Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Still Crazy

Ben l'Oncle Soul! 

One More Duchamp

The incredible Duchamp painting from 1912, The Bride, which became the core of the metaphysical machine of the piece in the last post, The Large Glass, or The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even.....He stopped painting with traditional techniques soon after.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Bon Anniversaire, Marcel!

Happy birthday to Marcel Duchamp! A pioneer of conceptual art and Dadaism, the artist famously said, “I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste."If you have been following this blog, you have probably noticed that Duchamp is one of my heroes. He profoundly changed the way we look at, respond to and think about art in the early 20th Century. Did you know the Philadelphia Museum of Art houses the largest collection of Duchamp’s works in the world?
Image 1: "Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 1),"1911, Marcel Duchamp
Image 2: "The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass)," 1915-23, Marcel Duchamp
Image 3: “Fountain," 1950 (replica of 1917 original), Marcel Duchamp
Image 4: "Étant donnés," 1946–66, by Marcel Duchamp
Image 5: "Chocolate Grinder (No. 1)," 1913,Marcel Duchamp
Image 6: "Why Not Sneeze, Rose Sélavy?," 1921, Marcel Duchamp
Image 7: "Marcel Duchamp (Three-Quarter View)," 1933,Carl Van Vechten


The writing was already on the wall for the one time kings of hate radio Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.
In a major shakeup for the radio industry, Cumulus Media, the second-biggest broadcaster in the country, is planning to drop both Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity from its stations at the end of the year, an industry source told POLITICO on Sunday.
Cumulus has decided that it will not renew its contracts with either host, the source said, a move that would remove the two most highly-rated conservative talk personalities from more than 40 Cumulus channels in major markets.
The decision comes after negotiations between Cumulus and Premiere Networks, the division of Clear Channel that distributes Limbaugh and Hannity's shows, broke down due to disagreements over the cost of the distribution rights, the source said. Cumulus is known to drive a hard bargain on costs, and Clear Channel is known to seek top dollar for big names. Rush is already playing his blame game...it's all the fault of the over educated liberal women ad buyers who work for the network and hate men.
Perhaps seeing the real writing on the wall with the dozens of sponsors who have dropped their advertising, Limbaugh made a big show of saying that he was considering ending his affiliation with Cumulus last year. Here's the soundtrack to help you savor this moment!

Back To Detroit

Wayne Kramer, who grew up in Detroit at the same time I did published this prescient song on his 
1994 CD, Dangerous Madness. Any one who loves Detroit knows what this song is about and why we have to keep focused of what is happening there!
John Lennon gives us our guitar technique tip of the the day!
(by the way last night my blog counter hit 1,234,567! Congrats to who ever
it was who hit that big one!)

Sunday, July 28, 2013


It's not that I have a philosophy. I don't think I am that deep of a dude to claim to have a particular philosophical view on reality. I have written many posts about my absolute atheism, but in reality, what is absolute atheism? I believe in luck. I believe that what many people consider luck has a lot to do with you, Mr. Lucky. The strength of your desire. The power of your your own ability to take chances. It's like a canoe trip on a rough river, something I love, I crave. The flow of the river is so powerful, but if you have the skills, you can see through the rocks, the white water, the rapids. You fix your desire on the other side and what ever happens, you can deal with it. I have always considered myself, Mr. Lucky, because I believe that if I want something, if I want to do something, I will always find a way to do it. I suppose my saving grace is to not want too much. You create your own luck.
Part of my take on luck is my naive belief that if I give, I will receive. I know I can make a difference, a tiny insignificant difference, albeit, but I belief every action is somehow rewarded. I won't waste too much more on this, my philosophical discourse, but I lived in New York City for almost 25 years on the same block in the East Village of Manhattan. In 2001, I had already physically moved to France, but I was still spending a lot of time in NYC. On September 11, I was an eye witness to the destruction of the World Trade Center. I lost friends over the next few years as a direct result of physical effects of the destruction of the Towers. I saw the second plane slam into the tower from few blocks away while on my bike in Lower Manhattan. I escaped the roaring dust cloud from the collapse of the first Tower riding as fast as I could the wrong way up Sixth Avenue through the massive traffic jam until I got to Central Park. I was trapped in Manhattan for a week waiting to have my plane back to France rescheduled. I still had an apartment on East 5th Street and Ave B, but the entire area below 14th Street was under Military control and I had to show ID to leave or enter the "zone". That was a life changing experience. Less than a year later, I was working with Moroccans and Algerians, most of who were ver friendly to me, but a few were openly hostile to me because I was the token American. I resolved to make them like me. I was relentless and it worked. I changed their outlook on the world and they changed mine. I resolved to make my experience an opportunity for me to open my mind to the experience of other cultures and ideologies.  I came out of a chaotic adolescence in the inner city of Detroit. Somehow I became a rock musician in Manhattan and a graphic artist working in a very specialized niche. How did I do that? I believed I could, I wanted it, I created my own luck. I became Mr. Lucky. I fell in love with a French citizen and believed I could be happy in France. It wasn't easy, but I did it. I'm a happily married man with no real income who owns a house and land and has managed to create a life that makes me feel very wealthy inspite of the fact that on paper, I am a pauper.
Again, this is all the result of my hard work, but with out believing in a dream and having the guts play the games, I would be a fat neurotic broken retired railroad dude in Ohio with a fat wife and kids who hated me. But I will never be like anybody else. This week, I got rid of a blog follower after reading a series of utterly inane racist posts on his blog. He began posting about the Trayvon Martin meme being used to discredit him to the effect that the Skittles and Arizona Watermelon drink he was carrying was really evidence that he was going to brew a narcotic elixir which he was addicted to. I thought the blogger was being totally sarcastic and exhibiting a sense of humor that I had never expected of him. Then after posting on his blog complementing him on his clever sarcasm,  I realized that no, he wasn't being sarcastic and he really believed this crap. Then he doubled down on his racist rants. His buddies had a cluster fuck circle jerk and started telling him that they had checked out this blog and it proved that I was not one of them and some how deranged. Well, I am very proud not to be one of them and these dudes are everything I never want to be as long as I live. Today, I asked him him to take my blog off of his blog roll and I got rid of his and now I feel cleansed. Like a dose of the best psychic laxative. I insulted him, his friends insulted me. It's over and history! I feel so much lighter. Now here are a few pictures of my sick and sordid lifestyle if any of these dudes are still lurking around here and want some more evidence:
here I am shovelin horse manure in late April after the ground got broken for my garden this year.

We couldn't get the garden cultivated until late May because of the rain....

Here is the garden today, full of potatoes, melons, beans, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, beets, carrots,
turnips, zuchinnis, pumpkins and spices...we already harvested about 20 kilos of raspberries and strawberries....
the tree on the left is a fig getting ready for a record year. And the guy in the back?
That's me, Microdot giving the racist jerks who are haunting my blog the finger.

Dick Tracy

More J J Cale from 1965!

Saturday, July 27, 2013


JJ Cale made classic American Music that bridged genres and influenced so many artists who were so much more commercially successful than he ever aspired to be. His first recording was in 1961 and he kept on doing it up to the end. He wrote "After Midnight" and "Cocaine". JJ Cale Has Passed Away.
JJ Cale passed away at 8:00 pm on Friday July 26 at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, CA. The legendary singer / songwriter had suffered a heart attack.  http://www.jjcale.com/

Here's his first single release, Ain't That Lovi9n You Baby by Johnny Cale from 1961:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

French Flag from The Revolution in 1792
Live Free Or Die!

The Next Battle of The UnCivil War

I am trying to stay focused on Detroit. What is happening there is going to set precedents that the conservative fascists want to use as a bludgeon to force America into a system that they can more easily control and pillage. Pensions, Unions, Environmental Laws are all the results of the historical struggle of People to obtain and preserve a level of quality n their lives and world. Fair play and your rights are seen as a threat to the unlimited power and the profits the very rich seem to think they are entitled to.
It's this basic, this is the next big battle in the ongoing UNCIVIL WAR! And you have to make the decision:
What part of this don't you understand? Read the following sentence: The federal government should bail out Detroit city worker's pensions so that retirees can be paid in full.
Some people will approve of the idea. But others will be shocked or angry. They'll conjure up images of prosperous retirees making a fortune at everyone else's expense. If you were one of them, you've been exposed to some infectious myths being spread in the media and by politicians.
Think again: Does $1,500 a month after hauling garbage cans your whole adult life really sound like a fortune?
Detroit's pension plans may not need a federal bailout. The city may have better options, especially if the politically motivated machinations of its unelected leaders can be set aside. But morally and practically, there's no reason why a rescue of this kind -- or a federal guarantee behind the city's pension plan -- shouldn't be on the table. Here's why.

"Detroit" isn't declaring bankruptcy.
"Detroit" isn't trying to file for bankruptcy (a process currently being challenged in court). An unelected official who was given the power to overrule Detroit's elected government through a right-wing state law is filing for bankruptcy. That's not a democratic process, and it doesn't represent the people of Detroit.

The law which ended Detroit's self-governance was promoted heavily by groups like ALEC and funders like the Koch Brothers. Its purpose is to reconfigure our democracy and our economy so that they serve the wealthy and powerful even more efficiently.
The city's corporate overseer is focusing undue attention on pensions for very political reasons. A nationwide agenda has targeted the retirement security of working Americans -- especially pensions, Social Security, and Medicare. The bankruptcy filing in Detroit, which targets that city's union pensions, is part of this broader agenda.
Pensions aren't the problem.
Unelected city overseer Kevyn Orr quickly zeroed in on pensions, which have also been the focus of much of the press coverage and political debate. But Orr's own numbers put the lie to the idea that pensions are a major problem.

Orr claims that Detroit's ultimate debt obligations will amount to between $18 and $22 billion. But his own fiscal report says right up front on page 3 that the total unfunded portion of Detroit's pension obligation comes to only $600 million. That's less than 3 percent of Orr's higher figure. Even the most aggressive recalculation can't turn it into a significant portion of Detroit's obligations.
Behind all the talk about unfunded obligations lies the real goal: They want to cut the funded obligations. But even that figure only comes to about one-sixth of Detroit's total obligations. So why all the focus on pensions?
They want to set a precedent.
Because Detroit's being used by the austerity economics crowd. We've already seen the needless public spectacle being enacted by Orr and his team as they publicly contemplate selling off the city's property, large and small. (See "The Looting of Detroit.")
Gutting the city's employee pension plan would be a similar kind of ritual sacrifice, designed to break the public's belief in the social contract -- and to set a national precedent. Detroit's unusually severe financial circumstances make that seem more necessary than it is.
Deep cuts to of Detroit's employee pensions, together with the public sale of its property and the privatization of its lucrative franchises, would serve an anti-government political agenda. Once we've this process has been imposed on the first major American city, the next one will be much easier.The 50th city to be gutted will be a cakewalk.
Banks, not city workers, have misbehaved.
This is the tactic in this next Battle of The Most Un Civil War! This is why the conservative media has trumped up the race card so blaringly loud as of late. Most of the civil servants and public employees of Detroit are African Americans...so they are easy targets and easy to smear by the conservative economic media in their attempt to ram this agenda of auterity down the throats of America...They are blacks, they are all welfare cadillac driving lazy baby making irresponsible leeches trying to get proud hard working whities paying so the can live on CPT...That's Colored People's Time.  Once they sell this idea and image, well it will be so much simpler to do the same thing to every one! Read more, after the break!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Iggy Pop, one of the most brilliantly feral artists you will ever encounter in 
your brief lifetime, tells it exactly the way I see it!
Fucking Detroit!

Monday, July 22, 2013


One of the most soul full moments from the 1994 project by Don Was, Rhythm, Country And Blues.
George Jones and BB King break everyones hearts with their incredible duet of Patches. Don's  over the top production helps a bit as well! I think you have to be from Detroit to understand just why this can be so good!

Sardine Tajine

I made dinner tonight and just followed the instructions in this video. It was great and the music was pretty good too. I love Algerian Rai. I did the second version with potatoes, but I did add a fresh courgette from my garden. I have a great old clay Algerian tagine with a tapered cover. I can get bags of cheap fresh frozen sardines from my local super market, but you could use tinned sardines as well.
The spices are sweet pepper...like paprika and cumin and crushed garlic. I put a few little very hot peppers in it as well! 

The Next Battle In The Civil War.....

This was the headline of the New York City Daily News on October 29, 1975. New york was teetering on the edge of the abyss of bankruptcy under Mayor Abe Beame.  It's become a distracting "talking point" used by conservatives to defend Ford, because he actually didn't tell New York to drop dead in his statement denying federal assistance, but hey, in the spirit of New York Journalism, that's what we do, sum up and reduce the gist of a message to a great headline!
New York didn't have to declare bankruptcy,  the last minute saving act was the cities teachers union lending the city 150 million dollars from it's pension fund to buy Municipal Assistance Corporation Bonds. The Teachers Union had resisted doing this up until the very last minute because they thought that this would be the beginning of the erosion of the hard fought gains that they had so recently won.
But it wasn't just the Teachers Union, it was all of the Municipal Union and Employees of New York City working together to save the city. The Governor, Hugh Carey fought for and supported the city as well. New York not only solved it's financial problems, it rebounded exuberantly. Ford lived to eat his words and the classic Drop Dead headline until his demise.
America couldn't afford financially or image wise the specter of a bankrupt New York, but there were those who were all too willing to let it happen, just as today, The City of Detroit is the focus of a concerted sort of collective Death Wish being prayed for by many of the same forces that wanted to let New York die.

I've heard many people voice the meme that  for much of the conservative small minded southern white population of the south, the civil war never ended. The Confederacy tried to destroy New York by burning it down during the Civil War. The participants who called themselves, The Confederate Army of Manhattan are still considered local heroes in much of the South. The most deadly race riots that ever took place in America were the racially inspired anti draft riots in New York City of July, 1863 during the Civil War. Lincoln had to divert Federal Troops from the war to quell the hysterical destruction and mass murders.
The State of Michigan is trying to force The City of Detroit into bankruptcy. There are legal battles being fought now deciding the legality of such a move. Where in 1975, the Governor of NY State, Hugh Carey actively fought for the city. The Republican ALEC operative Governor Rick Snyder, is actively trying to create a situation where this is the only option. Snyder has been the most active player in the concept of using emergency corporate managers to run cities and disenfranchise local municipal governments and voters. The emergency manager concept is being sold to Americans as the only option by think tanks run by ALEC and The Koch Brothers. In reality, it is disenfranchising millions of Americans and a prime strategy in their long term plan to seize ultimate power and deny us our political rights and voices. They in effect are trying to ram the destructive and disproven policies of Austerity Economics as the only solution down the throats of the poor. It gives them the power to negate environmental laws, loot pensions of municipal employees and in the case of Detroit, loot and destroy it's rich cultural heritage. There are obviously many who wish that Detroit will be the next Greece. Again, this is a false comparison. Detroit is one city in a big country. If it is allowed to fail, it will have a profound ripple effect on the rest of America,  just as Greece's failure was seen as a harbinger of doom by the economic pessimists who predicted the demise of the European Economic Union. This is wishful thinking, in reality, the entire economy of Greece is only 1 and 1/2 times as big as the present economy of Metropolitan Detroit!
But what happened in Greece? The IMF made some tragic mistakes, as they now admit and allowed the banks and the pension funds to eat the incomes of the Greek population. They never addressed the systemic corruption of the tax system which allowed the richest to pay no taxes what so ever. One of the biggest culprits in the Greek financial crisis is the Greek Orthodox Church which has substantial agricultural, real estate and industrial holdings which are totally tax exempt!
The brunt of the burden of Austerity is on the poor and the middle class who are seeing an oppressive tax burden and wages being reduced and frozen as the price of consumer goods are being vastly inflated.
You have to really ask yourself, what is the real basis of the destruction of Detroit? Detroit is perhaps the biggest cultural center of African American Culture in America. Black Music is one of the touchstones and icons of the city. Sure there was Motown, but the churches of Detroit were the proving ground for artists like Aretha Franklin. The fertile counter culture was the perfect medium for the development of George Clinton's visionary Funkadelic! Funkadelic was one part James Brown, one part Iggy Pop and the rest was pure original sci fi fantasy land funk! Because of the once powerful industrial base, it became the magnet that drew millions of black Americans with the dream of a better life. It was the cradle of American Black Muslim Movement. But even more powerfully evil to the minds of the new corporate robber barons of America is that Detroit was the birthplace of the American Labor Movement. I grew up in Detroit in the 50's and 60's. It was the most powerful centers for Labor, the dream of Democratic Socialism and political action in America. It became in the late 1960's the crucible of political thought and really powerful independent rock music Detroit Rock as the most radically powerful razor sharp edge which everything else had to stand up to or wither and die on the vine!   It was everything the Robber Baron Wannabee shark pack knows they have to destroy. One of the most powerful visual manifestations of this energy is in the now threatened Detroit Institute of Arts. At one time, the rich felt it was their duty to share and impart culture with those not as blessed as they were. The Detroit Institute of Arts is still one of the greatest diverse art museums in the world. One of the first things I heard when the imminent bankruptcy was being reported, was the fate of this collection. The sharks started to circle to take their prey. They smelled the blood in the water. They refused to make deals and they are demanding that the municipal employees of Detroit forfeit their pensions. The fantastic collections of the Detroit Historical Museum are already being looted. You can only imagine the lust these sharks are experiencing over the historical automotive collections, but now they want Detroits cultural heritage as well. The real threat an power of Detroit is graphically represented here in this, one of the worlds greatest classically executed fresco murals by Diego Rivera.
He painted this in the sculpture court of the Detroit Art Institute in 1933. In 1931, Rivera was commissioned to do murals in the brand new Rockefeller Center in New York City. Rivera created fresco technique murals that were the most powerful political art ever exhibited in America...it was too much for the Rockefellers...the murals were destroyed and painted over. Lost forever. Like destroying Picasso's Guernica because it was potentially disturbing to German investors. Here is a sample, the piece, Man At The Crossroads:
 One of Rivera's censored and lost murals from his Rockefeller Center frescos
Now, let's take a tour of the modern Sculpture atrium in the Detroit Institute of Arts, while we can. These images are if anything more powerful than the Rockefeller Center works and the video really doesn't do them justice as far as composition and scale. For those who want to turn back the clock, destroy the middle class, get rid of minimum wage, re institute racial segregation, keep America divided and stifle the political voice of Americans to consolidate their strangle hold on power and the wealth of America, this is deadly subversive art that has to be suppressed! 

I believe in Detroit. It is the place that shaped me and I know the spirit, and the inherent resilient strength of it. I know it's history all too well. It is my history!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

not one wasted note.
one of the greatest rock albums ever made!
The Lower East Side of Manhattan was my home for almost 30 years.
I do not think that I would ever consider visiting Texas, but NYC, on the other hand!
Every chance that I get!  I Love New York!
I guess it's just too damn hot everywhere.
Here, in the SudOuest it settled in 10 days ago and no real end in sight!
I need a little rain for my vegetable garden. All I do all day long is water.
We see lightning in the east over the Correze at night...
This weekend we are looking at a run of 100 degree plus days....

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Strange Fruit


James Baldwin asks the question, "Who Is The Nigger?" Baldwin was probably the most acutely intelligent observer of American society and race in the pre civil rights era. This documentary, Take This Hammer eloquently dissects American racial attitudes and the evolution of the relationship in a way that could have not been done by any other person. Baldwin besides being one of the most eloquent thinkers of the era was uniquely qulaified to comment on the position of being an "outsider" being the "other". He was not only a black intellectual artist, he was gay, so he was ostracized with in his own sub group. Baldwin had to go outside of America for acceptance, yet he manages to present a vision in this documentary that goes way beyond the time he lived in.
Here’s part I of the documentary. I’m astounded by the clothing. The way people dressed back then – everyone in this clip is well dressed, “properly” dressed. It’s fascinating. Part of what’s fascinating is that there’s a discussion in some circles as to whether clothing and mode of dress impacts discrimination (the hoodie example comes to mind, but it’s not the only one). And while this doesn’t disprove that theory, since this is from 50 years ago, it is interesting to note that the African-Americans in this video looked impeccably dressed – what I’d call “preppy” today – but they were still discriminated against.
Here’s some of the more remarkable dialogue:

Young African-American kid: There ain’t gonna be no negro president of this country.
Baldwin: There will never be a negro president of this country. Why do you say that?
Kid: We can’t get jobs, how we gonna be a president?
Baldwin: Exactly. But, I want you to think about this. There will be a negro president of this country. But it will not be the country that we are sitting in now. 

Of course, this is about acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Florida murder case of Trayvon Martin. I have been involved in many on line discussions parsing the law as it is applied in Florida. The ultimate issue is not how the law was applied in this case or the lame verdict of the jury. The real issue is the Stand Your Ground Laws themselves! If you are interested, here is how I perceived the legal issues in the Florida trial and how the jury acted. I published this analysis on the Man With The MuckRake blog out of Northwestern, Ohio yesterday. It took me a few days to get from point A through to the end...and I have to admit that I haven't quite gotten to the end of it yet:
Have you ever served on a jury? I was selected to serve on 3 jury trials involving murder and attempted murders in NYC. The reason? I always answered the attorneys questions as honestly as possible. I expressed my distrust of the police and lawyers in general…I expressed my pessimism as to the effectivity of the American legals system as honestly as I could, naively thinking that this might disqualify me as a juror. Unfortunately, my penchant for honestly expressing my true feelings only seemed to seal my fate. The option of not guilty and acquital is real, but here is the legal breakdown of what options this jury was presented with in this trial and I will admit that under Florida law and the charges against Zimmrman, the jury’s verdict was ultimately a not guilty decision. Do I agree with it? Do I accept it? Simply, No..let me parse the legality of it for you and tell me what you think( warning, this could get tedious):
To secure a second-degree murder conviction, prosecutors had to convince the jury that Zimmerman acted with a “depraved” state of mind — that is, with ill will, hatred or spite. Prosecutors said he demonstrated that when he muttered, “Fuck punks. These assholes. They always get away” during a call to police as he watched Martin walk through his neighborhood.
To win a manslaughter conviction, prosecutors had to convince the jury only that Zimmerman killed without lawful justification.
More on what a lawful justification is below.
The Washington Post notes that the jury was looking at the manslaughter charge, so they dismissed Second Degree murder:
Earlier Saturday, the jury had sent a note to Judge Debra Steinberg Nelson requesting clarification of instructions related to manslaughter, signaling that they were taking a hard look at the lesser of the two charges against the former neighborhood watch volunteer and sending a jolt through the courtroom and the crowd outside. Before starting deliberations, the jury was given a cautionary note by Nelson, who instructed them that “Zimmerman cannot be guilty of manslaughter by committing a merely negligent act or if the killing was either justifiable or excusable homicide.”
Negligence means there was no intent to kill, but you were so sloppy in your actions that you killed someone. You’re negligent when you leave a loaded gun near a child, and the child uses it and harms someone, but you didn’t intend for the child to harm someone.
“Without lawful justification” sounds like you still have to find that there was intent to kill. But if you find intent, in order to convict it has to be an intent that was not lawful – meaning, it wasn’t justified by self-defense, or you weren’t a cop who’s justified in shooting someone. That’s “justifiable homicide” – you intended to kill someone, but you were justified in doing it.
As for the other term, ”excusable homicide,” here’s what it means in the Florida statutes:
782.03 Excusable homicide.—Homicide is excusable when committed by accident and misfortune in doing any lawful act by lawful means with usual ordinary caution, and without any unlawful intent, or by accident and misfortune in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation, or upon a sudden combat, without any dangerous weapon being used and not done in a cruel or unusual manner.
That’s a long definition. It actually contains 3 independent definitions of excusable homicide – if you can prove any of the three, you’re off the hook.
In order to meet the first definition of excusable homicide you need to meet all of the following four elements:

1. By accident: You drop a vase of water accidentally, it breaks, someone near you slips on the water and breaks their neck; and
2. It also has to be while doing something lawful – meaning, if you accidentally kill someone while committing a crime, it’s not excusable homicide; and
3. You have to be exercising usual caution: You can’t be negligent in doing whatever you did that accidentally led to someone else dying; and
4. You can’t have had any unlawful intent: That one’s interesting. It think it means that if I was intending to kill you, and I accidentally drop the vase, you trip on the water and die – my intent was still unlawful. So even if it was an accident, they might not let me off the hook.

But there’s a second definition that can independently count as “excusable homicide”:

1. By accident; and
2. It was the heat of passion and you were suddenly provoked to a significant degree.

I’m not entirely sure I understand this second defense. I think that may be saying that the other elements in the first definition – that you were doing something lawful, that you were exercising caution, and that you didn’t have an unlawful intent may not be necessary for this second definition of “excusable homicide” if it was the heat of passion and you were suddenly provoked to a significant degree. I wonder if this isn’t the reason the jury found Zimmerman not guilty.
And the third definition of excusable homicide in the law says that you were suddenly in a fight, and no dangerous weapon was used, yet the other guy died – that clearly doesn’t apply to this case, as there was a gun.
The not guilty verdict means the jury of six women found that Zimmerman justifiably used deadly force and reasonably believed that such force was “necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm” to himself — Florida’s definition of self-defense.

Here's what is perhaps the most powerful political song ever recorded in America and the original and definitive version by Billie Holliday, Strange Fruit:

The forces of fascism and fear are rampantly panicking in America and desperately trying to stop reality. Like dinosaurs bellowing at their inevitable oblivion, they are trying to use brute force to halt the clock, to turn back time to segregation and McCarthyism. You can't stop reality.
We Ain't Never Turning Back!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


73 year old legend, Lester Chambers, who I might add is an old friend of the family was viciously attacked on stage at the California Hayward-Russell City Blues Festival on Saturday a few hours before the Trayvon Martin Murder trial verdict was announced by a 43 year old crazed gun freak conservative white power Skank, Dinalynn Andrews Potter who assaulted him using martial arts move to stop his performance of the Curtis Mayfield classic, People Get Ready. He had dedicated it to Trayvon Martin. Potter bruised his ribs, kicked him in the kidneys and caused nerve damage to suppress his free speech and express her hate. Is this the violence that FOX NEWS was predicting over the Trayvon Martin verdict? 
The lead in video is Lester's Kick Starter project for his next recoding. Let's make it happen, follow the link, give him a few bucks. Lester Chambers is one of the big voices of American music! Do you remember the band he had in the 1960's with his Brothers?  The Chambers Brothers? If there ever was a band that crossed over at the right time, they were the guys. They could do it all. Tight soul R&B, Gospel and then generating one of the high water moments of mid 60's Rock, the psychedelic trip that was Time Has Come Today...and it was the voice of Lester Chambers that fueled it!
Lester will be back singing louder than ever. I truly believe it and he will never let us forget that

One more video, this is an interview with Lester Chambers in which he describes the incident. He mentions that Miss Potter wasn't even held, but charged with assault and released.It's all too easy to imagine what would have happened if the racial roles were reversed!
And now, the star of our show!

Monday, July 15, 2013

I couldn't stop myself from posting this. Neil Aspinal's video for Tomorrow Never Knows....The message never. ever changes, Tomorrow Never Knows!

la Quatorze

Lat night, the horizon was ablaze even here in rural France as villages and towns celebrated our national holiday, Bastille Day! This is a video from last nights display in Paris and of course the real star of the show was La Tour Eiffel! Remember, people make revolutions. The government is all about maintaining the status quo, protecting it's vested interest. A revolution doesn't have to be violent. Today as we can learn from countries like Iceland, it can be a simple as crowd sourcing a new constitution. Pretty much like upgrading the operating system of your computer to protect it from hacking, bugs and
In case you missed it, the rainbow
gay pride tribute sequence!
viruses. That is the flaw of any nobly intent antique constitution. The only people who read it are those intent on interpreting the language to fit  their intent. A government has to be a living organism that reflects the will of the people who it supposedly serves. An organism evolves. It withers and dies when it is encased in a museum under glass. America is the perfect example. What was once "We The People" is now "We The Corporations And It's Lawyers". Maybe though, it's time to take Bill Gates, The Corporate Board of Monsanto, The Texas State Legislature and few other entities that have evolved beyond any definition of "We The People" and take them out in back of the barn and shoot 'em

French etching from 1789 depicting the storming of the Bastille.
The storming of the Bastille occurred in Paris, France on the morning of 14 July 1789. The medieval fortress and prison in Paris known as the Bastille represented royal authority in the centre of Paris. While the prison only contained seven inmates at the time of its storming, its fall was the flashpoint of the French Revolution.
The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed within three years. French society underwent a dramatic transformation, as feudal, aristocratic and religious privileges evaporated under a sustained assault from radical left-wing political groups, masses on the streets, and peasants in the countryside. Old ideas about tradition and hierarchy regarding monarchs, aristocrats, and the Catholic Church were abruptly overthrown by new principles o liberty, equality and fraternity. The modern era has unfolded in the shadow of the French Revolution. The growth of republics and liberal democracies, the spread of secularism, the development of modern ideologies, and the invention of total war all mark their birth during the Revolution.

And of course, in France, The President gives an interview. Here we see our President "Normal" Francois Hollande giving a pretty upbeat message on the economy. When asked about his dismal approval ratings, he was able to joke about the traditional pessimism and depression of the French population even in the very best of times. He did make a very strong statement that while he was president of France, he would never ever consider the possibility of Fraking! Hollande's biggest problem is his public image and ability to manage his diverse coalition and most important, the way they communicate with the media. The right  wing nationalists have such a simplistic, negative message, like the Republicans and the Tea Baggers in America...Hollande inherited Sarkozy's debacle and he has to turn it around. Sarkozy just has to be seen with his ex groupie pop star wife, Carlita Brun brun in public to have his likability ratings go up a notch....

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Texas: The Next Romania?

I'm beginning to believe that there are a lot of parallels to be
considered between Romania under Nicolae Ceausescu and
the bizarre fascist teabagger fantasy land that Texas seems so desperately
wants to become. Death To Dictators!
Fuck Fascism!

Overplanned Parenthood:

Ceausescu's cruel law

Nicolae Ceausescu loved nothing better than a monument to himself. But his ministerial palaces and avenues paled next to another of his schemes for building socialism: a plan to increase Romania's population from 23 million to 30 million by the year 2000. He began his campaign in 1966 with a decree that virtually made pregnancy a state policy. "The fetus is the property of the entire society," Ceausescu proclaimed. "Anyone who avoids having children is a deserter who abandons the laws of national continuity."
It was one of the late dictator's cruelest commands. At first Romania's birthrate nearly doubled. But poor nutrition and inadequate prenatal care endangered many pregnant women. The country's infant-mortality rate soard to 83 deaths in every 1,000 births (against a Western European average of less than 10 per thousand). About one in 10 babies was born underweight; newborns weighing 1,500 grams (3 pounds, 5 ounces) were classified as miscarriages and denied treatment. Unwanted survivors often ended up in orphanages. "The law only forbade abortion," says Dr. Alexander Floran Anca of Bucharest. "It did nothing to promote life."
Ceausescu made mockery of family planning. He forbade sex education. Books on human sexuality and reproduction were classified as "state secrets," to be used only as medical textbooks. With contraception banned, Romanians had to smuggle in condoms and birth-control pills. Though strictly illegal, abortions remained a widespread birth-control measure of last resort. Nationwide, Western sources estimate, 60 percent of all pregnancies ended in abortion or miscarriage.
The government's enforcement techniques were as bad as the law. Women under the age of 45 were rounded up at their workplaces every one to three months and taken to clinics, where they were examined for signs of pregnancy, often in the presence of government agents - dubbed the "menstrual police" by some Romanians. A pregnant woman who failed to "produce" a baby at the proper time could expect to be summoned for questioning. Women who miscarried were suspected of arranging an abortion. Some doctors resorted for forging statistics. "If a child died in our district, we lost 10 to 25 percent of our salary," says Dr. Geta Stanescu of Bucharest. "But it wasn't our fault: we had no medicine or milk, and the families were poor."
Abortion was legal in some cases: if a woman was over 40, if she already had four children, if her life was in danger - or, in practice, if she had Communist Party connections. Otherwise, illegal abortions cost from two to four months' wages. If something went wrong, the legal consequences were enough to deter many women from seeking timely medical help. "Usually women were so terrified to come to the hospital that by the time we saw them it was too late," says Dr. Anca. "Often they died at home." No one knows how many women died from these back-alley abortions.
"Celibacy tax": A woman didn't have to be pregnant to come under scrutiny. In 1986 members of the Communist youth group were sent to quiz citizens about their sex lives. "How often do you have sexual intercourse?" the questionnaire read. "Why have you failed to conceive?" Women who did not have children, even if they could not, paid a "celibacy tax" of up to 10 percent of their monthly salaries.
The rebels who overthrew Ceausescu last month quickly rescinded the policy. "I would have killed Ceausescu for that law alone," says Maria Dulce from her bed at Bucharest's Municipal Hospital. The 29-year-old mother of two is recovering from a self-induced abortion. Here eyes are bruised with fatigue. She is among a half dozen women in the dingy hospital room. Dulce says she terminated her pregnancy because of the trauma associated with caring for her second child, an 18-month-old boy. "We had to buy milk on the black market," she says, "and we had to buy a heater just for the baby's room." She had to have an emergency hysterectomy only days before the uprising. "Now that it's possible for a woman to be a woman again I'm mutilated," Dulce says through tears. "And now there is a reason to have a child in this country."
The tile of this article in Todays Guardian Observer says it all, Texas thinks of women as second-class citizens-if it thinks we're citizens at all.....

It's too much to even fantasize that the women of Texas could unite and stand together to "JUST SAY NO!" No more pregnancies, no more births, no more sex until the aging ambitious political hypocrites who are controlling the legislature admit that women are not to be considered breeding stock, property, chattel for them to do with as they please to pander to an aging, dying white minority. What else do they do? They have destroyed the health care system, the food stamp program, the very essential tools that they would need to sustain the birth rate they seem to think will re new their toxic white christian fantasy. Their fantasy will destroy them. This is not wishful thinking, this is reality.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

technical difficulties

I was having some serious computer burps today trying to install some new photoshop stuff, but I think it's okay now...buurrrpppp!

Monday, July 08, 2013

Forced Feeding

The inmates of the Guantanamo Prison Facility in Cuba have never received due process. The entire situation is an indelible stain on America which can never be made to go away. It has been documented that many of the inmates are there because they were unjustly accused by Afghanis who wanted revenge or to seize their property and saw the opportunity. It's Ramadan and the prisoners who are on a hunger strike because of the seemingly never ending kafkaesque reality they are living are being force fed against their will. Force feeding only assuages the guilt of the oppressors. In reality, it is an even bigger torture than the one the prisoners are trying to escape from.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

where no man has gone before...#2 (how's your bird?)

The esteemed Mr. Squatio prodded me into recalling an episode from Star Trek from 1968 that broke a few barriers all at the same time. Not only did it feature real inter planetary sexual action...dig Spock...but it really featured the first really hot inter racial kiss...William Shatner as Kirk and Nichelle Nichols as Uhura...we crossed these lines decades ago and we are ready for the next frontier..so to speak...We are over this. The conservatives and the christian right are trying to drag us back into their own repressed stone age where the only inter specie sexuality they can grasp occurred between a Virgin? and a deified imaginary big bird....

Friday, July 05, 2013

No Smoking

I meant to post this last night...Mr. Hulot's Holiday...1953
Jacques Tati demonstrates why smoking a pipe  might be dangerous in a room filled 
with fireworks...

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

To Boldly Go...where no man has gone before.....

Primitive Obsession
In the days following the Supreme Courts historic striking down of DOMA decision, the conservative christan and tea brained bigots have all burst flaming from their hate filled closets. It's pretty idiotic of me to even ask "What is it with these guys and gals?" First, we have Kentucky Senator and practicing Aqua Budha Boy, the air head apparent so to speak, Rand Paul being interviewed on Glenn Beck...I guess that says it all the day after the decision::

“I think this is the conundrum and gets back to what you were saying in the opening — whether or not churches should decide this. But it is difficult because if we have no laws on this people take it to one extension further. Does it have to be humans?
“You know, I mean, so there really are, the question is what social mores, can some social mores be part of legislation? Historically we did at the state legislative level, we did allow for some social mores to be part of it. Some of them were said to be for health reasons and otherwise, but I’m kind of with you, I see the thousands-of-year tradition of the nucleus of the family unit. I also see that economically, if you just look without any kind of moral periscope and you say, what is it that is the leading cause of poverty in our country? It’s having kids without marriage. The stability of the marriage unit is enormous and we should not just say oh we’re punting on it, marriage can be anything.”

Of course, when challenged hours later on his statement, he backtracked with the typical...I did not mean what you heard me say and I'll get back to you when my lawyers tell me what I really said...kind of logic.
Ex Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum immediately twitted that this brought back his old "man on dog" days. Pat Roberson, always the voice of moderation on these matters immediately forecast a  heavy rain of fire and brimstone because, well, then, god just might be a little peeved over this, but then again, Robertson makes a lot of "predictions".  Predictably, as well, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council claimed that the Supreme Court decision "Car Jacked" the nation.  Conservative Tea Brains, religious fanatics all seem to be in the same downward spiral in the mental toilet bowl of their collective hate. The collective sputtering and short circuiting of faulty brain synapses is beginning to get pretty confusing. The static howl is beginning to drown out their own arguments! What next?
What next? Don't be silly! We have to ban the future! We have to ban cosmic alien sex! That seems to be the next frontier of conservative sexual paranoiac panic! And conservative christian radio preacher, Kevin Swanson is leading the charge with his claims that the new Star Trek movie, Star Trek:Into Darkness, definitely promotes bestiality, because, you know, Kirk has sexual relations with a green skinned alien hottie and you just know what perverted thoughts that might put into the minds of America's pristine youth! You can read and listen to the actual radio broadcast here!
Sex with the aliens 2013!
But it's not like this hasn't happened before...the old Kirk, William Shatner used to have sex with alien hotties all the time and no body raised an eyebrow!
Sex with the aliens, 1966!
But, Star Trek was always about breaking barriers and instilling dangerous ideas in the consciousness of Americans. Star Trek broke any number of taboos in it's original form. The character, Mr. Spock, Chekov the Russian or Sulu...I'd say George Takei has broken more barriers in his life than any number of so called controversial personalities just by simply being George Takei. The most threatening character, to conservative white Americans, in the original series was of course the character played by Nichelle Nichols, Lieutenant Uhura. A strong African American woman who was in charge, did her job competently and was accepted as just another member of this crew. As evidence as to how dangerous the character she embodied, Lieutenant Uruha really was, I must quote from this NPR interview she did a few years ago talking about an encounter she had with a certain Star Trek fan:

Ms. NICHOLS: I went in to tell Gene Roddenberry that I was leaving after the first season, and he was very upset about it. And he said, take the weekend and think about what I am trying to achieve here in this show. You're an integral part and very important to it. And so I said, yes, I would. And that - on Saturday night, I went to an NAACP fundraiser, I believe it was, in Beverly Hills. And one of the promoters came over to me and said, Ms. Nichols, there's someone who would like to meet you. He says he is your greatest fan.
And I'm thinking a Trekker, you know. And I turn, and before I could get up, I looked across the way and there was the face of Dr. Martin Luther King smiling at me and walking toward me. And he started laughing. By the time he reached me, he said, yes, Ms. Nichols, I am your greatest fan. I am that Trekkie.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Ms. NICHOLS: And I was speechless. He complimented me on the manner in which I'd created the character. I thanked him, and I think I said something like, Dr. King, I wish I could be out there marching with you. He said, no, no, no. No, you don't understand. We don't need you on the - to march. You are marching. You are reflecting what we are fighting for. So, I said to him, thank you so much. And I'm going to miss my co-stars.
And his face got very, very serious. And he said, what are you talking about? And I said, well, I told Gene just yesterday that I'm going to leave the show after the first year because I've been offered - and he stopped me and said: You cannot do that. And I was stunned. He said, don't you understand what this man has achieved? For the first time, we are being seen the world over as we should be seen. He says, do you understand that this is the only show that my wife Coretta and I will allow our little children to stay up and watch. I was speechless.

But as seemingly controversial that Star Trek appeared, the line of inter species kannoodoling had long been crossed utterly and irrevocably many years earlier. I mean, what would the Reverend Swanson have to say about this?