Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ex-GOP Congressman walks out when taunted over lack of military service

Heh. Raw Story, with video. Entire segment here.

Former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo attempted to argue against Democratic plans for health care reform on Friday by claiming veterans were dissatisfied with their government-run health care. He was confronted by blogger Markos Moutlitsas, who unlike Tancredo is a veteran himself, and reacted by stalking off the set of MSNBC's The Ed Show where both men were guests.

Kos is a former US Army artilleryman. A Librul who served! Imagine that! (wink)

Tancredo is a racist chickenhawk. A warmonger who won't fight but has no problem sending others to do it and die. Typical.

Moulitsas, founder of The Daily Kos, began laughing as Tancredo was speaking. "Tom, I'm a veteran," he told Tancredo. "I did not get a deferment because I was too depressed to fight in a war that I supported in Vietnam."

This was a slightly garbled reference to Tancredo's having obtained 1-Y status in 1970, after his student deferments ran out, on the grounds that he had been "diagnosed with depression when he was 16 or 17 and received medication for five years for panic attacks and bouts of anxiety and depression." Tancredo was 24 at the time.

You could get a 1Y in those days with a note from your doctor saying you got migraines. If you were white.

Moulitsas and Tancredo then began speaking over one another, but Tancredo finally managed to say, "You're not going to try to insult me that way and then pretend like we're just going on and talking about that. You either apologize or I'm off."

"I'm not pretending anything," Moulitsas replied. "I told you straight up." At that point, Tancredo ripped off his earpiece and microphone and left the set.

Heh. I think running from his past in public like that is a sure-fire way of making sure it's going to come up again. I hope. The truth has a way of bubbling up to the surface. Or maybe clawing its way out of the grave Tancredo thought it was buried in.

Note to Tancredo: You can bury the past, but you can't kill it. It will find you. Best stay under your rock if you wish to avoid the sunlight.

From the 'obtained' link:

But it is a bit too consistent that one of the current bottom tier GOP presidential contenders is just another Chickenhawk. Like Cheney who got multiple deferments that kept him from serving in Vietnam, like Bush who used Daddy's help to get him in the cushy Texas Air National Guard to avoid combat, Tancredo got himself out of the army during a war he supported by declaring that he was mentally ill.

If the story seems all too emblematic of GOP hypocrisy, that is because it is true.

Get lost, Tancredo. Go back to Wingerado and watch your John Wayne movies and pretend you're a man and a good American.

Go away, boy, you bother me.

Also, kudos to Kos for digging up this little bit of Tancredo's past and making him run from a fact-based taunt from a Liberal on national TV. He mighta got rid of him for quite a while.


From Kos hisself:

No, there's no mail from the Tancredo showdown. Kind of hard to defend their guy when he cut and run from a pussy liberal communist Nazi blogger.

Heh. Even harder to defend a draft-dodging hypocrite who was just going along with Repug policy then as now. They just want it to go away.

Update II:

It dawns on me that maybe one reason the Repugs aren't stickin' up for Tancredo is that even the wingtards don't like him.

Happy Birthday, Bonnie

Bonnie Raitt will turn 60 tomorrow. This old fart weeps with joy for she'll be jail bait no more!

Bonnie Raitt & Alison Krause ~ You

Thanks to Raindropser1, Germany.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Emmylou Harris & Some Limey Gui-tar Picker ~ Why Worry

Thanks to DogSwede1, Sweden.

Friday, November 6, 2009

This just about covers it. Er, yup...

Got these via email from my friend Gene.

Old Farmer's Advice

“Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.”

“Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.”

“Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.”

“A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.”

“Words that soak into your ears are whispered…....not yelled.”

“Meanness don't just happen overnight.”

“Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.”

“Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.”

“It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.”

“You cannot unsay a cruel word.”

“Every path has a few puddles.”

“When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.”

“The best sermons are lived, not preached.”

“Most of the stuff people worry about, ain't never gonna happen anyway.”

“Don 't judge folks by their relatives.

“Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.”

“Live a good and honorable life, then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.”

“Don 't interfere with somethin' that ain't bothering you none.”

“Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.”

“If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.”

“Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

“The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'.”

“Always drink upstream from the herd.”

“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.”

“Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.”

“If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.”

“Live simply, love generously, care deeply, and speak kindly."

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”


Click to embiggen

Shopping Day

See yas later.

Logistics ...

Yeah, let's go "surge" in Afghanistan:

Between pilfering, mountain passes closed by snow, overturned trucks and attacks by hostile tribes, getting equipment and supplies to troops in Afghanistan is a challenge.


They've finally got the process somewhat streamlined (after 8 years) and now they want to double the amount of troops in need of supply?


"Ten to 20 percent of the cost of a war is getting there," [Army Lt. Col. Greg] Younger said.


From narrow roads to unpredictable weather and attacks, the Khyber Pass through the mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan presents a challenge to truck drivers.

In February 2008 the pass was closed for nine days due to heavy snow. Nothing was getting in or out of Afghanistan unless it was flown in. And usually, only sensitive shipments like weapons, ammunition and night-vision goggles are flown into the country, so they are not stolen.


Good luck with that. I'm hoping the reason President Obama is taking so long in making up his mind about the "surge" is because there's a little voice in the back of his mind that understands the realities and is telling him this is futile.

Thank god it's Friday ...

Link thanks to our buddy Montag.

Ft. Hood ...

Unlike the wingnuts, I feel it is probably best to say nothing until all the facts come to light. I seriously doubt, though, it was the work of a terrorist group. Our thoughts are with our brothers and sisters who have enough to worry about in-theater, let alone in a place that should be inviolate.

A douchebag walks into a bar ...

For the last week or so, ever since Whiny Joe began his latest round of attention whoring, our pal Maru has been collecting Joe Lieberman jokes and doing a post every day.


Q: Why does Joe Lieberman whistle when he’s sitting on the toilet?
A: Because it helps him remember which end to wipe.


Heh ... Start at the top and scroll down (or vice versa).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Everybody hates Grayson ... 2

They're "pulling an O'Reilly" in Congress:


Rep. Alan Grayson on the number of dead from lack of health care. His mic was cut half way through his 60 minutes. No word yet on what happened and why his time on the House floor was cut short.


Go get 'em, Al. There'll be something in yer Christmas stocking from me this year.

Trying to rebuild after 40 frozen years

I wasn't aware of this. I'm glad it's over, but it still pisses me off. A perfect example of bureaucracy run amuck to the detriment of, as usual, 'the least of us'.


The Navajo believe that a person will always be tied to the place where his or her umbilical cord is buried. When Gordy was born in 1968, his father put his in this rust-colored dirt. It was here on the family's ranch on the edge of the Painted Desert that his father dreamed of one day building homes for his children, and of tilling a field where watermelon and corn could grow.

But the Gordys were forced to put their dreams on hold. In 1966, the commissioner of Indian Affairs, Robert Bennett, halted development on 1.6 million acres of tribal land in northeastern Arizona that was claimed by both the Navajo nation and the Hopi tribe. Bennett imposed the ban to stop either tribe from taking advantage of the other while they negotiated ownership.

The ban became known as the Bennett Freeze. It meant the Gordys and the 8,000 or so other Navajos living on the land couldn't erect homes, open businesses or even repair their roofs. No roads or schools were built, no electric, gas or water lines were permitted.

Gordy is now 41, with a wife and four children. They live in a drafty trailer in the town of Cameron, a 30-minute drive from the old ranch. Cameron was also under the Freeze, but in town, at least, the family could string an extension cord from a neighbor's house to get electricity, and draw water from a working well a few miles down the highway. Though it is now free to do so, the family has not made improvements to the trailer. The cash Gordy makes selling firewood, and the money his wife earns selling jewelry to tourists at the Grand Canyon, an hour away, isn't enough.

I've been to Cameron. 'Town' is maybe a little bit of a stretch, but that's the way things are out in that country. I've probably met Mrs. Gordy too, given that my co-driver-in-life likes Southwestern jewelry and has the pickup stop at every stand, and there are a lot of them.

'An hour away' out there is about a 120-mile round trip. That's a hell of a commute to sell jewelry to tourists.

That is hard country to live in under the best of circumstances and the Freeze put a big hurt on folks who are spiritually tied to the land up there. They are pretty poor and don't have many options anyway, and to stifle what little development they want to do to make life a little easier was just flat ignorant and unconscionable. Aw, hell, they's just injuns.

Great White Father in D.C. strikes again. Please go read the rest. There's an audio slide show that will make you cringe at how these folks were made to live. The above quotes are the tip of the iceberg.

Headline and Quote of the Day

Jesse Ventura: Democrats & Republicans Should Wear Nascar Racing Suits So We Can See Who Owns Them

Doomsday Tea Party

Don't miss this one-page article in MoJo.

For more than a decade Dr. Igor Panarin, a Russian academic, has been predicting that sometime around 2010 the United States will collapse, splintering into separate states, some of them controlled by foreign powers. Outside of Russia, no one's put much stock in his crackpot and stereotype-based theories—until now, that is. Who are the newest members of the Igor Panarin fan club? Tea partiers who’ve rallied against the Obama administration's policies and blasted the president for pushing a "socialist" agenda. And he's especially big among tea party activists in Texas, who have hosted Panarin and promoted his work.

In Russia, Panarin, who hosts a weekly radio show, is considered a mainstream expert on the United States. Like Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Panarin used to work for the KGB. He clearly has the support of the Kremlin, for he heads the school that trains Russia's diplomats. And since the election of Barack Obama last November, Panarin has found a new audience in America among far right activists, many of whom believe Obama is destroying the country.

Ex-KGB is like ex-Marine - doesn't exist. This sounds to me like planned disinformation to stir up the stoopids and it appears to be working.

It doesn't surprise me that the wingtards'll fall for anything negative about "Obama's America", but going with this Rushov Limbaughski does surprise me a little bit even though I know it shouldn't. I think they know their doomsday predictions aren't going to come true and are grasping at any straw, however ridiculous and this is pretty ridiculous, to keep their paranoia alive. The Russki's gotta be laughin' his ass off at these fools and takin' it right to the bank.

Mr. Panarin describes in some detail which parts of the U.S. will splinter under which foreign influences and it's a hoot to think of Texas as being dominated by Mexico! Hey, Mexico, we'd love to see Texas be your problem for a change! Your drug cartels'd be easier to housebreak! Some of the others would probably be more civilized than they are now. Heh.

Personally, my Mayan shaman says it isn't true and we actually have until 2012.

Supportin' the troops ...

Not. How many times do I say that you ain't worth a shit to Republicans if you can't carry a rifle?

And a veterans bill that would increase benefits for those who have served is being held up in the Senate by Tom Coburn, a man who has not served his country in any positive way.


Kindly old Dr Tom thinks that now that veterans have come home wounded and disabled in significant numbers we should be worrying about the cost.

Cost? Damn the torpedoes when it comes to the shooting war but heaven forbid we spend a dime on those who 'outlive their usefulness'. No wonder he's an insurance company shill.

It's always the grunts ...

Who get it. Not excusing anyone's behavior but we saw this with Abu Ghraib. A buncha sergeants, corporals, and privates got busted (plus a Reserve general) and the authors of the policy walked. Same thing is happening here. Mostly low-level operators (one station chief) are now effectively under 'house arrest' here in the States yet once again, Bush, Cheney, and the rest of those who ordered these missions are free to live their lives.

You never quite know where Italy is going next. The down side to these convictions is that it's falling on some but not all of those involved in the disgraceful "extraordinary rendition" policy. What about those who gave the orders at the top? Why should the Bush administration get a free pass on this?


They should all be indicted and, hopefully, convicted but if the big shots are always gonna skate, you're in denial if you think justice is being done. There are always those in the lower echelons who will follow whatever orders are given them. It's the people at the top who know that and exploit it and they are the real criminals.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

You want a tip?

Okay, don't bet on the ponies. That said, Señor Amato has a few good ones for Dems who are worried about going the way of Corzine.


1. If you abandon Democratic principles in a bid for unnecessary "bipartisanship", you will lose votes.

2. If you water down reform in favor of Blue Dogs and their corporate benefactors, you will lose votes.


Look at 'bipartisanship' like dating. There might be somebody you really want, but if they don't want you, nothing you can do will win them over. Move on. If you keep trying ... well, most jurisdictions have laws against stalking.

Are ovaries a pre-existing condition?

Doc Gurley, EssEffChron

Governor Schwarzenegger has signed a bill preventing insurance companies from charging women, for the same coverage, up to 39% more - purely for being women. Was this a common sense move? After all, isn't it true that having a va-jay-jay is a pre-existing condition worthy of financial penileties?

To get a sense of just how (choose one) bizarre/misogynistic/laughable/perverse/flaky/itchy this insurance cost-gouging is for women, try using the same pseudo-logic with any other demographic subgroup. Justifying the act requires the kind of slippery argument that makes a contortionist look like the Tin Man (and similarly heartless). Don't believe me? Try these similar bits of profiteering contortion on for size: a) all men between the ages of 18-50 should be charged twice as much as anyone else for coverage, every month, due to disproportionately higher rates of societal violence and trauma, b) all African Americans should be charged three times as much - not for the pigment of their skin, no - but because, hey, we all know they get worse diseases at younger ages, right? or c) old people, well, don't even get me started with old people - when it comes to that group, we're talking a cash-sucking vortex that no surcharge can possibly offset. Death panels, anyone? In other words, pick your racial/ethnic/age or gender bias of choice and you could stick it to any subgroup of people.

I still don't like Ah-nold very much, but kudos to him on this one.

Got a thingie on your doohickey? Or are you pondering how to tell your doctor he's a jerk? Send your burning healthcare questions to Doc Gurley by emailing docgurleyatgmaildotcom. Doc Gurley cannot answer every question, and she cannot practice medicine through a keyboard (not even with her stethoscope pressed firmly against the monitor) but be assured - your questions will be kept strictly confidential and identifying traits are changed.

L.A.'s Medical Marijuana Theater

Things are a little loose in Shakytown according to Steve Lopez. Heh.

In the meantime, let's get back to that doctor in Glendale. You may remember that he was the one who told me that, as a gynecologist, he didn't know a thing about bad backs. But within 10 minutes, he had written me a recommendation for an herbal remedy to ease my pain.

Reminds me of an old joke:

Little girl to pharmacist: "Hey mister, do you fit diaphragms?"

Pharmacist, somewhat taken aback by that question from one so young: "Why, yes..."

Little girl: "Wash yer hands and gimme an ice cream cone."

Bada bing! But I digress...

That meant I could go to any dispensary for my medicine, simple as that. But in Los Angeles, you can get light-headed trying to decide where to go.

There's the Unique Vapor Lounge in Tujunga, Green Easy in Mid-City, Westside Medical on Wilshire, and on and on. Some places have free delivery. Some are open all night. The buds go by names like Trainwreck, Purple Voodoo, Mango Og and Purple LA Confidential.

Don't like to smoke? No problem. You can get your medicine in brownies, crackers and even tortilla chips.

First stop: Hollyweed. The name got me.

I knocked on the locked door of Hollyweed and a no-nonsense voice instructed me to slide my driver's license and marijuana recommendation through the mail slot. It was kind of creepy. Would I ever see my license again? Was a DEA agent inside making a copy? I was getting paranoid and I hadn't even had a puff.

A few minutes later, a guard opened sesame. Inside, a 20-year-old, dreadlocked gent named Charlie greeted me. He wore a T-shirt that said "Marijuana Cures Racism," and he had me sign forms spelling out the terms of my acceptance into a nonprofit collective run by members for the benefit of patients. Membership does have its rewards.

Then he unlocked another door and took me into a small room with jars of buds on display, just like in a candy shop. Charlie recommended a strain called Indica, which he called a good muscle relaxant for back pain. I opted for something called Chunky Munky and found myself craving the ice cream without even lighting up. He weighed a gram and put it into a prescription bottle, like it was Vicodin, and I handed him a $20 "donation."

Was this really happening?

Hadn't lit up yet, huh?

Please read the rest.


Planning a career change?

Update II:

Go see Lopez' gynecologist. Heh.

Shit What We Learned From Last Night

El Rude-o

Forget what the assholes on TV are saying about the various elections and initiatives from last night. Who gives a shit what Michael Steele is crowing about? (Transcendent? Really?) Here's all ye know and all ye need to know about yesterday:

1. In a nation of fat fucks, don't make fun of the morbidly obese candidate for being a fat fuck.

[...] Hey, Jonny Fitness, shut the fuck up, pass the gravy, and tell us about your plans on turnpike tolls.

Besides, look at Christie. That lardy fucker ain't surviving a term without a massive coronary.

4. The Tea Party movement is a fraud.

One essential takeaway from the evening was that Glenn Beck can go fuck the horse he rode in on. First of all, his creepy-ass candidate with the wannabe child molester stare, Doug Hoffman, lost to Democrat Bill Owens in the 23rd District of New York, where Hoffman oddly did not live and knew nothing about. It was a fine way of expressing the universal sentiment, "Fucking go away, Sarah Palin, and take Dick Armey with you."

Fat chance.

Democrats should realize at this point that they have nothing to fear from the teabaggers. But they won't.

True. Sigh.

5. But it's still mostly okay to hate gay people.

There's only one way this goes: finally, a Supreme Court case is gonna have to decide the issue. This bullshit piecemeal approach is wrong-headed and degrading. Gay citizens in the United States are begging straight citizens to be kind enough to grant them the same rights. Put "female" or "black" in there, and we wouldn't even be having a discussion.

Actually, when it comes to "female", we are, and have been for 37 years. Laws are one thing, attitudes are another.

Are we done until 2010 now?

Ha! RP made a funny! Hell no. Dammit.

Jobs to die for

He forgot to mention the free plane ride to the free funeral.

A tip o' the Brain to YubaNet.

CA-10, the Forgotten Election

I'm sure we're all glad that the RWNJ Carpetteabagger lost in NY-23, but there was another congressional election as well in CA-10. From yesterday's Firedoglake, links at site:

The AP’s Liz “Donuts” Sidoti has a conventional wisdom article out today about the 2009 Election, and not until paragraph six, as an afterthought, is one of the bigger races mentioned:

Elsewhere, California Lt. Gov. John Garamendi is expected to maintain the Democratic Party’s hold on the open 10th Congressional District seat near San Francisco, while New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to cruise to a third term. Atlanta, Houston, Boston, Detroit and Pittsburgh also will elect mayors, while voters in Maine and Washington weigh in on same-sex unions and voters in Ohio decide whether to allow casinos.

"Elsewhere, California". Been there. It's right next to "Pavement Ends". Heh.

Democratic seat, “near San Francisco,” no big deal. A Democrat replaces a Democrat in Congress. Ho-hum.

Except the difference between the departed Ellen Tauscher and the incoming John Garamendi is numerous. Tauscher led the pro-business New Democrats; Garamendi, the state’s Lieutenant Governor, is one of California’s leading progressives and a longtime single-payer advocate. Tauscher ran away from progressive values; Garamendi charges toward them. Tauscher and her allies were fond of explaining that CA-10 was a moderate district and only moderates could win there; Garamendi ran as himself and will win today. In fact, because of the prominence of vote-by-mail in California, he probably already has.

Robert Cruickshank explains this as succinctly as possible:

CA-10 becomes a left-wing district. John Garamendi, one of the most progressive California politicians we have and a true leader on a broad range of issues, is going to get elected to Congress today. While the right thinks they have an upset potential here, it’s simply not going to happen. Garamendi has a great GOTV operation and widespread support in the district. And whereas the right will spin whatever Harmer’s vote total turns out to be as some sort of victory, the real story here is that CA-10, which as recently as 1996 was a red district, has now become a solidly progressive district. We always said the 10th could do better than Ellen Tauscher. Today John Garamendi is going to prove it.

It doesn’t fit with the storyline that the media has decided for this election. But John Garamendi moves the ideological bar in Congress as much as any election this year, and will provide a strong voice on health care, clean energy and financial regulation. Here’s an interview I conducted with him for Calitics during the primary election.

Garamendi is OK, and he won.

Two for two. Not bad.

Before you die ...

In a runaway Toyota, SHUT. THE. FUCKING. CAR. OFF!


The 2009 Lexus ES 350 shot through suburban San Diego like a runaway missile, weaving at 120 miles an hour through rush hour freeway traffic as flames flashed from under the car.

At the wheel, veteran California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor desperately tried to control the 272-horsepower engine that was roaring at full throttle as his wife, teenage daughter and brother-in-law were gripped by fear.


That's all. Turn the fucking key and the engine stops, and you coast to the side safely. WTF? Is this so hard?

Cross-posted at F & G.

It's good to see ...

Our pal Nucks is feeling better:


You have got to be fucking kidding me, these cunt warts are still trying to mold the discourse and Legislation in this country of over THREE HUNDRED MILLION INDIVIDUAL CITIZENS?!!
Less than ONE HUNDRED,recalcitrant, hissy fit throwing, corporate cock sucking whores are stalling every piece of legislation, every judicial nomination, will not agree that the insurance and pharmaceutical companies in this country are a fucking monopoly and that just being a douchebag is not enough for a public rebuke?
LESS THAN ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE are completely stopping the business of the people of America out of spite.

Think about THAT shit for a minute. [ems and everything else in original]


Heh ... I'm going to work.

Dear New Jersey,

Didn't realize you missed George Bush so much. Good luck with that.



Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Quote of the Day

Ol' Fez:


This desperate attempt to call anybody that doesn't look like, oh, Darren Rovell (or Lou Dobbs, or Glenn Beck) "un-American" is the most disgusting meme the right-wing has come up with yet.


Heh ...



The Rude Pundit doesn't have comments on his blog, but he sure as shit does on his Facebook page. Go make friends! You don't have to be particularly polite. Heh.

*Positively Snarky Advice

Money-Saving Tip

Today is me 'n Mrs. G's 36th wedding anniversary. Here's the tip:

Instead of buying each other cards, we went to the greeting card display at Safeway and each picked out cards for the other, presented them, read them, thanked each other appropriately, and put them back.

Saved eight bucks to go spend on dinner at Village Pizzeria, which is a nicer restaurant than it sounds.

Gotta keep our priorities straight, after all.

Headline of the Day

Victim in fatal car accident tragically not Glenn Beck

Just as an aside, I got to thinkin' how much I'd like to slap the dogshit outta Miss Becky because he's such an embarrassment on so many levels to this country and his alleged gender, but then I realized just how wrong that would be.

I would have had to do it before his transgender procedures were completed, and it's way too late for that.

How the GOP is killing America

The post title might be considered part of an ongoing series. In this one, The Existentialist Cowboy goes off like one of Fixer's party favors on the right wing shills who are fearmongering and demagoguing about how them Meskins are comin' ta murder us in our beds as just part of the larger picture about trying to distract us from what's really going on.

The piddly amounts of drugs sold across the border are a strawman --peanuts compared to the heist of US wealth pulled off by just one percent of the US population!

The GOP is either nuts or crooked or both! I often wonder what the US might have been if right wing psychopaths had not demagogued every war or every so-called 'crisis' and in ways that enriched only their 'base'! The end result is that just one percent of the entire population owns more than some 95 percent of the rest of us combined! Anyone not of that ruling elite still supporting the elitist GOP and complicit DINOs is nuts! And I have no sympathy for you!

And if Mexican drugs are sold in the US --what of it? Isn't that just good ol' laissez-faire, right wing, GOP 'free enterprise'. How long would that evil drug trade last if 'yankees' were not lined up to buy? And what percentage of the GOP is 'hooked' on cocaine? How long would the border traffic last if 'white shirted', clean shaven GOP faithful were not lined up to buy?

Let's talk about the stupid people who have taken over the US and the shill media which kisses up to them. Let's review the implications of a recent article in the Texas Observer.

On March 25, CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° rolled into El Paso to report on Mexican drug-cartel violence. Cooper was one more in a recent wave of national news heavy hitters to parachute in, scare the pants off millions of viewers, then jet off to the next headline destination.

By God, they’re coming to your neighborhood! Looking at another live feed from El Paso, listening to the breathless reports of violence and “expert” analysis about “spillover,” viewers could only assume that the city in which Cooper stood was under imminent assault.

That’s the reality these days for El Pasoans. Or rather, it’s the twisted perception created by border-warrior politicians and national news media, and foisted on Juarez’s relatively peaceful sister city. For El Pasoans and residents of nearby border towns, it might all be a mere oddity—maybe even worth a chuckle—if it didn’t mean the construction of 18-foot border walls, blustery talk about National Guard troop surges, and new resources for the disastrous war on drugs. While “troop surge,” “border wall,” and “drug war” might sound irresistibly sexy to politicians and pundits, it’s border residents who have to live with the fences and tanks and consequences.

Enough is enough!

A good start will consist of shutting up the right wing media. Turn off CNN, Fox and the bullshit peddlers all over the tube! Secondly, the people of the US must effect the complete and utter repudiation of right wing practices which have, in fact, enriched just one percent of the entire population as some 95 percent of the rest of us have gotten poorer, impoverished utterly.

Secondly, the GOP must be held to account for war policies that have, in fact, bankrupted the US.

Much, much more. I love this picture and hope the late Señor Bedoya is enjoying yet another parody of his classic line:

I wish I knew how to say "Fuckin' A!" in Spanish!

In the beginning...

I was reading the review and ad for R. Crumb's latest work of graphic fiction and thought the last paragraph might be apropos in light of Fixer's post:

But, as every student of the Bible knows, there’s no such thing as a reading without interpretation. A big challenge from the start: how should God be depicted? In an interview with Time, Crumb explains that he considered rendering God as a light emerging from a cloud, or coyly recontextualizing him as a black woman, but in the end settled on a more pedestrian bearded and robed figure that he says resembles his father: “if you actually read the Old Testament,” he told Time, “he’s just an old, cranky Jewish patriarch.”

The oldtimers who invented the God we're kinda stuck with had to go with what they know which wasn't much.

From Crumb's wiki on his new book:

It contains all 50 chapters of Genesis and comes with a warning on its cover: "Adult Supervision Recommended for Minors."

When it comes to creation legends, I would recommend adult supervision for adults as well lest they take that shit literally and think it's really so.

As creation stories go, I'm kinda partial to the Navajo one. Very colorful and doesn't try to make you feel guilty for things that never happened.

Hmmmm. Musta been a cranky old Jewish mother influence on Genesis too...

We're alone ...

One of the reasons I can't get behind religion. This is an image of the Milky Way galaxy, the place where we live. Along with the Solar System (our sun and the planets that orbit it), there are a few hundred million others in this picture. In the known universe, there are several hundred million galaxies like the Milky Way (each containing hundreds of millions more stars (presumably some with planets orbiting them).

So tell me, in all this vastness (that God supposedly created, by the way), why we are so arrogant to believe we are the only ones out here? That God created us and no one else?

You must be kidding me.

Off to vote for my local criminals ...

Pic from here. Link thanks to Maru.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The End of Prohibition


Why gay marriage, getting high, and going to Cuba will soon be legal.

The trifecta! I can spot a '59 El Camino a mile away, high or not, and if me'n Fixer go to Cuba together, who's ta say we're not on our honeymoon?


If yer one o' them wino-philes, here's some more California wine country you've never heard of. We have a lot of those.

Norton Buffalo 1951 - 2009

I won't be surprised if you've never heard of Norton Buffalo (wiki, website), but he's been huge out west here for many years. I've been to see him at a lot of small venues around here. At times, his show was the only live music for forty miles. He made his harp rock.


(11-01) 21:11 PST PARADISE (BUTTE COUNTY) -- Norton Buffalo, harmonica virtuoso, one-of-a-kind performer and consummate accompanist to the stars, died Friday night from cancer in Feather River Hospital, near his home in Paradise (Butte County). He was 58.

Mr. Buffalo, who appeared on more than 180 albums and spent 33 years as a member of the Steve Miller Band, was diagnosed with cancer in September. His life will be celebrated Jan. 23 at the Fox Theater in Oakland in a benefit concert starring the Steve Miller Band and the Doobie Brothers, with special guests Huey Lewis, George Thorogood, Charlie Musselwhite and Bonnie Raitt.

"He was the antithesis of East Coast cynical," said Raitt, who spent Sunday morning watching Buffalo videos on YouTube. "He was always in funny mode without being too gooey about it. He's been that guy all this time. In one guy, you got all the hope and optimism of the '70s."

Take five and go read about him.

Adios, dude.

Oh., the irony...

Ironic Times

China Signs Huge Oil Deal With Iraq, Huge Copper Deal With Afghanistan
Your tax dollars at work.

World's Largest Cruise Ship Sets Sail on Maiden Voyage
Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas has 2700 cabins, 33 Olympic-sized swimming pools, 1200 restaurants, 114 discotheques, 11 supermarkets and two cemeteries.

Big City Newspapers' Circulation Down 25% in Last 6 Months
According to reliable blogs.

In related news:

Cruise Line to Retrace Voyage of Titanic on 100th Anniversary
On April 8, 2012, HM Balmoral will leave Southampton carrying over two thousand print journalists.

Quote of the Day

Our buddy Nucks:


Go buy some food, winter is coming and the economy is being dragged on the ground behind some so called expert economists like toilet paper on yer ex wife's heel coming out of the bathroom.


Going to work ...

Sorry ...

For the lack of posting lately. We're busy as hell at the shop and I've been working on the Mrs. office the rest of time, trying to get it finished in a minimum of time - hopefully by sometime next week. I'll be back in form soon.


Remember a few years ago, when Bush and Congress decided the President needed broader surveillance powers (we can't keep you safe unless we listen to everything), wiretapping our phones and electronic activity? Remember how we jumped up and down and the Rethugs chalked it up to "Bush hatred"? Remember when we said we didn't want any President to have the power to basically ignore our privacy rights?

Well, seems the current White House has gotten used to having that capability and doesn't want to give it up either:

The Obama administration has, yet again, asserted the broadest and most radical version of the "state secrets" privilege -- which previously caused so much controversy and turmoil among loyal Democrats (when used by Bush/Cheney) -- to attempt to block courts from ruling on the legality of the government's domestic surveillance activities. Obama did so again this past Friday -- just six weeks after the DOJ announced voluntary new internal guidelines which, it insisted, would prevent abuses of the state secrets privilege. Instead -- as predicted -- the DOJ continues to embrace the very same "state secrets" theories of the Bush administration -- which Democrats generally and Barack Obama specifically once vehemently condemned -- and is doing so in order literally to shield the President from judicial review or accountability when he is accused of breaking the law.


Sorry, but when it comes to this, I don't trust this White House any more than I did the last one.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I hope the rest of yer day goes better...

Thanks to onaitsabes21.

Oasis of the Seas

Fixer, this one's FYI. Also here and here. Oh what the hell...

Marijuana growers upend hard-luck California town

Go read about growing pot in Hayfork in the LATimes.

This hardscrabble Northern California town has become a hotbed for medical marijuana farming. Kids stroll much of the year past pungent plants flourishing in gardens and alleys. The red-and-black clad Timberjacks football team moved its halftime huddle on a recent Friday night to avoid the odor of marijuana smoke wafting over the gridiron from nearby houses. Some students talk openly of farming pot after graduation, about the only opportunity in this depressed timber town.

How Trinity County, a sprawling, lightly populated area twice the size of Rhode Island, came to be dubbed "Northern California's pot paradise" by High Times magazine is a story of law, lawlessness and geography.

Just a little more than 14,000 residents are spread across its 3,000 square miles. People live as they like in its mountains thick with trees, separated from civilization by windy roads and "No Trespassing" signs. For decades, that's made it easy for some residents to grow marijuana without much interference.

That's no shit. I went to visit a friend of mine in Hayfork forty years ago. He had moved up there from pretty affluent circumstances in SoCal to live with his grandparents in a cabin 'out on the Hyampom road'. Those were hippie days and he helped the old folks out and grew dope.

Hayfork is so far out in the sticks that its zip code is eieio. I got there from the west via CA SR36 which wasn't paved at that time for the last twenty miles into town. It was uphill and winding, and my biggest memory is driving with my left ear out the window listening for the jake brakes of loaded logging trucks coming downhill in the opposite direction right at me!. The upside was that after the first big rig appeared outta nowhere around a blind turn, they couldn't scare the shit outta me. If I'da known then what I know now about the sometimes lackadaisical maintenance on backwoods big rigs...ah, the innocence of youth, ignorance really is bliss, fools rush in and all that. But I digress.

The parking space for the cabin was on the opposite side of the road. Walk across the road, then across a suspension foot bridge high enough over Hayfork Creek (a tributary of the South Fork Trinity River and pronounced 'crick') so as to be passable during the occasional high water, and then uphill a little ways to the cabin.

By modern standards, my buddy's grow was pretty modest, maybe twenty or so plants in amongst his grandparents' vegetable garden which he also took care of, but growing weed was a major felony back then, so he kept it quiet. Nobody up there gave a shit, and nobody came looking for it. The local culture was all about logging*, and my pal was enough of an oddity that he was 'that thar hippie grandson of the _________s'. They're pretty friendly folks up there and so was he and he got along fine.

*Q: Why do loggers have foreskins?
A: So they got a place to stash their chew at lunchtime.

He'd been up there a coupla years and had something I had never seen at that time: 2lb. coffee cans full of manicured weed. Many of them. I was there for three days and never drew a straight breath, and no reason to. Pretty laid back bucolic lifestyle. Heh. 'Lifestyle' wasn't even a word then.

He wasn't in it for the money and only needed enough of that to get by, and as far as I know his only cash customer was his brother in SoCal.

Those were simpler times. My friend was pretty pure at heart about growing weed as the answer to society's ills and not much interested in money.

These days, like almost everything else, it's all about the money. I can see growing weed to make a living in these post-logging depression days, but greed has gone way beyond that as usual and has fucked up even little out-of-the-way Hayfork. Seems like you can't get far enough out in the sticks these days to avoid it.

Such is progress sometimes, not always for the good. Sigh.

Quote of the Day

Mikhail Gorbachev

By the way, in 1987, after my first visit to the United States, Vice President Bush accompanied me to the airport, and told me: “Reagan is a conservative. An extreme conservative. All the blockheads and dummies are for him, and when he says that something is necessary, they trust him. But if some Democrat had proposed what Reagan did, with you, they might not have trusted him.”

Jesus fuckin' Christ, 41, why didn't you tell us that? Coulda saved this country a lotta grief, most especially from your idiot spawn.

G.O.P. Stalinists Invade Upstate New York

Daddy Frank's column today is about the congressional race in N(orthern)Y(okels)-23 and is 'do not miss', links at site.

BARACK OBAMA’S most devilish political move since the 2008 campaign was to appoint a Republican congressman from upstate New York as secretary of the Army. This week’s election to fill that vacant seat has set off nothing less than a riotous and bloody national G.O.P. civil war. No matter what the results in that race on Tuesday, the Republicans are the sure losers. This could be a gift that keeps on giving to the Democrats through 2010, and perhaps beyond.

The battle for upstate New York confirms just how swiftly the right has devolved into a wacky, paranoid cult that is as eager to eat its own as it is to destroy Obama. The movement’s undisputed leaders, Palin and Beck, neither of whom has what Palin once called the “actual responsibilities” of public office, would gladly see the Republican Party die on the cross of right-wing ideological purity. Over the short term, at least, their wish could come true.

Careful, Pop! That 'die on the cross' shit has implications. least they'd be dead. I'll settle for that.

The right’s embrace of Hoffman is a double-barreled suicide for the G.O.P. [...]

Ah, the visual - toe on the trigger, their empty head on the Moon!

Only in the alternative universe of the far right is Obama a pariah and Palin the great white hope. It’s become a Beltway truism that the White House’s (mild) spat with Fox News is counterproductive because it drives up the network’s numbers. But if curious moderate and independent voters are now tempted to surf there and encounter Beck’s histrionics for the first time, the president’s numbers will benefit as well. To the uninitiated, the tea party crowd comes across like the barflies in “Star Wars.”

Ahhhhh.....and then:

There is only one political opponent whom Obama really has to worry about at this moment: Hamid Karzai. It’s Afghanistan and joblessness, not the Stalinists of the right, that have the power to bring this president down.

Ya sure know how ta harsh a mellow, Pops.