Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ode From A Germs Eye Viewpoint

I think this is my own little tradition here at thebrainpolice, I'm leaving for the Vendange at Chateau Vieux Chevrol and I will sign off for the next 10 or so days by leaving you a poem read by the esteemed author, Percy Dovetonsils, Poet Laureate..... 

Overseas Voter Foundation

If you are an American citizen living abroad, as I am, The OVF makes it easy for you to register to vote. I just recieved notification that my ballot is being sent. This video explains the process, there is still time. I downloaded the forms from my computer and mailed them to my local election board in Manhattan. They have to have an actual signed form, but the process took about 2 weeks.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tesla Supercharger

Admittedly, $50,000 is a lot of money to pay for a car, but the Tesla Model S Electric car is real, in production and they have showrooms in Europe and the USA. It works. For now, the car has a 150 mile range on a charge. Up to now, the electricity was off the grid so to speak, but last night, September 24, 1012, Elon Musk changed the rules. Free, clean solar power for the future. 
In his presentation, he shows that by the end of this year,  they will have installed a totally free, clean Solar Supercharger network in California. The units are not that expensive and the Tesla Motors Corporation plans to have their own grid across the continental USA in place in just a few years. The excess power goes into the power grid. Free Solar energy for everyone.
Scoff at the 150 mile range and the present charge time if you must, but this concept was considered impossible only a few years ago. The price of the Tesla will come down, the technology is already moving at an incremental rate, but It takes visionary entrepreneurs to make this a reality. The world needs more visionaries like Elon Musk and by supporting him and his research, we create our own sustainable future.

ATTENTION MITT ROMNEY!

MITTENS, PLEASE! VERY IMPORTANT! DO NOT OPEN WINDOW ON PLANE!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Back To The Past....

I was just notified that the vendange 2012 at Chateau Vieux Chevrol will officially start at 8 am on Thursday morning. I have to leave Wednesday afternoon and take the train to Libourne. This should be quite interesting. It will be my 10th year working for Vieux Chevrol. Vieux Chevrol is a 22 hectare family owned vineyard which produces a classic Lalande Pomerol wine. The Champseix family takes pride in  using traditional methods. Almost all operations are done by hand. It's been a difficult year. The vines were damaged because of the rather warm winter, followed by a record breaking severe cold snap in the spring. They had already started to bud and develop flowers when the freeze hit. The summer has been a roller coaster of record heat and cold...but no real rain. Today, for example, it was almost 90 degrees here and tomorrow? Perhaps 70. And it looks like it will finally start to rain. So I get to work in medieval splendor for perhaps 2 weeks. The video is me doing what I do 8 hours a day...that's me, Microdot, the best American Grape Porteur in France! If you listen hard enough, you get to hear me Parler Francais....I would like to remind all my friends who read this blog that the Group Coordination Aude Mali project is still an ongoing reality. Now more than ever, we need donations to get innocent people out of harms way and into the camps now established in Mauritania and Burkina Faso. If you donate any amount using the paypal button on the side of the blog, it will go to transportation and basic survival needs for the Touareg tribal people that GCAM has been working with for over 25 years. I will do an update on the situation before I leave on Wednesday.

More 1972

Why am I stuck in the year 1972 today? This song was in my head when I woke up the morning...I was singing it all day as I dug up the potatoes...now I have to learn all of the lyrics, you can help me...let's all dance to the Spinners, or the Detroit Spinners performing their classic 1972 hit, I'll Be Around with Bobby Smith handling the extremely smooth vocals....

2022

David Bowie in 1972 performing a song about learning that the planet had only 5 years left. He explained that the song was based on a dream he had. Fast forward to 2012. This is not a dream.
I sincerely believe that we have but 10 years left before the consequences of global warming create irreversible conditions that will forever change the course of the human race and life on earth. Do I believe that this is inevitable? No, I don't. I know that we can begin to break this cycle. But do I believe that humans can act together together for their own common good? No....I really don't think so.
But we are now in a planetary emergency and if you have been paying attention to the graphic evidence of the virtual disappearance of the Arctic Ice Cap this year at a an accelerated rate beyond what any scientist cautiously had predicted, perhaps you'd agree. Here's a video made earlier this year from NASA illustrating the evidence: 
The NASA video shows that the most visible change in the Arctic region in recent years has been the rapid decline of the perennial ice cover. The perennial ice is the portion of the sea ice floating on the surface of the ocean that survives the summer. This ice that spans multiple years represents the thickest component of the sea ice cover. This visualization shows the perennial Arctic sea ice from 1980 to 2012. The grey disk at the North Pole indicates the region where no satellite data is collected. A graph overlay shows the area's size measured in million square kilometers for each year. The '1980','2008', and '2012' data points are highlighted on the graph.
The incremental accelerative pace of global can be traced graphically back to the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, mans contribution to CO2 emissions, but now another factor has kicked in. As in most interactions of man against reality and trying to predict the consequences, surprise! The unforeseen reality accelerates global warming.  As the icecaps melt, methane is released into the atmosphere.
Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane - a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide - have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region.
The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years.

The scale of the phenomenon — as usual — is the big surprise:
"Earlier we found torch-like structures like this but they were only tens of metres in diameter. This is the first time that we've found continuous, powerful and impressive seeping structures more than 1,000 metres in diameter. It's amazing," Dr Semiletov, the spokes person for the Russian Research team stated.
"I was most impressed by the sheer scale and the high density of the plumes. Over a relatively small area we found more than 100, but over a wider area there should be thousands of them," he said.

One thousand meters is a kilometer, folks — more than half a mile. These are high-density methane columns, compressed tight by the high pressure of the ocean itself, many wider than a kilometer. And they think there are thousands of them.

Add methane from the ocean depths, methane from the Greenland permafrost, and methane from the Siberian permafrost to the air, and we have unleashed a monster.
How big a monster? This big:
Scientists estimate that there are hundreds of millions of tons of methane gas locked away beneath the Arctic permafrost, which extends from the mainland into the seabed of the relatively shallow sea of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf.
And this big:
The total amount of methane stored beneath the Arctic is calculated to be greater than the overall quantity of carbon locked up in global coal reserves.
Here is a pretty data heavy article in The Independent that documents and explains the phenomena for you. The article includes a pretty good discussion about why methane is so dangerous, and why those estimates of its effect relative to CO2 move around — from 20 to 25 times more damaging — depending on who provides them.
As I said, it\s not too late for us if we can work together in our own interests to deal with this. One thing is apparent, we know what the root cause is and how to stop it, but the corporate powers that control our destiny live in an economic fantasy land. When the reality hits, they will try to sell us solutions that will only increase their unreal profit potential. Every artificial solution starts its own series of unintended, unforeseen surprises. The real solution starts from the bottom up...it starts with you.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Senor Juan Percentavo

Mitt gets bronzed with a trowel by a Univision staff makeup artist..
Just look at those dainty white hands! He explains to the Hispanic Univision
Audience that even though many of them are possibly illegal aliens, they could become permanent residents..Just like his padre, George and heck, he was gobernador of Michigan......
he never uttered the world citizens.
Mittens, the next time you want to go to a party in ethnic drag,
let a pro do the job!


Homer Votes

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wedding Vows In Vegas

I have to admit, I am a little under the weather today, so to speak. I still managed to pour the cement patch on my garage roof, but it took a lot out of me...so...I found the Was(Not Was) piece Earth To Doris...then I found a live performance of Wedding Vows In Vegas featuring Frank Sinatra Jr.! It was just recently reposted on YouTube after disappearing for a few years...now, this made my day!

Earth To Doris

Another magic moment from the greatest little unacknowledged little orchestra ever, Was (not was).
A David Was monologue, Earth To Doris, from the 1988 recording, What Up Dog?

begotten

Here's a rather difficult film for you Christians. This is E. Elias Merhige's 1990 fim, Begotten.
It might be one of the most important films of modern times....canI synopsize the plot for you? It has no dialogue and is 78 minutes long. 
The story opens with a robed, profusely bleeding "God" disemboweling himself, with the act ultimately ending in his death. A woman, Mother Earth, emerges from his remains, arouses the body, and impregnates herself with his semen. Becoming pregnant, she wanders off into a vast and barren landscape. The pregnancy manifests in a fully grown convulsing man whom she leaves to his own devices. The "Son of Earth" meets a group of faceless nomads who seize him with what is either a very long umbilical cord or a rope. The Son of Earth vomits organic pieces, and the nomads excitedly accept these as gifts. The nomads finally bring the man to a fire and burn him. "Mother Earth" encounters the resurrected man and comforts him. She seizes the man with a similar umbilical cord. The nomads appear and proceed to rape her. Son of Earth is left to mourn over the lifeless body. A group of characters appears, carry her off and dismember her, later returning for Son of Earth. After he, too, is dismembered, the group buries the remains, planting the parts into the crust of the earth. The burial site becomes lush with flowers.
It makes David Lynch's Eraserhead look like Ernest Saves Christmas......

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

When The Mitt Hits The Fan, Part #3


Yeah, right...the third segment of the secret Mitt Tapes....
Actually perhaps one of the most damning segments of the tape is when His Holiness, Bishop Mittens, ...Romney starts to talk about what he refers to as “the Jimmy Carter election”, i.e., 1980. He then goes on to talk about how the hostage crisis and the failed rescue mission Desert One were pervasive issues through the 1980 election. Then at the end he says that “if something of that nature presents itself I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity.”
Perhaps, we should be looking at his idiotic hyper reaction to the Libyan Embassy bombing last week and the death of the American Ambassador and 3 others, before anyone really knew the facts, in an entirely different light. I'm not claiming there was a connection, but I am sure many people are looking for the connection between the hyping of the alleged movie and the circumstances it was made and the actions on Sept 11th, 2012.
Last week, the Romney campaign was accused of exploiting the crisis at the U.S. embassy in Cairo and the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans — and this little-noticed section of the bombshell video has already drawn attention in that connection. 
I would like to stress this very important point for you: Mitt Romney is saying that if another international crisis occurs that results in the deaths of Americans, he plans to use that for his advantage. While Josh notes that he hems and haws a bit so it's possible this is another one of those "inelegant" statements, I think there's little doubt when you listen to it within the context. Puts his statements on Libya in a whole new light, doesn't it?
This is not just another in a series of "gaffes" from a flawed diletante clearly out of league. Again, it exposed Romney as a calculating psychopathic manipulative monster, who must lose this election. He must lose, the billions of dollars his buddies have donated to install him have to be wasted because that is the only way he can be totally morally obliterated. 

The outrage of John Sununu this week in an MSNBC interview was very telling: 
Gov. Sununu, if Mitt Romney had said that in that fundraiser in Boca Raton we would not be having this conversation today and he would not be facing what many would say is a meltdown,” the MSNBC host noted.
“No!” Sununu shot back. “If Jimmy Carter’s grandson hadn’t snuck this stuff out, you wouldn’t be having this conversation today. You ought to be talking about class warfare and this president nurtures it all the time!”
Sununu almost sounds like some comic villian on the cartoon series Sccoby Doo ranting about those darn kids who destroyed all of his finely crafted schemes!
James Earl Carter IV should get a medal of honor for what he has done. The conservative press is howling about the strict Florida laws regarding secret taping of individuals, but this is a very shaky premise. Yes, the press was banned from this event, but it was an event. Carter did not make the tape. It had been posted on YouTube weeks earlier. He did the investigative research which led to it's discovery and subsequent verification as real. It was out there, just like the YouTube "trailer" for The Innocence of Muslims was out there. James Earl Carter IV should at least end up on a postage stamp.
He did more than expose a gaffe which the Republican candidate can simply spin away, he gave us a clear lens that let us look into the very heart of the psychotic madness that possesses His Holiness, Bishop Mittens, the man who would be CEO of America.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Even More Romney, Even More Stoopid

Mother Jones today published a second part of the video secretly recorded at a Mitt Romney fundraiser in Boca Raton. The first bombshell will forever be known as "47 percent," but the portion getting attention today focuses on a response the Republican presidential candidate gave to a question about the Israel/Palestine peace process. The tl;dr there: he doesn't believe it'll happen, and intends to "kick the ball down the road" and let the next administration deal with it, or something like that.
But here's a derpworthy moment in the video that may be of interest to science fans, and people who have actually done some reporting on how so-called "dirty bombs" work.
Here's a transcript for the relevant portion of the video:
"If I were Iran, if I were Iran—a crazed fanatic, I'd say let's get a little fissile material to Hezbollah, have them carry it to Chicago or some other place, and then if anything goes wrong, or America starts acting up, we'll just say, "Guess what? Unless you stand down, why, we're going to let off a dirty bomb." I mean this is where we have—where America could be held up and blackmailed by Iran, by the mullahs, by crazy people. So we really don't have any option but to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon."
But you don't need "fissile material" to create a dirty bomb. David Corn at Mother Jones writes:
Romney didn't appear to understand that a dirty bomb—an explosive device that spreads radioactive substances—does not require fissile material from a nuclear weapons program. Such a bomb can be produced with, say,
radioactive medical waste. If Iran's nuclear program poses a threat, it is not because this project will yield a dirty bomb.
Someone on Romney's staff should sit the guy down and force him to watch this PBS NewsHour story by Miles O'Brien from last year, a straightforward explainer on how dirty bombs work, and how it's not necessary to have a "nuclear program" in place to create one. 

Reality

According to witnesses and a new video that emerged on Monday from last week's attack in Benghazi, it appears that local Libyans tried to rescue US ambassador Christopher Stevens from a room filled with smoke at the US mission. Stevens was found unconscious after last week's attack by a mob protesting against an anti-US film. The video, which appeared on the internet and a copy of which was obtained in Benghazi, confirms reports that suggested that the US envoy died of asphyxiation after the building caught fire.

The Amazing Mr. Bickford...#1

This is the first part of a movie produced by Frank Zappa documenting the work of the incredible clay stop motion animation artist, Bruce Bickford. Zappa and Bickford collaborated intensively through out the late 1970's and 80's....The music is all Zappa compositions either performed by the various compilations of musicians that performed under the Zappa's direction known as The Mothers or by Kent Nagamo conducting The London Symphony and Pierre Boulez conducting the Ensemble Contemporain. I will present the entire move in episodes as I have always wanted to see it...you can watch it with me...here's part one!

The Great And Powerful Oz Has Spoken

The Great And Powerful Oz Speaks
Here's another excerpt from the so called secret video of His Holiness, Bishop Mittens featured in my last post:
"My own view is that if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We'll see capital come back and we'll see — without actually doing anything — we'll actually get a boost in the economy."

Not too full of ourselves, are we? There's almost a religious self-importance to Romney's comments. Capital will come back (does he mean business will start to invest more?) simply because the Great Romney has spoken.
Mittens doesn't have any specifics to his policies. He doesn't think he needs specifics. He quite seriously believes that he has some magical powerful to simply bring unemployment down to 4% again.
Here's the devastating spin attempt from conservative columnist David Brooks in todays NY Times titled Thurston Howell Romney. Tough to summarize this one.  Just go read the entire thing. Here's an excerpt:


"This comment suggests a few things. First, it suggests that he really doesn’t know much about the country he inhabits. Who are these freeloaders? Is it the Iraq war veteran who goes to the V.A.? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare?
It suggests that Romney doesn’t know much about the culture of America. 
The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big-government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. They are white men with high school degrees.
Personally, I think he’s a kind, decent man who says stupid things because he is pretending to be something he is not — some sort of cartoonish government-hater. But it scarcely matters. He’s running a depressingly inept presidential campaign. Mr. Romney, your entitlement reform ideas are essential, but when will the incompetence stop?"

(btw) the secret location of the video remarks has now been identified as a May 17 fundraising event at the home of private equity manager Marc Leder ( Leader of the Elitist Berlusconi wannabee Banga banga style Mr. Long Island Sex Party) in Boca Raton, Florida.

But, even more telling is his economics whiz, his flying monkey companion as it were, his congenital, pathologically lying Vice Presidential pick, Paul Lyin' Ryan...
 In a September 9th interview on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Ryan when asked to explain the specifics of his economic ideas and tax cuts for the rich, Ryan is like a deer in the headlights. He simply falls apart and can only tell us to trust him....because, like...he's an expert...yeah...an expert. That's the ticket!
Read the transcript of Ryans interview with Stephanopoulos with a little commentary by me with some links here after the break:

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Consumate Crapologist

The Ultimate, Elitist Crap Artist, His Holiness, Bishop Mittens, The Consumate Smug Crapologist virtually pulls his Mormon underwear down and moons us all with his pasty and saggy wrinkled blindingly white botty. 

I can hardly believe what I just heard, yet, the sneer, cold robotic chilling, the mechanically smug dissociative alien  tone of the psychotic sociopath who assumes he is simply entitled to be president CEO of The United States is undeniable.
What a pompous jerk. He's not just talking about poor people, as if that would be okay. He's talking about the 47% of Americans who would support the President no matter what - i.e., Democrats across the board. The only people he's excluding are independents and Republicans.
And tell me there's not a racial element to his comments as well. 

This supposedly "secret video" was obtained at a fundraiser of super wealthy Republican donors earlier this year by David Corn and released today in Mother Jones.
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax"
Romney went on: "[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
I pay my taxes, you jerk. Have you paid yours? What an incredibly obnoxious thing to say by a man who refuses to release his own tax returns when insiders are claiming that he hasn't paid taxes in ten years. 
This are the self serving, smug blatant delusional lies that Mittens seems to have hypnotized himself into believing will give him the Presidency. If this man manages to steal the election, America, get ready for a bumpy ride. The shit will hit truly the fan. There will be blood. He must not be simply just stopped, he must be morally obliterated. Show us YOUR sacred Tax Returns, Your Holiness!
What a pompous, arrogant, elitist, psychotic sociopath jerk.

Update: This evening, the Obama Campaign simply replied:
"It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.”

The Blimp

The Daily News hosts the Great Blimp Race during July 4th weekend celebrations in 1986. I remember watching this on my bike on the shore in Staten Island. Pretty cool.
And here is the sound track, The Blimp by Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band from the 
1969 master opus, Trout Mask Replica produced by Frank Zappa. The Captain phoned in the vocal performance. Zappa seems to be very pleased..... Lyrics after the break if you are interested....

The Blimp lyrics: 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Things We Like

Statues, from Jack Bruce's 1968 solo recording, He plays acoustic bass, Dick Heckstall-Smith plays sax...and at times, saxes a la Roland Kirk, Jon Hiseman, Drums and John McGlaughlin, guitar.I still own the original vinyl which I purchased to the derision of the fat snotty arrogant poofy clerk who ran the music store at the Woodville Mall outside of Toledo.....

The Innocence Of Christians

William Dafoe as Christ in Scorcese's film
This was Pat Robertsons anti Muslim rant last week after the violence began to spred in response to the deliberately provocative scam, The Innocence of Muslims. He claimed that Muslims respond violently because they cannot deal criticism of their religion because they have no logic to deal with it. In his words, "They are possessed with the spirit of a wild donkey". This is now, this is Robertson, the senile propagandist spinning his own illogical, manipulative religious scam in 2012.
In 1988, Martin Scorcese released the film, The Last Temptation of Christ. A film that dealt with attempting to depict and portray the humanity of Jesus Christ. You cannot compare the cheap piece of manipulative propaganda trash, The Innocence of Muslims to Scorcese's intelligent film, which tried to depict a compelling psychological depiction of Christian belief...in other words, Scorcese tried to present Christ as a human and analyze the emotional reality....it is impossible.
The controversial photo PISS CHRIST earned
Richard Serrano a hailstorm of outrage. It was
vandalized in in the early 90's in A NYC Gallery, and
 more recently, earlier this year in Avignon, France,
where it became the object of demonstrations by French
Fundamentalist Catholic protestors. This perceived
controversy was exploited by Nicolas Sarkozy and
Marine LePen in their failed attempts to exploit
Fundamentalist Christian sentiment for political
gain.
The Cover of Kazantzakis book
But, none the less in 1988, Pat Robertson condemned the film as ‘an offence to a hundred million Christians. It ridicules and blasphemes the faith that we have all committed our lives to'. Christian fundamentalists like Robertson organised a major protest outside Universal Studios. Ironically, they parked their cars in the studio car park, generating $4,500 in parking charges for the studio. Another protestor, Bill Bright of the Campus Crusade for Christ, offered the studio $10 million to allow him to destroy the film. In 1989, Albuquerque high school teacher Joyce Briscoe found herself at the centre of controversy when she screened the film for students at La Cueva High School, thus provoking the wrath of the student’s parents and local Christian radio station KLYT.
On 22nd October 1988, a French Catholic Christian fundamentalist group firebombed the
Saint Michel cinema in Paris severely burning four people and injuring a further nine. A similar attack was staged In Besancon, the capital of the Franche-ComtĂ© region, and tear gas was released in other French cinemas.    This is the same group responsible for the vandalism of the Andre Serrano exhibition in Avignon earlier this year and the Front National supported demonstrations embraced by Nicolas Sarkozy.
In Greece, the homeland of the novelist Nikos Kazantzakis, on whose book the film was based, Archbishop Iakovos, the primate of the Greek Othodox Church, called for a boycott of the film (Kazantzakis was excommunicated as a heretic by the Greek Orthodox Church, and the book placed in the Catholic Church’s index of forbidden books when it was first published).
The film was banned in many countries, including Argentina, Chile, Ireland, Israel, Mexico and Turkey, and bans remain in place in the Philippines, Singapore and South Africa. Even in more liberal countries such as Britain, the film has been the centre of much controversy; as late as 1992 the House of Lords was questioning the wisdom of the
BBC’s decision to screen the film on national television...
The Innocence of Muslims, indeed....
The Hypocrisy of Christians......

Friday, September 14, 2012

How Banking Works

C'mon, everybody, everywhere, full screen, full volume
and do the funki porcini with me!

The Smirking Smirkers Smirk

Hey, suckah! Who you be smirkin' at?
Why, I be smirkin' at you!
But you are me...
I know I am but what are you?
No, I'm not! Oh yes you are! Oh, no I am!
uhhhh...I'm so confused!

In the last few days, Mittens has again proven that he is his own worst enemy. He can't help it.
The totally inappropriate and frankly bizarre nature nature of his reaction to the embassy attack in Libya has put his entire party into hyper crazy defense mode. Then there was the little statement earlier this where Mittens, ever the dilettante amateur, tried to prove his manly grasp of foreign affairs by stating that Moscow was the number one geopolitical foe or America. This of course was jumped on immediately by Vladimir Putin, who stated that Romney smirking statement actually helped Russia.
“I’m grateful to him (Romney) for formulating his stance so clearly because he has once again proven the correctness of our approach to missile defense problems,” Putin told reporters, according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

But who is Bishop Mittens really smirking at? You, suckah! Because he believes he is entitled to be President of The United States and it's not really up to you. He will be, at least in his world of Mormon logic, your CEO in Chief by what ever means necessary. Now that he has exploited 2012's September 11th Debacle, take a look at how he exploited September 11, 2001.  Let's have a look at how deep Willard's hunger for power and profit actually goes, shall we?
Via
Politicker.com:

Endurance Specialty Holdings was one of many insurance and reinsurance startups that cropped up in the wake of 9/11.These companies were designed to purchase debt from insurance companies who faced billions of dollars in claims after the attacks and sold insurance at high prices generated by the soaring rates that resulted from the cash crunch on traditional insurance companies. Mr. Romney was invested in Endurance Specialty Holdings both through Golden Gate Capital, a private equity firm founded by a former Bain Capital executive in 2000 and through his direct interest in another investment firm, CCG Investment Fund, LP.
In documents filed with the SEC ahead of a proposed IPO in late 2002, Endurance Specialty Holdings, which began operations in December 2001, a little over three months after the World Trade Center attacks, boasted about how they were taking advantage of economic opportunities created in the wake of September 11th.
But, but, but...Willard wasn't involved with Bain after 1999, was he? And didn't he have his money in a
blind trust controlled by his close personal friend and lawyer? Yeah, that's not a blind trust, and Mitt knew exactly where his money was, because he was one of the original investors.
Endurance made a ton of money on those September 11th attacks, and so did Mitt Romney. But did he pay any taxes on the profit? Doubtful.

In addition to Endurance’s history of profiting from the September 11th attacks, Mr. Romney’s investment in the company is also interesting because the company was domiciled in Bermuda, though none of its initial investors hailed from the island nation and ten of them came from the United States. In SEC filings,Endurance noted this arrangement ensured it was not “subject to taxes computed on profits or income or computed on any capital asset, gain or appreciation, or any tax in the nature of estate duty or inheritance tax or to any foreign exchange controls.” Throughout this election, the Obama campaign has accused Mr. Romney of using similar offshore investment schemes to avoid paying U.S. taxes.
What a patriot. This is the man who wants to be president, profiteering from a national tragedy and doing so without even paying a dime of taxes on it. Some might call him enterprising. I call it greedy.

Remember, the smirking smirker always smirks at you......

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pops, Can I Get You A Drink?

Or Blame It On The Medication / Part #1

June 23, 2013...an undisclosed location in Maryland
"There! The damn thing moved!" Dick shook his head muttering..."I must be having some kind of episode from this new medication...a lawn jockey doesn't move..."
He automatically grabbed the secure Blackberry from the top pocket of the fishing vest he had taken to wearling lately and pressed the button which automatically paged his medical staff.
He tried not to look at the lawn jockey, but in his undeniable trance like fascination, he couldn't help it. The lawn jockey had turned its head, with it's garish red lips grinning on its coal black enamel face and was looking right at him! It's vaudevillian pickaninny eyes were bugging out...
Then, incredibly in slow motion, the lawn jockey raised its lantern and seemed to beckon him....
Mr. Cheney gasped involuntarily and clutched at his chest and scrambled in a bizarre crab like gait, as quickly as the pain in his chest would allow back into the front door and collapsed in an overstuffed chair, wheezing painfully.
His vision began to blur and he felt like he was going to pass out, but he still couldn't resist the hypnotic urge to look out the window..."The fuckin' thing is moving!" Cheneys eyes bugged out in a bizarre almost hilarious imitation of the painted characature of the lawn jockey's badly painted iron face...
Yes, it really did seem as if the lawn jockey was moving in extreme slow motion, it had turned and was heading for the front door....
Sweat covered Dicks clammy face as he tried to get out of th chair in utter panic and  make it to the door to securely close and lock it, but it was almost with relief, a blessed sense of acceptance as his body slipped into shock and he fell to the floor and lost consciousness.

"Hey Pops, wake up!" the strange adolescent breaky voice annoyingly demanded that Dick listen, he seemed to be clawing his way back to an uncomfortable conciousness, aware that he had collapsed on the cool marble floor of his front doorway entry hall.

"You don't mind if I call you Pops? Okay? I mean father seems so formal." the annoying scratchy cartoon teenage voice went on..."Listen, Pops, can I get you a drink?"
The pain in Mr. Cheney's ribs seemed to be abating. He cautiously opened his eyes, disoriented and the first thing he saw was the face of the black enamel painted lawn jocky grotesquely grinning as it stood over him, peering intently into his face.
"Gahhh" said Dick Cheney.
"Pops, don't worry. Everythings cool. I already have a nice drink, Chivas and soda with an ice cube...just the way you like it!' The lawn jockey's face came into focus and Dick felt as if he could actually see it's concerned expression....The glass looked real enough.
"Am I insane?" he thought.
As if he could read Cheneys mind, the jockey said in his cartoon voice, "Hey pops, you aren't crazy. This is real, well, I'm as real as I will ever get. Thanks to you. Now have that drink. You really need it!"
The sound of sirens started to get louder. Cheney remembered paging his medical staff before passing out. He instinctively reached for his Blackberry in his hunting vest, but it wasn't there.
"You lookin for this?" the jockey laughed and pointed to a mangled mess of plastic and circuits on the table. "You won't need this anymore, Pops. You got me, your sonny boy!"
Dick automatically grabbed the drink and gulped it down. The Chivas burned just right and instantly, he felt better. He breathed deeply and noticed the pain in side had abated.
He felt he could think again. He looked at the painted face and tried to be logical.
"Don't call me Pops. Okay?"
There was a frantic knock at the door....

Romney Comma Mitt

Vote for Romney Comma Mitt, he appears almost human and he hasn't actually eaten any
humans yet, well not any we know of...perhaps I am being a trifle intolerant of alien life forms...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Little Goes A Long Way In The Desert


I really would like to thank my blog buddies, MikeB302000, The Man With The Muckrake and Squatlo-Rant for giving me the opportunity to reach a wider audience in our appeal project to raise emergency funding for the NGO, Groupe Coordination Aude Mali. There is a Paypal donation button installed on the upper right hand corner of this blog with which we are gratefully accepting donations to help this brave little NGO in their long term mission to assist Touareg refugees fleeing the Militant Islamic Al Qaeda AQMI Coalition Coup d'etat which is attempting to seize control of Mali. In my original posts, the last dated Sept. 2, 2012, I tried to give as much background of Groupe Coordination Aude Mali's involvement in assisting the Malian Touareg people over the lat 25 years and their present plight as a persecuted, refugee minority having to flee their ancestral homes or face death because they are involved in the resistance to AQMI. We are limited in what we can actually say because the delicate nature of revealing too much on the internet with out compromising the very lives of all involved in the effort. I would really like to thank all of the great folks so far who have been able to give just a little or in some cases a lot to help. GCAM has been involved intimately with the Touaregs in Mali and I can assure you that every penny you donate is used as efficiently as possible by the little group to get the urgent job done1
The focus, of course is to get as many people out of harms way as quickly as possible. They are being relocated to hastily built and quickly growing refugee camps in Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Algeria. This involves transportation over hundreds of miles of Saharan desert.
I am presenting 2 videos below from UNHCR, The United Nations Relief Agency working in the  refugee camps in Mbera, Mauritania and Burkina Faso. This is where Groupe Aude Coordination Aude Mali is based on the ground now coordinating rescue, transportation, and getting the vital basics to sustain the lives of these brave people. These are the conditions the refugees are presently enduring:
Mauritania

below, Burkina Faso
I think it is very important to understand that the work that Groupe Coordination Aude Mali is trying to do is not political. These are people are refugees in clear and present danger and had to leave their traditional homes for the second time in 25 years. Groupe Coordination Aude Mali has been working with them for over 25 years and hopefully, the survivors will be able to return. It's our mission to help them survive and continue their  lives and traditions.
This is a photo of the work of the Touaregs we are assisting.This is a painted leather camel bag. Through your donation, you can participate in the long term goal of preserving their unique culture

It's easy to feel as if this is a remote foreign alien world you could never relate to or be affected by, but I feel that this is a learning experience. If you think that Islam is an unified alien world, you could never comprehend, directly in conflict with your way of life, then take the time to learn that Islam is a multifaceted theology as fragmented as Christianity. There are so many good, big hearted Christians on this planet, there are so many good hearted generous open Islamic people on the planet, but with in Christianity as in Islam there are those who would coherce the rest of the us to conform to their beliefs by what ever means they feel they can get away with to enforce their fundamentalist ideology on everyone. It's not just theology, it political....We live in the luxury of America with the rule of law and a constitution and the veneer of civilization, but it is simply a thin veneer that separates us from the harsh reality of the desert. The struggle of the Touareg is our struggle. Donate just a little to Groupe Coordination Aude Mali by simply using the Pay Pal button on the upper right hand button of the blog. Your money will not be wasted. You can make a difference. Please help us....
don't even ask me about 9/11

Instead, please read this really great piece in todays NY Times which I am publishing in its entirety, after the break:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Musical moment No. 3 in F minor by Franz Schubert, played on glass harp
 (musical glasses) by Robert Tiso. 
This tune was used in Federico Fellini's film "e la nave va".  (The Ship Sails On)
Two musicians play the piece on many wine glasses, the real track was recorded probably by Bruno Hoffman and arranged for the glass harp by Nino Rota.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

My buddy, Brian sent this image to me last night. I had to post it because
I know that Suze Rotolo, who was the woman on the original record cover and a
 life long best friend would have been so damn proud.

Suze died almost 2 years ago and we still miss her so much!

Friday, September 07, 2012

MORMON SEX

When Mitt Romney walked down the aisle toward the stage at the Republican National Convention, among the people whose hands he shook was the conservative billionaire and major political donor David Koch. But it was a moment missed by the tens of millions of viewers at home. While Democracy Now! was there on the floor and captured the handshake on video, the networks cut away just before the handshake to show footage of two enthusiastic young women supporters and then an overhead shot of the convention center. Then, the shot came back to Romney shaking hands further down the aisle as he ascended the stage. Groups in the network of David Koch, and his brother Charles, intend to spend nearly $400 million ahead of the 2012 election. Hey boys, you could get a motel room, okay?
 

Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Clear And Present Threat To Your Democracy


"Do you really want to live in a country where one party is so desperate to win the White House that they go around trying to make it harder for people to vote if they’re people of color, poor people or first generation immigrants?," Bill Clinton asked rhetorically on Tuesday night during an event organized by the Arkansas Democratic Party.

 The Nation's Ari Berman highlighted  these remarks by Clinton and they would be a "preview" of the former President's remarks last night in Charlotte, where he headlined the DNC. In Arkansas, Clinton savaged the Republican efforts, particularly in Pennsylvania and Ohio, to suppress the Democratic vote:
“Do you really want to live in a country where one party is so desperate to win the White House that they go around trying to make it harder for people to vote if they’re people of color, poor people or first generation immigrants?
“In Pennsylvania, where they passed all these voter ID requirements, the House Republican leader who passed it said it was one of the most important achievements because it will enable Governor Romney to defeat the president in Pennsylvania.
“In Ohio, they passed the whole nine yards. The problem was in Ohio you can actually put this stuff on the ballot pretty easily to overturn it. So they went back in—you gotta give it to Republicans, they’re good. They vetoed it, then they snuck in an end to advance voting. Then they allowed the counties—and every county in Ohio has an election commission of three Democrats and three Republicans [Ed Note: actually it's two and two]—to decide if they were going to go around advance voting. The Democrats, we were for it. So in every county that was Republican, Democrats said ‘OK, we’ll have advance voting.’ And in every single county that is overwhelming Democratic, the Republicans voted against allowing advance voting."

Berman went on to note that Clinton offered similar sentiments during a speech he made last year, when he decried the "Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today":
In last year's speech, a clip of which I'll post again below, Clinton said:
I can’t help thinking, since we just celebrated the Fourth of July and we’re supposed to be a country dedicated to liberty, that one of the most pervasive political movements going on outside Washington today is the disciplined, passionate, determined effort of Republican governors and legislators to keep most of you from voting next time. There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the other Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today.
Why is all this going on? This is not rocket science. They are trying to make the 2012 electorate look more like the 2010 electorate than the 2008 electorate.

 Clinton did offer similar sentiments in last nights very powerful performance.

In a shout out Clinton did give a shout out against GOP voter suppression in his speech and I am paraphrasing as closely as I can here : "If you think it's wrong to change voting procedures to reduce the turnout of minorities, the poor and disabled voters, you should support Barack Obama!"



But some Universes Are Way Cooler Than Others

1974, Space Is The Place, the entire movie...One of the greatest "cult films" ever made.
Absolutely indispensible for the opening sequences alone, but the entire film is full of inventive low budget alternate reality wit, wisdom and music of another universe from the Master, Sun Ra.

The Coolest Universe, Anywhere


On August 31, 2012 a long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the sun's atmosphere, the corona, erupted out into space at 4:36 p.m. EDT. The coronal mass ejection, or CME, traveled away from the sun at over 900 miles per second. This movie shows the ejection from a variety of viewpoints as captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO), and the joint ESA/NASA Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).
A really great video presentation. We live in the coolest universe, anywhere.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

When Marcel Met John


John Cage first met Marcel Duchamp in the 1940s. Duchamp asked Cage to write music for his part in Hans Richter’s film “Dreams that Money Can Buy” (1946). But it took twenty more years before the two actually became close. Cage didn’t want to bother Duchamp with his friendship until he realized that Duchamp’s health was failing. Then he decided to actively seek his company. He knew that Duchamp was taking chess very seriously, and it was easy for Cage to use this pretext, so he simply asked him to teach him the game. And for the last three years of Duchamp’s life the two men and Teeny Duchamp, the bachelor’s bride, met at least once a week and played chess.

Actually, Cage hadn’t lost every single match with Duchamp. There was one that he definitely won, after a fashion. It happened in Toronto, in 1968. Cage had invited Duchamp and Teeny to be with him on the stage. All they had to do was play chess as usual, but the chessboard was wired and each move activated or cut off the sound coming live from several musicians (David Tudor was one of them). They played until the room emptied. Without a word said, Cage had managed to turn the chess game (Duchamp’s ostensive refusal to work) into a working performance. And the performance was a musical piece. In pataphysical terms, Cage had provided an imaginary solution to a nonexistent problem: whether life was superior to art. Playing chess that night extended life into art – or vice versa. All it took was plugging in their brains to a set of instruments, converting nerve signals into sounds. Eyes became ears, moves music. Reunion was the name of the piece. It happened to be their endgame.


John Cage would have been 100 years old today.

A Sacred American Tradition

So, like, will he soil his Star Spangled, Red, White and Blue Depends if Chuckie doesn't get his way? I suppose you could attribute it to one too many blows to the brain from a lifetime of stunts gone awry...but Chuck is just following the time honored sacred American political tradition of sheer hyperbolic assholelianism. 
Great blasts from the very emotional presidential campaign of 1800:

Thomas Jefferson, election campaign of 1800:
“[John Adams is] a hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.” 

—politics is and ever was politics 

John Adams’ campaign, election of 1800: 
“[Thomas Jefferson is] a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father … raised wholly on hoe-cake, bacon, and hominy, with an occasional change of fricasseed bullfrog.” 

personal, ad hominem attacks, brought to you at least since 1800 … 

John Adams’ campaign’s prediction of the results of Thomas Jefferson’s election, 1800 :
 “Murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will all be openly taught and practiced, the air will be rent with the cries of the distressed, the soil will be soaked with blood, and the nation black with crimes.” 

—from the “there’s nothing new under the sun” file …

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

That's The Ticket!


The GOP nominee now for Al Gore’s position in the 1990s is making the Nobel Peace Prize winner look like George Washington and the cherry tree. In matters large and small, Paul Ryan is setting Olympic records for public lies.
In 1999, Gore took heat for claiming he “invented” the Internet. What he actually said was “in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.” This year he was inducted into the
Internet Hall of Famewith the citation: "Gore recognized the importance of building the information infrastructure and making it available to everyone."
This week Ryan's
convention speech set off truth meters clanging everywhere to keep up with lies, distortions and omissions, numbers mounting into double figures.
That his indifference to truth is a matter of disposition rather than expedience is suggested by an off-the-cuff claim following the convention speech. Asked about 
marathons, the VP runner casually notes, “I had a two-fifty something.” When Runner’s World checks, the number is actually 4.01.
Lie or mistake, Ryan’s impulse to
bend the truth seems instinctive, a reaction that kicks in even when no political gain is involved. In less than a week, he has provided more evidence of lying than Joe Biden’s reputation for gaffes rests on in 40 years.
The irony here is that the GOP’s vaunted “truth teller” about the nation’s economic woes is himself a prime example of everything he denounces about government. Since he graduated from college, Paul Davis Ryan has been sucking at the taxpayers’ teat, first as a legislative aide in Congress and then as an elected member—-not one minute out in the real word, job-creating.
After years of embracing and spreading the
Ayn Rand credo that government dependency creates “looters” and “moochers,” dependent Ryan threw her under the bus while campaigning this spring, saying her ideas are “completely antithetical to mine because she has an atheist philosophy."
Less than a week after his nomination, it’s hard to believe that Paul Ryan believes passionately about anything other than Paul Ryan. In that respect, he is a
perfect running mate for Mitt Romney, who has been flip-flopping on his bedrock principles for more than two decades.
If they win, the Dick Cheney era of VP snarls will return in the form of baby-faced bald-faced lies.
Update:
Paul Krugman chimes in on Ryan’s veracity, observing that his “whole political persona...is built around big boasts about accomplishments he hasn’t accomplished...
“He calls for huge tax cuts, while proposing specific spending cuts that, while inflicting immense hardship on our most vulnerable citizens, would fall far short of making up for the revenue loss. His claims to reduce the deficit therefore rely on assertions that he would make up for the lost revenue by closing loopholes that he refuses to specify, and achieve further huge spending cuts in ways that he also refuses to specify...
“Ryan basically told the budget office to assume that his plan would slash the deficit, then claimed the resulting report as vindication of his deficit-slashing claims.”

And in record time.
Somewhere In America
There's a Street Named After My Dad

Was (not was) live in Montreaux

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Groupe Coordination Aude Mali


A bit of information about the new PayPal button on the side of my blog. Last Sunday, August 22, I posted a piece titled Songs For Desert Refugees with information about the critical situation involving the very survival of Malian Refugees who are fleeing their homes after the invasion and coup d'etat of the country by the Islamic Al Qaeda linked AQMI. In the piece, I tried to explain the basic situation and gave some links to a project the NGO groups, Tamoudre and ETAR with the English music label, Glitterhouse to raise money to help the refugees with the profits from a CD of Malian music called Songs for Desert Refugees.
I am trying to work with a small NGO group which has been involved directly with a Touareg tribe in northern Mali for the last 25 years. This group of highly committed individuals have put their lives on the line and dug into their own pockets to realize their projects. One of the members is a person who I am very proud to call one of my best long time friends.
The NGO Group is called Groupe Coordination Aude Mali. I will post my friends own words explaining what they have done and the situation today:
"We are a NGO with about 30 volunteers. It all started some 25 years ago with continuing a water project in the desert of northern Mali abandond by another organisation after the big draughts in 1982-83. It developed into a production site of vegetables and soon a tree nursery was started with another groupe of Touaregs. We planted special trees that produce different colors used for painting artisanal products. Later we started a school to educate the children. In 1995 these people ended up in Mauritania, Mbera refugee camp fleeing a civil war. One of our members went to Mbera to work with CARE-International on water supply for three camps around Bassikounou. The people went back finally to their homes and restarted, rebuild life again .... everything they had left was destroyed, school, nursery, well, cattle. We helped those people to rebuild all for more than 15 years and now they are back again in the camps, dispersed between Mauretania and Burkina Faso. We assist those people as good as we can to make life supportable during this "misserable etappe" and hope for better times."

Here is a good video which gives an overview of the situation:



It's very hard to be specific about this situation. Why? Any personal or logistical information puts those most vulnerable directly into extreme danger. To further quote my friend:

"Why can we white people, especially french, not go to the refugee camps any more and why do we have to delegate our supprot to locals? Because we are "cibles" for the jihadist and we won't get any visa anyway. It is just too dangerous."

Your donation will be used to provide for the immediate survival needs of the refugees and put directly into the hands of those who can obtain the basic food and fuel they need for transport and survival. The situation became all the more drastic today as the latest news reports that AQMI has taken Douentza sand now control 2/3 of Mali as of today. If you care enough to donate on the PayPal button, you will have done something real and immediate and I humbly thank you.


I will keep you updated.

Marcel Duchamp Discusses Comb

Marcel explains his 1916 Readymade "Comb"