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The Unconventional Conventionist





Updated: 2015-09-16T23:57:17.213-06:00

 



"I'll Take the Dreaded Opera Category for $500 Alex"

2009-12-02T21:17:22.627-07:00

Turandot [The Village] must be satisfied by being begged for marriage and having her pre-requisite riddles answered and never challenged or rebuked. She’s a bit bitchy. Go figure.This opera begins with a Mandarin (take your pick; might as well be Broder) delivering the law, the edict, and the result which demands that an unworthy Prince, who could not answer the Three Riddles of The Village, be beheaded. “Popolo di Pekino” People of Beijing: Turandot , by an offhand gesture, quickly orders the dispatch of the unworthy head, and we move on! There’s a New Prince in Town, dazzled by The Village’s beauty.Prince’s dad [previously in exile, who’s name, btw, is Howard Dean] urges the Prince to resist Turandot’s charms, don’t answer her damn questions, hell don’t even DEAL with her at all. Servant Girl Liù, [otherwise known as Normal People; not so normal if they’re totally in love with the dude, but as they worked on his campaign and knocked on doors for him and got other people to donate money to his campaign, they have a lot of skin in the game] is secretly in love with the Prince, and pleads with him; Listen to me! Signore Ascolta!Well, you know what the Prince does?He sings “Don’t Cry For Me, Liù.” Which in Chinese, or Italian, is translated as “I got this.”[He knows he’s dumping her ass; he flat out says to her “make the path of exile sweeter.” Meh. Anyhow, back to the Opera.]So the Prince starts answering the Villager questions. The Princess presents her first riddle: Straniero, ascolta! – "…..What is born each night and dies each dawn?" The Prince correctly replies, "Hope."The Prince flips out the frikking Village Empress by actually answering all her 3 questions! Nobody could have predicted! W00T! But the Village totally FREAKS out! Just can’t frikking believe he passed the test, AT ALL. So Turandot throws a fucking hissy at that upstart Prince.[In Questa Reggia] which in Italian/Villagespeak is ”I’ve been here a jillion years, and you’re an affront to me. So cut me some slack, even though you won fair and square.”Guess what? The Prince is gobsmacked by this here nasty Princess! Who knew! He actually CUTS HER SOME SLACK! Dammit, my operanizzles, I totally did NOT see that coming!So the Prince Tells Ms. Village, “If you can GUESS who I am by tomorrow, you can go ahead and cut my head off, like you’re used to doing with the other dudes.” PSYCH!Ms. Turandot/Village so did NOT see this coming either. So she orders Congress to not sleep, you know, freeze up, freak out, teabag and stuff until she frikking knows his 11th dimension NAME! Like what he stands for and stuff.He sings a “ha, ha, HAH!" Song to her.Liù [remember her, you know the OFA people?] declares that she/they alone knows the Prince’s name and intent, but she/they will not reveal it. Ping [Bobo] demands the Prince’s name [the 11th dimensional one], and when she/they refuse, she/they is tortured. Ms. Turandot/Village is clearly taken by Liù’s & the OFA people’s resolve and asks her/them who put so much strength in her/their heart. They answer "Princess, you know who, Hopey-Change!!!". Turandot demands that Ping [Krauthammer] tear the Prince’s name from Liù/OFA’s lips, and he orders her/them to be tortured further. Liù/OFA counters Turandot/Village (Tu che di gel sei cinta – "You who are begirdled by ice"), saying that the Village too shall learn love and hopey changiness!Having spoken, Liù seizes a dagger from a soldier’s belt and stabs herself [or stays at home and doesn’t vote. You decide]. As she/they stagger towards the Prince and fall dead, the crowd screams for her/them to speak the Prince’s 11th dimensional name. Alas, it cannot be pronounced in a 4 dimensional world. Sighs ensue. Since Timur1 [Tim Kaine] is blind, he must be told about Liù’/OFA’s death, and he cries out in anguish. Timur2 [Howard Dean, Digby, others] warns that the gods will be offended by this outrage, and the crowd is totally freaked out, even though they read the warnings a jillion[...]



Clown Music

2009-08-17T00:01:06.109-06:00

For baby Dasha! She's so cute, and I just love her parents.

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Smooch!

k



Rachel Maddow Has Already Taken Down 60Plus.org, but there's one more little nugget...

2009-08-14T18:49:58.235-06:00

Rachel Maddow has already exposed 60Plus.org's affiliation to Jack Abramoff. But there's a motive and some connections of 60Plus.org, that I wanted to explore, so I did some more digging.The Ad: In case you haven't seen it. Clearly senior scare mongering - Rachel Maddow's Take Down and Tie to Abramoff:The 60Plus.org website:60Plus.org would like to be known as "the conservative alternative to AARP." It's president is Jim Martin which you wouldn't know from the website itself; you'd need to do an advanced google search to dig up this bio-page:Now Mr. Martin serves as the President of the 60 Plus Association, which has been called an "increasingly influential lobbying group for the elderly--often viewed as the conservative alternative to the American Association of Retired Persons."60 Plus is a hard hitting organization dedicated to protecting the tax rights of seniors, and to repealing the most confiscatory of all taxes--the inheritance or estate (death) tax. Jim Martin has been quoted as saying that while there are two certainties in life, taxes and death, now, thanks to the death tax, Jim adds a third certainty--taxes after death. 60 Plus presents a Benjamin Franklin Award to Members of Congress in both parties who sponsor legislation to abolish the third certainty, taxes after death. Original sponsors are Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ).Pretty classy, hiding the leadership bio page, yes? So who would do that? Well, the firm that provides the technology and registered the domain names, and appears to host 60Plus.org's email servers might do it. And who would that be? Generation X Strategies, GXS.net. And who is GXS.net?Why it's none other than the recently former head of the VA Republican Party, Jeff Frederick!Amongst the list of GXS clients which I'd like to highlight are Media Research Center (Bozell's outfit) as well as the RNC and the Texas Christian Coalition. And what else is supercool is that GXS has procured some Federal and State government contracts, as well as a Minority Owned Business status by the Commonwealth of Virginia.Jeff Frederick was ousted as the VA Republican Party Chair in April of this year, but prior to that, since July 8 1996, and up to today runs GXS services for 60Plus.org, and then therefore powers the contribution technology at 60Plus.org's website, which is what this is all about. Money.Abramoff (Shill-ius Maximus), Martin (Astroturfius Nastius), Frederick (Republicanus, Head of VA Party), PhRMA (Tauzin, probably hired because he has a drug sounding name) - probably all legal relationships, but they seem way too cozy to me. And the poor saps who are scared by this fearmongering ad have no idea that PhARMA doesn't need their help to keep their drug prices high, but Jim Martin and Jeff Frederick are really happy to facilitate the money exchange for them.The icing on the cake? 60Plus.org's National Spokesman is Pat Boone. Yep, No More Mr. Nice Guy Pat Boone - and when you think about it, none of them in this tale are nice guys at all if you ask me.TAGS: Astroturf, Republican Crime Syndicate, Jerks, Scaremongering[...]



Astroturfing in Denver

2009-08-07T17:11:49.827-06:00

Have a look:

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Beyond Race: On "Contempt of Cop" Regarding The Crowley/Gates Affair

2009-07-31T00:03:52.267-06:00

In my opinion, there was undoubtedly some racial profiling going on in the Crowley/Gates affair. I'll leave the racial component to others, as what I wish to draw out are some underlying points as regards the relationship between all of us citizens, our rights and the police.First, bmaz articulates the basis of the legal argument better than I can:Instead, the officer seems to have become angered and bellegerent [sic] that Gates would be so forward as to demand his identification. At this point, little old Professor Gates, who walks with a cane, was in what is known in the criminal justice field as "contempt of cop". The salient problem for the Cambridge Police Department is contempt of cop is simply not a crime, even if profanity is directed at the officer, a situation escalator not even present in Gates' case. In fact, there is a case I have argued with success many times, Duran v. City of Douglas, 904 F.2d 1372 (9th Cir. 1990) which, in an opinion written by now 9th Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kosinski, provides: Duran's conduct is not totally irrelevant, however, as it suggests a possible motive for his detention, one upon which law enforcement officers may not legitimately rely. The Durans contend, and the district court held, that Aguilar stopped their car at least partly in retaliation for the insult he received from Duran. If true, this would constitute a serious First Amendment violation. "[T]he First Amendment protects a significant amount of verbal criticism and challenge directed at police officers." Hill, 482 U.S. at 461, 107 S.Ct. at 2509. The freedom of individuals to oppose or challenge police action verbally without thereby risking arrest is one important characteristic by which we distinguish ourselves from a police state. Id. at 462-63, 107 S.Ct. at 2510. Thus, while police, no less than anyone else, may resent having obscene words and gestures directed at them, they may not exercise the awesome power at their disposal to punish individuals for conduct that is not merely lawful, but protected by the First Amendment....No less well established is the principle that government officials in general, and police officers in particular, may not exercise their authority for personal motives, particularly in response to real or perceived slights to their dignity. Surely anyone who takes an oath of office knows--or should know--that much. See Hill, 482 U.S. at 462, 107 S.Ct. at 2510. Whether or not officer Aguilar was aware of the fine points of First Amendment law, to the extent he is found to have detained Duran as punishment for the latter's insults, we hold that he ought to have known that he was exercising his authority in violation of well-established constitutional rights. Sounds pretty much on point doesn't it? It is. The City of Cambridge, Sergeant Crowley, and the other individual officers actively participating in the wrongful arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates are in a world of hurt legally. They may want to rethink the company line of no official apology.Pretty much lays out the legal side, no? So let's move on to the society and relationship pieces, which are woven together by who else, the traditional media.While most of the chattering class is interested in beer today, there were a few "poker tells" thrown in about the underlying issue; Do What Cops Say Or Else. From the years ago, formerly vaunted, but now pretty much noise machine NPR today there was anthe following article on All Things Considered. Doing the usual, mush-mouthed, split-the-baby vis-a-vis Colbert "Bad Stenographers" type of reporting Tovia Smith offered this:Adams is calling for a federal investigation into whether local police make unjustifiable or illegal arrests. "We're going to have to compel them to examine what needs to be done. And to look at [whether they are] misusing the disorderly conduct statute to teach people a lesson who talk back to police officers," Adams says.To others, Gates' arrest shows that the pub[...]



I Still Mean it: No Quarter

2009-07-15T00:36:47.678-06:00

Yes, sorry I hardly blog anymore. But here you go - NO QUARTER! As in it's original meaning; "I yield no quarter" but musically.

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An I mean it; I yield No Quarter.

ZOSO!



Hopenchange - FOR REAL!

2009-06-28T22:52:42.929-06:00

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Go here to join the Facebook alliance to deliver a million cans of food; it'll feel great and be more filling than some dumb teabag affair...

Really! It will!

I'll be in Lincoln, NE that day and talking to folks about it. Here's a vid I made 2 years ago about exactly what it is that hunger is, and what foodbanks do.

Part 1.
Part 2.

GIVE, dammit!

Last year, I was unemployed at tis time, and you know what? If I had not gotten my current job as I did in last Septemeber, I would have lost my house, and been looking here for food.

Just saying; it can happen to you. By being involved and caring, it's probably true that you can avoid such a position.

KC



How One Gets Along, or Dominique Starr

2009-06-23T01:54:45.165-06:00

In the past I related this story.It was really quite formative of my youth, and now here's the next truly formative age, fast forwarding in time to 1980.I came out 30 years ago. Bit by bit, piece by piece, social segment by social segment, and my family last. I never realized till much later, and still think to this day, that "coming out" is a process, rather than an event. And so, from the beginning, my process unrolled, and continues to do so.From the pot-smoke filled '71 Mustang where I told my best friend the first time in '79, until I told my mother in '80, there were layers. And ever since then too. Experimentation of HOW to just get the words out were a big deal to me (still is.)We're talking about 1979 and 1980 after all. In backwards Phoenix AZ to nail the place as well as time. It was so different there, then. Violence was really an issue for me. It was so prevalent. [The story of the scar on my ass while I was getting mugged doesn't happen till '84, and is a different post.]After the fits and starts, I began to get the hang of the words, and how to come out. Surprisingly quickly, but surprisingly devastatingly.You'll never believe this, but my school was actually the easiest entity to come out in. A boys only Jesuit High School.Reading that sentence above, I realize I'm going to give a lot of people the wrong impression. It was no homo playground. That school was so right wing and jock oriented, it was tough to be myself. But it was also such a world, where intelligence, acumen and loyalty totally counted, that I had some amazing experiences, particularly when I was homeless.That's right; homeless, which really wasn't a word at the time, or at least didn't have the same cachet or meaning of circumstances.You see, to come out as publicly gay was "simply not suitable, this is disgraceful" thus, I could not be allowed in the home. Away with you! Which was perfectly fine with me then. At that minute that I handed my mother the key to our house, and turned away, I knew the life I had expected was gone, and whatever was going to happen was not what I had expected previously. At that point I was 17 years old by less then a months worth of days.Dominique Starr was still in my future by about 6 weeks.What I did during those earliest days, was make deals with some of the guys at school. Two in particular. Let me store my suitcase in your trunk, and sleep in your car. I'll do your homework. Worked for about two weeks, as I'd shower at school, and keep that whole suitcase thing to a minimum. The clothes situation I handled by sneaking into the locker room, and doing my clothes in the school's laundry. So far, so good.Busted! About 3 weeks into this, I'm innocently going to my goddamn LATIN class, first class of the day, and get hauled into the Principle's Office.He was a prick to begin with. SOP - Standard Operating Procedure. Then -Mike: How are things going?Me: Fine.Mike: No, I mean how are things going with you living with your dad?Me: What?Mike: Your Mom tells us you're not living with her.Me: True.Mike: Your Dad lives in San Diego, right?Me: Yes.Mike: Then where are you living exactly?Me: [hackles rise] What do you care? I'm coming to class every day.Mike: This is what we find amazing.Me: What?Mike: Because in normal circumstances, you'd be long gone. You wouldn't be here. Most kids run away and don't go to school. You've run away, and you still show up. What's the deal?Honest to God, right then I lit a cigarette in his office; right then and there.Me: Mike I didn't run away, I was thrown out.Mike: Put out that cigarette.Me: Sorry, nope.Mike: Don't call me Mike, It's Father _____, and put out that smoke. [Fr. Mike was smoking BTW. Those were the days at that time.]Me: No. You can throw me out, but since I'm responsible for myself, res ipsa loquitur. [The thing speaks for itself. I actually really said that. The Jesuit took notic[...]



8 Reasons For the Firece Urgency and Advocay of Separate and Unequal

2009-06-12T22:42:58.970-06:00

The Obama administration, in the persons of the DOJ's Tony West, James Gilligan and W. Scott Simpson gave eight legal reasons in the form of a Motion to Dismiss Smelt/Hammer v. United States of America why gay people are separate and unequal. A summary list of those reasons:1 - Court Lacked Jurisdiction2 - Plaintiff's Claim Lacks Standing3 - DOMA is a Valid Exercise of Congress' Power under the Full Faith & Credit Clause4 - DOMA Cannot Be Said to Violate an "Asserted Right to Travel"5 - DOMA is Consistent with Equal Protection and Due Process Principles6 - DOMA Does Not Violate the Right to Privacy7 - DOMA Cannot Be Said to Infringe on any Rights of Speech8 - DOMA Cannot Be Said to Infringe on any "Right" under the 9th AmendmentReasons 1 and 2 are techno-legal, and can be dismissed as regards the separate and unequal discussion that follows. These same technical reasons could have been enough for the Obama DOJ to weigh in on the Constitutional basis that the President is required to do if s/he feels that the case at issue IS Constitutional. If the case is deemed un-constitutional, the President is free to not defend the damn law. The Department of Justice may also notify Congress of a refusal to defend an impugned statute without appearing in court for either side. As recently as 2005, the Department of Justice notified congress that it would not defend a law prohibiting the display of marijuana policy reform ads in public transit systems. ACLU et al., v. Norman Y. Mineta (civil action no. 04-0262).Since PresBO's DOJ wieghed in, points 1 & 2 alone would have sufficed if the Administration meant it's campaign claims, namely that DOMA was "abhorrent" and should be repealed, yet felt on technical bases that the case lacke merit or standing.And yes, repeal means a legislative process. But the Administration has not sponsored or introduced their own legislation. But they did offer the remaining six reasons why I am separate and unequal along with other gay people. Frankly, this leads me to the belief that the campaign promise was empty, hollow, as actions are louder than words as we all know.Let's have a look at the interesting points and most egregious claims in this Memorandum of Points and Authorities.Lawrence Tribe, Harvard Law Professor who hired Obama as a research assistant in Obama's first year law:"I certainly agree (a) that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional, at least as applied to couples like those who are currently challenging it in federal court here in Massachusetts.... I'm not at all reluctant to have it known that I think the equality component of the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause forbids the federal government to deny same-sex spouses benefits identical to those that it would grant to opposite-sex spouses when the spouses are "married" under the law of their state -- that is, when the spouses were married and reside in states where the law forbids a distinction between same-sex and opposite-sex marriage and rejects the DOMA definition of 'marriage.'"From DOMAFlipFlop:Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is Clearly Unconstitutional Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) DOMA, 1 U.S.C. § 7 states, ““In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word „marriage‟ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word „spouse‟ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.” Because of this interpretation guideline, same-sex couples legally married in their state are denied economic benefits granted to heterosexual couples legally married in the same state. These include spousal health insurance for state employees, federal income tax deductions for those “married fil[...]



Been A While

2009-06-06T23:55:36.174-06:00

Hey there blogosphere - been a while. Cooking up something new. Meanwhile, the Van Cliburn finalists can be found here.

Smooch -
UC

PS, My money is on Di Wu. She's teh awesome as far as the Record Company types are concerned. But really, Bozhanov, Vacatello and Tsujii are totally world class.



Comedian In Chief

2009-05-10T01:46:30.942-06:00

He's hilarious! And not in that "Hillary" hilarious kinda way until a way bit into the monologue.


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Continues! [He get's serious near the end, and so will I, but still, watch.]

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The guy has charm and wit all over the place. The country's favorable/unfavorable numbers are all moving in the right direction, save for those few dinosaurs who just can't cope.

"Tone At The Top" is a subject that I think is really overlooked, and Obama does it very well. Bush? HAHAHAHAHA! Puh-LEASE.

There's just a few things Mr. O, that you need to REALLY pay attention to. The whole "torture" thing and especially the whole "states secrets" thing. You didn't get to them in your funny business, but they remain funny business.

Step up and do the right thing on both issues.

Yes, You can.

[By the way, this post happen to be post 999. The next post shall be the 1,000th.]


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The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul

2009-04-15T16:44:22.571-06:00

(image) Glenn Beck and Texas Governor Rick Perry are floating trial balloons about secession. Three months into a pretty decent looking presidency and Texas looks like they have already had enough. Any bets on who's next? Alaska? South Carolina? Louisiana? I'm starting to feel pretty good about being safely in the North.

Meanwhile, I'm watching CNN's coverage of the tea parties. Clearly these people (not that many of them) have seceded from reality on planet Earth (Andrew Sullivan has pictures). At least Wolf Blitzer is not making the tired teabagging-equals-balls-in-the-mouth jokes that were fun at first, but were quickly played out. Still, every time Wolf comes back from a break he sounds giddy, like there's a big sporting event going on instead of a bunch of losers who don't get that their taxes are lower than they used to be. In fact, Nate Sliver writes, "Even today, US tax receipts as a proportion of GDP are generally lower that other large, industrialized countries, except perhaps Japan." SadButTrue weighs in with a look at how U.S.-style tax cuts are hurting Canada.

Pandagon blogger Jesse Taylor breaks it down (h/t Sullivan):

Tea Partiers are hoping that if they mimic the energy of anti-war protests and the savvy of Obama’s new media operation, that at some point an actual movement will spawn. Getting together a bunch of pissed off middle-aged white people with no clue about how the tax system works in public areas will generate a coherent agenda designed to combat the stimulus; if it gets enough media coverage, they will DOMINATE THE AGENDA.

It’s like taping a horn to a horse and waiting for it to alight on a magic cloud of stardust and pixies.

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks takes on Neil Cavuto's bullshit regarding Fox's coverage of high tea:

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Don't worry teabaggers, help is on the way--Newt's got his eyes on the Oval Office.



Do Not Fucking Lie To Me About These AIG Bonuses

2009-03-17T20:15:39.149-06:00

The fastest way to piss me off is to out-and-out lie to me. I mean Lie. Lie, lie, lie. Prevaricate. Say something you know to be untrue. And that's what's going on right now about these AIG bonuses and from the Obama Administration! Via Jane Hamsher at FDL:Language from the Senate bill, written by Dodd: (4) a prohibition on such TARP recipient paying or accruing any bonus, retention award, or incentive compensation during the period that the obligation is outstanding to at least the 25 most highly-compensated employees, or such higher number as the Secretary may determine is in the public interest with respect to any TARP recipient; Also: (a) In General- Notwithstanding any other provision of law or agreement to the contrary, no person who is an officer, director, executive, or other employee of a financial institution or other entity that receives or has received funds under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (or ‘TARP’), established under section 101 of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, may receive annual compensation in excess of the amount of compensation paid to the President of the United States. (b) Duration- The limitation in subsection (a) shall be a condition of the receipt of assistance under the TARP, and of any modification to such assistance that was received on or before the date of enactment of this Act, and shall remain in effect with respect to each financial institution or other entity that receives such assistance or modification for the duration of the assistance or obligation provided under the TARP. Dodd's version prohibited TARP recipients from paying out bonuses, retention awards or incentive compensation to the 25 most highly compensated employees. It also prohibited any employee of a company receiving TARP funds from making more than the President. Both provisions would have been in effect so long as a company was receiving TARP funds. Since AIG just paid out $1 million in bonuses to 73 employees, Dodd's version limiting all employees to what the President made (roughly $500,000) would have substantially nipped that in the bud. Very Fucking Crystal Clear. Dodd inserted the "don't pay these people" language into the bill.In fact, the Wall Street Journal makes it entirely clear. From Jane again and the WSJ:The most stringent pay restriction bars any company receiving funds from paying top earners bonuses equal to more than one-third of their total annual compensation. That could severely crimp pay packages at big banks, where top officials commonly get relatively modest salaries but often huge bonuses. As word spread Friday about the new and retroactive limit -- inserted by Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut -- so did consternation on Wall Street and in the Obama administration, which opposed it. Who pushed back against Dodd, and told him to neuter the provision? The WSJ says Geithner and Summers: The administration is concerned the rules will prompt a wave of banks to return the government's money and forgo future assistance, undermining the aid program's effectiveness. Both Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers, who heads the National Economic Council, had called Sen. Dodd and asked him to reconsider. [emphasis Jane's]Glenzilla:Jane's post documents this sequence of events without any possibility for doubt. The debate that took place over limits on executive compensation for bailout-receiving companies only occurred six weeks ago, and it is all documented in the public press. Dodd was the one fighting against the White House in order to apply the prohibition to all bonus payments, i.e., to make the compensation limits retroactive as well as prospective. As but one crystal-clear example that proves this, here [...]



Being A Good Blogger, I Recycle...

2009-02-09T21:51:12.175-07:00

I wrote last June, after the primaries, FISA, and before the election results, and before what's going on today in DC.:And what does this guy do? Take some of their food, and when they ask him, "Do you know the way out?" he tells them, "Hey, go back the way you came. Look, that's the way out. You see?"And they turn on their heels and follow him.Long story short, he's a hologram, a puppet run by the same CorporoState that Brought You Consumables!At 7:46 - "How shall a new environment be programmed? It all happens so slowly that most men fail to realize that anything had happened at all..."This is my long winded and weird to get to the flap between Glenn Greenwald and Keith Olberman. The thing is, is that Digby is right. Fuck this centrist bullshit. What they're not saying is that POLITICS SHOULD BE AS PARTISAN AS CONCIEVABLE OR POSSIBLE RIGHT NOW! Cheese and Rice, there is no time like NOW to repudiate the politics of the Republicans with 8 out of 10 people saying the country is going down the tubes.Obama Ain't Gotta Play On FISA. It's as simple as that. So he should suck it up and LEAD THE FILIBUSTER!Now Olbermann announced that he'll have a Special Comment on his Monday program about this little grange war. Fine. I hope he shoots the shit out of the target and makes Obama squirm. If Keith goes to the alleged "center " on this thing, well fuck, he turns into the next generation of the Very Wise And Serious Villagers, at which point I will vomit, as if anybody cares.Anybody that keeps saying to me "march to the center, it's pragmatic" I feel like punching in the face. I'm no sheep. I may be a Democrat and I want to win as much as anybody eolse but I don't want to wake up in 4, 5, 10 more years and be even farther down the road to THX 1138.What the hell would be my name? UNC - 4291?I'll vote for this Obama person, but it's only because of the alternative. Like I said during the primaries "If the country is a car hurtling off the cliff, the Repugs are stepping on the gas, the Dems are thinking about putting on the breaks. It's up to us to stop the fucking car."Weeeee! I was a little bit harsh on the whole CorporoState comment, but not really alltogether off. For sure, he was never a Progressive. So I'm over that. AND, I have liked how there's been a wee bit of Repug smacking down. Just a wee bit though. This whole bi-post-partisan thing escapes me. Failed ideas are failed ideas and they belong strongly and completely attached to those folks who failed to actually think and promulgated thosae shitty policies.In Other Words: SUCK IT, DUMMIES.So, Dear Mr. President, loving you in office and having the bully pulpit and all, but just take a deep breath and CALL BULLSHIT! Do it on the economy, and do it on that nasty and un-transparent legal position you just took regarding rendition and torture.YES! One more blog entry on What Obama Should Do.Not sorry. This is what participatory democracy is all about. I'm just saying my piece, so to those who say "Yeah, but what's your strategy to get it passed in Congress?" I say - DON'T CARE about YOUR needs for strategy vs. my need (not to mention RIGHT) to articulate my position. That is why after all, I do have my own blog - technorati ratings be damned.[...]



Just Because

2009-01-24T23:08:47.218-07:00

I like Heifitz. And Prokofiev. Here it is.

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Questions?



Is It Just Me, Or...

2009-01-22T21:16:48.314-07:00

Have you noticed that the whole "pissed-off-o-meter" level of the country is down? I am just noticing around me that since the actual Inauguration and the Farewell to Bush (oh I can't help it, you gotta see the video: listen to the background "nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, hey hey, good bye")and Cheney out of the Capitol, that people are just overall, um, less pissed of and a wee bit nicer?Yes, there's this whole economic gloom-and-doom going on, and people should be watching the money and the predators. But that whole level of concern is somewhat allayed, or at least not tinged by the whole "GODDAMMITYOUFUCKINGPRICKSWHATTHEHELLAREYOUDOING!?!?!"The "house cleaning" has just reduced the this-shit-in-the-zeitgeist stuff we've been dealing with for so long. We are getting the last years of unbridled criminality Out Of Our System. It's really kinda nice that the whole frikking WORLD is giving the US another chance not to be jerks, not to be criminals, not to be pariahs. It's only been two days and while we have every opportunity to blow it, so far, so good.In two days, we have Executive Ethics Reform,“We are here as public servants, and public service is a privilege,” Obama said, addressing his White House staff and Cabinet on his first full day in office. “It’s not about advancing yourself or your corporate clients.”an Executive Order to close Guantanamo, FOIA transparency, some most excellent appointments to the DOJ (that's Department of Justice; not Dave of the Jungle. Sorry Dave.) and poll numbers that support investigations into Bush and Cheney's illegal activities. (We also have the stoopid media, but that's for a post on another day.)It's like the country is AWAKE! In spite of our stoopid media. How weird is that?Just think. If we can get Obama off of this whole WAR IN AFHANISTAN mode, we might have Ghandi Nation. Where "The Simpsons" would turn into.....Can I have some really spicy Vegetable Korma? Maybe some Vindaloo?Mmmmm, Vindaloo.A little Elephant Ride wouldn't be out of order, if you don't mind.TAGS: The Simpsons, The Singhsons, Ghandi Nation, Is the Long National Nightmare Really Over? It's sorta like America got some great Ganj,[...]



The Inauguration Speech

2009-01-19T20:57:33.242-07:00

I'm very fortunate. My work made several and continued efforts today about 1- MLK Day today, and 2- The Inauguration tomorrow.

I am very proud of them, my Corporate workmates. They sent two very cool MLK messages out today, one "Think About What Martin Said" then "Think About What Martin Did."

Then, they sent out support AND a directive to make sure that we would BROADCAST THE INAUGURATION and MAKE TIME FOR PEOPLE TO WATCH IT LIVE! That is frikkin awesome in my book.

So, I'm all with these efforts. I will not try to hear what I want to hear in the speech however. I will simply listen and be glad in the moment, as that seems the thing to take some Joy in.

What I want afterward though is Justice, and this guy says it pretty well. Crazy things like "Adams" "Rule of Law, not by Men" and, well, you know, generally crazy dirty fucking hippy-ness:

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The Object Lesson Here: All Crime Prosecuted Have Happened "In The Past."

Prosecute!



Off With Your Pants!

2009-01-17T21:59:18.339-07:00

My kind of thing....

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Modes

2009-01-06T19:28:14.192-07:00

Believe it or not, Danny Elfman and Prokofiev have something in common. Some day I shall have to explain why this:

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and this:

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have something in common at a relatively deep level. They really do, believe it or not!

But I'll have to save the "Music Theory Lesson" for later. But "modes" are where it's at, baby.



Israeli Ground Troops Invade Gaza

2009-01-03T17:36:19.956-07:00

"This will not be easy and it will not be short," Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on national television about two hours after ground troops moved in.Of course it won't. Because the current war hawks in the Israeli government don't want it to be easy or short."We have many, many targets," Israeli army spokeswoman Maj. Avital Leibovich told CNN. "To my estimation, it will be a lengthy operation." Israeli leaders said the operation, meant to quell militant rocket and mortar fire on southern Israel, would not end quickly, but that the objective was not to reoccupy Gaza or topple Hamas. The depth and intensity will also depend on parallel diplomatic efforts that so far have been unacceptable to Israel, the officials said. [emphasis added]This is the Bush Regime's "my way or the highway" diplomacy. Do what we say, or no deal. Before the ground invasion, defense officials said about 10,000 Israeli soldiers had massed along the border in recent days. Israel initially held off on a ground offensive, apparently in part because of concern about casualties among Israeli troops and because of fears of getting bogged down in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said his government decided to mount a land operation despite the risk it posed to thousands of soldiers. An inner Cabinet of top ministers met with leading security officials for four hours Saturday before deciding to authorize the ground invasion. Olmert told the meeting that Israel's objective was to bring quiet to southern Israel but "we don't want to topple Hamas," a government official quoted the prime minister as saying. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not supposed to share the information. The immediate aim of the ground operations was to take control of sites militants use as rocket-launching pads, the military said. It said large numbers of troops were taking part but did not give specifics. Israeli airstrikes intensified just as the ground operation was getting under way, and 28 Palestinians were killed. Palestinian health officials said civilians were among the dead, including a woman, her son and her father who died after a shell hit their house. One raid hit a mosque in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya, killing 13 people and wounding 33, according to a Palestinian health official. One of the wounded worshippers, Salah Mustafa, told Al-Jazeera TV from a hospital that the mosque was packed. "It was unbelievably awful," he said, struggling to catch his breath. The whole thing is unbelievably awful. Don't get me wrong, any jerk firing a rocket at anybody is an assclown. But organized mass deaths as a response is morally unacceptable to me.What's just making me insane is that there is a cure available; withdraw support from Israel. I mean that US policy should say "Israel, these mass killings and invasions aren't going to do you any good. So guess what? Our $6 Billion per year support is going bye-bye. There's nothing you can do to get it back. "There's a couple other things we should do in terms of moderating US policy in the Middle East if you ask me, which nobody will.After telling Israel nuh-uh, we should just say to Afghanistan "Provide Bin Laden's body for irrefutable proof of death; we will withdraw immediately afterward. And should you choose to continue a democratic form of government, you will get $2 Billion per year of what we used to give the Israelis. For as many years as we occupied Afghanistan. Strings attached; you have to educate women, and they must be equal in your law[...]



It's Fun To Picture Blog In Your Pajamas

2008-12-31T19:51:40.361-07:00

What a whirlwind winding up the last 3 months of 2008 for me.I started a new job in September, and after a quick "figure out where everything is" phase of the job, traveled most of November. Which was crazy. It put me in the position of early voting, which I've never done before as I have always LOVED pulling the lever on actual voting day. I was way out of my normal element, out of town, in St. Louis watching the whole election develop.Before I knew it, it was frikking THANKSGIVING, which means December is immediately around the corner. And from then til now (and probably most of January,) I've been a little VBA code warrior, which was not my original understanding of the new job, but there is so much goodness coming out of it, I really don't mind that extra dimension. It's just really been a fight for time to blog, as you, dear reader, can tell from my shameful lack of posting in these very politically interesting times.December then posed it's own time crunch issues: Visitors We Love Were Coming To Party During The Holidays. That means really paying attention to serious menu planning and food shopping, but that's really a cheap excuse.My partner Mr. B (also known as "belch") is my co-blogger for this post. And what we really do, is what we know: Food & Partying. It's our hobby and form of entertainment. We do it for ourselves, our neighbors, and our loved ones. It's not only economical, it's a form of creativity and we both have always thought that hospitality is a form of love. But it eats a lot of damned time.But! Since we just had a leap second added at 12:00 UCT today, VOILA! There became enough time available to picture blog a little. We're sitting here, either ridiculously or humorously (for fabulous gay men who are NOT venturing out for New Year's Eve) in our pajamas, champagne in hand, looking toward the New Year, by looking at the photos from last weekend.[If you click on the photos you'll get an enlarged version.]We decided to try making chocolate candies this year. We made all the candies in this shot except the famous "Mozart Kugeln" which I just adore. There are chocolate dipped cherries (rolled in fondant), white chocolate molded candy with a peanut and chocolate ganache in the middle, and chocolate dipped pretzels. They all came out pretty good.Belch: After painting the detail in those "christmas present" candy molds? Fuck that. Sticking with simpler shapes from now on. What a pain in the ass."Cake. Cake is good. We are no stranger to cake, but started a new twist with this chocolate madness. What we do is split up the work. I'm good at machining out product, but belch is FABULOUS at making it look nice. So I made the sponge and the ganache for this cake. Belch did all the "eye candy" on it, including drawing out that that crazy topper.Belch: Icing is fine, but you gotta go vertical for an eye-popping topper. I call this design "Thought Catcher" (lol)Belch: My sister, her camera, and boobs. A giant bowl of shrimp cocktail. Why does UC wear that Santa hat?Belch: My other sister is evidently the "Ghost Of Christmas Pictures." She and boob-sister cover their faces and I always wonder why? I think it's because They Are Wanted By Law Enforcement Officials.40+ years aged people making zoom zoom noises. Yes, it happens. Judge not.Belch dresses a table like nobody else. But I have to say that little bungalow era houses like the one we live in lend themselves to holiday decorations really nicely.Lobster pot pie!Belch: That shit was GOOD!The neighbors are in on the who[...]



The Standard Response

2008-12-31T05:32:09.423-07:00

Hah! I learn via Digby / Taylor Marsh that the Standard Response to Wingnuts should be:

"You know, you have such a stunningly superficial knowledge of what went on that it's almost embarrassing to listen to you." - Former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski


It's simply delicious that it's delivered to Morning Schmoe. Check it out at about 7:00 into the piece:

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Good bye 2008!



Time to straighten some things out about the Warren outrage

2008-12-24T12:39:41.895-07:00

[note from UC] Please welcome my dear friend, Margaret DFH (Dirty Fucking Hippy.) This is her first contribution to this blog, and won't be her last. She'll have her own byline here in the very near future. Please welcome Margaret, and here is what she has to say:I've never written a diary here before but I am just so sick of the reaction by some in the hetero community who seem to feel that we in the LGBT community are somehow "whining" about Obama's selection of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at Obama's inauguration. John Cole for example thinks that we are "an idiot chorus" and that we are guilty of "crazy outrage" and "whining". Lynda Resnick calls our hurt and anger "unwarranted" and she goes on to say: "Rev. Rick Warren is a cuddly bear of a fellow, full of good cheer and a great sense of humor, even about himself." There are many others who seem to feel the same way about Warren and about the issue but these two represent on the one hand, the anger at the LGBT commubity for daring to speak up and on the other hand, the patronizing bullshit from those who truly don't get the cause of our upset. Let me attempt to explain to the clueless, (the Resnicks) and to the STFU crowd, (the Coles) where my own anger comes from. I have been transgendered my whole life and it's always been reasonably apparent that I was not born female. I mean, I can look drop dead gorgeous if I wanted to spend several hours getting ready to go outside every day but the reality of my existence is that I get up an hour before I have to be at work, take a shower, slap on some rudimentary make-up and go. The result being that the attentive can always tell that I used to be male. There lies the problem. I used to be much, much worse at being able to "pass" as a woman, having not had the benefit of being taught to use cosmetics properly. This had caused me to be threatened and a couple of times, attacked and beaten. On one infamous occasion, I suffered several broken ribs and the Houston police arrested me on the grounds that I "should have taken a different route" having been threatened by those people before. No charges were ever filed but I was forced to walk home from the downtown police station. Lacking a job and health coverage, (and being young), I never had those ribs treated. In fact, I only found out that they had been broken years later. On a different occasion. I had the orbit of my right eye shattered and my skull fractured. On still another occasion, I was raped, (something I've never told anybody until this very second), and repeatedly kicked in the groin.What all of these people who find or outrage "tiresome" or "crazy" have in common is that it's likely that none of them have ever been beaten for their orientation or for their appearance. Oh I know most males at one time or another get the shit knocked out of them, usually by a drunk friend but I seriously doubt that any of them have been literally beaten to within an inch of their lives. How easy it must be to be so sanctimonious and to call people names for trying to speak up for the wrongs committed against and upon us. Personally, I would like to see John Cole take any one of the beatings that I have endured. I'd like Lynda Resnick to be taunted and have objects hurled at her head for walking down the wrong street. I'd like to see both of them denied employment, unemployment benefits and shelter because their sex doesn't match their gender. I'd like them to have to walk a mile in my[...]



A Little Night Music

2008-12-21T19:40:07.174-07:00

There are a lot of things about Christmas that bug me, but there are some great features which I just LOVE! This would include Vince Guaraldi and his input of jazz into Christmas songs. Begone, Hymm! Behold the Jazz Trio!

Wish I had a trio, dang it.

Anyhow, here's "Christmas Time Is Here." With some house shots. The other thing that's quite fun to me about this time of year as that one needs no excuse to make the house frikking GAUDY. Which we do. With glee.


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Party, bitches! Cheers to you and yours.

UC



So What?

2008-12-17T23:09:22.378-07:00

A look at the outgoing chump:Catch that?BUSH: One of the major theaters against al Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq. This is where al Qaeda said they were going to take their stand. This is where al Qaeda was hoping to take–RADDATZ: But not until after the U.S. invaded.BUSH: Yeah, that’s right. So what?Bush's "Marie Antionette" moment, exposed!"Let them SUCK THIS!"Read on dear blogger, from HuffPo's Erica Heller:"So what?' said the man in charge of the free world, when asked about whether or not Al-Qaeda was in Iraq before we were. So what? Huh? Were chillier, crueler, more cavalier words ever spoken? Somehow, this seems to be lost in the news today but my brain refuses to flush it. Perhaps because my blood is still boiling. It seems to me that with those two extraordinary, positively barbaric words, we finally got to see the true Bush, without artifice, without the smug, sneering frozen mask of pre-prepared, freeze-dried answers to questions, which he always seemed so infuriated at having to answer. Indeed, he is the very epitome of a So What President. So what if the Katrina victims rot? So what if the world hates us? So what if our actions resonate everywhere with dire, catastrophic consequences? So what if people are starving and have no health care in one of the richest nations in the world? And so what if we leaped into an unnecessary war with manipulated "evidence", in which thousands have perished, utterly pointlessly? [Emphasis added]As the late night teevee ads say: "WAIT! There's More!" From frikking TWEETY via HuffPo:(Watch the whole damn 14:50 of this. Entirely illuminating.) src="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/28262158#28262158" scrolling="no" width="425" frameborder="0" height="339">.msnbcLinks {font-size:11px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #999; margin-top: 5px; background: transparent; text-align: center; width: 425px;} .msnbcLinks a {text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999 !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px;} .msnbcLinks a:link, .msnbcLinks a:visited {color: #5799db !important;} .msnbcLinks a:hover, .msnbcLinks a:active {color:#CC0000 !important;} Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy"Where do you get this from?" Matthews screamed. "We can't find the weapons, we can't find the rationale, what kind of mortal threat? Where do you get these words from? Mortal means you die. "You guys sold the war as a nuclear threat to the United States...you sold every trick you could to get us into this war," he continued. "And now you're backpedaling. And I do find it astounding....Four thousand people are dead because of the way you feel. And Frank Gaffney, you're wrong about this." "It is regrettable that they had to die," Gaffney said, "but I believe they did have to die," citing Hussein's chemical, biological, and nuclear capabilities. "The danger was inaction could have resulted in the death of a great many more Americans than 4,000. And that's the reason I'm still delighted that we did what we did." "The American people don't buy it, Frank," Matthews said. [Emphasis added]No, We Don't Buy It.Actually, So What Frank, I give a shit if you're delighted.So President-elect Obama, take note. To date, you're not giving progressives any nod or weight whatsoever in your appointments. You should. Keeep those troops in Iraq; keep fighting the alleged "good war" in[...]