Friday, August 31, 2007

Yaourt Greque

Here is something that has become a part of our weekly lives. Making Yoghurt.
I eat yoghurt for lunch almost every day. In the last few years, the Greek
variety has been widely available. I like it because it is rich, thick and creamy.
Yoghurt is pretty cheap as far as dairy products go and the best is a very natural
product, just milk and the bifidus culture.
When I lived in New York, I started to make it myself. It was satisfying to save money by buying boxes of powdered milk and a using the yoghurt from one batch to start another. One day I had the bright idea to add a can of unsweetened condensed milk to my yoghurt and the results were superb! Now, here in France, for some reason and it might have to do with how the dairy industry is subsidised differently between the two countries, whole milk is cheaper than powdered we use whole milk.
The technique is very simple. Heat a liter of milk and the can of unsweetened condensed milk in an enameled pan. For some reason, I don't get the same consistent results when I use a metal pan. Heat the milk to just below the boiling point and let it cool, covered, to the point where it is comfortably warm on the skin. Like testing a babies formula, I suppose. Then add a container of fresh plain yoghurt.
There is a variety of yoghurt here called bifidus, but in America, the plain Dannon culture works just great.
Then I put the pan with the yoghurt milk mix in a basin of warm water, covered into the oven, which I have heated and let get warm, not hot!
Let it sit over night. In the morning, you will have yoghurt. I have a lot of the classic little glass yoghurt pots that I use over and over. I spoon the yoghurt into the pots and cover them with foil and find that after three days in the fridge, I have better yoghurt than I have have ever bought commercially. I don't have yoghurt containers to throw away and it works out to 1/4 the price of commercial Greek Yoghurt..
Try it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Again, I have to thank the BBC Television Series, Little Britain to put it all in perspective for me. This might have actuually worked for Senator Larry Craig instead of the pathetic spectacle he presented at his "I'm not gay" Press Conference yesterday.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present Sir Norman Fry, MP.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sunday, August 26, 2007

An Abusive History Lesson

I am a firm believer in the value of history. History is an essential tool to understanding our world and a knowledge of history put s us in a better position to shape our destiny. Those who are ignorant are indeed dangerous leaders. To me it is becoming more apparent that George Bush Jr. is a man without history, or worse, a man with a malicious understanding of history.

Bush's speechwriters understand tyhe emotive power of history. In his address last week, they used it as Pericles used his funeral oration, to draw political strength from soldiers who fell in battle and cannot speak for themselves. In the midst of this speech, comparing the Iraq War to Vietnam, he uses as his most dramatic point another historic element: The Stabbed In The Back rhetoric of Weimar politics. If you don't unquestionably follow my commands, says Bush, you will be betraying our soldiers in the fields. Their death will be on your hands!
As the United States staggers past the fourth anniversary of its misadventure in Iraq, the dagger is already poised, the myth is already being perpetuated. To understand just how this strategy is likely to unfold - and why this time it may well fail - we must turn to the birth of a legend.

This is an excerpt from an article published in 2006 in Harpers Magazine by the historian, Kevin Bacon:

"The stab in the back first gained currency in Germany, as a means of explaining the nation's stunning defeat in World War 1. It was Field Marshall Paul von Hindenburg himself, the leading German hero of the war, who told the National Assembly, "An English general has very truly said, the German army was 'stabbed in the back."
Like everything else associated with the stab-in-the-back myth, this claim was disingeniuous. The "English general" in question was one Major General Neill Malcolm, head of the British Military Mission in Berlin after the war, who put forth this suggestion merely to poliitely summarize how Field Marshall Erich von Ludendorff - the force behind Hindenburg - was characterizing the Germanarmy's alleged lack of support from its civilian government.
"Ludendorffs's eyes lit up, and he leapt upon the phrase like a dog on a bone," wrote Hindeburgs biographer, John Wheeler-Bennett. "Stabbed in the back?" he repeated, "Yes, that's it exactly. We were stabbed in the back."
Ludendorffs enthusiasm was understandable, for, as he must have known, the phrase "dagger thrust" had been popularized almost fifty years before in Wagner's Gotterdammerung. After swallowing a potion that causes him to reveal a shocking truth, the invincible Teutonic hero, Siefried, is fatally stabbed in the back by Hagen, son of the archvillian, Alberich."

That the German Army had been "stabbed in the back" by the nations civilian leadership was an outright lie. The military had established a dictatorship by the last years of WW1. Nevertheless, leaders like Hindenburg and Ludendorff realized it was a powerful tool which could be wielded to hold liberals at bay and silence them.
Very few commentators have recognized of spoken of the obvious moral bankruptcy of Bush's speech. One did and he recognized the manipulation at its core of the theme that was used to murder democracy in Weimar Germany. It was not a liberal, interestingly enough, buut the conservative, Andrew Sullivan in his analysis in The Atlantic:

"To place all troops into the position of favoring one strategy ahead of us rather than another, and to accuse poliitical opponents of trying to "pull the rug out from under them," is a, yes, fascistic tactic designed to corral political debate into one possible patriotic course. It's beneath a president to adopt this role, beneath him to coopt the armed sevices for partisan purposes. It should be possiible for a president to make an impassioned case for continuing the his own policy in Iraq, without accusing critics of wanting to attack and betray the troops. But that would require class and confidence. The president has neither."

Donald Rumsfeld appeared before a few veterans groups about this time last year and gave speeches using the terms "appeasement", "Munich" and "1938". This malicious misuse of history seemed to be as bad as you could get, but this goes much further. The peculiar argument that Bush used and wants to make into a theme was used to demolish a democracy and install a totalitarian dictatorship.
Weimar fell because it was a democracy with too few democrats committed to its survival. Too few citizens had the courage to speak up for the values of a democratic state. That is the lesson of Weimar Germany we cannot afford to forget!

This post first appeared on The Men With Muckrakes, August 25, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Saint-Bitochon, un monument bien monte

In today's Le Canard enchaine, the great French political muckraking journal, there was a little article on a little known touristic site in the Poitou-Charentes region. A grand monument to bad neighbors, the stele of Saint-Bitochon.
The 6 meter tall vaguely suggestive monument made of stone and covered in pink concrete was built in 1866 by Louis Bordier over a subterrenean grotto. He was inspired to do so when his neighbor, the Countess of Gue decided to build a Neo-Romantic Chateau. Louis thought that the style of the chateau was an outrage and he feuded with his neighbor over her right to build the monstrosity in his view.
She went ahead and built it but the next year, a strange turgescence rose from the earth right under the Countess's delicate nose, just over the property line.
Louis was making his statement. The 6 meter stele has a hollow pipe running up the center and Louis, ever the braggart, well into his 60's let it be known that the monument would spout smoke when ever he was entertaining his mistress.
The monumental shaft was smoking continuously, the fire stoked in the subterrenean chamber below. Whether Louis was the sexagenarian sexual athlete he claimed to be or just a nasty neighbor, we will never know.
This was too much for the delicate sensibilities of the Countess, who found it neccessary to block up all the windows on the side of her castle with a view of the naughty object.
Over the years, the property changed hands but the stele remained and became the site of a local pilgrimage by locals who invented the legend of Saint-Bitochon. Women would come to rub their bellies on the shaft to insure a pregnancy and was a popular trysting site for many couples over the century. Newly weds come to have their picture taken in front of the stele for good luck. Saint-Bitochon has entered the pantheon of the neo pagan deities still worshipped by the country folks as fertility Saints.
The owner of the property keeps it open and is very proud of the monument saying, "It's almost the same as having the Eiffel Tower."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

An Un Natural Disaster

As I am not an expert in finance and economics, last weeks stock market crash, burp or what ever you want to call it, was just another part of the rollercoaster ride of that is free enterprise to me. Then I began to read about how this particular event was caused and how it is causing disruption and catastrophy in the lives of over 3,000,ooo Americans.
I learned about how the unregulated practice of sub prime lending put these people into massive debt. Millions of Americans were sold on the idea of financing their homes or refinancing their homes with loan deals that were too good to be real. You've heard the ads, little or no 100% financing! No money down! Low, low credit rates for the first 18 months! You could pretend your house was an giant ATM machine and refinamce and get a huge loan.
Of course these products should never have been offered, but the companies and banks proliferated and targeted the lower middle class who saw this as instant credit.
The other side of this golden egg was the black hole of unregulated interest rates charged after the initial period. Most people aren't able to get their credit in order to deal with this reality.
These loans were designed to appeal to people with bad credit. When, as it inevitably would happen, there were defaults, a lot of the agencies began to fail. The repossessions by the banks began, property values began to drop. With the high interest rates and dropping property values, most people owed more than they could ever sell their homes for.
Economists predict that the market will bottom out somewhere in 2009-10 as most of these loans will actually become due next year. This will cause a recession in the stock market somewhere in this time frame and affect markets all over the world.
The most tragic side of this story is a humanitarian disaster that will hit the social fabric of America like another man made Katrina, except the loss of homes, disrupted and destroyed lives are more likely to be blamed by those unaffected as the results of irresponsible choices. There is no inept FEMA ready to provide trailers. This is going to place a strain on the already gutted social services of America.
The unregulated, unethical practices which led to this won't be punished, most bankrupt agencies pick up the pieces and evolve into a new entity.
Another Un Natural Disaster in which the poor are blamed and the Rich have an opportunity to get richer..
I welcome the opinions of anyone who can explain this to me in more accurate terms!

Monday, August 20, 2007


What is art? That's my question, but I'm not going to really attempt to answer it.
Perhaps you can. I really would like to know who you think is the most
influential artist of the last century. The idea of what could be considered art
change radically in the first decades of the 20th Century.
The end of the 19th, brought the visual theorists, the impressionists, the pointillists, as well as the idea that a naive painter could produce profound work into the realm of what was considered academic "art" .
An artist like Seurat, the pointillist was able to to bring the idea of the humorous absurd pseudo science of Alfred Jarry into his work to explain the
visual/psychological effects that one experienced when looking at his paintings composed of dots of contrasting colors. There was the break through, Seurat painted images that demanded more than pure visual interpretation. You needed his "pataphysical" subtext to really appreciate the elaborate scheme he presented.
So with that as the back drop to stage of the turn of the century, I would like to
present my nomination for the most influential artist of the 20th Century,
Marcel Duchamp.
This is a painting he did around 1917 called T um', popularly translated in Art History books as You Bore Me, but more exactly, it is the utterance of one too bored to say "You are full of Shit" The painting has a false rip in it with a real pin. There are color swatches from a professional decorator, he hired a professional sign painter to paint the pointing hand, there are the traced graphite shadows of a bottle opener and a rack and a bicycle wheel. The wavy lines are arbitrary units of measurment that represent a a personal mockery of conventional science, math and reality.
While other artists are pursuing schools of style that publish manifestos such as cubism, futurism and minimalism, he has moved already way beyond any of those constraints into the world of pure synthesis and concepts! All filtered through is ironical humor, of course!
The painting, Nude Descending a Staircase caused riots in the art world and the popular press as well. It was painted in various versions from 1915 to 1917 and if you really look at it, you see an image that represents the ideas of cubism, futurism and much more sythesized into an image that must be considered on a conceptual level. This is a very large painting and to stand in front of it is over whelming to me. Marcel Duchamp soon realized that the academic media of oil painting was, um, boring. When he was commissioned to paint a picture for a space in a sitting room, T um' was perhaps the most perfect response he could come up with.
He had already turned his focus on the pure idea and the process becoming an intregral part of the art itself.
He began to do things and let things happen and record and explain the process that led to the object.
During this period, the Dada movement started. An anti-art, anti society, anti logic movement that still resonates strong today. Duchamp contributed much to the Dada movement, but he was never a true Dadaist. His piece, referred to as The Large Glass appeared at this time. The actual title is true Dada at first glance, a non sequiter,
The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, even......This is a massive work. Never actually completed, it was left unfinished because Duchamp became bored with it.
It is a window. The image is trapped between two sheets of glass which broke at one time and the reparations became part of the work.
Duchamp published a small book to explain it.
I won't here, except to say that the explanation is pure pataphysical nonsense. A personal, poetic scientific mythology. A portion of the images were shaded by the process of allowing dust to settle on the glass and then varnished as it reached the desired shade. That process was recorded by time lapse film by Man Ray. Another portion, the floating circular images in the lower right hand corner, were achieved byhaving the glass silvered by a mirror maker and then scraping away the silvering and revealing the images.
Nothing like this had ever been done before. To finance his eccentric art life, Duchamp played chess, taught chess, traveled and gave French lessons. He also was very good at gambling and would print up his own scrip, sell subscriptions to his friends, take the money and go to Monte Carlo, win enough to pay everyone back and live for a year.
I have tried here to go beyond the common perceptions of Duchamp as a sensationalist and perhaps a charlatan because of the impression of his ready mades...found art.
Everyone knows that he entered a mens urinal titled Fountain into the Paris Biennial under the name R. Mutt, or the Bicycle Wheel mounted on a stool, or finding a bottle drying rack and calling it a sculpture. Sensationalist acts, but without his ironical humor at the time, the conceptual leap that would allow us to enjoy "found art" might not have taken place for quite a long time.
He moved to the United States and published a magazine called New York Dada. During the Second World War, he single handedly set up a scheme to outwit the Nazis. He was able to convince the Authorities that he was a legitimate cheese exporter and smuggled a lot of so called decadante art work out of Europe as well as helping artists who were in real trouble such as Max Ernst, who was imprisoned by the French at the beginning of the war for being a German National and then by the Germans for being a deviant artist.Max was able with false papers obtained by Duchamp to come to the USA where he married Peggy Guggenheim who was already an ex wife of Duchamps.

So the piece at the top of the page is pure Dada, as pure as Marcel ever got. He drew a mustache on a print of the Mona Lisa and penciled in the letters : LHOOQ.
Which seems to mean nothing, until you say them fast in French and it comes out,
Elle a chaud au cul........she has a hot ass!

Marcel Duchamp died in Paris in 1972. He had become an American citizen.
If you go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, you can see his major works collected iin one place, including his last piece which he worked on for twenty years secretly.
He told the world he had given up art but when he died, there was a key to a hotel room and a book of instructions. The interior of the room was his last work, which was dismantled and installed behind a heavy wooden door in the museum. To see it, you have to look through a peephole in the door. In his will he designated that it could not be photographed for 20 years after his death.
Go there, step on the mat which activates the lighting system
and see the last work of the man I think was the most important artist
of the 20th Century.
(click on the pictures if you want to see them larger)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Gateau au Riz

I haven't been posting very regularly lately and I realize that I haven't posted any recipes for a while. Today was a National Holiday here, The Assumption, the Quinze Aout! It was pretty hot, but then a very strong wind started blowing, clouds rolled in and there were some nice storms. I stepped out to see how the sky looked and between lightning and thunder crashes, I could hear the rythmic thuds of fire works from a number of villages in the region. People have been waiting around all day for the fireworks, can't let a little torrential downpour disappoint them!
So I made dessert today. A Gateau au Riz, this is a classic rice dessert, pretty simple and hard to mess up, you can even cheat and use premade caramel, but the one I made used real caramel and that's part of the recipe below.
You need a nice pan you can put in the oven, a ribbed angel food or charlotte mold will work nicely .

In a saucepan on the stove over low heat, make the caramel with 75 grams of sugar and three soupspoons of water. Cook them until you have a golden brown caramel.

Next, lightly wipe the mold with some oil, then pour in the caramel and try to coat the inside evenly as it gets thick and sticky.

Take a cup (200 grams) of rice, preferably arborio and rinse in cold water. Then put in a saucepan, cover with cold water and cook a few minutes, then rinse in cold water.

Heat a liter of milk with a vanilla bean or a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. As the milk reaches the boiling point, add the rice. Stir with a wooden spoon and as the mixture reaches boiling again, reduce the heat and cover. Cook over a low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a bowl, whip together: 2 entire eggs, 1/4 cup of milk and 150 grams of sugar.
Mix this with the rice and pour it all into the carmalized mold. Cover the mold with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven. Take it out and let it cool a bit. While it is still warm, take off the foil, cover the top with a serving plate and turn it over. It should just slip out of the mold with the caramel coating glistening enticingly!

You can add raisins and a variation, I have made this with rice that has been cooked in milk instead of water.

Bon Apetit, bien sur!

Monday, August 13, 2007


I'm actually still reeling from the stupid brutal insanity of the fascist Stu Brykofsky blog I reprinted in my last post. How could the Philadelphia Inquirer be so irresponsible as to allow him to print it without any disclaimer? I was an eyewitness to the World Trade Center destruction. Me and millions of other New Yorkers watched the death of thousands and dealt with it. I am most angry about how it has been politically highjacked.
This is the first time I feel justified in wondering, why isn't Mr. Bryofsky's scalp hanging from the outhouse wall? Why is this guy still an employee of The Inquirer? Why is the outrage confined to a small portion of Americans who see him for the fascist demagogue he truly is?

Okay, I got that off my chest! Now I have to figure out what I can do to make it happen! And, I'm not heartened by the "Resignation" of Karl Rove today! It's just musical chairs, public relations window dressing. Now he is free to get back behind the curtains and groom the next new model dictator!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Stench of Freedom

This is a picture of Stu Bykofsky. This was his column in the Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday.
I'm reprinting it in it's entirety because to me it is beyond belief. This guy is dangerously insane and makes me sick!

Stu Bykofsky | To save America, we need another 9/11

ONE MONTH from The Anniversary, I'm thinking another 9/11 would help America.

What kind of a sick bastard would write such a thing?

A bastard so sick of how splintered we are politically - thanks mainly to our ineptitude in Iraq - that we have forgotten who the enemy is.

It is not Bush and it is not Hillary and it is not Daily Kos or Bill O'Reilly or Giuliani or Barack. It is global terrorists who use Islam to justify their hideous sins, including blowing up women and children.

Iraq has fractured the U.S. into jigsaw pieces of competing interests that encourage our enemies. We are deeply divided and division is weakness.

Most Americans today believe Iraq was a mistake. Why?

Not because Americans are "anti-war."

Americans have turned their backs because the war has dragged on too long and we don't have the patience for a long slog. We've been in Iraq for four years, but to some it seems like a century. In contrast, Britain just pulled its soldiers out of Northern Ireland where they had been, often being shot at, almost 40 years.

That's not the American way.

In Iraq, we don't believe our military is being beaten on the battleground. It's more that there is no formal "battleground." There is the drip of daily casualties and victory is not around the corner. Americans are impatient. We like fast food and fast war.

Americans loved the 1991 Gulf War. It raged for just 100 hours when George H.W. Bush ended it with a declaration of victory. He sent a half-million troops into harm's way and we suffered fewer than 300 deaths.

America likes wars shorter than the World Series.

Bush I did everything right, Bush II did everything wrong - but he did it with the backing of Congress.

Because the war has been a botch so far, Democrats and Republicans are attacking one another, when they aren't attacking themselves. The dialog of discord echoes across America.

Turn back to 9/11.

Remember the community of outrage and national resolve? America had not been so united since the first Day of Infamy - 12/7/41.

We knew who the enemy was then.

We knew who the enemy was shortly after 9/11.

Because we have mislaid 9/11, we have endless sideshow squabbles about whether the surge is working, if we are "safer" now, whether the FBI should listen in on foreign phone calls, whether cops should detain odd-acting "flying imams," whether those plotting alleged attacks on Fort Dix or Kennedy airport are serious threats or amateur bumblers. We bicker over the trees while the forest is ablaze.

America's fabric is pulling apart like a cheap sweater.

What would sew us back together?

Another 9/11 attack.

The Golden Gate Bridge. Mount Rushmore. Chicago's Wrigley Field. The Philadelphia subway system. The U.S. is a target-rich environment for al Qaeda.

Is there any doubt they are planning to hit us again?

If it is to be, then let it be. It will take another attack on the homeland to quell the chattering of chipmunks and to restore America's righteous rage and singular purpose to prevail.

The unity brought by such an attack sadly won't last forever.

The first 9/11 proved that. *

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Alone Again Or......

I haven't posted any music for a while and I remembered that about the time I started this blog, the American musician Arthur Lee died. Arthur Lee was the lead singer for the band LOVE. He and Brian McLean wrote the music, but it was mainly the writing and charisma of Arthur Lee that made this band one of the most intelligent and at the same time punky and dangerous groups of all time.
Arthur Lee tragically was too hip and too intelligent at a time when it was dangerous for a black man to be so in a white world. His music transcended genres. Truly violent manic proto punk like 7+7 is coexisted with the dreamy bossa nova of Orange Skies on the same side of their second album. The other side of the album is a free wheeling 27 minute psychedelic blues piece called Revelations that contained a classical harpsichord riff.
In 1967 they released their masterpiece, Forever Changes full of haunting music, intelligent rock with a grand orchestral vision. This piece, Alone again or....
becomes a mariachi influenced piece with a string section in the break.
Arhtur Lee released some great records after the original band broke up. He was friends with Hendrix but it was too late for either of them. Hendrix dies and Lee lost years in legal fights and drugs. He spent a few years in prison iin the 90's because of a few incidents with guns, but after his release, with a clear sense of vision, he put together a band and started to perform again for an audience hungry for the great music they had never been able to see him make before.
This is from 2002 and for the life of me, when I close my eyes and listen, he recreates the album cut made in 1967 perfectly.
I was such a fan of LOVE, I saw them in 1968 in Detroit and was floored by Lees on stage presence. I still play My Little Red Book.
Arthur Lee died broke of leukemia last year.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

American Plumbing

Le petit Nicolas is installed in the 8 bedroom, 11 bedroom Michael Appe vacation playhouse on Lake Winnepesaukee outside of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Eager to get a taste of real American style plumbing as there are m more toilets in that house than all of Versailles!
Yesterday, after a "People" style photo shoot, the trigger tempered micro potentate flipped out and flipped the bird at two AP Photographers who followed him out on the Lake in another boat. Unfortunately, the photographers didn't speak French and there was no one around who would translate the torrent of invectives he let loose.
Hey, Sarko, if you're gonna use foul language in America, at least speak English!
And the French people would like to know, who is paying the $30,000 plus per week rent on this house? You say you were invited by a "friend" and flew on a regular jet with your family....I hope Cecilia doesn't decide to go on one of her security nightmare shopping sprees and shut down Wolfesboro trying to buy cheese.
Who is paying for the security anyway?
I hear Bush is coming down to jog and share a hot out for him, he's learned a bit about massage techniques from Vladimir Putin, but you've met Vlad too as I remember...Vashe zdrov'ye!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Encouraging Bad Behavior

Hmmm, I don't think it's a very healthy thing to celebratean obsession, do you?
It's just encouraging bad behavior to draw attention to it.
So, instead of congratulating myself and having a party because thebrainpolice is one year old, I would like to draw attention to other people misbehaving and causing a scene!
First a few of the more recent blogs I have linked to:
The Man With The Muck Rake
A NorthWestern Ohio blog by a fellow who casts a weary x-ray eye on the political landscape of Ohio and has no more patience with the idiots in charge of America can explain it all in a way that even I can understand!
What would Bobble Headed Jesus Say?
Another rather newish blog of social and political essays by another bass guitar playing writer from the Toledo area....the other one is me. Intelligent, progressive thinking with some great Star Wars philosophical links that make everything perfectly clear. Such behavior can only be encouraged!
Torapamavoa le blog anti Sarko
This brave blogger is rabidly and surrealistically taking on le petit Nicolas the first with a fist full of DaDa! It's written in French, but it will self translate itself for you into most major languages. Be fore warned, auto translated French into English may not neccesarily accurately be what the author intended, but it makes for some more DaDa!
Trouble Every Day
This is my favorite place where nothing will ever make any sense, but incredible inspired outflowing grade A idiocy bordering on brilliance! Brain cleaning micro scrubbing action will leave you empty headed and squeaky clean!

There will be more recommendations and product plugs........This is a once a year uncelebration of my own bad behavior!

What A Spine Looks Like

Here is a picture of a spine. A backbone. This is what we expect of the representatives we elect. The Congress caved in to the president and their perception of what they felt the public wanted them to do to save their sorry asses and voted to ratify the amended FISA Bill which in effect okays the government electronic eaves dropping that has outraged so many Americans.
Dave, of the blog, intomyown is asking for our participation to let your reps know how youu feel about their spineless behaviour!

This Friday (8/10), everyone needs to call their Congressperson's home office (since they're on recess) and express their outrage over this FISA bill. Let them know how we feel. If they voted the right way, tell 'em good job. If they didn't, tell 'em what you think.

It's not hard. Go to or and find your Senator or Representative, and look for their contacts. Call their home office, since they're on recess. It takes 2 minutes or less. And it takes about that long to call, or you can find a comment form on their site if you would rather do that.

We have to make our voices heard.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


This is my Sunday evening meditation piece
about media and reality in America.
Last week, Condaleeza Rice doled out 62 billion
dollars in arms deals to Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Was this reported on major American media?
Supposedly these arms will be used to confront and contain Iran.
How does that saying go again? The enemy of my friend is my...
no, that's not it....The friend of my enemy is my enemies.....
No, that's not it....uhhh, the enemy of my enemy is my enemy's friend?
No, that's not it either, wait, we'll get it right eventually.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Our Toxic Technology

There is so much important stuff that isn't reported in the news in America. We have been amazed at the amount of time spent on the recall of potentially toxic painted toys from China.
4 nights this week on NBC devoted the largest part of their reporting time to this issue. The last two nights it shared equal time with the Minneapolis Bridge tragedy, but the war in Iraq? The 62 billion dollars doled out to our Middle Eastern "Allies" by Condoleeza Rice in Arms Deals which supposedly was to put them deeper into our moth eaten pockets for our war of words with Iran?
A passing mention and disingeniuos disinformation at the best.
As far as the Poison Paint scare goes, very little has been said in the xenophobic reporting about the base issue here.
Where did the poison pigments come from? It's more than lead, an entire array of heavy metal pigments are used .
In an interview last week in the Wall Street Journal, Ted Smith, the founder of Silicone Valley Toxics Coalition identified the source of the pigments as recycled products of our own waste. We have a huge industry that purports to deal with the problem of disposal of used computers and technological components that contain lead and other heavy metals too toxic for safe disposal in America's landfills.
They make it go away by shipping it to China and other countries where a very unsafe but lucrative for poor people recycling industry has started harvesting materials from our used toxic technology.
Our Xenophobic reporting does us a greater disservice by ignoring the chain of pollution and the tragic trail of victims leading from and back again to our door.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

24 Hour Party President

You read it here first! Nikolas Sarkozy is going to be spending his vacation time this month in the house of a retired Microsoft Executive , Michael Appe on the shores of Lake Winnepesaukee out side of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.
So far this is all very low key, no official announcements have been made and there iis so far no ulterior political motive to the trip.
Residents of Wolfeboro, fair warning! Sarkozy's wife has been declared persona non grata by the mayor of San Tropez after shutting the town down with security so she could do a little personal shopping.
Last week in Tripoli, little Nicolas wanted to go jogging and Kahdaffy had to curfew half the city.
You have to ask yourself, why would the hyperactive president of France choose a small New England town for his vacation spot. Nicolas is not a simple man, there is never a simple answer to his actions. There is always an ulterior motive.
Here is the link in the Boston Globe. They make a big point of telling him where he can go to buy imported French Cheese and that no restaurants in Wolfeboro ever renamed French Fries during the anti French furor of a few years ago.
Maybe he needs a little low profiling after his deal to sell Nuclear Technology and arms to Libya...and a chance for the dust to settle here.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Cheney Predicts!..again...

Yesterday, Dick Cheney gave his first interview since his battery replacement operation over the weekend. Eager to appear upbeat and alert, he blissfully pronounced again that this time the War had definitely turned the corner and we had the insurgents on the run for sure and mentioned that he wasn't wrong actually the last time he said it, his timing was just a little off, but his new pace maker battery should take care of everything!
He also made the prediciton that George W. Bush's approval ratings would take a drastic upswing for the better after his death, citing the really great funeral we just had for Ex President Gerald Ford.
I don't know what you think, but I personally feel this is a very drastic method to try to turn around bad opinion polls.