Friday, January 31, 2014

le reblochon

Last night I was "allowed" to make dinner. Well, I usually have to schedule my culinary excursions in advance as I live with a master chef. Winter is when I crave potatoes, and the hearty winter dishes of French country cuisine, of the Auvergne, the Savoie, Alps, The Pyrenees all involve local 
Tourte de Pomme de Terre!
cheeses, preserved pork products of one sort or another and potatoes. One of the local specialities in the Correze is tourte de pomme de terre. A hearty mix of potatoes, onions, eggs, cream and garlic with a little bit of lardon, cooked in a pie crust....J'adore ca! Better the next day. A great staple to take on a cold winters day outing in the woods cutting wood! I love a perfectly elastic aligot. Nothing more than mashed potatoes and Cantal cheese cooked slowly over a slow fire and mixed until it achieves the perfect consistency. You can pick
it up with a huge spoon and it is totally elastic! That will stick your scrawny ribs. But my favorite winter dish is made with potatoes and a cheese from the Savoie, Reblochon.  A relatively mild, but perhaps a little too stinky cheese for the tastes of most Americans. It is a soft cheese, with a washed, smear ripened rind. That is the technique for many of the cheeses of Eastern France. The cheeses are cured with salt water, sometimes with brandy or beer. The soft, moist exteriors of the cheese become the surface for the desired "smear bacteria" to colonize. This imparts the orangish coloration and the flavor penetrates from the outside rather than from the inside like white mold cheeses, like camembert. Other smear bacteria cheeses are Epoisses or real Muenster. Epoisses is cured with Marc...or brandy and Muenster is cured with salt water. Reblochon is cured with salt
le bon reblochon
water, develops an orangish rind, but because it is made in the mountains in relatively dry conditions, as it ages it develops a white frosting on the dry rind. I think it is a rather mild cheese, even at it's ripest stage. It has a very pronounced hay scent. The name Reblochon as with every name has a very interesting and specific origin.

Reblochon derives from the word 'reblocher' which when literally translated means 'to pinch a cow's udder again'. This refers to the practice of holding back some of the milk from the first milking. During the 14th century, the landowners would tax the mountain farmers according to the amount of milk their herds produced. The farmers would therefore not fully milk the cows until after the landowner had measured the yield. The milk that remains is much richer, and was traditionally used by the dairymaids to make their own cheese.
In the 16th century the cheese also became known as "fromage de dévotion" (devotional cheese) because it was offered to the Carthusian monks of the Thônes Valley by the farmers, in return for having their homesteads blessed.
Raw-milk Reblochon has not been available in the United States since 2004 due to the enforcement of laws concerning the pasteurization of soft and semi-soft cheese. Delice du Jura, a pasteurized soft ripened cheese is a close relative and a good substitute in the United States.
  The peak seasons for Reblochon is in the early summer and mid winter. So, one of the best things you can do with a
Last nights Tartiflette
Reblochon de Savoie is to make a hearty Tartiflette. That's what I did last night. It's pretty simple. I briefly parboil the potatoes on my wood burner in the fireplace. When they cool down I peal and slice them into an earthen ware baking dish. In another frying pan, I cut up some pieces of lardon...that's kind of like French bacon. I get it fresh from a local butcher and it's not too salty. If you do this with American bacon, I suggest cutting it up and boiling it for a few get rid of a lot of fat, the salt and a lot of the chemicals. Then lightly fry the lardons, add some sliced onions...when the onions get slightly cooked, I add a cup of dry white wine, let that boil and add some cream...or milk. I pour this mixture over the sliced potatoes, mix the onions and lardons into the potatoes and cover it all with slices of Rebochon cheese! Then it goes into the oven until it's all bubbly and the top begins to get a good color. It's too simple and I guarantee, no matter how good it is when it comes frsh out of the oven, it is better the day after.

The proof is in the pudding, as they say...
My tartiflette with fresh, undressed roquette on the side!
bon apetit, bien sur!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A little Serbian Heavy Metal? Goran Bregovic 2012
What a contrast...Bella Ciao and Bregovic's insanely perfect sarcasm of socio political violence, Kalashnikov.  As he says "If you don't go crazeeeee. you are not normal!"

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Conservative Wankonomics 101

Peter Schiff finally admits on yesterday's Daily Show what Republicans really think about us.  He is of course arguing against a minimum wage and admits that you are only worth what you can get the market to give you, and if hey? you are disabled? Mentally? Physically? Then perhaps you can work until you die for $2.00 and hour. Most of us work a lot harder and all of us are worth a lot more than this pontificating wanker. Another wannabee plutocrat shitting in his silk underwear.
...And then, Peter, after they work the mentally handicapped to death at $2.00/hr, they can
make even more money off of them by, first, collecting on lucrative dead peasant insurance, then, harvesting their organs and selling them in a "free market" organ transplant market, skinning them and making fine leather goods for the discriminating buyers, taking what's left and selling that to mechanically-flensed pet food manufacturers, and finally, grinding the bones to powder for use in the finest bone china - to grace the tables of the 1%'ers. Why, it's no different than getting every last scrap out of the pig but its squeal.

This will serve as excellent practice for others, once the supply of the mentally, and - of course - otherwise, handicapped is thoroughly depleted. Yep, there's a free market opportunity in everything!


A scintillating sampling of some magical media moments courtesy of your new, inclusive, "WE LOVES US SOME WIMMENS" Republican Party:
A fake heterosexual celebrating fake patriotism with a gay hating fake redneck... sounds like the GOP...btw, isn't there some kind of law about wearing the flag as an article of clothing? I guess it only is applicable to libruls and them godless damnocrats....
And a few random samplings  that prove with put a doubt why Twitter is devolving into the the preferred method of communication for your average the intellectually impaired psychopathic personality:
Erik anderson freaks because Obama commented about equal pay for women and men.
And, then there was little incident this after the speech:
Congressman Michael Grimm (R-NY/Staten Island) felt a little tense after the State of the Union. After giving a terse statement to an NY1 reporter, he was asked about the ongoing issue of his campaign finance. He declined to discuss the matter and stormed off, then returned a moment later, apparently unaware that the camera was still rolling, and threatened to "throw [the reporter] off this fucking balcony." Grimm followed this with "you're not man enough, you're not man enough. I'll break you in half. Like a boy."
Grimm's campaign finance scandal dates to the 2010 election in which he allegedly solicited donations from his major donors for other Republican candidates, who had done the same for him in return -- a "donor swap" arrangement that allowed him to skirt fundraising limits. Grimm is under investigation by the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York for this, and for other finance irregularities, including accepting cash donations larger than $100, and for laundering a donation of $25,000 through a third party.
Grimm is a former US Marine who served in Iraq, and then worked for the FBI. While at the Bureau, he was investigated for 
abusing his authority: threatening his date's husband ("I'll fucking make him disappear where nobody will find him") and pulling a gun in a nightclub. Grimm argued that reports of the incident were a "witch hunt" but the NYPD and FBi refused to release their files on the matter, and the New Yorker reporter who wrote the original story produced supplemental documents supporting his account.
Grimm is a Tea Party darling who was endorsed by Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani. Something tells me that there could be a grand comic movie buried somewhere in all of this...If we live to laugh about it.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Which Side Are You On?

Pete Seeger was bigger and better than life. I could give you his biography, but perhaps it would be better if you read it yourself. He made music his medium to change the world and I think, for one man with the will and the passion, he succeeded in his own gentle way.  This piece was from 1967 and was the reason the Smothers Brothers Show was cancelled from CBS. I remember seeing it on television in 1968, but the original version was censored immediately. One of the most scathing analogies to the Vietnam War ever recorded, yet, Seeger never mentioned Vietnam or the current Lyndon Johnson administration, but anyone who heard it, got the point. I have so many friends who were involved the American folk music scene and most of them are dead now. This is one gentle giant who never quit. He was Woody Guthrie's buddy and Guthrie, he says, taught him how to busk. "He'd say put the banjo on your back, go into a bar and buy a nickel beer and sip it as slow as you can. Sooner or later, someone will say, 'Kid, can you play that thing?' Don't be too eager, just say, 'Maybe, a little.' Keep on sipping beer. Sooner or later, someone will say, 'Kid, I've got a quarter for you if you pick us a tune.' Then you play your best song." With that advice, Seeger supported himself on his travels. He formed a group with Guthrie, then ended up in the army in WW2. After the war, he formed the Weavers and had some commercial success playing traditional American folk, but traditional American folk was too controversial during the McCarthy Era and he ended up in prison for a year for his political views and his music, but more importantly, because of his integrity. Pete died last night at the age of 94. He never stopped and in tribute, I would like to offer this little gallery of stringed and strummed instruments that have made up the arsenal of ideas as ammunition in the fight against fascism, repression, capitalism and anti humanist ideologies of all sorts!
Woody Guthries Guitar
This Machine Kills Fascists!
Tom Morellos Guitar
Pete Seegers Banjo
This Machine Surrounds Hate
And Forces It To Surrender!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Route 666

After getting serially spammed by several demented chrisitans who want me to be saved and read their mind manipulating blogs, I was inspired to consider a career move and I'm doing a little research as to a new metier that might prove to be more exciting and profitable and as I keep hearing the fundamentalist christians referring to an anti christ, I think that after a bit of research, I am ready to submit my job application. I discovered that they've been going on about anti-christs of one sort or another for centuries, since 70 AD as far as I can see.
An anti christ was supposed to destroy Jerusalem then, but didn't and the next time the job position was open was around 1000 AD, which was considered an apocalyptic date, so the expectations were high, but no applicants came forward.
Again around 1120 Ad, in the obscure text, The Vaudois Church, there is mention of the anit christ and the effect of creating "moral turpitude, but not much more.
In 1260, Joachim announced that the anti christ was already born and the last days of the world had begun...that was 800 years ago and we are still in the last days of Joachim, I guess.
In 1520, though, Luther claimed that the anti christ was not just one person, but an institution, beginning a long tradition of fundamentalists labeling anything they didn't like as the anti christ, there by making it ok to hate it and destroy it.
So, the catholic church became the anti christ.
In 1585, the protestants refined the idea that it wasn't the entire catholic church, just the "papacy".  Meanwhile, the Jesuits counter charged that the anti christ was definitely not catholic and would be one person who had a great personality and was probably very entertaining...and could cause moral turpitude...Yeah! I am really qualified for Moral Turpitude, or at least, I am quick learner.....
The anti christ was supposedly mentioned in 1846 to some spaced out peasants who reportedly saw the virgin Mary in France. This time, the anti christ was definitely going to be catholic...More points in my favor as I was definitely baptized as a catholic, went to a catholic grade school and had my head pounded against a tile wall by a demented nun.
For some reason, the date Febuary 5, 1962 became fixated upon as the birthdate of the anti christ. People sharing this birthdate are Bill Gates and my dentist.
Fundamentalist christians claimed that John F. Kennedy was the anti christ, Mikail Gorbachev was the anti christ..Jerry Falwell before he O.D.ed on fried foods claimed the anti christ was alive and  was a jewish guy in Queens named Larry.
Barack Obama is supposed to be the anti christ because of his Chicago Zip Code, which proves it beyond the shadow of a doubt to many well informed evangelicals...

I dunno, does the job pay well? The job description says that the anti christ has to be highly likable, reasonably talented and an atheist or what ever and capable of causing great moral turpitude... I can do that. I mean, people seem to like me, I really like to sing, I can dance pretty good and play a number of musical instruments. I'm not religious in the least and more than a little intrigued by this moral turpidtude thing. I would like to see the dissolution of organized religion, but I'd really be a reasonable kind of anti-christ.
I'd be willing to take alternate Sundays. The fundamentalists could get every other Sunday, if they didn't want to listen to me on my Sundays, they could organize a bowling league or take up mah-jhong. All the other people who wanted to hear my message of moral turpitude are welcome....

Now, the next thing I want to find out about is the vacations and BONUSES!

How The 1% Is Winning The War On Poverty

Police brutally crushed the NYC Tompkins Square Unemployment Demonstrations in 1874
It's simple to the 1%. Preemptively abuse Godwin's Law. Destroy the middle class, the poor and the unemployed before they destroy you. Become the victim. Everyone loves a victim, especially if he is rich and famous, lives in a fortress and gated communities with  private security forces using the most sophisticated weaponry and technology at their command. Destroy the lower class before they can organize for honest pay for their work. Brainwash them to hate anyone who gets any free pass from the system for health care and unemployment. Condition to accept and be ashamed of their status. It's a dog eat dog world babe, if you gots yours then everyone else who don'ts, wants it. Create an ignorant class of poverty enslaved drones who will do anything for the lowest price, eat garbage and die fast before they can organize. That was the credo of the Gilded Age, when capitalism ran rampant and cheap labor built the empires that teeter today on the edge of financial chaos they created and are profiting from. Destroy the Unions. Make the poor hate each other. The 1% are winning the Class War they have been fighting since the beginning of history, because we let them.
Back in the Gilded Age, every strike, every worker movement, every bit of organizing was seen by the plutocrats as the coming of a revolution that would kill them all. See the response to the Tompkins Square unemployment marches, which the rich saw as the Paris Commune coming to America. Similarly, with every funeral, every note of music, every coming of the night, slave owners fretted about their human property rising up and killing them all, turning South Carolina into Haiti. That’s what I thought of when I read this letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal:

Regarding your editorial “Censors on Campus” (Jan. 18): Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its “one percent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the “rich.”
From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent. There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage over the rising real-estate prices which these “techno geeks” can pay. We have, for example, libelous and cruel attacks in the Chronicle on our number-one celebrity, the author Danielle Steel, alleging that she is a “snob” despite the millions she has spent on our city’s homeless and mentally ill over the past decades.
This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent “progressive” radicalism unthinkable now?

Tom Perkins
Perkins is a cofounder of this venture capital firm.

Kristallnacht, Mr. Perkins? You really want to go there? Perkins should be made to explain and apologize for the perverse logic he is using for his analogy, because it is blatantly obscene. Because a few fast food workers are demanding a living wage? And making the plutocracy soil their dainty Calvin Klein undergarments?
I suppose we could take this as positive, but I don’t see it that way. They are so secure in their position that they have the luxury of freaking out over each cent or right the poor demand from their betters. What next? New York Mayor,Bill de Blasio inadequately plowing the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Y'know, just like Hitler in the Jewish ghettoes?
….Our lovely plutocrat Mr. Perkins was once convicted of involuntary manslaughter in France for killing a man after running over another boat while yacht racing.
To get the vile taste of this out my brain, I have to listen to some great uplifting music by two of the hardest working progressive activist artists around today: Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello performing live, Springsteens classic piece, The Ghost of Tom Joad, based on the character in the John Steinbeck classic, The Grapes of Wrath.  Joads closing speech in the book which has made plutocrats shiver in their oxblood cordovans since it was first published in 1939:

Then it don’ matter. Then I’ll be all aroun’ in the dark. I’ll be ever’where- wherever you look. Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. If Casy knowed, why, I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’- I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry an’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build- why, I’ll be there. See? God, I’m talkin’ like Casy. Comes of thinkin’ about him so much. Seems like I can see him sometimes.”
— Tom Joad, John Steinbeck

Update: I started to read this before the internet crashed here last night (we were having extreme weather) and the author of this piece, Josh Marshall, on the TPM site gives a very eloquent analysis of Perkins, well worth your while to check out!

Hey Pops! This really swell. All the kids have them! This is all I really want for Christmas!
Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab (1950-1951)
The set came with four types of uranium ore, a beta-alpha source (Pb-210), a pure beta source (Ru-106), a gamma source (Zn-65?), a spinthariscope, a cloud chamber with its own short-lived alpha source (Po-210), an electroscope, a geiger counter, a manual, a comic book (Dagwood Splits the Atom) and a government manual “Prospecting for Uranium.”

Sunday, January 26, 2014

More Unbridled GOP Hilariousness......

I saw this on the Iowa GOP facebook page last was up for a few hours, but now it has conveniently disappeared. I was intrigued by the comment about the US Postal Service recall of the Obama stamp. I had never seen this stamp. It turns out it is a often repeated conservative myth about a stamp issued by Liberia. It never happened' It is in only in their own tragically wrong fantasy world that conservatives believe they actually know what a "humor" is. I've had to live through my brother in laws retinue of eye gouging jokes, wincing as he guffaws obscenely. My wife still shudders in horror when ever I mention his name.  When I was checking out the rumor, I saw a lot of predictable conservative comments about licking the "backside" of the stamp. Here's the stamp they were using in their jokes...and they were complaining about the $45.00 denomination of the stamp. Uhh, folks, that's Liberian currency...ohh what the fuck, why bother?  Unfortunately, most of the folks who read  and spread this stuff and find it funny do not care about reality one way or the other.

B. P. Grimauld. Le petit oracle des dames. [Paris, late 19th century]

All I Want For Christmas 2014

I'm starting my Christmas list early this year. I want you to know that I am going to be very, very good.
This new Fender acoustic dreadnought guitar with built in electronics is exactly what I need! Designed by an old buddy and one of the greatest living rock guitarists on the planet, Wayne Kramer. He had one of my very favorite graphic artists, Shephard Fairey, design the inlays. Hint: It's quite affordable at only $235.00

Saturday, January 25, 2014

An Awful Lot of Fun

Earlier this week, Glenn Beck reminisced with Megan Kelley about his time at FOXNEWS:
  “I remember it as an awful lot of fun, and that I made an awful lot of mistakes, and I wish I could go back and be more uniting in my language. Because I think I played a role unfortunately in helping tear the country apart. And it’s not who we are. I didn’t realize how really fragile the people were. I thought we were kind of a little more in it together. And now I look back and I realize if we could have talked about the uniting principles a little more, instead of just the problems, I think I would look back on it a little more fondly. But that’s only my role.”
What fond memories, what grand fun, let's remember some of those fun moments and share them together, okay?
 Among Beck’s greatest hits was his assertion that President Obama is a “racist” who has “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.” This is the same Obama who was born to a white mother and raised in part by his white grandparents.
Beck also joked about wanting to kill Michael Moore, said he had started “hating the 9/11 victims’ families” and called the victims of Hurricane Katrina “scumbags.” Don't believe him for a moment. He's a totally psychopathic manipulative personality who cannot imagine anyone who isn't like him as being anything more than a character in his ego driven fantasy. He will say anything, do anything to feed the undead blood crazed starving beast howling at the bottom of the pit of his bottomless madness. 
Ignore him. He should really be in a cage with  a sign around his neck that says:

Friday, January 24, 2014

You Can Never Walk Away

You can never walk away, because if you do, they will walk all over you.
 Fascism never sleeps.
I realize in my heart that violence begets violence, but, I also realized and learned the hard way a long long time ago, that the best way to defuse a fascist bully is to confront him and kick him in the fuckin nuts...because fascists only know how to play the intimidation game. Their strength is in the appearance of strength. I have been a supporter of the European anti-fa youth movement for a long time. If you want to learn more, check out La Horde. One of the leaders of this the anti fascist youth movement, Clement Meric was brutally targeted and murdered by a gang fascist thugs connected with the Neo Nationalist Front National Political Party out side of a clothing store in Paris last June 5, 2013. The bastard killed him with steel knuckles because he responded to their taunts and insults with intelligence. After reading about this for months and the attempted cover up of the nazi punk thug orchestrated by lawyers working with the Front National, I believe more strongly than ever that Clement was targeted and murdered by Neo Nazi Nationalists. It gratified me greatly to see anti facho graffiti all over Rome and Umbria when I visited there a few months ago. Clement was a young student at the prestigious Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, where he was an honor student. Interestingly, Sci Po as it is commonly known is the school that many French political leaders came from. He was a small guy, but full of fight active in anti fa militance since the age of 15. He quickly arose to become a leader and public spokesperson, hence, why he became such a prominent target for a fascist thug trying to make a name for himself.
Since the affair began, many of the fascist "youth" movements in France have been outlawed by The Minister of The Interior, Manuel Valls. As far as I am concerned, though you create the desired appearance of martyrdom that fascists exploit to manipulate sympathy in weak minds to recruit with, Valls forceful legal attack on fascist movements is having the desired effect. It is creating the correct atmosphere of criticism and discussion that has been lacking in the hyper sensationalist press dialogue of the phenomena of the rise of fascism and ultra nationalist movements here in Europe. I support and applaud Valls forceful ban on the racist comic, Dieudonne, who became the house negro for the Front National uses anti semetic hate as a way to promote himself and exploit racial tensions for utter profit. ( read here about the latest Dieudonne stupidity...he was arrested because he allegedly fired an illegal flashball firearm at the hussiers, (bailiffs) who were attempting to serve him with a demand for the 65,000 Euros in fines he refuses to pay over convictions of anti semitic statements he has made in the past.) The same thing has been ongoing in Greece with the Golden Dawn fascist far right party. Members of the Golden Dawn have infiltrated the police departments and in September, assassinated antti fa rapper, Killah P, alias of Pavlos Fissas, who was too popular and too intellectually powerful to be allowed to continue for their tastes. The ongoing investigation and violence led to the Greek Government attempting to ban the Golden Dawn Party even though they had managed to get representatives elected in the Greek Government. The Golden Dawn Party had already begun to spread to America and had recruiting offices in a few American cities because the militant rise and spread of fascist hate is a problem in America as well, as you probably know. There has been an active youth anti fascist movement in the USA for years. Many musicians are connected with this movement and New York is a hub of USA Anti Fa activism. I ran across this video from Graz, Austria made on December 15, 2013 of New York City hard core band Madball physically confronting the Austrian Fascist punk thugs trying to disrupt their concert. Madball has been very active in politically combatting the attempts of Fascists to use Hard Core rock as a media to recruit and spread their hate. Here is the video which is found on the AFA Ireland facebook page:
I have nothing but utter respect for these guys. I have had my ass kicked by cops and fascists and confronted crazy people when I made political statements on stage when I was a musician.I still have a few nice scars as souvenirs. You can't walk away. Madball has been kicking ass since the 1980's starting as a side project of fellow NYC Punk rockers, Agnostic Front who I have shared stages with at Tompkin Square Park and CBGB. Of course, it helps to have the physical presence these dudes have to make the proper impression. I wanna hear some more Madball! These guys are incredible!
Fuck Fascism!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Quentin Tarantino cancels his next film, The Hateful Eight after learning about the leak of the script. Hey, Quentin, shit happens....

Update on THe Detroit Institute of Arts

There has been a little bit of good news regarding the attempt to loot The Detroit Institute of Arts. Yesterday, a judge overseeing Detroit's bankruptcy has rejected a request from creditors who want a role in deciding what to do with the city's valuable art collection.
Federal Judge Steven Rhodes says he lacks authority to appoint a committee.
Creditors filed a request two months ago to have a say in the appraisal of art and any potential way to make money from it. Since then, foundations have pledged more than $300 million to prevent any sale and shore up Detroit pensions.
Quick Clicks

Detroit bankruptcy judge rejects deal with banks
Orr shakes up pension fund for workers
Blog: Detroit EM says deal to pay off debt necessary
Detroit bankruptcy judge reviews new deals to pay off debt

Separately, Gov. Rick Snyder has talked to state lawmakers about the state chipping in.
Christie's auction house has appraised about 2,800 pieces of art, saying they're worth $454 million to $867 million.
Rhodes says there will be opportunities later to argue over what to do with art, if anything.
Last week, I wrote about how a group of organizations and corporations have created a fund of over $400,000,000 to save the this irreplaceable collection and vital cultural resource from being looted for no other reason but opportunistic greed!
You can join in the fight. In my last post, you can find out how to become a member/supporter of the DIA. It's easy and very cheap. Cheaper still and I am requesting that anyone who cares do this, click on this link and sign and share this petition to show your support.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Great Weird North

I think Rob Fords re election campaign just took off with a flying belly flop!
This is probably going to be his campaign video, the dancehall mix really rocks! Here he is drunk on his ass in a suburban Etobicoke, Ontario fast food joint ranting incoherently in a very bad Jamaican accent about the Chief of the Toronto Police force, Bill Blair, who he refers to as cocksucking, fucking Chief Blair. If you hit the link, you will see the original video.
We all heard Ford admitting to his drug use and swearing he'd go sober. But he told reporters who questioned him about this video that he was drunk, and that the events depicted in it were his "my personal life, with my personal friends, that's up to me. This really has nothing to do with you guys."
“I was with some friends and what I do in my personal life, with my personal friends, that’s up to me. This really has nothing to do with you guys,” Ford told reporters Tuesday afternoon.
The mayor wouldn’t address questions about his past claims that he quit drinking.
...The video could be damaging to Ford’s campaign for re-election, as he has staked his reputation to being clean and sober since November.
Ford “guaranteed” he has stopped drinking in interviews last year and told the CBC he had a “come to Jesus” moment about his drinking. The stupidest thing about this latest incident is that I really don't think it will affect his re election bid in the least. There is something really bizarre going on in the Great Weird North these days.

29th Street

I've been trying to figure out a better way to embed this video, but this is the best I can do. A recent performance by a great big little band from Libourne, France. I am a fan. The guitarist/singer is the nephew of my buddy Clement who is not much older than Baptiste is. I played in a French/American hybrid rock band for a few years and I am acutely aware of why it is so hard to make the French language's much more suited to rap, but there have been many great French rock artists. Soon, I hope, I will be able to help theme sell their first self released recording. Trust me, they just keep getting better and better. This is 29th Street, a real band from Libourne, France who prove beyond a doubt that there is truly kick ass rock music here in France! If you like them, check out their facebook page and subscribe!

The Inquisition

I'm posting this for indescribable scene from the Mel Brooks 1981 opus deluxe
This is some of the stuff only Mel Brooks could have gotten away with.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Hey, goombahs, lissen up....if you know what's good for you. Pay attention...Yo, Vinnie, Rudi's medication seems to have kicked in...give the little jerk a goose, if you know what I mean....Good, now do I have every one's attention? Cause I'm only gonna say this once before we have to screen you all over again for bugs...We had a little glitch with the swearing in today....things didn't go the way they were supposed to and now some climate change geek is predicting a big snowstorm for my big party tonight! Take a note. I wanna see Roker in a wheel chair tomorrow...who's gonna make me happy?..Just sayin.
Pay attention. A government by deh Goombahs, of deh goombahs and for the goombahs...will not...hey whataya, whatayah? You know what I'm sayin...fuggedabout it....

You know they are all in up to their necks. The wagon train closed ranks over the weekend defending the big Goombah, Chris Christie. You heard it all, Benghazi, Benghazi, the fantasy of the Obama enabling culture of corruption...Of course things "hotted up" a bit after the mayor of Hoboken piped in with her accusation of Christie's use of Hurricane Sandy relief funds as political blackmail to promote one of his crony's development projects. 
I have been following Christie for a few years now and am fascinated with the attraction this guy seems to have for the disorganized and demoralized Republicans as their Great White Hope (or Whale) for the 2016 Presidential race. I kind of hoped he would be nominated, because for many reasons, he is an ultimately doomed and fatally flawed candidate. But, in American politics, well, you can never say never. Christie is  Wall Street’s top choice in 2016, and also the top choice of our ironically named national security state. Chris Hedges has been documenting Christie for quite a while now. Here's a link to the piece he published on January 13.
Here's a few salient quotes from that piece:
Wall Street and the security and surveillance apparatus want a real son of a bitch in power, someone with the moral compass of Al Capone, in order to ruthlessly silence and crush those of us who are working to overthrow the corporate state. They have had enough of what they perceive to be Barack Obama’s softness. Christie fits the profile and he is drooling for the opportunity.
The “moral compass of Al Capone” — “ruthlessly crush those of us working to overthrow the corporate state” — “Christie … is drooling for the opportunity.” Oh boy. No wonder that one of us (me) called Christie “the most dangerous man in politics today.”
If you want to click back to that piece, you’ll see why the Emperor Nero comes to mind.
A little love from Emperor Christie
But this is Christies fatal flaw — at least I hope it’s fatal. He has a long history of corruption and a long list of people who remember it.
Hedges quotes Mark Halperin and John Heilemann in their book “Double Down: Game Change 2012” on Christie (this quote is from the book via Hedges):
There was the fact that Christie worked as a lobbyist on behalf of the Securities Industry Association at a time when Bernie Madoff was a senior SIA official—and sought an exemption from New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act. …
There was Christie’s decision to steer hefty government contracts to donors and political allies such as former attorney general John Ashcroft, which sparked a congressional hearing.
There was a defamation lawsuit brought against Christie, arising out of his successful 1994 run to oust an incumbent in a local Garden State race.
Then there was Todd Christie [the governor’s brother], who in 2008 agreed to a settlement of civil charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission in which he acknowledged making ‘hundreds of trades in which customers had been systematically overcharged.’ (Todd also oversaw a family foundation whose activities and purpose raised eyebrows among the vetters.) And all of that was on top of a litany of glaring matters that sparked concern on [the Romney] team: Christie’s other lobbying clients; his investments overseas; the YouTube clips that helped make him a star but might call into doubt his presidential temperament; and the status of his health.
This in itself is a tawdry fat slug slime trail of scandals, but it goes back further earlier than 2011:
A veritable torrent of scandals was revealed as he was first rumored to be running for the 2012 race , as early as 2011 and before, stories like these emerged in a flood, prompting myself and a number of others to suggest that higher office would in fact be a death-trap for Christie’s career. His organization spent a lot of time and money covering these up and spit shining his PR Image. Here's just a sampling of the scum on his little Jersey Swamp ;that he thinks has been forgotten and they’re not pretty — not surprising, but not pretty. From TPM2012 (h/t Cate Long via Twitter):
Chris Christie didn’t become governor of New Jersey the easy way. He first had to overcome a gauntlet of scandals in which he was accused of crony capitalism, big spending, and using his government title to get himself out of legal trouble.
One of the most persistent stories that dogged Christie in his 2009 campaign was his unusual financial relationship with a top aide at his federal prosecutor office, Michele Brown. Christie lent Brown some $46,000, which he says was to help a family friend through a rough patch.But critics argued that the move was an improper conflict of interest heading into a gubernatorial campaign since Brown was in a position to help Christie in a variety of ways. Her job included handling FOIA requests, including those from Governor Corzine’s campaign, for example. And in one instance, she argued to colleagues in favor of wrapping up a major corruption probe before July 1, when Christie’s successor took over the US Attorney position, a move that ensured credit for the case would clearly flow to Christie. Brown resigned shortly after news of the loan broke and, according to the New York Times, she paid off Christie’s loan in October 2010.
It wasn’t the only allegation of conflict of interest that Christie fought off. The then-US Attorney testified before Congress on a series of no-bid monitoring contracts worth millions that he awarded to various law firms. One contract, worth up to $52 million, went to former Attorney General John Ashcroft, Christie’s old mentor. Another former US Attorney chosen for a monitoring contract, David Kelley, had previously investigated Christie’s brother in a stock fraud case in 2005 — he was not indicted while fifteen others were.
So just in these two stories, Christie loans an aide in his US Attorney’s office almost $50,000 — and she appears to returns the favor by helping to wrap up prosecutions early so Christie can get lots of tough-daddy cred for the convictions; she’s also the point person on FOIA requests from Christie’s 2009 election opponent, then Gov. Corzine, among others.
And that doesn’t begin to cover the sweetheart contracts. They went to many more people than John Ashcroft, he of the anointed-by-Crisco incorruptibility. (Sometimes I think if it weren’t for God’s blessing, we wouldn’t know who the good guys are.)
There’s much more in the TPM article, and also more here (and here and here). There's a lot of ammunition here and Christie is a pretty big target.
No wonder Christie in 2012 was trying hard not to run for president. It would have been uphill all the way. Now with the curse of the short attention span of the American public, he has been able to polish his image. He appeals to the insecurity and racism of middle class America. He's a lovable Goombah but it’s still uphill all the way. Will Christie succeed in landing his seat in the Oval Office and delivering hard goods to the sociopaths who run Wall Street and our so-called “security” state?
There are no done deals in American politics and the utter unwieldiness of the American Republic makes it even more precarious and unpredictable. It's up to us to upset his game board, but we can do it. Is Chris Christie the most dangerous politician in America today? Not if he topples and falls. But he won’t fall on his own. When he goes down it could create a tsumani, it will be ugly, but it will be well worth it!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

malignant marketing melanoma

Get Lucky

Vivre la difference entre the US and France in a nutshell:
French President Francois Hollande has said he is experiencing a "difficult moment" in his private life, following claims of an affair with an actress.
But he refused to answer questions over the report, saying "private matters should be dealt with privately.Mr Hollande was speaking at his first news conference since the allegations in the magazine Closer last week.
He said he would clarify whether Valerie Trierweiler was still first lady before a February trip to the US. Let's clarify this by admitting that Valerie is not viewed sympathetically by most of the French public. His previous partner, Segolene Royale is still one of the most important figures in French politics. He had 3 children during his relationship with Segolene. They were never married and the relationship crumbled when she ran for president of France back in 1996, but both parents have the  loyal support of their offspring.
Can you imagine if Bill Clinton had said that, as President? He did say something similar – while still denying the allegations of an affair with Jennifer Flowers – as a candidate but that was when he was barely a blip on the primary calendar in 1992.
The stereotype of a successful Frenchman having at least one mistress in a pied-a-terre overlooking the Seine is legendary, and mostly accepted by the French with good humour. After all, this is a nation with a long history of monarchs and nobility with legendary prowess at bedding women, most notably the exploits of Casanova.
For us French domestically, this is minor fluff: a beautiful woman replaced with another beautiful woman by a man of power and charisma. The biggest mystery, for us who actually have met Hollande in the flesh is WTF? This is the guy who was mocked for his quiet demeanor as Mr. Flamby...a sort of commercial generic  caramel custard of a man....Hey, here in France, Hollande has actually gotten a rise in his approval ratings...The opposition parties are sort of holding off with their criticism, because, who knows what evidence the press has of the dawdling about of the sundry personages of the UMP and heaven forbid, the Front National? For the population of Tulle, in the rural Correze, the city that Hollande represented for years, they are experiencing the curse and the blessing of the foreign press. He was there this weekend and the restaurants and hotels had a boom winter weekend as the representatives of the international press descended on this town, more renowned for it's accordion manufacturing...well it was one of the major centers of the Resistance in WW2....but most of the residents stayed inside rather be assaulted by Japanese reporters wanting to have their opinions on the President's sex life.
For some, it’s a nightmare. For a nation whose language is still the language of diplomacy, to insult the wife of a leader of another powerful nation by bringing a mistress along will be viewed as tawdry and unseemly by the opposition...but he's not divorcing Valerie...they were never married. He didn't divorce Segolene, they agreed to separate. When Nicolas Sarkozy was elected President of France, his marriage was disintegrating and he didn't miss a beat with making Carla Bruni the new Jackie Kennedy clone first lady. If he wants to bring Julie Gaylet to Washington in a few weeks...well, Julie is a world class actress and intellectual. She will knock them all dead. I'm sure Julie and Michelle will be the very bestest of friends... for Hollande to go stag would be nothing more than a reminder of his “man in a suitcase” status.
To M. Hollande, I offer a solution: bring your daughter Flora with you. An adult woman to escort you would force the American (and local opposition) press to shut up about it during the trip, and Flora being your daughter with Ségolène Royal would only make more confusion for People magazine....
And sir, may I further salute you on your taste in women…

Saturday, January 18, 2014

After all these years, I am still in love with Carla Bley. This is from her 1977 Carla Bley Big Band European Tour...Carla, come back, I still love you. We can work it out...

Save The Detroit Institute Of Arts

As the real thieves, the fat jackals and vultures begin to circle one of the premier collections of art and art history on the planet, it is time for the real people to step in and save it from the threatened looting by the real opportunistic criminals on this planet...the 10%, who say that we the underclass don't understand, appreciate or cannot be trusted to conserve the culture we are all a part of . This Museum, The Detroit Institute of Art, was an important part of my life, and it was given to the City of Detroit. It is part of our cultural
Breugles Wedding Dance 1586
part of the DIA collection
heritage. I watched as a mummy was unwrapped by scholars on stage in 1962. The most important collection of Roman/Egyptian funerary wax paintings on the planet is in this museum. But that's not all. A world class collection of classical European Painting, Breugels, Bosch, Fragonards, Van Gogh and that doesn't even touch the tip of the collection of American Art which is available to the citizens of Detroit. The Museum is owned by the city, but much of the work was bequeathed to the people of Detroit. The museum has had an average of 500,000 visitors each year over the last 10 years. How arrogant and cruel for the fat hyenas who think they can loot this priceless heritage for their own private lairs because the poor don't appreciate nice things...Greedy Vultures and Hyenas are the reason we can't have nice things. They have already had the appraisers from Christies in to put a value on this incredible collection. If this unprecedented cultural looting is allowed to occur, it will make it easier for the fat vultures to do this again and again. Nothing will be safe, because, they will have set a precedent that the common man doesn't deserve nice things. If you want a nice it and hide it in your vault or trade it like a commodity like any normal robber baron would. I n many ways, what is being attempted in Detroit is a Test Case to begin the pillage of our cultural institutions everywhere. There is no "message" except the triumph of greed over humanity. If you are poor and you want a pretty picture to look at, why don't you just buy something "nice" at WaMart?

Here in France, the Government has made culture an important part in the economic reinvigoration of cities like Lens, which was devastated like Detroit by a shift in the industrial base in the last 20 years is now the home of a new Museum, The Louvre-Lens. It was created in on the site of an abandoned factory complex and today after 3 years? It is one of the most important museums in France. It shares the collection of the Louvre in Paris and has contributed to the economic rebirth of the northeastern Pas-de-Calais region. Yes, Lens is an economically depressed city that had a falling demographic, but giving the citizens this resource has restored pride and boosted the regional economy.  Last year, Lille was the official Cultural capitol of Europe This year it is Marseille. In each case, the cities have enjoyed an economic boom and a resurgence in local pride. Detroit has so much cultural history and it was one of the grandest architecturally enriched cities in North America, but it was allowed to decay and you have to ask, WHY? Poor people need art, they need culture, they need to be uplifted. The upper classes of the late 1800's knew this. That is why we have great museums in America. The role they have played in the cultural life of our cities and society is inestimable. Why do we, the common people, the workers, the oppressed have to be the ones to save our cultural heritage from the rapine greed of the criminals who want to loot the planet for their immediate profit? It's always been like this. We have to be the moral backbone, the firewall against the robber barons. Because if you give them an inch they will take everything. There is a class but we are not the aggressors and the aggressors are winning...If we let them. The struggle to save the DIA is just beginning, but we will win. What can you do? Join the DIA. I have been a proud member since 1966! You can donate directly here. This fund also supports the fight for Detroit's pension benefits. Recently a group of Detroit Corporations have pooled their resources to save the Museum and came up with almost 400 million dollars! Check out the Save The DIA facebook page!
 Defend The DIA!
One of the 4 sides of the incredible Diego Rivera Mural in the Sculpture Court of the DIA.
It is one of the largest murals ever painted in the Western Hemisphere. It is an incredible surrealistic tribute to American Labor, Technology and the political will of the people. In the painting, you will find Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Lenin. This was done during the Depression, when the economic straits of the world were at a much more crucial and acute point than we face today with the ongoing "crisis" which the elite scavengers are using as an excuse to loot this treasure chest.
You almost feel as if a lot of the aggression against the DIA is directed at the Rivera mural and what it stands for. 2 years later, Rivera was commissioned to create an incredible mural for Rockefeller Center in NYC, but it was destroyed because Rockefeller was persuaded that the mural was too dangerous and too political.  Well, I guess he flipped out because it showed him hanging out with loose women and drinking...
Man At The Cross Roads...One of the panels of the mural by Rivera that was destroyed in 1934 by Rockefeller

Here's a detail from the mural. A portrait of Henry Fords son, Edsel with a page of hand written script. What does it say?
Read it and weep. Once men were made of much nobler stuff.