Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I'm Bad

You know, sometimes I just have to do stuff....
I don't know why...I know I shouldn't, Normally, I wouldn't...
I guess it's just

Because I'm bad, I'm bad-
come on
(Bad bad-really,really bad)
You know I'm bad, I'm bad-
You know it
(Bad bad-really,really bad)
You know I'm bad, I'm bad-
You know it, you know
(Bad bad-really,really bad)

Woo ! Woo ! Woo !

Will you still respect me tomorrow morning?

The Cowardly Lions

Last Wednesday at a meeting with Chilean President, Bachelet, told a poignant little joke. He said that the reason there had never been a Coup d'Etat in the United States was bracuse it had no US Embassy.
This joke, as poignant as it was to President Bachelet, who had personally been imprisoned as a teen during the CIA supported coup against Chilean Socialist President Allende in the early 70's and had seen her family imprisoned and persecuted during the Pinochet military dictatorship, was even more pointed in the wake of the right wing military coup in Honduras on the 28th of June.
The Honduras Military is a farm team for the Pentagon. It is trained and equipped and advised from the top to the bottom by the American Military. In recent times, Washington has organized and directed them in death squads to keep the Central American leftists in their place.
Last week, I began to think that events were in motion when I heard the reports on the BBC that President Manuel Zeleya was incurring the wrath of the military in his attempt to hold a referendum vote to change the Honduran Constitution regarding the one term presidential limit.
The Obama admisitration has condemned the coup and states that Zeleya iss the only person it recognizes as president. The Coup is said to be headed by former presidential candidate, Hector Rene Forseca, an extreme right politician with extensive ties to the religious right in the US.
Of course, when the generals staged their coup, they conveniently managed to have some of the major left wing figures in the governmend disappear. They also killed a major left wing party leader in cold blood.
They arrested and detained foreign journalists as well as the diplomats of countrries such as Venezuela who supported Zeleya.
The Coup has been condemmed by most of the Latin American Countries. The response from the Honduran Junta?
Pure beligerance. A statement that any attempt to interfere with Honduran affairs is an act of War and they are prepared to act on it immediately.
This kind of rhetoric is uncomfortably reminecent of the tone of the Iranian miltary junta in their attempt to stifle dissent and turn the blame on their power grab and use of force on "outside influences".
This is the kind of rhetoric that North Korea uses. A display of aggression meant to stun and curtail the outside world from interfering.
This is the tool of dictators. Bluster and aggressive rhetoric which is used to create controversy and aggressive response which is used in the endless cycle of paranoiac repression and violence on the population of their contries to curtail protest.
This is exactly why Barack Obama has been so wise in his measured response in each of these situations. To have threatened and blustered his way through a beligerrant statement to the Iranian Military, would have only given them more ammunition to crush the protests.
To use rheoric as a tool to deal with the North Koreans would only be putting on a cheap show for the cowardly lions who want to bluster back.
We are in a position to break the cycle of bluster. It is one thing for a cowardly lion to roar and threaten, but to have the intelligence to use an opponents aggression as tool against him, is the art of real diplomacy.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Atheist Camel Chronicles

Recently, I added a new link in my list on the right hand side of your screen, for the Atheist Camel blog, authored by the guy who goes by the tag, Dromedary Hump.
Mr. Hump has just released a book called The Atheist Camel Chronicles, which is a collection of his writings of reason and rants espousing is non theistic view of reality.
This is a book guaranteed to cause chafing and heat rash related problems in the nether regions of the mind of any garden variety Fundamentalist of any persuasion.

If you haven't read any of Mr. Humps writing, you should check out his blog. He punctures the over inflated rubber ducky of religious pretensions with his barbed satirical view of the wacky and illogical world of religion.

You can buy the book directly from Dromedary Hump or from Amazon. I will install a widgety thingy on the sidebar when I can figure out how....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

More Popular Than Jesus....

John Lennon said it in 1965, in the flush of unprecedented media hype. He had the audacious prescience to actually say that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus.
At the time, the very statement set off a flurry of indignant rage across the bible belt of Americe. There were record burnings and tearful teens denouncing their idols for their blasphemy, but did it matter?
Did Lennons statement hamper the worldwide popularity and success of this band?

Lennon had the audacity to say it in 1965, but the death of Michael Jackson proves it.
The media whirlwind has only begun. The death of Pope John was just a ripple compared to the tidal wave that Jacksons death is creating.

Michael Jackson must have known it as well, he never had the intellectual audacity that Lennon had to even hint at such an idea, but from one dead rock star to another, he proved it.......

Sky Saxon

Almost unoticed in the media wildfire of coverage of Michael Jackson and the death of Farah Fawcett was the death on the same day of the proto psychedelic garage rocker, Sky Saxon.
Sky was born Richard Marsh in 1937 in Salt Lake City, though differnt dates are given which make him almost 10 years younger. he did start performing doo wop under the name of Little Richard Marsh in 1960. In 1962, he changed his nbame to Sky Saxon and formed a band called The Electra-Fires.

In 1965, he formed The Seeds which were one of the classic proto punk bands which have inspired kids to play music in their garages for generations. Their big hit was "Pushin'Too Hard". A classic anthemn of atttitude.

Though he recorded little and as the 60's tapered off into the 70's, Sky became stranger, joining a communal religious sect and releasing albums of tribal psychedelic music under the name Ya-Wo-Ha. There is a 13 CD set of the music.
He kept releasing records through his lifetime and in 2006, he reformed The Seeds and colaborated with Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins.
The reformed Seeds have been playing for the last few years and reviewers said that Saxon looked suprisingly youthful and sounded great.

He died unexpectedly on Wednesday of what seems to be an infection. So far his age is either listed as 63 or 72, his birthdate has still never been confirmed.

This Post Is Not About Michael Jackson

What could I possibly say and why would I say it? I happened to have CNN on as the continual flow of gas was permeating the most remote regions of the xenosphere and I happened to hear a comment, "Well, who would have expected Ted Kennedy to outlive Michael Jackson?"
Things are probably pretty shakey for the scam artists ad promoters who put together the "Final Concert" Tour and have already spent the billions....
So, I present the future king of pop, a kid named Patrick who performs with his friend Kevin as the band "Chair", perhaps the greatest song I have ever heard about being an angst filled 14 year old kid. If you've never been a 14 year old insecure angst filled kid, well, Fuck you then, I hate you!

Friday, June 26, 2009

American Basij

Everyday in my email, I get a post from Media Matters. Sometimes the items seem like nit picking, but invariably, everyday, they monitor the distortions, the omissions and out right lies that are used in the media to manipulate and shape Amercan opinion.
I cannot think of a single instance where they could be honestly accused of manipulating facts. They monitor the media and honestly report the facts.

This of course is very threatening to the legion of conservative gasbags who depend on their ability to manipulate reality to fit their own agendas.
So threatening that they have become the target repeatedly of vendettas from Limbaugh and his ilk. Most recently, Michael Savage has accused them of being a Stalinist organization and threatened to expose the staffers of Media Matters and their families to the wrath of his enraged audience. Hew is threatening to give all the personal information he can dig up, Names, Addresses, children...ect...ect....
In the video above, Media Mattters replys by letting Savage drown in his own cauldron of hatred...his own words. They also have made it quite clear that they are not going to be sil;enced or intimidated.

This comes the day after another conservative gasbag of hate, Hal Turner, blogger and radio commentator, was actually arrested by Federal Agents for threatening Federal Judges on his website.
Turner, who has a history of violence and inciting violence in the extreme right was outraged over a decision over handgun bans.
Turner was arrested earlier this month as well for threatening Illinois lawmakers.
This time, Turner posted pictures and addresses of the judges with the statement, "Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges deserve to be killed".

Meanwhile, Ann Coulter is joking about the killing of Dr. George Tiller in Kansas. The level of violent, intolerant and language intended to incite in the media taken as a whole is pretty alarming phenomena from the Conservative right in America.

The Fundamental Christians speak of a culture war. They continiually use languange and refer to themselves as being persecuted by the immorallity they rail against, but what if the tables were turned and they actually attained the temporal power they seek?

We have witnessed the intolerance and rationalization of violence by these people enough already to realize that if they were in charge, we would have a nation patrolled by Religious police...

Consider the Iranian Basij, the thugs on motorcycles spreading terror in Iran right now. They are a loosely organized club, gangs. They are controlled by the Revolutionary Guards to some extent, but they are more like neighborhood militias that enforce morality and pay strict allegiance to the corrupt Ayahtollah. They are rewarded with jobs and paid for their services.
I heard a statement by a Basij member last night on the France2 program, Envoye Special in which the fellow said that for the last few years, the basij were demoralized, they felt demeaned having to enforce fashion against kids who were wearing too much hair gel. Now, they felt important and had a mission.....

Something ugly tells me that it would only be too easy for the same demons propelling the basij in Iran to be unleashed in America if the Fundamentalists got their way.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lil Red Hot Riding Hood

This is definitely A BFD.
(Burqa Free Zone)
Tex Avery, mid 1940's

Freedom Of Repression

The practice of wearing the burqa is hundreds of years old. Legend has it that it started when tribesmen tried to foil raiders who would take the prettiest women from a village. The men reasoned tht if the women were all covered from head to toe, then it would make the raiders lives difficult in making their choice.

The practice fell into disuse as the need to protect the women from marauding raiders eased. It only came back into practice in the early 20th century, in the reign of Habdullah in Afghanistan during the years 1901 to 1919. He decreed that 200 women of his harem should wear them to protect them from the jealous glances of men when they ventured beyond the gates of his palace doors.

These burqas were embroidered with gold and silver threads and the eye slits were covered with lace. The burqa became a garment of the upper class. Lower class women couldn't wear them, only women who attained the status of wealth could afford to wear them.

This was the practice until 1959, when Prince Daud, the Prime Minister of Afghanistan shocked the nation by decreeing that his ministers make their wives throw away the burqa.
The garment which had started as a status symbol for the upper class was now discarded by the same class. The cast off burqas were snatched up by the lower classes as a status symbol.

So this recent cultural development became the law for conservative Sunni Islam in Afghanistan and Pakistan. After the rise of the Taliban, the burqa became obligatory for all women. It is not found in any strict interpretation of the Koran, but it has become a cultural object.

I personally find the burqa creepy and repressive. I find it a tool of a male dominated society used to keep women socially isolated. Of course, this is my perception of the burqa. Does it matter what I think about the burqa being worn in public? NO!

Here in France, recently a representative made the proposal for a law that would outlaw the wearing of the burqa in public. Suddenly, the subject took over the national debate on television and the news. When the subject was presented realistically, one realized that only a small number of women wore it. Even more striking was the fact that it was worn by 3rd generation immigrant women, who had recently adopted it more than by newly arrived immigrants.

This would lead one to belive that it was readopted by girls looking for cultural identity in a society that had marginalized them by it's institutionalized and social racism. If they were being forced to wear it by a man, it was much the same situation: trying to recreate a lost sense of identity.

On Tuesday, Nicolas Sarkozy made a national speech. It wass a sort of "State of The Union" speech. In a blatant attempt to change the subject from Frances economic and social problems, he devote a segment of his speech to a diatribe condemning the public wearing of the burqa in France. He didn't outlaw it, but he made it clear that he personally didn't like it. By his action, he drew attention to a non existant problem to score points with the far right extremeist minority here.

The next day, I was in the town of Terrasson doing some shopping at a Market on the edge of low income housiong development that has a predominately Muslim population. For the first time, I saw posters all over the shopping cart shelters in the parking lot with messages in French of course, reading, "France, Love Her or Leave!"
and "Down With The Left Foreigner Lovers!"
They were signed with the logo of a small far right party. Obviously, the messengers of hate had felt empowered by Sarkozy's speech....
In making a few cheap political points with the far right, Sarkozy gave them to the Freedom to Hate....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Who's Watching You?

A Nokia-Seimens joint venture supplied the key surveillance tech to the Iranian government that is being used to spot and bust protestors, subjecting them to massive human rights violations and endangering their lives. Seimens says it's all Nokia's fault, and a spokesman says they did nothing wrong because spying on and torturing dissidents is legal in Iran.

Meanwhile, Cisco and every other "western" network tech company is busily selling spyware, censorware, and other surveillance crap to every repressive government in the world, and also raking in big bucks selling unconstitutional wiretap tools to the US government for use on domestic populations (including, it turns out, former presidents).

Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), a joint venture between the Finnish cell-phone giant Nokia and German powerhouse Siemens, delivered what is known as a monitoring center to Irantelecom, Iran's state-owned telephone company.

A spokesman for NSN said the servers were sold for "lawful intercept functionality," a technical term used by the cell-phone industry to refer to law enforcement's ability to tap phones, read e-mails and surveil electronic data on communications networks.

In Iran, a country that frequently jails dissidents and where regime opponents rely heavily on Web-based communication with the outside world, a monitoring center that can archive these intercepts could provide a valuable tool to intensify repression...

Ben Roome, a spokesman for NSN, said, "We provide these systems to be used under the applicable laws in their countries and make sure we are abiding by U.N. and [European Union] export regulations and code of conduct. We provided the monitoring center to Irantelecom. We are not going to comment on the use of it. It is there to record lawful intercepts." ...

My first reaction is, 'Wow! Why do they do this?' Don't they know that this will be used against the people of Iran?

They facilitate a regime which easily violates human rights in Iran and the privacy of the people of Iran. They have facilitated the regime with a high technology that allows them to monitor every student activist, every women's rights activist, every labor activist and every ordinary person.

They facilitate your governments ability to monitor YOU!

Space Germs

Sixty-five stories beneath the State of Kansas, there is a salt mine that has corridors that extend all the way to New Mexico. In Hutchinson, there is an entrance to the Salt Museum with and underground train tour of the mine. This place would be curious enough, but recently, this mine has become the focus of attention by micro biologists.
Researchers claim to have found the oldest living organism; A bacteria which seems to have been hibernating in the salt crystals for 250,000,ooo years.
Even more amazing, they have reanimated the dormant bacteria, a 2-9-3 virgibacillus.
The dormant organism is 100 million years older than the dinosaurs.

Now, I am usually a skeptic when it comes to theories of extraterrestrial origins of life on Earth, but I have to agree with Doctor Russell Vreeland, one of the biologists who found the bacteria.

He pointed out that bacteria can with stand the forces of of acceleration that material thrown into space during a meteor impact might generate. This actually could be the basis for a reverse-exogenesis theory.
In other words, Earths microbes might be already in space, sent on a voyage by a prehistoric meteor strike on out planet.

Dr. Vreeland speculated that "When we go to the stars, our microbes will be waiting for us."
Maybe a more down to Earth analogy is the coconut. Coconuts can float in the ocean for quite a long period of time. They have crossed great distances in the Pacific, colonizing it island by island over thousands of years.

The Hutchinson, KS Salt Mine is also where the underground archive for original masters of famous films such as Gone With The Wind and The Wizard of Oz are stored.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Because of the technicologically interconnected world we live in, we are all witnesses to the violence being wreaked upon the Iranian people by the Khameni regime.
This video was uploaded to YouTube a few hours ago and was shot during an attack by the army, the baseji and the police on a protesting students in Tehran today.
There are gunshots, explosions and panic as the people try to deal with the injuries to their comrades.

I'm sick of the politicians who are using this for their own gain and agrandissement.
The fact that the very history of America's involvement in the establishment of the shah's brutal regime in a CIA sponsored coup d'etat has tainted any public statement of support for the protestors. The public support by Western governments is used by the Kahmeni regime to imflame the believers against the protestors.
The American involvement in the Shah's regime is taught to every child in Iran. It is one of the defining events that shapes this country. To say that the Iranians don't remember 1953 is sheer and deliberate ignorance.

I believe that the Kahmeni regime has already lost. The aura of the Supreme leader is blemished forever. The cycle of martyrs and mourning has started. This is a revolution.
I know that the images that will come out of Iran will only get uglier. I have a few questions:

What can we do in the west to help the Iranians? Do you think sharing information and images can help turn the harsh light of world comdemnation on the government?
How can we let the Iranian people know we are giving them our hope and support?

I believe the next step in Iran will be a general strike....
Any thoughts?

I met god....

Yeah, I know I should post something...It's the summer solstice and the weather was perfect here, on the cool side and not much wind. I decided to go on a bike ride. I took off around 11 am and thought I would be gone for a few hours.
A wise person would look at a map first when taking a road he's unfamiliar with. I had a vague idea of how the road went...
This is not a flat place. Just to get to the main road requires really wanting to take a bike ride. When I get to the road, I'm okay, but it's that first kilometer. I rode to the village of Coubjours, on the border of the Correze and took the road that I thought was a short cut to Louignac. Suddenly I was headed straight downhill...and the road meandered through the bottom of a valley for a few kilometers, through farmfields and old farms, then I had to go up hill...it seemed to be one of the longest climbs I have ever done. Perhaps because this was the first really long bike ride I had done here this year that it seemed so long...
I thought it strange that there were no signs. I wanted to go to St. Robert, but I found I was way south of there and heading down another hill to the Gorge of the Elle. I realized where I was and the only easy way back to my house was all uphill for 20 kilometers.
So my two hour trip turned into a 6 hour ordeal. Now I am reliving my folly and marveling at how my leg muscles have turned to rubber...and my butt hurts.
Soooo.....I guess I will tell you the story of how I actually met god...

He came up to me in a bar in Glascow, Scotland and told me he was god. He was a strange looking little dirty man with a wild beard and wilder eyes and he tried to get me to buy him a Newcastles. I said, "If you're God, then why are drinkin Newcastles, then? And why do you need to borrow money from me? There's kids starvin, I see it on the telly all the time and if you were God, you could sort all that out instead of trying to shag a beer out of me!"
Well, the old guy looks at me fierce, and you know, for a smelly old geezer, he was little scary, and he raises hisself up and says,
"Jist hud oan a minute, pal. Lit's git one thing straight. Every fickin time ah come doon here, some wide-o pills ays up aboot what should n shouldnae be fuckin daein.
Either that or ah huv tae enter intae some philosophical fuckin discourse wi some wee undergraduate twat aboot the nature of masel, the extent ay ma omnipotence n aw that shite. Ah'm gettin a wee bit fed up wi aw theis self-justification; it's no for yous cunts tae crticise me. Ah made yous cunts in ma ain image. You git oan wi it; yous fuckin well sort it oot. That cunt Nietzsche wis wide ay the mark whin he sais ah wis deid. Ah'm no deid; ah jist dinnae gie a fuck. It's no fir me tae sort everty cunts problems oot. Nae other cunt gies a fuck so should ah? Eh?"

And then he turned me into a fly.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Brilliant Poem from the late 60's by Gil Scott Heron from his debut album, The Last Poets...
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised! Damn Right!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I am posting a lot about Iran because the information coming out and facts are incredible. I watch the discussions CNN and the vapid release of vapor from the opportunistic American Conservative Jackals and realize that they don't have a clue as to what is going on as they try to score cheap, emotional, irrational political points.

Iran, in spite of what we have been told, has had a history of the most free and open elections in the middle east and the Iranian people have been very participative. It has some strange election laws which allow almost anyone to run for the office of President. This election had almost 500 candidates.

The biggest fear in Iran is that it will become more like Egypt or Pakistan, where the military controls the apparatus of government. This is the real danger that Iran faces now. The election farce was controlled by a military group called the Pasdaran, which has as its public face, the Revolutionary Guard. In effect, the rigged election was a military coup d'etat controlled by Ayatollah Ali Kahmeni. The puppet they want to install as the figure head is of course, Ahmadinejad.

It is almost natural for the military to come more into the forefront of Iran's government because of the state of constant threat from America and Israel. In a sense, the west has enabled the Hard line military Pasdaran to rise to power by creating the sense of threat, much the same way that the sense of threat from the Islamic fundamentalists had empowered the Neo Cons in America after 9/11. It didn't help that the United States had a presidential candidate whose foreign policy boiled down to singing "Bomb, bomb, bomb, Bomb Iran". Perhaps the biggest mistake that America could make now is two fold. Ahmadinejad must not be acknowleged as the winner. Obama cannot congratualte him and at the same time, he can't be seen as trying to manipulate the situation. That would most certainly tip the scales for the Pasdaran.

There is a lot of differing information out there, but the most repeated line is that Ahmadinejad came in third in the real vote. One estimate had Mousavi recieving almost 3 times the votes! This, though seems to be a real exageration.

The military coup, though needs internal support for it to be effective and many reports give the protestors a lot of support from inside the military from non Pasdaran, non fanatic soldiers. The military junta has yet to actually have support from the civilian police.

An interesting fact about Shiite custom is the mourning traditions. Some one who dies for a cause is considered a martyr and holy. There is a strict ritual of mourning that takes place at specific times up to 3 months after the death. Today was a day of mourning for the first victims of the protests. There was a mourning protest, actually a religious ceremony attended by almost 1,000,000 people.

The mourning observations and the attempt to suppress them were the fuel that started the Iranian Revolution in 1979. The Iranian revolution was a peoples revolution and it brought down the Shahs military machine. The present attempt at forming a junta can only succeed in Iran if it has the support of the population and at this point in time, that is something it will never have.

Rather quickly, the internet is responding with support for the Iranian people. The organization, Pirates Bay, the really cheap download site has given its support and technical aid to the group called Anonymous and they have launched the Anonymous Iran web site.

Anonymous is a collective anarchist non group. They are the internet, so to speak. You might have heard of them before because they have taken on the behemoth of Scientology. That is a big plus for them in my book, in fact, here is their anti Scientology video, in case you haven't seen it:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Real Picture

In the last post, we saw a phony clumsily photoshopped cloned crowd in an official Iranian picture of the pro Ahmadinejad Rally on Sunday. Many of the actual live participants were bussed in from all over Iran.

Meanwhile, every day this week, ever growing of Pro Musavi demonstrators are taking to the street and in spite of a government ban on pictures and reporting, CNN and Al Jazeera are getting on the average of 30 Twitter messages an hour with pictures.

This video of the pro Musavi rally today was posted less than an hour ago on YouTube.
I read a great article in the Independant earlier stating that at the confrontation between the Ahmadinejad and Musavi demonstrators, the police actually stepped in to protect the pro Musavi demonstrators from the Revolutionary Guard.
The police were carried on the shoulders of the Pro Musavi demonstrators.

The Ayatollahs know that they have to bend to the will of the Iranian people. As I said before, the Persians invented chess and this game is being elegantly played.
How will it end? The Ayatollahs want to retain power, but at this point, no matter what choice they make, their power has already seriously eroded.

Become repressive masters and install an Ahmadinejad dictatorship?
Give into the masses and allow more freedom and open democracy?

Either way, the Iranian people who brought about the first revolution and overthrew the regime of the Shah had no goal other than to get rid of the Shah. Khomeni came into a vacuuum as a hero and installed his Revolutionary Islamic State.
This time, the people have much more refined and defined goals. A modern Islamic state with personal representation and freedom. They seem to be ready to fight for it with the fervor of the last revolution. The Ayatollahs can only ride the wave and try to cling onto power....

Ahmadinejad Sucks At Photoshop

Here is an official Iranian news release picture of the pro Ahmadinejad Rally in Tehran
on Sunday. Pretty big crowd, eh?
Not that big and you can't pull the wool over the eyes of a generation of young people raised in the most technicologically advanced country in the Middle East.
If you know anything about Photoshop, you know about the clone tool and this photo is a pretty clumsy example of its use. The crowd in the rear of the photo is almost exclusively composed of cloned and resized samples from the rest of the picture.
Click on the picture for an enlargement.
The Revolution May Not Be Televised, but It Will Be Twittered.

Bob Bogle

Bob Bogle, the lead guitarist of the legendary incredibly influential group, The Ventures died alst night at age 75 in Tacoma<>
The Ventures were the vanguard of Surf Rock, a particularly American genre of rock.
They had many hits, playing music that was instrumental and in the process compelling thousands of kids to pick up guitars and learn how to play like The Ventures.
Every time you hear a whammy bar bending strings on a Fender Strat, you are linked to the soul of tyhis great American artist.
There were a lot of obvious choices to post, their great hits, Pipeline, Walk,Don't Run but I think this version of Flight Of The Bumble Bee kind of sums up The Ventures: the sense of adventure, a new age of sleek American rock, able to take something old and make it totally fresh....with a great big juicy beat!

Stop Senseless Media Violence!

Here's a little reminder that the Muppets weren't always childrens fare. Would this be considered incorrect today? Do you think this had a profoundly corrupting effect on the social fabric of our society? Ban the Muppets now!
This is dedicated to my dear friend, Polly, who
has been dressing Miss Piggy for years.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Your White Trash Moment

You could call the ASPCA. You could call PETA.
Personally, I would call Pamela Andersen, but that's just me.
But, what could you say that they would actually believe?

What If John McCain Were President Today?

A good example of the bullet we dodged last November by electing Barack Obama was made very evident by the public grandstanding of John McCain in his reaction to the Election Violence in Iran.

Yesterday on Fox News, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) called the Iranian election a “sham” and said that he hopes the U.S. “will act.” President Obama said that he would refrain from weighing in. “[We] want to avoid the United States being the issue inside of Iran, which sometimes the United States can be a handy political football,” he said. Today, McCain responded, calling on Obama to turn up his rhetoric. “He should speak out that this is a corrupt, flawed sham of an election and that the Iranian people have been deprived of their rights,” he said. But this morning on CBS, McCain’s Senate GOP colleague and Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) sided with Obama:

HARRY SMITH: Beyond watching…beyond supporting the idea that these disputed votes should be recounted, is there anything the United States can do?

LUGAR: No. I think for the moment our position is to allow the Iranians to work out their situation. When popular revolutions occur, they come really from the people. They’re generated by people power within the country. For us to become heavily involved in the election at this point is to give the clergy an opportunity to have an enemy…and to use us, really, to retain their power.

In other words, McCain wants to repeat the history of meddling and rhetoric which empowered the Iranian Hardliners in the first place.
Obama said it best when he said to the Iranian people in his statements, "The Whole World Is watching!"
Lugar sums it up in his statement. This is a liquid situation. For American politicians to try to score cheap public points with hard line rhetoric is asking to have the blood of the repression of the protestors on their hands.
If the Iranian people feel that they are being influenced and pushed into a revolution by the United States, it is inevitable that the opposite will occur.

The horror of the alternate history that we would be living if John McCain had been elected president has never been more apparent.


After 3 days of rain, storms and chilly weather, I woke up to sunshine and the unexpected surprise of seeing this cactus in full flower!

Dirty Old Town

Now for some nice traditional Irish music.
The Pogues, 1985...Dirty Old Town

Monday, June 15, 2009

Something Happening Here....

It's hard for the gasbags of the non stop news media to stop spinning long enough to actually absorb the reality around them. We have watched the events in Iran unfold for the last 72 hours. The main thought that comes to me is that I am seeing a new kind of revolution. The technology that is allowing us to see what is happening in Iran cannot be controlled by the mullahs. They have tried to shut down all of the conventional networks, but they can't stop twitter. They can't control the systems that bypass the land lines and networks.

I heard an analysist say on Al Jazeera that to stop twitter would require shutting down the nations mobile phone network and that would affect all of Irans commerce. It would be in effect as if the government had created a national strike.
The latest numbers on Al Jazeera have over a million people marching in Tehran and huge demonstrations in all of the major cities.
There has been one death so far reported after the police opened fire into a crowd in Tehran, but my feeling is that there will be little real bloodshed.

We are seeing a revolution unfold, a fluid situation with the mullahs trying to ride the crest of the wave of popular sentiment. After all, the Persians invented chess.
The Iranian revolution, in 1979 was an uprising against the Shah and the police state installed when the democratically elected government was overthrown by an American assisted military coup. They didn't know what they wanted, but they didn't want the Shah.

This time, the people know what they want. They want a representational democracy.
The election, just by the per centage of the win claimed by Ahmadinejad, is patently a sham. Various sources in Iran are stating that Musavi wong the election, Revi came in second and Ahmadinejad came in third.

It is worth remembering that in the last election, when Ahmadinejad won, 5 years ago, it was a very narrow victory and had to go to a run off.
This is an incredibly fluid situation. It is no time for American officials to make statements. We can support the fight for free and open and honest elections and stand in awe at citizens raising their arms, ready to die for ideas! But any attempt to influence the struggle by rhetoric could sway the delicate balance and we must understand that our attempts to influence events invariably has the opposite effect of our intentions.

America already has too much to answer for regarding the course of history in Iran.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Buddy Guy

It's Saturday night, let me introduce you to Mr. Buddy Guy. You've met?
I had a very good friend when I lived in Detroit who was a brilliant young guitarist, Larry Carsman, who went on to have a career in music in Boston.
He introduced me to a lot of great music and the guitarist Buddy Guy, in particular.
Buddy is a double threat performer, let's say a triple threat performer. He is probably the technically greatest blues guitarist around. Just ask Eric Clapton.
But Buddy is a great vocalist as well. He is also an electrifying performer.

I first saw him at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit in 1967 and it was an incredible emotional experience I will never forget. He had a Strat and a beat up amplifier covered in patterned contact paper, a great drummer, bassist and two saxophone players.
He also had a 50 foot guitar cord.
Buddy liked to mingle with the audience while he played.
He worked the crowd like a preacher and it was a show that no one wanted to end. At one point, he unplugged the guitar, kept singing with the sax players and the entire crowd clapping in rythmn followed him dancing out the doors of the ballroom into the street, then back inside, plugged in the guitar and finished the song.
I have never seen anything like it before or after.

The good news about Buddy is that he is still playing and singing great music and has had his own club in Chicago for years. He has been a mover and priomal force in American music and has been a major influence on a few generations of guitarists.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bearded Ladies, Chicken Head Eating Geeks!

There are clowns, funny clowns and scary clowns...Lately the line between reality and entertainment seems to have become blurred. On June 9th, conservative blow hard, Charles Krauthammer actually said in an interview after accepting the Eric Breindel Award for Ecellence in Opinion Journalism (WTF?), which Krauthammer rated as more prestigious award than the Nobel Peace Prize, because, you know, it's been tainted because Jimmy Carter got it....
Krauthammer said," What Fox did is not just create a venue for alternative opinion. It created an alternate reality."

Fox has become a freak show...a cheap carnival act with snake handlers, bearded women, sword swallowers, siamese twins and chicken head eating geeks. Each day they try to top themselves in outrageousness with claims that Obama is becoming like Vladimir Putin or stirring up public outrage with distorted charges about the role of doctors who provide abortions.

People watch in outrage and in sheer fascinated horror. It's all abouyt the ratings, it's all about money. This is the genius of Rupert Murdoch.
Now we watch the entire crew squirm as they try to create an alternate reality which absolves them of the guilt and responsiblity for the rise in right wingnut violence.
When some one listen to Bill O'Reiley saying "Dr. Tiller, Baby Killer!" and then decides to become the instrument of gods wrath. Of course, when confronted with the possible results of his own words, O'Reilly, like the blowhard he is, denies that he ever said them.
This video was on Colmes program on Fox yesterday. We have heard about the freaks and the clowns. Here is a full on crack pot who uses religion as a cover for his hatred:

Colmes: ...you then said, I asked for whom else are you praying in that fashion and you said President Obama. Are you praying for his death?

Drake: Yes.

Colmes: So you're praying for the death of the president of the United States?

Drake: Yes. Are you concerned that by saying that you might find yourself on some secret service call or FBI most wanted list. Do you think it's appropriate to say something like that or even pray for something like that?

Drake: I think it's appropriate to pray for the will of God. I'm not saying anything, what I'm doing is repeating what God is saying, if that puts me on somebodies list then I'll just have to be on their list.

Colmes: You would like for the president of the United States to die?

Drake: If he does not turn to God and does not turn his life around I am asking God to enforce in imprecatory prayers throughout the scripture that would cause him death, that's correct.

Oh, it's God that's saying it, OK, I feel better now. What a freak. He also was a running mate with inmate Alan Keyes and said this about Dr. Tiller:

A former Southern Baptist Convention officer who on June 2 called the death of abortion provider George Tiller an answer to prayer said later in the day he is also praying "imprecatory prayer" against President Obama.

Wiley Drake, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., and former running mate of American Independent Party presidential candidate Alan Keyes, said June 2 on Fox News Radio he didn't understand why people were upset with his comments quoted by Associated Baptist Press from a webcast of his daily radio talk show.

Drake said he didn't pray for Tiller to be murdered -- only that God would take his life by some method -- but that he "absolutely" believed that God wanted the doctor dead.

Here's what it says on his homepage:

Join us on the "Wiley Drake in Buena Park" show Monday thru Thursday at 9:00 to 10:00 A.M. California time. www.crusaderadio.com

The theme of the show is Do Justice, Love Mercy, and Walk with God. This theme is based on Micah 6:8 and Matthew 23:23.

In his case I guess mercy means that he hopes President Obama dies...
You can see what he looks like in this clip.

Pastor Wiley Drake in action at the Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting on March 10, 2009 as he attacks Planned Parenthood and Obama.

He's also a birther and calls President Obama an illegal alien

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Death Of A Clown

What is it with Americas obsession with scary clowns? Since I think I am going to post a bit more about this subject, let's start off with a song and a story.
The song is Death Of A Clown by the Kinks. It was recorded in 1967 and is poignant and notable because it was one of the only Kink hits written and sung by Dave Davies, the lead guitarist of the band and brother of Ray. Dave is recovering from a kidney transplant these days and that sort of has put the kibbosh on any talk of a Kinks reunion.
Dave might not have even been around to write and sing this song if events in Illinois in 1965 had taken an uglier turn. In a story told by his brother, Ray in a 2006 interview with MOJO Magazine, Ray tells of the bands first ill fated American Tour. Thay ran into a lot of trouble with the Musicians Union and were subsequently banned from playing in the USA until 1968.
The first tour in 65 was a mess with the band mis labled in NYC as The Kings. Their manager was arrested in Philadelphia over a tax problem...
On June 23, they played a sparsely attended convert in Springfield, Illinois. After the concert, the promoter offered to let them stay at his home. He was a fat greasy little man and he got the band in his suburban home and got them drunk.
Dave, according to drummer Peter Quaife, seemed to be the center of the greasy little promoters attention. Soon, Dave was pretty drunk and something just didn't seem rigfht to the rest. They got their equipment together and got out of there.
A few years later, they heard the name of the promoter in the news. He was John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer and the house they had been in was a graveyard already.
Gacy wanted the ultimate autograph...Dave Davies hanging on the wall!
Gacy had lived a total double life and was well known as Pogo The Clown. a popular entertainer at childrens parties.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Raspberry Ice Cream

It's been wild here the last few days. A wave of severe thunderstorms left us with out power for almost 8 hours and the internet was down for a day. When a storm approaches, we just unplug everything! There was a lot of hail and we had a scary storm with hail as big a large marbles, but there was relatively little damage. We were lucky. Moast of the damage here was caused by high wind and very heavy rain. Just a few kilometers from here, there was devastating hail damage. None the less, we continued our undaunted research here at the facility.

My wife took this picture today of our successful experimental batch of raspberry ice cream. I promised some raspberry recipes. We are seriously doing research in the La Sechere Dessert Development Facility and this is something you can do in your own home with out any special equipment.
This is very simple, you don't need and ice cream maker and it is relatively low calorie.
For one batch, say four good servings, you will need:

1 can of non sweetened evaporated milk, very cold
1 pound of raspberries
4 ounces of powdered sugar (icing sugar)

Liquidize the raspberries to a puree. You could strain out the seeds if they bother you.
Whip the frigid condensed milk until it becomes thick and frothy.
Add the sugar to the whipped milk and then stir in the puree.

Pour it into a container, put it into your freezer and stir every hour for about 3 hours.
I used an electric mixer the first two times.
Then cover it and let it freeze.
It might have a slightly grainy ice crystal texture, but the batch we did this afternoon was smooth. I think it was the electtric beater that did the trick as it first began to freeze. This is pretty low fat, no cream, eggs and not really a lot of sugar.
I made a double batch of it with 2 pounds of raspberries...I figure in a well sealed container, it will keep in the freezer for months! After all, I am trying to find ways to use my raspberries in ways that I can enjoy the rest of the year. I figure for the next 2 weeks I will have a few kilos a day off of the plants.
Tomorrow, though, we will try it with dark hot chocolate sauce.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Hangover Of Hatred

This is a pretty offensive video on a lot of levels. It's never a pretty sight, drunken racist rage in flagrant delicto.
This video was shot on the streets of Jerusalem on the evening of June 3, 2009 after Barack Obama gave his speech in Cairo promoting understandiong between America and the Moslem world.
The young people in this video are of American origin, some hold dual citizenship, most are in Israel as part of a program to bring American Jewish youths to Israel to experience "their" culture and learn the Israeli talking points.
So here we are. Pure hate, rage, unwilling to listen, unwilling to make the least effort to try to comprehend what was actually said, only blind hatred directed at an American Black President who dares to speak to the Islamic world.

Whenever I write about Israel and the attitude with which it tries to justify it's existence, invariably I am challenged with the thumbs up or thumbs down question:

"Do you deny Israels right to exist?"

Not any more than I deny or accept any other countries right to exist. Certainly in the power and land grabs of the interlude between the wars in the middle east when a lot of the present states were created artificially by the intervention of the Europeans, this is a concept which is liquid.
But basically, I accept Israels right to exist and do not argue about it. I will on the other hand argue about the entire religious heritage aspect of Zionism as much as I would argue with the Islamic reasoning. Religion is the root of the problem. Trying to find answers to our present problems by way of religion is like asking for a weather forecast from a prehistoric mammoth frozen in a glacier. Reason and concepts which were frozen in time and became unalterable truth for a world that has progressed beyond the medieval minds which have encoded it.

When I was young, I was caught up in the myths of the exodus, the struggle depicted of the persecuted Jews in search of a homeland. To see this ideal perverted and now used to indoctrinate American kids to continue the useless and destructive path of the Israeli occupation has pretty much destroyed any romantic feelings I have had.
The video depicts the voice of ignorant, blind indoctrinated and institutionalized hatred. When the girl in the video is asked repeatedly if she knows who Benjamin Netenyahu is and barely has a clue...she makes my point only too poignantly.

This news release from Reuters, yesterday sheds a little more light on why the Israelis are telling American kids that Obama wants to destroy Israel. Why shouldn't America continue to honor an illegal secret "understanding" they claim they had with the Bush Administration?

JERUSALEM — Senior Israeli officials accused President Obama on Wednesday of failing to acknowledge what they called clear understandings with the Bush administration that allowed Israel to build West Bank settlement housing within certain guidelines while still publicly claiming to honor a settlement “freeze.”

The complaint was the latest in a growing rift between the Obama administration and the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over how to move forward to achieve peace in the Middle East.

[...] The Israeli officials said that repeated discussions with Bush officials starting in late 2002 resulted in agreement that housing could be built within the boundaries of certain settlement blocks as long as no new land was expropriated, no special economic incentives were offered to move to settlements and no new settlements were built.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity so that they could discuss an issue of such controversy between the two governments.

I hope the kids in the video woke up the next morning with hangovers and the ability to recall what they had said the night before. If not, I hope they get a chance to see themselves as others see them!


Saturday night and I want to hear some music...
Hey Ya...it's 1964 and Little Stevie Wonder is playing Fingertips live!
Raw talent and energy...absolutely brilliant 15 year old blind kid poised on the edge.
I love chromatic harmonica....

Friday, June 05, 2009


HOME is an incredible educational movie with the message, "It's too late to be pessimistic". I saw it tonight on French television, but it is being shown in theaters and in public spaces all over the world free. You can download or watch it free by going their YouTube Channel now!

This is the statement by the director/writer, Yann Arthus Bertrand who has fought hard to bring this event about and make this film. He is currently being sued by a number of American Companies who have tried to restrict the information in the film. India consfiscated over half the footage he shot as sensitive material. Sensitive?

This film is dangerous because it is so moving and direct. The problems we face as a specie on this planet are spelled ouut in no uncertain terms and the reasons are demonstrated graphically. I suppose if I was the head of an Industrial agricultural Multinational corporation or a petro chemical corporation, well, yes, I might feel threatened by the sensitive material in this film.

Judging by the comments on YouTube, the global warming deniars are out in full force.
You really see that these guys are a politically mobilized group and the level of the comments reminds me of the YouTube cultural wars played out during the Tibetan protests in China before the Olympic Games.
With this, though, you have to wonder how much money is being spent to try to influence opinion by troll comments on YouTube! Today, millions of people worldwide will see this film. Take the time to see it, also.
Here are Yann's comments:

We are living in exceptional times. Scientists tell us that we have 10 years to change the way we live, avert the depletion of natural resources and the catastrophic evolution of the Earth's climate.

The stakes are high for us and our children. Everyone should take part in the effort, and HOME has been conceived to take a message of mobilization out to every human being.

For this purpose, HOME needs to be free. A patron, the PPR Group, made this possible. EuropaCorp, the distributor, also pledged not to make any profit because Home is a non-profit film.

HOME has been made for you : share it! And act for the planet.

Yann Arthus-Bertrand

PPR is proud to support HOME

HOME is a carbon offset movie

More information about the Planet

J'adore les Framboises

Finally, after 2 weeks of perfect sunny dry weather, it's raining. I love the sun. I love heat...a dry sunny day is near perfection to me. I love being outside all day and working, biking and hiking with the dog. After 2 weeks though, part of the day is eaten up by watering the garden. We have lots of flowers and ornamental plants, but the biggest water usage is our vegetable garden. We grow many of the vegetables we eat.
Lots of it goes into the freezer and into the attic for the winter. We just finished last years potatoes and just this week, the last package of frozen raspberries.
I love raspberries. I always dreamed of being able to grow enough. Though, what is your definition of enough? Mine, in regard to raspberries, is to be able to eat them every day in one form or another. Fresh, in confiture, in desserts...the fresh part lasts about a month and the month seems to be starting just about now. I think I will pick the first bowl of ripe berries tomorrow, then all hell breaks loose.
The raspberries do not usually require watering but a year with a lot of rain gives big juicy berries, but a year with little rain compensates with smaller but more intensely flavored berries.
I started with about 20 plants which a friend had thinned from his patch back in 2000.
I moved in 2003 and a big pot of plants came with me from my old garden. Each year I have to thin them and I give plants to my friends and increase my lines of plants.
I have a regular routine for their cultivation. After they finish fruiting , at the beginning of July, I cut the old wood out and select the three healthiest new canes.
I cut them to three different lengths and tie them to the wires.
The rest of the season, when I cut the lawn, the clippings go between the rows and around the plants.
In the fall, I turn over the clippings with a fork and take out all the new shoots and roots I don't want. The late fall is the best time to plant them as well.
All winter, I put the ashes from the fireplace around the plants and between the rows.
Then in the spring, I turn it over lightly with a fork. This is a good thing to do because when you fork the earth in the spring and late winter, any pests hibernating in the ground are turned up and the birds can see them a lot better than you can!
In March, I sprinkle soft fruit fertilizer on the ground...soon the new wood begins to sprout leaves and sends out branches and in June...all hell breaks loose!
Stay tuned for a new batch of raspberry recipes from the La Sechere Dessert Research Facility!

Thursday, June 04, 2009


Last night, a few weeks after her last performance, KoKo Taylor, the Queen of The Blues died at the age of 81.
I saw KoKo quite a bit in the 1970's. This video is of her biggest selling hit, the Willy Dixon penned Wang Dang Doodle. This is from the 1960's and the hamonica player is the legendary Little Walter.
She was born in Memphis and in 1952, moved with her husband to Chicago and got involverd in the Chicago blues scene.
KoKo was the real thing, she inspired Janis Joplin and many other women who wanted to sing the blues. KoKo toured incessantly her entire life and played 70 shows after she turned 81. At the time of her death, she was said by the IRS to owe almost $400,000 in back taxes and she was working to just keep above water.
That's the blues...
She was a powerhouse, a grand performer and was dancing on stage with her band,The Blues Explosion even in her last performances.
Here is a partial discography:

# Love You Like a Woman (Charly Records) - November 30, 1968
# Koko Taylor (MCA/Chess) - 1969
# Basic Soul (Chess Records) - 1972
# South Side Lady (Evidence Records) - 1973
# I Got What It Takes (Alligator)
# Southside Baby (Black and Blue Records - 1975
# The Earthshaker (Alligator) - 1978
# From The Heart Of A Woman (Alligator) - 1981
# Queen of the Blues (Alligator) - 1985
# An Audience with Koko Taylor (Alligator) - 1987
# Live from Chicago (Alligator) - 1987
# Love You Like a Woman (Charly Records) - November 30, 1968
# "Wang Dang Doodle" (Huub Records) - 1991
# Jump for Joy (Alligator) - 1992
# Force of Nature (Alligator) - 1993
# Royal Blue (Alligator) - 2000
# Deluxe Edition (Alligator) - 2002
# Old School (Alligator) - 2007

RIP KoKo Taylor, a true American Original.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Onward Christian Jihad #2

This is an television ad that is being broadcast by the group Answers in Genesis.
Here is how they describe themselves:

An apologetics (i.e., Christianity-defending) ministry, dedicated to enabling Christians to defend their faith and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively…we also desire to train others to develop a biblical worldview, and seek to expose the bankruptcy of evolutionary ideas, and its bedfellow, a “millions of years old” earth (and even older universe).

They probably aren't meaning to imply in their ad that an athiest is going to take a gun and shoot some one in the face, but it makes a striking image, doesn't it?
Supposedly, their beef is concerning Darwinism and the idea of evolution, but how is that related to the image in the commercial?
What is implied is that a person who doesn't accept their creationist doctrine and chooses not to accept their beliefs is apparently with out morals, outside the law and could go on a killing rampage.
They have been using the image of the boy with the gun on billboards, as well.

Afer the murder of Dr. George Tiller and the rationalized gloating over the act by the evangelical fundamentalists, perhaps, Answers in Genesis needs to rethink their approach before someone interprets their message the wrong way and uses it as a justification to prove their faith.........

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


The last bellows of a beast as it faces extinction.
Can you hear it? How can you avoid it?
Writhing with hate and fear of the world it rejected
Detesting everything except the infected
It has no new ideas and no reason to survive.
So everything must die when it's no longer alive
It won't go willingly with out one last fight
It roars and it bellows into the horror of the night
We are fixed with terror as we hear its last scream
knowing tomorrow we will finally dream....
RIP Doctor George Tiller

Monday, June 01, 2009


What Ho? Another orchid post? Well, this is exceptional. Today, I had the good furtune to find an orchid which I have been seeking for over 10 years here in the Dordogne. We have been having wonderful perfect weather lately. Too dry actutally, but a stretch of sunny days not too hot and actually chilly at night. I have been working in the garden and spending too much time watering each evening. We will be seeing our first raspberries next week.
So, I have been getting a lot of biking in. Today, I biked to Hautefort and then rode around the artificial Etang de Coucou in the forest beneath the Chateau. The etang is pretty big and it is part of an ancient irrigation system with a dam and sluice gates.
It still functions and provides agricultural irrgation for the entire valley.
The forest is part of the ancient domaine of Hautefort, which dates to the 12th century.
I happened to have a camera with me in my bike pack and in the far end of the lake, where it is marshy, I noticed a few purplely spikes in the shade.
I soon realized that I had found a few of the Limodore orchids, Limidorum abortivum.
The full name in French is Limodore a Feuilles Avortee. That translates to Limodore with aborted leaves. It is a truly saprophytic plant.
It has no leaves and does not produce chlorophyll. All orchids exist in a symbiotic relationship with a fungus. They cannot germinate with out the help of the fungus and the fungus acts as an interface to break down nutrients in the poor soil and extreme conditions that orchids have evolved to exist in.
Some orchids have evolved even further in this relationship. There are a number of saprophytic plants. They are not true parasites, but in effect, the fungal relationship does draw nutrients from other plants.
Limodores stand about 2 and 1/2 feet tall and are totally purple. The flowers are about 2 to 3 inches across. I have found other saprophytes, but only have seen pictures of Limodores. They are not very common and I feel quite lucky t have stumbled across them in bloom today!