Saturday, November 26, 2011

Headin' Home

Driving day. Beautiful weather. See yas.

And you wonder why ...

The rest of the world thinks we're stupid and divorced from reality?

Dear USA,

Time Magazine thinks you're pea-brained reality deniers.


Believe me, they're not the only ones. When you travel abroad as much as I do, you start to notice how American media companies keep us insulated/isolated from the rest of the world. If you think "groupthink" is the stuff of science fiction, you're living in the past.

Do yourself a favor. In addition (maybe instead of) to your regular news viewing, BBC, Euronews, or Al Jazeera should be included. If you do nothing but watch American news, you'll have no idea what's going on in the world around us. It matters.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

From the album, "The Legend Of Jesse James'

Wish We Were Back In Missouri ~ Emmylou Harris
Thanks to jojoheartspaypay.

Black Friday Lessons Learned

Went to both kinds of -Marts since they're about a block apart here.

First, women shoppers outnumber men about 100 to 1, and you're in constant peril of being run over, trampled, torn limb from limb, etc., and that was long after the "open at 10pm so you won't have to sleep in the parking lot" sale, like 11 the next morning.

I discovered the only safe haven in the store - the Men's Dept. Nobody there. Except me, three outlaw bikers, four Mexican gangbangers, and one SEAL, each giving the other total respect as one badass to another and all of us petrified to take one step into the high-traffic area of the store. Beyond the flannel shirt rack be dragons! We were rescued one by one as it came time to push the cart some more or go pay.

Have ya ever noticed how quick yer ol' lady can disappear in one of those joints? You can be one foot behind her and - poof! - she's gone, nowhere to be seen. My M.O. is to stop and stand stock still (except for dodging traffic of course) until she reappears. If she doesn't come back in a reasonable length of time, defined as when you think you've been abandoned forever, I start sobbing until someone buys me an ice cream cone and announces on the loudspeaker for her to come get me. That works well.

I got myself another year's worth of fine hiking shoes since they had the kind I love, i.e. $14.99 a pair, and a lovely pocket watch, kinda burnished pewter-lookin' that came with a 1 AAA flashlight, all for $10.48. No wonder them Chinese kids that make this shit are barefoot - how can they make any money at those prices?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Be careful out there...

Raw Story

A woman at the Porter Ranch Wal-Mart in California Thursday night reportedly used pepper spray on other shoppers in order to move ahead in line.

One witness told KNBC that the incident happened while they were waiting in line to buy a new Xbox 360.

Hey, they wouldn't show it on TV unless it was OK, right?

Never thought I'd see it ...

The Mrs. said "feh" to Black Friday. This is the first time since I've known her that she didn't have my ass out in the wee hours. Usually, we do all our Christmas shopping on Black Friday and we're done, but I think the raw commercialism this year, with stores opening on Thanksgiving, has crossed her line (according to her, it exploits workers and human nature in the name of greed). We're shopping for actual presents online and having them shipped (for friends out of town) and, since the nieces and nephews are getting older (the two oldest are 25 and the youngest is 10) we've given up trying to find whatever "in" thing they want this year. They're all getting cash and they can buy whatever the fuck they want. Hopefully, some of them will use it for stuff their parents don't want them to. Heh ...

We had a great Thanksgiving with dad-in-law yesterday and our own little feast for the Dingo Sisters when we got home. Hope you all had a good time with family and friends yesterday and everybody made it home in one piece.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Turkey!

Gord's off to Mrs. G's family on the Central Coast and I'm helping the Mrs. cook today for tomorrow. We're bringing Thanksgiving over to dad-in-law's because it's easier than dragging him over here. So there probably won't be shit happening here.

Just wanted to wish you all, from the Brain family to yours, a happy and safe Thanksgiving. Eat well!

Hot death of a perfect clock radio

If it's Wednesday, it must be Morford going on about our disposable society, waxing philosophical after simultaneous glitches in his clock radio and printer. No, really...

The clock is now locked in to one hour ahead (due to Daylight Saving Time), and the station is set to San Francisco's famous KCSM Jazz 91.1, which is what I liked to wake up to instead of, say, a soothing NPR voice telling me of a new horror in Bolivia or a fresh batch of gruesome beheadings in Mexico. Call me a romantic.

Wait, what? All I wanted to do was print my Groupon for 53 percent off a pedicure/oil change/sushi dinner, and suddenly I'm in irreparable printer breakdown hell? I don't think so.

Lightweight stuff for the holiday. Enjoy.

It's also the 4th Wednesday of the month. Social Security payday. Boy, are we gonna live it up on Black Friday!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Headin' Out

Going out to the coast today for T'giving. Have a happy. See yas.

Headline and Quote of the Day

Krugman: ‘Only fools and clowns’ believe Republican ideology

Yo, Paul, and yer point is...?

He was talking on This Week about the inevitable failure of the Supercomittee. Video at link. Caution: Noonan and Will alert!

In related news, the 'trigger' of 'sequestration' and cuts to defense spending is bothering Panetta because of all the moaning in the Pentagon about possible cuts to the Retired Generals Full Employment Program.

We can catch "terrorists" ...

If we set them up first. This is big news in New York but, like all the "terrorist cells" they've "broken up" since 9/11, this clown couldn't find his ass with both hands tied behind his back.


Those were just some of the issues that led the FBI to pass on the case. As TPM reported, FBI officials were concerned about entrapment issues in the case and did not believe he had the capability of pulling off the bomb plot without the NYPD’s informant.

If the FBI shied away from a setup, you know it's gotta be blatant. This is Bloomberg's way of distracting our attention away from Wall St. and the Occupy movement. Keep 'em stupid (see: Fox 'News' lies!) and keep 'em scared and you can get the sheep to swallow anything.

And, just saying, the guy the NYPD (or FBI) didn't set up (and didn't catch until after the fact) was nearly successful.

Fox 'News' lies!

And you'd be more informed if you never watched the news than if you watched Fox:


“The (poll’s) results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at all,” said Dan Cassino, a political science professor at Fairleigh Dickinson and an analyst for the poll.


Keep them stupid and they'll follow you into Hell. Fox news viewers are like lemmings, searching for the ocean.

Keeping it classy ...

There are a few reasons I stopped watching NASCAR. This is one of them:


It's not the first time Michelle Obama has been received less than cordially and I'm sure it won't be the last. She's a class act and lets it roll off her without so much as a blink. But Florida NASCAR fans? They look like the petty, nasty people who pay lip service to "supporting the troops" but have no problem making them feel unwelcome in order to express their nasty, tiny-minded agendas.


Now, I don't care if people boo elected officials. They're the ones who make the laws and the rules. But regardless of politics, Mrs. Obama has done more for veterans and their families than most of the "supporting the troops" crowd. You might not agree with her politics but at least give her the benefit of the doubt when she does good works.

Monday, November 21, 2011

My sides, they hurt...

I should have put this in my weekly "Oh, the irony..." post!

Alabama’s HB 56 Working As Intended: Mercedes-Benz Executive Arrested Under “Papers, Please” Law

I can hear it now ('Bama drawl): "Sorry, sen-yore, gotta run yer beaner ass in...". Heh.

Ya can't make this shit up!

Paul Krugman and the art of calling out a colleague

This is just good! Salon.

The New York Times columnist demolishes familiar arguments made by unnamed hacks

Unnamed my ass! Heh. Photos of Bobo and T. Friedman. Also a reference to MFBTIR.

The New York Times opinion section, like the Senate, has this rule where you aren’t allowed to call out a colleague by name when you think he or she is full of shit. As in the Senate, this rule is silly and anachronistic and enforces a strained phony cordiality at the expense of honesty. It doesn’t ever stop Paul Krugman, though, who simply responds to his columnist peers’ dumb arguments without ever referring to them by name.

For example: David Brooks, whose most annoying schtick is to write something that sounds reasonable until you realize what he’s actually arguing (like, for example, “people often don’t intervene when they see something horrible happening” is a very interesting point, unless your real point is that this is because of hippies and the terrible ’60s), wrote earlier this month that American income equality is overstated, and that the real income gap worth examining is that between the college-educated upper middle class, who are doing well, and those with only a high school education, who have been left behind by our post-industrial economy. (In this case Brooks’ “actual” point is that “Blue inequality” is merely the resentment of educated liberals who hate success while “Red states” have the real authentic American inequality.)

Yeah, if you're gonna call someone out, call his ass out by name or it does no good. So he objects? He's probably not gonna get close enough you can deck him. Dammit.

MoDo might be the exception, in which case take a coupla steps back or it might be you who gets decked...

This Is No Christian Nation

The Christian Left. Mostly graphics, some good quotes.

We blame the least of these for our problems and then punish and exploit them for our own greedy and power-hungry ways. God is not at all pleased with this kind of behavior and we will pay for it. We already are. Let's wake up and rise up Christians. Let's quit believing the lies we've been told for so long now by the right-wing. Let us see what is going on around us. Let us do something about it. We don't need a state religion. We need to act like Christ, and we don't.

ONWARD real Christian soldiers! Smite the bastards hip and thigh! It's time. They're giving you and Jesus a bad name.

Americans Should Suffer

Best way to ensure that? Vote for Repugs. Any Repugs, but most of all, Frothy Lube.

Headline of the Day

The cop group coordinating the Occupy crackdowns

What Killed JFK

Daddy Frank. We've waited quite a while for something from him in his old vein. This one's a barn-burner.

The hate that ended his presidency is eerily familiar.

But if the JFK story has resonance in our era, that is not because it triggers the vaguely noble sentiments of affection, loss, and nostalgia that keepers of the Kennedy flame would like to believe. Even the romantic Broadway musical that bequeathed Camelot its brand is not much revived anymore. What defines the Kennedy legacy today is less the fallen president’s short, often admirable life than the particular strain of virulent hatred that helped bring him down. After JFK was killed, that hate went into only temporary hiding. It has been a growth industry ever since and has been flourishing in the Obama years. There are plenty of comparisons to be made between the two men, but the most telling is the vitriol that engulfed both their presidencies.

Judged against this clear-eyed report card, the post-honeymoon Obama who has disappointed so many liberals looks a bit more Kennedyesque after all. [...] Lasky’s thick slash-and-burn Kennedy book, which even questioned his World War II heroism as the skipper of PT-109, was a precursor of the Swift Boat hatchet job on John Kerry.

[...] Dallas had become the gaudy big top for a growing national movement—“the mecca for medicine-show evangelists of the National Indignation Convention, the Christian Crusaders, the Minutemen, the John Birch and Patrick Henry societies.”

Re Obama and JFK:

[...] But for all this moderation, they, like the similarly centrist Bill Clinton, who was accused of enabling drug running and murder on the Wall Street Journal editorial page, have inspired a hatred so nightmarishly disproportionate to their actual beliefs, actions, and policies that it’s worthy of Stephen King’s fiction.

[...] These days, that fringe, whether in the form of birthers or the tea party or the hosts of Fox & Friends, gives marching orders to a major political party.


[...] In the end, that political backdrop is what our 44th and 35th presidents may have most in common. The tragedy of the Kennedy cult is that even as it fades, the hothouse brand of American malice that stalked its hero stalks our country still.

I have nothing to add. Go Read. Good job, Pops.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

If you have to ask, you're in the 99%.

Poll: IRS Four Times More Popular Than Congress
Ex-spouses eight times more popular than Congress.

La Niña Returns
Put away your El Niño gear, get out the La Niña stuff.

I'll be blowing one of the sonsabitches outta my driveway later today.

Congress Calls Pizza a Vegetable in Latest School Lunch Guidelines
Calls rubber cement a good source of fiber.

And sandwiches made with moldy bread are now penicillin.

Wha ... where?

I've been totally involved in the real world over the weekend. Shit to do at dad-in-law's, shopping with Mrs. for Thanksgiving, and getting the last of the yard stuff put away for the winter.

That, and finish a book I've been trying to write for the last 5 years. It's the thing about writing books, when it comes you gotta write it down. I'm not finished, but now I know how it's gonna end.

Go surf the blogroll because I have no idea what's going on in the world. I'll be back when I catch up.