Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sex Potatoes Re-Onion

If, like The Editor, you missed 'em the first time ('cause they didn't play L. A. on their 1978 See America & Break Up Tour) & you missed 'em on any reunion tours in the meantime, you probably missed 'em again in their first ever L. A. club gig. Extremely casual acquaintance (We think we exchanged two or three sentences w/ him @ a Richard Meltzer reading in the '90s, w/o knowing who he was.) Greg Burk gives the full scoop on the big show @ the Roxy. (Damn, we can't remember the last time we were @ the Roxy, but it must've been in the '80s.)

Best bit of Rotten schtick:
Resplendent in polyester vest and plaid pants, Rotten worked his showbiz outrage to the point of near collapse, taking a break after 40 minutes for what he claimed was an irresistible response to nature's call -- well, that middle-aged prostate can indeed be a bummer.
Ain't that the truth. Should've worn some Depends™. Any one know what the deal is w/ that toof of Lydon's? Does he just take it out for show bidness purposes, Lixie Miller stylee? 'Cause if not, eventually the two neighboring ones are going to fill in that hole, & there'll be reason to call him "Rotten" again.

Not seen @ the big gig: Nancy Spongebob (l) & boyfriend John Simon Vicious (r), the "bass player" for the Sex Potatoes when they first hit it big.

Mad Tea Party

By Mark Bryan. As always, click to enlarge.

Blackwater References

The Ones Who Fly Away From Omelas (Why not have a distinctive blog title?) has a fine BW wrap up of links & whatnot. Be sure to click on the e-letter that BW (now calling itself Blackwater Worldwide, odd for a company that says it's so All-American, but no matter the name it remains a subsidiary of the Prince Group, just like all the off-shore, tax-free outfits "affiliated" w/ it) has sent to its "supporters." Why does a fucking corporation need "support," as if it were cancer research, or "Be Kind to Animals Week?" And it has a newish, less threatening logo.




Old logo on the left, new logo on the right.

Also, look at Danger Room (we've pre-clicked to the "Mercs" category) for an overview of Blackwater & its fellow private security contractors, & the "new logo" contest they're kindly hosting. Our fave? Right here:
Jesus, Guns & Money. All hail America! Or else!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Our Long National Nightmare: Over? Or Just Beginning?

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Whether it's a GE™ locomotive barreling down on us, unable to stop even if the engineer sees us, or the light is the other end of the tunnel, & we're finally coming out of darkness & metaphors, Election Day 2008 is now just a year, a week, & a few days away. The nightmare is far from over (look at the choices) but as they say, a year passes like nothing. One of those choices is Sen. Clinton, who hits the Big Six-Zero today. Here's a shot of her from 40 yrs. ago:And the other Mainstream Inevitable Candidate is R. Giuliani (item immediately below). Ulp! Well, anything can happen in the yr. left. Except we don't have a yr. The nominations may be (inevitably) locked up by the end of Jan. (Iowa caucuses currently scheduled for 5 Jan. 2008.) We may have a "choice" between a crazed fascist & a cold, calculating fascist.

It's our personal speculation that Rudy's handlers (The Mafia? Pedophile priests?) set him up w/ a nurse as his most recent wife so she could keep him well-medicated, but there's always the chance that he'll go off the tranqs & we'll see his real nature. There's also the chance that American voters will like the real Rudy even more than the media image. ("Triple Guantanamo!!" "Where's Podhoretz? I want him to push the Big Red Death-to-Iran Button, he deserves the honor!!" "I'm all over this ferret like Michael Vick on a pit bull!!")

Giuliani's Goons: "Let's Have Another War!"

Same shit, different neckties:
Rudy "The Catholic" Giuliani has a swell collection of campaign advisers, though we're not yet sure who's counseling him on ferret policy. On foreign policy, however, he's got the cream of the croptop of the heap. The heap of neo-con bed-wetters, that is.

Mr. Giuliani’s team includes Norman Podhoretz, a prominent neoconservative who advocates bombing Iran “as soon as it is logistically possible”; Daniel Pipes, the director of the Middle East Forum, who has called for profiling Muslims at airports and scrutinizing American Muslims in law enforcement, the military and the diplomatic corps; and Michael Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who has written in favor of revoking the United States’ ban on assassination.
[...]
Warnings like that one and his reliance on advisers like
Mr. Podhoretz, who wrote an article in June for Commentary magazine called “The Case for Bombing Iran,” have raised concerns among some Democrats.
Mr. Podhoretz said in an interview published Wednesday in The New York Observer that he recently met with Mr. Giuliani to discuss his new book, in which he advocates bombing Iran as part of a larger struggle against “Islamofascism,” and “there is very little difference in how he sees the war and I see it.”

Alright. Maybe if we lift "the United States' ban on assassination," per Michael Rubin, we can take care of the Guiliani menace w/o the mess of an election. Of course, we won't be convinced that Rudy really means it until he signs Michael Ledeen on as well. Maybe this schmuck is as good, though:
One of Mr. Giuliani’s most important foreign policy tutors is Charles Hill, a career diplomat and former deputy to Secretary of State George P. Shultz in the Reagan administration. Mr. Hill had never met Mr. Giuliani when he was invited to a 45-minute meeting at Giuliani Partners in late February — a meeting that stretched to nearly three hours.
Mr. Hill went on to become the campaign’s chief foreign policy adviser, and to assemble a team that is united by its generally hawkish views and its belief in using American power to achieve its aims.
Just days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Hill
joined a number of foreign policy experts in signing an open letter to Mr. Bush urging that “even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove S
addam Hussein from power in Iraq.”
Instead of talking about “the war on terror,” Mr. Giuliani speaks of “the terrorists’ war on us,” or, as he put it in a recent speech to a group of conservative Christians, the “Islamic terrorists’ war against the United States.” He sometimes faults Democrats for failing to mention that the terrorist threat comes specifically from Muslims.
Or American foreign policy, depending.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Blackwater USA in ah Babylon

An official of the Bush admin. was forced to resign (w/o, as yet, receiving a Medal of "Freedom") as a result of the colossal cock-ups involving State Dep't. "supervision" of private security contractorsmercenaries in Babylon. That's somewhat good news. Not so good? John D. Negroponte (the D stands for Deathsquad) is now handling even more State Dep't. matters:

As she has concentrated on the Middle East peace process, Iran and Russia, Rice has increasingly turned major responsibility for hot-button issues -- including North Korea, Pakistan and Iraq -- over to Negroponte. He has taken the lead on management problems, such as the contractors, along with his longtime Foreign Service colleague Patrick Kennedy, a senior management official who served as Negroponte's management deputy when Negroponte was director of national intelligence, before he took the No. 2 post at the State Department.
Great. Once these people have established themselves as scum, can't they all just "retire?" Permanently, instead of being recycled as soon as the next more overtly fascist administration steals an election? Is that too much to ask? Yes, because beings like Cheney will actually recycle themselves, & all their little chums, until...well it never really stops. There are always more in the wings.
But the changes in security policy for Iraq and in her team are unlikely to temper rising criticism of Rice's management style. She is due to testify today before the House oversight committee, whose chairman, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), has accused the department's prime security contractor in Iraq, Blackwater Worldwide, of tax evasion; charged the department with papering over evidence of widespread corruption in the Iraqi government; and accused the State inspector general of failing to monitor shoddy work and overspending in construction of a new, $600 million U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
Maybe the gig as provost @ Stanford didn't prepare her too well for running State. And we might even bet that her studies in Kremlinology & Eastern Europe (when they were the Soviet Union & the Warsaw Pact nations) may not have helped much w/ the current gov'ts. & individuals running things in the New Europe.
Congress was also raking Sec. Dr. Rice over the coals, as anonymous officials issued denials:
State Department officials denied any double standard or impropriety in the firing of Griffin and this week's promotion of two of his subordinates who directly oversaw the hiring of contractors, including those in Iraq.
[...]
Rice's answers on the Blackwater scandal did not satisfy many Democrats during the hearing, including
Rep. Paul Hodes of New Hampshire.
Before giving Blackwater hundreds of millions of dollars, "didn't you or your subordinates ever stop to ask whether or not the legal framework was a place to hold these contractors accountable for its actions?" he asked.
Congress is moving to put all armed contractors operating in combat zones under military control and make them subject to U.S. criminal jurisdiction.
From the NYT, it's Blackwater, under seige!!
Even in the Blackwater compound, no definitive account has emerged of how and why the Sept. 16 shootings occurred, company employees said. For its part, Blackwater has said that its guards were responding to an insurgent attack. But in furtive discussions over recent weeks, certain details about the episode, they said, have gained currency among many Blackwater workers, many of whom would like to believe that their colleagues acted appropriately.
Those workers said, for example, that Blackwater guards who fired at Iraqis in Nisour Square described how an Iraqi driver had pulled up his car well after the Blackwater convoy had arrived and warned traffic to stay back. The encroaching car, the workers said, caused their colleagues to feel threatened and initiate machine-gun fire. They also said that friction between Blackwater convoys and groups of armed Iraqi police in the days before the shooting had created a mutual distrust, and that the police officers, perhaps as a result of earlier disputes, fired at the Blackwater convoy. “The Iraqi police were testing these guys at various intersections,” said one former Blackwater guard who has spoken with men on the convoy at Nisour Square.
Iraqi police at the intersection have said they were not armed that day, and none of the dozens of Iraqi witnesses interviewed by Iraqi investigators and reporters for The New York Times said they saw anyone firing at the Blackwater convoy or even brandishing a weapon.
But in a measure of the gulf between the narratives that have taken hold in the Blackwater compound and on the streets of Baghdad, the former guard and a current employee said that a consistent view had developed within the compound: that Blackwater was fired upon by Iraqis with AK-47s who fled the scene after Blackwater returned an overwhelming amount of fire.
“How long does it take for a dead terrorist to become a dead civilian?” a Blackwater employee said. “As long as it takes to remove an AK-47 from the body,” suggesting that accomplices might have removed weapons as they fled.
The Blackwater employees said that talk about the Sept. 16 shootings had also focused on a heated dispute between members of the team in the square, pitting the men pouring gunfire into Iraqi vehicles against other Blackwater guards who were imploring them to stop.
“There was turmoil in the team, where half the guys were saying, ‘Don’t shoot,’” said a military veteran who spoke to a member of the Blackwater team on the convoy.


Not quite the "thin blue line" of police forces. But the stories don't all seem to match, do they?

Delays

This broadband crap is more complicated than one might suspect, or AT&T are a bunch of incompetent suckwads. Which do you think?

We were advised by the latest person w/ whom we had a conversation that it would have been faster to cancel the previous account entirely (rather than change the name & keep the same 'phone #, which has been in the family for 33 yrs.) & just get an entirely new #.

We are now informed that if the order goes through today (Thurs.) it will be Mon. or Tues. before the DSL is reëstablished. The process apparently is not under the actual control of AT&T, who must to wait for the old whatever to "drop off" or something, then they can place the order, which will then take several more days to come to fruition. Is there not an on/off switch? They certainly manage to cut it off promptly if you don't pay, & restore it soon enough once they've received their pound of flesh. Why such a big deal to change a name on an account? Bastards!!

In the meantime, the ability to wander the vast web wasteland in search of amusement & tidbits to share is severely hampered, as is the anal retentive typing/copying & pasting process. It's suck city, baby!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Matter of Time (UPDATED)

Of course there'd already been muttering that this most recent round of SoCal wildfires was all the fault of those eco-nuts who prevented Bush from selling the forests to the highest bidders, who would then clear out those pesky ol' trees that are burning. (Oh, it's not old growth forest that's burning, it's mostly chapparal & scrub oaks? 'Scuse us.)

And those California Nat'l. Guard troops & equipment in Iraq & Afghanistan aren't any problem at all. Duncan Hunter, joke Republican presidential candidate, was just on Lardball w/ Chris Matthews, & between repeating the "Reaganesque" line "We're optimistic, we'll rebuild" about San Diego County (Remember Al Einstein's definition of crazy: Repeating the same action but expecting different results) he announced that firefighting is not done w/ a wall of bodies facing the flame, & if it were, the 1st Marine Division is right there @ Camp Pendleton. This has, of course, nothing to do w/ the Guard being trained & experienced in disaster relief, refugee assistance & so on (& we'll bet that some Guard members/units have some training & experience w/ wildfires) which is what was being discussed, but Hunter isn't one to let facts get in the way of the partisanship he decries in the left, yet practices himself.

But it was just a matter of time until the real concerns of the lunatic fringe right (not to be confused w/ the lunatic mainstream right) surfaced, & here they are, right on schedule:

As the embers cool, investigators in public and private will begin asking some hard questions, including how in blazes these fires happened: Were some of the purportedly wild fires scorching more than 600 square miles of Southern California this week set by border-crossing Islamist terrorists?
"How in blazes" indeed. Aren't we clever? Of course, they'd have to be "border-crossing" terrorists, they couldn't possibly have come in legally & overstayed their visas, because our highly efficient Dep't. of Homeland Security doesn't let that happen. By the way, how do these "border-crossers" get into Mexico in the first place? We continually hear that Mexico is very harsh on Central Americans trying to come into Mexico illegally, while pushing as many Mexican citizens as possible over the U. S. border.

An Oxford-educated engineer, bin Laden knows the power of asymmetrical warfare wherein a few matches and bottles of gasoline can cause millions of times their cost in damage to enemies, from military families in San Diego to morally-corrupting Hollywood stars in Malibu.
Yes, it would certainly take an Oxford education to figure that out. Although we swear to you we haven't gone any farther from the House of Bouffant than the 99¢ Only Store in the last two wks., the concept of setting Southern California afire for terroristic purposes during the Santa Ana Winds occurred to this reporter & one of his associates in schadenfreude & nihilism several yrs. ago, when we were glued to the tube watching the houses of the privileged go up in flames. (An annual Southern Cal fall ritual.) Neither of us have an Oxford education, though we're not not nearly as stupid or paranoid as Lowell Ponte. Added stupidity:

Although a new Osama bin Laden video was issued at almost exactly the same time these fires began, and might have contained a coded command to his operatives to carry out planned arsons, it makes sense that al-Qaida has claimed
no credit for the fires.
[...]
But bin Laden would probably be embarrassed, in the wake of his astonishing terrorist “achievement” on 9/11, to be seen resorting to mere fire setting around the homes of innocent people.

Well sure, because terrorism works so well when it's thought to be an accident or a downed power line. You might even think that Oxford intellectual Bin Laden would go ahead & claim credit for the fires anyway, just to get Ponte's pants even more piss-soaked. And it would take a "coded command," because no "border-crossing" terrorist could put the concepts of high temperatures, high winds, & dryness/drought together, especially after those power lines were knocked down & some fires started.

Other possibilities: the fires were all accidental, like the one north of Los Angeles reportedly touched off by a spark from welding equipment.

Or, perhaps, one or more of these fires were ignited accidentally by an illegal alien’s campfire, as has happened before in Southern California. Even if evidence points this way, do not expect the liberal media to report anything this politically incorrect — or this likely to give inconvenient fuel to critics of our liberal border policies.
[...]
TV and radio talk-host Glenn Beck deserves credit for having Competitive Enterprise Institute experts Chris Horner and R.J. Smith explain how radical government environmental policies under President Bill Clinton interfered with rational forest and brush management, and set America up for today’s catastrophic super-fires.

Extra credit to Mormon asshole Beck for his statement that people who hate America & live in Malibu are losing their houses to forest fires. And extra credit to Ponte for pointing out how Bush & the Republican-dominated Congress had six yrs. to establish a "No Forest Left" policy to "rationally manage" forest & brush (but didn't). That was Clinton's fault, too, right? It always is. As was noted on Sadly, No! by a member of the commentariat, Trilateral Chairman, Bush seems to like clearing brush, he could have helped.

Real credit where credit is due: J— commenting @ S,N! must've brought it to the attention of Gavin Sadly, who posted it at exactly the same time as we were asking if such a thing had happened two threads previous!!! Coincidence? We think not.

UPDATE (@1731 PDT): Just heard on MSNBC's Countdown that the Fox News Channel's morning show (Fox and Friends) was making a big deal (transcript) of an FBI memo from four years ago that indicated an Al Qaeda member or informant or a guy who lived down the street from a guy whose sister-in-law used to work w/ a dame who was married to an Arab once, only he was a Christian Arab, but really what difference does that make, told the FBI of an Al Qaeda plot to light simultaneous forest fires in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming & Utah during the summer. No confirmation of said plot, either, but it could be what's behind the current fires, the Fox tools implied. You certainly do have to get up early in the morning to put one over on Just Another Blog™.
Damn! We're just lucky that hurricanes, tornadoes & earthquakes can't be caused by human agency, we'd need more home-care workers to keep changing the Depends™ on these clowns. Volcanoes? Could go either way.

Further arson poop, from a self-proclaimed "voice of the resistance."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Life Sucks...Death Not (Yet) Imminent

Don't believe a word these "people" say:Still no DSL, & the lying sacks o' shit @ AT&T said it would be on by 2000 PDT this evening (two hours 30 minutes ago). And it's hot & nasty. Most of the smoke is missing the House Of Bouffant, but there's definitely a pall over the Los Angeles Basin. Maybe the DSL delay has to do w/ the firestorm (as the local news yokels are calling it) or some crap like that, but we don't give two shits if all the hill-dwelling home owners from S. B. to S. D. are in refugee centers w/ nothing but the clothes on their backs, we'd like some service here. Damn! And we're losing readership; too much trouble to surf the web for anything worth commenting on or linking to or anything, period. Phooey.

We can, however, make mock of a politician who just sent us an e-mail:
Dear Friend:

Fires continue to rage across southern California. I am working to make sure that California has needed resources from all federal agencies. We need firefighting resources and equipment as well as assistance for the thousands of people who have been left homeless or evacuated. I am working to see that these resources get to California as soon as possible.

I hope you will use my Senate website as a resource in the days ahead, both for yourself and for any impacted family or friends. It will have constantly updated information about where fires are burning, evacuation centers, and the federal resources that will be made available in the days ahead. You can find my fire feature at http://boxer.senate.gov/calfire.cfm
Sincerely,
Barbara Boxer
United States Senator
Jeezis, Babs, don't you have the guts (in the middle of exploiting the suffering of others) to mention that maybe we should have brought the California Nat'l. Guard back from Iraq to guard us & our all-important property a little sooner?

(UPATE/CORRECTION 24 October 2007 @ 1710): Sen. Babs was discussing the Nat'l. Guard shortage today on telebision, but sort of copped out, saying that we had enough equipment, by borrowing from other states & so on. Guess she didn't want to sully her e-mail w/ politics.

Lt. Gov. Garamendi (a Dem just like Boxer) has also been on telebision, about the strapped Calif. Nat'l. Guard, & how Bush's visit tomorrow is photo ops bull, & a distraction, and Bush hasn't done much to rebuild New Orleans, so please keep your promises this time, Bushie.

Speaking of Iraq, tonight Law & Order Special Victims Unitwas all over torture, or enhanced stressing, or whatever this week's euphemism is. Another example of horrid left wing media bias. We thought series creator Dick Wolf was of the right-wing persuasion, one of those rare-as-hen's teeth Hollywood conservatives. Guess the Bush admin has lost another one.

Monday, October 22, 2007

SOUTHERN CAL OCTOBER: GATES OF HELL OPEN ON SCHEDULE, JUST IN TIME FOR HALLOWEEN!!Remains of Malibu Presbyterian Church. Where's Jebus going to live now?
Below: ECU of Hellmouth, CA.More on Halloween, from CBN.

Let's Have a War (Blame Canada Edition)

Pere Ubu, commenting @ Sadly, No!, has brought to our attention a bit of pop national psychology from a (need we say?) liberal, hippie, pussified wimp professor who teaches in Norway, fercissakes. This commie crank thinks the United States is a bad place. My Gawd, read this:
In fact, the U.S.A. is the least threatened nation on the planet. Its geographic, demographic, and economic size, and its location, give it far greater security than Russia, or Holland, or Hungary, or France, or Finland, or Iraq, or Iran. These nations are easily attacked from several sides, and in modern history have been thus attacked. These nations have reason to be fearful, but in fact are less fearful than is America. Certainly it is impossible for foreign forces to invade and occupy the U.S.A. even should the U.S. have the most minimal defenses.
He's ready to turn this country over to the atheistic Islamic hordes!! And he bases his analysis on the perfectly rational plans the War Dep't. had in the 1920s & '30s to defend This Great Nation of Ours™ from Mexico & Canada. Just examine the potential menace from Canada!! LAKES!!
In the mistakenly published 1935 testimony to Congress about the need for new air bases to attack Canada, a military expert explained that Canada has thousands of lakes, and each of these is a potential float-plane base. He asked the congressmen to imagine the fearful vision of the sky filled with bush-pilot float planes flying down from Canadian forests to bomb Boston and Baltimore.
Prof. Rudmin also compares War Plan Green, the plan for defending our economic interests (oil, surprise!) in Mexico by attacking Mexico, w/ Operation Iraqi LiberationFreedom. Talk about the paranoid style in American politics. It seems we'll never be rid of this militaristic crap. One really must wonder if most of those who left Europe for the "New World" were paranoid fascist bullies driven out by their neighbors, whose traits have been inbred into the nation's so-called character.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Tale of Tweety

Note that even in college (Holy Cross) he was a sneering twerp.
Just Another Blog's™ demanding schedule usually has it awake & off the couch by 1400 PT wkdys., or 1600 PT for sure, so we usually take a peep at the man his staff dubbed "Tweety" ('cause of the hair color he uses) to see what crap the masses are having stuffed down their mental throats by the Old Media Washington, D. C. cocktail weenie crowd. And one thing we've determined is that Matthews is a tool, & not the sharpest one in the MSNBC drawer either. While we've never given much of a shit exactly what his problem was, while wandering the vast wasteland (the Internet, not the telebision wasteland Newton Minow predicted in the early '60s) we encountered a delicious hit piece in Slate that gave us a better idea of Mr. Matthews' demons:
Legendary. Supporter of democracy. Learned reporter. Distinguished. Prolific. All of these words may capture Matthews' character, but not as well as do flighty, braying, shameless, and opportunistic. It's a shame that nobody gives a Sammy Glick Award. Matthews would be a cinch.
Haw haw. And this:
"He made no secret about it. Chris Matthews wanted to be a pundit, a player, a face on the Sunday political talk shows," Rosenstiel writes. But the transformation required journalistic credentials, which Matthews lacked.
And since we've already plunged into Slate, let's get into the other big Internet magazine that starts w/ an "ess," Salon:
Chris "Tweety" Matthews is indeed an insufferable blithering jackass, a creepy Irish-American misogynist who fits nicely into conservative Catholic Jack Welch's similarly-pedigreed stable of thoroughbred infotainwhores.
Testify, brother. (Didn't know Welch, former chairman of GE, was a Catholic too.) The above & the following excerpt are from a comment to this item, which excoriates Matthews & his cocktail weenie buddies.
I find it interesting that admirers can somehow brush aside Tweety's adolescent loathing for Hillary Clinton (I'm not a fan), or his embarrassingly homoerotic gushing over men in power. During the post-war era of Freudian psychotherapy, Tweety would've been instantly classified "latent homosexual".

Talbot's characterization of Tweety as a shallow, superficial blarneymonger comports with my mercifully limited experience of him.
Ah, Freud. Mostly full of crap, but an excellent source of sophisticated-sounding insults. More Irish-Catholic misogyny, as evidenced in Washingtonian:
The irony of the situation came to a point when Matthews began to discuss Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. “You gotta be heard because men just keep talking,” he said after he mentioned the “big, deep, green, scaly, horny monster” of misogyny that might rear its head at at the polls.

“Men are all whipped into silence on this topic,” he said. He also noted that women’s voices often scale upwards when they try to be heard in a debate, and he conjectured that men might weary of Mrs. Clinton’s sometimes strident tones.

“Not 8 years,” he imagined men thinking.

“When a man yells, it’s entertainment. When a woman yells, it’s Eleanor Clift,” Matthews said.
Or, when Chris yells, it's an asshole of the first water. And speaking of Freud, how 'bout that "horny monster" of misogyny? And those "whipped into silence" men? What exactly was it that "whipped" them, Chris? Something that so scares you, you dare not speak its name?

Last & least, here he is, morning after-stylee:It wouldn't be Just Another Blog™ w/o an unflattering photo, would it? Note hair & its dye.