Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Bike Trip Of 2012

I wish I taken a camera with me today. I had a pretty good ride, perhaps 40 kilometers roundtrip to Hautefort and back to Badefols d'Ans.
The hardest part for me is getting started, because the beginning of any bike ride from here, is uphill, then into a valley and then a steep climb back up to Badefols d'Ans. By then, I'm after the initial warm up, I decided to ride to Hautefort. Downhill one way through forest and farm land and then uphill the other. Hautefort is the village that is the chef de commune the county seat and is the site of one of France's most imposing chateaux. It was first constructed in the 13th Century as a fortress by the celebrated Troubadour/Knight, Bertrand Le Born. It was re imagined and reconstructed in the 17th and 18th centuries as a Baroque masterpiece with slate covered domes and one of the great formal gardens of France. Of course the site is well off the beaten path, so it remains authentically unspoiled. I know a lot of the lore of the Chateau and it has been the set for many movies. So the video I found is at a place called Les Jaquets, about 2 kilometers from Hautefort. Today was pretty sunny and mild, but of course it is winter and not as green as the video. Les Jacquets is at the bottom of the descent, then I had to go up the hill to Hautefort, where I stopped in at the local cafe and had a beer. Then I had to ride home...But for reference, when I have to go shopping, this is the nearest place with a super market! This is where my garagist is. This is civilization for me! My village, Badefols d'Ans has a little store and a bakery....that's it. I've lived here for over 10 years and I can't imagine wanting to live anywhere else.
Here's another video, midway between Hautefort and Badefols d'Ans. There are two chateaux in the panorama from the location at place called La Boslavie. One is Hautefort and the other is my village, Badefols d'Ans. I actually live a few kilometers south of Badefols d'Ans in a little bump at the end of rural road wher perhaps 5 other humans live, called La Sechere.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Pope's Very Special Message For 2013

I can't tell you how I did this, it's a trade secret, but this blog isn't called thebrainpolice for nothing!
I have obtained through my very special connections, a very special advance preview of Pope Benedict XVI's very special message for the new year, 2013...
And as an extra added bonus, for all of my very special friends, a sneak preview of the upcoming year's  latest very special ecclesiastical fashion trends! 

Watering The Tree 2012 NRA Version

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots, tyrants. kindergarteners, mall shoppers and moviegoers.

Friday, December 28, 2012

How's Your Bird?

Today BJ, who comments here once in a while and has a pretty good blog himself, Un-Original Thoughts...(he's a much more honest man than I am), left a comment informing me that Ray Collins had died on December 24. He was the lead singer of the band, The Soul Giants, which hired Frank Zappa as their guitarist in 1962. The Soul Giants were  R&B influenced Rock Band and Ray had a perfect doo wop style falsetto as well as a, "Normal" range. Frank started to write material for the band and by 1965, the Soul Giants had mutated into the core of the original  Mothers of Invention. Ray Continued to sing and perform with the Mothers through out the 70's. He claimed he left the band because he felt that he couldn't concentrate on the great music which he really loved and inspired him. I wanted to make beautiful music,” he recalled to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in 2009. “I was raised on Johnny Mathis and Nat King Cole.” He was also uncomfortable with the group’s outrageous stage shows. “I didn’t like doing that stuff onstage. Too much comedy, too much making fun of stuff.”
A very recent photo of Ray
He reached a financial settlement with Zappa, but never really had commercial success. He lived driving cabs. He did recieve some song writing royalties and social security, but as he said, "Between the royalties and Social Security, I don't make enough to meet nice girls." He had been reportedly living in his van for a the last 8 years. Ray was born in 1938, he was 75 years old.
“People will ask why it’s been 40 years since I’ve been onstage. I don’t know,” Collins admitted. “If you just enjoy life, it’s conducive to not being successful. You know what I mean? I just enjoy life.”
I posted the full compilation cd, Cucamonga, which contains a lot of the pre Mothers material that Frank independently produced with Paul Bluff at his Studio Z in Cucamonga, California from 1962 to 1963.  The do wop cuts are all with Ray, who went under the moniker, Baby Ray.  The Cuts, How Your Bird and the Worlds Greatest Sinner are classics. Worlds Greatest Sinner was featured in a classic B Movie of the same name. Some say The Worlds Greatest Sinner by Timothy Carrey is one of the worst movies ever mad, others say it was a KLASSIK! Her's the cut from the movie. The band is not Baby Ray and the Ferns, but they are the sound track, the guys on the film are professional thespians, "acting".

Man, If I still had a Rock Band, this would be a song I would just have to cover!
Here's another piece by Ray Collins and Frank Zappa, apretty hilarious trashed out 1963 of the Teen Corn Ball Classic, Hey Paula....this is called, Hey Nelda.
Ray Collins  1938/2012 RIP
The list of cuts for the Cucamonga recording is after the Break:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Day And Night

The British Band Hot Chip from their yet unreleased new recording. featuring the actor, Terence Stamp in his first ever Rap performance. As Mr. Spock would say,
"Fascinating, Captain!"

Directed By Peter Serafinowicz"Many animals were harmed during the making of this video. Regrettably, none of them made the final edit." P. Serafinowicz

Sign Or Just Shut The Fuck Up!

So blah, blah, blah, blah...The Fox Propaganda Hysterical Dysfunctional un Education service tried to co opt the Westboro Baptist Church ritual profanation of the first funeral held of the victims of the Newtown School Massacre. They referred to the Westboro members as a "Left Wing" Cult. Don't even  consider going there if you are in my immediate proximity. This is more than a warning,  consider this a threat.
Bikers seem to have thwarted attempts by the Westboro Baptist Church to
protest the funeral of Newtown, CT shooting victim Principal Dana Hochsprung
The Fox Propaganda idiocy was trying to take advantage of the fact that a group of bikers had turned up to provide security and intimidation against the Westboro Jackasses. Obviously, Fox somehow believes that bikers are part of their brainwashed stoned out and senile base. I know a lot of "bikers" and though some might fit into a preconceived image that FOX somehow tries to promote, most of the real bikers I know think FOX NEWS SUCKS!
We all know what The Westboro "Baptist" Church really is. A hate organization that uses the guise of religious freedom to shield themselves and profit from litigation. It is pretty well organized con operation and we are all victims. So, I applaud the efforts of the Anonymous  Group in their fight against them, but you can do something as well, legally. Add your name to these two White House Petitions to demand that the Westboro Church be recognized for what they really are and have their tax exempt religious protection retroactively removed...That's the only thing these asswipes really understand... There are already more than enough signatures for consideration, but a few million more couldn't hurt!
Just sign, what could be more easier? Sign or just stop whining...I don't wanna hear it!
The Crow and The Skull
The fifth stage of the alchemical process is Putrefactio. It signifies the end of the blackening process where the imperfections of the material are removed by fire. The crow and the skull are symbols of death, but similar to the death card in a tarot deck, in alchemy these are primarily interpreted as symbols of purification and radical change. 
Another One Of Those Days....

Very Bad Karma

As if in a replay of the debt ceiling debacle which resulted in our country’s credit rating being downgraded for the first time in history, Tea Party activists are cheering on another disaster. House Speaker John Boehner’s failure to obtain enough votes for Plan B in ‘fiscal cliff ‘negotiations is applauded by the Tea Party.
“I want conservatives to stay strong,” says Christine Morabito, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party. “Sometimes things have to get a lot worse before they get better.”

RIP Tea Party
National Post reports:
Anti-tax conservatives from every corner of the nation echo her sentiment.
In more than a dozen interviews with The Associated Press, activists said they would rather fall off the cliff than agree to a compromise that includes tax increases for any Americans, no matter how high their income. They dismiss economists’ warnings that the automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts set to take effect Jan. 1 could trigger a fresh recession, and they overlook the fact that most people would see their taxes increase if President Barack Obama and Boehner, R-Ohio, fail to reach a year-end agreement.
On Capitol Hill, some Republicans worry about the practical and political implications should the GOP block a compromise designed to avoid tax increases for most Americans and cut the nation’s deficit.
“It weakens the entire Republican Party, the Republican majority,” Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, said Thursday night shortly after rank-and-file Republicans rejected Boehner’s “Plan B” – a measure that would have prevented tax increases on all Americans but million-dollar earners.
“I mean it’s the continuing dumbing down of the Republican Party and we are going to be seen more and more as a bunch of extremists that can’t even get a majority of our own people to support policies that we’re putting forward,” LaTourette said. “If you’re not a governing majority, you’re not going to be a majority very long.”
I would prefer to take a swan dive off the edge of that cliff than for our President who won by popular and the electorate vote, to give into extremists.
Poll after poll as well as Obama’s reelection confirms that America would prefer for taxes to go up. Grover Norquist will be leaving the building and when he does, he can take the remnants of the Tea Party with him.
In conservative states such as South Carolina and Louisiana, party leaders are encouraging members of their congressional delegations to oppose any deal that includes tax increases. Elected officials from those states have little political incentive to cooperate with the Democratic president, given that most of their constituents voted for Obama’s Republican opponent, Mitt Romney.
“If it takes us going off a cliff to convince people we’re in a mess, then so be it,” South Carolina GOP Chairman Chad Connelly said. “We have a president who is a whiner. He has done nothing but blame President Bush. It’s time to make President Obama own this economy.”
While whining about Mitt Romney not winning, this tea party activist just called our reelected President a whiner — so does that include the majority of Americans who want taxes raised? For fuck’s sake, the Red State’s will be more effected than the rest. Let’s take that dive.
I’m pretty sure that John Boehner is equally frustrated with the Tea Party just as they are with him. But that’s too bad. He ‘built that.’ The Tea Party put him in the powerful position that he’s in today, so I suppose they’re counting on using him as a tool until he retires and if he doesn’t acquiesce to their unpopular demands, there will be hell to pay.
A CBS News survey conducted this month found that 81 percent of adults wanted Republicans in Congress to compromise in the current budget negotiations to get a deal done rather than “stick to their positions even if it means not coming to an agreement.” The vast majority of Republicans and independent voters agreed.

The Tea Party is nailing their own coffin shut. Rest In Peace. Stay buried!
Definition of Spoiled Brat:
A kid who wants everything they see… and they cry and scream their heads off until they get it.
Bad karma: By jumping off the fiscal cliff, taxes will go up. We’ve won.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Last Polka

This is my Christmas Gift to you, the entire documentary of 
the saga of The Leutonian Schmenge Brothers, The Last Polka! 

Christmas in Finland

The real untold story

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Christmas Carol

Charles Dicken's Christmas Carol as interpreted by the Grand Lord Buckley in 1959!
My Most Extremely Excellent Extra (That's Triple E) Large And Wide Seasonal Wishes To All Of My Friends From, Me

My Christmas Wish List

Actually I have two Christmas wishes, the first is that my counteroffer to Wayne LaPierre's strident no retreat advocacy of guns on Friday be taken seriously:
The solution is simple, forget about putting armed police in every school: "I suggest putting a teacher in every gun store,"  What can beat a stern teacher with a yardstick watching over the gun guys and gun sellers who skirt the law?  Below are yesterdays covers of the two biggest tabloid Newspapers in the USA, The NY Post, which is owned by none other than Rupert Murdoch and the slightly more liberal NY Daily News....I think I feel a breeze....
My second wish? Look at the real statistics and the reality of the skirting of any real attempt to enforce "background checks" in the sacred tradition of gun show sales in the USA.
In the aftermath of mass murders in Newtown, CT, Aurora, CO, and Clackamas County, OR, several sensible ideas have become topics of public discussion: banning the sale of assualt weapons, banning the sale and ownership of clips that hold more than five bullets, and banning sales of guns to purchasers who have not had a background check.
It's the last of these ideas that I'm writing about here. It's about what's commonly referred to as the "gun show loophole". Although background checks are required for retail sales of guns, they are not required at gun shows.
This obviously makes it easy for convicted felons and mentally ill people to purchase guns. However, another class of people that takes advantage of this are Mexico's narco-terrorists. They simply hire people to purchase assault weapons at these guns shows (usually in Texas and Arizona) for them, then transport them into Mexico.

According to a report issued by the US General Accounting Office in 2009, "While it is impossible to know how many firearms are illegally smuggled into Mexico in a given year, about 87 percent of firearms seized by Mexican authorities and traced in the last 5 years originated in the United States, according to data from Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). According to U.S. and Mexican government officials, these firearms have been increasingly more powerful and lethal in recent years. Many of these firearms come from gun shops and gun shows in Southwest border states."
Current TV aired an expose on this, the Vanguard documentary Arming the Mexican Cartels by Christof Putzel. For the mostly peaceful people of Mexico, this is a tragedy. The number of deaths from the civil war that has been going on in Mexico over the past six years has been at least 57,500, and estimates run as high as 100,000. The parents, children, brothers, sisters, and friends of the people who have been killed are just as unhappy about it as the parents, brothers, sisters, and friends of the of the children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. 
I think these are rather reasonable wishes and any sane and responsible gun rights advocate should have no problem granting me my Christmas wishes....Okay, you might have trouble finding  competent teachers who might be able to unholster, aim and fire a gun in the crucial seconds required to stop a felony in a gun store, but well, it works both ways.....
The high-paid employees and the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association have blood on their hands. Put a stop to unlicensed gun sales in the US, and Mexicans will benefit, too.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

My Last Christmas

I've given up trying to wash the Detroit Grunge out of my hair...
This is one of Detroit's greatest bands of the latter 20th and the 21st Century, The Dirtbombs.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Public Service Announcement
Courtesy of  The Brain Police


This is the grand finale to the 2012 Celebration of Zappadan. There certainly was so much new material on YouTube this year, but here is the finale to Franks 1971 movie, 200 Motels. A surreal epic which in it's own way revolutionized the movie industry, because it was the first movie shot and digitally edited.
The cast included Keith Moon in drag...dressed as a nun, Ringo Starr as the alter Frank Zappa (Larry the Dwarf) the line up of the Mothers of Invention and Theodore Bikel. The Orchestral sequences feature the London Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestras. It cannot be described. This video is the grand finale of the film. Why do I participate in Zappadan? You might well ask. Next year I will republish the legend of my first Zappadan experience in 1966. As an added extra bonus free surprise, here is The Mothers 1967 record, Absolutely Free in entirety. A brilliant sarcastic nasty little oratorio, just as entertaining to me today as it was in 1967! 

Jumpin' The Shark

                Thank you Wayne LaPierre for convincing the rest of America that you are plain out bat shit crazy!

Suppress your laughter when I tell you the NRA’s long-awaited contribution to the post-Sandy Hook debate yesterday was to point everyone’s attention away from guns to everything else.
NRA spokesman Wayne LaPierre this morning dismissed the notion that the pro-gun group of about 4 million members would support any kind of gun-control laws, instead saying that "the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." (this morning, I sat in my car outside my village bakery and listened to the actual audio oc LaPierres statement and then listened to it destroyed and dissected by pretty much center commentators on the morning news broadcast around 10 am)
There is no surprise here. Wayne LaPierre was never going to advocate anything that would reduce the profit margins of gun makers, and it only cements into permanent place the complicity of the NRA in the deaths of these victims and those that came before them all these years. What is still surprising is why the national media would even care from this point on about what the NRA says about anything after incredulously suggesting that the only solution was to put more guns into every elementary school. Yeah, that’ll stop nutcases from shooting up schools with automatic and semi-automatic weapons – see Columbine.
Now that the NRA has formally jumped the shark on this issue once and for all, I have a suggestion for the DNC, DSCC, and the DCCC. The GOP has expertly managed to find wedge issues and manufacture outrage to drive up turnout in the off-year elections: see 2010. It’s time for Democrats to do the same. Now that the NRA mother ship has spoken and pulled the strings of all its GOP flying monkeys, the Democratic organizations and media machine should take note of which 2014 GOP incumbents, House and Senate parrot the NRA party line from this point on. Media drumbeats should be started in these districts and states to insert the message out there asking why the GOP seemingly only cares about rich people and gun manufacturers instead of Main Street and school kids.
Democrats should focus their messaging around isolating these pro-gun extremists who oppose background checks, assault weapon bans, and other steps to keep weapons of war off our streets and out of our classrooms. Simply ask why does the GOP think school children and seniors are expendable to protect gun makers and millionaires.
Democrats should use the issue of guns and taxes as their wedge issue for 2014, and watch the GOP implode as the Tea Party scrambles to fend off primary challenges - from the center.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Insects Christmas

A fascinating 1913 Stop Motion animation by the innovative Polish film maker, Vladislav (Ladislas) Starevich (1882-1965) for the Russian film company of Aleksandr Khanzhonkov. He was a natural historian and his attempts to recreate the natural behavior of insects led to his fascination with the astop motion technique. The figures are articulated by using wax joints and of course were posed for each segmant of the animation, which assembled created the effect of natural motion. He was so good that a British reviewer actually thought he had some used "trained insects". The music for this restored version of the film is by Danny Elf man from Edward Scissor Hands.

Where's The Ka-Boom?

There was supposed to be an Earth Shattering KA-BOOM!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


A little happy music for the Apocalypse! 

And I'm wearing my ruby red slippers and making a wish that I'll just wake up in Kansas tomorrow morning and everything will be simply hunky dory!

A Little Too Close, If You Know What I mean....

Only 45 Motherfucking Beers, Randy? 
Cheezopeeza man, I have trouble keepin count after
 two 6 packs!
Randolph Linn, an Indiana man who pleaded guilty to arson charges today in a Federal Court in Ohio, revealed his motives to the judge in a plea bargain for the Sept. 30 incident at a Perrysburg Township mosque. Linn, drunk on 45 beers by his own estimate, poured gasoline on the second floor prayer room of the Greater Toldeo Islamic Center and started a fire. Luckily no one was there. Linn could clearly be identified in security cam footage and was caught swiftly by the FBI after a tip came in from a woman who knew him and was aware of his hatred for Muslims. He was in possession of three guns when he was arrested.
The 52-year-old truck driver claimed that he’d become “riled up” after seeing images of wounded soldiers on television. “Every day you turn on the TV, you see Muslims trying to kill Americans,” said Linn, who settled on the mosque in Toledo that he knew from his truck route.
When a federal judge asked Linn if he thought all Muslims are terrorists, Linn answered: “I’d say most of them are.”
When the judge then asked him if he knew any Muslims or what Islam is, one member of the mosque who was present at Linn’s hearing told

“And he said, ‘No, I only know what I hear on Fox News and what I hear on radio.’”
Predictable, but that still doesn’t make it any less sad. At least no one was hurt.
Linn also said:
“Muslims are killing Americans and trying to blow stuff up. Most Muslims are terrorists and don’t believe in Jesus Christ.”
Linn apparently had second thoughts during the drive home. “Coming back, I thought, `What in the heck did I do?’
He added “I feel bad I did it,” and “It’s a little too late now.” Ya think?
Fox News had this asshole’s head so twisted up that he actually believed in his tiny little mind that he was a good patriotic American performing an heroic act. Fox News whipped up so much hate and rage in this poor buffoon that he literally couldn’t handle it and now he’s going to spend the next two decades rotting in a Federal penitentiary.
This isn’t the first time Fox News has inspired some loser to do something potentially homicidal remember 
Byron Williams, the obsessed Glenn Beck fan and Oakland freeway shooter? What about good old boy, Kenneth B. Kimbley Jr.
, another ardent Glenn Beck follower?).
With a guilty plea like Randy Linn’s, well, that ‘s a gift: it’s time for American Muslims to take Fox News to task in some sort of very expensive class action suit. They slander Muslims with impunity, convincing killer dum-dums like Randy Linn that all Muslims are terrorists and providing a forum for folks like that hateful harpie Pamela Geller. We know what motivated this lunatic—he told us—hatred, ignorance and Fox News, not necessarily in that order. I myself am pretty sure from his background that Linn has had an on line presence for at least 6 years. And that his involvement with the Perrysburg Mosque was not a "chance" incident. If he is who I believe he is, he had been a blogger from the midwest who had been reporting on his "surveillance" activities at the Perrysburg mosque since 2006. If he is who I believe he is, he has actively threatened progressive bloggers from the Ohio area who posted on the sites he frequented expressing views he didn't like. I received threats from this guy in 2007 here in France. He claimed he knew who I was and was reporting me to Homeland Security as a terrorist. I did not believe he was mentally capable of the tech stuff involved in making good his claims and this entire story more than proves what an utter ignorant dangerous jackass Randolph really is.....

If You Just Open Your Eyes

“The paramount question of the day is not political, is not religious, but is economic. The crying-out demand of today is for a circle of principles that shall forever make it impossible for one man to control another by controlling the means of his existence.” 
Voltairine de Cleyre (1890)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

You Got To Know When To Hold 'Em!

I'm reprinting this list from Cliff Schecter writing in Politico, of what the real chips should be on the bargaining table between Obama and John Boehner. This is the counter offer we should be asking for! Why should we let the Republicans request a pony and all we ask for is a bitter pill?
Not only should there be very little compromise here, but here is what smart, progressive governance would actually look like in the current situation, if you consider where the leverage is:

1) Lower the Medicare age to 40
2) Bulk negotiation and reimportation of prescription drugs for Medicare
3) Double Social Security benefits (per the New America Foundation)
3) Add an additional tax rate for over $1 million per year of 50%, let’s call it the “First Term Reagan” tax rate, end the ridiculous Romney-ish “carried interest loophole” (per Warren Buffett)
4) Decriminalization of recreational drugs–you know, to save the billions wasted in criminal justice costs, if not for moral reasons
(per Richard Branson)
5) Cut defense spending by at least $110 billion
as Rep. Jan Schakowsky has called for (explained best by Red Dawn…sort of)
6) Get out of Afghanistan–yesterday (explained best by common sense, experiences of the last century and
War Of The Worlds)
And this from me:
7) Remove the salary cap on Social Security and take catfood off the table. There, Social Security “fixed.” (Senator Sanders, you can start this tomorrow — just get your 29 letter-writers to co-sponsor the Begich bill.)
That, of course, is just a start. But it looks to me to be about equal to the victory that was won by progressives in 2012. It’s a helluva lot closer to the Democrats’ mandate from this election than the GOP one–which is to go slink into a corner somewhere with your self-proclaimed witches and theological-rape specialists and listen to actual adults discuss policy that works in the real world.

Alley Cat

And of course tragically, in the midst of Zappadan, 2010, Don VanVliet died. Don, who is known as Captain Beefheart was probably one of the most influential artists of our age. His influence as a crux between raw roots American Blues, Rock and European Surrealist Dadaism opened doors that artists of the future are just beginning to cautiously peer through the keyholes. From the arid Californian Desert Town of Lancaster he began to emit strange vibrations as an adolescent. He was an odd young man and his best friend was a Lancaster musician named Frank. His parents were convinced he was a genius, but they didn't know what to do with him and just slid pizzas under the door of his bedroom as the bizarre waves and emissions wafted out under the cracks. Don was an accomplished abstract expressionist painter, but he left behind a legacy of music that changed the way we think about and listen
His early collaborations with Frank Zappa are the beginning, but somehow he got a contract with Buddha records in the 60's and recorded some of the most original fusion rock/blues surrealist pop ever made with a good beat and you could actually dance to. In 1968, Frank signed him to his own Bizarre label and made the watershed recording, Trout Mask Replica. It was an epic 2 disk set and Zappa really didn't edit it much as a producer. There are even pieces where Van Vliet "phoned in" the vocals as he rewrote his poetry. The cut in the opening video is an out take from the Trout Mask period. It does not appear on the record, but it was finally issued in the 90's on the cd, The Lost Episodes. At the time it was released, after Franks death, Beefheart heard it for the first ime in years and said that it had been a totally improvised piece and he barely remembered making it, but he thought it was a lot cooler 20 some years later than he did then.  Van Vliet was a difficult person to work with and the two boyhood friends did not work together again until the mid 70's when they toured together and recorded the epic collaboration, Bongo Fury. Here's a live cut from that collaboration, The Man With The Woman's Head...recitation and poetry by Don Van Vliet, music by Frank Zappa and the 1975 Mothers....

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Guitar World

I have this on an aging cassette I got from Guitar World magazine in 1987. This is a compilation of solo guitar by Frank Zappa, some of which was never released anywhere else. A truly interesting and illuminating display of technique, style and composition by Frank on this, The 12th Night of Zappadan.  The set list after the break. 

Totally Politically Incorrect Cuisine

Le Shopping

Actually, this is the shopping from last Wednesday from the outdoor market in Thenon, ;the local outdoor village market close to where we used to live in Ajat. It's a great little market with a covered market in the town hall as well where local farmers who raise geese and ducks sell their products. The bread is from the little bakery at the bottom of the hill and the bottle contains fresh pressed walnut oil.

The object on the plate is a 700 gram fresh duck liver from a huge barbary duck. Last week I featured a recipe on making dried duck magret from the barbary ducks. The ducks are also used to make the regional speciality of the Dordogne, Confit. Confit is the parts of the ducks, legs, thighs and breasts slowly cooked in its own fat, then sealed in the fat to preserve it. This is what people did before refrigeration. You killed the duck or goose and cooked it in fat, then sealed it under fat in a crock. The crock could be buried all winter and then dug up from time to time and pieces removed, crisped up in the oven and the fat used to make the very best potatoes. I mentioned this before, but waterfowl fat is traditionally used her in place of meat fat or butter in cuisine. Liberally. as I stated earlier, duck and waterfowl fat is an omega 3 fat...a healthy fat which actually unclogs arteries, like fish oil. The Southwest of France has the lowest rate of Heart problems in Europe and much less than the USA. We attribute that to a healthy dose of Duck fat and red wine!
So the 700 gram duck liver is actually a raw foie gras liver. We have been making foie gras de canard au torchon mi-cuite now for a few months while it is in season. Since I am buying the livers from the producers, the price is fairly inexpensive. I know that there is a lot of controversy about the consumption of Foie gras in the USA. In Eastern Europe the conditions of the culture are pretty grotesque and it is easy for the PETA activists to make this into grist for their selective outrage. The waterfowl are force fed for a period of 3 months and their activity is restricted. This causes their livers to become enlarged and very tender. Yes, that is what foie gras is.  But I know where my duck liver comes from. I know that the ducks involved are raised free range and have watched the gavage process. The ducks seem to like it...There is no comparison to the machine like cruelty and horrific conditions that most of the chicken you purchase in the USA is produced with. I guarantee, these ducks eat only good grain, no cement or ground up chicken bones here. We peasants care passionately about what goes into our food! So, if perchance, you happen to come across a good deal on duck liver in the USA and would like to know what to do with it, I am posting this little video. It's in French, but basically, the chef soaks the liver in milk with a little gros could use kosher salt covered with a paper towel for an hour or so. Then he separates the lobes and finds the veins and nerves and tries to take them out as neatly as possible. It really doesn't matter if you make a mess, though, the texture of the live is like putty. You then season the liver with salt and pepper. The chef here sprinkles armagnac brandy on it, but you could use port wine or a dash of sugar. Then he wraps it in tightly plastic into a compressed cylinder. The plastic wrapped cylinder is rolled in a clean towel (a torchon) and the roll is simmered in simmering, not boiling water for an hour. The you cool it, and let it sit in the fridge for a few days before eating it. Not difficult at all, but one of life's great pleasures and culinary treasures.
Having A Bitchin' Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2012


Another night of Zappadan, but here's another way of celebrating. George Duke is one of the premier, groundbreaking jazz rock funk and soul fusion keyboard artists of our time. He played on so many projects as a studio side man and his own incredible partnership with the Jazz/rock monster drummer, Billy Cobham. But George was the backbone of Frank Zappa's projects for over 10 years, providing his artistry and genius, humor and vocals to the level of precision that Zappa demanded. In 1974, Duke recorded a solo album called Feel. A pretty incredible soul, fusion rock project with the Brazilian musicians, Airto Moreira as a percussionist and the fantastic Flora Purim on vocals along with George. This is a cut called simply, Love. Frank is the guitar soloist on the cut and had to use an alias, Obdool X, because of contractual difficulties. The president of Casablanca Records contacted Duke because he wanted to sign and produce the mysterious "Obdool X"...Duke just said...|uhhh he's out on tour now and I can't get in touch with him"...of course, Duke was touring with Obdool at the time. Here's a video of George Duke talking about his relationship with Frank Zappa and his music.

Mental Toxicity Level?

I've already written about the primary lesson of the many recent mass shootings is that we need to do something about the easy availability of guns. But I still think much more needs to be said about mental health and anyway, I'm not sure that I have a lot to add on the gun situation. Go watch Up with Chris Hayes.
When Ronald Reagan was governor of California, he had a great idea to save the state money: close down most of the mental hospitals. That's what happened in New York State in the 1990's. This was a false economy, to say the least. I'm not sure what the correlation is exactly, but this decision happened shortly before California and New York both saw its ranks of homeless skyrocket.
This is not just a State problem, this syndrome affects more more than just California and New York, of course. Sy Mukherjee wrote an excellent article over at Think Progress yesterday,
It's Easier For Americans To Access Guns Than Mental Health Services. In it, he notes that for the poor, it is much cheaper to buy a gun than to buy mental healthcare. He has the data in the article. But I was really struck by this passage:
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that Connecticut’s public mental health system currently provides coverage for less than one in five Connecticut residents with a serious mental health problem. The other four may not be able to afford to pay for those services on their own, particularly since mental health issues tend to disproportionately affect poor people.
Four out of five? That's amazing. But that's what our country has become. It is like the psychopaths have taken full charge of our policy. And now what we hear is that we can't do anything about the mental health system; we can't do anything about our gun situation; but we can militarize our schools and afford desensitize and dehumanize or children by buying them guns and spending outrageous sums of money to train them them to use them on other humans.

We are a rich, selfishly irresponsible,  willfully self destructive society that refuses take care of our less fortunate.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

God Won't Stop You From Killing Again....

please god stop me before i kill again!
I make the embarrassed admission that I use facebook from time to time. Over the last year or so, I've picked up a very unlikely collection of "friends". Some are pretty brilliant and witty folks, but many are old acquaintances who have emerged finally from the cannabis haze of the years to reconnect with me and somehow having their mental scrofula healed by psychically touching the hem of my royal garment. I won't mention names, because I don't want to embarrass or hurt anyone, but I'm always amazed by the born again losers who have somehow survived to become born again geezers. I have to hand it to them. This morning, I was appalled to see how many times this particular graphic was "shared" by some of these  cute little fuzzy brained old buds of mine. 
Of course, this was a post shared to somehow convince themselves that they were momentarily distracted and had an unpleasant emotional episode by the horrific tragedy in Newton, Connecticut yesterday. I have to say, this enraged me beyond my ability to rationally respond. I read the immediate attempt by the usual gang of idiots, Limbaugh...Mike Huckabee and Bryan Fischer trying to change the subject, predicate and noun, to hijack any logical attempt to think rationally about this tragedy by immediately going off on the fact that god was not allowed in the secular public classrooms of America. Their god, their particular dogma cannot be forced down the throats and injected into the minds of kids...that's why this happened? How long before we have to listen to these same idiots try to deflect the real issues and avoid the real crisis in American society by claiming that liberal homosexuals caused this to happen or equate the murder of children with legal contraception and birth control? Don't worry, the spin has just begun. I could give you links to the articles I have posted in the past few years on my thoughts on this insanity in America. I have written extensively on the role of the Pharmaceutical Industry and the growing correlation of the personality disorders caused by the unregulated use of prescription mood altering drugs to treat and maintain "difficult" children and "problem" young people. But any attempt to make the pharmaceutical industry or the gun supporters look at them selves in a self critical way is pointless. To them, any introspective attempt to police themselves is an admission of guilt.
They will not and cannot regulate themselves. The entire world is their market place and we are all their victims. From the gun bazaars of Somalia, the AQMI Coalition in Mali, the violence on the streets of Marseilles...where do you think the weapons come from? Who makes them and manages to export them to the black markets all over the world? 
I live in a country that has outlawed religion in schools for over 200 years. Religion is a cultural condition...France has been dealing with western religion for 2000 years. There were the wars of religion, this is where the crusades were born...we had our inquisitions...but we don't do that. Sure the majority of French citizens will say they are Catholic, but take it from me, most French men get baptized, go through the childhood religious rituals, they might get married in church, get dragged to an occasional midnight Christmas mass and then there are funerals...But that's it. Not like the almighty guilt control trip of the Catholic Church in America...If you miss Sunday mass, you better get your sorry ass tout de suite to a confessional and do penance or face eternal damnation!
Yet, with our godless society, France has approximately 1/10 per capita gun deaths than the good old USA. Here's a chart of gun violence in countries all over the world that was published by the Guardian earlier this year after the Aurora, Colorado Massacre. Look, guns are not banned here. I live in a very rural place and all of my good buddies hunt. This is place of old customs and traditions. I've gone out with the guys a few times and one of my neighbors is a gendarme. I wake up to the sound of guns on Sunday mornings in the winter...But, interpersonal firearm violence is practically non existent. We as a culture love crime shows, but it's a whole other ball game. I have many ideas as to why this is, but why don't you tell me what you think!

Friday, December 14, 2012

How could I not post this?  Huh?
The old boy certainly knows how to grunge!
And of course, this is collaboration 2 of the most influential rock bass player os all time...
Sir Paul and Chris Nosovelic....Chris of course plays bass here, but  what is Sir Paul playing? I had an all metal National brand instrument called a Triolian a few years ago. It was a dobro tyoe accoustic guitar like thing with only 4 stings...I tuned it like a uke, with the metal pie plate accoustic amplifier device meant to be played with a slide. It was probably from the early 1940's but, Sir Paul. Vas Is Los?

Oops..Heads Up Michigan Workers!

The Michigan Republicans were in such a hurry to pass their ALEC written "Right To Work" Law, they neglected to rewrite the part that just got it declared unconstitutional in Wisconsin; namely, exempting some unions from the laws provisions. The workers of Michigan may not need a referendum or force the exempt conservative Police and Fire Fighters Unions to abide by the law.

Wisconsin State Judge Holds Provisions of Anti-Union Act 10 Unconstitutional

A state judge has declared sections of the controversial 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 unconstitutional as violative of state constitutional provisions. This follows a federal district judge also declaring portions of Act 10 unconstitutional in March.
In September 14th's 27 page opinion in Madison Teachers Inc. v. Walker by state judge Juan Colas rejected the challenges based on the state constitutional provision limiting special sessions and the takings clause, as well as arguments that the controversy was nonjusticiable.
However, the judge found Act 10 violated the free speech, free association, and equal protection state constitutional protections, construing them as consistent with federal interpretations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Much of the judge's reasoning stressed that Wisconsin did not come forward with any arguments. The judge also found that there was a violation of the Wisconsin constitutional provision guaranteeing Milwaukee home rule.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

That's The Spirit

When they turned on the Christmas lights this year in Brighton, England.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Yellow Shark

I guess we are about at the 9th day of Zappadan, the day of the ritual of the Yellow Shark and this year, I witnessed a miracle, suddenly, the entire Yellow Shark Concert Series materialized in a sacred apparition on YouTube....The Yellow Shark is a series of orchestral compositions recorded and performed in 1992 by Frank Zappa in collaboration with the Ensemble Modern, a German post modern symphonic orchestral group in Frankfort, Germany. An incredible project, even more superhuman because at the time, Zappa was dying of cancer. He did conduct some of the performances and it probably was one of the high points of his life. The work is absolutely brilliant, the composition, arrangements and playing. One interesting detail, the composition, G Spot Tornado was orchestrally  arranged by Frank as a special request by the Ensemble. They asked him to do it and at first he protested stating that when he originally composed it, as featured on his only Grammy Award winning recording, Jazz From Hell, which was basically a solo project composed on The Kurtzweiller synthesizer system, he attempted to write a piece of music that would be impossible for humans to play.
Mr. Zappa is the conductor for this piece. The Ensemble not only aces it, but it's choreographed as well! Prepare to witness a miracle.

Did You Feel The Breeze?

Hey sometimes, shit just happens. On Sunday, December 9, 2012, astronomers discovered a new asteroid, which they hastily gave the name, 2012 XE54. Plotting the trajectory orbit, they freaked when they realized that this previously unknown object was going to pass within 140,000 miles of our planet around 5 am in the morning EST. In case you need the reference, that is well inside the orbit of the moon, approximately 240,000 miles around the earth. Astronomers estimated that 2012 XE54 is about 120 feet (36 meters) wide — big enough to cause substantial damage if it slams into Earth someday. An object of similar size flattened 800 square miles (2,000 square km) of forest when it exploded above Siberia's Podkamennaya Tunguska River in 1908.

woRd December 12, 2012

"We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers salaries and take away their right to  strike."
Adolf Hitler, May 2, 1933.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

And The Lemmings Shall Lead Them

This Way To The Fiscal Cliff, Guys!
So, the largely symbolic and ultimately lame United Nations Frame Work Convention on Climate Change recently held in Doha, Qatar was crashed by this bizarre trio, who held their own mocking climate change denial press conference to protest that they had been banned from the proceedings. Led by the Self Anointed Energy Czar and Recipient of Millions of Dollars in Energy Lobby Payoff Bucks, Republican Oklahoma Senator Jimmy Jackoff, his officially authentic loony royal twit, who was previously banned from UN Climate Control Talks for trying to crash the proceedings by impersonating a Myanmar representative, His Most Serenely Disturbed Highness, Lord Doohickey and their divinely inspired high priestess, The Ever Most Blessed Virgin of Perpetual Hysteria, Just plain old Cathie Adams, who was with out a doubt, the most the most radically loony of the three, but in a most Conservative kind of way.
A little background on Adams, the president of the Texas Eagle Forum and former Texas GOP Chair.
She must have felt quite uncomfortable speaking at a United Nations function, as she has maintained for over a decade that the UN was the anti-Christ’s vehicle for stealthily taking over the world. From a 1999 newsletter:
"The Bible tells us that in the end times there will be a world government headed by a world leader, called the anti-Christ, who will profess a world religion, but did you ever think you would live in the day when these things would come into being? That is exactly what the United Nations is doing behind the backs of most Americans." 
Adams has singled out environmentalism as part of the UN’s sinister agenda, suggesting a fictional UN Pledge of Allegiance would require “worship[ping the Earth.” She also believes, among other things, that the CO2 emissions do not cause climate change and that vaccination is a plot to steal American freedom.
You\d think that assembling this clown show would embarrass Senator Jimmy Jackoff, but his record suggests otherwise: Jackoff has claimed that climate science is a hoax that contravenes the will of God and is currently working with the Heartland Institute — which suggests that climate change advocates are like the Unabomber — to de-fund the Environmental Protection Agency.
In spite of the evidence we are witness to every day to support the reality that climate-change-induced drought is wreaking serious havoc across portions of America that don’t believe in climate change, they  seem to fanatically believe that the federal government has to spend billions of dollars to bail them out tro support their disbelief of climate change’s ill-effects. Fact: One out of Three US Counties is a Drought Disaster Area
First, from Salon:
Dust bowl, here we come? The worst drought in the United States in 50 years is still looking for more records to break. On Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack declared another 39 counties in eight states disaster areas, bringing the current total to 1,297 counties in 29 states — or one out of every three counties in the country. According to the Drought Monitor, 61 percent of the continental United States is currently experiencing“moderate to exceptional drought.” The situation is most extreme in Iowa and Illinois — two states responsible for a third of the U.S. corn production.
The Mississippi is Drying Up

Next, there’s the disaster that’s become the Mississippi River,
Mississippi River barge traffic is slowing as the worst drought in five decades combines with a seasonal dry period to push water levels to a near-record low, prompting shippers including Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (ADM) to seek alternatives. Computer models suggest that without more rain, navigating the Mississippi will start to be affected Dec. 11 and the river will reach a record low Dec. 22, Corps spokesman Bob Anderson, based in Vicksburg, Mississippi, said.
More on the Mississippi from the Christian Science Monitor:
As drought conditions persist across the South, hitting farmers and ranchers, parts of the Mississippi River are on the verge of becoming unnavigable. The potential costs are large.
Less than 18 months after the US Army Corps of Engineers blasted gaps in a levee on the Mississippi River to cope with a record flood, it’s getting ready to detonate explosives for the opposite reason – to clear rock outcroppings on the bottom of the drought-depleted waterway so cargo can keep moving.
“From one extreme to another in just the space of 12, 15, 16 months? It’s just incredible,” says Richard Heim, a drought specialist at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.
Kansas is Drying Up

Then there’s the Colorado River
It calls for building a pipeline from the Missouri River to Denver, nearly 600 miles to the west. Water would be doled out as needed along the route in Kansas, with the rest ultimately stored in reservoirs in the Denver area.
Experts say the plan is reminiscent of those proposed in the middle of the last century, when grand and exorbitant federal water projects were commonplace — and not, with the benefit of hindsight, always advisable.
The fact that the Missouri River pipeline idea made the final draft, water experts say, shows how serious the problem has become for the states of the Colorado River basin.
Texas is Drying Up

And how about the 2011 Texas drought? Yep, climate change:
They tested it on several extreme events in 2011 — a strong La Nina year — and, in the case of the record Texas drought, concluded that such severe dry spells are 20 more times likely during a La Nina year today than a La Nina in the 1960s, before greenhouse gas emissions jumped.
“Conditions leading to droughts such as the one that occurred in Texas in 2011 are, at least in the case of temperature, distinctly more probable than they were 40-50 years ago,” researchers concluded in a new study.
That would be Texas, the state that keeps talking about seceding (and don’t let us stop you, but first we’d like our billions back), while it keeps sucking at the federal teet for disaster aid over and over again.
Enough is Enough
How often is the federal government going to keep coming to the rescue of groups, states, and regions (read: the South, but not exclusively – other red states are involved here too), that year after year, along with their lapdogs at Fox and the rest of the GOP, all sing the chorus of how worthless the federal government is. Enough is enough.
Water Pipeline via NY Times
Following a year of two extreme weather events that are directly linked to climate change, we can’t afford to keep giving a free pass to the climate change deniers, their political party, or their propaganda organ.
They need to be held accountable for their actions and beliefs that are costing us all. Organizations such as the US Chamber of Commerce have actively campaigned against addressing climate change, forcing companies like Apple to pull out of the Chamber entirely. Nike pulled out as well.
Yet the Chamber of Commerce is at the front of the line demanding federal dollars to fix the problems caused by – wait for it – climate change and its deniers at – wait for it – the Chamber of Commerce.
As expensive as Hurricane Sandy relief will be – current estimates are at least $75 billion – the severe drought in the US is expected to be even greater.
How long are we going to continue ignoring the root cause of these problems, while throwing billions of dollars at the symptoms?
Until these organizations, states, and regions are openly called out on their ignorance, and forced to admit their responsibility in helping to create this disaster, they will only be too happy to keep playing the same game – ignoring the root cause of the drought, while wanting lots of our money keep patching it up.
Of course, with climate change, extreme weather conditions will keep becoming more common, as Al Gore had predicted. What happened in New York City during Hurricane Sandy was only the beginning. Unless action is taken quickly, things will only get worse. The big question is whether it’s already too late. Don’t look to Republicans in Congress for help. GOP House Speaker Boehner just appointed a whole slew of House Republicans to key committees on the environment who are enemies of the environment:
On November 27th, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced the new and returning House committee chairmen (and yes, they are all men). Some of these congressmen will run committees with jurisdiction over federal climate, energy, and environmental programs. This includes funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Clean Air Act, balancing the use of our public lands between energy production and recreation, and determining the infrastructure needs of a nation that now faces unpredictable extreme weather threats linked to climate change.
The vast majority of these chairmen voted for legislation that would dismantle EPA’s ability to limit industrial carbon pollution, and for retention of special tax breaks for the oil and gas industry. Oil and gas, coal, and electric utility companies have cozied up to many of these chairmen, giving them roughly $3.8 million in campaign contributions over the course of their careers.
Meanwhile, many climate-related extreme weather events have severely afflicted Americans over the past two years, including in their home states. Record-breaking drought and heat waves, severe floods, and heavy storms wreaked havoc for the families living in the chairmens’ backyards. Scientists predict that these weather events will become more frequent and/or severe if the industrial carbon pollution responsible for climate change remains unchecked.
Time to Push the Climate Change Deniers Over a Fiscal Cliff
With all the talk of all the programs we have to cut in order to stop the dreaded “fiscal cliff,” maybe it’s time we selectively took Mitt Romney’s advice and start by cutting federal disaster aid.
We can begin with all the disasters caused by climate change in states that deny the existence of climate change. After all, they wouldn’t want us spending Amurika’s hard-earned tax dollars on something that wasn’t real.
If we can’t let Texas and the rest of the South secede, we can at least push them off a fiscal cliff. We could start it like a march of lemmings, right over the cliff, with Senator Jimmy Jackoff, his buddy Lord Doohickey and the Holy Virgin of Perpetual Hysteria, Cathie Adams in the lead. Good Riddance!