Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Once again I would like to thank Times Square for being three hours ahead of us out west. The ball will drop and Kathy Griffin will get done embarrassing the shit outta Anderson Cooper and the whole silly shootin' match will be over at 9 o'clock.

Like it matters...

Couldn't resist...

Thanks to YubaNet.


The Real Housewives Of Iowa

And finally, with reality TV stars, radio-talk-show hosts, and television pundits making up roughly 90 percent of the current GOP presidential field--or those who led in polls at one time and flirted with entering the race (see Palin, Sarah and Trump, megalomaniac)-- entertainment and politics in the United States have finally gone from symbiotic to simply redundant.

First there is the Santorum Surge--which I'd advise you not to try and google.


But with bribery in the air, gaffes galore and Ron Paul perhaps asked to share his theories on The Bell Curve, we are once again reminded of the wisdom of the great H.L. Mencken, who once said of campaigns in general, "A national political campaign is better than the best circus ever heard of, with a mass baptism and a couple of hangings thrown in."

It will be good to get the right-wing christowhacko three-ringer and the national hangover outta the way on the first full business day of the New Year.

Best Political Cartoons of 2011


Quote of the Day

From a 'must read' entitled:

President Obama: A Radical Liberal Moderate Conservative Socialist Corporate Stooge?

Quote from the last ¶:

...the next bill the President needs to sign, aimed at Congressional Republicans, is the Cut the Crap Act; Republicans won’t out-game this president, and he seems ready to let them know it.

I can ask for no more than that.

Ugh ...

Sorry ain't been around the last couple days. I musta caught a chill when I was playing lumberjack the other day and the cold I thought I'd gotten over came back full force. I spent Thursday afternoon and all of yesterday drugged up and sleeping. Thank god it was a slow news week.

Have a happy, healthy, and safe New Year.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Musik: Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris - Love and Happyness

Thanks to will21118, Germany.

Friday, December 30, 2011

U.S. Troops In Iraq Excited To Finally Return

America's Finest News Source

BAGHDAD—Members of the U.S. Armed Forces were reportedly overcome with feelings of joy, nostalgia, and optimism this week after learning they would soon be withdrawn from Iraq and allowed to finally return home to Afghanistan.

Added Robinson, "I can't believe I'm going home again."

In 2003, thousands of American soldiers were unexpectedly uprooted from Afghanistan and sent off to fight in a long and bloody war overseas. After serving multiple tours of duty in Iraq, the vast majority of these troops said they couldn't wait to get back and have their lives return to normal.

According to military officials, the announcement of the long awaited homecoming has greatly improved morale, with U.S. soldiers looking forward to returning to the one place where they truly felt like they belonged.

Amid all the fanfare, there was some unpleasant news. Troops in the 11th Marine Regiment were ordered early Tuesday morning to ship off to the United States, a distant foreign land, filled with bizarre customs, strange beliefs, and millions of people they do not know or understand.

Let's do everything we can to ease their adjustment to life in the U.S. That's an artillery regiment and if they nut up you'll never hear the one that gets you. You might see it if it's like the one on their flag, but you'll be deaf by the time the shot reaches you. Heh.

Gingrich's Iowa Crash Has GOP Base Hunting for Next Anti-Romney

John Nichols

There seems to be some attempt in Iowa to get evangelicals to coalesce around Santorum, the former senator and career candidate who is comically being referred to as a “fresh face.” What that really means is that Santorum has not been treated seriously enough up to this point to have been subjected to significant scrutiny.

They're scraping the Frothy Mixture off the bottom of the barrel as we speak. Once they get the bottom of the barrel nice and clean they'd do better to run that product of the cooper's art, the more intelligent and electable piece of fine aged oak . Heh.

This'll blow yer mind...

Apple plots smartphones powered by hydrogen

Oh fucking swell. Instead of all kinds of IF, RF, and WhateverF waves bombarding your peanut, now this.

I wonder what they'll call it? My vote is for "iHindenburg".


Thanks to DemRapidPesponse.

What could the poster boy for the 1% possibly be trying to keep from public scrutiny in the light of day?

Could it be the amount of money he took in without lifting a finger?

Could it be the percentage of it he paid in taxes?

Or could he, like myself and GE, be a tax taker instead of a tax payer?

None of that crap will fly very well in this election year. Thank you, OWS.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lincoln's new ad

I didn't know they offered a handy roof rack!

Tony Peyser

The event had the grand pomp & circumstance
I bet Kim Jong-il had long felt he deserves
But maybe the crowd was so enormous because
They thought there might be hors d’oeuvres.

Bound for Local Glory at Last

I guess my unplanned theme for today is good ol' American socialism. I'm glad to see this. NYTimes.

TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoma has always had a troubled relationship with her native son Woody Guthrie. The communist sympathies of America’s balladeer infuriated local detractors. In 1999 a wealthy donor’s objections forced the Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City to cancel a planned exhibition on Guthrie organized by the Smithsonian Institution. It wasn’t until 2006, nearly four decades after his death, that the Oklahoma Hall of Fame got around to adding him to its ranks.

But as places from California to the New York island get ready to celebrate the centennial of Guthrie’s birth, in 2012, Oklahoma is finally ready to welcome him home. The George Kaiser Family Foundation in Tulsa plans to announce this week that it is buying the Guthrie archives from his children and building an exhibition and study center to honor his legacy.

Ken Levit, the foundation’s executive director, said he thought of doing something for Guthrie after the Hall of Fame induction. Nowhere in Tulsa, he said, is there even a plaque paying homage to this folk legend, who composed “This Land Is Your Land”; performed with Pete Seeger and Lead Belly; wrote the fictionalized autobiography “Bound for Glory”; and sang at countless strikes and migrant labor protests in the 1930s and ’40s. Mr. Levit began a more than three-year campaign to win the consent of Ms. Guthrie, who had taken custody of the boxes that her mother, Marjorie Guthrie, had stowed away in the basement of her home in Howard Beach, Queens.

Woody Guthrie’s music has also had added play time this year as Arlo Guthrie, Mr. Seeger, and other musicians have sung his protest songs at Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in New York and elsewhere.

“There is no doubt there will be some voices in opposition to the way Guthrie is being emphasized — Oklahoma is about the reddest state you can have,” Mr. Hosmer explained, referring to its conservatism. “And when Woody Guthrie was a boy, Oklahoma was also the reddest state because we had more socialists elected to public office than any other.”


Dee Jones, Sharon’s husband, explained that Guthrie “was kind of taboo because some influential people in this town thought Woody Guthrie had communist leanings.” But once the community realized that the 3,000 or so attendees brought in business, everyone got behind it, Mr. Jones said.

Double heh. Heh.

Here's a lazy blogger's Thursday Bonus Woody. Bears a family resemblance to "The Ballad Of Jesse James" written in 1924. Jesse left the moneychangers in the temple and just took the money.

Jesus Christ, written and performed by Woody Guthrie, 1940

Thanks to contrarymary77.

Americans need to come out of the closet

Looking in the mirror ...

It all boils down to one thing with the teabaggers. They hate anybody who isn't white and Christian:


If the "fundamental concern" of the Tea Party is that "hard working Americans are being forced to foot the bill for undeserving freeloaders," that makes them the same people who bought Ronald Reagan's fairy tales about welfare moms driving Cadillacs and young bucks buying steaks. And if appeals on this hackneyed bit of class-warrior nonsense appeals to a "widely held sentiment" among the Tea Party faithful," then the "Tea Party faithful" are pretty obviously racist.


They've been trying to put lipstick on that pig for 150 years. It still ain't working.

Careful what you wish for ...

Or, "Can The Christo-Right Pass The Muslim Test?"


So what is the Muslim Test? Simple! It is the fool proof method of revealing this Right Wing hypocrisy. As the last three years have made blindingly obvious, the average conservative has lost all sense of reality. They are so consumed by hatred of Muslims, they’ve jettisoned every shred of rationality. But how do you get through to people this crazed? Well, you really can’t. But what you can do is force them to confront their lunacy and watch them howl at the moon in outrage. This provides a glimpse for neutral or undecided bystanders into the depths of Right Wing fanaticism while providing liberals with an amusing game to play with mentally unhinged people.


I got some heads I'm gonna try to explode with this. Heh ...

Keep dreaming, twat ...

It's all about milking us ...

For what little we have left. Perfesser Krugman:


There is nothing — nothing — in what we see suggesting that this current depression is more than a problem of inadequate demand. This could be turned around in months with the right policies. Our problem isn’t, ultimately, economic; it’s political, brought on by an elite that would rather cling to its prejudices than turn the nation around.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 10 most awesome records of 2011

If it's Wednesday, it must be Morford's top music picks for 2011. I can honestly (and thankfully) say I've never heard of any of 'em. At least it's SocSec payday. I can relate to that.

"It's Romney. It was always gonna be Romney."

You can always tell how intelligent a man is by how much he agrees with you. El Rude-o agrees with me and is therefore very smart indeed! More stuff too,

But, really, at the end of the day, fer fuck's sake, Republicans, just accept that Mitt Romney is your nominee. In a whiny-ass editorial in the Weekly Standard, William Kristol offers blow jobs and crystal meth to any savior candidate who jumps into the Republican race. "[I]t is no time for leaders to duck responsibility," he says before going into great detail about how he can't go another minute without getting Christie or Jeb or Rubio spooge on his face. It's kind of embarrassing to see what a shameless knob-gobbler Kristol admits to being.

It's Romney. It was always gonna be Romney. Just like it was always gonna be McCain. Just like it was always gonna be Dole. Sometimes things are just inevitable. Embrace it. Because any candidate that has any smarts at all ain't getting in this race just so that Michele Bachmann can get nasal and nasty on them or that they have to endure the degrading spectacle of being on a stage with Newt Gingrich. Ask Rick Perry how that savior gig worked out.

Wilkerson on GOP race and other stuff

I enthusiastically agree with him on some of his points and am dragged kicking and screaming to agree with him on others.

Notable line:

"We're gonna need two or three more planets!"

Thanks to TheRealNews,

Neck Shots Help PTSD

Following up on yesterday's theme of how we're helping our Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, this one via our pal Bustednuckles.

Navy Times

SAN DIEGO — After seeing promising results with an innovative treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, a group of Navy doctors in San Diego hopes a new study will show a shot in the neck that quiets nerves could bring quick, lasting relief to suffering combat vets.

In a pilot study at Naval Medical Center San Diego, 42 active-duty service members will get injections to block or turn off nerves from transmitting triggers that can cause anxiety, hyperarousal or other symptoms of PTSD. Such nerve blocks, much like basic pain management treatments first done in 1925, typically bring relief in a few days, if not several hours, and in the weeks or months after the procedure.

The study, funded by the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, uses a stellate ganglion block, or SGB. The treatment involves injecting an anesthetic into the stellate ganglion — a bundle of nerves in the neck — which blocks pain signals in the sympathetic nerve system from reaching the brain.

The study team hopes to present its findings in May at an American Psychiatric Association meeting and ultimately get more funding for continuing research and larger clinical studies. An article Hickey co-wrote about the effects of SGB treatment on eight combat vets will be in the February issue of Military Medicine, the Journal of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States.

Once again, it's a money problem.

That ease and fast relief appealed to Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Christopher Carlson, who retired in 2010 after multiple deployments in a 20-year career that included at-sea tours. Carlson said he subsequently was diagnosed with PTSD after getting worsening bouts of cold sweats, disrupted sleep, anxiety and severe nightmares “that seemed almost real.”

He was prescribed medications, “but really nothing seemed to be working,” he said, and his struggles sidetracked him from getting good employment after he retired in Norfolk, Va., and moved to Chicago. He drank more, was depressed and got more forgetful; he and his wife, who have four children, divorced.

On a fluke, someone told him about Lipov’s treatment. Desperate for relief, he volunteered.

“It seemed like it was a miracle cure,” he said. “It changed my life.”

After his initial improvement seemed to wane a few months after the first injection, Carlson got a second treatment and noticed “night and day” changes.

“My mind is a lot clearer, and I’m sleeping better,” he said Dec. 14. “My emotions are a lot better.”

Note to the Pentagon, President Obama, Congress, everybody who can write a fucking check on OUR money: This shit looks like it works. May is a long way off, the process after that a lot longer. Get out in front of this and fund the study of this treatment NOW, with lots and lots of clinical trials on Vets, ya cheap pricks. Time is important to these Vets. Every addiction or suicide or divorce that doesn't happen is a helluva lot better than those that do.

Lumberjack Story of the Day

In honor of Fixer's tasks today, I offer a really old joke.

Pierre, the greatest lumberjack in all of Canada, is trying out for a new job. He hasn't quite got his prospective employer won over yet so he gets out his A game.

"I am Pierre, greatest lumberjack in all of Ca-na-da! You blindfold Pierre and put piece of wood in front of him. Pierre will tell you everything about this wood!"

The first piece of wood is offered up to the blindfolded Pierre. He bends over and sniffs it from one end to the other.

"Is four by four post, six feet long, Douglas fir from western Oregon."

Pretty impressive, thinks the employer and sets out another one. Pierre does his stuff.

"Is fence post, yellow pine from Sawtooth Range of Idaho."

By now the employer is well and truly impressed. He decides to give Pierre a real challenge. He calls in his secretary and has her strip naked and assume the position.

The still blindfolded Pierre sniffs the subject from one end to the other and back again. With a very puzzled look on his face, he announces,

"Is very odd. Please to turn wood over."

The secretary obliges and Pierre sniffs again. He rises to the full upright position with a big grin from ear to ear.

"Ha! You try to fool Pierre! Is shithouse door off tuna boat!"

I'm a lumberjack ...

My neighbor, whom I warned a few weeks back to get some of his big trees down before winter, lost one of his trees last night in some vicious winds (60 - 70 mph). Thing is, it fell over into my yard and took down one of my pines.

Guess what I'm doing this morning.


The bright side is it ain't my fence or my gazebo.

Luckily for my neighbor, it missed my shed.

And, of course, my supervision:

Back to work ...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Inside the Pentagon’s Alt-Medicine Mecca

Got this from CAFKIA in aid of my theme today. From the Danger Room at Wired.

The Pentagon is turning to alternative medicine to help alleviate the devastating symptoms of Post-traumatic stress disorder that afflict more than 250,000 military personnel; soothe the brain trauma that’s left thousands more with tremors, speech impediments and memory lapses; and assuage the chronic pain that lingers after grueling, repeat deployments.

The Institute is currently running 67 studies within its military program. And its research is responsible for nearly all of the Pentagon’s alternative health initiatives, including a successful yoga program at Walter Reed and the introduction of acupuncture to the combat zone.

Ironically, soldiers are suffering these new ailments because more of them are making it home. The survival rate of soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan is greater than 93 percent. Compare that to a 76 percent rate in Vietnam, or 69 percent rate in World War II, and it’s clear that military medicine has made impressive strides in keeping wounded soldiers alive.

Military leaders have been vilified for inadequate record-keeping, mismanaged research funds and an over-reliance on brain injury and PTSD tests that often don’t work. “We have failed soldiers,” retired Col. Mary Lopez, who used to manage the Army’s TBI testing, told ProPublica last year. “It is incredibly frustrating because I can see first-hand the soldiers that we’ve missed, the soldiers that have not been treated, not been identified, [or] misdiagnosed.”

Actual medical care is sometimes even worse. For all three conditions — PTSD, chronic pain, and TBI — prescription drugs are the primary mode of treatment. Narcotic painkillers, antipsychotics and sleeping pills have been handed out in record numbers.

But if anything, the drug abuse and addiction borne of that strategy is becoming a medical problem of its own: 73 percent of accidental deaths among military personnel last year were linked to prescription drugs. One such fatality, that of Sgt. Chris Bachus, elicited headlines simply due to the stunning quantity of pill bottles found near Bachus’ body — 27 different ones — after his overdose.

Holy shit.

This is quite a long article and you should go read it. Bottom line:

The science and the stories make it clear: Something about alt-medicine is working.

Then keep after it. Whatever it takes.

I pity the fools!

Who vote for them.

Thanks to Internet Weekly Report.

Brain Wars

Looks like I've got a theme today.

Pro Publica

More than 115,000 soldiers have sustained mild traumatic brain injuries, also called concussions, in the wars when shock waves from bombs rippled through their brains. Most have recovered quickly, but some have suffered lasting cognitive problems, from headaches and dizziness to problems with memory and reasoning.

In January, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., questioned the Pentagon's decision to deny cognitive rehabilitation therapy to troops with brain injuries. Her inquiry came after a story we did about how the Pentagon based its decision not to pay for such care on a much-criticized report from the ECRI Institute. Following the story and McCaskill's inquiry, the Pentagon solicited the help of the Institute of Medicine, which released a report in October urging the Defense Department to do more research on the therapy before offering it more broadly.

"More research". Very similar to the response from Japanese motorcycle manufacturers many years ago when told their bikes were such evil-handling pieces of shit that they were killing American kids by the truckload - "must study" - which we took to be Japanese for "fuck you".

Now, as then, expenditure on used-up soldiers is to be avoided so there's more taxpayer money available for profit on Cold War weapons systems we no longer need, and jobs for retired Generals.

It's a lot cheaper to say these soldiers had pre-existing personality disorders or they wouldn't have crashed the motorcycles in the first place.

No pull trigger, no get food.

Million-dollar wound...

Multiply this by 40,000 and the non-physical trauma by 300,000 to get an idea of what the two wars have wrought which will be with us for three generations at least.

Wounded Marine inspires AP photographer's search

Inside the medevac helicopter in Afghanistan, U.S. Marine Cpl. Burness Britt bleeds profusely from his neck. He and two other Marines have just been hit by shrapnel, with Britt's injuries the most serious. The medevac crew chief clutches one of Britt's blood-covered hands as he is given oxygen. I take hold of the other.

In my 20 years as a photographer, covering conflicts from Bosnia to Gaza to Iraq to Afghanistan, injured civilians and soldiers have passed through my life many times. None has left a greater impression on me than Britt.

When we finally met Dec. 13 at the hospital, I saw him in the distance. He walked with difficulty, trying to control his right arm and leg. He was wearing a plastic helmet to protect his head where part of the skull had been removed. His brain had swollen to nearly twice its size because of his injuries and doctors had to open the skull to relieve the pressure.

His helmet had a camouflage cover on it emblazoned with the 3rd Marine Division emblem on its side.

He had just started to regain his speech, working his way back from months of "thumbs up, thumbs down conversation," says his 22-year-old wife, Jessica.

He will undergo more surgeries next year to rebuild his skull.

I'm glad Cpl. Britt is on the mend and don't mind even a bit helping pay the tab for, quite literally, his "million dollar wound".

We better not let Repugs get in power. They know military funerals are a lot cheaper and they love to see the flag draped over a coffin a lot more than they like to see Disabled American Veterans, the leeches who take money for care that the Repugs would rather have in their pockets.

Remember ...

The somewhat ongoing (Where is Oily Taintz now anyway?) President Obama birth ceretificate 'debate'?  Well, Res thinks we should do the same (a return in kind, as it were) to the Mittser:

You know how dumb @$%^s shrieked at Obama to "Release the birth certificate" for years?

Our cry in 2012 should be for Mittens to release his tax returns.


Quote of the Day

The fact that the GOP presidential field is only capable of coughing up a gang of clownish shysters and a laughably phony hack indicates that the GOP is not a political party, but Fox News by other means.

I was a little under the weather over the holiday.  Sorry for the absence ...

Monday, December 26, 2011

San Diego naval hospital testing unusual PTSD treatment


Naval Medical Center San Diego is studying whether an anesthetic used during childbirth could help relieve symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

"If we don't get PTSD under control, our crime rate and social disability are going to be out of control," said Lipov, founder of Chicago's Advanced Pain Centers.

The treatment aims to affect the body's sympathetic nervous system through the nerves in the neck. The bundle of nerves that control the "fight or flight" syndrome in the brain are known as the stellate ganglion.

The injection, Lipov said, "resets" the nerve bundle to calm down the agitation and "hypervigilance" that are common to PTSD sufferers. Although denied federal funding, Lipov has received $81,000 from the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and has 10 veterans enrolled in his own study.

On one point all the researchers agree: PTSD will remain a medical challenge long after the end of the wars. McLay said PTSD, by different names, can be traced to the days of Achilles and the Spartans.

"I see Marines, SEALs, Green Berets — the toughest men on earth — and they still have PTSD," McLay said.

Best of luck to researchers and Veterans with this. Whatever works, although it may be a little hilarious to hear a tough old Vet holler "I WANT MY EPIDURAL!". Heh.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Urged to report any neighbors not grief-stricken.

Reuters: 2011 “Year of the Tyrant”
2012 expected to be “Year of the Guy Who Overthrew the Tyrant.”

Koch Industries Hopes to Fill 2500 Jobs
Mostly in vote-suppression.

George H.W. Bush Says Romney is “Best Choice"
From a “pathetic field of losers.”

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Neut sights self, sinks same

Raw Story

Certainly no-one will ever accuse Newt Gingrich of having low self-esteem. Talking Points Memo is reporting that Gingrich’s campaign manager Michael Krull has taken to Facebook to vent about the Virginia Republican Party’s judgment that the former Speaker of the House did not qualify to appear on the March 6 primary ballot.

“Newt and I agreed that the analogy is December 1941,” he writes, comparing the campaign’s failure to acquire the 10,000 signatures necessary to compete in the Virginia primary to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. “We have experienced an unexpected set-back, but we will re-group and re-focus with increased determination, commitment and positive action.”

As Raw Story reported earlier, this is the third state primary for which the Gingrich team has failed to collect enough signatures or missed the filing deadline.

Difference being that the U.S. Navy didn't torpedo and sink itself.

Neutie, You ain't a pimple on the ass of a 17-year-old Seaman Third at Pearl Harbor. Don't hit yerself in the ass with the door on the way out.

We Like Sheep

Thanks to Paul Krugman.

Extra butter, please!

Thanks to YubaNet.

Christmas Is No Time to Talk About War and Peace


Christmas Cancelled as a Security Measure

Ellis Island - The three wise men were arrested today attempting to enter the country. The Iraqi nationals were carrying massive amounts of flammable substances known as "frankincense" and "myrrh." While not explosives themselves, experts revealed that these two substances could be used as a fuse to detonate a larger bomb. The three alleged terrorists were also carrying gold, presumably to finance the rest of their mission.

Also implicated in the plot were two Palestinians named Joseph and Mary. An anonymous source close to the family overheard Mary bragging that her son would "bring down the mighty from their thrones and lift up the lowly." In what appears to be a call to anarchy, the couple claims their son will someday "help prisoners escape captivity."

"These people match our terrorist profile perfectly," an official source reported.

All of the suspects claimed they heard angels singing of a new era of hope for the afflicted and poor. As one Wall Street official put it, "These one-world wackos are talking about overturning the entire economic and political hierarchy that holds the civilized world together. I don't care what some angel sang; God wants the status quo - by definition."