Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sure the remake by the Cohen Brothers was pretty good,
 but I liked the original much better...

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Alternative Republican Health Care Plan

Republicans are in complete upheaval over Obamacare, fired up by the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the law yesterday. Even blaming it on Chief Justice Roberts Epilepsy medication? They have continuously claimed that the government is ramming this legislation down the throats of the American people, and now they are calling it an unwanted financial burden on everyday Americans. Glenn Beck even wants you to fight this financial burden by sending him 30 buck for this lousy T Shirt! In fact, the individual mandate — the portion of the law that Republicans most vociferously oppose — wouldn’t even affect most Americans.
It might be time for Republicans to take a look back at their own record of health care legislation that they did like — and that forced American people, particularly women, into a lot of things:

Forcing women to get transvaginal ultrasounds: Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell
wanted to force every woman seeking an abortion to go through the extremely uncomfortable and medically unnecessary procedure of a transvaginal ultrasound — sticking a medical wand far into a woman’s vagina to get a clearer ultrasound image.
Ordering women to cremate and bury their miscarried fetus: A huge abortion omnibus bill in Michigan could force women who miscarry to cremate the miscarried fetuses. This comes at no small expense to the woman: cremation of a fetus costs hundreds of dollars, and interment can be additional thousands. The bill has been passed by the Michigan House, and is awaiting a vote by the Michigan Senate.
Requiring doctors to lie to female patients: In Kansas, Republicans tried to force doctors to tell women that they
faced risk of cancer from having an abortion. That is patently untrue, and making doctors say that it was true would be, in effect, requiring them to lie to their patients.
Making a dying woman consult two doctors before she can get a life-saving abortion: The New Hampshire legislature just overrode a veto by the Governor, forcing through a law that bans “partial birth” abortions. The law only reinforces federal law, but has the additional requirement that any woman who is exempt from the abortion ban because her life is at risk must visit not one but two doctors before she can get the procedure to save her life. For many rural women, especially those facing life-threatening conditions, this is near impossible.
Mandating people pay extra to give medical device companies a tax break: Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) worked so hard to protect medical device companies from having to pay, that he has instead passed their costs onto the consumer — regular Americans — by increasing the cost of health coverage.
We have seen today the totally off the wall to wall responses to the utter panic the wing nut Republican Party is giving to this decision. Rand Paul is disputing the authority of the Supreme Court  and calling for insurrection when it contradicts his personal agenda and lobbyist payments along with wingnut extraordinaire Mike Vanderboegh, who is actively promoting the idea of an armed insurrection. Heck even Limbaugh said he would go to Costa Rica, if he could get a few tons of Viagra shipped to him there.
I'm not totally sold on this idea, but maybe the Republicans will take my my advice and adopt amended version of the New Hampshire State Motto this as their next inspirational PR move...

Wedding Night

Swedish duo, von Thord demonstrating the proper usage of accoustic cello and bass

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The End

I had to publish this just so I could justify making you listen to John Lennon's 15 second "guitar solo", possibly his only recorded guitar solo in the instrumental break leading into The End....

Monday, June 25, 2012

Thank You Mizzus Romney!

This is a fairly obscure corner of France. Lots of walnuts and apples. Nice scenery, but you can't ski here and the Ocean is pretty far away. We've got history, but just north of here in The Correze is the center of the equestrian world of France, Pompadour. Every year rich horse owners from all over the world come here to rub elbows, live in chateaux and compete in the dressage events. It\s a good deal and a great tradition for a traditionally poor agricultural region.
Dressage is like "horse ballet". This move is called "le piaffe"
a calm trot in place
Every year, Ann Romney appears and holds an open house. She ships her horse here and has a few permanently stabled in a luxury Harrass. This year, her prize horse, Rafalca is going to compete in the Olympics in London. Ralfaca already has taken a few prizes in Pompadour and in the Netherlands this year. It's a very special sport. 
Buit Ralfaca is only one of many horses that Ann owns, She has coyly admitted that Mittens doesn't even know how many horses she has. He doesn't care...It keeps her busy, it's uhh...therapy. (Please, don't make me attend a pity party for Ann Romney because her horsies are therapy for her MS, which is in remission. I guarantee you, I have more real first hand knowledge of the devastation that MS can cause a real American family than you can bear) And anyway, you know what, it hardly costs Mittens a red cent.
Rafalca, alone, nets the family a $77,000 tax credit, $2,000 of which, according to Current's calculations, is for what they spent on health care for the horse. The average American family only spends $1,557 a year on health care.
Current made an infrographic breaking down where exactly the $77,000 tax credit the Romneys registered for the horse on their 2010 returns breaks down when put up against the average American family. The tax credit for a child is only $1,000 so Rafalca is already 77 times more valuable than your little preciouses. And yes, the horse has a fantastic health care plan.
Unsurprisingly, Rafalca outpaces the average family in shelter and transportation. A horse that's basically a fashion model with rhythm couldn't live in squalor or travel lightly. Rafalca pays about $2,400 a month for rent, versus the American family's $1,362. Rafalca also spends about ten times as much on clothing in the space of a year than the average family. It's hard out there for a dressage horse.
The only category the American family outspends Rafalca on: food. Does this mean we need to retire the phrase "eat like a horse" and replace it with "eat like a family"?

Ann has had her problems with her hobby. She recently sold her old super star horse, Super Hit. 
Last year, she was sued for fraud over Super Hit.
She and her trainers, Jan and Amy Ebeling, sold Super Hit to Catherine Norris, and during the pre-sale examination of the horse, it was found that Super Hit was massively drugged up with four pain killers in her system. It was alleged by Norris that Romney and the Eberlings drugged the horse to cover the fact that the horse was incapable of preforming dressage, due to a chronic joint injury that resulted in several bouts of lameness between 2003 and 2008.
The veterinarian examining the records of Super Hit was seemingly shocked by what he found. Three of the drugs found in Super Hit’s system were Butorphanol, Delomidine, Romifidine, and Xylatine, three of which were sedative pain killers, and the other of which was a narcotic pain killer:
“In my 38 years of practice, I have never come across a drug screen such as this where the horse has been administered so many different medications at the same time. Super Hit’s drug screen finding would raise a significant concern for any veterinarian as to the way the horse presented during the examination on that day.”
It would also raise significant concern over the people who owned the horse. An animal is a living thing, but to someone like Ann Romney, it’s a commodity to be traded, and if that can’t be done above board, it’s hardly surprising that she would take the other route.

My advice to Ann, honey, there is another route...and if you want to make Mittens happy and help him with his little tax credibility problem, and frankly, create some real cool PR Buzz...and raise awareness for your passion, the sport of Dressage, think about this. 
How much did you make from selling Super Hit? You wanted to get rid of him anyway, right? You tried to scam someone and now you got a big problem. Here's what the rich horse owners of America should be doing....Give your old used up horses to the poor. A charity donation! Hell, think of the numbers for a tax write off! 
Instead of sending them to the glue factory, rich people can dump their old, lame or drugged-out horses on the poors and get a whopping tax write-off!
I’m sure Ann’s people can find ways to get the public to pay the feed and vet bills. Those boys are so creative. Or set up a foundation to collect private donations (more tax write-offs!). “Broken-Down Horses for Broken-Down People” March, anyone?
I'm Here For the Truffle Oil Maple Syrup....

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

please click on image to enlarge it...

Schopenhauer’s writings are so depressing that he should have offered
 free therapy to his readers.

Friday, June 22, 2012


I recently got to see Fritz Langs 1927 expressionist cinema masterpiece, Metropolis again. It was perhaps the 6th time I saw it and each time I am more and more convinced that it is a unique visionary artistic masterpiece that will never be equaled. This time, the film was longer and there were sequences I had never seen.
The original premiere cut of Metropolis eventually disappeared, and a quarter of the original film was long believed to be lost forever. However on July 1st 2008, film experts in Berlin announced that a 16 mm reduction negative of the original cut of the film had been discovered in the archives of the Museo del Cine in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Along with additional footage found in New Zealand, a long restoration process began. The fully restored film was finally shown on large screens in Berlin and Frankfurt simultaneously on February 12th 2010.

David Cameron Won't Much Like The Tone Of This

This is Stephane Hessel, the 95 year old humanitarian, diplomat hero of the French Resistance whose book Indignez-Vous, translated into 18 languages and counting, led the best sellers list here in France for almost 2 years. I've written about Hessel (here, here and also here, and here)_ before and he is the real godfather of the Occupy Movements all over the world. His book is available in English as, Time For Outrage.
In this video, Hessel is promoting the ideas of a new movement in France, led by a coalition of Left activists, politicians, economists and philosophers called Roosevelt2012.
The policy statement of Roosevelt2012 is simple:

"Each of us can change the world. Although it has no power, even if it has not the slightest importance, each of us can change the world "Havel wrote a few weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In 1989, they are women and men "without the slightest importance" that changed the course of history. Twenty years later, the neoliberal system collapsed in turn. It is we, the citizens, to say to what society we want to live. Society of injustice and chaos or society of balance and ease of use? The choice is ours. For us to act."

The organization promotes social justice and realistic human economic solutions as a way to transform our economies and society. Francois Hollande, the President of France is a supporter of the movement and has repeatedly spoken of his desire to re energize and transform France with a 21st Century version of FDR's New Deal. Hollande was an economics professor and has made the Great Depression and the FDR programs that were responsible for restarting and transforming the American economy the focus of his study and ideas.
There are 15 concrete proposals in the program and priority projects that are designed to reform and save our societies economically. Here is a link to translated version of the's worth reading the program. Thousands of people have joined the movement here. Perhaps you might be interested in joining and learning more about how the ideas can be applied to your country.

The Biggest Bestest Twit Money Can Buy

David Cameron has never hidden the fact that he does not like Francois Hollande, the new Socialiste
President of France. He snubbed meeting Hollande before the election at the request of Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkle. His governments economic policies are directly contradictory of Hollandes. Britain is dead set on a course of Austerity and cuts in social services which only seem to be stifling any economic growth and only widening the real class gap between the very wealthy and the rest of Britain. Hollande, to be fair, is an economist. He taught economics and is an expert on the depression and FDR. He seems to be very friendly with Joseph Stiglitz and the policies of his government are dedicated to preserving the social structure and services and more so, equalizing the tax rates and bringing down the cost of living for the lower and middle classes. 
The biggest and bestest damn twit Rupert Murdoch's
money could ever buy
England is selling itself off to the highest bidder. The police system is on the verge of being privatized and taken over by the scandal ridden G4S Private Security Firm triggering the recent huge demonstrations by the police who stand to lose their jobs and benefits. In a recent report, the percentage of malnourished students in British Schools has risen dramatically and cuts of education are a daily fact of life. The National Health System is reaching a breaking point. More and more Brits are coming to France to take advantage of the quality health care....No wonder Cameron and Sarkozy got along so well. They were birds of feather.
One of the positions Hollande is promoting is raising the Tax Rate on incomes of over 1 million Euros a year eventually to 75%. This flies in the face of everything Camerons Tory Government stands for. It's very interesting to compare the  social prep school bullying stories about Cameron with Mitt Romney's privileged Michigan prep school bullying history. They sound like they could become gang members and this should not be encouraged!. 
An Interesting aside: Yesterday, the Socialiste French Government questioned the need for France's Nuclear Arsenal. This in the wake of false economic figures presented by the Sarkozy Regime. Sarko seems to have seriously mislead the public on the actual deficit. The Socialistes claim that if France's Nuclear Arsenal was disbanded, the savings would more than cover any expansion in social programs.
 Back to Cameron on Monday after a nice little lunch and "chillaxing (his term)" with a few too many margueritas at The G20 meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico. In a comment in front of an audience, the slightly inebriated Prime Minister proved what a real embarrassment he is by insulting Hollande directly with the statement, 
"When France sets a 75 percent top income tax rate we will roll out the red carpet, and we will welcome more French businesses which will pay their taxes in Britain," he said, "That will pay for our public services and our schools."
Maybe we can chalk this up to Camerons alleged drinking habits, after all it was only a week ago that he forgot his 8 year old daughter in a pub...not discovering the lapse until he got home...
I think Cameron needs to be reminded of the history of Pre World War 2 France, and how the Socialiste Government of Leon Blum was sabotaged by the French corporations and bankers who were invited to move their industry and fortunes to Hitler's Germany to save themselves from the rigors of Socialiste Equality.....
Cameron and his Conservative Government seemed to have come into power on the wave of Murdoch controlled media blitz. As a result, England sinks deeper into recession. There is no force coming up from the bottom as everything is siphoned off for the rich, who are taking their industry out of Britain. It's the same idiotic cycle that created the crisis, unregulated financing and predatory government sanctioned profit making strategies for the corporations. They seem to be closing in on themselves in more repressive laws to contain the unruly masses...Murdoch seems to have convinced the Brits that they now have the Biggest and Bestest Twit his money could buy. Maybe if the Brits luck out, Cameron will win the Twit Competition and actually run over himself with his car the next time.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Define Pro Life, Please.....

In the mid 1960’s Pope Paul VI appointed a commission on birth control to advise him on the issues regarding conception and birth control. An overwhelming majority of its members favored lifting the ban oncontraception. In his 1968 Encyclical, Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life) the Pope summarized the argument of the majority: 

... world population is going to grow faster than available resources, with the consequences that many families and developing countries would be faced with greater hardships… not only working and housing conditions but the greater demands made both in the economic and educational field pose a living situation in which it is frequently difficult these days to provide properly for a large family…(we need to take into account) a new understanding of the dignity of woman and her place in society, or the value of conjugal love in marriage and the relationship of conjugal acts to this love…
…if one were to apply here the so-called principle of totality, could it not be accepted that the intention to have a less prolific but more rationally planned family might transform an action which renders natural processes infertile into a licit and provident control of birth? Could it not be admitted, in other words, that procreative finality applies to the totality of married life rather than to each single act? A further question is whether, because people are more conscious today of their responsibilities, the time has not come when the transmission of life should be regulated by their intelligence and will rather than through the specific rhythms of their bodies…

Pope Paul VI decided that the rights of the sperm transcended any and all of these arguments. The use of contraception, he concluded results in “an act of mutual love which impairs the capacity to transmit life which God the Creator, through specific laws, has built into it, frustrates His design.”
But the biological facts make the idea of a God’s design less than clear. Consider that when artificial birth control or abortion is not used, more often than not "God" chooses death, not life. A third to a half or of fertilized eggs do not implant. Some doctors believe this figure could be as high as 80 percent. A third of those that do implant end up in spontaneous miscarriages. Does the pro-life movement believe this makes God a mass murderer?

The philosophical and theological knots that were raised by this debate, might have, perhaps, contributed to the circumstances that contributed to Paul VI rather hasty and still unexplained demise. 
What are we to make of the new trend for pregnant women to create Facebook accounts for their fetuses, featuring pictures of the sonograms on their personal pages?
This makes me wonder about how the more we treat fetuses like people—including them in our family photo shoots, tagging them on our Facebook walls, giving them their own Twitter accounts—the harder it will be to deny that they are people when the next, say, personhood amendment comes up, with legislators and activists arguing that “the unborn child” inside a pregnant woman’s womb should have the same rights as the living among us. Would it be immoral for a mother to "unfriend" her fetus after the first trimester?
The Republican Party would eliminate Title X created in 1970 with Republican support from President Nixon and the elder George Bush, then a congressman. Title X does not pay for abortions. Only some of it covers birth control.
It appears that today’s Republican Party will pull out all the stops to protect the rights of the sperm but all but turn its back on the rights and needs of babies. This is what the term pro-life has come to mean in 2012. And why we need to change the language we use when we talk about the issues surrounding reproduction. And please, try not to use the word, VAGINA, when actually trying to communicate with a Republican. They get all weird on you....

Again And Again

Some 1965 music from an Ann Arbor, MI band called The Iguanas featuring
a 17 year old drummer named James Osterberg who became Iggy Pop.
This is probably his earliest surviving recorded vocal performance.
Great proto punk song, great lyrics!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fete du Tissane

This is a kind of new freedom for me. For the last 5 years, I have been reluctant to write critically about French politics. I try to be analytical and express my ideas, but as the  Sarkozy regime became more and more oppressive, there was a creeping feeling of paranoia , especially for me, a foreigner renewing my residency permit. I limited much of my critical opinions to foreign, American blogs.
I wrote about my sense of relief when Francois Hollande was elected and that feeling became full blown last week end after the Legislative elections which gave the Socialistes and the left a historical majority in the government. As the end of Sarkozyism approached, his party, The UMP flirted more and more with the extreme right. As the Front National tried to recast itself as a more socially acceptable alternative, the UMP actively tried to usurp the Far Right electorate by becoming more and more extremely fascist. In his last speeches, Sarkozy began to sound like Petain, echoing the slogans of Occupied France.
As it turned out, the French public was sick of being forced to the right and they were increasing sick of the rising tide of corruption being unveiled daily against Sarkozy and his ministers. Most important, they were sick of the failed concept and scam of austerity being used to raise taxes on middle class and cut back on social services.
So most of the truly vile figures from the UMP are out of jobs now. The Front National after being touted by the sensationalist media as the rising tide of fascism in France is at their lowest representation in years. They have 2 deputies. I will write more analysis about the Election later.
As of Monday of this week, the Constitutiional wall that protected Nicolas Sarkozy from legal action due to the various financial scandals he is sinking in was over. He has lawyer up now and most of his cronies are watching their backs and getting out the long knives.
What is the role of the UMP now? They are impotent in the legislature. The Socialistes control the Senate and most of the regional governments. They would like to become an obstructionist force, like the Tea Party in the USA, but unfortunately, for them, The French aren't really tea drinkers...we do take a tasse du tissane from time to time. Usually after a heavy meal.
The woman who would be Sarah Palin is a nasty piece of work named Nadine Morano. She had been the most shrill media "attack dog" of the UMP. She became more and more openly fascist and racist as time went on. In the legislative election, her seat, a normally right wing region, was up for election. She flirted more and more with the Front National trying to take what she perceived to be the votes she needed to keep her position. In the week before the election, a radio journalist/humorist Gerald Dahan pulled a masterful prank phone call on her in which he pretended to be the husband of Marine LePen, the leader of the Front National. In the conversation, Morano totally compromises herself and tries to barter a deal with the false Louis Aliot and implies that after the election she will become a FN member.
That is the gist of the call, and when she found out she had been punked, she freaked out! She claimed that it was a Socialiste plot to destroy her, she didn't mean what she had said and she had been tricked. The phone call conversation transcript of course, proves other wise.
Robert Gudrielier, 94 year old inventor of the concept of the prank call
still on the line!
Socialiste Plot? This same journalist punked Socialiste Presidential Candidate, Segolene Royal back in 2007, pretending to be the Prime Minister of Quebec.
So Nadine lost the election big time, but she would have anyway. The traditionally right wing Meurthe-Moselle region went heavily Soccialiste. She's a shrill fascist political media whore, Sarah Palin wannabee, out of a job now trying to make some noise. So what does she do? Today her lawyer files charges against a 94 year old retired humorist living in an old age home...why? In 1938, Robert Gudrielier invented the prank media phone call. He pranked then Council President Edouard Daladier. His hoax was so successful that became an expert with the French Resistance faking phone calls to the Germans during the occupation in WW2 creating confusion when the need arose. But now, a right wing fascist bitch is trying to sue him for inventing the prank she claims cost her an election. She won't win. The case will get laughed out of court. She will make herself more desperately despised by the public, No one is going to drink her poisoned tea,  but I think I will have a nice tissane.....

From left to right: Galileo Galilei, Marie Curie, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan, Thomas Edison, Aristoteles, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins and Charles Darwin.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tea Brained Outrage.....

Earlier this week,  there was a little incident at a press conference by Barack Obama when he spoke about immigration reform. You've heard about Neil Munro, from the Daily Caller repeatedly interrupting the speech. He claimed that he wasn't heckling the president or trying to show disrespect and heavens forbid, it was a natural mistake. Frankly, Obama was much too polite with Mr. Munro in actually addressing the boorish asshole. Face it, if this had been back in the Days of George Jr. and he pulled this crap, he's have been yanked out of the crowd by security and frog stepped briskly to Guantanamo. Just look at what happened to Helen Thomas when she actually asked a "difficult" question to Bush...?
I'm not in a very polite mood today and it's probably a very good thing that I wasn't in control of Security during Obama's Press Conference because I would have collared Munro, dragged him off behind a rose bush and kneed him in the nuts and left him whining. Why does we tolerate someone like Munro and his behavior? Why does he think he can get away with this kind of shit? What is he really trying to do here? 
I spent about an hour trolling around the internet today visiting some of my favorite teabrain sites in Ohio. It's kind of a vicarious thrill. A little nauseating, but there is a kind of frisson from seeing just how stupid stupid can actually be. These are the same folks who will tell you how they had a negro friend in grade school who was a good negro...heck he was almost white, so they couldn't be racists. Heavens to betsy no, they aren't racists. They haven't a racist bone in their pudgy christian bodies....but then again the are the same folks who would think it just plain old good fun to erect this little political display at last weekends GOP Convention in Montana.

A shotgun, an outhouse, and a birth certificate stamped “bullshit” all made appearances at Montana’s GOP convention over the weekend. 
At Saturday’s convention in Missoula, Montana, a few convention-goers set up outside with an outhouse labeled “Obama’s Presidential Library.” But that wasn’t the most outrageous part. According to the Missoulian, the outhouse was also decorated in sexism, birtherism, and implicit threats: 
The outhouse was painted to look as though it had been riddled by bullets. 
Inside, a fake birth certificate for Barack Hussein Obama made reference to the disproven controversy over the president’s origins. It was stamped “Bull––.” A graffito advised “For a Good Time call 800-Michelle (crossed out), Hillary (crossed out) and Pelosi (circled in red.)” 
State GOP Chairman Will Deschamps of Missoula said he didn’t know who’d brought the outhouse, but dismissed it as “a sideshow.” 
The Billings Gazette also reported that Newt Gingrich, “the convention’s featured speaker on Saturday, got a raffle ticket for what might in any other part of the country seem an unusual combo — a 12-gauge shotgun, a shovel and a roll of duct tape” — apparently a reference to wolf hunting in the area.
All good clean could you call this racist? And if you did? Ohhh...the outrage, call the wahhmbulance...So here are the fruits of my hour of research on the internet today. These were all taken from Conservative Tea Brained site led to know how it is...Racist? How dare you utter that word in the company of my dead zombie mother?


Here's an extra added bonus! Arizona Radio Personality Barbara Espinosa calls Barack Obama a monkey and then claims she isn't a racist because her name is Espinosa! You can read her actual bizarre reasoning in her own words on her blog here.
You could also report her blog to blogger for hate language if you wanted to. I did.