Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Mere 20 Years


Woody Guthrie's 1942 New Years Resolution list....


This is a promo for...cheese...currently on French network TV. I laughed, I cried...pretty brilliant!
Every year, l'Association Fromage et Terroirs publishes a pretty nifty kitschy pin up girl type calendar.

The Man With A Rubber Head

A short fim by Georges Melies, 1901 which might serve as a public service message for us all this evening.

Friday, December 30, 2011

anti paulista talking points here for free!

This from Crooksandliars...if you need talking points or links to deal with any immature naive idiotic libertarian prattle, this compilation of links from crooksandliars today says it all:
Would abolish the income tax
Would place the U.S. on the gold standard
Would allow citizens to engage in trade using gold and silver instead of currency
Would arbitrarily cut government regulations and believes that regulations only hurt businesses
Would eliminate the taxation of foreign income
Is a global warming denier
Says that Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare are unconstitutional
Would eliminate antitrust laws
Would eliminate the federal minimum wage
Would eliminate the Davis-Bacon Act and the Copeland Act
Would eliminate the estate and gift taxes
Would tax all earners at a 10 percent rate
Would eliminate tax credits to individuals who are not corporations
Would eliminate the elderly tax credit, child care credit and earned income credit
Voted to make it easier to decertify unions
Opposes Federal Deposit Insurance
Would revert government spending to 2004 levels and freeze it there
Opposes raising the debt ceiling for any reason
Would allow people to opt out of Social Security
Says that widespread bankruptcy is the stimulus the country needs
Opposed the auto industry bailouts
Favors tort reform
Opposes the regulation of tobacco
Would protect the 'privacy' of online sexual predators and child pornographers on public wi-fi networks
Would prevent federal courts from protecting citizens who have their rights denied
Opposed the Motor Voter law
Would allow states to ban gay marriage
Sponsored the Marriage Protection Act
Would repeal affirmative action
Would limit the scope of Brown v. Board of Education
Says that emergency rooms should be able to turn away undocumented immigrants
Opposes the Americans With Disabilities Act
Voted anti-choice more than 90 times as a member of Congress
Voted to eliminate all international family planning funds
Voted for the Stupak amendment banning abortion coverage by private health insurance companies
Voted in favor of fetal personhood laws
Would eliminate all funding for Planned Parenthood
Would ban flag burning
Would weaken regulation of dietary supplements
Supports a ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research
Opposes subsidies for prescription drugs for seniors
Opposes mandatory vaccinations
Would expand offshore oil drilling
Would increase mining on federal lands
Would weaken the Clean Air Act
Would repeal the Soil and Water Conservation Act
Would weaken the Federal Water Pollution Control Act
Would eliminate departments of Energy, Education, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Labor
Would eliminate the Environmental Protection agency
Would eliminate FEMA
Would eliminate the Federal Reserve
Would eliminate the Occupational Health and Safety Administration
Would eliminate AmeriCorps
Would eliminate spending to combat AIDS overseas
Would eliminate gas taxes
Opposes the census gathering demographic data on Americans
Opposed the dismantling of U.S. nuclear missile silos
Wanted to withdraw the U.S. from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
Wants to claim the Panama Canal as sovereign U.S. territory
Opposes the International Criminal Court
Would withdraw the U.S. from the U.N.
Supports the electoral college and believes that the U.S. is not a democracy
Believes that we have no right to health care
Would eliminate birthright citizenship
Believes that law enforcement can't help people, only armed citizens can prevent violence
Would allow the legal sale of unpasteurized milk
Believes that groups of people don't have rights, only individuals do
Believes that government cannot redistribute wealth in any way
Believes in the concept of 'jury nullification', the idea that a jury can judge not only the facts in a case but the justness of the law itself
Believes that social welfare should be in the hands of individuals only, not government
  • Anyone that still thinks that a progressive vote for Paul is a legitimate vote under any circumstances doesn't know what the word progressive means. Anyone that thinks that Paul "understands the Constitution" and defends it either hasn't read the Constitution or doesn't know how to read.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pomp And Circumcision

Viv Stanshall, a man, for which which the term eccentric was only a lame sobriquet.
This is dadaism on a truly truly heroic, epic scale, a virtual assault on the fortress of reason.
Be realistic. Ask for the Impossible!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Meanwhile Back In Pyongyang

The The Freedom To Get Out Of My Face / The Naive Brutality Of Libertarianism

I have not been surprised by any of the quotes that have recently come to light from
 Ron Paul's racist newsletters. And, yes, no matter what Paul says, 
he knew about the articles and in fact is on the record defending the
 language and the articles back when they were written. I have
 learned from experience that if you talk to a hardcore 
Paul supporter for a reasonable length of time, these sorts of ideas
 are more likely than not to come up.
I often think that libertarianism - at least, its modern American version - 
is not really about increasing liberty or freedom as an average person would
 define those terms. An ideal libertarian society would leave the vast majority
 of people feeling profoundly constrained in many ways. This is because the freedom
 of the individual can be curtailed not only by the government, but by a large variety
 of intermediate powers like work bosses, neighborhood associations, self-organized 
ethnic movements, organized religions, tough violent men, or social conventions. 
In a society such as ours, where the government maintains a nominal monopoly on
 the use of physical violence, there is plenty of room for people to be oppressed by such
 intermediate powers, or local bullies.
The modern American libertarian ideology does not deal with the issue of local bullies. 
In the world envisioned by Nozick, Hayek, Rand, and other referenced "thinkers" of the 
movement, there are only two levels to society - the government (the "big bully") and the 
individual. If your freedom is not being taken away by the biggest bully that exists, your 
freedom is not being taken away at all.
In a perfect libertarian world, it is therefore possible for rich people to buy all the 
beaches and charge admission fees to whomever they want (or simply ban anyone they choose).
 In a libertarian world, a self-organized cartel of white people can, under certain conditions, get together and effectively prohibit black people from being able to go out to dinner in
 their own city. In a libertarian world, a corporate boss can use the threat of 
unemployment to force you into accepting unsafe working conditions. In other words,
 the local bullies are free to revoke the freedoms of individuals, using methods more subtle
 than overt violent coercion.

Monday, December 26, 2011

LIke Tears In Rain

As close as slick Hollywood sci fi got to real art. Of course it took the mind of Phillip K. Dick to give us the framework, but you have to give the actors credit here. Rutger Hauer improvised the line Tears In The Rain wasn't in the script.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Twelve Lies Of Christmas

(Sung to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas")
On the first day of Christmas
Republicans told me

On the second day of Christmas
Republicans told me
Obama's born in another country

On the third day of Christmas
Republicans told me
Gay marriage is like box turtle love and
Obama's born in another country

On the fourth day of Christmas
Republicans told me
Thank the one percent
Gay marriage is like box turtle love and
Obama's born in another country

On the fifth day of Christmas
Republicans told me
We don't torture
Thank the one percent
Gay marriage is like box turtle love and
Obama's born in another country

On the sixth day of Christmas
Republicans told me
Tax cuts more revenues bring
We don't torture
Thank the one percent
Gay marriage is like box turtle love and
Obama's born in another country

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Next Flash In The Pan

The Ron Paul Thingie, as defined by his own words

excuse me, please, allow me a few minutes of anarchy, if you would be so kind....

dare to be incoherent!
click on the images to view at a larger size.
click on the player to allow me to abuse your little brainz...

Hairy Chests Destroy America....

Well, yes, I did say that this shit was getting old, but then there is a flash of true undeniable sheer and utter fuckin' genius!

G Spot Tornado

Here we are, the next to the last day of Zappadan...the Eve of the 17th day...Time for the traditional ritual dance of the G Spot Tornado....
This of course is from the legendary Yellow Shark Concerts performed in Frankfort, Germany in 1992 by The Ensemble Modern. The music was composed, arranged and conducted for the most part by Frank. There were some performances he did not conduct due to his failing health at the time. This though, G Spot Tornado was conducted by Frank. The composition first appeared on his Solo Kurtzweiler Sampling Synthesizer Grammy winning recording Jazz From Hell. He wrote it as a theoretical exercise to attempt to compose a piece of music that would be beyond the ability of a human ensemble to actually play.
When he first spoke with the musicians of the Ensemble Modern, they expressed their desire to attempt to play it, so he created orchestral charts and, Voila...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It Was A Real Bull Market A few Weeks Ago, But Now?

I don’t know much about Conservatives except for my certifiable Orange County Brother in Law, but Republicans should be relieved.
So much for the Gingrich juggernaut . . .
via intrade betting....

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Fracking Fakts About The Fracking Frackers

Well, fracking is a dirty business, no matter how you try to frame it. Now I'm getting sleazy ads on my gmail page telling me how to get in on the ground floor of the investment game that is gonna make me a bundle. You know if they have sunk that low in the marketing strategy, it's like Newt Gingrich's presidential was a real bull market a few weeks ago, but now?
But the deals have been made and the machines are in motion and the frack now pay later racket is in full swing in America. 
You know what fracking is, I'm sure.  Basically, it is a technique of gas extraction used in layers of sandstone or limesttone, but more commonly now in rock layers such as shale reservoirs that contain hydrocarbine resources, such as oil and natural gas, trapped in the layers. Fracking fluid is a usually a slurry of water and other chemicals. Chemical additives used in fracturing fluids typically make up less than 2% by weight of the total fluid. Over the life of a typical well, this may amount to 100,000 gallons of chemical additives. They are biocides, surfactants, adjusting viscosity, and emulsifiers. Many are used in household products such as cosmetics, lotions, soaps, detergents, furniture polishes, floor waxes, and paints. Some are also used in food products. A list of the chemicals that have been used was published in a U.S. House of Representatives Report. Some of the chemicals pose no known health hazards, some others are known carcinogens, some are toxic, some are neurotoxins. For example: benzene (causes cancer, bone marrow failure), lead (damages the nervous system and causes brain disorders), ethylene glycol (antifreeze, causes death), methanol (highly toxic), boric acid (kidney damage, death), 2-butoxyethanol (causes hemolysis).
The fracking fluid is forced injected into well bores and the pressure fractures the rock layers and the results are an amount of gas or oil which is recovered, but in the case of gas, much escapes and contributes to the Greenhouse emissions the fracking gas recovery methods are supposed to help eliminate.
Fracking is a short term profit making process which causes long term ecological damage. Some of the problems are increase in radioactivity in rivers where the waste water is dumped. This was found in the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania and there is not consistent monitoring being done so we do not know the full extent of this problem.
Groundwater and well contamination is being documented as an ongoing problem. See this recent AP News Article and this one in The Virginian documenting the pollution of wells and ground water in Wyoming. The waste water contains the toxic chemicals used in fracking and the hydrocarbons migrate to wells. 
Recently, the evidence has become undeniable that Fracking is the source of earth tremors. In a recent Cuadrilla Resources industry report, they admit that fracking has caused magnitude 3 earthquakes in England.
 I think it's safe to assume that by the time an energy company is admitting problems, it's generally much worse than they admit.But a recent Cornell University report is absolutely damning in its assessment to the long term environmental damage caused by fracking. There bottom line is:

We should not proceed to view shale gas as a 'transitional fuel' to be used over the next few decades to replace other fossil fuels, but rather work harder to move towards truly green renewable fuels as quickly as possible, such as wind and solar."
I am compelled to write this piece after hearing from my buddy who lives in South Western Pennsylvania, smack dab on top of the Marcellus Shale Formation. A shelf of shale that runs from  central New York State through Appalachia. This is the prime area of Fracking exploitation in the Eastern USA. My friend has a small rural property which has been his home for many years. He relies on well water. Many of his neighbors have much larger properties so he seems to have been the last one to have been contacted by the Williams Resources Co. who offered him $2500.00 an acre for the mineral rights and the rights to frack under his property. He was told that it didn't matter, because all of his neighbors have signed already. The fracking contract gives the developers the rights to build roads and pipelines through his property. Already there is a history of shady workmanship and intimidation in the region. Here's a NY Times article from last week documenting the fight of South Fayette residents against the State's Republican Government Fracking Free for All Give Away...and the article documents the night mare the residents are facing.
I would like to ask any readers with knowledge of dealing with this reality if they have any ideas I can pass on to my buddy. He is getting his groundwater tested at his own expense so he can use that as evidence if he has to in the future.  To lean more, try to see the movie by Josh Fox, Gasland the Movie. It is available on YouTube...I posted part one above.
My buddy hasn't signed anything yet and he thinks the landsman, the guy representing Williams (Rick) has given up on him after the guy said, "I can't believe you are not interested in this." My buddy told him, 
"Rick would you pimp out your kids to a ped for 2500 bucks?"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Frank Meets The Velvet Revolution

In 1989, Vaclav Havel became president of the new Czech Republic in the wake of the Velvet Revolution which brought down the Communist Government..
Havel, a dissident playwright who was jailed under the Communist Rule for his work and activism was a long time fan of Frank Zappa who was one of the heroes of the Czech Avant Garde and counter culture. He was referred to as one of the most influential composer and artists and his recordings were smuggled into the country.  In 1990, he invited Frank to Prague and actually appointed him "Special  Ambassador of Trade, Culture and Tourism" much to the disgruntlement of U.S. Secretary of State, James Baker, who declared, "You can do business with the United States or you can do business with Frank Zappa." This of course did not get in the way of Vaclev and Zappa's friendship and Frank did a lot to help the Czech tourist industry and helped the Czechs understand the concept of credit cards.
This was part of an interview Zappa did in Prague in 1990.
Havel remained a fan of Zappa's up to the end. Havel died today at age 75 on the 12th Day of Zappadan 2011.
Zappadan bonus! Hungry Freaks Daddy, the song Frank mentions in the interview recorded in 1965:

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Live performance by Cesaria Evora of Sodade in Paris, 2010.
Cesaria was one of the truly great world musicians. This is the sound of Cape Verde.
She died today at age 70....
After I wrote this, my friend, Brian sent this anecdote. He is a producer who worked with Cesaria in the early 90's:

"She was wonderful.
I remember meeting her in Paris in 1990 or 1991. She loved singing but hated people looking at her. She much preferred being background music for people in bars while they were drinking. The idea that she was supposed to "perform" or put on some sort of show confused and annoyed her. She liked to just sit in a comfortable chair with a glass of scotch by her side and sing with the lights turned down.
I once tried to talk to her about Ella Fitzgerald, whom she adored, and she shrugged off any talk of music, just wanted to talk about her new refrigerator. She was enthralled by the idea that she could make ice at home. That she could put water in and ice would come out. This seemed to be worth a thousand Ella Fitzgeralds."

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bradley Manning Had Secrets

Bradley Manning Had Secrets from Animate Projects on Vimeo.

Nineteen months after being arrested, the trial for the Wikileaks information provider finally began on Friday. Manning is facing 22 charges, including “unauthorized release of half a million reports and cables” and “aiding the enemy.”
If convicted of the latter charge, Manning could face even the death penalty, despite the U.S. government indicating that no one has been injured from the leaks or that the leaks were classified as top secret.

Actually he did our soldiers a world of good. Time served is plenty enough time. Scooter Libby served no time and he betrayed a CIA agent. That caused real harm. Dick Cheney — no time. Karl Rove — no time. It’s time to free Bradley Manning
just askin...
ahh..tobor, is that, robot backwards? cool!
I'm thinking of legally changing my name to TOBOR!


Chistopher Hitchens died yesterday at age 62.
 In this historic event, Stephen Fry and other friends of Christopher Hitchens came together to celebrate the life and work of this great writer, iconoclast and debater. Fry was joined on stage at the Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall by Richard Dawkins and the two discussed Hitch's unflinching commitment to the truth. Hollywood actor Sean Penn was beamed in from LA by Google+ and, between cigarette puffs, read from Hitch's acclaimed work, The Trial of Henry Kissinger. Five friends of Hitch spoke via satellite in New York: satirist Christopher Buckley and editor Lewis Lapham mused on Hitch's prowess as a journalist. 'Like a pot of gold', said Lapham. Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie and James Fenton delighted the audience with stories of Hitchens as a young man. Rushdie drew roars of laughter when he recounted a word game invented by Amis and Hitchens where the word 'love' is replaced with 'hysterical sex'. Particular favourites included Hysterical Sex in the Time of Cholera and Hysterical Sex Is All You Need.

Watching the event with Hitch at his bedside in Texas, Hitch's wife Carol and novelist Ian McEwan provided an email commentary. 'His Rolls Royce mind is still purring beautifully', typed McEwan.

An update: only hours after his death, this pathetic religious paranoiac inflated gasbag bastard, who has the fucking nerve to claime that Hitchens was his "friend" tries to capitalize on his death and only furthers to prove the truth in the adage,"Religion is the final refuge of a scoundrel" Fuck you Bill Bennett....You moron fucking hypocrite! This is the same jerk who resigned in disgrace as Secretary of Education under Reagan because of gambing and alcoholism, this jackass is bragging about his drinking bouts with his buddy, Chris...while thumping his empty head with his un opened and obviously un read bible.....and even more ranting! Just about every media kkkristian blowhard weighed in with their pathetic paranoid last word of Hitchens death. Rick Warren, quite predictable who also referred to Hitchens as his "friend" sayting much the same as Bennet, but the bigges gaping anal orifice of the bunch, so far was Right Wingnut Kristo fascist, Bryan Fischer who said, "Hitchens is in hell now because god loves him"...bottom took a great man, a grand mind to garner so much comment from those who he intellectually bested while he was alive. Look, kkkristians die all the time, every day and really, I couldn't  give a fuck!
“Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.”
Christopher Hitchens

L'affaire Dreyfus by Georges Melies/1899

Here is the 1899 version of The Dreyfus Affair by the pioneering film maker, Marie-Georges-Jean Melies.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Run Home Slow

1965, A Western B Movie that sounds like it was scored by Edgar Varese. 
One of Franks first paying musical gigs...
Day 7 of Zappadan?


Ray Davies, The Kinks, 1972

Military Detention In Theory and In Reality

This article in Mother Jones explains that by making the mandatory military detention provisions mandatory in name only, the Senate had offered the administration an opportunity to see how seriously it takes its own rhetoric on civil liberties. The administration had said that the military detention provisions of an earlier version of the NDAA are “inconsistent with the fundamental American principle that our military does not patrol our streets.”
The revised NDAA is still inconsistent with that fundamental American principle. But the administration has decided that fundamental American principles aren’t actually worth vetoing the bill over…
The NDAA is still an "unknown" instrument to be used in theoretical "emergency" situations, but power will always inevitabely enable abuse. Read this horrifying diary account by Saudi, Mohammed el Gorani, who at age 16 was kidnapped by Pakistani thugs and sold to the US Army for a bounty as an Al Qaeda operative. He had just stepped off of a plane after being told he would be able to find work in Pakistan. He was tortured by the thugs, then tortured by the Army, then sent to Guantanamo for six years, where he was tortured further. He was eventually released and exonerated, but a confidential agreement between the government of Chad and the US State Department prohibits him from rejoining his family in Saudi Arabia. He suffers lasting health problems. Here is his story:
We landed at another airstrip. It was night. Americans shouted: ‘Terrorists, criminals, we’re going to kill you!’ Two soldiers took me by my arms and started running. My legs were dragging on the ground. They were laughing, telling me: ‘Fucking nigger!’ I didn’t know what that meant, I learned it later. They took off my mask and I saw many tents on the airstrip. They put me inside one. There was an Egyptian (I recognised his Arabic) wearing a US uniform. He started by asking me: ‘When was the last time you saw Osama bin Laden?’ ‘Who?’ He took me by my shirt collar and they beat me again. During all my time at Kandahar, I was beaten. Once it was like a movie – they came inside the tent with guns, shouting: WE CAUGHT THE TERRORISTS! And they put us in handcuffs. ‘Here are their guns!’ And they threw some Kalashnikovs onto the ground. ‘We’ve been fighting them, they killed a lot of people!’ All that was for cameras, which were held by men in uniforms. I was lying on the ground with the other prisoners. They brought dogs to scare us.
One day they started moving prisoners again. They picked you from your tent, put you naked, shaved your head and beard (I was too young to have a beard), then beat you. They dressed you with orange clothes, handcuffed you, and put gloves with no fingers on you, so you couldn’t open the handcuffs. ‘You guys are going to a place where there is no sun, no moon, no freedom, and you’re going to live there for ever,’ the guards told us, and laughed. They put you in completely black glasses and headphones, so that you couldn’t see or hear. With those on, you don’t feel the time. But I could hear when they were changing the guards, probably every hour. I must have spent five hours sitting on a bench, with another detainee in my back.
Then they put us in a plane – I don’t know what kind because I couldn’t see. As soon as you moved or talked, they beat you. They were shouting: IF YOU DON’T FOLLOW OUR ORDERS, WE’LL KILL YOU! I passed out. We had no water and no food. I woke up hearing voices shouting at me in different languages. They took me to my cell. I saw soldiers everywhere, and guns, like if it was war. There were big metal fences everywhere. We were in Guantánamo, in Camp X-Ray. It’s a prison without walls, without roofs – only fences. Nothing to protect you from the sun or the rain.
To read his entire story,check out this piece on line at the London Review Of Books This is what the abuse of utter power looks like. It can't happen here? 

Vote For Newt And Make The World Go Away

(click on image to enlarge) via the fabulous Tom Tomorrow
and don’t forget when Newt decided welfare reform could best be carried out by sending all welfare children to orphanages and/or making them work as janitors.
Actually, I am beginning to believe that this is a deliberate conservative corporate think tank strategy. Throw out enough crazy and reality will disappear.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, the official soundtrack:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Every year since 1927, TIME magazine has singled out one newsmaker as its Person of the Year — the headline-grabber who most captured the world’s attention and influenced people, for better or for worse, over the previous 12 months.
The title has been bestowed upon adventurers (Charles Lindbergh), heroes (MLK), villains (Hitler), royals (Queen Elizabeth II), U.S. presidents (every one since FDR except Ford), and Internet mavericks (Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg). Now the pick has been made for 2011. (It appears at the end of this gallery.) Here, see the history of Person of the Year: all 85 picks. 

This stuff may be getting old, but Perry deserves this one!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Newt In Space

Someday, scientists will be able to discover what actually went on in the thing
known as Newt's Brainz
I won't even go into parsing the "visionary" sci fi concepts waved about by the imaginary intellectual of the Republican Party, Newt Gingrich.
His doomsday scenarios, like the EMP (Electromagnetic pulse) attack which he flaunted over the weekend has been dismissed by most nuclear experts. He did write the forward to a 2009 sci-fi novel nobody read based on the concept.
Or the giant space mirrors that would eliminate the need for streetlights.
Or his 2009 proposal for a space laser system.
His promotion of the concept of geo engineering. Heck, why waste good money on fighting global warming when we can waste trillions of dollars totally screwing up the planet forever?
Or how in 2007, he proposed a better life through video gaming. He stated in a speech that Second Life could create a better "parallel country" that could teach us how to do things that are more difficult in the real world. As we all know, Second Life has basically failed.
 Computer projection for the Super Newt Overlord System Designer of the Future...
Perhaps the is the working framework for his sequel to Asimov' classic, I Robot:
What emerges is a dude who has a very bad case of arrested development, in fact, Newt Skywalker has had his head stuck up Isaac Asimov's ass since he was a spaced out teen. In his sociopathic egocentric view of himself and his love of personal power and his view of his own relationship with the lower mortal life forms on the planet earth, he seems to have developed a fixation on the Asimov character, the "psychohistorian" Hari Seldon. He wrote about this in his 1996 memoir, To Renew America.
The self styled historian envisions himself as a grandiose figure of planet-sized ambitions. Morality is but a mere bagatell when you see yourself as super being that is reshaping the destiny of the world. In a series of doodled diagramatic sketches by Newt recently unearthed and published in Slate, he tries to illustrate his role and mission as the System Designer and Definer of Civilization with himself at the hub of a Dantesque vision of concentric circles...we the public have been consigned, quite predictably to the outer, lowest ring....
Is he planning a sequel to the Asimov classic sci fi novel on robotics, I, Robot?  I NEWT?
Newts Inferno