Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hateful Days

From a 'recommended read' by William Rivers Pitt on Things To Hate In Politics:

One cannot swing one's dead cat by the tail these days without striking something that makes me want to give up on this tepid reporting job and take up firebombing. Barring that, the only other reasonable solution would seem to be undertaking a deep and profound heroin habit. Just shoot up and float away, leave all this mad and awful noise behind and go chase the dragon for a bit. Why not? Thanks to our Afghanistan adventure, there is a glut of the stuff on the world market. It makes perfect sense, in a way; where is the fun in enduring a massive global economic and political meltdown and rampant joblessness without an ample, cheap supply of good smack?

Heroin is bad for you, I know. But so is politics. These days, both are equally poisonous to the body and soul.

What was it Mick Jagger said? "I'll be in my basement room, with a needle and a spoon..."

He gets it all outta his system and comes to his senses:

Hunter S. Thompson once said, "One of the basic rules of politics is Action Moves Away from the Center. The middle of the road is only popular when nothing is happening." Well, there is plenty going on today, and the middle of the road is now good only for long yellow stripes. Yes, I hate, with depth and passion, and have much cause to do so. But if those protesters at the Bush Library teach us anything, it is that hate must be channeled if it is to have any real effect. Theirs was an eloquent protest, and ours must be the same.

No retreat, the man once said. No surrender.

"They" want us to forget about politics. They want us not to vote. They want us to STFU. Then they win.

Yes, the whole political process should take place behind closed doors and we should be spoon-fed only what they want us to know by official 'press' releases. It ain't just the Repugs either:

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), this week called on the FCC to shut down Fox News and MSNBC. The senior senator from WV said, “There’s a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to Fox News and MSNBC, ‘Off. Out. End. Goodbye’. It would be a big favor to political discourse; to our ability to do our work here in Congress; and the American People, to talk with each other and have some faith in their government, and more importantly, in their future.”

That would be the end of that pesky 1st Amendment and the end of our nation. As messy as our politics is, it has to be closely watched and kept in the open or we're done.

1st Snow

Day before yesterday I rode my motorcycle. To quote Inspector Clouseau after he was informed that what he had just destroyed was a $30,000 Steinway piano, "Not any more!".

The hell of it is I stepped out the back door just as Mrs. G 'shoed by on her way to walk the dogs. She waved. I told her to raise one snowshoe. She did. I took her picture. She promptly fell over. I snapped again. The camera batteries were dead. Grrr.

I re-batteried. You can see Mrs. G in this one:

Click fotos to embiggen

Here's the shady side. That's a foot of snow on the deck railing:

Winter sports will commence today with the ceremonial Filling Of The Snowthrower's Gas Tank. Let the games begin!


I'm sure glad for the break in the weather that let me get a picture of our snow in the sunshine. The second in this series of storms is here now. This pattern is going to come and go for days. With my historically impeccable timing, my snowthrowing efforts will be either or both of a) throw six inches of snow and get done just in time for the next foot of it instead of waiting and throwing 18 inches or, b) clearing each storm's dump with the wind in my face. It is written...

In case you're wondering how I can throw snow in one direction and then turn 180° and throw snow in the other direction and still have the wind in my face, the snowthrower's discharge chute is also known as 'The Automatic Wind Direction Changer'. It may be the best functioning gadget on the machine.

Please enjoy our Truckee and I-80 webcams.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

From the original German TV Musik Laden TV broadcast.
It has been here on and off over the years - currently off so I thought I'd re-instate it .

The Hot Band here are : Albert Lee (lead guitar - here mandolin), Rodney Crowell (guitar and vocals), Hank DeVito (steel), Emory Gordy (bass), John Ware (drums) and Glen D Hardin (piano).

Emmylou Harris with Rodney Crowell & The Hot Band : Hello Stranger (1977)

Thanks to 1000Magicians, UK.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Monster Blogging

Chooch, our older dog, has appointed herself "Protector of the Realm" since we got her and spends the day (when she and her sister aren't running around here like crazy people) standing watch at the top of the stairs, looking out the front door, for any 'suspicious characters'.

Well, this morning, two idiots had a fender bender in front of the house. Holy shit, Da Chooch was up and down the stairs about a hundred times, barking like a lunatic, until they got their shit sorted out and left.

And the whole time poor little Ziva was just trying to catch a nap.

Heh ...

Shopping Day

We're headin' ta The Big City to get some shopping done prior to next week's trip to the coast for T'giving and to beat a major snowstorm that's supposed to come in tonight. See yas later.


Timed it perfect! It just started snowing as we pulled back into town. It's been gray and windy all day, got in a ground blizzard of leaves at Fuji Park when we let the dogs run around. Lake Tahoe had waves. Costco was busier than I've ever seen it. I'm glad I'm here now.

The fix is in. Yawn.

An excerpt from a Glenn Greenwald piece you should read about why Bush is getting away with it:

[...] Sure, Hiatt acknowledged with a yawn, we're "a nation of laws" and we can't simply "forget" when our most powerful political officials commit the most serious war crimes, etc. etc. etc.. But criminal investigations are so terribly messy, uncivil, uncouth, distracting and disruptive. Prosecutions are for those dirty rabble on the street selling drugs to other adults whom I sometimes see from the window of my car, not for our upstanding, Serious political leaders. When they commit grievous crimes, we should have an impotent Commission of other upstanding, Serious political leaders politely look at what happened, issue a pretty Report, and then call it a day. That is why George W. Bush feels so free to run around beating his chest and boasting of his war crimes: because Fred Hiatt and his media comrades, masquerading as watchdogs over the politically powerful, have deliberately created the climate where such crimes can not only be committed, but publicly confessed and heralded, with total impunity.

Also some updates on "Don't touch my junk".

One way ...

While I don't condone Charlie Rangel's actions for which he was censured and think he shoulda been out of there years ago (I don't like 'career' politicians in general), I'm just wondering why (not really; I know why) we haven't seen any of these kangaroo courts with a Republican as the main attraction?

WASHINGTON -- One of Congress' most likable veterans, Rep. Charles Rangel, would become the 23rd House member in the nation's history to be censured if the House goes along with a recommendation of its ethics committee.


And is it just me who thinks that an 'ethics panel' made up of politicians wouldn't know ethics if it bit them in the ass?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Over confidence ...

Gaius Publius haz it. If you think the American people, sheep that they are, will stand up to this, aside from a few isolated incidents, it's time to change the color of your glasses:


Look, no cop with confidence, when challenged, says "Please go away." The cop puts you instantly on the ground with a baton across the back of your neck; or you get Tased. Rules of engagement.

These TSA cops, however, do not have confidence, not yet. The issue is new, and they haven't pulled their act fully together. Is what they are doing really sexual assault? No one is sure, yet. Thus, when a big enough light (a celebrity flashlight, in this case) is shining, they back away.


But, as I said the other day, we are a cowardly bunch. We'll take it and ask for more. As long as life here doesn't emulate Soviet Russia (i.e. standing on line for 36-grit toilet paper), ain't nobody in this country gonna stand up, en masse, to anything. Before long (a month or two), the TSA is gonna be another boot-on-the-neck, Gestapo-type police agency just like the local cops.

Dear America,

On 12 September 2001, the terrorists won.



He's Self-DeScrewed! Yay!


Tom DeLay's lawyers began his defense yesterday by helping prove the prosecution's case.

Ah, life is good...

His lawyer's reply:


To aides: "Cash the checks!"

I mighta made that up.

The trial is expected to wrap this week. According to the AP, DeLay could, if convicted, be sentenced to up to life in prison. If acquitted, DeLay says he is planning a return to politics.

Let's go for life in prison. Stay tuned.

For two books and a fetus in a jar?

Worst of Durst

George Bush just broke ground on his $200 million Presidential library. Wow. 200 million. Sounds like a lot of money for a shelf.

Shit, I'll get him one at Ikea for half of that! I'll even put it together for him. He shouldn't have sharp objects like a screwdriver anyway.

Fine Dining


Discord in North Beach over singing-waiter idea

An Italian restaurant in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood is drawing heat for a proposed addition to the menu: Puccini.

Colosseo, on Columbus Avenue, wants to have its waiter, Luca - a highly trained opera singer - serenade customers while they dine.

But some residents - notably those of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers, a politically influential neighborhood group - aren't exactly all ears. Critics say that the permit for Luca's amplified accompaniment, which Colosseo is seeking at the Planning Commission today, could be interpreted to allow less harmonious sounds - such as, say, a Jimi Hendrix tribute concert.

I like Hendrix, but I ain't havin' it with my Sea Otter Piccata!

When I first saw the headline, I thought the waiter was gonna be crooning the menu and thought what a nice step up that would be. The first time the waitress at our local fine-dining establishment rolled up her sleeve to show us the menu tattooed on her beefy forearm, I thought she was gonna hit me!

Also see:

Fleur de burger. Frisco knows no bounds when it comes to haute cuisine!

Headline of the Day

Dutch government seeks to ban tourists from cannabis cafes

So now it's all about tulips and wooden shoes? There went their tourist industry. I betcha they reconsider about a week after they do this nonsensical thing.

All the Devils Are Here

If you're interested in how Wall Street and the banks stole all the money, go watch last night's Charlie Rose.

Authors Joe Nocera and Bethany McLean on their book 'All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis'


Doyle McManus

The home loan modification mess

A mortgage servicing company makes money by charging fees based on the principal amount of the loan; reducing the principal reduces the servicer's income. Foreclosure guarantees reimbursement of a servicer's fees and costs; modification can make reimbursement harder. And when a loan is in default and heading toward foreclosure, a servicer can collect late fees and other charges. "For servicers, the true sweet spot lies in stretching out a delinquency without either a modification or a foreclosure," notes Diane E. Thompson of the National Consumer Law Center.

Banks don't like modifications either because they then have to take a write-down on their balance sheet. They'd rather just take your house away.

At last...

...a Palin visual I can live with:

Video- Fox’s Gretchen Carlson Says Sarah Palin Was “Self Defecating”

And by the way, while I love the outdoors, the ninth circle of hell would be to be stuck out on some glacier with that screechy voice of hers. Her TV show's production people must all be deaf. It would end in a crevasse for sure. I'm not sure if I would just jump in it myself, throw her into it, or grab her in a flying bear hug and throw us both in. Whatever it took.

No shit ...

Nucks is on something (among other things) I always bitch to the Mrs.* about. Seems "Christmas Season" starts earlier every year:

Please lord, make it go away.
Fucking greedy bastards, the advertisements and the decorations showed up before Halloween.
Thanksgiving isn't until next week for God's sake.


I'm waiting for the "Season" to start on 5 July next year.


So, Happy fucking holidays, I know damn good and well this isn't going to be the last time I bitch about this consumer driven horse shit before the first of the year either.

Pass the gravy and shut the fuck up.


Seems like, in the last quarter of the year, the entire world gears up to sell me something/everything.

Is this really what Jesus would have wanted?

*Not that she can do anything about it, nor does she want to hear it every time we walk into a store, but that's how I roll. Heh ...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Friskies? Yum!

If you're interested in what The Cat Food Commission has in store for us, co-chairs Bowles and Simpson were on Charlie Rose last night. Interesting. Not all bad, but it's gonna hurt. There will be bipartisanship at last - the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth on both sides will begin in earnest when their report is released.

The secret life of pot growers

Interesting story in the LATimes.

A woman from Humboldt County writes anonymous, fictionalized blog accounts of skirting the law and, with luck, staying alive.

In the late 1960s and '70s, hippies arrived in the lumber-depleted mountains of southern Humboldt County, searching for an alternative to mainstream America that was natural and honest.

Then came marijuana. At first, the hippies grew it for their own use. As its price rose relentlessly, they became entrepreneurs and outlaws. They proved surprisingly square. Pot money allowed them to create self-reliant villages. They had Little League and quilting bees and volunteer fire departments.

But in this world, people disappeared. There were domestic violence, greed and betrayal. Methamphetamine, machismo and midnight meetings with buyers. And no one said a word.


At least ...

The Brits (most of 'em) have something to be happy about:

Preparations begin for the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton next year after they announced their engagement.


All the best to the happy couple! I always liked the boys.

The cruiser in me wonders if Cunard will have a Queen Katherine within my lifetime.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Today has been cancelled due to lack of interest.


Thanks to limpnjen.

Only a Republican ...

I'm at a loss for words:

Stop me if you heard this one: A conservative GOP representative-elect, who trashed his opponent for his support of "Obamacare" and the "Obama/Pelosi/Hoyer agenda" is indignant that he doesn't get his government-paid health care plan immediately. And the punchline? He's a physician with one of the most prestigious hospitals in the country.


Truth hurts ...

But our pal Comrade Misfit is spot on:


British civilians in the war kept their sanity while Luftwaffe aircraft were raining down bombs. They carried on while V-1s and V-2s came crashing down on them. They didn't crap their pants when the Irish Republican Army began detonating bombs in english cities.

Americans panic over the sight of a tattoo.


I've said it forever; we are a nation of sniveling cowards.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Message to the Tea Party - What took you so long to get angry?

Via email from my old schoolmate Paul in Hawaii:

Message to the Tea Party - What took you so long to get angry?

You didn't get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.

You didn't get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate Energy policy and push us to invade Iraq .

You didn't get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.

You didn't get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.

You didn't get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.

You didn't get mad when we spent over 800 billion (and counting) on said illegal war.

You didn't get mad when Bush borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined.

You didn't get mad when over 10 billion dollars in cash just disappeared in Iraq .

You didn't get mad when you found out we were torturing people.

You didn't get mad when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing policies that shipped 6 million American jobs out of the country.

You didn't get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.

You didn't get mad when we didn't catch Bin Laden.

You didn't get mad when Bush rang up 10 trillion dollars in combined budget and current account deficits.

You didn't get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

You didn't get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans , drown.

You didn't get mad when we gave people who had more money than they could spend, the filthy rich, over a trillion dollars in tax breaks.

You didn't get mad with the worst 8 years of job creations in several decades.

You didn't get mad when Federal regulators looked the other way while banks and Wall Street reaped billions writing faulty mortgages, short-sold the debt and even wagered that the debts would fail.

You didn't get mad when over 200,000 US Citizens lost their lives because they had no health insurance.

You didn't get mad when lack of oversight and regulations from the Bush Administration caused US Citizens to lose 12 trillion dollars in investments, retirement, and home values.

No.....You finally got mad

When a black man was elected President and decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick.

That's about it.

The Puppet Speaks

Think Progress

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the U.S. “must reduce the visibility and intensity of its military operations, especially night raids that fuel anti-American sentiment.” “The time has come to reduce military operations,” said Karzai in an interview with the Washington Post.

Our military must be kicking his Paki/Taliban financial contributors' ass. Dexter Filkins said so on Charlie Rose the other night, too.

He's in a quandary: Our money will dry up when we leave, and leave we surely will. Theirs will too, and they'll kill him. He needs to play both sides until he's got enough for chalets in Switzerland for him and a few hundred of his closest family members.

I'm sure he would like our military to laager up and leave his peeps alone and just make sure the checks keep coming.

To me, Karzai's request is roughly the equivalent of Tokyo Rose, on behalf of the Japanese commander on Iwo Jima, demanding the Marines let up and quit using tactics that work.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

4,500 Passengers on Crippled Cruise Ship Carnival Splendor Trapped for Days Without Food
The all-you-can-eat buffet closes after reports of cannibalism.

Oklahoma Approves Law Banning Sharia Law
Never again will women be stoned to death for driving in the Sooner state.

Stone Age Farmers Domesticated Grain Primarily for Beer, Not Food
What grain was left over was made into pretzels.

And we thought we were improving on that by inventing High Fructose Corn Syrup. Yeesh.

The old double standard ...

"It's OK If You're A Republican"* has a partner that says "it doesn't matter if women enjoy sex, they just have to spread 'em". Digby:


Can you believe this bullshit? You can sell absurd Penis Enlargement Pills on TV and you can advertise Viagra with a bunch of men dancing in the streets proclaiming they are Champions for managing to get it up, but women's sexual pleasure is relegated to"Bad Girl's Club" if it's allowed on TV at all.


Face it girls, in Corporate** America you're either a housekeeper or a baby incubator, or both. Now shut up, clean off your face, and make me my dinner.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Slow on the uptake ...

That would be most Americans:

The number of Americans viewing Sarah Palin unfavorably has hit the highest point since she burst onto the national stage over two years ago, according to a poll out Friday.

The Gallup survey conducted in the days after the Nov. 2 election found more than half of Americans -- 52 percent -- hold a negative opinion of the former Alaska governor. Only 40 percent viewed her favorably, which ties her lowest score from about a year ago.


It took two years to realize a woman with "IDIOT" tattooed on her forehead really is an idiot.

Thanks to Ol' Fez for the link.

Take me through the park ...

One of the great things about living on Long Island, in addition to living so close to NYC and all that coolness, the 300 miles of world class beaches, and the wonderful ethnic diversity, is that we also have great state parks with lakes and trails. It's a big fucking island. Since Ziva got her last round of puppy shots yesterday, we blew the morning with the dogs at one of the most beautiful.

Belmont Lake State Park is a full service park and the headquarters of the Long Island State Park Region. Activities include boating, fishing, picnicking, biking, horseback riding, hiking and cross-country skiing. The park also has playing fields, horseshoe and basketball courts and playgrounds.


Ziva got to meet ducks and geese for the first time. Fortunately, I didn't let her get near enough for it to end like her first experience with Dr. Grove's old cat (the neighborhood cats give Chooch and Ziva, mainly Chooch, a wide berth; Dr. Grove's cat doesn't). Heh ...

Thought for the Day

From a T-shirt:

"Life's journey is not to arrive safely at the grave in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting Holy Crap... What a ride!"

'Tis better to burn out than to rust away.

Always Drink Upstream From The Herd

Cattle Call by Riders In The Sky - from their "Always Drink Upstream From The Herd" album - nice version of the song made popular by Eddy Arnold - I hope you like it

My comment to nipsterstang from whom I gleeped the vid:

Great choice! If you ever get a chance to see these guys in person, do it! They put on a great multi-media show. Caught 'em at The Clark Center in Arroyo Grande CA a few years back. Terrific.

Sunday Homebrew Crazy Redneck Music Video Blogging

The Fixers like ocean voyages. This is more my speed.

"Free as the Wind" by The Country Gentlemen from their 1976 album "Joe's Last Train".

Video is northbound on CA SR 89 from Brockway Rd./Soaring Way to just past I-80.

Thanks to ME!

And how did your Saturday night go?

Better than Antonio Margarito's, I bet. Manny moidered da bum and sent him a l'ospital. Article and photo at LATimes.

By the 11th round, the cut under Margarito's right eye, inspected in his corner after each round, was so bad and Pacquiao was doing such damage that Pacquiao kept glancing at the referee, expecting him to step in and stop it. He even admitted after the fight that he had backed off a bit in the last two rounds because he didn't want to damage the eye any more. The result was a unanimous decision and the WBC junior-middleweight title.

And this from KTLA:

The day after America's midterm election, Manny Pacquiao was talking politics. Understandable, since the boxing sensation has a side career as a congressman in the Philippines.

There's talk that one day he might be president in his homeland. Understandable, too, if only because he's the biggest sports hero the country has ever had, so popular that crime virtually stops there every time he gets in the ring.

But who would have thought that the little fighter who does things no other fighter has done could play a role in helping re-elect the majority leader of the U.S. Senate?

"I think Manny has to get a lot of the credit for his help in electing Sen. (Harry) Reid," Arum said Wednesday.

Holy shit! The Flip kid's a holy terror! Heh.

This is the guy who...

Good rant on The Chimp Who Flung Feces On America by William Rivers Pitt:

I don't know what this George W. Bush Reputation Rehabilitation Tour will actually accomplish in the end. The same 20% of the country that kept his approval ratings from slipping into single digits - said group now being known as the "Tea Party" - will go out and buy his book. They will lap up his mealy-mouthed pabulum like cats into the cream, and some of our "mainstream" commentators will try to shoehorn the idea that he is missed into the national conversation.

He is not. George W. Bush was, and likely will forever be, the single worst American president in the nation's history. To outstrip his remarkable record of failure, criminality and disgrace, a future president will have to personally cause the Earth to crash into the sun.

We are all children of this bastard fool now. The least he can do is stay in the shadows where he belongs, while we toil and sweat to repair what he wrought.

Eight years of that bastard fool. We must never forget.

Who Will Stand Up to the Superrich?

Apparently not our President. 1st and last coupla ¶ of Daddy Frank's column:

IN the aftermath of the Great Democratic Shellacking of 2010, one election night subplot quickly receded into the footnotes: the drubbing received by very wealthy Americans, most of them Republican, who tried to buy Senate seats and governor’s mansions. Americans don’t hate rich people. They admire and often idolize success. But Californians took a hearty dislike to Meg Whitman, who sacrificed $143 million of her eBay fortune — not to mention her undocumented former housekeeper — to a gubernatorial race she lost by double digits. Connecticut voters K.O.’d the World Wrestling groin-kicker, Linda McMahon, and West Virginians did likewise to the limestone-and-steel magnate John Raese, the senatorial hopeful who told an interviewer without apparent irony, “I made my money the old-fashioned way — I inherited it.”

As “Winner-Take-All Politics” documents, America has been busy “building a bridge to the 19th century” — that is, to a new Gilded Age. To dislodge the country from this stagnant rut will require all kinds of effort from Americans in and out of politics. That includes some patriotic selflessness from those at the very top who still might emulate Warren Buffett and the few others in the Forbes 400 who dare say publicly that it’s not in America’s best interests to stack the tax and regulatory decks in their favor.

Many of the countless tasks that need to be addressed to start rebuilding an equitable America are formidable, but surely few, if any, are easier than eliminating a tax break that was destined to expire anyway and that most Americans want to see expire. Two years ago, Obama campaigned on this issue far more strenuously than he did on, say, reforming health care. Now he and what remains of his Congressional caucus are poised to retreat from even this clear-cut battle. You know things are grim when you start wishing that the president might summon his inner Linda McMahon.

Note to Barry: reason and intellect are good things, but nothing would ever get built if the carpenter tried to reason with the nail why it should join two pieces of lumber together. He has to convince it to do the right thing with his hammer.

Congress is easily as smart as a nail.