Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Mark Twain is still hot stuff Out West Here and I live right between his old stomping grounds of Gold Country and The Comstock. I saw a 2-CD album of his life and times in word and song at WalMart for ten bucks and grabbed it. This is Emmylou's only song on the album and I never heard it before. "When Halley Came To Jackson" is on YouTube by Mary Chapin Carpenter, who wrote it, but not by Emmylou so I whupped it onto some footage and here it is.

Scene is CA SR 152 from Casa de Fruta eastbound toward Pacheco Pass. Shot with Active-i glasses/vidcam

95 more videos at my YouTube channel! {/shameless whoring}

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Vermin Surface

Just one more reason I hate right-wingers. It's a long list...


Nearly as soon as I heard about the bombings on Monday, I was certain that somewhere in the nutty right-wing blogosphere someone was already concocting a storyline that would blame the crime on President Obama and the federal government. Alex Jones came through with impressive rapidity.

Jones is asking Americans to believe that their own government is responsible for all of the worst terrorist attacks in the country’s history and that the motivation for the latest one is a desire to grope sports fans. All of this is, of course, total ping-pong-balls-for-brains nonsense. It would be laughable if it were not for the fact that this conspiracy kook claims 2 million radio listeners and more online followers than Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh combined.

Jones is a purveyor of the neo-Confederate brand of “patriotism” that has gained currency on the far starboard side of American politics. I do not think he should shut up or be shut down; he has the same 1st Amendment rights as I do. But he deserves to be exposed for what he is: a delusional, self-promoting bully who is slandering the very people who are right now doing the truly patriotic work of bringing the Boston bombers to justice.
Some people will say anything for money and fame, never mind the damage they do. I hope he chokes on it.

Hypocritical Asshole Headline of the Day

Cruz called Sandy aid ‘pork’ but wants ‘all available resources’ after Texas blast

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Senate in the Gun Lobby’s Grip

Gabby Giffords in the NYTimes. Not bad for a gal who almost had her head blown off.

I watch TV and read the papers like everyone else. We know what we’re going to hear: vague platitudes like “tough vote” and “complicated issue.” I was elected six times to represent southern Arizona, in the State Legislature and then in Congress. I know what a complicated issue is; I know what it feels like to take a tough vote. This was neither. These senators made their decision based on political fear and on cold calculations about the money of special interests like the National Rifle Association, which in the last election cycle spent around $25 million on contributions, lobbying and outside spending.

They looked at these most benign and practical of solutions, offered by moderates from each party, and then they looked over their shoulder at the powerful, shadowy gun lobby — and brought shame on themselves and our government itself by choosing to do nothing.

They will try to hide their decision behind grand talk, behind willfully false accounts of what the bill might have done — trust me, I know how politicians talk when they want to distract you — but their decision was based on a misplaced sense of self-interest. I say misplaced, because to preserve their dignity and their legacy, they should have heeded the voices of their constituents. They should have honored the legacy of the thousands of victims of gun violence and their families, who have begged for action, not because it would bring their loved ones back, but so that others might be spared their agony.

Mark my words: if we cannot make our communities safer with the Congress we have now, we will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress, one that puts communities’ interests ahead of the gun lobby’s. To do nothing while others are in danger is not the American way.
Fuckin' A, lady.

‘Oopsie Daisy Homophobe’

Funny. Via Raw Story.

11,000,000 New Dems!

Gee, the right-wingers are saying this like it's a BAD thing! :-)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I knew that...

Study: Belief in an angry God associated with variety of mental illnesses

People who believe in an angry, punishing God are much more likely to suffer from a variety of mental illnesses, a scientific study published in the April edition of Journal of Religion & Health finds.

In keeping with prior studies on this very subject, she queried the data on three types of believers: those who see God as angry, those who see God as neutral and those who see God as loving. Controlling specifically to weed out the non-believers, Silton found that a belief in a forgiving, loving God is associated with positive psychological traits, “almost protecting against psychopathology,” she told Raw Story.
No specific data on those whackos who believe in God in the first place. Probably have to define "God" to do that. Lotsa luck. Heh.

My personal definition of God is simply the wonder of the universe. My church is everywhere.

Calling Out The Scumbags

He's right again.

Thanks to oldfartrants.

Exploding your emotional bandwidth

If it's Wednesday it must be Morford on the Boston bombing.

Besides, despite the horrific images, there was plenty to be heartened by. Did you notice? While the bombings were likely accomplished by a single person or small number of people, the wild outpouring of love and support, the hundreds if not thousands of first responders, police, fireman, medical personnel, various citizens who rushed to help, who donated blood, not to mention the millions who poured out love and support via messages and blogs, kind words and non-partisan stories? That was sort of staggering. That was sort of a wonder. As debilitating and depressing as the bombings were, the reaction was just the opposite, and far larger.

This is the most essential reminder of all, is it not? A handful of violent sociopaths will never match, much less defeat, the support and care of tens of millions. Those who wish harm and damage upon humanity will never outnumber those who enable, empower and heal. The odds are in our favor. They always are. This is why we are still alive. Maybe the only reason.

It’s easy to pluck out the imbeciles and opportunists, the conspiracy nuts, ones who light up the chat rooms with anti-Islamic hate, who instantly politicize the bombings, who cannot wait to find an enemy or leverage the tragedy to hammer some petty political point. Is the Boston bomber some local, small-time sociopath who used the Internet to make explosives? Was it a terrorist splinter group? Was it a Saudi? Some Tea Party anti-abortionist? A pro-NRA redneck? Militant vegan? Who can we blame?

What an odd, charged, fascinating moment, this space of not knowing.

Make no mistake, we will almost certainly find out who did it. Then the frantic political blogs and talking heads will finally get to embark upon some heated, semi-intellectual conversation about insanity, or domestic terrorism, or racism, or some new form of the same old demons we haven’t considered yet.

Will it help? Will we learn anything new? Maybe. Doubtful. Maybe we’ll just re-learn the old chestnut that America must have its demons. We must have our enemies. If we can’t find any, we invent them. It’s what we do.

The Teabaggers Can Go Fuck Themselves

Tea Party Officially Blames Obama For Boston Marathon Bombing

In the hours after yesterday’s Boston Marathon attack, the right wing was quick to blame Muslim extremists despite the lack of a single indication of the identity of those involved. Similarly there were those on the left, like me, who were just as quick to point out that a bombing on Tax Day/Patriot’s Day at a marathon dedicated to the families of the Newtown Massacre smacked of a right wing Timothy McVeigh style “protest” (aka right wing terrorism). Time will tell which of us is correct but rather than wait for the facts to surface, the Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips has decided that President Obama is clearly to blame in an email sent out on Tuesday.

The second purpose of all this anti-Muslim screeching is even more disgusting: That this attack occurred on Tax Day as well as Patriot’s Day (the third Monday in April) at an event in which several of the Newtown families were running is a giant red arrow pointing, not at Muslims, but at right wing extremists steeped in Tea Party rhetoric of revolution, Second Amendment solutions and “watering the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” They know this. They also know that if this turns out to be the case, the nation’s eyes will look to them just like they did after the Oklahoma City Bombing. Back then, the silent guilt they carried was enough for them to tone down the proto-Tea Party insanity that is fully realized today. As a preemptive move, they are loudly blaming Obama and Muslims because if (when) the other shoe drops and the country finds out that, yes, Fox News and Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and the entire conservative entertainment complex that oozes violence and eliminationist rhetoric had a hand in egging on the bomber(s), they will already have millions of conservatives ready to defend them and even refute that it wasn’t a Muslim. Keep in mind, this is the political movement that still has a large percentage of people that believe Obama is a secret Muslim, Iraq was behind 9/11 and that we found the WMDs. A year from now, they will still be absolutely convinced that Muslims attacked Boston and Obama “let it happen.”

The right wing media knows its audience and they know how tight a grip they have on how that audience (mis) perceives reality. Expect to see a lot more of the kind of self-serving trash that the Tea Party Nation is selling to its easily manipulated audience in the next couple of days and weeks. They have to get in there and shape public opinion before reality rears its ugly head.

The story lies in between those quotes. Go read it even though you know just about what it says. The Teabagger pukes make me sick.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I think the graphic is one of the times Fry didn't stay away from the brown acid. Or maybe it was bathtub soju. Heh. Good point, though.

A tip o' the Brain to God of the week.

City Lights

From a photo gallery at the LATimes. 10 more. Way cool. I live in the dark spot west by southwest of the dot signifying Reno NV. I can also see why there's so much trouble back east. Heh.

Click to embigdazzle!

Monday, April 15, 2013


When I heard about the Boston Marathon bombing, my first thought after it was determined not to be a natural gas explosion, was that it was home-grown right-wing terrorists. Local Patriot's Day, Income Tax day, etc. To me, it fits.

Other people have their prejudices too. One of the first reactions I heard was "Burn all the mosques! It's Obama's fault!"

I'm ashamed to have to call those assholes Americans.

Who do you think is closer?

Another Empire To The Graveyard

Remnants of an Army by Lady Elizabeth Butler.

Depicts Dr. William Brydon, an assistant surgeon in the Bengal Army arriving at the gates of Jellabad on his exhausted and dying horse. He was thought to be the sole survivor of some 16,000 strong army and followers from Kabul, which was forced to retreat the 90 miles over snow covered passes to Jellabad during the first Aghan war. A few others eventually struggled through to the fort.

Click to embiggen

Michael Korda on our ill-fated Clusterfuckistan adventure and defeat.

Nations, like people, seldom learn from their own experience, still less from the experience of others. It is a huge tribute to the tact of the distinguished British historian William Dalrymple that it is not until page 435 of his dramatic, richly peopled, and spell-binding history of Shah Shuja and the first British battle for Afghanistan, when he at last draws the inevitable parallel between the British attempt to subdue and control Afghanistan in the mid-19th-century and America’s own disastrous war there over the past decade. [...]

Perhaps the most famous military painting in the history of British art is Lady Elizabeth Butler’s The Last Remnant (Wrong title - G), an immense Victorian tear-jerker of a picture that depicts the approach of the alleged last survivor of the British army sent to Kabul, Dr. Brydon, to the gates of Jalalabad, slumped on an exhausted pony and bearing the news of the British Army’s total destruction (nearly 20,000 killed). In a nation that has often sought pride as much in heroic defeats as in victories, the haunting scene of the Last Stand of the 44th Foot at Gandamak—the soldiers forming a square and defending themselves with their bayonets until every one of them was slaughtered by howling, ferocious Afghans—remains as well remembered in Britain as Custer’s Last Stand is in the United States.

One might have hoped that the virtual annihilation of a whole British army in 1842, as Britain’s imperial power waxed, would have discouraged the United States from trying to impose its will on Afghanistan, or at least persuaded the United States government and military establishment to study the past before committing us to the longest military adventure in American history, but no such luck.
More like "fat fuckin' chance".

Kipling nailed it:

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

The Queen(s) in this case being Cheney and Bush, neither one of whom has any idea what it's like to be a soldier. Damn their eyes.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Leaked Intel Report: North Korea Capable of Launching Nuclear Missile
Based on intercepted email Dennis Rodman sent Scottie Pippen.

Markets Higher on Increased Chinese Consumer Demand for Imported Goods
They're beginning to buy some of the stuff made in our sweatshops.

Poll: 92% Favor Universal Background Checks
NRA: that's hardly unanimous.
It's close enough for government work.

Airlines Ponder Installing Scales, Charging Passengers According to Weight
Move hailed by jockeys, deplored by sumo wrestlers.