Sunday, June 29, 2014

Can I Buy A Vowel?

I think this video is a pretty good attempt to explain the bad chemistry that created  the present situation in Iraq. If you are an expert, you might say it over simplifies things a bit, but for someone who needs to comprehend the basic events that led to this ongoing catastrophe, to explain how we got involved, wasted trillions of dollars and the tragic loss of lives, the displacement of millions of people and then be forced to watch as it all turns to shit, this is pretty good little piece. When Bill Clinton was interviewed on NBC by David Gregory and asked about Dick Cheney's non stop criticism of the Obama administration, he nailed it as a pathetic attempt to deflect the real person to blame. CHENEY!
Clinton replied to Gregory, “Well, I believe, you know, if they hadn’t gone to war in Iraq, none of this would be happening…Well, it might be happening in Syria, but what happened in Syria wouldn’t have happened in Iraq. Iraq would not have been, in effect, altered as it has been, but Mr. Cheney has been incredibly adroit for the last six years or so attacking the administration for not doing an adequate job of cleaning up the mess that he made. And I think it’s unseemly. And I give President Bush, by the way, a lot of credit for trying to stay out of this debate and letting other people work through it.”
The video I posted above illustrates the complex situation and refers to the reality that Iran and the USA might have to become strategic allies in this situation. This was even made more complex today as Vladimir Putin sent Russian personnel and Russian war planes to Iraq, in an explicit rebuke to the United States, to assist in the air ware against ISIS. The United States has on paper, 300 military advisors in Iraq and is sending drones...over 1,000,000 Iraqis have been displaced again, and the USA is faced with having to ally itself with Syria's Assad, Vladimir Putin and Ayatollah Khamenei of Iraq against a Saudi financed and backed Sunni Moslem terrorist army that even Al Qaeda has disowned.
I'd like to explain some of Cheney's and the Neo Con illogic that created this shitstorm, but I think I need the help of Vanna White. Here is a piece I wrote a few years ago in which I prove how Cheney's Iraqi/Al Qaeda connection was sort of  right, because he was totally wrong........

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Negative Energy Vortex Alert!

Kirk to Enterprise! Spock, the tricoder is not operating properly...I feel if I'm being drawn into another reality...can you hear me Spock? What is happening to me?
Captain, we read you, but it's very hard to get a reading for the transporter to focus. You seem to be fading into another dimension. I think I know what is happening and we will try to get a lock on your signal, Captain...Stay with us Jim!
Spock, you were correct when you warned me not to visit the surface of this planet we once knew as ...Earth...I feel so strange, like my very intellect is disintegrating. I feel as if I being sucked into a negative universe...Help me, Spock.
Jim, hold on, it is a negative energy vortex, a physical/psychic phenomena that was activated in the early 21st century by a political party in the ancient geophysical territory once known as the United States.  They embraced stupidity and promoted ignorance as means to manipulate the masses with out realizing that once you get that shit flowing in the wrong direction, you can't stop it. There seems to be a disturbance in the temporal flow of time and space, and the gateway has opened into the stupid zone and you are being sucked into it!
Oh, Spock, I feel as if I have an irresistible urge to over act, to emote, to exaggerate, to expostulate...I want to scream Benghazi! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZIIIIIIIIII!
Well, Scotty, I think we lost the Captain....I'm in charge now and if we know what's good for us, we better get the fuck out of here warp 3 now! 
Aye Mr. Spock....I'll miss the Captain...
Me too, Scotty, but you heard Jim, he was beyond hope.....

You can't fuck with the psychic/physical laws of the universe and that's what the Republican Party seems to have done lately. Things in America have pretty much fallen apart and the Negative Energy Vortex has been activated. It's a real thing. I know! It's happened here in France with Francois Hollande...he might mean well, but he set the damn cycle in motion and now, no matter what he does, he's fucked. The Republicans have finally seemed to have set the cycle in motion in America.

Most Americans cannot correctly tell you which parties control which houses of Congress, the Negative Energy Vortex is already having it's detrimental effect.  The media is inundated with Donald Trump, Ted Nugent, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and....Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) sneaks up on a fellow congressman to "photobomb" him. Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) may have accidentally legalized marijuana in DC while attempting to oppose decriminalization. Republican members of the Virginia House of Delegates broke into Governor Terry McAuliffe's office on a weekend to "deliver their budget." Virginia Republicans bribed a Democratic senator into resigning his seat with promise of a job, cell phone, and a car. Mississippi Tea Party leader kills himself after getting into trouble for his participation in an illegal entry into a nursing home to film Sen. Thad Cochran's (R-MS) demented wife. That doesn't even get into the Republican who is accusing his primary opponent of being dead and impersonated by a body double or John Boehner's announcement that he plans to sue the president for something he hasn't decided on yet. There's also something, something, IRS, The Benghazi! Committee, Govs. Scott Walker (R-WI) and Chris Christie (R-NJ) dodging prosecutors, Sen. Jeff Sessions opposing the Voting Rights Act, and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) calling for the deportation of DREAMers. There's Ann Coulter on a jihad against soccer and people at Fox News speculating that the World Cup is itself a conspiracy to take people's minds of President Obama's travails.
There is always some set of b.s. that the right-wing media are humping, but there seems to be a confluence of streams of b.s. all coming together at the same time to create the phenomena of the gate way negative energy vortex or Galactic SuperStorm of Bullshit.
Bullshit criminal behavior and bullshit rhetoric on anabolic steroids.
The only saving grace for Republicans is that most people don't even know what they do, or what they're supposed to do. They just sense that Congress sucks, without appreciating exactly what kind of inter dimensional galactic disaster has been set in motion. This could be the plot of the next Star Trek Sequel. Much as I do not admire Winston Churchill, I have to give him credit for the quote of the day:

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sycamore Trees

I don't know how I missed this, but Little Jimmy Scott, the very unique jazz vocalist from Cleveland, Ohio died on June 12 at age 88. He was known as Little Jimmy Scott because of a rare genetic condition called Kallmans Syndrome. He had a high unique voice and didn't get to his full hight of 5'6" until he was 37 years old.  He started recording in 1945 with Lionel Hampton. During the 60's because of contractual problems, he faded into obscurity and was working as a hospital orderly in Cleveland.  Things changed in 1991 and the people who he had influenced over the years gave him the chance to reboot his career. Over the next 20 years he recorded solo records, and performed with Lou Reed, David Byrne, Flea, Michael Stipe and Antony and the Johnsons, all of whom had acknowledged him as real influence. He performed at the inaugurations of both Dwight D. Eisenhower and Bill Clinton. This performance of  Sycamore Trees, a song written by David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti for the finale of Lynch's Twin Peaks might have been the most important kick in restarting his career.
Nice little map, I am actually picking up a bit of Occitan. I am fascinated by place names and so many of the older people I meet here speak Oc. It was banned in the early 20th century, but how can you ban the local culture and centuries of  history? Before 1900, and modern transportation, the villages here were worlds unto themselves. The language, Oc, is a hybrid of latin and celtic. Much of it has migrated into modern French, but the isolation of the villages created a myriad of variations. People from my village, Badefols d'Ans found it almost impossible to understand the variations from villages only 30 kilometers away! Badefols is a very old Oc means screaming fool. It originated in the tradition that around 650 AD, there was a church and monastery founded here by St. Cloud. Our Fete de village is still called Le St. Cloud. There was a hermit monk who lived up on top of the hill who would get up early on Sunday mornings and start screaming at the top of his lungs to wake everyone up and tell them to go to mass or be damned! He was the original Badefolois....
Now, there is an Occitan revival. Children are being taught to speak it. The music, the culture the traditions remain alive and I feel very privileged to witness and participate in the culture.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A picture I took yesterday morning as we left Benevent l'Abbaye. An amazing place that just appears in the middle of nowhere. The massive Collegiale St. Barthelemy dates from the 12th century. It is in the Northwest corner of the Departement of the Creuse, not too far from Gueret, in one of the least populated regions of France. The town itself is a page out of time. Perfectly preserved.  Here's another pic of me and my breakfast and what a grand breakfast it was!

Something's In The Air

Monday, June 23, 2014

That's Right, Folks! It's Intermission! Taking a little trip up north to the Creuse for a day or so!
Relax, get a snack or beverage of your choice and don't forget, pick up one of our educational
brochures in the lobby!


Seun Kuti, the younger son of the great Fela Kuti and his unique brand of Afro Funk 2014!
I dedicate this to the International Mother Fuckers who are participating in the destruction of Detroit.


When I was growing up in Detroit, this was the legend on the license plates, "Water Wonderland" then they changed it to Water Winter Wonderland. In the 70's it was simply The Great Lakes State.  Water was never an issue in Detroit. A city of fountains, every park had drinking fountains, lots of city pools. If we wanted a skating rink, we just mounded up snow and sprayed it, let it freeze and then flooded the enclosed area with water...we would do this in November and then add a little water from time to time until it thawed in February. But today, in Detroit, as the city's poverty rate rises, the water rates have risen over 40% in the last decade. As the city's state appointed comptroller tries to maximize the profits to be squeezed out of the assets of Detroit, the city owned water and sewage department is now fair game in the privatization game and who is being squeezed the hardest in the dirty game of sweetening the pot for the potential private buyer?  Not the almost 200,000 delinquent commercial accounts, and we are talking owing $150.00 as a "delinquent" is, so far, 125,000  private home owners who are being threatened and actually having their water and sewage service shut off. The DWSD claims that they started sending warnings out in April at the same time they announced a further 8.7% rate hike. The DSWD has already shut off the water to almost 8500 households. Many of the affected citizens state they never received a warning notice and many who did, state that the services were shut off well before the payment deadline printed in the notices had expired. Many affected residents who have tried to deal with the shutoffs have run into a wall of unresponsive bureaucracy and if they cannot meet the Kafkaesque requirements in their attempts to pay the bills, they have to suffer. Delinquent commercial users are not being held to the same criteria.
Simply stated, many thousands of Detroit residents are being threatened with immediate water cut offs and thousands have already lost their services. What does this mean? Think about it. No water, no toilets, no sanitation. If you are a poor person who needs medical assistance, forget about it. This is brutal. This is beyond the cruelty that many urban third world residents would expect or have to endure. At least if you lived in a barrio in Rio, there would have been some kind of system set up for a communal water supply. Detroit? Instead of thinking of the future for the poor, they are taking services and cutting back systems daily. This is the result of the ALEC directives that Republican Governor Rick Snyder is following. The decisions are not made by elected officials, but by appointed corporate controllers who are systematically looting the state. This is simply a crime against humanity.  The Canadian Human Rights Organizations have already stepped in to ask the UN to recognize the violation of basic human rights that is occurring.
What is happening in Detroit is a social crime and a violation of the human right to water and sanitation as recognized by the United Nations. It is a violation of the "Obligation to Respect," whereby a right once realized cannot be removed.
Here is an archival photo of the fantastic Detroit Waterworks Park on East Jefferson on the Detroit River.
This is the real legacy of Detroit. Water everywhere for everyone. I used to come here as a kid.

Where to begin to deal with this? Perhaps as the public outcry and awareness grows, the UN will actually get involved. I have been looking for public forums to address this. I have the link to a petition at The Blue Planet Project which I have signed, but I fear that it won't be taken seriously until the real human toll of sickness, disease and deaths start making the news. Even then, I have little faith in the media to deal with this in a responsible way. Detroit has been made into a scape goat and many conservative Americans have been brainwashed to believe that what ever happens to these poor, lazy, ethnically challenged people is somehow something they deserve because they dare to live in the once great city of Detroit! 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Le Foot

I have had a very interesting day today. I attended the village fete to celebrate our local election and the installation of the Municipal Council and the Mayor! It started early with the local custom "Planter le Mai"...a huge decorated tree trunk is erected in the village and then we had a toast to the new officials and then a village lunch that lasted for about 3 hours. We all drank too much wine and ate way too much good food on a very hot day. I have to admit, it was a great spread!  The newly elected official pay for the dinner and are the serving staff. It's a pretty cool custom. There was a lot of convivial spirit because France won it's match last night against Switzerland and seems to be doing pretty good in the FIFA World Cup Games in Brazil.  I'm not really a big sports fan...I follow the Tour de France...I love biking, but I usually don't get too excited over team sports. At least I haven't since I was a kid in Detroit going to Tigers games. I'll post more about the Village Fete with a video, but I do have a football joke: 

Did you hear about the guy found floating face down in the river? He was wearing an England football team jersey, fishnet stockings, high heels and a rubber mask. Added to this, his rectal cavity contained several items of cutlery, an elephant's tusk and a traffic cone, and his penis was wedged in a milk bottle full of cat meat. Police called to the scene immediately removed the England shirt for fear of causing his family any unnecessary embarrassment.

I told this joke at the luncheon in French today, or at least I think I did. Whatever I actually said seemed to get a pretty good reaction.

Friday, June 20, 2014


The mighty Bellrays featuring Lisa Kekaula. I saw this performance on Le Grand Journal here in France about 2 or so years ago! Lisa just recorded a few tracks with Stooges guitarist James Williamson that should be out next month! When Wayne Kramer put together the MC5/DKT project a few years ago, Lisa was the only person who could have filled the boots of Rob Tyner!  I am in utter awe of this woman!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Grand Wazoo of Baghdad

In the June 15th Wall Street Journal, L. Paul Bremer comes out of his closet of self imposed obscurity to write an editorial shifting blame for the current situation in Iraq to the Obama administration. He glosses over the events that he was the major force in setting in motion as if they never happened.  He went public on CNN on June 16th in an interview with Erin Burnett to make same claim and claim the war and the Iraqi government in place after the fall of Saddam was a success that was somehow bungled when Obama honored the agreements made by the Bush administration by with drawing our troops. Just a few facts to start with:
Sunni and Shi’a lived side by side in Iraq, and there was no al-Qaida there before the U.S. invasion. These neoconservative imperialists exploited tribal divisions, as colonialists usually do. They picked a gangster Shi’a president, Nuri al-Maliki, who persecuted Sunnis.
On the other hand, they bribed Sunni warriors, who had been killing Americans, to form the “Sunni Awakening,” which has now morphed into the vicious army of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Our ally Saudi Arabia still funds them.
His excellency and his ever present posse
If that's where he wants to go, perhaps he should answer a few questions and face up to the fact that because he was an official appointed by George Bush's insane government of an out of control fear driven corrupt war mongering nation, a nation which considers it self to powerful to be held accountable and beyond normal moral considerations, he hasn't as of yet been tried for War Crimes in the Hague.  Sure, the entire Bush/Cheney neo con crew is responsible, but this is the guy who is directly responsible for much of the present strife in Iraq and the middle east. After all, He was appointed the ViceRoy of Iraq, The Grand Wazoo of Baghdad.
Maybe L. Paul could begin by explaining the bizarre accounting techniques that made billions of dollars vanish with out a trace. Well, there are traces and trails that end in private bank accounts and into the pockets of the militants now attacking Iraq.  More than $70 billion was wasted training the inept Iraqi army that just stripped off its uniforms and fled at its first challenge – money that could have been spent helping our wounded veterans.
Here's a fairly damning interview from yesterdays' Democracy Now with Amy Goodman with Lakhdar Brahmi, who was the UN special envoy to Iraq at the time of Bremers  dictatorship...he details the events and ridiculous decisions by Bremer to dismantle the Iraqi Army as well as the games, playing the various factions off against each other, that led to the opening of the gates of Al Qaeda influence and the roots of the present situation in Syria and Iraq.
Most Americans have never heard Bremer's 100 orders discussed and how they led to the destruction of Iraq. In the volume of orders, he destroyed Iraq's agricultural infrastructure and gave control to multinational corporations and legally required the Iraqis to use GMO seeds.
He took away Iraqi ownership of their economy and industry and placed every aspect under the control of American financial institutions. He literally destroyed Iraq, by sowing the seeds of the present factional hatred and ongoing strife. He literally destroyed the economy, stole the money that was for the reconstruction, lost it to the opposition, opened the doors for Al Qaeda and filled the pockets of his buddies... And now he wants us to ignore what he already did and do it again. Bremer should have been imprisoned or executed long ago, but now he wants another fuckin' medal......

Your Mind Is On Vacation

Classic Mose Allison from 1975

Why Does Time Exist?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ha Ha.....

It happened again,  and it happened before and if it keeps on happening, perhaps we might be witnessing some kind of unnatural selection"extinction event". Last Thursday in Macon, Georgia, an unfortunate fellow shot his dick off while trying to shove his gun back into his pants at a gas station.
According to WMAZ Channel 13, the man was parked at a gas station and was attempting to put away the .45 caliber pistol when it discharged, striking him in the groin.
The man immediately drove to a friend’s house. According to police, the victim dropped his pants to find that he had shot himself in the penis and that the bullet had exited his body through the buttocks. As he disrobed, the spent round fell to the floor. 
Not an isolated incident, it's a regular occurrence, here's a link from 2013 cataloguing six count 'em, six similar incidents in less that 3 years. Maybe that's the up side to the open carry laws. If enough of these idiots shoot their dicks off, maybe they'll stop having off spring that will carry on the tradition.
Here's a bonus blast from the past:

Brian Eno On The Role of NATO and the Present Ukraine Situation

Brian Eno is a multi faceted person. One of the most influential forces in changing the way we listen to and make music, he is also a writer and conceptual artist. Usually, even at their "deepest" I dismiss most musicians who try to theorize about politics as fluff and try to separate the artist from their pretensions. On the other hand, give this guy a listen.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Master Wanker

Karl Rove wastes our time by claiming that any criticism of the Bush debacle in Iraq is a waste of time. Do we have to be subjected to the blathering of this fat pig publicly masturbating live on FOX NEWS? Why do we let the same tragically wrong from the start idiots drive this discussion?  Why do we give them a platform to pressure the American government into making the same mistakes over and over again? We have to take their car keys away, send them back to Drivers Ed and give the car key to another designated driver. Why not let Dennis Kuchinich speak for a few minutes?  He, from the beginning,  has been instrumental in intelligently criticizing the entire mis adventure,  and again, nails it as far as how we should be framing this discussion at this point in time. In fact most of the discussion about the current situation is pretty disgusting to me. Even people I agree with use apologistic language and try to frame it as a mistake. To use the term "mistake" rhetoric is the language of denial, not contrition: it minimizes the Iraq War's disastrous consequences, removes blame, and deprives Americans of any chance to learn.
I found this statement of  what Dennis Kuchinich said to be quite accurate and enlightening, not that it offers any solution to the present situation, but as a way to morally frame the approach to what ever actions the Obama Administration might take in the near future. The near future is now........

"As Iraq descends into chaos again, more than a decade after "Mission Accomplished," media commentators and politicians have mostly agreed upon calling the war a "mistake." But the "mistake" rhetoric is the language of denial, not contrition: it minimizes the Iraq War's disastrous consequences, removes blame, and deprives Americans of any chance to learn from our generation's foreign policy disaster.
The Iraq War was not a "mistake" -- it resulted from calculated deception. The painful, unvarnished fact is that we were lied to. Now is the time to have the willingness to say that.
In fact, the truth about Iraq was widely available, but it was ignored. There were no WMD. Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. The war wasn't about liberating the Iraqi people. I said this in Congress in 2002. Millions of people who marched in America in protest of the war knew the truth, but were maligned by members of both parties for opposing the president in a time of war -- and even leveled with the spurious charge of "not supporting the troops."
I've written and spoken widely about this topic, so today I offer two ways we can begin to address our role:
1) President Obama must tell us the truth about Iraq and the false scenario that caused us to go to war.
When Obama took office in 2008, he announced that his administration would not investigate or prosecute the architects of the Iraq War. Essentially, he suspended public debate about the war. That may have felt good in the short term for those who wanted to move on, but when you're talking about a war initiated through lies, bygones can't be bygones.
The unwillingness to confront the truth about the Iraq War has induced a form of amnesia which is hazardous to our nation's health. Willful forgetting doesn't heal, it opens the door to more lying. As today's debate ensues about new potential military "solutions" to stem violence in Iraq, let's remember how and why we intervened in Iraq in 2003.

2) Journalists and media commentators should stop giving inordinate air and print time to people who were either utterly wrong in their support of the war or willful in their calculations to make war.
By and large, our Fourth Estate accepted uncritically the imperative for war described by top administration officials and congressional leaders. The media fanned the flames of war by not giving adequate coverage to the arguments against military intervention."

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Poodle Speaks

Tony Blair blathering, safe behind his smoke screen and wall of mirrors. Ensconced on the board of few corporations and a permanent member of the Carlyle Group in reward for his war crimes. Still an unhousebroken poodle peeing on the shag carpeting of your mind.
How are the events he describes not directly related to the destabilization of the MidEast by the insane Iraq War he was such a rabid cheerleader for? Discuss....
What it might look like if Earth was destroyed by a black hole.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Raspberry Tarte

My incredible wife makes a raspberry tarte with a creme patisserie vanille...all I did was grow the raspberries. If you want the recipe, I posted my pathetic version of it in 2007.


I am fascinated with weather and subscribe to a number of forecasting sites. The internet is saturated with websites that give you weather information, and frankly, most of them suck. Very few allow you to see lightning around the world in real-time, and even fewer give you this data for free. But there is one nugget of gold tucked deep in the confines of Europe that gives you the best of the best, all for free.
Blitzortung is a small project run by a handful of people in Germany that connects a network of hundreds of lightning sensors around the world to track lightning strikes within seconds of their striking the surface of the earth. As the site is based in Europe, they have hundreds of sensors concentrated around Germany, Austria, France, and Italy, with fewer in a multitude of other countries. The United States itself has 44 sensors that join a handful in other North and South American countries to keep tabs on your storm activity.
France has been the hotbed of lightning activity in Europe so far this year, and it's easy to understand why given our recent bout of severe weather.
You can choose a location almost anywhere on the planet and see real time displays that give information in pretty exciting realtime graphic formats.  You can become a participant in the program if you'd like. If you're an engineering/tech whiz and enjoy computing and electrical projects, Blitzortung is always looking for people to purchase and assemble lightning detector kits to help them expand their network.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Oh McCain, You've Done It Again!

When has the senile senior Senator from Arizona ever been right about anything? In my opinion, he is one of the most irresponsible, corrupt and destructive influences in American politics today, and that is saying a lot! He gave his muddled sour grape chewing response in 2008 as he was Leading the predictable Republican response to Barack Obamas decision to bring the troops home from Iraq by the end of the year, he still doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut and he still can't get over losing in 2008....Here he is again trying to deny his responsibility for consequences of the Bush Administration insanity in Iraq and create an alternate universe in which everything that goes wrong is Obama's fault. As if he even would still be alive if he had won the 2008 election. In my alternate realty, Vice President Palin would have staged a little coup and started WW3 a long time ago! I'm sorry your excellency, President in your own brain McCain, they would just have to had done away with you early on and no one would have shed too many tears..............
Here's a little ancient history if you are interested as to the actual words and wisdom of the Senile
Ohhh McCain, you've done it again!
Soothsayer. He was one of the main cheerleaders who got us into this mess. Now he would like to have you fall into the pit of his collective Alzheimer's Disease....
On the Run-Up to War
"Next up, Baghdad!"
John McCain, aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt,
January 2, 2002.
"I am very certain that this military engagement will not be very difficult."
John McCain,
September 12, 2002.
"Look, we're going to send young men and women in harm's way and that's always a great danger, but I cannot believe that there is an Iraqi soldier who is going to be willing to die for Saddam Hussein, particularly since he will know that our objective is to remove Saddam Hussein from power."
John McCain,
September 15, 2002.
"But the fact is, I think we could go in with much smaller numbers than we had to do in the past. But any military man worth his salt is going to have to prepare for any contingency, but I don't believe it's going to be nearly the size and scope that it was in 1991."
John McCain,
September 15, 2002.
"He's a patriot who has the best interests of his country at heart."
John McCain, on Ahmed Chalabi,

Myopic Mr. McCain takes a stroll in the Green Zone

On Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction
"I think we're doing fine [in Afghanistan]...I think we'll do fine. The second phase - if I could just make one, very quickly - the second phase is Iraq. There is some indication, and I don't have the conclusions, but some of this anthrax may - and I emphasize may - have come from Iraq."
John McCain, on the fall 2001 anthrax attacks in the U.S.,
October 18, 2001.
"Proponents of containment claim that Iraq is in a "box." But it is a box with no lid, no bottom, and whose sides are falling out. Within this box are definitive footprints of germ, chemical and nuclear programs."
John McCain,
February 13, 2003.
"I remain confident that we will find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."
John McCain,
June 11, 2003.
On Being Greeted as Liberators
"Absolutely. Absolutely."
John McCain, asked by Chris Matthews, "you believe that the people of Iraq or at least a large number of them will treat us as liberators?"
March 12, 2003.
"Not only that, they'll be relieved that he's not in the neighborhood because he has invaded his neighbors on several occasions."
John McCain, asked by Chris Matthews, "And you think the Arab world will come to a grudging recognition that what we did was necessary?"
March 12, 2003.
"There's no doubt in my mind that we will prevail and there's no doubt in my mind, once these people are gone, that we will be welcomed as liberators."
John McCain, March 24, 2003.
On a Rapid Victory and Mission Accomplished
"I think the victory will be rapid, within about three weeks."
John McCain, January 28, 2003.
"It's clear that the end is very much in sight...It won't be long. It, it'll be a fairly short period of time."
John McCain, April 9, 2003.

a word from his corporate sponsor

"We won a massive victory in a few weeks, and we did so with very limited loss of American and allied lives."
John McCain, May 22, 2003.
"I thought it was wrong at the time. Do I blame him for that specific banner? I can't."
John McCain, on President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech, May 1, 2008.
"Well, then why was there a banner that said mission accomplished on the aircraft carrier?"
John McCain, responding to assertion by Fox News' Neil Cavuto that "many argue the conflict isn't over," June 11, 2003.
"I have said a long time that reconstruction of Iraq would be a long, long, difficult process, but the conflict -- the major conflict is over, the regime change has been accomplished, and it's very appropriate."
John McCain, June 11, 2003.
"I'm confident we're on the right course."
John McCain, March 7, 2004.
"We're either going to lose this thing or win this thing within the next several months."
John McCain, November 12, 2006.
"My friends, the war will be over soon, the war for all intents and purposes although the insurgency will go on for years and years and years."
John McCain, February 25, 2008.
On the Safe Streets of Baghdad
"[There] there "are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods, today."
John McCain, after touring a Baghdad market wearing a bulletproof vest and guarded by "100 American soldiers, with three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships overhead,April 1, 2007.
"There's problems in America with safe neighborhoods as we well know."
John McCain, March 8, 2008.
On President Bush and His Team
"We are very fortunate that our president in these challenging days can rely on the counsel of a man who has demonstrated time and again the resolve, experience, and patriotism that will be required for success and the hard-headed clear thinking necessary to prevail in this global fight between good and evil."
John McCain, on Dick Cheney, July 16, 2004.
"I think he strengthened our national defenses. I think he has a good team around him."
John McCain, on President Bush, September 3, 2004.
"I said no. My answer is still no. No confidence."
John McCain, on whether he had confidence in Bush Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld,December 15, 2004.
On the Non-Existent Alliance Between Al Qaeda and Iran
"But Al Qaeda is there, they are functioning, they are supported in many times, in many ways by the Iranians."
John McCain, February 28, 2008.
"As you know, there are al Qaeda operatives that are taken back into Iran, given training as leaders, and they're moving back into Iraq."
John McCain, March 17, 2008.
"[Iranian operatives are] "taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back."
John McCain, March 18, 2008.
"[It is] common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that's well known. And it's unfortunate."
John McCain, March 18, 2008.
"Al Qaeda and Shia extremists -- with support from external powers such as Iran -- are on the run but not defeated."
McCain campaign statement, March 19, 2008.
"To think that I would have some lack of knowledge about Sunni and Shia after my eighth visit and my deep involvement in this issue is a bit ludicrous."
John McCain, March 19, 2008.
"Do you still view Al Qaeda in Iraq as a major threat? Certainly not an obscure sect of the Shiites overall..."
John McCain, questioning General David Petraeus, April 8, 2008.
On the Timeline of the Surge and the Sunni Awakening
"Too often the light at the tunnel has turned out to be a train, but I really believe -- I really believe that there's a strong possibility that you may see a very substantial change in Anbar province due to this new changes in our relationships with the sheiks in the region."
John McCain, January 5, 2007 (five days before President Bush announced the surge strategy and the deployment of more U.S. forces to Iraq.)
"Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that's just a matter of history."
John McCain, July 22, 2008.
On a Permanent American Military Presence in Iraq
"We cannot keep our forces indefinitely staged in the region. Were we to attempt again to contain Saddam, we would eventually have to withdraw them. The world is full of dangers and, more likely than not, we will need some of those brave men and women to face them down."
John McCain, February 13, 2003.
"Well, if that scenario evolves, then I think it's obvious that we would have to leave because - if it was an elected government of Iraq - and we've been asked to leave other places in the world. If it were an extremist government, then I think we would have other challenges, but I don't see how we could stay when our whole emphasis and policy has been based on turning the Iraqi government over to the Iraqi people."
John McCain,
April 22, 2004.
"We have had troops in South Korea for 60 years and nobody minds."

John McCain, June 7, 2007.
"Make it a hundred."
John McCain, told that President Bush had said American troops could remain in Iraq for 50 years, January 3, 2008.
"I asked McCain about his 'hundred years' comment, and he reaffirmed the remark, excitedly declaring that U.S. troops could be in Iraq for 'a thousand years' or 'a million years,' as far as he was concerned."
David Corn, January 3, 2008.
"The U.S. could have a military presence anywhere in the world for a long period of time."
John McCain, February 20, 2008.
"By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom."
John McCain, May 15, 2008.
"John McCain has always been clear that American forces operate in Iraq only with the consent of that country's democratically elected government."
Michael Goldfarb, McCain adviser, July 9 2008.
"That's not too important. What's important is the casualties in Iraq, Americans are in South Korea, Americans are in Japan, American troops are in Germany. That's all fine."
John McCain, on when U.S. troops should come home from Iraq,
June 11, 2008.
Only a few voices of reason have managed to be heard above the cacophony of hysterical paranoia, faux patriotism and the war fever that infected America in the lead up to the Iraq Debacle and its aftermath. One of course, was the one famous phrase of reason uttered by Colin Powell that almost negated his guilt in being used as a stage prop at his UN sideshow leading up to the war.  In 2003, he voiced what is now referred to as The Pottery Barn Rule, "You break it, you own it".  The other voice, amazingly enough was Joe Biden, who opposed the war from the beginning. He opined, though, in 2006 that perhaps, the sectarian dissolution, though seemingly inevitable was not the only possibility. He proposed a rotating factionally representational government for Iraq...Sunni, Shiite and Kurd. Perhaps the one positive thing in what is going on now is that the Kurds are the organized force picking up the pieces of their ancestral lands. Maybe they will actually finally walk away with a real Kurd Homeland. Biden's 2006 solution almost made sense, but sense? Who needs your stinkin' sense...When you have his senile eminence, Senator Crankypants McCain, President in his own mind....
Here Come The Warm Jets
Brian Eno 1974

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Gun Shop


I have to get this book! I am another person who has to admit how much I like John Waters...but I had the great honor to work with him on a few films. I designed all the tattoos for Johnny Depp in Cry Baby. The best piece of art direction I ever got was when I did the hillbilly electric chair tattoo for Depp, sent the design to Waters via fax and the next morning a fax arrived with the simple request, "More Mammy Yokum"! 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Wine Mystery

Thomas Jefferson. Nuclear Warfare. The ancient Romans.  A billionaire. Modern Dentistry.
This tale of fraud has it all and a little essay by the late great physicist, Richard Feynman
to put it all in perspective.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Phillip Glass/Kronos Quartet
Dr. Van Helsing and Dracula
Composed to accompany the original
1931 Todd Browning classic

The False Flag

please forgive me...I just got the newest GIMP graphic program installed today and I'm not
a totally responsible user yet....
I'm not sure exactly how the phrase, You don't shit where you eat" describes my reaction to the manipulation of the mentally disabled masses of America by the conservative politicians and pundits who make their living by exploiting the paranoia, racism, mental instability and economic fear rampant in America today, but the more I think about it, the more appropriate it seems.
Coming on the heels of a “Sovereign Citizen” shooting up a Georgia courthouse, we have two people in Las Vegas who murdered two police officers in cold blood, then went to Wal-Mart, killing another person before they ended their spree in a murder-suicide pact. These two incidents are not isolated, but are the direct result of the hate-filled rhetoric that the rabid right wing has directed toward the government and President Obama in particular.
It turns out that the Las Vegas killers were ardent believers in positions espoused by the most extreme people on the right; the “Patriot” movement. They yelled, “This is the start of the revolution” and draped a Gadsden Flag (The "Don't Tread On Me" rattle snake flag, a symbol appropriated by extremist groups in recent years) over the body of one of the police officers. The couple’s Facebook page railed against anyone not 100% supportive of unrestricted 2nd Amendment rights and demonizes the federal government. Here’s an example of one of their statements on the 2nd Amendment:

“This is a declaration to all Americans. If you don’t agree with and hold dear the second amendment of the united states constitution (sic), then you ,need to self-deport yourself to someplace where people like you can congregate,” he wrote on Jan. 1, 2013. “We are already on our way to tyranny, and your corrupt evil ass needs to leave this country before you incite another civil war.”
  a traitor to this nation and its people who hold their rights dear to them and deserve to die a traitors death.”
And here’s one on the threat of the federal government:
“We can hope for peace. We must, however, prepare for war,” Miller wrote on June 2. “To stop this oppression, I fear, can only be accomplished through bloodshed.”

The rampage in Las Vegas is what happens when violent rhetoric is taken to the extreme. Right wing politicians have increasingly embraced this rhetoric in order to compete for the votes of the Tea Party and extremist conservatives who dominate Republican primaries without regard to how they are aiding and abetting attacks like the two that occurred in the past week. Joni Ernst talks about
cutting off the testicles of big spending politicians and literally shooting Obamacare, other candidates shooting Obamacare, and even one candidate shooting a drone.
Since 2008, we have also seen the right attempt to delegitimize the President, and by extension any action he has ever taken and his entire party, by calling into question his citizenship and his religion. Their reasoning is that if can cast enough doubt on his legitimacy, nothing he does can be considered legitimate. The ones who are out there doing this in the public square are doing it for partisan political reasons (because angry people vote), but they aren’t giving any thought to how they are stirring up the masses.

Extremists use the rhetoric they hear from Tea Party candidates and take it to heart, not realizing they are being agitated. They, unlike the political candidates, actually believe what they are hearing. This gives rise to groups like Oath Keepers, who flocked to the Bundy Ranch in anticipation of being able to stand on the front lines of the coming civil war. Some of those people were salivating at the chance to put a bullet into a government employee and, in their view, start the campaign to free America from the tyranny of the left. The Miller couple, the Vegas Walmart killers, were identified by Ammon Bundy, the son of Cliven, that they were at the Bundy Ranch during the stand off and were asked to leave.
You would be hard pressed to put comments by the Las Vegas murderers, Tea Party candidates, and right wing bloggers and Fox News commenters side-by-side and determine who said what. Bloggers joyfully anticipate a Second American Revolution, but will deny that they mean anything that has to do with violence. Right wing commenters will talk about how they must prepare for the day when the left takes one step too far and they are forced to defend themselves and their property. They will talk about the jack-booted thugs oppressing Cliven Bundy and make comparisons between Democratic policies and Nazi Germany, then express shock and dismay when the Las Vegas murderers equate police officers with Nazis.
Then there are the out and out irresponsible public professional lunatics like Alex Jones and Glen Beck who have found a gold mine in promoting every possible paranoid conspiracy theory that exists or they and their team of writers can imagine. Jones is already losing it, in his very professional and studied way, claiming that the Vegas shooting is a government "false flag" plot to take away your guns!
I’m sure we are all familiar with comments like this one from the Las Vegas killers:

There is no greater cause to die for than liberty. To die for that cause is easy, to live for it is another matter. I will willingly die for liberty. Death, in a sense is freedom from tyranny. Death, is the easy way out. Most notably is the “suicide by cop” routine. Yes, standing before despots is dangerous and most likely does not end well for you. I know this, my wife knows this. Soon they will come for us, because they don’t like what we think, and what we say. They don’t like the fact that we, simply will not submit to fascist rule. We don’t have much, but we are willing to sacrifice everything…….for you, for your freedoms. Even if you wouldn’t let us have ours. We know who we are and what we stand for, do you?”
These are the same folks who distort Jeffersons quote, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure." without paying any attention to the real context or meaning of what Jefferson was trying to convey.
The people who generate this type of rhetoric, whether they are politicians, pundit, bloggers, or anonymous commenters, need to own these violent acts. Their words are directly responsible. The only difference between the talkers and the doers is that one group actually means what they say, and I don’t know how to tell them apart anymore.


Monday, June 09, 2014

West Virginia's White Only Health Care System

In this video Klan members try to portray themselves as good guys, helping the needy, elderly and children. The Klan members socialize and exchange gifts. One gift, a knife holder, which a lady found ‘funny,’ depicted a black man being lynched with the blades of knives going through his body.
Let’s talk about West Virginia then since the Klansman brought it up. That state has a 34.4% obesity rate, which the KKK seems to be largely suffering from; only 44.8% of residents described themselves as thriving,the lowest in the nation.West Virginia has the lowest score for overall emotional health, ranking either the lowest or second-lowest in nearly all of the indicators considered by the Gallup-Healthways

West Virginians are the least physically healthy respondents in the nation. The state had the highest rates of both high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and the second highest obesity rate. It also had the highest rate of respondents unable to partake in age-appropriate activities. Adding to the state’s woes, is the abundance of White Supremacists in that state. With the extremely high obesity rate, I’m sure their military-style combat training will work out swimmingly. Y'all want gravy on that?

Strawberry Letter #23

This song was in my head today, but if you listen, this is not the version you probably remember. The version that was the big hit was by The Brothers Johnson, but it was written and originally recorded by Shuggie Otis in 1971. Shuggie is still playing today, but in the early 70's he melded funk, R&B and Rock and wrote some great songs. He is a great guitarist and the layered arpeggios at the end of the song are pretty neat! Shuggie is the son of the legendary Johnny Otis.

A Depend Moment

Now, the Senile Senior Senator CrankyPants McCain is claiming that the Taliban prisoners traded for Bowe Bergdahl were personally responsible for blowing up the World Trade Center. Now that he is being called out for his hypocrisy, the senile old fart is just plain making hysterical shit up.  He really starts squirming aroundnear the end of the video and makes his claim that these 5 are responsible for 9/11.  It doesn't matter that the Taliban and the shadowy entity known as Al Qaeda are two different things. It worked for him before, sort of...that's how we ended up with Sarah Mooselini Palin and Joe The Plumber.  He can say anything to Candy Crowley, she is just an infatuated school girl, a piece of warm Silly Putty in CrankyPants palsied hands......

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Mi Zhi Ji Chi Chuan

Last night, I got to do what I do best! Barbecue! It was the perfect night, after a very hot day of slaving in the vegetable garden and mowing the lawn. I had this recipe kicking around for a classic Beijing street snack...Mi Zhi Ji Chi Chuan. Beijing Chicken Wings! I had wanted to make it, but one of the ingredients is Sichuan Pepper corns and I was going to have to wait until I could visit the Oriental Epicerie in Perigueux to get some, but I was in the LIDL Market in Terrasson on Friday and they are having an Asiatic food promo and there they were....I picked up a few bags of Sichuan Pepper corns and lots of chicken wings. It's pretty simple, but you have to really marinade the wings over night. My marinade was 1/4 cup of Soy, a big soupspoon of peanut oil, about 1/8 cup of the peppercorns crushed, 2 table spoons of regular ground black pepper, 2 tablespoons of honey and a few spoons of toasted sesame oil, about 6 cloves of finely chopped garlic, a thumb sized piece of peeled fresh ginger finely chopped, 2 scallions finely chopped and little really don't need much salt, because the soy sauce is pretty salty. I used my favorite rich dark Pearl River Brand soy. So the wings go in the marinade over night. About a half hour before you cook them take the wings out and to let them warm up and reduce the marinade in a sauce pan until it thickens.
I also made a seasoning sauce to serve with the wings using some soy, chili garlic paste, a little rice wine vinegar, a little oil and just a bit of honey.
I lit the grill, and when the coals were hot, I put the wings on. They should get some blackened patches on them and baste them with the reduced marinade. They cook pretty quickly. I knew they would be good, but they were really great! The two of us finished them pretty quickly with a very simple salad. Then we had as many of my freshly picked raspberries with sugar and thick cream as we could eat!
A perfect night to eat in the garden! I can't wait to do this recipe again!
Go Ahead, Check 'Em Out!