Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday Crazy Mexican Redneck Music Blogging

Puro Conjunto

Mingo Saldivar ~ Folsom Prison Blues

Thanks to tremendov, Mexico.


This one's for you, Arizona. I hope you see the irony of more big government interference in your delusional pathetic little right wing parallel universe now that your appointed governor signed the racist bill SB (betcha it doesn't stand for ¡Sí Bueno!) 1070. I guess that kind of big government is OK with you as long as it's only brown people that get fucked with. Assholes.

Seeing as how it's a requirement and not an option, I hope every Diné and Yavapai and Fugawe blanketass local cop in AZ gets into the spirit of this law and stops every goddam white person they see and asks them for zere papers because they all look like illegal immigrants. Payback's a motherfucker.

A music video featuring Tom Russell singing his song, "Who's Gonna Build Your Wall" and the photography of David Burckhalter.

Thanks to johntaine.

So tell me ...

Anybody have an external hard drive go south on 'em and if they did, is there a way to get data off it? Mine died yesterday. Problem is, my entire life is on it (manuscripts, legal documents, and about 20 years worth of vacation pics). We're leaving for Bermuda in the morning so I'll have to deal with it when I get back (no time today, dropping off Shayna with Dr. Grove and packing), but I'd like a little peace of mind while I'm on vacation. If I bring it to my local geek will he be able to retrieve my lost info?

Chicken Music For Political Rallies

Set your drink down and just go...

Just as an aside, Mrs. G's oral surgeon's wife traded some oral surgery to a used car dealer for a Smart car. That's a lotta chickens.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Live at The Groove Record Store East Nashville Tennesee Filmed by John Collins, 17-4-2010

Emmylou Harris ~ Jupiter Rising

Thanks to arthurfromholland, Netherlands.

Who would have thought ...

There'd be a position for "Mop Boy" anywhere other than a peep show?

The Party of Fiscal Conservancy at work:

WASHINGTON — Senior staffers at the Securities and Exchange Commission spent hours surfing pornographic websites on government-issued computers while they were being paid to police the financial system, an agency watchdog says.

The SEC's inspector general conducted 33 probes of employees looking at explicit images in the past five years, according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press.

The memo says 31 of those probes occurred in the 2 1/2 years since the financial system teetered and nearly crashed.


That's great. A big spoogefest as the economy went tits up. What the fuck is it with Republicans and sex? It's like they're a buncha little, repressed hornsters who gotta touch themselves all day long.

Great thanks to Ol' Fez for the link.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Headline of the Day

Gotta go, but I wanted to get this in about misleading or selective media interpretation of polls on the legalization of mary-ju-wanna.

Widely publicized 4/20 poll actually shows majority support for drug reforms

See yas.

Quote of the Shopping Day

Slate on Boehner's 'monstrous doozie':

The financial reform bill would be "a government takeover of the entire private sector"?

I'm not going to call him Boner any more after that one. He's now officially a Limp Dick.

Over the mountain and through the woods to the government takeovered Costco we must go today. Maybe we'll get a government takeovered take-and-bake pizza from Papa Murphy's. I got a government takeovered coupon for free Cheesy Bread.

What a dork Boehner is. Yeesh.

Tea-bagged Geico man fires back

Political Carnival

Yesterday, Paddy posted about the Geico spokesman who got fired over an insulting telephone message he left for the Tea Baggers' little astroturf extended family, FreedomWorks.

FreedomWorks' Matt Kibbe then posted Douglas' cell number on, which caused Douglas to get harassed and ultimately sacked.

None of this hubbub prevented Douglas from making light of the situation in his own riveting little video...

Su. Perb:

Thanks to lancebaxter.

Computer problems ...

Back after work. Go surf the blogroll until Gordon wakes up. TGIF!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

FDL 'Name That Pot Campaign'

Following up on yesterday's post:

Jane Hamsher, be still my heart!

Last night we had the first night of our contest to name FDL’s marijuana campaign. We were going to have the semifinal voting tonight, but I changed my mind.

I’m having too much fun being back at Late Nite again, and Mike Whitney decided he wanted to expand the contest to everyone on our email list, so we’re continuing the contest for a second inspired night.

...we have a SPECIAL PRIZE FOR EVERYONE just for playing…co-author of Marijuana is Safer, Steve Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project, emailed me say that they’re offering a FREE DOWNLOAD of the book to everyone until midnight tonight in honor of the contest!

Since we’re going to be doing a lot more around pot in the coming months, take advantage of this great opportunity, say thanks to Steve for this incredibly generous offer, and download away.

Much, much more and a list of the entries so far. Enjoy. Smoke 'em if ya got 'em.

If the Beverly Hillbillies Had Invested in a Fraudulent CDO

I'm sort of a Beverly Hillbilly in reverse, so I liked this.

Guess who!

Mr. Drysdale knew he wouldn't make it through the night. Cowering, sweating, and pissing himself in the panic room of his mansion, he watched on the monitors as what seemed like every Clampett under the redneck sun, if not the entire town of Bug Tussle, looted and wrecked his mansion where he had lived, if not quite peacefully, then at least continuously next to the proud hillbillies. Now, he wept as he saw Jethro Bodine stare straight into one of the security cameras and say, "When I find you, Mr. Drysdale, I'm gonna fuck ya like a mule." Drysdale clutched at the packet of cyanide capsules, his last resort should he face fire or fucking. Across the room, the corpse of Miss Hathaway mocked him, its slit throat like a cruel second smile.

[...] On her deathbed, Granny told Jed, "Don't you listen to that bastard. He's a-gonna steal your money like a backwoods whiskey runner."

It was that goddamn Ellie Mae, Drysdale thought, as he saw Jed use his shotgun to destroy a vase. Ellie Mae and Jane Hathaway fell in love and wanted to get married, but Drysdale had donated money to support Proposition 8, making their dreams fall apart. That was the final straw. They worked together to go to the SEC with everything they knew from their jobs at Commerce. When they told Jed about what really happened, there were only two parts of it that the Clampett patriarch understood: that Drysdale had outright lied to him and that he was making money off people losing their houses. Jed looked at Jethro and said, "Call up the kinfolk and get some buckshot for the guns. Let's show this city shithead how we treat liars and thieves back in the mountains."

Y'all'r gonna hafta ta go read ta see how this hyar yarn turns out. Cue the banjo music...

Chickens for prostate exams?

Sue Lowden's plan to solve the problem of skyrocketing health care costs? Go back to the barter system!

So Doc, I have one box of cereal and one '95 Ford Taurus with 150,000 miles (though trust me it runs great), how much of my broken leg can I get fixed?

For non-chicken related Nevada news visit

Thanks to ProgressNowNevada.

And this looneytoon is ahead of Reid in the polls? Yeesh.

I'm no stranger to the barter system. I've traded motorcycle work for stuff I needed, like firewood and getting my house painted, for decades, and I can tell you this:

If I took a chicken to pay my doctor she would give me a rectal exam with it. I'd be fartin' feathers for a week.

In case you missed it

Jon apologizes for criticizing Bernie Goldberg and Fox News, but it's only because they're a terrible, cynical, disingenuous news organization.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bernie Goldberg Fires Back
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Must be nice to be an officer ...

Because if I'da pulled some shit like this, my ass woulda been in Leavenworth so quick, my shadow wouldn't be able to catch up:


One week ago, the military announced that Lakin is under investigation after he refused to report for a second tour in Afghanistan. Lakin believes that President Obama may not be a natural-born citizen, and therefore that military orders are invalid..."


There should be a blindfold, a cigarette, a wall, and a bullet with this guy's name on them.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It might not play all over ...

But to 'city boys' like me, this hits the spot:

More here.

Great, great thanks to my homie Watertiger for the link.

Headline of the Day

Religious Right vs. the Tea Parties — Can the GOP Exploit Both at the Same Time?

The Repugs have just about used up the fundies and they're concentrating on the teabaggers, but I'm sure they'll try.

Best case scenario: The teabaggers and the christofascists go to war with one another and take each other out and the GOP along with 'em. Ah, to dream...

We don't give a shit what assholes from Texass think


Poll: Majority oppose marijuana legalization, new nationwide poll finds -- but where do Californians stand?

In line for the taco truck? Por favor amigo, make mine with everything, duuuude!

But seriously folks...

One commenter got it right:

sunnysmoothe wrote: Let me get this right... a NATION wide poll of 1,001 adults opposes legalization of marijuana.

So basically they could have polled anyone from Wisconsin to Florida? What does the polling of Americans from other states have to do with the base of this article which is the legalization of Marijuana in CALIFORNIA?

I am in the L.A. Now Southern California This Just In section correct? Why not write an article with a poll from 1,001 Californians? Wouldn't that make more sense? Sometimes after reading the LA Times, I really do get dumber.

Go see the other comments. The LAT has their own poll. Take it to see the results. Skew the results from as far away as you like (Smiley face).


Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake is sponsoring a contest:

We're holding a contest to find the best campaign name for our marijuana legalization efforts. Use the form below to submit your ideas (please limit submissions to five words or less).

Much more. Go see. Hurry, contest ends at 8PM Back East Time tonight.

My submission is "Legalize California's Biggest Cash Crop", to include a suitable marijuana plant graphic on the bumpersticker.

A bit of history ...

Might help the teabaggers to actually read it before making fools of themselves in public:


On Dec. 16, 1773, colonial dissidents famously protested British taxation without representation by dumping shiploads of tea into Boston Harbor. According to John C. Miller's Origins of the American Revolution, British hawks responded exactly as Palin now recommends: by focusing on ego, power, and dominance. They called the Tea Party a "wanton and unprovoked insult" and proposed "to blow the town of Boston about the ears of its inhabitants." King George III declared, "We must master them or totally leave them to themselves and treat them as Alien."

The British hawks, like Palin, saw self-restraint as wimpy and dangerous. If Britain retreated from the tax policies that had provoked the Tea Party, they warned, the colonists would take this as "Proofs of our Weakness, Disunion and Timidity." Miller writes, "Few Englishmen believed that the mother country could retain its sovereignty if it retreated in the face of such outrage: it was now said upon every side that the colonists must be chastised into submission."


Was a time the "sun never set on the British Empire". The British sowed the seeds for their downfall centuries before and caused problems, the effects of which we feel to this day. If the Palins and Bachmanns of the Right get into power here, the downfall of the American Empire will come faster and be more far-reaching than anything the British of the 18th Century could accomplish.

Great thanks to our pal Maru for the link.

Fiscal responsibility ...

When the Republicans talk about "deficit spending" I laugh. They mean we should all be bartering for services with livestock while they use AmEx:


Giving your chicken up for someone else to choke doesn't sound like a great health care scheme, but it does sound like a typical RNC reimbursable expense.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just because I'll suck a dick ...

Doesn't mean I'm queer.

Poor Ol' Lindsey:

At a South Carolina Tea Party rally, one speaker wanted to know if South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is gay.

The rally held last week in Greenville included an unidentified speaker saying: "Barney Frank is more honest and brave than you. At least we know about Barney Frank, and nobody is going to hold it over his head. And we got to just … Look, I'm a tolerant person. I don't care about your private life, Lindsey. But as a U.S. senator, I need to try and figure out why you're trying to sell out your own countrymen. And I need to make sure you being gay isn't it."


The teabaggers have thrown him under the bus. I wonder when he'll pull an "Arlen" and try to become a Dem?

You haff papers?

Good fucking god. And to think, the Mrs. and I were actually debating retiring to Sedona a few years back. Thankfully, we were bitten by Provence. Isn't this still America? Can a state of this Union actually do this without getting federally fucked?

I had a friend who isn't into politics, but would say that Bush's goal was to enact martial law over the country. I told her she was not based in reality. But this new law in Arizona gives the police exactly that type of power -- at least, if you look somewhat "brown."

I know it'll be targeted at Latinos, but I wouldn't doubt that it'll be used on anyone in sight if they happen to have a bug up their ass about you.


This is America, right? This is wrong on so many levels. Even my inner German has a problem with it.

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys...*

*Thank you, Willie and Waylon.

I made a comment on Fixer's earlier post, and it got me ta thinkin' about cowboys. My Dad was a cattle ranch broker and I got to spend several summers travelling around the West with him as he set up deals. I got to spend time on ranches all over California, Oregon, and Nevada.

The ideal of the cowboy as rugged individualist loner who fights for truth, justice, and the American way with a pearl-handled nickel-plated six-shooter instead of a cape is a crock a' shit from the movies.

If you ever saw a real cowboy with his shoulder up a cow's ass as he "tails 'er up" out of a mudhole, or cleared irrigation ditches with an idiot stick aka a shovel, or fixed fences out in the middle of nowhere, or let gas bloat out of a cow (stinky!) with a special hollow knife, or getting his old crock pickup running so he can go get drunk and lust after bar hogs on Saturday night, or any of a hundred other things that go with a low paying hard job, you know that the romance of being a cowboy is a fiction.

That said, I like Western movies. Mrs. G sent me out yesterday special to get these stamps:

Click photos to embiggen, Pilgrim

Pretty cool, huh?. Got my memory to churning, and I came up with this old photo:

The autograph reads: "To Gordon, your saddle pal, Gene Autry".

That picture is probably 55 years old, a treasure from my childhood. The point being that I'm not ten years old anymore. I may not be as grown up as I should be, but I'm certainly grown up enough to realize the difference between a fictional Saturday morning movie cowboy, like George Bush, and reality.

The teabaggers need to grow up at least that much.

No, Really, We Don't Want the Tea Parties to Stop Yet

El Rude-o

[...] What we do think is patently absurd is that they are marching and threatening and yelling about shit that's just not factually true.

Speak more, good teabaggers, because you sound like dumb fucks.

So, no, march and dissent away, motherfuckers. It's your right to stand in public and be an idiot who parrots the lies of those who are actually fucking up your lives.

My earnest hope is that the teabaggers figure out how badly they're being punk'd. Once they do, they'll be so embarrassed we'll never hear another word out of 'em.

Headline of the Day

Iranian cleric: Promiscuous women cause quakes

I see a religious battle brewing: our idiot fundie preachers think it's homosexuals.

The 411 on 420

HuffPo via EssEffChron

Where does 420 come from?

He pauses and thinks, hands on his side. "I don't know the real origin. I know myths and rumors," he says. "I'm really confused about the first time I heard it. It was like a police code for smoking in progress or something. What's the real story?"

Depending on who you ask, or their state of inebriation, there are as many varieties of answers as strains of medical bud in California. It's the number of active chemicals in marijuana. It's teatime in Holland. It has something to do with Hitler's birthday. It's those numbers in that Bob Dylan song multiplied.

The origin of the term 420, celebrated around the world by pot smokers every April 20th, has long been obscured by the clouded memories of the folks who made it a phenomenon.

The Huffington Post chased the term back to its roots and was able to find it in a lost patch of cannabis in a Point Reyes, California forest. Just as interesting as its origin, it turns out, is how it spread.

It starts with the Dead.

And your point is...? Doesn't everything? Heh.

Good story. Enjoy.


420 truths about working on a pot farm


The volcano ...

With the name none can pronounce. Great pics via Chris.

Sorry to hear about your dick ...


... Why do these people find so much meaning in this faux macho, nihilistic silliness?

Because, for 8 years, they had a role model in the White House and now they don't.

Do it again ...

Mitch "The Chin" McConnell sings the same song he did during the HCR debate:


Steve Benen got this one exactly right. As he noted after Mitch McConnell flew off to have a closed door meeting with the Wall Street elites and Candy Crowley asked him what was said at those meetings "the conservative Kentuckian was evasive -- imagine that -- and instead of answering the questions, he talked about scrapping the legislation altogether".


Along with musical accompaniment*:

Steely Dan - Do It Again

*I gather the person who put the vid together is a Halle Berry fan, which is not a bad thing at all.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Ruder Twofer

Photos That Make Teabaggers Shit Blood:

And what's not to love about the picture? The skinny, bearded white guy who seems to be holding a not-at-all agitated Walker back? The face of the goateed old guy, who looks like he's ready to vomit out some acid mixture of fear and confusion in his gut, wondering who let the Negroes in to ruin their perfectly fun cross-burning?

Oh, sweet goateed old guy, Walker didn't want to harm you. He didn't want to cut your throat or your Medicare. He wanted to pierce your thick coat of nutzoid shellac, a rigid shell made of Glenn Beck's semen, Sarah Palin's spit, and Republican cash money.

Note to the sweet goateed old white guy: If that rather large gentleman of the colored persuasion wants to fuck you, try telling him you've got a headache. Heh.

People With Nothing Better to Do Descend on Virginia and DC:

A bunch of fucking insane closeted homosexuals have gathered in Virginia for today's festival of latency. Calling it a rally to "Restore the Constitution," it's all about open-carry of loaded firearms on the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. But, really, it's just an excuse for a bunch of pansy-ass motherfuckers who are afraid of fucking their Bud-butt-buddies to walk around with ludicrously large penis substitutes and call it "freedom." God fucking bless America, man, God fucking bless us.

Enough with the jokes about "ooh, gun=penis=closeted gays." The whole effort is so ludicrous. Marching in support of the right to bear arms in this country is as useless as having a march to keep ice cream cold. It's a lie, it's a scam. It's like everyone organizing everyone of these bullshit "whip up the yokels" marches or rallies or tea parties or facefuckfests or whatever are just Glenn Beck wannabes who have seen how much cash can be made from old-time hucksterism and exploitation.

Because Obama ain't gonna do a damn thing about gun laws. But that doesn't change the perception, fomented by vile con men, like televangelists of a couple of decades ago, swindling the spare change from the purses of the imbeciles because they think a black man must wanna take away the weapons they wanna kill him with. He doesn't.

The saddest part is that, should any of these little groups of fucktarded terrorist wannabes actually attempt anything, they would be wiped out by the cops and the feds. It wouldn't even be close. And they know it. It's all bluster and nonsense. Timothy McVeigh was a little bitch who ran away from the truck and didn't make a stand of any sort. He got lucky. And that was as brave as they get.

So let the mini-McVeighs have their punk-ass rally where they can compare gun sizes.

Size doesn't matter except for intimidation purposes. In the right hands a .22 Magnum revolver is a hell of a lot more dangerous than all the military styled auto-loading black rifles in the world in less capable hands.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Arizona Cracks Down Hard on Illegal Immigrants
Food supplies dwindle, all construction halted.

Don't text and drink and talk and eat while driving.

Tea Party More Diverse Than Once Thought
They're only 98% elderly white right-wing anti-tax cranks.

Only 98%. Whew!

Revealed: Sarah Palin Demands Huge Speaking Fees, Pre-Screened Questions
And no high school graduates in audience.

Study: Health Insurers Invest Heavily in Fast Food Corporations
Did somebody say “claim denied?”

This one's a big help for us old farts:

Self-Administered Test Can Identify Dementia Early On
You're asked to ask yourself a battery of questions, which is a sign of dementia.

Scientists Developing Computer Based on Cat Brain
When completed it will ignore all human commands.

Just What DO They Want?

The short answer is "they haven't a fucking clue".

Good post on the teabaggers at News For Real. I'll call it a 'must read'. Note: the link goes to the site, not the post, so if they add anything you'll have to scroll down a little. Other interesting posts as well.

They don't trust government. They don't trust politicians. They don't trust science or scientists. They don't even trust an official birth certificates when they the issuing state provides a photocopy.

You know who I'm talking about. So exactly how do this growing movement, broadly described by the moniker, Tea Party, intend to govern, should they get their way? Like all radical far left or far right populist movements through out history, they don't even trust one another, at least not entirely.

No you'll hear nothing about any of that at a Tea Party rally. But why? In normal times such outrages would be the rocket fuel of a populist movement. Instead the radical right has ceded all those core populist issues to the left, which the right then demonizes as “socialists" for even pointing any of this out.

It kinda makes my head hurt trying to figure out exactly what it is the right wants. And, what kind of country we'd end up with if they ever got what they say they want.

A country I don't want to live in.

A buncha "Ifs?" and then:

If they succeeded in repealing gun laws all they'd get for their trouble are communities in which the full rich panoply of humans are walking around carry the very tool needed to instantly satisfy a temper tantrum. Road rage will go from fender benders and fists, to high-speed shoot outs. And becoming a police officer in such an America would be like becoming police chief of Juarez, Mexico. I'm all for the right to own a gun or several guns. But I find it hard to believe that turning America 2010 into Tombstone, Az, 1840, would be any kind of an improvement.

Which brings me back to my original questions: Do these people actually know what they want? And do any of them wonder why the things they are told they should want are suspiciously similar to what America's corporations and the plutocrats who run them want?

Will it ever dawn on Tea Party folk what's really happening here. That they've allowed themselves to become little more than dancing monkeys at the end of the organ-grinders' chain?

Just put the money in the tin cup. Or on the nightstand, sailor, for you've been royally screwed, blewed, and tattooed and you liked it.

Much more.

First European airports reopen to limited traffic


Significant concern remained, however, about the dangers posed by the clouds of volcanic ash being spewed out of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano. A senior U.S. official told Reuters news service that glass buildup from the eruption was found in an engine of a NATO F-16 fighter plane, underscoring dangers to aircraft flying through the ash cloud.

Airports in Portugal, Spain, the Balkans, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey were open for flights on Monday, the Associated Press reported. But officials in Britain, France, Germany, and the Netherlands -- home to four of Europe's five largest airports -- said their air space was still closed.

The tentacles of the crisis have already stretched into the global supply chain. Auto factories in China that use electronic parts flown in from Germany faced a sudden halt in shipments. A logjam forming in the international diamond trade threatened to delay the shipment of necklaces and wedding rings if flights are not resumed between cutters in India and dealers in Antwerp, Belgium.

It's nice to know the Chinese are using German electronics in their crapcans. Toyota, take note. As for the jewelry, just tell her the diamonique was all you could get, damn that volcano! Heh.

Even if flights to European hubs including London and Amsterdam, home to the world's largest flower market, were to resume immediately, Kenyan flower industry officials said there would be a temporary oversupply that could push prices down for the next week.

When she says "Honey, you hardly ever buy me flowers!" (hopefully she'll leave out the line "What did you do this time?"), it might be less than beneficial to tell her "They've never been this cheap!".

However, it is disturbing to find out that all those famous Dutch flowers are from Africa. My heart is broken. Welcome to the 21st century, you old fart.

With the volcano still erupting, there was no telling when the ash clouds over the region could clear. But the airlines were clamoring for aviation authorities to roll back the bans anyway.

A handful of carriers have run test flights to determine whether ash particles were dense enough over Europe to cause engines to fail.

Speaking as a guy who has repaired many engines that were worn out by desert sand leaking in through a faulty air filter, ARE YOU PEOPLE NUTS?!!! They may not seize, quite the opposite when the clearances open up and all they'll do is go 'Whoosh!' instead of making power and they won't last as long. I guess if the engines wear out three months from now over the Atlantic they won't be able to blame the volcano or their own stupidity. I guess jet engines are cheap, and it's only four bolts and a fuel line. Yeesh. Someone who knows about jet engines please chime in on this.

Still, KLM acknowledged that it conducted its test flight when there was a gap in the clouds containing the heavier concentrations of ash. The other airlines conducted their tests at lower altitudes.

Oh. Well, that's OK then.

Rumor has it that the KLM pilots flew through an undetermined type of cloud over Amsterdam that made the engines giggle. Also reported was a strange perfumy smell in the cabin. Amsterdam has many attractions.

Note to airline pilots flying to, from, or over Europe until the ash goes away: Put a really loud horn on the damn things and follow roads so there's always a place to set 'er down in a pinch. Add floats or pontoons for overwater flights.

Airplanes are flying sardine cans full of people. I guess there's a risk-benefit thing for airline profits and their government subsidies. What's the loss of a few cans of sardines when there's money involved?

When you're up to your ass in alligators...'s hard to remember that your main objective is to drain the swamp. Old Service Manager's saying about dealing with customers and mechanics. Suits Clusterfuckistan to a T.

If you're interested in a little slice of life about what's going on on the ground in Afghanistan, here's a good read by, believe it or not, Joe Klein. This week's Time cover story about a straight leg Army rifle company trying to reopen a school somewhere out in hicksvillestan. I am forced to give props to Joe for this one. It's long, but worth a read.

[...] Unlike many of his fellow officers in Zhari district, and many of the troops under his command, Ellis really believed in counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine.

He still does, but he's more skeptical now. The past four months in Senjaray have taught him how difficult it is to do COIN in an area that is, in effect, controlled by the enemy — and with a command structure that is tangled in bureaucracy and paralyzed by the incompetence and corruption of the local Afghan leadership. Indeed, as the struggle to open the school — or get anything of value at all done in Senjaray — progressed, the metaphor was transformed into a much bigger question: If the U.S. Army couldn't open a small school in a crucial town, how could it expect to succeed in Afghanistan?

Their first project was to refurbish an irrigation canal.

Actually, the elders — as opposed to the people of Senjaray — seemed more interested in the irrigation canals than anything else. In fact, the two most important leaders — the rather flaccid local warlord who was named Hajji Lala, and the police chief, whose 40 cops were dedicated to the protection of Hajji Lala — were interested in one specific canal. Unfortunately, it was not the canal Ellis wanted to refurbish on the poorer, north side of town. It was on the south side. [...]

[...] Well, as it happened both Hajji Lala and the police chief owned farmland just south of the proposed canal. [...]

"It turned out, the situation was more complicated than I figured," Ellis says now. In fact, it wasn't a case of local corruption at all. Within days, intelligence collected from multiple sources revealed that several of the town elders had driven across the border to Quetta, in Pakistan, to clear the canal project with the Taliban leadership." [...]

It was now apparent that almost any development project the Americans tried in Senjaray would end up benefitting the Taliban — except one: reopening the Pir Mohammed School.

But the logistics were a killer. To reopen the school, Ellis needed to purchase some of the adjacent land to build an access road and the police station he had proposed. Hajji Lala, the local warlord, insisted he had that covered. "I kept asking him for the names of the landowners," Ellis says. "He kept saying, 'No problem.' " But it was a problem. Most of the property in the Zhari district is owned by absentee landlords. When Ellis pressed Hajji Lala for names yet again in late February, he was told, "You're going to have to find out who owns that land yourself."

Ellis was crushed. The operation was scheduled for March 10. He had a week, at best, to purchase the property. "But I got it done," he says. "The thing is, the people really wanted the school opened and they helped me find the owners." There was one pair of owners who demanded $20,000 for their land. "I told them $2,000 max," Ellis said, but ultimately the owners — after checking around — changed their minds and decided to offer the land for free. "They said, 'We'll give it to you, but could you beat us up a little and make it look like you seized it? The Taliban don't want this to happen.' "

We sat on thin rugs, beneath one of the balconies. Ellis took off his helmet and deftly, gently, always smiling, questioned Rahman. He didn't ask anything very direct, like how Rahman — who said he was 17 — earned a living, and the boy didn't volunteer any information. Ellis asked who the most powerful person in town was, and Rahman answered, "Hajji Lala." He asked who the most powerful Taliban in town was, and the boy said he didn't know. "Yeah, I wouldn't know, either, if I were you," Ellis said.

Later, as we headed back to the outpost in the gathering darkness, Ellis said, "Well, at least he knew we were Americans. Some of them still think we're Russians.

The Taliban are almost as big a problem as U.S. and NATO brass.

It will take a hundred years to change anything of significance in that land. It would work better and be cheaper to move the Afghan population to Detroit.

Just sayin' ...

This shit better be over by the time I leave for Amsterdam in August or there'll be hell to pay:


It would be the volcano's first major eruption since 1821, since when it has lain dormant and anonymous to most of the world. Yesterday it made headlines when it transformed swaths of western Europe and Scandinavia into an unprecedented no-fly zone.


Heh ...

I remember when I was young, I flew Icelandair to Germany (well, to Luxembourg where I had to take a bus to Kaiserslautern where my uncle would pick me up) a couple summers and there was a stopover at Reykjavik. This was back when Surtsey was doing her thing and we flew pretty close by on our way in and out. It was one of the coolest things I'd ever seen. They didn't seem to give much of a shit about its effect on air travel back then.

Simple answers ...

Our pal Misfit asks a question:

Is it too much to hope that we may see some of the banksters doing time?

Answer: Yes.

Definitions ...

Joke Line finds a nut:


Klein: I did a little bit of research...I looked up the definition of sedition, which is conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of the state and a lot of these statements-- especially coming from people like Glenn Beck and to a certain extent, Sarah Palin--are right up close to being sedition.


Wonder what would have happened if Dems did this under Bush?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Song For John McCain

Dan Hicks And His Hot Licks ~ How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away

Thanks to fjgold.

Sunday Crazy Redneck Music Blogging

From a 2010 TV Show. John and Marty on the song John wrote with Steve Goodman


John Prine & Marty Stuart ~ Souvenirs

Thanks to 1000Magicians, UK.

Teabaggers are stupid whiny bitchez

P.M. Carpenter

From yesterday's NY Times/CBS News poll on the Tea Party movement and its 18 percent of supportive Americans, the bad news -- in fact, I'd say worst news -- was that they reject the idea of a conservative base-dividing third party. Drats. They're smarter than we thought.

The good news was that ... actually, there was no good news (except perhaps a dollop, noted at this column's end), but the old news was that the movement's supporters on average are "white, male, married and older than 45" -- you know, the sole surviving face of modern Republicanism, or, as political historian Rick Perlstein put it yesterday, in the Times' "Room for Debate," "they are the same angry, ill-informed, overwhelmingly white, crypto-corporate paranoiacs that accompany every ascendancy of liberalism within U.S. government."

They are trapped in nostalgic whimsy; they long for the era of 19th-century American smallness -- yeoman farmers and apprentice artisans, that sort of thing, real rugged (and mostly white) individualist stuff -- which of course will never return. And in that sense their movement parallels that of 1930s' populist demagoguery, as Perlstein's fellow political historian Alan Brinkley so marvelously traced in his 1983 work, Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression.

"The real issue," continued Brinkley, and rather indisputably, I think, "is a sense among white males that they are somehow being displaced, that the country is no longer 'theirs,' that minorities and immigrants are becoming more and more powerful within society. And, of course, they are right about that. They just fear it more than many other Americans."

That's your party, you Tea Party guys -- the corporate-backed, corporate-catering, corporate-financing-and-financed Republican Party. It loves the idea of J.P. Morgan buying the next election on behalf of bigger and bigger corporate bigness in the service of middle-class displacement. Do you?

And then there's that little matter of your GOP fighting financial reform, what with its argument amusingly housed in the Luntz-tested, crypto-corporate Big Lie of "permanent bailouts."

You see, folks, you're not so much stupid as you are just plain duped.

Sorry, P.M., they're plenty stupid to be conned/taken in like that. Worse, they wanted to be duped. They got their wish.

Pot enthusiasts gather at California cannabis expo

Following up on yesterday's post:

AP via Yahoo!News

DALY CITY, Calif. – Medical marijuana users near San Francisco lit up Saturday at the opening of the two-day International Cannabis and Hemp Expo, where vendors displayed bongs, vaporizers, hash brownies and other marijuana-related products.

Organizers of the event at the Cow Palace said they insisted on having an onsite medicating area before holding the expo. Under a white-canopied courtyard, young adults in baggy jeans and baseball caps smoked alongside aging hippies.

I'll be glad when mota is legal and we can dispense with those stereotypes, but I'm glad to see the Expo was well attended.

The expo, and others like it, will help develop the multibillion dollar pot industry, said Bucky Fisher, national sales manager for Medical Marijuana Inc., which sells hemp-related products and provides services to ensure marijuana dispensaries follow the law.

"It makes the industry more of a community, more visible, more powerful," he said. "This country is definitely in need of a homegrown industry, and this could be it."

Nice play on 'homegrown', dude! Heh.

Rumor has it that all Oreos, Twinkies, and other Zuzus and Whamwhams on the West Coast have been diverted to Daly City to cover shortages for the balance of the weekend until the Expo is over.