Monday, December 31, 2007

completely stolen from Crooks and

In the NYT, Robert Dallek reviews Elisabeth Bumiller’s new book on Condoleezza Rice, “An American Life: A Biography.” One gets the sense the book probably won’t be too hard-hitting — Bumiller has a well-earned reputation for passivity, and Dallek notes the biography’s “above-the-battle tone” and refusal to “offer any decisive judgments on Ms. Rice’s performance.”

Most notably, though, there was this gem:

Ms. Bumiller says that if President Bush and Ms. Rice can produce a settlement in the Middle East between Israelis and Palestinians and an end to North Korea’s nuclear program, it would give them claims on success that would significantly improve their historical reputations.

As Scott Lemieux responded, “And if I discover a way of powering cars entirely with oxygen, emitting a vapor that would result in the immediate killing of cockroaches and paralysis in the hands of every Hollywood producer about to sign a contract with Joel Schumacher and Uwe Boll, my reputation as a world-class scientist would be greatly enhanced.”

Yglesias gets in on the fun, too: “By the same token, if earth’s yellow sun gave me the powers of a kryptonian, I’d be a super hero. If my blog had Engadget’s traffic, I’d be the most popular political blogger. If George Bush could breath underwater, he’d be a fish.”


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Call Me Confused

Call me "Crazy", but I have sincere doubts about the new reports that Bhutto died from an Al Queda attack. Are you sure there was not a magic bullet? Here we have a brave opposition leader (hey, she may not have been great in her first try as prime minister) as America's choice who had one assassination attempt against her. And yet she carries on. First, we are told it was a suicide bomber, then a gunshot, now its Al Queda and, Oh Yes, as opposed to law, the crime scene was hosed down immediately and no autopsy. What, did the Warren Commission perform the investigation? Or is this the truth? or a fabrication to make sure we know there is a fearsome devil that we need to be protected against because America's choice could not be protected? Or is there even more subterfuge at work? The U.S.S. Maine comes to mind.

And this from the Catholic Front. Yes, we need a demonic death squad! Even Jesus is shuddering in his radiant post-grave body. Put a German in charge and more Demons are created. It is well known to readers of the dearly-departed Weekly World News that demonic possession among teens is among the rise. And they need to be dealt with by 80-year old priests. Christ (pardon the pun), I am only 55 and my arthritis is so bad I cannot keep up with 30-year olds at rock shows. How in the hell is an 80-year old priest going to keep up with demon seed? particularly if they take over teens. We are doomed. Doomed, I say.

All jokes aside, conservatism has a tendency to create enemies that must be annihilated. It sees the enemy, the "other" everywhere and projects its fears and anger towards that entity or group. Look for Al Queda and you will find him. (If you are interested and have a spare 4 hours, well spent, I must say. My ADD brain even sat still for this. Watch The Power of Nightmares from BBC television as it describes this phenomenon in US Foreign Policy, It is very, very good. and thought provoking.) The danger of this paradigm is that conservatives tend to control armament. Doubt that? How many New Age vegetarians own guns for hunting? And when was the last serial killer or mass murderer you know of a far leftist, after the Bolshevik Revolution. (an aside, was Stalin a dictator or a Bolshevik?) But these were revolutions, not the result of a single person. Colorado has had three such incidents and none were done by leftists. Timothy McVeigh was not a leftist.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Maybe Yext Year

It is sad Butto was assassinated. Who is to gain? and what will happen to an already unstable region? well beyond my predictions. I have as littel Middle East experience as our current State Department crack team. But I can't forget they have nukes and I wonder how good the security is. And remember that "loose nukes" were the biggest fear of the dissolution of the USSR. BTW, anyone seen Condi lately?

I see that the EU is looking at solar power for Europe and Africa by constructing a large plant in the Sahara. and a 100 x 100 mile plant could provide ALL the electricity for the US using current technology. And this does not include wind power. Just imagine what the US could be, a WORLD LEADER, if we had not gone through the St. Reagan Revolution. In the long run, he and other neocons will be remembered as having visionary approaches to economy akin to Lenin. Free market has failed as much as communism. And before anyone scoffs too loud, think of how many people died in Iraq, where estimates are well over 1,000,000 dead. All for the ability to drive SUVs. Makes me sleep well at night.

It is maddening that this government, free marketers all, do not have the stones of Jimmy Carter and put a profit cap on energy. All these lost mortgages because of predatory lending and bankruptcies because of medical bills, people living paycheck to paycheck hoping there is no major medical emergency looming on the horizon. It is obvious this administration cares not about the middle class. Or as the class clown and resident drug expert, Rush Limbaugh brags, Roosevelt is being rolled back. Great, we can have an economic system that led to the Great Depression.

and people on LJ Democrats worry that a methhead may be getting government funds. In my youth, we worried about welfare queens in Cadillacs. Those weren't real either. Cheese and Rice, we waste more money than can be spent on meth to privitization without conscience. and no one blinks anymore. The public lexicon and accepted values have wandered so far to the right that the language should be unrecognizable to those over 40.

Immigrants are the new N word, and they are listless, dirty, uncultured, don't speak English ... Oh yes, and they bring crime. Little has changed over the years. We always, as a culture, need to kick the crap out of and demonize someone. It makes it easier to live with our own faults as we don't need to recognize them--just blame someone. Fear and loathing are great remedies for everything. And it keeps attention away from what is really happening. Misdirection is not just a football strategy. Never look at the man behind the curtain.

Internautte, I hope your trip is going well and I hope Deli Girl is having a Happy Holiday season. I will sit back and watch the Broncos get run over by Adrian Peterson.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dinosaur Thoughts

"The US vice-president, Dick Cheney, was behind a controversial decision to block California's attempt to impose tough emission limits on car manufacturers, according to insiders at the government Environmental Protection Agency.

Staff at the agency, which announced last week that California's proposed limits were redundant, said the agency's chief went against their expert advice after car executives met Cheney, and a Chrysler executive delivered a letter to the EPA saying why the state should not be allowed to regulate greenhouse gases."


Excuse, but I was a certified mechanic for years. I seem to remember that you had to know whether a car was made for California emission standards, which were more stringent that the rest of the US, for years. They often had different parts and different tune-up standards. What's the big deal now? It would cost too much. C'mon. Yes, it does cost more to have two different standards. So?

Emission and mileage standards have been more stagnant than a sewage lagoon in the Midwest heat. A little change and innovative engineering never hurt anyone. I have read of "hot-rodders" having contests to see how far they can push the mileage in Priuses. But major US auto manufacturers cannot make SUVs with good mileage. Maybe fiberglass body panels on Excursions, Suburbans and Boleraphons?

how stupid.


Monday, November 19, 2007

I wrote a smart ass post last weekend about praying for rain in Georgia, but some at Salon has asked the hard questions. What if some of our major southeastern cities start running low on water. Last year sections of reservoirs on the Colorado River that had not seen the light of day for 30 years were not submerged anymore. What happens to Phoenix and Tucson if the water they expect to see from the CAP canal disappear. What about Vegas? what at LA? Ow!!!!! For anyone that has not read the book Cadillac Desert, please find a copy and read it. Or the book Water Wars. I work for a privatization firm. We are needed because in this imperfect world there are many cities, towns and districts that have not made plans to replace and secure infrastructure. In a perfect world, firms like mine would be not needed. As a digression, is it an easier sell to fund new pipes or a new courthouse, police cars or recreation center?

I have yet to see in MSM rainfall projections based upon the rapidly warming seas. What happens if rainfall patterns change? Water law in the western US does not account for that. Farmlands will go dry as rapidly growing municipalities use their consolidated economic clout to basically get water from farmers either through purchasing rights or PR campaigns--"Would you let little Johnny go without water?" This should concern everyone, particularly in the US.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday's Miscellaneous Topics

we normally leave all the apples on our tree and on the ground for the multitudinous flickers and squirrels in our neighborhood for the winter and are blessed with their presence all year long. The squirrels are not really too bad. They keep my Australian Shepherd busy. hee. So this year we have a parrot sharing the harvest. That is correct, a full-fledged 12-15" tall parrot. Here every day for at least an hour. It bothers me as I do not think it will do well once the temperatures stay below 40 degrees for a long period of time. I have called animal control, but by the time they get here, the bird is gone. I know for two years we have had parakeets in the area during cherry season. Will parrots die from exposure? does anyone know?

Political rant time--Preznut Chimpboy stated in yesterday's paper that he is angry with the Senate for not approving his choices for judges and because of that the Constitution is being violated. They need to approve his choices without asking them hypothetical questions like "Is waterboarding legal?" Or if there were a hanging would it be tried as a race crime? Since when is he a constitutional scholar. Mr. Signing Statement? Mr. Eavesdrop? Mr. Recess Appointment? Using government resources for political gain for his party. Lying to get us into a war? Being a war criminal? What? The Senate is hating the Constitution? Give me a break! Maybe the Decider should read the damn thing.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

from --

What is Bush's plan to deal with oil at nearly $100/barrel? by
makeprofilelink("John Aravosis (DC)");
John Aravosis (DC) · 11/05/2007 09:17:00 PM ETDiscuss this post here: Comment
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From the Wash Post:
In the past 10 weeks, the price of crude oil has shot up $25 a barrel, closing at $95.93 in New York on Friday, near an all-time inflation-adjusted peak.And more importantly, why have Americans been so willing to accept a doubling of gas prices since Bush has come to office? I suspect Americans have taken the gas price rise in stride, attributing it to yet another post-Sept-11 sacrifice. The only problem is that gas prices actually dropped after September 11. So, just like the budget deficit, that is in large part due to Bush's tax cuts and NOT September 11 and the war, the public has again been snookered. At some point, it all just becomes so depressing. Are we really this ignorant as a people?

Damn good question and worth repeating. Why is there no major public protest?


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Uncomplimentary Thoughts on a Thursday Morning

1) I was in the hotel this past week and heard the mellifluous tones of the hotel announcer on the menu channel state "For your adult entertainment needs please hit 1 and enter on the menu of your remote control." So I said to myself, "I am an adult." So, I did. One of the features was Big-titted Woman. Hello, didn't he say adult entertainment. Not pre-pubescent boys fantasies. I am not opposed to big-titted women, but something tells me a movie entitled that may lack for adult dialogue and plot. Just maybe. No. I did not wait to see.

2) Just saw the MTV marvel show (at least the three minute introduction) featuring Tila Tequila (who admits we must be stunned by her Hot videos featuring her). Why not call the show--Do you to fuck my hot body and I can't wait to say no!

And we wonder why people are getting stupider and stupider.

I fear for the human race as we watch Pants Off, Dance Off.

Hey moogs, would buy that for a quarter? -- see the novella The Marching Morons.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ah! another week on the road. Great, he said sardonically. Can't wait.But there have been some surprises.

The Town (or city) of Woodland, CA is featured in USA Today as having a funny smell no one can find. Great PR, that. National coverage that your town stinks. I bet they are proud. Most of the complaints come from residents who moved next to the sewage plant. I bet they forgot that their shit stinks too. You look at a house next to a sewage plant, move in and then complain about the smell. Reminds me of Dennis Miller (back when he was funny) telling Americans not to blame the inventor of the fork because they have a fat ass. Or maybe residents outside of Denver who moved into a horse community by the airport complaining because the jets are noisy. What part of BY THE AIRPORT don't you understand.

I woke two nights ago dreaming of a womans's face and could not place it. Then I remembered it was the archangel Gabrielle from constantine. and it was on tv just last night and this night and probably many more nights. What a babe--okay she was batshit, but still really cute. One nice thing about cable is you never have to miss CSI, Law and Order, Law and Order SVU... So many crimes, so little time.

Countryside Mortgage brokers are going to refinance marginal loans that people would default on. Popular opinion is credited with their change of heart. Remember, this is the company whose president sold $130,000,000 of stock six months before the collapse because he wanted fluid investments, not because he knew they were screwed with bad paper. I am sure it is not public opinion or bad press, but that some accountant found out that they would own so many houses to liquidate they would lose their ass, so this looks good.

I finished a well-written book, Solstice Wood, recommended by the good folks at the Endicott Studio for Mythic Arts. I was so frustrated by the great and vivid written depictions of people who do not trust fairy, the fay or the Otherworld. I was pissed. These things exist and they are potent. and not Eivil. Think MAP sessions, Reiki, Jo Rei, et al. Actually, I was angry and thought about the Cold War, the war of US versus THEM. Good, good book. I will not give away the ending, except to say I wish it slower and more detailed, as it tasted so good.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Hows our economy doing? Excellent article!
Why is inflation bad? This is why, everything gets more expensive and paychecks just don't make it anymore. In my opinion, the nation has been living off of mortgage extracted wealth for half a dozen years and now the credit crunch is coming home to roost as people find they are not making enough to get by without the credit cash flowing into their pockets.

And these circumstances wont change before election day, how do you think people are going to vote after another year of not being able to make ends meet? How about if things are even worse?

Living paycheck to paycheck gets harder;_ylt=AiAu.dlysIazwq1zl.7szFthr7sF
By ANNE D'INNOCENZIO, AP Business Writer 40 minutes ago

NEW YORK - The calculus of living paycheck to paycheck in America is getting harder.

What used to last four days might last half that long now. Pay the gas bill, but skip breakfast. Eat less for lunch so the kids can have a healthy dinner.

Across the nation, Americans are increasingly unable to stretch their dollars to the next payday as they juggle higher rent, food and energy bills. It's starting to affect middle-income working families as well as the poor, and has reached the point of affecting day-to-day calculations of merchants like Wal-Mart Stores Inc., 7-Eleven Inc. and Family Dollar Stores Inc.

Food pantries, which distribute foodstuffs to the needy, are reporting severe shortages and reduced government funding at the very time that they are seeing a surge of new people seeking their help.

While economists debate whether the country is headed for a recession, some say the financial stress is already the worst since the last downturn at the start of this decade.

From Family Dollar to Wal-Mart, merchants have adjusted their product mix and pricing accordingly. Sales data show a marked and more prolonged drop in spending in the days before shoppers get their paychecks, when they buy only the barest essentials before splurging around payday.

"It's pretty pronounced," said Kiley Rawlins, a spokeswoman at Family Dollar. "It seems like to us, customers are running out of food products, paper towels sooner in the month."

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, said the imbalance in spending before and after payday in July was the biggest it has ever seen, though the drop-off wasn't as steep in August.

And 7-Eleven says its grocery sales have jumped 12-13 percent over the past year, compared with only slight increases for non-necessities like gloves and toys. Shoppers can't afford to load up at the supermarket and are going to the most convenient places to buy emergency food items like milk and eggs.

"It even costs more to get the basics like soap and laundry detergent," said Michelle Grassia, who lives with her husband and three teenage children in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Her husband's check from his job at a grocery store used to last four days. "Now, it lasts only two," she said.

To make up the difference, Grassia buys one gallon of milk a week instead of three. She sometimes skips breakfast and lunch to make sure there's enough food for her children. She cooks with a hot plate because gas is too expensive. And she depends more than ever on the bags of free vegetables and powdered milk from a local food pantry.

Grassia's story is neither new nor unique. With the fastest-rising food and energy prices since the 1980s, low-income consumers are stretching their budgets by eating cheap foods like peanut butter and pasta.

Industry analysts and some economists fear the strain will get worse as people are hit with higher home heating bills this winter and mortgage rates go up.

It's bad enough already for 85-year-old Dominica Hoffman.

She gets $1,400 a month in pension and Social Security from her days in the garment industry. After paying $500 in rent on an apartment in Pennsauken, N.J., and shelling out money for food, gas and other expenses, she's broke by the end of the month. She's had to cut fruits and vegetables from her grocery order — and that's even with financial help from her children.

"Everything is up," she said.

Many consumers, particularly those making less than $30,000 a year, are cutting spending on nutritious food like milk and vegetables, and analysts fear they're further skimping on basic medical care and other critical services.

Coupon-clipping just isn't enough.

"The reality of hunger is right here," said the Rev. Melony Samuels, director of The BedStuy Campaign against Hunger, a church-affiliated food pantry in Brooklyn.

The pantry scrambled to feed 5,000 new families over the past 12 months, up almost 70 percent from 3,000 the year before.

"I am shocked to see such numbers," Samuels said, "and I am really concerned that this is just the beginning of what we are going to see."

In the past three months, Samuels has seen more clients in higher-paying jobs — the $35,000 range — line up for food as the fallout of the subprime mortgage woes takes hold.

The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, which covers 23 counties in New York State, cited a 30 percent rise in visitors in the first nine months of this year, compared with 2006.

Maureen Schnellmann, senior director of food and nutrition programs at the American Red Cross Food Pantry in Boston, reported a 30 percent increase from January through August over last year.

Until a few months ago, Dellria Seales, a home care assistant, was just getting by living with her daughter, a hairdresser, and two grandchildren in a one-bedroom apartment for $750 a month. But a knee injury in January forced her to quit her job, leaving her at the mercy of Samuels' pantry because most of her daughter's $1,200 a month income goes to rent, energy and food costs.

"I need it. Without it, we wouldn't survive," Seales said as she picked up carrots and bananas.

John Vogel, a professor at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business, worries that the squeeze will lead to a less nutritious diet and inadequate medical or child care.

In the meantime, rising costs show no signs of abating.

Gas prices hit a record nationwide average of $3.23 per gallon in late May before receding a little, though prices are expected to soar again later this year. Food costs have increased 4.5 percent over the past 12 months, partly because of higher fuel costs. Egg prices were 44 percent higher, while milk was up 21.3 percent over the past 12 months to nearly $4 a gallon, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The average family of four is spending anywhere from $7 to $10 extra a week — $40 more a month — on groceries alone, compared to a year ago, according to retail consultant Burt Flickinger III.

And while overall wage growth is a solid 4.1 percent over the past 12 months, economists say the increases are mostly for the top earners.

Retailers started noticing the strain in late spring and early summer as they were monitoring the spending around the paycheck cycle.

Wal-Mart and Family Dollar key on the first week of the month, when government checks like Social Security and public assistance generally hit consumers' mailboxes.

7-Eleven, whose customers are more diverse, looks at paycheck cycles in specific markets dominated by a major employer, such as General Motors in Detroit, to discern trends in shopping.

To economize, shoppers are going for less expensive food.

"They're buying more peanut butter and pasta. And they're going for hamburger meat," Flickinger, the retail consultant, said. "They're trying to outsmart the store by looking for deep discounts at the end of the month."

He said the last time he saw this was 2000-2001, when the dot-com bubble burst and the economy went into a recession after massive layoffs.

For now, low-price retailers are readjusting their merchandising and pricing.

Wal-Mart is becoming more aggressive on discounting. It announced Thursday it is expanding price cuts to 15,000 items, ranging from Motts apple juice and Progresso soups to women's fleece tops, heading into the holidays.

Family Dollar, whose food offerings were limited to candy and snacks until two years ago, has expanded its mix of groceries like fruit cups, cereal and such refrigerated items as milk and ice cream while cutting back on shoes. This summer the chain began accepting food stamps.

Food pantries are also getting creative. Samuels said her church, Full Gospel Tabernacle of Faith, just started offering free cooking classes to teach clients who are diabetic or have other health conditions how to prepare vegetables like squash. It's also offering free exercise classes.

"We are trying to make them health conscious," Samuels said. "It's not right to give them just anything. Our mantra is eat well and live well."


Associated Press Writers Geoff Mulvihill in Mount Laurel, N.J., and Terry Tang in Phoenix, Ariz., contributed to this report.

I read this and wonder why MSM is not covering this very well. The economy is not up. GDP is not up. America is the most productive country in the world per worker output. We take less vacations and less pregnancy leave than the rest of the industrialized world. Often our workers are so productive, it is cheaper to hire American workers rather than Chinese workers to build anything, when the cost of the finished product is done, even with the wage disparity (do you think more jobs would not have fled faster if this were not the case, it is all about bottom line.)

CEO's salaries keep skyrocketing. Middle management is not raising as much and hourly worker salaries are stagnant, meaning they buy less when inflation and rising health care and energy costs are included into the equation. People are making money on EBay, just as Cheney said. They are making money flipping house. OOOPPPPSSSS! make that used to make money. What has happened is a giant shell game. The total economy is raising with inflation, but less and less people have access to the money. Meaning less goods are bought (how many Bentleys or Porsches do you need, unless you are Jay Leno?). Meaning less demand, meaning less need for manufacturing.

And with internet economies, or house flipping--how much new material is produced? You can't make up real, tangible products. Either you have a product, or you don't. No amount of paperwork shuffling can change that, it can just optimize profit on what is there. Has it occurred to anyone, that aside from being in the age of peak oil and beholden to those that own the oil, that we have little product. and to shore up our economy we just print more money and the notes that back the dollars we just printed are bought by foreign countries. Making it impossible for us to do anything but give them favored trade status, regardless of their ethics.

In order to ensure oil supplies and energy supplies, we invade a country. Period. Make no mistake. This is what Iraq is about. Leaders looked backwards to the past, to the Cold War, to British Imperialism for policy models. They worked so well, after all. See Vietnam and the British economy of the late 70s and 80s. What could have happened if we had put all that money we spent on the war into R&D for renewable energy and improved that technology. After all, it appears as though we will have plenty of wind and sunshine and wave energy with global warming on our door step.

America would have had a PRODUCT!!!! It would have ensured another twenty or thirty years of real employment (where manufacturing is not making fast food.) The world would have clamored for our technology and expertise. Instead we are a country of buffoons driving SUVs and pickups that are so big the have names like Balarafon and Blotsoutthesun. And of course many of these vehicles spout "Support Our Troops" stickers. Even if peak oil theory is incorrect, why indebt ourselves to foreign countries more by driving vehicles that get 14 mpg in town.

I hope the next administration has the cojones and common sense to put solar panels back on the White House.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

What is Wrong with This???

It has just been released that salary inequality in America is now at the level that preceded the Great Depression. Great. As I have stated, I want the job of running a company into the ground so I can be retreaded as a CEO elsewhere and still collect my millions of dollar Golden Parachute. see Joe Nacchio, Enron, Home Depot, et al. and also use insider information to purchase stock and sell out of the company knowing it will crash and burn. see Countryside Mortgage.

and now the Decider, old Monkey Boy himself, stated

"First of all, our society has had income inequality for a long time. Secondly, skills gaps yield income gaps,"

What the hell is his great skill? Aside from the obvious being a member of the lucky sperm club, his other great attributes seem to be easily manipulated, intellectually incurious, arrogant and dishonest. Good skill set that. He had to be bailed out of business venture after business venture by family and friends. and for this he gets to be the CEO President. Maybe he thinks he gets a Golden Parachute for leading the country to economic disaster, military collapse and international scorn. Oh yes, ethical lows, too.

I know many people out there who don't have great job skills, but know how to suck up, lie, cheat, blame others and start rumor campaigns. Okay, some of this may seem to be sour grapes as one of my previous bosses graduated from trade school and I received a Master's in Administration. He received business awards from the Republican Party for dealing with Indian Tribes. Over $80,000 went to the tribes and the business associates while we received no (NO) income in our business.

So the main job skill to succeed in business needs to be the ability to be manipulated and being a butt boy, and all that is due will come to you. It is something not mentioned in Business School, but really is important--know the right people, have pictures in your file and bingo--you succeed.

And many of these successful rich white men--okay, GOPpers, have debates where they state truisms like "Why National Health Insurance, go out and get your own." When the hell was the last time they tried to make ends meet on less than $40,000 per year with a family? Health insurance, maybe after rent, utilities and a weekly ration of beans and macaroni are paid for. With maybe a few beers. They are so out of touch with skill sets that the only way they would survive in the wild would be to try and find someone to survive and hunt for them and then give them food.

Aargh! it makes me want to scream.


Thursday, October 11, 2007


I have been on the road for about 7 seven weeks with stops all around California and weekends at home with my love, Meridy, and my daughter. Tonight I have eaten one of, if not the best, fish dinner I have ever eaten!!!!!

I love pho. But tonight was something very different--cod and mussels in a butter and taragon sauce. Holy Cow! I could not leave any food on the plate. Cod was firm and tender, masterfully cooked, crisp and slightly carmelized on the outside and moist but not flaccid on the inside. Ho!!!!!!So if you are ever in Brentwood, CO head up Brentwood Blvd. past the Safeway and right on Sunset for one block. Turn left at the light and pull into Shutters Brasierre. Best seafood meal I had this side of seared scallops in chorizo broth at Aix in Denver or divers scallops at the long-gone Emma's in Denver. Goodness. almost better than sex.

BTW, if ever in Richmond, CA try the sardines, capers and garlic in a butter white wine reduction at Salute.


I have been on the road for about 7 seven weeks with stops all around California and weekends at home with my love, Meridy, and my daughter. Tonight I have eaten one of, if not the best, fish dinner I have ever eaten!!!!!

I love pho. But tonight was something very different--cod and mussels in a butter and taragon sauce. Holy Cow! I could not leave any food on the plate. Cod was firm and tender, masterfully cooked, crisp and slightly carmelized on the outside and moist but not flaccid on the inside. Ho!!!!!!So if you are ever in Brentwood, CO head up Brentwood Blvd. past the Safeway and right on Sunset for one block. Turn left at the light and pull into Shutters Brasierre. Best seafood meal I had this side of seared scallops in chorizo broth at Aix in Denver or divers scallops at the long-gone Emma's in Denver. Goodness. almost better than sex.

BTW, if ever in Richmond, CA try the sardines, capers and garlic in a butter white wine reduction at Salute.


Friday, September 28, 2007

This explains a lot--

Bush-Aznar Transcript: The War Crime of the Century

I made two claims about the transcript published by El Pais of Bush's conversations with Spanish leader Jose Maria Aznar on 22 February, 2003, at Crawford, Texas.

The first is that the transcript shows that Bush intended to disregard a negative outcome in his quest for a UN Security Council resolution authorizing a war against Iraq. Bush wanted such a resolution. He expressed a willingness to use threats and economic coercion to secure it. But he makes it perfectly clear that he will not wait for the UNSC to act beyond mid-March. He also explicitly says that if any of the permanent members of the UNSC uses its veto, "we will go." That is, failure to secure the resolution would trigger the war.

Uh, that is the opposite of the way it is supposed to work. If you can't get a UNSC resolution, and you haven't been attacked by the state against whom you want to go to war, then you are supposed to stand down.

Both because he set a deadline beyond which his "patience" would not stretch (the poor thing had already waited four months; I mean, is he a toddler that he lacks elementary patience?), and because he specified a UNSC veto as a signal for his launching of the war, Bush made it very clear that he was willing to trash the charter of the United Nations and to take the world back to the 1930s,to an era of mass politics when powerful states launched wars of choice at will on the basis of fevered rhetoric and fits of pique.

The second claim that I made was that Bush was aware of, and rejected, an offer by Saddam Hussein to flee Iraq, probably for Saudi Arabia, presuming he could take out with him a billion dollars and some documents on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. Both provisions were intended by Saddam to protect him from later retaliation. The money would buy him protection from extradition, and the documents presumably showed that the Reagan and Bush senior administrations had secretly authorized his chemical and biological weapons programs. With these documents in his possession, it was unlikely that Bush would come after him, since he could ruin the reputation of the Bush family if he did. The destruction of these documents was presumably Bush's goal when he had Rumsfeld order US military personnel not to interfere with the looting and burning of government offices after the fall of Saddam. The looting, which set off the guerrilla war, also functioned as a vast shredding party, destroying incriminating evidence about the complicity of the Bushes and Rumsfeld in Iraq's war crimes.

Aznar asked Bush if he would grant Saddam these guarantees, and Bush roared back that he would not.

By refusing to allow Saddam to flee with guarantees, Bush ensured that a land war would have to be fought. This is one of the greatest crimes any US president ever committed, and it is all the more contemptible for being rooted in mere pride and petulance.

Note that even General Pervez Musharraf allowed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to go to Saudi Arabia with similar guarantees, even though Sharif was alleged to have attempted to cause Musharraf's death. A tinpot Pakistani general had more devotion to the good of his country, and more good sense, than did George W. Bush.

The passage in which Bush agrees with Aznar that it would be better if Baghdad fell without a fight refers to the possibility that the Iraqi officer corps would assassinate Saddam and decline to put up a fight. Bush would very much have liked such a fantasy to come true.

But he did not need to fantasize. He had a real offer in the hand, of Saddam's flight. He rejected it. By rejecting it, he will have killed at least a million persons and became one of the more monstrous figures in recent world history.

I have done a translation of the transcript, with some dictionary work. I would be glad of any corrections, but I think it is good enough for government work. No one can read it without recognizing that Bush was champing at the bit to go to war; that he only wanted the UNSC as a fig leaf and was determined to ignore it if it did not authorize the war; and that he had a deal on the table from Saddam but absolutely refused to pursue it, preferring instead either a sanguinary conflict or his adolescent fantasy of Baghdad falling without a shot.

I was all set last night to write something about this along the same lines, but Mr. Cole already did this. Why bother? The Bold is mine, and it explains quite a bit. Otherwise we spent way over the $1 billion Saddam wanted to go quietly into the night. I mean, the Bush family reputation certainly is worth teh over 1,000,000 dead bodies, isn't it?


Jaco Pastorius - The Chicken

Damn could he play! rojo

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Today's minor thought

from :

"The argument about whether Cheney/Bush went into Iraq over petroleum is not interesting. Of course they did, one way or another. The question is what exactly they thought they were doing about Iraq's petroleum. I would argue that they threw public resources (perhaps as much as two trillion dollars worth when all is said and done) to secure profits for private companies. Otherwise, the US public will never, ever realize the sort of savings from the development of Iraqi petroleum that would compensate them for the blood and treasure they have spent in Iraq. (Not to mention the opportunity costs of squandering so many resources on a quagmire, when the public investment could have been put to much better uses).*

So we have $2,000,000,000,000 of taxpayer money given to private corporations (aka corporate welfare). What could have happened if we had given $2 trillion dollars to companies in an energy initiative to lower our dependence on oil and fossil fuels? We would have been world leaders in NEW marketable technology. Yes, industry where we would have been world leaders at a marketable technology just like when we were the world auto leaders.

maybe if we get a Democratic president, we can get solar panels back on the White House. That would be cool symbolically--instead of going back to the future. It would be fun to have people in charge who do not need enemies to create a war time economy and look at having a world citizenship.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Golly Geez--

If you read Trapper John's statement today in Daily Kos and many of the comments you would see what could at best be a cross-section of many public thoughts. Keeping in mind that many of thoughts are from so-called progressives, they amaze me. Most of the comments get that this about the loss of the middle class as the cost of employee benefits is rising greater than the cost of living. Companies have to make profits in a world market in order to employee people. That is a given. Simple math, cost of living raises are maybe 3.25%. That means if you give an employee a 3.25% pay increase and the cost of benefits is around 35-38%, you have just given them a 3.25% raise plus the 35% benefits that gone on with this making it about a 4.2% raise (1.35 * 0.0325 = 4.3875% total raise). The cost of the products have to raise maybe 5% to make everything stay the same, leading to a slow inflation.

What becomes questionable is how much profit and how much CEOs are paid (are they really rock stars), are there pensions (almost unheard of these days) and how much this raises the cost to the consumer. Is the price still viable? Looking at cars, the costs of American cars because of higher labor costs are more than the equivalent foreign product. In order to protect industry we could reinstitute tariffs, making foreign autos competitively priced. Or we can allow foreign competition in unbridled and see what American ingenuity can come up with. How can we be competitive if we do this? Can't. So jobs have to move overseas. Or we cut salaries and benefits. Both have happened in an ever-increasing curve so share holders can have their profits.

As a manager of auto repair shops and environmental companies I have seldom have used union labor, but paid commensurate benefits, just to keep away from the politics of unions. Until recently. Pensions have disappeared, medical costs are going up. It is hard to keep up as a manager and if we do not make a profit, we close the doors. From my standpoint it sucks. Love that middle management position. Same thing is going on at GM. I feel for them. But they have made many BAD decisions as far as market desires and engineering.

One comment that made me nuts was to give up the auto industry and retrain the employees. Yes, making burgers will replace those salaries. We need to get tariffs, cut CEO salaries, management salaries, get national health care and look at the percent return required by shareholders. Maybe more. We cannot be competitive with foreign companies anymore. The question is what do we do. What remedies do we make. Free market economy makes us all the poorer (unless you are the owner.)


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thoughts while on the Road

Last night I made a snarky post about how fat we have become as Americans. How our freedom has given us the ability to be so fat no one in their right mind wants to sit next to us in a 737.

Okay, maybe a little harsh, but you get the point. This week the buzz is Greenspan admits Iraq was all about oil. "How dare those bastards have our oil under their soil. We'll show them and invade their pissant little country, occupy it and make money for our buddies (Halliburton, Parsons and Black Water. If they don't like it PISS ON THEM and the camels they rode in on..." So what if we kill a few (1,000,000 and counting) citizens and rape a few on the way.

Okay, so we invaded and condemned a mass murderer. He was a BAD guy. serious bad. Attacking him was like attacking the local perv who gets off killing puppies. But, God, our ocupation is heartless and ugly.

Freedom no more means we can be 400+ pounds than it does we can be a bully. We have all this military strength. Few can stand up to us. But might does not make right. Whatever happened to social contracts, world citizenship, moral leadership? With great strength comes great responsibility, unlike Ayn Rand's world view.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Typing Skills be Damned

So far today, my fingers seem to be hitting three keys at once. Arthritis is fun. For example, the word typing originally came out "typohjngk". But here goes--

From the LA Times:
In a simple experiment reported today in the journal Nature Neuroscience, scientists at New York University and UCLA show that political orientation is related to differences in how the brain processes information.

Previous psychological studies have found that conservatives tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments whereas liberals are more open to new experiences. The latest study found those traits are not confined to political situations but also influence everyday decisions.

The results show "there are two cognitive styles -- a liberal style and a conservative style," said UCLA neurologist Dr. Marco Iacoboni, who was not connected to the latest research.

Participants were college students whose politics ranged from "very liberal" to "very conservative." They were instructed to tap a keyboard when an M appeared on a computer monitor and to refrain from tapping when they saw a W.

M appeared four times more frequently than W, conditioning participants to press a key in knee-jerk fashion whenever they saw a letter.

Each participant was wired to an electroencephalograph that recorded activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, the part of the brain that detects conflicts between a habitual tendency (pressing a key) and a more appropriate response (not pressing the key). Liberals had more brain activity and made fewer mistakes than conservatives when they saw a W, researchers said.

So what is being said is that being a conservative (actually the way the experiment is explained here, it really is textbook definition reactionary) is a choice just as much as being gay. At least in many cases. I wonder if we can establish schools that can heal that malady as easily as being gay. Religious-based conversions seem to work so well. Oh, the irony that a repetitive incorrect response is hard-wired into a conservatives' brain. Makes you wonder if this is genetically passed down and can account for geographic areas being conservative.

In seriousness, though, some of this (conservative mind set) has to be genetics and some is reinforced learning. I can recall when some kids went to college and parental influence or religious influence was released, drug-taking, hard drinking sexual hijinks ensued until some level of maturity and choice making was developed. I would not be surprised to see if genetic predispositions actually have some influence on whether someone is ecstatic or mystical, as opposed to traditionally religious or atheist. The same in politics and sexual orientation. It may influence the way that the brain interprets signals electrochemically and actuates parts of the brain function, just as some families seem to have higher IQs than others, or have a bent towards poetry as opposed to engineering. Or are just plain stupid. I would not be surprised if genetically brains in individuals are not amorphis blobs, but actually have different levels of development in different areas. In some, the speech areas are seemingly overdeveloped (he said snidely), in others musical creativity.

Our Preznut's response to this war reminds of Bart Simpson as he becomes part of Lisa's science experiment. He touches an electrode, gets shocked, says "OW" and continues to do that.

I am convinced that much human activity is not predetermined by genetics, but there are genetic predispositions and as humans we grossly underestimate their influence on our behavior. The challenge we call life if actually being rational, ecstatic, forgiving, loving, encompassing and getting along, even though the guy (or gal) next to you may be genetically beautiful or handsome, or genetically predisposed to gas, or genetically predisposed to anger reactions. And what we do to get along as a society.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Good words from

"Like a vibration that causes a bridge to collapse, the 9/11 attacks exposed grave weaknesses in our nation's defenses, our national institutions and ultimately our national character. Many more Americans have now died in a needless war in Iraq than were killed in the terror attacks, and tens of thousands more grievously wounded. Billions of dollars have been wasted. America's moral authority, more precious than gold, has been tarnished by torture and lies and the erosion of our liberties. The world despises us to an unprecedented degree. An entire country has been wrecked. The Middle East is ready to explode. And the threat of terrorism, which the war was intended to remove, is much greater than it was.All of this flowed from our response to 9/11. And so, six years later, we need to do more than mourn the dead. We need to acknowledge the blindness and bigotry that drove our response. Until we do, not only will the stalemate over Iraq persist, but our entire Middle Eastern policy will continue down the road to ruin."


Thursday, September 06, 2007


It is just one of those days at the end of my heart's capacity to hear much more. Let's see--15 of 18 benchmarks aren't met (so we need to change then as they weren't good benchmarks). Cheney again is no longer part of the executive branch (of course, until he needs executive privilege). We can raise money for war, but not for the health insurance of children. The Decider really didn't decide to get rid of the Iraqi military--someone else did (except letters from Bremmer prove otherwise--George, being in charge means taking the shit for bad decisions). The Iraqi security forces should be disbanded and the process started again. Oh yes, and the media still reports that Bush states there is progress. Good boy, good boy. Sit roll over. Now give me your paw. By now he should have at least ten assholes, after having new ones ripped repeatedly.

And the problem with Vietnam is we did not stay long enough. Amazing how many doughy-faced white men say that and they never fucking served. Fish-lips Cristol, Turdblossom (aka Satan), Cheney, Bush (too may drugs and booze to even finish his deferment service). The list is endless.

Is it time to suck it up again? like here.

I hope so.

But I need a day to gather my energy.

and in total disclosure, I am moving and packing, so guess who won't be protesting anytime soon.

But I am betting many Americans out there are tired, trying to pay mortgages that were fixed by working two good-paying manufacturing jobs at MickeyDs. Since when is a Joe Job manufacturing? Just remember, if you keep people running to hard, they can't protest, or even be coherent. Until this.

Funny how we never hear of this in history class.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt

Okay, there is no company store anymore, so maybe the headline is a little outdated. But there has been much chest-beating by Republicans over the rise in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) showing how strong the American economy is.

Today, CNN released a study that showed Americans have increased productivity by 20% over the past 7 years and are the most productive in the industrialized world. So, of course, the wages of the American worker has increased the same as their productivity and their buying power must have done the same.

But, wait! American workers have remained stagnant for 7 years, for all practical purposes. So this increased productivity has gone to shareholders as dividends or to executive salaries (VP and above) as their income has increased 348 times in that same period.

As an average consumer, there has been roughly a 3.25% increase in Consumer Price Index every year for the past 7 years. This should account for a raise in wages of almost 21%. Stand with me if your income has not increased by 21% over the past 7 years. And keep in mind that the CPI is a little slanted as included in the CPI has been the cost of housing as it appreciated almost 70% over the past ten years. That means you have a bunch more assets (not liquid and spendable of course) to offset the higher energy, car and food prices. Many consumers did the second mortgage against their assets to keep afloat routine.

Now, you are expected, as a worker, to have that 20% greater work output. You have more debts against your housing (if you have a house anymore). And wages are flat. So where did all that money go? Keep in mind the national debt has steamrollered the past 7 years.

Shareholders have it. CEOs have it. Workers do not. Who received the tax breaks in the past 6 years? Was it the workers, who are busting their asses? No, it is the upper 1/2 of 1% who control over one-half of the money in the country. And please keep in mind that over 70% of all the national debt has been caused by 3 presidents--Bush 1, Bush II and Reagan--the monsters and poster boys of free market economy. They did NOT practice "pay as you go" but rather said that and ran up debts that were astronomical. Don't have money for something--PRINT MORE MONEY. Sell the treasury bonds to the highest bidder (how much American debt is owned by China and Saudi is topic for another essay probably entitled "Short hairs" of "Bend Over".)

What has happened is that the average American has has their respective purchasing power drop 20% in the past 7 years, where the ruling class (economically and pragmatically, remember the haves and the have-mores) have had their earnings increase exponentially. Housing costs have gone up. And in order to pay for the workings of the American government, social programs have been cut and the average taxpayer now picks up most of the tab. I don't know about you, but having to pay more tax that Dick Cheney, while he is on a retainer from Halliburton and in public office angers me.

Remember the Preznut stating that the economy had to be healthy because so many Americans now owned houses under his leadership? Guess what? That is coming home to roost too. There were lending schemes that were somewhat risky applied to the now lower-income workers to make that happen. That is falling apart. And to help home owners in need. NO! But there will be bailouts (remember the simpler days of hate and welfare queens driving Cadillacs--like that ever really happened) for the mortgage companies and banks. And they will be called necessary for the economy, not CORPORATE welfare. And the average American taxpayer who may recently have been booted from their homes will have to foot the bill through taxes.

What this will create is a buyer's market. For example, Bank of America bailing out Consolidated Mortgage network. Oh yes, they will own it. and this happened the same week Bank of America raised their credit card rates, coincidentally. Again, the average American that needs credit cards will pay for wealth consolidation. You will see a bull market, with the weaker firms being bought by healthier firms and the "Good will" (aka bad investments that are going to be written off) costs being passed on to the consumer.

Not a pretty picture, as safety regulations, health care, etc. that typical Americans rely on will be booted to the roadside as wealth is rearranged into the hands of fewer and fewer.

However, never underestimate the spirit of the American people to rally and recover. America is the land of Hot Rods and innovation. All the populace needs is a leader and a fair tax plan and we are on the road to recovery. (if your salary increases 348 times in the next seven years would you be adverse to giving maybe one-half of that to the government in taxes? or would a further tax cut be better for America as a a whole?) It doesn't always take that long. Look what happened to the National Debt under Clinton.

So here is hoping for real leader soon. And perhaps some good, common sense fiscal policies.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Do We Laugh or Do We Cry

That is correct. I don't know.

Senator Craig has made it to the "Come out of the closet, Tom" Honor Roll. Yet another family values voting machine being bathed in the limelight of his own hypocrisy. He will, in the end, lose his power (bye, bye committee appointments already), his reputation and ultimately his job. He will be remembered as that queer bastard.

As a liberal, I am happy another Senate seat may open up for competition. Yes, another dirty-rightie proving they don't live up to their own PR.

As a person, I am saddened by the whole affair. How would you like be reduced to trolling for sex partners in the public bathrooms?????

As a married hetero, I never hope to have to do that. Of course, how many women will I find in men's bathrooms? But I could cruise down East Colfax for some wonderfully intimate sex. The fact that anyone has to do this is ridiculous. It speaks of shame, of horribly wrong social mores. Just incredibly stupid and wrong social expectations. It speaks of the origination point of so many homo-erotic dominant/submission sado-masochistic overtones in the Right, in our society--that it is incredible. Have urges, got to hide them--must not let others know, get out the leather so we can show others who is boss, completely turn inside out our emotional realms so nobody knows who we are and then make a society, policies and laws to reflect the twisted emotional realms rather than open and compassionate hearts. Think about Cod Piece George and his costume fantasies. Chain-sawing cowboy--I can see the Copenhagen in his cheek now (no sissy-assed Skoal for that hunk of a man). I have occasionally wondered whether the stories of him being buggered by a prostitute and former gubernatorial candidate in Nevada were true.

Why was denigration of manhood so important in Abu Ghraib? To break people, it is necessary to ruin their self-identity by destroying, in this case, their manhood and religious identity. (Kind of like military training, but that is another essay--just remember the characters of the Village People). But what you substitute is a twisted value system that reflects the torturer or the dominant. That is an exaggerated example, but much of society has subtle twists and turns that reflect that.

Most of America is in the closet when it comes to lust, carnal desires. Let's face it, we come from good Puritan stock, or Catholic (we brought the Inquisition) stock. Sex drives were not recognized and after the 60s they were, kind of. But, sex is sure used to sell. But now, instead of rational policies teaching what will be inevitable teenage sex and how not to get pregnant and attract STDs, we go to abstinence. Yeah, that will work. Syphilis was thought to be transferred from sheep to humans (wonder why George is obsessed with animal-human hybrids?), so I think abstinence maybe won't work too well. So now we cruise restrooms (and have you ever seen how clean public restrooms are?) for what should be good clean wholesome sexual fun.



Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Another "Hooray Beer!!" Moment

The kids have moved out of the basement and have gone to California. So tonight I steam-cleaned the carpets for (I hope) the very last time!

Definitely a "hooray beer!" moment. and the DJ on KCUV (give it a listen on line sometimes--a very good commercial radio station. you won't die from buttrock or ZZ Top), anyhow, the DJ was hot tonight. Playing Dallas by Johnny Winter, Starry Eyes, Robert plamer's version of Sailin' Shoes and Julia, followed by Little Feats Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley. and three Joe Jackson songs. Heard a band new to me called Back Door Slam. Some of the best guitar rock I've heard since early Stevie Ray Vaughn. And looking at the pictures make me think they aren't old enough to drink yet. Damn.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Update to yesterday's post--

Love Demonstrated Ministries has been cited by the U.S. government as a fine faith-based initiative.

Partnering with Faith-based and Community Organizations

The San Antonio Weed & Seed Coalition consists of 120 community, neighborhood, and law enforcement organizations whose mission is to reduce drug-related crime and victimization. The coalition has helped to reduce crime in San Antonio by 43.5 percent from 1992–2000. One of the coalition partners, Love Demonstrated Ministries (LDMI), is a faith-based organization which focuses on youth offenders, gang members, and high risk youth. Over the past three years, 135 of 165 young offenders entering its Life Skills and Parenting Camp have graduated from LDMI, a success rate of 82 percent.

This has been taken directly from the 2003 budget. Honest. I am sure the accounting on the 82% success rate is nuts on.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

How Big is The Closet, Anyhow?

We have had a treat this week--

First, in Florida, we had a Florida Lawmaker, Bob Allen, offers to give a man a blow job for $20.

Florida Republican Bob Allen, the Tampa Police Union's 2007 Lawmaker of the Year, was arrested for soliciting an undercover officer for oral sex in a public restroom. Florida Republican Bob Allen, the local Police Union's 2007 Lawmaker of the Year, was arrested for soliciting an undercover officer for oral sex in a public restroom.

Allen recently sponsored a bill to crack down on soliciting sex in public parks.

Yes, lawmaker of the year. Congrats.

His defense was that he was afraid of the stocky, black man in the restroom (which he cruised by police testimony at least twice) so, of course, he had to offer him $20 to blow him. One hell of a fight or flight instinct he has. Love to see him on a battlefield.

And then we have in Indiana, where Glenn Murphy, the newly-elected leader of the Young Republican National Federation is charged with non-consensual sex. Yes, he went out drinking with a friend, went to his sister's house and woke up with his friend's penis in his mouth. Apparently his friend did not ask and was not amused. And this is the second time he has been charged with this.

Okay, maybe he did not accidentally wake up and find a penis in his mouth. But I can bet he did not publically condone gay behavior. Just a guess, given his rise in the right wing political machine.

The question used to be "How big is the Republican tent?" Now the question must be "How big is the Republican Closet?" The more conservative types tend to be more hawkish. More militaristic. And these folks tend to approve torture, etc. How much of their behavior is based upon their own sexual inadequacy and shame??????

It has to be. And then how much foreign policy is based upon psychological inadequacy, gender orientation shame and dissatisfaction? This is really a scary thought. Particularly when decisions are made based upon these projections. After all, we must be tough MEN!!!! Couple this with the streak that has become apparent in some of the military where head men with fingers on nuclear armaments want an apocalypse and we have a very scary foreign policy.

In other news--

"BANQUETE, Texas — The director of a Christian boot camp and an employee were arrested Friday for allegedly dragging a 15-year-old girl behind a van after she fell behind the group during a morning run, authorities said.

Charles Eugene Flowers and Stephanie Bassitt of San Antonio-based Love Demonstrated Ministries, a 32-day boot camp, were arrested on aggravated assault charges for the alleged June 12 incident.

The two are accused of tying the girl to the van with a rope then dragging her, according to an arrest affidavit filed Wednesday by the Nueces County Sheriff's Department.

Both remained in Nueces County Jail late Friday on $100,000 bond each.

A call to Love Demonstrated Ministries was not immediately returned Friday. No listing was found for Bassitt. An answering machine at a listing for Flowers cut off during an attempt to leave a message Friday.

Flowers, the camp's director, allegedly ordered Bassitt to run alongside the girl after she fell behind, the affidavit said. When the girl stopped running, Bassitt allegedly yelled at her and pinned her to the ground while Flowers tied the rope to her, according to the affidavit."

Love Demonstrated my ass! Like I said, torture, often homoerotic torture, is the basis of a disciplinary society. I am convinced much of this is twisted projection of gender misidentification and shame. Can't be gay and be saved. So repress it and be successful and make others suffer like you have to so you can be accepted.


Monday, July 30, 2007

Stolen from Crooks and


C&L July Film of the Month: A CRUDE AWAKENING The Oil Crash

Documentary by Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack

“Oil is our God. I don’t care if someone says they worship Jesus, Buddha, Allah, whoever – they actually worship petroleum.”
Mathew David Savinar, Lawyer and Founder of

If An Inconvenient Truth could be considered The Wizard of Oz of environmental documentaries, then A Crude Awakening would have be considered the Rosemary’s Baby of that same genre.

Global warming. So what? Melting polar icecaps? Call me later. A Crude Awakening paints a picture so much grimmer than anything Americans have seen in their lifetimes. Or in the movies this summer, for that matter. It is dark. It is primordial. It is terrifying. It is - The end of oil, as we know it.

While technically speaking, oil is running out, for it to go bone dry will take a few lifetimes. But do not dare exhale a sigh of relief. That fact is not relevant to this splendid documentary. It seems there is a bigger problem. One that is arriving faster than Netflix. That problem is global peak oil. Say it over and over, folks. Say it until your tongue gets used to saying it. Write it down. Tell your children. Open the windows of your Ford Explorer and scream it out into the dark abyss. You will be seeing and hearing about it for the rest of your lives – possibly beginning today.

Written, produced and co-directed by Basil Gelpke, from Switzerland and Ray McCormack, from Ireland, A Crude Awakening will scare the living Bush out of you and at the same time leave you dumbfounded. If you’re like me, you’ll be grasping at straws for a logical way out of this oncoming runaway train that some experts have already dubbed the “post-industrial stone age.”

Now that, my friends, is an inconvenient truth. It is a truth so scary, so inconvenient, that few will even utter its name. Once again, for the record, its name is Peak Oil. And no one seems to have the slightest idea what to do about it.

You might not know about it but THEY do. The heads of the ‘Seven Sisters’ oil companies. The Saudis. OPEC. Dick Cheney’s secret Energy Task Force. Bill and Hillary – they ALL know about Peak Oil. Everybody but YOU! Maybe its time YOU found out? Huh? Curious? End of the World? Saving for your toddler’s college education? Uh, sorry, that won’t be necessary.

The world as we know it is coming to an end soon.

That doesn’t come from a religious cult like the Moonies or conspiracy lunatics with tin foil hats in Idaho. Rather it is the uncontested scientific conclusion of the world’s most widely respected geologists, physicists, oil executives, bankers and politicians.

Gelpke, with a background in anthropology and economics, worked as a war correspondent before becoming a scientific filmmaker. His partner, McCormack who has a history in corporate filmmaking also holds an Honors Degree in Environmental Policy and Management. These guys know their stuff, are extremely serious and bring on-camera expertise to back them up. A parade of renowned academics, scientific experts and corporate advisors from across the political and economic spectrum enter and re-enter this shocking film. Each time they reappear they bring with them overwhelming amounts of irrefutable evidence that the world as we know it is about to go through some very savage changes.

And they mean NOW.

I don’t want to alarm anybody but you should be afraid. VERY AFRAID. Not of bin Laden. Not of AIDS. Not of global warming. Not of George Bush. But of global Peak Oil and what that represents.
For the uninitiated, in order to understand this movie one has to understand peak oil. It is not very difficult.

Peak Oil, also known as Hubbert’s Peak was named for the Shell Oil geologist, Dr. Marion King Hubbert. In 1956, M.K. Hubbert accurately predicted that America’s domestic oil production would peak in 1970.
His peers laughed at Hubbert at the time.

He had successfully examined the amount of new discoveries of oil in the United States from the 1930s onward. Those rose and fell like a bell curve. After a huge spike, they were simply running out of places in the U.S. that held oil fields. He figured that if the discovery of oil supplies formed a bell curve, then the production of the oil would form a matching bell curve soon afterwards.

He was dead right.

By 1970, U.S. oil production had peaked and the decline was in rapid freefall. Using the same extrapolations for the entire world, Hubbert predicted that world oil production would be peaking by 1995. It would have been spot on accurate, had the politically motivated oil embargoes of 1973 and 1979 not been enacted, setting back world oil peak by just 10-15 years.
In other words…NOW.
“The United States had been the largest oil producer on earth for nearly 100 years and nobody thought it would ever end,” explains Mathew Simmons an energy investment banker and advisor to president George W. Bush.
The last new frontiers in oil discovery were in the Alaskan North Slope, Siberia and the North Sea. That was in 1967, 1968 and 1969 respectively. All have peaked since then. The North Sea oil finds were indeed massive and quite unknown at the time. A huge discovery. It peaked in 40 years. Next year Britain will actually have to import oil for the first time since the discovery.

The world has been so thoroughly explored with massive new technological devises that most experts feel there is no new oil out there. In fact, advanced engineering technology has created in effect, “super straws” to suck all known oil out of the ground faster than ever before believed possible.

The desperation of the oil companies have led them to oil shale fields in Canada and steaming old well sites for the very last drops of “the devil’s excrement.”

Two thirds of the known oil fields today are in the Persian Gulf. In 1978, Iran was producing 6 million barrels a day. Today? 3-3 ½ million barrels a day. This is indicative of the downward slope of oil production following a peak. The Saudis have found only one new oil field since 1967. They pump 12 million barrels a day yet each year they claim their reserves are exactly the same. How is this possible? It’s not. In the late 80’s all the OPEC countries simply increased their “known” oil reserves by 50% for political reasons and quota busting.

With the massive industrialization of India and China already underway, it is becoming quite obvious that oil production will not be able to keep up with demand. In fact, we already see this happening with the doubling of our own gas prices in just the past few years. Experts believe that those same prices will rise steadily and quickly to $15 per gallon.
And that’s when things will really and finally get hairy. Once oil peaks, the downward crash is fast and furious as the entire world scrapples for the remaining apples.

Our entire civilization has been built on cheap oil. Not only are we reaching the end of the artificial American dream, peak oil experts also feel we are on the precipice of a massive worldwide Age of Depression. We have become the victims of our own success. Huge population booms have occurred due to the mid-century “green revolution” in farming that produced enough cheap food to feed the entire world. Our cities and society grew at staggering rates because of the use of the cheapest fuel source ever discovered.

“One barrel of oil for $100, will produce as much energy as you would get from 12 people working all year,” says Roscoe Bartlett a scientist and U.S. Republican Congressman from Maryland.

But the times they are a changin’.

Ten or fifteen years ago, the per capita income of the average Saudi was $28K. Today its down to $6K. There has been a huge drop in the standard of living for the average Saudi. Strap yourselves in folks. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride. We’re next.

There seems to be two solutions:

1) Multinational resource wars. Militarize our population to allow them to continue to drive SUVs. Tell them what the stakes and go for it. Invade till the last drop.
2) Begin to prepare for the end of cheap oil and adjust to available alternatives as soon as possible. As bleak as they may seem.

Just so you understand what we’re up against.

If we hybridized every stinking car on the road today, we would still be consuming the same amount of gasoline as we are now in just 5-7 years. With each year demand grows enormously. With no end in sight.
The alternative fuels everyone has been jabbering about lately don’t cut it. If you added all the alternative fuel sources up, that is if they were even ready and functioning at massive levels, it wouldn’t even make a dent in the loss of oil.

Oil is that cheap.

We pay more for a bottle of drinking water than we do for a gallon of gasoline,” explains David L. Goodstein, professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology.

If you went nuclear alone, we would need 10,000 new nuclear plants immediately and then the damn uranium would run out in 10 years anyway. Unless you’re France. Their entire country is powered by nuclear power. Just watch were you put the trash, Jacques.

The most fascinating chapter of the film is entitled, Life After The Peak. This shows us the other side of the Hubbert Peak. The downward slope. Ouch. We got a snippet of it in 1973, when OPEC turned off the U.S. oil spigot because of the Israeli War. Cars lined up for miles to get the last drop of gas. Everyone freaked, but quickly forgot about it when the man hooked them up again with the Persian Black.

In the near, near future, driving cars and flying by plane will be a luxury reserved only for the Super Rich. The financial markets will shrink due to the elimination of petro dollars. The stock markets will collapse worldwide. Populations will shrink immensely as hunger and starvation sweep the globe.

An apple will cost $7.

Hydrocarbon Man’s days are severely numbered.

Oh, and if you think hydrogen is gonna save you, think about this: It currently takes 3 – 6 gallons of gasoline to make enough hydrogen to drive a car the equivalent distance that one gallon of gasoline would drive it.

Coal? Too dirty. We’ll choke to death. Wind power? Keep blowing. Hydroelectric? Every river is already dammed. Biomass? Too much energy to create it.

In fact, the only science that seems to have any chance in hell is solar. How ironic. But there is a catch. A huge catch. It would take a field of solar panels half the size of California to power the country. The sun. Of course. How could we miss it?

When Jonas Salk found the cure for polio, he was asked if he had filed a patent on his new vaccine. Salk looked quizzically at the reporter and famously said, “No. After all, could you patent the Sun?”

Hey, New Mexico. Let’s go. Everybody out! That means you.

See A Crude Awakening before there are no more petrochemicals left to even make DVDs.

A screenwriter/producer/journalist based in Hollywood, California, Mark Groubert is the Senior Film and Book Reviewer for As a filmmaker he has produced numerous documentaries for HBO. Groubert is also the former editor of National Lampoon Magazine, MTV Magazine and The Weekly World News. In addition, he has written for the L.A. Weekly, L.A. City Beat, Penthouse, High Times and other publications. He is currently at work on his memoirs…or so he says.

Important enough to quote word for word.


Friday, July 27, 2007

After reading Digby's post about the Gay Old Party and their homoerotic fascination with all things big and bold, I have to wonder about why GW's figurine has a bigger penis than Ken.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

It's Good To Be The King!

Just yesterday in the Denver Post there was an interesting article about how foreclosures were running at a record high in Adams and Weld Counties. These are all low to low-middle income houses. There are also record rates in Douglas County, also known as rich, white Christian county (remember when Castle Rock voted down affordable housing--good to have Hispanic gardeners and housekeepers, just don't want to live by them). People bought on ARMs and as the rates raise, they lose their homes. Simple. Pay rates for low and middle class have not raised with the Cost of Living. They have remained stagnant, while worker productivity has increased.

Today's headlines in the same paper? A Sales Surge for Digs Over $1,000,000. Hmmm. There is no shortage of people who can afford over $1,000,000 and those people, some of whom may be rich enough to be Monkeyboy's base-"What an impressive crowd: the haves, and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite, I call you my base.", can't find adequate housing. There is dearth of $1,000,000 plus homes.

Let's see. Worker productivity up. Worker salaries stagnant for 5 years. CEO and executive pay rising at incredible rates compared to worker salaries. Hmmm. Trickle down economics at its finest.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Fun to Visit - Just Don't Drink the Water

Indiana regulators exempted BP from state environmental laws to clear the way for a $3.8 billion expansion that will allow the company to refine heavier Canadian crude oil. They justified the move in part by noting the project will create 80 new jobs.

Under BP's new state water permit, the refinery—already one of the largest polluters along the Great Lakes—can release 54 percent more ammonia and 35 percent more sludge into Lake Michigan each day. Ammonia promotes algae blooms that can kill fish, while sludge is full of concentrated heavy metals.

This is not a comforting admission:

[Paul Higginbotham, chief of the water permits section at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management] said regulators still are unsure about the ecological effects of the relatively new refining process BP plans to use.

here is the complete story for the Trib.

Si if we place BIG mixers in the lake we can dilute the pollution? Maybe we can make toxic sludge pudding. Can't wait to eat carp. Yum.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Iraq is going so well, we can’t have our Congressmen stay there over night.

“The delegation's visit was harrowing at times. While visiting with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker at the U.S. Embassy inside Baghdad's walled, high-security Green Zone on Friday, mortar blasts landed inside the American-controlled territory.

"This recorded message played four times while we were there, asking us to move away from any windows, to get on the ground and move to the center of the building," Bachmann said. "(Crocker) stayed in his seat and kept talking with us the whole time. He never moved."....

Security conditions in Iraq prevented Bachmann from meeting any Iraqis, leaving the Green Zone or staying in Iraq overnight. She and other congressional members were required to wear full body armor, including Kevlar helmets, during the entire trip, she said.”

From the St. Cloud Times via

And yesterday there were mortar and rocket attacks in the Green Zone. Right in the middle of the Green Zone. Our safe zone. By our Embassy. In the middle of surge-secured area.

“On Tuesday, guerrillas launched some 20 katyusha rockets and mortar shells into the Green Zone in downtown Baghdad, killing 3 persons, including a US soldier, and wounding 25 persons.

The Green Zone was originally supposed to be the safe place in Iraq, with the area outside it (everything else) called the "Red Zone." The US Embassy in Baghdad appears to have forgotten what the phrase "Green Zone" means, since a spokesman there told the LAT, "There's fire into the Green Zone virtually every day, so I can't draw any conclusions about the security situation based on that . . .’ ”

And the Iraqi security Chief for the Green Zone was KIDNAPPED!

"Tuesday's attack came the same day gunmen kidnapped Iraqi Police Col. Mahmoud Muhyi Hussein, who directs security inside the Green Zone . . .

Hmmm!!! Let me see if I got this straight. We get attacked in our own safe zone. Anyone we don’t want to get hurt can’t stay there and the Iraqi Security dude gets kidnapped there.

We know the war is lost. I am not trying t incite feelings, etc., but it is a failed policy and now the question becomes how do we keep the casualties to a minimum. How do we retreat with our equipment and 160,000 personnel plus contractors? Does anyone remember the last days of Vietnam? It was a zoo. People were hanging on helicopters trying to leave.

We are arming Sunnis to fight Shiites right now. Where do you think their arms will point as we leave the country? Do we walk out of the country backwards? Do we run like hell? Hope we don’t leave too much behind. Think anyone will shoot at us as we leave. After all, we are the liberators. And how much will be left of our new airbases and army bases? Will we leave a force there enough troops there to man them. Or will they be allowed to die on the vine as they wait for supplies in the middle of the desert?


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Hooray for NPR!

I have lived with my wife in many locations. In fact, we are soon to be moving to Northern California to follow my job. Can you say ASAP?? More on that later. Egad!!!!!!

That said, I went to work this morning and heard 3 FM radio stations playing the Doors out of the 7 possible choices. Oh, yes, 2 were playing ZZ Top. And one had Breakfast with the Beatles. Why, God, why??? Much music has been made since 1970.

But when my wife and I lived in Iowa, we only had AM radio. Yes, I am an old fuck and FM was not popular and cars had no FM radios (remember fm converters? anyone?) and the best Cedar Rapids had was oldies and there was KUNI and one FM station out of Muscatine that was pretty good. The AM stations had hog reports and futures and high school football. Then you could drive across the state and hear NPR on AM and it had quirky songs you did not get on other stations. An aside, we drove from Colorado to Ohio this past autumn and heard OAR in Omaha and Natalie Zuckerman in Iowa.

In '93, I worked in Grand Junction and had to drive from Ft. Collins to Grand Junction weekly and you had better have a tape deck or listen to NPR. It kept you sane. The university station at Mesa was good but had a range of 10 miles and there was as a good station outside of Carbondale. The rest was "Classic Rock." I mean, how many times can you get a woody listening to Smoke on the Water? Oh yes, Rush would have been the liberal talk show host in Grand Junction at that time and the local Classic Rock station had its 3rd anniversary. Having been to GJ two years ago, it has entered the 21st century and has nice bistros, etc. downtown. Very Cool.

Fast forward to today--crappy choices on the radio and I hit KGNU and Radio 1190 and KRFC. All have live listening links and are worth a listen. The day started better as I heard Gogol Bordello as the first cut!!!! Yay! Something New. and if no NPR, there would be no joy.

Anyone know of good minor stations in between Sacramento and SF?

For your listening pleasure.

A good band out of Denver. happy day.


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

There may be an actual reason we feel people are getting stupider and stupider and we have many more ADHD problems. Check it out.

I am not a fear monger, but how many chemicals are developed and used without testing annually?


Friday, June 22, 2007

Notes from the Tubes--

Just a few thoughts before the weekend--

1) Cheney is above the executive branch. In my opinion, a specious argument. But if that is the case, I want to see the damned energy policy formation meeting notes!!!!!! These were denied to the public based upon executive privilege. Can't have it both ways Big Dickman.

2) I was listening to Randi Rhodes yesterday and she was speaking of caging votes and how a minimum of 1,000,000 votes were not counted because of vote caging (you can guess these votes were not the votes of prep school graduates). McNulty admitted he heard of the practice but did not research it in House testimony yesterday. Voter suppression is a felony offense. As second in charge of DOJ, he did not research this???? Either blind, incompetent, both or maybe in collusion. And Tim Griffin (where do the Republicans find so many lookalikes for the Pillsbury dough boy?? Are they cloning Rove?) was rewarded by being given a US Attorney post for suppressing minority votes and giving the election to Bush. (Which he has since quit because public service is not worth it. Ah, less money than the private sector and there is scrutiny. unlike Enron.)

Illegal, yes. But who gets to press charges. If there were that many votes not counted, does anyone know who they were? I am naive to this process, but if someone has names, could not the person whose vote was not counted contact these people and have them press felony charges of abridging constitutional rights? I don't know. Abu Torquemada will not press charges. Can Congress press charges for vote caging? I really don't know.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

If this does not raise your blood pressure, little will. So we could have saved lives, but we didn't, but we have protection for contractors because they can afford it. Why? Because they charge it back to us at a 30% minimum profit margin. Soldiers are collateral damage.

What the hell is this?

Contractors protect their "intellectual assets" - a wonderful buzz term meaning your ass is mine until you die and we will slough you off like a healed scab when you quit making us money - better then we protect our youth.

Another day I will rant about the use of contractors. Today I want to focus on how mismanaged this war and our military is. No one would ever expect the armed services to be safe. But if you have a volunteer army willing to go and serve, this cannot be the best you can do.

I truly believe that Saddam was picked because it was like attacking the local puppy butcher. An amoral oppressor who attacked his own people (Kurds). And they had no anti-aircraft capabities to stop shock and awe. Quick win, Mission Accomplished, look good in a codpiece, be studly. But, oops, we forgot the aftermath and what Condi calls civil order problem:

"But you know, I just -- I know that there are all these reports now -- well, but you know that this might happen or that might happen. I can remember sitting in our meetings before the invasion and saying, and particularly Don Rumsfeld -- you know, people worrying about revenge, that after all those years of the suppression of Shia and Kurds, particularly Shia, there might be revenge taken out. And then we were really rather surprised not to see it. And even in the first few months after the Samarra mosque, we were sort of surprised that people didn't.

Well, it has emerged. But it's emerged by extremists and bad guys doing it. It's not as if -- and sometimes when people say civil war it drives me a little bit crazy because, you know, it's not like Iraqi Shia and Sunnis are running down the streets killing each other because they're Sunnis and Shias. These are organized gangs and death squads, and that's a civil order problem. And we're helping them deal with a civil order problem.

I think part of the problem for the American people is that's kind of uncomfortable. And as Dave Petraeus has said, it's very dangerous -- helping them deal with a civil order problem. But if we can give them the space by helping them deal with the civil order problem to get this de jure reconciliation in place, then I think you can see the transition to the kind of posture that a lot of people talk about as acceptable for American policy. But we can't just get over where we are and go there now."

Does anyone not remember Yugoslavia??? Oil, control, bid swinging dicks and little "what happens next" vision. This administration is single-minded and incompetent. And not willing to sacrifice. Or ask others to. Just shop and be happy.

Why aren't people more furious? Oh yeah, they are working two manufacturing jobs (read Mickey Dees) to pay for things like food and rent that one job could pay for before free trade became popular.