Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fall Back

There are few things I find more disagreeable than Daylight Savings Time...
I just hate it when I have to change the clocks...


Possibly the greatest song by one of my all time favorite bands.
Capital (It fails us now)
Gang Of Four
Probably more relevant than ever almost 30 years after it was recorded.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Satan's Cheerleaders...

Excuse me, I think I am becoming just a tad Halloweenie.

Even More Warm & Cuddly

Another, even more brilliant version of Herman Cain via the genius of BLR.
The man, the message, finally made clear!

Friday, October 28, 2011

News From Bangkok

I have two nephews who are cousins living in Bangkok, Thailand. One is an author and expert on East Asian Art. He lives a high profile life. His name is Andrew Kerr and I have written about his books on Japan which are classics. His 1993 book, Lost Japan is still a classic and because of it, he was the only non Japanese author ever to win their top literary award. When the disaster in Fukushima occurred, I wrote a post on Alex's 2001 book, Dogs and Demons, which created such a stir in Japan in its revealing look at the culture of corruption and cover up which made the Fukushima disaster and inevitable event.
My other nephew, Tom Kerr is an architect who has devoted his life to making affordable housing available to the third world. He has been a part of the ACHR, The Asian Coalition for Housing Rights for over 10 years. (if you click on ACHR link, the web graphics are all Toms)  They've rebuilt Phillipino slums devastated by landslides. They've been working with communities destroyed by the 2004 Tsunami. They even sponsored groups of Indonesians to come to Louisiana to work with poor communities devastated by Katrina. What they do best is let the people they are working with decide the best solutions for their housing needs and then come up with design solutions that work. Infrastructure, plumbing, electricity are all integrated into their people designed communities.
The work they have been doing has caught the attention of the Bill Gates Foundation and now they have gotten a few hefty grants that have allowed them to expand their concepts into some very high profile projects.
This week, at The United Nations, an exhibition opened called "Design With the Other 90%: Cities" sponsored by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Here is the link from the October 23, 2011 NY Times review of the show. There is much of the work of AHRC in the exhibit. Here's a picture of recent project along the Bang Bua Canal in Bangkok. 
Most of the design is rugged and embarrassingly simple. You might ask, "Why hadn't anyone come up with that idea before?"
The beauty lies elsewhere: in providing economical, smart solutions to address the problems of millions of the worlds people. I am so proud to know Tom. He is a great human!
It is tragic that as this show opens, Bangkok is being inundated by the worst flooding it has seen in hundreds of years. We get emails from Tom everyday as the drama of the flooding plays it self out. He lives in a traditional Thai wooden house in central Bangkok in an island of tranquility in the midst of the urban chaos. So far, he is dry, but everyday, the threat gets closer and closer. AHRC is still on line and has shifted its energies to improvising flood relief for the poor. I am getting a first hand daily account of the situation.
I have a rather lengthy explanation of what is going on, how it happened and the prospects of dealing with it from AHRC. It is very interesting and will give you information which you could never get from news sources.
I am printing in it's entirety after the break on the break if you wish to read it:

Collective Brain Damage

Garrr...I can't help myself.... He's so damn cute...the eyes...makes me want to...arrgghhhlllbaghhhhh

Support Scott Olsen

The latest news on the 24 year old Marine Vet, Scott Olsen, who served multiple tours in Iraq safely, only to be shot point blank by the Oakland Police in the head with a tear gas canister, is positive. 
Olsen is reportedly conscious, but suffering from speech difficulty but responding positively. He will require brain surgery once the swelling is relieved.
Oakland is preparing for a General Strike on this coming up Wednesday. 
This incident has made big news here in Europe. Frankly, after the lying spin of the Police Commissioner, who claimed that the noise of the flash bombs used by the police against the protestors was the sound of M-80 firecrackers being thrown at the police, (this was proven false repeatedly) demonstrated that he was totally incompetent.
Scott Olsen needs your support and financial help for his medical bills now! You can donate securely on line through Veterans for Peace, or Iraq Veterans Against War.
Do it and show your solidarity and you will demonstrate to the world that what we saw in Oakland is not the real America!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In a few hours, my blog counter will hit 100,000
do I care?

Oakland Update

United States Marine Vet and member of Veterans for Peace, Scott Olsen was shot in the face, pointblank, last night by the Oakland Police.  Olsen is clearly unconscious and injured. As he is being carried away, the police keep firing at the rescuers in their brutal mission to suppress the protest. The pathetic excuse by Oakland Police Chief was, “We felt that the deployment of gas was necessary in order to protect our officers and protect property around the area.”
The latest statement from Veterans for Peace:

Veteran For Peace member Scott Olsen, a Marine Corps veteran twice deployed to Iraq, is in hospital now in stable but serious condition with a fractured skull, struck by a police projectile fired into a crowd in downtown Oakland, California in the early morning hours of today.
It's important to note that police from many districts throughout the Bay Area and Northern California were involved, not just Oakland PD. But thanks, police at Occupy Oakland—whoever you are!—for finding a unique way to thank American combat veterans for their service to our country.

Gateau aux Noix

this is a photo of tonight's gateau!
So, I made dessert tonight. The very famous Microdot version of the Gateau au Noix de Thenon.
Actually this is inspired by the Gateau aux Noix we used to be able to buy at the Boulangerie at the top of the hill in Thenon. The Dordogne is known for it's basic cuisine. The best dishes are country fare, there is a refined cuisine, but the real cooking is pretty plain and hearty. The most well known dish of the Dordogne is Confit de Canard, which is a way of preserving duck for the winter, invented by poor people before refrigeration. It just happens to be delicious!
The major crop of this region is walnuts and they make there way into salads, main dishes and desserts.
There are many versions of Gateau aux Noix, but this is pretty easy to make and really good!
You need 250 grams of walnuts reduced to powder in a food processor.
Make a pie pastry with 250 grams of flour.
                                     125 grams of butter
                                     60 grams of powdered sugar
                                     30 grams of the powdered nuts
                                       1 egg yolk.
Mix the ingredients together and form into a ball, then refrigerate the ball for about an hour.
I just press the pastry dough into a tart pan, preferably one with a base and separate ring.
Then I pre bake the dough for 10 minutes at 190 centigrade (that's a hot oven...around 375 f)
While the pastry is pre baking, make the filling:
       Use the remaining  220 grams of powdered nuts
                                       50 grams of corn starch
                                     200 grams of sugar
                                     200 grams of thick cream (creme fraiche...but you can use thick yoghurt!)
Mix this together and then fill the precooked pastry. Then pop it back in the oven...same temperature, I turn it down a bit for a bout a half hour or so. The filling will get nice and brown, be careful not to let the pastry edges get too dark!
The let it cool, I finish it the way the bakery in Thenon did...I use 100 grams of dark chocolate and 30 grams of butter melted and smoothed over the top and then decorate it with a few perfect fresh walnut halves...Voila! Bon apetite, Bien sur! 


James Brown's shoelace could kill Chuck Norris.
The music? "If You Don't Give A Doggone About It!"

Cain Alternative Hip Hop Mix

Jay Smooth is back with his version of surreality.

The Squares Belong To All The People!

The squares belong to all the people, hey Mr. President!
The American people are not people?

"Square by square, town by town, country by country, the people have risen up to demand their basic human rights...The United States supports a set of universal rights, and these rights include free speech, the freedom of peaceful assembly..."
Protester in a wheel chair being tear gassed
Oakland, Ca October 25, 2011

Right to freedom of speech
Freedom of assembly
Right to protest
Police response to their own country's citizen's exercising these rights:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Whaa? This is not a joke? This is real? 
Oh krikey...this isn't real, it's surreal!
I think Herman Cain has just become  a performance art piece.

A Glossary Of Conservative Ventriloquism

America (United States of): A country located in the N. Western Hemisphere that is #1.
Bible: A sacred text that provides incontestable answers when thumped.
Birth Certificate: An official birth record required of all US Presidents, regardless of race, since 2008.
Capitalism: A system of economic organization that has never been attempted.
Christmas: A holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, now rarely celebrated due to persecution by atheists.
Compromise: (uncommon) A form of political suicide.
Coast (East): A very bad coast of the continental United States.
Coast (West): Another really inexcusable coast.
Communism: The belief that the government should ever do anything.
Condescending: Accurately informed.
Constitution (U.S.): The hallowed founding document of the United States, the text of which must be interpreted strictly and amended immediately.
Corporations: Large people who are overtaxed.
Elitist: Qualified.
Endangered Species: Animals that have it coming.
Evolution: A theory of human origins that is out there.
Extremist (Liberal): Espousing or adhering to political beliefs that are held by only a majority of Americans.
Forest (National): Trees that have it coming.
Gut: Region of the body from which decisions should be made.
Homosexuality: A membership-only lifestyle organization that perpetuates itself through youth recruitment.
Hitler: A man to whom it would be inappropriate to compare President Obama in spite of the many uncanny similarities.
Jesus: Charismatic religious leader and son of God; born in Bethlehem in the year 0; beliefs include love, charity, enhanced interrogation, privatized healthcare, elimination of the estate tax, and the right to carry concealed semiautomatic weapons.
Liberal: A person who should be rounded up and shot but not really.
Marxism: A political and economic philosophy developed by Karl Marx and promulgated by Paul Krugman.
Medicare: A fraudulent, socialistic boondoggle that is sacrosanct.
Mexicans: Brown people who have it coming.
Mountaintops: Ancient rock formations that have it coming.
Muslims: Brown people who have it coming.
News: Fox News
Organic: Eaten by lesbians.
Party (Tea): A grass-roots movement of patriotic Americans fighting for the principle of “No Taxation With Representation.”
Poverty: The condition of having inadequate financial or material resources due to not trying hard enough.
Propaganda: The politically motivated dissemination of biased information, opinion, or data through its publication in the New York Times.
Racism: A form of discrimination that typically happens in reverse.
Regulation: Rules issued by a government agency for no reason.
Scientist: A person who employs a rigorous system of observation, experiment, measurement, and verification to perpetuate his Godless left-wing agenda.
Taxes: Levies imposed by the government that raise more revenue the lower they are.
Terrorist: A person to whom a person who threatens to destroy the U.S. economy unless his demands are met should not be compared.
Wealthy (the): People who earned every penny.
Warming (Global): An anomalous, anthropogenic increase in the earth’s atmospheric and oceanic temperatures that isn’t happening.

Monday, October 24, 2011


 In 1938, an Austrian film actress, who had been called the most beautiful woman in Europe came to the United States as part of the wave of artists like Fritz Lang and Peter Lorre, who left Germany to pursue their craft in America.

Hedy Lamarr was born Hedwig Eva marie Kessler in Vienna Austrian to a haute bourgeois Jewish family in 1914. She started acting in films in the early thirties and soon made a reputation for herself as a major German cinema star. In 1934, she shocked Europe in the Czechoslovakian film, Ecstasy where she appeared in nude scenes and probably portrayed the first orgasm ever filmed in a movie. She later claimed that the acting in the scene was abetted by the director, Gustav Machaty, who poked her with a safety pin to induce the expressions he filmed.

She married a Viennese Jewish Arms manufacturer, Freidrich Mandl, who was extremely possesive of her and tried to curtail her career. He even bought up copies of the Ecstasy film to try to prevent it from being seen.
She was confined in his castle and in spite of his Jewish background, Mandl frequently entertained German officials, including Hitler and the Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini who attended his parties..
Bored and extremely intlelligent, she sat in on her husbands meetings. She was a very gifted mathematician and soon learned much about military technology.

In 1937, she decided to leave Mandl and in an ruse that would have made a great film plot in itself, she persuaded Mandl to let her go to a party decked out in her most expensive jewelry. She drugged him before she left and got out of the country with the jewels and made her way to London, where she obtained a divorce.
She met Louis B. Mayer in London, who invited her to Hollywood. Immediately, she started making films and was called one of the most beautiful women in the world.
Some of her biggest films were Algiers, Boom Town, Tortilla Flats and White Cargo, which is an iconic film which I remember seeing many times just for it’s over the edge campiness.Probably her biggest success was in DeMilles epic, Samson and Delilah.

But there is another Hedy Lamarr, this was the woman who in 1942 along with George Antheil, an avant garde composer who had invented a method to have multiple player pianos play his scores, invented the concept of Frequncy-Hopping Spread Spectrum Technology.
It was based on technology she had learned in Vienna at the Castle of her arms manufacturer ex husband. He had been trying unsuccesfully to develop radio controlled torpedos.

Lamarr and Antheil envisioned a secret communications system for the US Military which would be impossible for enemies to detect or jam. Their early system used a piano roll from a player piano to change between 88 frequencies. Why 88? That’s how many keys there are on a piano.

This was way ahead of its time. They were granted U.S. Patent 2,292,387 and gave the technology to the American military, but it languished forgotten and unused until the time of the Cuban Missle Crisis in the early 60’s by the Americans who made use of it during their blockade of Cuba.
By this time the patent had expired and neither Lamarr or Antheil, who died in 1959, made any money.

Lamarr was finally honored in 1997 by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Today, Lamarr and Antheil’s Frequency-Hopping Technology is the basis for modern spread spectrum communication technology, such as COFDM used in WIFI network connections and CDMA used in some cordless and wireless telephones.
Lamarr wantred to join the National Inventors Council, but wasn’t taken seriously as a glamorous female movie star during the war, so she went out and raised money selling war bonds.
She raised over $7,000,000 at just one event.

Three years after Lamarr was finally honored for her work, she died in 2000 in Altamonte Springs, California. Her son, Anthony Loder, took her ashes back to the Weinerwald Forest in Austria, where they were spread...

Last Night @ OWS

Sean Lennon & Rufus Wainwright impromptu accoustic version of Madonna's Material Girl!

experiment #2,148,097 (simulated 3 frame reality experience)

a gif composite made from 3 photos by dwayne
michaels of andy warhol in 1972

too damn french

c'est l'habitude, chaque lundi je suis toujours too damn french!


 As they say, they are part of the 99% who are protecting the 100%.
If you are interested, here is the link for the Occupy Marines facebook page. 
if you do facebook , give them a big LIKE! 
Last night a chemical bomb was tossed into the 
Occupy Maine Camp in Portland.

 The bomb was thrown directly into the camp’s kitchen, within proximity of the three dozen camps set up there. Police say the homemade bomb “consisted of chemicals poured into a plastic Gatorade container could have caused serious injury” and are still looking for suspects.
Does this count as an act of domestic terrorism?
I originally heard of this incident on the Occupy Marines facebook page this morning, because there were a group of Occupy Marines in the Camp when it happened...they referred to it as an IED attack....

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ohhh, McCain, You've Done It Again!

Myopic Mr. McCain tries to steer his decrepit flivver of state off the cliff once again as he chews his sour grapes...Leading the predictable Republican response to Barack Obamas decision to bring the  troops home from Iraq by the end of the year, he still doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut and he still can't get over losing in 2008.....

On the Run-Up to War
"Next up, Baghdad!"
John McCain, aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore RooseveltJanuary 2, 2002.
"I am very certain that this military engagement will not be very difficult."
John McCain, September 12, 2002.
"Look, we're going to send young men and women in harm's way and that's always a great danger, but I cannot believe that there is an Iraqi soldier who is going to be willing to die for Saddam Hussein, particularly since he will know that our objective is to remove Saddam Hussein from power."
John McCain, September 15, 2002.
"But the fact is, I think we could go in with much smaller numbers than we had to do in the past.  But any military man worth his salt is going to have to prepare for any contingency, but I don't believe it's going to be nearly the size and scope that it was in 1991."
John McCain, September 15, 2002.
"He's a patriot who has the best interests of his country at heart."
John McCain, on Ahmed Chalabi, 2003.
Myopic Mr. McCain takes a stroll in the Green Zone
On Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction
"I think we're doing fine [in Afghanistan]...I think we'll do fine. The second phase - if I could just make one, very quickly - the second phase is Iraq. There is some indication, and I don't have the conclusions, but some of this anthrax may - and I emphasize may - have come from Iraq."
John McCain, on the fall 2001 anthrax attacks in the U.S., October 18, 2001.
"Proponents of containment claim that Iraq is in a "box." But it is a box with no lid, no bottom, and whose sides are falling out. Within this box are definitive footprints of germ, chemical and nuclear programs."
John McCain, February 13, 2003.
"I remain confident that we will find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."
John McCain, June 11, 2003.
On Being Greeted as Liberators
"Absolutely. Absolutely."
John McCain, asked by Chris Matthews, "you believe that the people of Iraq or at least a large number of them will treat us as liberators?" March 12, 2003.
"Not only that, they'll be relieved that he's not in the neighborhood because he has invaded his neighbors on several occasions."
John McCain, asked by Chris Matthews, "And you think the Arab world will come to a grudging recognition that what we did was necessary?" March 12, 2003.
"There's no doubt in my mind that we will prevail and there's no doubt in my mind, once these people are gone, that we will be welcomed as liberators."
John McCain, March 24, 2003.
On a Rapid Victory and Mission Accomplished
"I think the victory will be rapid, within about three weeks."
John McCain, January 28, 2003.
"It's clear that the end is very much in sight...It won't be long. It, it'll be a fairly short period of time."
John McCain, April 9, 2003.
a word from his corporate sponsor
"We won a massive victory in a few weeks, and we did so with very limited loss of American and allied lives."
John McCain, May 22, 2003.
"I thought it was wrong at the time. Do I blame him for that specific banner? I can't."
John McCain, on President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech, May 1, 2008.
"Well, then why was there a banner that said mission accomplished on the aircraft carrier?"
John McCain, responding to assertion by Fox News' Neil Cavuto that "many argue the conflict isn't over," June 11, 2003.
"I have said a long time that reconstruction of Iraq would be a long, long, difficult process, but the conflict -- the major conflict is over, the regime change has been accomplished, and it's very appropriate."
John McCain, June 11, 2003.
"I'm confident we're on the right course."
John McCain, March 7, 2004.
"We're either going to lose this thing or win this thing within the next several months."
John McCain, November 12, 2006.
"My friends, the war will be over soon, the war for all intents and purposes although the insurgency will go on for years and years and years."
John McCain, February 25, 2008.
On the Safe Streets of Baghdad
"[There] there "are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods, today."
John McCain, after touring a Baghdad market wearing a bulletproof vest and guarded by "100 American soldiers, with three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships overhead,April 1, 2007.
"There's problems in America with safe neighborhoods as we well know."
John McCain, March 8, 2008.
On President Bush and His Team
"We are very fortunate that our president in these challenging days can rely on the counsel of a man who has demonstrated time and again the resolve, experience, and patriotism that will be required for success and the hard-headed clear thinking necessary to prevail in this global fight between good and evil."
John McCain, on Dick Cheney, July 16, 2004.
"I think he strengthened our national defenses. I think he has a good team around him."
John McCain, on President Bush, September 3, 2004.
"I said no. My answer is still no. No confidence."
John McCain, on whether he had confidence in Bush Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld,December 15, 2004.
On the Non-Existent Alliance Between Al Qaeda and Iran
"But Al Qaeda is there, they are functioning, they are supported in many times, in many ways by the Iranians."
John McCain, February 28, 2008.
"As you know, there are al Qaeda operatives that are taken back into Iran, given training as leaders, and they're moving back into Iraq."
John McCain, March 17, 2008.
"[Iranian operatives are] "taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back."
John McCain, March 18, 2008.
"[It is] common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that's well known. And it's unfortunate."
John McCain, March 18, 2008.
"Al Qaeda and Shia extremists -- with support from external powers such as Iran -- are on the run but not defeated."
McCain campaign statement, March 19, 2008.
"To think that I would have some lack of knowledge about Sunni and Shia after my eighth visit and my deep involvement in this issue is a bit ludicrous."
John McCain, March 19, 2008.
"Do you still view Al Qaeda in Iraq as a major threat?  Certainly not an obscure sect of the Shiites overall..."
John McCain, questioning General David Petraeus, April 8, 2008.
On the Timeline of the Surge and the Sunni Awakening
"Too often the light at the tunnel has turned out to be a train, but I really believe -- I really believe that there's a strong possibility that you may see a very substantial change in Anbar province due to this new changes in our relationships with the sheiks in the region."
John McCain, January 5, 2007 (five days before President Bush announced the surge strategy and the deployment of more U.S. forces to Iraq.)
"Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that's just a matter of history."
John McCain, July 22, 2008.
On a Permanent American Military Presence in Iraq
"We cannot keep our forces indefinitely staged in the region. Were we to attempt again to contain Saddam, we would eventually have to withdraw them. The world is full of dangers and, more likely than not, we will need some of those brave men and women to face them down."
John McCain, February 13, 2003.
"Well, if that scenario evolves, then I think it's obvious that we would have to leave because - if it was an elected government of Iraq - and we've been asked to leave other places in the world. If it were an extremist government, then I think we would have other challenges, but I don't see how we could stay when our whole emphasis and policy has been based on turning the Iraqi government over to the Iraqi people."
John McCain, April 22, 2004.
"We have had troops in South Korea for 60 years and nobody minds."
John McCain, June 7, 2007.
"Make it a hundred."
John McCain, told that President Bush had said American troops could remain in Iraq for 50 years, January 3, 2008.
"I asked McCain about his 'hundred years' comment, and he reaffirmed the remark, excitedly declaring that U.S. troops could be in Iraq for 'a thousand years' or 'a million years,' as far as he was concerned."
David Corn, January 3, 2008.
"The U.S. could have a military presence anywhere in the world for a long period of time."
John McCain, February 20, 2008.
"By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom."
John McCain, May 15, 2008.
"John McCain has always been clear that American forces operate in Iraq only with the consent of that country's democratically elected government."
Michael Goldfarb, McCain adviser, July 9 2008.
"That's not too important.  What's important is the casualties in Iraq, Americans are in South Korea, Americans are in Japan, American troops are in Germany. That's all fine."
John McCain, on when U.S. troops should come home from Iraq, June 11, 2008.