Saturday, June 15, 2013

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

I've put up clips from this show before, but this is her whole set!

Published on Jun 8, 2013
Innovative country legend Emmylou Harris and The Hot Band perform in a special concert recorded for the Old Grey Whistle Test in 1977. The set includes Luxury Liner and Tulsa Queen as well as other old favorites.

Thanks to Alfa Romeo.

Friday, June 14, 2013

U.S. to keep military forces in Jordan

Raw Story

The United States will keep F-16 fighter jets and Patriot anti-missile weapons in Jordan after a joint military exercise ends this month, a US defense official said Thursday.

The US administration, which is weighing a decision to arm rebels fighting in neighboring Syria’s civil war, also planned to keep a unit of US Marines on amphibious ships off the coast after consultations with Jordanian leaders, the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The warplanes, anti-missile systems and warships had been sent to Jordan for a major exercise, dubbed Eager Lion, but officials decided to keep the troops and weapons in place on the request of Jordan, which is anxious about a spillover of violence and a growing influx of refugees from the conflict.

The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (website) taking part in the drill consists of about 2,400 troops, which arrived in a group of three amphibious ships, including the USS Kearsarge.
AKA "USS Queerbarge".

I'm down with this. King Abdullah is our only Arab friend in the Middle East. Jordan is small and not particularly wealthy, and with all the Syrian refugees and being next to Israel, he's between a rock and a hard place. He and Jordan are worth helping.

Headline of the Day

Reps. King, Bachmann and Gohmert beg Glenn Beck’s viewers for support: We’re losing badly

This makes for a complicated visual - the moonbats di tutti moonbats circling the wagons to make a better firing squad. Heh.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

“Who would be better than Darrell Issa at picking and choosing what to release?"

Backstory here:

Still Grasping At ‘Conspiracy,’ Darrell Issa Refuses To Release IRS Investigation Transcripts
Shorter: they didn't come out in accordance with Issa's predetermined desired result, i.e. Obama didn't do it.

Political Carnival applies this to Issa's own bio. Selectively redacted which makes him look good followed by unredacted which most decidedly does not. Heh. Funny. Go see.

Liar, failed soldier, car thief, and arsonist, all steps on his career path to congressman.

Note to the folks in California's 49th congressional district: you got what you deserve. I hope you choke on it.

"Deny, Deny Until All the Veterans Die"

Pentagon Investigation into Agent Orange on Okinawa

Indeed, Tokyo has made no comment on the investigation, nor has it publicly questioned its findings. But it might soon regret such acquiescence. In April, it was announced that over the coming years, some of the U.S. bases at the centre of Agent Orange allegations would be returned to civilian control. These installations include Futenma Air Station and Makiminato Service Area in Urasoe City, where veterans claim the military maintained its primary stockpile of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

If the Pentagon conducted environmental tests on these installations and the results revealed Agent Orange dioxins, U.S. service members currently stationed there would undoubtedly demand remediation. Washington is particularly sensitive to pollution worries among its own troops in the wake of recent revelations regarding drinking water contamination at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina which exposed as many as 750,000 service members and their families to harmful substances. In 2012, Congress was forced to pass an act in an attempt to resolve the problem.

However if the Pentagon can delay environmental tests on its Okinawa bases until the land reverts to civilian control - currently scheduled to occur after 2022 - it will be able to shift the cost of clean-up onto the shoulders of Japanese tax-payers. Under the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), Washington is absolved from all responsibility to restore military land formerly under its control to safe environmental levels.

I'm involved in the Camp Lejeune Historic Drinking Water deal. I was there in '65-'66. The actual sites for it come up "invalid certificate" but that link's pretty good. It's on Facebook too.

As serious a problem as that is to some veterans and their families, it pales in comparison to the number of people exposed to Agent Orange during and after the Vietnam War.

Given these figures - in addition to the compensation for which exposed veterans would be liable - the Pentagon’s need to maintain its denials is perhaps understandable. Herb Worthington, head of the Agent Orange and Other Toxic Substances Committee of the Vietnam Veterans of America, is only too familiar with such a stance. His organization led the campaign to secure assistance for U.S. veterans exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam - a struggle which finally convinced Washington to compensate sick service members starting in 1991.

“Eventually, I am sure that Okinawa will be proven to have used or stored Agent Orange. But by the time it is admitted, most of the outspoken Veterans will have passed away. The mantra of our government agencies is ‘Deny, deny, deny.’”

Locations where the Pentagon admits the usage of Agent Orange: Cambodia, Canada, Korea, Laos, Puerto Rico, Thailand, U.S.A. and Vietnam.

Places where U.S. veterans and local residents claim Agent Orange usage - but the Pentagon denies allegations: Guam, Johnston Island, mainland Japan, Okinawa, Panama, Philippines and Saipan.

As usual, the military is doing the please-let-it-go-away-until-it's-not-our-fault-any-more-and-they're-all-dead dance. Also as usual, they'll probably get away with it.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Jesus loves your downward dog

If it's Wednesday it must be Morford on yoga and some facts and bullshit going on about it. You should read this.

Shhh. Secret Hindu indoctrination ritual.

Yoga is a religion the way breathing is wine. Yoga is a religion the way air is music. Yoga is a religion in a way too few westerners are trained to understand, particularly the right-wing variety, particularly the right-wing pseudo-Christian lawyerly types of America, scowling and confused and ever-furious at the world. As you would expect.

It would appear the NCLP is suing, on behalf of some very uptight SoCal parents, the Encinitas Union School District over a pilot program that teaches some playful yoga basics – stretching, breathing, a little calming meditation – to children a couple times a week. The horror.

Their claim? Yoga is rooted in the Hindu “religion,” and therefore serves as an indoctrination into that belief, much in the same way techno music and giant mimosas “indoctrinate” kids into homosexuality. The NCLP claims that rules separating church and state demand these children stop that happy, self-empowerment bull-crap right this minute, and get back to fearing an angry, all-American God, or no one gets dessert.

To religious fundamentalists, this is yoga’s most dangerous, un-Christian, sacrilegious teaching of all: That you are not innately broken, or flawed, or sinful. That there really is no god to worship but the one already present in you, waiting to be expanded. That you are already the divine light you seek. Therefore, you need not attend any church, send cash to any gloomy priest, beat yourself into bloody redemption, or believe what your parents or politicians tell you about heaven or hell, sin or fear, guilt or shame or gay people or women or nature or time or foreigners or politics or sex. You need only wake up to your own innate divinity, every moment, every breath, every touch and taste and step, before it’s too late. See? No wonder they’re terrified

So yoga is a religion, but it is no religion at all. Yoga is a divine reconnection and means to expand the soul via all sorts of powerful tools, techniques, icons, sutras, tantras, musings, offerings, chantings, stretchings, sweatings, classic moral precepts and healthy lifestyle adjustments, but without organized religion’s nasty knife drawer of shame and guilt, sin and fear, numbed-out heaven and childish threats of eternal, all-consuming hell.

Can you imagine teaching such a thing to children? “Indoctrinating” them into such a belief? Can you imagine how happy and balanced, powerful and calm, strong and spiritually self-defined they might become? What a terrible world that would be.

Don't get your knickers in a twist, young Mark. It's simply a fearful form of made-up mumbo-jumbo going after a not-fearful one that may actually be spiritual. Religionists don't understand spirituality and it scares the shit out of 'em to think kids might actually learn another point of view. That's not what school is for. Is it?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Light blogging today

I gotta work on my veterinarian's kids' go-kart. I picked it up in March and she said she'd like to have it back about mid-June, so it's time. It's been riding around in my pickup since then. At least it's been outta the weather. The thing sat outside so long there's water in the tires fer chrissake. I took off the oil filler cap and clear water spilled out! The gas is so rotten I wouldn't clean your paintbrush with it! 3hp B&S. With forty years as a motorcycle mechanic under my belt I'm pretty sure I can make it run, but I won't guarantee how long it'll run. Rust never sleeps. See yas.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Headline of the Day

Mitt Romney blames his 2012 defeat on having a cash-strapped campaign. Contain your laughter.
No. Bwahahahaha!

Fixer speaks

The following floated in from an undisclosed location:

Dear friends, family, and acquaintances,

After 9-11, when I was bitching at anyone who would listen, everyone was all too eager to give up their rights so they felt 'safe'. I was looked at like a worrywart and pollyanna. When I raised concerns about the Patriot Act and the loss of our privacy, all I heard was "if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about."

NOW you're all worried about your privacy? All these years later? Feeling safer now, are you? Or is it because you don't like the current president? Listen to me, NO president, of either party, should have the powers usurped by the office over the past 12 years. Neither Bush nor Obama, or subsequent presidents, should have been allowed so far into our personal lives, regardless of the reasons they give for doing it.

Once surrendered, rights are very difficult things to retrieve. The infrastructure for the NSA spying program has been in place for a long time and it won't be dismantled anytime soon. If you are truly worried about the loss of your privacy and many of the rights we once took for granted, you're about a decade too late. I bitched at the time and was called a coward, traitor, and un-American. Go figure.

I think, if you're seriously outraged by the situation, you might want to pay a little more attention to how your government is run and a little less to cable news, all of them. It's time to pay attention to what the people you vote for REALLY stand for instead of what they want you to think they do (look at who contributes to their campaigns and believe none of their bullshit commercials). This is your own fault, boys and girls, and, for the indeterminate future, it's something we're all gonna have to live with, regardless of which political party is in power.

I did my bit (and so did a buncha other old soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines) when there was time to stop it but we failed because most of you didn't want to know what was going on as long as you were able to get on a bus without being blown up. We saw what was coming and knew the United States we put our asses on the line for would probably be irrevocably changed. It was and now we have what we have, a President with powers closer to a dictator's and a Congress that's essentially a buncha dysfunctional teenagers.

I hate to break it to you all, but almost a dozen years after 11 September 2001, we have the government we deserve. You don't like it? Start paying a little more attention. There's a reason we had civics classes in school. Stop complaining and DO something.



PS: I'll let you in on something, the arguments about taxes, and abortion, and gayness, and guns, and all the other bullshit is just shiny shit both sides want you to see so you don't look any deeper. It's about money and power ... always.

Question of the Day

Jury selection has begun for the trial of George Zimmerman which may answer the burning question:

Is a Hispanic white enough to get away with murdering a Skittles-armed black kid because he stood up for himself when confronted for being black?


Fox News guest suggests Trayvon was armed: ‘You could kill somebody’ with iced tea
Oy gevult...

Oh. the irony...

Ironic Times

Eight Candidates Vie to Succeed Ahmadinejad in Iran
Each promising to wipe Israel off the map in his own particular way.

White House: Congress Briefed 13 Times on Surveillance Program
But how many times has somebody told you they were spying on everyone and you didn't remember?

Vocabulary Builders

apprentice 1. archaic: now out-of-use term for a young person who would work for free for a long period of years hoping to gain skills and connections needed to secure paid work later. 2. intern

Study: PTSD May Be Prevented
By ending war.
In other words, when pigs fly.