Thursday, January 31, 2013


The NRA Honor Roll


We can only thank the NRA for giving us great ideas for people and companies to support.
May be some day, if I try hard enough, i will be on it....I have my dreams.
I have states over and over again that I am not anti-gun. I am, however, anti-NRA, which isn’t pro-gun so much as it is the advocacy wing of the arms dealer industry.
Anyway, the organization has now released a compilation of
National Organizations With Anti-Gun Policies (aka an enemies list). In their words:
The following organizations have lent monetary, grassroots or some other type of direct support to anti-gun organizations. In many instances, these organizations lent their name in support of specific campaigns to pass anti-gun legislation such as the March 1995 HCI “Campaign to Protect Sane Gun Laws.” Many of these organizations were listed as “Campaign Partners,” for having pledged to fight any efforts to repeal the Brady Act and the Clinton “assault weapons” ban. All have officially endorsed anti-gun positions.
The roundup also targets “Anti-Gun Individuals & Celebrities,” “national figures,” “journalists [who] actively editorialize in favor of gun control laws,” “Anti-Gun Corporations/Corporate Heads” and “Publication and Media Outlets.” When you dig into the specifics of whom the NRA regards as a menace to a free society, things get really entertaining. Here are just a few.
A & M Records
AARP
American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing
American Multi Cinemas Entertainment, Inc.
Amitai Etzioni – Teacher
Anne Rice – Writer
Barry Manilow – Singer
Ben & Jerry`s Homemade, Inc.
Billy Crystal- Actor
Bishop Edmond Browning – Espiscopal Leader
Blue Cross Blue Shield – Kansas City
Bob Barker – TV Personality
Boys II Men – Pop Group
Capital Cities/ABC
Carrie Fisher – Actress
Catherine Zeta-Jones – Actress
CBS Television Network
Chaka Khan – Singer
Children`s Defense Fund
Christie Brinkley – Model
Congress of National Black Churches, Inc.
Cox Newspapers
Crown Central Petroleum Corp.
Doug Flutie – NFL player
Drew Barrymore – Actress
E.J. Dionne Jr. – Columnist
Earthgrains – St. Louis
Ebony Magazine
Episcopal Church-Washington Office
Frank Rich – Columnist
Gannett News Service
George Clooney – Actor
Gloria Estefan – Singer
Gray Panthers
Hallmark Cards
Henry Winkler – Actor
Interfaith Neighbors
Jack Nicholson – Actor
Jerry Seinfeld – Actor
Jon Bon Jovi – Singer
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Royals
Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds – Singer
Kenneth Cole
Kevin Costner – Actor
Keyshawn Johnson – NFL player
Kim Cattrall- Actress
Knight-Ridder Newspapers
Lauren Bacall – Actress*
League of Women Voters of the United States*
Leonard Nimoy – Actor
Levi Strauss & Co.
Los Angeles Times
Louis Anderson – Comedian
Madonna – Singer
Mandy Patinkin – Actor
Maya Angelou – Poet
McCall`s Magazine
Mel Brooks – Actor/Director
Miami Herald
Michael Eisner, Former Chairman and CEO The Walt Disney Company
Mike Luckovich – Cartoonist
Mike Peters – Cartoonist
Missy Elliott – Singer
Motorcycle Cruiser Magazine
National Association of Police Organizations
National Black Nurses` Association
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
NBC Television Network
Peter Yarrow – Singer
Richard Parsons – Pres. Time Warner
Robert Reno – Columnist
Rolling Stone Magazine
Russell Simmons – Record Producer
Sally Field – Actress
Sara Lee Corporation
Sarah Jessica Parker – Actress
Sean Connery – Actor
Shania Twain – Singer
Sheryl Crow – Singer
Sigourney Weaver – Actress
Spike Lee – Director
Sprint Corp PAC
St. Louis Rams
Steve Buscemi – Actor
Stoneyfield Farms Yogurt
Susan Sarandon – Actress
The Christian Science Monitor
The New York Times Corporation
The Temptations – Pop Group
The Tribune Company
Tim Toles – Cartoonist
Time Magazine
Time Warner Inc.
Tom Freston – MTV President
Tom Oliphant- Columnist
Tony Bennett – Singer
United Church of Christ, Office for Church in Society*
United Methodist Church, General Board & Church Society
United States Catholic Conference
Washington Post
YWCA of the U.S.A.

Maya Angelou? Jon Bon Jovi? The St. Louis Rams? Hallmark? Inigo Freakin’ Montoya?
Maybe if I try harder, I can be on this list......
In the meantime, not a bad collection of people and organizations to support, huh?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Shazzaam!


This is the week that France will adopt Mariage pour Tous  as the  law of the land. The conservative Catholics and the Front National are kicking and screaming up to the wire. The Ultra Conservative Catholic Civitas Organization is holding non stop prayer services in the streets of Paris to ask god's damnation to rain down on the blasphemous Socialiste administration. When the law came up for a vote today in the French Legislature, it was revealed that the Conservative deputies had tacked almost 200 ridiculous proposals onto it as a tactic to delay the vote...The results...a disaster in the polls for the Conservatives...we are sick and tired of the whining of a small irrelevant portion of French Society taking up so much of our time and space. As Frank Zappa said, "Look here, brother, who you jivin' with that cosmic debris?"

Hunnee, Ah'm Sorry I Spilt Muh Beer On The Carpet......

A teenage girl--an honor student who had just performed at President Obama's inaugural--was gunned down Tuesday afternoon in the Kenwood neighborhood, just blocks from the high school she attended.
CBS 2's Mike Parker reports the victim, 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, was taking shelter from the rain with a group of 10 to 12 teenagers under a canopy in Vivian Gordon Harsh Park on the 4500 block of South Oakenwald Avenue around 2:30 p.m., when someone jumped a fence, ran up to them, and opened fire. But...hey she jes a nigra...an she be outside afta  mos white people takes theys prescription drugs and get drunk an goes to bed...so wha's the fuss? whaaaa? stop thinkin at meeeee....I gotta go look at what FOX say now about this befo I kin have sum thoughts.....
Ummm. so I checked out FOX an saw this interview with Dick Cheney.... 

Hey, the dude mighty have accidentally shot a man in the face while he was vice president, but hell, he was the frikin VP so thanks to Fox News for flying to Nevada to get his advice on recently-proposed gun control laws.
Fox News correspondent Griff Jenkins caught up with Cheney over the week at the Safari Club International convention for gun owners and manufacturers, where the former vice president and his daughter, Liz,
participated in a discussion about gun rights and the realism of torture in the film "Zero Dark Thirty." Cheney told Jenkins he was "worried" we all are about President Barack Obama's efforts to increase gun safety.
"We may end up in a situation where you get a proposal or a proposition that does, in fact, threaten the rights of law-abiding Americans, and at the same time, doesn't do anything with respect to the problem everybody's concerned about, such as the shooting that happened in Connecticut," the Wyoming Republican said.
"I find especially in groups like the group here and an awful lot of my folks in Wyoming who supported me all those years in Congress are very, very concerned that there isn't adequate regard for the rights of law-abiding citizens," he added. "We understand that there's clearly an effort underway, but one of the things we've done in Wyoming -- with respect to Jackson Hole, where I live, with respect to safety of schools -- we have a deputy sheriff, armed deputy sheriff at the schools in the city. And that's probably a more effective deterrent than anything that Congress seems to be debating at the present time."
"How worried are you the President Obama's gun control plan threatens the Second Amendment rights of every law-abiding American?" Jenkins asked.
"I think a lot of people are worried," Cheney said, pointing to a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit which found that Obama had
violated the Constitution by making recess appointments while lawmakers were using gimmick to keep Congress in session over the holidays.
"So I think the concern is very real and very legitimate, that the administration sometimes isn't as cautious or as precise, if you will," Cheney opined.
While on a 2006 hunting trip for quail in Texas, Cheney mistakenly shot 78-year-old Harry Whittington in the face.
"I am the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend," he
later told Fox News. "That is something I will never forget". Thank you FOX News for making it a whole lot easier not to have to think...about anything....Wait a second, what's this yer on FOX?....What's Wayne LaPierre gonna say about this?  He's testifyin in front of the senate! I means, you gotta expect this kinda shit if Obama's gonna take away our guns! I gotta get back to Mr. Cheney! Oh Sheeit.... Damn, now, I kicked over my beer...damn, now whatami gonna tell my wife?

Okay, so google chrome won't let me use blogger...very interesting...I just 
uploaded this from my Safari browser....but now, I am going to use
my firefox browser...with the extreemly cool futurama animated
skin.....
 

Blogger doesn't seem to want to let me post anything....I can't upload images! Very frustrating!

Monday, January 28, 2013

L'emmerdeur

L'emmerdeur...1973 with Lino Ventura and Jacques Brel... I cannot believe I found the entire film on YouTube! I think you really don't have to understand French to appreciate this, but of course, it would help...Brel was absolutely brilliant as L'emmerdeur....Ventura did what Lino did best, the hard guy, who was a softy at heart....Nobody did it better than Lino Ventura. Do you need a translation of the title? Uhh...L'emmerdeur...he's the frikin tar baby only it ain't tar babe, it's the shit!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Find' em, Fund' em and Forget 'em



Watch The Untouchables on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

The Untouchables was broadcast on Frontline this week as part of their continuing investigation into the Financial debacle of 2009 and it's aftermath. This episode deals with the so far lack of prosecution and the seeming hands off attitude of the Federal Government to Wall Street and the Financial Institutions. One of the people interviewed is Fim Maker, Nick Verbitsky, who made the Documentary, The Confidence Game in which he exposes the culpability of our Federal Legal System in letting these guys go on with their lives scot free and red handed.
The bottom feeders, the actual victims of the housing loan crash are the only ones who have suffered here. There have been a few billion in fines, but that is but a fraction of the real cost to the American Economy and even more so, the financial stability of the world.
The recent appointments of the Obama administration Mark 2, make me even more wary that there will ever be any meaningful reform of the American financial system. The sharks will never be punished which is wrong, because it only encourages the repetition and even more financial chicanery. I am sorry I can't embed the entire videos here, only the trailers, but the Frontline piece is one of the most lucid documentaries I have seen that explain the present state of non action  on the crimes of Wall Street and what they did and how they did it. I would recommend that you watch it.
We should take a lesson from Iceland. Wouldn't it  be nice if the Obama administration was paying attention:

Iceland President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson tells Al Jazeera's Stephen Cole that Europe should let banks that are ran "irresponsibly" go bankrupt. Speaking at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Grimsson also held his country as a model of economic recovery after its near-collapse four years ago. "We didn't follow the traditional prevailing orthodoxies. And the end result four years later is that Iceland is enjoying progress and recovery." Fact: Iceland is prosecuting and jailing it's criminal financial CEO's. when no one else is. Fact: Iceland is the most rapidly recovering economy on the planet now and they reject IMF Bailouts and the Austerity conditions it would have imposed on the Icelandic people!

Please, Mr. Boehner, Don't Ever Change....

House Speaker John Boehner is worried:
"Given what we heard yesterday about the president's vision for his second term, it's pretty clear to me that he knows he can't do any of that as long as the House is controlled by Republicans," Boehner said in a speech Tuesday to The Ripon Society. "So we're expecting over the next 22 months to be the focus of this administration as they attempt to annihilate the Republican Party.
"And let me just tell you, I do believe that is their goal — to just shove us into the dustbin of history."
Given that it was the Republicans' stated goal in 2010 to
make Barack Obama a one-term president, it's only fair that he and the Democrats at least try to return the favor. But even if they don't, the GOP seems to have done a pretty good job of destroying themselves in the eyes of the average voter all by themselves.
The best thing President Obama could do is just leave them alone. Please proceed, Mr. Speaker.  
As thousands of people endured the bitter cold temperatures in Washington, D.C., on Friday to join the anti-abortion protest "March for Life," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) took the opportunity to suck up to the extreme conservatives, who are a small minority in the nation. A recent poll showed that 7 in 10 Americans now oppose Roe v. Wade being overturned.
Addressing the crowd at the National Mall in a video broadcast, Boehner said it's time for anti-abortion activisits to "commit ourselves to doing everything we can to protect the sanctity of life." Step one, he said, is making the Hyde Amendment permanent, which prevents federal dollars from being used to pay for abortions except in cases of rape or incest.
"For the new Congress, that means bringing together a bipartisan pro-life majority and getting to work," Boehner said. "In accordance with the will of the people, we will again work to pass the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, formally codifying the Hyde Amendment."
Boehner said he will make it a national priority to "help make abortion a relic of the past."
"Let that be one of our most fundamental goals this year," he said.
Why does John Boehner insist upon drawing from the minority of people to determine -- in his mind -- what the will of the people is? And abortion a national priority in 2013, really? Did he sleep through the 2012 election cycle?
I have to make the connection between this desperate attempt by Boehner to connect with his "base" and the ongoing legalization of "Mariage pour Tous" here in France. Mariage Pour Tous is the phrase that means Gay Marriage here. The right has allied itself with the Catholics and generated a few highly organized and orchestrated anti gay marriage events here in France over the last few months. The results? As of today, the French public supports Mariage Pour Tous overwhelmingly by 65% in all polls. Today, an alternative demonstration is taking place in cities all over France...it is a very nasty winter and rainy and cold, yet in French cities, millions of people are out on the streets demonstrating their support for the rights of Male and Female Gay couples to legally wed and adopt children The more the Conservatives bigots make an embarrassing display of their hate, the more they turn off the rest of the country. Though, America does not have the religious history of France,  the majority of Americans are good people and ruled by the same impulses. After all, after all is said and done, and the hooting of the idiots dies down on FOX NEWS, America did re elect Barak Hussein Obama for a second term.
Also from the poll I mentioned above:
"McInturff adds that the abortion-related events and rhetoric over the past year – which included controversial remarks on abortion and rape by two Republican Senate candidates, as well as a highly charged debate over contraception – helped shaped these changing poll numbers.
“The dialogue we have had in the last year has contributed … to inform and shift attitudes.”'
However, if Mr. Boehner wants to continue to push the Republican party into irrelevance, that's okay by me. As long as he doesn't waist precious time that should be devoted to real issues that concern the majority of Americans today.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Another Kind Of Love

I have posted work by the surrealist film maker, Jan Svankmajer in the past. He has been making his incredible stop animation films since the mid 1950's and still is a major influence on todays avant and mainstream cinema.
 This is a music video he created for Hugh Cornwall in 1988.

Just Another Pathetic Little Pussy Boy Weiner Dog..


This is sure to be a contender for the Stupidest Right-Wing Tweet of 2013. A tweeter named Copperbird replied aptly, Hey Tucker, fighting for your country is not the same as being beaten by your boyfriend or husband. Sad you don't get that, but...maybe Tucker and his buds really do "get that"....
The next woman you try to intimidate might just have the skills to kick your pussy boy little ass, because Tucker is just another pompous chicken hawk little weener who never ever considered serving in the US Armed Forces and if he ever was in the position to have to deal with The Draft...would have shat his pants like Teddy Boy Nugent......
Indeed.

Tucker Carlson on Women in the Military (and some responses)
Posted on January 24, 2013 by Ampersand:

Feminism’s latest victory: the right to get your limbs blown off in war. Congratulations.

January 23, 2013 8:19 pm via Twitter for iPhoneReplyRetweetFavorite

@TuckerCarlson
Tucker Carlson
@TuckerCarlson The “right” won was a woman’s freedom to decide if she wants to try to become a warrior for her country. Why so threatened?
January 23, 2013 8:29 pm via webReplyRetweetFavorite

@DenisDison
Denis Dison
@TuckerCarlson Women have been in combat since the CIVIL War & before. This is nothing new. And have you met Tammy Duckworth?
January 23, 2013 8:31 pm via webReplyRetweetFavorite

@LauraChapin
Laura Chapin
@
TuckerCarlson Absolutely, positively, undeniably spoken like someone who has never risked his life in service to his country or community
January 23, 2013 8:36 pm via Twitter for iPhoneReplyRetweetFavorite

@Cops4Labor
Brian Austin
@
TuckerCarlson Ummmm, sitting US Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth. But she’s a Dem so you probably didn’t hear of her.
January 23, 2013 8:37 pm via Twitter for iPhoneReplyRetweetFavorite

@chrisswartout
Christopher Swartout
@TuckerCarlson Women already in combat situations & getting killed, injured-this gives them chance to adbvance in miltary and get other jobs
January 23, 2013 8:53 pm via webReplyRetweetFavorite

@AlBernstein
Al Bernstein
@
TuckerCarlson Meet Lt Melissa Stockwell, CU graduate, Iraq Vet, Paralympic medalist, Ironman triathletehttp://t.co/XxZTgmOx
January 23, 2013 8:54 pm via webReplyRetweetFavorite

@LauraChapin
Laura Chapin
And
Adam Serwer:
In the US military, a woman’s service is not recognized, professionally or financially, the same way as a man’s. Because women have not been eligible for “combat role” positions—even though they were shooting and being shot at—they were denied access to certain career opportunities. The plaintiffs in a lawsuit the American Civil Liberties Union filed against the Department of Defense over the exclusion of women from combat roles offer great examples of this discrimination. Two of the plaintiffs in that case have received Purple Hearts, and two have received combat medals. One of the plaintiffs, Air Force Major Mary Jennings Hegar, a helicopter pilot, was shot down in Afghanistan attempting to evacuate wounded US service members. She engaged in a firefight with enemy forces and was shot before escaping. Women are already “getting their limbs blown off in war.” Panetta’s announcement will ensure they are recognized for it.

Cirrus

This is the new video by Bonobo...I enjoyed it even more after licking the back of my giant cane toad.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Paris 1968

The James Brown Revue at The Olympia in Paris in 1968. The incredible JBs with Bobby Byrd.
But, for me the icing on the cake is the Collins boys...Phelps (Catfish) Collins on guitar and his little barely legal 18 year old brother, Bootsy showing that even as an infant, he was already the greatest R&B bass player on the planet! Check out the bass solo around the 7 minute mark....

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Weenies

A fairly ironic clip from Bill O' who was trying to get  Fox News military analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (ret.) , who has certainly not been known for his affection for progressives and liberalism, to criticize Hillary Clintons testimony at the Benghazi Senate Sideshow Hearings yesterday. He only had praise for Clinton’s performance. “I came away with deeper respect for Hillary Clinton’s bureaucratic lawyerly brilliance,” Peters said. “I mean she was just tough and good and the Republicans looked like weenies:”
It really gives you cause for reflection when someone flirting with serious senility issues, like John McCain is able to highjack foreign policy when in the real world, if he had a real job, his employers would be forced to take out a very special insurance policy just in case he tried to operate a Nespresso Machine.
The real loser, aside form the Republican Wisconsin Senator, Ron Johnson who seemed to have had Hillary hand him his testicles in a paper sack, was Rand Paul, who seemed to be lost in his delusions of grandeur as he slipped deeper and deeper into his krazy konservative konspiracy theory alternative universe. I think this little video sums up Rand and his 2016 Presidential fantasies...... 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Gonna Take A Miracle

The Royalettes, written and produced by Teddy Randazzo in 1965.
I took my wife to Brive-la-Gaillarde for a scheduled stay in a clinic for foot surgery today...I had to leave before dawn and driving the 20 kilometers down to the highway, we saw a number of minor accidents caused by the icy steep downhill road. On the way back, this song came into my head and I found myself singing at the top of my lungs and crying my eyes out...It felt so good that I had to find the original and share it.

The Ypsilanti Trinity

I was originally going to write about the controversy surrounding The Sunday Assembly, the recently founded "atheist" church in London. They held their first service blessed by comedians on January 6, 2012 attended by 200 faithful? faithless...but that's the kick...why would atheists need a church? I don't. The faithful believers speak of their pity for atheists who have no sense of awe or center in their lives. I, my self believe that the sense of awe I experience in my continual adventure in not knowing and being able to continuously evolve my sense of reality as I learn is more powerful than any frozen in stone dogma.
What atheists need is tolerance from those who belief is so "strong" that they feel threatened by anyone who doesn't share their support system. Actually, even though a belief in god is shared by many people of the planet, the mode of belief is one of the most dangerously divisive factors influencing the peace and security of our world....so, instead, I am posting this 1959 bit of research by psychologist Milton Rokeach who assembled three mentally ill patients each of whom believed he was Jesus Christ:
Leon: “People can use the same Bible but some of them will worship Jesus Christ instead of worshiping God through Jesus Christ.”
Clyde: “We worship both.”
Leon: “I don’t worship you. I worship God Almighty through you, and through him, and him.”
Clyde: “You oughta worship me, I’ll tell you that!”
Leon: “I will not worship you! You’re a creature! You better live your own life and wake up to the facts.”
Clyde: “I’m living my life. You don’t wake up! You can’t wake up!”
Joseph: “No two men are Jesus Christs.”
Leon: “You hear mechanical voices.”
Clyde: “You don’t get it right. I don’t care what you call it. I hear natural voices. I hear to heaven. I hear all over.”
Joseph: “I’m going back to England.”
Leon: “Sir, if the good Lord wills only.”
Joseph: “Good Lord! I’m the good Lord!”
Leon: “That’s your belief, sir.”
Rokeach intended the study as an inquiry into the nature of identity: If there is only one son of God, how would these men react on encountering one another? He found that they explained the disagreement by calling one another crazy, duped, or disingenuous, but that the conflict was less damaging psychologically than might have been supposed. In his 1964 account of the experiment, The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, Rokeach writes, “We have learned that even when a summit of three is composed of paranoid men, deadlocked over the ultimate in human contradiction, they prefer to seek ways to live with one another in peace rather than destroy one another.”

Monday, January 21, 2013

In America, Every Day Is Gun Appreciation Day


Saturday, as you might well have been aware, wa the official NRA Gun Appreciation Day. Every once in a while, gun fanciers will point out the the odd case where someone actually used a gun responsibly. But well, welly, welly, well, they rarely ever take notice of the majority of the cases of things going a wee bit wrong. I was going to compile a list of things that went wrong on 2013 Gun Appreciation Day USA, but  Gawker already did it, I might as well point you to their "Gun Appreciation Day" casualties:
Saturday was deemed
a day to appreciate your guns in America, and boy did we. Five people were shot at gun shows in North Carolina, Ohio and Indiana. These were not, however, the only instances of gun violence yesterday.
As happens everyday, numerous people were either injured or killed by guns on "Gun Appreciation Day," be it on purpose or accidentally. Spanning Alaska to Florida, here are those people:
A 14-year-old suburban Atlanta boy
shot and killed his 15-year-old brother while playing with their mother's handgun.
A 26 year old was
shot and killed while driving in San Francisco.
A man was
found dead from a gunshot wound in his home in Kansas City, Kansas.
A woman in an El Paso County, Texas shooting range was 
hit in the knee by a bullet that ricocheted off a trash can.
Two women were
shot to death in a Dallas-area home.
Two women were injured after someone
opened fire at a crowded soccer field in Las Vegas.
A 15-year-old girl was
shot while sleeping in her bed when her Anchorage home was shot at.
A 7-year-old boy in Tallahassee
shot a 5 year old with a gun he found in a 22-year-old relative's room.
A Huntsville woman
shot her boyfriend after the two had an argument.
A 23-year-old man died after being accidentally shot in a Greshman, Oregon home.
A Cleveland father has been charged in connection with the death of his 6-year-old daughter from a
self-inflicted gunshot wound.
One man was shot in
Elyria, Ohio, just west of Cleveland, early Saturday morning.
A man was found
shot dead in a parking lot in Greenville County, South Carolina.
Two people were
shot and killed outside an inn in Hampton, Virginia.
At least
10 people were shot in Chicago, at least two were fatal.
A Colorado Springs man was driven to the hospital with a 
gunshot wound.
A Jackson, Mississippi police officer
was shot while responding to a disturbance call.
One man was
shot at a Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Jackson.
Two men and one woman
were shot at a home in Oakland.
An 11-year-old boy
was shot in an Oklahoma City apartment complex.
Police in Richmond, Virginia are
looking for three menwho shot another man in his thirties.
Police believe
gang violence is to blame for the shooting death of one man in Santa Ana, California.
An
early morning shooting in Tuscaloosa injured two teenagers.
Oh, and here's another one: Father shoots wife and then himself at daughter's 16th birthday party.
And, since in America, everyday is Gun Appreciation Day, this afternoon, shortly after the Martin Luther King Day Parade in New Orleans, a late model Nissan or Pontiac drove up the route and shot 5 people on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and LaSalle Street.

Have you hugged your gun lately?

The 57th Presidential Inauguration


Congrats To The GOP On Reagan's Ninth Term In Office
I try to admit when I was wrong. And I was wrong about you guys. Since we're all going to watch Ronald Reagan inaugurate his ninth term tonight, I thought it would be a great time to come clean. You Republicans did it. You absolutely dominated presidential politics for the last three decades, because your policies worked. No question.
Even Reagan himself - how good he looks for his age (What is he, 102 years old?). It's a testament to your genius. When you announced massive deregulation of the healthcare industry in this country, I thought it was a terrible idea. I thought it would result in a nation of desperately poor sick people filling up our emergency rooms so pharmaceutical companies could gouge us. I didn't understand that when you just get the government off people's backs, you unleash productivity. The results are the kind of powerful, cheap technologies that can keep us all alive well into our second century. Wow! It's just like with your other deregulation measures. We now have full employment, great housing, and a middle-class standard of living that's the best in the world. Tomorrow I'm taking a trip to Disneyworld-Kabul in my new Chrysler Patriot - it's a flying car that runs entirely on gumption. Imagine that. I'm going to celebrate by listening to that new Peggy Noonan book on the Pope; the neural-speakers that beam her words directly into your head come standard. What a country! I don't mind admitting my mistakes. Because you and the Gipper have done so much good for us all.
Many of your ideas were counterintuitive to me; that's why I resisted them I guess. I didn't think if you let everyone carry a loaded firearm and stockpile automatic weapons it could possibly be safe for our parks and schools. I didn't think we could continue a policy of military intervention all over the world without creating a security nightmare. I didn't think you could lower taxes without massive deficits. I didn't believe global warming would go away on its own, or that women would be happier if we repealed Roe v. Wade. And I definitely didn't think we could cure gay people with the power of prayer.
I am perfectly willing to admit I was nuts. Nuts about all this. You people in the GOP were smarter than I was. And to my friends in the Democratic party, who will watch the inauguration of our first half-android president with nothing but bitterness and a determination to sabotage the government... I just want to say this:
You've been losing, because you're out of touch. You need to face facts. You need to live in the real world, not this ideological fantasy you've created. You need to grow the hell up.

(yesterday, I spent too much time trying to get this new GIMP  graphics program to do what I wanted it to when I was creating a graphic for this piece. Hopefully, soon I will have a new version of photoshop installed. What I didn't do was to correctly attribute my source for this piece. It was adapted from the piece by the brilliant writer, Paul Bibeau who has a truly great blog, Goblinbooks. Thanks Paul, your blog is in my blog roll!)

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Spanish Bombs

Still one of my favorite bands of all time! The CLASH! Punk passion, and always very political and always on the side of We, The PEOPLE!
This is a song about the Spanish Revolutionary War, sung by Joe Strummer, who was very involved with Spain. politically, artistically and emotionally. This week the City of Granada renamed one of it's ancient public squares Plaza Joe Strummer. It couldn't have happened to more deserving guy. 
The lyrics to Spanish Bombs by The Clash after the break:   

Friday, January 18, 2013

Dounia

Here is a song by Rokia Traoré called Dounia (from the 2009 album Tchamantché) that I absolutely love. It's beautifuly delicate but also a very complex piece of music. Her voice just floats above it. 
My introduction to Malian music was through the blues of the late Ali Farka Touré, and I loved his whole approach. I'm not a student of it in any way, but it's a music I would love to play – Lately on this blog, I've featured some collaborations between with Damon Albarn and Afel Bocoum, who played with Ali, and with Rokia, as well as with Fatoumata Diawara. There's always a lot going on, so you really have to pay attention, but unlike Congolese music, for instance, it tends to be very gentle, too. The riffs are very melodic and it's very soulful, very subtle. I find the Rokia song particularly uplifting.
The music of Mali is particularly unique with a synthesis of traditional Tuareg, Arab, African with a surprising mix of American blues styles and instruments. Part of the worlds great cultural heritage, lately another endangered specie.....

Winter In La Sechere

This is the road I live on....It just sort of ends in the forest.
The strange animal in the road is my buddy, J Edgar.
He's tri lingual, he speaks English, Dutch and much better

 French than I do...
And this is the nerve center of the operation....Believe it or not,
I am heating the entire house with wood! I am sitting in the upper
left hand window typing at this very minute! If you look on the left
side of the house, you will see a huge palm tree! It's a hardy variety

 from Serbia....Just in case you think I have escaped the same winter you 
are experiencing in USA! More snow than we have seen in years. 
It snowed about 6 inches, then more this morning...
We really can't go anywhere until the ice thaws on the roads. 


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Trying To Explain The Malian Intervention Part#1


On this blog, I have been involved in an ongoing effort to assist a humanitarian, non political NGO, Groupe Coordination Aude Mali, GCAM, in their efforts to save the lives of the Tuareg Tribal Villagers they have been involved with for the last 30 years. What we do has nothing to do with politics. The Malian Tuaregs we have been assisting are not involved in political activity, but they have been the bottom line, the constant victims of the political turmoil of Sub Saharan Post Colonial Africa. The culture and art, the historical heritage of this region and most important the precious humans are being sacrificed in the struggle. I found this inter active map on the Guardian website today that gives an idea of the evolution of Mali from ancient times up to today. I'd embed it, but you'll have to follow the link to appreciate it. Through the efforts of GCAM and the great people who found it in their hearts to hit the PayPal link at the side of my blog and donate money, many of the people GCAM has been working with have been able to get out of Mali and stay alive. We want to thank you, but the struggle is not over. There are still people in Mali that we want to help  and then of course, once they are out, we want to keep them alive. So, if you can do it, anything helps.....I have been trying to put together a source of facts to help you and more importantly myself, understand what is going on in Mali. I am a Franco/American and live in France, so the reality is my daily news and the danger is a little more omnipresent that if I lived back in Ohio. But after the events in Algeria with the  40 Hostages captured in the BP Refinery attack which was a direct result of the French Intervention in Mali, we all should try to understand what is going on and what this is all about. I think we have to put Post Colonial Rationalizing behind us. I applaud Hollande and his bold steps in dealing with France's Colonial Past. Here's a piece from todays Washington post with the latest updates.
I truly believe he is doing the right thing and either you flinch and walk away or immediately deal with the reality. In this piece, I try to give the historical facts, the background and the resources to let you make up your own mind. I hope this helps......
1. The issue at a glance
France last week launched air strikes against Islamist camps and mobile forces in Mali, its former colony, to stop a rebel offensive and "safeguard" Mali's existence. President François Hollande said France intended to "destroy" the Islamists or take them captive if possible. Islamists have warned that French troops will become bogged down for years.
2. Brief history
After gaining independence in 1960, Mali endured decades of instability until Alpha Oumar Konaré was elected president in the country's first democratic election in 1992. He was succeeded in 2002 by Amadou Toumani Touré, a former army lieutenant-colonel who ruled until a coup launched last year by a group of young officers angry at the military's failure to stop Islamist insurgents.
3. Why is Mali politically significant?
The west and Mali's neighbours fear that the Islamists, who took over northern Mali, an area the size of France of desert and rugged mountains, will use the country to destabilise the rest of west Africa, including neighbouring Niger, France's main source of uranium for its nuclear industry. Nigeria already faces a growing Islamist threat in Boko Haram; its president, Goodluck Jonathan, has said: "We can no longer surrender any part of the globe to extremism." Bamako, the capital, is also home to about 6,000 French citizens.
4. How did the rebels get so far?
Relations between the north and south have been historically fraught. The north has chafed under southern rule; the region has seen major rebellions from the Tuareg – nomadic – communities who feel marginalised in an already poor country. There have been rebellions in the 1990s, 2006-08 and the one last year that precipitated the present crisis. According to the International Crisis Group, a Brussels thinktank, deep resentment was caused by stories of massacres, the poisoning of wells and forced exile from 1963, score-settling by pro-government militias against Tuareg civilians in the 1990s. The 2012 rebellion was partly an unintended consequence of Muammar Gaddafi's downfall in Libya. The Libyan "blowback" took the form of an influx of Libyan weapons and the return of Tuaregs who formerly fought for the Libyan dictator. Those weapons and the presence of seasoned fighters tipped the balance. In early 2012, the rebels swept aside government troops in the north and started imposing sharia law. They banned smoking and music and made women wear headscarves. Timbuktu proved a key moment in the rebellion, as the hardline Islamist groups MUJWA and Ansar Dine, backed by AQIM, al-Qaida's north African wing, took the ascendancy over the more secular group, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA). In a move reminiscent of the destruction of the Buddha statues in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, Islamist militants damaged Sufi tombs inside a 15th-century mosque in Timbuktu. Ansar Dine displaced MNLA as the main rebel group, thanks to AQIM's financial support. It has managed to recruit some elements of the MNLA by paying them.
5. What was the effect of the rebel success on the south?
The initial rebel gains were the final straw for an already disgruntled military. Junior officers had long been unhappy with Touré as they were passed over for promotion in favour of officers from Touré's generation. The increasing number of western hostages captured in neighbouring countries and whisked to northern Mali, described as AQIM's sanctuary, further damaged Touré's reputation. At the end of 2010, AQIM had reportedly received €50m worth of ransom money since 2003, with each western hostage worth around €2.5m to the countries that paid up. In March 2012, a junta consisting of junior officers led by Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo attacked the presidential palace just weeks before scheduled elections. The mutineers said they acted because of the government's failure to provide adequate equipment to the army to defend the country's territorial integrity. A massacre of about 20 soldiers at Aguelhoc in particular incensed the officers. Before the coup, the rebels needed only two months to capture several positions, including Tessalit and Amachach. After the coup, an increasingly disorganised army abandoned three regional capitals, Kidal, Timbuktu and Gao.
6. What happens next?
Despite bombardments from French warplanes and helicopters, the insurgents pushed south towards the capital, Bamako, and overran the central town of Diabaly, 250 miles to the north, where French troops are heading. The French defence minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, described the Islamists as heavily armed, very determined and very well organised – a French helicopter was shot down on the first day of the strikes. France, which plans to deploy 2,500 soldiers, says the offensive against the rebels could take some time, and the current French level of involvement could last weeks.
France's move has won the unanimous backing of the UN security council and its force has been deployed under UN security council resolution 2085. Passed in December, it allows for a 3,000-strong African-led mission to intervene in Mali in the absence of any negotiated solution.
Paris wants troops from Ecowas, the west African regional grouping, to deploy as quickly as possible, rather than September – the original timetable for the UN-sanctioned African force – to be backed by western logistics, money and intelligence services. However, Nigeria, which is due to lead the mission, has warned that even if some troops arrive in Mali soon, their training and equipping will take more time. One senior government adviser in Nigeria said the Mali deployment was stretching the country's military, which already has peacekeepers in Darfur, Sudan. "The whole thing's a mess," he told Reuters. "We don't have any troops with experience of those extreme conditions, even of how to keep all that sand from ruining your equipment. And we're facing battle-hardened guys who live in those dunes."
7. Key issues
For now, the rebels have fled Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu, but the concern is whether the government can exert lasting control and provide security as the Islamists, experienced and highly motivated desert fighters, resort to hit-and-run tactics. Analysts say that Mali needs credible brokers rather than President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, who is distrusted by Malians. There is not much faith either in Romano Prodi, the former Italian prime minister and UN envoy of the Sahel crisis, who does not speak French and is not an expert in the region. Algeria is a key player as it is in the position of putting the most pressure on armed groups based there and its intelligence services have longstanding relations with Ansar Dine's leader, Iyad Ag Ghali. It also has long history with AQIM, as many of the group's fighters are former Algerian rebels. A big fear among analysts such as the International Crisis Group is that Mali will be seen through a "war on terror" prism, sidelining the fundamental issue of how to reconcile north and south. The north feels the south never lived up to the "national pact" of the 1990s, with its plans of gradual demilitarisation of the north, integration of rebels into special units of the national forces and economic plans to narrow the gap between north and south.
8. Key players
François Hollande
The French president, whose decision has received broad political support for now, felt he had little choice but to intervene given the real possibility of the Islamists taking over all of Mali. So Hollande is following in the footsteps of his predecessors from Charles de Gaulle to Nicolas Sarkozy by intervening in a former French African colony. So far the public is backing him, but that can soon change if French troops suffer heavy casualties or if intervention drags out. Security has been increased at Parisian landmarks at the Eiffel Tower and outside the Louvre.
Dioncounda Traoré
The interim president is viewed with some suspicion by Malians as he was an ally of the unpopular deposed president Touré. Traoré has been unable to work effectively with the junta behind the coup to lay the groundwork for the deployment of African troops.
Al-Qaida in the Maghreb (AQIM)
AQIM is the successor to the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, which came out of the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria, itself a product of the Algerian civil war. It numbered only a few hundred until early 2012, but they are experienced fighters, some of whom received military training in Afghanistan. Their ranks have probably grown since the takeover of the north.
Ansar Dine
Ansar Dine is not fighting for independence but wants sharia across the whole country. Its leader, Iyad Ag Ghali – a Tuareg noble and longtime thorn in the side of Bamako – and his supporters follow the Wahhabi sect of Islam, and are opposed by those Tuaregs who describe themselves as secularists, while most Malian Muslims belong to the rival Sufi tradition.
MNLA
The MNLA was created in 2011 by Tuareg activists after their former leader, Ibrahim ag Bahanga, was killed in a "car accident". The MNLA is a coalition of various groups, and its military leader is Mohamed Ag Najim, a Malian Tuareg who served under Gaddafi as a senior officer until the regime collapsed. It seeks independence for the Tuaregs' northern homeland, which it calls Azawad.
9. Key facts
Mali is a vast landlocked country located in the heart of the Sahel, a region threatened by drought and desertification. The vast majority of the people rely on the environment for their livelihoods through herding, farming, or fishing.
Population: 15,839,538 (2011)
GDP: $10,589,925,352 (2011)
GDP growth: 2.6% (2011)
Inflation: 2.8% (2011)
(World Bank)
10. Economic overview
According to government estimates and a recent household survey, the poverty headcount fell from 55.6% in 2001 to 47.5% in 2006 and 43.6% in 2010. Income poverty remains a largely rural phenomenon, with the rural population representing 78% of the total population. The incidence of rural poverty dropped from 65% in 2001 to 51% in 2010. Farmers, who make up 62% of the population, are the poorest, with a 57% poverty rate. Households headed by women tend to be less poor than those headed by men. Extreme poverty has dropped at the national level from 32% in 2001 to 22% in 2011, with clear regional variations.
According to the most recent data made available by the World Bank, 77.1% of Malians lived under the international poverty line in 2006 (earning less than $2 per day). It is among the world's poorest 25 countries. Despite the global financial crisis of 2008, Mali enjoyed two recent years with a growth rate of 4.7% and 5.1% (respectively 2009 and 2010).
(World Bank)
11. In greater depth
An International Crisis Group report in July 2012, Mali: Avoiding Escalation, provides invaluable background to the present crisis, rich in detail and insight.
12. Arguments for and against intervention
For
Gregory Mann argues that French intervention was necessary to stop the Islamists from taking the town of Sevaré, which would have meant the loss of the only airstrip in Mali capable of handling heavy cargo planes, apart from that in Bamako. But he warns that France faces a determined and sophisticated foe.
In this interview (in French) with Jeune Afrique, Prof Mathieu Guidère of Toulouse University argues that Mali would have fallen to the Islamists without French intervention.
Against
In an article before the French intervened, Abdelkader Abderrahmane, senior researcher with the Institute for Security Studies in Addis Ababa, argued that Ecowas troops would be unable to defeat the Islamists. He favours a dialogue with the MNLA and Ansar Dine to take into account the legitimate claims of the Tuaregs.
Caution
An editorial in Libération (in French) lists the ambiguities in France's intervention.
Bérangère Rouppert, a Sahel expert, highlights the risks that the intervention, although popular now, will take on a neocolonial tinge.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The more I learn about Aaron, who he was and why he died, I truly believe his suicide 
was a classically heroic act. He knew damn well what the repercussions 
would be in the fight for your freedom of information. Aaron Swartz!
Read this piece in Today's Guardian by Glenn Greenwald to see what repercussions
are beginning to be felt, immediately in the wake of Aarons death.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

are you a replicant? just fill out this simple form
and we'll get in touch with you.

MusicOldNews

I just have to give a shout out for my friend, Clement Fillion and his newly resurrected blog, MusicOldNews. Clement is a college student in Bordeaux and I know perhaps 3 or 4 generations of his family from my ongoing other life as an vineyard laborer in Lalande-de-Pomerol. He writes about music that transcends time. Old Music, new music, but there is a connecting esthetic. He is a musician and his tastes will either tantalize you or infuriate you. But that makes an interesting blog. eh? He writes in both French and English. Prepare to be entertained.

Do You Even Know, Or Care Who Aaron Swartz Is? You Should.....



Aaron Swartz keynote - "How we stopped SOPA" at F2C:Freedom to Connect 2012, Washington DC on May 21 2012.
The websites of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) were knocked offline on Sunday, and the work is being attributed to the hacktivist collective, Anonymous. DOJ.gov and MIT.edu were both back online Monday morning.
The action was taken as a tribute to the late Aaron Swartz, a co-founder of the site Reddit.com and at the age of 14, co-developed the RSS web protocol that is the key component of much of the internet's publishing infrastructure.
In another tribute, hundreds of academics worldwide have begun tweeting links to their copyright-protected research in Swartz's honor, using the hastag #pdftribute. Links from Twitter posts with the hashtag are being collected at Pdftribute.net. The links appear to be to academic papers.
In a statement about his death, Aaron’s family and partner
wrote in part:
"Aaron’s insatiable curiosity, creativity, and brilliance; his reflexive empathy and capacity for selfless, boundless love; his refusal to accept injustice as inevitable—these gifts made the world, and our lives, far brighter. We’re grateful for our time with him, to those who loved him and stood with him, and to all of those who continue his work for a better world..."
"Aaron’s death is not simply a personal tragedy. It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach. Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office and at MIT contributed to his death...Today, we grieve for the extraordinary and irreplaceable man that we have lost.” Only days after his death, the evidence that the talents of the Secret Service were employed to destroy him...You begin to understand the insane pressure that brought this young genius to the point of despair...to take his own life.as a last protest. Aaron Swartz's suicide becomes a noble gesture, in the most classical sense.
Tragically, it took Aaron's tragic death to get the US Department of Justice to dismiss their ridiculous case against him. This young genius was facing a lifetime in prison because he was fighting for your online freedoms.
Aaron’s funeral will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, January 15th at Central Avenue Synagogue, 874 Central Avenue, Highland Park, Illinois 60035. 
If you ever have thoughts of suicide please speak to someone, in the USA call 1-800-273-8255 or find numbers for your country here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

One Nation Under A Groove

Sometimes, you just get so discouraged, so pissed off that you just gotta, you just gotta grab some of the good stuff! I have personally encountered so many utter assholes on line today that I have to wipe the slate....I mean I just have to wipe my own ass and flush it! So, instead of listening to me vent...c'mon and check this shit out! The History of The Music! The written in stone biblical scripture of the greatest American band of all all time, Parliament/Funkadelic! I still wanna be Bootsy Collins when I grow up!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Next Revolution?


10,000 people stormed the Gun Show at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California buying guns and ammo because they were in a tizzy worried that Obama was going to take away their guns...and they of course were ready to start the next American Revolution to defend their right to own multiple assault weapons to defend themselves against...something...or other...what ever...
Most of the gun rights advocates I have had the privilege of communicating with seem to have issues and problems even with trying to provide decent health care for their families, but damned if they are gonna let Obama force them to have affordable socialist communistic government sponsored health care. If they are gonna die, it's gonna be on their own terms, dammit, because they cannot afford the 1000 buck or so a month ransom the insurance companies demand to have any kind of peace of mind to believe they have the best damned health care system in the world!
But these same folks can spend hundreds, thousand of dollars to buy the biggest, most powerful guns on the planet and enough ammo for "what ever"  to protect themselves from Joe Biden and their Xenophobic conspiracy nightmares of Librul type infestations or what have you. Now that's marketing.
And part of the markting genius of the Arms Manufacturers and their Puppet Organization, the NRA is to to spread the paranoid meme. Most of the knee jerk tea brained idiots, if asked why they needed to buy more guns now, would answer that they had to because, Obama was going to take them all away and if that was gonna happen, well, it's time for another American Revolution! Well,um they have made a mint off of Obama is coming for your guns BS, even after he signed into law a bill allowing people to carry guns in national parks, and SCOTUS struck down hand gun bans as unconstitutional, gun owners today have more freedom than when the Bush boys were in office; Mean while republicans are trying to register every vagina in America, outlaw abortion, so they will have cannon fodder to throw at the Chinese when we default on all the money (mostly fucking republican presidents spent) we owe and start WW3. Not to mention the 19% of the national debt that is owed to social security, the republicans are all for double taxation when it comes to the money taken out of S.S. but capital gains is double taxation even though your making money that has never been fucking taxed.
Another Revolution? Sorry guys...The biggest noise I expect to hear from these lame ass tea brains is the sound of a 10.000 TV screens being shot out across America by 10,000 lame ass tea brained fat Elvis wannabees...but how the fuck are you gonna explain that to your insurance company?