poverty level. Never mind the uninsured worker employed full time for minimum wage, they wouldn’t qualify, under the Christie plan even a parent working half-time for minimum wage would fail to qualify.
Remember this man is the Republican dream candidate. The future of the GOP.

Secaucus Fats, who qualifies as a family of three all by himself, should try living on $103 a week. He'd lose weight. I bet he spends that on lunch. Nah, his benefactors pay for it.

If he's the "future of the GOP" I'm all for it. When those mean-spirited corporate bootlickers are circling down the shitter I'll be cheering them like I would a daredevil riding the Wall Of Death.


New Jersey Senate president calls Gov. Christie ‘a rotten prick’

Ah, the gloves are coming off. Sounds like that guy has a good grip on a piston pin or a roll of quarters!

Monday, July 4, 2011

If yer goin' ta Nuevo Laredo anyway...

July 4 warning: Texas says don't go to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico

Here's some good advice from Brian Burns:

Thanks to lwarteman, Tejas.

Shit, ya can't drink, can't eat, can't screw, you'll have to walk home after your bicycle gets stolen, and you're likely to get kidnapped or shot. Hell, you can have that much fun in Texas.

American Music

Josh Marshall

On July 4th we celebrate America. The most obvious thing is our civic tradition, our history of democratic government. But since it's so rightly and well celebrated, I thought I'd focus on something else for today: American music, or more specifically America's distinct and world-transforming musical idioms. Most of them originating or coming into view of recorded sound between about 1 and 1930 from an interplay of upcountry white and low country black sounds. If listen to the amazing British single Adele today she's still working through basic Blues and Jazz musical idioms from going on a century ago.

So a few acts and performers to celebrate today. Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Hank Williams, Ike Turner, Elvis Presley, Leadbelly. I've gone pretty light on the Jazz side of the equation. I'd say Armstrong, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, though that leaves out most of the greats.

Who else am I missing? And not just great musicians but the ones who defined if not always created the idioms. I can think of dozens of others. But I hardly know where to start because it's impossible to know where to stop.

(ed.note: If you've never heard him, pick up an album of Robert Johnson's. It also doesn't matter which one, aside from remastering quality, since he only did two recording sessions. And it all amounts to about one long album's worth of music. It's like listening to the rosetta stone of maybe half of American music for the next 75 years.)

I have no argument with Mr. Marshall as far as he goes which is a little blues-heavy and there's nothing wrong with that, but he did leave out the other half which I try to post on weekends.

" swimming upstream in an iron river"

Good read in L.A. Times Magazine

Meet Omar. He’s a bad man who wants good guns. He’s got razor-cut hair styled like an Aztec warrior, fierce black eyes behind his Dolce & Gabbanas, plenty of gold on him. He’s got an iPod clipped to his Armani jacket lapel, the earbuds hanging around his neck, like he’ll just tune you out if he wants to. He stands in the blazing sunlight in a parking lot of a Barstow strip mall with two men who have what he wants—MAC-10 machine guns, AK-47s, M16s, all full automatic, all in very good condition and all illegal to own, of course, in most states, including California. He told these men he represents “Nicaragua.” They told him they don’t care. Not their problem.

Omar watches as the gun dealers lean over the trunk of his Trans-Am. They begin to count the $15,000 cash and test the five pounds of cocaine he will trade for the weapons. He looks bored. In fact, Omar is anything but bored. His heart is pounding, his palms are damp, and it feels like he’s roasting in the infernal desert sun. The Smith & Wesson five-shot in his waistband seems to weigh a ton.

In fact, Omar is not even Omar at all. He’s an Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) undercover agent named John Torres, and what he’s thinking is, As soon as these guys can count to fifteen thousand, test the coke borrowed from the Drug Enforcement Administration and bring me my guns, then I can say the bust words and we’ll take them down.

Go read how that turned out.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

No Fourth of July Recess for Senate
When some misbehave, whole class suffers.

Glenn Beck Does Last Show for Fox News
He'll be temporarily replaced by rotating group of delusional paranoids.

Bachmann Wants to Reconsider Minimum Wage
To help us compete with sweatshops overseas.

NBA, NFL Heading Toward Lockouts
To prepare, strip clubs hire more staff.

Lucky 7!

Short one here because we're heading out for some sightseeing this morning and barbecue and fireworks tonight.

Today marks Alternate Brain's 7th Blogiversary. I just wanted to say thanks to our readers, commenters, and contributors, past and present who've made this place what it is. Thank you very much for your support. If it weren't for you, Gord and I would just be two old guys yelling at clouds.

And just a little story:

We were out Saturday night at one of our favorite restaurants. Terry and I went out front for a smoke between dinner and dessert and all the parking valets were sitting on their bench, bored. Terry, kidder that he is, looks them over and says, "Happy Independence Day" to the boys (they were college kids from the local university).

As soon as he opened his mouth, they knew he was British and one of them said, "Yeah, we beat you guys."

Terry said "Bollocks, mate, we let you have the bloody thing." And they all start laughing. Then Terry looks at him and says "and so you know, lads, I'm from the British Foreign Service (he's not) and I'm here under invitation from Mr. Obama. He told me to tell you to enjoy your holiday this year, because with your dire financial situation, you can't afford it anymore and he asked us to take it back. On Tuesday, you'll all be subjects of the Queen again."

Sunday, July 3, 2011

For you Fordbillies

There's a coupla guys in Sweden that are slightly 'round the bend for American automobilia. This one's from lincolncadillac who likes rockabilly. You should also check out oldolds53 who specializes in slideshows to some of the most obscure European pop (in English) you will find anywhere.

Hayden Thompson ~ Fairlane Rock

No wonder Fixer likes soccer!

The German* and French women's teams have figured out a way to promote the women's World Cup using only materials already on hand!

*Via Huffpo Sports.

Der Beckiebunker

Gawker, with video.

After concluding his Fox News program Thursday and being brutally assaulted by New York cultural elite fascist thugs earlier this week, Glenn Beck has had it with New York. So he's moving to Dallas, and renting this place for $20,000/month.

For $20,000 a month, this Texas pad had better be a well-fortified compound, the better to protect Beck and his kin when the marauding hordes of Jew-hippies come for his gold. (And they will come for his gold.) It's hard to say exactly what the house will look like when Beck inhabits it. These images are obviously a real estate agent's staging work, we see none of Beck's elephant leather furniture here, and anyway the whole place will be structurally different once Beck builds his traditional protection wall and hollows out a holy water-filled "Rapture Tank" in the root cellar for when the terrible magic snake-fires, sent by his sworn enemy the great and powerful sorcerer Soros, inevitably come for him. But you can get a vague impression.

So yeah, this will likely be Glenn Beck's new nightmare villa. He's your problem now, Texas!

You're welcome to him. Miss Becky is such a pussy that Texass' macho index will drop forty points as soon as she moves in.