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Friday, July 31

The New South?

Back in the Seventies you heard that phrase a lot. The Confederacy was dead ("died of an idea" as one fellow put it during the Civil War) and Old Dixie was booming. Pockets of stupidity and racism remained, even to the extent of Alabama Governor George "Segregation Forever" Wallace running for President in 1972.

Of course, a twisted little bastard named Artie Bremer put a wheelchair-sized crimp in Wallace's campaign, and Nixon won re-election in a landslide against Democrat George McGovern.

Back in the late 60s and 70s, the Republican Party started making inroads into the Old South and taking voters away from the Democrats. They managed this feat by feeding red meat to what would later become the Base of the Party. The best slogan, of course, was "state's rights," an echo of the South's secessionist past and a slogan used by Ronald Reagan back in 1979.

The Base of the GOP remains predominantly Southern, with inroads into the West and Midwest according to what states went red or blue in the 2008 general election, and the great fear of many intelligent GOP analysts is that the GOP may end up a regional party unable to slug it out toe-to-toe with the Democrats.

The liberal website Daily Kos contracted with polling firm Research 2000 to do weekly polling, and have asked a question regarding the so-called Birther Conspiracy. This little snippet of Stupid posits that Barack Obama was not a "natural-born" citizen of the United States, as required by the Constitution.

(Legal background - the definition of "natural-born" was codified as Title 8 United States Code, Section 1401. Enlightening reading.)

Of all of the 2400 American voters asked in the survey, a disheartening 11% actually buy into the Birther meme. Less than half of those polled who think that Obama is not a citizen are Republican.

That breaks down even further (with handy visual-aid pie charts) to show that of those who think he wasn't born in Hawaii, 69% live in the South, and 56% of those are Republicans. As a Republican, who lives in Florida, this is truly disheartening.

It's awful to contemplate that The Stupid is so pervasive in The New South, but there it is. Despite copies of his Certificate of Live Birth (which, under Hawaii state law, is the only accessible public record), despite his birth announcement in the Honolulu newspaper in August 1961, despite the fact that his Kansas-born mother was an American citizen (and under 8 USC 1401 his citizenship would be automatic), the Birthers refuse to face the facts.

The roots of the Birther "conspiracy" are, in my opinion, based on racism and fear. I base this assertion on several things, but the polling data and demographics released today do nothing but buttress my argument. The people in the "New" South are afraid of a biracial President (yes, calling him "black" is a misnomer as his mother was white, but it's a convenient tag that unfortunately feeds the old racist "one drop" meme) and will swallow any justification for that fear.

New South?

Don't believe it.

What is your favorite conspiracy theory?

My fave is the staged lunar landing theory. There are lots of stories about it on the internets.

The Beer Summit

Gates recognizes police 'sacrifices,' ready to move on
Gates concluded: "Having spent my academic career trying to bridge differences and promote understanding among Americans, I can report that it is far more comfortable being the commentator than being commented upon. At this point, I am hopeful that we can all move on, and that this experience will prove an occasion for education, not recrimination. I know that Sergeant Crowley shares this goal. Both of us are eager to go back to work tomorrow. And it turns out that the President just might have a few other things on his plate as well."


...

Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley, after his photo-op with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates and President Barack Obama, told reporters that no apologies were exchanged and each respective party simply agreed to disagree.
----------------

We didn't have a whole lot of discussion about this story on this blog and I'm not sure that everyone would agree with each other about what happened or whether or not Obama should have said what he said about it. While it's not socially acceptable to be a racist in most circles and most people hid that they were racists, the ugly truth is that racism is very much alive and well in America today. White Republicans were appalled at Obama's statement at the press conference, but in all honesty, what do white people know about being black? I think it was good for Obama to bring it up.

Thursday, July 30

I Gave All My Clothes to Goodwill

I feel pretty, oh so pretty....

On March 9th of this year, I was considered morbidly obese. Now I am almost a regular sized person. I went down 12 sizes and my life has changed radically and I'm looking forward to more changes. The most important thing is that I am now healthy and can be as active as I want... and if I pushed my lazy ass, I could be very very active. I still have more weight to lose but the inches I shed makes me look like I lost 100 pounds already. I'm back to performing my music again and can hop on the stage like I did 10 years ago. I walk several miles a day and ride my bike for another 30 minutes or so. I fit in all chairs! I can hop in and out of the car. People don't recognize me! Wow.

Gastric bypass surgery, while terribly radical and serious, has amazing benefits for many people. Before the surgery I underwent a series of tests to determine just how unhealthy I was. Luckily, I didn't have a whole lot of co-morbitities like diabetes, difficulty breathing, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, joint problems, sleep apnea and so on. If I had those things they would be things of the past by now. I also know that I won't be getting these ailments and diseases in my life. I had enormously high cholesterol and now it's normal. I don't snore anymore, my blood pressure is the same as my 23 year old son's BP. I don't take anti-depressants either. Anti-depressants put all the weight on me in the first place. For those who have diabetes or sleep apnea, gastric bypass surgery cures it. Heart disease- not a problem. My knees and hips work great. Not a pain in the world. Before the surgery everything hurt and I could hardly move. I literally could not put my socks on. I never wore them. Now I feel like I did when I was 24.

My family and friends have to keep their sense of humor because my eyes are literally bigger than my stomach. If you're out with me and I order food, don't bother ordering for yourselves because you'll be having most of what I ordered anyway. Even children's meals and appetizers are too large. That's what I paid for.

My insurance company didn't want to hear about anything to do with excess weight. Yet I keep reading that fat people are hurting profit motivated insurance companies. I asked them if they would pay for open heart surgery and they said yes they would. I asked if they would pay for hip or joint replacement and they said yes. I asked if they would pay for a sleep apnea machine and they said yes. I asked if they would pay for diabetic supplies and they said yes. They would pay for all the diseases and ailments that went along with being obese, but they wouldn't pay for me to get cured of the underlying reason for all those diseases I was sure to get at the rate I was going.

I cashed in some of my retirement fund and saved my insurance company a fortune. I also saved my life. I was sure that I wouldn't even make it to retirement at the rate I was going. If I didn't have a retirement fund, I would have mortgaged the house or shopped around until I found a surgeon who would give me an easy payment plan. I would have hitchhiked to Mexico.

Some people said I took the easy way out by getting the surgery. It wasn't easy at all. It was terrifying and very painful. If you asked me 3 months ago if it was worth it, I would have said no but 5 months out, I would have to say that every bit of pain and life altering behavior modification was worth every penny and all the aggravation. You learn pretty quickly what you can tolerate because you will throw up or get very ill if something disagrees with you. That's what I paid for. Pain is a great motivator.

Most people do not understand that morbid obesity is something that is almost impossible to cure on your own. Sure, you can diet and exercise, but try to keep it off forever. Most morbidly obese people dieted themselves to that size because once you'd lose weight, you'd gain back more and you would just get fatter and fatter. How depressing is that? Many meds cause obesity as well. If you asked fat people if they were taking meds, most likely they are and it accounts for the obesity. Don't punish fat people because it won't work. You make them feel worse. Be kind to fat people. It's not a character flaw or caused by a lack of willpower. In fact fat people have great willpower and you wouldn't believe how humiliated they are when they go out... and yet they go. Rather than picking on someone, give a chubbette you love $25,000 for gastric bypass surgery if you can or give them a hug and words of encouragement.

New Wrinkle in Health-Care Debate, by Randall W. Forsyth, Barron's


(sorry - couldn't resist the pic!)

Could taxing cosmetic procedures help generate the needed trillion bucks to pay for Obamacare?
THE UGLY TRUTH in the health-care reform battle has been its expense. To pay for the estimated $1 trillion tab that the Congressional Budget Office estimates reform will cost over the next decade, the wealthy have been targeted for higher taxes. But now Congressional Democrats are mulling whether to extend their reach from the merely rich to the beautiful.
Credit for bringing the story to wider attention also goes to the Drudge Report for trumpeting the trial balloon in its inimitable fashion. Drudge's home page featured photos of Vice President Biden and his hair implants and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with wide eyes, unfurrowed brow and taut jawline not typical of most grandmothers.

Nothing wrong with cosmetic surgery. Hey - If I had the money -- I'd like to be able to hide the truth that I'm getting old and wrinkled. Once you hit 50, it's really depressing looking in the mirror. I have noticed that it's really not so bad when I take my reading glasses off though.

Losing that up close, sharp vision may not be that bad after all.....

Wednesday, July 29

Another one bites the dust

Another married Republican who advocated for abstinence stepped down because he had an affair with a 22 year old intern. That would be Tennessee State Senator Paul Stanley.

He has said that "unmarried people shouldn't be having sex." I suppose he felt that he was exempt because both he and the young women were indeed married (but not to each other.) It just seems to this blonde that acting holier than thou and keeping your head high while looking down your nose at others, you are surely going to trip and fall flat on your face.

This is getting so tiresome. American people by now should note that if a candidate touts "Family Values" and abstinence only, it should be a signal that this candidate is/was/will be having an illicit affair and is a total hypocrite. You know who has "Family Values"? Those who don't talk about it. It's just like the "Christian Coalition". It was anything but "Christian."

Tuesday, July 28

Poetry Corner

Last night, Conan had Shatner on to recite some drivel that Sarah Palin had said yesterday. It was pretty hilarious.

It's Official. Obama Born in the USA

Even after all the brouhaha about Obama's birth place, the house passed a resolution stating that he was born in Hawaii, 378-0.

Before the vote, there were still GOPers who questioned Obama's authenticity and said they wished to see the documents that everyone has seen (on the internet). Some didn't vote rather than vote no (and face public ridicule for being a conspiracy theorist, I guess.)

Now let's get back to watching the Blue Dogs and the Republicans screw us on health care.

Monday, July 27

War - huh! What is it good for?

Creating drug addicts and murderers, among other things, apparently.

This article from Siun at Firedoglake highlights a disturbing series of events relating to a unit of the US Army that came home, but brought the Iraq War with them.

Guess what? They've been redeployed to Afghanistan.

Despite what people will tell you, you can't switch off the war when you get back from it. Even as far back as World War One, the British poet Wilfred Owen wrote:

"
-- These are men whose minds the Dead have ravished.
Memory fingers in their hair of murders,
Multitudinous murders they once witnessed.
Wading sloughs of flesh these helpless wander,
Treading blood from lungs that had loved laughter.
Always they must see these things and hear them,
Batter of guns and shatter of flying muscles,
Carnage incomparable and human squander
Rucked too thick for these men's extrication."
- Mental Cases


And we also have this parting word, from the Firedoglake post:

"
You should remember something else. A people and their army who behave like this abroad invariably bring this criminal and brutish behaviour home and turn it against their own people. It is not only revolutions that eat their own."

Let Me Get This Straight

The same Administration that, in late 2001,consigned the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution to the ash-heap of history with the euphemistically-titled "USA PATRIOT Act" actually balked at sending Federal troops into Lackawanna, New York to arrest some terrorism suspects because they felt it would violate Posse Comitatus?

Amazing but true, dear readers. The same regime that spied on you, that eavesdropped on you, that arrogated to itself the power to arrest you without warrant, charges or trial shied away from fulfilling the darkest fantasies of right-wing militia and survivalist freaks?

Strange but true.

Stay tuned, folks; we're going to see a lot more raw sewage vomiting out of the cesspool that was the George W Bush Administration.

The Doctor of the future.....

will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.
~Thomas A. Edison
US inventor (1847 - 1931)


and it now looks like "The Doctor Of The Future" will be (already is, IMHO) our NEXT HEALTH CRISIS -- Physician shortage

I sure hope we see more availability to holistic, alternative, and homeopathic remedies.

I've sure had it with my General Practitioner. The last 3 times I needed an appointment, I could "wait 2-3 weeks or see the nurse this afternoon".

I REALLY LIKE THE NURSE!! She was most patient in trying to help me with my insomnia. I saw her a few times as we tried several drugs that I still can't pronounce. Nothing worked. One day I decided to go to Whole Paycheck -- I mean Whole Foods -- to see what was available in the way of natural remedies. I looked for one of the helpers (i.e. the hippie herbalist types they have roaming the isles) and we had a great conversation about sleep. He recommended an herbal cocktail (mostly valerian, seditol, lavender, hops, passion flower...) that I decided to try. Was kind of expensive ($27) for 30 softgels -- the dosage is 1-3 -- so I need a bottle and a half or so per month. Then I thought about the cost of all my "consultations" with the nurse. Three visits @ $35 co-pay plus all the money wasted on those drugs -- PLUS I wonder what my insurance company paid for the office visits and the drugs.

I'm really beginning to resent the huge premiums we are paying (hubby is about 50/50 with employer) because I really haven't benefited from ANY of the coverage I have. OK, I know -- that's why it's called "insurance" -- In case I get hit by that bus.

I really hope these 2000 pages of Health Care Reform have a lot written about "care of the human frame, a proper diet, and the cause and prevention of disease."

It's just one big mess that I don't think will ever get resolved.



Some related opinions:

Common Sense May Sink ObamaCare -- Peggy Noonan

Five Freedoms You'd Lose In Health Care Reform -- Shawn Tully - Editor at Large, Fortune

Michael reconsidered (from AM, Then FM)

I've just been catching up with my fellow music bloggers. AM, Then FM is probably my most favorite (I think Jeff is my "brother from another mother"). He loves ALL the same groups I did, and still do. And, our Dads have a lot in common also.

His post following MJ's death was tops! Here it is in full:

I wrote the other day that I liked the young Michael Jackson’s work with the Jackson 5 — the singles, really — but not much beyond that.

That sounds cold, but it’s true. I don’t have any of his records.

But over the next couple of days, I kept thinking: “Is that all you have to say about an American icon?”

No, it isn’t. I’d like to add that I dug Michael Jackson the entertainer.

In the early to mid- ’80s, his videos were extraordinary. I’ll watch “Thriller” over and over. “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” always are worth watching if they pop up on TV.

My take on it — then and now — was that Jackson simply was reviving and reimagining classic American dance. He was the next generation, following in the footsteps of great dancers I’d seen in old movies. You may not recognize their names today: Bill Robinson, Bill Bailey and Harold and Fayard Nicholas.

Jackson learned from the masters. He was trained by the Nicholas Brothers. They were astonishing. The proof is in this remarkable scene from “Stormy Weather,” the 1943 film also starring Robinson, Lena Horne and Cab Calloway.

Jackson revitalized the moonwalk, which had been done by Bailey as far back as the ’40s. The proof comes at the end of this clip from 1955

Bill Robinson may be least familiar today. He was 65 when he made “Stormy Weather.” He died 60 years ago. Yet his drum dance in the film foreshadows Jackson’s dance on the lighted sidewalk in “Billie Jean.”

For all too brief a time, Michael Jackson was as good.

Then you’d watch the videos that followed in the late ’80s and early ’90s and you couldn’t help but think: “There he is, grabbing himself again.”

Further recommended reading:

Of all that’s been written about Jackson’s passing, nothing is as extraordinary as Lisa Marie Presley’s blog post on her MySpace page.
A close second is Robert Hilburn’s remembrance of Jackson in the Los Angeles Times.

Jackson was 11 when he met Hilburn, the paper’s former pop music critic. Hilburn writes of the contrast between what he saw then and what he saw when granted extensive access to Jackson in the early ’80s.

Jackson and Hilburn had a falling-out in 1995. After that, Hilburn was like the rest of us, watching from a distance, occasionally appalled but most often just saddened.

Friday, July 24

FUBAR -- The War On Drugs -- Obama even said so himself




and "The Drug Czar" still says NO to legalizing pot
and he also said "Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit"


In Operation SOS, more than 314,000 plants were uprooted in 70 gardens -- numbers expected to rise as the enforcement action continues. Agents also seized $41,000 in cash, 26 firearms and three vehicles.

Marijuana plants valued at more than $1.26 billion have been confiscated and 82 people arrested over the past 10 days in Fresno County. The operation started last week and is continuing.

One hundred growers may still be on the loose, said Fresno County sheriff's Lt. Rick Ko. Many may have gotten rides out of the area, but some could still be in the Sierra, Ko said.

Planning for the operation began in February and focused on marijuana crops being backed by Mexican drug cartels, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said.

Mims said many cartels are involved, but she would not name any because the investigation is still under way. All but one person arrested was from Mexico, officials said.


so are they leaving every one else alone?

don't the mexicans have enough land to grow their own?

set up?

just keeping "the good guys" employed I guess? (you GOTTA watch the video at the end of the story at the above link)




hat tip to 2parse

Best Bob Hope Movie Line Ever ?????????



ok! - the youtubers reminded that "Back in those days, the Democrats were today's Republicans."

Makes sense now.
link to comments



I happened to find this "best line ever" clip whilst doing a search on Nancy Pelosi (I was curious how old she was) --
I clicked on this picture link!!!
(I think she looks great for 70 - wow!)

Then I was curious what movie this line came from and found a different youtube post for this video -- CHECK OUT THESE COMMENTS -- Whoa!

I do kinda remember my parents telling me that they were democrats waaay back in the day. Now they're republicans -- and still pretty racist. Hmmmm......

Colbert is SICK of Obama's Health care also. BRILLIANT....

and OVER the top, piss-in-your-pants, coverage!


Health Care Reform Is the Matrix
President Obama's health care reform is a dystopian future filled with chaos and floor-length leather trench coats.

www.colbertnation.com

Health Care Hell-Scare - Die-agnosis: Mur-DR
Stephen invites expert victims from Canada, France and Spain to relay their horrible experiences of socialized medicine.

www.colbertnation.com

UNPLAYED PIANO - by Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan. (Aung San Suu Kyi's trial continues - July 24, 2009)

Suu Kyi, 64, is charged with violating the terms of her house arrest by harboring an uninvited American man who swam to her lakeside home and stayed for two days. Final arguments to be presented today.

"We are very optimistic because our arguments are based on solid legal points," Suu Kyi's main lawyer Kyi Win said. "We have the law on our side, but we don't know if the judges are on our side."


more about Aung San Suu Kyi

The song, UNPLAYED PIANO, was written for Aung San Suu Kyi following a visit by Damien Rice to Burma in July 2004 and was released in support of the Free Aung San Suu Kyi 60th Birthday Campaign back in 2005

more about the song

from myspace video:
Burma - a country of around 50 million people ruled by a military dictatorship that regularly burns down small villages -
raping women and children and using others for slave labour. They have forcibly recruited up to 70k child soldiers, more than
any other country in the world. 1500 political prisoners arrested for their beliefs in human rights. Communication with the outside world is punishable. Owning an unauthorised fax machine or modem can result in a 7 year sentence. 1.5 million villagers have fled their homes as refugees.

Aung San Suu Kyi is a non violent defender of human rights and freedom. In the 1990 general elections her party won 82% of the seats in parliament - the military regime (SPDC) ignored the election results - they arrested Aung San Suu Kyi and killed thousands of her supporters.

video details:
*GENOCIDE 400,000+ *BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS *2 MILLION + DISPLACED REFUGEES *WORLD’S LARGEST RECRUIT OF CHILD SOLDIERS UNDER THE AGE OF 17 *SYSTEMATIC RAPE AND TORTURE OF YOUNG CHILDREN *ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST OUTBREAK AREA OF HIV AND AIDS WITH NEARLY NO TREATMENT FOR MOST OF THE INFECTED *NO FREEDOM *WORLD'S ONLY NOBLE PEACE PRIZE WINNER JAILED FOR THE LAST 16 YEARS FOR SPEAKING OF DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM ‘Please use your liberty to promote theirs’

The following footage was taken before her arrest while she was free -- it is a celebration of the hope that Aung San Suu Kyi brings to the people of Burma

Wednesday, July 22

Too many conspiracy wackos on the news lately. Hurts my head.

UPDATE:

On July 17, Kitty Pilgrim guest hosted Lou Dobbs Tonight and debunked the "birthers." On July 20th, Lou Dobbs was back on the air questioning Obama's credentials. Does he watch CNN?

More at Media Matters.

Watch Jon Stewart take down Lou Dobbs. Jon Stewart to Lou Dobbs: 'Do You Even Watch Your Own F-ing Network?!'

--------------


According to nutjobs in the media and in congress, Obama never produced a valid birth certificate... this conspiracy theory is being played all over the media and even in congress (someone should make a clause that congressional members be of sound mind).

I can't believe that Lou Dobbs is allowed to spew this nonsense on CNN since his colleagues have debunked the conspiracy. You can expect such comments from Faux News however. None of these wackjobs had a problem with the fact that McCain wasn't born in the US so I am led to believe that this is politically and/or racially motivated. Is it just possible that the GOP needs the wacko wing of the party so badly that they are playing along with this?

Tuesday, July 21

No Conspiracy here......right folks??

Strange New Air Force Facility Energizes Ionosphere, Fans Conspiracy Flames

WIRED MAGAZINE

"This is really good stuff," Pedersen cooed. This wasn't just another aurora borealis triggered by solar winds; this one Pedersen made himself. He did it with the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (Haarp): a $250 million facility with a 30-acre array of antennas capable of spewing 3.6 megawatts of energy into the mysterious plasma of the ionosphere.
Bringing Haarp to fruition was, well, complicated. A group of scientists had to cozy up to a US senator, cut deals with an oil company, and convince the Pentagon that the project might revolutionize war. Oh, and along the way they sparked enough conspiracy theories to make the place sound like an arctic Area 51.


OMFG.......



1. Who Invented Radio?

2. Angels Don't Play This Haarp - Advances in Tesla Technology




what a raw deal

makes me think he also probably knew of a way to provide free energy/fuel to all

I am SO SICK of this Health Care NONSENSE.

Nader Nags Obama on Single Payer Healthcare

"Millions of Americans are feeling betrayed. They thought Obama as President meant change we can believe in. They thought Obama as President meant withdrawal from Iraq. They thought Obama as President meant standing up to Wall Street fat cats. They thought Obama as President meant a living wage"

"But for those of you who stood with us during the 2008 Presidential campaign, you knew the score. You do not feel betrayed. You are immune to Obama Betrayal Syndrome," Nader continues. "Because you knew, as we pointed out repeatedly during the campaign, that Obama was the corporate Democrat. Beholden to large campaign contributors from Wall Street. From the military industrial complex. And from the health insurance pharma complex."



Last summer, I really thought there was a possibility of a single payer system -- (WSJ - OBAMA TOUTS SINGLE PAYER SYSTEM FOR HEALTH CARE

After reading the following, it's no surprise that a year later -- NADA. Hey, wasn't Hillary ....? HOW MANY YEARS AGO WHAT THAT???????

Obama to Single Payer Advocates: Drop Dead
President Obama's White House made crystal clear this week: a Canadian-style, Medicare-for-all, single payer health insurance system is off the table.

Obama doesn't even want to discuss it.

Take the case of Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan).

Conyers is the leading advocate for single payer health insurance in Congress.

Last week, Conyers attended a Congressional Black Caucus meeting with President Obama at the White House.

During the meeting, Congressman Conyers, sponsor of the single payer bill in the House (HR 676), asked President Obama for an invite to the President's Marchy 5 health care summit at the White House.

Conyers said he would bring along with him two doctors - Dr. Marcia Angell and Dr. Quentin Young - to represent the majority of physicians in the United States who favor single payer.

Obama would have none of it.

This week, by e-mail, Conyers heard back from the White House - no invite.

Why not?

Well, believe it or not, the Obama White House is under the thumb of the health insurance industry.

Obama has become the industry's chief enforcer of its key demand: single payer health insurance is off the table.

Earlier this week, Obama named his health reform leadership team - Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Nancy-Ann DeParle.

Single payer advocates were not happy.

Since leaving Medicare, DeParle cashed in as a director at major for profit health care corporations, including Medco Health Solutions, Cerner, Boston Scientific, DaVita, and Triad Hospitals.

Now, what does the health insurance industry make of the Sebelius/DeParle team?

Here is Karen Ignagni, president of the lead health insurance lobbying group, America's Health Insurance Plans:

"Today the President is putting in place a team that is ready on day one to provide the leadership necessary to achieve health care reform. Governor Sebelius is the right person to move the President's health care agenda forward. She is a proven leader with extensive knowledge of health care issues and a long history of working effectively across the political aisle. As a former CMS administrator, Nancy-Ann DeParle brings considerable experience and a strong track record working on all of the health care issues facing the nation."

Karen sounds really upset, right?

Dr. David Himmelstein is a founder and spokesperson for Physicians for a National Health Program.

Himmelstein's take - Obama is caving to the insurance industry.

"The President once acknowledged that single payer reform was the best option, but now he's caving in to corporate healthcare interests and completely shutting out advocates of single payer reform," Himmelstein said. "The majority of Americans favor single payer, and it's the most popular reform option among doctors and health economists, but no single payer supporter has been invited to participate in the administration's health care summit. Meanwhile, he's appointed as his health reform czar Nancy-Ann DeParle, a woman who has made her living advising health care investors and sits on the board of many for-profit firms that have made billions from Medicare. Her appointment - and the invitation list to the healthcare summit - is a clear signal that the administration plans to propose a corporate-friendly health reform that has no chance of actually solving our health care crisis."

Obama to single payer advocates: drop dead
.

and The Media to single payer advocates:

FAIR Study: Media Blackout on Single-Payer Healthcare
(whatever the ptb want)

Health-care status quo pushing out single-payer advocates in nation's capital (Amy Goodman)
This is beginning to look like a replay of the failed 1993 health-care reform efforts led by then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Back then, the business interests took a hard line and waged a PR campaign, headlined by a fictitious middle-class couple, Harry and Louise, who feared a government-run health-care bureaucracy.






Now, Harry and Louise are asking that EVERYONE be brought to the table.



why does youtube have to disable the comments???

Here's 2 that made it.....

"Fuck you Harry and Louise. You corporate shills have blood on your hands. We could have had all Americans insured in the 1990s. How many people did you kill with your propaganda? Aren't you tired of being punked America? Who's paying for these ads? What's the game?"

"Well, it looks like harry and louise have become brainwashed by the corrupt republicans...again. If you want to fix the system you need to get rid of the republican party. They only want healthcare for the rich. Harry...Louise... read a book."

Everything Will Be Okay In The End



via dump.com

Monday, July 20

Goldman Sachs in Talks to Acquire Treasury Department

From The Borowitz Report:

In what some on Wall Street are calling the biggest blockbuster deal in the history of the financial sector, Goldman Sachs confirmed today that it was in talks to acquire the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

According to Goldman spokesperson Jonathan Hestron, the merger between Goldman and the Treasury Department is "a good fit" because "they're in the business of printing money and so are we."

The Goldman spokesman said that the merger would create efficiencies for both entities: "We already have so many employees and so much money flowing back and forth, this would just streamline things."

Mr. Hestron said the only challenge facing Goldman in completing the merger "is trying to figure out which parts of the Treasury Dept. we don't already own."

Goldman recently celebrated record earnings by roasting a suckling pig over a bonfire of hundred-dollar bills.

Elsewhere, conspiracy theorists celebrated the 40th anniversary of NASA faking the moon landing.

And in South Carolina, Gov. Mark Sanford gave his wife a new diamond ring, while his wife gave him an electronic ankle bracelet.


via The Big Picture

How's the bailout going? FUNNY you should ask......










via The Big Picture (Barry Ritholtz)

"That's One Small Step ..."



"Here men from the Planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon.
July, 1969 A.D.
We came in peace for all mankind."

Sunday, July 19

I don't live in the real America so I don't have a clue.

If you buy a car at Max Motors in Butler, Missouri, you will get a $450 voucher for an AK-47 assault rifle. Customers are not limited to buying assault rifles, they can get whatever they like from the gun store. Supposedly it helps sell more cars. I dunno.


I suppose if you live out in the country and face danger from bears, etc, it's a good idea to protect yourself. Where I live, if you went outside and shot an assault weapon, you'd probably hit a person so I can't relate to this. But then again, I suppose I could go into the drive-by shooting business.

Saturday, July 18

Question

Pope Benedict XVI fell down and broke his right wrist yesterday at his chalet near Aosta. The injured arm is the one he blesses with.

Does this mean that a Cardinal is called up from the minors until Benny's off the DL?

Just asking.

RIP, Uncle Walter



The radio and television correspondent termed "The Most Trusted Man in America" passed away yesterday at the age of 92. For millions of Americans, Cronkite was Uncle Walter, whose baritone voice seemed a comforting presence during some of the most tumultuous years.

I grew up watching him, my parents preferring him (the inheritor of Edward R. Murrow's mantle) over NBC's Huntley and Brinkley. He reported on the Kennedy and King assassinations and was an enthusiastic booster of the US space program.

Like many Americans, he at first supported the war in Vietnam, but was starting to grow disillusioned by the time the Tet Offensive started in 1968. His editorial remarks (he was always careful to tell his watchers when he was editorializing, and researched his position well) famously made President Johnson remark, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America."

Later in life he embraced the Internet, seeing in it the possibility of having the news reach every part of the globe almost instantly. We've seen that in the protests and unrest following the elections in Iran, for example.

But when he retired he left the field to second-rate minds, and as the media slowly downplayed the news into "newstainment" those second-rate minds retired from the battle and gave the task of supplying us with information to people who will all too often allow their politics, ideology and biases to taint the flow of information.

Even a television veteran like Bob Schieffer, relegated to CBS's Bullshit the Nation, no longer has the iron in his blood to ask truly probing questions of his guests. And forget about people like Couric, Gregory, Stephanopoulus or Mike Wallace ever measuring up to Schieffer (let alone to Cronkite's standard).

So, rest in peace, Walter Cronkite. You did well.

"And ... that's the way it is."

Friday, July 17

Obligatory Friday Sex Post

Special Kids Edition!

A recent pamphlet issued by Britain's National Health Service suggests that teenagers masturbate or have sex as often as possible, saying that sex should be fun and is healthy when done responsibly and children are taught about it at an early age.

Rather an enlightened viewpoint, if I may say so.

And then we have this, courtesy of Failblog:

fail owned pwned pictures
see more Fail Blog

I think that's a lucky kid, who will surely be giving his mother a splendid gift on Mother's Day.

What else is new?

A majority of Americans are wary about US healthcare reform according to a Zogby poll. This is not surprising given the amount of airtime given to pro corporate politicians and media talking heads.

Fine time to quit smoking.

I read last week that the Pentagon was considering a ban on smoking in the military. It seemed ridiculous to me to expect soldiers to give up smoking while fighting 2 wars as if smoking was their biggest problem. Yesterday it was reported that Robert Gates will not ban smoking for troops in combat zones and force them to go through nicotine withdrawal while fighting for my freedom.

NASA Lost original moonwalk video

NASA erased tapes in order to reuse them and the historical moonwalk was gone forever. Hollywood came to the rescue and restored television video copies and made them look sharper.

Thursday, July 16

General Cat Blogging. They OWN us.

From Live Science

"If you've ever wondered who's in control, you or your cat, a new study points to the obvious. It's your cat.


Household cats exercise this control with a certain type of urgent-sounding, high-pitched meow, according to the findings.

This meow is actually a purr mixed with a high-pitched cry. While people usually think of cat purring as a sign of happiness, some cats make this purr-cry sound when they want to be fed. The study showed that humans find these mixed calls annoying and difficult to ignore.

"The embedding of a cry within a call that we normally associate with contentment is quite a subtle means of eliciting a response," said Karen McComb of the University of Sussex. "Solicitation purring is probably more acceptable to humans than overt meowing, which is likely to get cats ejected from the bedroom.""

Continued

--------------

That's my cat's description. He can be such a pain that you simply cannot ignore it. He purrs and meows simultaneously, not to mention he will literally sit on my head when he needs more food or to go out.

Tuesday, July 14

Psych!

Sotomayor Surprises Sessions
Jess Bravin reports on Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing.

Ouch!

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), seeking to discredit Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy, cited her 2001 “wise Latina” speech, and contrasted the view that ethnicity and sex influence judging with that of Judge Miriam Cedarbaum, who “believes that judges must transcend their personal sympathies and prejudices.”

“So I would just say to you, I believe in Judge Cedarbaum’s formulation,” Sessions told Sotomayor.

“My friend Judge Cedarbaum is here,” Sotomayor riposted, to Sessions’ apparent surprise. “We are good friends, and I believe that we both approach judging in the same way, which is looking at the facts of each individual case and applying the law to those facts.”

Cedarbaum agreed.

“I don’t believe for a minute that there are any differences in our approach to judging, and her personal predilections have no effect on her approach to judging,” she told Washington Wire. “We’d both like to see more women on the courts,” she added.


UPDATE: Sessions slammed Sotomayor for not being a racist like HE IS. Get this:
This morning, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) castigated Sotomayor for not ruling with her fellow Puerto Rican colleague, conservative Judge José A. Cabranes, when she decided to deny an en banc appeal in Ricci v. DeStefano, a process in which all judges of a court hear a case (as opposed to a three-judge panel of them). Sessions seemed to indicate that people of the same ancestry should vote the same way:

SESSIONS: You voted not to reconsider the prior case. You voted to stay with the decision of the circuit. And in fact your vote was the key vote. Had you voted with Judge Cabranes, himself of Puerto Rican ancestry, had you voted with him, you could’ve changed that case.
This is why the neocons continually amaze me. They are of another breed and assume that everyone thinks like them and have evil motives like they do. Sheesh. Obviously Sessions can only think like a conservative white man.

What Would You Say

(OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO - DAVE MATTHEWS)


Dave Matthews Band - What Would You Say (Official Music Video) - Click here for more blooper videos


So, what do YOU have to say today?

Palin: the gift that keeps on giving II

WHO WOULD JESUS DROWN?

Levi Johnston, the boy who knocked up Palin's abstinent daughter is back in the news. He suggested that Palin resigned so she could make more money with a book deal or something like that. It was his opinion and the MSM was falling all over themselves to get it. Pat Buchanan was so upset by this that he suggested this on Morning Joe:
“Well, first, with regard to Levi, I think First Dude up there in Alaska, Todd Palin, ought to take Levi down to the creek and hold his head underwater until the thrashing stops.”
How very Catholic. How very American. Better kill her detractors.



BUT WHO'S REALLY BASHING PALIN IN THE MEDIA?

I haven't heard any liberals in the MSM complaining about Palin. (not that there are more than a handful of liberals in the media these days.) In fact it's her own party that's taking her apart. Here's one opinion: “In all my years in politics, nobody has left Alaska in such a mess.” Palin's under siege. oh my.



I love the smell of burning white men in the morning

Good lord, you have to at least see the headlines at Media Matters this morning. White men in the media have come unglued over the Sotomayor nomination. O'Reilly and Buchanan feel that their male whiteness is threatened. Beck thinks the country is crashing and burning. (Nice Catholic boys too.) The network MSM is repeating the nonsense spewed forth by the white racist pundits on cable news. The sad thing is that if you casually bring up Sotomayor to regular people you meet, they repeat the talking points- she's an activist, she'll put Latinos before whites, blah blah blah... they act as if one supreme court judge is going to send America to hell in a handbag.

If anyone is going to criticize her in the press, they ought to bring up legitimate reasons rather than fear mongering.

The Senators are going after Ginsberg while crying about Sotomayor as if white men's views of the world are the only legitimate ones. Story at Alternet

Monday, July 13

All I ever needed to know about Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.....I learned at THE WONKETTE




The Post and comments are a hoot!
G8 Countries Secretly Trying To Kick Out Italy, For Sucking:

Italy was a pretty important country or whatever about 2,000 years ago, but since then it’s gradually deflated to its current status as a wacky do-nothing ice-cream colony of back hair and male capri pants and trash and rats. Pompey was lucky to die when he did! Now the person running this ancient land-phallus is a naked orange clown who spends all of his time ringleading orgies with young non-wife girls or fiddling around with the roster of the soccer team he randomly owns. Which is great for him! But unfortunately for this Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, he signed Italy up as the host of tomorrow’s latest G8 conference a while back without realizing that he and his minions would have to “do preparation stuff” in advance, so they just did nothing, and now “Washington” is trying to kick this embarrassing pizza-bagel of a country out of its Rich Nations Club once and for all.

Ha ha look at these nerds with their terms, terms like “sherpa calls,” which are basically “catty conference calls behind lazy Italy’s back.”

Preparations for Wednesday’s G8 summit in the Italian mountain town of L’Aquila have been so chaotic there is growing pressure from other member states to have Italy expelled from the group, according to senior western officials.

In the last few weeks before the summit, and in the absence of any substantive initiatives on the agenda, the US has taken control. Washington has organised “sherpa calls” (conference calls among senior officials) in a last-ditch bid to inject purpose into the meeting.

“For another country to organise the sherpa calls is just unprecedented. It’s a nuclear option,” said one senior G8 member state official. “The Italians have been just awful. There have been no processes and no planning.”

“The G8 is a club, and clubs have membership dues. Italy has not been paying them,” said a European official involved in the summit preparations.

And isn’t Italy allied with the Nazis, too?



h/t to Anna Van Z @ BigBrassBlog --


and Dark Wraith Images

Science vs Religion

Gov Rick Perry of Texas appointed a creationist, Gail Lowe to chair the State Board of Education. She is actually the most moderate of social conservatives under consideration. She has stated that she thinks the study of evolution is important but has voted against text books that don't thoroughly explain the weaknesses of evolution.

  • The Texas Freedom Network sees the Lowe appointment as the minute improvement that it really is. The organization's president Kathy Miller released the following statement:

  • It's disappointing that instead of choosing a mainstream conservative who could heal the divisions on the board, the governor once again appointed someone who repeatedly has put political agendas ahead of the education of Texas schoolchildren. Ms. Lowe has marched in lockstep with a faction of board members who believe that their personal beliefs are more important than the experience and expertise of teachers and academics who have dedicated their careers to educating our children and helping them succeed. We can only hope that she will rise above her history on the board and as chair keep the board from continuing to hold the education of our children hostage to divisive 'culture war' battles.
See also

Science, religious beliefs conflict for one in three Americans

Darwin survey shows international consensus on acceptance of evolution
A British Council poll into awareness of Charles Darwin and attitudes towards evolution has found that there is a broad international consensus of acceptance towards his theory of evolution.

Americans are so dumb and will believe anything.

Drama of the week

Sonia Sotomayor will go before the Senate this morning at 10am. I think it will be pretty dramatic. I laugh when I read about white conservative Senators think that she won't be objective enough.

Saturday, July 11

The Fed Under Fire

The Federal Reserve is one of the most powerful and secretive institutions in Washington, long considered beyond the reach of lawmakers. But now, as details emerge of how the Fed secretly doled out more than a trillion dollars during the financial crisis, a rare bipartisan movement in Congress demands that the Fed be held accountable.

excellent youtube video



here's an org chart of the Fed

and speaking of "most powerful" and "secretive" -- these 2 words also describe our POTUS:

On his first day in office, January 21, 2009, Obama signed Executive Order 13489. This order was entered into the Federal Register on January 26, 2009.

What this executive order says, is that only the Attorney General (Eric Holder) and Council to the President, (Gregory Craig) are able to review presidential records requests and determine if they can be made public or not. (See Section 3)

In other words, you aren't going to see any records or documents that Obama doesn't want you to see.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that Obama's first official act was to deny access to his records. Obama has lived for 48 years without leaving any footprints -- none! There is no Obama documentation -- no bona fides -- no paper trail -- nothing.

Original, vault copy birth certificate -- Not released
Certificate of Live Birth -- Released -- Counterfeit
Obama/Dunham marriage license -- Not released

Obama/Dunham divorce -- Released (by independent investigators)
Soetoro/Dunham marriage license -- Not released
Soetoro adoption records -- Not released

Soetoro/Dunham divorce -- Released (by independent investigators)
Fransiskus Assisi School School application -- Released (by independent investigators)
Punahou School records -- Not released
Selective Service Registration -- Released -- Counterfeit
Occidental College records -- Not released
Passport -- Not released and records scrubbed clean by Obama's terrorism and intelligence adviser.
Columbia College records -- Not released
Columbia thesis -- Not released
Harvard College records -- Not released
Harvard Law Review articles -- None
Baptism certificate -- None
Medical records -- Not released
Illinois State Senate records -- None
Illinois State Senate schedule -- Lost
Law practice client list -- Not released
University of Chicago scholarly articles -- None
Source: Morning Security News Brief via Internal Company News Wire-Washington

via antijihadresistance (I know, I know, but they had the best list!)

HEY ALL YOU REBEL ROCKERS -- It's time to put up a fight

You got to let go of remote control






Don't ever doubt the power of just one mind.

Or the world-wide power of just one rhyme.

Don't ever doubt the force of the bassline.

Or a record gone round to burn the house down.



"SMASH THE EMPIRE WITH MY BOOM BOX" - great line!!

Friday, July 10

JFK's Speech to the The American Newspaper Publishers Assoc. - April, 1961.

"Ladies and gentlemen,

the very word secrecy is repugnant, in a free and open society, and we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and secret proceedings.

We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweigh the dangers which are cited to justify it.

Even today there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating it's arbitrary restrictions.

Even today there is little value in ensuring the survival of our nation, if our traditions do not survive with it.

And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious who wish to expand it's meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.

That I do not intend to permit, to the extent that it is in my control.

And no official of my administration whether his rank as high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight, as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes, or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.

We are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence, on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, upon guerrillas by night instead of armies by day.

It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumour is printed, no secret is revealed.

Here's the entire speech


The general consensus over the years has been that this speech was mainly about Russia.

What do you think?

I think he was talking about the Fed.

I read up on JFK's plan to put some kind of regulation upon the Federal Reserve. In 1963, 5 months prior to his assassination, he signed Executive Order 11110 which would have removed from the Federal Reserve Bank, the power to loan money to the United States Federal Government at interest.


Here is a great discussion from abovetopsecret about this speech


RELATED:

I hope Ron Paul has someone watching his back. Have you been following his attempts to get congress to Audit the Fed?
MSNBC graciously covered his efforts in a recent article -- UFB!!! OMFG these "journalists" are something else... He's got the majority of the house backing this audit.


senate tries to block the federal reserve audit
Which tells us at least one thing: the problem wasn’t with “legislating” on the bill or violating Senate Rules (which is commonly done). Shooting down the amendment was about preventing a thorough audit of the Federal Reserve for the first time in its history!

Watch the senate try to block the audit here

So, if Mr. Obama wants transparency, then WHY THE FUCK is he not TOTALLY supporting this "Audit the Fed" campaign???

We'd expect nothing less from our Campaign Promise Breaker-in-Chief...but the sheeple don't mind, he's a brilliant speaker with great abs.
(GOTTA LOVE the digg comments!!)

related??
house overwhelming rebukes obama signing statement I'd love to know why there was no rebuking all of bush's signing statements....


I think I had a few more links to add to this post, but I can't think straight anymore.

WHO'S ZOOMING WHO HERE FOLKS? (or is it who's zoomin whom?)

Thursday, July 9

Complete Stupidity, Conservative Style

Sometimes, my dear readers, you run across examples of stupidity so blatant, so unutterably and ineffably Out There that you just can't really comment about it - you can only stand in awe.

Like this, courtesy of Salon and Gawker (partial transcript follows):



BRIAN KILMEADE: We keep marrying other species and other ethnics--

GRETCHEN CARLSON: Are you sure you are not suffering from some of the causes of dementia right now?

BRIAN KILMEADE: The problem is the Swedes have pure genes. They marry other Swedes, that's the rule. Finns marry other Finns; they have a pure society. In America we marry everybody. We will marry Italians and Irish.

DAVE BRIGGS: This study does not apply?

BRIAN KILMEADE: Does not apply to us.

[pause]

DAVE BRIGGS: Huh.


See what I mean, people? But that ain't all. Stand in awestruck silence at the stylings of Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina (I specify what state this jackass belongs to, because it'd be an insult to any other state). DeMint was at the National Press Club hawking his new book when he spewed this bit of abject nonsense:

"Part of what we're trying to do in Saving Freedom is just show that where we are, we're about where Germany was before World War II where they became a social democracy. You still had votes but the votes were just power grabs like you see in Iran, and other places in South America, like Chavez is running down in Venezuela. People become more dependent on the government so that they're easy to manipulate. And they keep voting for more government because that's where their security is. When our immigrants get here, they're worried, because they see it happening here."

So, open elections that don't result in Republican victories are "power grabs," Senator? Gee, what an illuminating outburst coming from a conservative Senator such as yourself.

We are seeing plenty of stupidity from the Right.

I know YOU are, but what am I?

The nature of temptation
Why those who speak against vice so often fall for it.

Excerpt: The study of how we form opinions of our own moral worth is a budding field, and it suggests that the human mind works in powerful, subtle ways to make hypocrites out of all of us - especially those who hold themselves in the highest moral esteem. People who inveigh against a vice in others are often themselves fixated on it, and more likely to succumb to its allure. And, the research suggests, virtuous deeds are often a form of penance for thoughts a person is ashamed of.
It's best not to brag about how good you are... you are setting yourself up for a fall. That seems to be the big problem with conservatives and why they turn out to be such major hypocrites... especially the ones that criticize those who have affairs or fight tooth and nail against homosexuality. When you look back at the Clinton years and the Lewinsky affair you find that the most outspoken opponents of Bill Clinton were very much involved in extramarital affairs themselves. Turns out the most ardent critics of homosexual marriage have dabbled in gay sex. The "real America" has the highest divorce rates and the most teenaged pregnancies. Projection anyone?

How about when a friend or lover dumps you for someone else and tells you how absolutely fabulous things are with the new person and how bad things were with you.... don't brag because before long things will be going straight down the tubes. Pride comes before the fall.




I just wish Palin would STFU and go away

I don't hate Sarah Palin. Never did. I was just appalled that John McCain brought her into the limelight because she had so very little to offer, she was incoherent and she was being billed as a "woman" when in fact she was not very womanly at all. She was the anti-woman, the anti-mom and worst of all, she condoned shooting wolves with automatic weapons from a helicopter... hell that isn't even very manly. What made my head hurt was that she was touted as some sort of family values candidate. Hmmm. I would have made a much more credible family values candidate as would many of my liberal friends who put our families and children before our ginormous egos. In fact whenever I hear "family values" being tossed around by talking heads in the media, I can now automatically assume that we aren't talking about "family values" at all!

Sarah Palin resigned and spoke like a defensive teenager- never making a point. Now that MJ is dead and buried, the media can't stop talking about her. I can't keep the news on TV for more than a few minutes without being nauseated. She feels that she was being picked on. I wonder if she ever paid attention to the media attention Hillary Clinton had to deal with? Palin's attention never even came close to the scrutiny the Clinton's received and Palin was far more deserving because what she said never made sense or was very far from the truth. What's more is that the ethics violations being investigated against Palin were from REPUBLICANS in ALASKA except one that came from a DC group. Yeah, it was costing Alaskans tax money to investigate her, but the complaints came from her own party in her own state. It had nothing to do with the main stream media because they freaking love her.

While I was flipping the channels last night, it was being discussed that if Palin ran for president in 2012, 43% of Americans polled said they would vote for her. I'm sooooo disappointed in my fellow Americans. Did we not learn that having an incoherent boob in the white house for 8 years is a disaster?

Wednesday, July 8

Michael Jackson - The Elephant in the Room


It seems all anyone wants to remember about Michael Jackson are the good things: his music, the love of his family, his charitable works. Laudable, to be sure; but we all know there’s more to Jackson’s legacy than that. Should it be mentioned? Or remain the unacknowledged elephant balancing on that beach ball in the middle of the room? Am I the only one whose attention continues to be drawn towards the center ring?

Every human being is a universe of complexity. We carry within the seeds of unimaginable death and destruction. Most make it through without tapping that darkness. Did Jackson? According to law, yes. The truth? Probably never be known. Elephant in aspic – icky, smelly; preserved forever – indelible and indigestible. So why look at it at all? Good question. Maybe it’s me – my tendency to pick at sores even if they sting - anything to make them go away faster. I’ve spent my entire life trying to understand the genesis of personal demons – those nasty elephants dancing ‘round MY room: Why did my mother hate so damn much? What made my brother so violent? Why did my sister kill herself? Around, and around, and around – addiction, abuse..... So why aren’t I as crazy as Michael? How did I emerge with my soul (and personality) intact?

I have to say I abjure the freak show Jackson encouraged and became part and parcel of. For every cliff I walked up to, looked over and decidedly moved away from – Michael seems to have jumped off willingly with both feet (or so it would seem). And there lies the rub. How many of those dancing elephants he consorted with were really real? To put it bluntly: Did he molest those boys? I cannot even begin to answer that question - because I don’t understand how something like that could happen in the first place. Under what mechanism does the abused become the abuser? What sours in the brain? I have never in my entire life ever intentionally hurt a single living creature. I couldn’t even force myself to – the empath in me begins screaming at the first sign of pain. Hell - I can’t even retaliate in kind when someone does or says something directly to my face. Creating pain is as alien to me as breathing water.

Hurt myself? Now that’s different. Oh yeah – I’ve hurt myself more times than I could count (there’s that inability to retaliate rearing its pacifist head). But just me. Only me. I don’t foist my bad choices (or destructive behaviors) on anyone else. I’m the only one who suffers. So how is that different for others? What satisfaction can be derived from experiencing another’s fear or pain? I can still hear my mother saying over and over that she wanted someone else to ‘understand’ the length, depth and breadth of her own abuse. She‘d tell me this while torturing me, by the way – my tears personal vengeance against her own vicious mother and sister. How on earth this assuaged any of her childhood pain I do not know. The harder I’d cry – the crueler she became. It was as if my tears drove her to be all the meaner. My brother? He’d just laugh. He really got off on it too – a died-in-the-wool sadist, that bastard (may he rot in Dante’s hell for all eternity).

I could never, ever, under any circumstances do anything even remotely like that. I’m incapable of it. So it’s hard to understand (or possibly forgive) Michael Jackson’s sins (if sins there were). Can I ignore them like everybody else and just celebrate the good? I dunno. I’m conflicted. It’s the same when I look at Bing Crosby. All four of the children he had from his first marriage are dead. Two of them committed suicide. All spoke of the dreadful abuse they suffered at his hands. He was a real son-of-a-bitch. Does that make him a bad actor or singer? Depends on your point of view. I look at the affable character he presented on film and wonder……had he injured one of his sons that day? Were they nursing wounds while he frolicked in front of the camera? How did that make him feel? The mind reels. It’s hard to turn off that kind of knowledge – to pretend there’s no elephant there; and as such it impedes my enjoyment of his work. It didn’t use to, by the way – but that’s changed as I’ve grown older. I understand more and tolerate less now. Same with Jackson. I look at his open visage, I listen to his music and I’m left terribly confused.

You see, there’s no denying the man was loved – and not just by his fans or those who depended upon his benevolence either. Jackson had friends, family – people who loved him for who he was and not how much he had. I was particularly affected by his daughter at yesterday’s memorial. Ask me at age 11 if I loved MY mother – and I’d have said no – no way. Feared and hated? You bet! Same with my brother. But Paris really loved her dad. It seemed obvious - though I’ll admit to being troubled at the way she kept grabbing the back of her neck while speaking (though maybe that was just a reaction to Janet’s playing with her hair). Odd behaviors like that often signal hidden emotions. I’d literally pull mine out at that age. Still - somewhere under all Michael Jackson’s Halloween makeup and Twilight behavior lived a decent human being. Can someone like that do evil? What if the answer is ‘no’? What if those elephants are merely constructs – creatures of smoke and fog, lingering because gossip keeps them there? One puff and they’re gone. Then why does the image persist? Why are my eyes still drawn to that center ring? If the accusations weren’t true – why pay twenty-odd million to make them go away? That’s fear talking – fear of exposure.....isn’t it?

More questions than answers, I’m afraid. So those elephants keep dancing, beach balls in tow: around and around and around and around. What’s the truth here? Where’s it hidden? Will the real Michael Jackson please stand up? Thing is – he can’t – not any more. So I’m left with questions and a clinging sense of evil I just can’t ignore. That’s the problem with abuse. It leaves scars that color and affect every single thing. Maybe I’m viewing all this through a distorted prism – seeing things that aren’t really there (on both sides). Like I said before – I guess we’ll just never really know.

Tuesday, July 7

Did ya watch the Jackson funeral?

I didn't but you can tell us all about it.

so, city poultry is the new trend apparently

For practical reasons, I've succumbed to peer pressure and am doing what a lot of folks in the so-called 'urban farming' movement are doing. 
 
I have chickens in my backyard (well, adolescent chickens to be exact).  So far, the neighbors have not complained (nothing to complain about really; no nuisance no noise no stink no kidding).  The neighborhood cats have not pulled any stunts.  And the girls themselves are a real delight.
 
2 buff orpingtons, 2 black australorps, 2 rhode island reds.  That's Edwina, Josefina, Mildred, Norma, Geraldine and Georgina.  They all have distinct personalities and voices, tend to pair up by breed when relaxing or eating, and my compost pile has become way more manageable since bringing them home, because they live for veggie and fruit scrap treats when they're not stuffing their beaks with organic starter feed. 
 
A lot of things led to this, but a primary reason was the desire to control where my food is coming from, and also lessen its carbon footprint.  I'm already growing hordes of vegetables in the yard, and hopefully will have enough surplus to preserve some things and to donate others to local food banks.  The simplicity factor is a big draw as well, because I won't have to buy eggs once the girls start to lay.  The wrinkle is that I'm not supposed to have 'livestock' where I live.  But in the same statement in the city code it dictates that I must have 25 feet between the animal enclosure and the property next door.  Self-sufficiency is a food justice issue, to my mind.  We've been trained away from being DIY'ers, to our collective detriment in the cities.
 
And to keep this post topical, here's a piece about the 'urban farming movement', and how it is taking on revolutionary proportions as self-sufficiency catches on. 
 
With any luck I'll have my act together to set up a bee hive next year.

Sunday, July 5

So ...

Sarah Palin says that she's answering a "higher calling" in announcing her resignation, adding that she can go national now and seek to unify the conservatives.

Pardon me for saying this, but this Bull Goose Loony has been pranging about the Lower 48 for far too long since the end of the 2008 election, to the detriment of the state she governs.* Her "higher calling" may be to raise as much money as possible to defend herself against any legal challenges (it is rumored that an indictment is in the offing).

Now, to any one in the Republican Party who has the merest moiety of their marbles,** Palin has managed to destroy whatever credibility she had left as a serious leadership voice in the Party. The Establishment has almost written her off and the GOPAQ (GOP al Qaeda, the rancid Base of the Party) is beyond help anyway, so the only "calling" she's possibly answering is the siren song of her bank account - or she's just delusional.




* She is still Governor until July 26th.
** My political and social leanings put me beyond the pale of the Party, so I consider myself smarter than most of the Party membership. So there.

Friday, July 3

Palin Cuts and Runs

Governor Sarah Palin (R-Crazyville North) has done what would be considered unthinkable for any sitting Governor with Presidential aspirations.

She's resigning, effective July 26:



I strongly suggest you listen to the entire rambling and almost-incoherent screed by the Wasilla Wonder. It's instructive, as well as amusing.

Now, why is she doing this?

Here my best guess:

Palin's trying to clear the lines to her rear - shake herself loose from her sagging popularity figures and the spate of ethics complaints that have been dogging her heels since 2008.

Reason?

She's planning on a run in 2012, although, as Jed Lewison over at Daily Kos points out, taking cheap shots at "lame duck" Governors going on overseas trade missions is rather odd. If she was so convinced that Alaskans liked her, she wouldn't have been a lame duck, but gotten re-elected.

I think the catalyzing event was the Vanity Fair article, as well as the ridicule surrounding her interview in Runner's World.

The major drawback to this is she's only been Governor for 30 months and about 8 months ago she thought she had a good shot as VPOTUS because she had more "executive experience" than Obama. Her contention in her video statement that she loves her job and is doing what is best for Alaska reveals a level of cognitive dissonance. If she wants to do the best for her state as the Governor, she needs to lead, pure and simple.

Not cut and run.

Good conservatives don't cut and run, Sarah. Unless, of course, you're Reagan in Lebanon - oops, shouldn't have brought that up.

So here is Sarah Palin, leaving office about midway through her first term, and MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell states that "sources" have told her that Palin's through with politics.

Don't believe it for a New York second, folks. This woman's got a taste of the Big Politics, and I doubt - for all her rambling basketball metaphors and the resurrection of Douglas MacArthur - that she's given up on making some kind of splash on the national scene.

Of course, though, she has made a splash nationally.

But that was more like an offering made on the Porcelain Altar.

Right-wing extremist heads are exploding as we speak, the "Establishment" pundit Charles Krauthammer is pontificating that she was never a serious candidate to start with (watch for this to be the New Truth in the coming days) and I'm sure the secessionist Alaskan Independence Party would love to have her as their candidate for President.

President of Alaska, of course.

So lay back and enjoy it this Fourth of July, folks - bask in the reflected glow of The Crazy as Governor Barracuda flames out.

UPDATE: Rumors flying about a Palin scandal about to break.

More Palin Antics?

Anyone care to guess why Sarah Palin is resigning as governor of Alaska on July 25th?

and in music news

The Eagles Greatest Hits 1971-1975 is the best selling album of all time.

It's not Thriller, which was the second best selling album.

TPM blog

Thursday, July 2

More on the Francine Busby fundraiser in San Diego County

The other day I posted a piece "Only in A Republican Stronghold" about a Francine Busby fundraiser in San Diego County that was raided after a bogus complaint that there was noise coming from a private house. There was a helicopter, dogs, pepper spray and an out of control sheriff.

On Monday, three of the women held a press conference, blasting the arresting officer, Deputy Marshall G. Abbott. "He had a raged look in his eyes and his head was bobbing from side to side," said Kimberley Beatty, who said that she had called 911 to report that he "appeared to be out of control."

And last night, the San Diego ACLU put out a press release, which was forwarded to us by Busby herself, lambasting the Sheriff's Department for all manner of improper behavior here, and calling for greater transparency as the process of investigating this whole mess goes forward. The opening paragraph of the press release is essentially a dry narration of the reported events -- ending with an extraordinary closing sentence, emphasis ours:

  • On Friday, June 26, 2009, according to press reports and witness statements, a San Diego County Sheriff's deputy, responding to a noise complaint, entered the home of Shari Barman who was hosting a political gathering to support Francine Busby, a candidate for Congress. When the homeowner questioned why she had to provide her date of birth, the deputy grabbed her arm, put it behind her back, and brought her to the ground. Feeling intimidated by a group of mostly middle-aged women, he pepper-sprayed a number of guests and arrested Barman.
...

Shari Barman, the homeowner who was arrested, also released a statement Monday night: "He told me I was under arrest, grabbed my right arm, twisted it behind me and threw me on the ground. Some of the 25 or so people who were still in attendance observed what was happening and started asking the deputy what was going on. My partner, Jane Stratton, asked him to please be careful as I had recently had right shoulder surgery. His response was to knock her to the ground."

Turns out that the Sheriff was a Marine until 2 years ago, if that means anything. Maybe he has PTSD and is afraid of Democrats. A new sheriff was sworn in today which is good news. The complaints against the maniacal old sheriff are being taken seriously.