Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday Crazy Redneck Music Blogging

Native-born Californians regain majority status

Yay! Now there's too many of us instead of too many of them. I guess that means us homeboys are winning, ¿sí?

Here's some of us now singing about the success of immigrants in California:

Out of the Blue: Michael Gallagher, Pat Seamount, Terry Harris performing Buck Owens'Streets of Bakersfield at the Trout Festival in Kernville, CA

Hey, they made the big time, all the way to Kernville. Not everybody can claim that. Note: I tried for the Trout Festival, but I think I overloaded their server. It's held here. Real Californians love their fish hatcheries. I've been to many.

Thanks to labunner1.

Pope's preacher: Accusations akin to anti-Semitism

Interesting opinion in a headline at BuzzFlash:

"Pope Benedict XVI's personal preacher on Friday likened accusations against the pope and the Catholic church in the sex abuse scandal to "collective violence" suffered by the Jews." Something tells us with this sort of desperate attack, including one against the New York Times, that the Pope is much deeper into the Pedophile scandal then even we know.

I would 'liken' it more to exposing the attempted Nazi cover-up of the 'collective violence' they inflicted on the Jews.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Great song, cool train. YouTube changed its format and I apparently don't get to pick my own color for the border anymore. I'll work on it. I screwed my head on a little tighter and it's OK now. Always read the directions...

Luxury liner forty tons of steel. Emmylou Harris.
Video: Steam train, Pride of Africa, in south Africa.
cape town - Kimberley - Pretoria - Knysna

Emmylou Harris ~ Luxury Liner

Thanks to benbruch, Netherlands.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Where credit is due ... 2

Much as I rag on Barry, things are looking up.

Where credit is due ...

To Bill O'Reilly. You did the right thing, you miserable, insane twat.

The Ghost Fleet of Suisun Bay

Interesting 12-min. video of a bureaucratic/regulatory/environmental nightmare. Includes a segment about USS Iowa (BB 61) which had a powder magazine explode in 1989 due to aged (1930s!) and improperly stored propellant and which destroyed a 16-inch gun turret and killed 47 crewmen. The Navy at first blamed the explosion on a gay lovers' quarrel.

Rust in peace no more, me hearties,
Your waiting days are almost done.
Off to Texas and broken for scrap,
No more belowdecks gay seamen's parties.


Sorry, but these things just pop into my head.

EssEffChron photo gallery.

Headline of the Day

U.S. Sues KBR for Alleged False Claims Act Violations Over Improper Costs for Private Security in Iraq

Perhaps we're finally starting to get somewhere with some of the bastards who have been stealing from us.

Quote of the Day

The Rude Pundit

In other words, the Scott Roeder conviction demonstrates that we can successfully try terrorists in a civilian court.

Even if he's a white American, I might add.

Blast From The Past

I'm sure we're all having lotsa fun with the RNC's weenie self-stomp at the Voyeur club in WeHo. I found out today that it's the old Pink Pussycat, which was pretty infamous back in the day. I even managed to find it a coupla times.

From a NYTimes obit on its former owner via Pensito Review, along with a lot of other history of the place:

Located near the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, the club was a popular destination of tourists and locals alike, known for its glittering stage shows and equally glittering celebrity clientele.

It was a favorite watering hole of the Rat Pack, and for good reason. Mrs. Schiller shrewdly gave her dancers stage names like Fran Sinatra, Samya Davis Jr., Deena Martin and Peeler Lawford, and the originals soon showed up to inspect their namesakes.

The club was also internationally famous for its attached institution of higher learning, the Pink Pussycat College of Strip Tease, familiarly called the Navel Academy of the West…

The Pink Pussycat had a good ride, but by the late 1970s, nude dancing was in and striptease was out. The Schillers, now in their sixties, converted the club to a discotheque called Peanuts that was popular with gay women.

I remember the first time I went to a topless dancing joint. My friend Roger took me to one up on the Sunset Strip. I can't remember the name of the club but it was across the street from the Whisky a GoGo. Nice place, nothing sleazy about it. There weren't any table dances or 'private shows' in those days, so it was all pretty clean-cut fun. I was just out of the service (1966) and I had never seen anything like that in my young life! Pretty girls! Tits a-floppin' all over the place! I don't think my jaw un-dropped for a week. I may have revisited the place once or twice to make sure I wasn't seeing things. I was, thank you Lord. But I digress...

It turns out that Mrs. G and I have some shared experiences in WeHo (That's new. We just called it West Hollywood in those days.) in the years before we met. Besides being folkies and bluegrass fans and thus patrons of the Troubadour and the Ash Grove, we came dangerously close to crossing each other's paths a lot closer to what is now the Voyeur.

Mrs. G lived on La Jolla Ave. about four blocks from the club. I lived about three miles away, but we both used the same laundromat at Sta. Monica and Crescent Heights, two blocks from the club. Mrs. G says they had pizza there, but I don't remember that. There was a donut shop there. I remember that. Heh. Our skivvies mighta been waltzin' with each other and we never knew it.

Donuts and pizza only go so far while you're waiting for your laundry, and as luck would have it, there was an adult bookstore on the block. It was called The Book Circus, and the sign had red and white stripes and a picture of a clown.

Update: Holy crap! It's still there!

Mrs. G remembers going in there with her friends, stoned outta her gourd, to get a pack of smokes and her friends taking off and leaving her there. Heh.

I remember getting kicked outta the joint. Me and my buddy Howard actually paid the admission and went into the hard-core part of the store. We had a ball! We were looking at books and magazines and laughin' our asses off. Hold up a photo and in a loud voice, "Hey, Howie! Look at the schlong on this one!". Stuff like that. Well, we found out that porn is serious business and we were disturbing the patrons with their hands in their pockets and the manager asked us to leave. He even gave us our 50¢ back.

I met Mrs. G in '71 after she moved to Burbank and the rest is history. I can't remember how long it was before we put two and two together on our West Hollywood days, but we still get a big kick out of it.

Thanks for putting up with my sashay down memory lane. I had one yesterday, too. Check my comment at Fixer's post. Sometimes yer past comes outta nowhere and tickles ya on the ass.

Blogger is sucking wet monkey ass today.

Palin Advises Tea Partiers: 'Stop' Cars With Obama Bumper Stickers

TPM LiveWire

Less than a week after a Nashville man was driven off the road because his car sported an Obama-Biden bumper sticker, Sarah Palin has called on Tea Partiers to stop drivers whose cars have a similar sticker.

Or that bumper sticker you see on the next Subaru driving by, an Obama bumper sticker. You should stop the driver and say, "So how is that hopey, changey thing working out for you?"

This shit's gettin' out of hand. Between this and Scumbag Hannity's "McVeigh wannabes' remark, and some of the other bullshit, somebody's gonna get killed and sooner rather than later.

The rabble-rousers and shit-stirrers will evade responsibility by saying they were just trying to use humor to make a point, but they know damn good and well that there are plenty of loonies out on the fringe they cater to that will take this stuff literally, from people who will say, "I ain't no McVeigh wannabe. I'll prove it..." and blow somebody up, to fools who will actually try to pull over other drivers and fuck with them.

Please, please, please pull over that '92 Dakota with the Obama sticker. You'll be surprised how easy it is, unlike those Subarus who will call the cops and haul ass out of danger. Ask me how the hopey-changey stuff is goin'. Then ask yourself how the 911 call for the ambulance is goin'. You betcha.

If these idiots fuck with you, fuck back even harder. You can't change their minds, but you can change their faces. It's all in self-defense from a perceived threat. Of course it is.

The hell of it is that when confronted by danger or a threat of harm, in California at least, under the law you are expected to retreat rather than combat the threat. Sorry, judge, but my Drill Instructor didn't teach me how to do that.

I want to put some fear into these assholes, up close and personal, not at a distance like they're trying to do to us. I don't want to go to jail so I have to wait until one of them starts it, dammit. I think I'm developing an attitude. OK, the attitude I've had for years is getting worse. I don't like that in myself, but I can live with it.

A personal story. Yesterday at the Costco gas station, I started a conversation with a guy who was driving an early Falcon Ranchero. I told him how much I had wanted one of those 50 years ago when I was a kid. He had an SCTA license plate frame, so we chatted about Land Speed Racing a little. All very pleasant, until he said that under Obama we'd be racing rubber band powered cars because he was going to take our gasoline away. I didn't think fast enough to just tell him we'd have to learn to wind 'em up real tight so after a little more and rapidly devolving chitchat I just told him we'd had eight years under 'that bastard Bush' and it was our turn. He said that at least Bush was an American. Out of respect for the rule of law, or more properly respect for what the law can do to me, I just told him he was all wrong and walked away. We actually exchanged 'nice talkin' to yas' though I don't think either one of us meant it after the gearhead chat went away. There were no harsh words exchanged and that wasn't the place for a confrontation anyway. I fumed about it for ten minutes.

There oughta be a law that requires these yingyangs to wear floppy hats with teabags dangling off the brim so we can spot them easier and avoid them.

I still want a '60 Falcon Ranchero.

New Jersey to put ex-strippers to work weatherizing homes


The WeatherStrippers will seek to put caulking guns in the hands of disadvantaged former strippers through a 12-week, hands-on training program focused on efficient building erection and maintenance.

Between people actively and creatively punk'n us out, and business as usual amongst Repugs who don't understand there's no such thing as 'right-wing humor', I think April Fools Day should be a national holiday, a day of observance for the fools among us.

Exactly ...

The Republicans can plead their innocence and blame the Dems all they want, but their leaders know what's going on and are encouraging it:

HANNITY: When you think about the vast majorities that they have in Congress and they had to bribe, backroom deals, corruption, that’s all because the tea party movement, the people — all these Tim McVeigh wannabes here.

American Terrorism is the new black (in the fashion sense) for the Republicans. What do they call it? Sedition? I believe they have laws against that but I'm not holding out any hope Hannity will get his richly deserved federal fucking.

In case you've forgotten: Timothy McVeigh


Maybe I was wrong. Those fun-loving guys at the IRS are about to crawl up Scumbag Sean's ass.

Guam might capsize. Say WHAT?!!!

April Fool, right? One can only hope...

Hotlanta Journal-Constitution

WASHINGTON -- Is the island of Guam in danger of tipping over and capsizing?

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson recently worried that it might be, according to a videotaped congressional hearing that is getting plenty of play online and over the airwaves.

Johnson's comments came during a House Armed Services Committee meeting as he questioned Adm. Robert Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, about the impact of U.S. troops on the little island.

"My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize," Johnson said, straight-faced and seemingly serious.

The admiral seemed to take the question seriously, too. "We don't anticipate that," [...]

Well played, Admiral! Gotta have a straight man!

One would think a congressman, especially a Democratic one, would know that an island is the top of a mountain and not a goddam canoe!

It gets funnier. Or just worse.

The derision online quickly gained momentum Thursday.

A note from a reader to a blog at National Review Online said, "My son is stationed on Guam. I just sent him the video and told him to run to the other side of the island. He said one of his shipmates showed up to work with a life vest on!"

On YouTube, about 75,000 visitors had viewed the video exchange through Thursday afternoon.

"Please Georgia, you gave us Cynthia McKinney, now Hank Johnson?" one commenter wrote.

Johnson issued a written statement Thursday as the mockery mounted.

You bet he did. You can hear it spinning like a top. Heh.

"I wasn't suggesting that the island of Guam would literally tip over," he said. . Johnson said he was "using a metaphor" to describe how adding more military personnel to the tiny island "could be a tipping point which could adversely affect the island’s fragile ecosystem and could overburden its stressed infrastructure."

Using a metaphor. Uh-huh, suuuure he was. Close, but no cigar, pal.

Perhaps Rep. Johnson's next career will be as a Somalian pirate...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

That's it ...

Be an idiot:

A group of suspected pirates was captured Thursday after attacking a U.S. Navy frigate in the Indian Ocean, according to a statement released by the U.S. Sixth Fleet.

The USS Nicholas reported taking fire from a suspected pirate skiff shortly after midnight local time west of the Seychelles, the statement said. The Nicholas quickly returned fire and began pursuing the skiff, which was eventually disabled. A boarding team from the Nicholas subsequently captured and detained three people, the statement said.


Dumbasses should be glad they lived to tell everybody how stupid they are. Were I Nicholas' captain, they wouldn't be so lucky.

The gift that keeps on giving ...

That would be the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele, Chairman:


The Republican National Committee inadvertently sent a fundraising mail piece earlier this month with a return number that leads to a phone sex line offering to connect callers with "hot horny girls … students, housewives, and working girls from all over the country."


These guys gotta get laid more ... well, maybe not but at the least, they should stop watching internet porn.

Shopping Day

'Tis over the freshly snow covered hills and through the freshly snow covered woods we must go. I'll just leave ya with these:

Don't cover the children's eyes, cover your own! Oh, the horror...

See yas later.

Thanks to YubaNet.

What's the point?

When I see shit like this, I wonder why we bother:

Most Americans think that the Democrats not only did something illegitimate by passing health care reform on a party line vote, it was so illegitimate that they were asking for violence and vandalism by doing it. Good to know.


I guess you really can't fix stupid.

It has become seriously disenchanting to be an American lately. It's obvious that our people don't give a damn about the substance of anything. We've had some quite serious problems in this country but I think the refusal of a good portion of the American people to use their brains borders on a national dysfunction.


If that's the case, then our democratic system of government is effectively dead. Any minority party can simply block all legislation, make up a bunch of bullshit about "tactics," threaten them with violence and the people will back them. (Unless they are Democrats, of course, in which case they will be told the "elections have consequences" and be called obstructionists who refuse to allow the governing party the room they need to govern.)


We can't survive this way for long. I just hope I'm gone before the real decline begins. The end won't be pretty. In a century, the American Empire will be just another chapter in the history books.

In the Pink ...

Thank god for the Code Pink folks. It was wonderful to see Karl Rove getting his balls broken as he tries to make money from his raping of America:

Good for them for making sure that bastard can't appear in public without at least one voice raised to call him a murdering war criminal.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Headline of the Day dos

Pretty good article.

No Need to Thank Us, Hutaree: Anti-Government Militia Suspects Request Public Defenders

Lemme see if I get it - this brain dead buncha batcrap crazy wingier-than-wingnut phony xtians thinks the government is the cause of all their troubles and were plotting to destroy it by killing a coupla cops and starting a civil war. Yeah, like that was gonna happen. The last time I can think of that a 'general uprising' was planned was the Tet Offensive in '68. Didn't work then either, but I don't guess these clowns read much history. These ying-yangs' thinking was probably closer to Charles Manson's Helter Skelter. So when they get caught, instead of being cut down in a shitstorm of po-leece lead on the spot or up against a wall, or being Gitmo'd like the terrorists they are, they are now relying on said taxpayer-funded government to protect the same Constitutional rights they accuse the same government of trying to destroy. Through their mental fog they seem to understand that a free-market lawyer costs money they ain't got because no reputable employer will have anything to do with them because they're idiots and God seems to not be answering their call for Him to provide because He is hiding his face in shame that He made them in his own image because they're idiots. Hey, even the Almighty has a few warranty problems. Is that about right?

Who says irony is dead?

The real irony will be when the Public Defender, most of whom have better conviction rates than the District Attorney, gets 'em off. Heh.

What Jesus reads when he's naked

Double Old No. 7 and bleach, please...

If it's Wednesday, it must be Morford selling his just-released book which I'll probably buy. And maybe even read.

Often do I hear the scintillating words, "Oh sweet Jesus Mark, that column you just wrote about neurotic fundamentalists/the Zen of Obama/divine kinkiness/Canada's vile oilsands/gay Vatican lust/the need for more awe in the workplace just made my day/blasted coffee through my nose/completely wrecked my fragile relationship with my angry, born-again sister in Florida, and for that I should probably thank you.

"Not only that (these fine voices often continue), but so orgasmic/overcooked was that piece of writing that I decided before I even made it past the headline/second paragraph/part where you mention genital tattoos/high-fructose corn syrup/dark matter that I would forward it on to a select group of like-minded Wiccans/inmates/Texas Board of Education members, just to make them smile/convince them to sleep with me/ensure they hunt me down like a Mormon lesbian in Salt Lake City. Just FYI."

I finally wrote a book.

I should tell you about the hate mail. For "The Daring Spectacle" also contains nearly 50 prime examples of the nastiest, most gut-wrenching hunks of spittle I've received over the years, much of it so vile and low it could never be printed in this very column due to editorial policies governing hate speech and the misspelling of "faggit" and "commy." It is something to behold.

These messages, almost exclusively from exasperated ultraconservatives, make for quite the spectacular sideshow of anger, sexual angst and atrocious grammar. They are unedited, raw and included nearly verbatim. You've never read anything like them. Trust me.

There are columns in the book that nearly got me fired, columns that were banned/spiked by the paper and hence have never been read before, columns that made my editors wince and pray we wouldn't get vicious letters from the Catholic church or the Scientologists or about two-thirds of Texas. Which we invariably did anyway.

I repeat: "The Daring Spectacle" is available for ordering right now. It will be available everywhere else very soon, including the Kindle, though you'll miss all the cool pictures and formatting.

Much more, as usual.

If I can't buy the book right out of the trunk of Morford's car like a bluegrass band's CD, I'll wait until I can get it from BuzzFlash, which won't take very long, I betcha. I buy from them whenever I can because I get most of my good leads for posts off of there and I feel guilty and they need the money. Also, BF let me win a contest and gave me prizes and the gal who gives me the great customer service is a hotter'n blazes good Librul babe.

Sarah Palin, Neocon Messiah

Cleaning up barf...

Robert Scheer

Judge them by their enemies. More evidence that Barack Obama might be shaping up as a good president is that Norman Podhoretz hates him so much. In a Wall Street Journal column Monday the guru of the neoconservatives declared: “I would rather be ruled by the Tea Party than by the Democratic Party, and I would rather have Sarah Palin sitting in the Oval Office than Barack Obama.”

Be careful what you wish for, dipshit.

[...] He is joined in this embrace of the Palin rage by Bill Kristol, whose late father, Irving, was Podhoretz’s comrade in the long march from the far left to the far right. That shift brought the neoconservatives to the pinnacle of power in the Bush administration before they flamed out over the distortions of fact and logic they peddled as justification for the invasion of Iraq.

Among other things—and this was particularly important for Podhoretz, who for 35 years had edited Commentary, a leading journal in the Jewish community—the elimination of Saddam Hussein was supposed to leave Israel more secure. Instead, just the opposite has occurred as a consequence of the vastly increased power of Iran in the region thanks to the elimination of its most feared local adversary. Any effort to contain the power of Iran has been compromised by the leading role of the disciples of the Iranian ayatollahs in the politics of Iraq.

In a WSJ article from last September headlined “Why Are Jews Liberals?” which is also the title of his latest book, Podhoretz complained bitterly, “One of the most extraordinary features of Barack Obama’s victory over John McCain was his capture of 78% of the Jewish vote.” What followed was a self-hating tirade against his own: “Jews are by far the most liberal of any group in America.” In support of that view he quotes the sociologist Nathan Glazer, who argued that Jews, as opposed to any other immigrant group in America, have ignored their improving economic status and instead consistently supported “increased government spending, expanded benefits to the poor and lower classes, greater regulations on business, and the power of organized labor.”

Gee, d'ya think the Jews might have a better sense of their own history than these privileged, pampered neocon clowns? Perhaps they "have ignored their improving economic status" and not turned into dumbass greedy Repugs because they remember from whence they came? Their forebears came here penniless, for the most part, from the shtetls and ghettos of Eastern Europe precisely to escape oppression and to "improve their economic status", and now that a few generations have done just that, are returning something to those less fortunate than themselves.

Sure, there are right-wing Jews, just like there are right-wing gays, women, and people of color who espouse conservatism and vote against their own best interests for people who hold them in contempt. I do not understand why. Greed, self-loathing, and ignorance perhaps. Or maybe they want to be the rich old white men who run everything. Add 'delusion'.

What a great testament to the enduring decency of Jewish values that they have proved so capable of embracing social goals that transcend narrow class interest. What a wonderful refutation of historical anti-Semitism that Jews so consistently ignore personal economic gain to serve the larger good. Not so in the eyes of Podhoretz, who was immensely disappointed that the commitment of Jews to those enlightened views did not dissipate with the nomination of Obama but rather increased somewhat.

He bemoans the fact that the vast majority of Jews did not share his fear that Obama was too liberal or anti-Israel, but instead of chalking that up to an honest disagreement he invokes the language of the devil’s deception: “I am hoping against hope that the exposure of Mr. Obama as a false messiah will at last open the eyes of my fellow Jews to the correlative falsity of the political creed he so perfectly personifies and to which they have for so long been so misguidedly loyal.”

So what does that make Sarah Palin—the true messiah?

Maybe so. Every time I think of her ascendance to Queen Of The Tiny Brained I think "Jesus Fucking Christ!"

Ah, Spring!

Garrison Keillor in a piece about the return of Spring. My ass, Garrison. See post below this one.

It is spring glorious spring (da do ron ron ron da do ron ron) and our gallant president has rallied his fractious forces against wacko demagoguery, the crocuses are up, and birds are returning from the South, preferring to raise their children here in Minnesota where we pull our pants on one leg at a time and not all at once. Some people in Washington haven't managed to get their pants on in years.

Slowly, slowly, the simple fact dawns on the electorate that the Democrats have passed a moderate Republican healthcare reform. That's what it is. The frenzy on the right is pure fear of stepping out of line with the Republican politburo and getting shipped to Siberia. This lockstep mentality is rare in American history. Here is a grand old party frozen, suspended, mesmerized, in thrall to a gaggle of showboats and radio entertainers and small mobs of fist-shakers standing staunch for unreality, and no Republican elected official dares say, "Let us not be nuts." There will be books written about this in years to come, and they will not be kind to the likes of Rep. Boehner and Sen. McConnell.

No they will not, nor is there any reason to be kind to lying obstructionists who are doing their best (fortunately not very good) to wreck our country so they can retake power. Luckily, or perhaps because the greater percentage of Americans isn't as stupid as they think they are, it isn't working. Bastards.

The weather is still and clear

Still snowing and clear up to here.

Last week it was nice and sunny here, temp in the 50s, driveway was clear and dry. I was contemplating busting out the three foot wide and six inch thick glacier that was the last thing between me and a little spring freedom (by that I mean I stood there and looked longingly at my bike whilst leaning on my ice whacker).

Not so fast, homey.

It started raining on Monday, turned to snow Monday night, and it's been snowing ever since. This is not at all unusual this time of year. It snowed three feet on April 1 a few years ago. That was actually fun. You couldn't drive anywhere, but the whole neighborhood seemed to be out wading through it. We just stayed in the groove and followed it to the saloon three blocks away.

Ha-fuckin'-ha Ma Nature. Gotta have yer little joke, don'tcha, bee-yotch?

I took these pictures 5 minutes ago.

The trash can lid shows the amount of snow since it started. The snow on the snowthrower is since yesterday afternoon. Note the sturdy cardboard garage over the engine room. The two lumps behind it are bags of recycling waiting for pick-up tomorrow. I put one out on Monday, the other yesterday, thus the different amounts of snow.

Click to embiggen

There is a terrific upside to this kinda weather - the pups love it!

It's supposed to be clear tomorrow and snow again on Friday, so we'll move our monthly shopping trip up a day. Mrs. G sets her own work schedule and she came up with that. Note to self: thank yer lucky stars ya got one that can think!

I return control of your set now and resume normal programming.


The Sun just came out and reminded me of why I like it here. Gray skies to the west, but for the moment it's glorious!

Headline of the Day

Is your beauty oil made from goat turds?

In the hope that lips that touch goat turds will never touch mine, I must go and check the ingredients in Mrs. G's arsenal of skin care products...

Great photos at the link. No, really.

It's not terrorism ...

If white, Christian people do it.

Conservative intelligensia ...

The brain power is so great, it might form a black hole ... or something.

Quote of the Day

Nick Sarkozy:

... "If you come to France and something happens to you, you won’t be asked for your credit card before you’re rushed to the hospital."

Just like the old days ...

Back when we were pulling defectors out of the Soviet Union. Ah, the memories ...

An award-winning Iranian nuclear scientist, who disappeared last year under mysterious circumstances, has defected to the CIA and been resettled in the United States, according to people briefed on the operation by intelligence officials.


Looks like it went smoothly. Good fieldcraft on that op, I suspect. I remember times when it didn't.


Amiri, a nuclear physicist in his early 30s, went missing last June three days after arriving in Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage, according to the Iranian government. He worked at Tehran's Malek Ashtar University, which is closely connected to Iran's Revolutionary Guard, according to the Associated Press.


Nice to see we're getting good intelligence now, as opposed to a double agent for Iran and a Baghdad cab driver. It would seem professionals are back in charge (or the White House is butting out) of our intelligence community.

Great thanks to Oliver Willis for the link.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Headline of the Day

GOP Complains Health Reform Bill Doesn’t Cover Armageddon Until 2012

With a comment by Mr. Spray Tan.

Also see:

The Ballad of John and Loco


Drove to Tuscon with the big Barracuda
Notes on our hands, reached new lows
The liberal press says, 'what's with the cross-hairs'?
I said, "I really thought she just meant my nose"

You rock, Johnny! No, really, go home and rock on the porch.

The Catholic Church is a Criminal Enterprise

Matt Taibbi

So while schools, parole officers, judges, lawyers and therapists may have been deficient in their understanding of child abuse back in 1962 (although I’m sorry — it could have been 1562, if someone molested my child and was allowed back in the priesthood, I’d be reaching for an axe), the Catholic church is alone among all of them in continuing to not get it since then. Despite massive public scandal over the course of what now is decades, they continue to deflect and shield child molesters as a matter of institutional routine. The ugliest part of the New York Times story wasn’t even the involvement of Ratzinger in this mess but the fact that three successive archbishops failed to do anything about Murphy, a man who apparently molested upwards of 200 children.

I was raised Catholic but stopped going to church at the age of 12. I was a complete idiot at that age with regard to almost every other area of human knowledge, but even I knew back then that the church was a scam. There are good and decent people working as individual priests, but the institution as a whole is a gang of cheap charlatans preying on peoples’ guilt feelings (which of course are cultivated intentionally by the church, which teaches children to be ashamed of their natural sexuality) in order to solicit a lifetime of contributions.

When I see a Catholic priest chanting his ridiculous incantations and waving his holy smoke over someone’s gravesite or at a wedding, the vibe I get is exactly the same as the one I get watching a plumber groan and moan and babble gibberish about all the different things wrong with your kitchen pipes, when in reality all he had to do was replace a washer. It’s the same as picking up your car after an oil change and listening to the mechanic rattle off a list of charges totaling thousands for the nineteen extra things he looked at under your hood, just out of concern for your safety… And when you protest, no, there was nothing wrong with my alternator, I’m not paying for that, he tries to bullshit you — oh, yes there was, trust me, if we hadn’ta fixed that, your car woulda died on the highway within a week.

Hmmm. Speaking as a mechanic who would never pull that kinda shit both because I just ain't built that way and because honesty brings repeat business, I'm damn glad mechanics don't have a pope and an institutional mentality to cover up the crimes of a few that give us all a bad name.

That’s all the church is. They’re a giant for-profit company using predatory salesmanship to sell what they themselves know is a defective, outmoded, basically unnecessary product. They’ll use any means necessary to keep their market share and if they have to lie and cheat and deflect and point fingers to keep the racket going, they’ll do it, just like any other sleazeball company.

We don’t permit countries that harbor terrorists to participate in international society, but the Catholic Church — an organization that has been proven over and over again to systematically enable child molesters, right up now to the level of the Pope — is given a free pass. In fact the Church is not only not sanctioned in any serious way, it gets to retain its outrageous tax-exempt status, which makes its systematic child abuse, in this country at least, a government-subsidized activity.

Another thing I'm paying for that I don't like.

Somewhere underneath all of this there is a root story that has to do with celibacy. The celibate status of its priests is basically the Catholic church’s last market advantage in the Christian religion racket, but human beings are not designed to be celibate and so problems naturally arise among the population of priests forced to live that terrible lifestyle. Just as it refuses to change its insane and criminal stance on birth control and condoms, the church refuses to change its horrifically cruel policy about priestly celibacy. That’s because it quite correctly perceives that should it begin to dispense with the irrational precepts of its belief system, it would lose its appeal as an ancient purveyor of magical-mystery bullshit and become just a bigger, better-financed, and infinitely more depressing version of a Tony Robbins self-help program.

Therefore it must cling to its miserable celibacy in order to keep its sordid business scheme going; and if clinging to its miserable celibacy means having to look the other way while children are serially molested by its sexually stunted and tortured employees, well, so be it.

Much more.

I'm a convert to Catholicism from my natal religion as an Episcopalian, called Anglicans by some, almost Catholic but not quite, and much saner. I did that in homage to my late Catholic Mom and because the mystery and ritual appealed to me. I kinda liked the services in Latin (and a little Greek). I shoulda went right to Voodoo. I dropped the Church like a hot rock when, like Taibbi, I realized what a crock it was. When you think of the vast wealth and trappings of the Vatican on the one hand, and then think of the poor Mexican lady who crawls twenty miles on her knees to put her last peso on the altar as an offering, and then think about the Vatican letting millions of impoverished people who could be helped by all that wealth languish in misery, you realize that at the corporate level, the 'vow of poverty' is a flat fuckin' lie.

The Church used to rule Europe and a pretty good bit of the rest of the world. It acts like it still does and can get away with whatever it wants to. Just like Repuglicans.

I've got no use for the Roman Catholic Church or Repuglicans. Both of 'em are made-up scams that invented things that don't exist to get wealth and power and their time's nearly up. May God speed their demise.


The one thing the Vatican is reported to have that I would like to see in widespread distribution is an apocryphal book containing descriptions and effects of some 800 psychotropic plants that grow in Mexico and points south. Think of the tourist business! The Mexican lady could drive to the church in an Escalade to offer her peso!

Also, on the philosophical level, Martin Luther was wrong about a lot of things, but he was right about this:

Luther strongly disputed their claim that freedom from God's punishment of sin could be purchased with money.

Not something the Pope wanted to hear in the Vatican boardroom.

A woman on the verge of violence

I guess I'm on about Moosebreath today. Please Jesus, make it stop...

JoAnn Blake at the EssEffZam:

Since losing her bid for vice president, Palin's well-groomed appearance has changed. Now she wears old blue jeans and loopy pony tails. Her voice has become more strident and shrieking as she unloads her smoldering rage. The wholesome, mother-of-five image vanishes when she yells, "The future is not a crapshoot!"

The hell it ain't. If I knew what was going to happen tomorrow, I'd be down at the Race & Sports Book with my life savings. The only way you know tomorrow's rollout is if you use your own loaded dice, and you can be shot or put in jail for that. I hope the teabaggers find out what a load of crap their 'leaders' are making them joyfully eat and ask for more. When they find out how bad they've been punk'd and get the fishhooks outta their lips, they're going to be angry and said 'leaders' will go into hiding. Hey, they gotta blame somebody for their gullibility and it ain't gonna be themselves 'cuz they don't play that shit. They're mostly Repugs and that's the way they roll, after all.

On Saturday The New York Times and The Washington Post ran the same photo on their front pages of Palin, clad in a black leather biker jacket as she stumped for John McCain in Arizona. Her fists were clenched and raised like a boxer, her face twisted into a menacing smirk. It was as if she just jumped, breathless, off her Harley.

I'm reasonably familiar with bike leather and it looked more like a dominatrix outfit to me. She probably got it from the Voyeur's (OMG! Go see!) boutique on the RNC's dime. Heh. Or perhaps it was a gift from a well-heeled Repug donor after a particularly memorable 'table experience' or 'private event' by her with a 'happy ending'. Double heh.

On the other hand, if she 'jumped off her Harley' at about a buck-twenty that'd be OK with me. The road rash'd be through that thin-ass style leather on the first bounce! Can you say 'ass fulla strawberries'? She could continue on the batcrap circuit in between skin grafts. Ah, to dream...

By airing blatant suggestions of anti-government violence, Supreme Wingnut Palin has lost her dignity and lowered herself in the opinion of many women, even die-hard Republicans such as Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who criticized Palin's tactics on "The View" along with the other panelists. I'm no fan of Hasselbeck's, but I'll bet a lot of mature women see it the way she does -- as despicable behavior we don't want our children to embrace.

If even "Check my cranial air pressure, please" Hasselbeck has wised up, this may be soon mercifully over.

One of Palin's favorite lines is "Let's take our country back," but this country is not hers to take. Her ticket didn't win the 2008 elections when Americans joined a real populist revolt after eight years of Republican rule headed by former President George W. Bush. Yet Palin can't accept the Democratic Party's right to govern or the duty of lawmakers to make decisions they judge as being in the best interests of the people. She can continue to raise her voice against the Obama administration, but the madness will drown out the message until no one bothers to listen.

Thank you, Sister. Soon I hope, but she's more likely to rave on until there's no more money in it for her.

"Your poll numbers may have descended a bit, but so did your testicles."

Last ¶ of a pretty good piece by Bill Maher:

Democrats in America were put on earth to do one thing: drag the ignorant hillbilly half of this country into the next century, which in their case is the 19th -- and by passing health care, the Democrats saved their brand. A few months ago, Sarah Palin mockingly asked them, "How's that hopey-changey thing working out for ya?" Great, actually. Thanks for asking. And how's that whole Hooked on Phonics thing working out for you?

She has such an irritating screechy voice that it would help if she would just lie in good English.

Ah ...

Here come the locusts. I was wondering when it was gonna happen.

Black is heavier ...

And other sundry observations from Mr. Rude:


So somewhere around 9000 people gathered in the desert in Nevada this weekend to attack Harry Reid's tiny home town and listen to leather queen Sarah Palin speak about how only stupid people should be president. Many of the people there only had the time and money to make the trip because they are unemployed, retired, or disabled and live off government checks like, you know, unemployment and Social Security. In other words, the federal government is subsidizing the free speech of a bunch of people who are protesting that the government is taking away their freedoms. You're welcome, teabaggers.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Headline of the Day

RNC chairman dropped $1,900 at bondage-themed bar


Welcome to Glennbeckistan

Where the Tea Party Rules and Tea-hadis Roam

Good piece in TomDispatch. Links at site.

What if the Tea Party ruled? Imagine a land, let’s call it Glennbeckistan, where white, patriarchal, religiously zealous, Tea Party-type patriots hold a super-majority in both houses of the legislature, sit in the governor’s mansion, and control most local governments. It’s a place so out of sync with the rest of the nation that states’ rights and even secession are always on the agenda. It’s a place where gun-ownership trumps all other rights, climate change is considered an insidious socialist conspiracy, and a miscarriage can be investigated as a potential crime. Welcome to Utah.

Go read.

It's no coincidence that the state line signs say "Welcome to Utah. Set your clock back fifty years." Well, they should.

Utah has an awful lot going for it. Parts of it are so drop-dead beautiful it makes your heart sing. Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, and Bryce Canyon NPs and the Grand Staircase Escalante NM are places you should see.

Gearheads have the Bonneville Salt Flats as a holy shrine to speed, and there's slick rock 4-wheeling and mountain biking around Moab, where you can eat Mexican food while you get yer 'sickle fixed.

Up north, there's all the winter sports you could ever want, but in all fairness you should come here instead.

There's world class fishing. Hunting? You can blast away at critters you never heard of.

I could go on and on, but in short Utah is an outdoor, scenic, recreational and sportsman's paradise.

But God has to have his little joke. He populated the joint with those fuckin' Mormon cultists. Most, and I don't mean all, but most of 'em I've met are arrogant pricks. I do not discuss religion and politics in Utah, and most certainly not the "Mormon Massacre". Take warning from that one. They love our tourist dollars, but we're all, non-Mormon wingnuts included, if to a slightly lesser extent, infidel gentile trash to most of those bastards.

They're all fucking retards, but they own the joint. Well, they want to:


SALT LAKE CITY -- Fed up with federal ownership of more than half the land in Utah, Republican Gov. Gary Herbert on Saturday authorized the use of eminent domain to take some of the U.S. government's most valuable parcels.

Herbert signed a pair of bills into law that supporters hope will trigger a flood of similar legislation throughout the West, where lawmakers contend that federal ownership restricts economic development in an energy-rich part of the country.

Read as: There's coal, oil, and gas in them thar hills and we want to tear all them mountaintops off and put oil & gas wells everywhere to get the money.

We will eventually have to go after all those energy deposits even if we change our profligate ways, but for now I'm happy the Feds are in charge if for no other reason than to keep from making those damn Saints any richer than they already are.

Just as an aside, I went back to the Brain archives for Sept. '05 to look for material from my last trip to Utah. The archives only went back to 9/18. Whassup wid dat?

Things I never knew 'til now

How 50,000 Hindu pilgrims keep Lady Gaga looking hot.


On the theory that it's good to know the history of the Nazis to better understand the far right, I watched a show about Operation Hummingbird, aka 'Night of the Long Knives', last night. It bore an uncanny resemblance to what's going on amongst the Repugs. Heh. I wish them much success!

Paraphrased Quotes of the Day

These are from memory, so no links, from The Chris Matthews Show yesterday. He doesn't interrupt as much as on Hardball and he has better guests for the panel. Too bad it's only a half hour once a week.

Howard Fineman: "If this health care bill is socialism, then Warren Buffet is Karl Marx."

During the 'tell me something I don't know' (which isn't much of a challenge) portion:

Andrew Sullivan: "Well, you actually already know this, but the pope's moral authority is over."

It's nice to hear somebody say that out loud.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Guy aligned with CIA edges out stooge planted by Pentagon.

California: Leading GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Spending $249 a Minute
Her platform: cut spending.

67% Think Obama's a socialist, 57% a Muslim, 24% think he “might be the Antichrist”
Democrats: 67% think Republicans are sexually repressed racists, 57% think they're self-hating homophobes, 24% think they're “frightened, gun-toting, bible-thumping psychopaths.”

Only 24%?

World’s Hottest Chili Weaponized By Indian Military
China mobilizes Kung Pao Chicken at border.


Testosterone is Why Men Ogle Women
Take it away and they'd stare at fruit.

Melons. Heh.


The terrorism!

I was wondering ...

When it would become our fault. It seems it's been our fault for years:

Oh my, not only do we liberals with our liberal liberalism engaged in liberally cause dear sweet conservatives to act out violently, we make conservatives priests engage in the touching of a hairless penis.


You know, just like 9/11 was Clinton's fault. I'm so sick of these people.

Running late. See yas after work ...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What is it ...

With NYC mayors that they have the urge to become drag queens once they get in office?


Mayor Bloomberg, in his ripped jeans, shades, and a hideous flower-print shirt, joined the cast of Hair onstage at last night's Inner Circle dinner and did what mayors always do at these things: made a fool of himself. After riding on to the stage in a van filled with pot smoke (we're not sure if this violated the smoking ban), Bloomberg halfheartedly sang along to "Age of Aquarius" before his friends Howard Wolfson, the Situation, and Snooki emerged from behind the curtains. Fortunately, they all kept their clothes on and none of them dressed in drag, which means Bloomberg still hasn't matched Rudy Giuliani's performance from 2000. But Bloomberg still has time to make that happen. He just needs to find a dress that fits.


Oy, Christ, my dinner isn't sitting so well now.

Which one a yas made the bubbles?

Click to embiggen

Alternate Brainiacs solving the world's problems

Thanks to Brand X.

Headline of the Day

Tea Party of Nevada candidate hit with felony bad check charges, also facing home foreclosure

The Rage Is Not About Health Care

Daddy Frank nails it once again with today's 'must read'. Links at site.

[...] Boehner, having previously likened the health care bill to Armageddon, was now so apoplectic you had to wonder if he had just discovered one of its more obscure revenue-generating provisions, a tax on indoor tanning salons.

But the laughs evaporated soon enough. [...]

How curious that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so little about history that it doesn’t recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht. The weapon of choice for vigilante violence at Congressional offices has been a brick hurled through a window. So far.

If Obama’s first legislative priority had been immigration or financial reform or climate change, we would have seen the same trajectory. The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play. It’s not happenstance that Frank, Lewis and Cleaver — none of them major Democratic players in the health care push — received a major share of last weekend’s abuse. When you hear demonstrators chant the slogan “Take our country back!,” these are the people they want to take the country back from.

They can't. [...]

Please, please, please go read.


From another 'must read' column by Colby King:

The angry '50s and '60s crowds threatened and intimidated; some among them even murdered. That notwithstanding, Americans of goodwill gathered in the White House to witness the signing of landmark civil rights laws.

Schoolhouse doors were blocked, and little children were demeaned. Yet the bigots didn't get the last word. Justice rolled down like a mighty river, sweeping them aside.

They insulted, abused, lied and vandalized. Still, President Obama fulfilled his promise to sign historic health-care reform into law by the end of his first term.

Those angry faces won't go away. But neither can they stand in the way of progress.

The mobs of yesteryear were on the wrong side of history. Tea Party supporters and their right-wing fellow travelers are on the wrong side now. It shows up in their faces.

As the headline in BuzzFlash says:

The Virulent Violent Hatred of the Tea Party and GOP Leaders is About Race. Don't Kid Yourself. It's the Last Gasping Effort of the Neo-Confederacy and White Males to Seize Power Away from An America in Which They Will Soon Become a Minority.


Update (from Fixer):

Sorry to crowd in here pardner, but this is also related.

Memo to Teabaggers

Moar, please?

Between the death threats, the vandalism, and the bigotry, you give me and the rest of the left wing of this nation comfort in your hour of pain.

You can spin your viciousness and terrorism anyway you want to, but the simple truth is, you're nothing but a bunch of pantywaist little girls who lost your Barbie dolls because Mommy and Daddy decided to teach you a lesson, and gave her to the nice girl down the street who has very little to begin with.

Instead of viewing this as an act of Christian kindness, you choose to view it through a lens of entitlement. Instead of accepting the consequences of running this nation into the ground by supporting a dimwit conservative who wholeheartedly embraced a conservative agenda until even that low-level moron realized how much damage he had caused this once-great and powerful nation, you choose now to have some sort of "uprising," believing your positions of entitlement in the mainstream media and in low-levels of power will protect you.


Indeed. History will pass you by, just like all the other reactionary assholes who came before you. You've shit yer own beds and it's only a matter of time before everybody smells it.

"...I never knew there were worse things than dyin'..."

There are quite a few versions of this on YouTube. I thought the one by Liam Clancy was more powerful and moving, but this one has great graphics.

This is dedicated to all Veterans and especially those who were killed and irrevocably damaged in unnecessary wars and campaigns like Gallipoli and Bush's Oil War.

This is a look at things to come via a look at the past.

A song about a young Australian soldier maimed during the Battle of Gallipoli (1915) during the First World War; written by Eric Bogle in 1972. The paintings of Degas, Sargent, and the visual arts of Spadecaller, augment the song's theme.

Thanks to Thespadecaller.

With a little help ...

From my friends:

It was just a single contract for a single job on a single base in Iraq. The Department of Defense agreed to pay the megacontractor KBR $5 million a year to repair tactical vehicles, from Humvees to big rigs, at Joint Base Balad, a large airfield and supply center north of Baghdad. Yet according to a new Pentagon report [PDF], what the military got was as many as 144 civilian mechanics, each doing as little as 43 minutes of work a month, with virtually no oversight. The report, issued March 3 by the DOD's inspector general, found that between late 2008 and mid-2009, KBR performed less than 7 percent of the work it was expected to do, but still got paid in full.

The $4.6 million blown on this particular contract is a relatively small loss considering that in 2009 alone, the government had a blanket deal worth $5 billion with KBR (formerly known as the Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root). Just days before the Pentagon released the Balad report, KBR announced it had won a new $2.3 billion-plus, five-year Iraq contract. But the inspector general's modest investigation offers new insight into just how little KBR delivers and how toothless the Pentagon is to prevent contractor waste. Moreover, the government's own auditors predict that as the military draws down its forces in Iraq, KBR will keep most of its workforce intact, enabling it to collect $190 million or more in unnecessary expenses. Much of any "peace dividend" from the war's gradual end—potentially hundreds of billions of dollars—could wind up in the hands of contractors.


No wonder they didn't draft Gordon and me to fix shit over there. They were paying KBR to do it while the mechanics were riding shotgun for convoys. Personally, I'm sick and tired of this country still contributing to the Cheney Family Retirement Plan. The big shots at Halliburton should be doing jail time, not getting more contracts.

Great thanks to Jill for the link.

I'll say it again ...

After all that's gone on, in so many places, over the past 50 years - and then the massive cover up - there is no way the Catholic Church should be the moral arbiter of anything:


After the latest allegations – that Benedict took no action in the US when he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's enforcer – the church is now "terrified" as more victims stand up to be counted in Italy, according to Roberto Mirabile, head of La Caramella Buona, an Italian anti-abuse group. "With the scandals erupting abroad, we will see a huge growth in victims' groups in Italy in coming weeks," said Mirabile yesterday. As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict handled abuse cases at the Vatican for 24 years before he became pope in 2005.

"We are likely to discover that the Vatican worked even harder in Italy with bishops than elsewhere to hide cases, simply because the contact was closer and the church is so powerful in Italy," Mirabile added.

Sergio Cavaliere, an Italian lawyer who has documented 130 cases of clerical paedophilia, also believes that the Vatican's backyard could follow Ireland, the United States and Germany in producing a wave of abuse revelations. "The cases I have found are just the tip of the iceberg given the reluctance of many victims to come forward until now," said Cavaliere. "And in no single case did the local bishop alert police to the suspected abuse."


It gets worse by the day and, obviously, goes all the way to the top. At least, during the centuries of "Emperor Popes", you knew what their motivations were; it was about gaining wealth for the church and influence over the barbarians. Nowadays, it's nothing more than a pedophiles club that makes NAMBLA look like a bunch of pikers.

A good Palm Sunday to you all.

Thanks to Chris for the link.