Saturday, February 7, 2009

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

An old favorite.

Emmylou Harris ~ Boulder To Birmingham

Rescue at sea ...

Wanna see the Coasties pluck someone off a cruise ship? Check this out. Going to dinner, see yas tomorrow with more from Westie.

Saturday L.A. Country Rock History

The lesson beginneth...

Gram Parsons, Linda Ronstadt, and The Troubadour nightclub all play a role in the rise of LA country-rock in the late '60s and early '70s. From the BBC documentary, "Hotel California: From The Byrds To The Eagles." To read more about country-rock, please visit

Also see The Adios Lounge YouTube channel.

This is where fans of The Adios Lounge can knock back some beers and watch the videos that shaped a generation.

Since the Adios Lounge person gives his (I assume) age as 39, it musta been the generation just prior, although it would be interesting to know what his Mom and Dad were listening to when he was conceived...

That's just snark on my part. He probably listened to this stuff while he was growing up. Anyway, he does a good job of promoting the music.

Not only am I completely taken by L.A. Country Rock of the era, I was there. At about :28 into this video you'll see a nighttime shot heading west on Santa Monica Blvd. On the left is the familiar red, white, and blue chevron of a Standard Station directly across the street (and railroad tracks at the time) from the Troubadour. I worked at this station in 1967, age 21 and not long out of the service. Total hippie time. The gas station was at the intersection of Sta. Monica Bl., Melrose Ave., and the source of a lot of amusement for us, Doheny Dr.

A little L.A. geography here - The Sunset Strip is about a mile north of Sta. Monica Bl. and considerably higher in elevation. Doheny Dr. is its western border. Sunset Bl. continues west about 15 miles to the ocean, but it's residential past Doheny, so Doheny was the last street the hippies could coast down off of Sunset in their broke-down VW Microbuses (or whatever), overheated from the perpetual evening traffic jams on Sunset. Right into my gas station. Let's just say I learned a lot about VW Microbuses whilst enjoying the then-new phenomena of weed and the double-whammy, so to speak, of bra-less young women. Heh.

Since the video is just a link to YouTube, click on it after it starts and it will take you right to YouTube where you can easily find many more clips from the Beeb doc and anything else you may desire.

The lesson never endeth...

Krugman: Can't have bipartisanship when most GOP senators take marching orders from Limbaugh

Think Progress, with video

Look at what just happened, we had a proposal I think it was McCain’s proposal for an economic recovery package, his version of it which was all tax cuts, a complete, let’s do exactly what Bush did, have another round of Bush-style policies. After eight years which that didn’t work and we got 36 out of 41 Republican senators voting for that which is completely crazy. So how much bipartisan outreach can you have when 36 out of 41 republican senators take their marching orders from Rush Limbaugh?

Zero. Zilch. Zip-point-shit. Bupkis. Fuck 'em.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Doin' The Perp Walk

A HUGE! tip o' the Brain to John Gall who passed this on to us from Shamanaqua, who apparently is in the other enlightened mountain range out here, via a roundabout route from our pal 'Nucks the Ornery Bastard. You will agree with the sentiment, I am quite certain.

Fourth track from the album Shout Down the Wind, by Seattle street musician Jim Hinde, may he rest in peace.

Thanks also to jizman71, and no, I'm not going to ask...

Too Close For Comfort...

USMC Answering Machine

Thanks to Annabelle333.

Thunderheart for NM Guv?

The Boston Globe

SANTA FE, N.M.—Holy hornet's nest, Batman! The New Mexico governor's mansion?

Fresh from the inauguration, actor Val Kilmer is pondering running for governor in 2010, when two-term Democrat Bill Richardson will be forced from office by term limits.

Mr. Kilmer starred in Thunderheart. He was OK, but Graham Greene as the sardonic Sioux tribal cop who outsmarted all the Feds whilst cruisin' the rez on a 650 Triumph dirt bike was priceless.

Sheila Tousey (play the trailer on the left) as a Native American environmental activist was good too.

I hope New Mexico fares better with an actor as Governor than California has. We've had two of 'em and both were spectacular failures. I think Kilmer may be smarter than Reagan and Ah-nold.

Bunk woody pills for the GOP

From Tina Dupuy's The Sardonic Sideshow - Taking Eternal Vigilance Too Far…

In June of 2006, nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh on his way back from the Dominican Republic, was caught with a prescription bottle (not in his name) filled with the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra. By fall, 2006 Details Magazine pronounced that ‘Limbaugh’ was the new slang for the drug. As in, “I just popped a Limbaugh. Now what do I do?”

I just popped a Limbaugh." I got an awful visual of popping the world's biggest zit! Shudder.

So isn’t it now fitting that Limbaugh has become the de facto voice for an increasingly impotent Republican Party? Like Viagra, Limbaugh gets a temporary surge of controversy - a boost in rhetoric. Side effects include dizziness, irrational hatred of liberals and erratic knee jerks

And Limbaugh wants to see President Obama fail? The guy that touted all of Bush’s policies and ‘ideas’ unequivocally for eight years? How many times do you let someone sell you a lemon before you stop buying from him? (author’s note: I was going to say ‘sell you bunk Oxycodone’, too cheap?)

Limbaugh will get a rise out of the GOP faithful (if it last longer than 4 hours…call your doctor). Then he wears off and leaves the party…well…deflated.

FOP? Flaccid Old Pols?

Things were so much simpler when a "Woody" was a surfer's old station wagon. Sigh.

Greeter W. Bush

The Political Carnival

This is funnier than anything I could come up with. Why wouldn't little Georgie jump at this? He'd even get his own parking space. And it's local! He could ride his bike over, Pickles could pack him a nice lunch, he'd get a discount on them brush-clearin' saws. Maybe he'd even get a name tag! That way nobody will forget who he is. On second thought, forget the name tag:

Elliot’s Hardware — a local Dallas hardware store — has “appealed to former President George W. Bush to spend his new-found retirement working as a part-time greeter at its Maple Avenue store.” [...]

And he wouldn't even have to organize his pea brain enough to mumble "Want fries with that?"...

If I ever walked into the hardware store and that son of a bitch greeted me, I'd turn around and walk back out and I don't give a damn how bad I needed a part for my leaky toilet. I might take one step past him so I could turn around and walk back out over his supine toothless form.

The owner of that hardware store must want out of the hardware business in the worst way, for that's the worst way I could think of.

On the Edge

Paul Krugman on Repug obstructionism to PBO's stimulus plan:

A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to economic recovery. Over the last two weeks, what should have been a deadly serious debate about how to save an economy in desperate straits turned, instead, into hackneyed political theater, with Republicans spouting all the old clichés about wasteful government spending and the wonders of tax cuts.

Would the Obama economic plan, if enacted, ensure that America won’t have its own lost decade? Not necessarily: a number of economists, myself included, think the plan falls short and should be substantially bigger. But the Obama plan would certainly improve our odds. And that’s why the efforts of Republicans to make the plan smaller and less effective — to turn it into little more than another round of Bush-style tax cuts — are so destructive.

So what should Mr. Obama do? Count me among those who think that the president made a big mistake in his initial approach, that his attempts to transcend partisanship ended up empowering politicians who take their marching orders from Rush Limbaugh. What matters now, however, is what he does next.

It’s time for Mr. Obama to go on the offensive. Above all, he must not shy away from pointing out that those who stand in the way of his plan, in the name of a discredited economic philosophy, are putting the nation’s future at risk. The American economy is on the edge of catastrophe, and much of the Republican Party is trying to push it over that edge.

The Repugs will do whatever it takes to ensure the failure of a Democratic administration, particularly this Democratic administration headed by an uppity young buck who doesn't know his place. They want to regain power for the white Southern party that most of us have rejected and damn the folks who rejected them.

Gloves off, Barry. You're a Chicago politician. Act like one. Think Lake Michigan and cement galoshes.

Why Are You Such A DICK?

Sometimes The Daily Show gets it a lot righter than the MSM.

WXYZ Bill Bonds

Our pal Sizemore sent us this in 'comments'. It's from October, but still very relevant.

WXYZ Detroit Bill Bond came out of retirement and did a newscast. Bill Bond spoke on the two parties.

Thanks also to streetboyzinc.

A shout out ...

To the great lady who makes it possible to go on these great cruises twice a year. Just because I own a piece of this barge doesn't mean I don't have to work for a discount on these fucking things.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Special Comment on Dick

In case you were out in the middle of the ocean or something, here's Keith Olbermann calling bullshit on The Dick for his latest round of delusional self-serving lies and fearmongering:


Curacao today. Bandwidth sucks. I guess everybody had to email home at once. Such is the life of a blogger on a cruise. See you tomorrow after I throw some people overboard. Heh ...

Speaking of that, an observation. How is it that non-smokers can stand next to the exhaust pipe of an idling diesel bus for a half hour waiting for their shore excursion without a problem to leave, yet get all freaky the second you light up a cigarette 200 feet away? Guess what's worse for you, twits?

Sessions: GOP Taliban-like Insurgency "May Be Required"

Tie something around your head so your jaw doesn't break when it drops...

National Journal

Frustrated by a lack of bipartisan outreach from House Democratic leaders, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said House Republicans -- who voted unanimously last week against the economic plan pushed by President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- will pitch a "positive, loyal opposition" to the proposal. The group, he added, should also "understand insurgency" in implementing efforts to offer alternatives.

"Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban," Sessions said during a meeting yesterday with Hotline editors. "And that is that they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person's entire processes. And these Taliban -- I'm not trying to say the Republican Party is the Taliban. No, that's not what we're saying. I'm saying an example of how you go about [sic] is to change a person from their messaging to their operations to their frontline message. And we need to understand that insurgency may be required when the other side, the House leadership, does not follow the same commands, which we entered the game with."

When pressed to clarify, Sessions said he was not comparing the House Republican caucus to the Taliban, the Muslim fundamentalist group.

"I simply said one can see that there's a model out there for insurgency," Sessions said before being interrupted by an aide. [...]

No doubt the aide 'interrupted' him with one of those long hooks they used to get really bad vaudeville acts off stage and a GAG!

It's one thing for us to do it, but for a Repug to even come close to comparing his own regressive, reactionary, and increasingly irrelevant and powerless party to the Taliban is in the realm of surrealistic black comedy that actually hits the mark. Perhaps he feels that the Taliban's resurgence is a good role model. Amazing.

Let the Repugs roll! This shit is just getting sooooo good!

"Put 'im in th' bed with th' Capt'n's daughter..."

Recently released video of Fixer on a typical cruise day in the Caribbean.

Thanks to rebekahrocks

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Aruba ...

In Aruba today for shopping and drinking; heading to Curacao tomorrow.

Big Surprise

The Raw Story

The shock troops of conservative talk radio and liberal activism have yet to get President Barack Obama's memo appealing for a ceasefire to America's political wars.

We'll stop when they're dead. I imagine they feel the same.

Quote of the Day

The Rude Pundit

The Republican Party is Old Yeller, filthy with rabies, and you know there's only one thing you can do with Old Yeller.

The difference being that you won't cry afterwards.

Rushole and his Grand Obstructionist Party

Bill Gallagher goes off on Rushole Limpbaugh, and rightly so.

The Grand Obstructionist Party (my em) is basking in the partisan sun, soaking in the regressive and reactionary rays that have turned the once important national party into a shriveled prune of narrow interests, greed and bigotry.

The Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower exists now only as a nostalgic memory, an historic footnote. Any sense of moderation, inclusion and public service for the public good have been effectively purged from the party that now takes its strategic marching orders exclusively from a money-grubbing huckster and third-rate entertainer. Rush Limbaugh is the indisputable face and soul of the post-Bush Republican Party.

For 20 years now, Limbaugh has used his radio show to feed millions with a steady diet of lies, half-lies, deceptions and straw man arguments - heavily spiced with racism, misogyny, fear and hatred. The faithful - the "ditto heads" - then dutifully and mindlessly repeat what they hear.

But now, the entire Republican Congressional leadership, especially in the House, shamelessly follows Limbaugh's orders with the locked-stepped discipline typical of fascist regimes. The non-elected Rush calls the political moves and the elected GOP members of Congress follow.

That's quite an accomplishment for a college drop out who ducked the draft during the Vietnam War because he failed to treat an ingrown hair in a hemorrhoid, went through three wives to now lead the "family values" party, suffered a hearing loss from an addiction to painkillers and - with a $400 million dollar contract through 2016 - has as much in common with working Americans as Queen Elizabeth.

Since we have no idea, thank heavens, what Rushole does on his sex trips to the Dominican Republic, it's entirely likely that he's an old queen too. I hope Liz doesn't have any ingrown hairs in her hemorrhoids. I hope Rush has lots. BTW, Liz did not dodge military service and was a truck driver in the British army in WWII.

Limbaugh is livid over Obama's support for Lilly Ledbetter and the law that bears her name. It threatens the good ole boy games - rooted in discrimination - that the powerful like to play. The first piece of legislation Obama signed into law, The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, protects the rights of people and gives them more time to take pay discrimination cases to court.

This will make you groan: it's been a Goodyear so far for pay discrimination activists...

Limbaugh's hemorrhoids burn when he hears the word s"discrimination" and "unfairness" and he longs for more oxycontin prescriptions to soothe his anger as the victimized white male.

Yeah, he's sure 'victimized' by his $400M contract through '16. Burn, baby, burn!

Rush and his legion of losers long for the good old days. The role of government is to cut the taxes of the rich, paid for with debt for the working class. They want America to remain the world's bully and government spending is good only when it goes to military contractors.

They want control and comfort, sipping martinis and single malt scotch, playing golf, smoking faux Cuban cigars as they set the national agenda and shape public policy in the comfort of their exclusive clubs.

Barack Obama and Lilly Ledbetter are threatening their world.

Good. I hope I live to see it come tumbling down.

"It was sad when that great ship went down..."*

I have no idea why this sort of reference only turns up when Fixer is on a cruise...

In a further slight twist of irony, the 'toon is by Matson. My Dad went to Hawaii in Lurline in 1940.

*Fixer says cruisers never make references to that particular ship. I feel safe enough up here in the mountains to do that, but I hope and pray Westerdam meets no such fate, although it would certainly be newsworthy if it happened in the Caribbean.

The tour ...

As I do on "at sea" days, I give you a tour of the ship. Today is the first installment of our walkabout on Westie.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Quote of the Day Zwei

From Brian Beutler of Yglesias on 'Joe the Economist': seems pretty clear to me that the conservative movement plans to quadruple down on its “gin up the crazies” strategy. If they were serious about changing their image, they’d dump Joe “Sarah Palin is Absolutely the Real Deal” Plumber into an ice fishing hole somewhere near Wasilla.

That might violate the Clean Water Act, but Repugs couldn't care less.

Quote of the Day

Margie Burns

Daschle Should Step Aside in Favor of Howard Dean

Well, we're halfway there...

Some advice for tax evaders


Nancy Killefer, who failed for a year and a half to pay employment taxes on household help, has withdrawn her candidacy to be the first chief performance officer for the federal government, the White House said Tuesday.

Speaking as someone who worked 'under the table' for years at a time, PAY CASH and DON'T KEEP RECORDS. The IRS can't prove something of which no records exist. As Tom Clancy said in one of his novels, "If it didn't get written down, it didn't happen."

It may come back and bite ya on the ass, though. It's the reason my Social Security retirement benefit is less than $700 a month. Oh well...

Tammy Duckworth tapped for Assistant VA Secretary

Think Progress

Today, the Obama administration announced that the President intends to nominate veteran Tammy Duckworth to be Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Duckworth, who lost both her legs serving in the Iraq war, is currently director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and ran for the House in the 2006 elections. From the Obama team’s press release:

As assistant secretary, Duckworth will direct VA’s public affairs, internal communications and intergovernmental relations. She also will oversee programs for homeless Veterans, consumer affairs and special rehabilitative events.

Duckworth was appointed director of the state Veterans office in Illinois in 2006. In previous testimony before Congress, she expressed her commitment to Veterans and the need for transformation of the Department. “The VA system faces new challenges as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” She also noted “the patient profile is changing. More wounded soldiers are surviving very serious injuries.”

From 'comments' on the post:

misshusseinmolly Says:

The juxtaposition of this item with the “Joe the Plumber” story just below (See 'Joe the Economist' - G) it should hit everybody right between the eyes. The Obama team is making use of qualified people to serve their country. The GOP is making use of clowns to distract and entertain their base.

The death-spiraling Repugs know that what remains of their 'base' can be entertained by rolling a shiny nickel across the floor. Clowns are all they got.

And, ominously:

cwarddc Says:

I hope she’s paid her taxes!

I speak for the Brain in applauding the choice of Ms. Duckworth.

Half Moon Cay ...

Did a whole buncha nothing in paradise yesterday. And we're on a speed run through the Windward Passage between Hispaniola and Cuba as I write this, bound for Aruba tomorrow morning.

Breakfast Of Champions

Wheaties? No, no, no...


Monday, February 2, 2009

Foreign? Domestic? How do you tell?

Mark Karlin, the editor of BuzzFlash, asks the burning question:

Why the Editor of BuzzFlash Just Bought an American Car. Shouldn't You?

He bought a Ford Focus because a) it's the patriotic thing to do in his view, and b) because they're in so much trouble they damn near gave him the damn thing! You can go read.

I left him this comment and will go back later to watch myself get torn to shreds by other commenters...

American Iron
Submitted by Gordon on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 2:36pm.

We bought a new American pickup three years ago. a Toyota Tacoma, assembled in Fremont, California in a former GM assembly plant that was moved to China. GM appears to be doing quite well everywhere in the world besides here, and I hope the Chinese are all sportin' around in Corvairs and Vegas.

As previous commenters have noted, the parts for almost all makes are world-sourced, including those for that most iconic of American brands, Harley-Davidson. If the U.S. had a 'domestic content' law like some countries do, your Focus would have cost you twice as much, at a guess.

It's fine if you want to support Ford, but would you have bought it if they weren't in so much trouble that they made you such a smokin' deal?

Naturally, I wish you the best of luck with your new car, but no matter where a car is made, the folks who keep 'em runnin' throughout their service lives (and beyond, sometimes. Heh.) at the dealerships, independent repair shops, parts stores, tire, muffler, and, heaven should only forbid, body shops, etc. are all Americans trying to earn a living. (Damn! I fergot ta mention wreckin' yards and Pick-n-Pull! - G)

The best vehicle I ever owned in terms of reliability and low cost of ownership was a Chevy LUV 4x4, made in Japan by Isuzu. I bought it brand new and it never saw the inside of a repair shop for the 21 years and 147,000 miles that I owned it and I think it's still running around down in Arizona somewhere. Great American brand, that Chevrolet! (wink)

Here's the definitive advice on buying a new car or truck: Buy whatever you like that you can afford. You don't owe any auto manufacturer, foreign, domestic, or in-between, a damn thing.

Quote of the Day

From a post at ePluribus Media on Michael Steele as RNC chairman:

Republicans: "Look Y'all–We Got Us One Too!"

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Based on recent observations.

NBC Refuses to Run Suggestive PETA Ad During Super Bowl
Fears it would offend sensitive pro football audience.

Republican Suicide Watch

P.M.Carpenter. Go read this one for a warm, fuzzy feeling.

It may now well be America's favorite pastime: Republican Suicide Watch.

As the Post's David Broder observed more than a month ago: "[C]ongressional Republicans ... shrunken ranks are increasingly dominated by right-wing Southerners who care not what their stance does to harm the party's national image."

So when the party's new chairman, Michael Steele, announced last week to his fellow Republicans that his first task would be to address their "image" problem, was he sufficiently aware of just who his fellow Republicans are, and, with respect to the 2010 election, what they're up to?

Because these jokers are becoming political jokes, real fast -- and there's nothing more politically suicidal than that.

I just wish they'd hurry up and die.

Bloody Mary Morning

This one's for you, Fixer. (Shit-eatin' grin smiley face...)

Willie Nelson & The Dixie Chicks

Thanks, SteelTom

Made it ...

Sorry about the silence the last couple days. We had a 2 hour delay getting out of JFK Saturday and got in late that night. We met up with Westerdam at Port Everglades yesterday around noon and, after finding Annie and Joe, spent the afternoon running into members of the crew we know from other ships. One of the great things about Holland America Line is the closeness between crew and regular cruisers. We were greeted with hugs and shouts of "Mr. and Mrs. F! Welcome back!" Feels like home.

We're at sea now, heading to Holland America's private island, Half Moon Cay, where we'll be spending the day. I'll post pics over at Worlds this evening before dinner.

See yas later ... more coffee ... or maybe a Bloody Mary? Yeah, I know it's only 0730 but the Earth is divided into 25 time zones so it's 1700 somewhere. Heh ...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Pace That Thrills

Normally I would put something like this at Fixer & Gordon, but this so entertaining I thought I would share it with all of you. This is a clip from "The Pace That Thrills" which was released in 1952.

The field meet scenes were filmed at an old Southern California motorcycle racing venue called Crater Camp, later changed to Crater Bowl. It was right off Topanga Canyon Road on the Valley side. I spectated at a race there once and I think it closed in about 1960. I will assume there are big fancy homes there now.

I'm not sure, but I think the street riding scenes were filmed on Ventura Boulevard west of the San Fernando Valley. That used to be THE way to get from L.A. to Ventura and beyond before the 101 (Ventura) Freeway. Of note are the tank-shift Indian and the complete disregard for traffic laws that put us motorcyclists in such good stead with the law and the general populace for so long. This clip ends about how you think it will as Harley-Davidsons emerge victorious. Heh. Enjoy.

Thanks, datanoster.