Saturday, January 24, 2009

Count Your Blessings

Today is Warren Zevon's birthday. He would have been 62.

If you can, open another window and watch the video with the audio disabled here and listen to it in this one. Some good L.A. pix, like the Capitol Records Bldg. looking south down Vine St. and some shots along H'wood Blvd. Mercifully, the cameraman shot over the heads of the hookers.

The song is about a guy down on his luck in some of my old stompin' grounds. You will never know how much grease there is in a chicken until you try 'the Pioneer Chicken stand'!

Warren Zevon ~ Carmelita

Thanks to mushy85.

Sic 'Em, Barry!

The Noo Yalk Post:

President Obama warned Republicans on Capitol Hill today that they need to quit listening to radio king Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and the new administration.

Good shot, Mr. Prez, but they don't want to get along with Dems and the new administration. They want to rule and don't quite understand yet that they're toast. They have to listen to that fat gasbag to stay as misinformed as the morons who elected them. It's always worked for them, but luckily for the rest of us there ain't quite as many of them as there used to be.

They're still dangerous, though. Desperate too, which means they will do anything. Watch yer six, Barry.

That wasn't Obama's only jab at Republicans today.

In an exchange with Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) about the proposal, the president shot back: "I won," according to aides briefed on the meeting.

"I will trump you on that."

Yes, elections have consequences. I think he gets it. The Repugs are still in denial/anger and will be a little harder to convince. Whatever it takes.

Almost missed it dept.:

A definite "Quote of the Day":

"You know, I'm concerned about the size of the package."...House GOP Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) later said.

Heh. He's been listening to Limpbaugh's 'bend over and grab yer ankles' shit waaaaay too much!

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

I've been a fan of Linda Ronstadt for forty years and this is the first time I've noticed she has boobs! Probly wouldn'ta noticed it even now if Dolly didn't have the minnow dipper in front of her world-class, er, features. The song's pretty backwoodsy, even for me, but I've watched them this so many times I can't get them it outta my head...


Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, & Linda Ronstadt ~ Applejack

Thanks to Jadeumms.

Saturday Crazy Redneck Hawgs ' n Suds Music Blogging

I got such a good reaction to my post about the Milwaukee Vibrators that I felt the need to dedicate a tune to all you Harley-Davidson riders out there. Here's The Killer:

Jerry Lee Lewis ~ What Made Milwaukee Famous

Thanks to kkiilljjooy.

Song Around The World

This has been up for 3 days and has been viewed over 206,000 times. More at PlayingForChange. - From the award-winning documentary, "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music", comes the follow up to the classic "Stand By Me" and the second of many "songs around the world" being released on CD/DVD in April, 2009. Featured is an incredible track written by Pierre Minetti performed by musicians around the world adding their part to the song as it traveled the globe. This video and "Stand By Me" will be available at iTunes 1.27.09 while other songs such as "One Love" will be released as digital downloads soon; followed by the film soundtrack and DVD in stores on 4.18.09.

Join the Movement to help build schools, connect students, and inspire communities in need through music.

Watch for some badass sitar work at 2:00!

"Let's Don't Worry"

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hoggily-Ferguson* Cutting Back


Harley-Davidson Inc. said Friday it will cut 1,100 jobs over two years, close some facilities and consolidate others as it grapples with a slowdown in motorcycle sales.

The Milwaukee-based company also reported its fourth-quarter profit fell nearly 60 percent, and said it is slashing motorcycle shipments in 2009 to cope with reduced demand.

They are cutting back in other areas as well. Please go read.

Speaking from long experience, I see Harley-Davidsons as space-age stone axes, but people love them. In my 50 years as a motorcyclist and bike mechanic I've watched them go from the choice of cops, outlaws, and long distance riders to status symbols and lifestyle statements, from big, ungainly, slow objects of derision (Hardly-Go-Davidsons to us Limey riders) to objects of adulation. As motorcycles, they're OK, but they don't do anything particularly well, but their fans don't give a shit. They're big and flashy and expensive and American. Well, except for all the too-many-to-mention world-sourced parts in them.

I've watched The Motor Company, as it is known to the true Harley people, falter and almost fail, reinvent itself and soar to the top. If you had bought 1000 shares at $31 (I think) when H-D went public in '81, you would be a millionaire+ today. It's a hell of a story.

It is strictly my opinion, but I think a lot of the Hogs you see were purchased with equity lines on folks' houses during the housing boombubble, and the sales slowdown is a direct result of its crash and the resultant lack of credit and jobs and folks generally tightening their belts everywhere. That's probably obvious enough that I didn't have to say it.

The hard-core Harley guys aren't going to change. They are committed (or should be. Heh.). You know, the guys who built their own motorcycles out of parts that all started out as parts of many other motorcycles (I've got a lot of funny stories about that kinda shit. Some other time...). Their Hogs will be the last things they sell. All they need in life is a bedroll and some gas money. The kind of guys who if they get their name in the paper are referred to as 'an unemployed motorcyclist'. A vanishing breed.

Most of the new crop of Harley riders, which is most of them these days, bought the damn things because they thought it would make them cool or look like badasses, perception as reality, and their parents wouldn't let 'em have one back when it might have helped. See this and you'll get my drift. They're not dyed-in-the-wool motorcyclists, and will sell their sleds long before they sell their SUVs and RVs and boats and McMansions and children.

Here's my point: In coming days, there are going to be a lot of terrific bargains on motorcycles, and not just Harley-Davidsons either. In fact, on all sorts of things. If you have been a prudent borrower or have a low debt-to-asset ratio or even have some (gasp!) cash on hand, I think the next round of mortgage rate resets is going to produce a cornucopia of things you might have always wanted for cheap. It's already starting, as evidenced right on your TV, "Two cars for the price of one! Buy one, get one free!". Keep your eyes open. Note: it does help if you're old like me and your house and cars are paid for.

A final note: I've had about thirty motorcycles in my life and I still have about twenty of 'em. Hey, they don't eat. Some of 'em mess the floor anyway. I've made payments on exactly one motorcycle. I bought it brand new in '68 on my MasterCharge. It cost $525 and I think I'm still paying on it. All the rest were cash on the barrelhead. My theory is, why make payments on something that's liable to get wadded into a piece of junk by some idiot talking on his cell phone in a Buick? I didn't want to be reminded of it every month. It's never happened, knock wood, but it's something to think about.

Man, it's amazing how one little news item can set ya off on a tangent sometimes.

*Agricultural implement reference. See "objects of derision".

Gillibrand to succeed Clinton in Senate

Raw Story

New York Gov. David Patterson has selected "Representative Kirsten Gillibrand, a 42-year-old congresswoman from upstate who is known for bold political moves and centrist policy positions, to fill the United States Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, according to a person who spoke to the governor early Friday," told the New York Times.

Gillibrand's selection throws a wrench in political speculation over who would succeed Clinton -- probably bets were on New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. More follows.

Yes it does. Go see.

Sorry, Caroline, but you're probably too nice to be a Senator anyway. Perhaps it is better that you stay untainted by the shithole of Congress. At least this way us old farts' vision of Camelot can stay pure.

Unlawful Enemy Combatant

In his own words: Rush Limbaugh: I hope Obama 'fails'

I got a great idea about that no doubt Cuban stogie, Rushole - grab yer ankles...

Quote of the Day

A BuzzFlash headline:

The Senate GOP Hold up Holder AG Vote for a Week Because They Want Him to Assure Them That He Won't Prosecute People for Breaking the Law; I.E., Bush Torturers. Kind of SOOO Republican to Keep an Attorney General from Being Confirmed Because They Want Him to Sanction BREAKING the Law.

'Holdups' are what the GOP do, whether it's a vote or the treasury. They're not as good at it as they were when they held the country hostage. Reminds me of the nervous liquor store robber: "OK, mothersticker, this is a fuckup!"

Observation ...

I got to realizing this morning that President Obama has "done the right thing" more times in his first two days in office than George Bush did his entire 8 year term.

You gonna eat that?


I used to work for an FDA-compliance consulting firm, and shortly after Bush took over, the FDA called all its agents back from the field "to rewrite the field manual" (even though it was updated on a regular basis) and announced they would no longer do random inspections of facilities. In fact, the only manufacturing facilities they would inspect were the ones that were already operating under a consent order!


I thank the stars every day that Mrs. F loves cooking and makes almost everything from scratch (yes, I've gained 75 lbs. since we've been married but well worth it); the woman even makes her own bread crumbs. I know what I'm putting in my mouth (shut up, Gord. Heh ...).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bipartisanship For Dummies

The Rude Pundit

Well, of course Barack Obama took the oath of office again. The man knows who he's dealing with: the petulant little fucks of the right who will do anything they can to invalidate his presidency. The President's no idiot. Already, conservatives in Congress are lining up like drunks in a bar with a five buck a suck whore in the back, ready to shove what they can down their remaining supporters' throats and blow their loads to get ready for the midterms.

Fuck bipartisanship. Fuck them. [...]

Here’s what bipartisanship meant to Republicans: let’s say a Republican and a Democrat are stuck on a desert island. The Republican knows how to survive in the wild, the Democrat knows how to build a raft. They need each other, right? They’re stuck there, and while they may hate each other, they gotta work together or they’re gonna die on the island. While the Democrat is, you know, building the raft, the Republican is gathering coconuts, keeping the fire lit, you know, that kind of shit. It’s all nice and cooperative. And then, when the raft is done, the Republican slits the throat of the Democrat, eats his flesh, drinks his blood, and uses his bones and his clothes for a sail. Bye-bye, island.

Here’s the Rude Pundit's deal: we’ll be bipartisan if you apologize. Not just an eye-rolling “We’re sorry.” Not good enough. We each need to come up with a way for Republicans to apologize. For the Rude Pundit, it’s simple. Blow jobs. He wants to get blow jobs from Republicans. Every time he meets a Republican, he wants to just point at his cock and have them nod, get on their knees. And blow him. He walks into Mitch McConnell’s office, he wants an immediate appointment for him to suck it. If he heads over to the Republican Party Headquarters, he wants to leave there raw. He goes into the Fox News bureau, he wants Greta Van Susternen on him like a Hoover on deep pile. That’s how you’ll apologize. He doesn't know what everyone else wants. There might be a whole lot of sucking and licking going on. And would that be a bad thing after eight years of getting raped?

By all means read the rest, but Mr. Pundit, personally I think I'd rather get a blow job from a woodchipper. You don't know where a Repug's mouth has been...

Please ...

Take this pencil and jam it into the soft spot behind my left ear, severing my carotid artery and killing me relatively quickly. While you're doing this, I'll be slamming my forehead into a cinder block wall.

The lead story on Drudge right now reports, in all caps, "No Bible Used At Obama Re-Swear."

Can't. Take. Them. Any. More.

On the Queen Of Soul and her hat

The late-night so-called comics and some of the gasbags have been ribbing Aretha Franklin about the hat she wore when she sang at the Inauguration. In case you were on another planet on Tuesday, here it is:

They missed the whole point. This is what I saw instantly when she appeared:

Aunt Jemima - Fictional black female with a broad smile, bandanna and kerchief round her neck displayed on packages of Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix and Syrup products first marketed by the Davis Milling Company in the 1890s. Nancy Green, a 59-year-old former slave and court clerk, portrayed the original Aunt Jemima at the Chicago World's Exposition of 1893. [...]

Keep in mind what was going on at the inauguration and where it took place. Rosa Brooks, in a 'must read' piece:

The National Mall is a haunted place. Stand on it, and if you listen carefully, you can still hear King speaking of his dream. Close your eyes, and you can still see those thousands of upturned faces. You can still hear the singing, not just of those who marched with King in 1963 but of the millions who marched before and after, for peace or for rights, all calling on their nation to make good on its promises of justice and equality.

Ms. Franklin's hat was a statement about what has gone before and now hopefully what has finally started to come together, a fancy, in-your-face even, version of a stereotypical old-time black woman's headrag from slave and Jim Crow days. A cultural icon if you will, as in 'we're proud of our heritage and you may suck it if you please'. Mrs. G called it "a Sunday go-to-meetin'" hat, and she hit it right on the nose. From the Motor City Freep:

Mr. Song Millinery's clientele is 90% African-American, churchgoing women, Song said. His wholesale business supplies hats to shops in other cities with large African-American communities, and the merchandise sells especially well in California, Houston and Dallas. He designs 100 hat styles every six months.

Detroit is very proud of the hat, and Mr. Song's phone has been ringing off the hook ever since.

Personally, I think the hat was gorgeous and cutting-edge appropriate for the occasion.

Me'n Aretha go back a long way. I first heard her in the squadbay* at Camp Lejeune in 1965. The splib dudes** all hung out together, and some of them had brought Roberts (Akai) reel-to-reel tape recorders back from Vietnam. Reel-to-reel was the state of the art in those days, and these guys had tapes just crammed with the stuff they liked, which us chucks*** had never heard before. I liked the music, and it was fun to watch those guys, in their skivvies and with nylon stockings on their heads over no hair, dancing. Individually, not with each other. I think.

Just as an aside, the white Viet Vets had tape recorders too. You could walk from one end of the squadbay to the other and musically go right from check-your-shoes-before-you-go-indoors country & western to downtown Detroit or Philly in 50 feet.

Anyway, the splibs really liked Aretha, whom I had never heard of, and I got to liking her, and soul music in general, because of them.

Here's one of my favorite Aretha songs. If ya go on the down-low side of double entendre this song is positively filthy! See ya there. Heh. Not bad for a church girl!

Freeway Of Love (In My Pink Cadillac)

*Squadbay: a large barracks room occupied by up to 100 Marines, half of whom are farting at any given time. Home Sweet Home.

**Splib dudes: black Marines. The terms 'black' or 'Afro-American' were not in use yet, 'colored' was pejorative, and 'Negro' was simply not used. Sometimes the term 'dark green Marine' was used, mostly by officers and staff NCOs, and considered as phony as a $3 bill. The term was used openly by both blacks and whites and was most definitely not meant as an insult. I have heard that it is an anacronym, but I have no idea what the letters stand for. I wish we had a word like that now - one syllable and non-judgmentally descriptive. I don't know if it is still in use in the Corps, but I rather think not.

***Chuck or 'chuck dude': white Marines. From "Mr. Charles" meaning The Man, as in The Establishment that had kept blacks down. No offense was taken by white Marines.

Obama to Bush: I Can Release Your Records. Don't Like It? Sue.


On his first day in office, President Obama put former president Bush on notice. His administration just released an executive order that will make it difficult for Bush to shield his White House records--and those of former Vice President Dick Cheney--from public scrutiny by invoking the doctrine of executive privilege. Shortly after taking office, Bush handed down his own executive order, amending the Presidential Records Act to give current and past presidents, along with their heirs, veto power over the release of presidential records, which are considered the property of the American people.

May I suggest a new method of categorizing and labelling Bush and Cheney's records? Call them "War Crimes And Abuse Of Power Trials Exhibits A through ∞".


Expanding on Fixer's post, Think Progress has more of the fat gasbag's babblings about President Obama:

LIMBAUGH: What I’m afraid of is that what Obama did with this executive order is actually make it easier for the media to go get Bush documents. Because you know Pelosi and some of the guys over in congress are talking about war crimes trials and charges and so forth. […]

What I’m afraid of is what Obama’s done here is made the gathering of the information for this kind of stuff– This is not American. This is not America. This is not what America does. We don’t– This is Banana Republic kind of stuff.

Wrong again, Viagra breath. The difference between 'rule of law' and a Banana Republic is that we will give the criminals due process and fair trials before we stand them up against a wall and shoot them.

With any luck, Limbaugh’s fears of an open and accountable government will be realized.

A question ...

Why is Rush Lintball relevant anymore?


Nice. We're bogged down in two failed wars, the economy is teetering on the brink of a collapse that will make the Great Depression look like a picnic on the beach in St. Barths, and this numbnuts wants the new president to fail.


I guess there's no changing the hardcore 20%.

You're kidding, right?


"This is truly a great day for our blessed nation! I was deeply moved and inspired by President Obama's eloquent and stirring address. Now is the time to unite as a nation behind our new president's leadership and address the challenges facing our country at home and abroad," [Sen Joe] Lieberman [I - Self-Centered Douchebag] said in a statement issued after the event.


Good. God.

As our pal UL says:


Ground control to Drooly McCocksucker: You should have thought about that before you campaigned for McSenile, you opportunistic cum towel.


Joe, find a nice place up in Litchfield with a comfy chair in front of the fire. Like your butt buddy McCain, you should be put out to pasture, you traitorous piece of shit.

President Obama,

(Has a nice ring to it, don't it?)

Yesterday you stated you wanted to close Guantanamo and issue new rules for interrogating prisoners:

President Obama moved swiftly yesterday to begin rolling back eight years of his predecessor's policies, ordering tough new ethics rules and preparing to issue an order closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which has been at the center of the debate over the treatment of U.S. prisoners in the battle against terrorism.


We already have a set of rules and rights for the treatment of wartime prisoners that every civilized country has endorsed. They're called the Geneva Conventions.


And a must-read from Greenwald (via Michael Stickings):


Jawad was never waterboarded, but no civilized human being would deny that the cumulative effect of his treatment at the hands of our country is torture in every sense of the word. And there's nothing unique about his treatment. It wasn't aberrational. Rather, it has been miserably common for detainees in U.S. custody -- not only at Guantanamo, but also in Bagram and throughout Iraq. It was what our highest political officials authorized and ordered. At least 100 detainees in U.S. custody have died since 2002, many suffering gruesome deaths. Countless others have been severely injured and irreparably wounded -- mentally crippled -- by the inhumane, brutal and patently illegal treatment to which they were subjected. [em in orig]


This is George W. Bush's legacy and it must stop with him. The next step should be war crimes prosecutions.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Thank goodness Bush is gone . Thank human decency Obama is now the president."

Random art experiment gone feral and digital luthier Geffel sums it up nicely:

Congratulations America. You no longer have to pretend to be Canadian when venturing abroad!

Jarheads on Obama: "He's good to go."


Some of the Americans listening most intently to President Obama's inaugural speech were those half a world away, like the Marines at Camp Ripper in Al Asad, Iraq.

Initial analysis: The new commander in chief is good to go.

'Good to go' is Jarhead-speak for 'ready to rock'.

Cpl. Mark Thiry: "He made me feel like he has a real plan. I'm definitely interested in his plans for Iraq."

Cpl. Kyle Hunter: "He's not going to cut military spending because he's focused on sending Marines into Afghanistan. I'd like to go there."

Shit, Corp, you'd like to charge Hell with a bucket of water if they'd let ya! Where do we get these guys? And thank our lucky stars for 'em too.

And an update on a comment I made earlier:

P.S. The troops in Iraq weren't the only Marines focused on the inaugural. In Washington, Cpl. Elideo Guillen was selected to dance with the new first lady at the Commander in Chief's Ball. Guillen said he practiced the box step with his wife so the dance would go off without a miscue.

"I just tried to get warmed up and not step on her toes," he told CNN.

I saw it with my own eyes, and there were Sergeant stripes on his sleeve. Maybe he borrowed the uniform. He came up about to her nose. Anyway, I never thought I'd say this about our lovely First Lady:

About tall girls - nose ta nose, yer toes is in it, toes ta toes, yer nose is in it.

Semper Fi, Corporal. Ya done the Corps proud. In the Army, they give medals for less.


Ain't there some folk lore about the size of men's feet bein' some sort of indicator about sumthin' else...?

Note to the President: If ya have to live on the White House lawn in a FEMA trailer for a few days while ya make sure the exorcism (cleverly masqueraded as 'fumigation'. Ha!) took, get one that's had its doors and windows open since Katrina to make sure outgassing is complete so as not to wreck your health.

Note to Bush: If there are any last-minute redos necessary at your new house in the racist enclave, you deserve a brand spankin' new FEMA trailer. Breathe deep. Don't that smell good? That's the smell of your unregulated capitalism. I hope it kills you like it's done to others.

Change has a new look. Worth a look.

" watching the ice go out on the river."

Go read Garrison Keillor's account of the inauguration. Mr. Keillor, who is so mild-mannered he wouldn't say 'shit' if he had a mouthful, nevertheless gets his point across quite well. Here's the last part.

The crowd down below the podium had their opinions. There was a profound silence when Laura Bush was announced and walked out. People watched the big screen and when Michelle Obama appeared, there was a roar, and when the Current Occupant and Dick Cheney came out of the Capitol, a low and heartfelt rumble of booing. Dignified booing.

The band tootled on and there were shouts of "O-ba-ma" and also "Yes we can" (and also "Down in front") and then he came out and the place went up. That was the first big moment. The second was when he took the oath and said, "so help me, God" and the cannons boomed and you got a big lump in your throat. And the third was afterward.

But the great moment came later, as the mob flowed slowly across the grounds.

The crowd stopped and stared, a little stunned at the reality of it.

They saw it on a screen in front of the Capitol and it was actually happening on the other side. The Bushes went up the stairs, turned, waved and disappeared into the cabin of the Marine helicopter, and people started to cheer in earnest. It was the most genuine, spontaneous, universal moment of the day. It was like watching the ice go out on the river.

As happy as I am to be able to capitalize the word 'President' again after eight diminished years, and as happy as I am that we actually have a readin' an' writin' an' thinkin' an' listenin' man who's not a right-wing neocon ideologue in the White House, I think I'm even happier to see the last of Bush.


MoDo chimes in along the same lines in Exit the Boy King:

It was the Instant the Earth Stood Still.

Not since Klaatu landed in a flying saucer on the Ellipse has Washington been so mesmerized by an object whirring through the sky.

But this one was departing, not arriving.

They wanted to make absolutely, positively certain that W. was gone. It was like a physical burden being lifted, like a sigh went up of “Thank God. Has Cheney’s wheelchair left the building, too?”

After thanking President Bush “for his service to our nation,” Mr. Obama executed a high-level version of Stephen Colbert’s share-the-stage smackdown of W. at the White House correspondents’ dinner in 2006.

With W. looking on, and probably gradually realizing with irritation, as he did with Colbert, who Mr. Obama’s target was — (Is he talking about me? Is 44 saying I messed everything up?) — the newly minted president let him have it:

And rightly so.

Cheney's Inaugural Appearance In A Wheelchair Had No Irony Deficiency

Tony Peyser

The man who secretly called all the shots
Who terrified everyone & his brother
Showed up without even the basic power
To put one foot in front of the other.

I sincerely hope he ends his days without the 'basic power' to walk more than ten feet without running into concrete or steel.

The absolute best part ...

Of yesterday's festivities was watching the Chimp leave the White House and board that Marine Corps helicopter. I'd give anything to know what Obama and Biden were saying to each other as they watched him go.

And an aside: Did anybody notice what a great time Joe Biden was having yesterday? If you didn't know better, you'd think he was the one elected President.

And another aside: Feel better soon, Ted. We need ya now more than ever.

A good start ...

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of President Barack Obama's first acts is to order federal agencies to halt all pending regulations until his administration can review them.

The order went out Tuesday afternoon, shortly after Obama was inaugurated president, in a memorandum signed by new White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. The notice of the action was contained in the first press release sent out by Obama's White House, and it came from deputy press secretary Bill Burton.


Good. Fuck the Chimp and his midnight declarations. Nice to see Barry coming in with his eyes open.

Link via Mr. Philadelphia.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


This goes out to all our dear sweet godless commie fuck friends who were put off the new President because of all the religious crap that goes with the traditional pomp and circumstance that surrounds the passage of power instead of realizing that we've just had sort of a spiritual moment by our deliverance from the worst buncha bastards that ever hijacked a country. Well, this country anyway. Frankly, until PBO said 'I do' or whatever, I didn't think it was gonna come off. I'm thanking my God, your God, any and all gods, the Architect Of The Universe, and/or yer Aunt Sadie that maybe now we've got a guy who'll show up and isn't an intellectual black hole like that last sonofabitch. Hallelujah! Lead us out of the wilderness, Moses Barry, that that bastard and the flying monkeys that shot outta his ass purposely blundered us into at such high speed!

A lovely song by a nice Italian girl from Noo Yalk and a longhaired gui-tar picker oughta make you feel better.

10,000 Maniacs & David Byrne ~ Let The Mystery Be

The Hell It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

Today is a wonderful day for our country, and to use a motorcycle term, I'm backin' off to oil. Tomorrow it's back to work. We have a new administration to watch and an old one to prosecute. See yas.

Joan Baez ~ It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

The long national nightmare ...

will finally be over today.

Tomorrow, we start to clean up the mess.

Thank God.

Quote of the Day

Olbermann (from his Special Comment last night):


This is the people's democracy. We are the people, these were our elected officials. That they did not come to us and ask to act thusly in our names is unfortunate, indeed criminal, but it is also almost irrelevant. They worked for us, they tortured people, and so we have tortured people.


Indeed. And until we prosecute those who are guilty, we are just as complicit, morally and in the eyes of the world.


And as our buddy 'Nucks reminds us:


We prosecuted and executed Japanese and German prisoners of war for doing exactly the same fucking thing to our soldiers after the end of World War II. [em in orig]


Monday, January 19, 2009

Help ya down them Capitol steps one last time, Dick?

Cheney in wheelchair with pulled back muscle

What a fuckin' pussy! I shovel a lotta snow and pull my back muscles all the time, don't need no sissy wheelchair, just some ibuprofen. The Dick gets lots better painkillers than that on our dime. Some guys'll pull any stunt to keep from going to the victorious enemy's inauguration!

Hallelujah and Amen ...

Stolen from C&L:

Click to embiggen.

He's really going to leave?

This might be a little previous. Call it premature de-jackoffication.

The song takes about 2½ minutes, but the blackness goes on three times as long. Fitting, considering that's about how long it will take to get outta the hole the son of a bitch dug us into.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Bush Heading Back to Texas
Cheney returns to Mordor.

Congressionally Mandated Study: Gulf War Syndrome Real
Treatment, VA benefits imaginary.

Bloomberg: NYC Will Help Train Laid-off Wall Streeters
As squeegee guys.

Me Generation, Generation Y Agree to Merge
Into Y-Me Generation.

Jack Bauer Having Inner Turmoil About Torture in New Season of “24”
Look for ratings-grabbing war crimes trial during sweeps.

No thanks. I'll wait for the 'reality show' on C-Span.

Heh ...

At least they ain't going to Paris:

Germany wants to send 500 soldiers to France in what would be its first deployment to the country since the end of World War II in 1945, Der Spiegel magazine reports in an article to be published Monday.


The soldiers will cooperate with their French counterparts in a joint force known as the Franco-German Brigade.


The bar fights will be the stuff of legend. Late for work ...

Whither the Air Force?

Don't think so. A few bloggers have been suggesting the Air Force has lost its relevancy in this age of asymmetric warfare and its tactical components should absorbed by the respective services they support (ground attack and air control to the Army for instance).

I'd posit that the Air Force mission has evolved into so much more than cruising the wild blue yonder, dropping bombloads on a faceless enemy 60,000 feet below. The Air Force's capability of military airlift is unparalleled, as is its ability to turn an empty field into a forward operating base for tactical air within hours. Those talents can be put to use in more ways than strategic bombing:

The Air Force doesn't just drop bombs. The service does all kinds of "soft power" missions, too -- training doctors, strengthening local economies, and building America's image abroad.

That's the reaction I got from a bunch of Air Force types, after a recent post, suggesting that "hard power" was topic #1, when the service discussed its contribution to fighting insurgencies.


'Winning hearts and minds', a tactic that (unlike the Bush administration's use of the term) must go hand in hand with counterinsurgency efforts. Unlike the PNAC/Neocon version of the world, you can't beat people into the dust and expect them to comply with your dictates. You have to show them you actually give a damn about what happens to them or their cooperation lasts as long as your wallet is open. Haven't we learned that in Afghanistan?


But nowhere is the Air Force flexing its soft power more than in the Caribbean and Central and South America, argues Lieutenant General Norman Seip, who oversees the service's efforts in the region, as commander of Air Forces Southern.

During 30 "medical readiness events" in 2008, AFSOUTH teams "treated more than 100,000 patients in 14 countries, accomplishing 675 life-altering surgeries such as cleft palate repair and vision corrections, as well as 1500 dental procedures," Seip tells Danger Room.


It's the quality of life issues the Air Force can help with better than any other service, those oriented almost exclusively toward supporting the combat mission.


New Horizons is an annual infrastructure program sponsored by U.S. Southern Command. In 2008, Air Force New Horizons building projects in the region helped to erect schools and clinics, drill wells and bring services to remote populations. The three clinics and two school houses constructed by Airmen now serve more than 20,000 Peruvian citizens while medical personnel took the opportunity to treat more than 12,000 local patients in the province.


Granted, the strategic threat faced by the United States is nowhere near what we were looking at during the Cold War and the future of the Air Force will not be centered around the nuclear deterrent, but the Air Force can play a large humanitarian role in the 21st Century and do it better than the other services. The ability to move large amounts of personnel and materiel quickly and efficiently is something not to be taken lightly in this time of accelerated climate change and unrest around the world.

Aside from their combat support operations, the Air Force's role in humanitarian operations around the world cannot be understated. If anything, the organization of the military in general should be reviewed for redundancy among the services (the F-35 program is an attempt - though halfhearted - to rectify some of it) and to objectively cut costs. As the Navy did with the battleships, the strategic nuclear force should be relegated to dinosaur status (a nuclear threat in the 21st Century won't come from ballistic missiles over the North Pole) but the abolition of the Air Force would be a mistake. We can't afford to make that mistake when the people of the world look to us for help when hard times befall them.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lab rats ...

My mom wanted a kid; my dad wanted slave labor to help him work on his race cars and do the household chores. The first engine I ever built was an old Buick Straight 8 when I was 10 but I digress. Seems scientists are now using their kids as lab rats. I can sympathize:

... Scientists who may otherwise not be able to round up some test subjects, are now using their own children, they are there and they are free ...

Sunday Crazy Cape Breton Step Dance Extravaganza Blogging

Featuring Natalie MacMaster, the virtuoso Cape Breton-style fiddle player. Always sheer joy to listen to!

Features 9 step dancers, 5 reels & a strathspey. Live in Cape Breton.

Thanks to morigue. I wuz gonna play this one but I felt it would be poor taste, at which I am world class, to then be obligated to make jokes about our new President being shot out of the center of the Earth. And just in time too, I might add!

Sunday Emmylou Blogging

Here's this ol' lecher's object of desire and that Limey gui-tar picker again. I gotta say, the guy plays pretty good for just usin' his fingers...

Emmylou Harris & Mark Knopfler ~ Why Worry

Thanks to DrMalPracktiss. Go see where the doc lives!

White Like Me

Daddy Frank on growing up in Democrat-controlled Jim Crow DC.

I cannot testify to what black Americans feel as our nation celebrates the inauguration of our first African-American president. But I can speak for myself, as a white American who grew up in the segregated nation’s capital of the 1960s. Barack Obama’s day is one that I never thought would come, and one that I still can’t quite believe is here.

[...] Though a few African-Americans and embassy Africans provided the window dressing of “integration,” my mostly white elementary, junior high and high schools had roughly the same diversity as, say, today’s G.O.P.

I wish I could say we were all outraged at this apartheid. But we were kids — privileged kids at that — and out of sight was out of mind. Except as household help, black Washington was generally as invisible to us as it was to the tourists who were rigidly segregated from the real Washington while visiting its many ivory marble shrines to democratic ideals.

But as an unintended consequence of Washington’s particular brand of Jim Crow, white public school students got a tiny taste of what racially mandated second-class citizenship could mean. In those days, the city didn’t even have the bastardized form of “self-government” it has now; it was run as a plantation by Congressional District panels led by racist white Southerners (then Democrats). These overseers didn’t want to lavish money on an overwhelmingly black school system, and they didn’t. By the early 1960s, per-student spending in Washington was less than that of any state, impoverished West Virginia and Mississippi included.

One would like to say in the aftermath of the 2008 election that everyone lived happily ever after. But the American drama, especially when it involves race, is always more complicated than that.

Washington is its own special American case, but only up to a point. For all our huge progress, we are not “post-racial,” whatever that means. The world doesn’t change in a day, and the racial frictions that emerged in both the Democratic primary campaign and the general election didn’t end on Nov. 4. As Obama himself said in his great speech on race, liberals couldn’t “purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap” simply by voting for him. And conservatives? The so-called party of Lincoln has spent much of the past month in spirited debate about whether a white candidate for the party’s chairmanship did the right thing by sending out a “humorous” recording of “Barack the Magic Negro” as a holiday gift.

Next to much of our history, this is small stuff. And yet: Of all the coverage of Obama’s victory, the most accurate take may still be the piquant morning-after summation of the satirical newspaper The Onion. Under the headline “Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job,” it reported that our new president will have “to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind.”

After the messes left by those white bastards, who are most decidedly not a, er, credit to their race, I think Obama woulda been elected if he was a Martian.

Please read the rest.

Excuse me?

Do you think you could introduce me to some black folks?

... Overnight, black politicians, lawyers and journalists are hot properties, receiving engraved invitations from people they never got invitations from before ...

So I guess tokenism is alive and well once again?