Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Holy See of Love

Sex abuse rife in other religions, says Vatican

The Vatican has lashed out at criticism over its handling of its paedophilia crisis by saying the Catholic church was "busy cleaning its own house" and that the problems with clerical sex abuse in other churches were as big, if not bigger.

In a defiant and provocative statement, issued following a meeting of the UN human rights council in Geneva, the Holy See said the majority of Catholic clergy who committed such acts were not paedophiles but homosexuals attracted to sex with adolescent males.
Wow. The only reason these pedophiles didn't rape young girls is because girls weren't allowed to be alter boys.

The Vatican's says, the freakin VATICAN, AKA the POPE, and since god speaks directly thru his most (nazi youth) holiness, says 'GOD says it's not my fault, they're queers.'

There's a term for adults who want to f**k children, it's called pedophilia. It has little to do with gender, it has to do with access.

Does this jerkoff (I'm just assuming he's a jerkoff, but I think that's a sin too) really want to claim 'but they did it too' as a defense!?

Jeebus h freakin christ on a cross, that's their excuse!?

Jesus! Save me from your followers.

And now for some brain bleach

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

F*ck Polanski...

Free Marc Emery

...Free Marc Emery.

: In all seriousness (admittedly an elusive quality hereabouts at times), Roman Polanski is a convicted sex criminal who fled as a coward from his due judgment, then attempted to justify his act by stating '...everybody wants to f*ck young girls'.

All of his celebrity apologists should be ashamed of themselves for countenancing such flagrant aberrancy.

Whatever one's thinking regarding the relative morality of international marijuana seed sales, and notwithstanding the obviously very real legal penalties for same...Marc Emery isn't running.

Such is the measure of character.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oh sing me to sleep, Lullaby of the leaves

Update: 2nd video corrected.

Are all rock'n'roll songs born in the '50, '60s, '70s, etc? Take a listen to this song from 1932:

Lullaby of the Leaves,” by composer Bernice Petkere and lyricist Joe Young, was featured in the 1932 Broadway revueChamberlain Brown’s Scrap Book. Ina Hayward sang the song in the show which ran for only 10 performances. According to Thomas S. Hischak in The Tin Pan Alley Song Encyclopedia,“The ballad was introduced on the radio by Freddie Berrens and his Orchestra, and there were soon records made by Ben Selvin and Connee Boswell.... ‘Lullaby of the Leaves’ soon became a favorite of jazz musicians, and many recordings followed....”

Update & bump:

"Lullaby..." is constructed like many '30s pop tunes: a long instrumental section, followed by an almost afterthought vocal. Like much music today, it was designed to get people dancing.

Many people recorded it, each putting their own spin on the minor key gem. Here's a young piano badass doing his impression of jazz piano great Art Tatum's version:

Here are The Platters doing it as a lovely post-doo-wop ballad:

Like most good good music, it can transcend category and still hold its own. Clearly the melody is interesting enough that it has been recorded in many varying styles.

But now the punchline. Here's how I first learned "Lullaby...":

Yes, they adapted it to the rhythm & intro of "Walk Don't Run", which was typical of the times. They had found a formula and it worked. But listening to this version, would you ever have believed that it was a pop tune from the '30s?

Music that speaks to every style there is, and lasts from generation to generation. How cool is that?

Monday, September 28, 2009

This could should be ...

... on every blog in blogtopia and the blogosphere:
People sometimes ask me what the differences are twixt…

... Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan and it provokes flashbacks almost too painful to bear.

One thing in common is that they were all started by the fat, old, bigoted, and prejudiced white men seeking hegemony and the spoils of war. And, as all wars are, the similarities were always there: Good men driven relentlessly until they, too, recognized the insanity of war while trying to kill, maim, and destroy as many people as possible, even women and children.

It is the difference that haunts me, follows me, and breaks through my dreams to the sheer horror that was hell on earth at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, RPV, during my last trip there to help evacuate as many people as we could within a very short timeframe in April, 1975.

I had never before, and have not since, ever see crowds of well over 1.5-2 million people, so many of themselves wounded, so many with the blank stare of a mother or father whose children had either been killed or injured or were being forced to stay behind with little to no hope of survival. The cacophony of voices, the sea of tear-stained faces, the wailing cries of the sick and dying, the looks and pleas being made with the expectations that, despite it all, America wouldn't abandon them as promised even as they were watching us doing that very thing, in disbelief and with the knowledge certain we would not return.

A large group of us learned that some of the evacuees were paying $10,000.00 per head for the 'right' to go, Blackmarket bribery! that, with pride we set up an area for the poor, and with every busload of people, as we left the main processing grounds, we would stop and load on as many women and children as we could before continuing on to whatever aircraft we had on the ground.

Aircraft, combat loaded by marching evacuees up the plane's ramp and having them sit on the bare metal floor, no seats, seatbelts, no amenities of any kind 260 people on a C-141 Starlifter, 210 people on a Hercules C130. An aircraft leaving the ground every twenty minutes,non-stop.

I and many Security Police Law Enforcement Specialists were flown to Tan Son Nhut AB to act as Customs Agents and worked for eight days straight, day and night continuously, before relief could be flown in for us. Then we were taken to an Agent Orange Storage warehouse where we simply dropped to the floor and crashed. To this day I can still remember sleeping in and breathing remnants of those notoriously leaky A.O. barrels. I had no idea that this would someday almost kill me with two cancers, chemo, radiation therapy, and a radical neck dissection that permanently severed several nerves, leaving me in never-ending pain.

Still we worked twelve hour days tending to and processing that never ending sea of people, Hearing their cries, begging for us to take their babies and young children with us even when they knew they could not follow and would likely never see them again.

And that is the difference between these three wars. In Afghanistan they beg us to leave, to stop the senseless killing of hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of innocent women and children, bombing wedding parties and any other large groups gathered, even those seeking to bury their dead, in the belief, fostered by w and co., that we MIGHT kill a high value target; too bad about the others.

Iraq, a war of aggression ordered by war criminals seeking revenge for w's daddy and control of that nations resources. Again the people there beg us to just go and leave them to make their own choices.

But in Vietnam, another war we should never have started, the people who suffered the most begged us the hardest to stay or take them with us, and, for a very large segment of the population actually loved us Americans who abandoned them after declaring we had 'won' and could all go home.

I still hear those cries for help, still see the faces of people whom, though they had no reasons to like or trust us…except we promised them we were their saviors. We promised them freedom. We promised them justice. We lied and many, many good Americans will never again trust 'those in power' when they rattle the chains of war.

The Vietnamese believed and trusted in us and begged us to stay, Afghanistan is now and always will be under the thumb of the criminals and warlords supplying well over 90% of the world's heroin, and we never had the evidence claimed that was used to justify that war in Iraq.

But despite the ravaging of my body and mind by my own government, using dioxin ( a chemical so toxic they now wish it could be 'disinvented') it will always be those final images of Vietnam that will haunt me forever. In the ultimate unfairness of the Universe I paid so dear a price to mind and body, particularly my mind, which seems to have had large chunks of memory ripped out of it to never return, I dearly wish that some of those memory chunks had been these: the nightmarish visions and never-ending sounds of people abandoning hope and knowing with certainty they were more likely die than to ever live in common, human decency with hopes and dreams of a better future.

That, my friends, is the difference. And that, my friends, will forever haunt me with questions to which there can be no answers, only nightmares, sadness, and the recognition that we are, or should be, a better people.
Full disclosure: I invited Bill a couple of years ago to write for VidiotSpeak, a blog I contribute to. He has never let me or our nation down.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Neun und neunzig Luftballons

Balloon Juice has become one of my daily reads. John & the crew supply great dissections of wingnut idiocy, with both humor and the right amount of disdain.

Now they're providing an even greater service: The Balloon Juice Lexicon.

Among the many great definitions found there:
“Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to.” – In 2000, WSJ pundit and sometimes paid Republican operative Peggy Noonanintroduced a potentially explosive, unverifiable rumor that Bill Clinton was being blackmailed by Fidel Castro into the mainstream media, using the phrase“Is it irresponsible to speculate?... It would be irresponsible not to.” The blatant dishonesty of this ratfucking attempt immediately turned it into an Internetmeme signifying a personal attack, usually wildly untrue, launched under a cloak of sanctimony: “Does Candidate Trollypants bite the heads off live, underaged, rabid bats? It would be irresponsible not to speculate!” See also, Keep on walking and Nooners.

Our Lady of Perpetual Outrage- Balloon Juice nickname for blogger Michelle Malkin, who has an incredible ability to become frothing mad at the silliest things. Her rantings in past years have included outrage over Rachael Ray’s scarf in a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial (see United Pastry Jihad), the countertops in an eleven year olds house (see Granite Countertops), the shape of the Flight 93 memorial, and thousands of other bizarre non-events that send her into a blind rage.

The Village- term used to describe the inside the beltway crowd and their perverse mentality. Accidentally coined by Sally Quinn in the WaPo in the aftermath of the Clinton blowjob scandal, and made popular by Digby. In the Village, launching a war based on lies is no big deal, but Clinton getting a blowjob is the crime of the century.

Good stuff. Go check it all out.

In re: balloons, best pop song ever featuring balloons:

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's the End of the World As We Know It

The true message of Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, the republicans, teabaggers, birthers, deathers, 10th'ers et al:
(Click image to see full size)

Please see both Part One & Part Two to get the whole story.
WARNING! Totally NSFW! Or children, or pets, people who are easily offended, or frankly, pretty much anyone.

R. Crumb has always been one of my favorite artists. Alert, bad analogy: Tom Tomorrow is to Bill Moyers as Robert Crumb is to Larry Flynt. I appreciate all of the aforementioned, but if free speech offends you? You're not doing it right.

p.s. Free speech does not give you the right to yell fire in a crowd of wingnuts with guns.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Monday, September 21, 2009

Weapon of Choice

People bring guns to Obama speeches. Liberals couldn't even bring t-shirts or bumper stickers to a Bush speech. And if we actually said anything, we were taken to jail. If we might say anything we were put in "free speech zones" AKA chain linked fences.

While it's tempting to escalate our discussion this is my Weapon of Choice.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I'm glad it's your birthday

When we lose someone, when someone we love dies, it's as if we lose our voice. We can scream and cry, yet no one outside can hear, and life goes on. The earth still turns, people go to work, school, to play, yet our lives are suddenly on hold, and we can't get anyone else to really notice.

I was emotionally absent a great deal of the time when my younger siblings were growing up. Part of it was the age difference (8, 10, 12 years younger than me), but part of it was that I was a weird kid, stuck in my own neurosis world.

I remember each birth, and many wonderful flashes of their childhoods, yet not as many as I would like to remember now. My loss, to be sure.

All of us had various nicknames, from each other, from other relatives. But I remember giving Kristin the one that seemed to stick. Her name was Kristin Carol, after our dad's sister, and from somewhere I started calling her Kristin Carrot. She seemed to like that, she had carrot decorative stuff all around her 'little house'.

We were going through some of Mom's & Kristin's stuff recently, and some of her carrot belongings were found. How awful to lose people we love, how sweet to remember the good stuff.

Kristin Carol Anderson would have been 50 today. The world is a lesser place without her.

Sailor added this

Friday, September 18, 2009

Take your place on the great mandala

To piggyback on Dave's post below, PP&M and the folk music scene was interesting. It's really difficult to explain to those who didn't live through it.

Radio at the time was wide open, with virtually no limitations other than program directors, so you'd hear the latest Beatles single followed by PP&M followed by, well, whatever the hell the DJ wanted to play.

And for a guy like me who sucked up all music like it was mothers' milk, folk music offered interesting contradictions. It opened me up to new guitar techniques (Travis picking, anyone?) while presenting music that wasn't electric, that didn't depend on the right combination of guitar and amp to create the tone.

But, while I was reading about this Dylan guy who was writing all these radical songs, the radio wasn't playing them. And since I had no $$, I couldn't exactly go down to Gillette's Music and plop down $1.99 for his latest album.

Thus for me and for many, PP&M were the first recorded examples of Mr. Zimmerman's music we heard. Like this one:

But they also did this song, which rocked pretty hard:

So thanks guys, for everything you did. And thank you Mary, for singing your heart out for a better America.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oh babe, I hate to go

(graphic compiled by Dancin' Dave)
By POLLY ANDERSON, Associated Press Writer Polly Anderson, Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK – Mary Travers, one part of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, which used beautiful, tranquil harmonies to convey the angst and turmoil of the Vietnam anti-war movement, racial discrimination and more, died after a yearslong battle with leukemia. She was 72.
The band's publicist, Heather Lylis, said Travers died Wednesday at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut.
Though their music sounded serene, Peter, Paul and Mary represented the frustration and upheaval of the 1960s, as a generation of liberal activists used their music not only to protest political policies, but also to spark social change. And even as the issues changed, and the fiery protests abated, the group remained immersed in musical activism.
Bandmate Peter Yarrow said that in her final months, Travers handled her declining health with bravery and generosity, showing her love to friends and family "with great dignity and without restraint."
"It was, as Mary always was, honest and completely authentic," he said. "That's the way she sang, too — honestly and with complete authenticity."
Noel "Paul" Stookey, the trio's other member, praised Travers for her inspiring activism, "especially in her defense of the defenseless."
"I am deadened and heartsick beyond words to consider a life without Mary Travers and honored beyond my wildest dreams to have shared her spirit and her career," he said.
Mary Allin Travers was born on Nov. 9, 1936, in Louisville, Ky., the daughter of journalists who moved the family to Manhattan's bohemian Greenwich Village. She quickly became enamored with folk performers like the Weavers and was soon performing with Pete Seeger, a founding member of the Weavers who lived in the same building as the Travers family.
With a group called the Song Swappers, Travers backed Seeger on one album and two shows at Carnegie Hall. She also appeared (as one of a group of folk singers) in a short-lived 1958 Broadway show called "The Next President," starring comedian Mort Sahl.
It wasn't until she met up with Yarrow and Stookey that Travers would taste success on her own. Yarrow was managed by Albert B. Grossman, who later worked in the same capacity for Bob Dylan.
Their beatnik look — a tall blonde flanked by a pair of goateed guitarists — was a part of their initial appeal. As The New York Times critic Robert Shelton put it not long afterward, "Sex appeal as a keystone for a folk-song group was the idea of the group's manager ... who searched for months for `the girl' until he decided on Miss Travers."
The trio mingled their music with liberal politics, both onstage and off. Their version of "If I Had a Hammer" became an anthem for racial equality. Other hits included "Lemon Tree," "Leaving on a Jet Plane" and "Puff (The Magic Dragon)."
They were early champions of Dylan and performed his "Blowin' in the Wind" at the March on Washington in August 1963.
And they were vehement in their opposition to the Vietnam War, managing to stay true to their liberal beliefs while creating music that resonated in the American mainstream.
Travers was remembered Thursday at the well-known folk venue Club Passim in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass. Many of the singers who played there in the '60s were influenced by Peter, Paul and Mary, said Dan Hogan, the club's executive director.
"Mary Travers, especially, had a commitment to social causes and to social justice, and I think that encouraged most of the folk singers at our club to feel that this is really something worth committing to and making a career out of folk music," Hogan said.

Addendum by The Sailor:

At their (Glenn) Beck and call

Wow, some folks really want their country back:
Army reservist beaten in front of child

A man beat an Army reservist in front of a Morrow Cracker Barrel, yelling racial slurs at her as he kicked her in the head, Morrow police said. The assault happened in front of the woman’s 7-year old daughter, who stood there, crying, witnesses told police.

Hill said she told West she was an Army service member and she did not want any trouble.

West threw her to the ground and hit her in the head with his fists and feet, police said. During the exchange, witnesses said West could be heard screaming racial slurs towards the victim.

According to Hill's report, and confirmed by many witnesses, West screamed out racial slurs before punching her in the face. "He said, 'You're an fucking black nigger bitch,' is what he said," said Hill
Gosh, can't we all just get along? Nope. I can't. As long as racists exist in our our country I can't get along with them.

While it's progress that the police showed up and arrested him, I'm wondering why no one in the Cracker Barrel tried to intervene? Oops, my bad, Cracker Barrel pretty much describes why no one stepped up.

Update: As a commenter pointed out the Cracker Barrel manager said he did intervene. After witnesses saw her being punched, thrown down, and kicked in the head. Southern chivalry indeed.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Shut up and don't interrupt me

I'm sure we have heard all the Kanye West/Taylor Swift news, so I won't bother to go into it any further.

It seems interesting to me this trend as of late (well, it's been going on a long time, but just seems worse) of people feeling that their own opinion trumps any kind of civility, manners, consideration and calm, adult discourse. We've seen it in the town hall meetings and we've seen it in our own congress. After the Kanye West interruption the other night, a funny video popped up that, to me, puts the Joe Wilson interruption in the rude light it should:

Of course the Rightwing has made a hero out of Wilson's outburst, but it makes me think back to something I read years ago that put our culture of rude "me first, in-your-face" lack of consideration, shout-down, interrupting "conversation" into a different light than what I had always taken for granted as "civil". I read something Ben Franklin wrote called "Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America" wherein he pointed out how our culture is viewed by other cultures, in that particular case the Indians who the white man considered "savages". In one part of it he points out the difference in our way of public discourse:

"Having frequent occasions to hold public councils, they have acquired great order and decency in conducting them. ... He that would speak, rises. The rest observe a profound silence. When he has finished and sits down, they leave him 5 or 6 minutes to recollect, that, if he has omitted anything he intended to say, or has anything to add, he may rise again and deliver it. To interrupt another, even in common conversation, is reckoned highly indecent. How different this from the conduct of a polite British House of Commons, where scarce a day passes without some confusion, that makes the speaker hoarse in calling to order; and how different from the mode of conversation in many polite companies of Europe, where, if you do not deliver your sentence with great rapidity, you are cut off in the middle of it by the impatient loquacity of those you converse with, and never suffered to finish it."

It's little wonder that the Indians saw us, despite our superior technology, as the rude savages.

And never... NEVER... would an Indian at one of their councils stand up and shout "You lie!"

Monday, September 14, 2009

Jim Carroll

Poet, author, and musician Jim Carroll passed away Friday at age 60. According to his ex-wife Rosemary, the cause of death was a heart attack.

Jim Carroll was born and raised in Manhattan. He was a talented basketball player in his youth, which won him a scholarship to Trinity, an exclusive private school on the Upper West Side. While playing for Trinity, he was named to a number of NYC-area prep all-star teams. He also displayed a talent for writing at a young age; while in high school he wrote poetry that attracted the attention of the likes of William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, and began keeping a diary that would later win him fame. While still in his teens, though, Carroll had already developed a heroin habit, which he supported by prostituting himself. By the end of his teens Carroll had a collection of his poetry, Organic Trains, in print, excerpts of his diary had appeared in Paris Review, and was hanging out with Allan Ginsberg, Andy Warhol, and Patti Smith.

Carroll left New York in 1973 for the West Coast, in part to rid himself of his heroin habit. During the mid-70's, he wrote poetry and song lyrics, toying with the idea of starting a rock band. Little came of that idea until 1978, when Carroll accompanied Patti Smith as she toured California. In San Diego, her opening act cancelled, so Smith invited Carroll up on stage to rap with her, introducing him as "the guy who taught me how to write poetry". Inspired by the experience, Carroll returned to San Francisco, hooked up with a group called Amsterdam, renamed them the Jim Carroll Band, and moved them to New York. Also in 1978, Carroll's high school writings were published as The Basketball Diaries. A riveting account of basketball, poetry readings, sex, and heroin addiction, the book received instant critical acclaim.

Carroll's recording debut, Catholic Boy, released in 1980, became an instant classic of punk and New Wave. Anchored by the radio hit "People Who Died", Carroll's lyrics painted a stark picture of the gritty netherworld of New York City, a landscape dominated by sex, drugs, and sordid dealings. "People Who Died" was a fine example of Carroll's vision; the song is a rapid-fire list of all his friends who died young. Catholic Boy was a surprise success, which Carroll followed up with two further discs, Dry Dreams and I Write Your Name. These records failed to sell well, though, and by the mid-80's Carroll had ceased recording and went into semi-retirement.

Carroll spent the rest of his career maintaining a low profile, writing poetry and mentoring young artists who he had inspired. His influence has been acknowledged by a wide range of artists, including author Danny Sugarman, filmmaker Harmony Korine, and singer Eddie Vedder. Carroll would return to prominence for a time in 1997 when The Basketball Diaries was made into a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio. He recorded one more album, Pools Of Mercury, in 1998, and made several spoken-word recordings in the early 2000's.

One of my favorites from my college-radio days, Jim Carroll shone a light on the dark side of the American experience, and gave inspiration to a generation of artists making their own excursions on the edge of our culture.

(Crossposted at Pole Hill Sanitarium.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Once a story's told, it can't help but grow old

So Rep. Joe Wilson (R-Non Compos Mentis) had a little fit the other night. He, well, hell, everyone knows what he did.>

So now forget it.

That's right, forget it. Don't give the prick one more minute of fame. Red State & WorldNutDaily are giving his ego all the strokes it needs.

No publicity, no censure, just a sad fall back into deserved obscurity.


Update: In light of Dave's post below, my advice is for the mainstream traditional media, not us dirty f*ckin' hippie bloggers. Feel free to trash this moron at will.

In fact, I award him the rare Golden Douche award for Right-wing craptasticness:

Artwork by the lovely and talented Darkblack, in case anyone forgot!

And now, something to wash your mind clean. There are a few perfect pieces of music, this is one of them. Lovely lyrics, amazingly crafted melody, several performances to choose from, but this is my favorite:

Always shouts out something obscene

I'm sure we've all heard about Joe Wilson, the Republican from South Carolina, who crossed the line last night during President Obama's speech to congress by shouting "You lie!" after the President pointed out that the new healthcare proposal would not offer benefits to those in the United States illegally.

Not surprisingly, the right wing blogs are hailing him as a hero, and I'm sure the dittoheads are doing the same. I guess the point they are missing is, regardless of whether or not one agrees with the President or think he is "lying" (like half the stuff that flowed out of Bush's mouth), during a speech to congress where the President has been invited to speak, something so rude and uncivil is a complete no-no. Why do the right wingnuts not see any Republicans rushing to his defense, whether they agree with him or not? The reason is, of course, it was a breach of decorum, pulling an event that is supposed to be one of mutual respect and reason down to the lowlife "shout-downs" of the town hall meetings we've seen as of late.

I've seen dittoheads leaving comments like "Now the Dems see what it is like when they called Bush a Nazi". One big difference, amigo... none of them yelled that out while Bush was addressing congress.

I respect the conservative's right to disagree and voice concerns about the whole heathcare debate. But sadly, much of what they put forth as arguments are just "facts" that have no basis in truth, only what they've been "told" is going to happen or is written into the bill. The big pharma and insurance companies like the status quo... they are making mind-staggering profits, and they really couldn't give a rat's ass about people and small companies not being able to afford their skyhigh premiums, and their message to ill people seems to be "just go crawl off into the desert and die. You simply represent a monetary loss to us".

As for the particular issue in question, here is a link to a CNN site that attempts to logically decide if something is true or not:

And even if one doesn't agree with their conclusion, at least they have tried to sort it out by actually READING the bill, and not just saying "Well, Rush Limbaugh said...".

And speaking of Rush, I find it amusing that the dittoheads would put much weight on his opinion of healthcare. For one, he is of the "I've got mine, the hell with everyone else" school of thinking, he is richer than God and doesn't HAVE to worry about healthcare... he could afford to buy a whole hospital. Do you really think he gives a crap about one of his little guy listeners who gets laid off of work, loses his healthcare and his wife gets ill and can't find insurance because she has a pre-existing condition? That is, if they could even afford it anyway.
I would have far more respect for the other side's argument if they had some kind of alternative other than "keep things just as they are", which pretty much everyone (right and left) says simply cannot continue without the whole system completely falling apart.
One last question... if they are against illegal aliens getting healthcare, why are they not angry with the CURRENT system? Because we are ALREADY paying for their care with higher premiums and taxes due to them using the very expensive E.R. facilities for their standard doctor's visits, which would be way cheaper with a nurse practitioner. This isn't some "lib" point of view. This is the reality of the here and now.

Again, if they have a better idea, we'd all love to hear it.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Hush-hush, keep it down-down, voices carry

Always gotta love a good "moral family values" Republican story:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Sept. 9) - A Republican state lawmaker from Southern California resigned Wednesday amid growing outrage over a videotape that caught him bragging in graphic detail about having sex with a female lobbyist and another woman.
Assemblyman Mike Duvall, whose votes on family-oriented legislation received high marks from conservative groups, said in a statement the furor over his comments had begun to divert attention from the work his fellow lawmakers were trying to finish during the final week of their session.
Duvall is married and has two adult children.
In a recording of a legislative hearing, Duvall can be heard talking about a recent sexual escapade with a woman he says is 18 years younger.
"I'm getting into spanking her," Duvall is heard to say on the videotape.
The other man asks if she likes it, too. Duvall responds: "She goes, 'I know you like spanking me.' I said, 'Yeah, that's 'cause you're such a bad girl.'"
The 54-year-old lawmaker made the comments about the affairs to another lawmaker during a break in a committee meeting at the Capitol over the summer, and they were caught on a microphone at his desk.
The lawmaker then brags about an affair he is having with another woman.
"Oh, she is hot! I talked to her yesterday. She goes, 'So are we finished?' I go, 'No, we're not finished.' I go, 'You know about the other one, but she doesn't know about you!'" Duvall can be heard saying in an apparent reference to his affair with the lobbyist.
Duvall received a 100 percent rating from Capitol Resource Institute, a conservative advocacy group, for his votes on legislation considered pro-family during the 2007-08 legislative session. The institute did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Duvall's Assembly office was locked Wednesday afternoon.
Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, asked the Assembly Ethics committee to investigate. She also removed Duvall from the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee, which considers utility regulations, and the Assembly Rules Committee.
Duvall was elected in 2006 to represent an Orange County district that includes Fullerton, Anaheim, Placentia, Orange, Brea and Yorba Linda. Before that, he served six years on the Yorba Linda City Council. He also owns an insurance agency.
The lawmaker was vice chairman of the utilities committee, which had been considering one of the more hotly contested bills in the current legislative session. The bill, which is still being debated, would require utilities to generate 33 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020.
Many utilities oppose it.
On July 6, Duvall was one of five Republicans to vote against the legislation, which is sponsored by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto.
It should be pointed out that the lobbyist involved has been reported to be a woman named Heidi Dejong Barsuglia (also married), who works for Sempra Energy, one of the utilities opposed to the legislation. Ironically, on her California access lobbyist web page it says she passed an Ethics Course in 2008.

It must be the same one the "family values" Republicans take.


Why is it that the men who most want war refuse to go?

Why is it that the men who rail against gays, get caught in the closet,(and sometimes the public water closet?)

Why is it the men who proclaim family values have mistresses? And accuse their opponents of being gay? (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Why is it that the men who are destroying health care reform already have health care?
I understand that these qualities aren't limited to the male gender, but I truly don't understand how crazy got to be the new normal.

Tell me...

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Zip-ah-dee doo-dah, zip-ah-dee day

Some cracker-ass cracker self-identified teabagger left a racist comment at our friend Oliver Willis' blog:

In case you can't read the image, here's the text:
The socialists will pull the first trigger. We rightwing extremists will pull the last.

Bitter Clinger.

PS: Massa Obama must be proud to know that the slaves on his government plantation are so devoted. ding-ding-ding. Uh oh! Massa O is calling! You’d better step-n-fetchit, bootlick.

The groan inducing PS, offered up in what the author must see as high humor, is especially cringe-worthy if you know that Oliver is an American of African descent. Thus the image Bitter Clinger is trying to create is a black slave in captivity of a black President! Clever!

Actually it's really sick and stupid. And the guy proudly used his actual email.

Oliver merely googled it and found this treasure trove of Teh Stoopid™:
419 Hawthorne Ave

Not surprisingly Shaun Conley is listed as a Tea Party event coordinator for “1776 Tea Party” in Colorado.

And here’s Shaun Conley – who sent me a racist threat – discussing his role in organizing a tea party protest in Colorado:

Shaun Conley, a Johnstown plumber, took on the task of organizing that peaceful protest, which will be at Bittersweet Park, 16th Street and 35th Avenue, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., with the help of Pelzer and others.

“I wouldn’t say I organized anything. I’m just a cog in the wheel that got this started,” said Conley, 41. It got started when news of the stimulus packages came out, and when those packages reached $1 trillion, Conley couldn’t stand it any longer.

“We don’t have $1 trillion,” Conley said, but he really became agitated when he learned the federal government intended to go ahead and print the money.

“That’s just going to lead to double-digit inflation,” he said. When he learned of the American Family Association’s movement, he contacted the group to get some information and ended up becoming an organizer. He originally planned for perhaps 250 to 500, but he said the event has drawn interest from all over and could reach 1,000 or more.

Some commentors have criticized Oliver, accusing him of going full-Malkin on an opponent. But I disagree, and here's why:

Malkin revealed personal info of people who had done NOTHING to her except for disagree with her.

Conley, however, made a racist comment with a veiled, implied threat of violence against Oliver. Had OW hired a private detective to find Conley's info, then I'd call foul. But since Conley's info is freely available on the web, OW, while doing a thing we typically don't do, was simply pointing out that this dude, who proudly calls himself a rightwing extremist, made no effort to cover his tracks or be anonymous.

For that, I score this game" Oliver Willis: 1, Shaun Conley: 0.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Labor Day: Joe Hill

On this Labor Day, let us take a moment to commemorate Joe Hill, the early labor leader, rabble-rouser and songwriter who remains an inspiration to union members and workers throughout the world.

He was born Joel Hagglund in Sweden on October 7, 1879, the fourth of six children. His parents loved music, often leading the family in song and passing their musical interests on to their children. When Joel was nine his father, a railroad conductor, was killed in an accident and the Hagglund children were forced to leave school in order to support the family. Young Joel found employment in a rope factory, and later became a fireman on a steam-powered crane. His mother died in 1902, and soon after Joel and a younger brother emigrated to America.

Landing in New York, Joe Hill worked his way across the country performing a series of odd jobs, eventually settling down for the time being in San Pedro, California. There, he joined the Industrial Workers Of The World and became active in the union's organizing efforts. The IWW's goal was to unite the working class worldwide into "One Big Union", and Hill became known throughout the West for his dedication towards that goal. In 1911 he went to Tiajuana as pae of a band of radicals seeking to liberate Baja California from Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz. The next year he was active in a coalition that fought a decision by San Diego police to close the downtown streets to meetings, and later that year participated in a rail workers' strike in British Columbia. Back home in San Pedro, he was arrested in June 1913 while participating in a dockworkers' strike; in Hill's words, he was "a little too active to suit the chief of the burg".

Hill's biggest contribution to the labor movement was as a writer of songs that inspired workers throughout the country fighting for their rights. He would take the popular melodies of the day and outfit them with original lyrics that sought to inspire workers and spur them to organize for their rights. In this manner, Hill wrote "The Tramp", "There is Power in the Union", "Rebel Girl", "Casey Jones: Union Scab", and "The Preacher And The Slave", which coined the term "pie in the sky".

Early in 1914 Hill was working at the Silver King Mine near Salt Lake City. On January 10, butcher and retired police officer John G. Morrison's shop was attacked by two armed men covering their faces with red bandannas. Morrison fired his pistol and wounded one of the attackers, who in turn shot and killed Morrison and his son. Later that night, Joe Hill showed up at the door of a local doctor asking to be treated for a gunshot wound he said he received while in a fight over a woman. Police searched Hill's hotel room and found a red bandanna; that, along with the wound and his reputation as an IWW organizer, was enough to have him arrested for the murders of the Morrisons.

At his trial, Hill steadfastly maintained his innocence in the murders. He refused to name the woman whose company he had been in that evening, which would have provided him with an alibi. Some have speculated that Hill risked a murder conviction in order to preserve the reputation of a married woman. The prosecution's star witness, Morrison's 13-year-old son Merlin, who had originally told police "That's not him at all" when he first saw Hill, testified that Hill was the murderer. The jury only took a few hours to find him guilty.

A worldwide effort began to exonerate Hill. Helen Keller, AFL president Samuel Gompers, the Swedish minister to the United States, and President Woodrow Wilson all spoke to the governor on Hill's behalf to no avail. To the last, Hill claimed that the state of Utah was framing him due to his IWW activities. In one of his last letters, he wrote to IWW leader Bill Haywood, "Goodbye Bill: I die like a true rebel. Don't waste any time mourning, organize!" Joe Hill was executed on November 19, 1915; his last request, reportedly to the firing squad, was "Fire!" Hill's body was transported to Chicago, where more than 30,000 paid their respects. Afterward, his body was cremated, and the ashes sent to labor leaders around the world and in every state except Utah.

Over the years, the labor movement's great songwriter has himself been commemorated in song. "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night", written in the 30's, became something of a standard, and has often been performed by Pete Seeger, Paul Robeson, and Joan Baez, among many others. During the 60's Phil Ochs, in the manner of Joe Hill himself, wrote lyrics that celebrated Hill's life and set them to the melody of the folk ballad "John Hardy". Billy Bragg, one of the most socially conscious performers of our era, brings the memory of Joe Hill back to life.

Hill's final will and testament has long been a source of inspiration to activists throughout the world:

My will is easy to decide
For there is nothing to divide
My kin don't need to fuss and moan
"Moss does not cling to a rolling stone."
My body? - Oh. - If I could choose
I would to ashes it reduce
And let the merry breezes blow
My dust to where some flowers grow

Perhaps some fading flower then
Would come to life and bloom again

This is my Last and final Will
Good Luck to All of you.

Happy Labor Day.

(Crossposted at Pole Hill Sanitarium.)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Call Me Irresponsible

I've seen several websites alleging that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990.

Is it irresponsible to speculate that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990? According to Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal, "Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to."

I rest my case.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Friday, September 04, 2009

The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself

Let's Talk About Sex

UN Guide for Sex Ed Generates Opposition

A set of proposed international sex education guidelines aimed at reducing H.I.V. infections among young people has provoked criticism from conservative groups that say the program would be too explicit for young children and promote access to legal abortion as a right.
“In the absence of a vaccine for AIDS, education is the only vaccine we have,” said Mark Richmond, Unesco’s global coordinator for H.I.V. and AIDS and the director of the division that coordinates educational priorities. “Only 40 percent of young people aged 15 to 24 have accurate knowledge” of how the disease is transmitted, he said, even though that age group “accounts for 45 percent of all new cases.”
A draft issued in June has been attacked by conservative and religious groups, mainly in the United States, for recommending discussions of homosexuality, describing sexual abstinence as “only one of a range of choices available to young people” to prevent disease and unwanted pregnancy, and suggesting a discussion of masturbation with children as young as 5.

“If you ever have a situation where kids need to be taught earlier than their adolescence, this is not the way to do it,” said Colin Mason of the Population Research Institute, an anti-abortion organization based in Virginia. “It’s very graphic and encourages practices like masturbation, which conservative Christians and others feel are wrong.”
Where to begin!? I'll start here: IF they believed in abstinence, which they profess to believe in but don't practice, (e.g. Palin's daughter and ex-future son-in-law), then masturbation is a perfect outlet. Heck, even some infants figure it out on their own. It's not just natural, it's part of our coding, as is sex.

I'll make up my own stats here, (like Megan McArdle does), and say that 80% of men & women masturbate. The other 20% lie about it.

So what these christains believe, contrary to human behavior and all facts, is that no one should have sex, be told about sex, or even think about sex. Until they're married in a christain church, and even then they're not supposed to enjoy it.

No pun intended, but f**k that!
Sex is good, sex is healthy, and if it isn't you're not doing it right. (Insert (no pun intended) mandatory safe sex practices here.)

The church of If It Feels Good It Must Be Bad doesn't care that these repressive beliefs will result in the suffering and deaths of multiple thousands of people. They only want to impress their views on the world while trying to keep their own repression 'of god's will' a secret.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

School's out for summer

Back in the '70s when California was thinking about passing a motorcycle helmet law, bikers complained in Libertarian terms:
Gummint make me do it-bad!
It spoils my freedoms.
I don't need no stinking helmet.
Ever the helpful liberal, I had a modest proposal:
Fine, you don't want to wear a helmet? Then if you go down and bust a dent in your head so big I can see your feet through it (h/t Pam), then you will get NO taxpayer-funded medical care. No paramedics will lift a finger, no ER doc will order an MRI. Zip. Nada.

You will bleed out and die. You will lay in the road, possibly even begging to have your life saved. But it ain't gonna happen. Because you took yourself out of the risk pool by not following innocuous and helpful rules.
While that may seem harsh to those who find me a gentle fellow, I don't think it is at all. If proud Libertarians want their personal liberty that bad, they should have it, with all the attendant consequences.

Same fight happened with proposed seatbelt laws. My proposal: don't wear a seatbelt, don't receive triage. Same deal.

But now we have a new breed of phony rebels, those who are outraged that the black President Hussein Obama X will speak to kids at schools, because he may try to convince gullible child-types to eat their Wheaties or something:

Sailor linked to some of the crazy in his fine post below, so no need to copy his work. But here's my proposal to the conservatarians who are in such a snit because the President wants to talk to kids:
You don't want to have your kids listen to the President of the United States? Because WTF is wrong with you, are you stupid, or just dumb?

Then fine, take your kids out of school and have a patriotic day with them, since watching the black President talk to the people isn't patriotic. Take your guns & kids and go to a waterpark and ride the Slide into Socialism.

Splash in the Pool of Populism, play in the Communist Cove. It's all OK. but when you get back, there'll be some changes.

Remember No Child Left Behind? Well, your child has been left behind. Because if your school district isn't good enough for you, then you're not good enough for it.

All federal funding for your district has been rescinded, the dough has been pulled, the $$ is gone. And you should be happy, because you never really liked the Department of Education, with its fancy Secretary of Education (who isn't even a woman most of the time like a proper secretary).

Nope, you hater of all things socialized like roads, police, firefighters, military, Medicare. You want to grow a pair and act all adult?

OK, go!
Somehow, I think the point might be lost on them, however. Logic requires thought. I mean, you know what I'm saying . . .

Thursday, September 03, 2009

We Don't Need No Education

What's the latest wrongwing crazy? President Obama is giving a speech to the nation's school children. They are going nuts over it, and not just the crazies, but their leading politicians. Some schools are refusing to air it, parents are taking their kids out of school during it, and all because
the President will speak directly to the nation’s children and youth about persisting and succeeding in school. The president will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning.
The Department of Education offers educators a menu of classroom activities—created by its teachers-in-residence, the Teaching Ambassador Fellows—to help engage students in the address and stimulate classroom discussions about the importance of education.
Now I understand this is a different approach than the previous WH resident, who's contribution to education consisted of "is our children learning" and continuing reading "My Pet Goat" after being informed hijacked airliners were being flown into the twin towers.

But seriously folks, it's a special level of crazy, bat-$hit crazy, to find some socialist, Maoist, communist indoctrination conspiracy involved in this. Jeebus, it's a 15 minute speech with optional suggestions for classroom activities designed by teachers!

We shouldn't have a terror-threat color coding, we should have a crazy republican coding for danger to the country.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak