Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ahhhhhh, Bonnie...

The first single from Slipstream* due out April 10th on Redwing Records!

She has a custom purple Larry Pogreba resonator guitar made of salvaged wood and recycled aircraft aluminum, with a big round metal R (for Raitt) that was a 1951 Rambler hubcap.

How can I not love this woman? Oh, I do, I do...

Thanks to TheBonnieRaitt.

The Harder They Come

Bruce Springsteen & Jimmy Cliff "Harder They Come" at Austin City Limits (SxSW 2012)

Thanks to mimobot.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Me 'n Mrs. G played Emmylou's CD Duets that has this song on it on the way home last Monday. Had ta watch the speedo while it was on. Heh.

Emmylou Harris & The Desert Rose Band ~ The Price I Pay

Thanks to 21estrellas.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Immoral Equivalence

Thanks to Slate.

Bruce and Trayvon

The New Yorker

But the most memorable moment, the one that demands immediate distribution, came after the “Apollo Medley”—a medley of Smokey Robinson a cappella and a rafter-raising version of “634-5789.” Suddenly, the mood went sombre and Springsteen said, “This is for Trayvon.” I first heard “American Skin (41 Shots),” at Madison Square Garden a dozen years ago, but now the lament, as the circumstances changed from the shooting of Amadou Diallo, in New York, to Trayvon Martin, in Florida, was less subdued, far tougher, as if to underline the outrage. Like “Born in the U.S.A.” and the new “We Take Care of Our Own,” “American Skin” belies its easy reading; it attempts to get at the complexity as well as the grief and fury of its subject. But better to just let you experience the song. Here it is, performed in Tampa, last week:

The Boss is turning out to be Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Joan Baez all rolled into one for an angrier age.

Note to Bruce: GET SOME!

New Low

Hard to imagine, but the wingnuts constantly come up with new nadirs in all areas.

The Political Carnival, links at site.

You know how there are people you love to hate? Well, here’s a grease spot of a guy that you simply loathe, no fun, “love,” or snark involved whatsoever. You all remember Deadbeat Dad Joe Walsh, the disturbingly crass GOP/tea bagger Congressman from Illinois, right? Yes, that Joe Walsh.

Per, he’s sunk to a new despicable low. Here’s the press release:
Chicago, IL - In an appalling new low, Congressman Joe Walsh today slammed his opponent Tammy Duckworth’s military service. Walsh told Politico, “What else has she done? Female, wounded veteran … ehhh.” Duckworth served as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot in Iraq in 2004, and lost her legs and part of the use of her right arm. She was awarded the Purple Heart for her combat injuries and is still active as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Illinois National Guard.

“Just when you think Congressman Joe Walsh couldn’t sink any lower, he insults the service and sacrifice of our Veterans, particularly one like Tammy who lost her limbs in the line of duty. Congressman Walsh owes Tammy Duckworth and all Veterans an apology for his outrageous disrespect for their service,” said Jon Soltz, Iraq War Veteran and Chairman of PAC. “But it’s not just that. If you think working for America’s veterans at the VA both in Washington and Illinois is nothing, if you think working to improve the economic lives of veterans is nothing, then Joe Walsh’s record is below nothing. He represents the do-nothing, obstructionist, extreme Tea Party wing of the GOP, not the values that Tammy stood up for.”

Somebody needs to knock the dog shit outta that worse-than-worthless motherfucker Walsh. He Never served a day in his life, besides stiffing his kids outta their child support.

Note to Walsh: Shut yer fuckin' pie hole, asshole, and I'd love to do it for you. Colonel Duckworth is every inch a woman and United States soldier and more of a man than you'll ever be.

ASU College Republicans: "The Right to Vote is Too Important to Give to Everyone"

No, not Arizona State. Read on.


The local Republican Party is pretty much in shambles. The George Bush/Dick Cheney Administration killed the Party off as rural people finally decided they'd been had on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and their dead and buried kids had died for nothing but lies.

So the Tea Party came riding into town to save the day and rebrand the conservative image. Most of the local Tea Party members don't look anything like the rest of us here. The leaders are high-heeled women who wear pearls when they "garden" and impressive diamond jewelry to local public hearings. It's clear they've never put in a day's work in their lives. But, by god, they're determined to whip the rest of us into submission.

Which brings me to the debate forum between the Appalachian State University (my em) College Democrats and College Republicans this past Tuesday night.

Appalachia. Do these young Repug punks even know where they are?

The deer began to put their texting on hold when they heard the College Republicans argue that, among other things, women had no rights to mandatory insurance coverage for contraception: "if women want to avoid getting pregnant, they should stop having sex" and "just because I want a diet coke every hour doesn't mean the taxpayers should have to pay for it." (One of the College Democratic debaters asked him if he'd ever had a period.)

There was other "good stuff." The College Republicans argued that prison life was really just a piece of cake ("they get cigarettes, gourmet food and a soft mattress"), and the proposed same-sex Constitutional Amendment that will be on our primary ballot this May is essential because gay and lesbian couples' children are more likely to commit heinous crimes and do poorly in school.

Not only have the College Repunks never had a period, or gotten laid for that matter, they've never been in jail either. Doesn't stop them from knowing everything.

Then there was this:

A motorcycle mechanic friend of mine once said that "college is where you go to get your conscience removed".

I disagree. Pretty hard to get something removed that you grew up being taught you didn't need anyway because you were born to the privileged class and know what's best for everybody else.

These kids have a lot to learn, and they won't learn it hanging around with other dumbass Repug kids. That's OK. They don't want to be burdened with facts, much less the truth.

Headline of the Day

Don't Want Health Insurance? Then Sign "Let Me Die" Legal Document

Problem solved!

I'll tell ya something, Bobby ...

A study conducted by Echo Research and Makovsky found that the “Occupy Wall Street” movement had an impact on marketing and communications executives at financial services firms.

However, professor Robert Reich said Thursday that marketing specialists might understand how angry the public has become at Wall Street, but CEOs and major traders — “the real power” — have probably not been effected.


The only way the Wall St. crowd is gonna get the message is when they see their buddies getting perp-walked out of their offices by federal agents during business hours. Until then, nothing's gonna change.


Gotta head up to the shop this morning to inspect my car. In all the hubbub surrounding dad-in-law's passing, I'd forgotten the inspections were up on the cars this month.

What you must believe ...

If you think George Zimmerman was acting in self defense by killing Trayvon Martin:

In order to believe the highly-connected-to-the-system family of George Zimmerman, here's what you have to believe transpired the night Trayvon Martin was killed:

1) You have to believe that after George Zimmerman started heading back to his van, Martin, who had already expressed concern to his girlfriend about being followed, picked a fight with a guy who outweighed him by about 100 pounds.


The Zimmerman family and hangers-on are trying to "game the refs". Unfortunately, the way this stupid law is written, he'll probably walk. I don't have much hope getting justice for Trayvon, but it'd be nice if the Sanford PD and the local DA underwent some sort of reorganization to get the mouth breathing crackers off the public payroll.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Let's Hope The Lady Doesn't Get Shot

Thanks to YubaNet.

I will, of course, not make any reference to the brand of truck depicted. Heh.

An Argument Against Healthcare

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) March 29, 2012 – The following message was released today by the National Alliance of Funeral Directors:

This week, several Republican Supreme Court Justices have argued that the Affordable Care Act supported by the Obama Administration is unconstitutional. At the National Alliance of Funeral Directors, we couldn't agree more.

Let's take a look, if you will, at the Second Amendment of the Constitution, which protects every American's right to shoot another American. It says nothing about giving the person who is shot health insurance to prevent him from dying. This cherished constitutional right to shoot people and make them dead is currently recognized in all fifty states, most recently Florida.

In commenting on the Affordable Care Act this week, Justice Samuel Alito compared the Obama healthcare plan to burial insurance. Coincidentally, burial insurance is the Republican healthcare plan, and one that we enthusiastically support. Under this plan, every American would be mandated to buy a coffin from one of our member-owned and operated funeral homes. May we recommend the Peaceful Valley Royale,™ a luxury mahogany casket with sienna satin interior and the finest imitation antique nickel handles ($2899).

As the organization representing America's funeral directors, gravediggers, embalmers and cremators, we are confident that the Supreme Court will ultimately do the right thing and decide that healthcare flies in the face of every American's constitutional right to the pursuit of deadness. And when they do, we'll be waiting for you.

Hmmm, they left out organ salesmen and necrophiliacs. Musta been an oversight.

Fugitive Slave Mentality


Before he temporarily stepped down from his position last week as chief of the Sanford, Fla., police department, Bill Lee Jr., gave an explanation of his decision not to arrest George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin. Lee said he had no reason to doubt Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense. Though Lee is no longer in the spotlight, his words linger for at least one compelling reason: his explanation bears an eerie resemblance to cases brought under the Fugitive Slave Law during the Antebellum period. Today, a legal standard that allowed the police chief to take Zimmerman at his word recalls the dark past of slave-owners claiming their property. The writings of Martin Delany, the African American political philosopher and activist, shed light on the uncanny resemblance.

On Delany’s account, the effect of the Fugitive Slave Law, at least as Judge McClean interprets it, is to subject all unowned black persons to the domination of all white persons. For by requiring that the self-proclaimed slave catcher be taken at his word, the law leaves unconstrained the ability of any white person to arrest and seize any black person. In effect, it renders all titularly free blacks vulnerable to the power available to all whites in exactly the way that, according to Frederick Douglass, a black slave is vulnerable to the power exercised by his or her white master.

In short, it appears that whites (or other non-blacks) may hunt down blacks with immunity from arrest so long as they leave behind no clue that they were not acting to defend themselves; or, to echo Martin Delany, that Florida’s Stand Your Ground law threatens to render some citizens subject to the arbitrary wills of others.

If it seems a stretch, finally, to paint Zimmerman in the image of the slave catchers of yesteryear, recall that he himself invited the comparison when, while stalking the African-American teenager against the advice of a 911 dispatcher, he complained, using an expletive to refer to Trayvon, that they “always get away.”

Zimmerman is one asshole that won't get away. Not this time. If we as a nation and human beings have progressed far enough.

Quote of the Day II

The Rude Pundit in a post about the possible/probable demise of the Affordable Care Act which, by the way, Fat Tony doesn't think he needs to read because his mind has been made up for a long time.

These are days where, in the name of freedom of the individual, the individual is crushed.

Deep down, conservatives are scared to death of freedom as more than a talking point. George Hanson was right those many years ago.

Thanks to delosss.

On Military Suicides

There's a good article in this month's VFW magazine on the Army and Marine Corps trying to get to the bottom of what's behind the rash of military suicides in the last few years so they can be prevented. It's in PDF form so I can't c&p quotes but if you're interested, please go read it. You can enlarge the print.

What I think is a good point - one of the doctors interviewed wants to change the term "PTSD" to "PTS" because he feels the word "disorder" implies weakness, which is shameful to male service personnel and is a factor in not seeking help. PTS is not a weakness. He may be on to something. The services are working to change this perception.

I learned from the article, and am proud of the way my Marine Corps is trying to handle teaching and counselling with more or less a squad-level personal approach as opposed to impersonal Powerpoint presentations in an auditorium.

That's the problem ...

He actually believes his own bullshit:


One of the things it has always been easy to admire (yes, admire) about Santorum is that the motherfucker may be crazy as a shit fight in a monkey house, but he believes what he's saying. He's all-in. If you're gonna base your candidacy on your belief that Satan wins if you don't, own that shit. And nothing says nutzoid like Santorum's latest video from his campaign, not a Super PAC, wherein he imagines the color-drained hellscape that America will become if Barack Obama wins a second term. Because apparently you can put anything after the President's last name, it's called, "Obamaville":


Yeah, I want his finger on the nuclear button.

You'll get health insurance ...

If we decide you're worthy:


“We’ll look at a circumstance where someone is ill and hasn’t been insured so far,” Romney said, “but people who have the chance to be insured — if you are working in the auto business, for instance, the companies carry insurance, they insure their employees, you look at the circumstances that exist — but people who have done their best to get insured are going to be able to be covered.”


Now, I don't know what the Mittster knows about the auto industry but having been on the business end of it for 40 years, I can tell you this. If you're not working for a dealership, odds are you ain't getting health insurance through your boss. Most independent shops with a handful of employees can't even afford the most basic insurance plans.


“If they are 45 years old and they show up and say, ‘I want insurance because I have heart disease,’ it’s like, ‘Hey guys. We can’t play the game like that. You’ve got to get insurance when you are well and then if you get ill, you are going to be covered,’” Romney said.


So, some poor schmuck who's been working for minimum wage for all his life, maybe two or three jobs at a time, who's never been offered health benefits through his employer and who certainly can't afford to get it on his own, is just shit out of luck? Is that right, Mitt? Is that what you're telling 30 million people? That they can just up and die because well ... fuck them, they should have been born into money?

And we thought Dick Cheney didn't have a heart.

Quote of the Day

Fez, in toto:

The man has a large subterranean lair, a car elevator, his own lobbyist, and proclaims the Russkies our No. 1 enemy.

Give Mitt a lap cat and he's a Bond-Villain.

Must be gay ...

Heaven forbid, at a campaign stop where the Frothy Mixture showed off his bowling skills, a young boy used a pink bowling ball:

But when Frothy Santorum stopped to perform in an alley in La Crosse, he suddenly got controlling. According to Reuters reporter Sam Youngman, Santorum said to a young man bowling with him:

You’re not gonna use that pink ball. We’re not gonna let you do that. Not on camera.

Wait, what exactly is wrong with a pink bowling ball? And what if that bowling ball was the one closest in weight for the guy’s playing needs? Is this what we have to look forward to if Frothy Santorum is elected–the government telling us what color balls we can play with? That men can’t stick their fingers into something pink?

That's right, I want a President who acts like a fifth grader. I mean, that's the last time I worried about something pink being a threat to my masculinity. If a grown man is infantile enough to have apprehensions about a color, he's not fit to be President, period.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I wonder if there's an echo?

Gleefully gleeped from my Facebook page after I gleefully gleeped it from someone else's.

Photo of the Republican National Committee searching for presidential candidates.

House of hemp

Cool! Let's fire up the living room! No, not in the living room, silly!


Woody Harrelson championed the environmental benefits of hemp. Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein incorporated it into their collections. Now a company promoting hemp as the eco-building material of the moment said it wants to build California's first hemp house.

Lends a whole new meaning to "brick house". Heh.

My first act as EOTUS will be to get rid of the puritanical, anti-fun, anti-Mexican, pro-prison and -liquor industry, and anti-quated regressive (but profitable) cannabis-related laws and bring this country into the 21st century. If the Secret Service calls me "Duuuude", so be it!

Besides, a new Hempcrete addition to the White House will be a nice place to relax. I'm sure the, er, outgassing from the new construction, particularly from out the window, will be more beneficial than from previous construction materials.

10 things you need not worry about

If it's Wednesday, it must be Morford easing our minds about various things.

There are plenty of things to concern yourself with. There are far too many things that wish to stress you out, slap you asunder and make you feel heavy, sad, lost. These should not be among them. Starting with:

1) Rick Santorum. Isn't he just the skeeviest little disruption, like fingernails on the chalkboard of human delight? Is he not the weirdest, bitchiest little dog whose cute scruffiness belies the fact that, when he opens his mouth, the strangest, most hideous sounds come out?

Good news: Rick is about as much of a threat to the attuned way of life as flea is to a pack of wolves. You only worry about him the way you worry about an errant wart on your elbow, the one you only notice when you lean in to watch "True Blood" on your laptop and you go, "Oh right, I need to get that dry little nub excised, pronto," and then you go back to enjoying all the other good things in life -- which, when compared to Rick Santorum, is pretty much everything.

9) Massive, unstoppable global socioeconomic meltdown. Look, 53 percent of the world claims they're "happy." Which seems utterly impossible, given how they can't all have unlimited access to iPads and iPhones and free porn and bacon-flavored vodka and Leonard Cohen records and Burning Man and Ducati motorcycles and sweaty yoga and artisan whisky and leather, like you do. What is wrong with them? Might they be onto something? What do they know that you don't?

Dey gots nuttin', honey. Eight more plus this jewel:

Instead, spend your energy on figuring out how to adapt, evolve, and fight the zombies.



Just one before I head out. Seems it costs me and the Mrs. a couple grand a year to pay for everybody's healthcare who isn't insured. I think they should carry this if they don't want to be in the system.

Stolen from the Being Liberal FB page.

*Do Not Treat

Thanks ...

Thanks for all the kind words regarding my father-in-law's passing. We buried him on Sunday morning and sat Shiva until yesterday. I should be back in form tomorrow after getting caught back up with the rest of the world. Now the fun stuff starts, namely cleaning out the house so we can put it on the market before summer. Thankfully, with dad-in-law's Alzheimer's, the Mrs. was granted power of attorney over the estate when her mom died 4 years ago and had everything organized so the paperwork end of it will be relatively easy.

Thanks again for your good wishes.

Avram Ishmael "Irv" Brickman
1921 - 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wrecking Ball

While we were out on the coast we picked up The Boss's new CD, "Wrecking Ball". No review, just get it, and pay the extra two bucks for the deluxe version with two bonus tracks which includes the song in the video below. This song played (at pretty high volume for old farts like us) while we were strafing the Salinas Valley at 70 per on the way home yesterday and it was a good backdrop for the sentiment expressed. Sounds like the "E Street Irish Regimental Band" and is probably my favorite number on an album of memorable, and more than a little angry, songs.

The McNicholas, the Posalskis, the Smiths, Zerillis too
The Blacks, the Irish, Italians, the Germans and the Jews
They come across the water a thousand miles from home
With nothing in their bellies but the fire down below

They died building the railroads, they worked to bones and skin
They died in the fields and factories, names scattered in the wind
They died to get here a hundred years ago, they're still dying now
Their hands that built the country we're always trying to keep out

Thanks to TomoSpringsteen.

Cheaper than Weight Watchers...

Gingrich campaign charges $50 for photos

Mrs. G said the only reason to be in a photo with Neutie is to appear slender by comparison. Heh.

Murder made legal will not stand

Toon from Slate.

The Rude Pundit on "The Niggering of Trayvon Martin":

We see this again and again. A black male who captures the imagination of the nation must be degraded by the right. He must be turned into something else, some Other. President Obama can't simply be an educated black man from a lower middle-class background with whom they disagree ideologically. No, he's got to be an enemy, a foreigner, a nigger. It's hard to denigrate someone who might be like you, conservatives. But it's easy to attack a nigger because he's just a nigger. Or a coon.

You're allowed to defend yourself against a REAL threat everywhere, "duty to retreat" laws notwithstanding, but apparently, the "stand your ground" laws in 24 states allow you to START a confrontation and then get scared halfway through the proceedings when it's apparent you're going to lose and shoot the guy you started the confrontation with. If he's black.

Zimmerman knows by now that he fucked up BAD. That's why he's hiding under a rock somewhere and not becoming a big celebrity like Kim Kardashian's ass by bragging on FOXNoise about how he saved the Republic by blowing a kid armed with pogey bait to kingdom come. I've got news for him that he already knows: he's going to go to prison. As he should.

The Sanford cops fucked this deal up enough, probably knowing full well what they were doing, that the racist cretin punk Zimmerman will never be charged with 1st degree murder, but I hope the punk gets 20 to life for 2nd degree murder. We'll see how well he "stands his ground" in a Florida prison full of black men when the NRA and racist cops and pols and gasbags drop that wannabe real man like a hot rock and aren't there to back him up. Street justice - the same "justice" given young Mr. Martin under that stupid right-wing law - is liable to get him first. Fine with me.


Can We Trust the Cops’ New Account of Trayvon Martin’s Killing?

No. I've read the police reports on my own arrests enough times to know that cops are skilled liars with a criminal justice system that's on their side.

The Sanford cops handled this about like innumerable "white man kills black man" cases in the South and elsewhere, figuring no one would ever notice. Once the rocks were turned over and the sunlight shone on this incident and the story made the big time, they realized how badly they had screwed up and are trying, in vain it will turn out, to save their own asses. Even as professional liars, they're not that skilled. They had best STFU and leave the subsequent skilled professional lying on their behalf to their lawyers, who will get paid even if the Sanford PD is no more after this.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Gets heart of young Chinese dissident.

U.S. Can Still Win in Afghanistan, Says Top Commander
Iraq and Vietnam, too.

Employers Expect to Hire 9.5% More Graduates This Year Than Last
Do you want fries with that?

??? - News Quiz - ???

Oil prices are rising and are expected to continue rising through the spring, summer and fall because:

A ) supply is tight.

B ) the invisible hand of the free market system is moving in mysterious ways.

C ) UFOs are using alien technology to siphon off our reserves for Mars.

D ) there's a Presidential election coming up, and Wall Street, Big Oil, and the banksters would really love to have a Republican in the White House.

Hint: supply isn’t tight, the hand ain’t invisible, and Mars doesn’t run on oil.