Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday Crazy Redneck Music Blogging

This goes out as a cautionary vision of what most certainly would happen to all of us dirty ol' married men who feel the way I do about Kathy Griffin should we lose our minds and think we're single again. Heh.

Joey & Rory ~ Cheater, Cheater

Thanks to emimusic.

Bones found on island might be Amelia Earhart's

I've had my ear glued to the radio over this one since 'thirty-seven, bunkie. One of the fascinating mysteries of the 20th century.

"There's no guarantee," said Ric Gillespie, director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, a group of aviation enthusiasts in Delaware that found the pieces of bone this year while on an expedition to Nikumaroro Island, about 1,800 miles south of Hawaii.

"You only have to say you have a bone that may be human and may be linked to Earhart and people get excited. But it is true that, if they can get DNA, and if they can match it to Amelia Earhart's DNA, that's pretty good."

It could be months before scientists know for sure — and it could turn out the bones are from a turtle. [...]

Build me up and then dump me. The story of my life. Sigh.

I watched a show the other night on this same TIGHAR expedition. They did an experiment with a pig carcass to find out how long it would take the land crabs to consume the meat and how far the bones would get dispersed. Not long and pretty far. Them land crabs'll have yer meat gone before ya know yer dead and take some home with 'em.

Here's how I prefer to think of her:

Thanks to prem73.

Headline of the Day

Up To 10 Feet Of Snow Expected In Sierra

Just another day in paradise. Sigh.


Sand and Sandbags are available for residents of Nevada County.

I live at 6000' of altitude on the side of a hill a half mile and 200 feet above the Truckee River. I will deploy sandbags if I have to and if I do, all y'all from Lawn Guyland to Iowa to Napa will already be floating. Row on over fer coffee.

The Hammer Gets Nailed

Jim Hightower

For once, I actually agree with something that with Tom DeLay said. The former Republican leader of Congress recently declared in his most somber tone, "The criminalization of politics undermines our very system." Wow, so true, Tommy.

Of course, what I mean by the "criminalization of politics" is very different than what he means. DeLay was bemoaning the stunning fact that a Texas jury had just convicted him on two felony counts of money laundering. He wailed that he was a victim of a political vendetta by Texas Democrats, calling his prosecution "an abuse of power."

Yes, Tom, politics has been criminalized. It's been turned into a criminal enterprise funded by corporations for corporations. Reprobate politicos like you have turned the People's House into a shameful pay-to-play parlor.

DeLay was so good at hitting up corporate lobbyists for money, then pounding their wish list into law, that he was nicknamed "The Hammer." But now, The Hammer's been nailed--not by Democrats, but by a jury of 12 common citizens, whom his own hot-shot lawyers helped select. These honest people diligently sifted through reams of evidence and ultimately saw him for what he is: a felon.

A small yet satisfying victory.

Everything else ...

Is just "fooling around":

In a late afternoon Senate floor verbal dustup Friday, Sen. Charles Schumer lambasted Sen. John McCain for characterizing time spent debating the Zadroga 9/11 health bill as "fooling around."

Congressional Democrats were working to secure Senate ratification of a new arms control treaty before the holiday break when Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) asked if there could be a "time agreement" on the debate, as it was getting late.

McCain (R-Ariz.) dismissed the idea, saying that, "after all the fooling around that we've been doing on the DREAM act, on New York City, on all of these other issues that [have] taken up our time, we will not have a time agreement . . . until all members on this [the Republican] side have had an opportunity to express their views." [my em]


So long as their rich patrons have their tax breaks, nothing else matters. They don't care about anyone and the only useful person is a "productive" one. If you're injured or dead, can't carry a rifle or work like a dog for a multinational corporation, you ain't worth shit to the Republicans. Too bad more regular folks don't get it.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

"Later" 2008.

Emmylou Harris ~ How She Could Sing The Wildwood Flower
Thanks to thecatkeaton, Canada.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thought for the Day on DADT

Much has been made lately by the dinosaurs that repealing DADT would be detrimental to "combat efficiency". Got me ta thinkin'... (uh-oh!)

Combat generally takes place out in the field and far from the comforts of a nice, civilized (cough) base.

There's no sex in the field, and as the Wise Old Gunny said, "When I'm home, my wife is my right hand. In the field, my right hand is my wife." You can't tell if a troop is gay or straight by watching him jack off.

Unless you can see the picture he's holding up in his other hand, and if you're watching this private act that closely, you're the perv.

Everything's relative...

This is Kathy Griffin, whom I adore even though I'm not gay, showing off her "starvation body" to the troops. I think she looks positively delectable for young stuff of merely 50 years. Makes the ol' sap rise and all that.

Check out the look on the trooper's face. This is not the face of a young man holding a scantily-clad pretty redhead in his arms. It's the face of a Boy Scout helping a little old lady across the street. Heh.

House Passes Legislation to Strengthen Post-9/11 G.I. Bill

Imperial Valley News

S. 3447 (Akaka) builds on the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, which was enacted in June 2008 and provides education benefits for veterans at World War II levels, recognizes the sacrifice of our 1.8 million Reserve and National Guard troops by better aligning their educational benefits with their length of service, and also allows unused education benefits to be transferred to spouses and children. S. 3447 seeks to rectify many of the ongoing technical concerns that were highlighted after passage of the bill. First, the bill would address a major shortfall expressed by the veterans’ community by those who would prefer to attend a non-college degree program that would meet their professional goals. This bill seeks to expand on the eligible programs of education to include apprenticeship and on-the job training, in addition to flight training and non-college degree programs of education. This legislation would also provide veterans with a housing stipend when taking courses strictly through long distance learning and would allow student veterans to use their education benefits for pay for national tests, and licensure and certification tests. Finally, this bill seeks to recognize a families’ role of caring for an injured veteran by extending the period that a family member can use his or her education benefits.

This is good. It cleaned up some stuff from the 2008 Bill that needed fixing.

I went to The College of Motersickle Knowledge with my Vietnam-era G.I. Bill benefits. It wasn't much, just a check every month, but it helped. Bought my first house with a government-backed loan from the Bill as well. Every little bit helps.

S. 3860 (McCaskill) addresses recent reports which identified a number of troubling problems at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC). The bill requires reports to Congress on the management of ANC, including gravesite discrepancies, the management and oversight of contracts, and the implementation of recent Army directives. This comprehensive survey will further investigate reported burial errors, determine the full scope of the problem, and provide the first step to a concrete solution.

Heads should roll over that one.

California adopts cap-and-trade program


The California Air Resources Board has approved the creation of the nation's first broad-based program to put a cap on greenhouse gas emissions and to begin charging large emitters for the excess carbon dioxide they put in the air.

After an all-day meeting on Thursday, the board voted 9-1 for the proposal, which will take effect in 2012 and means California is once again moving forward with climate-change policy while efforts on the national level have stopped.

"The comment 'the world is watching' is sometimes an idle comment. It's not idle this afternoon," said Air Resources Board member Ronald Loveridge.

Cool! We're a buncha exhibitionists out here anyway. We do it with the shades up!

Cap-and-trade will be remembered as a plan introduced by the Repugs which they were for before they were against because Obama and the Dems wanted it and which the Repugs now lie about.

This part is of local interest to me:

Several people and environmental organizations also called for changes in the offset program involving forests, arguing that the rule as written could encourage clear-cutting of forests on land that might be eligible for tree-planting credits, leaving swaths of forests with trees of the same age, which ultimately would be harmful.

I don't think that's much of a problem. I live in the middle of a pine forest where all the trees for fifty miles around are about the same height. All second growth. The area was clear-cut in the 1860s and '70s for railroad ties and Deidesheimer Square Sets to shore up the mines in Virginia City. Things in the forest seem to be OK with it. So far.

Just as an aside, we would usually think mines are maybe a little ways out of town. Not in Virginia City. They're right on, or under the main street. When yer havin' a beer in the Bucket of Blood or enjoying the Julia C. Bulette Red Light Museum, there's a coupla thousand feet of nothing but rotting timbers underneath you. In my heart of hearts I just know there's one that's going to snap one of these days and they can go change the elevation on the city limits sign.

I'm a little amazed that a drunken, spirited Saturday night buck dance or Klingon-like dalliance with one of Julia's girls by Hoss Cartwright didn't do it already. Heh.

Dear Santa...

I hope he gets mine. I wrote it on 80-grit sandpaper.

Thanks to Fyaah.

Headline of the Day

Extended exposure to Fox News makes voters stupid, university study finds

Duh. They needed a study for that? An "easy A" course fer sure.

You can't build a wall high enough...

El Paso Times

A Mexican drone crashed in El Paso's Lower Valley, sparking a federal investigation and raising questions about why the aircraft was in U.S. airspace.

Approximately twelve passengers were seen fleeing north after the crash and from the speed of their departure are believed to be uninjured.

I mighta made some of that up...

Friday Monster Blogging

Woke 'em out of their late morning nap. Heh ...


I'll never get done ...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cattle Dogs ...

funny dog pictures-Well I must say, I'm impressed Fred, you're looking great, that groomer is genius!
see more dog and puppy pictures

My pal Kathy (our dogs' breeder) turned me on to this Cheezburger post. Her quote: "... I think most cowdogs would be a LOT less merciful than these two in mocking the poodle ..." No shit. The poodle would have a complex after my two were done with him. Heh ...

Tea Party Day

Today is the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party of 1773 in which colonists threw a boatload of tea into Boston Harbor to protest taxation without representation.

Those Tea Partiers are spinning in their graves so fast they could generate electricity over the stupid things today's teabaggers are doing in their name.

Assembly ...

I posted this about a year ago when I was working on the wife's office and the time was rife for me to start getting "Christmas gift assembly" calls. It's that time again. Spare the "guy with skills" in your life extra aggravation this holiday season. Heh ...

* Open the box and find the directions first before you unpack any of the parts. Read them thoroughly, twice if you have to.

* Next, find the bag(s) or card with the hardware (screws, bolts, brackets) and compare them to the parts list in the directions (in both size and quantity - most manufacturers give "actual size" pictures of what things look like). If anything's not there, or you're not sure about something, now is the time to go to the website or call the toll-free number for help given in the directions (men, again, do not be ashamed to do this), not when whatever you're working on is half assembled.

* Locate all the major parts, unwrap them and lay them out in order of use (again, consult the directions).

* Use the now-empty box as a garbage can. As soon as you unpack something, toss the wrapping materials directly in there. Why? Because it's frustrating when little shit gets caught up or hidden by the wrappers and you can't find it when you need it. Makes it easier to throw the crap away too.

* Follow the directions step by step, using the method, technique, and parts they specify. Nobody knows how to put it together better than the folks who made it.

* And lastly, once the assembly is complete, go through everything again to make sure there's nothing you missed. Also, take the directions and file them somewhere. You might have to disassemble it someday and put it back together again. I have a folder in my file cabinet with every set of directions for everything we have.

If all else fails, get a BFH or a stiff drink; whatever works for you.

Kyl and DeMint: Baby Jesus Doesn't Want Us to Pass the START Treaty Right Now

The Rude One on the latest Repug bullshit. A good read:

"Ye shall know them by their fruits," motherfucker, says Jesus. And, goddamn, if that Middle Eastern Jew wasn't right in Matthew 7:16. In fact, a good bit of Book 7 of Matthew (King James, man, always King James) ought to be read to the alleged righteous Christians, Senators Jon "Looks Like W.C. Fields and Broderick Crawford Had a Big, Ugly Baby" Kyl and Jim "I Whip My Balls Bloody Every Night" DeMint. Whining like little bitches who were denied their evening Milk Bone, Kyl and DeMint announced that they want their Christmas vacation and they don't give a fuck about any damn reduction of weapons of mass destruction. That's right: no START treaty, no consideration of real and actual peace on Earth unless they get to sing songs about "Peace on Earth."

Now, the Rude Pundit's no biblical scholar, but he knows some basic shit. For instance, Jesus was pretty clear on helping people in poverty. Like, you know, 1 John 3:17-18: "But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?/ My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth." Yeah, DeMint and Kyl have clenched their sphincters tight and haven't shit out even a tiny turd of compassion for the poor.

Kyl and DeMint have both voted against expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program, against increasing the minimum wage, against funding for housing for the poor, and for raising the estate tax exemption to $5 million. DeMint gets extra points for voting against extending unemployment benefits in 2008.

Of course, they've both voted big time for anything to do with war, because killing Muslims is really high on Jesus's to-do list. As is torture, apparently, and denial of any help for illegal immigrants, who would probably qualify as the "least of these."

Of course, since all of this is over passing a treaty that would actively make the world safer from nuclear weapons, one imagines that even Baby Jesus would say, "Dudes, shove that myrrh up your asses and get back to work."

(Note: Harry Reid showing Kyl and DeMint his pimp hand on the whole stupid Christmas thing is deliciously fun. And so is Joe Biden's spit-rage.)

Rude-y's right - it is kinda fun to watch. I worry about the direction my sense of humor is going sometimes. Ah, fuck it - phony outrage by Repugs is hilarious. Too bad so few get the joke and so many fall for it.

Jim DeMented said Xmas is the most sacred day for Xtians. It's not, but he's right: it's the most sacred day for the merchant class because they make a lot of money from people trying to emulate the Magi giving gifts to Baby Jesus. Money=Repugs=Xtians.

The real most sacred day for Xtians, of course, is the annual springtime recognition of The P.R. Stunt That Wrecked The World. And continues to do so for fun and profit.

The Crux of The Afghan/Iraq Wars

In These Times

For the defense industry, dumb wars are the best ones because they create more problems than they solve, assuring future sales of weapons and services. A great example of this bad policy propaganda machine in action occurred in the winter of 2002, when the Taliban had been defeated in Afghanistan and there was a chance to install a credible government. Then the defense industry helped fund the campaign to convince Americans they needed to divert resources from Afghanistan to launch a preemptive strike against Iraq. Eight years later, Afghanistan is in utter chaos, yet think tank scholars assure us that we can still “win” the war as long as we pursue Gen. David Petraeus’ counter-insurgency strategy.

From the vantage of the boardroom of a defense contractor, the Afghan war is a good war. It destabilized much of the Middle East and southern Asia, including nuclear-armed Pakistan. It has created tens of thousands of new enemies for the United States — people who had no beef with us until we invaded their country and killed their relatives. Most of our new enemies are too poor to pose any immediate threat. But they will be targets for recruitment into terror groups, thus assuring future dangers, more war and unsustainable levels of military spending.

Many, including George Washington and Dwight Eisenhower, have warned of the danger to republican liberty posed by massive standing armies and unchecked military spending. One of the most eloquent scholars on this topic, Chalmers Johnson, passed away in November. Johnson warned of the inherent instability of a political system that seeks to combine domestic democracy and foreign imperialism. The final volume of his seminal treatise on militarism is titled, The Last Days of the American Republic. If his analysis is correct, we have no time to waste.  

Yet waste it we will as long as there's money in it for the few.

Heh ...

For the first time in years (the Mrs. put an end to it a while back), I personally went down to the Sheriff of Nottingham local Receiver of Taxes to pay my tribute to the King yearly property tax bill, unsupervised (she didn't even send Chooch along to keep an eye on me). Business was concluded without me getting tossed in the dungeon incident and in record time*.

*I was briefed, before I left the house, that the Mrs. needed a special kind of receipt (not my department, just do what I'm told) for the taxes this year and, since I needed them to do something for me, my opinions about the use of my tax money during the past year (and if I got rolling, I'd go back over everything since the last time I personally gave them a piece of my mind; one of the reasons I wasn't allowed to pay the taxes in person anymore) would not be appreciated by either the Receiver of Taxes or Mrs. F when I came home without what she needed. I might be crazy, I ain't stupid. Heh ...

Hey, Chickenshits ...

Or, "Keepin' Us Safe". Think modern-day Americans could deal with this?

Click to embiggen.

From my collection: In the London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, England.

Just sayin' ...

Ya think?

People are getting tired of the bullshit:

A record 60 percent of Americans say the war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting, a grim assessment -- and a politically hazardous one -- in advance of the Obama administration's one-year review of its revised strategy.


I'll tell ya what the review will say, just pull one of Westmoreland's briefings out of the archives from Vietnam and change the names of the towns and the dates to reflect the present.

From Wikipedia:


On April 28, 1967, Westmoreland addressed a joint session of Congress. "In evaluating the enemy strategy," he said, "It is evident to me that he believes our Achilles heel is our resolve ... Your continued strong support is vital to the success of our mission ... Backed at home by resolve, confidence, patience, determination and continued support, we will prevail in Vietnam over the Communist aggressor!"


So we've resolved to stay in Afghanistan, longer than we were in Vietnam, and we have less to show for our efforts. Thankfully, we haven't managed to get 58,000 of our troops killed yet.


You will be. Go see "The Amazingly Boring Antics Adventures of Gordon and Bermflinger!" at Fixer & Gordon.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Get out ...

Although Pedro Espada has too much chutzpah to resign, it's about time this scumbag had his day in front of a jury. Yeah, he's a Dem, but in Albany they're all crooks.

State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. and his son pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of plundering the taxpayer-funded health clinic they operate in the Bronx.

The elder Espada and Pedro G. Espada are accused of stealing more than $550,000 from Soundview Medical Center coffers to pay for expensive dinners, Broadway tickets and a downpayment on a Bentley.


Personally, I think the NY State Police should throw a net over everybody in the State House and waterboard 'em until they confess to something. Get us a whole new buncha criminals.

Views of 2011 From 1931

Abnormal Use

1931 was a long time ago, and few who live today can claim to remember it all too well. Just two years after the stock market crash of 1929, 1931 claimed Herbert Hoover as the President of the United States (which that year had 48 states). Movie monsters were the rage; Bela Lugosi starred in Tod Browning's Dracula film and Boris Karloff did his star turn in Frankenstein. Cab Calloway recorded the classic "Minnie The Moocher" (and he was 49 years from performing it again in 1980's The Blues Brothers). James Dean was born that year; so were William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. That December, the first Christmas tree was placed at the construction site that would later become Rockefeller Center. The Lindbergh kidnapping was a year in the future, and the attack on Pearl Harbor - precipitating the country's entry into World War II - was a full decade away.

It was a far different time culturally, socially, politically. The issue: What did the great minds of 1931 predict the rapidly approaching 2011 would be like?

Some hits, some misses. Interesting.

Quote of the Day Il Due

The header of an LATimes op-ed:

Incoming House Speaker John Boehner weeps for our schoolchildren even as he works to take away their dreams.

That's how Repugs roll.

If You're Interested...

From Voyager 1 comes cutting-edge science on solar wind

Shorter: if yer ship depends on solar wind for propulsion, yer gonna be sailing in big circles.

Five things that change everything

If it's Wednesday, it must be Morford.

This is what they say. This is the breathless abandon that accompanies each tale of discovery and terror, pain and glory across the vast and troubled worlds of science and tech, politics and warfare, love and sex and death, oh my.

"This changes everything," they say. This revelation, that amazing gizmo, this startling new way of seeing things, that flaccid terrorist's imbecilic underwear bomb that now means anyone can be freely groped at the airport. Baby, the terrorists won long ago. Haven't you seen the news?

This box just arrived. Let's see what we've got.

2) Winner, most deliriously misleading headline of the year: "NASA finds new life form." OMG you guys! NASA! New life form! Maybe some crazy soil sample came back from Omega X-19 containing some pulsing blue alien microbes! Perhaps they found the living, conscious source of dark matter! Wait, what? They only found an odd microorganism in creepy ol' Mono Lake in California? A place where any tourist with a $95 Canon P&S could tell you bizarre things certainly must live? Oh.

Do not misunderstand. The discovery of an uncanny new organism that rearranges the six common ingredients for "normal" life -- carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur -- and instead munches arsenic for a living and it's not Dick Cheney? Well, that opens up all sorts of fascinating possibilities for what might be out there. Yes, gods of science, "this changes everything." But we're just not yet exactly sure how.

It would be lovely to think one idea could do it. But this has always been the impossible dream of empires on the verge of collapse: that somewhere in the maelstrom of wanton discoveries lies a wild new technology, a stupendous magic bullet that seven billion bipeds pray will soon absolve us of our unchecked gluttony, cure the vicious cancer we've inflicted on ourselves and make everything right with the world. Sure. As Jesus used to say, good luck with that.

Here's a teaser about Wikileaks:

-- Wikileaks is one unprecedented, stunningly detailed explanation of just how the global diplomatic sausage gets made.

And lo, it is vile sausage indeed. This is the biggest revelation of all, the thing that changes everything: What we're learning is, this meat is more rancid, disrespectful, abusive, cruel, barbarian and childish than anyone wanted to imagine. No wonder world governments and whimpering doltbuckets like Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee want this Assange guy dead.

Truly, the banality of global political evil has never been this exposed. Hell, even the Vatican is condemning Wikileaks over revelations about its own pathetic sex scandals in Ireland. In my book, that alone makes Julian Assange a goddamn saint.


To Serve Banks

From Rep Spencer Bachus (R-AL), new chairman of the House Financial Services Committee via

"In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks," he said.

We knew that, but thanks for blurting it out so clearly, Spence.

He later clarified his comment to say that regulators should set the parameters in which banks operate but not micromanage them.

"Clarified" is DC-speak for trying to clean up after a gaffe, i.e. inadvertently telling the truth.

"Republicans putting Spencer Bachus in charge of financial regulation is voting for the fox to guard the henhouse," said Ryan Rudominer of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Dude, it's what Repugs do, it's who they are. Their whole focus is be in charge of our money so they can give it to their Masters. They've done this pretty well over the last thirty years.

"To Serve Banks" is a cookbook just like in the old Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man". Recipes for disaster.

Quote of the Day


... The old saw always goes thus: The Civil War was about states' rights. No. It was about states' rights to engage in human trafficking, something abhor[r]ent and evil.

"Southern Heritage" is nothing more than coded language describing the "peculiar institution" of slavery.

What Gordon needs ...

For Christmas. I saw a news story the other day about a buncha kids at Purdue U who invented a robotic snowthrower.

I looked for video of it but I couldn't find any. I did run across this, which still requires some human input, but it beats coming in the house covered in ice and whatever the dogs left behind in autumn. Heh ...

Note: Seems like the inventor put the guard on the front to avoid sucking up his little dog.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sailors, Wrap Yer Junk!

Via TPMMuckraker

In 1973, the Navy made a 20-minute animated movie warning sailors -- in graphic detail -- about the dangers of venereal disease. The plot: The annual Communicable Disease of the Year Awards sees a huge upset when Venereal Disease, represented by the syphilis-carrying Count Spirochete, wins the coveted Fourth Horseman award over diphtheria and smallpox.

It's such an upset, in fact, that the host must explain in great, cringe-worthy detail, the history, science and symptoms of syphilis. Think lots of tiny horned devils stabbing mucus membranes with their pitchforks.

"Think lots of tiny horned devils stabbing mucus membranes with their pitchforks" pretty much describes sailors on liberty after weeks at sea too! Heh.

The Navy knows how to get the deck apes to pay attention, that's for sure. Musta showed 'em this on Saturday morning like when they were home before they joined up.

Thanks to DODvClips.

Michael Moore: Why I'm Posting Bail Money for Julian Assange

A 'must read' by Michael Moore via YubaNet.

We were taken to war in Iraq on a lie. Hundreds of thousands are now dead. Just imagine if the men who planned this war crime back in 2002 had had a WikiLeaks to deal with. They might not have been able to pull it off. The only reason they thought they could get away with it was because they had a guaranteed cloak of secrecy. That guarantee has now been ripped from them, and I hope they are never able to operate in secret again.

So why is WikiLeaks, after performing such an important public service, under such vicious attack? Because they have outed and embarrassed those who have covered up the truth. The assault on them has been over the top:


**Rep. Peter A. King calls WikiLeaks a "terrorist organization."

And indeed they are! They exist to terrorize the liars and warmongers who have brought ruin to our nation and to others. Perhaps the next war won't be so easy because the tables have been turned -- and now it's Big Brother who's being watched ... by us!

Do not miss this one. Mr. Moore, a last name I am proud to share with him, is an idealist who walks the walk and he's right on the money on this one.

Look Up and South Tonight


The Geminid meteor shower, which peaks this year on Dec. 13th and 14th, is the most intense meteor shower of the year. It lasts for days, is rich in fireballs, and can be seen from almost any point on Earth.

It was clear last night and I missed it. Tonight looks like it may be overcast here. Maybe you can catch the show.

Is Karl Rove Driving the Effort to Prosecute Julian Assange?

An interesting and plausible theory at Legal Schnauzer.

Former Bush White House strategist Karl Rove likely is playing a leading role in the effort to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a source with ties to the justice community tells Legal Schnauzer.

That Assange's legal troubles would originate in Sweden probably is not a coincidence, our source says. Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has been called "the Ronald Reagan of Europe," and he has a friendship with Rove that dates back at least 10 years, to the George W. Bush campaign for president in 2000. Reinfeldt reportedly asked Rove to help with his 2010 re-election in Sweden.

Why would Rove be interested in corralling Julian Assange? To help protect the Bush legacy, our source says. "The very guy who has released the documents that damage the Bushes the most is also the guy that the Bush's number one operative can control by being the Swedish prime minister's brain and intelligence and economic advisor."

Could Rove also be trying to protect himself? What if WikiLeaks has documents--or Rove thinks it could get documents--that prove "Turd Blossom's" role in criminal activity during the Bush years? What if someone with a conscience from the Bush administration--if such a person exists--provided WikiLeaks with documents that show Rove's role in political prosecutions, the unlawful firings of U.S. attorneys, and more? Could Rove be trying to save his own doughy butt?


I put nothing, I say again nothing past Turdblossom.

It's Okay to Have Principles

Last coupla ¶ from another good one from The Rude One:

Don't worry. The tax cut extension will pass. The unemployment benefits extension will pass, as it should. We will put off any hard decisions on our future again for two years. And then, don't worry, we'll put them off again. Because that's who we are. That's our learned behavior. We are Americans and we've forgotten how to sacrifice anything because no one for a generation has asked us to. We're like Nicholas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas: we've decided to drink ourselves to death while being cared for by whores.

Oh, dear weary, weary leftists all, we've been treated like the once-virginal cheerleader who gave in when the quarterback wanted a hand job and then gave in again when he wanted a blow job, saying that it wasn't sex, no, not really, giving in, yes, even though it was against our core beliefs, to straight fucking, but, god, can't we at least say "No" to anal? Or is that too much to ask anymore?

Americans have become so self-centered and spoiled that if JFK gave his "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" speech today, he'd be booed off the podium as a socialist.

Lame-as-F@#k Congress

In case you missed it, Jon Stewart knocks it outta the park on the Repugs' response to health care for the 9/11 first responders.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Lame-as-F@#k Congress
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire Blog</a>The Daily Show on Facebook

Famous Last Words

Foreign Policy

The last words of Richard C. Holbrooke, a lion of U.S. diplomacy, were "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan"


Monday, December 13, 2010

Holy Shit!

One of YouTube's top 10 videos of the year, via the EssEffChron.

From the new album "Of the Blue Colour of the Sky" available at
OK Go on Tour
Directed by James Frost, OK Go and Syyn Labs. Produced by Shirley Moyers. The official video for the recorded version of "This Too Shall Pass" off of the album "Of the Blue Colour of the Sky". The video was filmed in a two story warehouse, in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA. The "machine" was designed and built by the band, along with members of Syyn Labs ( ) over the course of several months.
There is an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the warehouse here:
OK Go thanks State Farm for making this video possible.

Makes me wonder how many times they had to do this silly shit before it worked...and why? Hmmmm. It does bear a certain resemblance to what happens in an old English motorcycle to start the engine after the kickstarter is operated...

Some Choice...


California voters could be presented with a tough choice by summer under a proposal that Gov.-elect Jerry Brown is considering: Approve new taxes or other revenue in a special election, or live with far fewer government services. Brown is holding talks with small groups of lawmakers and influential interest groups about how to put that decision before the public. He won't discuss his plans publicly, but people involved in the private discussions expect him to propose a special election after enacting a dire austerity budget in the spring.

Would you vote for new taxes to close California's massive budget deficit? Or it is time for Brown and the Legislature to slash spending? Tell us what you think.

I think we're going to get higher taxes and fewer services no matter how we vote. Services? Road work and police and fire services are about all I get, at least I hope I do, but poor people are going to be even more miserable.

The party's over. It's way past time and the bill is due. Now comes the hangover.

Haiti Braces For Disaster


PORT AU PRINCE, HAITI (The Borowitz Report) December 13, 2010 – Just when Haiti thought it had suffered every disaster imaginable, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin decided to visit.

In the disaster-torn nation's capital, a leading government minister warned citizens to "prepare for the worst."

"We have suffered earthquakes, flooding, and disease," said Minister of Disaster Jean-Claude Mansaray. "But it remains to be seen whether we can withstand a disaster of Sarah Palin's magnitude."

Across Haiti, citizens prepared themselves for the possible devastation Palin might cause, especially to their language and syntax.

"We have seen what she has done to English, and fear that she could do the same to French," Minister Mansaray said.

Upon her arrival, Gov. Palin seemed to get off on the wrong foot by repeatedly pronouncing the name of the country "Hades."

Minister Mansaray said that he and his countrymen were fearing the worst, but hoping for the best: "Our only hope is that she does what she did in Alaska: leaves early."

Good luck, Haiti. You guys are in deep merde with her there.

Experts: ‘Death Tax’ More Deadly than Gout, Polo Injuries Combined

The Swift Report

WASHINGTON, DC—A new study confirms what the richest Americans and their allies on Capitol Hill have long suspected: the so-called death tax is more hazardous to the health of the nation’s wealthy than gout, which has been linked to excessive consumption of port wine, or injuries suffered during polo matches. The research, based on surveys of obituaries run in such papers as The Rancho Santa Fe News, the Jackson Hole News and Guide and the Chevy Chase Gazette, found that the death tax far surpassed other causes of wealth-related fatalities.

Only silver poisoning, a result of so-called silver spoon related birth syndrome, followed by intermarriage, the practice of marrying among a small group of wealthy individuals, was found to cause any where near the number of fatalities brought about by the death tax.



Estate tax emerges as key Democratic beef in Obama's compromise

The Dems think it's too low and the Repugs think it's too high. That doesn't surprise me, but I am a little surprised that it's the main sticking point.

I once paid estate tax of $40,000 on an estate valued at $150,000 which mostly consisted of a house which I had to sell to pay the tax. That was all right because I couldn't have afforded to keep the house anyway, but I thought it was unfair. The estate tax has since been modified so that there was a threshold of (I think) $2Million before estate tax kicked in. I think that's a lot fairer. Inheritance tax is a good way to soak the rich, not so good for reg'lar folks who inherit grannie's house and silverware.

I think the threshold should be considerably lower than the proposed $5Million, so I'm down wit da Dems on this one. Tax rate? Mox nix. Get 'em for what ya can, I says.

There is no inheritance tax this year. Look for an uptick in rich old farts kickin' the bucket on New Year's Eve. I can hear it now:

Rich ol' grannie on her deathbed, "What's that electric plug (or hypodermic needle/pillow/.38 Special/etc.) in yer hand, sonny?"

"That's my financial future, grannie, and thank you. Happy New Year!"


So ...

You don't wanna pay taxes? No problem. They'll get it out of you, one way or the other:

The FDNY was quick to dismiss any complaints about their proposed charging of drivers for FDNY assistance after an accident, saying that insurance companies would most likely foot the bill. However, that doesn't seem to be the case. "Except for some limited circumstances, a charge by the Fire Department for responding to auto crashes would not be covered under current auto insurance policies," said Insurance Superintendent James Wrynn. And don't even think of complaining, because Bloomberg thinks you should just suck it up.


Bloomberg can suck my dick.

The Utility Protection Racket

Good article at Z Magazine about PG&E out here in California.

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is a billion-dollar, privately-owned, publicly-regulated utility whose main function is to make enormous profits for its shareholders at great cost to ratepayers. I know this to be true; I'm one of the ratepayers. The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) permits PG&E to charge rates that are 30 percent higher than the national average.

PG&E's shareholders enjoy a guaranteed 11.35 percent yearly return on equity. That's slightly higher than the 11 percent that Bernard Madoff pretended to offer his investment victims. After Madoff was exposed, his victims were chided for not having realized that no one pulls down an 11 percent return year after year on the stock market. But PG&E investors take in more than that every year. Unlike Madoff, the company's earnings are for real, guaranteed at a fixed return, devoid of risk.

PG&E enjoys a captive consumer market of 15 million customers in northern and central California. The utility is a monument to state-supported monopoly capitalism. If costs rise, then so do customer rates—in order to guarantee the 11.35 percent return. PG&E carries a $17 million insurance premium and additional millions in insurance deductibles; these expenses are picked up by its rate-payers.

Along with all the other expenses they bear, PG&E's ratepayers usually pay for the enormous costs of utility accidents. This may still prove to be the case with the disaster recently in San Bruno. On September 9, 2010, a PG&E pipeline blew apart. Gas explosions and flames ripped through the San Bruno community, taking the lives of at least 8, injuring over 50 others (some very seriously), and completely destroying or damaging upwards of 100 homes. An official from the National Transportation Safety Board described it: "My immediate assessment was the amazing destruction, the charred trees, the melted and charred cars, the houses disappeared."

One wonders how many other California communities are at risk from aging and deficient pipelines. So much for the superior performance of a giant private-profit corporation.

Left out of the picture is how corporate malfeasance and corporate-generated disasters are a reflection of the capitalist system. If a gas pipeline had exploded in communist Cuba, killing people and destroying homes, the incident would immediately have been treated by U.S. commentators as evidence of the deficiencies of the broader economic system, as proof that socialism cannot do it right.

But disasters in our society are seen simply as immediate mishaps, at worst, instances of negligence and mismanagement by a particular company, never as the outcome of a broader capitalist system that steadfastly puts profits before people, with immense costs passed along to the public.

The same is true of mining accidents, train wrecks, plane crashes, unsafe auto vehicles, unsafe consumer products and foods, toxic spills, offshore-drilling calamities, and a host of other noxious things that corporate America foists on us. Private industries are not in the safety business. All of them are in the business of creating the largest possible profits for their shareholders and their executives.

I'm one of the lucky ones who don't get their gas and electric from PG&E. Our electric company (TDPUD) is pretty generally on the ball and our gas lines (SWG) are only a few years old.

And how are the utilities in your neck of the woods doing? Anything rusting its way to catastrophe in your back yard?

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Obama Forces GOP to Accept Compromise
GOP agrees to permanent unemployment benefits for the rich.

Lieberman Suggests New York Times Violated Espionage Act
Suggests waterboarding Paul Krugman.

Leaked Fox News Memo: Network Discouraged Use of Term "Public Option"
In favor of “Stalinist Death Machine.”

French Library Finds Previously Unknown Leonardo Da Vinci Manuscript
In it, he describes a vast web-like system connecting people so they can exchange short, banal messages with each other.

I got my own crooks ...

But the next county over (Nassau, home of Rep. Peter King) has another idiot they just elected and he's managed to make their fiscal situation worse:

MINEOLA, N.Y. — Facing a huge budget deficit when he took office in January, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano did not impose a hiring freeze. He did not stop borrowing to subsidize some of the richest school districts in the country. He did not eliminate the Police Department’s beloved mounted unit.

Instead, Mr. Mangano, a Republican who won one of the first upsets of the Tea Party era, did what he had promised: He cut taxes, adding $40 million to the county’s deficit, which has since reached nearly $350 million.

Now, with its bonds suddenly downgraded and a state oversight agency preparing to seize its checkbook and credit cards, Nassau is on the verge of a full-fledged fiscal crisis. [my em]


You expect this shit from a place like Deepinahearta, Texas, but if there's a place in this area where the Republicans run rampant and turn things to shit, it's Nassau. You can thank all the Wall St. types on the North Shore and the retirees on the South Shore, the former, voting to protect their interest and the latter doing whatever Fox 'News' tells them.

Great thanks to my pal, and fellow football nut, W.K. Maier for the heads up via email.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Crazy Maltese Redneck Music & Linedancing Blogging

It's a crazy world...

Jailhouse floor Line Dance
Choreographed by Malcolm Russell
32 Count 4 Wall Improver Level
Music: "I found Jesus on a jailhouse floor" by George Strait

Video produced for "Country Jamboree" 2009

Thanks to LinedancerMalta.

Peaceful Counter-protest At Edwards Funeral

Think Progress. Many comments.

300 Show Up In The Rain To Counterprotest 5 Westboro Protesters At Elizabeth Edwards’ Funeral

Two of the WBC assholes are children. I can't really tell, but I think the other three are women. The big brave male WBC assholes musta been reading the blogs where all the peacelovedope libruls were espousing beatin' the crap out of 'em and stayed away. Heh.

Whatever we may feel viscerally, non-violence is better if it works. It looks like it worked.

Rigging the game ...

So much for change:

On the third Wednesday of every month, the nine members of an elite Wall Street society gather in Midtown Manhattan.

The men share a common goal: to protect the interests of big banks in the vast market for derivatives, one of the most profitable — and controversial — fields in finance. They also share a common secret: The details of their meetings, even their identities, have been strictly confidential.


Our governance and our economy are all just one big backroom deal.


But big banks influence the rules governing derivatives through a variety of industry groups. The banks’ latest point of influence are clearinghouses like ICE Trust, which holds the monthly meetings with the nine bankers in New York.

Under the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, many derivatives will be traded via such clearinghouses. Mr. Gensler wants to lessen banks’ control over these new institutions. But Republican lawmakers, many of whom received large campaign contributions from bankers who want to influence how the derivatives rules are written, say they plan to push back against much of the coming reform. On Thursday, the commission canceled a vote over a proposal to make prices more transparent, raising speculation that Mr. Gensler did not have enough support from his fellow commissioners. [my em]


The banksters own the pols and police themselves. Good thing they reformed the system after the meltdown 2 years ago, eh? It's gonna get worse come January too.