Monday, August 30, 2010


( apologies to Judy Collins ) 
By the time we got to Whitestock
We were half a billion strong
According to the FOX NEWS singalong
And every one else was lying....

Maybe it was just the Budweisers
In my cooler on the lawn
But Palin sure looked hot
But I couldn't hear a word that she was sayin.....

We are whitemen we are emboldened
And we'll buy some stuff that is golden
Cause what ever Glenn Beck says 
Makes us only feel better 
Much Better than Obama Care, you socialist commie asshole!

It's not our our fault, it's the others
You don't have to love your brothers
And if you don't have a green card
I'll shoot your beaner brown ass!!!!!!
(oops, that didn't rhyme, any more buds in the cooler, bro?)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gone, Gone, Gone...

The Righteous Brothers You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling 1964
Written by Phil Spector, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weill and produced by Phil Spector, which anyone would know because no other producer could layer sound like that on the four tape-tracks available in 1964.

It’s been reported that Bobby Hatfield hated how he was relegated to a chorus position while Bill Medley did most of the lead vocal. During the recording sessions, Hatfield supposedly asked Spector what he was supposed to do while Medley was singing and Spector replied, “You can go straight to the fucking bank.” Phil was the only person who felt so confident about the song. Being released, as it was, in the first flush of the British Invasion, the other writers thought the song was too slow and too long. At over four minutes, it was way longer than was usually allowed on AM radio in the early 60s. In fact, Spector, who refused to cut the song, had a time of 3.05 put on the single, thus tricking AM DJs about its length and enabling it to be played. As for the slowness of the vocal, when Spector initially played the finished recording to Barry Mann over the telephone, Mann said to him, “Phil, you have it on the wrong speed!”



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Squirrels

A few days ago, I was visiting a friend and we were talking about gardens and the overload of the end of summer. When everything seems to get ripe at once. My friend told  the third person present, "They're just like those little animals in the America, the squirrels, up there on the hill."
That's what we are, squirrels. That is what has been preoccupying my days lately. The picture above is just a small but esthetic portion of our hazelnut harvest. There were a few trees when we moved here, but we have planted at least 6, which are beginning to really bear. I love hazelnuts. There's a little work in the preparation. You have to take the leafy hats off, then crack them, which is simpler than walnuts. Then we freeze them.
I was able to squirrel away at least 8 kilos. Roasted hazelnuts are so good in salads and we have enough to use them in desserts. Here,  on the big old farms with oil presses, hazelnut oil is made. It's powerful stuff, a little goes along way, but cut with a little canola oil, it is a wonderful ingredient to dress a salad with.
I rarely thought about hazelnuts in America, they seemed to be only used as filler in cans of mixed nuts, but in Europe, they are an integral part of the cuisine of every country.
I guess you can get the extremely sinful hazel Italian Spread, Nutella in America?
Dangerous combination, chocolate and hazelnuts. Think Pralinee, the chocolate nutty filling in so many chocolates, or just chocoalte covered hazelnuts, various combinations of which are the staple of every luxury box of assorted European chocolates.
It's bounty time here, but that means kilos of tomatoes to prepare, green beans to pick and pre cook and freeze, aubergines, the (gasp) terminal assault of the zuchinnis...corn to precook and freeze...the beets and carrots....the leeks stay in the ground until we need them, Then there is the bounty of the neighbors, a phone call telling us that we can come over and pick as many little mirabelle plums as we want and we want them!
Soon, we will gather walnuts from a friends trees, after all this is the walnut capitol of the planet. I have already started to dig up potatoes.
Then there are the figs..................... 

Monday, August 23, 2010


I had to post this. Especially after I posted Ben l'Oncle Soul's version of Crazy, which was originally performed by Gnarls Barkely. This is the latest release by the voice of Gnarls Barkely, CeeLo Green, who sang the original version of Crazy. What a great voice, yes it's possibly offensive on a few levels, but it's too much fun to ignore! The video is really a brilliant piece of graphic design!
This is especially dedicated to all of my super secret admirers.

Start The Revolution

Any Revolution Has To Start With You

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Unbearable Burden Of Whiteness (A Poem)

Jim Hurlbut: You were born in Omaha, is that right?
Malcolm X:Yes sir.
Hurlbut: And your family left Omaha when you were what? One year old?
Malcolm X: I imagine about a year old.
Hurlbut: Now, why did they eave Omaha?
Malcolm X: Well, to my understanding… the Ku Klux Klan burned down one of their homes in Omaha.
Hurlbut: This made your family feel very unhappy actually?
Malcolm X: Well insecure if not unhappy.
Hurlbut: So they must have a somewhat prejudiced point of view — a personally prejudiced point of view. In other words, you cannot look at this in a broad, academic sort of way, really, can you?
Malcolm X: I think that’s incorrect, because despite the fact that that happened in Omaha and then when moved to Lansing, Michigan our home was burned down again — in fact, my father was killed by the Ku Klux Klan, and despite all of that, no one was more thoroughly integrated with whites than I. No one has lived more so in the society of whites than I. 
This portion of this famous interview has always fascinated me. Hurlbut is asserting that people of color cannot be objective about racism because they have experienced the violence of racism, which apparently “prejudices” you. Only white people can look at racism in a “broad, academic sort of way” because they are the architects of racism and only experience the benefits of white supremacism. And he’s sitting there saying this on national television as though he’s making sense. Hurlbut is pushing this intellectual depravity at Malcolm X as though he has found a clever way to discredit Malcolm’s perspective. This is what white racism does to white people: it makes them stupid. This is why I’ve often described whiteness as a cognitive trauma, a lifetime of conditioning which inhibits certain neural faculties and results in a certain kind of dissociative disorder. Only people who have dissociated themselves from their own humanity can happily picnic under swinging corpses.


I posted a piece by Ben l'Oncle Soul earlier this year, but this was the piece that I saw on French TV that convinced me. The song is Crazy, originally recorded by the British Mancusian Soul Artist, Gnarls Barkely, but Ben rechannels it via Otis Redding and the results? You tell me! This little Parisian guy has
what it takes and now I'm channeling him.

The Fallen Halo

Max Ernst was born on April 2, 1891. He was probably one of the most inventive, prolific artists of the 20th century. In earlier posts, I have shown some of his early dada collages which became the precursor of surrealism. He invented techniques which involved painting canvases and then pressing them together and letting the resulting chance configuratations of paint provoke his subconcious to hallucinate the final subject of the painting. He discovered a technique provoked by staring at the chance patterns in tile, wood and then rubbing them with graphite pencils to fix and compose his subconcious associations.
But, as a dadaist in the 1920's he was able to use his talent as a conventional figurative painter to convey ideas and concepts that provoked in a way that was accessible to the mass of viewers. This 1926 painting, The Blessed Virgin Chastising The Infant Jesus was a direct quote from the style of the renaissance painters like Giotto, who first discovered the evocotive use of perspective to highten the emotional focus of the subject of their work.
The painting itself was very controversial at the time and if exhibited in the window of New York City gallery today, could probably garner the same the response. It
si cute in a touchingly hut very offensive way. It crosses the line between controversy and kitsch in a way Jeff Koons could never dream of. I love the little halo of the infant Jesus fallen to the ground.

Friday, August 20, 2010

How Not To Kill A Vampire

A segment from nne of the greatest black comedy/horror movies ever made, Roman Polanski's The Fearless Vampirte Killers. No matter what you personally feal about Polanski, his genius is undeniable and as a comedic actor in the 1967 movie he wrote and directed, he proves it on another level. Tragically, this was the last movie his wife, Sharon Tate ever made before she was murdered by the Manson clan.
If you need a little advice as to how to really defeat the real life vampires we meet and have to deal with every day.... please read the following post....

How To Kill A Vampire

Have you got three minutes. Because that's all you need to learn how to defeat the Republican Right. Just read through this handy guide and you'll have everything you need to successfully debunk right-wing propaganda.
It's really that simple. First, you have to beat their ideology, which really isn't that difficult. At bottom, conservatives believe in a social hierarchy of "haves" and "have nots" that I call "corporate feudalism". They have taken this corrosive social vision and dressed it up with a "respectable" sounding ideology. That ideology is pure hogwash, and you can prove it.
But you have to do more than defeat the ideology. You have to defeat the "drum beat". You have to defeat the "propaganda machine", that brainwashes people with their slogans and catch-phrases. You've heard those slogans."Less government", "personal responsibility" and lots of flag waving. They are "shorthand" for an entire worldview, and the right has been pounding their slogans out into the public domain for getting on forty years.
So you need a really good slogan – a "counter-slogan" really, to "deprogram" the brainwashed. You need a "magic bullet" that quickly and efficiently destroys the effectiveness of their "drum beat". You need your own "drum beat" that sums up the right's position. Only your "drum beat" exposes the ugly reality of right-wing philosophy – the reality their slogans are meant to hide. Our slogan contains the governing concept that explains the entire right-wing agenda. That's why it works. You can see it in every policy, and virtually all of Republican rhetoric. And it's so easy to remember, and captures the essence of the Republican Right so well, we can pin it on them like a "scarlet letter".
Is there really a catch phrase – a "magic bullet" – that sums up the Republican Right in such a nice easy-to-grasp package. You better believe it, and it's downright elegant in its simplicity.
You want to know what that "magic bullet" is, don't you. Read on. You've still got two minutes.

Right-Wing Ideology in a Nutshell

When you cut right through it, right-wing ideology is just "dime-store economics" – intended to dress their ideology up and make it look respectable. You don't really need to know much about economics to understand it. They certainly don't. It all gets down to two simple words.
"Cheap labor". That's their whole philosophy in a nutshell – which gives you a short and pithy "catch phrase" that describes them perfectly. You've heard of "big-government liberals". Well they're "cheap-labor conservatives".
"Cheap-labor conservative" is a moniker they will never shake, and never live down. Because it's exactly what they are. You see, cheap-labor conservatives are defenders of corporate America – whose fortunes depend on labor. The larger the labor supply, the cheaper it is. The more desperately you need a job, the cheaper you'll work, and the more power those "corporate lords" have over you. If you are a wealthy elite – or a "wannabe" like most dittoheads – your wealth, power and privilege is enhanced by a labor pool, forced to work cheap.
Don't believe me. Well, let's apply this principle, and see how many right-wing positions become instantly understandable.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives don't like social spending or our "safety net". Why. Because when you're unemployed and desperate, corporations can pay you whatever they feel like – which is inevitably next to nothing. You see, they want you "over a barrel" and in a position to "work cheap or starve".
  • Cheap-labor conservatives don't like the minimum wage, or other improvements in wages and working conditions. Why. These reforms undo all of their efforts to keep you "over a barrel".
  • Cheap-labor conservatives like "free trade", NAFTA, GATT, etc. Why. Because there is a huge supply of desperately poor people in the third world, who are "over a barrel", and will work cheap.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives oppose a woman's right to choose. Why. Unwanted children are an economic burden that put poor women "over a barrel", forcing them to work cheap.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives don't like unions. Why. Because when labor "sticks together", wages go up. That's why workers unionize. Seems workers don't like being "over a barrel".
  • Cheap-labor conservatives constantly bray about "morality", "virtue", "respect for authority", "hard work" and other "values". Why. So they can blame your being "over a barrel" on your own "immorality", lack of "values" and "poor choices".
  • Cheap-labor conservatives encourage racism, misogyny, homophobia and other forms of bigotry. Why? Bigotry among wage earners distracts them, and keeps them from recognizing their common interests as wage earners.

The Cheap-Labor Conservative "Dirty Secret" : They Don't Really Like Prosperity

Maybe you don't believe that cheap-labor conservatives like unemployment, poverty and "cheap labor". Consider these facts.
Unemployment was 23 percent when FDR took office in 1933. It dropped to 2.5 percent by time the next Republican was in the White House in 1953. It climbed back to 6.5 percent by the end of the Eisenhower administration. It dropped to 3.5 percent by the time LBJ left office. It climbed over 5 percent shortly after Nixon took office, and stayed there for 27 years, until Clinton brought it down to 4.5 percent early in his second term.
That same period – especially from the late forties into the early seventies – was the "golden age" of the United States. We sent men to the moon. We built our Interstate Highway system. We ended segregation in the South and established Medicare. In those days, a single wage earner could support an entire family on his wages. I grew up then, and I will tell you that life was good – at least for the many Americans insulated from the tragedy in Vietnam, as I was.
These facts provide a nice background to evaluate cheap-labor conservative claims like "liberals are destroying America." In fact, cheap-labor conservatives have howled with outrage and indignation against New Deal liberalism from its inception in the 1930's all the way to the present. You can go to "Free Republic" or Hannity's forum right now, and find a cheap-labor conservative comparing New Deal Liberalism to "Stalinism".
  • Cheap-labor conservatives opposed virtually all of the New Deal, including every improvement in wages and working conditions.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives have a long and sorry history of opposing virtually every advancement in this country's development going right back to the American revolution.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives have hated Social Security and Medicare since their inception.
  • Many cheap-labor conservatives are hostile to public education. They think it should be privatized. But why are we surprised. Cheap-labor conservatives opposed universal public education in its early days. School vouchers are just a backdoor method to "resegregate" the public schools.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives hate the progressive income tax like the devil hates holy water.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives like budget deficits and a huge national debt for two reasons. A bankrupt government has a harder time doing any "social spending" – which cheap-labor conservatives oppose, and . . .
  • Wealthy cheap-labor conservatives like say, George W. Bush, buy the bonds and then earn tax free interest on the money they lend the government.[Check out Dubya's financial disclosures. The son of a bitch is a big holder of the T-bills that finance the deficit he is helping to expand.] The deficit created by cheap-labor conservatives while they posture as being "fiscally conservative" – may count as the biggest con job in American history.
  • "Free Trade", globalization, NAFTA and especially GATT are intended to create a world-wide "corporate playground" where national governments serve the interests of corporations – which means "cheap labor".
The ugly truth is that cheap-labor conservatives just don't like working people. They don't like "bottom up" prosperity, and the reason for it is very simple. lords have a harder time kicking them around. Once you understand this about the cheap-labor conservatives, the real motivation for their policies makes perfect sense. Remember, cheap-labor conservatives believe in social hierarchy and privilege, so the only prosperity they want is limited to them. They want to see absolutely nothing that benefits the guy – or more often the woman – who works for an hourly wage.
So there you have it, in one easy-to-remember phrase. See how easy it is to understand these cheap-labor conservatives. The more ignorant and destitute people there are – desperate for any job they can get – the cheaper the cheap-labor conservatives can get them to work.
Try it. Every time you respond to a cheap-labor conservative in letters to the editor, or an online discussion forum, look for the "cheap labor" angle. Trust me, you'll find it. I can even show you the "cheap labor" angle in things like the "war on drugs", and the absurd conservative opposition to alternative energy.
Next, make that moniker – cheap-labor conservatives – your "standard reference" to the other side. One of the last revisions I made to this article was to find every reference to "conservatives", "Republicans", "right-wingers", and "righties", and replace it with "cheap-labor conservatives". In fact, if you're a cheap-labor conservative reading this, you should be getting sick of that phrase right about now. Exxxxcellent.
If enough people will "get with the program", it won't be long before you can't look at an editorial page, listen to the radio, turn on the TV, or log onto your favorite message board without seeing the phrase "cheap labor conservatives" – and have plenty of examples to reinforce the message. By election day of 2004, every politically sentient American should understand exactly what a "cheap labor conservative" is, and what he stands for.
Now if you stop right here, you will have enough ammunition to hold your own with a cheap-labor conservative, in any public debate. You have your catch phrase, and you have some of the facts and history to give that phrase meaning.
But if you really want to rip the heart out of cheap-labor conservative ideology, you may want to invest just a little bit more effort. It still isn't all that complicated, though it is a bit more detailed than what we have covered so far.
To explore that detail, just click one of the links below.
For more detailed theoretical understanding, check out The Mythology of Wealth, or just browse through some of the articles in the sidebar.
Now go find some cheap labor conservatives, and pin that scarlet moniker on them.


“Less Government” is the central defining right-wing slogan. And yes, it’s all about “cheap labor”.
Included within the slogan “less government” is the whole conservative set of assumptions about the nature of the “free market” and government’s role in that market.. In fact, the whole “public sector/private sector” distinction is an invention of the cheap-labor conservatives. They say that the “private sector” exists outside and independently of the “public sector”. The public sector, according to cheap-labor ideology, can only “interfere” with the “private sector”, and that such “interference” is “inefficient” and “unprincipled”
Using this ideology, the cheap-labor ideologue paints himself as a defender of “freedom” against “big government tyranny”. In fact, the whole idea that the “private sector” is independent of the public sector is totally bogus. In fact, “the market” is created by public laws, public institutions and public infrastructure.
But the cheap-labor conservative isn’t really interested in “freedom”. What the he wants is the “privatized tyranny” of industrial serfdom, the main characteristic of which is – you guessed it – “cheap labor”.
For proof, you need only look at exactly what constitutes “big government tyranny” and what doesn’t. It turns out that cheap-labor conservatives are BIG supporters of the most oppressive and heavy handed actions the government takes.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives are consistent supporters of the generous use of capital punishment. They say that “government can’t do anything right” – except apparently, kill people. Indeed, they exhibit classic conservative unconcern for the very possibility that the government might make a mistake and execute the wrong man.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives complain about the “Warren Court” “handcuffing the police” and giving “rights to criminals”. It never occurs to them, that our criminal justice system is set up to protect innocent citizens from abuses or just plain mistakes by government officials – you know, the one’s who can’t do anything right.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives support the “get tough” and “lock ‘em up” approach to virtually every social problem in the spectrum. In fact, it’s the only approach they support. As for the 2,000,000 people we have in jail today – a higher percentage of our population than any other nation on earth – they say our justice system is “too lenient”.
  • Cheap-labor conservative – you know, the ones who believe in “freedom” – say our crime problem is because – get this – we’re too “permissive”. How exactly do you set up a “free” society that isn’t “permissive”?
  • Cheap-labor conservatives want all the military force we can stand to pay for and never saw a weapons system they didn’t like.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives support every right-wing authoritarian hoodlum in the third world.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives support foreign assassinations, covert intervention in foreign countries, and every other “black bag” operation the CIA can dream up, even against constitutional governments, elected by the people of those countries.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives support “domestic surveillance” against “subversives” – where “subversive” means “everybody but them”.
  • Cheap-labor believers in “freedom” think it’s the government’s business if you smoke a joint or sleep with somebody of your own gender.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives support our new concentration camp down at Guantanamo Bay. They also support these “secret tribunals” with “secret evidence” and virtually no judicial review of the trials and sentences. Then they say that liberals are “Stalinists”.
  • And let’s not forget this perennial item on the agenda. Cheap-labor conservatives want to “protect our national symbol” from “desecration”. They also support legislation to make the Pledge of Allegiance required by law. Of course, it is they who desecrate the flag every time they wave it to support their cheap-labor agenda. [Ouch! That was one of those “hits” you can hear up in the “nosebleed” seats.]
Sounds to me like the cheap-labor conservatives have a peculiar definition of “freedom”. I mean, just what do these guys consider to be “tyranny”.
That’s easy. Take a look.
  • “Social spending” otherwise known as “redistribution”. While they don’t mind tax dollars being used for killing people, using their taxes to feed people is “stealing”.
  • Minimum wage laws.
  • Every piece of legislation ever proposed to improve working conditions, including the eight hour day, OSHA regulations, and even Child Labor laws.
  • Labor unions, who “extort” employers by collectively bargaining.
  • Environmental regulations and the EPA.
  • Federal support and federal standards for public education.
  • Civil rights legislation. There are still cheap-labor conservatives today, who were staunch defenders of “Jim Crow” – including conspicuously Buckley’s “National Review”. Apparently, federal laws ending segregation were “tyranny”, but segregation itself was not.
  • Public broadcasting – which is virtually the only source for classical music, opera, traditional theatre, traditional American music, oh yes, and Buckley’s “Firing Line”. This from the people constantly braying about the decay of “the culture”. The average cost of Public Television for each American is a whopping one dollar a year. “Its tyranny I tell you. Enough’s enough!”
See the pattern? Cheap-labor conservatives support every coercive and oppressive function of government, but call it “tyranny” if government does something for you – using their money, for Chrissake. Even here, cheap-labor conservatives are complete hypocrites. Consider the following expenditures:
  • 150 billion dollars a year for corporate subsidies.
  • 300 billion dollars a year for interest payments on the national debt – payments that are a direct transfer to wealthy bond holders, and buy us absolutely nothing.
  • Who knows how many billions will be paid to American companies to rebuild Iraq – which didn’t need rebuilding three months ago.
  • That’s all in addition to the Defense budget – large chunks of which go to corporate defense contractors.
Is the pattern becoming clearer? These cheap-labor Republicans have no problem at all opening the public purse for corporate interests. It’s “social spending” on people who actually need assistance that they just “can’t tolerate”.
And now you know why. Destitute people work cheaper, while a harsh police state keeps them suitably terrorized.
For a short primer on the importance of a strong public sector, see:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I have been looking for this piece on YouTube for a while...Situation off of the 1970 Jeff Beck Group album, Rough And Ready.
This was a pretty cool band and reflected Becks first attempts at fusing Jazz and Rock.
After this band ended in 1972, Beck was ready for the full blown Jazz/Rock Fusion of Wired and Blow by Blow.
Bobby Tench was the vocalist, Max Middleton: keyboards, Clive Chaman: bass, Cozy Powell: drums and of course, Beck on guitar. I hadn't heard this for ages.

Full Speed Backwards! Into The Past!

New York's backward history: In the mid-1600s the notoriously anti-Semitic Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant turned down the request of the small Jewish community to build a synagogue. And in the early 1700s,  it was illegal for Catholic priests to enter New York. Such intolerance reflected the abiding sentiments of the time. Jews and Catholics were disfavored, even despised. Now it's Muslims.

In December 2009, The Cordoba House project was hailed by liberals and conservtives alike as a good idea. Today, less than a year later, 7 out of 10 Americans say they oppose the project. How did this controversy arise. How did Cordoba House become so toxic, so fast?
Here's a timeline:
  • Dec. 8, 2009: The Times publishes a lengthy front-page look at the Cordoba project. "We want to push back against the extremists," Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the lead organizer, is quoted as saying. Two Jewish leaders and two city officials, including the mayor's office, say they support the idea, as does the mother of a man killed on 9/11. An FBI spokesman says the imam has worked with the bureau. Besides a few third-tier right-wing blogs, including Pamela Geller's Atlas Shrugs site, no one much notices the Times story.
  • Dec. 21, 2009: Conservative media personality Laura Ingraham interviews Abdul Rauf's wife, Daisy Khan, while guest-hosting "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox. In hindsight, the segment is remarkable for its cordiality. "I can't find many people who really have a problem with it," Ingraham says of the Cordoba project, adding at the end of the interview, "I like what you're trying to do." (This segment also includes onscreen the first use that we've seen of the misnomer "ground zero mosque.") After the segment — and despite the front-page Times story — there were no news articles on the mosque for five and a half months, according to a search of the Nexis newspaper archive.
  • May 6, 2010: After a unanimous vote by a New York City community board committee to approve the project, the AP runs a story. It quotes relatives of 9/11 victims (called by the reporter), who offer differing opinions. The New York Post, meanwhile, runs a story under the inaccurate headline, "Panel Approves 'WTC' Mosque." Geller is less subtle, titling her post that day, "Monster Mosque Pushes Ahead in Shadow of World Trade Center Islamic Death and Destruction." She writes on her Atlas Shrugs blog, "This is Islamic domination and expansionism. The location is no accident. Just as Al-Aqsa was built on top of the Temple in Jerusalem." (To get an idea of where Geller is coming from, she once suggested that Malcolm X was Obama's real father. Seriously.)
  • May 7, 2010: Geller's group, Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), launches "Campaign Offensive: Stop the 911 Mosque!" (SIOA 's associate director is Robert Spencer, who makes his living writing and speaking about the evils of Islam.) Geller posts the names and contact information for the mayor and members of the community board, encouraging people to write. The board chair later reports getting "hundreds and hundreds" of calls and e-mails from around the world.
  • May 8, 2010: Geller announces SIOA's first protest against what she calls the "911 monster mosque" for May 29. She and Spencer and several other members of the professional anti-Islam industry will attend. (She also says that the protest will mark the dark day of "May 29, 1453, [when] the Ottoman forces led by the Sultan Mehmet II broke through the Byzantine defenses against the Muslim siege of Constantinople." The outrage-peddling New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser argues in a note at the end of her column a couple of days later that "there are better places to put a mosque."
  • May 13, 2010: Peyser follows up with an entire column devoted to "Mosque Madness at Ground Zero." This is a significant moment in the development of the "ground zero mosque" narrative: It's the first newspaper article that frames the project as inherently wrong and suspect, in the way that Geller has been framing it for months. Peyser in fact quotes Geller at length and promotes the anti-mosque protest of Stop Islamization of America, which Peyser describes as a "human-rights group." Peyser also reports — falsely — that Cordoba House's opening date will be Sept. 11, 2011.
Within a month, Rudy Giuliani had called the mosque a "desecration." Within another month, Sarah Palin had tweeted her famous "peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate" tweet. Peter King and Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty followed suit — with political reporters and television news programs dutifully covering "both sides" of the controversy.
Geller had succeeded beyond her wildest dreams and handed the Fundamentalist Muslims a truly priceless recruiting tool. Ready made propaganda that the Conservative American noise machine made into reality.Hate breeds hate. It's a fact of life.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rappin Rodney

I've had a frustrating evening dealing with, it's late and I am posting this blast form the past. Rodney Dangerfield, Rappin Rodney.
I miss Rodney Dangerfield. In 1979, I went to his club, Dangerfields on First Ave and E.61st Street in Manhattan to see him perform. I was in the company of 2 very attractive women and was sitting in the front of the stage. I became Rodneys act...I was laughing so hard, I was crying, I became incoherent! After the show, when we were leaving, Rodney came over and said, "Hey, kid, no hard feelings!" He was laughing. I told him it was the high point of my life to be the butt of his filthy one liners and got his autograph. To me, it was as if I had gone to Rome and was blessed by the pope!
Hopefully, if I can get my customer service issue settled with expedia, Microdot will be embarking on a North American Tour on September 21st where he will purchase a new imac!

The Majestic Plastic Bag

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Slime Moulds Would Probably Become Teabaggers....

A slime mould oozes into a fancy restaurant and is offered a wine list. The list has only 2 bottles, one priced at $7.00 and another better bottle at $25.00. The $25.00 bottle seems too expensive and the slime mold, before absorbing the antipasto tray chooses the the $7.00 bottle.

The next week, the slime mold returns, ready to engage in its asexual reporduction process and is taking itself out for another nice meal to get "in the mood" and is presented the wine list and there is another bottle on the list! It is a vintage bottle of 1998 Petrus, priced at a staggering $1,200. Suddenly, the $25.00 bottle doesn't seem all that expensive, especially when it's trying to score, and this time it takes it instead.

Businesses use this tactic all the time-presenting customers with options that make the middle of the road, non choice, seem more attractive. The $25.00 bottle costs the same either way, but in one scenario, it looks crazy and in the other, it is a steal. The value to the average, non thinking slime mould depends on the things around it. Economists refer to this as "irrational".

But now, this same irrational decision making process has been found to operate in much the same manner when the average, nonthinking dumbed down FOX Network addicted voter is presented with the same dillemma.
Say, an average FOX viewer is presented with the choice between 2 candidates, one, a Republican Conservative who preaches a sort of free market doctrine that would  protect the wealth of the upper classes and protect corporations and investment firms from interferring regulations or a liberal Democrat that preaches a doctine of social responsiblity and corporate regulation.
The next time he tries to think about these issues...he is presented with a new possiblity. All politicians are corrupt so, why not vote for none of the above and join the Teabag Movement?

When you think about the slime mould (physarum polycephalum), a large single celled  creature with out a brain that spends most of its life as a large mat (a plasmodium) that can send out tendrils to seek out food sources, they are a very sophisticated organism, in fact they might be a little more sophisticated than your average FOX NEWS viewer!

In fact, Japanese researchers have found that if they places the mould among food sources arranged like Tokyo's Urban centers, it created a network that closely resembled Tokyo's actual railway system. The slimy network was optimised to transport nutrients to the main plasmodium. This is way more sophisticated than your average FOX viewer and the path to the refrigerator, the microwave, the bags of chips, the trips to the 7-11, the beer, the Beer-Nuts...24 hour Krogers...cheese filled pretzel logs...the donuts....etc..etc..If you'd like to learn more about slime moulds and the striking similiarities with the human decision making process , check out this link at Discover. If you'd like to watch a slime mould choose to join the tea baggers, watch the video.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

La Femme de 100 Tetes

In the late 1920's, Max Ernst became fascinated with steel cut engraved illustrations in old books. He took images from novels, scientific journals, encyclopedias and used them to make collages. The steel cut, mechanical technique used for the commercial illustrations of the 19th century became a conduit for provoking his creative subconcious. He was able to produce disturbing images that seemed to be seamlessly perfect in a graphic sense...
The results were a few "Novels". Collections of images that were connected by a surrealist theme. One "Novel" was Une Semaine de Bonte (A Week of Goodness) and another was 
Le Femme de 100 Tetes (The Woman With 100 Heads). This is a page from La Femme.

Quote Of The Day

"The essence of Christianity is told to us in the Garden of Eden story.
The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because wanted to find out what was
going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just kept your fucking mouth shut
and hadn't asked any questions. "Get smart and I'll fuck you over!" sayeth the Lord.
Is this not an absolutely anti-intellectual religion?"
Frank Zappa (1940-1993)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Devolutionary Theory

The lights are going out all over America — literally. Colorado Springs has made headlines with its desperate attempt to save money by turning off a third of its streetlights, but similar things are either happening or being contemplated across the nation, from Philadelphia to Fresno.

Meanwhile, a country that once amazed the world with its visionary investments in transportation, from the Erie Canal to the Interstate Highway System, is now in the process of unpaving itself: in a number of states, local governments are breaking up roads they can no longer afford to maintain, and returning them to gravel.

And a nation that once prized education — that was among the first to provide basic schooling to all its children — is now cutting back. Teachers are being laid off; programs are being canceled; in Hawaii, the school year itself is being drastically shortened. And all signs point to even more cuts ahead.

We’re told that we have no choice, that basic government functions . . . are no longer affordable.

This is the Reagan Revolution. I hate to be blunt, but anyone who voted twice for Reagan voted for this — the devolution of America.

One of the witnesses of the Kent State Massacre of protesting students and innocent bystanders by the Ohio National Guard was a young Mark Mothersbaugh, who states that this was turning point in his life. He realized that America was devolving and as an artist and musician, he turned his prescience into art. Art and music have always seemed to be the precursors of social reality and Mark and his friends created the band Devo. Devo was never a part of any trend. It was decidedly and emphatically nerdy, put together from the detrius of a collapsing was rock deconstructed. Devo was so alien and strange that that they became their own kind of cool.
During the Reagan years, Devo was the perfect sound track. The sound of things falling apart.
Recently there was an Op-Ed Piece in the NY Times by David Stockman, who was the director of the Office of Management and Budget during the Reagan Administration. In his piece, "Four Deformations of the Apocalypse" he explains how his GOP destroyed the U.S. Economy. Not, "is destroying the economy" but "THE GOP HAS ALREADY DESTROYED THE AMERICAN ECONOMY", setting up an American Apocalypse.

Stockman rushes into the ring swinging like a boxer: "If there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. The nation's public debt ... will soon reach $18 trillion." It screams "out for austerity and sacrifice." But instead, the GOP insists "that the nation's wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase."

Stockman says "the second unhappy change in the American economy has been the extraordinary growth of our public debt. In 1970 it was just 40% of gross domestic product, or about $425 billion. When it reaches $18 trillion, it will be 40 times greater than in 1970." Who's to blame? Not big-spending Dems, says Stockman, but "from the Republican Party's embrace, about three decades ago, of the insidious doctrine that deficits don't matter if they result from tax cuts."

Finally, thanks to Republican policies that let us "live beyond our means for decades by borrowing heavily from abroad, we have steadily sent jobs and production offshore," while at home "high-value jobs in goods production ... trade, transportation, information technology and the professions shrunk by 12% to 68 million from 77 million."

As the apocalypse draws near, Stockman sees a class-rebellion, a new revolution, a war against greed and the wealthy. Soon. The trigger will be the growing gap between economic classes: No wonder "that during the last bubble (from 2002 to 2006) the top 1% of Americans -- paid mainly from the Wall Street casino -- received two-thirds of the gain in national income, while the bottom 90% -- mainly dependent on Main Street's shrinking economy -- got only 12%. This growing wealth gap is not the market's fault. It's the decaying fruit of bad economic policy."

Get it? The sound of things falling apart.It's Devolution and I can't get me no satisfaction.....
I can't get no...uh no no no
Hey hey hey
That's what I say.......

Guitar Army

Again, a piece by one of greatest white punk/soul bands ever from Detroit/Ann Arbor, The Rationals. This was on their first album from 1968, 
a truly lost masterpiece.
I just saw that a 2 cd compilation of The Rationals was recently released and for some inexplicable reason, this song, Guitar Army was not on it!
A great piece of high energy music that actually was somehow a political manifesto for the White Panther Party in Ann Arbor. Politics you can dance to,
that can't be bad!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How To Create A Perfect Terroist

By now, the controversy over the construction of an Islamic Center in Lower Manhattan, near "Ground Zero" has become old news. But the histrionics surrounding the controversy are as usual, the only sounds that keep echoing. 
Newt Gingrich has tried to get as much political mileage out of it as possible with the paranoiac parroting of the claim that the construction would "embolden terroists" and that if a 'mosque" which Cordoba House is decidely not, is allowed in lower Manhattan, then Saudi Arabia should have to allo Christian Churches in Riyadh. 
I won't even go into the disjointed illogicity of his arguments, except to point out that inspite of any other  rational voices, this is what paranoiac teabag America chooses to hear and believe.
I won't go into the hypocrisy of  Rabbi Marvin Hier, of the Weisenthal Center, who publically opposed the building of the Center in this location in Manhattan, because of the "sensitivity" of the site while being part of an organization which is engaged in a very international controversy over its plans to build a "Museum Of Tolerance" in Jerusalem on top of a 2000 year old Arab/Palestinian cemetary.
This is what this grandstanding has done in the rest of America:
At one time, neighbors who did not want mosques in their backyards said their concerns were over traffic, parking and noise — the same reasons they might object to a church or a synagogue. But now the gloves are off.

In all of the recent conflicts, opponents have said their problem is Islam itself. They quote passages from the Koran and argue that even the most Americanized Muslim secretly wants to replace the Constitution with Islamic Shariah law.

These local skirmishes make clear that there is now widespread debate about whether the best way to uphold America’s democratic values is to allow Muslims the same religious freedom enjoyed by other Americans, or to pull away the welcome mat from a faith seen as a singular threat.

What is this accomplishing?
Simply, this is how Paranoiac Conservative American will create its own worst nightmare.
I have read posts on fundamentalist christain blogs idiots who brag about their stalking and private surveillance of their local mosques. What do they see? Nothing yet, but they are outside the window ready in case anything "funny" should happen to occur. We see an upswing in the incidences of desecratuion and vandalism of mosques....
But the truth is revealed in a New York Times article which highlighted an academic study that concludes the opposite of what Gingrich and his uninformed ilk are claiming, finding that many mosques deter terrorism:
A two-year study by a group of academics on American Muslims and terrorism concluded that contemporary mosques are actually a deterrent to the spread of militant Islam and terrorism. The study was conducted by professors with Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy and the University of North Carolina. It disclosed that many mosque leaders had put significant effort into countering extremism by building youth programs, sponsoring antiviolence forums and scrutinizing teachers and texts.
“Our research suggests that initiatives that treat Muslim-Americans as part of the solution to this problem are far more likely to be successful,” said David Schanzer, one of the authors of the study. Co-author David Kurzman added, “Muslim-American communities have been active in preventing radicalization. This is one reason that Muslim-American terrorism has resulted in fewer than three dozen of the 136,000 murders committed in the United States since 9/11.”
The Center for American Progress recently held an event on identifying, preventing, and responding to domestic terrorism, with Schanzer and other experts. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) was the keynote speaker, and he pointed to the “critical role Muslims in America have played and must continue to play in fighting domestic violent extremism.” For example, as ThinkProgress highlighted, Aliou Niasse, a Senagalese Muslim immigrant who works as a vendor in Times Square, was the first to bring the smoking car that was part of the failed Times Square bombing plot to the police’s attention.
Unfortunately, the battle at Ground Zero is playing out across the country. In Murfreesboro, Tennessee, protesters are similarly disparaging a proposed mosque. In June, Lou Ann Zelenik — a Republican candidate for Congress in that area — claimed the mosque was “designed to fracture the moral and political foundation of Middle Tennessee.” Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R), who is running for governor, wondered whether Islam is a “cult” and said Muslims “crossed a line when they start trying to bring Sharia Law into the state of Tennessee.”
Additionally, supporters of these Islamic centers are not the ones who are being extremists — it’s the opponents who are ramping up. Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), run by self-described “anti-jihadist” and right-wing blogger Pamela Geller — has launched a series of bus ads reading, “Fatwa on your head? Is your family or community threatening you? Leaving Islam? Got questions? Get answers!” in major cities. Opponents of a planned mosque in southern California have ominously warned of a “confrontational atmosphere” if the construction plans move forward:
The pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, just across a cul-de-sac from the site of the mosque, said the two religions “mix like oil and water” and predicted a “confrontational atmosphere” if the project moves forward.
“The Islamic foothold is not strong here, and we really don’t want to see their influence spread,” said Pastor Bill Rench.
There is a concern with all the rumors you hear about sleeper cells and all that. Are we supposed to be complacent just because these people say it’s a religion of peace? Many others have said the same thing,” he said.
Last Friday, the Connecticut Post reported that approximately “a dozen right-wing Christians, carrying placards and yelling ‘Islam is a lie,” confronted Muslim worshippers outside a mosque. Using a bullhorn, the protesters yelled “Jesus hates Muslims,” and one protester “shoved a placard at a group of young children leaving the mosque.”

Historically, we have seen the results of systematic religious persecution of the Jews. A religion and race totally traumatized by centuries of persecution which culminated in the Holocaust. The result? The perfect terrorist state. Untouchable and totally self contained rationalization of any atrocity they think they need to commit to shout to the world, "NEVER AGAIN!"  The triumph of Zionism. Think about it.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Another White Trash Moment....

 (via boingboing)
GQ quotes an anonymous woman who claims to have been kidnapped and forced to take bong hits during her college years by Tea Party spokesdouche and segregation apologist Rand Paul (famously humiliated a few months back by Rachel Maddow):
He and Randy came to my house, they knocked on my door, and then they blindfolded me, tied me up, and put me in their car. They took me to their apartment and tried to force me to take bong hits. They'd been smoking pot." After the woman refused to smoke with them, Paul and his friend put her back in their car and drove to the countryside outside of Waco, where they stopped near a creek. "They told me their god was 'Aqua Buddha' and that I needed to bow down and worship him," the woman recalls. "They blindfolded me and made me bow down to 'Aqua Buddha' in the creek. I had to say, 'I worship you Aqua Buddha, I worship you.' At Baylor, there were people actively going around trying to save you and we had to go to chapel, so worshiping idols was a big no-no.
GQ Exclusive: Rand Paul's Kooky College Days (Hint: There's a Secret Society Involved)(via HuffPo, via Greg Mitchell)
Photo, via GQ: A 1983 photo of Rand Paul (dressed in black robe and straw hat) with fellow members of the NoZe secret society he is reported to have been a member of in college ("[A] cross between Yale's Skull & Bones and Harvard's Lampoon").

Saturday, August 07, 2010

The Hiroshima Maidens

Yesterday was the 65th anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb used as a weapon against a civilian population. I found this excerpt from the movie called White Light/Black Rain made in 2007 by Stephan Okazaki.
It is very poignant because it features a Japanese Methodist Minister, The Reverend Kiyoshi Tanimoto who was a witness to the bombing. He survived because as luck would have it, he was helping a friend move to a suburb of Hiroshima and was outside of the immediate blast zone.
He became a very prominent anti nuclear activist and sponsored a project to bring victims of the blast to the USA for plastic surgery. This excerpt documents a very bizarre, but ultimately moving encounter between The Reverend Tanimoto and the captain, Robert Lewis, of the Enola Gay, the plane which dropped the bomb, on the television program, This Is Your Life in 1955.
Tanimoto was not informed that Lewis was going to be on the set.
Lewis went on to become an anti nuclear activist in his own right.....
This section of the documentary features narration by one of the Hiroshima Maidens as they came to be called who were brought to the USA for reconstructive surgery.

Auto Portrait

Another piece by Max Ernst. This was a self portrait dating from 1919...
Ernst was one of the prime movers of the Dada Movement. He relentlessly, restlessly invented and inovated new ways of seeing and creating art that forced one to see.
I will present more art by Ernst and attempt to reveal who he was and his history.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Leave Me Alone

Ambroise Willuame, Christophe Musset and Jeremie Arache perform a style of music that has been labled Pop de Chambre...or Chamber Pop. They are collectively known as Revolver and started as an accoustic trio with the emphasis on harmony.
They released a cd in 2009 called Music For A While. They write and sing in English, though they were all born in the mid 1980's in Paris. They have had one hit off of the record, Get Around Town, but this song is more representitive of the Pop de Chambre style and reflects their Beatlesque influence....

Like A Rolling Stone 2010

Your Life? Your Country? Your Money?
Your Choices? I wanna buy me some Cheetos, man and check out my buddies on facebook...Don't talk to me about the stuff in the food....
Don't tell me I have to lose me some weight! Don't tell me how to run my fuckin life!
When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone ?

Teknikal Diffeeculteezzzz

I have to apologize for my lack of posting lately...My original imac blueberry computer from 1998 is dying a slow and painful death. Sometimes it just won't comeo out of hibernation for a day...
I've done a lot ot keep it going and upgrading it to the max, but I have to get a new machine.
I am going to get a new imac next month, but until then? I am at the mercy of the senile micro synapses of this cruel and merciless machine.....

Monday, August 02, 2010

Monday, Monday

Sometimes, throwing a nice big brick into the washing machine of reality seems like exactly the right thing to do.

Sunday, August 01, 2010


Yesterday, the city of Albi on The Tarn River in the Haute Garrone in South Western France was officially named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I was pleased because I have always loved to visit Albi. The town itself is a very homogenous blend of red brick buildings. The red brick was used because the region doesn't have limestone and the sandstone quarried there is very soft.

The city is very important in a historical sense and the story of the Albigeois Crusade is
one of the episodes that made the power of the Catholic Church and unified France as a nation. Albi was a center of the Cathar Religion and it was brutally suppressed. The supression of the Cathars gave France a reason to crush the independant Counts who ruled the region. In fact, French was not spoken in the region at the time, it was another language, Occitan. The southwestern region of France is still referred to Langedoc. Oc is the word that meant yes. In recent years after centuries of suppression. Occitanian culture is enjoying a revival. There are even OC rock and rap records. Here, where I live, many of the old people still speak it. It was a regional language, written, but as a spoken tongue, it varied greatly because it was always local dialects.

When the Catholic Church and the French of the North vanquished the Cathars, to establish their presence and might, they built The Cathedral of Ste. Cecile. It was started in the late 13th century and finished in the 15th. It is perhaps the largest brick structure in the world. It is a regional gothic style. The brick construction made it possible to eliminate the buttresses and supports, the effect is brute force, almost industrial, but in spite of this, For me, it is one of the most awe inspiring buildings I have ever seen.
Inside the stark bulding, the incredible open space is one of most wildly painted places I have ever seen. There is a rood screen carved of limestone that is indescribable.
The altar painting was reputedly art directed by Bosch and is considered to be the largest composed painting in the world. The organ is the 3rd largest in France.
There is so much more in Albi, Toulouse-Lautrec was a native and the best collection of his work is in the museum in the Bishops Palace, below the cathedral on the River.
I can recommend some great restaurants if you are going to visit. For now, perhaps, if you'd like, here is a recital on the huge organ with some pictures of the site. The musician is Francis Chapelet and he is playing a modern impressionistic improvisation.