Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I think I'll go eat worms!

The party of gNO!p is at it again, (and again and again):
At President Obama's talks with Senate Republicans, little is accomplished

President Obama went to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for a rare meeting with Senate Republicans, but the 75-minute session yielded little progress on hot-button topics and left some senators with bruised feelings.
Did President Obama huut yur por wittl feewins!? Good.

From day one of Obama's election repugs bragged about being the party of no and obstructing everything even if they had voted for it before. (See Waterloo, Presidential appointments, legislation, &c, &c, &c.)

What's hard to believe is that Dems keep falling for this monkey flinging crap. Obama & the Dems keep adopting rethug legislative compromises to get the rethug votes and then the rethugs turn around and still vote NO.

At what point does one just say F**k you and do the right thing? (BTW, senator roberts, the POTUS doesn't need to take a valium, you need to take lithium. Your chemical imbalance from voting NO on things you proposed shows signs of Bicameral Disorder.)

In related news:
GOP: U.S. can't afford to fund health 'entitlement program' for 9/11 rescue workers

Republicans argued Tuesday that it would put the nation's finances at risk if Congress gave aiing Sept. 11 responders a permanent, guaranteed program to ensure they get health care.
Speaking to dozens of responders gathered in a Capitol Hill hearing chamber, Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) argued that their demand for the federal government to help "would be just if we weren't spending money already."
Gosh Shimkus, you mean like spending money that you've voted for on wars on countries that had nothing to do with 9/11?

But his statement is all you need to know about republican philosophy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Just a Small Town Boy

Normally if I'm going to blogwhore anyone it's the people I work with, they are great writers and good humans and they make me strive to better at both. But this guy hits them over the fence, or qualifies first, or sinks the winning basket, or whatever it is that Hoosiers do.
e.g. DUNNO how it is in your neighborhood, but around here if someone begins a sentence "When I was in college I took a course in…" and the course in question was not some practical or technical instruction (ceramics, glass-blowing, accounting), and the observation which follows does not merely affirm, or perhaps modify, some general banality ("and it's pronounced 'kill'"; "and math is hard"), then the one thing you are about to learn--have already learned--is that the speaker doesn't know what th' fuck he's talking about.
Read the whole thing. I hope he's a descendant of James Whitcomb Riley, because his prose is near as good as JWC's poetry.

I do good work, my colleagues here do really good work, Doghouse Riley has moments that make me go 'damn, that's so good I wonder why I do this.'

I'll still go on doing this, because just like playing guitar or writing songs or writing, I can't help it, I just gotta do it. But damn! when someone is that good ya just gotta acknowledge it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A 7 year old girl was killed by a Detroit cop at 12:40 am last Sunday. That's a fact. Some of what follows is spin and conjecture. Spin one:
Detroit Police shoot 7-year-old girl in house search

The shooting happened at 12:40 a.m., when the Special Response Team executed a no-knock search warrant on the duplex in the 4000 block of Lillibridge. Officers rushed in after throwing a stun grenade through the glass of a front window.

Family members said they were told by police the gun discharged when Mertilla Jones, 46, attempted to wrestle away the officer's weapon.
Knowing that wasn't going to work the cops walked it back:
Sunday, police spokesman John Roach said the weapon may have fired simply because Jones and the officer collided.
So we've gone to 'wrestled with' to merely 'collided'.

It didn't stop her grandmother from being hauled off to jail.
Mertilla Jones was held until Sunday afternoon, and it remained unclear if she will face charges. Police said she spent several hours hospitalized with what police described as medical issues.
Well of course she had 'medical issues' you shot her granddaughter in cold blood and then you arrested her!

It just gets worse:[Deputy Police Chief] Godbee said, calling Sunday "probably the worst day of my career."F**k you and your career, a 7 year old child died!

And there's more:
Godbee would not comment on reports that neighbors told officers that there were children in the house, and pointed out toys in the front yard.

Godbee didn't say if the suspect in Blake's slaying was arrested in the downstairs or upstairs apartment. Godbee said, "The suspect was within the scope of our search warrant." He added that the warrant allowed police to search both units.
As it turns out, the suspect did not live there, they killed a little girl and have already lied about it multiple times.

And it gets worse, maybe spin, but it was allegedly caught on tape that we haven't seen:
Lawyer: Video proves murder of 7-year-old by Detroit police was ‘not an accident’

An attorney for the family of a 7-year-old girl who was killed by a police officer's bullet during a weekend raid at their home said Monday that he saw video of the raid that contradicts the police department's version of what happened.

Attorney Geoffrey Fieger said he watched three or four minutes of video that showed police fired into the home after lobbing a flash grenade through the window.
So maybe we can find out the truth, partially because the pro-cop reality TV show 48 Hours were following these cops for their shoot.

Did the fact that 48 Hours was shooting affect the Detroit shooting?
While national experts say flash-bang grenades are useful tools in high-risk situations, Detroit police told the Free Press the devices are rarely used.

"In my entire career, we've only used these in barricaded-gunmen situations as a diversionary tactic," one police officer said, adding he was involved in hundreds of high-risk arrests and raids.
I've only quoted small parts of the articles, under fair use copyright.

But here's my take from reading all of them: The cops were showboating in front of cameras. Instead of waiting waiting for the alleged murderer to exit the UPSTAIRS apartment, they decided to toss a flash/bang grenade thru the window of the downstairs apartment which landed on a 7 year old girl and her grandmother. It set the little girl on fire and her grandma thought this was a bad thing. ergo, little girl dies, granma is hauled to jail, a guy upstairs in a different apartment is arrested, who might be the shooter from a couple of days before.

The cops claim they had the right to no-knock, flashbang, invade both apartments. If that is true, then the judge who signed the warrants needs to be charged with conspiracy to murder, just like the cops (yes, it's plural, just like felony murder) need to have a fair trial, and then be sentenced to LWOP.

But that's just MHO.

Vote for me, vote for me; If I am elected, this is how it will be

‘Family values’ congressman says he’ll resign over affair

Indiana Republican Rep. Mark Souder announced Tuesday he would resign from Congress, effective Friday, because he had an affair with a staffer.

Souder said in a statement provided by his office that he has "sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff."
But wait, there's more!
Last week, after he won the primary, Souder admitted the allegations to his chief of staff, Renee Howell, who confronted the conservative Christian congressman about the rumors that he was having an extra-marital affair with Tracey Meadows Jackson, according to a source in the office. Six days later, this morning, Souder publicly admitted the affair — without naming the longtime staffer — and said he would resign effective Friday.

The affair began after Jackson was hired in a part-time role in 2004, according to a source knowledgeable about the relationship. Jackson, who is married, was hired to play guest host with Souder for a daily radio spot he recorded for WFCV, a Christian radio station in Fort Wayne.
OK, so it's been going on since 2004, but he just now had his come-to-jebus moment, and his partner in 'family values' slime is also married.

Boy, it sure doesn't get any worse, than that ... wait a minute, if you call now you can receive the abstinence video he recorded with his married 'staffer' (Jeez, I'm starting to love that term;-)Well, what I always say is abstinence makes the fond grow harder!

Snark aside, some folks in the wrongwing will always come back with 'but, but, Dems did it too!' argument. So let me just state: I personally don't care about anyone's consensual sex life, even external to one's marriage. It's not my business, and infidelity should only concern those directly involved ... EXCEPT when you run on a hypocritical platform that deliberately peeks into other folks' bedrooms and practices.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ronnie James Dio

Hard rock vocalist Ronnie James Dio, best known for his stints in Rainbow and Black Sabbath as well as fronting his own band for many years, passed away Sunday after a long battle with stomach cancer. He was 67 years old.

He was born Ronald James Padavona in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on July 10, 1942; his family moved to Cortland, New York when he was a boy. While in his teens, he joined local group The Vegas Kings as their bass player, eventually becoming lead vocalist. He took his stage name from the Mafia figure Johnny Dio. During the 60's, Dio undertook a journey familiar to many other musicians of his era, moving from the rockabilly-oriented Vegas Kings and Ronnie And The Redcaps to the more "progressive" Ronnie Dio And The Prophets and Electric Elves. He honed a powerful vocal style that pushed his bandmates further into hard rock territory. By the early 70's, their name shortened to Elf, they earned a recording contract and a slot opening for Deep Purple. Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore took notice, and when he launched his solo career in 1975 selected Dio and other members of Elf to form Rainbow. Rainbow released four successful albums before Dio and Blackmore parted ways in 1979.

Dio next joined Black Sabbath on the suggestion of Sharon Arden, the daughter of that group's manager. (Sharon would go on to marry original Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osborne and become something of a celebrity in her own right.) Upon Osborne's departure, many pegged Black Sabbath for a long descent into mediocrity, a relic of a bygone time. But Dio's presence would rejuvenate the veterans of sludge rock, spurring the group to record Heaven And Hell, their finest hour. Dio's vocals seemed to light a fire under guitarist Tony Iommi in particular, while his lyrics, laden with medieval imagery, worked well within Black Sabbath's musical context. Heaven And Hell returned Sabbath to the top of the heavy metal heap, and a series of triumphant live shows cemented the resurgence. Dio would greet the fans at the start of each concert by raising a fist high in the air with the first and fourth finger extended, a gesture he picked up from his grandmother. The corna, or sign of the horns, has many connotations in Italian folk culture, including the power to ward off the evil eye. Although probably not the first to flash the horns on stage, Dio would help popularize the sign into an internationally recognized symbol of rock and roll.

Black Sabbath's followup LP with Dio, Mob Rules, was a huge disappointment, returning the group to the murk of their pre-Heaven And Hell releases. The Sabs rebounded somewhat with a strong tour supporting the album, replacing drummer Bill Ward with veteran Vinny Appice. Dates from that tour were recorded for the Live Evil LP. Tensions flared between Dio, Iommi, and bassist Geezer Butler during the album's production, with Iommi and Butler accusing Dio of tampering with the mix behind their backs to highlight his vocals. Dio claimed that the other band members knew what he was doing, and that Iommi and Butler gave him permission to mix his vocals as he saw fit. Mutual dissatisfaction with Live Evil led Dio to part company with Black Sabbath in November 1982, taking Appice with him.

He would go on to form the band Dio, also featuring Appice and guitarist Vivian Campbell, releasing a credible debut Holy Diver in 1983. By now, Dio's style was well established, and his band would go on to release discs through the 80's and 90's, each successive release digging the creative rut a bit deeper. The group would enjoy a bit of an artistic comeback after 2000, as notable musicians such as Rudy Sarzo and Doug Aldrich would spend time in the lineup. Dio also reunited with his Black Sabbath bandmates from 2007-09, touring and recording under the name Heaven And Hell.

Although not immune to the bombastic excess that plagues the metal genre, Ronnie James Dio possessed one of rock's distinctive voices, and when at his best was capable of electrifying a recording studio or concert stage. The title track of Heaven And Hell became a signature performance, and this vintage clip from his Black Sabbath days captures him in fine form.

I'm the man on the silver mountain

Long story short, I'm sleeping in a new old house tonight, one in which I slept for the first time in '67.

Some readers know my Mom passed away about 1.5 years ago. She had created a Trust to deal with her estate, with my sister named as Trustee. Mom's house became property of the Trust, consisting of the aforementioned sister, my brother & I.

Pam & I decided to buy the house, and co-habit with her daughter & son-in-law and their beautiful child Isabella. So now we have 3 generations living under the same roof (how Traditional Family Values!), and it's a house I lived in from age 17-21. Oh, and we're back in Orange Co. for the first time since '96.

We'll let you know when the housewarming party will be!

On a sadder note, we lost one of the great voices of hard rock today. Hard "metal" rock is often parodied, and rightly so. But done well, it's pretty great. This guy did it exceedingly well. RIP Ronnie:

Sunday, May 09, 2010

And Echos with the Sounds of Science

Symphony of Science - The Poetry of Reality
The best use of auto-tune I've ever seen.

Saturday, May 08, 2010