Saturday, December 4, 2010

How To Identify A Meth Lab

I got this by email from my pal Bev. Swallow your drink and make sure it's all the way down...

What I learned today...

Don't type in 'bottleneck guitar' unless ya got plenty of time! Ya go from this:

Thanks to BluesJammer, Russia.

Ta this:

Thanks to StevenBothwell, UK.

And everything in between!

And it's all good.

Saturday Anarchist Music Blogging

I'm probably way behind on this - "I must hurry and catch up with the others for I am their leader!" - but I never heard of David Rovics (Wiki, YouTube channel) until yesterday when me 'n Mrs. G caught him on KVMR while we were out looking for free toilets. We didn't find any because the town keeps sneakin' new streets in on us but now I know where to go. But I digress...

Anyway, Mr. Rovics sings songs that would get him locked up in a lot of places. Not here. Not yet. Here's a couple:

Thanks to hannicullen.

Thanks to trinity43875.

Many more at YouTube search, including a lefty's wet dream "Halliburton Boardroom Massacre".

Is there any way ...

To get rid of a senator for senility?

At the end of the today's hearings on Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) announced that he will still block the National Defense Authorization Act if it includes a repeal of the policy.

"I will not agree to have this bill go forward," he said. "Because our economy is in the tank." [my em]


Nobody in their right mind, even one staunchly against the bill, could pull that out of their ass and say it with a straight face. Wonder what he's gonna be like when he gets into Strom Thurmond territory?

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Emmylou and Kimmie on a song they co-wrote and featured on the soundtrack of the film Happy, Texas.

Emmylou Harris & Kimmie Rhodes ~ Ordinary Heart

Thanks to 1000Magicians, UK.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Monster Blogging ...

Chooch: "Guess what I'm gonna do with that camera, dad."

Ziva: "Who? What?"

Ya think ...

I know I have my curmudgeon on today, but you'd think, after 9 years of war, the President wouldn't have to sneak in like a thief in the night:

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan — Speaking to nearly 4,000 U.S. troops here after a secret overnight flight from Washington, President Barack Obama on Friday said they were making "important progress" against militants in Afghanistan.

"Today we can be proud that there are fewer areas under Taliban control," he said.


The world's most technically advanced, best trained, and most professional army and we can't beat a bunch of 12th Century goat humpers into submission? So what's winning gonna look like? Guess I shouldn't hold my breath for "MacArthur on the Missouri", eh?

New Lifeform discovered in California

Thanks to YubaNet.

When I heard about this discovery at Mono Lake, I just nodded my head. Mono Lake is the weirdest lake in California, if not the whole world. If something like that is gonna be found anywhere, it's there.

First of all, you would think that 'Mono' has something to do with 'one' or 'singularity' or something like that. It doesn't. It means "eaters of fly larvae" referring to its early inhabitants.

Mono Lake figures prominently in California's forever-and-forever-amen water wars. When I was a kid, the lake came right up to US 395. Not anymore. It's stopped shrinking and is growing in area again, but it took a decades-long lawsuit.

There's just too much info about this place to put it here. Suffice it to say it's an interesting place in an interesting area in my favorite part of my state.

My favorite Mono Lake story is about the bird island. Birds come from everywhere to breed there. As the water level dropped, a land bridge appeared and coyotes could walk to the island for lunch. The birds stopped coming. In their wisdom, the officials built a fence to keep the coyotes from the bird areas, but the birds didn't come back. Somebody finally figured out that the birds couldn't see the fence from the air and figured they were still on the menu and kept on going. Heh.

Quote of the Day

Pravda on Sarah Palin, via Crooks and Liars:

If anything is a threat to the national security of the United States of America, it is this screaming, unrefined oaf with as much class as a searing release of flatulence followed by hysterical giggling at a state banquet.

Much more at both links.

EV News

If you're interested in the future of electric cars, go see this interview on Charlie Rose.

Shai Agassi, CEO of Better Place discusses his plans for an electric car infrastructure

It's well past the planning stage. Interesting stuff.

Busy ...

Trying to get my painting finished but just a thought.

Charlie Rangel said he did what he did not for personal gain but out of ignorance. Tell ya what. Go to any street corner in NYC and wait for a 5 year old kid to come by (30 seconds, minute tops). Stop him and ask him to tell you what the rules for owning a rent controlled apartment are. Betcha dollars to donuts he can recite 'em to you; it's in the DNA at this point.

Yes, Charlie, you are a crook.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Miss TSA 2010 Calendar

Mediaite via email from my truly sick pup of a schoolmate Paul in Hawai'i. Transparently NSFW!


Go read Glenn Greenwald on the WikiLeaks flusterpluck. All the usual suspects figure in. Links aplenty.

[...] ... as usual, for authoritarian minds, those who expose secrets are far more hated than those in power who commit heinous acts using secrecy as their principal weapon.

First we have the group demanding that Julian Assange be murdered without any charges, trial or due process. [...]

The "usual suspects".

The way in which so many political commentators so routinely and casually call for the eradication of human beings without a shred of due process is nothing short of demented. Recall Palin/McCain adviser Michael Goldfarb's recent complaint that the CIA failed to kill Ahmed Ghailani when he was in custody, or Glenn Reynolds' morning demand -- in between sips of coffee -- that North Korea be destroyed with nuclear weapons ("I say nuke ‘em. And not with just a few bombs"). Without exception, all of these people cheered on the attack on Iraq, which resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000 innocent human beings, yet their thirst for slaughter is literally insatiable. After a decade's worth of American invasions, bombings, occupations, checkpoint shootings, drone attacks, assassinations and civilian slaughter, the notion that the U.S. Government can and should murder whomever it wants is more frequent and unrestrained than ever.

Hand these clowns Assange and a Ka-Bar and tell 'em to have at it. I think we will find that they have no stomach for killing and want someone else to do it, like the anti-choice gasbags. A gutless peanut gallery. So what else is new?

Excellent post by Greenwald. Go.

Happy Chanu Hanuk Khanoo fuck it Festival Of Lights

Thanks to TheJennwag.

Bizarro World Headline of the Day

Christian Minister: Muslim Congressman's Support Of 'Homosexuals' Is Part Of Sharia Plot

The stoopid, it burns...

Fixer's Next Cruise?

KY Gov. Beshear Unveils Plans For Creationist Theme Park Complete With Full-Sized Ark

"We will be offering a historical tour of back before Jesus buried the dinosaurs" said Captain F. Flintstone.

I mighta made some of that up.

"TPM Photo Illustration"

Since the "creation" meme is an Old Testament deal, I think every Jew on the planet should show up on opening day. Heh.

Headline of the Day

Nigeria to charge Dick Cheney in $180 million bribery case, issue Interpol arrest warrant

Nice to see, but he'll be dead soon anyway. Unicorn blood is getting scarce..

My fellow Americans ...

This is what happens when nobody wants to pay taxes:

Newark Mayor Cory Booker began firing 15 percent of his police department today, illustrating the actions that cities in the second-wealthiest U.S. state are being forced to take to confront lower aid and tax revenue.


You want cops to protect your home, firefighters to put it out if it catches fire, and FEMA to rebuild it if it floods, right? Who the fuck do you think is gonna pay for it?

Heh ... that idiot Curtis Sliwa and his Guardian Angels took to Newark streets 2 nights ago to supposedly help protect the neighborhoods thanks to the police layoffs and one of them got mugged. Might wanna raise taxes and rehire those cops before the rest of your tax base moves out to safer climes.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I was wondering ...

What it would take to make the Catholic League's resident blowhard Bill Donohue crawl back out from under a rock just before Christmas. It is Jihad, I tell you.

In a holiday season driven by Black Friday deals, ostentatious house lighting and stories about jolly men with tiny helpers and flying reindeer, it's sometimes easy to forget that Christmas actually has something to do with Jesus. But a well-placed billboard from American Atheists is arguing that the story of Jesus's birth is just as fantastical as a story of a fat man in a red suit shimmying down a chimney. The billboard at the entrance of the Lincoln Tunnel in New Jersey reads, "You KNOW it's a Myth / This Season, Celebrate REASON!" And wouldn't you know it, it's making some people pretty angry.


Of course, Donohue has nothing bad to say about Athiests, as long as they just keep their mouths shut.


American Atheists president David Silverman found the irony in the Catholic League's new billboard. He told, “They stole our scene and copied what we’re doing, and that’s fine. Once again, the Catholic Church is co-opting something that isn’t theirs, just like they did to Christmas. It’s a great analogy, and I love it.” Catholic League president Bill Donohue insists he has nothing against atheists, but "I have something against militant, in-your-face atheists that use our season to make their statements." Unlike equally in-your-face Catholics that claim the season is theirs and theirs alone. And considering we've actually seen this billboard in New Jersey, perhaps it's time to give the atheists a fair shot at ad space. [my em]


Was a time, the Catholics sent troops to kill anybody, or make life really miserable for those, who spoke against the Church. I guess they're mellowing. Seems like every 3 months though, ol' Donohue needs something to justify his existence. The gift that keeps on giving. 'Tis the season!

Happy Holidays!

A good Hanukkah to all our Jewish friends.


Robert Reich has so much good shit on his blog that I can't begin to pick just one thing to post. Bookmark him and visit often.

Rusty Trombone

El Rude-o explains a few things I think I was better off being ignorant of. And then...

Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Have Any Excuses Anymore

Of course, Republicans in the Senate are going to block any repeal of DADT. Their putrid lie that they were just waiting for the Pentagon report won't make a goddamn bit of difference. We can demonstrate hypocrisy after hypocrisy, and it won't change a thing. Here's Alabama's Jeff Sessions in September on filibustering a DADT repeal: "The Senate’s consideration of a repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law is premature because it preempts the findings of our commanders on an important military policy...Repealing the policy now, before the Pentagon's study is complete, sends the message that election-year politics are more important than military readiness." Let's all hold our breath to see if Sessions says that he'll vote to allow debate now. They're already saying that the report didn't report on the right issues. They're saying that the bigots in the military might leave. They're saying anything they can to avoid pissing off the yahoos.

Because the truth of the matter is what conservatives fear more than anything is that society stops giving a fuck about denying gays and lesbians equality. Because if a good chunk of that 25-30% suddenly realizes that queers are people, too, and are worthy of living lives without getting beaten and mocked, then that might cause them to question other things that they've been force-fed their whole lives, like religion and Limbaugh. Or, at the very least, one of the right's fundraising and vote-getting foundations will be swept away.

And, despite how the Pentagon report tries to minimize it, President Harry Truman did issue an executive order in 1948 that integrated the military. What he also did was order a committee to be established to make it happen, not to study the effects of what if maybe perhaps please some nice Senators would allow it if we all beg and plead and offer to blow them on demand. Again, this was when over 60% of whites in the military opposed integration. In other words, he said, in essence, "If you can't stand the heat, go fuck yourself." Alas, such leadership does not exist in this cowardly age.

Sad but true.

It's now or never


Republicans Threaten To Block All Dem Initiatives

Goddammit Obama, the handwriting on the wall is plain as day, the size of a fuckin' billboard, and not exactly in code.

"Bipartisanship" is a myth and "reaching out" to the Repugs means doing stuff their way. Get tough with these bastards quick or you're through. Period.



GOP continues to make fool out of Obama

I can see the Obama braintrust deliberating right now -- if only they unilaterally capitulate on five, maybe six other GOP agenda items, maybe then Republicans might be nice enough to negotiate in good faith!

I mean, nothing projects strength and resolve more than conceding the game before the teams have even taken the field. Nobody could've predicted that Republicans would respond this way.

Nobody. Only everybody.

Obama, it's over. We know you tried but it didn't - and won't - work. Punch that fuckin' bully in the nose now, or at least hit him in the back of the head with a 2x4 or you're a pussy and deserve whatever you get. You're supposed to be frontin' us and we don't deserve it but we'll get it too, damn you.

Headline of the Day

C-Span mic catches US Senator’s candor: The Senate ‘is all rigged’

Duh. He's a FNG. He's catchin' on.

Five Questions the Mainstream Media Won't Ask About the Wikileaks Release

Michael Moore

2. Do the King of Saudi Arabia and Glenn Beck share a speechwriter with Saddam Hussein?

According to the cables, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, the world's 5th worst dictator, has repeatedly urged the U.S. to attack Iran in order "to cut off the head of the snake." Saddam Hussein used to refer to the Iranian government as "Khomeyniite snakes." And Glenn Beck has said we need to "pop the head of the snake in Iran."

Is this snake fixation a strange coincidence? Or have Abdullah and Glenn Beck hired the same guy who used to write Saddam's stuff? If so, this person needs to stop recycling their material and come up with something fresher.

4. Are Iranians a completely different species from Americans?

A cable from 1979 makes a good case that Iranians are so different from us here in the U.S. of A. that they maybe shouldn't even be classified as people. For instance:

"...the single dominant aspect of the Persian psyche is an overriding egoism...The practical effect of it is an almost total Persian preoccupation with self and leaves little room for understanding points of view other than one's own."

You see? As humble Americans, who spend every second of every day trying our best to look at things from other people's points of view, we're so completely different we'll probably never be able to comprehend the Persian Mind.

Heh. More like the Iranians have their heads up their asses just like us.

5. When did the U.S. government decide to buy keyboards that WEREN'T ALL UPPER CASE?


THAT IS ALL. (Oh, and can we just bomb Iran and get it over with? I'm tired of the tease! We've already crapped up Iraq and Afghanistan -- what about the country located between them? They need a good ol' American... shellacking.)

Shellack's too messy and takes too long to dry. I suggest a coupla coats o' good ol' marine spar varnish...

How to talk trash with Almighty God

If it's Wednesday it must be Morford.

What are you gonna do, cause a famine? Melt the ice caps? Induce global pandemics, war and rape and disease, sadness and poverty and earthquakes? What you got, oak blight? Bedbugs? Jersey Shore?

Truth is, billions of flawed bipeds have been languishing under a million-year worry that if we jump out of line, blaspheme to your holy face or even draw a cute n' bearded cartoon of one version of you that you'll ... well, who the hell knows what? Flood the oceans with blood? Snap Italy like a twig? Make all women wear giant potato sacks and never have sex? Explain what "brimstone" is? As if.

Let's just say it outright: Big deal. Enough of you. Enough of this. Something's gotta give, you know? It's high time we as a generally rashy, hugely confused but still relatively high-functioning mammal spoke some hard truth to divine Christian/Muslim/Jewish power. Because the fact is, you ain't all that. Not anymore, anyway. What, you got some lightning for me right now? Locusts? Sure you do.

I had a friend in the Marine Corps who would go outside in thunderstorms in North Carolina and holler heavenwards in a loud voice whilst making an 'X' on his chest with his finger, "Hey God, you ain't got the balls to get me!". Once right after he did that lightning struck about fifty feet away. He just smiled and looked up, "And ya couldn't hit a bull in the ass with a bass fiddle either!". Heh.

Oh, I know the risks of speaking up. They say you are not to be mocked. They say the sinners and the blasphemers, the perverts and the kinkmonkeys will get theirs in the end, a big day of atonement in the sky full of hacksaws, screaming and the new KeSha CD piped in like the devil's Muzak.

Of course, those who believe in that also believe in pregnant virgins, crimson demons and fat babies with wings. These lost souls tend to take it all embarrassingly literally, like a five-year-old hearing Peter Pan for the first time. Hey, mythology is fun, right up until it's dangerous and bloody and rapes your livestock during the Crusades.

It's the people who believe that shit that make it dangerous to read the riot act to the nonexistent product of fear and ignorance and superstition. Or the casual observer who thinks he's talking to himself and gets him committed.

Unless ... wait, unless we've been going about this God thing all wrong? Unless you're actually not some sort of scowling robe-clad deity hanging out right there in the end zone, the political rally, the mosque or temple or shrine, but are rather this sort of indefinable hum and thrust and pulse, constant and forever, emanating from and penetrating into everything at all times everywhere? Because that would be weird.

Just as weird as the God shit. A lot less harmful though.

I've had it ...

With this guy. I realize Obama ain't a flaming Lib. I realize that his definition of a "progressive agenda" is far different than mine. But Jesus H. Christ, after 2 years of having Republicans piss on him and tell him it's raining, you'd think he'd have enough of their bullshit, especially since he, over the next 2 years, will probably face impeachment at their hands.

A political summit between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders Tuesday yielded further talks on how to extend Bush-era tax breaks scheduled to expire at the end of the year, as well as an acknowledgement from Obama that he needs to reach out more to Republicans. [my em]


I'm sorry, I want a President who stands up for himself, his administration, and those of us who voted for him. I don't need one who bargains away most of his position before he even begins negotiations, or one who gets abused for 2 years and then comes out and says he hasn't been attentive enough to Republican needs.

Fuck him.

Can we put Howard Dean up against him in a primary in '12? I want somebody with a set of balls and principle, not a meek, spineless asshole who thinks capitulation to bullies is the way to win.

No wonder ...

The dogs were nuts yesterday morning:


The earthquake was off the Long Island coast but its tremors were felt in western Nassau County and in the East End.

The epicenter was 79 miles south-southeast of Southampton at a depth of more than 4 miles below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean and registered 3.9 on the Richter Scale at 10:45 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey.


I didn't feel a thing but, after having dogs for 40 years, I know they have some sort of intuition about these things.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Please pardon the light blogging

We had five days of snow. I've got about 3 feet of the stuff and I've been clearing it every day. We've also had some sub-zero weather so I've been picking and choosing my times to do it. The noon-to-2PM window is about as good as it's gonna get, temperature-wise.

I've been using my new Honda snowblower, along with an assortment of snow removal tools and 5, count 'em 5, pairs of gloves. My fingers get cold. Mrs. G dug me out a pair of snow mitts she made for me from a kit 30 years ago and they work great for the snowblower but not much else. Now my toes get cold. Ya can't win...

A word about my snowblower. Damn, can that thing clear snow! It throws it so far I've had to be careful not to fill my neighbor's driveway. Heh. In motorcycle terms, the thing's like going from a 250cc to a 40-inch Triumph. Goddam, this thing's got power! Goddam, this is fun! Well, almost. I mentioned to Mrs. G that I wished I'd got one of these sixteen years ago when I got the one that just died, that I'd been working unnecessarily hard all these years. She brought me back to earth by reminding me we couldn't afford a Honda back then, that we were lucky to get the one we got to replace the even less expensive one that had just blown up. As in rod-through-the-block blew up. Serendipitously my bank account could take this hit about the time I think I need to expend a little less effort. Older and richer. Sigh.

By the way, I have always called 'em 'snowthrowers' because they throw the snow. They fling it, they don't blow it. Honda calls it a 'snowblower' so now I will too. Who can argue with the biggest engineering company in the world? Ya can't win...

10 Ways 'Airplane!' Predicted The Current TSA Fiasco

In some instances, the invasive pat downs leave little to nothing to the imagination. You know, in the name of national security.

Photo gallery at HuffPo. Go.

The United States of Fear

Tomgram, links at site.

We live, it seems, in a national security “homeland” of little angry bureaucrats who couldn’t be happier to define what “safety” means for you and big self-satisfied officials who can duck the application of those safety methods. Your government can now come up with any wacky solution to American “security” and you’ll pay the price. One guy brings a failed shoe bomb on an airplane, and you’re suddenly in your socks. Word has it that bombs can be mixed from liquids in airplane bathrooms, and there go your bottled drinks. A youthful idiot flies toward Detroit with an ill-constructed bomb in his underwear, and suddenly they’re taking naked scans of you or threatening to grope your junk.

So think of it as an irony that, when George W. Bush and his cronies decided to sally forth and smite the Greater Middle East, they exulted that they were finally “taking the gloves off.” And so they were: aggressive war, torture, abuse, secret imprisonment, souped-up surveillance, slaughter, drone wars, there was no end to it. When those gloves came off, other people suffered first. But wasn’t it predictable -- since unsuccessful wars have a nasty habit of coming home -- that, in the end, other things would come off, and sooner or later they would be on you: your hat, your shoes, your belt, your clothes, and of course, your job, your world?

And don’t for a second think that it’s going to end here. What happens when the first terrorist with a suppository bomb is found aboard one of our planes? After all, such weapons already exist. In the meantime, the imposition of more draconian safety and security methods is, of course, being considered for buses, trains, and boats. Can trucks, taxis, cars, and bikes be far behind? After all, once begun, there can, by definition, be no end to the search for perfect security.

You must have a friend who’s extremely critical of everyone else but utterly opaque when it comes to himself. Well, that’s this country, too.

Here’s a singular fact to absorb: we now know that a bunch of Yemeni al-Qaeda adherents have a far better hit on just who we are, psychologically speaking, and what makes us tick than we do. Imagine that. They have a more accurate profile of us than our leading intelligence profilers undoubtedly do of them.

Recently, they released an online magazine laying out just how much the two U.S.-bound cargo-bay bombs that caused panic cost them: a mere $4,200 and the efforts of “less than six brothers” over three months. They even gave their plot a name, Operation Hemorrhage (and what they imagined hemorrhaging, it seems, was not American blood, but treasure).

Now, they're laughing at us for claiming the operation failed because -- thanks reportedly to a tip from Saudi intelligence -- those bombs didn’t go off. “This supposedly ‘foiled plot,’” they wrote, “will without a doubt cost America and other Western countries billions of dollars in new security measures. That is what we call leverage.”

It’s a formula for leaving you naked in airports, while increasing the oppressive power of the state. And here’s the dirty, little, distinctly Orwellian secret: the national security state can’t do without those Yemeni terrorists (and vice versa), as well as our homegrown variety. All of them profit from a world of war. You don’t -- and on that score, what happens in an airport line should be the least of your worries.

The national security state is eager to cop a feel. As long as Americans don’t grasp the connections between our war state and our “safety,” things will only get worse and, in the end, our world will genuinely be in danger.

Yes, there's a terrorist threat. Intelligenc and law enforcement are constantly working on it, but nooooo, it has to get a lot more up close and personal. We're all terror suspects in 'airport kabuki theater'.

A coupla goat humpers send a package with "Phony Bomb Inside" printed on it and laugh their asses off when we spend $Billions$ to counter it and humiliate our own citizens under threat of law. Big bad fearless cowboy macho America looks under Grandma's dress out of fear*. The terrorists have won.

*Insert yer own joke about Repugs being deathly afraid of what Grandma might be packin'. Heh.

Where I been ...

My Dingo Fence project turned into a bedroom/office redo. Hopefully I'll have this shit done by the weekend.

Monday, November 29, 2010

You might be a Republican if…

Not near as funny as "You might be a redneck if...", but then nothing about Repugs is funny except their sex lives. Those are funny and pathetic.

Free Range Longmont

1. You believe George W. Bush’s redistribution of middle-class tax cuts to the top 1% of tax-payers was good for America, but Obama’s plan to return it to the middle class is ‘socialism.’

5. You think trial lawyers are harmful to America, yet you support prosecuting some guy in Muncie Indiana who burned his 99¢ American flag that was made in China by forced child labor.

6. You’re all for the ‘rule of law’ when it’s applied to Bill Clinton for lying about his infidelity, but not for prosecuting Karl Rove and Scooter Libby for committing treason.

50. You think this list is mean-spirited and biased, and even though you privately acknowledge to yourself that it’s all true, you believe the Democrats are just as bad. Here’s a bulletin: Nobody has ever been this bad.

Amen, brother.

The Top 5 Most Shocking Things About The Wikileaks

TPM, many links.

1. Nearly every country in the Middle East wants us to attack Iran.

They want us to do it. If you want Iran invaded, do it yourselves, assholes. Apparently they don't want their images tarnished - you know, human rights and stuff - and the U.S. is already The Great Satan.

Or maybe they don't want to get all their billions of dollars worth of weapons that we sold them dirty. Or maybe those weapons' best use is domestic, oppressing their own people.

According to Le Monde (in translation), a cable relayed to Washington a conversation between the emir of Qatar and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) last February: "Based on over 30 years of experience with the Iranians, the emir concluded the meeting by saying that we shouldn't believe but one word in a hundred that the Iranians say." The prime minister of Qatar told Kerry later that trip that Ahmadinejad told him: "we beat the Americans in Iraq, the final battle will be in Iran."

The first half of that last sentence is absolutely correct. The other half may be as well, but hopefully they'll do it among themselves without our presence. And lose.

5. U.S. foreign policy relies heavily on blog-ready gossip items.

To get into the U.S. Foreign Service (and thus write diplomatic cables), applicants are required to pass an hours-long, highly competitive written examination, followed by an even more competitive oral examination and then go through months of intensive training. Then, it appears, they are dispatched to foreign embassies to write gossip about high level officials.

A sample? Libyan President Muammar al-Qadhafi gets Botox and travels constantly with a "voluptuous blonde" Ukrainian nurse named Galyna Kolotnytska. Azerbaijani First Lady Mehriban Alijewa has had so many facelifts that she resembles her own daughter from a distance -- but you can tell the difference close-up because she can't really move her face. A British Labour minister is quite the player (and is having marital problems) and might be bipolar. Russia's Vladimir Putin and Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi might have more in common than their reported extramarital shenanigans -- they could well be in business together, too. Russian President Dmitri Medved's wife, Svetlana, reportedly keeps a blacklist of staffers she deems insufficiently committed to her husband. Oh, and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle is basically considered an idiot who knows little about foreign policy, but only the Germans really care about that.

Your tax dollars at work.

I'd rather my tax dollars went for filling potholes. Let The Enquirer do that other shit. Yeesh.


The Guardian, UK

The job of the media is not to protect the powerful from embarrassment

Quite the opposite.

Some stars shine through the banality such as the heroic envoy in Islamabad, Anne Patterson. She pleads that Washington's whole policy is counterproductive: it "risks destabilising the Pakistani state, alienating both the civilian government and the military leadership, and provoking a broader governance crisis without finally achieving the goal". Nor is any amount of money going to bribe the Taliban to our side. Patterson's cables are like missives from the Titanic as it already heads for the bottom.

The money‑wasting is staggering. Aid payments are never followed, never audited, never evaluated. The impression is of the world's superpower roaming helpless in a world in which nobody behaves as bidden. Iran, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, the United Nations, are all perpetually off script. Washington reacts like a wounded bear, its instincts imperial but its power projection unproductive.

America's foreign policy is revealed as a slave to rightwing drift, terrified of a bomb exploding abroad or of a pro-Israeli congressman at home. If the cables tell of the progress to war over Iran or Pakistan or Gaza or Yemen, their revelation might help debate the inanity of policies which, as Patterson says, seem to be leading in just that direction. Perhaps we can now see how catastrophe unfolds when there is time to avert it, rather than having to await a Chilcot report after the event. If that is not in the public's interest, I fail to see what is.

The public's interest? What a quaint concept! What does that have to do with anything?

Much more.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Tom DeLay Convicted of Money Laundering
And murdering the tango.

DHS to End Color-Coded Terror Alert System
Reverting to simpler system of “All Clear” or “Duck and Cover.”

Corporate Profits Highest on Record Last Quarter
CEOs modestly share credit with their “hardworking employees” back in China.

Archaeologists Find Cache of Bronze Age Weapons in England
Justifying Roman invasion of 43 AD.

I gotta take a ...

Wikileak along with a document dump.

I'm conflicted over this Wikileak thing:

The US has strongly criticised the release by the website Wikileaks of thousands of extracts from US diplomatic messages.

Among the revelations is a report Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah urged the US to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities.

The founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, said the US authorities were afraid of being held to account.


As an ex-GI, my sphincter is seriously torqued, thinking some of this information could be used to put our troops in more danger than necessary. Part of me wants this guy Assange and his peeps hung by the balls.

The other says, thanks to the ineptitude and coopting of our news media, that these guys are doing the 'watchdog' job the media has abdicated (airing the dirty doings in the light of day). After all the lies and distortions from the Bush and, yes, now the Obama administrations, someone has to get the truth out there.

It's fucked up that it has to be done this way but, until we get real news as opposed to the crap that goes through the 'corporate filter', until we get politicians who stand up to their corporate patrons, let them leak away. Maybe future administrations might think twice about getting us into 'wars of convenience' if they know their secret machinations might reach the light of day, or end up being evidence at their trials.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Crazy Redneck Music Blogging

Old & In The Way was a bluegrass super group of the 70's (1973-1974)that included Jerry Garcia, Peter Rowan, Vassar Clements and David Grisman. This reunion concert had Herb Pedersen replacing the late Jerry Garcia (banjo) and Bryn Bright on the bass. The reunion concert released the "Old and In The Gray" CD in 2002.

These guys managed to stretch this to 9 minutes. They're old. Maybe they just forgot...

Memorable lines:

We raped and killed we stole your land
We rule with guns and knives
Add whiskey to your warriors
While we stole away your wives
Said Running Elk what's done is done you white men rule this land
So lay the cards face up and play your last broken hearted hand

When you're dealing cards with death the joker's wild the ace is high

Old & In The Way Reunion ~ "Land of the Navajo"

Thanks to AcousticBoxOffice.

Quote of the Day

Worst of Durst

Some think North Korea attacked South Korea as Kim Jung Un's right of passage. Kind of like what happened with Iraq and the Bushes.

Still the Best Congress Money Can Buy

Daddy Frank on money in politics.

If this is the best Congress money can buy, we're screwed.

The previous transient scapegoat was the Democrats. They were punished in yet another “wave” election — our third in a row — where voters threw Washington’s bums out. But most of the public remains bummed out nonetheless. In late October, the NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll found that only 31 percent of respondents believed that America was on the right track. When the survey asked the same question after the shellacking, the percent of optimists jumped to ... 32. Regardless of party or politics, there’s a sense a broken country can’t be fixed. Few have faith that even “wave” elections are game-changers anymore.

I think this last one was. A tsunami of stoopid.

Wall Street is already celebrating the approach of bonus season by partying like it’s 2007. In The Times’s account of this return to conspicuous consumption, we learned of a Morgan Stanley trader, since fired for unspecified reasons, who went to costly ends to try to hire a dwarf for a Miami bachelor party prank that would require the dwarf to be handcuffed to the bachelor. If this were a metaphor — if only! — Wall Street would be the bachelor, and America the dwarf, involuntarily chained to its master’s hedonistic revels and fiscal recklessness with no prospect for escape.

America needs a rally — or, better still, a leader or two or three — to restore not just honor or sanity to its citizens but governance that’s not auctioned off to the highest bidder. When it was reported just days before our election that Iran was protecting its political interests in Afghanistan’s presidential palace by giving bags of money to Hamid Karzai’s closest aide, Americans could hardly bring themselves to be outraged. At least with Karzai’s government, unlike our own, we at 41¢ on the dollar, and spend money to the benefit of corporations the world ovecould know for certain whose cash was in the bag.

Seeing as how our government borrows 41¢ of every dollar it spends from everywhere to pay for everything, and the corporations we buy stuff from have interests in Iran, some of it is ours.