Friday, October 31, 2008

All Hallows Eve Edition: It used to be They Only Came Out at Night

Local GOP Chairman distributes racist e-mail

The long lines of early voters at the Temple Terrace Library have caused concern for the Republican Headquarters a block away. It has also caused a major storm in local politics.

The head of the Hillsborough GOP, David Storck, distributed an email from a Republican Party volunteer saying the voters are a threat.

That's because, as the volunteer says in the email, he sees "car loads of black Obama supporters coming from the inner city to cast their votes for Obama."

It goes on to say, "This is their chance to get a black president and they seem to care little the he is at minimum a socialist and probably Marxist in his core beliefs." The Republican volunteer says that is because, "After all he is black- no experience or accomplishments but he is black."
Wow! Obama's black? Gosh, I never knew that!

Ummm, did anyone think to mention to this racist, (and I don't use that word lightly), that people have to vote in their district so "car loads of black Obama supporters coming from the inner city" is a load of crap.

BTW, I used to live in Tampa, there is no 'inner city.' The black neighborhoods are on the outskirts because the actual 'inner city' is prime waterfront real estate.

Of course maybe all those scary black folks were actually registered in this cracker's neighborhood and were exercising their right to vote.

Costume of the day; A talking Boner:
Boehner stumps for McCain in Oxford

Boehner criticized Illinois senator and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama for his stance on domestic drilling, taxes and his number of "present" votes in the Illinois legislature-an attack originally leveled by Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) during the democratic primaries.
"In Congress, we have a red button, a green button and a yellow button, alright. Green means 'yes,' red means 'no,' and yellow means you're a chicken shit. And the last thing we need in the White House, in the oval office, behind that big desk, is some chicken who wants to push this yellow button."
'Where the white women at?' and 'chicken shit' is all these bastards have.

All I can say to this is GO VOTE!

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Flash In The Plan

Flash In The Plan

Imagineering ... or ... You can say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one

A Study in Contrasts

Via ThinkProgress
DeLay On Obama: ‘I Tagged Him As A Marxist Months Ago’

Invoking William Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah Wright on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews today, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay declared that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is a “radical” and a “Marxist.” Matthews asked DeLay if he was comfortable with the McCain campaign using phrases like, “socialist, communist, Anti-American.” “Absolutely,” DeLay responded.
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) claimed over the weekend that Obama’s policy proposals would transform the country into “totalitarian dictatorship.”
Hmmm, what would a “totalitarian dictatorship” look like?

Would it look like this?
Bush Declares Exceptions to Sections of Two Bills He Signed Into Law

President Bush asserted on Tuesday that he had the executive power to bypass several parts of two bills: a military authorization act and a measure giving inspectors general greater independence from White House control.

Mr. Bush signed the two measures into law. But he then issued a so-called signing statement in which he instructed the executive branch to view parts of each as unconstitutional constraints on presidential power.

In the authorization bill, Mr. Bush challenged four sections. One forbid the money from being used “to exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq”

In the other bill, he raised concerns about two sections that strengthen legal One section gives the inspectors general a right to counsels who report directly to them. But Mr. Bush wrote in his signing statement that such lawyers would be bound to follow the legal interpretations of the politically appointed counsels at each agency.
Mr. Bush has used the signing statements to assert a right to bypass more than 1,100 sections of laws. By comparison, all previous presidents combined challenged about 600 sections of bills.
What do you call a leader of a country ignores the will of the people and their elected representatives? Gosh, it's right on the tip of my tongue ...

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Welcome, to the machine

Scare the crap out of you much?

ComputerWorld has a story about a Princeton University report that describes alleged vulnerabilities related to the Sequoia AVC Advantage direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting machine used in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and other states. The Princeton report claims that the AVC Advantage is easily hackable.

The partially-redacted report, which was ordered pursuant to a Court Order by the Hon. Linda Feinberg of the New Jersey Superior Court as part of a 2004 Rutgers Law School Constitutional Litigation Clinic lawsuit seeking to decommission of all of New Jersey’s voting computers, states:

"The AVC Advantage 9.00 is easily 'hacked,' by the installation of fraudulent firmware. This is done by prying just one ROM chip from its socket and pushing a new one in, or by replacement of the Z80 processor chip. We have demonstrated that this 'hack' takes just 7 minutes to perform."

Because of this and other security-related issues, the Princeton report has as one its main conclusions that, "New Jersey should not continue to use the AVC Advantage 9.00, because it is insecure."

Sequoia strongly disagrees with the Princeton report's conclusions:

"Many of the scenarios painted by the academics hired by the Plaintiffs depend on the existence of crooked, malicious and corrupt pollworkers. The success of some scenarios depends on BOTH corrupt pollworkers and inattentive voters."

Given the claims and counterclaims, I won't speculate on how the judge will rule. At the very least, this report adds more fuel to a very large bonfire concerning the security and accuracy of e-voting machines.

Just last week, for instance, the Kansas City Star had an article stating that, "Texas-based Premier Elections Solutions last week alerted at least 1,750 jurisdictions across the country that special precautions are needed to address the problem in tabulation software affecting all 19 of its models dating back a decade."

Seems that the software problem could drop ballot totals for entire voting precincts.


Next Tuesday night and Wednesday morning could get very interesting wherever there are close elections and e-voting machines have been used. The potential number of bitter election result challenges could make the 2000 election look tame.

Technology-not always the right answer.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In The News

I don't have a lot to say these days, so I'll let others say it for me:
Afghan Detainee's Confession Excluded on Torture Grounds at Guantánamo Trial

In a first, a military judge ruled yesterday that a Guantánamo detainee's confession was extracted through torture, and excluded it from the trial of a young Afghan detainee at the war court.
Henley found in the ruling that there was reason to believe Jawad was under the influence of drugs at the time of his capture and forced confession.

He also accepted the accused's account of how he was threatened, while armed senior Afghan officials allied with US forces watched his interrogation.

"You will be killed if you do not confess to the grenade attack," the detainee quoted an interrogator as saying. "We will arrest your family and kill them if you do not confess."

Jawad confessed, was turned over to US forces and was transferred to Guantánamo two months later.

The judge said he was accepting Jawad's account of what happened to him because the government had been unable to provide timely disclosure of evidence for the coming war crimes trial, scheduled for January 5. A Jawad case prosecutor recently quit the war court to protest over his inability to provide potentially exculpatory evidence.
Said major David JR Frakt, Jawad's defense attorney, who is seeking dismissal of the case and his client's return to his family: "He the judge is adopting a traditional legal definition of torture, rather than making one up."
The Vote Grab: Voting Machines Are Unreliable and Inaccurate

As early voting in the US presidential elections gets underway, ES&S iVotronics touch-screen electronic voting machines have been observed in four separate states flipping the votes - mostly from Barack Obama to John McCain but sometimes to third party candidates too. This has already occurred during early voting in the states of West Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri and Texas.

A county clerk in West Virginia invited a video crew to watch his demonstration of the reliability of the disputed voting machines but instead he saw the machine flipping the votes, as critics claimed. He put this down to the faulty calibration of the voting machine. However, even after he recalibrated the machine it continued to flip votes. Watch the video here:
Dozens Of Call Center Workers Walk Off Job In Protest Rather Than Read McCain Script Attacking Obama

Some three dozen workers at a telemarketing call center in Indiana walked off the job rather than read an incendiary McCain campaign script attacking Barack Obama, according to two workers at the center and one of their parents.

Nina Williams, a stay-at-home mom in Lake County, Indiana, tells us that her daughter recently called her from her job at the center, upset that she had been asked to read a script attacking Obama for being "dangerously weak on crime," "coddling criminals," and for voting against "protecting children from danger."
Sen. Elizabeth Dole's latest advertisement suggests her Democratic opponent, Kay Hagan, is a godless heathen.
"A leader of the Godless Americans PAC recently held a secret fundraiser for Kay Hagan," the 30-second spot says, showing footage of the group's members talking about their atheist beliefs on cable news.

"Godless Americans and Kay Hagan. She hid from cameras. Took godless money," the ad concludes. "What did Kay Hagan promise in return?"

At the very end of the ad, a voice sounding like Hagan's says: "There is no God."
Seriously, Dole used a Hagan impersonator to make voters think she's an atheist.

It's hard to know where to start with an ad this deplorable. First, Hagan is actually a Sunday school teacher and an elder in her church. Second, the fundraiser in question was co-hosted by 40 people, one of whom is on the board of an atheist political action committee. Third, there's nothing scandalous about non-believers.
NASCAR legend Junior Johnson supports Barack Obama
“Every day I talk to someone else who’s never voted for a Democrat, but now....
“When I talk to folks about why I support Barack, I just tell it like I see it. There’s been a lot thrown at him this election, and he’s stayed calm, positive, and focused. I know a little something about how important it is to stay cool under pressure.
“These days, I run a small country ham and pork skins business. Barack Obama will fight for a fair economy where small businesses like mine have the freedom to grow, and he’ll defend the Second Amendment to protect the hunter’s way of life.”
Dustin Long of Landmark Newspapers printed what appears to be a different portion of the same e-mail:
"My family and I have given this election a lot of thought. ...Every day I talk to someone else who's never voted for a Democrat, but now they're voting for Barack Obama. They realize that Barack understands what we're going through here in North Carolina. And they're ready for change. ...So I've made up my mind, and I'm ready to get involved. I know that I could never have won a race without my pit crew, and I know Barack can't win this one without us. ... When I talk to folks about why I support Barack, I just tell it like I see it."
Junior Johnson is a legend in racing, he's an icon in NASCAR, he's had books written about him and movies made about him. I feel bad about the tsunami of hate that's coming his way, but I think he'll handle it just fine. And from what I've read, seen and heard, you don't want to get on JJ's bad side. (And that side included being in front, behind or next to him during a race;-)

FWIW, I'm hearing the same thing from folks in my community that have peculiar thoughts about folks with more melanin than them.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Teach your children well

Jeebus this is creepy: Kids singing a "Yes on 8" song.

There's nothing charming or adorable about hiding behind your kids. Either stand up and say you hate Teh Gay, or sit down, shut the fuck up.


(h/t Stoller)

Let America Be America Again

I posted this poem back in June at my place but in light of the history making event of the coming week I thought it would be nice to read again. "Let America be America Again" by Langston Hughes resonates clearly with where we are today and it is absolutely amazing to me that a poem written in 1938 by a black American carries such meaning for us today 70 years later.

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!

You're the one

The coverage from the LATimes on the CA Prop 8 debate is, well, like a debate. Take this, for example, inexplicably stuck in the Books section:
As of Friday, supporters of Proposition 8 had raised $27.5 million, with about 19% of the money coming from outside California. Opponents have raised $31.2 million, with 34% of the money coming from outside the state.

Although many initiatives are largely funded by parties with an economic interest in them, Proposition 8 contributors by and large have nothing to gain financially from the measure's passage or defeat.

Many donors, like Havranek, cite religious beliefs, and Mormons have emerged as the largest source of money to the Yes-on-8 effort, contributing about 40% of its war chest, according to the campaign. Church leaders have urged members to contribute.

Primary contributors to the opposition have included celebrities, liberal groups including the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, public employee unions and gay philanthropists.

Not exactly, but nearly "Some say Earth is flat; others disagree." While the article mentions supporters' and opponents' passion, there's nothing that examines the deep pockets and the politics behind them.

The Salt Lake Tribune does a much better job, delving into the dynamics of the Mormon Church and its deep investment into changing existing California law:
The LDS Church's campaign to pass Proposition 8 represents its most vigorous and widespread political involvement since the late 1970s, when it helped defeat the Equal Rights Amendment. It even departs from earlier efforts on behalf of traditional marriage, in which members felt more free to decide their level of involvement.

This time, LDS leaders have tapped every resource, including the church's built-in phone trees, e-mail lists and members' willingness to volunteer and donate money. Many California members consider it a directive from God and have pressured others to participate. Some leaders and members see it as a test of faith and loyalty.

Those who disagree with the campaign say they feel unwelcome in wards that have divided along political lines. Some are avoiding services until after the election; others have reluctantly resigned. Even some who favor the ballot measure are troubled by their church's zeal in the matter.

. . . The LDS First Presidency announced its support for Proposition 8 in a letter read in every Mormon congregation. Since then, California LDS leaders have prompted members to sign up volunteers, raise money, pass out brochures produced by outsiders and distribute lawn signs and bumper stickers. Bishops have devoted whole Sunday school classes and the weekly Relief Society and priesthood meetings to outlining arguments against same-sex marriage. Some have pointedly asked members for hefty financial donations, based on tithing. Others have even asked members to stand or raise their hands to publicly indicate their support.

Gary Lawrence, writing in the online Meridian Magazine, compared opponents of Proposition 8 to those who sided with Lucifer against Jesus in the pre-mortal existence. Others have questioned such members' faith and religious commitment, accusing them of undermining the prophet.

. . . It's especially painful for Mormon gays.
"How is the church going to minister to them when such operations are guaranteed to alienate them and their families?" Thurston asked. "Most of the gay members were orthodox Latter-day Saints in their teens and many went on missions. But eventually they found there was no place in the church for them and they went elsewhere."

The LATimes article focuses instead on the Christian Evangelical influence:
From his base in Tupelo, Miss., Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Assn., said his group gave $500,000 to the Yes-on-8 campaign for moral reasons.

"We believe in the Bible, and the Bible teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman," he said. "That is how the human race continues."

Wildmon said he fears that if the initiative doesn't pass, children will be taught about same-sex marriage in schools. And he worries that other things might follow.

Wildmon raises a silly straw man, trying to stoke fear that marriage might mean multiple partners or other idiocy. Tim is the son of Donald Wildmon, famous for attacks on popular cultural icons ranging from Three's Company to noted XXX porn distributor Blockbuster Video (irony intended).

As a side note, Wildmon's organization, American Family Association or AFA, announced a boycott of Hallmark Cards for their decision to sell same-sex wedding cards, so this is nothing new for them.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the increasingly fervent Mormon campaign:
The top leadership of the Mormon Church, known as the First Presidency, issued a letter in June calling on Mormons to "do all you can" to support Proposition 8.

Mormon donors said they weren't coerced. "Nobody twisted my arm," said Richard Piquet, a Southern California accountant who gave $25,000 in support of Proposition 8. He said Mormon Church leaders called donating "a matter of personal conscience." Some Mormons who declined to donate said their local church leaders had made highly charged appeals, such as saying that their souls would be in jeopardy if they didn't give. Church spokesmen said any such incident wouldn't reflect Mormon Church policy.

. . . The battle has drawn in money from around the country. The Knights of Columbus, a Roman Catholic group, has given more than $1.25 million to support Proposition 8. Focus on the Family, a nonprofit organization composed mainly of evangelical Protestants, has given more than $400,000. The Yes on 8 campaign has received "more proportionally from the Latter-day Saints Church than from any other faith," said Mr. Schubert, 35% to 40% of the total.

The Mormon Church encouraged its members to send their donations to a separate post-office box set up by a church member, said Messrs. Schubert and L. Whitney Clayton, a senior Mormon Church official involved in the campaign. Mr. Clayton said the church didn't keep track of how much individual Mormons donated, just the cumulative total. He said members bundled the donations and forwarded them to the campaign.

A Web site run by individual Mormons,, has tracked all donations to the Yes on 8 campaign of $1,000 or more listed on the California secretary of state's Web site. The site's founder, Nadine Hansen, said they have identified more than $5.3 million given by Mormons but believe that donations from church members may account for far more than 40% of the total raised.

Of course, the hypocrisy of the Mormon position is in the co-opting by the largely right-wing evangelical Christian movement, which has often voiced concern and even disdain for both Mormonism, and Catholicism. I personally have heard senior staff at major Evangelical churches in So. California call Mormonism a "cult", and "not Christian".

Sometimes the enemy of my enemy isn't my friend. Freom the WSJ article:
The prominence of Mormon donors in the Proposition 8 fight has also led to alliances with evangelical Protestant groups and other Christian religions, some of which have deep theological differences with Mormons.

Jim Garlow, pastor of the evangelical Protestant Skyline Church near San Diego and a leading supporter of Proposition 8, said, "I would not, in all candor, have been meeting them or talking with them had it not been for" the marriage campaign. Rev. Garlow said he had developed a "friendship" with the Mormons he met, although he feels the theological differences remain "unbridgeable."

But he noted how Roman Catholics and evangelical Protestants have formed tight bonds through their joint work against abortion, and he said a similar process might occur with Mormons.

Asked if working on Proposition 8 might improve the standing of Mormons in the eyes of evangelicals, Mr. Whitney said, "That's just not been on our radar."

Somehow I'm not surprised. The pro-8 forces are united, not by a common belief in goodness and salvation, but a base hatred for what they all do not accept. Sadly, this may prove to be not only Gays, but each other. This short-sightedness and intolerance is sad, pitiful, and must be defeated.

And where is the traditional media in reporting this? The LATimes reports this like an ordinary bond initiative: Some say Yes, some Say No. Sad, that the newspaper of record in So. California doesn't seem to realize the importance of Prop. 8.

One thing they do point out is the presence of Erik Prince in this particular fight. Remember him? The odious CEO of Blackwater Worldwide, responsible for deaths and atrocities in Iraq:
Another major proponent is Elsa Prince, a contributor to Republican causes and candidates including McCain. Prince, of Holland, Mich., gave $450,000 to support Proposition 8. She's the mother of Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater Worldwide, the private firm that provides security in Iraq.

Mother and son sit on the board of a family foundation that donated $8 million in 2006-07 to Christian groups involved in the Yes-on-8 effort, including $300,000 to Focus on the Family, on whose board she sits. Focus on the Family gave $450,000 to Proposition 8 and $1.35 million to the 22 same-sex marriage ban campaigns in 2004 and 2006.

Swell. Support segregation and discrimination, get a US government contract.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Sometimes, it's just about the music

and sometimes it's not.

The End, My Friends

The End, My Friends

He's old, and his skin is cold...The end of laughter, and soft lies.

Testing, Testing, One, Two, Three ... and you're out!

McCain reminds Biden he's been tested in crisis

Republican John McCain told voters in this key electoral state Tuesday he was personally tested by the same kind of crisis that Democratic vice presidential nominee Joseph Biden warned Barack Obama will almost certainly face if elected president.

McCain recalled being ready to launch a bombing run during the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, which Biden said over the weekend tested a new President John F. Kennedy and was the template for the kind of "generated crisis" the 47-year-old Obama would face within six months of taking office.

"I was on board the USS Enterprise," McCain, a former naval aviator, said in the capital city of Harrisburg. "I sat in the cockpit, on the flight deck of the USS Enterprise, off of Cuba.
Why didn't I see this sooner, (hand smack to forehead), a fighter pilot who'd graduated at the bottom of his class and had already crashed 3 multi-million dollar planes was ordered to sit in his cockpit and not do anything is exactly the same as President John F. Kennedy making the decision, his Commander In Chief, who could have ordered him to launch, but solved the crisis thru diplomacy.

Yep, JFK and McSame showed the exact same leadership skillz in the Cuban Missile Crisis. I'm sure sitting on your ass ready to launch is incredibly stressful, especially during potential nuclear war, but I can't understand why he would think it's the same stress as sitting in the Whitehouse, knowing you're also targeted, and having to make the decision to potentially start global thermonuclear war that would wipe out all of mankind.

It's a good thing we had someone calm and presidential instead of a hothead who jokes about bombing other countries.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Imagine me and you, and you and me

(Itzhak Perlman: No on 8)

Imagine the Sunni and Shi'a, who agree on nothing other that Allah is God, and Mohammed is his Prophet, got together and tried to present a common front, to gain your support?

The Neocons, who wanked us into war in Iraq, believe in ponies, pixie dust, and the Sunni/Shi'a convergence.

Believe it or not, the Theocons in our own country have the same goal. The Mormon and Catholic theocrats, who barely have any common ground other than belief in a white-bearded God and his hippie-like son, want to band us together with belief in some common ideal, and force us to accept their vision of marriage.

And what exactly is that vision? I'm not sure, because all they present is "One Man, One Woman". Never mind the Mormon Church's fairly recent disavowal of male-centric polygamy. And never mind the Catholic Church's refusal to accept divorce.

Nope, they want to make sure you and I are legislated into their clear-cut vision of propriety.

Thankfully, not all clergy feel that way:

Here's one little problem. Catholicism has had a wink and nod relationship with gays for a long time, actively seeking out gay men and funneling them into the priesthood. Of course they're told that they can't act upon their sexual urges, but since they cloister only men together in the seminary, well, boys will likely be boys.

And the wink and nod has continued as the Church leaders have worked tirelessly to hid pedophile priests from justice, shiiping offenders off to small town congregations and shredding records. They know full well that gay men are in the priesthood, and thus likely members of society at large, yet ought not to be allowed to marry legally.

By the same logic, there may be lesbians among Catholic nuns; I have no real idea. Still, the idea that they too are second class citizens, while being accepted as Wives of Christ, is mind-numbingly illogical. Dignity USA has some resources for LGBT Catholics.

So these Theocratic organizations have joined together in a mission to strip a part of the population of their rights. They want to legislate from the pulpit, and dictate public morality. Does their goal spread to include the mandatory wearing of Mormon Garments? Will the Catholic Church demand that Mormon priests un-marry?

In other words, what other theocratic demands will these unlikely allies make of us? How far into a Theocratic state will we allow ourselves to be pushed?

And conversely, as Jeffersons' Wall of Separation is breached, how will secular law insinuate itself into the Church? It may sound foolish, but with the secular age of majority being 18, will the state now tell Jews that Bar and Bat Mitzvah's can only be celebrated at that age?

More clergy agains Prop. 8:

As I said here before, power flows both ways. Once the wall is broken, it's broken, and anything can happen.

Please, vote NO on CA Prop. 8. It's bad law, and legal discrimination.

Even smart Republicans vote No on Prop. 8:

I gotta be me

Too funny, and kinda sad:

Stand By Me

Here is a little something uplifting for a Sunday morning. This is a video of "Stand By Me" from the Playing for Change project.

Thanks to MandT for the link

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Clown Shoes Don't Make It

Clown Shoes Don't Make It

Well, the race is on

It's Official ... McCain Campaign Fed The Hoax Racist Assault Story:
John McCain's Pennsylvania communications director told reporters in the state an incendiary version of the hoax story about the attack on a McCain volunteer well before the facts of the case were known or established -- and even told reporters outright that the "B" carved into the victim's cheek stood for "Barack," according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions.

John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain's Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, "You're with the McCain campaign? I'm going to teach you a lesson."

The campaign tried to walk back, but the damage was already done: the reporters had their notes.

Most people's instant reaction to Ashley Todd's awful stunt was distaste, followed by "Clearly she needs help". Perhaps she does, although she seemed confident and in control while she was enacting her stupid prank.

But Oliver Willis has a good take:
I’ve seen some folks on the left say that they hope to see Ashley Todd, the race-baiting fabulist volunteer for the McCain campaign, seek mental help. Excuse me? She knew what she was doing. She’s done what College Republicans have often done - like affirmative action bake sales - they provoke racial discord in order to further the Republican cause.

Its no coincidence that this knuckle dragging moron went into the same well as baby killer Susan Smith by claiming that a black man was the provocateur.

She knew just what she was doing and a large part of the conservative movement was more than willing to shovel her excrement for her.

Harsh, but if the shoe fits . . .

Here's George Jones singing the tile song:

I'm proud to be an Okie . . .

From Collateral News; Why Whitey Can't Vote:
When a guy with an 'obama monkey' joins a McCain-Palin rally in Johnstown, PA and nobody addresses him you get an idea of what's happening. The clip below shows a cross section of racist remarks throughout the american hinterland.

Hard to believe they live in the same country I do.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The look on your face was priceless

Sarah Palin: Priceless!

Baby you're the one that I love

Another reason I love my Mac:
No on Prop 8

October 24, 2008

Apple is publicly opposing Proposition 8 and making a donation of $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign. Apple was among the first California companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees’ same-sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person’s fundamental rights — including the right to marry — should not be affected by their sexual orientation. Apple views this as a civil rights issue, rather than just a political issue, and is therefore speaking out publicly against Proposition 8.


He hit me and it felt like a kiss

OMG! Oh noes!

A poor, sweet, helpless McCain volunteer was beaten and scarred by a black, big, black, scary, black, Obama supporter. Drudge shouted it to the heavens:
PITTSBURGH -- A 20-year-old woman who was robbed at an ATM in Bloomfield was also maimed by her attacker, police said.

Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard tells Channel 4 Action News that the victim was robbed at knifepoint on Wednesday night outside of a Citizens Bank near Liberty Avenue and Pearl Street just before 9 p.m.

Richard said the robber took $60 from the woman, then became angry when he saw a McCain bumper sticker on the victim's car. The attacker then punched and kicked the victim, before using the knife to scratch the letter "B" into her face, Richard said.

Richard said the woman refused medical treatment after the assault, which happened outside the view of the bank's surveillance cameras.

The robber is described as a dark-skinned black man, 6 feet 4 inches tall, 200 pounds with a medium build, short black hair and brown eyes. The man was wearing dark colored jeans, a black undershirt and black shoes.

Except, not so much. From KDKA News:
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) ― Police say a campaign volunteer confessed to making up a story that a mugger attacked her and cut the letter B in her face after seeing her McCain bumper sticker.

At a news conference this afternoon, offiicals said they believe that Ashley Todd's injuries were self-inflicted.

Todd, 20, of Texas, is now facing charges for filing a false report to police.

Todd initially told police that she was robbed at an ATM in Bloomfield and that the suspect became enraged and started beating her after seeing her GOP sticker on her car.

Police investigating the alleged attack, however, began to notice some inconsistencies in her story and administered a polygraph test.

Authorities, however, declined to release the results of that test.

Investigators did say that they received photos from the ATM machine and "the photographs were verified as not being the victim making the transaction."

This afternoon, a Pittsburgh police commander told KDKA Investigator Marty Griffin that Todd confessed to making up the story.

Todd told investigators that she didn't remember what happened.

Police say they do not believe any other people were involved; and her friends believed the story about the attack.

According to police, investigators working on the interview process detected several inconsistencies in Todd's story that differed from statements made in the original police report.

Pittsburgh Police Public Information Officer Diane Richard released a statement earlier today, saying: "Because of the inconsistencies in her statements, Ms. Todd was asked to submit to a polygraph examination which she agreed to do."

Indeed. How does this matter in big-picture reality, besides underscoring the idiocy of College Republicans? This is how, from Fox News Executive VP John Moody:
Less than two weeks before we vote for a new president, a white woman says a black man attacked her, then scarred her face, and says there was a political motive for it.

. . .
Part of the appeal of, and the unspoken tension behind, Senator Obama’s campaign is his transformational status as the first African-American to win a major party’s presidential nomination.

That does not mean that he has erased the mutual distrust between black and white Americans, and this incident could become a watershed event in the 11 days before the election.

If Ms. Todd’s allegations are proven accurate, some voters may revisit their support for Senator Obama, not because they are racists (with due respect to Rep. John Murtha), but because they suddenly feel they do not know enough about the Democratic nominee.

If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting. (emphasis added)

When you lose Fox, you've lost the base.

Update: Headline at Drudge now:
Fuck you, Matt Drudge. You are officially a has-been right-wing hack.


Project much, Senator?

SARASOTA, Fla. – Republican John McCain on Thursday spiced up a cross-state bus tour aimed at keeping Florida from swinging to the Democrats by accusing rival Barack Obama of saying "anything to get elected."
Just keeping track of McCain's ability to saying anything even if it's the opposite of what he just said....

McCain! The Flipflopper Express!


crossposted at Rants from the Rookery

I'll be satisfied as long As I walk

So, how was your day? Here was mine:

(Mom loved this song, Matt & his Brass Quintet played it today. They fucking rocked!)

In Loving Memory Of
Helen Ruth Anderson
Beloved Mom, Nana, and Friend
1926 - 2008

Entered This Life
August 18, 1926
Riverside, CA

Entered Eternal Life
October 11, 2008
Orange, CA

Graveside Service
Thursday, October 23, 2008, 2:30 P.M.
Fairhaven Memorial Park
Santa Ana, CA

Anyone who visits here, thanks, but sympathy isn't what I'm looking for. I miss my Mom like crazy, but I still have to get up tomorrow and deal with life.

My point, my only point in posting this is as follows:

Huh? Wha?

If there's someone you love, who means something to you, don't ever take them for granted. Nothing in life is granted but a chance. You have a chance to make some difference in someone's life? Then take it. You have a chance to tell someone you love that you, you know, love them? Do it. Don't wait. No "As soon as I . . ." excuses. Do it right now!

I can't ask Mom anymore questions about "What happened when Papa said . . .?" So there's now a generation of family history that's lost. And more importantly, there's an ongoing, living, spirit that's been lost.

Believe in the afterlife? I'm agnostic, and so was Mom. But she was open to the idea. So I hope she's happy with the turnout at the cemetery today. And I hope she knows how many people considered her both family and friend.

And as I pointed out in a previous post, Mom felt so strongly about politics and the future of America that she filled out her absentee ballot the day before she died. She hated what had happened to the US during the last 8 years.

She voted for Barack Obama for President. Will you?

Do it for Ruthie.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just married this mornin', how happy they are

(Video from Republicans Against 8)

Attention: All you fundamentalist hypocrite bastards who are pushing CA Prop 8, especially you who are coming in from other states (coughUtahcough):
You're missing the point!

Let me explain. You hate the "Separation of Church and State" wall described by Thomas Jefferson, that wild-eyed liberal. You want your churches, who don't agree on much, to drive the direction of all 3 branches of the government: Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary. You think that will make everything better, and drive the Godless liberals into perpetual defeat.

But Prop. 8 will give the Government the right to screw with your churches. Didn't think about that? The Government can, if Prop. 8 passes, tell your church:
  • who it can marry
  • who it can ordain
  • who may attend church-sponsored schools
  • how it spends your donations
In other words, the wall protects both sides. Did you forget that? Water flows both ways, and so does power. If you think you can control the Government, the Government can control you and your churches.

Thanks for listening.

Idiots. Here's another video from Republicans Against 8:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This old man came rolling home

The Ballad of John McCain:

I'm an asshole

Breaking news:
Pat Buchanan is an asshole.

That Old Blackface Magic


A couple of years back, I was a racist.

Well, not really...But a highly publicized work of mine trafficked in racist imagery, and by doing so utterly devalued a larger point that I was attempting to make. For that error in judgement, I alone am responsible.

At the time, this circumstance sufficed to provoke some whose agendas I agreed with (and some with whom I did not) into a heated discussion of my character and motivations.

Most of this dialog was as accurate as any conjecture could be regarding an individual cloaked in the anonymity of the Internet, yet although some words that were 'intended to wound' indeed left their mark I eventually healed up and moved on, resolving to learn from the experience and avoid a repetition of the same lack of sensitivity toward others.

Since that time, I have noticed that in spite of the publicity surrounding that event (a brief, but rather loud ballyhooing not only within the then-limited confines of the blogosphere, but also within numerous organs of the mainstream media), others continue to insist on using that same imagery replete with its historically negative connotations whenever they wish to disparage something or someone whom they disagree with.

One could draw a simplistic conclusion from this, I suppose - that, given a chance not to dabble in exponentially hurtful material, some insist on their right to be ignorant, racist fucks regardless of the consequences.

I find it a somewhat discomfiting fact in the West that some of the so-called 'visual pundit' class appear all too willing to continually use 'blackface' (and this time,on a black man) as a marginalization stratagem toward denigrating an individual's well-reasoned philosophical choice - and when pressed on it, find themselves completely unable to justify said usage. Qu'elle surprise!

To imply that one is a traitor, and purblindedly ethnocentric, merely for casting their own lot between two starkly opposed alternatives, shows a philosophy distinctly bereft of the critical thinking skills needed to survive the oncoming hard times brought about by years of deliberately malfeasant Right wing governance.

Good luck with that evolutionary strategy, assholes.

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Sufferin’ succotash! You're desthpicable" ... or ... What the hell is wrong with these people!?

Obama Cancels Campaign Events To Visit Ailing Grandmother

Campaign aides insisted the schedule changes were not driven by political concerns. However, they coincide with recent reports that Republicans are contemplating moving resources out of the two states, Wisconsin and Iowa, where recent polling shows Sen. Obama's lead widening. Indiana, a traditionally Republican state, is far more competitive.
I'm sure variations on this theme will be screeched on faux news outlets tomorrow but I gotta say, wtf do repubs moving resources & Indiana have to do with Senator Obama visiting his sick Grandmother?

These people are so wrong in so many ways.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

The roots of love grow all around

The Four Tops' Levi Stubbs dies at 72
Levi was one of the most talented, nicest, professional people I ever worked with, and the same goes for all the original members of the Four Tops.

My main claim to R&R fame is the Gold Record I got with the Four Tops. Well, I didn't actually get the Gold Record, somebody has to pay for the thing and neither the label, the record company nor the studio was going to shell out the bucks for someone (that's me!) whose album credit was 'additional engineering.' And I never thought it was worth the money for the ego boost. And it was by accident.

Here's how it happened: I was a studio manager & chief engineer in Las Vegas and the Tops were performing in town. They needed to record final vocals on an album so The Producer of these tracks came to town with his engineer to record in my studio.

The first day we set up for vocals and playback. The Producer's engineer was really great, understood he wasn't in a world-class studio, but that we had good equipment, (3M 24 track, custom API EQ & fader console, LA2A compressors and vintage Neumann 87 & 47 tube mics ... for you audio geeks.)

I was happy to be 2nd engineer. The Producer and his engineer had worked together a lot. The Producer was world renowned as a musician, songwriter & producer and I counted myself lucky just to do a 2nd engineer's work and learn from the masters.

We all knew going in that the Tops would be recording late after their show. What we didn't know was that The Producer's engineer would get food poisoning that first night. (hint: never eat shrimp in the desert!)

The next night it's just The Producer, the Four Tops and me. The studio in LA had sent a 24 track, 2" reel with a rough mix of the music on the first 2 tracks, SMPTE time code on the 24th track, and all the tracks in the middle for vocals. Laid down twice.

For 4 nights we recorded, and re-recorded the lead and BG vocals. The background vocals took awhile because The Producer wanted them all gathered around the same mic for that tight street corner harmony sound. And he was right. All Four Tops sang in harmony for the BG vocals, but Obie (bass vocal) was so strong we did several takes asking him to step back further and further from the mic so the vocal harmonys seemed balanced. (Even then he just came soaring thru, it was lovely.)

We nailed one chorus, which would be flown in for all the choruses, except for the chorus out. Then we recorded group and solo chorus out tracks to give the mixing engineers as many choices as possible.

The next two nights we did the lead vocal. Levi was so patient. He'd finish their performance at the showroom and then came in to the studio around 10-11 PM to cut his lead vocals.

Here's another one for the audio geeks: The Producer had me live mixing Levi's previous vocal tracks for Levi's inspiration on foldback while I was live mixing from different tracks for The Producer and punching in on new tracks for the lines The Producer wanted to keep. Considering we didn't have automation, that's a lot of fader & pot movement, not to mention the bright red 'launch' button I had to be ready to hit at any time.

What Levi heard in the studio, what we heard in the control room and what was recorded were very disparate, but as a technique for getting the best performance out of a singer it was inspiring. What wasn't inspiring was The Producer's barely disguised contempt for me and my studio.

It was a tough 4 days but working with gracious talent like Levi, Obie, Lawrence Payton and Duke Fakir made it worthwhile. The sessions ran long but the soul ran deep. Thanks for all the music and all the love guys.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Oh but am I ever gonna see my wedding day?

(Video from The Equality Campaign)

The "No on CA Prop 8" battle continues. First, a "Hell to Pay" post at Daily Kos brought in over $100k in just over 24 hours. This money will be used for teevee adds to counter the lies spread by the "Yes on 8" coalition of the shameful.

Second, our good friend Dante has a great diary up at Kos today:
The next morning, I left to drive to San Francisco for another wedding: this time, it was that of my good friend Brian. Now, I'm sure that many of you know the Brian I'm talking about: none other than Brian Leubitz, the founder of Calitics. He too was celebrating having found the love of his life. The same festive atmosphere. The same love. The same desire to share a life together, and to enter into a binding contract with one another. The only difference is that Brian's love is another man.

And yet, because of that last fact, certain groups are investing craploads of resources into making sure that the happy scene I saw in San Francisco never happens again.

As a matter of fact, the No on Prop 8 folks told me recently that the "Protect Marriage" campaign has raised $30 million dollars--over half of it from the Mormon Church. Now, I have nothing personally against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They most certainly have the constitutional right to worship in their own way. They have the right to minister in whatever way they see fit and to marry whomever they see fit in their churches based on any qualifications they choose. And they will be well within their rights.

But when the church and its members invest millions of dollars in an attempt to write discrimination into my state's constitution and divorce my friend Brian against his will, there will be hell to pay.

So what am I asking you to do?

Click over to Dante's post, he has great ideas for exposing the hypocrisy of contributors to "Yes on 8".

What else can you do?

Talk to friends, neighbors.

Donate to "No on 8".

Or Donate here.

If you're a blogger, let your readers know.

Red Hot Running Mate

Red Hot Running Mate

...apologies to the great Tex Avery.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Around Blogtopia (y, wksctp!)

Dr. Sardonicus is keeping a breast of events:
Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Delurking for the cause

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is important to me as Peggy struggled with breast cancer in her last years, and I also have a few other family members and friends who have had to deal with this disease as well. So in order to spread awareness, and in hopes of one day finding a cure, I will donate to The National Breast Cancer Foundation one Yankee dollar for each individual who leaves a comment on the thread below.
It's a great cause and doesn't cost you anything except a comment.

The incomparable Digby notes
Inflationary Numbers

Man, that ACORN sure is despicable with it's underhanded registration practices. Something should be done about it:
Dozens of newly minted Republican voters say they were duped into joining the party by a GOP contractor with a trail of fraud complaints stretching across the country.

Voters contacted by The Times said they were tricked into switching parties while signing what they believed were petitions for tougher penalties against child molesters. Some said they were told that they had to become Republicans to sign the petition, contrary to California initiative law. Others had no idea their registration was being changed.
VIA skippy we discover 'I am Sparticus Joe The Plummer!'
cbsnews blog tells us that several everyday joes are taking up the rallying cry "i am joe the plumber!" only, not so much...
the republican national committee is sending around this associated press photo of overall-clad mccain supporters standing outside an obama rally, clutching plungers and a sign proclaiming "i am joe the plumber":

the only problem? at least two of the members aren't quite as similar to the newly famous joe wurzelbacher as they might like you to think. as cbs news' maria gavrilovic, who is traveling with the obama campaign, reports, the man on the right does say he's an actual plumber – though he is from melbourne, australia, and will thus not be casting a vote this november.

and the man on the left, plunger thrust high in the air, is charlie smith – the national chairman of the college republicans.
Pandagon has more on Republican voter suppression:
The Nut Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree

Republicans tend to point to things like ACORN to justify the far sketchier actions that are the bread and butter (and delicious melted cheese) of their voter suppression activities. Republicans rely on “no match” lists, where voters whose information from, say, their driver’s license doesn’t exactly match their voter registration.
And BradBlog, as always, is the go to site for all the voter suppression news.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Hey, Mavericky

Hey, Mavericky

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I got the wedding bell blues

(Ellen DeGeneres: Vote NO on Prop. 8)

About Antonin Scalia, someone once said that his rulings were always predictable, and that he could find law to support his already made-up mind.

The Orange Co. Register, a supposedly Libertarian paper, always felt like that to me. Their editorials always supported the far right, even when opposing their own Glibertarian philosophy.

Today they published a few "No on Prop. 8" letters that were beautiful:
Prop. 8 supporter scare tactics seem to have frightened a number of citizens. Let's clear up a few misconceptions:

•First, marriage equality expands religious freedom. No religious institution or clergy member will be forced to perform same-sex ceremonies. But the many worship leaders who favor equal marriage will remain free to follow their conscience and bless the unions of all loving couples, not just some.

•Second, defeating Prop. 8 in no way opens the door to polygamy. That's another ridiculous scare tactic; don't fall for it.

•Third, domestic partnerships are not legally equivalent to marriage. They're no substitute for the rights and dignity granted to married couples.

•Fourth, "Traditional marriage" has referred, over the centuries, to an institution that permitted polygamy, deemed wives to be the property of their husbands, and prohibited interracial unions, among other things. Fortunately, the institution of marriage has always been big enough, and generous enough, to evolve.

Prop. 8 is about eliminating fundamental rights of people in your neighborhood, workplace, church, and community. As an Orange Countian who believes in freedom, fairness and equality for all citizens, I'm voting no on Prop. 8.

It's amazing how much the Prop. 8 proponents sound just like the offended moralists who opposed inter-racial marriage when I was a kid. For that matter, they sound like the same people that oppose pretty much any cultural advancement from desegregating the military to women's' and African Americans' right to vote.

Discrimination is discrimination, no matter how comfortable you may be with it.

Learn to accept people who aren't carbon copies of yourself and stop feeling threatened anytime someone asks for the same rights you already have.

But they published 5 Pro-8 letters, and only 3 Anti-8 letters, so the bias is, once again, clear, IMHO.

The pro Prop. 8 movement has created some strange, and strained, bedfellows. The evangelical right doesn't hide its disdain of Catholics (not true Christians) and Mormons (non-Christian cult). Yet the bulk of the Yes-on-8 money is coming from those 3 groups:
Organizations such as Focus on the Family, the Knights of Columbus and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints think so too; they have all actively supported the push to get Proposition 8 passed. Mormon financial support alone is said to account for roughly 35 percent of total financial contributions in favor of the initiative thus far.

The No on Prop 8 website has great resources for understanding just how awful this proposition is.

Nothing says "Protect Marriage" like denying it to people who want to be married.

And here's Ellen humiliating John McCain regarding marriage:

"...well, you can sit there, you just can't sit there..."

Foolish bigotry, plain and simple.

Friday, October 17, 2008

All of you fascists bound to lose

Update: Someone has created this great website with a petition to Congress:
Tell Congress to Censure Michele Bachmann

On the October 17 episode of MSNBC's Hardball, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota claimed that Barack Obama and other members of Congress share anti-American views.

Bachmann thinks that anyone who disagrees with her personal political agenda is unpatriotic. But she is the one who has a lot to learn about what it means to love America.

Her fellow members of Congress need to take a stand and tell Michele Bachmann that her disgusting accusations have no place in our country. Tell Congress to censure Rep. Bachmann.
Go there, do it. Thanks.


Following Michele Bachmann's (R-MN should be ashamed) appearance on Hardball, Katrina Vanden Heuvel responds:

I love Katrina.

Pat Buchanan has finally started unleashing his inner fascist. Bachmann has clearly found her core of hate.

To Hell with them both.

Can't Touch This

Can't Touch This

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Some folks are born made to wave the flag, Ooh, theyre red, white and blue

I've never been big on gratuitous swearing here. for two reasons: 1. I feel that most points can be made without swear words, and 2. I always felt that Mom wouldn't approve.

Mom isn't reading here anymore, and I'm convinced that the following point can best be made by swearing, so here goes:
Fuck John McCain

You see, after whining about negative campaigning last night, he's running this robo-call:

But McCains' terrorist ties are OK, as he appears on G. Gordon Liddy's show:

where he describes Liddy as an "old friend," praises Liddy's "adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great," and said he was "proud" of Liddy.

G. Gordon freakin' Liddy? A true American Bastard:
In 1971, after serving in several positions in the Nixon administration, Liddy was moved to Nixon's 1972 campaign, the Committee to Re-elect the President (officially known as "CRP" but to opponents known as CREEP), in order to extend the scope and reach of the White House "Plumbers" unit, which had been created in response to various damaging leaks of information to the press. At CRP, Liddy concocted several plots, some far-fetched, intended to embarrass the Democratic opposition. These included firebombing the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. (where classified documents leaked by Daniel Ellsberg were being stored), kidnapping anti-war protest organizers and transporting them to Mexico during the Republican National Convention (which at the time was planned for San Diego), and luring mid-level Democratic campaign officials to a house boat in Baltimore where they would be secretly photographed in compromising positions with call girls. Most of Liddy's ideas were rejected, but a few were given the go ahead by Nixon Administration officials, including the break-in at Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office. Ellsberg had leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times.[4] At some point, Liddy was instructed to break into the Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate Hotel.

. . . For his role in Watergate, which he coordinated with Hunt, Liddy was convicted of conspiracy, burglary and illegal wiretapping, and received a 20-year sentence. He served a total of five and half years in prison, including over 100 days in solitary confinement, before his sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter and he was released on September 7, 1977.

Liddy is noted for controversial advice to his radio audience, including on one occasion in 1994, after the federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, Liddy advised his listeners: "Now if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes to disarm you and they are bearing arms, resist them with arms. Go for a head shot; they're going to be wearing bulletproof vests. ... Kill the sons of bitches."

This sick son-of-a-bitch would break Federal laws and kidnap and possibly kill people to protect his beloved President, damn the country and the Constitution. That's Country First™ we can believe in.

McCain has nothing to give except crap to offer, so that's what we get.

Forget "war hero". Forget "great man". Forget "years of service to country." Forget it all.

John McCain is a ruthless prick would would sell Cindy's ass at a Tailhook convention for a few votes.

Nothing left of honor or reputation.


John McCain is nothing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

'Cause I can play this here guitar, Pt. 23

Quick, name your fave female rock guitarist:

Bonnie Raitt: Sure, that was easy. Hardly unappreciated.

Jennifer Batten: Flash rock skills, to be sure.

But then . . .

No, we won't count the following, for while they're guitarists, and women, they're competent but hardly great rock guitarists:

Joan Jett
Chrissie Hynde
Nancy Wilson
Melissa Etheridge
Lita Ford,
Kaki King

And others, of course. Comments are welcome, as are disagreements.

But I have a follow-up question: Who was the first female rock guitarist?

Here's my nomination:

But wait, that's Gospel, you say. Maybe, but listen to that solo starting at 1:25. Now are you convinced?
Rosetta Tharpe (March 20, 1915October 9, 1973) was a pioneering Gospel singer, songwriter and recording artist who attained great popularity in the 1930s and 1940s with a unique mixture of spiritual lyrics and early rock accompaniment. She became the first great recording star of Gospel music in the late 1930s and also became known as the "original soul sister" of recorded music.

Willing to cross the line between sacred and secular by performing her inspirational music of 'light' in the 'darkness' of the nightclubs and concert halls with big bands behind her, her witty, idiosyncratic style also left a lasting mark on more conventional gospel artists, such as Ira Tucker, Sr., of the Dixie Hummingbirds. While she offended some conservative churchgoers with her forays into the world of pop music, she never left gospel music.

Born Rosetta Nubin in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, she began performing at age four, billed as "Little Rosetta Nubin, the singing and guitar playing miracle", accompanying her mother, Church of God in Christ (COGIC) evangelist Katie Bell Nubin, who played mandolin and preached at tent revivals throughout the South. Exposed to both blues and jazz both in the South and after her family moved to Chicago in the late 1920s, she played blues and jazz in private, while performing gospel music in public settings. Her unique style reflected those secular influences: she bent notes the way that jazz artists did and picked guitar like Memphis Minnie.

Rosetta also crossed over to secular music in other ways. After marrying COGIC preacher Thomas Thorpe (from which "Tharpe" is a misspelling) in 1934 and moving to New York City, she recorded four sides with Decca Records backed by "Lucky" Millinder's jazz orchestra. Her records caused an immediate furor: many churchgoers were shocked by the mixture of sacred and secular music, but secular audiences loved them. Appearances in John Hammond's 1938 extravaganza "From Spirituals To Swing", at the Cotton Club and Café Society and with Cab Calloway and Benny Goodman made her even more popular. Songs like "This Train" and "Rock Me", which combined gospel themes with bouncy up-tempo arrangements, became smash hits among audiences with little previous exposure to gospel music.

Based on the guitar, an interim Gibson Les Paul Custom, introduced in '61 or so, this is probably an early '60s TV appearance.

Here's a recording of Sister Rosetta with some nice acoustic work, and a fun video showing some live clips, and some great photos as well. Note that she plays Gibson exclusively. Great taste in instruments.

"Crash! Fwee-Whoop! Pow!"

Crash! Fwee-Whoop! Pow!

Push it, push it real good

Acorn pushes back, hugs McCain

The beleaguered Democratic-leaning community group Acorn sends over this photograph: John McCain, in March of 2006, sitting beside Florida Rep. Kendrick Meek at an event Acorn co-sponsored in Florida.
Bertha Lewis, Acorn's chief organizer, said in a statement that came with the photo, “It has deeply saddened us to see Senator McCain abandon his historic support for ACORN and our efforts to support the goals of low-income Americans."
In addition to their many good works in the community, ACORN also hires poor people to register poor people to vote. They don't register Republicans or Democrats, they register poor people. To vote. That seems an admirable goal to me.

Despite what you've heard or read, there is no voter fraud, but there is some, out of the 1.3 million new registrations by ACORN, some voter registration fraud.

Typically this is flagged by ACORN before they're turned into the election boards. Why are they turned into the election boards? Because that's the law, all registrations must be turned in. That's so that groups that register voters can't pick and choose which ones to turn in.

Much more here.

So, that's one RNC meme disposed of. On to the next:

Bill Ayers is a terrorist and Obama hangs out with him!!! I'll let Republicans for Obama answer this one:
William Ayers: Funded by Republicans

In 1995, Bill Ayers was part of a team that helped create the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an education reform project that worked with half of Chicago's public schools. Barack Obama, then working as an attorney and law school professor, was elected chairman of the eight-member board of the CAC. The board included individuals of diverse political backgrounds, including Ray Romero, the President of Ameritech; Stanley Ikenberry, the former President of the University of Illinois; and Republican Arnold Weber, who had served in the Nixon White House.

In their best efforts to portray Barack as out of the mainstream, some on the right have tried characterizing the Chicago Annenberg Challenge as a dangerous fringe organization. What they do not discuss is the fact that the CAC was funded by a foundation belonging to Walter Annenberg, the billionaire Republican philanthropist who served as Richard M. Nixon's ambassador to the U.K. Annenberg and his wife, Leonore, gave the CAC $50 million in the 90's.

But Walter and Leonore weren't just giving money to educational foundations started by William Ayers. They were also giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Republican National Committee and various other Republican groups, as well as to a whole host of Republican candidates, including the following:

* George W. Bush $4000
* Mitt Romney $5000
* Strom Thurmond $1000
* Fred Thompson $500
* Rick Santorum $3000

Here's the icing on the cake: [...] the McCain campaign put out a press release bragging about the fact that Leonore Annenberg has endorsed him for president.
Well, that's the number 2 meme dispatched with.

Onto the last bastion of McCain & Republicans trying to avoid guilt for our current economic crisis.

Over and over we hear these craven, lying bastards claim that the economic meltdown is, and get this, Clinton's fault! Oh, and those nasty Dems who forced all those good hearted banks to lend money to those inner-city poor people, (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), and that's what made the crisis.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present for your viewing pleasure the facts:
Private sector loans, not Fannie or Freddie, triggered crisis

Federal housing data reveal that the charges aren't true, and that the private sector, not the government or government-backed companies, was behind the soaring subprime lending at the core of the crisis.

Subprime lending offered high-cost loans to the weakest borrowers during the housing boom that lasted from 2001 to 2007. Subprime lending was at its height from 2004 to 2006.

Federal Reserve Board data show that:

* More than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending institutions.

* Private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year.

* Only one of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006 was directly subject to the housing law that's being lambasted by conservative critics.
Now we all know that facts have a liberal bias, so don't expect any of the hardcore 25 percenters to accept these facts, but if you have to discuss these things with them, maybe innocent bystanders who aren't drinking the Kool-Aid will decide to find out the truth of these matters for themselves.

And that's all I ask. Don't take my word for it, look it up and decide for yourselves.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak