Saturday, April 11, 2009

"The old unpredictability, military preparedness, and deterrence"

We were led to these thoughts (but they could not make us think) by The New Republic, who quoted the third paragraph w/o comment. It's easily the silliest, but we found paragraph 2), in which gentleman farmer V. D. Hanson recaps some historical pirates & how they've been dealt with, the most interesting.As so often, Mr. (Is he a professor of some sort? We just can't remember.) Davis' command of history, such as it is, stops a few hundred yrs. short of the present day*, as does his National Darwinist (we just invented that, clever, huh?)  foreign policy. So we can hardly blame him if he forgets that in more recent history "disproportionate measures" have often been favorites of the Nazis, to name one group.
Of course, "lethal air assaults" are so much easier than lining up a bunch of French civilians & killing ten or twenty for each Nazi occupier killed by partisans. Modern warfare really is neat, isn't it, Vic?
And paragraph 4) deserves full reproduction:
4) The Obamists better be careful in their serial apologetics, "Bush did it" throat-clearing, and caving to European, Russia, Turkish, etc. agendas. Slowly, but clearly we are establishing a new atmosphere in which the old unpredictability, military preparedness, and deterrence will be lost, replaced by a touchy-feely sort of seminar discussion, laced with atonement, reaction. And then the two-bit pirates who boast "We are not afraid of the Americans" will be the least of our problems.
Be careful Obamists! Victor Davis Hanson has warned you. Get back to that "old unpredictability." AmeriKKKa can be safe only if the rest of the world, which for some reason doesn't like us as much as it used to, can never tell just who or where will be lethally air assaulted next.
*What do you think V. D.'s opinion of that "Enlightenment" thing a few hundred yrs. back is?

Emptiness Somewhat Filled

Few phrases are sweeter to the lazy but compelled web log proprietor's eye than "Log entries will be light for some time to come." (Often a relief for readers as well.)Today's excuse is that every material object (they fill the bed of a medium-sized pick-up truck) left in the possession of this typist has been been humped from a friend's black widow-infested garage (No web thanks to her, as she claims never to read this or anyone else's typing, so why bother?) & piled on the pseudo-gentrified 70 yr.-old darkly stained hardwood floor. (Have we mentioned that before? We're trying to look at the positive aspects of existing where POW! POW! POW! POW! POW! — five rounds, or could've been M-80s or Seal Testers, we weren't about to investigate — went off in what sounded like the lobby — mere feet away, could have been in the street — of our our new digs about 0340 today.) 
Meaning nostalgia sorting through the crap, & killing any potential spiders. Could be a while. We're obsessively precise, if "precise" means slow. Mix w/ this dial-up business (not exactly whipping the muse into whipping us into a frenzy, if you follow) long unheard music, & the glass teat itselfto while away the agony of existence, & there's little likelihood of reading anything new or interesting from here (Don't say it!) for a while, barring of course "live-blogging" any typical SoCal natural disaster as long as the battery on the presses here holds out.
On the third-world attaché case as we type: The Best of Sonny Rollins The Blue Note Years. Extra special thanks to long-time friend/creative associate Mr. Peabody for invaluable material assistance in humping garbage bags full of T-shirts & the like. (Including renting that medium-sized pick-up & driving it to hell & back, Audie Murphy-stylee, mon!) Big ups, as the kewl colored kidz say!

Stripped Down, Who Cares (Seriously, Why The Hell Bother?) Version Of History

Today is Saturday, April 11, the 101st day of 2009. There are 264 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: On April 11, 1970, Apollo 13 blasted off on its ill-fated mission to the moon. (The astronauts managed to return safely). On this date: In 1689, William III and Mary II were crowned as joint sovereigns of Britain. In 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated as Emperor of the French and was banished to the island of Elba. In 1898, as tensions with Spain continued to rise, President William McKinley asked Congress to authorize military intervention in Cuba. In 1899, the treaty ending the Spanish-American War was declared in effect. [Guess we showed them. America rules!! — Ed.] In 1945, during World War II, American soldiers liberated the notorious Nazi concentration camp in Buchenwald, Germany. In 1951, President Harry S. Truman relieved Gen. Douglas MacArthur of his command in the Far East. [That means Korea. — Ed.] In 1979, Idi Amin was deposed as president of Uganda as rebels and exiles backed by Tanzanian forces seized control. In 1988, the hijackers of a Kuwait Airways jetliner killed a second hostage, dumping his body onto the ground in Larnaca, Cyprus. In 1989, Mexican officials began unearthing the remains of victims of a drug-trafficking cult near Matamoros; one of the dead was University of Texas student Mark Kilroy, who had disappeared while on spring break. (Several cult members were later convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to 50 years in prison.) In 2001, ending a tense 11-day standoff, China agreed to free the 24 crew members of an American spy plane. Ten years ago: The Justice Department reported that more than a third of the women in state prisons and jails said they were physically or sexually abused as children. Jose Maria Olazabal won the Masters by two shots over Davis Love III. Five years ago: President George W. Bush defended his response to a briefing memo from August 2001 about possible terrorist plots against the United States, saying he was "satisfied that some of the matters were being looked into" and that there were no specific threats against New York and Washington. Pope John Paul II celebrated Easter Mass with calls for world leaders to resolve conflicts in Iraq, the Holy Land and Africa. Phil Mickelson's agonizing pursuit of a major ended at the Masters when he made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole. One year ago: Group of Seven financial officials meeting in Washington pledged to strengthen their regulation of banks and other financial institutions while anxiously hoping the credit crisis in the United States would be a short one. French troops captured six pirates after the pirates released 30 hostages who were aboard the French luxury yacht Le Ponant when it was seized off Somalia's coast. [Plus ça change, baby. — Ed.] Today's Birthdays: Former New York State Gov. Hugh Carey is 90. Ethel Kennedy is 81. Actor Johnny Sheffield is 78. Actor Joel Grey is 77. Actress Louise Lasser is 70. Syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman is 68. Movie writer-director John Milius is 65. Actor Peter Riegert is 62. Actor Meshach Taylor is 62. Movie director Carl Franklin is 60. Actor Bill Irwin is 59. Country singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale is 52. Songwriter-producer Daryl Simmons is 52. Rock musician Nigel Pulsford is 48. Actor Lucky Vanous is 48. Country singer Steve Azar is 45. Singer Lisa Stansfield is 43. Rock musician Dylan Keefe (Marcy Playground) is 39. Actor Johnny Messner is 39. Actor Vicellous Shannon is 38. Rapper David Banner is 35. Actress Tricia Helfer is 35. Rock musician Chris Gaylor (The All-American Rejects) is 30. Singer Joss Stone is 22. On April eleventh, 1958, Jerry Lee Lewis' first wife, Jane Mitcham, filed for divorce. Lewis had already secretly married his 13-year-old cousin, Myra Gale Brown. [Go cat go! — Ed.] In 1961, Bob Dylan made his first professional appearance at a club in New York's Greenwich Village. In 1965, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones shared the bill at the "New Musical Express" poll winners' contest in London. In 1970, Paul McCartney announced what he called a temporary break from The Beatles. Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac announced he was leaving the band to follow his religious beliefs. [Mr. Green, unlike Mr. McCartney, actually has musical talent. But he's totally fucking nuts. — Ed.] In 1981, guitarist Eddie Van Halen and actress Valerie Bertinelli got married. They separated in 2002 and divorced in 2007. In 1983, "Gandhi" was the big winner at the Academy Awards, taking best picture and director. "Up Where We Belong" from the movie "An Officer and a Gentleman" won the best song award. In 1988, "The Last Emperor" was named best picture at the Academy Awards. Cher won a best actress award for "Moonstruck." Thought for Today: "We think in generalities, but we live in detail." — Alfred North Whitehead, British philosopher (1861-1947).

Friday, April 10, 2009

Five Minutes Is Nothing On The Internet. Nothing, Y'Hear?

Here's your choice, intertubal weenies. Short & sweet (that would be us, two items down) or some guy who sees the same clip & spews as if there's no tomorrow. Also, there's advertising there. Your choice is clear. Wise up before it's too late.      P. S.: OK, so he did post his item five minutes before we did (the blog being on elitist East Coast time). Whatever.

Annals Of Consumption

RNC chair Steele cracks up, because "the malls are still packed." The facts as to what's being spent in said malls:

Gallup found that last month consumer spending among all Americans reached a 15-month low and is 27 percent lower than last year’s figures.

Additionally, Reuters reported yesterday that vacancies at regional and strip malls are soaring to record highs

[...] CALLER: The malls are just as packed. … You still can’t get a seat in a restaurant.
We've no idea which part of This Great Nation Of Ours™ CALLER is from (We'd like to know, so we can avoid his hotbed of consumption.) but we can tell you that across Los Angeles, from downtown to the very edge of the continent, restaurant proprietors are practically on the sidewalk waving at your car to get you into their establishments.
Let's play the race card here, as Think Progress didn't get around to it. (Someone has to do it. Why is it always left to us, though?) Mr. Steele is certainly not an affirmative action hire, because that would be an insult to all the white guysqualified applicants/candidates who merited the job, per approved Republican ideology. He must, therefore, be a token hire/election. And hasn't exactly seized the opportunity. 
Also: Mandatory reference to former President George W.(orst) Bush advising us all to go out & shop, as usual, after the "horrible tragedy" of who cares when. Will this ever stop? Are you all mere consuming/producing tubes, to squeeze out some crap that's sold back to us to shove in the other end, to produce/extrude more, & then to ... Of course you are. Suckahs!

"Marketing Got Us Into This Mess, Marketing Will Get Us Out Of This Mess"

Glad we got that straightened out. The real fun starts about two minutes in. Our friends on the right are returning to their John Birch Society roots: "Commies!!! EVERYWHERE!!!"
Brought to our attention by Chuckles Johnson at Tiny Green Shitballs. (Cheap shot? Yeah. Chuckie may be starting to come down from his post-11 September 2001 fear jag. Just a few yrs. later than anyone w/ a functioning mind, is all.)

Totally Beyond Caring About Anything Or Anyone, Let Alone The Insignificant Events Of 10 April Throughout "Human" History

Today is Good Friday, [How is this any different than any other Friday? Isn't Friday "good" by definition? — Ed.] April 10, the 100th day of 2009. There are 265 days left in the year. [Can you believe that we've suffered 100 days of this yr. already? And we're still less than a third of the way through?— Ed.] AP's Different World. A/V. UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: On April 10, 1912, the RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, on its ill-fated maiden voyage. On this date: In 1790, President George Washington signed into law the first United States Patent Act. In 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was incorporated. In 1925, the novel "The Great Gatsby," by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was first published. In 1932, German president Paul Von Hindenburg was re-elected in a runoff, with Adolf Hitler coming in second. In 1947, Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey announced he had purchased the contract of Jackie Robinson from the Montreal Royals, paving the way for Robinson to become the first black player in the major leagues.In 1957, Egypt reopened the Suez Canal to all shipping traffic. (The canal had been closed due to wreckage resulting from the Suez Crisis.) In 1959, the future emperor of Japan, Crown Prince Akihito, married a commoner, Michiko Shoda. In 1963, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Thresher sank during deep-diving tests off Cape Cod, Mass., in a disaster that claimed 129 lives. In 1972, the United States and the Soviet Union joined some 70 nations in signing an agreement banning biological warfare. In 1978, Arkady Shevchenko, a high-ranking Soviet citizen employed by the United Nations, sought political asylum in the United States. In 1998, the Northern Ireland peace talks concluded as negotiators reached a landmark settlement to end 30 years of bitter rivalries and bloody attacks. Ten years ago: Bad weather hampered NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, but the allies warned Slobodan Milosevic the lull wouldn't last. The Pentagon, meanwhile, announced that 82 U.S. planes would join the force conducting airstrikes over Yugoslavia. The Miami Heat humiliated the Chicago Bulls, 82-49, holding the Bulls to the lowest point total since the introduction of the shot clock. Five years ago: The White House declassified and released a document sent to President George W. Bush before the Sept. 11 attacks which cited recent intelligence of a possible al-Qaida plot to strike inside the United States. One year ago: The U.S. Board on Geographic Names officially renamed Squaw Peak in Phoenix Piestewa Peak, in honor of Army Spc. Lori Piestewa, who was killed in Iraq in 2003. Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean, suspected of killing a pregnant colleague, was arrested in Tacambaro, Mexico; Laurean is charged with murder in the death of Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach in North Carolina, but is fighting extradition to the U.S. Today's Birthdays: Actor Harry Morgan is 94. Actor Max von Sydow is 80. Actress Liz Sheridan is 80. Actor Omar Sharif is 77. Sportscaster John Madden is 73. Rhythm-and-blues singer Bobbie Smith (The Spinners) is 73. Sportscaster Don Meredith is 71. Reggae artist Bunny Wailer is 62. [Né Neville O'Riley Livingston. — Ed.]Actor Steven Seagal is 58. Folk-pop singer Terre Roche (The Roches) is 56. Actor Peter MacNicol is 55. Rock musician Steven Gustafson (10,000 Maniacs) is 52. Singer-producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds is 51. Rock singer-musician Brian Setzer is 50. Rapper Afrika Bambaataa is 49. Rock singer Katrina Leskanich is 49. Actor Jeb Adams is 48. Olympic gold medal speedskater Cathy Turner is 47. Rock musician Tim "Herb" Alexander is 44. Actor-comedian Orlando Jones is 41. Rock musician Mike Mushok (Staind) is 40.  On April tenth, 1925, the novel "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald was first published by Scribner's of New York. In 1953, the first feature-length 3D horror movie in color, "House of Wax," premiered in New York. Vincent Price starred. In 1956, singer Nat "King" Cole was beaten up by a group of racial segregationists in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1957, Ricky Nelson sang for the first time on "The Adventures of Ozzy and Harriet." He performed "I'm Walkin'." In 1962, former Beatles member Stu Sutcliffe died of a brain hemorrhage in Hamburg, Germany. He was 22. In 1967, "A Man for All Seasons" won most of the major awards at the Oscars. Elizabeth Taylor won the best actress award for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" In 1968, "In The Heat Of The Night" was named best picture at the Academy Awards. Drummer Mickey Hart joined the Grateful Dead. In 1972, "The French Connection" won the best picture and best director at the Academy Awards. Gene Hackman was named best actor for his role in that film. The best original song award went to the "Theme From 'Shaft."' In 1989, Alabama was named artist of the decade by the Academy of Country Music. In 1991, Natalie Schafer, the actress who played Mrs. Howell on "Gilligan's Island," died of cancer. She was 90. In 1992, comedian Sam Kinison was killed when a pickup truck hit his car on a California highway. The 17-year-old driver was arrested. In 1994, Charles Kuralt hosted his last episode of "Sunday Morning" on CBS. Charles Osgood was his replacement. In 2001, rapper Eminem was given two years probation on a weapons charge. He was arrested the previous June for allegedly using a gun to hit a man kissing his wife. Kevin Olmstead of Ann Arbor, Michigan, won $2,180,000 on "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire." It's the largest prize ever given out on a TV game show. Thought for Today: "All fantasy should have a solid base in reality." — Max Beerbohm, English critic and essayist (1872-1956). Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Lying Sack Of Shit Caught Lying. Surprised?

Isn't lying one of those Ten Commandments? Oh, no, it's NOT lying! Our mistake. Pardon us. But will gawd pardon Rick (Porkulus) Warren? See the facts/truth (on video) here.

"Shoulda Hung All Them Rebs Right Then, Right There."

Today is Thursday, April 9, the 99th day of 2009. There are 266 days left in the year.
AP. A/V. UPI Almanac.
Today's Highlight in History:
Fifty years ago, in 1959,
NASA announced the selection of America's first seven astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton.
On this date:
In 1682,
French explorer Robert de La Salle claimed the Mississippi River Basin for France.
In 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
In 1939, singer Marian Anderson performed a concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington after she was denied the use of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
In 1940, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway.
In 1942, American and Philippine defenders on Bataan capitulated to Japanese forces; the surrender was followed by the notorious Bataan Death March which claimed thousands of lives.In 1947, a series of tornadoes in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas claimed 181 lives.
In 1959, American architect Frank Lloyd Wright died in Phoenix at age 91.
In 1965, the newly built Astrodome in Houston featured its first baseball game, an exhibition between the Astros and the New York Yankees. (The Astros won, 2-1, in 12 innings.)
In 1983, the Space Shuttle Challenger ended its first mission with a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
In 1988, pro-Iranian Shiite Muslim hijackers who had seized a Kuwait Airways jetliner on April 5 killed one of their hostages as the plane sat on the ground in Larnaca, Cyprus.
Ten years ago: Niger's president, Ibrahim Bare Mainassara, was gunned down by members of his own Presidential Guard.
Five years ago: Four employees of Halliburton subsidiary KBR were killed in an attack on a fuel truck convoy near Baghdad; a U.S. soldier in the convoy, Sgt. Elmer Krause, was found dead weeks later. Four people went missing, including Army Specialist Keith M. Maupin, whose remains were found in 2008. The body of civilian truck driver Wiliam Bradley was found in January 2005; Thomas Hamill escaped his captors in May 2004; Timothy Bell remains unaccounted for.
One year ago: America's war commander in Iraq faced Congress for a second day; Army Gen. David Petraeus told lawmakers he was unlikely to endorse any fresh buildup of troops even if security in the country deteriorated. The Olympic torch was rerouted away from thousands of demonstrators and spectators who had crowded San Francisco's waterfront to witness the flame's symbolic journey to the Beijing Games during its only North American stop.
Today's Birthdays: Jazz musician Art Van Damme is 89. Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner is 83. Naturalist Jim Fowler is 77. Actor Jean-Paul Belmondo is 76. Actress Michael Learned is 70. Country singer Margo Smith is 67. Country singer Hal Ketchum is 56. Actor Dennis Quaid is 55. Humorist Jimmy Tingle is 54. Golfer Severiano Ballesteros is 52. Country musician Dave Innis (Restless Heart) is 50. Actress-sports reporter Lisa Guerrero is 45. Actor Mark Pellegrino is 44. Actress-model Paulina Porizkova is 44. Actress Cynthia Nixon is 43. Rock singer Kevin Martin (Candlebox) is 40. Rock singer Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) is 32. Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam is 30. Football player Jeff Reed is 30. Rock musician Albert Hammond Jr. (The Strokes) is 29. Actor Ryan Northcott is 29. Actor Jay Baruchel is 27. Actor-singer Jesse McCartney is 22. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jazmine Sullivan is 22.
On April ninth, 1939, singer Marian Anderson performed a concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington after she was denied use of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
In 1962, "West Side Story" won the Academy Award for best picture.
In 1976, folk singer and songwriter Phil Ochs hanged himself at his sister's home in New York. He was 35.
In 1979, "The Deer Hunter" won the best picture and best director Oscars. "Last Dance," from the soundtrack to the movie "Thank God It's Friday," won the best original song award.
In 1984, "Terms of Endearment" was the big winner at the Academy Awards. "Flashdance" was named best original song.
In 1988, the music world lost two singers. Brook Benton ("Frankie and Johnny," "The Boll Weevil Song") died of an illness in New York. Dave Prater from the duo Sam and Dave died in a car accident in Georgia.
In 1992, Amy Grant was honored with the Artist of the Year award at the Gospel Music Association's Dove Awards.
In 1997, Soundgarden announced its breakup. [No one cared, then or now. — Ed.]
Thought for Today: "Early in life I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose the former and have seen no reason to change." — Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect (1867-1959).
Copyright ©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Carry On Keep Watching The Skies

ATTACKERMAN (né Spencer Ackerman) in all the hoopla following SecDef Gates's announcement of the new D&D [sic] budget, discovers a Heritage Foundation fright-site that we (a little self-tooting of the horn here) noted over two mos. ago.
The sooner individuals like Clifford D. May stop confusing the actual defense of the nation w/ huge profits for their paymasters, the publicly held defensewar industry corporations that pay the Heritage Foundation, et al., to shill for them, the sooner we'll be well-defended. The financial & economic situation might improve a bit as well.
We also suspect it would be healthful for Mr. May & his ilk to get out of mom's basement or corporate daddy's think-tank cubicle, get some sun, & try to produce or create something of value, rather than continually recycling Reagan/John Birch Society concepts from their hyper-active keyboards. As the Heritage Foundation so often suggests in its "Markets rule, Commies drool!" economic advice to the nation, we need more producers & less moochers & losers. Get to work, boys!!
P. S.: Just re-viewed the video at (Had to wait many minutes for a one min. telebision advert to load. Oh, dial-up, where is thy sting?) which implies that just one (Need we add, imaginary?) Iranian nuke, launched from a freighter off our shores, would then explode over the exact center of the lower 48 & suddenly: No Food, No Water!! We're not saying that an EMP of some type wouldn't eff up computerized distribution systems, but as long as the Bush Admin. isn't running FEMA, we probably still have a chance. 
The larger question raised is if the war biz, or a corporate entity thereof, has an actual (no doubt hare-brained) scheme to stop this "next terrorist atrocity," or if it's a total boondoggle they want to start from the ground up w/ "research funding," which will, all "concerned" in this hope, be appropriated in the wake of this war-mongering by keyboard.

Eat The Rich, Then Deal W/ It!!

Fans of the paranoid style, or bitter libertarianism, or something, may want to note the lengthy item dropped in the comments pool in today's "This Date in The Eternal Suffering of All You Idiots" feature. (Directly beneath this.) Or not.

Donita? And G. Buddha?

By The Associated Press 1 hr. 4 mins. ago Today is Wednesday, April 8, the 98th day of 2009. There are 267 days left in the year. The Jewish holiday Passover begins at sunset. [That means we have to stay inside all wk., right? — Ed.] AP's World of Difference. A/V. The UPI Almanac advises us that "On this day, Buddhists celebrate the commemoration of the birth of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, thought to have lived in India from 563 B.C. to 483 B.C." Today's Highlight in History: On April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit his 715th career home run in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, breaking Babe Ruth's record. Braves announcer Mylo Hamilton makes the call.On this date: In 1513, explorer Juan Ponce de Leon and his expedition began exploring the Florida coastline. In 1913, the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, providing for direct popular election of United States senators (as opposed to appointment by state legislatures), was ratified. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Emergency Relief Appropriations Act, which provided money for programs such as the Works Progress Administration. In 1946, the League of Nations assembled in Geneva for its final session. In 1952, President Harry S. Truman seized the steel industry to avert a nationwide strike. (The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled that Truman had overstepped his authority.) In 1970, the Senate rejected President Richard M. Nixon's nomination of G. Harold Carswell to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1973, artist Pablo Picasso died at his home near Mougins, France, at age 91. In 1988, TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart resigned from the Assemblies of God after he was defrocked for rejecting an order from the church's national leaders to stop preaching for a year amid reports he'd consorted with a prostitute. In 1990, Ryan White, the teenage AIDS patient whose battle for acceptance gained national attention, died in Indianapolis at age 18. In 1994, Kurt Cobain, singer and guitarist for the grunge band Nirvana, was found dead in Seattle from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound; he was 27. Ten years ago: At a White House news conference, President Bill Clinton said NATO could still win in Kosovo by air power alone, and he expressed hope for an early release of three American POWs; also at the session with reporters was visiting Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, who promised to cooperate in investigations of alleged nuclear-weapons spying and illegal campaign contributions by Beijing. Five years ago: National security adviser Condoleezza Rice told the Sept. 11 commission "there was no silver bullet" that could have prevented the attacks. Iraqi insurgents released a videotape of three Japanese captives, threatening to burn them alive if Japan did not withdraw its troops from Iraq. (The hostages were later released unharmed.) Fred Olivi, who copiloted the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, died in Lemont, Ill., at age 82. One year ago: The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Army Gen. David Petraeus, told Congress that hard-won gains in the war zone were too fragile to promise any troop pullouts beyond the summer as he held his ground against impatient Democrats and refused to commit to more withdrawals before President George W. Bush left office in January 2009. American Airlines grounded all 300 of its MD-80 jetliners amid safety concerns about wiring bundles; the carrier ended up canceling more than 3,000 flights over the next four days. Tennessee captured its eighth women's NCAA championship with a 64-48 victory over Stanford. Today's Birthdays: Former first lady Betty Ford is 91. Comedian Shecky Greene is 83. Actor-turned-diplomat John Gavin is 78. Author and investigative reporter Seymour Hersh is 72. Basketball Hall-of-Famer John Havlicek is 69. "Mouseketeer" Darlene Gillespie is 68. Singer J.J. Jackson is 68. Singer Peggy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 68. Songwriter-producer Leon Huff is 67. Actor Hywel Bennett is 65. Actor Stuart Pankin is 63. Rock musician Steve Howe (Yes) is 62. Movie director John Madden ("Shakespeare in Love") is 60. Rock musician Mel Schacher (Grand Funk Railroad) is 58. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Gary Carter is 55. Actor John Schneider is 49. Rock musician Izzy Stradlin is 47. Singer Julian Lennon is 46. Rock singer-musician Donita Sparks is 46. [How'd she get in here? —Ed.]Rapper Biz Markie is 45. Actress Robin Wright Penn is 43. Actress Patricia Arquette is 41. Rock singer Craig Honeycutt (Everything) is 39. Rock musician Darren Jessee is 38. Actress Emma Caulfield is 36. Actress Katee Sackhoff is 29. Actor Taylor Kitsch is 28. Rock singer-musician Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend) is 25. Actor Taran Noah Smith is 25. Actress Kirsten Storms is 25. On April eighth, 1963, "Lawrence of Arabia" won the Oscars for best picture and best director. In 1973, Neil Young's autobiographical film "Journey Through The Past" premiered at the US Film Festival in Dallas. In 1975, "The Godfather Part Two" won the best picture Oscar. In 1983, Danny Rapp, lead singer of Danny and the Juniors, was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 41. In 1986, actor Clint Eastwood won his bid to become mayor of Carmel, California. In 1991, a lawsuit was filed against Virgin Records, claiming that Paula Abdul did not do all of the singing on her hit album "Forever Your Girl." The record company eventually won. In 1993, singer Marian Anderson died at age 96 in Portland, Oregon. In 1994, singer Kurt Cobain of Nirvana was found dead in his Seattle home of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 27. [And he'd been dead for three days. Think about that. — Ed.] Read the original AP story. In 1996, actor Ben Johnson, who won an Oscar for "The Last Picture Show," died at age 77 in Mesa, Arizona. In 1997, singer-songwriter Laura Nyro died of ovarian cancer at her home in Danbury, Connecticut. She was 49. The songs Nyro wrote include "Wedding Bell Blues," "Eli's Coming," and "Stoney End." Thought for Today: "A highbrow is a person educated beyond his intelligence." — James Brander Matthews, American author and educator (1852-1929). Copyright ©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Music Aversion Therapy

Someone (below) billing himself as "America's Tenor™" has cut a discwhose title tune, "Amazed by America," was co-written by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Mormon). We can't imagine anyone out there would be cheating their employer just to scan this drivel, but this is not safe for anywhere.
One question: Isn't "God Bless America" enough? Do we need "God Bless the USA" as well?

Economic Geography

Big (for the Internet, & our attention span) piece in the Atlantic on the dislocation & economic/geographic rearrangement to come as a result of the free market's recent, absolute & unquestioned triumph.
Our so far favorite phrase, "fictitious housing wealth," occurs in this chunk of text:
While the crisis may have begun in New York, it will likely find its fullest bloom in the interior of the country—in older, manufacturing regions whose heydays are long past and in newer, shallow-rooted Sun Belt communities whose recent booms have been fueled in part by real-estate speculation, overdevelopment, and fictitious housing wealth. These typically less affluent places are likely to become less wealthy still in the coming years, and will continue to struggle long after the mega-regional hubs and creative cities have put the crisis behind them.
Our heart pumps piss for the poor bastards & their fictitious housing wealth. "Ain't that a shame," as Fats Domino would have it.
Two of our favorite cities, Phoenix, AZ, & Las Vegas, NV, in particular, aren't getting out of it easily. "Whole cities and metro regions became giant Ponzi schemes" is a fine phrase as well.
Yet the boom itself neither followed nor resulted in the development of sustainable, scalable, highly productive industries or services. It was fueled and funded by housing, and housing was its primary product. Whole cities and metro regions became giant Ponzi schemes. [...] Will people wash out of these places as fast as they washed in, leaving empty sprawl and all the ills that accompany it? Will these cities gradually attract more businesses and industries, allowing them to build more-diverse and more-resilient economies? Or will they subsist on tourism—which may be meager for quite some time—and on the Social Security checks of their retirees? No matter what, their character and atmosphere are likely to change radically.
The entire article is actually interesting; its major thrust is that what we've known for the last seventy-odd yrs. is over, baby!  
Some cities and regions will eventually spring back stronger than before. Others may never come back at all. As the crisis deepens, it will permanently and profoundly alter the country’s economic landscape. I believe it marks the end of a chapter in American economic history, and indeed, the end of a whole way of life.
That's your life (maybe even lives) bourgeois pigs/suburban scumbags!
An added bonus is the lack of economic jargon, statistics, & prediction. No dates of recovery guessed at, no assumptions that people will act rationally, etc. Not bad for the director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. But we should mention our quibbles w/ this academic. We're doubtless more opposed to home ownership than he is (Property is theft!) but his opposition is based on home owning impeding the labor force's hopping wherever its corporate master needs it to go. And there's a tinge of elitism throughout. He's the author of The Rise of the Creative Class, & you can bet that he assumes all of his clever friends w/ their post-graduate degrees (looking down their noses at we, the people) are going to do just fine in their creative, mostly coastal enclaves, while the Rust & Sun Belters will be SOL in their decaying cities & overdeveloped Ponzi sheme suburbs/exurbs. 
Although we're no longer sure what our position on elitism is. (Or why we need to have a position on it, even.) We probably should be for it, as it seems to bother the commoners of the right. Depends on which elite's ox is being gored, really. 

Le Mort Du Coeur De Lion (& Jeezis, From That Band Nazareth, Too!)

By The Associated Press 1 hr. 41 mins. ago Today is Tuesday, April 7, the 97th day of 2009. There are 268 days left in the year. This date in the AP's other history. A/V. The UPI Almanac, which states: "In A.D. 30, by many scholars' reckoning, Jesus of Nazareth was crucified in Jerusalem." [Really? — Ed.] Today's Highlight in History: On April 7, 1862, Union forces led by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant defeated the Confederates at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee.On this date: Eight hundred and ten yrs. ago, in 1199, King Richard I of England (also known as The Lion-Heart) died in the Limousin region of France at age 41 after being mortally wounded by an arrow. In 1859, Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football," was born in New Britain, Conn. In 1927, an audience in New York watched as the image as well as voice of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover were transmitted live from Washington in the first successful long-distance demonstration of television. In 1939, Italy invaded Albania, which was annexed less than a week later. In 1949, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "South Pacific" opened on Broadway. In 1953, the U.N. General Assembly elected Dag Hammarskjold of Sweden to be secretary-general. In 1959, a referendum in Oklahoma repealed the state's ban on alcoholic beverages. [They've only been wet for 50 yrs.? — Ed.] In 1969, the Supreme Court, in Stanley v. Georgia, unanimously struck down laws prohibiting private possession of obscene material. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter announced he was deferring development of the neutron bomb, a high-radiation weapon. In 1983, space shuttle astronauts Story Musgrave and Don Peterson took the first U.S. space walk in almost a decade as they worked in the open cargo bay of Challenger for nearly four hours. Ten years ago: NATO stepped up its airstrikes in Yugoslavia after rejecting President Slobodan Milosevic's cease-fire declaration. Yugoslav authorities, meanwhile, closed the main exit route where a quarter-million ethnic Albanians had fled Kosovo. Five years ago: Mounir el Motassadeq, the only Sept. 11 suspect ever convicted, was freed after a Hamburg, Germany, court ruled that the evidence was too weak to hold him pending a retrial. One year ago: Anti-China protesters disrupted the Olympic torch relay in Paris, at times forcing Chinese organizers to put out the flame and take the torch onto a bus to secure it. Kansas won the NCAA championship, defeating Memphis 75-68. Coach Pat Riley, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Adrian Dantley and broadcaster Dick Vitale were among those selected to Basketball's Hall of Fame. Today's Birthdays: Actor R.G. Armstrong is 92. Sitar player Ravi Shankar is 89. Actor James Garner is 81. Country singer Cal Smith is 77. Actor Wayne Rogers is 76. Media commentator Hodding Carter III is 74. Country singer Bobby Bare is 74. Rhythm-and-blues singer Charlie Thomas (The Drifters) is 72. California Attorney General Jerry Brown is 71. Movie director Francis Ford Coppola is 70. TV personality David Frost is 70. Singer Patricia Bennett (The Chiffons) is 62. Singer John Oates is 60. Singer Janis Ian is 58. Country musician John Dittrich is 58. Actor Jackie Chan is 55. Football Hall-of-Famer Tony Dorsett is 55. Actor Russell Crowe is 45. Rhythm-and-blues singer Mark Kibble (Take 6) is 45. Actor Bill Bellamy is 44. Rock musician Dave "Yorkie" Palmer (Space) is 44. Former football player-turned-analyst Tiki Barber is 34. Actress Heather Burns is 34. On April seventh, 1927, an audience in New York saw an image of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover, in the first successful long-distance demonstration of television. In 1949, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "South Pacific" opened on Broadway. It ran for more than 1,900 performances. In 1962, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards met future Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones at a London blues club. In 1970, "Midnight Cowboy" was named best picture at the Academy Awards. John Wayne won the best actor award for "True Grit." In 1975, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple. He went on to form Rainbow. In 1995, models Elle Macpherson, Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Campbell opened the Fashion Cafe in New York. In 1997, singer Liam Gallagher of Oasis married actress Patsy Kensit in a secret civil ceremony in London. In 1998, singer George Michael was arrested for committing a lewd act in a park restroom in Beverly Hills, California. Also in 1998, drummer Tommy Lee of Motley Crue pleaded no contest to felony spousal abuse. He was accused of kicking his wife, actress Pamela Anderson Lee, while she held their son. Lee was sentenced to six months in jail. In 2003, actor Russell Crowe married Danielle Spencer in Australia. [Sadly obvious & platitudinous] Thought for Today: "No date on the calendar is as important as tomorrow." — Roy W. Howard, American newspaper publisher (1883-1964). Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Monday, April 6, 2009

There Will Always Be An Internet

An amusing enough anecdote, but the animated pine cones add real whipped cream icing to this cake (which has its own cone as well).

Lonely spinster in seedy shame

A SEX-STARVED woman has undergone a painful two-hour op to remove a giant PINE CONE.

Surgeons have revealed embarrassed spinster Mirjana Gavaric is recovering after getting steamy with the seedy item in the Serbian capital, Belgrade.

Dr Sava Bojovic explained: “She was lonely and she took a pine cone from a tree and unfortunately it got stuck and she needed surgery to get it out.”

By all accounts, she did have a TREE-mendous time with it though.

A Career In Public Service

Plenty of huffin' & puffin' about Batgirl Bachmann's latest fear-mongering: "They're Coming to Take Your Children Away, Ha Ha!" Let's stop laughing for a moment & see what Ms. Bachmann does for her constituents when she's not standing athwart the International One-World Order Conspiracy to Replace Our Money With Pieces of Plastic With The Mark Of The Beast on Them screaming "Stop!" (They don't reëlect her for comedy purposes only, do they? She must keep the potholes filled or something.) While her district has the highest foreclosure rate in Minnesota,
Bachmann’s record in Congress is not one of a representative whose district faces such a crisis. Bachmann hasn’t authored or sponsored any legislation to assist homeowners facing foreclosure, but she has co-sponsored 14 bills to restrict abortions and five to promote Christianity in government.
You go, girl! Gettin' it done! Saving the American dream from the money-changers!
Let's hear Batgirl explain the financial crisis (in partisan terms, of course) & then we'll wonder how many of these poor people of color (who are personally responsible for the failure of capitalism & the free market) live in her district.
If you couldn't understand the digital audio, the best parts: 
“Because of CRA," Bachmann said, “[President Bill Clinton] turned the two quasi-private, mortgage-funding firms into a semi-nationalized monopoly that dispensed cash to markets, made loans to large Democrat [sic] voting blocs and handed favors, jobs and money to political allies. This potential mix led inevitably to corruption and the Fannie-Freddie collapse. “Loans started being made on the basis of race, and often little else,” she said.

Bear in mind she's reading from that unimpeachable source, Investors Business Daily. Never had an original idea herself, apparently.
Brought to our attention  by the Minn. Independent's sister publication, The Washington Independent, which summarized it well, & added a cynical note on representative democracy. Heh indeed.

The Real America: Bitter, Clinging Birthers

Dave Weigel, previously referred to at our other location, seems to like guns. He's made some photos he took over the wknd. available at the Washington Independent, under the title "Scenes From the Real America." Sarcasm? Who can tell?
Gun enthusiasts of all stripes were there — from the National Rifle Association and sportsmen to militia members to white supremacists and Obama birthers.
That's quite a spectrum of stripes there. Wasn't just any old gun event either, but a Machine Gun Shoot! Dave types: "Some of the better merchandise from the exhibit tens [sic]. This one says “Prepare for Obama’s Citizen Army (ACORN + Nation of Islam)”Plenty of Nazi/Hitler memorabilia, right next to the "Obama is Hitler" merch. This takes the classic "I'm not saying Hitler was right, but I'm not saying he was wrong, either," to a new level.
The editorial staff has never been so ashamed to be over-weight, middle-aged, Anglo (more or less) & of the middle-class. This is why:"The Birthers had two sets of petitions, one just for members (or retired members) of the military who wanted to join Orly Taitz’s legal actions against Obama. Taitz is the blonde woman with the pink nametag, obscured slightly by Theresa Padget, the woman in the sweatshirt." And here are the Obama Youth Michelle Bachmann is in a tizzy over.SS hat & AmeriKKKan flag shoulder patch. Get used to it, chumps. Tomorrow belongs to us!!

Not So Much

Dear Dear Leader:
The running dogs at The New York Times are telling us that your stairway to the stars, or "rocket to the front door of Sarah Palin's igloo," as you've so often joked over an expensive after dinner cognac or brandy, didn't go so well. 
The United States Northern Command, based in Colorado Springs, issued a statement on Sunday that portrayed the launching as a major failure. It based its information on a maze of federal radars, spy ships and satellites that monitor global missile firings. The command said that North Korea launched a Taepodong-2 missile at 11:30 a.m. Sunday local time, or 10:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday, and that its first stage fell into the Sea of Japan, which analysts had expected as the point of splashdown in a successful launching. However, “the remaining stages, along with the payload itself, landed in the Pacific Ocean,” the statement said. Analysts had expected the rocket’s second stage to land in the Pacific but its third stage and its ostensible satellite payload to fly into space. The command emphasized that “no object entered orbit,” apparently a reference to both the rocket’s third stage as well as the supposed satellite.
Well, D. L., we'll be the first to tell you that you just can't win them all.
The launching itself of the three-stage rocket on Sunday, which the North Korean government portrayed as a success — even bragging that the supposed satellite payload was now broadcasting patriotic tunes from space — outraged Japan and South Korea, led to widespread rebuke by President Obama and other leaders, and prompted the United Nations Security Council to go into an emergency session.
Hey, whether the damn thing worked or not, it drummed up a load of hysteria among the sour-pusses in the "international community," didn't it? And that's at least half your game, right? 
It'll work next time, D. L. Anxiously awaiting those patriotic tunes from space, 
M. Bouffant 
P. S.: Hope we weren't telling tales out of school. Did those people you have working for you tell you those patriotic numbers on the radio were coming from the ether? We wonder about some of your toadies sometimes. The boot-lickers here in L. A. really are a step up. You should look into it.
As B/4,  M. B.

Warm Leatherette

No sooner had we discussed vehicle fatalities (below) than our friends (& enablers) at the AP (via MSNBC) brought us up to date:
Preliminary figures being released by the government Monday show that 37,313 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes last year. That's 9.1 percent lower than the year before, when 41,059 died, and the fewest since 1961, when there were 36,285 deaths.
Still more impressive than the twenty thousand or so annual firearm deaths. But no figures on the walking (or not) dead from accidents. Or ammunition.
"The silver lining in a bad economy is that people drive less, and so the number of deaths go down," said Adrian Lund, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "Not only do they drive less but the kinds of driving they do tend to be less risky — there's less discretionary driving."
Sounds like more mouths to feed to us. Remember, every silver lining is surrounded by a dark, impenetrable wall of cloudy matter.
NB: Good taste prevailed. No image of blood-spattered asphalt (or worse).

Those Long & White Polar Nights; Deaths Of Divas

By The Associated Press 2 hrs 7 mins ago Today is Monday, April 6, the 96th day of 2009. There are 269 days left in the year. Another world. This date in motion & sound. UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: One hundred years ago, on April 6, 1909, American explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew A. Henson and four Inuits became the first men to reach the North Pole. On this date: In 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was organized by Joseph Smith in Fayette, N.Y. [Jesus FUCKING Christ, in this case. — Ed.] In 1862, the Civil War Battle of Shiloh began in Tennessee as Confederate forces launched a surprise attack against Union troops, who beat back the Confederates the next day. In 1896, the first modern Olympic games formally opened in Athens, Greece. In 1917, Congress approved a declaration of war against Germany. Read the original AP story. In 1954, after being criticized by newsman Edward R. Murrow on CBS' "See It Now," Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., was given the opportunity to reply with a filmed response in which he charged that Murrow had in the past "engaged in propaganda for Communist causes." In 1959, "Gigi" won the Academy Award for best picture of 1958; Susan Hayward was named best actress for "I Want to Live!" and David Niven was named best actor for "Separate Tables." (To the embarrassment of the show's producers, the scheduled two-hour ceremony fell about 20 minutes short.) In 1963, the United States signed an agreement to sell the Polaris missile system to Britain. In 1965, the United States launched the Intelsat I, also known as the "Early Bird" communications satellite, into orbit. In 1983, rock-and-roll fans reacted with outrage and dismay to a published report in The Washington Post that Interior Secretary James Watt had decided to exclude groups like the Beach Boys from Washington's 4th of July celebration — a stand he later reversed. In 1994, the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi were killed in a mysterious plane crash near Rwanda's capital; widespread violence and killings erupted in Rwanda over claims the plane had been shot down. Ten years ago: Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic declared a unilateral cease-fire in his campaign to crush rebels in Kosovo; Western leaders called the move a sham and pledged to press ahead with airstrikes. Five years ago: Jordan's military court convicted eight Muslim militants and sentenced them to death for the 2002 killing of U.S. aid official Laurence Foley in a terror conspiracy linked to al-Qaida. Lawmakers ousted Lithuania's scandal-ridden president Rolandas Paksas for abuse of office. The University of Connecticut's women's basketball team beat Tennessee 70-61 to win a third consecutive NCAA title, a day after UConn also won the men's championship. One year ago: President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin, meeting at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, failed to overcome sharp differences over a U.S. missile defense system as they closed their seven-year relationship. Anti-China demonstrators caused chaos as the Olympic torch was relayed through London ahead of the Beijing games. Today's Birthdays: Nobel Prize-winning scientist James D. Watson is 81. Composer-conductor Andre Previn is 80. Country singer Merle Haggard is 72. Actor Billy Dee Williams is 72. Actor Roy Thinnes is 71. Movie director Barry Levinson is 67. Actor John Ratzenberger is 62. Actress Marilu Henner is 57. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Janet Lynn is 56. Actor Michael Rooker is 54. Rock musician Warren Haynes is 49. Rock singer-musician Frank Black is 44. Author Vince Flynn is 43. Actress Ari Meyers is 40. Actor Paul Rudd is 40. On April sixth, 1956, Paramount Pictures signed Elvis Presley to a three-movie contract just a few days after his first screen test.
In 1959, "Gigi" won the Academy Award for best picture of 1958; Susan Hayward was named best actress for "I Want to Live!" and David Niven was named best actor for "Separate Tables." (To the embarrassment of the show's producers, the scheduled two-hour ceremony fell about 20 minutes short.) In 1968, guitarist Syd Barrett left Pink Floyd. The Beatles' Apple Corps Limited opened in London.In 1969, bassist Pete Quaife quit the Kinks. In 1971, Carly Simon performed her first concert, opening for Cat Stevens in New York. James Taylor was in the audience and went backstage to meet her. In 1979, singer Rod Stewart married Alana Hamilton, the ex-wife of actor George Hamilton. They separated in 1984. In 1993, Bruce Hornsby released the album "Harbor Lights," his first album without the band The Range. In 1998, country singer Tammy Wynette died of a blood clot at her home in Nashville. She was 55. Singer Wendy O. Williams of The Plasmatics died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Storrs, Connecticut. She was 48. Thought for Today: "To be really cosmopolitan, a man must be at home even in his own country." — Thomas Wentworth Higginson, American clergyman-author (1823-1911). Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Uncomfortably Numb*

Here's a sensible middle-class type who, for the past thirty-odd yrs. believed America was composed entirely of sugar, spice & everything nice, & is therefore surprised when crazed blood-thirsty American killers kill the so-called innocent. Even worse is the lack of outrage. "Horrors!! Have Americans become numb to this sort of thing? How could they?" We're then treated to a list of killing sprees, & the names of the killers.
Each entered the national consciousness when he picked up a gun and ended multiple lives. Uyesugi, 1999, Hawaii office building, seven dead. Hawkins, 2007, Nebraska shopping mall, nine dead. Barton, Ratzmann and Stewart — 24 dead among them in 1999 (Atlanta brokerage offices), 2005 (Wisconsin church service) and last week (North Carolina rehab center). Each has been largely forgotten as the parade of multiple killings in America melts into an indistinguishable blur. We bemoan, we mourn, we move on.
Guess so. Might even be the sensible course. It never stops (Has there been a Sunday-go-to-meeting shooting today?) but there's nothing that can be easily done about it, so we do our best to step over it, as if it were a homeless type napping in a doorway, & go on w/ our business of destroying the continent (if not the whole world) our ancestors stole for us by murdering & then marginalizing the original inhabitants.
Often, rather than stepping over it, we'll drive around it, possibly on our way to becoming one of the circa 40,000 claimed annually in automobile caused deaths (not to mention the more than two million  "permanently injured" annually on the highways & byways). Numbness is the American way.
Even in a media-saturated nation that encourages short memories, these numbers are conversation-stopping: Forty-seven people dead in the past month in American mass shootings and their aftermaths. 
Not yet on the author's radar as he typed: The man in Washington state who plugged his five children & himself on Saturday, because his wife was dropping him like the hot potato he turned out to be. (No word yet on his employment status.)
Put aside for a moment the debate over guns. This isn't about policy. It's about asking the urgent question: What is happening in the American psyche that prevents people from defusing their own anguish and rage before they end the lives of others? Why are we killing each other?
It's who we are & it's what we do, to coin two perfectly awful phrases. We've no idea who or what Ted Anthony is, other than AP National Writer, but we don't see much analysis going on here. Shouldn't the AP's "National Writer" have noticed that we are, as Frank Zappa put it, a "scab of a nation/driven insane?" 
Probably not. A look at Mr. Anthony's page on Linkedin (Facebook for careerist scum) reveals a pile of corporate double-speak & no-speak in his resume (Dig this: "Leader and participant in AP strategic projects designed to leverage company's more market-focused approaches to newsgathering." Hokey Smokes, we're gong to have to stop "aggregating" so much of our "news" from those clowns.) & indicates he is located in the "Greater Pittsburgh" area. So yesterday morning's expression of confiscation paranoia just struck a bit close to home, & brought on a fit of hand-wringing, w/ a dose of "Where has the American Dream gone wrong?" for good measure. 
For so long, the national narrative has been so bullish about equality of opportunity, so persuasive in its romance of possibility for all.
Who could have been persuaded by such a bald-faced lie? State Lottery players & bitter gun-clingers are high on the list. Not that it makes a hell of a difference if you're force-fed the impossible dream, or confronted w/ the grim truth of the system from the first day of school, either way you're crushed. If anything, deluding the proles that "working hard," ad nauseum, will result in anything more than harder work for them seems to lead to trouble.
*The hep will forgive a later Pink Floyd reference. We hope.
From an ambulance chasing website. More reputable sources indicate as of 2005, there were around 2.9 million auto-related injuries per yr., w/ around 10% of those resulting in long-term disability. And around one million short- & long-term auto accident disability claims filed annually. Even discounting loafers, slackers, & cheats, that's an amazing figure. You are destined (by the Dep't. of Statistics & Actuaries) to be in an accident (fender bender to paralysis/death) every six yrs., & will come close to an accident every two or three mos.! How you like them apples, America? Are you completely numb yet?

The Sun Goes Down In The Far Right West

What can you say to this?
"The big picture is that, currently, there is not one single state legislative or congressional district that has a majority of the voters registering Republican," says Allan Hoffenblum, who just finished an analysis for the California Target Book, a nonpartisan publication that regularly analyzes state congressional and legislative races.
Not much, if you're a Republican, & want to keep that family values image.  The Democrats think they can push some Republican raptors closer to extinction, & have targeted eight California Congressional Districts where Obama won last November. (We just don't get the cognitive dissonance involved in that, but the humanoid mind never fails to astound, amaze & amuse us, when we're not horrified by its possibilities.)  Fortunately for the Republicans. they won't have to change their rallying cry. They'll still be able to whine that it was Un-Real Americans who cheated them of victory.
 "Republican registration in California is dropping like a rock. "There's a large slice of voters there being turned off by the Republican Party," said Hoffenblum. "What's really hurting them there is an increase in middle-class Asian and Latino voters - and they're not voting Republican. They're registering decline-to-state.
And they'll decline-to-vote for the wretched old guy whining about taxes, & how they should work more overtime to pay the mortgages on their de-valued houses. 
California GOP state Chair Ron Nehring says Democrats won't find their work easy. He notes that none of the eight districts will have an open seat in 2010, giving all eight GOP incumbents a huge advantage. And 2010 "is on track to be a 'correction' election where the opposition party picks up seats ... as voters correct for Democrats' overreaching," he said. Hoffenblum observes that Democrats will have an even tougher job if they fail to offer more centrist candidates to appeal to the all-important decline-to-state middle ground. But California Republicans, he said, haven't shown they are focused on the job, either. "They're too busy recalling all those (moderate Republican) legislators to do something about it," Hoffenblum said. "It's a sign of a party in decline - they're eating their own."
The All-American Killer Diet; heavy on the fats & starches. Imagine eating this monstrosity, Representative Ken Calvert of Norco, Corona & Riverside.

Sarah Palin Just Better Watch Her Mouth Now, 'Cause Dear Leader Kim Jong-il May Be Listening

North Korea rocket launch provokes global outcryMostly interesting here is speculation on the health of Dear Leader.
In recent times top American intelligence officials have told Congress they believe Mr. Kim is back in charge of the country, but they admit considerable mystery surrounds the question of whether he has regained all of his faculties.
Obvious question as to KJ-i's faculties aide, the straight dope on the firecracker is provided by
David C. Wright, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a private group in Cambridge, Mass.,  [who] said the North Korean rocket might be able to lift a small satellite of 220 pounds into an orbit some 250 miles high. If used as a ballistic missile, he added, the rocket might throw a warhead of 2,200 pounds to a distance of some 3,700 miles — far enough to hit parts of Alaska.
We weren't kidding, Governor Palin. Shhh.

Slap Us Five, Baby! It's Palm Sunday.

By The Associated Press Sun Apr 5, 12:01 am ET Today is Palm Sunday, April 5, the 95th day of 2009. There are 270 days left in the year. Another AP world. A/V. UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: On April 5, 1621, the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth Colony in present-day Massachusetts on a month long return trip to England.On this date: In 1614, Pocahontas, daughter of the leader of the Powhatan tribe, married English colonist John Rolfe in Virginia. (A convert to Christianity, she went by the name Lady Rebecca.) In 1792, George Washington cast the first presidential veto, rejecting a congressional measure for apportioning representatives among the states. In 1887, in Tuscumbia, Ala., teacher Anne Sullivan achieved a breakthrough as her blind and deaf pupil, Helen Keller, learned the meaning of the word "water" as spelled out in the Manual Alphabet. British historian Lord Acton wrote in a letter, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." In 1895, Oscar Wilde lost his criminal libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry, who'd accused the writer of homosexual practices. In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death following their conviction in New York on charges of conspiring to commit espionage for the Soviet Union; co-defendant Morton Sobell was sentenced to 30 years in prison. (He was released in 1969.) In 1964, Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur died in Washington at age 84. In 1975, nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek died at age 87. In 1976, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes died in Houston at age 70. In 1986, two American servicemen and a Turkish woman were killed in the bombing of a West Berlin discotheque, an incident which prompted a U.S. air raid on Libya more than a week later. In 1988, a 15-day hijacking ordeal began as gunmen forced a Kuwait Airways jumbo jet to land in Iran. Ten years ago: NATO missiles and aircraft blasted Serbian targets inside Yugoslavia for a 13th straight day. The United Nations suspended sanctions against Libya after Moammar Gadhafi surrendered two suspected Libyan intelligence agents for trial in the 1988 Pan Am bombing. In Laramie, Wyo., Russell Henderson pleaded guilty to kidnapping and felony murder in the death of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student. (Henderson was later sentenced to life in prison.) Five years ago: A U.S.-Canadian task force investigating the massive power blackout of Aug. 14, 2003, called for urgent approval of mandatory reliability rules to govern the electric transmission industry. Flash floods killed some three dozen people in northern Mexico. The Los Angeles Times won five Pulitzer Prizes; the Pulitzer for fiction went to Edward P. Jones for "The Known World." The Connecticut Huskies defeated Georgia Tech 82-73 to win the men's NCAA basketball championship. Clyde Drexler was one of six former players, coaches and team executives announced as the newest members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. One year ago: President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin opened farewell talks at Putin's heavily wooded retreat on the Black Sea. Actor Charlton Heston, big-screen hero and later leader of the National Rifle Association, died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 84. Today's Birthdays: Actress Gale Storm is 87. Movie producer Roger Corman is 83. Country music producer Cowboy Jack Clement is 78. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is 72. Country singer Tommy Cash is 69. Actor Michael Moriarty is 68. Pop singer Allan Clarke (The Hollies) is 67. Writer-director Peter Greenaway is 67. Actor Max Gail is 66. Actress Jane Asher is 63. Singer Agnetha Faltskog (ABBA) is 59. Actor Mitch Pileggi is 57. Rock musician Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) is 43. Country singer Troy Gentry is 42. Singer Paula Cole is 41. Actress Krista Allen is 38. Country singer Pat Green is 37. Rapper-producer Pharrell Williams is 36. Today In Entertainment History April 5 On April fifth, 1958, the "Greatest Show of Stars" tour opened in Norfolk, Virginia. Sam Cooke was the headliner. Other acts included The Silhouettes and The Royal Teens. In 1961, Bob Dylan played his first paid gig in New York, at the Loeb Music Center. In 1964, The Searchers appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show," becoming the second British Invasion group to appear on the show, after The Beatles. In 1965, "My Fair Lady" won the best picture Academy Award and the best actor award for Rex Harrison. In 1980, R.E.M. played their first paid gig at a party given by a friend of the band. In 1981, Canned Heat vocalist Bob "Bear" Hite died of a heart attack in Venice, California. He was 36.In 1985, "We Are The World" by USA for Africa was played simultaneously in a special Good Friday broadcast on more than five-thousand radio stations in the US. In 1991, Katie Couric started her first day on the job as co-host on NBC's "Today" show. In 1994, Nirvana singer-guitarist Kurt Cobain fatally shot himself above his garage in Seattle. His body was not found for three days. In 1996, Elizabeth Taylor split up with husband Larry Fortensky after four years of marriage. In 2002, R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck was acquitted in his air-rage trial. Buck was accused of going on a drunken rampage aboard a British Airways flight from Seattle to London. In 2005, ABC News anchor Peter Jennings announced he had lung cancer. He died four months later. Thought for Today: "Time was invented by Almighty God in order to give ideas a chance." — Nicholas Murray Butler, American educator (1862-1947). Copyright ©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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