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Thursday, April 30

The vampires of Facebook --Could it actually be dangerous to connect with everyone you ever knew? by Mark Morford

I don't know who I love more... Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert or Mark Morford

LIZ, this one's for you - (wink wink) - Let's go for a swim, real soon!!
(make sure to read the invisible cable link)

In psychic workshops, they teach you all about cords.

Cords that bind. Cords that connect. Cords that can invigorate as well as consume, excite your spirit and yet also leech life from your very soul, cords made of simple psychic energy that run like invisible cables straight from your heart and your mind and your various energetic G-spots straight out to the world, and back again.

But most of all, they run straight into other people. Or from them, straight into you. It happens all the time, every day, in every interaction you have, psychic energy instantly passing between individuals as you move through the world and through your thoughts and memories and dreams, energy cords established even over long distances, phone calls, handshakes, gropings, co-ed showers, not to mention fantasies, hatreds, unwanted desires and just about everything in between. It's just what we do.

More Republican Bigotry and Disregard For the Truth

The murderers of Matthew Shepard a decade ago admitted that they killed him because he was gay. It's in the court records. What does Republican congresswoman Virginia Fox of North Carolina had this to say yesterday regarding the hate crimes bill that was passed? That it was a hoax:

"If you didn't vote for this bill -- against this bill and against this rule for anything else, you could vote against it because we are spending additional money. i also would like to point out that there was a bill -- the hate crimes bill that's called the matthew sheppard bill is named afte a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. it wasn't because he was gay. this -- the bill was named for him, hate crimes bill was named for him, but it's really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills."
It's documented by the media that it was indeed a crime motivated by the sexual preference of the victim.

No wonder that only 20% of Americans polled admitted to being Republican. Look what kind of bigotry you become associated with. I, like many other Republicans quit the party because of these kind of people we didn't want anything to do with. It's time for real Republicans to take back the party from the nutjobs.

Source: Americablog

Think Progress reports that Republicans are hysterical over the hate crimes bill because it would protect gay people and end religious freedom to despise gays.
REP MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN): I feel that this hate crime legislation could be considered the very definition of tyranny.

REP. GRESHMAN BARRET (R-SC): This bill would inhibit religious freedom in our society -- a scary thought.

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX): You think a pregnant mother does not deserve the protection of a homosexual? You think a military member doesn't deserve the protection of a transvestite?

REP. STEVE KING (R-IA): I, Mr. Speaker, oppose and I defy the logic of the people that would advocate for such legislation the very idea we could divine what goes on in the heads of people when they commit crimes.

What do you think of the hate crimes bill? How do you know what's in a criminals heart unless they admit to it? Is killing someone because they are gay or black or an atheist worse than killing someone because you want to rob them?

Wednesday, April 29

Reach out and touch someone.

This video is simply amazing....

It is performed by 21 deaf and mute girls and boys from China's Disabled Peoples Performing Art Troupe and is called "Thousand-hand Guanyin" or thousand-hand Bodhisattva dance. Guanyin, in Chinese Buddhism and Daoism, is the Goddess of Mercy, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Her full name, Guanshiyin Pusa, means "bodhisattva who observes the sounds of the world" (these dancers rely only on signals from trainers at the four corners of the stage).

As long as you are kind and there is love in your heart A thousand hands will naturally come to your aid As long as you are kind and there is love in your heart You will reach out with a thousand hands to help others .Guan Yin is the bodhisattva of compassion, revered by Buddhists as the Goddess of Mercy. Her name is short for Guan Shi Yin. Guan means to observe, watch, or monitor; Shi means the world; Yin means sounds, specifically sounds of those who suffer. Thus, Guan Yin is a compassionate being who watches for, and responds to, the people in the world who cry out for help.

Read about the man responsible for this production - Zhang Jigang
(He co-directed and choreographed the 2008 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony in Beijing, China)

Obama should be ashamed

Protesters Need A Permit.
91 people were arrested for protesting in front of the White House. Actually, if you read the article, they were given written citations and not dragged away. Some were in wheelchairs and chained themselves to the fence. They were calling on the president to support legislation that would give those people with handicaps a long term alternative to nursing homes.

Watch the video and tell me if this seemed like an unruly crowd. And if this is a free country, why can't people gather in front of the WH to send a message to the president? They closed off the street there anyway. Seems like a commie country doesn't it?

Tuesday, April 28

Arlen Specter Switching Parties

Excerpt from his statement today:
Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.

When I supported the stimulus package, I knew that it would not be popular with the Republican Party. But, I saw the stimulus as necessary to lessen the risk of a far more serious recession than we are now experiencing.

Since then, I have traveled the State, talked to Republican leaders and office-holders and my supporters and I have carefully examined public opinion. It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable. On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.

I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary.

Food For Thought

A good read.

40 Million Nonbelievers in America? The Secret Is Almost Out
By Ronald Aronson
Buried in the results of a recent survey is the fact that secularists may now be one of America’s largest minorities—larger than gays or African Americans.

Will nonbelievers, traditionally one of the most loathed demographics, begin to feel their oats and demand greater recognition in the public square?

Blood Suckers

Did you ever notice how some people are your best friend when they have nothing else going on and that they call you every day, come to all your events, want to hang with you on every occasion, tell you ALL their problems ad nauseum and ruin your perfectly good days crying or whining to you with all their drama and then all of a sudden their luck changes and they disappear (and then they come back when their luck falls apart)?

kick me in the ass if I ever do that.

I suppose it's cynical of me to say when someone asks how one of my friends is and I say, "I haven't heard from them so things must be good." With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Resolution: I will not make friends with complainers in the first place.


The conservative agenda just pissing me off again

When you stop and think about it, conservatives are in the minority around the world, yet they seem to have the biggest mouths. Furthermore, they are pushy and nasty overall as they thrust their repressive agenda on the rest of world. Why is it that conservatives can't be happy just oppressing themselves, that they have to make a mountain out of every molehill?

You read about the horrible anti-female agenda that was signed into law by Karzai in Afghanistan that allowed husbands to rape their wives, that women had to get their husband's permission to leave the house, that young girls would get married as soon as they started menstruating, etc etc. It was made law because of the conservative Shias who only comprise 15% of the population that this was made a law. The women in Afghanistan staged a protest and the men literally stopped them with violence.

International pressure got to Karzai though and he said he was going to "amend" the law. Not sure what that means exactly so I'll keep on top of this story.

It's amazing how many mom's I know of soldiers who are fighting in Afghanistan that aren't even aware of the draconian laws in that country both new and old. There should have been a big outcry in this country since we are sending our kids to die there. I don't get it sometimes.

I'm afraid I have some bad news......

by Mr. Fish over at Truthdig

Monday, April 27

Getting Closer to Legalizing Pot, For God's Sake

It's not just us "commie liberals" that think the war on drugs is a waste of money, a disaster and a way to throw otherwise law abiding tax paying citizens into jail. A conservative judge from one of the reddest parts of Texas agrees:
“My experience is the War on Drugs that has been waged by America for all these years is an absolute, total disaster … A failure,” he said. “We’re putting people in jail for possession, and we seldom if ever really run across a dealer. I don’t think, since I’ve been in office, we have not had more than four or five dealers come through my court.”

Judge Collier said he looks at countries such as England and the Netherlands as having a more intelligent approach to substance abuse, especially pertaining to the dangerous and addictive drug heroin.

“[Regulation and control] seems to work in countries that regulate the dangerous drugs,” said Judge Collier. “They do not have the criminal problem with heroin that the Untied States has. I believe Texas is one of just four or five states that do not have a free needle exchange program. In almost every other state, if someone is going to shoot up, they can get a clean needle. Now, we know they’re going to shoot up, and nothing we’ve ever done has made a bit of difference with that, but at least we’re going to help prevent a disease such as AIDS. But Texas doesn’t do that. We’re hell bent; by God, that’s a crime and we ain’t gonna help you do it.”

As for America’s number one cash crop, Judge Collier does even go as far as batting an eye at marijuana.

“Marijuana is well on its way, even in the state of Texas, to not being much of a crime,” he said. “I don’t hear marijuana cases. The only marijuana cases I hear is when somebody has four ounces or more. In other words, they’ve already reduced possession of a couple of joints to the level of a throw-away misdemeanor. I would not be surprised to see it be treated more like a parking violation, where you’d have to pay a fine for being caught with it in public.”

more at Raw Story

Sunday, April 26

From Our Irony Desk

Governor (p)Rick Perry of Texas has no need for the Federal government.

He has said so, expressing solidarity with the small percentage of Texans (which must include about 48% of those Texas Republicans polled) who think it might be a good idea if Texas seceded from the United States. In that regard he has stated, along with other Texas politicians and certain brainless dupes, that as a 'sovereign' state, Texas doesn't need Federal stimulus help or anything else from the Feds unless it asks for it.

Wherein lies the problem for (p)Rick Perry.

The new strain of influenza that has come north from Mexico has infected several people in New York, Kansas and Texas. It is a new strain, one that has the potential to become a pandemic.

So now (p)Rick Perry and the rest of the Texas secessionists suddenly discover that they need the United States now.

And that's the latest from Our Irony Desk.

Dangerously Cute

Golden Girl

I cannot begin to describe the loss. Bea Arthur – actress, feminist, all-around wonderful human being - has died. She was 86. I felt a kind of connection to Bea, though we never had the opportunity to meet. Two of her most famous co-stars – Angela Lansbury and Adrienne Barbeau were people I’d known. Adrienne and I both got started doing theatre in San Jose, California – working for the same directors (though we never once did a show together). She was quite a bit older than I – a role model to look up to – not to mention one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. My other connection, Ms. Lansbury, I knew from the time I lived in Ireland. She and I were neighbors (by Irish standards). She lived in Shanagarry, I in Ballycotton – but we both shared being American as a touchstone. I looked on her as a mother. I was 12, she in her early 40’s. Her son Anthony (also much older than I) was the initial connection. I used to follow that boy around like a lost puppy; which in many ways I was. Angela just accepted me ‘as is’ – no questions; the first time anyone hadn’t demanded something in exchange for loyalty or affection. I don’t know if she ever knew how bad my home life was – not that it mattered. She was warm, kind and understanding – and I missed her terribly when my parents decided to move back home to California. She asked me to stay in touch, and I didn’t – a thing I truly regret.

Which brings me to Bea. I’d known she originated the role of Vera in Angela Lansbury’s Broadway production of ‘Mame’ (she re-created it for the film) – but that was about it. But because she’d know Angela - I felt myself drawn to her – and I followed her career somewhat – much as I did with Adrienne. Imagine my surprise when both were cast in a TV show: ‘Maude’! Oh – I had to watch....even though my mother objected (feminism wasn’t allowed in our house, you see). Of course I watched anyway. It was easy to do. Most evenings my father spent drunk out of his skull, and mother slept with Prince Valium every chance she got. So ‘Maude’ was something I made sure to watch (as I struggled to grasp the societal changes raging around me). I loved how Bea shot those lines out like bullets. My excellent comic timing comes from studying her, I think. Later I discovered ‘The Golden Girls’. It was already a big hit when I got back from living in Japan. Bea kinda disappeared after that – appearing on Broadway and in the odd TV show. I had no idea she was ill (cancer) – so her death has been a real shock.

So here’s to ya, my dear. You lit up the world – and taught a lot of us what feminism was all about. Bye, bye, sweetie. I hope god has a sense of humor. :)

Friday, April 24

Obligatory Friday Sex Post For Women Only

It's been studied once again and supposedly proven.
$ize Does Matter! Bigger is Better for Female Orgasms

Of course we ladies will still tell our lover boys that size doesn't matter and that they are the biggest we've ever ever seen... wink wink, nudge nudge.

The check's in the mail.

Waddaya think?

Forty seven year old Scottish singing sensation, Susan Boyle got a makeover. You will remember that Jersey Cynic wrote about her sensational performance in the UK on Britain's Got Talent recently. She looks a bit more 21st Century now.

There is supposedly a media backlash now. I don't know if I believe anything in the media anymore. Do you?

Friday Funny.....

I was depressed last night so I called Lifeline.

Got a freakin' call center in Pakistan

I told them I was suicidal.

They got all excited and asked if I could drive a truck.

(via super55blog)

Too Big To Fail = TOO BIG TO EXIST (HuffPo interview with MIT Professor Simon Johnson

I agree with the commenters thus far on this post -- THIS STORY SHOULD BE FRONT PAGE -- WTF HuffPo?????
POST TITLE: Economist: America Is Just Like An Emerging Market, Wall Street Oligarchs And All
In full --

America may be more like an emerging market than we realize.

That is the analysis by an increasingly vocal and influential professor at MIT, Simon Johnson. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Simon Johnson, the former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, just like the emerging markets he has spent his life studying, the U.S. has created a system whereby Wall Street "oligarchs" have monopolized and cannibalized the economy. At the same time, Washington regulators have been rendered ineffective, seduced by their aura of wealth and power.

Johnson's solution is, in part, to use anti-trust laws to break up these too-big-to-fail institutions, and for regulators to intensify their oversight of the smaller banks that result.

"In the last decade, the attitude took hold in the U.S. that what was good for Big Finance on Wall Street was good for the United States," Johnson testified before the Joint Economic Committee earlier this week. According to this "belief system," Wall Street "benefited from the fact that Washington insiders already believed that large financial institutions and free-flowing capital markets were critical to America's position in the world."

Demonizing Wall Street is the nation's latest obsession, and Johnson's stance seems to fit right in with the zeitgeist. But the idea of deconstructing the system that has created these Wall Street oligarchs, such as we haven't seen since the days of J.P. Morgan (the man), is not a perspective from the far-left fringe. On the contrary, it is gaining support both among well-respected economists and Washington insiders.

Columbia professor and Nobel Laureate, Joseph Stiglitz, agrees with Johnson's views: As the former chief economist of the World Bank, "if I had come and visited the United States, we would have cut off all aid to the United States. It wouldn't have passed muster," he testified at the Joint Economic Committee hearing.

He added, "we've seen in the midst of crises in so many developing countries massive redistributions from the ordinary taxpayers to the financial sector. What we are seeing in the United States is a pattern that happens over and over again."

Even the president of the Federal Reserve of Kansas City,Thomas Hoenig, concurred that the banking system must be fundamentally re-thought.
"No one did a particularly stellar job in supervising these institutions," Hoenig testified at the same hearing, referring to Wall Street. "We had an environment where deregulation was the watchword and you went forward with that. You had these very large institutions. And we, in a sense, allowed ourselves to think that sophisticated methods of financial transactions was a substitute for fundamental principles."

Johnson argues his views straddle the line between right and left: While it's understandable that liberals would embrace dismantling Wall Street power brokers, some on the right are also supporters. That's because they oppose corporate welfare, which has resulted from the bank bailout. "They don't like corporate welfare because it leads to higher taxes," Johnson told the Huffington Post. "So I am getting feedback from those perceived as more conservative that they agree with me."

Johnson, who earned his PhD in economics from MIT and his BA from the University of Oxford, spent about 18 months as the chief economist at the IMF before becoming a professor of entrepreneurship at MIT.

"I have spent all my time studying these other economies and it's clear that the U.S. is following a similar path," Johnson says.

The path to economic ruin begins with fear. In the case of an emerging markets crisis, it is the fear that a country cannot pay back its debt. Investors balk at lending to the country, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the country can no longer borrow money to pay its debt.

It is the same scenario that played out with Lehman Brothers last September, Johnson argues. Investors grew fearful and pulled out of the bank, which then became unable to cover its debt. When it failed, investors grew fearful that the whole banking industry was insolvent and pulled back. Nearly overnight credit dried up and the Federal Reserve was forced to step in and provide funding.

It was this succession of events that gave Johnson his "Aha! moment, when I realized I had seen this all happen before," he says.

While the U.S. economy has always suffered booms and busts, this time was different because of the sheer size of the financial services industry. In 1986, for example, Wall Street's profits made up just 19% of total domestic corporate profits. During this decade, that number reached as high as 41%.

Wall Street had grown so large because of deregulation during the Reagan era, the decision to not regulate derivatives during the Clinton administration and Greenspan's low interest rates, according to Johnson.

At the same time, the size and wealth of Wall Street translated into political heft. Financiers and Washington players became more interchangeable, furthering the creation of an oligarchy. Two prominent examples include Robert Rubin, co-chair of Goldman Sachs and former Treasury Secretary under Clinton, who later joined the executive committee of Citigroup and Henry Paulson, who ran Goldman Sachs during the boom years, and later became Treasury Secretary under President George W. Bush.

"The emergence of a financial oligarchy during a long boom is typical of emerging markets," Johnson notes.

The solution to solving the current financial crisis is for the government to take over failed banks and deal with them through a receivership much like the Resolution Trust Corporation, which helped solve the Savings and Loans debacle in the 1980s.

The other step is to break up the oligarchy. This entails selling off the banks piecemeal to private equity firms and imposing restrictions on size so the new, smaller banks cannot grow to the size of the current mega-banks.

"Anything that is 'too big to fail' is now 'too big to exist,'" Johnson says, adding, "the Obama Administration's fiscal stimulus invokes FDR, but we need at least equal weight on Teddy Roosevelt-style trust-busting."

Thursday, April 23

A Baby Preacher. Frightening

HFS!!! Notice how this child has the vile tone of voice and abrupt movements of an evangelical preacher! (or a dictator)

On Torture

I heard on the news that Obama doesn't want a congressional investigation into the torture because it would be politicized. He wants a special investigation. It had better be like the Clinton Blow Job Investigation and not the 9/11 Commission.

Dear Readers,

My friend told me not to wish bad things to happen to someone who hurt me very deeply because it's bad for my karma. So I found out that this person is going to get a karmic kick in the ass big time. Is it okay for me to smirk (since I didn't wish this to happen nor am I encouraging it)?

Craigslist Killer a bigoted Republican

Although he was smart and clean cut, Craigslist killer, Phillip Markoff belonged to the college Republicans:

"Just a nice, clean-cut boy wanting to succeed. That type that you'd like to mother," she said. "I just still can't believe it."

At college, he was a member of the College Republicans and was fairly unremarkable except for the occasional offensive comment, said ex-classmate Joe Coe.

"He was someone that had issues with people of color, had issues with women," Coe told CBS.

"He gave off a creepy vibe," said another SUNY classmate. NY Daily News

Of course being a Republican doesn't make you a serial killer. Being a bigot doesn't make you a serial killer, but you wonder what incites bigots to do terrible things? Do the media and politicians have a responsibility to NOT encourage violence against others?

Wednesday, April 22

A good thing for our country: Federal Funding for Volunteers Increased.

The president signed into law a measure that will boost federal funding for AmeriCorps and is named after Senator Edward M. Kennedy. The number of positions will increase from 75,000 to 250,000 by 2017. It will cost a measly $6 billion over the next 5 years. Critics say it is too expensive or that you shouldn't reward volunteers with a meager stipend at all. They sound like sour grapes loser republicans to me. AmeriCorps is a wonderful program and a worthwhile endeavor for those who wish to give back by helping those less fortunate. I enjoy seeing the country turn around and become a compassionate caring one once again. After 8 years of bullying and ignorance, this is a breath of fresh air. Why... it's almost downright, dare I write it? Christian!

"Our government can help to rebuild our economy ... [but] we need Americans willing to mentor our eager young children, or care for the sick, or ease the strains of deployment on our military families," Obama said.

"All that's required on your part is a willingness to make a difference. And that is, after all, the beauty of service. Anybody can do it."

Monday, April 20

Newt Gingrich's Memory

For all his supposed acumen as a historian, Newt Gingrich (R-Adultery) seems to have a number of blind spots in his education. In his latest sin against accuracy he was heard to opine on the Sunday chat shows (which, incidentally, give this monumental loser way too much air time) to the effect that President Obama's handshake with Venezuelan President Chavez was something no Republican President would do.

Apparently, Gingrich and others of the chattering classes say, Republican Presidents don't sit down and be chummy with repressive anti-Americans.

Well, here's Richard Nixon in 1972, getting chummy with Leonid Brezhnev, hardline Communist and well-known for inveighing against Those Darn American Imperialists:

And here's Gingrich's One True God, the Great And Sainted Ronald Reagan, - gasp! - shaking hands with Mikhail Gorbachev, another one of those naughty Soviet fellows.

There are other pictures, of course, of Republican leaders, good Americans all ("So are they all, all honorable men") shaking hands and getting chummy with all sorts of repressive types who took our money and got the photo op and then went on to call us all kinds of nasty names.

Who can forget the immortal picture of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein back in 1983? Of course, Saddam was our boy back then, consecrated by the Sunni Gulf States with the task of keeping back the purported Shiite radical tide - which he did by using chemical weapons supplied to him by the United States.

Newt also had unkind words to say about the book that Chavez gave Obama, which describes the exploitation of the Americas by the Western powers over the centuries. Newt's short memory seems to get even shorter here.

Can he deny that the Spanish and Portuguese extracted gold and silver from the Americas by using forced labor in conditions little better than slavery?

Can he deny that many in Washington over the years considered the Monroe Doctrine a carte blanche to impose our will upon the Americas?

Can he deny that the CIA toppled the Allende regime in Chile in 1972, installing the vicious thug Augusto Pinochet to begin a reign of terror in that country?

Can he deny that the CIA fomented a coup d'etat in Guatemala in 1954 to help the United Fruit Company maintain its hold over its plantations in that country?

Can he deny that we invaded and occupied Haiti in the 1920s?

Can he deny that we concocted a rebellion in Panama to wrest it from Colombia in order to build an Isthmian Canal without interference?

And this is just what I know, off the top of my head.

Pity Newt's memory is apparently starting to fade on him.

Northern lights: photographs of the Aurora Borealis around the Arctic Circle

Ben Hattenbach, Alaska Mar. 13, 2009
Picture: Ben Hattenbach/

more photos

Seeing the Northern Lights in #1 on my "Bucket List"

and smokin' a big fatty while watching the Northern Lights is #2 on my list....

4/20.... a most sacred "High Holiday". Live Greener -- Happy 420

What's 420?

High Times has some great links re 4/20
And from NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws)
First-Ever Nationwide Pro-Marijuana TV Ad Campaign Is Launched in Conjunction with ‘4/20′Legalization:

Yes We Can - Jason Druss

Also, the NYTimes has a timely article today:Marijuana Advocates Point to Signs of Change

and HIGH TIMES wants to know your favorite thing to do when you get stoned!

Friday, April 17

Another "distraction" for the folks here in Connecticut

After another tiresome day of job searching, I came home this afternoon hoping to catch a few rays outside on the deck. A beautiful day here in Connecticut! Got the radio out and tuned into one of the Lite FM stations that play long music sets. I wasn't in my chair 2 minutes and the phone starts ringing. I wasn't going to bother getting up to answer it until I realized none of the kids were home from school yet and maybe one was calling because they missed the bus or something. PISS ME OFF it was the National Organization for Marriage calling with a recorded message urging me to call my congress critter about blah blah blah. I just hung up -- I don't even know what they wanted me to call them for. Besides, If I'm gonna call my congress critter today, it will be concerning the bush torturers.

So, I get back outside to the sunshine, settle in my chair, and turned the volume up on the radio. I wasn't in my chair 2 SECONDS when the long set of songs ended and it was time for a commercial break. OMG I think they're following me!!
I shit you not. Listen to the ad that came over the air waves:
#2 under the TARGETED RADIO ADS --WTF!!! -- call my congress critter and urge them to defeat SB 899? WTF is SB 899?
National Organization for Marriage Urges Connecticut General Assembly to Defeat SB 899: Bill Threatens Religious Liberty and Crosses Line into Promotion of Gay Marriage in Schools

I need a lawyer to understand this -- I really don't get it. I'm sure it's nothing more than fear mongering

Have they gone too far or what!


Conservatives who have extra money in this economy to make this non-issue an issue are responsible for the content of this ad

Jon Stewart covers FOX's, CNN's and MSNBC's coverage of the tea parties -- OUTSTANDING!!!

Nationwide Tax

UK singer SUSAN BOYLE 'gobsmacked' by overnight stardom. STAND UP AND TAKE NOTICE LILLY ALLEN.....

I'm sure most of you have seen the performance by now? I hope Susan TRAMPLES Ms. Lilly on the charts
Here's the story from
CNN Entertainment
Youtube (?) won't allow embedding of the video anymore.

This one is still working though:
Susan Boyle performing "I Dreamed A Dream" from Les Misérables

"I wouldn't want to change myself too much, because that would make things a bit false," she told CNN's "American Morning." "I want people to see the real me, the real person." Boyle insisted she's still the same humble girl next door. "I keep my feet firmly planted on the ground, because you have to,"........Boyle said she was trying to take her newfound fame in her stride.
"It's a challenge. Life is a challenge sometimes but this is different. And I like to test myself. "If it all gets too much and they lock me up, I want a great big strait-jacket with spots on it. A pink one... and a big zip on the back so I can escape."

and now let's take a look at the"smart & sassy" top pop diva from the UK -- Lilly Allen (I can understand her appeal to many, but I personally don't care for her voice). I do hope our kids today really listen and pay attention to this song though. It speaks volumes....

I want to be rich and I want lots of money
I don't care about clever, I don't care about funny
I want loads of clothes and fuck loads of diamonds
I heard people die while they're trying to find them
And I'll take my clothes off and it will be shameless
'Cause everyone knows that's how you get famous
I'll look at the sun and I'll look in the mirror
I'm on the right track, yeah I'm on to a winner

I don't know what's right and what's real anymore
And I don't know how I'm meant to feel anymore
When do you think it will all become clear?
'Cause I'm being taken over by The Fear

Life's about film stars and less about mothers
It's all about fast cars and cussing each other
But it doesn't matter 'cause I'm packing plastic
And that's what makes my life so fucking fantastic
And I am a weapon of massive consumption
And it's not my fault, it's how I'm programmed to function
Lyrics (and song meaning) con't

Better Angels

So. As advertized, President Obama decided not to prosecute the Bush torturers – despite in your hand, black and white evidence that extreme torture took place (all in the name of the United States, doncha know). But that’s OK by Obama. Lock someone in a box with bugs? Fine. Bash some poor son-of-a-bitch’s head against a wall until he loses consciousness? Peachy. All this from a man who ran on the promise that torture would become anathema in America.

So he lied. Big deal, you say. Or perhaps you prefer to parse his promise – to cling to the belief that what promises were made were, in actual fact, kept. Strictly speaking – we DON’T torture any more – right (one hopes)? Oh – we still practice ‘rendition’ – but that’s not US actually torturing – is it? And so what if the Bush tortures escape the justice they so richly deserve. They were just following orders. After all - the Bush ‘Justice’ Department did say it was OK. Permission was given – so how could any of them be help personally responsible?

Then there was that blackmail memo – the one the CIA sent to Obama – vowing removal of any and all intelligence gathering: numerous threats, both gross and subtle. He had to cave, right? I mean – he couldn’t just FIRE the smarmy bastards, and bring back all the people pushed out by Bush appointees......could he? Maybe he could. But then that would make Obama WRONG – and we don’t dare declare President Obama as being in the WRONG – not with all those nasty right-wingers just waiting to pounce. No matter what – he’s always right. Ooops. Bad word. Whatever you do - don’t label Obama as ‘right’ anything. Say he’s taken a ‘progressive attitude towards the past’. Yeah. That’ll work.

Only it won’t. There is a good ‘right’. The difference between ‘right’ and wrong – and President Obama’s wrong on this. He’s wrong and we have to tell him so. Do you really want sadists managing the CIA? I don’t. I want them dug out – root and branch. Torture is evil. No maundering around the subject – it’s flat out evil, and we all know it. Allowing evil people to get away with their crimes only compounds that evil. Look at how we all view Nazi-ism. 60 years after the fact – and the world is still trying to catch and imprison anyone even remotely involved with that nightmare. Why pursue the Demjanjuk case otherwise? To prove a point. Time will never erase that stain – as it shouldn’t regards torture now.

So what point are we proving here? What is Obama telling America when he says we should all just forgive and forget? That no matter what you do – if you do it under the umbrella of government – it’s fine; legal and fine. No one will hold you responsible – no matter how egregious your action. Well that makes me sick to my stomach. And it makes me wonder about Obama. What does he means by this? I can’t help but be suspicious.....and that’s a very bad thing. It begs the question, you see: what is it Obama might do that will need such extreme excusing? Whose nest does he feather? Has the Bush presidency so poisoned the office, it contaminates anyone who sits in that chair? And what makes Obama so different? Perhaps I should be asking what makes him the same. So far (everything in consideration), Obama wins out.....but that margin of goodness just narrowed considerably.

Congratulations, President Obama. You’ve just become the ‘lesser’ evil.

Thursday, April 16

Excuse Me ... But WTF!?

The United States Army is out looking for a few thieves.

Yes, you heard me.


These people, using forged paperwork, managed to steal 10 million gallons of jet and diesel fuel from the Army's Camp Liberty in Iraq in 2007 and 2008. That amounts to about $40 million in fuel.

This is yet another yummy slice of fecal matter to be added to the already-full-to-bursting sack of flaming poo to be deposited at the doorstep of George W. Bush. I want a piece of this dry-drunk wastrel just for the $9 Billion - in cash - that simply disappeared from Iraq after it was loaded, in pallets of $100 bills, and shipped out in transport aircraft.

So, excuse me if I say, simply and forthrightly.

What. The. Fuck?!

The Day after Teabagging

The anti-Obama crowd must be still smoking their cigarettes today, eh?

Interestingly, Fox News is riling up their viewers about the fascism permeating this country. I say it's interesting because Fox News was a perfect example of fascism for the past 8 years- big business and government interacting as one. You couldn't tell where Fox ended and Cheney started. When our country was truly threatened by real fascism (during the bush years) not a single news source even brought up the term. In fact, if you did say the f word, the right wing blew a fuse. Comparing Bush to Hitler was viewed as a mortal sin. Comparing Obama to Hitler is now viewed as patriotic. Another interesting thing is that the anti-Obama crowd also likes to say that our country is now socialist. How can you be a fascist and a socialist? When news reporters asked protesters what socialism is, they described communism! None could define fascism or what it was about Hitler that made him a fascist.

The teabaggers had to be some of the stupidest people ever to protest! Fox News ought to be sued to take the word 'news' out of their name because they are not giving anyone any actual news, but they are sure Foxy and great at propaganda.

Another thing that struck me is that all the protesters were white and I wonder how many of them are white supremacists. After all they are very stupid people and most of the protesters were very stupid and misinformed. If the current Democratic president was white, would people be so anti-president? I'm just thinking out loud here.

has a number of posts and news video from yesterday. Enough to keep you busy and shaking your head.

Wednesday, April 15

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 21 - Andante - "Elvira Madigan"

Just because.....

Texas Gov. Perry Wants to Secede?

Here we have the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, playing to the extreme base of his party (Republican, by the way) as part of his upcoming primary battle with Kaye Bailey Hutchinson:

So, Governor Perry thinks that Washington's hand is oppressive and Texas won't stand for it any longer.

Sounds quite a bit like a call for Texas to secede to me. It would gladden the hearts of Chuck Norris and Glenn Beck, of course.

Fine and dandy.

Then Governor Perry won't mind it if the Federal Government cuts off all aid to the state.

No more law enforcement grants.

No more Border Patrol.

No more grants for schools or Medicare.

No more FEMA grants.

No more defense contract money.

No more jobs affiliated with military bases like Lackland AFB, Fort Ord and Fort Sam Houston.

No more federal jobs.

No more farm subsidies.

You see, Texas (like many of the other so-called Red States) takes in more Federal aid than it pays into the public coffers in taxes. This is sometimes called Red State Welfare. States in the north, northeast and west (the so-called Blue States) take in less in public aid than they pay in taxes.

So if Texas wants to secede, I say cut them off without a penny. Governor Perry will be driven howling into the street within a year.

Will you be tea bagging today?

When I read about left wing extremists in the news, I don't identify with them nor do I lump all liberals and democrats in with them. When we protested the war in DC, we weren't wishing that Bush was dead nor did anyone want to kill him. Of course we would like to see him tried for war crimes and thrown in jail.

But when the DHS released a warning about right wing extremists and the danger they pose, Michelle Malkin and Newsbusters went up in arms saying that the DHS was targeting all conservatives. Duh. If I were a conservative, I'd give her a piece of my mind. After all, in all fairness not all conservatives are anti-government, pro-gun bigots who'd like to see Obama dead. I'm sure that many of you know wingnuts who would like to see bad things happen to the president but you don't automatically lump them together with everyone who voted for McCain. More on this


Today the anti-government crowd will be teabagging each other across the land. The teabagging was organized and funded by Dick Armey, Newt Gingrich, corporate lobbyists, Fox News and billionaires. They are touting this as a "grassroots" event. ha! They are comparing their display of civil disobedience to a Move On event. Of course we all know that Move On is not funded by corporate lobbyists, the news media or billionaires. More on this


David Shuster who filled in on Countdown said about the teabagging party
The people who came up with it are a familiar circle of Republicans, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, both of whom have firm support from right wing financiers and lobbyists. … We can only speculate why widespread tea bagging made [Neil] Cavuto think of the Million Man march, unless he got them confused with Dick Armey. And in Cavuto’s defense, if you are planning simultaneous tea bagging all around the country, you’re going to need a Dick Armey.

The Tax Man Cometh. Sit back, relax and 'Have a cuppa Tea'!

Dear Taxpayer,

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. notably said “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.” We should be proud that the vast majority of American citizens pay their taxes honestly and of their own free will. In an ever more complex and global world, we cannot take for granted this cornerstone principle of our democracy.

For the IRS's part, we owe it to all taxpayers to make the process of paying taxes as easy as possible. IRS employees are dedicated to helping taxpayers to quickly get their questions answered, complete their forms, pay their taxes, and get back to their lives. From the telephone representative who answers tax law questions, to the walk-in site employees who help low-income taxpayers, to the technicians that design and build our web site – – we are committed to providing top-quality service.

Unfortunately, there will always be some that cheat their fellow citizens by avoiding the payment of their fair share of taxes. The IRS owes it to the millions of you who promptly pay your taxes in full to pursue these people through strong enforcement programs. I believe this is a basic matter of fairness.

If you need more information about taxes, I hope you'll visit us online at, or call us toll free at 1-800-829-1040. Your government works for you, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you need help.


Douglas H. Shulman
Commissioner of Internal Revenue

The IRS Mission

Provide America's taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and by applying the tax law with integrity and fairness to all.

IRS Boss Cracks Down on Offshore Tax Evasion, Encourages Compassion for Struggling Taxpayers

Are Corporate Tax Loopholes Ripe for a Crackdown?

RIPE??? -- I'd say they're wavering on the brink of decay

Tax Loopholes Follow Letter, Not Intent, Of Laws - Wealthy Benefit From Special Exemptions

And from last year's "campaign" McCain on Obama: 'the taxman cometh'. What an A-hole (McCain that is)

TWO MORE RETURNS TO GO (the kids -- should be EZ)

Time to put the kettle on -- for some strange reason I feel like having a 'tea party'. I wish my grandma was still alive -- she made THE BEST cuppa tea!

For any old ailment or disease
For Christ sake have a cuppa tea

~Ray Davies

Tuesday, April 14

Fear the rainbow!A storm is gathering. Are you afraid, Christian? Are you afraid *enough*? by MARK MORFORD

Mark Morford delivers again.....he IS the master!
My favorite part has got to be the lightning.

The fake lightning, that is, flashing just off to the side, a cheap 'n' cheesy special effect that momentarily lights up the actors' faces in the most sweetly melodramatic way as they stand there against the dark 'n' stormy backdrop like devout Christian zombies, delivering delightfully weird and wooden lines about being openly terrified of those openly terrifying gay married people.

Yes, it's merely another series of strange, alarmist, deeply homophobic ads from yet another seething anti-gay group you've never heard of (the National Organization for Marriage, or NOM), ads which are running right now in five states in response to two stunning, watershed gay marriage upheavals in Iowa and Vermont, AKA two more states now shamelessly roaring down the highway to hell.

Have you heard? Turns out the married gays are still on the march. No longer merely a coastal phenomenon, undeterred by the economic recession, as yet unsmited by God's redneck fury, these bizarre, relentlessly loving creatures are now invading the heartland. Will the nightmare of love never end?

You just gotta see these strange, hateful little ads........

(as of this writing, the unintentionally hilarious audition reels of the terrible actors reciting the fake lines have been, alas, taken down).
The ads emphasize how the gays are moving closer to Christian homes, businesses, schools and genitalia, and many terrified citizens with souls the size of marbles clearly don't know what to do or how to protect their children -- or their crotches -- from the onslaught because, oh my God, I think I just saw two men kissing on the mouth! Help me, Jesus!continue reading

and a BONUS from --Funny Anti–Gay-Marriage Ad Sparks YouTube Revolt

But for sheer hilarity, no parody can match the audition tapes for the ad, in which a series of no-name actors stand in front of a green screen and mostly botch lines like "the clouds are dark and the winds are strong" and "I'm a California doctor who must choose between my faith and my job."
The audition videos, uncovered by the Human Rights Campaign, seem too good to be true. But NOM has helpfully authenticated them by sending DMCA notices to YouTube to get them pulled down. hosted the banned videos for a while, but now also appears to have folded like an umbrella.
So internet rebels are saving the videos with, and then uploading them back to YouTube when they're pulled.

You can now view the audition tapes at the above link from Wired


(here's Morford's column archive -- be sure to read his latest on the tax hike on cigarettes -- IT'S TO DIE FOR!!!)

I am also hoping for a possible update from Morford on my all time favorite piece of literary genius that he penned back in 2005 about the Dugger Family from Arkansas. God Does Not Want 16 Kids. The Duggers are up to 18 kids now, and have just announced that their eldest is expecting their first grandchild. OH MARK -- THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!!!

Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish

Did ya hear? Certified nut-job Phil Spector was convicted of second-degree murder today. Well I say halle-fuckin-lujah! It’s about damn time. The man walks out of his house, gun in hand, tells his chauffer “I think I killed somebody” – and manages a mistrial first time around. Thank god this group of jurors had the sense god gave geese. Now please lock the bastard up and throw the key into the nearest sewer.

For years Spector got away with terrorizing people (mostly women) with his hugantic collection of guns. Complaint, after complaint, after complaint – all ignored because, well, that’s how rich celebrities are treated in L.A. They literally get away with murder (a la O.J.). Finally a conviction. Poor Lana Clarkson can finally rest in peace - her murderer brought to justice.

Amen for that!

One more thing.....I know it's strange - but that's what my psycho brother looks like - wild hair and all. I've written about him (Blood and Honeysuckle). First time I saw Spector, it was like someone walking over my grave. My brother is (was?) 15 years older than me. I'm hoping that like Spector, he's in jail - or better yet, burning in the deepest depths of hell. Lest you think this churlish of me - I recommend reading the above chronicle. Some people deserve whatever hell god or man can devise.

Monday, April 13

Planting Moon, my ass...

I missed my planting window for a bunch of items, sez the Farmer's Almanac online.  If I was on the east coast, I'd be golden.  But no, SF Bay Area is past due on some things.  (The site is beautiful in that you can plug in your zip and it'll kick up planting dates, with a reminder of when the moon is full [the unspoken rule being that plants which grow underground be planted during a waning and dark moon, and the things flourishing above ground be planted during a waxing and full moon]).
Not that it'll stop me from sprouting a bunch of solanums, mind you, because it won't.  When I lived in Berkeley I planted late, every season I tried my hand at tomatoes and peppers.  Planting late always meant one major harvest of radishes, too, and then maybe 1/3 as many for the second growing.  This year I have about a dozen tomatoes, as many peppers, and maybe four eggplants to try.  And I've saved some organic taters from the market with nicely developed 'eyes', to be planted as well.  It is a bit disturbing to consider how much I'm planting from the family that also brings us Deadly Nightshade, but what the heck.  ("Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?"  "Eh, how about a kitchen witch?  *cackle*")
I visited these guys on the weekend, because it was their first biodiversity plant sale of the year.  At Occidental Arts & Ecology Center, they make bio-intensive gardening both look and sound easy, as well as doable.  And every time I go there I pick up tips on incidental things such as growing kiwi to insulate a building from the outside (grow a male and a female if you're in doubt on a plant being self-pollinating), on how to build compost 'donuts' to maximize aeration and therefore decomposition, planting veggies in mixed groupings in order to foil insects, etc.  It's also an intentional community with yurts and no-so-effective buildings fashioned in the 1970s that are being brought up to efficiency gradually. 
But the plant sale...
Later on, I'll be planting red romaine lettuces, a green butterleaf of some sort, some cipollini onions, and a Pelargonium graveolens which they called a 'rose geranium' but I doubt is the mythical roseum cultivar (but hey, it still smells lovely and rosy).  I still haven't found the right place for the Lavandula viridis I got from them last summer.
I was going to post something deep about my cheesed-off-ness about the pesticide companies giving Michelle Obama guff over the organic garden at the White House.  Same old same old.  "You people are implying that we're EVIL and selling the public POISON and it is really HURTING our sales, damn you!"-type shit.  But then I thought... Nah, I really don't have anything to contribute to the conversation that's not already been said.  Or maybe I'm just burnt the heck out on Monsanto & Cargill, et al.  I'll try to come up with something hard-hitting later on this week.  I think the fact that these guys are breaking a cold sweat over a farking garden (albeit a high-profile one) speaks for itself right now, so why gild the constipated lily.

From NPR - All Songs Considered -- The Beatles Remastered: Who Cares? by Robin Hilton

Answer: Okay, I care. I know Bob Boilen cares. In fact, he says he's been waiting his whole life for this: On Sept. 9, EMI Records will release the original Beatles catalogue, completely remastered. The discs will include replicated artwork from the original releases, expanded liner notes and brief documentary films about the making of each album. For hardcore Beatles fans, it sounds like a dream. But I've heard grumblings from some who think it's just another chance for EMI (and possibly the remaining Beatles) to squeeze more dollars out of the music before they finally give in and make it available for download.

I do wonder whether the average listener can really tell the difference between an original recording and a remastered one. I suspect, in the case of the early Beatles recordings, you'll be able to tell a difference, though I understand some who say it only matters to audiophiles.

I remember when the Beatles albums were first made available on compact disc in 1987. Some diehards complained that it sounded too pure or too clean. They said that digitizing the music made it sound mechanical and stripped all the warmth out of the recordings. I thought (and still think) that's just absurd. To me, we were finally getting to hear the music the way the band heard it, as it was being made, without the loss in fidelity that comes with multiple duplications and submixing. I'm hoping these newly remastered discs will get us even closer.

But what do you think? Do you plan on getting the remastered discs when they drop in September? Or are you dubious? When bands reissue an album, is it really a service to fans, or simply an attempt to make more money?

So, will any of our Blondesense readers buy these newly remastered discs?

This 'audiophile' will MOST definitely get her hands on these (I still visit the basement frequently to spin my large collection of vinyl on my Magnavox Astro-Sonic Stereo Hi-Fi. What can I say -- I'm cursed with a very heightened sense of hearing (and smell). Might be that anxiety disorder I have also! ( My family always jokes that I can hear and smell an ant's fart)

'Op zoek naar Maria' & Random Acts of Theatre

about the photo (you'll need an interpreter)

This random act of theatre at the Antwerp Central Rail Station in Belgium is simply AMAZING!!..... ASTONISHING, astounding, surprising, stunning, staggering, shocking, startling, stupefying, breathtaking; awesome, awe-inspiring, sensational, remarkable, spectacular, stupendous, phenomenal, extraordinary, incredible, unbelievable; informal mind-blowing, jaw-dropping; and...... just TOO. COOL. FOR. SCHOOL.

Antwerpenpen-Centraal (Antwerp Central) is the name of the main railway station in the Belgian city of Antwerp. The station is now widely regarded as the finest example of railway architecture in Belgium.

Op zoek narr Maria (Looking for Maria) is a talent competition program that aired in Belgium on Vtm. It premiered on March 25, 2009. The premise of the series was to find a musical theatre performer to play the role of Maria von Trapp in the 2009 Albert Verlinde and Roel Vente revival of The Sound of Music at the Efteling Theatre.

MORE about this video from The Inspiration Room
VTM, a television station in Belgium, recently used a flash mob dance stunt to announce their newest reality television program “Op zoek naar Maria”. The promotion, similar to T-Mobile’s ad set in Liverpool St Station In London, is promoting the program’s search for an an actress to play the leading role in the The Sound of Music.

On Monday morning, March 23, commuters were introduced to the recording of Julie Andrews singing the song, “Do Re Mi”, as recorded for the 1965 musical, Sound of Music. 200 dancers strategically placed in the crowd began to dance as a remix of the track came through the speakers.

Here's the video and story about the T-Mobile ad campaign that came out in the UK back in January:

T-Mobile in the UK has launched an advertising campaign with the aid of a flash mob dancing in London’s Liverpool Street Station. At 11.00 am, on Thursday 15th January, 350 dancers surprised commuters passing through the railway station. The three minutes of synchronized dancing was captured on ten hidden television cameras, edited and premiered during an entire ad break in Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 4, at 9 pm on Friday 16th January. Lysa Hardy, head of brand and communications at T-Mobile, said:

“‘Dance’ brings to life the fact that there are often unexpected, wonderful, exciting things that happen that you want to be able to share with your friends and family."

Ahhhh......random acts of theatre -- nothing like it!

h/t to Foiled Goil via Deb's post at BigBrassBlog

Sending Messages

Disclaimer: It's very early in the morning, and I'm a bit tired, so prepare yourselves for a load of snark.

A few days ago, if you hadn't noticed, pirates operating off the eastern Africa littoral seized a US-registered Maersk Line container ship carrying food aid for Kenya, Uganda and - yep - Somalia, where the pirates mainly operate from.

Somalia, by the way, is a perfect spot for pirates to operate. Barely any government, collapsed economy and a shitload of guns and other weapons. The country's location near the Gulf of Aden and the main commercial shipping lanes is also a plus.

So some of the more unrestrained entrepreneurs there have decided that there's more money to be made selling that food aid than letting relief organizations give it away. Hence their seizure of the ship.

(To be fair, other pirates have seized other cargoes, and currently hold about 270 hostages for ransom - ransom's also profitable. What, are you going to stand in the way of free-market, unregulated capitalism?)

The captain of the Maersk Line vessel gave himself up as a hostage when the crew rebelled, and the pirates took flight in one of the lifeboats. A minor standoff developed when the USS Bainbridge showed up, along with other Navy ships.

Some of the Stupid People (notably Fox News) started bleating that this was a referendum on the Obama Administration, expatiating upon him being liberal and not wanting to use force.

Well, that argument's shot down - along with three of the pirates. The Captain was freed after Navy SEAL snipers killed three of the pirates while the fourth was aboard the Bainbridge negotiating.

The order to use deadly force came directly from President Obama, who has proved to my satisfaction, at least, that he can give that kind of order without a lot of hemming and hawing.

So, we get a citizen back, and sent a message to the pirates that we won't fuck around.

The pirates have a message as well - they may not be so nice with the next ship they happen to intercept.

Nice to see that at least we're communicating.

Friday, April 10

The Pedophile Church Again

Funny how so many "Catholic" groups are freaking out because Obama is to speak at Notre Dame's commencement this year because he is pro-choice. One group, The American Life League wants Notre Dame to be removed from an official list of Catholic Institutions.

Interesting how so called "pro-life" people don't have anything to say about the lives ruined by pedophile priests. How about the latest from Ireland?
At a Thursday mass in Dublin's Pro-Cathedral, an Irish Archbishop shocked his congregation, which included numerous priests, by exclaiming that a forthcoming investigative report will reveal that over three decades, Irish Catholic priests have abused "thousands" of children.
When I was growing up Catholic, the priest was considered a very holy man who could do no wrong. It's no wonder that they got away with abusing children for parents would believe a priest over their own children. They believed the nuns too. A nun in 6th grade grabbed my bangs and cut them to the hairline for nothing. I was just sitting there, one of the quiet kids in the class, minding my own business when she decided that she couldn't see my eyes, grabbed her scissors and attacked me. My mother didn't say boo to her or the principal because the religious people were always right. It's no wonder that I am still a recovering Catholic.

I'll be very happy when the Catholics get theirs.

Thursday, April 9

Has Fox television gone too far?

Has reality television gone too far?

A new Fox reality show about company layoffs is called "Someone's Gotta Go". In fact the show goes to small companies that need to cut costs because of the economy and allows the employees to decide who gets fired after the books are opened for all to inspect. Fox says that they have had no problem finding companies willing to participate. I suppose there is always someone that everyone hates at work but during these times when jobs are hard to keep and it's even harder to find a new one, is Fox just capitalizing on people's hardships? Personally, I think it's immoral and just because there are people willing to participate doesn't make it right. I think shows like this bring out the worst in people.

Why are the Pirates Attacking?? Ask Lawrence Summers

From RebelReports via Common Dreams a report by Jeremy Scahill:

PUTTING TODAY'S 'PIRATE' ATTACK IN CONTEXT - - A US ship, owned by a Pentagon contractor with ‘Top Security’ clearance, was seized off the Somali coast. Reports say the US crew has retaken the ship. But the question remains: Why are the pirates attacking?

.......But this type of coverage of the pirates is similar to the false narrative about “tribalism” being the cause of all of Africa’s problems. Of course, there are straight-up gangsters and criminals engaged in these hijackings. Perhaps the pirates who hijacked the Alabama on Wednesday fall into that category. We do not yet know. But that is hardly the whole “pirate” story. Consider what one pirate told The New York Times after he and his men seized a Ukrainian freighter “loaded with tanks, artillery, grenade launchers and ammunition” last year. “We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits,” said Sugule Ali:. “We consider sea bandits those who illegally fish in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas. We are simply patrolling our seas. Think of us like a coast guard.” Now, that “coast guard” analogy is a stretch, but his point is an important and widely omitted part of this story. Indeed the Times article was titled, “Somali Pirates Tell Their Side: They Want Only Money.” Yet, The New York Times acknowledged, “the piracy industry started about 10 to 15 years ago… as a response to illegal fishing.”

Take this fact: Over $300 million worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are “being stolen every year by illegal trawlers” off Somalia’s coast, forcing the fishing industry there into a state of virtual non-existence.

But it isn’t just the theft of seafood. Nuclear dumping has polluted the environment. “In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed,” wrote Johann Hari in The Independent. “Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.”
According to Hari:

As soon as the [Somali] government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.

This is the context in which the “pirates” have emerged. Somalian fishermen took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least levy a “tax” on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia – and ordinary Somalis agree. The independent Somalian news site WardheerNews found 70 per cent “strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defence.”

............All of this is important to keep in context any time you see a short blurb pop up about pirates attacking ships. “Did we expect starving Somalians to stand passively on their beaches, paddling in our toxic waste, and watch us snatch their fish to eat in restaurants in London and Paris and Rome?” Hari asked. “We won’t act on those crimes – the only sane solution to this problem – but when some of the fishermen responded by disrupting the transit-corridor for 20 percent of the world’s oil supply, we swiftly send in the gunboats.”

And now, please read "THE MEMO" -- On December 12, 1991, the chief economist for the World Bank, Lawrence Summers, wrote an internal memo that was leaked to the environmental community.....

DATE: December 12, 1991
TO: Distribution
FR: Lawrence H. Summers
Subject: GEP

'Dirty' Industries: Just between you and me, shouldn't the World Bank be encouraging MORE migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs [Less Developed Countries]? I can think of three reasons:

1) The measurements of the costs of health impairing pollution depends on the foregone earnings from increased morbidity and mortality. From this point of view a given amount of health impairing pollution should be done in the country with the lowest cost, which will be the country with the lowest wages. I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.

2) The costs of pollution are likely to be non-linear as the initial increments of pollution probably have very low cost. I've always though that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted, their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City. Only the lamentable facts that so much pollution is generated by non-tradable industries (transport, electrical generation) and that the unit transport costs of solid waste are so high prevent world welfare enhancing trade in air pollution and waste.

3) The demand for a clean environment for aesthetic and health reasons is likely to have very high income elasticity. The concern over an agent that causes a one in a million change in the odds of prostrate cancer is obviously going to be much higher in a country where people survive to get prostrate cancer than in a country where under 5 mortality is is 200 per thousand. Also, much of the concern over industrial atmosphere discharge is about visibility impairing particulates. These discharges may have very little direct health impact. Clearly trade in goods that embody aesthetic pollution concerns could be welfare enhancing. While production is mobile the consumption of pretty air is a non-tradable.

The problem with the arguments against all of these proposals for more pollution in LDCs (intrinsic rights to certain goods, moral reasons, social concerns, lack of adequate markets, etc.) could be turned around and used more or less effectively against every Bank proposal for liberalization.


After the memo became public in February 1992, Brazil's then-Secretary of the Environment Jose Lutzenburger wrote back to Summers: "Your reasoning is perfectly logical but totally insane... Your thoughts [provide] a concrete example of the unbelievable alienation, reductionist thinking, social ruthlessness and the arrogant ignorance of many conventional 'economists' concerning the nature of the world we live in... If the World Bank keeps you as vice president it will lose all credibility. To me it would confirm what I often said... the best thing that could happen would be for the Bank to disappear." Sadly, Mr. Lutzenburger was fired shortly after writing this letter.

Mr. Summers, on the other hand, was appointed the U.S. Treasury Secretary on July 2nd, 1999, and served through the remainder of the Clinton Admistration. Afterwards, he was named president of Harvard University.

Here's a piece from The Harvard Magazine
regarding The Toxic Memo
..........a fine example of rich, white, frat boy tribalism which, imho, IS MOST DEFINITELY the cause of all of our problems.

Wednesday, April 8

Monsanto's Roundup Residues in GM Food Cause Cell Damage


and......PLEASE pass this one on to EVERYONE also Greenpeace: No need for condoms – GE corn can do the job

agricultural chemicals and family values

(Apparently these cannot inhabit the same space at the same time, given what follows.)

And as usual, women's reproductive health is the canary in the coal mine.

A study released in 2005 by the Environmental Working Group of the blood taken from 10 umbilical cords revealed an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in each sample. The umbilical cord blood of the 10 children, collected by the Red Cross after the cord was cut, harbored pesticides, consumer product ingredients and wastes from burning coal, gasoline and garbage. Of the total 287 chemicals identified, 180 are carcinogens and 217 are toxic to the nervous system. In addition, 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.

“There is a growing body of evidence linking exposure to different sources of farm chemicals to problems with reproductive health for both men and women,” Steingraber said.

According to Steingraber, the commonly used pesticide methoxyclor has the ability to prevent implantation of an embryo in the uterus.

“When a farm chemical like methoxyclor gets into the body of a woman — and it gets into the body because it is present in the environment in which she lives — then she can abort a pregnancy,” she said. “I think there is room in this debate for a big conversation about these chemicals. We need to talk about farm chemicals as chemical abortionists, or chemicals that have the ability to extinguish human pregnancies.”

Full piece can be found here.

So, a pharmacist can refuse to fill a prescription, and that's upholding 'family values' and a whole can of worms that has no place in what amounts to public health issues.

But a woman can live near a farm where some of these chemicals are used, have a hard time getting and staying pregnant, and no one wonders why...

It would be interesting to see the chemical companies get strung up for this one. It's barely even the tip of the iceberg, because those are the chemicals which are still legal for use in this country.

What about the ones being used by banana growers in Honduras, for example? That we manufacture here?

You just cannot make this shit up.

Glen Beck - FOX news - and NOW Alex Jones is on the scene???-- HOW CONVEEEENIENT

Glenn Beck and the rise of Fox News' militia media -- by Eric Boehlert

Who's Alex Jones? Even according to some conservative bloggers, the anti-government, anti-Obama talker is a "freak" who's popular with "the tin foil hat crowd." Like with Poplawski, apparently.

Jones might be a "freak," but he has recently been embraced -- and mainstreamed -- by Fox News, as part of the news channel's unprecedented drive to push radical propaganda warning of America's democratic demise under the new president.

During a March 18 webcast of's proudly paranoid "Freedom Watch," Andrew Napolitano introduced a segment about "what the government has done to take your liberty and your property away." And with that, he welcomed onto the show "the one, the only, the great Alex Jones," who began ranting about "exposing" the New World Order and the threat posed by an emerging "global government."

"I appreciate what you're exposing," Napolitano assured his guest.

I APPRECIATE WHAT YOU'RE EXPOSING???? What The.....?????? where were you FOX CLOWNS during the gwb years?

Here's Alex Jones "exposing" gwb in 2005

again..... THANK YOU JON for pointing out the obvious

"Pace your Rage" please people.... "we're only 10 weeks in"

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At least 40,000 at mass protest in Bangkok

Protesters flooded the street outside Prem's residence and spilled over to the Royal Plaza, a large historic square nearby. The crowd continued to swell as evening approached but this year's boisterous demonstrations have so far remained peaceful.

"Brothers and sisters, come out. If you love democracy, come out! If you want an end to elite rule, come out!" protest leaders aboard trucks shouted through megaphones. "Abhisit, get out! Prem, get out!"
Protesters have accused the country's elite - the military, judiciary and other unelected officials - of interfering in politics.

Adam Lambert owns American Idol

(Hat Tip to M.J.'s Big Blog)

Adam really killed it again tonight on Idol. This guy's a true superstar in every sense of the word. His emotional connection to the material just takes my breath away. Did you hear that Bill O'Reilly 'outed' him on Fox last night? What a bastard. You know O’Reilly did it to try and spike Adam's chances to win. That's amazing on a whole host of fronts – not the least of which is O'Reilly's hubris in believing he has the power to affect such things, and his blatant homophobia in trying to do so in the first place. What a sewer that asshole’s mind must be. May the sands of a thousands deserts fill up his navel! Here's the link (if you can stomach it):

O'Reilly Outs Adam Lambert

On another note....Sorry to have been absent these last few days, folks. It’s been a bad month (literally). I spent last night (or most of it) in my local ER – a traumatizing experience. American health care has really gone for shit - but that's another story. Enjoy the video. Adam had to finesse that note at the end a bit - but it doesn't detract in the slightest from the impact. I’ll be downloading it from iTunes as soon as it’s available.