Friday, September 30, 2011

clearly not news

Junk food for the eyes and ears, starring Bimbette and LeRoy...

The ghost of Edward R. Murrow is not laughing.


From the Associated Press: TORONTO (AP) — Two ice shelves that existed before Canada was settled by Europeans diminished significantly this summer, one nearly disappearing altogether, Canadian scientists say in new research.

See the video.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

jihad joooooooooo

A guy in Massachusetts was picked up by the FBI and charged with planning drone attacks against the Pentagon and the Capitol bldg where sits parliament. Apparently the feds stung him.

(BOSTON) — A Massachusetts man was arrested Wednesday and accused of plotting an assault on the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol using remote-controlled aircraft armed with explosives — the latest of several terrorism cases to spring from federal sting operations.
Rezwan Ferdaus was arrested in Framingham after undercover federal agents delivered materials he had allegedly requested, including grenades, six machine guns and what he believed was 24 pounds of C-4 explosive. Federal officials said the public was never in danger from the explosives, which it said were always under control and closely monitored.

Gee whillikers, I wonder where he got such a diabolical idea?
Time magazine got the story.

Rezwan Ferdaus is a US citizen, but whether he was born here I haven't been able to find out.

He's a Muslim and a self-declared jihadi.

He also has a physics degree from Northeastern University and used to play drums in a band called the Goosepimp Orchestra.

For what that's worth.

There's a picture of the alleged fiend here.

kenyan muslim socialist, etc.

God, I hate the Beliefnet political discussion board. So why do I spend so much time there? Maybe I'm a masochist.

A correspondent who like me frequents that foul den writes:

This would have been unbelievable just 10 years ago. Today, I almost expect it. The neo-libs are on the run because they know their time is coming to an end. They have been uncovered for what they are. Totalitarian socialists. Plain and simple. This sort of thing does not play well here, nor should it.

I know I shouldn't, but couldn't help myself. I replied:

I was right with you till you said "Totalitarian socialists." But it's really true that the Demolicans' cover is totally blown. They now stand revealed as mostly a collection of buttboys and footstools eagerly servicing our Galtian overlords, just like the Republicrats, only somewhat more socially presentable. By that I mean they're not always packing and usually won't pee in your fireplace.

In the face of all evidence to the contrary, such as Obama's relationship with Goldman-Sachs, you persist in believing in this insane scenario of totalitarian collectivist Democrats as the heirs of Lenin and Stalin. It's weird. All I can think of is that maybe it's an integral part of some apocalyptic scenario you cooked up in your happy place.


The 200,000-member Transport Workers Union voted today to support Occupy Wall Street.

The Twitter is saying that a group of United Airlines pilots wearing their uniforms marched with the protesters today.

The unions are jumping in. This gets more interesting by the day.

The silence from the corporate-owned and corporate-fed media (think NPR) is deafening.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

your highness

I'm often amused by people's reactions when I reveal I'm a medical marijuana user.

Even anti-weed types will say "Well, that's all right. You're using it for a medical condition."

Or in other words, that use is legitimate, because I'm not using it to get high.

When people say that kind of thing they're unconsciously revealing their belief in an Aristotelian universe, which consists almost entirely of mutually exclusive things and categories. If something is X, then it can't be Y. This "either-or" orientation, derived from Aristotle, is fundamental to our culture.

The fact is, though, I use it for both medical and recreational purposes, because for someone like me, you can't have one without the other.

I just had a slice of my special banana bread, spread thickly with medicated peanut butter. In about an hour I'll be showing ø symptoms of Parkinson's Disease. And most likely, I'll be giggling about something that's really not all that funny, because I'll be higher than a bat.

revolution in its various forms

When people think of revolution, what comes to mind are barricades, armed masses, and violent seizures of power. Almost needless to say, that's not happening now, and it ain't gonna.

There are many other kinds of revolution besides that.

Refusing to watch television can be a revolutionary act, as can not owning a car.

Organic home gardening is revolutionary. Practicing yoga for transformation is too.

Vegetarianism is revolutionary. So is abjuring consumerism, since revolution is as much about personal transformation as transforming the social and political landscape.

Ultimately, of course, nonviolent revolution is about large masses of ordinary people using the collective weight of their bodies to shut down the machinery of oppression and corruption.

Gandhi addressed the differences between violent and nonviolent revolution, saying the former aims at seizing power, while the goal of the latter is to transform social relationships. Once social relationships are altered, power begins to shift.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

takin it back one city & one bank at a time

A week-old story has just crossed Susy Madrak's desk:

A group of 50 activists deposited the trash from a vacant Bank of America foreclosure on the doorstep of Bank of America Massachusetts President Robert Gallery at 95 Beacon St on 9/21. They also served Gallery and the Bank with a 9 day “notice to quit” warning them to stop their harmful practices, or there will be a much larger demonstration on 9/30.

Susy got it from an e-mail, and it doesn't look like this got a whole lot of coverage from the corporate media. But then, I haven't seen CNN in so long I don't even know what's got them all hot and bothered these days. If I had to guess, I'd hazard that they talk a whole lot about what Lady Gaga is or isn't wearing.

palindromes! the movie!

I don't like what's on TV, so I've started making my own.

Palindromes are words, phrases, sentences, or strings of numbers that read the same backward as forward.

Madam, I'm Adam. Go hang a salami, I'm a lasagna hog.

Does Sarah Palin speak in Palindromes? No, but she could if she wanted to.

AOL's troubling ignorance

Dyan Cannon, who at one time was Mrs. Cary Grant, has authored a tell-all type memoir of their years together.

AOL took notice and ran it as one-of their front-page teasers today under the headline "Cary Grant's Troubling Drug Addiction."

The only problem with it is that you can't get addicted to LSD. It's just not that kind of drug.

It was Cary Grant's drug of choice, according to Cannon, who says he was taking it to try to find the Big Answer or some such thing, and she sometimes took it with him.

I can sympathize with the AOL copywriters whom I imagine are young, underpaid, and overworked to the point where they often have to write about stuff they don't understand. But this is the sort of thing that really annoys me, and gives psychedelically-informed home schooling a bad name.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tony Baloney

"NYPD’s Captain Anthony Bologna has been identified on Twitter as the police officer that pepper sprayed female protesters being held behind a police corral that was filmed and uploaded to YouTube. From the video it appears as if the women were blocked in by police and not allowed to leave. Seemingly without provocation Captain Bologna sprays the women casually and walks away."

Susie Madrak, the person from whom I schnorred this, also swears that Tony Baloney used to own a delicatessen.

everybody has a price including me

When I was young and full of principles I used to always be disappointed whenever someone I admired "sold out to the man."

But you know what? When you're old, and an unemployed discarded breeder, it's not selling out to the man at all. It's work, and it pays well.

Anyway, I didn't even know this was a commercial till the very end: Cheech and Chong in the van.

Brought to us by StrangeAppar8us at the Rumproast blog.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

police riot

The Occupy Wall Street protests, now in their eighth day, heated up significantly yesterday when New York's finest were ordered to crack down.

Yesterday's march started off small, with significantly fewer than 1000, but as the scrum neared Wall Street, they were joined by many others. The weekend warriors had arrived, because what could be more fun on a Saturday than going downtown and getting your face pushed into the pavement?

As the crowd of protesters grew, the cops began shoving and arresting people. In perhaps the worst incident, a group of women was corralled behind an orange crowd-control net, then pepper sprayed for no apparent reason.

That will bring out reinforcements like nothing else could.

Way to go, New York's finest. You're helpin out every way you can, and like a large, stupid animal, stumbling and bumbling right into the pit they dug for you.

It makes me feel nostalgic for the good old days of my youth, and I wish I was there, joining in the fun.

I'm glad for what these kids are doing. There really aren't all that many of them, but then, there were only 300 Spartans at Thermopylae.

All it takes is a few.

The events of the past week were predictably accompanied by a media brown-out. The New York Daily News to its credit has front-page coverage of yesterday, and the ABC affiliate in NYC had some excellent, partly-live coverage. The Times is showing its true colors and not reporting on the protests at all, but using their space to heap contempt and snide sarcasm on the dirty, smelly, ridiculous hippies.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

fall deal

Notice the numerical sequence of the read: 3 - 2 - 1.

The three of clubs (or three batons) is the writer's card.

Two clubs means fighting and arguing. With an editor or publisher?

The trump, the magician, is a workingman. He makes something out of nothing. This card is also a self-portrait.

Click on the picture for a larger view. Photograph and images on cards © Daveb & Horney, Smeavey, and Dave B productions, 2011.

two-minutes hate

It's time once again for the two-minutes hate, cobbers and cobbettes.

I hate hate hate you Emmanuel Goldstein.

mittens fever

Yowzer, yowzer. Fact is if you don't have "MITTENS FEVER" you are not with it nor trendy nor in with the in crowd.

I didn't see any of it but I heard that Willard pretty much made a mess of that new gunslinger out of Texas the other night on the show "American Gladiators: the Debates©" (brought to you by scorpy-Os™ Cereal and Guillotine™ disposable razors).

And now comes Gail Collins in the Enna Wy Times saying things like "Gloom pervades the land. Some people believe it’s the economy. Others blame the weather. I think it’s because the country is gradually coming to grips with the fact that Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican nominee for president.

"It is a scientific fact. Every minute, somewhere in America, another citizen realizes that Mitt is going to be in our face for the next 14 months. Conceivably for the next nine years. Children now in third grade might graduate from high school without ever experiencing a totally Romney-free day."

So now it's official 'cause it's in the N.Y. Times: We'll have Romney for the next nine years if his face doesn't fall off.

roller coaster

Part of the latest kerfluffle in the world's stock and money markets was a sharp fall in commodities prices. Oil has now fallen below $80 a barrel for the first time in a long time. Gold prices have dropped sharply, and silver has lost nearly a quarter of its value in the last three days.

And for hard-core gold bugs and silver surfers, that can mean only one thing -- It's a great time to buy!

Buying and holding precious metals is not for the faint of heart, nor is it a happy vehicle for speculators. You have to be in it for the long haul, and looking forward past the horizon, gold and silver are the only investments that make sense. And silver makes more sense than gold because it's a more practical medium of exchange.

So Excelsior! The global economy is a farce, and may the farce be with somebody other than you (and me).

Friday, September 23, 2011

space junk

"On Christmas Eve," said Norad, "A soviet Sputnik hit Africa,
India, Venezuela,Texass, Kansass, It's coming fast --
Peru too --It keeps coming..."
And now I'm mad about Space Junk
I'm all burned out about Space Junk
Ooh walk and talk about Space Junk
It smashed my baby's head, and now my Sally's dead.

--Devo, "Space Junk"

What the Mothersbaugh and Casale brothers sang about 30 years ago has come to pass.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - A defunct NASA research satellite about the size of a bus was due to come crashing back to Earth on Friday, showering debris over a still unknown part of the planet.

Scientists were unable to pinpoint the time and place where the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS, will land due to unpredictable changes in the thickness of the atmosphere, fueled in part by a powerful solar flare on Thursday.

NASA says the chances of anyone getting hit by this bus-sized object falling from the sky are minimal, but I'm not reassured.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

the unknown prisoner

Besides Troy Davis's death in Georgia, there was another state-sanctioned murder yesterday -- in Texas, of course.

Unlike Troy Davis, the victim of the Texas execution died mostly unlamented.

A white supremacist gang member was executed Wednesday evening for the infamous dragging death slaying of a black man. James Byrd Jr., 49, was chained to the back of a pickup truck and pulled whip-like to his death along a bumpy asphalt road in one of the most grisly hate crime murders in recent Texas history.

Liberal advocacy groups did not protest or mourn the passing of Lawrence Brewer, and more's the pity. A life is a life, and at 44 he still had plenty of time to confess, repent, and to try to make amends.

His death by lethal injection is another example of Texas's respect for life -- the most respectful of any state in the nation according to Gov Rick Perry.

want savings? end the damn wars!

The 12-member Superduper Committee (co-chaired by Washington state's Sen. Patty Murray) recently received a letter signed by 70 House members, (pdf) which reads in part:

We understand that you will consider many options when it comes to reaching the benchmarks set by Congress. But too often, when it has come time to reduce spending, the most vulnerable - the working poor and the middle class - have been asked to bear most of the sacrifice. Fortunately, there are other alternatives.

To generate much-needed savings, we strongly urge you to examine the costs of the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. To date, the wars have cost our taxpayers at least $2.3 trillion, with an additional $884 billion in future costs for veterans and their families. This adds up to a total of at least $3.2 trillion. By ending the wars and paying for a safe, orderly, and responsible
redeployment of troops from both Afghanistan and Iraq, we can go a long way toward meeting our fiscal challenges.

As one would expect, one of the signatories was Seattle's rep, Jim McDermott.

winding down the wars

Glenn Greenwald informs us that "As the Obama administration announced plans for hundreds of billions of dollars more in domestic budget cuts, it late last week solicited bids for the construction of a massive new prison in Bagram, Afghanistan."

The new facility will house up to 2,000 "detainees," and the government estimates construction costs will be $25 million to $100 million.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

good-bye slammer

Those two young guys who hiked into Iran and got locked up were finally let go.

LONDON — Iran released on Wednesday two Americans arrested while hiking along the Iran-Iraq frontier two years ago and sentenced to eight years in prison, ending diplomatic skirmishing that has complicated the United States’ already fraught relationship with Tehran.

Shane and Josh, both 29, were whisked off to the Tehran airport and flown to Oman, where they ran into the arms of their grateful families.

didja get any onya?

This is too funny. Google "Santorum" and check out what comes up first.

Now, as could have been predicted, Rick Santorum contacted Google demanding that they "take it down." Google replied that they don't work that way, and he'd have to contact the web master of the offending site with his request. The ex-Senator replied that Google is "spreading filth."

I'm pretty familiar with Dan Savage, the person responsible for this. He's a local fixture here in Seattle, and writes an out-of-the-ordinary love advice column for a local weekly, The Stranger. He's also a militant gay activist and blogger, and I'm pretty sure Santorum won't approach him.

things go better with koch

Zowie, that's a lot of rupees.

You can buy some seriously big elections with that kind of swag.

They made a lot of it speculating on energy prices.

Click on the graph to get a legible size.


didn't work that well for herbert hoover either

Across the pond in ye olde mother country, government spending and indebtedness is on the rise in spite of the cost-cutting austerity measures that country has adopted.

From Reuters: The Office for National Statistics said public sector net borrowing excluding financial interventions rose to 15.934 billion pounds in August from 14.003 billion pounds a year ago, above analysts' forecasts for a reading of 13.2 billion pounds.

Found this out from Atrios.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

cognitive dissonance

Back on the 14th, Rick Perry spoke at Liberty University in Virginia. He pointed to his steadfast opposition to abortion, and claimed that people are moving to Texas because of his state’s restrictions on the procedure, leaving “neighborhoods and communities where they don’t recognize and respect life.”

"we’ve probably made Texas the most pro-life state in the nation," the governor added.

Texas has executed 234 men and women during Perry's terms in office, a modern record.

there's a riot goin on

Mayor Bloomberg warned Friday there would be riots in the streets if Washington doesn't get serious about generating jobs.

"We have a lot of kids graduating college, can't find jobs," Bloomberg said on his weekly WOR radio show.

"That's what happened in Cairo. That's what happened in Madrid. You don't want those kinds of riots here."

The only issue I have with what hizzoner said is that there were no "riots" in Cairo, except the ones started by provacateurs sent in by Mubarak to start trouble. Other than that, Cairo was the scene of well-regulated demonstrations run by people who had done their homework -- reading lots of Dr. King and Gandhi.

And in this case, Bloomberg shows himself once again to be politically ahead of the curve. He divested himself of any party label some time ago, when he realized we're operating under a one-party system now. He's also sharp enough to acknowledge that the politicians and the financiers they work for have created a generation with nothing to lose, which makes them extremely dangerous.

photo op

Ian Welsh says, "Tax increases on the rich are not going pass. Period. Obama is doing this so he can look like a liberal, because he knows it won’t pass. If he wanted this sort of policy, he needed to do it in his first few months. He didn’t and he doesn’t, this is re-election positioning. If you are treating it as anything else, you are being played."

See his blog,

I wish it wasn't true, but I suspect that Welsh is most likely making the right call.

OK, I lied...

A funny thing happened on the way to Nirvana...

I thought I was leaving here for good, but it turned out to be just a May-to-September intermission. Actually, it's been longer, since I wasn't much here after February.

But no matter, I'm back now, immunized against the toxins in the political environment and with a new format, so bear with me.