Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Ludlow Massacre

4/20 wasn't just Weed Day. From a good short history of the event at Kos:
The miners faced the grim prospect of going out on strike against the powerful southern coalfield companies, chief among them, John D Rockefeller's Colorado Fuel and Iron Company. The coal operators had steadfastly refused to recognize the Union and had ignored all attempts at negotiation. 
The miners had had their fill of dangerous working conditions, crooked checkweighmen, long hours, and low pay. They lived in peonage in company towns, were paid in company script, and were forced to shop for their daily needs in high-priced company stores which kept them always in debt. But, mostly they hated the notorious company guard system. Every attempt to organize was met with brutality on the part of the coal operators.
Also see Wikipedia.

About Woody's song:
Refers to the violent deaths of 20 people, 11 of them children, during an attack by the Colorado National Guard on a tent colony of 1,200 striking coal miners and their families in Ludlow, Colorado on April 20, 1914

Thanks to ReformingMe.
Corporate control of government, in this case using the National Guard to commit murder and arson to get what the bosses want and keep workers "in their place", is nothing new.

Update: Imagine having to fight management just to get to shop at stores of your own choosing.
This is a 10 minute documentary about the Ludlow Massacre that took place in Ludlow, Colorado on April 20, 1914 and resulted in the deaths of 19 people. This doc was created in 2003 and entered in the National History Day Competition where it placed 1st at the state level and was a national finalist for the Junior Group Documentaries. (Written, Directed, and Edited by Sarah Goode and Lila Creighton)

Thanks to TheSarahgoode.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Emmylou Harris singing "Red Dirt Girl" (2005) Farm Aid concert.
Thanks to jazzman67p.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Legalization or Bust: A Brief History of Marijuana Prohibition

In honor of 4/20, Weed Day, a little history. Post is from 2010.

America's longest prohibition dates back to 1937 -- the "Reefer Madness" era when the country's earliest anti-drug zealots (led by former head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Harry J. Anslinger) convinced a gullible public that marijuana caused people to commit unspeakable acts of depravity, such as when the hopped-up stoner runs over an elderly man in the guffaw-inducing exploitation flick.

Perhaps even more harmful is the stereotyping of marijuana smokers as lazy, dumb, slow, passive, apathetic, memory-challenged junk-food addicts. Though anti-drug organizations like the Partnership gladly re-enforce all of these supposed stoner traits, the media has piled on with constant jokey references to pot-heads adding "dude" to every sentence (ok, maybe that one's true, dude) with their groggy heads buried in colossal sized bags of Doritos. Stephen Colbert is one of the biggest perpetrators of this archetype.
Hey, I resemble that remark! Duuuude...

 Good post. Go read. Spicoli and Los Guys figure in. Smoke 'em if ya got 'em. The smoking lamp is lit. And so will you be...

Question of the Day

Is Peace Getting in the Way of Our War Plans?
This past weekend, the United States and other major nations finally spoke with Iran. In 10 hours of talks (or 5 with translations), minus a lunch break, Iran agreed to a framework for ensuring that its nuclear program is only used for civilian purposes.

If this keeps up, the whole basis for war could be lost. And it's all the result of having finally spent a few hours talking with Iran. The obvious solution is to cut off the talks, issue ultimatums, lower the threshold for what justifies war, and impose more deadly sanctions than ever. And that's just what some of our misrepresentatives in Congress are about to try.
No wonder there's all the right-wing backlash against birth control. Their plans include needing young men and women as cannon fodder for decades to come. Permanent war for profit, you know. The poor and unwanted are best because they can't do anything else but join the service and not many will miss them.

Nuge Dropped Like The Hot Turd He Is

The News-Enterprise (Hardin County KY)
Fort Knox drops Ted Nugent from concert plans 

 Following rocker Ted Nugent's recent comments about President Barack Obama, he has been dropped from a scheduled performance at Fort Knox, the post announced Thursday afternoon.

 Army Entertainment and the Fort Knox Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation are committed to carrying out the concert, according to a news release. REO Speedwagon and Styx remain scheduled to perform as part of the post's annual summer concert June 23. The possibility exists that a replacement will be selected, post officials said.

I sincerely hope other concert promoters won't want to get their hands all shitty as well.


NRA Scrubs Nugent Video From Website, YouTube

Heh. When you're too extreme for the NRA Gun Nut Lobby, you're too extreme. Period.

Update the Twoth:

Ted Nugent himself is a cowardly pseudo-macho poser incapable of doing any real physical damage on his own. This disgusting pervert would rather sit around in his own feces than join the army and his sexual proclivities run to young girls rather than grown women for whom he has no appeal. Nugent is an admitted rapist and pedophile according to the VH1 documentary at the link. 

Nugent began his career with The Amboy Dukes and an album called Journey to the Center of the Mind. This was obviously a very abbreviated trip for Ted for which there was no return ticket. His philosophical musings went only so deep as the question Why is a Carrot More Orange than an Orange. The costumes and go-go girls in the video give us a glimpse of Ted's early affectations and his efforts as a guitarist whose musical style was "restricted to the Key of A and as melodic as a dial tone". The rather obvious limited musical talent is what eventually led Ted to his current shtick of gaining publicity for inflammatory rants on stage. As he has become increasingly irrelevant as a musician he has tried to become relevant as an outrageous wingnut firebrand.
Go read what bullshit like his can do, correction, has done.

Headline of the Day

Headline at BuzzFlash, link is to short post by Andy Sullivan:
Romney Hires Openly Gay National Security Spokesman for Campaign. GOP Base Implosion in 3...2...1...
Heh. I'm hoping for fireworks and a great sucking sound as their heads implode.

Note to Blogger

Your new template sucks.

Levon Helm 1940 - 2012

Levon Helm passed away yesterday. I'm sure we're all familiar with his work with The Band but he had a helluva body of work in later years as well. I particularly liked him as "Old Man With Radio" in The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada and his later work.

 Notable lyric in "Poor Old Dirt Farmer":

 "Well the poor old dirt farmer, how bad he must feel
 He fell off his tractor up under the wheel
 And now his head, shaped like a tread
 But he ain't quite dead"

Thanks to dirtfarmermusic.
So long Levon.


 A very good obituary:
[...] But the through-line to it all is that marvelous voice, an utterly American sound that somehow for five decades embodied the field hollers, Delta blues, minstrel shows, rockabilly, mountain ballads, and country crooners all in one exhilarating package. If you want to hear what American music sounds like at its best, listen to what Levon Helm left behind.

Useful and fun!

Go look up "hemp" and see all the uses it has, aside from the good one.

Happy 420!

Stolen from God.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Raese Compares No Smoking to Hitler's Jewish Star

It's getting harder and harder to find wingnut stupidity that's unique enough to bother posting on it. This one takes the fucking cake. So far today anyway.

Political Wire, video if you must:

West Virginia U.S. Senate candidate John Raese (R) compared no smoking laws to one of Adolf Hitler's most notorious policies.

Said Raese: "I don't want government telling me what I can do and what I can't do because I'm an American. But in Monongalia County you can't smoke a cigarette, you can't smoke a cigar, you can't do anything... I have to put a huge sticker on my buildings to say this is a smoke free environment. This is brought to you by the government of Monongalia County. OK? Remember Hitler used to put Star of David on everybody's lapel, remember that? Same thing."

Godwin is LHMFAO.

"We are Braveheart!"

Get some, Cenk! Blow it outcher ass, Nuge. A few other examples of great patriots as well.

Thanks to TheYoungTurks.

From the Dept. of No Shit ...

You think?

Scientists may hesitate to link some of the weather extremes of recent years to global warming — but the public, it seems, is already there.

A poll due for release on Wednesday shows that a large majority of Americans believe that this year’s unusually warm winter, last year’s blistering summer and some other weather disasters were probably made worse by global warming. And by a 2-to-1 margin, the public says the weather has been getting worse, rather than better, in recent years.


I never remembered a winter like 2010/2011 where we had 6' of snow on the ground for 3 months, nor one like this last, where I can count on one hand the number of days below freezing. Ask the folks out in the Midwest, who've already seen more tornadoes this spring than they do in a year. You don't need to know the science behind it to know something is wrong.

The best choice ...

For the title of "Wanker of the Decade":


Truly great wankers possess a kind of glib narcissism, the belief that everything is about them while simultaneously disavowing any responsibility for anything. The important thing about an issue is whether it proves Tom Friedman fucking right, but if it doesn't we can just move on to the next big thing that will prove Tom Friedman fucking right. If you advocate for wars that go a bit bad, well, it's not your fault. If only Tom Friedman had been in charge everything would have been great.

Such wankers are impervious to criticism because they're always doing battle with straw critics. They never remember what they said last week, and assume you won't either.


Friedman is nothing but Mitt Romney with a mustache. A rich asshole who has no clue about anything that affects the average person.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Still working ...

The deck moves along.

...and the list goes on...

Thanks to YubaNet.

The cartoonist ran outta room to list the different kinds of wingtards before it was half done.

Headline of the Day

Over 300 Economists Agree: It’s Time to Legalize Marijuana

Well, alrighty then!

The problem is that too many people, agencies, corporations, po-leece, and for-profit prisons loves them some taxpayer money. A $trillion so far. Lose the "war on drugs"? Hell, who cares? They're making money. OUR money.

The Sad Drip Diet

If it's Wednesday, it's Morford on silly diets and the reasons(?) for them.

Behold, the latest micro-trend story that's not really a trend because no one you know is actually foolish enough to try it, all about how some otherwise healthy but still desperately inept women are paying large amounts of money to have a doctor insert a feeding tube up their noses, down their throats and into their stomachs. For multiple days at a time. By choice.

What they're doing, of course, is taking part in a radical new diet. You know, for morons.

The ultimate goal? No, not better health, silly. That would be far too intelligent and thoughtful. The goal, of course, is to finally fit into that snug wedding dress, so as look presentable in the wedding photos and feel happy and skinny-ish for a day, safe in the knowledge that you will immediately gain the 10 pounds back in a week or two and never look that way again. See? Marriage is fun!

Then he starts in on the junk- and fast-food corporate culture we're in.

I go to the doctor every six months to get a new BP medicine scrip. I'm going today, as a matter of fact. The doc wants me to lose weight and I'm doing it. I lose a reliable five pounds before each visit. How? About two months before I need new pills, I knock off potato chips and midnight snacks. I don't eat much fast food anyway. The doc tells me I'm coming along, slower than he would like but coming along nonetheless. As soon as I get the new scrip, I pig out for a coupla months and then knock it off again. Works for me.

I gotta have my ears unplugged while I'm there. Again. The Filipina gal that does that has waaay too much fun with her 2-liter bottle of water. I'm always a little amazed there ain't a jet of water comes out my other ear.

Now what ...

Would that draft-dodging loudmouth know about "riding into battle"?

As Josh Glasstetter at Right Wing Watch noted, "With surrogates like Nugent, Romney should have no trouble alienating moderates." They caught this clip above with Ted Nugent stumping for Mitt Romney at the NRA convention in St. Louis over the weekend.


Why is it the clowns who did their damndest to get out of serving their country 40 years ago are the ones advocating the loudest for war and battle?

There would be ...

A dead cop in my driveway too:

A man whose Australian Cattle Dog Cisco was shot dead by a Texas police officer responding to a 911 call at a wrong address is asking for improvements to how authorities handle animals they encounter during such investigations.

Michael Paxton said he was playing with his 7-year-old dog in his backyard in Austin on a “quiet” Saturday when an officer showed up in his driveway. His dog, who ran out barking, was dead in seconds, he said.

“I told the officer, you know, don’t shoot my dog cause I knew the dog was going to run forward towards us,” Paxton, a 40-year-old lab tech, told “He (Cisco) ran to the officer’s feet; the officer shot him and killed him.”


It's time for the cops in this country to get reined in bigtime. Idiot shoots my dog for no reason, he's getting the same, no questions asked.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The morning crowd

This is an article in my local paper, the Sierra Sun about undocumented workers in my area. A good read. The author uses somewhat flowery language of the "It was a dark and stormy night..." variety which shows good youthful creativity and imagination and good for him.

This most likely goes on every day in your town as well.

The editor's intro:

Toward the end of 2011, former Sierra Sun reporter Jason Shueh took on his final assignment — an in-depth look at the large day worker population in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe.

Weeks of shadowing and interviews in both English and Spanish with the workers themselves, coupled with discussions with the public figures who work with the population and with those who are responsible for enforcement, revealed some clarifying facts regarding these members of our communities — along with an emotional anecdote that goes beyond your typical newspaper report.

It's brash and, at times, vulgar. But it's real. And it's a narrative worth telling.

Yes it is.

The day fills with a dry cold and they go bundled down Coon Street, down Fox Street and along the downtown bordering Lake Tahoe. It is a divided march through Kings Beach with the men moving in small bunches toward a 7-Eleven that squats among trailer homes, old motels converted into apartments and, of course, the lake.

Most opt to stand along the wood fencing, and the man with the shadowed face moves away to the edge of the roadway, between the 7-Eleven and the bus stop, where work trucks come with güeros — white men offering work — and so he waits.

The scene could be ritual, a type of stage play, a season populated in a climate of interactions that are condensed into a daily happening. Viewed from the car dashboard or across the street, it's a scene marked like a man-made sacrament, a tradition that comes out of necessity but without any church or doctrine. For there is a benediction sounding in car horns, in rumbling engines. And there is a choir that blasts cumbia, reggaetón and the trill of strumming mariachis crackling out of rusty truck radios.

There is even a reverence by the jean-suited clergy: conversations turning to votive whisper, whispers turning to silence as a truck cab opens and work is called out: “I need two to paint, I need one to dig.” And for the chosen, the lucky, the Eucharist of labor comes with a bread made of worn muscle and a wine of spilt sweat.

It's a process all routine and natural, and in this way, I watched the morning go.

The wind picked up and the day rolled on. Our conversation grew into many topics. Carlos told me how there were many undocumented who lived in apartments with three or four men to a room, how the foolish ones waste money on lottery tickets, alcohol or drugs, but the good ones, the best ones, work with a purpose, and most for their families. He said he could survive a week on a carton of eggs, and said he once worked on four hours of sleep a night for three days.

“We all want work. If I earn $70 in a day, I can send perhaps $50 home, and this will be something like 700 pesos. My family can live on that, and they'll be able to eat for a week,” he said.

Yet, lack of work is nothing compared to the danger of summers. Immigration operations usually occur twice in the season, Carlos said. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers come up in white vans to the 7-Eleven. Officers jump out and everyone scatters, with men running and hiding wherever they can, he said. A phone tree alerts illegals in the neighborhood. But the unlucky are grabbed. Usually they'll be offered a chance to collect belongings, but since most live four or five men to a room, this is impossible.

“How can we lead them to our friends?” Carlos asks.

The only advantage they have is the lake and the snow, he points out. The lake creates distance between Sacramento, and the snow halts traffic. Together, they form a persuasive deterrent, he said.

This is a long but not too long article and well worth reading.

Also see:

How does Truckee/Tahoe work with an undocumented labor force?

“I think we need to move past the notion that they are going to go away, because they are not,” Vaca said.

Much more.

Quote of the Day

Charlie Pierce on the Man Who Wouldn't Die:


It's nice to see the former Veep is feeling so spry. I recommend a lengthy European vacation, preferably beginning in the Netherlands.

Aus declares victory ...

And goes home. At the least, the Diggers are leaving a year early:

The Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, says she expects to pull out most of Australia's troops from Afghanistan almost a year earlier than planned. Gillard said Australian soldiers have nearly completed their mission to transfer security responsibilities to Afghan forces, and most will be home by the end of 2013.


See, Barry, that's how it's done.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Headline of the Day

Tennessee Senate Approves Bill To Warn Students That Hand-Holding Is A ‘Gateway Sexual Activity’

Good grief. So is finding out our arms are the length they are for a reason.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Nazi Party Registers Washington Lobbyist
Hopes to rein in some Republicans who have gone “too far.”

Yeah, that'll help...

Florida Congressman: 80 House Democrats are Communists
Take their orders directly from Pyongyang.

That one snuck up on me. Mopping keyboard now...

Cruise Ship Reenacts Titanic Voyage on 100th Anniversary
Follows exact same route, has same number of passengers dressed in period costumes, who eat same food, listen to same music and meet same fate as things go horribly wrong.

Carpathia nowhere to be found...

Charles Manson Paroled Due to Prison Overcrowding
Space needed for those convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana.


A little progress ...

Didn't touch the deck, aside from bringing the dogs back and forth to the kennel across it, this weekend. Here's where I got to by Friday.

Looks like ...

Hillary had as much fun as I did this weekend. Heh ...

Aim for the big toe ...

Thinking about Gordon's post of a few weeks ago when I read this in MJ:


Not content to enrage people who like sex? Well, party of Lincoln, you've also bullied Latinos, a giant, socially conservative, upwardly mobile, and demographically growing bloc that many analysts see as key to securing the White House—and that as recently as 2004 swung 42 percent for George W. Bush. That was before GOP lawmakers spearheaded some 160 punitive anti-immigration bills in the last two years. Before Mitt Romney—whose own forebears fled to Mexico to avoid anti-polygamy laws—bent over backward to embrace such "self-deportation" measures. Before Rick Santorum demanded that Puerto Ricans switch to English. These days no more than 14 percent of likely Latino voters can see themselves casting a ballot for any of the GOP candidates. Hasta la vista, Nevada!


Sitting back over the past few months and watching the Rethugs trying to out-crazy each other, moving farther and farther to the nutty right, it seems as if they are determined to commit political suicide. It's as if someone came up with the bright idea that alienating everyone who might cast a vote for them was the way to win the White House and hold on to some sort of majority in Congress. 6 months ago, they were talking about the GOP taking the Senate as well as retaining the House. It seems the best thing they can hope for now is to win open mic night at the local comedy club. The GOP has become nothing more than a political cartoon.

Eisenhower weeps ...

No shit ...

Great thanks to the Being Liberal FB page.

Judgment ...

Or the lack thereof. Personally, I thought the Secret Service had their shit a little more together than this.

WASHINGTON — President Obama commented for the first time on Sunday about the Secret Service employees accused of soliciting prostitutes before a summit meeting in Cartagena, Colombia, saying he expected a high standard of conduct from his security team and adding that he would be “angry” if the accusations were proved true.


According to what I've heard, the whole commotion started when one of the Secret Service agents tried to stiff a hooker for less than $50 and she raised a stink. Cheap dumbasses shoulda given her a hundred to keep her mouth shut.

Where I been ...

This weekend. It was the Mrs. birthday yesterday and, after finishing the deck on Friday (pics to follow soon) and meeting with the engineer, for an assessment of the repairs we need to do in order to sell dad-in-law's house, on Saturday, we started celebrating. We finished yesterday. Heh ... After the emotional roller coaster of the last 2 weeks (dad-in-law's passing almost 4 years to the day of mom-in-law's passing and what would have been his birthday a few days after that) the Mrs. needed to cut loose and I'm glad I could facilitate it. Haven't had a hangover like I had yesterday in a long time but it was well worth it.