Friday, August 31, 2012

Old Man Yells At Chair

Well, my immediate reaction to the Republican National Convention and the United Psychotic State of America is...well...there comes a time when the only appropriate and noble reaction is complete and utter anarchistic pointless and  meaningless mayhem...RAMMING SPEED!

Politicians from both parties twist facts or spin policy, but Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has had a particularly strained relationship with the truth, repeating false claims with impunity — even after fact checkers, mainstream media organizations, and blogs have all debunked their assertions.

From claiming that “Obama gutted the welfare work requirement” to insisting that his own policies won’t deregulate Wall Street, Romney has led a post-truth campaign. A top adviser even admitted earlier this week, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”

ThinkProgress has compiled a Viewer’s Guide comparing what Romney says with the facts:

Romney On His Tax Plan || Romney On Wall Street || Romney On The Budget
Romney On Bain Capital || Romney On Obamacare || Romney On Medicare
Romney On Women’s Health || Romney On Energy || Romney On Global Warming
Romney On The Auto Bailout || Romney On Welfare Reform || Romney On Food Stamps
Romney On Security || Romney On LGBT rights
And what about Gramps Eastwood and his little performance? It was....kinda special:
Here's a recap if you missed it:
Frankly, I sincerely believe America is totally fucked, but don't ask me...Today. my only comment is 

Dixie Fried

I love this song...Carl Perkins, 1957, the master....
It's almost dawn, the cops are gone.
Let's all git Dixie Fried!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dusquene Whistle

                Bob Dylan releases his next cd on the 11th of Sept...this is a pretty cool pre release video courtesy of the Guardian UK....I think Bobby's beginning to channel Louie Armstrong these days!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Thunder Road

I have been reading the great bio of Robert Mitchum, Baby, I Don't Care, by Lee Server.
I discovered a totally original self made artist, Mitchum was bigger than any of his roles...and among his other personas. he occasionally made records. By all accounts he was a pretty good saxophonist.
In the early 50's he was passionate about calypso and recorded a record and in the late 60's he reocrded some Country and Western and had a #1 C&W hit.....When I hear some of the stuff from this period, I think of a stylistic cross of Keith Richards and Dean Martin......
But in the late 50's he made the original bad boy moonshine car chase classic which set the standard for an entire genre. The film which he wrote, starred in and directed was Thunder Road and he wrote and sang the music as well...I'm going to watch Thunder Road this weekend!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Sky Is Pink

This is the latest urgent piece by Josh Fox, who wrote and directed Gasland and was arrested for trying to document the congressional hearings on fracking earlier this year.
Below is the very eloquent editorial piece by Sean Ono Lennon from todays NY Times:

Destroying Precious Land for Gas
Published: August 27, 2012

ON the northern tip of Delaware County, N.Y., where the Catskill Mountains curl up into little kitten hills, and Ouleout Creek slithers north into the Susquehanna River, there is a farm my parents bought before I was born. My earliest memories there are of skipping stones with my father and drinking unpasteurized milk. There are bald eagles and majestic pines, honeybees and raspberries. My mother even planted a ring of white birch trees around the property for protection.
A few months ago I was asked by a neighbor near our farm to attend a town meeting at the local high school. Some gas companies at the meeting were trying very hard to sell us on a plan to tear through our wilderness and make room for a new pipeline: infrastructure for hydraulic fracturing. Most of the residents at the meeting, many of them organic farmers, were openly defiant. The gas companies didn’t seem to care. They gave us the feeling that whether we liked it or not, they were going to fracture our little town.
In the late ’70s, when Manhattanites like Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger were turning Montauk and East Hampton into an epicurean Shangri-La for the Studio 54 crowd, my parents,
John Lennon and Yoko Ono, were looking to become amateur dairy farmers. My first introduction to a cow was being taught how to milk it by hand. I’ll never forget the realization that fresh milk could be so much sweeter than what we bought in grocery stores. Although I was rarely able to persuade my schoolmates to leave Long Island for what seemed to them an unreasonably rural escapade, I was lucky enough to experience trout fishing instead of tennis lessons, swimming holes instead of swimming pools and campfires instead of cable television.
Though my father died when I was 5, I have always felt lucky to live on land he loved dearly; land in an area that is now on the verge of being destroyed. When the gas companies showed up in our backyard, I felt I needed to do some research. I looked into Pennsylvania, where hundreds of families have been left with ruined drinking water, toxic fumes in the air, industrialized landscapes, thousands of trucks and new roads crosshatching the wilderness, and a devastating and irreversible decline in property value.
Natural gas has been sold as clean energy. But when the gas comes from fracturing bedrock with about five million gallons of toxic water per well, the word “clean” takes on a disturbingly Orwellian tone. Don’t be fooled. Fracking for shale gas is in truth dirty energy. It inevitably leaks toxic chemicals into the air and water. Industry studies show that 5 percent of wells can leak immediately, and 60 percent over 30 years. There is no such thing as pipes and concrete that won’t eventually break down. It releases a cocktail of chemicals from a menu of more than 600 toxic substances, climate-changing methane, radium and, of course, uranium.
New York is lucky enough to have some of the best drinking water in the world. The well water on my family’s farm comes from the same watersheds that supply all the reservoirs in New York State. That means if our tap water gets dirty, so does New York City’s.
Gas produced this way is not climate- friendly. Within the first 20 years, methane escaping from within and around the wells, pipelines and compressor stations is 105 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. With more than a tiny amount of methane leakage, this gas is as bad as coal is for the climate; and since over half the wells leak eventually, it is not a small amount. Even more important, shale gas contains one of the earth’s largest carbon reserves, many times more than our atmosphere can absorb. Burning more than a small fraction of it will render the climate unlivable, raise the price of food and make coastlines unstable for generations.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, when speaking for “the voices in the sensible center,” seems to think the New York State Association of County Health Officials, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the New York State Nurses Association and the Medical Society of the State of New York, not to mention
Dr. Anthony R. Ingraffeas studies at Cornell University, are “loud voices at the extremes.” The mayor’s plan to “make sure that the gas is extracted carefully and in the right places” is akin to a smoker telling you, “Smoking lighter cigarettes in the right place at the right time makes it safe to smoke.”
Few people are aware that America’s Natural Gas Alliance has spent $80 million in a publicity campaign that includes the services of Hill and Knowlton — the public relations firm that through most of the ’50s and ’60s told America that tobacco had no verifiable links to cancer. Natural gas is clean, and cigarettes are healthy — talk about disinformation. To try to counteract this, my mother and I have started a group called Artists Against Fracking.
My father could have chosen to live anywhere. I suspect he chose to live here because being a New Yorker is not about class, race or even nationality; it’s about loving New York. Even the United States Geological Survey has said New York’s draft plan fails to protect drinking water supplies, and has also acknowledged the likely link between hydraulic fracturing and recent earthquakes in the Midwest. Surely the voice of the “sensible center” would ask to stop all hydraulic fracturing so that our water, our lives and our planet could be protected and preserved for generations to come.
Sean Lennon is a musician.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Even Sicker

On August 14th 2012, I published a piece, Sick To My Stomach on the programmed closing of a profitable American business in Freeport Il, The Sensata Company which was acquired by Bain Capital, which in and of itself, stands as a shining example of the callousness of Republican vulture capitalism. I wrote of another company in Troy, Michigan which was acquired a few years back by Bain when Mittens was still officially at the helm. In both cases, highly profitable companies were acquired, and outsourced to China to save money on labor costs. The employees are being offered the "opportunity" to train their Chinese replacements. Romney recently extolled the virtues of Chinese "sweatshop" labor.
Now imagine how it would feel to someone reeling from the effects of Romney's business model?
Employees of the Bain-owned company Sensata, watched the video and were asked for their reactions.
Not surprisingly, they had some very harsh words for the Republican candidate.
If you want to know what the “Romney Economy” is, why don’t you look up Sensata in the book and see what Sensata’s doing for the people of Freeport, Illinois. If that’s what you want for your future….but I’m sorry to tell you that’s not what I want for my future. This is the disease and it is making the American economy even sicker.

Bonnie And Clyde

My wife and I were walking the streets of the village of Courgnac sur Lisle yesterday and found ourselves in front of a little house with these names on the mailbox:
Here's the 1968 hit by Serge Gainsbourg and Bridgette Bardot.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Songs For Desert Refugees

I have been trying to write about Mali and the present growing humanitarian refugee crisis. It has been a learning process for me and I have been inspired by a very close friend who is personally involved in the relief effort. He does not want me to reveal any of the details of his organizations involvement because of the extremely dangerous situation for the organizations and the refugees themselves. It is superhuman and the toll has already been much too steep.
This was a piece published on August 5, 2012 on the Les forums de blog which gives you a pretty good overview of what is happening:

GENEVA (AP) — A crisis of huge proportions is brewing in Mali that could spread throughout the nine-nation Sahel region of northern Africa and beyond due to insufficient humanitarian aid for millions of people, top U.N. and U.S. officials said Friday.
Mali recently experienced a coup that emboldened rebels to seize the country's north. Islamist and other insurgent rebel factions have since been fighting each other as they try to keep ahold of northern Mali. The violence, and the imposition of harsh Islamic law in some areas, has forced many residents to flee their homes.
The officials warned that widespread hunger, displacement, insecurity, political unrest and other factors in Mali are putting countless lives at risk — and setting the stage for a global headache.
"There is a very serious threat for peace and security, not only for the whole region but, in my opinion, with global implications," U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres told reporters at the U.N. in Geneva. "We are witnessing in the Sahel a dramatic humanitarian situation."
Guterres appeared a press conference beside U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Anne Richard, who oversees population, refugees and migration. They had just returned from a trip to visit Malian refugees in Burkina Faso.
Guterres said 260,000 Malian refugees have fled for neighboring Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso, which have kept their borders open and shared their food supplies despite the dire hunger crisis they face within their own nations. Some 200,000 people also have been displaced within Mali, facing dire conditions.
The U.N. humanitarian office says 18 million people already face severe hunger and malnutrition in the Sahel region. In Mali, many of those in need are beyond the reach of aid workers, the two officials said.
"The United States is very concerned about the crisis, and we're also concerned that's there not sufficient resources going to it," said Richard, adding the U.S. has contributed $355 million of aid and food to countries in the Sahel, including $34.5 million for refugees.
A group of middle-ranking soldiers toppled Mali's democratically elected president in March. After international pressure, they allowed an interim president to be named in April. But in May, that interim leader, Dioncounda Traore, was beaten up by a group of protesters, and left the country for medical treatment. He returned last week.
The initial coup gave insurgents in Mali an opening. Ethnic Tuareg rebels seeking secession took control of the country's north — an area larger than France — but were driven out in June by extremist Islamists with links to al-Qaida who vowed to introduce an ultra-strict interpretation of Islamic law.
Guterres said the threat goes "far beyond northern Mali" partly because many of the heavily armed fighters there have come from Libya, where they had been in the army and militias that supported the late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, and others have come from Nigeria, Somalia and Afghanistan.
The crisis in Mali could become conflated with the unrest in Sudan-South Sudan, Somalia and even Yemen, he said.
"So if proper humanitarian assistance is not provided, and if a political solution is not found, the risk of this conflict to go far beyond Mali is, in my opinion, enormous," Guterres said. "And the implications are very serious for the whole region. Let's not forget that many of the states of this region are very fragile."

There is only so much that can even be spoken of on the internet about the crisis. Needless to say, this is not only a humanitarian but a cultural disaster.

The traditional residents of Mali are a number of desert tribes including the Tuaregs who have preserved the ancient heritage of what UNESCO has designated a cultural world heritage site, Timbuktu which is the place where some of the oldest actual libraries still exist in the unique timeless buildings made of mud and straw. The Tuareg among other groups have resisted the AQMI coup and jihad that is seizing control of their country. As a result, they are the victims, being slaughtered and driven from their traditional homeland. International NGO Groups such as Medicins Sans Frontiers are trying to do what they can to assist the refugees, It is extremely dangerous for a non Malian looking person to be involved in the area as being even suspected of being foreign is reason alone to be singled out and killed.
The result is a mass exodus of refugees coming into Mauritania and Burkina Faso and the inevitable human crisis that is occurring from too many people in hastily assembled refugee camps in a part of the world already strained to the max as far as available resources. There are a few groups working to provide assistance and logistics, but due to the difficult nature of working in Africa, the work is inefficient and much is wasted. There are a few small organizations who have to remain relatively anonymous to be directly involved in assistance. Medicins Sans Frontiers is there (Doctors Without Borders in America) and you can link to them through the Haitian Relief Button on the upper right hand corner of this blog page and learn about what they are doing and how to donate through them. You can be assured that any donations made to them will be used as efficiently as possible.
I will write more about this and have a direct link to provide aid in a following posts.

Here is a project already on the ground,. The music of Mali is world renown, Some of the greatest African music comes out of the Desert...and the  English label, Glitterhouse Records released “Songs for Desert Refugees” a benefit compilation of unreleased Tuareg music from across Mali, Niger and Algeria including names such as Tinariwen, Tamikrest, Bombino, Faris and more. It also features sleeve notes from UK journalist (and former Tinariwen manager)Andy Morgan. All proceeds from the album will go to two NGOsTAMOURDRÉ and ETAR who are working directly with refugees from North Eastern Mali. You can order the recording directly here: Tamoudre or you can buy individual songs digitally and listen to samples here at emusic..
Here are a few samples of some of the great Tuareg artists featured on the recording:

Mali’s strife does not seem likely to end soon and while the international community decides what steps to take, regional African coalition ECOWAS is already readying military intervention in the north while experts have warned the country could become the “next Somalia”.  If you love this music and are inspired to buy the recording, I humbly thank you. More information soon, I promise!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

So 21st Century

Now, people are signing a petition so that the Ecce Homo is not restored to its former state, because in their opinion this version is much more XXIst century. 

The result of the intervention cleverly combines primitive expressionism Francisco de Goya, with figures such as Ensor, Munch, Modigliani or Die Brücke group,belonging to the artistic movement of German Expressionism.

Friday, August 24, 2012


With the full media attention of the prosecution and sentencing of the Russian political punk performance artists, Pussy Riot, perhaps we should see it in the larger perspective of the ongoing persecution and prosecution of Anti Putin political artists. Most people who try to defend the Putin regimes prosecution of Pussy Riot try to frame it as legitimate outrage against the vandalistic desecration of a religious space. I think the stupidest comment I read on an American comment was "Wouldn't you be outraged if the American punk band, Green Day did this in a synagogue?" You really have to wonder who posts comments like this. I would ask you to read the truly eloquent and concise closing statement by Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich at the Stalinistic show trial. The only time she was allowed to speak her own words in her defense:

"The fact that Christ the Savior Cathedral had become a significant symbol in the political strategy of our powers that be was already clear to many thinking people when Vladimir Putin’s former [KGB] colleague Kirill Gundyaev took over as head of the Russian Orthodox Church. After this happened, Christ the Savior Cathedral began to be used openly as a flashy setting for the politics of the security services, which are the main source of power [in Russia]. Why did Putin feel the need to exploit the Orthodox religion and its aesthetics? After all, he could have employed his own, far more secular tools of power—for example, national corporations, or his menacing police system, or his own obedient judiciary system. It may be that the tough, failed policies of Putin’s government, the incident with the submarine Kursk, the bombings of civilians in broad daylight, and other unpleasant moments in his political career forced him to ponder the fact that it was high time to resign; otherwise, the citizens of Russia would help him do this. Apparently, it was then that he felt the need for more convincing, transcendental guarantees of his long tenure at the helm. It was here that the need arose to make use of the aesthetics of the Orthodox religion, historically associated with the heyday of Imperial Russia, where power came not from earthly manifestations such as democratic elections and civil society, but from God Himself.
How did he succeed in doing this? After all, we still have a secular state, and shouldn’t any intersection of the religious and political spheres be dealt with severely by our vigilant and critically minded society? Here, apparently, the authorities took advantage of a certain deficit of Orthodox aesthetics in Soviet times, when the Orthodox religion had the aura of a lost history, of something crushed and damaged by the Soviet totalitarian regime, and was thus an opposition culture. The authorities decided to appropriate this historical effect of loss and present their new political project to restore Russia’s lost spiritual values, a project which has little to do with a genuine concern for preservation of Russian Orthodoxy’s history and culture.
It was also fairly logical that the Russian Orthodox Church, which has long had a mystical connection with power, emerged as this project’s principal executor in the media. Moreover, it was also agreed that the Russian Orthodox Church, unlike the Soviet era, when the church opposed, above all, the crudeness of the authorities towards history itself, should also confront all baleful manifestations of contemporary mass culture, with its concept of diversity and tolerance."

If you are interested in lending your name to the petition by Amnesty International in America, 
The video at the top of this post is the work of band of political artists in Russia called Voina, which means war. The giant penis was a piece of political art vandalism in St. Petersburg which was created one morning about a year ago.  The bridge directly faces the headquarters of the one time KGB in St. Petersburg...If this outrages you, then you deserve to wallow in your misguided shame..If you think it is vandalism, well, then it magnificent vandalism, hooliganism on truly heroic scale.  .Voina, is an art collective which has engaged in politicly provocative anti Putin regime actions for years. They have been arrested and the members are in prisons and suppressed in Russia. To learn more about VOINA, their work and how to support them,

Why is this important to you? America walks a thin line these days. Art is being suppressed and depending on the direction the country takes in the next year...You might have to be much more careful about what you say, who you say it to and letting people know how you truly feel....
It Can Happen Here!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Oh, I Think You Should.....

My particularly predominate ethnic background is Irish. My wife is Irish and Scot...there are definitely traits that cannot be denied. We are both very proud of our heritage and amazed when we actually meet relatives who are so true to type, who by their natural passion and eloquence reaffirm our passion for our heritage. I ran across this last night, Michael Higgins, the present president of Ireland, has a"discussion" with the American Tea Brain radio dude named Michael Graham. This particular exchange took place in 2010, when Higgins was leader of the Irish Labor Party, he was elected president the next year. Higgins makes me so proud of my heritage! Here's the transcript:
HIGGINS: I've spoken of my time in the Midwest. I'm going to the Greyhound bus station and hearing for the first time "poor white trash." These people, who -- you know, I was there before the Civil Rights charter came in and frankly the idea that a person would not have one job, but would have two jobs, or three jobs and work all the light hours that are there and still not be entitled to the basic protection of fundamental care is so outrageous.
So whether you agree with Obama on what he is doing and aspects of his foreign policy -- I disagree with some things about Latin and South America --
But one of the things I do agree, the idea of being a social floor, below which people wouldn't fall, that's the future. I think even the poorest people in the great country that is the United States should be entitled to basic health care --
GRAHAM: Okay --
HIGGINS: -- And I don't think they'll thank the Sarah Palin lookalikes and followers for taking it off them.
You're about as late an arrival in Irish politics as Sarah Palin is in American politics and both of you have the same tactic. The tactic is to get a large crowd, whip them up, try and discover what is the greatest fear, work on that, and feed it right back in a frenzy. And that leads you in time then when you have in fact maybe one of the most gifted Presidents elected. I happen to not agree with all of his foreign policy but you know you regard for example someone who happens to have been a professor at Harvard as somehow now very handicapped.
You don't find anything wrong at all with this Tea Party ignorance that is being brought all around the United States, which is regularly insulting people who have been democratically elected.
GRAHAM: Deputy Higgins, I'm not going to insult you by --
HIGGINS: -- oh I think you should.
GRAHAM: --by bringing up your lack of knowledge of the Tea Party movement other than to --
HIGGINS: I lived in the United States and you know one interesting thing, Mike? You know the big difference as I listened, I lived in the Midwest, in Willie Nelson country. I was a student there at the end of the 60s, I was a professor in Illinois when they entered the 70s.
The magnificent, decent, generous people of the United States, with whom I had supper. People who I sat and ate homemade ice cream with them. The difference between them and the tiny elite who are in charge of warmongering foreign policy in the United States is just enormous.
So therefore when you go on your picnic around the country you're really not representing the decent United States people who are very proud, correctly, of the person they've elected President which they're entitled to do.
But you have the neck to say that people like me who are willing to talk to people or at least are trying to build peace are somehow or another in favor of people who want to martyr Jewish people. That is an outrageous statement. I am not antiSemitic, I am not in favor of martyr, and unlike you, I make my profession in politics and I worked in human rights. And I condemned Hamas for sending rockets. Not that that will matter to you.
Because you know what you are, and I wish you well. Keep drinking Guinness and keep ranting away, but don't suggest that those of us who are working for peace in the heat of the day are somehow interested in martyring Jews.
There's a man in the United -- you know him. I think you may have interviewed him. Mark B. Klein. He represents fourteen Jewish organizations in New York. He organized forty-five members of the House of Representatives to sign a letter condemning Barack Obama for giving Mary Robinson the Medal of Honor. Yeah.
I was debating with him on a program rather like this and I said to him "How can you conclude that Mary Robinson is anti-Semitic?" And he said -- and I said "Or Bishop Tutu, for example?" "Bishop Tutu is anti-Semitic as well!" You're going down that road. And really, it is very dangerous stuff.
The fact of the matter is -- look. Young people from the United States are traveling all over the world again. They're welcome in Europe. They're backpackers and hostels. People are talking to them. Because the image of the United States, we've got away from this warmongering is getting better.
At least forty-seven million people that the likes of you condemn to no health care in a country that I was proud to work in -- these people are going to have some health care.
So this is the issue. So therefore be proud to be a decent American rather than just being a wanker whipping up fear.


Monday, August 20, 2012

To Mock A Killingbird....

Richard Pryors short lived controversial ABC television show from the 70's.
It was too damn good to be allowed to live. How many great comedic actors 
do you recognize in his cast?
...okay, so it's a very young Robin Williams....that was the easy one....


Still in the grip of a record breaking heat wave. Today, the added discomfort
of what I recall as mid western Great Lakes stye  humidity....
Possibility of a thunderstorm this afternoon?

Do you remember when this is what Americans did on a hot night before 
air conditioning? It wasn't that much cooler in your car, but it was somehow...
way cooler!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Macaron Madness

Okay, I love to eat great food and Love making it, but I have to bow down to my mistress...My wife is a genius. I say it all the time. She recently became obsessed with the process of making the perfect macaron. This is really need an oven you can monitor, you have to be able to control the humidity of your kitchen...there are so many variables and it is easy to understand why the perfect macaron could cost a small fortune. She recently became friends with a culinary blogger from the Loire named Crystal. Crystal guided her through the process in which there were moments when she was considering suicide. After a number of spectacular successes, I took the liberty of suggesting macarons made with Dulce con leche as the filling (we made the duce con leche...or confiture de lait by taking a can of sweetened condensed milk and boiling it unopened in a pot of water for 4 hours...when it cools, open it and have opened a gateway to heaven!). Crystal thought it was a fabulous idea and suggested using ground hazelnuts in the macaron batter. Can I say it was a massive success? They were and are the best macarons I have ever had and we are the only people on the planet Earth who have them!
So today, Crystal published Janet's photo of her macarons on her blog Voyage Culinaire, which if you are interested in reading and interested in food, I would highly recommend.

Here is Crystale's piece....
Bonjour, bonjour, aujourd'hui pas de recette mais une nouvelle mise à l'honneur. C'est à nouveau Janet, qui m'a fait parvenir son nouvel essai de macarons. Avant de vous mettre la photo, il faut que je vous explique comment ceux-ci ont vu le jour. En début de semaine, Janet me contacte pour me demander mon avis. Elle venait juste de faire de la confiture de lait et elle me demandait comment elle pourrait " aromatiser " ses coques. Je lui ai répondu, en lui disant qu'elle peut remplacer une partie de la poudre d'amande par du praliné comme ici, ou de la poudre de spéculoos comme  mais qu'à mon avis, avec de la poudre de noisettes ça devrait être comment dire ????? Hyper méga gourmand 8D Et ben figurez-vous qu'elle m'a écouté et voici ses 

Macarons noisettes et Dulche con leche


Ils ne sont pas magnifiques !!! Encore une fois bravo Janet et comme je vous ai dit, dès que je rentre chez moi je les teste car ils m'ont donné trop envie 

I have to add, I eat all the time, but I think I have discovered a basic secret....never stop moving. I am 6 feet tall and weigh all of 140. And you can eat all the ice cream you want, never gain an ounce as long as you make it yourself....except for perhaps my wifes salted caramel gelati....I have never tasted anything like that before in my entire life!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cleo Checks Out Rome.....

That's righ,t a little epic revisionist history starring Liz Taylor and Richard Burton
from 1963. Joseph Mankiewicz directed this epic loser....the highest grossing film of 1963, yet, incredibly, it still lost over 20 million bucks....

Summer In The City

Okay, so I don't live in the city, but it was almost 105 here today, breaking all the records since the beginning of the 20th century. We were the hottest place in France....and this song kept running through my head, but maybe this version is the best cover ever! Butthole Surfers!!!!!!
yeah well, this is the sort of the alternative sound track
 for the next post....FZ 1966


Yesterday in Moscow.
Below is the video for the song Pussy Riot released yesterday after being sentenced to 2 years in
a Russian prison for anti Putin "hooliganism".  
                Here is the link to the post I published on August 10, 2012 with Yekaterina Samutsevich's 
extremely eloquent closing statement in her trial. I also included the links for you connect
t with if you would like to stand up and put your name on the petition by Amnesty International protesting the Russian persecution of these political artists.
But this is not isolated, this is an ongoing purge of artistic political dissent in Russia today. I have written about the Russian Political Art Movement,  Voina and there work and persecution. Most of the members are now facing Putin/Stalinist show trials or now in prisons because they have dared to create politically "incorrect" art which challenges Putin's regime. Why should you be concerned? Aren't you paying attention? Wake up...this is the thin line,  the tight rope you are walking on in America. It can't happen here? IT IS HAPPENING HERE! And it will only get worse if you let it happen in November......

Tom Morello

Wall Street - Rage Against the Machine par Ali_La_Pointe
I've posted a lot of Tom Morello's music and his almost one man revolution as The Nightwatchman.
Tom performed free at Occupy protests all over America this year and as well in Wisconsin.
He is one of the most brilliant guitarists working today, at the forefront of technology and technique.
I'm going to reprint his comments from yesterdays issue of Rolling Stone in which he responds to the incredulous comment by Paul Ryan that Rage Against The Machine was his favorite band.
The Video above is from 2002, when Tom's band, Rage played live on Wall Street. They shut down Wall Street, and yes, no money was harmed....they had applied for a permit with Michael Moore to film the performance, but their permit was turned down. So they did it anyway. Everyone, the band, the tech crew and Michael Moore were arrested by the NYPD.
Last week, Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan, the Republican architect of Congress's radical right-wing budget plan, as his running mate. Ryan has previously cited Rage Against the Machine as one of his favorite bands. Rage guitarist Tom Morello responds in this exclusive August 16, 2012 Rolling Stone op-ed:

Paul Ryan's love of Rage Against the Machine is amusing, because he is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades. Charles Manson loved the Beatles but didn't understand them. Governor Chris Christie loves Bruce Springsteen but doesn't understand him. And Paul Ryan is clueless about his favorite band, Rage Against the Machine.

Ryan claims that he likes Rage's sound, but not the lyrics. Well, I don't care for Paul Ryan's sound or his lyrics. He can like whatever bands he wants, but his guiding vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one percent is antithetical to the message of Rage.
I wonder what Ryan's favorite Rage song is? Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? The one lambasting American imperialism? Our cover of "Fuck the Police"? Or is it the one where we call on the people to seize the means of production? So many excellent choices to jam out to at Young Republican meetings!
Don't mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta "rage" in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he's not raging against is the privileged elite he's groveling in front of for campaign contributions.
You see, the super rich must rationalize having more than they could ever spend while millions of children in the U.S. go to bed hungry every night. So, when they look themselves in the mirror, they convince themselves that "Those people are undeserving. They're . . . lesser." Some of these guys on the extreme right are more cynical than Paul Ryan, but he seems to really believe in this stuff. This unbridled rage against those who have the least is a cornerstone of the Romney-Ryan ticket.
But Rage's music affects people in different ways. Some tune out what the band stands for and concentrate on the moshing and throwing elbows in the pit. For others, Rage has changed their minds and their lives. Many activists around the world, including organizers of the global occupy movement, were radicalized by Rage Against the Machine and work tirelessly for a more humane and just planet. Perhaps Paul Ryan was moshing when he should have been listening.
My hope is that maybe Paul Ryan is a mole. Maybe Rage did plant some sensible ideas in this extreme fringe right wing nut job. Maybe if elected, he'll pardon Leonard Peltier. Maybe he'll throw U.S. military support behind the Zapatistas. Maybe he'll fill Guantanamo Bay with the corporate criminals that are funding his campaign – and then torture them with Rage music 24/7. That's one possibility. But I'm not betting on it.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, by the Quebec-Palestine Coalition

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Inside his Memphis mansion, Graceland, the king of rock ‘n’ roll lay silent in a copper coffin. Women hid tiny cameras in their bras to take one last picture as they filed past. Outside, hundreds of floral arrangements, some shaped like guitars and one like a hound dog, lined the long driveway and thousands of fans kept vigil on the tacky boulevard below in the sweltering heat. They had abandoned jobs, driven all night and flown in from abroad for one last glimpse of their idol. “Don’t faint now,” a mother warned her faltering daughter,” or I’ll just have to leave you.” A billboard down the way read “In Memoriam” and the Beef and Liberty Restaurant sign directly across the street carried the message “Rest in Peace.” But hardly anyone in Memphis could really believe that Elvis Presley was dead of a heart attack, at the age of 42.

Bain Capitol Part #2

It's a good thing the nice policeman wasn't a jerk. Instead of arresting this terribly threatening woman (cue sarcasm), he agreed to hand-deliver her letter for her, after Romney campaign workers locked her out and called the police.
Sensata, as you may recall, is the company where Bain Capital is in the process of
shutting down plants and sending jobs overseas. Adding insult to injury, Sensata workers are required to train their replacements. I wrote about this story on August 14th and the history and background of Bain Capitol.
While Mitt Romney isn't directly ordering the closure, as a Bain investor he is certainly benefitting from it. As one Sensata employee said, hearing Romney speak makes her physically ill. Who wouldn't feel that way after losing their job and financial security while having to cheerfully train their overseas replacement? The stories are heartbreaking.
I realize there's a lot of people out there who will vote for Mitt Romney just to get Barack Obama out of office purely on manipulative racial prejudice and the nonstop propaganda of the corporate right wing noise machines, but I hope they'll stop and ask themselves whether they really want a guy as President who thinks people exist for only one reason: Profitability. This is what drives Romney in business, and it's what will drive him in office. We're just chattel; the corporations are king.

Infographic: Everything Tou Need To Know About Romney's Dishonesty On Medicare

This from Think Progress today, August 16th...very concise wrap up of waht you need to know when trying to talk to idiots who think that Romney/Ryan could ever have their interests  at heart...if you need  the they are:
This week, the Romney/Ryan campaign has twisted itself into a pretzel attacking President Obama for “stealing” $716 billion from Medicare, while trying to explain why Paul Ryan included the savings in his FY 2013 budget.
The infographic below offers a rundown of the campaign’s contortions from Sunday’s proclamations that Romney would have signed the Ryan budget and its Medicare cuts into law, to Romney’s announcement on Tuesday that he would restore the Medicare savings that both Ryan and Obama supported:
The changing rhetoric also presents serious policy problems. Romney’s implied policy of steering clear of Medicare reductions would greatly complicate his goal of reducing all federal spending from 24 percent of the GDP to 20 percent by 2016, which would require unsustainable cuts to other government programs. His specific promise torestore the $716 billion will also backfire and shorten the life of the Medicare trust fund “toward the end of what would be his first term in office.” The campaign has not yet specified how it would extend its solvency.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Saint Yriex

So the last time I was in NYC with my wife, we spent an afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
I was drawn like a fly to honey to the Medieval Art collection. Suddenly, we were both transfixed by this pair of heads. The actual reliqiuary of the skull of St. Yriex...Yriex is actually the patois version of his real Latin name, Aredius. What was this doing in the Met? We live just below the town of St. Yriex-la-Perche...follow the Route 704, just into the Haute-Vienne, South of Limoges. Incidentally, St. Yriex-la-Perche is the place where the first deposits of  fine kaolin clay were discovered which gave birth to the Limoges porcelain tradition.... and where Aredius was the bishop in the 7th century and the mentor of Gregory of Tours when this was the last western vestige of the Roman empire. Long after Rome dissolved, Gallo Roman France kept the flames of civilization burning until the Frankish Merovingians conquered it.
His great stone church still dominates the town from the top of the hill.
 In fact the residents of St. Yriex still call themselves "Aredois" I am Badefolois....The actual skull of St. Yriex was encased in the walnut wood sculpted head, then encased in the silver/gilt gem encrusted cover. What happened to the original skull? The relic was acquired by J. Pierpont Morgan, who bequeathed his booty to the Met...but I really think the brain case of St. Yriex should come back here.....
the very last words of the great american philosopher,
nelson muntz

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Send Me To The 'Lectric Chair

A 2009 short film starring the one and only Isabella Rossellini and the one and the only Louis Negin by the one and only Guy Maddin. One of the absolutely greatest filmakers working today.

Sick To My Stomach

One of my oldest friends has been working for a fairly successful small company which tests mechanical automotive components for the Ford Corporation in Troy, Michigan. Basically, they take the mechanical components which Ford designs and then devise all sorts of demonic tests to see what it takes to make them self destruct. My friend was basically trained as a welder, but in the course of his employment has acquired a full range of specialized I said, this company is pretty solid as far as their business goes. But about 4 years ago, he told me that the company was being decentralized...and much of the physical work was going to be done in China! Most of the Michigan work force was layed off. The company is still centered in Troy, but they do most of their actual work in China with low cost Chinese labor. My friend was offered the option of going to China to "train" Chinese workers to do his job. Luckily for him, he is considered valuable enough to the Michigan organization to still be working.
At the time, I thought this was pretty strange, but I hear of things like this happening all of the time. He mentioned the name of the company which had acquired his firm at the time and it was only recently that I made the connection: Bain Capital.
In other words, in 2007, Bain Capital took control of a small successful highly specialized automotive tech firm in Michigan, fired the Union work force so they could move the jobs to China to make money. Clearly, at that time, Mittens Romney was still CEO of Bain Capital. That's what they do to make money. They systematically dismantle successful American businesses and relocate them to parts of the world with out Unions and the cost of paying American workers a decent wage.
Though Mittens has been able to disassociate himself through the use of smoke and mirrors from the present management of this curiously exclusive Mormon enterprise, he still receives a substantial income and is still technically a CEO of the firm.
I saw an article in the Guardian over the weekend and wondered why I hadn't seen it in any American press. It's almost the carbon copy of what had happened to my friends Troy, Michigan company, but it is happening now and it is Bain Capitol that is perpetrating the crime. In Freeport, Illinois, Paul Harris writes about a profitable, competitive auto-parts plant has been bought out by Bain Capital, who have literally shipped the factory to China, and who have extended the "kindness" to the American workers who will lose their jobs of a few extra weeks' worth of work training their Chinese replacements. Mitt Romney owns millions of dollars' worth of equity in the Bain fund that is shipping good jobs overseas, and stands to make a tidy profit from this. 
"I understand business needs to make a profit. But this product has always made a ton of money. It's just that they think it is not enough money. They are greedy," said Tom Gaulraupp, who has put in 33 years at the plant and is facing the prospect of becoming jobless at the age of 54. 
Mark Schreck
the second time his job moved to China
Mark Shreck, a 36-year-old father-of-three, confessed he was one of the few workers not surprised at the layoffs, as this is the second time his job has moved to China. "I feel this is what companies do nowadays," he said. Freeport mayor George Gaulrapp
The Freeport workers have appealed to Bain and Romney to save their plant. The local town council, several Illinois politicians and the state's Democratic governor have all rallied to their cause. "This company is competitive globally. They make a profit here. But Bain Capital decided to squeeze it a little further. That is not what capitalism is meant to be about," said Freeport mayor George Gaulrapp, 52.
The anger towards Bain and Romney is palpable. Romney has become the target for the emotions of a community who built lives based on the idea of a steady manufacturing job: a concept out of place in the sort of fluid buy-and-sell world from which Bain prospers. "I didn't have a clue what Bain was before this happened," said Cheryl Randecker, 52. "Now when I hear Romney speak it makes me sick to my stomach."

Monday, August 13, 2012

Feets Don't Fail Me Now

This might be the most awesomely funkiest recording ever know...sometimes, you just gotta
...if you know what I mean!

This Video Might Be Deleted By The Mormon Thought Police

I have written a lot about Mittens Romney, the Mormon Bishop and patriarch who has been involved since his youth in the missionary work of spreading the influence of the Mormon Religion. I posted this video a few years is one of the few links still up that will let you see this surreal, mythological view into what they claim to believe. All other links have been mysteriously deleted in the last few months by the Mormon thought police. It's very hard to say exactly what Mormons believe. It is a very secretive closed world. In their own words, their technique of conversion is based on the concept they refer to as "Milk Before Meat" other words, the uninitiated do not need to know real Mormon doctrine. It's really too strange for the un brain washed. I wrote about this concept and let them explain it in their own words in my post earlier this year, The Romney Doctrine......In other words, Mormon theological reasoning allows a great deal of leeway between the truth and outright lies. A Mormon is perfectly justified, in his closed set of logic to lie and prevaricate to attain his goal. It is a part of the theology. 
If you asked most people if they had ever heard the story about his polygamist great-grandfather and their exodus to Mexico. Or the head of the LDS Church, or what the First Presidency is, I bet not one would know the correct answer.
In our history the media went crazy over John F. Kennedy being a  Catholic to run for President and he was forced to address it and disavow how much influence the papacy would have over his presidency. Fox News went ballistic over Reverend Jeremiah Wright and his "Black Liberation Theology", forcing Barack Obama to step down from his church. But apparently Mitt Romney is given a complete pass when it comes to his faith. It's astounding.
Here's something you may not know.
Mormons have no full-time paid clergy, and instead are led by an all-volunteer lay male leadership.
Mormons do not have a paid clergy to run their church so males make up the entire infrastructure and as usual, women need not apply. Mitt was ordained at the age of twelve, like other Mormon males. He became a Bishop in 1981 and Boston Stake President in 1986. The dedication each Mormon makes to his faith is as a high as any minister, priest, rabbi, imam or cardinal. The reason a Catholic bishop  has never run for public office is because he cannot separate his religious beliefs from governing a secular United States made up of many different faiths and non-faiths. His religious views would dictate exactly how his votes would be cast and how his policies were shaped. That's not a dig against this hypothetical bishop, that's exactly what everyone would expect him to do.
So why isn't Mitt receiving a serious look into his religious views?
And by the way, every member of the Mormon faith must pay out 10 percent of their wages to remain in good standing with the church, a practice known as tithing. That's why he has given so much money to the LDS church, according to the only tax return we've been able to see.
Romneys "gave away $7 million in charitable contributions over the past two years, including at least $4.1 million" to the LDS Church. Paying 10 percent of their annual income in tithing, what members of the LDS Church refer to as "a full tithe," makes Romney, if nothing else, a typical Mormon.

I love how the Deseret News frames Mitt with his millions of dollars of charitable giveaway as just typicalMormon on 'tithing."
Huffington Post:
The Mormon Moment -- Postponed
In the last few months, considerable attention has been devoted to Mitt Romney's tax returns and his former company's "job-creating performance," but there has been insufficient discussion about what arguably has had the greatest role in shaping who he is and how he views the world: his Mormon religion. Despite his reluctance to address the subject directly, public interest in Mormonism remains at historic levels.
His "Mormon Moment" is laden with obligation: never in the history of the United States has an ordained minister been a major party's candidate for the presidency. The Mormon Church has a lay priesthood, and by virtue of his ordination to the offices of Bishop and Stake President, Romney has occupied ecclesiastical positions equivalent to those within the Roman Catholic Church of Priest and Bishop. Were a Catholic Bishop to run for the presidency, there would doubtless be a demand that he address aspects of his religion in far greater detail than would be required of candidates never ordained to the ministry -- and thus Gov. Romney's obligation.
In 2007, Romney was forced to give a speech on religion called "Faith In America" . Not surprisingly, he mentions the word "Mormon" only once! Instead, he chose to give a series of platitudes and generalities. Of course, he made sure to include a heavy statement about 'religious tolerance' to dissuade the demand for any specifics:

"There is one fundamental question about which I often am asked. What do I believe about Jesus Christ? I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. My church's beliefs about Christ may not all be the same as those of other faiths. Each religion has its own unique doctrines and history. These are not bases for criticism but rather a test of our tolerance. Religious tolerance would be a shallow principle indeed if it were reserved only for faiths with which we agree."

That's a nice cop out. If you question Mormons on some of their more bizarre beliefs, then you're an intolerant lout. Obama had to discuss his beliefs in great detail. John F. Kennedy had to do the same. But there's one big difference with Romney's faith. Many religions do believe and preach that they are the true faith of God, but Joesph Smith, the founder of Mormonism stated quite clearly that either you follow the God of Joseph Smith or you follow evil. Via Krakauer's Under The Banner Of Heaven
Joseph Smith preached something he called “free agency”; everyone was free to choose whether to be on the side of the Lord or the side of wickedness; it was an entirely personal decision—but woe to those who decided wrong. If you knowingly chose to shun the God of Joseph and the Saints, you were utterly undeserving of sympathy or mercy.
In the Huff Po piece that I cited above, they ask a germane question for Romney to answer:

What your church labels "sacred" is frequently termed by others "secret" or even "sinister," leading many to conclude that Mormons may not always be telling us what they truly believe. How can you assuage these suspicions by articulating your beliefs?
Mitt Romney will never challenge a Mormon principle, ever. Nor will he be open about what the LDS church teaches.
Peter Lorre
M by Fritz Lang, 1931

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Next President Of The United States?

Mitt Romney, idiot savant? Perhaps he is inadvertently telling us something we should actually know?
I mean, once the shit hits the fan after he assumes his position as CEO and he finally has to face the reality of his financial legacy? Perhaps, he really is sort of letting us in on his little secret; that Ryan will be the next president ....
the official 2012 Romney/Ryan hood ornament and logo
We have to stop thinking about Mittens Romney as an individual. He is the figurehead, the hood ornament, so to speak of a monstrous chopped Hummer limo that has been trying to steamroll the vague concept of Democracy that Americans fantasize about. Mittens has proven that the farce of a convention, the traditional waste of billions of dollars that they ceremonially perform is a useless process...He has proclaimed himself the candidate, he has already chosen his Vice President and as far as he is concerned, the convention will be nothing more than a coronation ceremony to affirm the Presidency which he has been buying for the last 8 years. Why are these peons even going through the sham of an election which he has already bought? Mittens quest for the presidency has taken on the aura of a coronation, a biblically predestined prophecy...after all he is a patriarch, a bishop in the Mormon Church. There is no other reality for him, this is destiny and, he is ready to do what ever it takes.......
The best laid plans are historically derailed by human fault. The Republicans are systematically attempting to disenfranchise millions of American voters to steal the election. They are only energizing and raising the awareness of how crucial this election really is in the process. But the biggest fault of Mittens is sheer and utter arrogance.
Arrogance. Arrogance beyond the edge of the ridiculous.
For four years,  John McCain has suffered the torment of damnable ridicule and roasted burlesque: How could you guys have been so dumb as to enlist Sarah Palin as the VP pick? Where was the "process"? Were you really so desperate and knowingly doomed as to heave overboard all semblance of good judgment and prudence? In brief, what were you thinking?
Now, though, the pressure McCain and though he is still adamantly claiming that his choice of Palin was bold, the ridicule is redirected, the snickering burlesque has relocated, and that fundamental question--What were you thinking?--has descended on the reigning nincompoops at the Romney campaign. Alas, Sarah Palin has been replaced as America's worst vice-presidential candidate ever, and McCain can now avert the slings and arrows of snickering interviewers. Four words: Paul Ryan, Eric Fehrnstrom.
For the last two years, President Obama has struggled to fashion the election as a choice. Mitt Romney has countered, logically, with a referendum. For the Republican, a choice election is a lost election; he would instead billboard the economy's chronic troubles and recommend a fix or two and thereby capitalize on electoral malaise. Romney's plan entailed a simple, straightforward strategy which had decades of empirical justification behind it.
Yet three little complications emerged. One, jobs have continued their return, despite congressional Republicans' best efforts to waylay every last American family. Two, Romney somehow forgot to piece together a plausibly specific, alternative economic plan (the Keystone pipeline is no fix for a $15 trillion economy). And third, Mitt Romney has proceeded to demonstrate beyond any doubt or mistaken impression that he is the bumbling, befuddled, squawking and exceedingly irritating Jerry Lewis of this Martin & Lewis presidential contest.
The Democratic mauling of Paul Ryan will approach felonious assault. Joe Biden will leave only barely recognizable pieces of him in the veep debate and President Obama will crucify him on the stump and congressional Democrats can now officially present to their districts and states the Great Satan of pseudoconservative extremism as being in the direct employ of Jerry Lewis.

Once again Mitt Romney has buckled to the selfsame ideologues who have wrecked him from the start; he has signaled his weakness and advertised his fear; he has sentenced himself to three months of defending Medicare and Social Security's demolition; he has resigned his generalship and handed command to a reckless militant; he ... has ... lost.
Meet The Mittsters

The Endlessly Zooming Golden Spiral.A golden spiral grows by a factor of φ, the golden ratio.

Friday, August 10, 2012


Perhaps the bravest incredible political punk band in history.
Vladimir Putin is just another a pathetic jackbooted 
 repressed homo fascist!  thug ready for the trash bin of history!
Yekaterina Samutsevich delivering her closing defense statement at the
Pussy Riot Soviet Style Stalinist show trial .
Argument in the show-trial of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot -- who gave an unlicensed anti-Putin performance in a cathedral and now face harsh, Stalinist justice for daring to point out the spy-emperor's nudity -- has concluded. Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich has given a tremendous closing statement, which is a masterful summary of Russian oligarchy:
"The fact that Christ the Savior Cathedral had become a significant symbol in the political strategy of our powers that be was already clear to many thinking people when Vladimir Putin’s former [KGB] colleague Kirill Gundyaev took over as head of the Russian Orthodox Church. After this happened, Christ the Savior Cathedral began to be used openly as a flashy setting for the politics of the security services, which are the main source of power [in Russia].
Why did Putin feel the need to exploit the Orthodox religion and its aesthetics? After all, he could have employed his own, far more secular tools of power—for example, national corporations, or his menacing police system, or his own obedient judiciary system. It may be that the tough, failed policies of Putin’s government, the incident with the submarine Kursk, the bombings of civilians in broad daylight, and other unpleasant moments in his political career forced him to ponder the fact that it was high time to resign; otherwise, the citizens of Russia would help him do this. Apparently, it was then that he felt the need for more convincing, transcendental guarantees of his long tenure at the helm. It was here that the need arose to make use of the aesthetics of the Orthodox religion, historically associated with the heyday of Imperial Russia, where power came not from earthly manifestations such as democratic elections and civil society, but from God Himself.
How did he succeed in doing this? After all, we still have a secular state, and shouldn’t any intersection of the religious and political spheres be dealt with severely by our vigilant and critically minded society? Here, apparently, the authorities took advantage of a certain deficit of Orthodox aesthetics in Soviet times, when the Orthodox religion had the aura of a lost history, of something crushed and damaged by the Soviet totalitarian regime, and was thus an opposition culture. The authorities decided to appropriate this historical effect of loss and present their new political project to restore Russia’s lost spiritual values, a project which has little to do with a genuine concern for preservation of Russian Orthodoxy’s history and culture.
It was also fairly logical that the Russian Orthodox Church, which has long had a mystical connection with power, emerged as this project’s principal executor in the media. Moreover, it was also agreed that the Russian Orthodox Church, unlike the Soviet era, when the church opposed, above all, the crudeness of the authorities towards history itself, should also confront all baleful manifestations of contemporary mass culture, with its concept of diversity and tolerance."

If you are interested in  lending your voice to the Amnesty International Action to protest the prosecution and imprisonment of these artist, follow this link!