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Thursday, July 31
I'd fire my PR firm if I was the maverick. Dirty politics and smear campaigns only make he who does the smearing look like a fool. No wonder Obama is more popular than McCain.
When the video of the cop who body slammed a cyclist hit the internets, the cop was stripped of his badge and gun and put behind a desk. It's too bad that the cyclist was charged with attempted assault in the third degree, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, when in fact it was the cop who was guilty of assault and it looks like from the video, in the first degree and was quite disorderly himself.
Let this be a warning to the police. We're watching you too.
Watch the video.
Wednesday, July 30
"The organization's founder, Stan Brock, calls the clinics "expeditions" to where the needs are greatest. Sixty percent of the expeditions now go not to the Amazon or other Latin American regions but to places in the United States. The most recent expedition, last weekend, was to Wise, in the southwest corner of Virginia."
-- Bernd Debusmann in his Reuters article In rich America, Third World inequality
Israeli Prime Minister Olmert to resign in Sept.
Appearing angry and reading from a prepared text, Olmert said, "I was forced to defend myself against relentless attacks from self-appointed 'fighters for justice' who sought to depose me from my position, when the ends sanctified all the means."
Olmert, whose term was to end in 2010, said he would not run in his party's primary election, set for Sept. 17,
and from one of my favorite blog posts of all time......
Never Trust a Man with a Comb-Over
by Edgar J. Steele
Never trust a man with a comb-over. Yes, that self deception in which a balding man deludes himself into thinking that growing his hair out to an incredible length on one side of his head, then simply flinging it over to the other side, will cause others to think it looks as good as it does to himself. For example, take this fellow:
He actually thinks we don't notice that he is bald all the way to the back of his skull. He thinks that, somehow, we will believe he has a normal head of hair. He probably thinks that young girls my daughter's age find him attractive. I assume that a disproportionate number of perverts, child molesters and murderers of women and children have comb-overs - not to imply, heaven forbid, that this particular fellow should be viewed in that light.
Really, now - would you buy a used car from this man? Seriously - think about it. Someone who thinks he can delude you with something as obvious as a comb-over? He could persuade himself that you might be deceived by anything he said or did, don't you think? Look at those close-set, sneaky eyes. In this picture, you can almost hear him chortling over some poor sucker whom he just fleeced, as he rubs his hands together, Scrooge like. Or, perhaps, he is plotting the abduction of some poor innocent and is considering where to hide the body.
What a Nation's Leadership Says About its Character
Coincidentally, the man with the comb-over pictured above happens to be Ehud Olmert, Israel's current Prime Minister and architect of the genocidal frenzy that has been taking place in both Palestine and Lebanon. Past Israeli Prime Ministers have included self-confessed assassins (Begin) and mass murderers (Sharon) who thought themselves fit to mingle in amongst normal, decent people. That such men are selected to lead should tell you a great deal about Israel. Not that choosing a boob like Bush to lead America is not just as telling. H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) once observed:.............
As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents,
more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.
On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land
will reach their heart's desire at last
and the White House will be adorned
by a downright moron.
Bush administration officials “reassured Israel’s defense minister this week that the United States has not abandoned all possibility of a military attack on Iran.” At the same time, the Israelis are “emphasizing the possibility of a military response out of concern that Tehran may soon have the know-how for building a nuclear bomb.”
2) Has more billionaires living there than any other city.
3) Has a currency that has gained 8% since January against the US Dollar.
NY City which is the most expensive city in the US fell from #15 to #22 thanks to the dollar drop. Los Angeles fell to number #55 making it cheaper than Lagos, Nigeria and Almaty, Kazakhstan.
h/t farang who also added, "I can "tell ya a little story" you might find "interesting" about Putin stating (prior to 9/11/01) that he was going to sucker the Americans into invading/occupying Afghanistan, and run our military and economy and CURRENCY into the ground, JUST LIKE the US did to Russia when Reagan was in office and Moscow occupied Afghanistan.....think it might be working???
(REUTERS): "U.S. securities regulators have extended through August 12 an emergency rule aimed at curbing abusive short selling in the stocks of 19 major financial firms, including mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
"The Securities and Exchange Commission rule is part of an agency crackdown on possible market manipulation that some blame for steep declines in the shares of financial companies."
They'll pull the curbs right in the middle of the Olympics, hoping no one will notice if the market descendeth into hell never to rise again from the dead.
Tuesday, July 29
TSA ramps up program to psychologically screen airline passengers
If you have ever used a NY area airport, you just fell on the floor laughing. The TSA in NY doesn't understand English so every passenger would seem irate enough to blow up the place. I doubt this program is being used in NY.
Senator "Series of tubes" Stevens of Alaska has been indicted on 7 charges and will most likely have to give up his seat on the Senate Commerce Committee (thank god).
My favorite question asked by Monica Goodling to prospective candidates at the DOJ:
"What is it about George Bush that makes you want to serve him?"
Can you imagine that employees of the DOJ had to answer that question properly in order to get the job? How can there be any justice in Murka with shit like this going on?
John McCain had a little piece of skin removed from his right cheek to be biopsied. He said that everything is going to be okay, but they had pundits upon pundits discussing what would happen if it was cancer and what would happen if it wasn't cancer. Dr. Sanjay Gupta was there to throw in his 2 cents. I almost threw up. Why not wait until the biopsy comes back to discuss it? Is there no other news happening on earth?
Since the news is so superficial.... Why not discuss that his wife looks like a floozie and how a good haircut could be the answer to that? They could put up graphic representations of how she'd look with a precision cut more appropriate her her age. I noticed her unruly hair when they kept showing her with him over and over and over again. She's too mature for that look.
Why not discuss all his gaffes and his dismal voting record towards women?
Gawd I hate the media.
UPDATE: McCain is cancer free. After all that punditry for nothing.
Bell Canada and TELUS (formerly owned by Verizon) employees officially confirm that by 2012 ISP's all over the globe will reduce Internet access to a TV-like subscription model, only offering access to a small standard amount of commercial sites and require extra fees for every other site you visit. These 'other' sites would then lose all their exposure and eventually shut down, resulting in what could be seen as the end of the Internet.
Monday, July 28
Well, I guess you're happy knowing your place.
"Hiii Hunneee, how ya' doin'? Hee-Haw."
"Hii to you Hunnee, how you doin'? Hee-Haw."
"Nuthin much Goo-goo-pie, bloggin' around, trying to figure out who's the most hideous major candidate running for president."
"Well gosh, that's easy; McChancre is the worst."
"Eeeeyyy, wait a minute; I think Oblivion is really grotesque!"
That's the way it began and soon heated words were exchanged and the situation was on the verge of a screaming, shouting match when a voice that seemed to emanate from the phone and the stratosphere both thundered loudly, "SILENCE, MORTALS!" Awed, we awaited. The voice (which sounded suspiciously like The Dark Wraith) continued, "Now, it is obvious to me that your spiritual devotion to each other notwithstanding, your ignorance of the pecuniary pecadilloes of all the candidates is standing in your path to true wedded bliss. Hence, heed these words well."
There followed a lecture featured by its monotonicity; but in its way it was a soothing as well as enervating verbal dissertation of the financial flat-footedness which can be found not only in the present candidates but those of years past as well. And, here's the the strange thing: as the voice continued, we could feel our passions begin to rise; I could tell from the gasps and sharp intakes of breath from my betrothed on the other end of the connection that she as well as I was becoming rapidly aroused by the language coming from the voice. On and on it went, using phrases like "liquidity flow," "reversal of position," "transfer of assets, "straddle" (where I almost lost it), "fiduciary fecundity," and interspersed throughout, a repetitive use of "yield"--indeed, my betrothed gave a small squeal at the mention of "long- and short-term yield inversions."
Our host, sensing perhaps that he had found more-than-willing students, began to hasten to a conclusion; our gasps, grunts, groans, and tiny moans must have alerted him that his audience was about to pass on to an even greater knowledge than even he could impart. And like a true master of the craft he provided us with the catalyst: "Go now," he ordered, "and carry forth the message that EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THE CANDIDATES IS A DUMBER FUCKING BOX OF ROCKS THAN THE OTHER!"
That's all it took. Accompanied by a titanic clap of thunder which seemed to echo down through the corridors of human history, my beloved and I were catapaulted headlong into a whirling, phantasmagoric maelstrom of colors, sounds and sensations which merged. separated, and plunged our souls through the densities, octaves, and infinite cycles of existence.
Much later, I found myself laying drenched with sweat on the basement floor, the phone beside me, and a tentative voice repeating, "Petey? Petey?"
"Ooohh Petey! Who was that guy?"
"I'm not really sure, but I'm gonna try and find him and hire him for Liz's Blogblastaramathon this weekend."
Either way, I'm just thankful SOMEBODY is reporting it.
Statement before the US House of Representatives on HR 3221 July 24, 2008:
For several years, followers of the Austrian school of economics have warned that unless Congress moved to end the implicit government guarantee of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and took other steps to disengage the US Government from the housing market, America would face a crisis in housing. This crisis would force Congress to choose between authorizing a taxpayer bailout of Fannie and Freddie, and other measures increasing government’s involvement in housing, or restoring a free-market in housing by ending government support for Fannie and Freddie and repealing all laws that interfere in housing. The bursting of the housing bubble, and the recent near-collapse in investor support for Fannie and Freddie has proven my fellow Austrians correct. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, instead of ending the prior interventions in the housing market that are responsible for the current crisis, Congress is increasing the level of government intervention in the housing market. This is the equivalent of giving a drug addict another fix, which will only make the necessary withdrawal more painful.
The provision giving the Treasury Secretary a blank check to purchase Fannie and Freddie stock not only makes the implicit government guarantee of Fannie and Freddie explicit, it represents another unconstitutional delegation of Congress’ Constitutional authority to control the allocation of taxpayer dollars. While the Treasury Secretary has to file a report with Congress, the lack of any effective standards for the expenditure of funds makes it impossible for Congress to perform effective oversight on Treasury’s expenditures.
HR 3221 also takes another troubling step toward the creation of surveillance state by creating a Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry. This federal database will contain personal information about anyone wishing to work as a "loan originator." "Loan originator" is defined broadly as anyone who "takes a residential loan application; and offers or negotiates terms of a residential mortgage loan for compensation or gain." According to some analysts, this definition is so broad as to cover part-time clerks and real estate agents who receive even minimal compensation from "originators." Additionally, this database forced on industry will be funded by fees paid to the federal banking agencies, yet another costly burden to the American taxpayers.
Among the information that will be collected from loan originators for inclusion in the federal database are fingerprints. Madam Speaker, giving the federal government the power to force Americans who wish to work in real estate to submit their fingerprints to a federal database opens the door to numerous abuses of privacy and civil liberties and establishes a dangerous precedent. Fingerprint databases and background checks have been no deterrent to espionage and fraud among governmental agencies, and will likewise fail to prevent fraud in the real estate market. I am amazed to see some members who are usually outspoken advocates of civil liberties and defenders of the Fourth Amendment support this new threat to privacy.
Finally, HR 3221 increases the federal debt limit by $800 billion. We are told that CBO has scored this bill at a cost of $25 billion, but this debt limit increase belies that. The Federal Reserve has already propped up the housing and financial markets to the tune of over $300 billion, and this raising of the debt limit indicates that the cost of this newest bailout will likely be even more costly. I am dismayed that my colleagues have not learned the lessons of the Patriot Act and Sarbanes-Oxley. Massive bills passed in knee-jerk reaction to crisis events will always be poorly written, burdensome and expensive to taxpayers, and destructive of liberty.
FRIDAY - JULY 25th.......
"After the markets closed on Friday, the announcement came that Freddie Mac plans to sell $5.5 billion dollars worth of new common and/or preferred shares to private investors, when its current market cap is only 6 billion. Of course, they had to register the new issue with the SEC and get its approval in order to do this, and on Friday, they filed with the SEC, which quickly approved the new issuance. This was no surprise of course because the SEC and Freddie are run by the same kind of people. Freddie recently got caught up on their SEC filings after years of what really amounted to total noncompliance due to what you might call some “major accounting issues” even though technically they were granted an exemption from filing because of their GSE status............."
First, note how the timing of this announcement, which came after markets closed on Friday as just noted above, was the same time frame used for the news about the IndyMac Bank closure. This kind of timing manipulation is used by the elitists whenever they wish to prevent market panic, allow a cooling off period before markets reopen and/or keep as many people from seeing or hearing the announcement as possible as they get underway with their weekends.
IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO YOU VOTE FOR THIS NOVEMBER.
THE MONEY PARTY HAS ALREADY WON.
Today we learned the reason why:
Police: Man shot churchgoers over liberal views
A letter found in this guy's vehicle stated, among other things, that he hated liberal views. And the Unitarian church is a very liberal entity, with the dignity of all humanity as one of its core precepts.
This is what years of "Christian" Right-wing language will get you.
I didn't hear a peep against McCain and his attempts to vote away women's reproductive rights. Now I am not one to vocally support one candidate or another, but what Obama criticisms I heard were completely off the mark. "He's too liberal." "He wants to take our guns away." "He doesn't support Israel enough." "He wants to shred our constitution." And these were New Englanders mind you. Naturally, I gave them a list of reasons why Obama and McCain were both lousy for the country and gave a lecture on the first amendment which was something they should all be thinking about. But it all boiled down to gun rights in the end. People are so afraid. But of the wrong things. I should have told them that the aliens were coming.
I sound like a broken record around here, but I just want to crawl in my bed and wait until it's all over.
From the BBC: "There are alien bases on earth"
World renowned UFO researcher Timothy Good tells BBC WM about the UFO sightings wave gripping Britain, the government's secret liaisons with extraterrestrials and why a real 'Star Wars' might be coming.
"The massacre remains one of the most taboo subjects in China, where the official line is that authorities put down the "political disturbance" to safeguard economic and social stability."
Anybody anticipating "political disturbances" in America?
Sunday, July 27
-Edward R. Murrow-
Here in the United States, we are all as anxious as anyone else to pass this current kidney stone of a president.
Meanwhile, the hills are alive...with the sound of Barry…but will a spoonful of sugar really help the medicine go down?
Americans of all stripes are most desperate to unload this horribly embarrassing, tax-payer looting, English-language mangling, war-mongering, pro-outsourcing, anti-privacy rights Mafioso of a Bush Administration -- even if it means, among other exciting ventures, taking off for the Moon with eight nations. With the presidential election less than four months away, it baffles the minds of many Democrats as to why over 18 million Hillary voters in their disgust of Obama would even remotely think about casting their ballots for the anti-affirmative action, corporate welfare, job killing Carly Fiorina suppwhoreted Republican candidate, John McCain, over the only anti-corporate welfare candidate running, Ralph Nader. If the PUMA PAC crew is so dedicated to democracy as they say on their website, why wouldn’t they all file over to a thinking anti-corporate welfare, third party candidate? As talented American software engineers, IT, financial and journalism professionals are increasingly given the sack to be replaced by millions of cheap, third-world workers to take their jobs here at home, it is a wonder why any self-described Democrat would ever consider voting for either candidate who both support outsourcing, McBama.
Last week, Barack Obama enjoyed the overwhelming support of 200,000 Germans – yes, REAL ones --- by traveling all the way over to The Hinterland to get it. (Many Team Obama fans are even wondering if annexing Germany as the fifty-first State mind not be a bad idea.) Think it- you’ll be it! This is, after all, the only candidate peddling “hope” and as sure as eating a waffle and refusing press chit-chat in a Scranton diner, one can dream… even when the harsh reality is both candidates (McCain and Obama) offer the promise of more disappearing jobs, access to healthcare, and corporate welfare programs to decimate America’s middle class. The only difference is that one candidate attempts to do it by getting Joe-Sixpack to willingly pick up a shovel and dig his own grave.
Can you guess which one?
With the Democratic Convention just around the corner, Obama’s foreign oration dress-rehearsal to a stadium sized audience was, to say the very least, an overwhelming success. Of course, the unkindest cut of all would be to remotely intimate that
Bush is an easy act to follow, and yours truly has, if nothing else -- always maintained that if any soto voce can mesmerize a crowd by saying just about anything, it is Barack Obama.
But here is what one Hillary supporter had to say in this No Quarter blog post about voting Democratic in November:
“This really isn’t about Hillary or Obama as much as it is about democracy and the democratic process (small d). I do think Obama is a bad candidate and I think Hillary is a GREAT candidate, but what has made me leave the Party is their corrupt machinations during the primaries. The undemocratic actions of these people are bad enough, but what really is pushing me toward McCain is that I believe the Democrats would not have divided their own party and stolen people’s votes to try to get this inappropriate man in the WH unless they have some sinister, autocratic agenda they want to implement.
The country has been so stratified that lots of Americans think we must have a Democrat to counter the Bush mistakes, but if you just look around at Democratic officeholders in the country, many are just as criminal and opportunistic as Republicans under Bush. I believe Barack Obama would be worse than Bush.”
After eight horrendous years of Bush Administration thuggery here and around the globe, the new Democratic “Leader of the Free World” presidential contender did more with this Berlin speech to erase eight years of embarrassment and oppression with his trademark “meet the new guy and get recharged” brand of whitewash to cover up the failed Bush Administration. But Obama’s peeps know that starving people are hungry for change and sometimes, the plebians get so hungry for “change and hope” that the starvation clouds their ability to see that what we actually have here, folks, is an economic trainwreck that feeds itself on the continued sell-off of blue collar and now white collar jobs. It is amazing how many self-described progressive blogs including AlterNet, Salon, The Nation and others go out of their way to cover up or ignore the number one issue of the day: Increasing immigration with decreasing numbers of jobs.
With skyrocketing costs of food, gas, housing, healthcare and travel, none of this would be a problem if Americans were afforded the right to at least apply their educations to meaningful, well paid jobs. People all around this country are losing their jobs due to legalized economic policies that open up the floodgates of immigration to decrease wages and take jobs and homes from Americans here while the Democrats approve and/or continue to stick their heads in the sand.
To paraphrase populist Huey P. Long to the Robber Baron industrialists and "free market" capitalists ruling America in 1920's:
When it comes to reevaluating our free-market economy as it relates to the everyday lives of American citizens, for the first time in modern history, human capital is being equated with spare parts and traded on the open market, degrading and taking our collective human net worth along with it.
While increasingly incivil Democrats agonize over PUMA or Team Obama rhetoric, third-party candidates are rising. But wise free-marketers will see the economic parallels between current times and the 1920's and unless we want another Huey P. Long - style strong arm dictator, citizens here and not in someone else’s country like Germany must hold these candidates and their corporate welfare enablers accountable to demand labor reforms no matter which party takes the White House and Congress in '08. That, or get out your jackboots and goosestep right along with the One Party of Big Money Leader to digging your own economic graves.
Article is at REUTERS:
"I think that Chairman Bernanke was handed a pretty tough hand and I think some of the decisions he's made have been the right ones," the presumptive Democratic nominee told Reuters in an interview on Saturday evening. (Translation): Me 'n him make a fine pair of gobbledongers, don't we?
1. May you live in interesting times.
2. May you get everything you wish for.
3. May you attract the attention of the powerful.
The first part of the curse - well, we're all living that one, ladies and gentlemen. With terrorism, school and mall shootings, high prices, a falling housing market and such the new century's starting out very interesting indeed.
Senator John McCain (R-Geritol) is deep into the second part of that traditional curse. He and his surrogates (which include a good healthy slab of the corporate-run media) spent a jolly time teasing Senator Barack Obama about going to Afghanistan and Iraq. They did this knowing that if Obama did go he was sure to make a misstep or verbal gaffe that could make him look less of a sure thing than he already is and give McCain some breathing room from his own cock-ups over the past weeks.
So Obama went to Afghanistan.
He went to Kuwait.
He went to Iraq.
He went to Jordan.
He went to Israel.
He went to Germany.
He went to France.
He went to Britain.
And guess what?
No missteps and no verbal gaffes. Obama spoke with troops, with generals, with national leaders and with the members of the press his campaign selected to go (and not Fox News, which serves them right). Even his aborted trip to visit wounded soldiers at Landstuhl was a very good move, showing that he knows that using troops as campaign props is wrong. The Pentagon tried to weasel on that one, saying that they didn't "explicitly" prohibit the Obama campaign from going there.
So the McCain campaign got what they wished for - Obama went abroad, and did nothing detrimental to his cause.
Although McCain and his surrogates are trying to spin it as a major blunder, saying that Obama hates the troops for not going to Landstuhl (a definite case of damned if you do / damned if you don't regarding the Republican Noise Machine). But McCain hates the troops just as much, if his votes against the GI Bill and veteran's benefits are any indication.
The McCain campaign also vilified Obama for not acknowledging the success of The Surge and McCain's idea to stay in Iraq as long as necessary, even long after Old Johnny's dead and buried.
Apart from getting the timeline wrong (and CBS giving him a pass for it), McCain's seen his stance on Iraq undermined by none other than the Bush Administration (from whose failing hands the torch of Stupid Military Adventurism has been passed to McCain) and Iraqi PM al-Maliki. Al-Maliki as much as explicitly endorsed Obama's 16-month timetable for withdrawal of US combat troops, and even Bush has set forth a "general time horizon" for withdrawal.
Nothing like getting thrown under the bus by your own people, is there John?
Oh hey! Almost forgot the third part of the curse!
That seems to fit the bill for the one million or so people who find themselves on the Terrorism Watch List (along with anyone who shares the same name) and the untold and unnumbered people whose phone calls, email and other communications have so far been swept up by the telecoms and given as a gift to the NSA.
Interesting times indeed.
Saturday, July 26
1 large red onion, sliced thinly into half rings
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 potatoes (yukon gold would be faboo), cut into medium chunks
2 sweet peppers (we're talking the smaller pale ones, not big bells), sliced into rings
1 big tomato, diced
1 can of coconut milk
1-2 lb of chicken parts (I did organic free-range thighs that I boned and skinned and cut into medium chunks) - I had about a lb of chicken so I made up for the rest of the poundage with the potatoes
mushrooms if you have 'em
cooking oil (I like rice bran; it has a high smoke point and is very neutral)
1 tsp. black mustard seeds
1 cinnamon or cassia stick, small
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1.5 tsp. salt
3 T. coriander seeds
1/4 tsp. whole fenugreek
2 tsp. black peppercorns
1 large pinch cumin seeds (I added these because I love toasting them)
small cast iron pan for toasting these
So, heat the cast iron pan to a high heat, then turn it down, and throw in the coriander, fenugreek, peppercorns, and cumin. When you can smell the seeds toasting it is time to shake around the pan a bit. If they smoke, turn the heat down further and toss them around in the pan. Anyway, when they're looking darker and smell warm and toasted, they're ready.
I grind mine with a mortar and pestle, but you can use a spice grinder, too. Grind as fine as you can.
Heat a large skillet (cast iron is perfect, or big heavy-bottomed stainless will be good, too - no teflon), coat the bottom with your oil (I think I do roughly 2-3 T.), and toss in your black mustard seeds and the cinnamon stick, and have a lid handy. When the seeds start to pop (and pop they will when the oil is hot enough), quickly shove the sliced onions in there and put the lid on. When the popping has slowed some, turn down the heat a bit, and stir around the onions. It'll take about ten minutes at a medium low flame, but you're looking to brown the onions, not just wilt them to translucency. When they're browned, take out the cinnamon stick, toss in the garlic and let that cook a few minutes. Add the tomato and peppers, and let that cook a few minutes.
Stir in the toasted and ground spices, then the turmeric and cayenne, and open up your can of coconut milk. Pour the liquid into the pan, leaving behind the cream which is usually solidified (more on that later). Add the chicken pieces, and your potatoes. Squeeze in the lime juice, and toss in the salt. Stir, cover and let simmer 25 minutes. In the cookbook, she says to add another can of water before setting it to simmer, but boy, this is liquidy enough when I work with just the coconut juice from the can.
About a half hour later, stir in the coconut cream that was left in the can, turn off the heat, and you're ready to serve.
Tonight I had to improvise because I forgot salad fixings. So, I served the curry on a bed of baby spinach leaves, alongside some sliced tomato and avocado. The spinach wilted nicely. I'd also forgotten to buy naan (Trader Joe's has some stuff that passes fairly well if you heat it up), so I warmed up a stack of white corn tortillas. Fusion cuisine, ha. But it went together fine.
Next time, I would serve this with rice cooked with some peas thrown in, a salad of red vegetables (radishes, tomatoes, maybe some beets), some plain yogurt on the side, and I'd probably do the spinach beneath the curry again.
Do carrots and a bunch of mushrooms in lieu of the chicken. You could add some cooked chickpeas. Dice up a sweet potato in there; that would be great hot v. sweet contrasting. Zucchini and green beans would be great, etc.
"FDIC takes over 2 more banks, closing 28 branches"
(Begins): "The 28 branches of 1st National Bank of Nevada and First Heritage Bank, operating in Nevada, Arizona and California, were closed Friday by federal regulators."
They haven't been added to the list on the BANK IMPLODE-O-METER but I suppose they will be soon. Ya' s'pose it'll be a financial tearer attack that'll prompt boygeorge to declare martial law and cancel the elections? Wraith?
Friday, July 25
If it doesn't work for you, google Dirty Deeds, Done with Sheep
and go the "best selection.
As any military historian will testify, among the most difficult of maneuvers is the strategic retreat. Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow, Lee’s retreat to Appomattox and MacArthur’s retreat from the Yalu come to mind. The British Empire abandoned India in 1947 — and a Muslim-Hindu bloodbath ensued.
France’s departure from Indochina was ignominious, and her abandonment of hundreds of thousands of faithful Algerians to the FALN disgraceful. Few American can forget the humiliation of Saigon ‘75, or the boat people, or the Cambodian holocaust.
Strategic retreats that turn into routs are often the result of what Lord Salisbury called “the commonest error in politics … sticking to the carcass of dead policies.”
From 1989 to 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Empire and breakup of the U.S.S.R., America had an opportunity to lay down its global burden and become again what Jeane Kirkpatrick called “a normal country in a normal time.”
We let the opportunity pass by, opting instead to use our wealth and power to convert the world to democratic capitalism. And we have reaped the reward of all the other empires that went before: A sinking currency, relative decline, universal enmity, a series of what Rudyard Kipling called “the savage wars of peace.”
Yet, opportunity has come anew for America to shed its imperial burden and become again the republic of our fathers.
The chairman of Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang Party has just been hosted for six days by Beijing. Commercial flights have begun between Taipei and the mainland. Is not the time ripe for America to declare our job done, that the relationship between China and Taiwan is no longer a vital interest of the United States?
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government wants a status of forces agreement with a timetable for full withdrawal of U.S. troops. Is it not time to say yes, to declare that full withdrawal is our goal as well, that the United States seeks no permanent bases in Iraq?
On July 4, Reuters, in a story headlined “Poland Rejects U.S. Missile Offer,” reported from Warsaw: “Poland spurned as insufficient on Friday a U.S. offer to boost its air defenses in return for basing anti-missile interceptors on its soil. …
“‘We have not reached a satisfactory result on the issue of increasing the level of Polish security,’ Prime Minister Donald Tusk told a news conference after studying the latest U.S. proposal.”
Tusk is demanding that America “provide billions of dollars worth of U.S. investment to upgrade Polish air defenses in return for hosting 10 two-stage missile interceptors,” said Reuters.
Reflect if you will on what is going on here.
By bringing Poland into NATO, we agreed to defend her against the world’s largest nation, Russia, with thousands of nuclear weapons. Now the Polish regime is refusing us permission to site 10 anti-missile missiles on Polish soil, unless we pay Poland billions for the privilege.
Has Uncle Sam gone senile?
No. Tusk has Sam figured out. The old boy is so desperate to continue in his Cold War role as world’s Defender of Democracy he will even pay the Europeans — to defend Europe.
Why not tell Tusk that if he wants an air defense system, he can buy it; that we Americans are no longer willing to pay Poland for the privilege of defending Poland; that the anti-missile missile deal is off. And use cancellation of the missile shield to repair relations with a far larger and more important power, Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Consider, too, the opening South Korea is giving us to end our 60-year commitment to defend her against the North. For weeks, Seoul hosted anti-American protests against a trade deal that allows U.S. beef into South Korea. Koreans say they fear mad-cow disease.
Yet, when a new deal was cut to limit imports to U.S. beef from cattle less than 30 months old, that too was rejected by the protesters. Behind the demonstrations lies a sediment of anti-Americanism.
In 2002, a Pew Research Center survey of 42 nations found 44 percent of South Koreans, second highest number of any country, holding an unfavorable view of the United States. A Korean survey put the figure at 53 percent, with 80 percent of youth holding a negative view. By 39 percent to 35 percent, South Koreans saw the United States as a greater threat than North Korea.
Can someone explain why we keep 30,000 troops on the DMZ of a nation whose people do not even like us?
The raison d’etre for NATO was the Red Army on the Elbe. It disappeared two decades ago. The Chinese army left North Korea 50 years ago. Yet NATO endures and the U.S. Army stands on the DMZ. Why?
Because, if all U.S. troops were brought home from Europe and Korea, 10,000 rice bowls would be broken. They are the rice bowls of politicians, diplomats, generals, journalists and think tanks who would all have to find another line of work.
And that is why the Empire will endure until disaster befalls it, as it did all the others.
So, my dear friends, what do YOU think?
Elections are like infections. We seem to be going along ok when we’re all told there’s another bug loose, like the swine or Asian (how appropriate) flu.
It all seems to start about February of even numbered years (there are some exceptions but usually it’s those even numbers again) and reaches near national-demic proportions by that November. Curious, that!
We, the people, are told that we can inoculate ourselves from the disease that plagued us the last 2, 4 or more years by injecting a new anti-biotic into the nation. This new injection usually has a couple of months of experimentation after some research on the cause of the infection. Groups get together telling us that their idea for a cure is the best and that those others could do more damage, so better be safe and not choose any of the others.
Eventually, the possible cure is narrowed to two doses. Again, each claiming ‘its’ cure is best and accepting the other’s might cause catastrophic results.
Fever starts to run high around late September and early October, probably because the incubation period is over by then and the disease is quickly spread by mouth. By then most of us have been infected in one way or another and have been told we MUST have a cure this time to end all the suffering from the last cycle.
By November, we can hardly stand it any longer and must decide which dose will help us best from the stories we’re told by those prescribing their cures. It’s amazing that with few exceptions we are usually pretty close in our judgment as to which will be used over the next cycle. (There are some who won't make a choice for whatever reason. They then have to endure whichever selection was made by all the others who do choose). Lately the one chosen hasn’t seemed to work as well as the other would have. Sometimes it’s painfully obvious that neither will help although we have this ingrained belief that if we choose wisely, things will be just fine…for another cycle.
We’re quickly approaching that time for panic to set in where a decision must be made; a decision that each organization claims will alleviate symptoms and the suffering of the last cycle. Which organization will provide us relief from the plague of the last 8 years? Or will either?
Over the years, these cures have become less and less effective. We may be developing an immunity to the cure or the disease is becoming more and more resistant to treatment. Still, some symptoms can be at least delayed for another cycle. And many of us still have faith that a permanent cure will be found. We even contribute mightily to the organizations in the hope that our money will provide that cure.
Remember, when you’re standing in line to make your decision, the choice of a cure during the last two epidemics wiped out a part of our population. It looks as though one of the selections now available could increase the number of dead among us and the other could find us wishing for another quicker cure.
Either way I doubt this new vaccination will take. Hopefully, we’ll be around to get another chance at a different vaccine in a couple of years.
We open the Obligatory Friday Follies with a minor victory from the State of Alabama. Two years or so ago the state made the sale of sex toys (dildos, vibrators, phalli, etc.) illegal; vendors face a fine of up to $10,000 and jail time.
But there's a loophole which one sex toy store has been quick to exploit: You can sell sex toys in Alabama if it's for medical reasons. So the store offers a medical questionnaire; answering 'yes' once constitutes a medical reason.
So the shop goes about its merry way, helping encourage the spread of orgasms and fun. And the straitlaced fundamentalist asshole killjoys of Alabama can only sit and watch, gnashing their teeth (and wishing deep down that they could have fun too).
Thursday, July 24
Here's the story, eh. I think he's well-received because he doesn't come off like a clod, and he's not Bush, as much as anything else.
Anyway, McCain didn't go to Germany. Ya know what he did today?
I thought this was something from The Onion when I first read it,
Mr Obama's Republican rival, John McCain, visited a German restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday to eat bratwurst sausage with local business leaders.
San Francisco, CA Reliable sources including the beautiful bride-to-be announced plans over the weekend for two high-profile and prolific, beloved BlondeSense bloggers, Peter of Lone Tree & Missouri Mule, to wed – that's right -- as in the actual BIBLICAL way and not just the cyberspace one --- sometime in the future! Precise details such as exactly when, where, who will officiate, entertain, attend and provide the decadent cake are all virtually unconfirmed at this time although rumors positively indicate that a stealth bachelor/bachelorette party is in the works while the kids get the run of the asylum until SUNDAY NIGHT!
Party on, Team BlondSense! And everyone else who’s reading this that dares to drop by. (Details on the secret entry “code” to follow later. Maybe.)
Don’t forget to bring a dish, a modicum of *good* manners and courtesy, designate a driver, bring your galoshes and parachutes, plenty of music and liquor, gange, an eight ball, explosives and disguises, a couple of hookers and/or out of work waiters or investment bankers, dancing dogs with accordions (providing you can find any) and your very best and polished Walker Brothers impersonations to usher these two love birds along to a permanently mind-altering, point-of-no-returning, stupendous and otherwise staggeringly blissful start, together!
Looks like they're going to having hearings. That's it.
Kucinich made this very easy for them. Even Bonzo could do this. Not so Pelosi and Conyers.
Headlines - Novak's Hit-and-Run
The only difference between Robert Novak's hit-and-run and his career is that this time someone stopped him.
Obama Quest - The Holy Land
Barack Obama holds a press conference at the Temple of Hercules, while John McCain is on his own quest for attention in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Osama or Obama
With all the attention Barack Obama is receiving, perhaps it is time the media realizes his name is Barack Obama.
On to Colbert...
How Bad Is Our Economy? Stephen gives you his two cents, which used to be a dollar.
The "Save Our Starbucks" campaign is the kind of grass-roots activism Stephen likes -- the kind that helps sprawling corporate behemoths.
The Word - Join the European Union
If the European Union doesn't let us in, we'll sue them for geographic discrimination.
the colorofchange petition (rapper Nas) segment was beyond hysterical :
Nas responds to Bill O'Reilly like the gangsta that he is -- with a petition.
In Stephen's words: Fox.....a propaganda pez dispenser
Here's the Nas Interview:
and here is Nas performing "Sly Fox" off his new Untitled album
America's Middle Class Can't Take Much More Punishment
By Matt Taibbi, RollingStone.com. Posted July 23, 2008.
Fear not, this isn’t quite as horribly overbearing as it could have been. The ranting is actually fairly under control, and the self-important pontificating not quite as reckless as it could so easily have been, partly because I wasn’t quite as liberal with the gin as I have been in the past.
The reason it’s called the Popecast is because of this amazing little story about Catholics in the States issuing death threats to a kid who took a communion wafer out of the church with him. The hilarious PZ Myers then got involved, threatening to show them what real desecration would look like, and the pandemonium reached all new levels of shrillness
The thing that really got my goat about all this was not so much that Catholics took offence, but more the level of the hysteria and the language of persecution. It was honestly described as kidnaping and as a hate crime by various loonies, and there was nothing like enough ‘Oh fucking grow up and get the fuck over it’ being said. People seem to be seeking all sorts of odd legal protections for their crazy superstitions these days, and I am flabberghasted that a particular kind of idea is being so fucking mollycoddled as to be deemed immune from criticism and contempt. Come on, people, fuck your religious convictions and learn to deal with the fact that most of the planet thinks they’re crazy - and that applies to atheists as well.
Anyhow, I promise this doesn’t take over too much of the podcast, and that the music is given plenty of space to breathe.
Toadcast #33 - The Popecast
Head over to Toad's to hear the "Popecast"
MATTHEW YOU RULE!!!
Watching this video of Novakula being interviewed by the press shortly afterward made me think that perhaps he had been drinking or maybe he always slurs like that. That and the fact that he didn't notice a person splayed across his windshield. Someone ought to cite the cop too.
'Allah meat' astounds Nigerians
As soon as I saw this my initial reaction reaction was "You have got to be kidding me!" But apparently a man in the northern Nigerian town of Birnin Kebbi was about to start gnawing on some gristle when he spotted what appeared to be a pattern in the gristle.
Just goes to show that silliness is epidemic, and can show up anywhere.
I was going to post up the picture of it as well, but I won't dirty my computer with it.
The MRAPs are designed with a V-shaped hull to deflect blast waves away from the vehicle, which is a very good thing indeed. The military loves these things because it saves the lives of our soldiers. And I wouldn't mind owning a Caiman to get through that pesky rush hour traffic (provided gasoline was $0.10 a gallon - these things probably get piss-poor mileage).
But - hey, presto! - the MRAPs have a problem.
They have a tall silhouette and a high center of gravity.
Do the words "Ford Explorer" ring any bells?
Yep, there have been a number of serious rollover accidents in MRAPs, usually caused by either taking a curve too fast, misjudging the road grade or the width of a bridge. Rutted roads can also pose a problem. A couple Green Berets, for example, drowned when their MRAP overturned into a canal in Afghanistan. To their credit, the military acted very quickly on this by issuing safety alerts and providing training to forestall these accidents.
But I say get Nader on this issue - it'll distract him away from pestering us about becoming President.
Wednesday, July 23
"..."there is no greater threat to Israel - or to the peace and stability of the region - than Iran... The danger from Iran is grave, it is real and my goal will be to eliminate this threat... We will also use all elements of American power to pressure Iran. I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." He added for emphasis, "Everything in my power. Everything."
I-Lie Joe's Holy War: "There are terrorists out there who really do want to destroy our civilization and murder millions of Americans," LIEberman said
After cursing the paper for being in the way of my garbage run, I decided to give the front page a quick glance......
Here's the front page of The Hartford Courant:
ToP of the paper is (lower) G.I .Joe's quote: "There are terrorists out there who really do want to destroy our civilization and murder millions of Americans"
Under this quote, is the LARGE and oh so BOLD headline across the page:
UNITED IN VISION
(Lieberman, Pastor Address US. Security Concerns)
alongside this photo:
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN speaks Tuesday in Washington to Christians United for Israel, an organization led by the controversial Pastor John Hagee. (LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE / FOR THE HARTFORD COURANT / July 22, 2008)
For CHRIST'S sake...
and this photo:
(that flag looks a little blurry - eh? Well, in the paper, it's barely even visible)
Lieberman Affirms Pastor, Uses Religious Platform To Discuss Security - By JESSE A. HAMILTON | Washington Bureau Chief
Lieberman again drew a parallel between Hagee and biblical figures, this time saying biblical heroes, unlike the demigods of Greek mythology, "are humans — great humans, but with human failings." Lieberman said that Moses had his shortcomings, too.
"Dear friends, I can only imagine what the bloggers of today would have had to say about Moses and Miriam."
(I never knew about Miriam until I read this Joe, so I guess I have nothing to say)
and for those of you in need of a Bible 101 refresher course, here, IN FULL, is
Lieberman's Speech To Christians United For Israel
Sounds like the opening to a wedding ceremony, doesn't it? I wonder if he gave the Courant the headline to use.
You have gathered this evening, united by faith and a commitment to the State of Israel -- sixty years after its miraculous rebirth in the Holy Land.
But you know well that Israel's existence did not begin sixty years ago. It began four thousand years ago, as told in Genesis 12:1, when God told Abraham: "Leave your land, your birthplace, and your father's house and go to the land that I will show you. And I will make you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you."
Each one of you has heard that call, and so you have come here today to the capital city of the greatest country in the world to keep that promise and advance that mission. I am honored to greet you with the timeless words of welcome which were extended to the pilgrims who came long ago to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem: "Bruchim Habaim B'Shem Hashem." Blessed be you who come in the name of the Lord.
n its struggle today, thanks to you and so many others, Israel may sometimes feel lonely, but it is surely not alone. With your help, with America's help, and with God's help--Israel will again prevail.
In the United States, solidarity with Israel runs both deep and broad. It is a feature of our landscape as distinctive and enduring as the Rocky Mountains and the mighty Mississippi. It stretches in time from President Washington and the Founding Fathers to President Bush and members of Congress of both parties.
There should be no mystery in this. Americans and Israelis alike are the children of freedom and know alike that our rights to life and liberty come from our Creator.
We both pride ourselves on our democratic ideals, our culture of economic opportunity, and our political pluralism. These are the values we cherish and the values that define not just who we are but who we aspire to be.
Today we Americans also recognize that Israel's struggle against terrorism parallels our own. The same violent Islamist extremists that seek the destruction of Israel also have attacked our own citizens at home and abroad.
Tuesday, July 22
GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - "Osama bin Laden's driver knew the target of the fourth hijacked jetliner in the September 11 attacks, a prosecutor said on Tuesday in an attempt to draw a link between Salim Hamdan and the al Qaeda leadership in the first Guantanamo war crimes trial.
"Hamdan's lawyer said in opening statements that the Yemeni, held for nearly seven years before his trial, was just a paid employee of the fugitive al Qaeda leader, a driver in the motor pool who never joined the militant group or plotted attacks on America.
"But prosecutor Timothy Stone told the six-member jury of U.S. military officers who will decide Hamdan's guilt or innocence that Hamdan had inside knowledge of the 2001 attacks on the United States because he overheard a conversation between bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
"If they hadn't shot down the fourth plane it would've hit the dome," Stone, a Navy officer, said in his opening remarks."
More at the link. Ya' s'pose they're gonna release a second version of the movie they made, which I never saw, being loathe to watch almost everything considered mainstream these days, but wasn't there something about heroes charging the cockpit?
Will He visit an all muslim country wearing his bacon suit?
perhaps his zipper will be down....?.
or perhaps he'll start a war?
(those floating cities are looking mighty tempting right about now)
I'm sweatin' my arse off big time here on the East Coast
I'm gonna leave this city, got to get away
All this fussing and fighting, man, you know I sure can't stay
Just exactly where we're going I cannot say,
We might even
leave the USA ......
'Cause there's a brand new game that I want to play.
can't take it anymore
This Taxi Service is takin' us outta here today!
Canned Heat - Going Up The Country (Woodstock 1969)
gotta get goooo-ing
gotta get goooo-ing
gotta get goooo-ing
well I'm going
I can't stay here long...
cause I'm tired of the way
I've been dogged around
well I've got to roam and find me
a brand new....
ONE MORE TIME.....
(rare colour clip)
I'm going up the country, babe don't you wanna go
I'm going up the country, babe don't you wanna go
I'm going to some place where I've never been before
I'm going, I'm going where the water tastes like wine
Well I'm going where the water tastes like wine
We can jump in the water, stay drunk all the time
I'm gonna leave this city, got to get away
I'm gonna leave this city, got to get away
All this fussing and fighting, man, you know I sure can't stay
Now baby, pack your leaving trunk, you know we've got to leave today
Just exactly where we're going I cannot say, but We might even leave
the USA 'Cause there's a brand new game that I want to play
No use of you running, or screaming and crying
'Cause you've got a home as long as I've got mine
And there was the 1984 olympics in Sarajevo.
And then all of that changed in the early 1990s.
Karadjic has finally been caught. Well, the wind finally blew in such a direction that it was time to catch him, you might say. Story I saw at the Beeb last night. Story about his hiding in plain site in Belgrade.
Over a decade and one of the world's most wanted war criminals is being brought to justice.
I wonder how long our plant in chief and his cronies will be on the run.
Mladic is still on the run.
Anyone taking any bets on McSame not knowing where Serbia is?
I know that a lot of folks thought this clip of McCain rubbing his face rather than addressing the question of birth control was amusing, but it really isn't when you think about the possibility of him becoming the president. McCain voted against a bill that would have required health plans to cover birth control for women if it also covered drugs like Viagra for men. He's voted against contraception for women for 20 years. But he doesn't remember and apparently he doesn't care enough about women's issues to even have an answer ready for the press while he is campaigning. This is the problem with an elderly man running for president.
This is as good an issue to bring up to anyone you meet, especially a woman, who is thinking of voting for him. In this economy and in these hard financial times, this is a very important issue.
Monday, July 21
From Pravda: George and Laura Bush to divorce after election because of Condi Rice?
oh that was gooooooood.
There's a song in the air,
But the fair senorita
doesn't seem to care
for the song in the air.
So I'll sing to my mule
if you're sure she won't think that
I am just a fool
serenading a mule.
Amigo mio, does she not have a dainty bray?
She listens carefully to each little word we play.
La bella Senorita?
Si, si, mi muchachito,
She'd love to sing it too if only she knew the way.
But try as she may,
in her voice there's a flaw!
And all that the lady can say
There's a light in her eye,
Tho' she may try to hide it,
She cannot deny,
there's a light in her eye.
Oh! the charm of her smile
so beguiles all who see her
that they'd ride a mile
for the charm of her smile.
Amigo mio, is she listenin' to my song?
No, no, mi muchachito, how could you be so wrong?
La bella Senorita?
Si, Si, la senorita,
If she knew all the words,
Well, maybe she'd sing along . . .
Her face is a dream
like an angel I saw!
But all that my darlin' can scream
Senorita donkey sita, not so fleet as a mosquito,
but so sweet like my Chiquita,
you're the one for me.
You're . . . the one . . . for me!
Donkey Serenade by Rudolf Friml and Herbert Stothart,
with lyrics by Robert Wright and George Forest , 1937
(And, with apologies to Bill):
Is it but this,--a tardiness in nature
Which often leaves the history unspoke
That it intends to do? My lords......,
What say you to the lady? Love's not love
When it is mingled with regards that stand
Aloof from the entire point. Will you have her?
She is herself a dowry.
Fairest Mule, that art most rich, being poor;
Most choice, forsaken; and most loved, despised!
Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon:
Be it lawful I take up what's cast away.
Gods, gods! 'tis strange that from their cold'st neglect
My love should kindle to inflamed respect.
Thy dowerless daughter,...thrown to my chance,
Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair Lone Tree:
Not all the dukes of waterish Burgundy
Can buy this unprized precious maid of me.
Bid them farewell, Mule, though unkind:
Thou losest here, a better where to find.
The global economy is at the point of maximum danger - By Ambrose Evans- Pritchard
Sure makes you wonder how this Fantasy Land is doing so well.
Pour yourself a TALL ONE before viewing. It will help calm you down.
Let's take a look at the Dubai Timeline
or you can take a look at Dubai's "official" site about its economy at
The Dubai economy enjoys a competitive combination of cost, market and environmental advantages that create an ideal and attractive investment climate for local and expatriate businesses alike. In fact, these advantages not only rank Dubai as the Arabian Gulf’s leading multi-purpose business center and regional hub city, but they place it at the forefront of the globe’s, dynamic and emerging market economies.
Dubai, with its ancient commercial and seafaring traditions, has long been recognized as the Middle East region’s leading trading hub and has emerged as its key re-export center. In more recent years, the Emirate has become a major venue for a number of growing, profitable industries and activities:
• Meetings, conferences, exhibitions
• Corporate regional headquarters
• Regional transport, distribution and logistics center
• Banking, finance and insurance
• Business and industrial consulting
• Information and Communications Technology
• Light and medium manufacturing
This all became possible due to Dubai’s warm, welcoming people, world class facilities and infrastructure and farsighted, open and liberal economic policies. Finally, committed to a progressive vision of itself, keen to diversify its economy and diminish its reliance upon shrinking oil revenues, Dubai has begun to develop into the Arabian Gulf’s premier international business center. Consider the factors that contribute to this ongoing success story.
Amazing what they have accomplished - eh?
It just boggles my mind what can be done when people are motivated by oil and in Dubai's case, the future lack thereof...