Saturday, June 6, 2009

Us too ...

Pic stolen from Dave Neiwert.

Saturday Silly Setting Music Blogging

This looks for all the world like Linda in her underwear singin' in front of my house accompanied by some of the local yahoos. I wonder how they did that without waking me...

Linda Ronstadt ~ Blue Bayou

Thanks to popasmurf23.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Live '91, '06 Letterman

Emmylou Harris ~ Rollin' and Ramblin'

Emmylou & Mark Knopfler ~ This Is Us

Thanks to 400Songs. Actually 314 as of right now, but gettin' there.


Pink's is probly The World's Best Hot Dog Stand. It's right around where I grew up and I've been there many times. When I saw the article about in the LATimes, I got a little homesick - the best hot dog in my little podunk town is at 7-11. Yeah, I can get a reasonable facsimile of a chilicheesekrautpeño dog with all the trimmings there but it ain't a pimple on the ass of the real thing. Waaaaah....

There's a video at the above link that will either make your mouth water or make you hurl, depending on your gastronomic sensibilities.

Pink's is world famous. Check out the Google page and Pink's website (shortcut to 'menu'. Yum!). They even have a wiki entry.

Singer-songwriter James Taylor has cited Pink's as the inspiration for his song "Chili Dog"; on his 2007 album One Man Band, he notes, "[The chili dog] was my favourite foodstuff for a time, until I realised that it wasn't a food, it was a drug."


Gotta be careful with them newspapers. One click can send ya time & place trippin' with no warning. This one was fun so I invited ya along. Enjoy.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Corporations behind efforts to label Sotomayor ‘racist’

The accusation of 'racism', therefore, means she may make decisions other than in favor of the moneyed elite, and that Repugs cannot abide. - Gordon, May 26, '09

Damn, I'm good! This blind pig is enjoyin' the shit outta this acorn he found...

Raw Story, by Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane.

Corporate interests posing as a grassroots conservative group are behind attacks on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, a RAW STORY investigation has found.

The Committee for Justice (CFJ), an astroturf group established by big business in July 2002 to create an appearance of popular support for President Bush’s judicial nominees, is now leading the effort to oppose the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the US Supreme Court.

This is an extensive article. Go read. It's nothing we don't know in general, but it's nice to see it in print out in the open. Thanks, Larisa and Muriel.

Kraut-trippin' with Barry, Ronnie, an' Me


BUCHENWALD, Germany (CNN) -- President Barack Obama made an emotional visit to the former Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald, Germany, Friday, saying that the camp should serve as a reminder of humanity's duty to fight the spread of evil.

I think 'evil' in this case means 'right-wing militarists'. Like Hitler and the Nazis. Like Cheney/Bush and the neocons inter alia.

Watch Obama honor Holocaust victims

Good for you, Barry. Put this out front to put the lie to Holocaust deniers.

At the time of the physical discovery and liberation of the concentration & extermination camps* Eisenhower said that someday, some one would claim it never happened. He was prescient. Or had a good grasp of political agendas.

*Their presence was known. And pretty much ignored. They couldn't keep it from the thousands of U.S. soldiers who showed up at the gates so the camps were 'discovered'.

The Holocaust (Ha-Shoah) happened. Case closed. On that one.

Where ya goin' next, O-Man?

Later Friday, the president travels to Germany's Ramstein Air Base and visits with wounded troops at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. He will end the day in Paris ahead of D-Day commemoration services on Saturday.

Whew! I should know by now that Obama doesn't pull bonehead stunts like, say, Reagan, who for political reasons went directly from a visit to the Bergen-Belsen camp to a German military cemetery at Bitburg. This did not go unnoticed.

Decorations and memorials on the Waffen-SS graves were removed just prior to Reagan's visit, and replaced right after

I think showing support for a modern German leader by honoring a past that Germany will never completely live down right after going to one of the places that created the past they will never completely live down is a little odd, to say the least. I think Repugs secretly admire the Nazis for not taking any shit from the rabble like they have to take here. It would be much easier for them to consolidate wealth and power and world dominance without that 'goddam piece of paper' standing in their way.

Let me close this by saying that I like Germans. They are intelligent and industrious people. It has been said that the English couldn't manufacture what they could draw, but the Krauts sure can, and they have some truly demented engineers and designers! For instance, they make wonderful motorcycles, but the box of special tools to work on a German-made BMW engine weighs more than the engine!

Just as an aside, some BMW motorcycle engines are now made in China. English Triumph motorcycles are now made in Thailand so mox nix, I guess. I gotta think about all that some more, but it seems as if Asians can make whatever any Europeans can draw. Heh. Another time...

Historically, Germans haven't liked their own country for various reasons at various times, and our country is full of the descendants of German immigrants. German almost became our common language. Thank God cooler heads prevailed! Germans are a little hot-headed sometimes and need a periodic stompin', but maybe the last time kicked it out of 'em for a while.

If ya put two and two together in a slightly off-kilter way, I owe my presence on the Brain to WWII and Germany, so, thanks Adolf. Wow.

Nice try. Dick.

Mark Morford with a 'you should not miss this read':

Sorry, Dick. You can't have it. You can't have even a moment of credit, a glimpse of sympathy, any sort of merciful forgiveness just because you sort of, kind of half-assedly came out in support of gay marriage, again, even though you actually didn't.

You think liberals and the gay movement should somehow be grateful that you, the right's most shameful hard-line fearmonger, America's most beloved torture fanatic and destroyer of civil liberties and humanitarian rights worldwide, famed wiretapper and Halliburton war profiteer extraordinairre, that you recently reiterated your jumbled, caveat-thick "support" of basic civil rights for homosexuals? Are you joking?

According to you, gay rights should be up to the states to decide. Which is a bit like saying, hey, if Alabama or Mississippi wants to hang black folk and beat up women, they should be allowed to because, you know, states have different views on who should be allowed to exist. Hey Dick. Satan called. He wants his worldview back.

Or maybe it's the other thing, how you're only really saying anything at all about gay marriage because you have a lesbian daughter, a sad, lost woman whose existence you barely acknowledged for eight solid years despite how she herself has so calmly spit in the face of the gay rights movement by actually campaigning for you, and by never once facing down her own party's rampant homophobia, the fact that the GOP has happily discriminated against her for, well, for her entire unfortunate life.

Damn, Dick. You sure taught your daughter Mary well. Swallow your own soul, honey. Stab it to death for the sake of power and profit. Hide your true self. And for God's sake, keep your mouth shut about the civil rights crap until it's politically useful. Nice.

Much, much more.

Obama and the 51st State ...

I get jumped on a lot when I do a post criticizing Israel, with comments ranging from "you're an anti-Semite" to "you don't know what you're talking about". Neither is true, but I am very anti-Israeli policy toward the Palestinian people and American policy regarding Israel. Greenwald says it better than I:

Both Likud Party members in Israel as well as their Americans supporters – including members of both parties in the U.S. Congress – are beginning to complain that the Obama administration is unduly "interfering" in Israeli politics by insisting on a full cessation of settlement growth. The Jerusalem Post today reports: "US President Barack Obama's administration's criticism of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's policies has crossed the line into interfering in Israeli politics, top Likud ministers and MKs said Tuesday." Yesterday, Politico's Ben Smith similarly documented that "the administration’s escalating pressure on Israel to freeze all growth of its settlements on Palestinian land has begun to stir concern among Israel’s numerous allies in both parties on Capitol Hill."


Identically, if Israel wants to be free of what it and some of its U.S. supporters call "interference" from the Obama administration, that’s very easy to achieve: Israel can stop asking for tens of billions of dollars of American taxpayer money, huge amounts of military and weapons supplies for its various wars, and unyielding American diplomatic protection at the U.N. But as long as Israel remains dependent on the U.S. in countless ways, then Obama not only has the right -- but he has the obligation -- to demand that Israel cease activities which harm U.S. interests.

Continuing settlement expansions that the entire world recognizes as illegal – what Time’s Joe Klein accurately calls "taking territory that the rest of the world, without exception, considers Palestinian" -- clearly harms U.S. interests in all sorts of ways, as Obama himself has concluded. He would be abdicating one of his primary responsibilities in foreign policy -- maximizing U.S. national security rather than those of other countries -- if he failed to demand that Israel cease this activity and if he failed to use U.S. leverage to compel compliance with those demands.


I care about what is best for the United States of America and Israel's treatment of the Palestinians (stop right there; the Palestinians don't have jet fighters, attack helicopters, warships, or Abrams tanks) - the whole conflict - hurts American interests, both in the region and around the world.

Israel contributes nothing to this country. It does not pay taxes to the U.S. government and its people cannot vote here. Our relationship with them is a one-way street and I'm sick and tired of supporting a regime of spoiled children who feel they can do what they please with impunity. Don't forget, we're also paying off the Egyptians (billions per year as well) to keep up their end of the peace deal.

It's time for some tough love. It's time to link our monetary and diplomatic support to real change in Israel's behavior.

Our relationship with the Jewish state is much like the one we have with Great Britain. It is special and should continue. I do not advocate 'cutting them loose' but any relationship is a give-and-take and Israel has done very little 'give'. Just as I wouldn't put my personal reputation on the line for someone, friend or no friend, who would abuse and tarnish it, so should America not have to take responsibility for Israel's actions when they go counter to what the majority of the world believes.

Israel has to show they truly want peace and the election of people like Benjamin Netanyahu does just the opposite. While I don't like to paint with a broad brush, and I know many (maybe the majority) in Israel don't support the policies, we collectively took the heat for George Bush also, though many of us did our best to get him out. The message Israel sends to the world via their choice of leaders (the same old Likudnik hawks time and again) is one of arrogance and hubris, especially when it comes to their bullshit justifications for the settlements.

My people had the same bullshit excuses and even had a name for it - Lebensraum. If the Israelis don't want history to judge them in the same light as they do the Germans of 60 years ago they'll get their shit together. There has to be a two-state solution to the I-P conflict or the violence will continue for future generations and it's about time the Israeli government wraps its collective head around that fact. If they can't agree to that, then it's time to cut back on the support we give them.

As I said, Israel is a treasured ally but good friends don't constantly make demands without reciprocity. The President of the United States has finally made a demand of his own, for the good of both nations, and it's high time Israel honored it - to act like the good friend they say they are.

You fuck up, Weedhopper ...

Murray Head - One Night In Bangkok

BANGKOK (AP) — The body of American actor David Carradine, best known for the 1970s TV series "Kung Fu," was found in a hotel room closet with a rope tied to his neck and genitals, and his death may have been accidental suffocation, Thai police said Friday.


The next ...

Republican presidential candidate:

It took Janine Sugawara four years of daily eating a box of Cap'n Crunch Crunchberries before she finally discovered that Crunchberries are not an actual berry and not even a fruit. I'm guessing she finally wised up when she went to a Home Depot looking for a Crunchberry plant for her backyard.

Well, Janine was ticked off at The Cap'n so she sued him for fraud in Federal Court and said that most reasonable people would also think that a Crunchberry is a real berry. Ummm. No. Most people would realize that a Crunchberry is a colored ball of cereal called a berry to make you feel better about yourself that you are eating a product where the number one ingredient is sugar.


Great thanks to Watertiger for the link.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Betty Bowers Explains Traditional Marriage

You owe it to yourself to go to Mrs. Betty Bowers' YouTube channel and website. She roasts phony christians over a slow flame.

Obama Presents Saudi King With 2009 Chevy Malibu

It's a slow day. Repugs obstruct and say dumb things. Rushole y ilk spew verbal diarrhea out every orifice like cleaning a plugged carburetor. Dems waffle and hide under the bed. Same old, same old. Sigh. I went lookin' fer fun stuff. Found some. Reality can wait.

Andy Borowitz

In his first major trip to the Middle East since taking the oath of office, President Barack Obama today presented Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah with a 2009 Chevy Malibu.

While it is highly unorthodox for a U.S. president to present a foreign leader with a midsized automobile, Mr. Obama was upbeat during the presentation, telling the Saudi monarch, "If you like it, there's plenty more where that came from."

White House sources said that they hoped Mr. Obama's goodwill gesture would also serve to promote the American auto industry, or as one source put it, "If King Abdullah likes the Malibu, maybe he'll give one to each of his wives. That'll help make room for the 2010's."

But the Saudi king seemed to be skeptical of the gift, hesitating a moment as Mr. Obama handed him the keys.

"Is it going to be hard to get parts for this?" he asked.

Nah, not hard to get parts at all if his wives each get one. Since women haven't been allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, there's going to be a learning curve while they learn how. In about two weeks El King-o can open his own Pick-n-Pull.

Heh ...

Pic glommed from JP.

Date Night ...


The mattress-soiling troglotards of Dittospankville are still choleric that Pres Obama spent $100,000 going to NYC -- all the while blithely ignoring the fact that his predecessor, Smirky McLaZBoy, spent over $17 million on trips just to Crawford alone ...

Gitmo = Dem fail

Creature has it right:

Closing Gitmo should be a no brainer. With today's Gallup poll showing Americans are not too keen on it closing, it is not. I blame Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats. I know the GOP, led by Cheney, were out in force against the closing, but it wasn't until the Democrats caved that the conversation changed. Suddenly it was bi-partisan to oppose the closing. Suddenly the GOP's rallying cry changed to "look 90 Senators agree."


Once again, Harry Reid proves "Majority Leader" is only a title. Any resemblance to real leadership coming from the Senate's top Dem is purely coincidental. I'm wondering if Ol' Harry got picked on a lot in school; always worried about what the Republicans will say and do. Like a dog that always approaches with its tail between its legs and pees on the floor as soon as a stranger comes close. It's pathetic.

In a time when Dems have such overwhelming potential to actually do some good, Harry frets about one little vote and will sell his soul to be filibuster proof (see: Arlen Specter). Opportunities fly by like the posts of a picket fence and Reid lets them go, afraid of angering the Republicans to the point of filibuster. Tell me, Harry, did they ever show you such consideration? You've got a lot of balls calling your web page "Give 'Em Hell, Harry". You're no Harry Truman. He would have told the Rethugs to shove it up their ass and like it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hating for the Lord

Steve at The Last Chance Democracy Cafe has a post in the wake of the Dr. Tiller assassination about a pro-choice minister friend of his.

Sometime later, after a period when I’d been on the road a great deal, I became curious about “whatever happened to George.” So I Googled him, and it was then that I learned that he had died recently from complications related to a brain tumor.

The first Internet post I read on the subject, by the way, was from an antiabortion site and began with the joyful announcement that George Gardner was now burning in hell.

That’s the sort of hate we’re talking about here: the kind that doesn’t end even at the grave — a deep, burning and all-consuming loathing. A hatred that for the unbalanced few (a group that does not include the overwhelming majority of people who oppose abortion) will almost inevitably lead to acts of violence, like the recent assassination of Dr. George Tiller.

And it is that very hatred — and that very inevitability — that people like Bill O’Reilly, with their sensational and irresponsible attacks on people like Dr. Tiller, aid and abet every day in the media.

If there is such a thing as a sin, surely that must be one.

I'm guilty of that sin as well. I hate the haters and will be glad when they're burning in hell. The Lord doesn't give a shit what I think.

Chinese Hummers

Nah, I ain't talkin' about liberty call in Shanghai. Nice thought though. NYT:

General Motors has reached a preliminary agreement for the sale of its Hummer brand of large sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks to a machinery company in western China with ambitions to become a carmaker.

The buyer is the Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company, based in Chengdu, G.M. said Tuesday. The price was not disclosed, but industry analysts had estimated that the Hummer division would sell for less than $500 million.

Onry 500 mirrion? You prenty cheap charlie! Put the money on the nightstand, sailor.

The White House welcomed the pending sale of Hummer while quickly pointing out that it had not been involved. The transaction “is good news for the 3,000 Americans who will be able to keep their jobs, the two American plants that will remain open and the more than 100 Hummer dealers that should be able to stay in business all around the country,” said Bill Burton, a presidential spokesman.

Oh fucking swell. In related news, there is great rejoicing in the Land Of The Tiny Penis'd that their compensators can still get serviced. Yeesh.

And just whom can we blame for those environmental and traffic nightmares?

It was Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California who persuaded the longtime maker of Humvees, A. M. General in Mishawaka, Ind., to build a civilian version. As he recounted at a Hummer news conference in 2001, Mr. Schwarzenegger was filming the movie “Kindergarten Cop” in Oregon in 1990 when he saw a convoy of 50 Humvees drive by and decided that he had to have a civilian model of the same vehicle, which became the Hummer H1.

Apparently, anything Ah-nold gets involved with ends up as a big mistake and goes bankrupt.

Under the preliminary agreement announced on Tuesday, G.M. will initially continue to manufacture Hummers under contract for Tengzhong, which will then market them around the world. G.M. will continue making the H3 and H3T models in Shreveport, La., through the end of next year and the company said it might enter into a long-term agreement to build Hummers and important parts for Tengzhong.

Tengzhong plans to shift additional production of the H3 from a plant in South Africa to Shreveport, G.M. said.

I had no idea GM was building those monstrosities in South Africa! Fat lot I know about anything anyway.

Once considered the ultimate muscle car, the Hummer became a symbol of what was wrong with G.M. and the American auto industry — big, bulky and gas-guzzling.

'Muscle car'? Hardly. A 'muscle car' is something with a big block motor and a four on the floor and big wide rear tires that goes from 0 to 60 in one lunge in a cloud of smoke. Hummers ain't it. They're Urban Assault Vehicles, absolutely useless except for showing off and trying to intimidate other drivers.

That said, they have great potential for use in rugged backcountry. That's what sells SUVs in cities, but I'll bet maybe 1 in 10,000 of them ever claws its way up a logging cut or a sand wash for any useful purpose. There are many lighter, smaller vehicles that can do that just as well and haul as many people and as much gear.

They're damn sure a waste of resources. I'll be glad when they're gone from the scene. If the good intentions that the road to hell is paved with are really rocky and bumpy, give every Repug a Hummer to drive to his reward and we'll kill two birds with one stone.

How MSNBC Became a Liberal Mecca

Hmmmm. "Liberal Mecca". Interesting choice of words there, Rory, tying the newly liberalized MSNBC to the holiest place in Islam. Ya tryin' ta infer somethin' there, buster? Good article anyway.

“What happened with Rachel was very unusual,” recalls Griffin. “She was golden, an unbelievable success, in part because there clearly was another audience that felt underserved — left, webcentric, young — and instantly committed to her. They were voiceless, and now there is a voice. She really embodies our strategy of ‘personality, smarts, and politics,’ and that’s a combination will win for us.”

'Young', huh? Heh.

Now that Schultz has been added to the lineup at 6 pm, Griffin’s most immediate concern is what else to do in primetime, where the valuable ten o’clock slot following Maddow’s program is now devoted to re-runs of Olbermann’s earlier 8 pm cablecast. Can the MSNBC honcho offer any “vision” of what will “flow” out of Maddow?

“Is it necessary that the flow out of Rachel be progressive?” Griffin ponders. “I have a little different perspective. Honestly, don’t know if it will be a progressive — Rachel really came out of nowhere, and I don’t necessarily think her follow-up host has to be limited to that pure sensibility. Clearly it should be someone who is both smart and funny like she is… But I will make one promise: we’re not done yet! This is such a vibrant time in media, and I want to say to Rachel’s audience – and everywhere I go I get stopped, there’s such a connection between her and her audience, she’s helped open a new world of approaches for us — that people who like Rachel will like our new 10 o’clock show host and what we are going to do there. No, I take that back,” he concludes. “Rachel’s audience will LOVE IT! I promise.”

Buncha good 'comments' too.

I’m a Rachel fan and if you want me to love the newbie in the 10 o’clock spot it had better not be another white man.

There's one white man who I'd love to have a show, and that's Lawrence O'Donnell. The guy knows his shit.

She might be a little too abrasive, but I'd like to see me'n Fixer's Mom in prime time.

I didn't know this until I read the above link, but she's a Veteran! There aren't very many of the chattering class who can claim that.

The Howls of a Fading Species

Good op-ed by Bob Herbert:

One can only hope that the hysterical howling of right-wingers against the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court is something approaching a death rattle for this profoundly destructive force in American life.

Here’s the thing. Suddenly these hideously pompous and self-righteous white males of the right are all concerned about racism. They’re so concerned that they’re fully capable of finding it in places where it doesn’t for a moment exist. Not just finding it, but being outraged by it to the point of apoplexy. Oh, they tell us, this racism is a bad thing!

Are we supposed to not notice that these are the tribunes of a party that rose to power on the filthy waves of racial demagoguery. I don’t remember hearing their voices or the voices of their intellectual heroes when the Republican Party, as part of its Southern strategy, aggressively courted the bigots who fled the Democratic Party because the Democrats had become insufficiently hostile to blacks.

Where were the howls of outrage at this strategy that was articulated by Lee Atwater as follows: “By 1968, you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff.”

Never a peep did you hear.

Ms. Sotomayor’s nomination is a big deal because never before in the history of the United States has any president nominated a Latina to the highest court. Only two blacks have ever been on the court, and the one selected by a Republican has been like a thumb in the eye to most African-Americans.

Clarence "Uncle Tom" Thomas is a 'thumb in the eye' to all Americans, an 'affirmative action hire' and 'token Negro' if there ever was one.

It was always silly to pretend that the election of Barack Obama was evidence that the U.S. was moving into some sort of post-racial, post-ethnic, post-gender nirvana. But it did offer a basis for optimism. There is every reason to hope that we’ve improved as a society to the point where the racial and ethnic craziness of the Gingriches and Limbaughs will finally have a tough time finding any sort of foothold.

Those types can still cause a lot of trouble, but the ridiculousness of their posture is pretty widely recognized. Thus the desperate howling.

I have nothing to add to that except that I hope all the Repug howling now will turn into *crickets* pretty soon. Fat chance as long as there are 24/7 TV gasbags with air time to fill who put those clowns on.

Howdy, Sher'ff ...

It's been a year since the Suffolk County Police turned highway patrol duties over to the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department. For serious commuters like me, it's been Nirvana ever since:

A state senator said Tuesday Suffolk should reinstate the police department's highway patrol unit and he called for a $50 surcharge on traffic tickets to fund it.

State Sen. Brian X. Foley's remarks came in response to a Newsday story Tuesday that revealed that the number of traffic tickets dropped by 63 percent after County Executive Steve Levy shifted patrol of the Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Highway from Suffolk police to Suffolk deputy sheriffs.


The deputy sheriffs are cool. Unless you're being a complete idiot, they leave you alone. I regularly cruise at 80 - 85 and I slow down to 72 - 75 when I see one of 'em sitting in the center median. As long as you don't rock his car when you blow by, he's cool - quite unlike the Suffolk Gestapo Police.

I got a thing going with one of the guys who works afternoons. I generally get into the "car pool lane" if it's clear (I get out of work before the restriction starts), put my foot down and go. A few weeks back, this deputy snuck up on me as I crossed the county line, had me dead to rights going 85, and all he did was go around me and take off. Not one to pass up an opportunity, I matched his speed and followed about a hundred yards behind. He led me all the way to my exit at 90.

So, yesterday, I blew past him as he's having a donut sitting in the median. He let me get about a 1/2 mile before taking off. No lights, no sirens, but closing quickly. I figured he'd had it with my hijinks and was gonna write me up so I slowed to 75, hopped two lanes to the right, and got off at the nearest exit (why push my luck; I was a couple miles from home and could take back roads). As I'm sliding onto the exit ramp, he catches up to me and comes around on the left. I look over and he's laughing at me. He waves and stays on the highway and I head down the ramp.

Wonder what game we're gonna play today? Off to work ...

Fap, fap, fap ...

Our pal Montag makes the observation that Cheney knows too much about the torture committed at Gitmo not to have seen it:


Now how would [Cheney] know it was well done unless he watched. It couldn't be in person, such a trip would be impossible to keep secret, so it was probably on video, recorded for the enjoyment of the VP. Does he still have the tapes?


Probably sitting in his undisclosed location with his pants around his ankles giving "Little Dickie" a workout.

I told ya ...

Osama is on the CIA payroll (or, most probably, he never left). POP asks a good question:

Maybe my memory is failing me but I don’t recall a message coming from Osama bin Laden since President Obama took office. Why all of a sudden is he so quiet? Could it be he only communicated with the bush administration? That would seem weird, wouldn’t it?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Quote of the Day


Latest rethug faux outrage: the President using AF1 instead of Biden's grandpa's Studebaker or an electric 3-wheeler borrowed from Ed Begley Jr in order to go to NYC.


LEDs will light the way

Good article about LEDs in the NYT.

Starts off, for some reason, with an account of all the new lighting at Buckingham Palace:

...the palace has installed the lighting in chandeliers and on the exterior, where illuminating the entire facade uses less electricity than running an electric teakettle.

On LED lighting's advantages:

Studies suggest that a complete conversion to the lights could decrease carbon dioxide emissions from electric power use for lighting by up to 50 percent in just over 20 years; in the United States, lighting accounts for about 6 percent of all energy use. A recent report by McKinsey & Company cited conversion to LED lighting as potentially the most cost effective of a number of simple approaches to tackling global warming using existing technology.

LEDs are more than twice as efficient as compact fluorescent bulbs, currently the standard for greener lighting. Unlike compact fluorescents, LEDs turn on quickly and are compatible with dimmer switches. And while fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, which requires special disposal, LED bulbs contain no toxic elements, and last so long that disposal is not much of an issue.

And under the heading of 'Ain't life a bitch?':

Mr. Byrne recognizes that Buckingham Palace is not the average home. “They need high-quality light — they have a lot of gold,” he said, “and gold tends to look silver if you light it poorly.”

Not my problem, dammit!

Go read the rest of the article if you are interested in this subject, but I'm definitely sold on LED lighting and I'll give ya a coupla small examples why from my own experience.

Here's an example of how little current they draw. I have to go with what I know, so this involves Triumph motorcycles. Lucas Electric, whose motto is 'get home before dark', makes a battery eliminator for 12-volt positive ground systems for riders who don't like batteries. I'm one of them. All it is is an electrolytic capacitor that provides a load for the charging system and a little discharge to provide a consistent spark at all engine RPM. Enough technical shit.

Just as an aside, my friend Dave once explained the function of the 2MC capacitor to our friend Sluggo thusly: "Ya gotta fool the bike inta thinkin' it's got a battery", to which Sluggo replied, "Well how ya gonna fool it now? Ya said it right in front of the bike!". Heh.

Here's the point about current draw: an incandescent brakelight bulb draws enough to keep the engine from starting. I once kicked and kicked and kicked a Triumph with one of those capacitors and it just wouldn't start. Lucky for me, Mrs. G was sitting there. After a while, she spoke up,"How come the taillight tries to come on when you kick it?". Hand, meet forehead. The brakelight switch was misadjusted a little. I adjusted it correctly and the engine started right up. Which was no surprise as it was damn near warmed up from all the kicking.

Dave, who dismantles negative ground LED taillight bulbs and rewires them to work in positive ground systems to avoid the high cost of specialty positive ground LED taillight bulbs, and whom I consider pretty expert on the subject, says the bike would have started just fine with an LED bulb since they draw such miniscule current.

Even in something as small and inconsequential as a taillight bulb, LEDs can make a difference. Imagine the difference to a power plant with regard to fuel (coal) burned and emissions if LEDs replaced incandescent, fluorescent, and curly bulbs for our lighting.

I live in a dark neighborhood with no street lights and I use flashlights all the time. I'm transitioning to LED flashlights. I used to recharge my AA alkaline batteries about once a week but I've been using a $2.50 LED flashlight for a year now and haven't had to recharge the batteries yet. I'm also going to go to LED lanterns for use during power outages (he writes, as a series of thunderboomers start up outside. Please, wall socket, hold on for five more minutes!). The longer the batteries last, the slower they get used up. I dispose of mine properly, but too many of them are probably still ending up in landfills. A small point, but one part of the whole.

There's no one thing that's going to make a huge difference in carbon emissions and other environmental concerns. Instead, there are hundreds of small things that will, and LED lighting is one of them.

Sestak Is Stirring

P.M. Carpenter

Pennsylvania's Rep. Joe Sestak, Sen. Arlen Specter's present cause of only moderately sleepless nights, appeared yesterday on Chris Matthews' "Hardball" to re-reannounce that he's still strolling, not running, for the Senate nomination.

One can easily appreciate Sestak's quandary, which is to say, the money's hesitation. Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Specter-supporter arm-in-arm with President Obama and V.P. Biden, had also appeared on MSNBC earlier to predict that in a Sestak-Specter match-up, Sestak would "get killed."

Specter, said Rendell, will raise exponential multiples of whatever Sestak can, plus the sitting senator for 30 years has been an attentive constituent-services pol and, as mentioned, he has the president's, as well as the influential governor's, machine support. Ouch, ouch, and ouch.

Matthews opened the interview by showing the latest Quinnipiac poll, and a seemingly devastating showing it was: Specter by 29 points. Yet these are volcanic political times, and in Pennsylvania, Obama just may have bet the wrong farm.

Matthews, a Philadelphia native who knows Pa. politics, positively radiated Sestak-supportive glee in reviewing Specter's abhorrent record of key support for the Bush administration's key and immensely destructive policies. The host was clearly encouraging Sestak to make the run and was pointing the way; through pounding on Specter's record, Pennsylvanians might decide that forgiveness, despite Rendell's confidence in his man, is out of bounds.

So, Rep. Sestak, why not? Last night you seemed genuine in your protestation that, for you, the Senate is no career-climbing move. You achieved that, you said, with your admiral's stars. So why not make this a national campaign? -- raise your money online from around the country, from coast-to-coast progressives, from veritable legions who'd love to see Specter sent packing.

You just might pull it off. What, really, do you have to lose?

Democratic machine politics be damned when it comes to Specter. We want him out.

Rep. Sestak isn't as Liberal as a lot of Liberals would like, but he beats the shit outta Specter in that regard. Senator Webb is similar and we're glad he's in.

Run yer ass off, Admiral Sestak. You have more friends out here than you know. We can't all vote for you, but we can sure as shit kick ya down a coupla bucks and try to stir up the PA Dem primary electorate to get out and vote for you.

I wonder ...

If William "The Bloody" Kristol has ever stood on the DMZ. If he's ever taken a look across to the north and then turned to the south and wondered how many would be killed in a military exchange on the Korean peninsula.

I have. I was one of those guys (U.S. Air Force 51st Wing, U.S. Army 7th Cav) who would just be a speed bump to close to a million NKPA infantry (and that's not counting the Chinese PLA who would most certainly back them up if we took the first shot) coming across the border, let alone the millions of innocents in Seoul who would also become casualties minutes later.


Kristol and his merry band of he-men think that the United States can drop bombs on any nation it chooses without consequences. This is despite the fact that never in human history has such a consequence-free imperialism ever come to pass. If we "targeted" air strikes on North Korea (10, 20 million dead, depending on the breaks), they would bomb Seoul. And kill a lot of people. Indiscriminate projection of military force has brought us through failed wars over the past several decades and the death of hundreds of thousands. Bill Kristol views this as an inconvenience.


Overslept. See yas later.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Quote of the Day



And we're worried about "teh scary Islamics" blowing up petting zoos...Gimme a fuckin' break.

Thanks for clearing that up....

Torturing Democracy

Bill Moyers Journal showed excerpts from the documentary Torturing Democracy last Friday evening.

The documentary TORTURING DEMOCRACY tells the story of how the United States government circumvented tradition and law to adopt torture as official policy. The film, produced by award-winning filmmaker Sherry Jones, draws on interviews, archival footage, and recently declassified documents to piece together the development and dissemination of torture tactics from Bagram in Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib -- and the document trail leads right to the top of the chain of command (my em).

We knew that, but the film should dispel any lingering doubts that folks who have been in a coma for several years might have.

You can watch the entire film at the TORTURING DEMOCRACY Web site.

Please schedule the time to do so. Just the excerpts pegged the needle on my Pissed Off-O-Meter and bent it around the pin.

We need to stay pissed off about the torture done in our name until the war criminals who did it are brought to justice. Period.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

France Snubs Queen Elizabeth, Doesn't Invite Her to D-Day Anniversary
Mix-up blamed on Vichy dead-enders.

Vastly Improved Hubble Now Sees Too Far
Astronomers complain refurbished telescope sees universe before it was formed.

We Now Own Most of General Motors
“You're gonna love this company,” says dealer who sold it to us.

"It's guaranteed until ya get it outta the shop and don't fire it up in here!"


Georgia Congressman: No More Guaranteed Citizenship To Those Born Here
They'll first have to demonstrate an understanding of the Constitution and all its amendments, like the 14th.

Oy again. Is "if brains were dynamite, he couldn't blow his nose!" some kinda prerequisite to be a Southern politician?

California ...

Tumbles into the sea* ...


Here's the problem, in a nutshell. In 1978 California passed Prop. 13, and Democrats have run for cover ever since. They should have put up a fight immediately. They should have outlined the consequences of mandating a 2/3 majority for tax increases but not for program cuts, the consequences of aligning commercial property tax caps along with residential, the consequences of the supermajorities making the state ungovernable and the Constitutional mandates pushed by special interests and written in by the voters making the state unfixable. But instead, Democrats cowered in fear of losing power, despite the demographic shifts in the state since the mid-1990s, so they lay low and never advocate for the necessary reforms, and buy completely into the myth that the 70's-era tax revolt remains alive and well, and they take public opinion polls on this as static and unchangeable through anything resembling leadership. Obviously Republicans are insane in this state, but they can barely manage 1/3 of the legislature (and if we had a half-decent campaign apparatus among California Democrats they'd lose that too) and shouldn't be feared in any respect. Yet our Democratic leadership exists in a post-1978 fog, a kind of "Sacramento Syndrome," where they've come to love their captors on the right, and have bought into their claims.


I remember when the whole "Tax Revolt" thing was going on and it was spun that "the people were finally getting a say in their government". I remember everybody on the Eas' Cos' thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.


Steely Dan - My Old School

How about ...

We send this asshole to Gitmo:

WICHITA, Kansas - Media reports say that abortion provider Dr. George Tiller has been shot and killed at his Wichita church ...

Oh, that's right; there's no such thing as 'American terrorists'. They're just good Christians following their beliefs. So, if it's my 'belief' that the people who demonstrate outside the local women's clinic, harassing everyone that goes in, are doing something contrary to my God's will, I can run 'em all down with my car? Just askin' because, I tell you what, it sure as hell is tempting.


Jill nails it:


But for the most part (including the troll who commented on an earlier post here yesterday), scratch the surface of a fetophile and you'll find a misogynist -- someone who feels that the dirty sluts who can't keep their legs closed deserve to be punished. When you look at who it is who kills these doctors, it's the very same teabaggers who have been praised by right-wing television and radio hosts as American patriots ...

Update Zwei

Athenae has another perspective:


And it strikes me, having ducked my head into some of the Freepi threads about Tiller's murder yesterday, that most people who rail against abortion even under these kinds of circumstances just have no honest-to-god fucking clue how any of this stuff really works. The dangers, the fears, the very real medical complications pregnancy can cause and what that MEANS for the people involved. I get that, I mean, it's easier to maintain your worldview if you don't think about what Tiller did as anything other than the horrendous thing it sounded like. I get that it's easier not to think about this except as the clinical description, and not as some situation where a woman and her husband were expecting a baby. Were happy. Were hopeful. And then had that all taken away.


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fair winds ...

And following seas, madame:

Millvina Dean, the last survivor of the legendary ocean liner Titanic, which sank on its maiden voyage in April 1912 after colliding with an iceberg in the North Atlantic, died today. She was 97.

She died at a nursing home near Southampton, England, the port where she and her family boarded the ship on its only voyage, according to Charles Haas, the president of the Titanic International Society. Her death came on the 98th anniversary of the launching of the Titanic on May 31, 1911.


I normally don't do obits but as an avid cruiser, I thought I should give Millvina a mention. We'll be in Southampton in September and following Titanic's route back home to New York aboard Queen Mary 2 after 12 days on the Med. I'll be thinking of her.

The shit ya find ...

When you demolish a house.

My dad used a wad of newspaper (The Long Island Press) to fill a hole in the wall I poked in there when I was a kid (on 23 December 1970, I was 8 years old) and I found this piece when I did the demo last year. The more things change ...

Speaking of the house, I got some new pics up.

Pretty Flowers

Here's a pre-release track from Steve Martin's new CD, The Crow: New Songs for the Five String Banjo. It comes in reg'lar and Super-Duper Double-Throwdown Extra Special Bitchin'!

Comedian, actor, author, and banjo player Steve Martin releases his first musical recording since 1978's number 1 hit "King Tut." This is no novelty record though. It's some of the best banjo music to come down the pike in a long time. The Crow features able assistance from some of Steve's pals, including Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Earl Scruggs, Bela Fleck, Tim O'Brien and Mary Black. Martin wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on this album, creating a new body of work that will stand alongside the classics for years to come.

Mrs. G, a banjo picker herself, says that Steve Martin's banjo is a pre-war Gibson Florentine and is probably worth $20Large. Ain't life a bitch...

Dolly Parton & Vince Gill ~ Pretty Flowers

Thanks to soraliink, Singapore.

Who Is to Blame for the Next Attack?

Daddy Frank with today's 'must read'. Links at site.

The Beltway antics that greeted the great Cheney-Obama torture debate were an unsettling return to the post-9/11 dynamic that landed America in Iraq. Once again Cheney and his cohort were using lies and fear to try to gain political advantage — this time to rewrite history and escape accountability for the failed Bush presidency rather than to drum up a new war. Once again Democrats in Congress were cowed. And once again too much of the so-called liberal news media parroted the right’s scare tactics, putting America’s real security interests at risk by failing to challenge any Washington politician carrying a big stick.

The Republicans at least have an excuse for pushing this poison. They are desperate. The trio of Pillsbury doughboys now leading the party — Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Cheney — have variously cemented the G.O.P.’s brand as a whites-only men’s club by revoking Colin Powell’s membership and smearing the first Latina Supreme Court nominee as a “reverse racist.” Republicans in Congress have no plausible economic, health care or energy policies to counter Obama’s. The only card left to play is 9/11.

The harrowing truth remains unchanged from what it was before Cheney emerged from his bunker to set Washington atwitter. The Bush administration did not make us safer either before or after 9/11. Obama is not making us less safe. If there’s another terrorist attack, it will be because the mess the Bush administration ignored in Pakistan and Afghanistan spun beyond anyone’s control well before Americans could throw the bums out.

I have nothing to add to that.