Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Could This Get Ugly?

From the Just Another Blog™ Mail-Bag©.
Digital Photo Ted said...
I am the photographer who took the original capture. The photograph presented in the article is an unauthorized plagiarism. I resent anyone using my copyrighted photographs without my consent in the first place and even more so bringing an undeserved infamy to my name by altering them and using with ill intend. I am an Australian photographer and American politics are as far away from my mind as are our countries. Is this racism? I am not sure, but it is THEFT and
DEFAMATION for sure.

Please see my post from some time ago on the subject: original story and photograph

Ted Szukalski

PS: Just for clarity I have not granted any media or news agency any publishing or distribution rights to this image or any images derived from it (legally or otherwise) including this website.

TUE JAN 05, 06:54:00 PM PST
Offending Item:

Something From Slate On The End Of The Middle-Class & Its Literary Traditions

We weren't required to read A Separate Peace; it was on the summer reading list mailed out by the snooty, boys-only, formerly part-boarding school we attended for a while, some time ago. The book was easily available at the library; the summer doldrums of 1960s telebision weren't enough distraction, so we read it.

Nothing interesting/memorable happened beyond the unexpected end, where a character we don't remember any more than any of the others died of an infection resulting from a broken leg.

Turns out we missed the homo-erotic subtext ("Subtext" is not meant as understatement here.) Typeth Slate:
... a world of marble staircases, Latin masters, and the closet, that place into which the mutual longings of Gene and Finny are sent to hide out, perhaps even from the awareness of their own author.
The book probably lost us at marble staircases, but we wouldn't have known a homo-erotic subtext unless it (literally) bit us.

Moments Later
Having read the recap, which indicates that the broken or whatever leg merely caused permanent damage, not fatality, we'll stick w/ our memories of it. So effing dull we made up the only good part.

In defense of linking to this upper-middle-brow crap, we are going to plead that we were enticed by this vulgar come-on: A Separate Peace Is Much Gayer Than You Remember, & chalk the rest up to lame nostalgia for the fading socio-economic class we were born into.

Now pardon us while we see if there are any old movies on the not-tube.

Hope For The New Decade: Workplace Shootings Should Increase*

Are The Workers Revolting Yet, Or Is That Something Else We Smell?
[W]orker dissatisfaction has been on the rise for more than two decades.

"It says something troubling about work in America. It is not about the business cycle or one grumpy generation," says Linda Barrington, managing director of human capital at the Conference Board, who helped write the report, which was released Tuesday.

For our part, we've been "troubled" (when not irritated to the point of rage) by work since our parental units first forced us to rake leaves, water the rose garden, & generally fulfill their libertarian fantasy of having an undocumented alien they could force to work for room, board & clothing.

Do Tell
Conference Board officials and outside economists suggested that weak wage growth helps explain why workers' unhappiness has been rising for more than 20 years. After growing in the 1980s and 1990s, average household incomes adjusted for inflation have been shrinking since 2000.

Also, compared with 1980, three times as many workers contribute to the cost of their health insurance — and those contributions have gone up. The average employee contribution for single-coverage medical care benefits rose from $48 a month to $76 a month between 1999 and 2006.

The Managing Director Of Human Capital At The Conference Board Remembers To Blame The Victims
It wouldn't be fair to blame low job satisfaction solely on bad bosses, Barrington says.

"It is two-way responsibility," she says. "Workers also have to figure out what they should be doing to be the most engaged in their jobs and the most productive."
Sure, people who work for a living have absolute control of those means o' production. Why they don't enage in greater productivity is beyond us.

*Free advice to potential spree-killers: Even if your fellow wage-slaves are complete assholes who deserve to meet an early end, at least some of that can be attributed to their having slaved under the same conditions that have driven you to this. (Although sometimes an asshole is just an asshole.) Try to take out supervisors/overseers & management/owners before settling your more personal grudges.

Titties (Beer Optional)

Elevating the discourse in the pp. of the Huffington Post: Celebrity Skin! NOT SAFE FOR WORK! Wooo!

"Superior Credentials": The Politics Of Resentment, Bobo Style

Amusing reading from David Brooks. How the decades are defined:
Think back on the recent decades of American history — the way the hippies defined the 1960s; the feminists, the 1970s; the Christian conservatives, the 1980s. American history is often driven by passionate outsiders who force themselves into the center of American life.
Huh? Whuh? Who?
The public is not only shifting from left to right. Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year.

The educated class believes in global warming, so public skepticism about global warming is on the rise. The educated class supports abortion rights, so public opinion is shifting against them. The educated class supports gun control, so opposition to gun control is mounting.

The story is the same in foreign affairs. The educated class is internationalist, so isolationist sentiment is now at an all-time high, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The educated class believes in multilateral action, so the number of Americans who believe we should “go our own way” has risen sharply.

We haven't dived head-first (Krauthammer-style) into the comments yet, but we did dip our toes into the first one.
Republican like you and Democrats like Obama are the same to most of us. You really think that your superior credentials grants you social wisdom and intelligfence. It doesn't.


If you don't leave us alone, if you do continue to bother us; we will remove you from power and replace you with those who don't have your credentials. I can hardly see where Sarah Palin or Dennis Kucinich or Ralph Nader can do worse than you have done. And, we don't really care whether they wear the proper school ties. We really don't care.


Get the federal government back to where it only does what the Constitution demands -- and nothing more. Get the government out of our lives. Keep your bankers, and the politicians they own, in your cities. Leave us alone and the rest of you republicrats and demopublicans can continue to pretend among yourselves that you matter to the rest of us.

What the Constitution "demands":
promote the general Welfare
This, and the next part of the Preamble, are the culmination of everything that came before it — the whole point of having tranquility, justice, and defense was to promote the general welfare — to allow every state and every citizen of those states to benefit from what the government could provide. The framers looked forward to the expansion of land holdings, industry, and investment, and they knew that a strong national government would be the beginning of that.
An obviously pointy-headed explanation. Keep your damn thinking & reason in "your cities." Shove your "proper school ties" up your urbanite asses, Brainiacs, & LEAVE US ALONE!!!

Also from The NYT, someone who isn't grinding the axe of resentment, but taking a (Dare we say it?) rational, fact-based look at These United Snakes & our economic future. We are so screwed.

Where Are They Now?

Those who've been following political discourse for a while (Technical term: Masochists.) may have been wondering where Michael Kinsley has gone. They probably didn't miss him, but they've wondered a little.

Well, wonder no more. Like a bad penny, he's surfaced in The NYT, where we discover that:
Michael Kinsley is the editor in chief of a forthcoming Web site for business executives.
Ooooh, we're impressed. Do you think that mere mortals will be allowed to read this exciting "Web site," or will they need the double top-secret password ("WhereisJohnGalt," perhaps?) to access the exciting world of "business executives?"

5 January: Benedict Arnold Burns Richmond; X-Rays Discovered; Good-Bye, Pork-Pie Hat; Sonny B. Skis Into Tree

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 5, the fifth day of 2010. There are 360 days left in the year. The UPI Almanac.Today's Highlight in History:
On Jan. 5, 1925, Nellie T. Ross became governor of Wyoming; she was the first female governor in U.S. history. (She succeeded Frank E. Lucas, who had served as acting governor following the death of Ross' husband, William B. Ross.)

On this date:
In 1589, Catherine de Medici of France died at age 69.
In 1643, in the first record of a legal divorce in the American colonies, Anne Clarke of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was granted a divorce from her absent and adulterous husband, Denis Clarke.
In 1781, a British naval expedition led by Benedict Arnold burned Richmond, Va.

In 1809, the Treaty of the Dardanelles, which ended the Anglo-Turkish War, was concluded by the United Kingdom and the Ottoman Empire.
In 1895, French Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, convicted of treason, was publicly stripped of his rank. (He was ultimately vindicated.)
In 1896, an Austrian newspaper (Wiener Presse) reported the discovery by German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen of a type of radiation that came to be known as "X-rays."
In 1914, Ford Motor Co. increased its daily wage from $2.34 for a nine-hour day to $5 for eight hours of work.
In 1919, the National Socialist (Nazi) Party was formed in Germany.
In 1933, the 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, died in Northampton, Mass., at age 60.
Construction began on the Golden Gate Bridge over San Francisco Bay.
In 1943, educator and scientist George Washington Carver died in Tuskegee, Ala., at age 81.
In 1949, in his State of the Union address, President Harry S. Truman labeled his administration the Fair Deal.
In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed assistance to countries to help them resist Communist aggression; this became known as the Eisenhower Doctrine.
In 1964, Pope Paul VI and Greek Orthodox Patriarch Athenagoras met in Jerusalem, the first meeting of a pope and a patriarch in more than five centuries.
In 1970, Joseph A. Yablonski, an unsuccessful candidate for the presidency of the United Mine Workers of America, was found murdered with his wife and daughter at their Clarksville, Pa., home. (UMWA President Tony Boyle and seven others were convicted or entered guilty pleas in the killings.)
In 1972, President Richard Nixon ordered development of the space shuttle.
In 1981, police in England arrested Peter Sutcliffe, a truck driver later convicted of the "Yorkshire Ripper" murders of 13 women. [Stu's bro, y'know. — Ed.]
In 1993, the state of Washington executed multiple child killer Westley Allan Dodd by hanging in the nation's first gallows execution in 28 years.
In 1994, Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, died in Boston at age 81.
In 1999, four U.S. Air Force and Navy jets fired on, and missed, four Iraqi MiGs testing the "no-fly" zone over southern Iraq in the first such air confrontation in more than six years.
In 2000, touching off angry protests by Cuban-Americans in Miami, the U.S. government decided to send 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez back to Cuba. (After a legal battle, and the seizure of Elian from the home of his U.S. relatives, the boy was returned to Cuba.) Democratic presidential candidates Al Gore and Bill Bradley engaged in a feisty debate in Durham, N.H.
In 2004, foreigners arriving at U.S. airports were photographed and had their fingerprints scanned in the start of a government effort to keep terrorists out of the country. NASA released a 3-D, black-and-white panoramic picture of the bleak surface of Mars snapped by the newly landed rover Spirit. China confirmed its first SARS case since an outbreak was contained in July 2003. After 14 years of denials, Pete Rose publicly admitted that he'd bet on baseball while manager of the Cincinnati Reds. Baseball pitcher Tug McGraw died near Nashville, Tenn., at age 59.
In 2005, President George W. Bush opened a new drive for caps on medical malpractice awards, contending the limits would lower health care costs. The bodies of 18 young Iraqi Shiites taken off a bus and executed in December 2004 were found in a field near Mosul. Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, a Marine charged with desertion in Iraq after mysteriously disappearing from his post was again declared a deserter — this time for failing to report to his U.S. base. (He remains missing.) Also in 2005, Eris, the largest known dwarf planet in the solar system, was discovered.
In 2008, Republican Mitt Romney won the Wyoming caucuses, picking up eight delegates; in a debate three days before the New Hampshire primary, Romney clashed with Mike Huckabee on foreign policy and John McCain on immigration. In a Democratic faceoff, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton accused campaign rival Barack Obama of changing his positions on health care and "a number of issues." A Piper Navajo Chieftain airplane crashed off Kodiak island in southern Alaska, killing six people. A canal breach in Fernley, Nev., flooded about 600 homes. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady won The Associated Press 2007 NFL MVP award.
In 2009, President-elect Barack Obama met with congressional leaders, declaring the national economy was "bad and getting worse" and predicting lawmakers would approve a mammoth revitalization package within two weeks of his taking office. Israeli troops, in a massive air, land and sea assault, pushed deeper into Gaza, seizing control of rocket-launching areas surrounding the city of Gaza, even as Israel pledged to allow humanitarian aid into the strip. Steelers linebacker James Harrison was named winner of the Associated Press Defensive Player of Year award. Former Attorney General Griffin B. Bell died in Atlanta at age 90. Retired Lt. Gen. Harry W.O. Kinnard, a paratroop officer who suggested the famously defiant answer "Nuts!" to a German demand for surrender during the World War II Battle of the Bulge, died in Arlington, Va. at age 93.
Today's Birthdays: Former Vice President Walter F. Mondale is 82. Actor Robert Duvall is 79. Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll is 78. King Juan Carlos of Spain is 72. Talk show host Charlie Rose is 68. Actress-director Diane Keaton is 64. Actor Ted Lange is 62. Rhythm-and-blues musician George "Funky" Brown (Kool and the Gang) is 61. Rock musician Chris Stein (Blondie) is 60. Former CIA Director George Tenet is 57. Actress Pamela Sue Martin is 57. Actor Clancy Brown is 51. Singer Iris Dement is 49. Actor Ricky Paull Goldin is 45. Actor Vinnie Jones is 45. Rock musician Kate Schellenbach (Luscious Jackson) is 44. Dancer-choreographer Carrie Ann Inaba is 42. Actress Heather Paige Kent is 41. Rock singer Marilyn Manson is 41. Actor Bradley Cooper is 35. Actress January Jones is 32. Actress Brooklyn Sudano is 29.
Those born on this date include: Zebulon Pike, discoverer of Pike's Peak in Colorado, and Navy Capt. Stephen Decatur, (both in 1779); King Camp Gillette, inventor of the safety razor, (1855); U.S. baseball executive Ban Johnson (1864); German statesman Konrad Adenauer (1876); astrologer Jeane Dixon (1904).
Today In Entertainment History January 5
In 1948, the first color newsreel, filmed at the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, Calif., was released on this date by Warner Brothers-Pathe.
In 1965, The Supremes recorded "Stop! In the Name Of Love."
In 1970, "All My Children" premiered on ABC.
In 1973, Bruce Springsteen's debut album, "Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.," was released. [Remember that guy? He was the New Dylan, wasn't he? — Ed.]
In 1975, "The Wiz," an all-black musical version of L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," opened on Broadway.
In 1978, the Sex Pistols began their first tour of the US Less than two weeks after the first show in Atlanta, the tour was over and the band had broken up.
In 1979, musician Charles Mingus died in Mexico of Lou Gehrig's disease.
In 1983, Everything But The Girl made their concert debut as a duo at the Institute for Contemporary Arts in London.
In 1984, John Lennon's single "Nobody Told Me" was released.
In 1988, Madonna filed for divorce from actor Sean Penn.
In 1989, actress Zsa Zsa Gabor was kicked off a Delta Air Lines flight because she refused to keep her two dogs in their travel kennels. She was escorted from the plane in Atlanta during a stopover on her way to Palm Beach, Florida.
In 1990, the movie "Born On The Fourth Of July," starring Tom Cruise, opened nationwide.
In 1991, actress Barbara Eden married for the third time. The wedding was held in San Francisco, where she stayed for a brief honeymoon. [Good for her. Any idea who she married? — Ed.]
In 1998, Sonny Bono, the 1960's pop star-turned-politician, was killed when he slammed into a tree while skiing at the Heavenly Ski Resort near the Nevada-California state line; he was 62.
In 2004, Britney Spears' marriage to childhood friend Jason Alexander was annulled. They had been married 55 hours.
In 2009, former Universal Pictures and Paramount chairman Ned Tanen died in Santa Monica, Calif. at age 77.
Thought for Today: "Wisdom is divided into two parts: (a) having a great deal to say, and (b) not saying it." — Anonymous.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Warning To Fascist Government Douchebags

Our gummint benefits were recently, for some reason the Social Security Administration has never bothered to inform us of, in writing or otherwise, changed from one program to another that pays us significantly less than the previous one. You Nazi socialist commie cocksuckers have now been WARNED, on behalf of ourself & many other Americans, by
Johnny Lee Wicks, [who has been]  identified as the man who opened fire at the federal courthouse Monday morning in downtown Las Vegas, has been at odds with the federal government over Social Security benefits for about two years.

That’s according to documents in a federal lawsuit he filed in Las Vegas against the Social Security Administration on March 7, 2008.
Just keep fucking w/ us then, assholes. And do not for one minute think we're just going to go into some Federal Bldg. & start aimlessly firing at the security guards, who probably aren't doing much better than we are. No, we will find the individual or individuals responsible & torture them as if we were Dick Cheney & they were Democrats.

Perhaps it will be amusing for one of the responsible to try to live on disability; once we've cut out their tongue & chopped off their benefit-cutting arms, they will be seriously disabled. Shoe's on the other foot then, ASSUMING WE'VE LEFT YOU W/ FEET!!!

NB: We've already pretty well determined that we've little or no future, so if we do end up spending the rest of our empty, meaningless life in a Federal Prison, it makes no fucking difference to us. None whatsoever.

4 January: Holidays Over, Back To Slavery, Losers! Bob Hope's Radio Debut; Camus, T.S. Eliot Die; Nixon Holds Out;

Today is Monday, Jan. 4, the fourth day of 2010. There are 361 days left in the year. The UPI Almanac.Today's Highlight in History:
On Jan. 4, 1960, Algerian-born French author and philosopher Albert Camus died in an automobile accident in Villeblevin, France at age 46.
On this date:
In 1809, Louis Braille, inventor of the Braille raised-dot reading system for the blind, was born in Coupvray, France.
In 1821, the first native-born American saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, died in Emmitsburg, Md.
In 1885, Dr. William Grant of Davenport, Iowa, performed the first successful appendectomy.
In 1893, U.S. President Benjamin Harrison granted amnesty to all people who had abstained from practicing polygamy since Nov. 1, 1890. It was part of a deal for Utah to achieve statehood.
In 1896, Utah was admitted as the 45th state.
In 1904, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Gonzalez v. Williams, ruled that Puerto Ricans were not aliens and could enter the United States freely; however, the court stopped short of declaring them U.S. citizens.
In 1948, Burma (now called Myanmar) became independent of British rule.
In 1951, North Korean and Communist Chinese forces recaptured the city of Seoul.
In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson outlined the goals of his "Great Society" in his State of the Union Address.

Poet T.S. Eliot died in London at age 76.
In 1974, President Richard M. Nixon refused to hand over tape recordings and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.
In 1987, 16 people were killed when an Amtrak train bound from Washington to Boston collided with Conrail locomotives that had crossed into its path from a side track in Chase, Md.
In 1990, Charles Stuart, who'd claimed to have been wounded and his pregnant wife shot dead by a robber, leapt to his death off a Boston bridge after he himself became a suspect. Deposed Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega was arraigned in federal district court in Miami on drug-trafficking charges.
In 1995, The 104th Congress convened, the first entirely under Republican control since the Eisenhower era; Newt Gingrich was elected speaker of the House.
In 1999, Europe's new currency, the euro, got off to a strong start on its first trading day, rising against the dollar on world currency markets. Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura took the oath of office as Minnesota's governor.
In 2000, former presidential rival Elizabeth Dole endorsed fellow Republican George W. Bush. Israel and the Palestinians agreed on an Israeli troop pullback from 5 percent of the West Bank.
In 2004, in Iowa, seven of the nine Democratic presidential hopefuls participated in a feisty, first debate of the election year. Afghans approved a new constitution. Georgians overwhelmingly elected Mikhail Saakashvili president, two months after he'd led protests that forced Eduard Shevardnadze to step down. Louisiana State University won college football's Sugar Bowl, defeating Oklahoma 21-14.
In 2005, the governor of the Baghdad region (Ali al-Haidari), known for cooperating closely with American troops, was assassinated along with six bodyguards as he drove to work. No. 1 Southern California overwhelmed No. 2 Oklahoma 55-19 in the Orange Bowl. Wade Boggs was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, and Ryne Sandberg made it with just six votes to spare on his third try.
In 2006, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a stroke and his powers were transferred to his deputy, Ehud Olmert.
In 2007, Nancy Pelosi was elected the first female speaker of the House as Democrats took control of Congress.
In 2008, the government reported that the nation's jobless rate hit 5 percent in December 2007, a two-year high, fanning recession fears. Howling winds, pelting rain and heavy snow pummeled California.
In 2009, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson announced he was withdrawing his nomination to be President-elect Barack Obama's commerce secretary amid a grand jury investigation into how some of his political donors had won a lucrative state contract. (Prosecutors later declined to bring charges against Richardson.) A female suicide bomber struck Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad, killing 38.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Barbara Rush is 83. Football Hall-of-Fame coach Don Shula is 80. Actress Dyan Cannon is 73. Opera singer Grace Bumbry is 73. Author-historian Doris Kearns Goodwin is 67. Country singer Kathy Forester (The Forester Sisters) is 55. Actress Ann Magnuson is 54. Rock musician Bernard Sumner (New Order, Joy Division) is 54. Country singer Patty Loveless is 53. Rock singer Michael Stipe (R.E.M.) is 50. Actor Patrick Cassidy is 48. Actor Dave Foley is 47. Singer-musician Cait O'Riordan is 45. Actress Julia Ormond is 45. Tennis player Guy Forget is 45. Country singer Deana Carter is 44. Rock musician Benjamin Darvill (Crash Test Dummies) is 43. Actor Jeremy Licht is 39. Actress-singer Jill Marie Jones is 35. Alt-country singer Justin Townes Earle is 28. Christian rock singer Spencer Chamberlain (Underoath) is 27. Comedian-actress Charlyne Yi is 24.
Those born on this date who done died include: Folklore and fairy tale collector Jacob Grimm (1785); shorthand writing system inventor Isaac Pitman (1813); Charles Stratton, the midget known as Gen. Tom Thumb, a famous entertainer and protege of showman P.T. Barnum, (1838); U.S. Sen. Everett Dirksen, R-Ill., (1896); former heavyweight boxing champion Floyd Patterson (1935); author Maureen Reagan (1941).
Entertainment History — January 4: Death, Divorce & Domino
In 1935, Bob Hope made his network radio debut in the cast of "The Intimate Revue."
In 1936, Billboard magazine published the first pop music chart.
In 1953, thousands of people attended the funeral of country star Hank Williams in Montgomery, Alabama. He had died of a heart attack a few days earlier.
In 1954, Elvis Presley met Sam Phillips of Sun Records at the Memphis Recording Service. Phillips got Elvis' address and phone number to contact him later about a formal recording session.
In 1957, Fats Domino recorded "I'm Walkin'" in New Orleans.
In 1966, the last episode of "Rawhide" aired on CBS. [Forcing Clint Eastwood to get some real work. — Ed.]
In 1976, Mal Evans, the former road manager for The Beatles, was shot and killed by police at his Los Angeles home. Authorities said Evans had refused to surrender a gun he was holding. At the time of his death, Evans was working on a memoir of his time with The Beatles.
In 1984, Van Halen released their "1984" album.
In 1986, former Thin Lizzy singer Phil Lynott died in a London hospital of heart failure and pneumonia.
In 2000, Ted Turner and Jane Fonda announced they were divorcing after eight years of marriage. On that same day, "Scary Spice" Melanie Brown of the Spice Girls announced she and husband Jimmy Gulzar were splitting after 15 months of marriage.
In 2004, the unmanned Mars spacecraft began relaying pictures of a rock-strewn plain to Earth as scientists looked for signs the planet once had water and perhaps life.
In 2008, Britney Spears lost custody of her two sons to ex-husband Kevin Federline a day after police and paramedics were called to her home.
Thought for Today: "You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life." — Albert Camus (1913-1960).

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Yr.'s Eve Wrap-Up

Our Hostess (Shot from behind to protect the guilty, as gawd protects the innocent):
The groaning board (What the fuck did that damn robot focus on?):

Telebision Under The Northern Lights

Yankee Pig Dogs are invited to look at the bottom of this page, which we'll assume has something to do w/ cable channels available in our Gigantic Neighbour To The North, possibly even under the firm socialist control of the gummint broadcaster there.

We see the usual U.S. horse-pucky channels listed, & some Canuck equivalents of sports/business channels, but our interest is piqued by two specific channels that we doubt will ever be found in these United Snakes: "Book Television" (In the south here we get* wknds. of something called "Book TV," which only deals w/ non-fiction, historio-political stuff, on C-SPAN 2) & "Discovery Civilization Channel." While Central North 'Murkins get several variations of Discovery, you can bet your sweet ass we don't have anything even vaguely resembling "Civilization" (or a channel devoted thereto) anywhere on our telebisions.

We do realize that we're speculating here. The "Civilization" channel may not be more civilized than any of the crap available here, & Book Television may be sad-ass crap for women (who read more than men, at least in the U.S.) & have ruined publishing w/ their desires for the mystery, self-help, romance & fantasy genres. (Half-kidding there, girls & ladies.)

At least Canada's programmers don't attempt to disguise what may only be vague attempts at culture & civilization.

*When we first had cable this go-round all three C-SPANS were available, but the cable creeps decided that 2 & 3 should be on a different "tier," & Book TV happens on C-SPAN 2, so, as usual, we have been screwed, & are mad as hell about it! (Well, maybe not hell, but no wet hen has anything on us.)

The Naked Brunch

Amazing discovery made (By a thorough reading of the bacon pkg.) that will probably (& mercifully) shorten our life by several yrs.: If you nuke the bacon on a paper plate (We already knew to place the strips between paper towels, we're not that ignorant.) it turns out even better! And, serendipitously, we had acquired paper plates to feed a couple of fellow oddballs who visited on New Yr.'s Day (They'll eat anything!) so we were able to put our new discovery to work almost immediately.
Now, if someone will overnight us some No. 2 coffee filters (to arrive sometime in the early p. m. tomorrow, so we needn't leave the bunker again today) all will be well.

Second Amendment Up-Date

Droolers show up w/ armament.
That’s what we need to turn some minds around,” Omey said. 
He's right: The more morons waggling their metaphorical weenies, the more likely sensible, Constitutional gun regulation is. And once there's an accidental, or, even better, a deliberate shooting at one of these circle jerks, we're quite sure some minds will be "turned around."


From ME, an anecdotal report on the Las Vegas economy.
Due to low occupancy, some hotels are literally closing down floors or whole towers. The Mirage, which is a pretty big and usually-successful place, has closed down more than a dozen floors due to low occupancy. The Sahara and I think the Riviera have closed some of their floors, as well. Binion's has shut down all their hotel rooms and is just operating the casino part of its operation.


I somehow got on the mailing list for a new condominium complex a mile or so off The Strip and they were sending me messages, urging me to purchase a one-bedroom condo for $350,000. The same folks are now trying to get me to buy the same condo for $125,000.
There are counter-indicators as well, but ME explains:
So I don't know what's going on there and you kinda get the feeling that the companies building (or not building) all these projects don't know, either. There's a casino term for a gambler who's mindlessly throwing out — and therefore, generally losing — money in the desperate hope of getting some outlier of a lucky break. They call that "streaming" and that seems to be what's going on with the financiers in Vegas these days. They're streaming.
Streaming yellow down their pants, maybe.

Oh No, Bono(bo)

This guy is not nearly hard enough on that Irish fuck. (Is it "Up The Oi-rish Wknd." here? Guess so.)

For example:
Your intentions are excellent and at least 60% of your music catalog is still indisputably great.
Oh, come on! The road to Hell is paved w/ those intentions, & anyone w/ musical taste & working ears would type that maybe five percent of the U2 catalog is tolerable, depending on how drunk, stupid & tasteless one is.

From The Auld, Lazy Sod

Now that the Irish (& our own Italian ancestors) are "white," is it OK to call them "bog-monkeys?" (We just love that one, can not help ourself, & why should we?)

Not that we'd ordinarily bring the bog-monkeys & their gawd-awful Celtic music up, but the Republic of Ireland's new anti-blasphemy law went into effect w/ the new year (Punishable by a €25,000 fine! Jesus Fucking Christ.); the fun has already begun.

There is other hideous crap in the Irish Constitution that the plucky free-thinkers would like to see dumped:
We have a blasphemy law because the Irish Constitution of 1937 says we should have one. And our Constitution also discriminates against nonreligious citizens in many other ways. For example, you cannot become President or a Judge unless you take a religious oath asking God to direct and sustain your work. So up to a quarter of a million Irish people cannot hold these offices without swearing a lie. This is contrary to Ireland’s obligations under the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The Preamble states that all authority of the State comes from, and all actions of the State must be referred to, the Most Holy Trinity. Article 44 states that the homage of public worship is due to Almighty God and that the State shall hold His Name in reverence. This is not merely an assertion of the right of citizens to worship this god. It is an assertion of the right of this god to be worshipped by citizens.
We were just being smart-asses w/ the bog-monkey crap, but a constitutional statement that state authority comes from The Holy Trinity, on top of recent revelations concerning abuse, molestation & general we-didn't-read-it-because-it-was-too-horrid-to-contemplate activity in Irish orphanages, homes for unwed mothers & the like run by the Holy Fascist Mother Church* in Ireland does little to dispel ugly images & impressions of these theocrats, does it? Come to think of it, whose side were they on during WWII? Hitler's, that's whose! (Slight exaggeration for comic effect. The fucking leprechauns claimed to be neutral.)

Anyhoo, gesture of solidarity & all that, the 25 Blasphemies, & a bonus:
1. Jesus Christ, when asked if he was the son of God, in Matthew 26:64: “Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” According to the Christian Bible, the Jewish chief priests and elders and council deemed this statement by Jesus to be blasphemous, and they sentenced Jesus to death for saying it.
2. Jesus Christ, talking to Jews about their God, in John 8:44: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.” This is one of several chapters in the Christian Bible that can give a scriptural foundation to Christian anti-Semitism. The first part of John 8, the story of “whoever is without sin cast the first stone”, was not in the original version, but was added centuries later. The original John 8 is a debate between Jesus and some Jews. In brief, Jesus calls the Jews who disbelieve him sons of the Devil, the Jews try to stone him, and Jesus runs away and hides.
3. Muhammad, quoted in Hadith of Bukhari, Vol 1 Book 8 Hadith 427: “May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of their prophets.” This quote is attributed to Muhammad on his death-bed as a warning to Muslims not to copy this practice of the Jews and Christians. It is one of several passages in the Koran and in Hadith that can give a scriptural foundation to Islamic anti-Semitism, including the assertion in Sura 5:60 that Allah cursed Jews and turned some of them into apes and swine.
4. Mark Twain, describing the Christian Bible in Letters from the Earth, 1909: “Also it has another name – The Word of God. For the Christian thinks every word of it was dictated by God. It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies… But you notice that when the Lord God of Heaven and Earth, adored Father of Man, goes to war, there is no limit. He is totally without mercy — he, who is called the Fountain of Mercy. He slays, slays, slays! All the men, all the beasts, all the boys, all the babies; also all the women and all the girls, except those that have not been deflowered. He makes no distinction between innocent and guilty… What the insane Father required was blood and misery; he was indifferent as to who furnished it.” Twain’s book was published posthumously in 1939. His daughter, Clara Clemens, at first objected to it being published, but later changed her mind in 1960 when she believed that public opinion had grown more tolerant of the expression of such ideas. That was half a century before Fianna Fail and the Green Party imposed a new blasphemy law on the people of Ireland.
5. Tom Lehrer, The Vatican Rag, 1963: “Get in line in that processional, step into that small confessional. There, the guy who’s got religion’ll tell you if your sin’s original. If it is, try playing it safer, drink the wine and chew the wafer. Two, four, six, eight, time to transubstantiate!”
6. Randy Newman, God’s Song, 1972: “And the Lord said: I burn down your cities – how blind you must be. I take from you your children, and you say how blessed are we. You all must be crazy to put your faith in me. That’s why I love mankind.”
7. James Kirkup, The Love That Dares to Speak its Name, 1976: “While they prepared the tomb I kept guard over him. His mother and the Magdalen had gone to fetch clean linen to shroud his nakedness. I was alone with him… I laid my lips around the tip of that great cock, the instrument of our salvation, our eternal joy. The shaft, still throbbed, anointed with death’s final ejaculation.” This extract is from a poem that led to the last successful blasphemy prosecution in Britain, when Denis Lemon was given a suspended prison sentence after he published it in the now-defunct magazine Gay News. In 2002, a public reading of the poem, on the steps of St. Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square, failed to lead to any prosecution. In 2008, the British Parliament abolished the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel.
8. Matthias, son of Deuteronomy of Gath, in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, 1979: “Look, I had a lovely supper, and all I said to my wife was that piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah.”
9. Rev Ian Paisley MEP to the Pope in the European Parliament, 1988: “I denounce you as the Antichrist.” Paisley’s website describes the Antichrist as being “a liar, the true son of the father of lies, the original liar from the beginning… he will imitate Christ, a diabolical imitation, Satan transformed into an angel of light, which will deceive the world.”
10. Conor Cruise O’Brien, 1989: “In the last century the Arab thinker Jamal al-Afghani wrote: ‘Every Muslim is sick and his only remedy is in the Koran.’ Unfortunately the sickness gets worse the more the remedy is taken.”
11. Frank Zappa, 1989: “If you want to get together in any exclusive situation and have people love you, fine – but to hang all this desperate sociology on the idea of The Cloud-Guy who has The Big Book, who knows if you’ve been bad or good – and cares about any of it – to hang it all on that, folks, is the chimpanzee part of the brain working.”
12. Salman Rushdie, 1990: “The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas – uncertainty, progress, change – into crimes.” In 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie because of blasphemous passages in Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses.
13. Bjork, 1995: “I do not believe in religion, but if I had to choose one it would be Buddhism. It seems more livable, closer to men … I’ve been reading about reincarnation, and the Buddhists say we come back as animals and they refer to them as lesser beings. Well, animals aren’t lesser beings, they’re just like us. So I say fuck the Buddhists.”
14. Amanda Donohoe on her role in the Ken Russell movie Lair of the White Worm, 1995: “Spitting on Christ was a great deal of fun. I can’t embrace a male god who has persecuted female sexuality throughout the ages, and that persecution still goes on today all over the world.”
15. George Carlin, 1999: “Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!”
16. Paul Woodfull as Ding Dong Denny O’Reilly, The Ballad of Jaysus Christ, 2000: “He said me ma’s a virgin and sure no one disagreed, Cause they knew a lad who walks on water’s handy with his feet … Jaysus oh Jaysus, as cool as bleedin’ ice, With all the scrubbers in Israel he could not be enticed, Jaysus oh Jaysus, it’s funny you never rode, Cause it’s you I do be shoutin’ for each time I shoot me load.”
17. Jesus Christ, in Jerry Springer The Opera, 2003: “Actually, I’m a bit gay.” In 2005, the Christian Institute tried to bring a prosecution against the BBC for screening Jerry Springer the Opera, but the UK courts refused to issue a summons.
18. Tim Minchin, Ten-foot Cock and a Few Hundred Virgins, 2005: “So you’re gonna live in paradise, With a ten-foot cock and a few hundred virgins, So you’re gonna sacrifice your life, For a shot at the greener grass, And when the Lord comes down with his shiny rod of judgment, He’s gonna kick my heathen ass.”
19. Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion, 2006: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” In 2007 Turkish publisher Erol Karaaslan was charged with the crime of insulting believers for publishing a Turkish translation of The God Delusion. He was acquitted in 2008, but another charge was brought in 2009. Karaaslan told the court that “it is a right to criticise religions and beliefs as part of the freedom of thought and expression.”
20. Pope Benedict XVI quoting a 14th century Byzantine emperor, 2006: “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” This statement has already led to both outrage and condemnation of the outrage. The Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the world’s largest Muslim body, said it was a “character assassination of the prophet Muhammad”. The Malaysian Prime Minister said that “the Pope must not take lightly the spread of outrage that has been created.” Pakistan’s foreign Ministry spokesperson said that “anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence”. The European Commission said that “reactions which are disproportionate and which are tantamount to rejecting freedom of speech are unacceptable.”
21. Christopher Hitchens in God is not Great, 2007: “There is some question as to whether Islam is a separate religion at all… Islam when examined is not much more than a rather obvious and ill-arranged set of plagiarisms, helping itself from earlier books and traditions as occasion appeared to require… It makes immense claims for itself, invokes prostrate submission or ‘surrender’ as a maxim to its adherents, and demands deference and respect from nonbelievers into the bargain. There is nothing—absolutely nothing—in its teachings that can even begin to justify such arrogance and presumption.”
22. PZ Myers, on his desecration of a Roman Catholic communion host, 2008: “You would not believe how many people are writing to me, insisting that these horrible little crackers (they look like flattened bits of styrofoam) are literally pieces of their god, and that this omnipotent being who created the universe can actually be seriously harmed by some third-rate liberal intellectual at a third-rate university… However, inspired by an old woodcut of Jews stabbing the host, I thought of a simple, quick thing to do: I pierced it with a rusty nail (I hope Jesus’s tetanus shots are up to date). And then I simply threw it in the trash, followed by the classic, decorative items of trash cans everywhere, old coffeegrounds and a banana peel.”
23. Ian O’Doherty, 2009: “(If defamation of religion was illegal) it would be a crime for me to say that the notion of transubstantiation is so ridiculous that even a small child should be able to see the insanity and utter physical impossibility of a piece of bread and some wine somehow taking on corporeal form. It would be a crime for me to say that Islam is a backward desert superstition that has no place in modern, enlightened Europe and it would be a crime to point out that Jewish settlers in Israel who believe they have a God given right to take the land are, frankly, mad. All the above assertions will, no doubt, offend someone or other.”
24. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, 2009: “Whether a person is atheist or any other, there is in fact in my view something not totally human if they leave out the transcendent … we call it God… I think that if you leave that out you are not fully human.” Because atheism is not a religion, the Irish blasphemy law does not protect atheists from abusive and insulting statements about their fundamental beliefs. While atheists are not seeking such protection, we include the statement here to point out that it is discriminatory that this law does not hold all citizens equal.
25. Dermot Ahern, Irish Minister for Justice, introducing his blasphemy law at an Oireachtas Justice Committee meeting, 2009, and referring to comments made about him personally: “They are blasphemous.” Deputy Pat Rabbitte replied: “Given the Minister’s self-image, it could very well be that we are blaspheming,” and Minister Ahern replied: “Deputy Rabbitte says that I am close to the baby Jesus, I am so pure.” So here we have an Irish Justice Minister joking about himself being blasphemed, at a parliamentary Justice Committee discussing his own blasphemy law, that could make his own jokes illegal.

Finally, as a bonus, Micheal Martin, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, opposing attempts by Islamic States to make defamation of religion a crime at UN level, 2009: “We believe that the concept of defamation of religion is not consistent with the promotion and protection of human rights. It can be used to justify arbitrary limitations on, or the denial of, freedom of expression. Indeed, Ireland considers that freedom of expression is a key and inherent element in the manifestation of freedom of thought and conscience and as such is complementary to freedom of religion or belief.” Just months after Minister Martin made this comment, his colleague Dermot Ahern introduced Ireland’s new blasphemy law.

*Holy "Father." "Mother" Church. Grow up, people. You are on your own.

3 January: Why Do We Even ...

Today is Sunday, Jan. 3, the third day of 2010. There are 362 days left in the year. The UPI Almanac.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Jan. 3, 1959, Alaska became the 49th state as President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation.

On this date:
In 1521, Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Leo X.
In 1777, Gen. George Washington's army routed the British in the Battle of Princeton, N.J.
In 1868, the Meiji Restoration re-established the authority of Japan's emperor and heralded the fall of the military rulers known as shoguns.
In 1870, groundbreaking took place for the Brooklyn Bridge.
In 1892, J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
In 1938, the March of Dimes campaign to fight polio was organized.
In 1947, Congressional proceedings were televised for the first time as viewers in Washington, Philadelphia and New York City saw some of the opening ceremonies of the 80th Congress.
In 1949, in a pair of rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court said that states had the right to ban closed shops.
In 1961, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba.
In 1967, Jack Ruby, the man who fatally shot accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, died in a Dallas hospital.
In 1980, conservationist Joy Adamson, author of "Born Free," was killed in northern Kenya by a former employee.
In 1990, ousted Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega surrendered to U.S. forces, 10 days after taking refuge in the Vatican's diplomatic mission.

Audio LinkPresident George H.W. Bush announces the surrender.
In 1993, President George H.W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed a historic nuclear missile-reduction treaty in Moscow.
In 1999, Chicagoans dug out from their biggest snowstorm in more than 30 years. Israeli authorities detained, and later expelled, 14 members of Concerned Christians, a Denver-based cult which Israeli officials feared was plotting violence in Jerusalem to bring about the Second Coming of Christ. [Cult? Sounds mainstream Xian to us. — Ed.]
In 2000, acting Russian President Vladimir Putin fired Boris Yeltsin's daughter (Tatyana Dyachenko) from her Kremlin post in one of his first official acts, moving quickly to distance himself from Yeltsin's scandal-tinged administration. The last new daily "Peanuts" strip by Charles Schulz ran in 2,600 newspapers.
In 2004, NASA's Mars rover, Spirit, touched down on the red planet. A Boeing 737 owned by Egyptian charter tour operator Flash Airlines crashed into the Red Sea, killing all 148 people aboard, most of them French tourists.
In 2005, President George W. Bush tapped his father, former President George H.W. Bush, and former President Bill Clinton to help raise tsunami relief funds. The third-ranked Auburn Tigers limped to a 16-13 victory over No. 9 Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl. Will Eisner, the artist who revolutionized comic books and helped pioneer the graphic novel, died in Lauderdale Lakes, Fla. at age 87.
In 2006, lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion and agreed to cooperate in investigations of corruption in Congress.
In 2008, Barack Obama won the Democratic caucuses in Iowa, while Mike Huckabee won Republican caucuses. [Where are those two now? — Ed.] After nearly 27 years in prison, Texas inmate Charles Chatman was set free by a judge because of new DNA evidence showing he'd been wrongly convicted of rape. The Kansas Jayhawks won the Orange Bowl, defeating Virginia Tech 24-21.
In 2009, After seven days of pummeling the Gaza Strip from the air, Israel launched a ground offensive; Hamas vowed that Gaza would be a "graveyard" for the Israelis.
Today's Birthdays: Record producer Sir George Martin is 84. Actor Robert Loggia is 80. Actor Dabney Coleman is 78. Journalist-author Betty Rollin is 74. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Bobby Hull is 71. Singer-songwriter-producer Van Dyke Parks is 67. Musician Stephen Stills is 65. Rock musician John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) is 64. Actress Victoria Principal is 60. Actor-director Mel Gibson is 54. Actress Shannon Sturges is 42. Jazz musician James Carter is 41. Contemporary Christian singer Nichole Nordeman is 38. Actor Jason Marsden is 35. Actress Danica McKellar is 35. Actor Nicholas Gonzalez is 34. Singer Kimberley Locke ("American Idol") is 32. NFL quarterback Eli Manning is 29.
Today In Entertainment History January 3
In 1909, Danish-American comedian Victor Borge was born in Copenhagen.
In 1967, Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys refused to be sworn in after receiving a US Army draft notice. Wilson said he was a conscientious objector.
In 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Two Virgins" record sleeve, which showed them posing nude, was declared pornographic in New Jersey. Police seized copies of the album.
In 1970, members of The Beatles recorded their last song together, "I Me Mine." George Harrison later used that title for his autobiography. Also in 1970, singer Davy Jones announced he was leaving The Monkees, a year after Peter Tork quit the group.
In 1974, Bob Dylan and The Band opened a brief tour. Several dates were recorded for a live album.
In 1989, country legend Johnny Cash was released from a Nashville hospital two weeks after undergoing double-bypass heart surgery. At the time, he said he had no plans to cancel any of his tour dates that year. Also in 1989, "The Arsenio Hall Show" made its premiere on Fox.
In 1991, the sit-com "Blossom" premiered on NBC.
In 1992, singer Jim Kerr of Simple Minds married actress Patsy Kensit in London. They have since split up.
In 1997, Bryant Gumbel signed off for the last time as host of NBC's "Today" show.
In 2004, Britney Spears married childhood friend Jason Alexander in a spur-of-the-moment wedding in Las Vegas. The marriage lasted 55 hours before they got it annulled.
In 2005, Craig Ferguson took over as the new host of "The Late Late Show" on CBS-TV.
In 2008, pop tart Britney Spears was hospitalized after a child custody dispute with ex-husband Kevin Federline resulted in an hours-long standoff with police.
In 2009, veteran actor Pat Hingle died in Carolina Beach, N.C. at age 84.
Thought for Today: "To have reason to get up in the morning, it is necessary to possess a guiding principle. A belief of some kind. A bumper sticker, if you will." — Judith Guest, American author. ['K, Judy, what if one's "bumper sticker" is along the lines of "Everything's made of shit & we're all dying?" Then what? — Ed.]

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Tax Reduction Plan: Get The Baby-Killers Off Welfare!

Stop The Horseshit!

Lissen up, ninnies: The past yr. was the end of the decade. Here's how numberspositive whole integers go: Zero, One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine. In that order. Got it?

Anyone who tells us (or you, reader-person) that "There was no Year Zero, so the decade/century/milennium started in the 'Year One'," is an ignerunt maroon. There were no fucking Yrs. Zero, or One (or 219, for that matter) until, what, the Fifth Century C.E. or so? (Julian Calendar. Look it the fuck up!)

The entire calendar's a crock. If we want to determine that a decade is from the yrs. XX00 through XX09, we're correct.

(We are in favor of getting the full sweep of recorded history w/o the arbitrary before/after religious bullshit: the Hebrew calendar should be adopted, as far as yrs. go. [Unless there's another calendar still in use that goes farther back.] We can stick w/ the Roman mos. Is it 5770 yet?)


Certain of our Northern correspondents may be interested in this devil-cat, apparently available for adoption. Hell, if we could afford it, we'd have her shipped down here & get her into show bidness. (No, wait, half of "The Biz" is there anyhow.)

James Williamson Doing Something

Rumor has it this stuff ROXX! We take no responsibility if it doesn't; we've not even watched to determine if the claim of "rock" is so. We can not, however avoid digging "Louie, Louie," which leads us to note that the sound is a little bottom-heavy.

From Sarge, via Brick.

Music Sounds Crummier Than Ever

Well, yes. And Gawd Bless America, because commenters (Via Facebook. What the fuck is that?) take it as an opportunity not to deride technological "improvements" but to go off on the sounds the coloreds are making these days.

Post-Holiday Observations

Now that the bogus "Good Will to Men" (How's that ever worked out, eh?) season is over, we hope there'll be no pause in returning to the default human condition of hating on fucking everyone & everything, & wishing our enemies long, painful suffering & horrible deaths.

And does anywhere know what day it is? Feels like the Monday of a three-day wknd., 'though we usually can't tell the diff between days, what w/ being an unemployed/unemployable loaf & all.

2 January: Blah Yada Blah, Etc.

Today is Saturday, Jan. 2, the 2nd day of 2010. There are 363 days left in the year. The UPI Almanac.Today's Highlight in History:
On Jan. 2, 1960, Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts launched his successful bid for the presidency as he announced his intention to enter the New Hampshire Democratic primary.
On this date:
In 1492, Muhammad XII, the sultan of Granada, the last Arab stronghold in Spain, surrendered to Spanish forces.
In 1788, Georgia became the fourth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
In 1811, Timothy Pickering, a Federalist from Massachusetts, became the first U.S. senator to be censured after being accused of publicly revealing secret presidential documents.
In 1900, Secretary of State John Hay announced the "Open Door Policy" to facilitate trade with China.
In 1929, the United States and Canada reached agreement on joint action to preserve Niagara Falls.
In 1935, Bruno Hauptmann went on trial in Flemington, N.J., on charges of kidnapping and murdering the 20-month-old son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. (Hauptmann was found guilty, and executed.)
In 1942, the Philippine capital of Manila was captured by Japanese forces.
In 1959, the Soviet Union launched its space probe Luna 1, the first manmade object to fly past the moon, its apparent intended target.
In 1965, the New York Jets signed Alabama quarterback Joe Namath to a contract reportedly worth $427,000.
In 1974, President Richard M. Nixon signed legislation requiring states to limit highway speeds to 55 miles an hour. (However, federal speed limits were abolished in 1995).
In 1991, Sharon Pratt Dixon was sworn in as mayor of Washington, D.C., becoming the first African-American woman to head a city of Washington's size and prominence.
In 1999, a U.N.-chartered cargo plane carrying nine people was downed in Angola's central highland war zone; there were no survivors.
In 2000, retired Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr., known early in his career for modernizing the Navy and later for ordering the spraying of Agent Orange in Vietnam, died in Durham, N.C., at age 79.
In 2004, insurgents shot down a US helicopter west of Baghdad, killing one soldier. British flights to Washington and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, were canceled as a security precaution. The NASA spacecraft Stardust flew through the halo of the distant comet Wild 2.
In 2005, NFL teams joined Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and other sports figures around the world in assisting the relief mission for the tsunami-earthquake catastrophe in southern Asia.
In 2006, a methane gas explosion at the Sago Mine in West Virginia claimed the lives of 12 miners, but one miner, Randal McCloy, Jr., was eventually rescued.
In 2008, the Justice Department opened a full criminal investigation into the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes. Pakistan pushed back parliamentary elections until Feb. 18, 2008 -- a six-week delay prompted by rioting that followed the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto. Oil prices soared to $100 a barrel for the first time.
In 2009, President George W. Bush branded Hamas rocket attacks on Israel an "act of terror" and outlined his own condition for a cease-fire in Gaza. President-elect Barack Obama and his family arrived in Chicago after a holiday vacation in Hawaii. AirTran Airways apologized to nine Muslims kicked off a New Year's Day flight to Florida. Peyton Manning won a record-tying third NFL Most Valuable Player award. No. 7 Utah finished a perfect season with a 31-17 upset of No. 4 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
Today's Birthdays:Country musician Harold Bradley is 84. Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is 68. TV host Jack Hanna is 63. Actress Wendy Phillips is 58. Actress Gabrielle Carteris is 49. Movie director Todd Haynes is 49. Retired All-Star pitcher David Cone is 47. Actress Tia Carrere is 43. Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is 42. Model Christy Turlington is 41. Actor Taye Diggs is 39. Rock musician Scott Underwood (Train) is 39. Rock singer Doug Robb (Hoobastank) is 35. Actor Dax Shepard is 35. Actress Paz Vega is 34. Country musician Chris Hartman is 32. Rock musician Jerry DePizzo Jr. (O.A.R.) is 31. R&B singer Kelton Kessee (IMX) is 29. Actress Kate Bosworth is 27.
Today In Entertainment History January 2
In 1971, George Harrison became the first former Beatle to hit number one on the US album chart, with "All Things Must Pass."
In 1974, singer Tex Ritter died of a heart attack in Nashville at the age of 68.
In 1979, former Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious went on trial for the murder of his girlfriend. He didn't live to hear the verdict. He died a month later.
In 1983, the musical play "Annie," based on the "Little Orphan Annie" comic strip, closed on Broadway after 2,377 performances.
In 1990, actor Alan Hale, best known as the skipper on "Gilligan's Island," died of cancer. His ashes were scattered at sea.
In 1997, guitarist Randy California of Spirit disappeared after being caught in a current off the coast of Hawaii.
In 2008, late-night talk shows returned to the air two months into a writers strike. (David Letterman and Craig Ferguson had interim agreements allowing writers to work on their shows; Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and ABC's Jimmy Kimmel returned without theirs.)
In 2009, actor John Travolta's 16-year-old son, Jett, died at the family's vacation home in the Bahamas.
Thought for Today: "It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." — Ursula K. Le Guin, American author.

Friday, January 1, 2010

1 January: We've Been Through This Crap Before, Haven't We?

Today is Friday, Jan. 1, the 1st day of 2010. There are 364 days left in the year. (When?)See also here.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that slaves in rebel states were free.
[Easy for him to write. — Ed.]
On this date:
In 1760, the first two volumes of Laurence Sterne's novel "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman" were published in London.
In 1808, a law prohibiting the importation of slaves into the United States went into effect.
In 1890, the first Tournament of Roses was held in Pasadena, Calif.
In 1892, the Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York formally opened.
In 1959, Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries overthrew Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista, who fled to the Dominican Republic.
In 1960, French Cameroun became an independent republic.
In 1984, the breakup of AT&T took place as the telecommunications giant was divested of its 22 Bell System companies under terms of an antitrust agreement.
In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect.
In 1999, the euro, the new single currency of 11 European countries (later 15), officially came into existence with the start of the New Year. (The euro became legal tender on this date in 2002.) Cuban President Fidel Castro, marking the 40th anniversary of his rise to power, portrayed his socialist nation as a defender of humanity against rapacious capitalism.
In 2000, the arrival of 2000 saw no terrorist attacks, Y2K meltdowns or mass suicides among doomsday cults, but did see seven continents stepping joyously and peacefully into the New Year. On his first full day as acting president, Vladimir Putin assured Russians there would be no "vacuum of power" after Boris Yeltsin's surprise resignation. Wisconsin beat Stanford, 17-9, to become the first Big Ten team to win consecutive Rose Bowls.
In 2004, Pakistan's Gen. Pervez Musharraf won a vote of confidence validating his five-year term as president. The University of Southern California defeated the University of Michigan, 28-14, in the Rose Bowl.
In 2005, desperate, homeless villagers on the tsunami-ravaged island of Sumatra mobbed American helicopters carrying aid as the US military launched its largest operation in the region since the Vietnam War. Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress, died near Daytona Beach, Fla. at age 80. California Congressman Robert T. Matsui died in Bethesda, Md. at age 63.
In 2008, revelers celebrated the new year around the world; a ball dropped for the 100th year in New York's Times Square. Violence claimed scores of lives in Kenya, Iraq and Afghanistan. U.S. diplomat John Granville and his driver were shot to death by Sudanese gunmen in Khartoum. New no-smoking rules went into effect in France, prohibiting people from lighting up in cafes, bars and restaurants. Cyprus and Malta adopted the euro. The Georgia Bulldogs romped past Hawaii 41-10 at the Sugar Bowl, ending the Warriors' perfect season.
In 2009, an Israeli warplane dropped a 2,000-pound bomb on the home of one of Hamas' top five decision-makers, instantly killing him and 18 others. The US formally transferred control of the Green Zone to Iraqi authorities in a pair of ceremonies that also handed back Saddam Hussein's former palace. Russia made good on its threat to cut off all natural gas supplies to Ukraine. Six-term Rhode Island Sen. Claiborne Pell died at age 90. The Detroit Red Wings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-4 in the Winter Classic at chilly Wrigley Field. No. 5 Southern California defeated No. 6 Penn State 38-24 in the 95th Rose Bowl.
Today's Birthdays January 1: Author J.D. Salinger is 91. Former Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., is 88. Actor Ty Hardin is 80. Documentary maker Frederick Wiseman is 80. Actor Frank Langella is 72. Rock singer-musician Country Joe McDonald is 68. Writer-comedian Don Novello is 67. Actor Rick Hurst is 64. Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine is 63. Country singer Steve Ripley (The Tractors) is 60. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) is 56. Rapper Grandmaster Flash is 52. Actress Ren Woods is 52. Actress Dedee Pfeiffer is 46. Actress Embeth Davidtz is 44. Country singer Brian Flynn (Flynnville Train) is 44. Actor Morris Chestnut is 41. Actor Verne Troyer is 41.
Today In Entertainment History January 1
In 1950, Sam Phillips opened his first recording studio, the Memphis Recording Service.
In 1953, country star Hank Williams died of a heart attack brought on by alcohol. He was discovered dead in the back seat of his car during a stop in Oak Hill, W.Va. while he was being driven to a concert date in Canton, Ohio. The year before, he had been fired from the Grand Ole Opry because of his drinking. Williams was 29.
In 1960, Johnny Cash played his first concert for inmates, at a show at San Quentin Prison in California. Future country star Merle Haggard was in the audience, serving time for burglary.
In 1962, The Beatles failed their first audition in London. Decca Records instead signed Brian Poole and The Tremeloes.
In 1980, Queen Elizabeth made singer Cliff Richard a member of the Order of the British Empire.
In 1985, VH1 went on the air. Its first video was Marvin Gaye's version of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
In 1992, Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians played what was perhaps its smallest New Year's concert. The crowd consisted of about 100 people on a sidewalk in Hickory, North Carolina. The band's concert at a local hall had been canceled due to poor ticket sales.
In 1993, "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" premiered on CBS.
In 1995, Rod Stewart set a new record for the largest attendance for an open-air concert. Three-and-a-half million people turned out for his New Year's concert in Rio de Janeiro.
In 1997, Bryant Gumbel anchored his last "Today" show broadcast. He was replaced by Matt Lauer.
In 1999, actress Alyssa Milano married singer Cinjun Tate of Remy Zero. She filed for divorce eleven months later.
In 2002, Eric Clapton married Melia McEnery at a church in London. He was 56, she was 25. At the same ceremony, their six-month-old daughter was baptized, along with Clapton's 16-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.
In 2005, Motley Crue singer Vince Neil dropped an expletive while wishing drummer Tommy Lee a happy New Year shortly after midnight during a live broadcast of NBC's "The Tonight Show." Motley Crue later sued NBC, claiming the network banned them to placate the FCC.
In 2008, Eddie Murphy married Tracey Edmonds, the ex-wife of Babyface, on a private island off Bora Bora.
Thought for Today: "And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious and great things." — Rainer Maria Rilke, German poet (1876-1926).

Thursday, December 31, 2009

And A Kiss-Off To The Old Year

It is expected the coming yr. will not be much of an improvement.

Do Not Attempt To Deny Our X-Mess Spirit

See? We had a fucking tree.

The View From Our Window

Los Angeles CA 90004, 1540 PST, 31 December 2009.

MASSIVE FAIL: It Will Be Worse

Can we admit that, for one damn reason or another, the United Snakes Of America is incapable of running anything resembling intelligence gathering, espionage, regime change, or any interference w/ sovereign gov'ts.?
And that these United Snakes apparently cannot/will not learn shit from anything?

Seriously, The Party's Over. It's Been Real, But I'm Outta Here 'Till Next Year.

Santa likes to kick back (chill, even) in Vegas, N'awlins & a dungeon or two in the wk. between X-mess & that Eastern Orthodox crap tomorrow.

Taking It To The Bridge

I'm not going to argue the individual choices (most of which strike me as somewhere between obvious and banal) but the fact that McCormick didn't include the Neil Innes solo that slices this song in half...

Go to hear.

31 December: Party's Over! Now Clear Out!

Today is Thursday, Dec. 31, the 365th and final day of 2009. Today is New Year's Eve. The UPI Almanac.Today's Highlight in History:
On Dec. 31, 1909, the Manhattan Bridge, spanning the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn, was officially opened to vehicular traffic by New York City Mayor George B. McClellan Jr. on his last day in office.
On this date:
In 1759, Arthur Guinness founded his famous brewery at St. James's Gate in Dublin.
In 1775, the British repulsed an attack by Continental Army generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold at Quebec; Montgomery was killed.
In 1857, Britain's Queen Victoria decided to make Ottawa the capital of Canada.
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed an act admitting West Virginia to the Union.
In 1877, President and Mrs. Hayes celebrated their silver anniversary (actually, a day late) by re-enacting their wedding ceremony in the White House.
In 1879, Thomas Edison first publicly demonstrated his electric incandescent light in Menlo Park, N.J.
In 1908, Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal was born in Buczacs in what was then Austria-Hungary.
In 1938, the first breath test for drivers, "drunkometer," was introduced in Indianapolis.
In 1946, President Harry S. Truman officially proclaimed the end of hostilities in World War II.
In 1961, the Marshall Plan expired after distributing more than $12 billion in foreign aid.
In 1963, the Central African Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was formally dissolved.
In 1964, the al-Fatah guerrillas of Yasser Arafat launched their first raid on Israel.
In 1969, Joseph A. Yablonski, an unsuccessful candidate for the presidency of the United Mine Workers of America, was shot to death along with his wife and daughter in their Clarksville, Pa., home by hit men acting under the orders of UMWA president Tony Boyle.
In 1974, private U.S. citizens were allowed to buy and own gold for the first time in more than 40 years.
In 1978, Taiwanese diplomats struck their colors for the final time from the embassy flagpole in Washington, D.C., marking the end of diplomatic relations with the United States.
In 1983, the court-ordered breakup of the American Telephone and Telegraph Co. took effect at midnight.
In 1984, the United States' first mandatory seat belt law went into effect in the state of New York at midnight.
In 1986, 97 people were killed when fire broke out in the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Three hotel workers later pleaded guilty in connection with the blaze.)
In 1987, Robert Mugabe was sworn in as Zimbabwe's first executive president.
In 1994, Russian forces launched a full air and ground attack on Grozny, the capital city of the rebel republic of Chechnya.
In 1997, Michael Kennedy, the 39-year-old son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was killed in a skiing accident on Aspen Mountain in Colorado. In Sorocaba, Brazil, riot troops stormed a prison where inmates were holding hundreds of hostages, quickly ending a three-day rebellion without any deaths.
In 1998, Europe's leaders proclaimed a new era as 11 nations merged currencies to create the euro, a shared money they said would boost business, underpin unity and strengthen their role in world affairs.
In 1999, people around the world celebrated while awaiting the arrival of the year 2000. Russian President Boris Yeltsin announced his resignation (he was succeeded by Vladimir Putin). The eight-day hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane in Afghanistan ended peacefully. The United States prepared to hand over the Panama Canal to Panama at the stroke of midnight. Former Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson died in Boston at age 79.
In 2002, emerging from holiday seclusion at his Texas ranch, President Bush told reporters an attack by Saddam Hussein or a terrorist ally "would cripple our economy." [Bush left it to capitalists, real estate speculators & mortgage lenders to "cripple our economy." — Ed.] Two U. N. nuclear inspectors expelled by North Korea arrived in China, leaving the communist nation's nuclear program isolated from international scrutiny. An explosion at a clandestine fireworks factory in the Mexican port city of Veracruz ignited an entire city block, killing 28 people.
In 2003, a car bomb ripped through a crowded restaurant hosting a New Year's Eve party in Baghdad, killing eight Iraqis.
In 2004, President George W. Bush pledged $350 million to help tsunami victims, and didn't rule out sending even more U.S. aid to help people recover from what he called an "epic disaster." Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych resigned, admitting he had little hope of reversing the presidential election victory of his Western-leaning rival, Viktor Yushchenko.
In 2006, the death toll of Americans killed in the Iraq war reached 3,000. Hundreds of Iraqis flocked to the village of Ouja where Saddam Hussein was born to see the deposed leader buried in a religious compound 24 hours after his execution. Ordinary Americans paid their respects to former President Gerald R. Ford, walking slowly by his flag-covered casket in the U. S. Capitol. [Equal in life, equal in death. — Ed.] Also in 2006, Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union bringing the number of countries to 27 and the number of citizens to 489 million.
In 2007, President George W. Bush signed legislation to allow state and local governments to cut investment ties with Sudan because of the violence in Darfur. Sara Jane Moore, who took a shot at President Gerald R. Ford in San Francisco in 1975, was paroled after 32 years behind bars. The death toll in Kenya's post-election violence reached at least 140. Tribal uprisings were triggered after incumbent President Mwai Kibaki narrowly won re-election over Raila Odinga despite trailing by a wide margin earlier.
In 2008, the U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting on an Arab request for a binding and enforceable resolution condemning Israel and halting its military attacks on Gaza. A man left four gift-wrapped bombs in downtown Aspen, Colo., in a bank-robbery attempt, turning New Year's Eve celebrations into a mass evacuation. (The man, identified as 72-year-old James Chester Blanning, shot and killed himself.) A woman gave birth aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 59 while en route from Amsterdam to Boston. The U.S. economy wound up a dismal year as signs of recession grew. Major U.S. stock market indexes had their worse single-year performances since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Today's Birthdays: TV producer George Schlatter is 80. Actor Sir Anthony Hopkins is 72. Actor Tim Considine ("My Three Sons") is 69. Actress Sarah Miles is 68. Rock musician Andy Summers is 67. Actor Ben Kingsley is 66. Rock musician Peter Quaife (The Kinks) is 66. Producer-director Taylor Hackford is 65. Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg is 63. Actor Tim Matheson is 62. Pop singer Burton Cummings (The Guess Who) is 62. Singer Donna Summer is 61.
Actor Joe Dallesandro is 61. Rock musician Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith) is 58. Actor James Remar is 56. Actress Bebe Neuwirth is 51.
Actor Val Kilmer is 50. Singer Paul Westerberg is 50. Actor Don Diamont is 47. Rock musician Ric Ivanisevich (Oleander) is 47. Rock musician Scott Ian (Anthrax) is 46. Actress Gong Li is 44. Author Nicholas Sparks is 44. Pop singer Joe McIntyre is 37. Rock musician Mikko Siren (Apocalyptica) is 34. Rock musician Bob Bryar (My Chemical Romance) is 30.
Also Born on December 31, But Died in the Interim: Jacques Cartier, explorer (1491 - 1 September 1557); Charles Edward Stuart, Scotland's "Bonnie Prince Charlie," (1720); Charles Cornwallis, general (1738 - 5 October 1805); Robert Aitken, astronomer (1864 - 29 October 1951); Henri Matisse, artist (1869 - 3 November 1954); Elizabeth Arden, beautician, business executive (1878 - 18 October 1966); George C. Marshall, general and cabinet member (1880 - 16 October 1959); Ben Jones, racehorse trainer (1882 - 13 June 1961); Simon Wiesenthal, writer, activist (1908); Nathan Milstein, violinist (1903 - 21 December 1992); Jules Styne, songwriter (1905 - 20 Seprtember 1994); cowboy actor/singer Rex Allen (1920); John Denver, entertainer [Crummy pilot, too. — Ed.] (1943).
Today In Entertainment History December 31
In 1929, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians' first New Year's Eve broadcast from the Roosevelt Grill in New York City, which became an annual event, was heard over the CBS network.
In 1943, a near-riot of bobby-soxers in Times Square in New York greeted Frank Sinatra's singing engagement at the Paramount Theater.
In 1947, singing cowboy Roy Rogers married Dale Evans.

In 1961, the Beach Boys played their first gig in Long Beach, California. They earned $300.
In 1969, Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsys made its debut in New York.
In 1970, six months after release of their "Let It Be" album, Paul McCartney filed suit in London seeking the legal dissolution of the Beatles' partnership.
In 1972, the MC5 played their last gig, in Detroit. They were paid $200.
In 1973, AC/DC made their concert debut in Sydney, Australia.
In 1982, Little Steven Van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band got married in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Percy Sledge and Little Richard performed "When A Man Loves A Woman" at the reception.
In 1984, drummer Rick Allen of Def Leppard lost his left arm in a car crash near his home in England. Allen stayed with the band, using a special drum kit.
In 1985, singer Rick Nelson, 45, his fiancee, and five other people were killed when fire broke out aboard a DC-3 that was taking the group to a New Year's Eve performance in Dallas.
In 1989, game show host Pat Sajak married former "Playboy" model Lesly Brown in Annapolis, Maryland.
In 1991, Gilbert O'Sullivan won his lawsuit against rapper Biz Markie for using a sample of his song "Alone Again (Naturally)" for Markie's song "Alone Again." The case changed the rules of sampling by requiring that all samples be cleared before releasing them on another record.
In 1993, Barbra Streisand performed her first paid concert in 22 years, singing to a sellout crowd at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.
In 2000, Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson married actress Kate Hudson in Aspen, Colorado. They have since divorced.
In 2004, singer Natalie Imbruglia married Silverchair singer Daniel Johns in an exclusive resort in Australia. They have since divorced. Also in 2004, Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson was arrested after he and his son got into a fight with police during a New Year's Eve celebration in Naples, Florida.
In 2005, Dick Clark returned to his "New Year's Rockin' Eve" telecast after missing the previous year because he had had a stroke. He was hoarse and sometimes hard to understand, but he said he "wouldn't have missed this for the world."
Thought for Today: "No one ever regarded the first of January with indifference. It is the nativity of our common Adam." - Charles Lamb, English essayist and author (1775-1834).