Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

There's a big veteran's cemetery about an hours drive from my house. It's a pretty old one and all filled up. Most of the guys buried there didn't die in a war. There's Civil War guys that made it out here afterwards, some guys that helped whip the Filipinos, maybe some WW I guys, I'm not sure when it filled up.  I've heard most of the guys buried there died from tropical diseases. Mostly they were wasting diseases. These guys lasted long enough to get back from wherever they were to the adjoining Army hospital on the Pacific coast. It wasn't all just Malaria and Yellowjack. There was all kinds of stuff they didn't even have names for in those days, much less cures. Running sores and body rot. Ameboid and protozoan infections of the brain. Intermittent raging fevers and bloody fluxes. They came back to Sawtelle, to suffer, die and be buried, from tropical hell holes all over the Pacific rim. Sometimes they lived for months, even years, watching as others wasted and died around them, knowing there was no hope for them. Most of them still far from their friends and families.

Nobody's death, who died serving, is worth more or less than another's and those that face death with the most bravery are not always on the battlefield.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

More on Jebby's new bride.

Several people have picked up my thread about Jebby Bush's new Arab bride or have developed the information themselves, so I feel secure in releasing a little more information about her. Here is an online business profile on her that gives a little background. Here is the page where I got her picture.

Lakers Head To Championship Series, Again

I didn't think the Lakers would make the Championship series this season. I didn't really want them to. They've had a lot of injuries and the performance of many of their top players is inconsistent. I thought the Cavaliers and Magic could both beat them. Surprise, the Celtics won the Eastern division.

I think the Lakers might beat the Celtics. I'd like to see Phil Jackson win another championship. He'll probably retire after this one. He should keep coaching. What else has he got to do? Chicago wants him back. He should go. What Larks, Pip!

Politicians and Sailors Lie

Mark Kirk an Illinois Congressman running for Barack Obama's old Senate seat has at various times claimed that he received the US Naval Intelligence Officer of the Year award, which I guess is a big deal, although I've never heard of it.. The Washington Post did some fact checking and found it wasn't true that he won the award and Congressman Kirk has backed off on the claim, stating that it was a misunderstanding. This is similar to that Connecticut Blumenthal guy's situation. Maybe not though, since Blumenthal claimed to have served in Vietnam. I'm not sure if he claimed to have been in combat.

I think I should clear something up, in case anybody ever wants to run me for Senator. I joined the Navy because I was broke, homeless and had nowhere else to go, there was no patriotism or desire to experience military life involved. I had a pretty good time in the Navy but I tended to wring the most out of life I could, in those days, no matter where I was, which had a lot to do with why I ended up broke and homeless, with nowhere else to go. I struck for quartermaster because it seemed clean and non strenuous and for subs because my favorite picture book when I was 3 or 4, was the Golden Book of Submarines. One of the big Publishing Houses had this whole Golden Book series for kids learning to read. If I had it to do over again, I would have signed up to be a dental tech. In my opinion, dental tech is the best job in the Navy. When you're a dental tech, all of your officers are dentists and they are very friendly, easy going and non military. They start late, take long lunches, quit early and don't work nights, weekends or holidays. A lot of Navy dental techs were girls and that's always a plus. You could also get a job as a dental tech in the civilian World after your Navy training and experience. Nobody on the outside was clamoring for quartermasters when I got there.

Any awards or medals I got from the Nav were strictly I was along for the ride type of things that every other warm body got too. One time I even got one when I was off the sailing list. Everybody assigned to the crew got an award so I got it too and I wasn't even along for the ride. It might have been a mistake or not. I wasn't a personnelman. I don't know all the rules about that shit. It's in my record I got it. That's all I know.

I did get this framed citation from COMSUBPAC at an award ceremony after my first cruise. What happened was, I got to the boat, right out of boot camp, A School and Sub School, a few weeks before a really long cruise was planned. Within a short time, the chief and first class on board already, rotated out and I got a new chief and it was just going to be him and me, so I had to get busy with the preparation and also qualify QMOW, so that I'd be of some use. Anyway, we went to sea port and starboard, so I kept pretty busy. Once we got on station, the situation didn't really require a quartermaster at all. I know that's pretty strange, just take my word for it. The Chief just functioned as the on call guy and he sold my ass to the COB as a mess cook. I didn't mind mess cooking but it did eat up a lot of time. When it came time to transit home, one of the guys who had been involved with other duties, that were then completed, a signalman first, was able to step in as QMOW. We would have had three section duty. I decided I would fuck my chief in the ass for selling me away as a mess cook in the first place, so I volunteered to the COB to stay a mess cook. The COB was not my chief's friend, so I stayed mess cooking and my chief went red and green.

Somewhere along the way home, the Captain and XO realized that they could get the whole crew qualified by the time we got home and they became obsessed with flying a dolphin pennant through the Golden Gate. It was almost all they talked about The only obstacle was me. I wasn't dink,  I'd only been on the boat 4 months and a lot of that I'd either been port and starboard or mess cooking. They were really nice about it but they weren't going to let me stand in their way either. They put me on 5 section helmsman/planesman and I spent about 20 hours a day studying schematics and tramping around the boat learning systems and getting my qual card signed. Even though everybody made a big show about how smart and dedicated I was, that was all bull shit, wasn't it. Albert Einstien couldn't qualify submarines in the amount of time I did. If it made them feel better to proclaim me exceptional while they gun decked my card and board, that was OK with me. After they got through the Gate with their fish flag flying, they proclaimed me the rookie of the year and had COMSUBPAC give me a piece of paper to prove it. Pretty cool huh?

Do you think that sea story could get me elected Senator somewhere?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Jebby Bush Gets His 72nd Virgin The Easy Way

Devout Catholic convert and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush's youngest child, John Ellis Bush Jr., youngest of "the little brown ones" and famous for enjoying public sex in shopping center parking lots, affectionately known in the family as Jebby, was married today. Little information was released on the bride's background, named as Sandra Mary Algudady. Not a lot of pictures of the bride surfaced in the media or on the Internet, following the wedding but in the pictures of her I saw, she seemed quite comely .

Do you suppose she could be, in fact, Sandra al Gudady, precocious Bedouin wonder girl of Iraqi/Jordanian descent, former close adviser to the King of Jordan and currently, glamorous, jet setting, multi continental, business executive? This dirt dishing, tabloid reporter wannabe bets maybe. I could be wrong. Maybe she's an adventurous shop girl from Nordstrom's  Jebby met on her lunch break, out in the parking lot.

I don't know Sandra's a Muslim but if she's an al Gudady, I bet she is. Maybe she and her new husband can stop by the White House soon and chew the ol' prayer rug awhile with Barrack Hussein.

The Bush clan is known for either bringing in good breeding stock or marrying up if they can. The last generation of Bush boys had to pretty much take what they could get and lucky to get it, marriage wise. Looks like Jebby might be making up for that on both counts.

Congrats Jebby!

Go here for a slide show of the wedding from the Miami Herald. I'd post the photos but the paper is charging for the images and I'm on the zero$ budget plan.

Here's the only picture of Sandra al Gudady I could find on the Web. Sorry it's not better. Do you think it's the same girl? This picture is probably at least a few years old. Jebby's bride is said to be 30 years of age. He is 26.

Friday, May 28, 2010

They Say Ketchup is a Vegetable. Is a Dollar Money? Is Gold Only Good for Fishing Sinkers?

They say that all the gold ever mined, in the history of the World, would only fill up two Olympic sized swimming pools. If that's the case and the World's paper currency failed, leaving gold as a primary means of storing wealth, even a very small quantity of gold would make one very wealthy. Ironically, this is the same argument used by some to explain why such a thing could never happen.

Still, having a little bit of gold couldn't hurt. That's why so many people are buying it and the prices keep going up.

Right now, you'd have a real hard time buying anything with gold and whenever you exchange money for gold or gold for money you pay a Hell of a premium.

What's a boy to do.

Poland Upholds True Catholicism

The Roman Catholic Church is having hard times in Europe. Secularists and Homosexualists no longer lurk in the shadows but brazenly come out in the light of day and challenge the revealed truth of the one true Catholic God.

The one country in Europe that maintains even a semblance of the true faith is Poland. This is largely due to the Polish Roman Catholic priesthood, who have the faith, courage and intellect necessary to protect and preserve the true sentiments of Church dogma and doctrine.

Here we see one such young priest explaining gently but firmly the reality of the Homosexualist problem and what must be done about it.

Burn'em at the stake.

Snorkle Paris

It's Fleet Week in NYC. Paris Hilton has come out to keep the boys company.

We had a girl like that at Mare Island. Her name was Snorkle Patty. We were pretty sure she was a girl. The kind of thing she specialized in, being a girl wasn't really required, strictly speaking.

I'm sure Paris is a real girl. I've seen her sex videos. But also, having seen those videos, I can tell you, she's no Snorkle Patty. Patty did this gargling yodel kind of thing that was always well received and highly in demand, in spite of the fact it often caused her to fart.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

So Long, Mercury

I read that Ford is going to shitcan Mercury. The Mercury brand was the brainchild of Henry's son Edsel. A lot of guys my age idealize old Mercury "lead sled" hot rods, made famous in the James Dean movie, "Rebel Without A Cause". I don't. Where I lived, those kind of cars were driven by members of "low rider" gangs. Some were White, a lot were Hispanic, some even Black. They were the natural enemy of White, middle class SoCal youth, whether Coastal or Valley dwelling.

I did like the Mercs of the late 50s and early 60s. They were wacky and fun in a Soupy Sales kind of way. The back seats were huge and the upholstery as bouncy as Granny's sofa. You could get them with suicide doors. Some of them had back windows that rolled down. You could throw stuff at the cars coming up behind you. Had to be careful with the dog back there though.

A guy I went to school withs mother bought him a brand new Couger in '67 or '68. They were rich. It was just a Mustang with retractable headlights, a plush interior, came stock with the 289 V-8 and automatic transmission . I thought it was very nice. He didn't like it because it was too much of a Mommy car. Probably was but so was the Mustang. The first car I ever had the pink slip on was a '61 Comet wagon. Total piece of shit. It would break down while parked. It ate a water pump every month or two and the engine block cracked, on two different engines. The two speed automatic was good though, never had a problem with that.

Nobody will miss Mercury. They're just Fords with a little different chrome and cladding. The last time they had anything distinctive was in the late 80s, when they imported a couple of Euro sport sedans badged under the Merkur name, the Skorpio and the XR4Ti. Remember those? Probably not. I really liked the XR4Ti. I'm really an idiot but not enough of one to actually purchase an XR4Ti. It was the first World Rally type car offered for sale in America. It had a turbocharged, inter cooled, high compression 4 cylinder engine, completely impractical for SoCal driving and went about six months between major engine rebuilds. Nobody knew how to work on them and all the parts had to be special ordered from Germany at huge cost. Even after they started selling them at a loss they weren't a good deal. They wouldn't have been a good deal if they paid you to take them.

So long, Mercury.

Praising Sexual Predators

Sex and the City II is opening this weekend. I guess the first one made some money. I didn't see it.

This is the continuing story of a gang of much practiced and highly skilled serial sexual predators, practicing their craft unimpeded.

A lot of people think it's cute. This is a story that would never work in the entertainment mass media if the main characters were cunning, manipulative, more than a little over the hill, middle aged men. As long as the characters are women, it's all right. I'm not saying that's bad or unfair to men. It's just the way it is.

It's nothing shockingly new. I remember a movie, "How to Marry a Millionaire", with Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable, came out when I was a very little boy. In that movie, the predatory women were after financially advantageous marriage, not gratuitous sex and not so superannuated but the practiced, predatory sexual overtones were the same. It was a big hit almost 60 years ago. I hear Nicole Kidman wants to do a remake.


My determinate tomato plant now has 25 or thirty small tomatoes set on and is still blooming profusely. The indeterminate plant has one tomato set on. It is also beginning to bloom plentifully and I have no reason to believe it will not also be a big producer. The two plants are simply following different schedules.

Each plant had one outlier fruit develop much earlier than the others. My hypothesis is that the plant produces this outlier  in order to test that conditions are favorable and then sends a hormonal feedback to the plant, stimulating it to increase blooming. It seems like the logical explanation.

I have never read that this is true but I bet it is. See if your plants don't produce a very early outlier and let me know.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Together in Heaven

Brittany Murphy, a movie actress in her early 30s, died several months ago, of nebulous causes. Her husband, Simon Monjack, who wasn't that much older, died yesterday, probably of those same causes.

Errol Flynn and Micheal Jackson at least lasted into their 50s. Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown are pretty run down but still hanging on. Charley Sheen is doing fine and even just got a big raise. Brittany and Simon must have been blow torching the candle at both ends.

I would guess that Brittany and Simon made some seriously bad lifestyle choices. It's pretty hard to kill yourself in your 30s. I don't even think they had much fun, which for me, has always been the main justification for bad lifestyle choices. What a Bummer.

The Right. They're Right. Right On.

People my age and over are still concerned about "the system".  Conservatives still believe they can roll back the clock and bring back the good old days if they just teach the right things in school and make enough stuff illegal. Liberals are concerned that the conservatives might be right.

Younger people, grew up with a much more relaxed society. A lot more things have always been legal during their memory and a lot of things that are technically illegal, there is no enforcement of or penalty for and they don't give a shit if it's illegal or not. They realize that most of what they learn in school is bullshit and that every type of information, from every possible perspective, in every media, is available for free, 24 hours a day, on the Internet. They don't worry that a totalitarian government is going to suppress anything they want to do, say or find out. It's just not possible.

Younger people, say 40 and under, aren't really represented yet in positions of political power. They will be soon. When they do start showing up, it may seem that they are more conservative and apathetic about protecting basic freedoms. I think it would be a mistake to think that's true. They just don't feel threatened. They're right.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Two Types Of Tomatoes

I bought two tomato plants on a whim. I want fresh, homegrown tomatoes this Summer. I understood there are two different classifications of tomato plants, determinant and indeterminate.  I bought one of each.

Determinant varieties grow and mature more quickly. They are smaller, bushier plants. They put out profuse blossoms on major stems all at once and the fruit develops and ripens at the same time. Once all of the fruit is ripened, the plant is pretty much through.

Indeterminate varieties develop more slowly,  they are larger, more rangy plants. They put out initially fewer blossoms, on all stems. As fruit forms and ripens, they continue to put out more blossoms and develop more fruit and will continue to do so as long as growing conditions remain favorable.

This is my understanding and seems to be confirmed by the way my plants are growing.

I think that determinant plants would be better for the commercial grower. For the home gardener, the indeterminate varieties are better. I have no idea what I will do with the 50 or 60 tomatoes that my determinant plant will probably put out in another month or so. The indeterminate plant will probably continue to steadily produce fruit until Thanksgiving.

We'll see.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No Trespassing

Here we see BP contractors and Coast Guard personnel threatening to arrest a CBS camera crew filming an oil soaked beach in Louisiana. They better explain that pretty quick.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Lied about his service

There's a guy named Richard Blumenthal who is the Attorney General of Connecticut, currently running for the Senate, as a Democrat in that State. He had served in the Army during the Vietnam era but had misrepresented himself as having actually served in Vietnam, when that was not the case. He's in trouble for it now.

I turned 19 and thus eligible for the draft, in October of 1970. This was the year after the lottery system had been adopted. I was very lucky to get a high number and it was very unlikely that I would be drafted that year. After the numbers were drawn, I dropped my student deferment and sweated it out until the end of the year. I was in no rush to defend democracy in South East Asia.

I knew some guys my age who went to Vietnam. Most of them were drafted. They all just tried to keep their heads down while there. None of them stayed on or went back for a second tour. Some actually saw combat, most did not. It was pretty dangerous there whether or not you were in a combatant unit. A lot of veterans used the GI Bill to attend college where I went. They would tell stories over beers, a lot of them were terrible, funny and fascinating at the same time. Most agreed that the War was a futile effort and that the Vietnamese had no stomach for the conflict without us to do most of the fighting. The loathing for officers and enlisted lifers was universal and the consensus was that they all had their heads up their asses. There were stories of courage and heroism told. Mostly guys who were driven to take out their rage and sense of futility on whoever was around and if the Viet Cong were around they at least didn't get punished for killing them. I'm not saying that every young guy that went to Vietnam felt that way but a lot of the ones that I knew did.

I was good friends an old guy who's dead now, originally from Western Louisiana. Little shrimpy Cajun guy, maybe 5' 5", 130lbs. He was in his early middle twenties when World War II started. He joined the Army the day after Pearl Harbor. He got put in Patton's Third Army. He fought across North Africa, Italy, France and Germany. He was in the Battle of the Bulge. He mustered out after the War but joined up again, this time as a Marine, for Korea. Great guy, maybe not the brightest you'll ever meet. He was there when the Chinese blew the bugles for the Winter suicide charges, the Americans ran out of bullets trying to kill them all and the lines were overrun. He stayed in the Marines after Korea. Why not? He'd done more than his share.  He figured he'd get his thirty in. He had the kind of decorations you don't see all the time and lots of them. He ended up as an E-8, running the motor pool at El Toro. In '67, they told him he should either volunteer for Vietnam or hang it up. He was still years short of his thirty. He never hesitated. Put in his papers the next day and was a civilian within a month. He told me more than once that he regretted not getting the bigger pension check but not refusing to go to Vietnam. I never met a more patriotic guy. Beat the crap out of ya with a lead loaded, sawed off, Louisville Slugger if he thought you lacked respect. Get away with it too. The local cops all loved him. Anybody involved in anything nefarious around the neighborhood, he'd warn them once to their face, then drop a dime on 'em if they were still around the next day. He was just that kind of guy.

So what do I think of Richard Blumenthal? He never had anything to be ashamed of. Shouldn't have lied. He's probably not the kind of guy you'd want representing you in Washington. Is he?

Tuesday Recap

My predictions for yesterday's elections were pretty good.

I was surprised that the Dems were able to hold on to Murtha's old district, PA-12. This district was the only seat in the country that Kerry won and then went on to be carried by McCain, four years later. It seemed like a no brainer that with the passing of their longtime Congressman, Jack Murtha, the Republicans would get a chance at the seat and they still may very well, come the November general elections.

Mark Critz, who won this seat, in the Northern most section of the Appalachians, is a very Blue Dog but will presumably cooperate with Nancy a lot more than any Republican. This is at least one bright spot for the Dems to hang their hopes on.

Monday, May 17, 2010

She's Changing Her Name to Tanya

Laura Bush is OK with abortion, the Elena Kagan nomination and Gay marriage. She opposes the Arizona immigration law. She'll smoke a little weed to mellow out. Not a big church goer. Her daughters obviously trust and confide in her.

Do you think she might be a radical lesbian Marxist?

Glen Being Glen

Glen Beck gave the commencement speech at Liberty University over the weekend.

He apologized for his Mormon faith to the young Baptist Wingnuts and stated that the Democratic Party in America is controlled by Radical Marxists. He cried a little bit over his failure to attend college, due to mental illness.

What a guy.

Eenie Meenie Chilli Beanie. The Spirits Are About To Speak.

There are a few primary elections tomorrow. Here are Swami Dave's predictions.

In Pennsylvania, Joe Sestak will take the Democratic Senate nomination from Arlen Specter. A lot of people want to make this a big ideological contest. I don't think so. Arlen is 80 and has a disturbing history of multiple cancerous brain tumors. Would you vote for a guy like that? I wouldn't. Also in Pennsylvania, there is a special election to fill the House seat vacated by now deceased Representative John Murtha. The Republicans will take that seat from the Democrats.

In Kentucky, Rand Paul will defeat Trey Greyson for the Republican Senate nomination.

Now pay up. That will be a nickle, half a pound of saltines or a large dill pickle.

Healthy Specimen

Over the weekend a young woman of Lebanese descent won the Miss USA pageant. For a Middle Eastern nation, Lebanon has a pretty diverse population. She may not be Muslim or if she is, not very.

I felt it was my duty to study several pictures of her in a bikini. I'm pretty sure she wasn't smuggling any high explosive devices.

What a relief. We're safe for now.

Portugal Liberalizes

Today, in the week following the Pope's State visit to Portugal, the politically conservative President of that overwhelmingly  Catholic country ratified a bill legalizing Gay marriage. Abortion on demand is already the law of the land there.

The Pope is staking the entire fortunes of the international Catholic church on its continuing stand against women's reproductive rights and secular equality for homosexuals.

This may be a mistake.

Do you think he will learn his lesson?

Bernard Kerik is going to prison today to serve his sentence for perjury and tax evasion. I don't think he should have to go to prison. He's no criminal mastermind, just a big dumb oaf who learned in the NYPD to go along and get along. He had reason to trust the men he was colluding with would protect him. One of them was the President of the United States.

It doesn't signify anything. Republican and Democrat luminaries both end up in jail. If more Republicans go than Dems, it's only because the Republicans have more money and it leaves an easier trail for law enforcement to follow.

They should just let Bernard go home.

Dick Hearts Meg

Dick Cheney has endorsed Meg Whitman over Steve Poisner for Governor in California. Cheney has a lot of pull with mature, White, conservative voters and there aren't really that many other types of conservative voters.

It should be quite a contest. Californians like to elect Republican governors and Democratic legislators, so winning the Republican Gubernatorial primary is really more than half the battle.

I'm not a big Meg Whitman fan but she should be interesting if she becomes governor. She almost has to be a better prospect than Arnold. He's been very entertaining but a total disaster.

Who knows, she may turn out to be good. We're due. The last good governor we had was Pat Brown, when I was a little boy. Before that we had quite a few. A lot of them were Republicans.

Little America

I knew a guy who went to Antarctica. He was a geologist and managed to get himself attached to a scholarly expedition that was going there. He wasn't there very long and I heard it was pretty miserable but he was very proud to have gone and considered it one of the high points of his life.

The US government has some installations in Antarctica and the military is actively involved with them. I've heard there is at least one nuclear reactor down there. It makes sense. How else could you get reliable power without hauling in large amounts of fossil fuels?

When I was in the Navy, I heard that they were always looking for guys to volunteer for duty at the South Pole but never met anyone who had been assigned there. I never saw any communications asking for volunteers. I probably would have gone. It would have been a great place to save money and there probably wouldn't have been too much military bullshit in the day to day life. There might even have been an opportunity for a yearly, extended leave in Argentina or Chile. I'm sure that the facilities there had a good library and probably cheap booze.

Anybody out there ever go to Antarctica or know someone that did? Hell, I might sign up to go there now, if they paid decent and could use me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Move Over Mac and Let A Guy Sit Down

I hope some of you are admiring the submarine artwork with which I have embellished the blog today. I think that's a nice painting of the Nautilus, don't you?

Some of the pictures along the sidebar were painted for the Navy Department by Thomas Hart Benton during World War II. I've always admired his work. For those of you that haven't spent time on submarines, I'll tell you one thing they really got wrong. There is a sense of spaciousness in these paintings that is not there in real life. The spaces are small, dark and cramped, the overheads low and the passageways narrow. There's one picture down there that shows nine guys in a pigboat conning tower and they are still pretty spread out. Gimme a break. Five guys in a conning tower, everybody's touching and feeling like they're short of breath. The crew's mess was about it, for spacious. About the size of the dining room at your mom's house, with a lot less headroom and that was on the 575, an early Nuc. You get about fifty guys benched down in there with heads in the trough and a couple or three messcranks slingin' the slop. Gracious living.  Diesel subs of the WWII era and after never had anything that nice, maybe a table with a couple benches bolted down next to the galley. Probably only Chiefs got to sit there. Everybody else take your tin plate and find some place to squat.

I never was bothered by claustrophobia while serving. After I got out, I developed some symptoms for a few years. I didn't like the dark or close, crowded spaces. Maybe it was a post traumatic stress thing. I should have applied for disability benefits, huh? I got over it.

Fire that Nun and Send Her Straight to Hell

A nun working as an administrator at a Catholic hospital in Arizona has been fired from her job and excommunicated from the Church.

She was the on call administrator when a woman, 11 weeks pregnant, was admitted to the hospital with a condition that would make it impossible for her to continue the pregnancy and live. The patient wanted to have an abortion. Her doctor wanted to give it to her. The administrator's option was to allow the woman to die or permit her doctors to perform an abortion. She OK'd the abortion.

This nun could have had the woman transferred to another hospital, one that did allow therapeutic abortion. That would have been a decision that saved her career and her immortal soul. In that case, the pregnant woman's condition may have been further jeopardized by the transfer process and possibly having to switch doctors at the new hospital.

The Catholic Church can run their religion any way they want, I really don't give a shit but you know what? This nun doesn't sound like the kind of woman I'd be eager to kick out of my church. I absolutely think she did the right thing. I'd give her an attaboy, maybe make her employee of the month, put her picture up in the lobby, next to the one of the Hispanic lady that cleans all the toilets so good. Wouldn't you?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

No Wingnuts Need Apply

Bradley Byrne can't convince Alabamans that he is ignorant enough to be the kind of Governor they want running their State. The sad part is, he probably isn't ignorant enough.

The twist is that it may be a teacher's union that is spreading lies about his supposed secular humanist enlightenment on the subject of evolution. I've heard that this guy Byrne spent a suspiciously large amount of time hanging around with the thespian club in high school.

The comments on the linked Fox News article are especially  piquant. Read a few, they'll make you a big believer in forced eugenics.


Barry O's two Supreme Court nominees are very interesting so far. They are not, as the Right wants to characterize them, any kind of firebrand, Commie or feminist radicals. They are something even more dangerous and the Right really doesn't even get it yet.

These two girls are entirely different from Sandra O'Conner and Ruth Ginsberg, they grew up much later and are at the leading edge of what perhaps the generations of American women to come will be like. It isn't the case that they did not have a strict, traditional and disciplined upbringing, they did. What's new about them is that they chose to reject totally, traditional feminine roles and society had changed enough by the time they came of age, that they were allowed to. They are strict believers in the virtues of meritocracy. Both had religious training and both rejected it. Both have clearly chosen not to participate in even a token display of familial domesticity in their personal lives. These are not women who have ever utilized the wiles of feminine sexuality to further their ambitions. Both of these ladies are not only extremely smart but focused and through tenacity and hard work have come out at the very top of the heap in every endeavor they put their hand to. I don't know if either one or both of them is homosexual, even if it turns out to be the case, it seems to me that both of these ladies have mostly chosen to steer clear of serious relationships in favor of single life. Still, if they did ever come out as lesbians, it would be icing on the cake.

Kagan and Sotomeyer may turn out to be very strict conservatives in areas like criminal justice, free enterprise, the military, homeland security and giveaway entitlements  but I bet they turn out to be the worst nightmare of those that want to find the enshrinement of traditional family and Christian religious values in the Constitution of the United States of America. They may take the protection of civil rights for Americans who make non traditional lifestyle choices to a whole new level. With them on the Court, the need for an equal rights amendment becomes moot.

Some may think that Barry doesn't know what he's doing in this. I doubt that. This is a guy that was mostly raised by his grandmother, a strong, successful, emancipated woman who succeeded head to head against men in the workplace and very unusual in her generation. He knows exactly what he's doing.

I can hardly wait to see who he puts on the Court next. I would guess that it will be yet another woman. I think he should put Michelle on. That would burst a few blood vessels in Wingnut heads.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Punitive Head Freezing

The Iowa Court of Appeals has ordered that this old guy be dug up so that his head can be cut off and placed in cryogenic storage, even though he died almost a year and a half ago. His brain proteins, what's left of them, have probably also been denatured by embalming fluid.

What kind of sense does this make?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Another Robin Hood Movie

Errol Flynn lived hard and died young. He started making American movies in 1935 and became a star almost immediately. Every movie he made for the next five years was great. Robin Hood is, hands down, his best portrayal. Those movies were my favorites when I was growing up. I always wanted to be like Errol Flynn, on and off stage and always failed miserably. It's harder than it looks and you have to start out with talent and aptitude for it. I ended up being more like Sal Mineo, only more sycophantic and fatter. How embarrassing.

Robin Hood was the best costume drama, action adventure ever made. It should have won the Best Picture Oscar in 1939 instead of Gone With The Wind. When World War II started, Errol was only in his early thirties. A lot of people thought he was some kind of Nazi because he didn't fight in the War. I doubt that's true. The fact is, he was more of a Commie than a Nazi. That's another story. After WWII, Errol was never any good as an actor. The only time he ever got the magic back, was in the terrible 1957 film version of Ernest Hemingway's, The Sun Also Rises.  He absolutely steals the show as Lady Brett's dissolute fiance, Mike Campbell, maybe because the character he plays so closely parallels his own self destructive life experiences. He died two years later, drunk, of a heart attack, in a borrowed Vancouver BC hotel suite, trying to lease out a yacht he could no longer afford to maintain, in the company of a 15 year old girlfriend.

There have been a shitload of Robin Hood movies since Errol's. All of them were crap. They are releasing another big budget one this week. It will almost surely be crap too.  So far, as long as you can still watch Errol in the role, there is no point in having other versions.

You know what? Gone With The Wind would make a great HBO miniseries, in the same vein as Rome. If it was done right, exploring more mature themes and a few contemporary twists in character development, it could easily go on for twenty episodes and make everybody forget all about Clark and Vivian.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How Are The Wingnuts Doing In Your State?

The California primary elections next month will be interesting. The two Republican candidates in the leading statewide races are both wealthy corporate CEOs. Both call for fiscal restraint and reform but are socially liberal. In this they are similar to our present Governor, Arnold Schwartzenegger.

Both of these ladies have male primary challengers who are more socially conservative on the issues that arouse the Wingnut base. In a Republican primary, one or both of these ladies could be defeated by their leading opponents.

The irony is that Whitman will almost certainly win the Governorship in the general election if she makes it that far and while I do not think Carly can beat Barbara Boxer out of her Senate seat, some think that she might. If they are defeated in the primaries, it is all but certain that the Democrats will keep the Senate seat and regain the Governorship.

I'm not sure people unfamiliar with California politics really understand the implications of the way the Republican lurch to the social right is going to affect the makeup of our roster of elected officials.

I wonder in how many states will the rise of the Wingnut and religious right, to control of the Republican Party, as may be happening in California, will increase their representation in government?

Nice House

You don't always see good real estate deals advertised in the metropolitan LA area. This is one. You could probably get it even cheaper than the offered price.

If you don't mind living in the San Fernando Valley and you have half a million to burn, this may be the place for you. Seems to be right up against the foothills, which probably means an affluent neighborhood. Probably not a great view though or they would have put in a picture of that.

With the current prevalence for McMansions, the landscaped, park like grounds with multiple major water features are a big plus. It's probably 20 miles from the beach in Santa Monica. Weekend drives to Santa Barbara would be a snap.

It also has a lot of bathrooms. Ample availability of a quiet place to shit is important. Especially as you get older.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lesbo Commie

I may be missing something here but the Wingers are already going on about how will Elena Kagan's Lesbiality affect her Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court.

If she is a Lesbian, I think she should say so. I don't think it should make any difference one way or another in the confirmation process.

I'm unaware that she has ever stated that she is a lesbian. She should no more be presumed to be Gay than Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, Heather Wilson, Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, Ann Coulter, Charlie Christ, My own Congress person, Dana Rohrabacher or any number of closeted Republican homosexuals in public life. As far as I know, the only out Gays in politics are Democrats, like Barney Frank and Henry Waxman.

Nobody made a big deal about Gay Republican Supreme Court nominees David Souter or Chief Justice John Roberts during their confirmations and their sexual preference was no big secret.


Saturday, May 08, 2010


Sarah Palin's big insight into the Gulf of Mexico oil slick is that it's BPs fault and "you can't trust foreigners".

 What a woman.  Eskimo Todd worked for BP for twenty Years. They're huge up in Alaska. Since BP merged with Standard Oil of Indiana, they are pretty much officially one of the Seven Sisters and as American as apple pie.

Friday, May 07, 2010

People like an illegal alien for President.

If you ask people the right questions, you find out some amazing things.  About 20% of Americans believe Barry O may not have been born in this country, although they admit there is no proof of their suspicion. A third of those, about 7% of the population, thinks he's doing a fine job and like him anyway.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Kentucky Fire Drill

The Republican GOP in Kentucky had their candidate for the Senate seat there all lined up for the primary vote. A guy named Trey Greyson. They thought he was just about perfect. Ivy League but heavy into Mom, apple pie, scapegoat the Gays and jail the abortion doctors until they come to Jesus.

Then a funny thing happened. The voters didn't like him. Instead, they like Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul, who the Republican establishment for years have been trying to paint as out on the fringe and unstable kooks because of their libertarian outlook on social issues and extreme fiscal conservatism.

It has become clear that Rand is going to win the primary. It's also clear that Paul has the potential to attract socially moderate and even liberal leaning independents in the November general election, not that Kentucky is in danger of electing any Democratic senators anytime soon. In the last week, would be Republican king makers are tripping all over themselves offering their endorsements to the younger Paul. Sarah Palin, James Dobson and Jim DeMent so far and likely more to come. You can't get any better than that if you want the votes of the Republican base.

Poor Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate leader, who also happens to be the senior senator from Kentucky, has already gone all in for Trey and can't back out now or can he? Maybe Trey can be made to realize he needs to devote more time to his family.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Brownie Speaks

I saw Michael Brown interviewed this afternoon by Anderson Cooper. The reason that he was interviewed is that he intimated on his Right Wing radio talk show, that Barry and his administration had so far bungled the federal handling of the Louisiana oil spill and more than that, desire for the oil spill to do as much ecological damage as possible to the American coastline, in order to stop offshore drilling forever and vilify big oil.

Cooper repeatedly quoted from Brown's radio show transcript and asked what basis he had to imply these things. Mr Brown was unable to respond in any substantive manner.

Mr Brown as you will recall, was Ws FEMA director during the early days of Hurricane Katrina. He was most successful previous to that, in a position promoting the husbandry and exhibition of registered Arabian horses.

I really admire Arabian horses, small, sturdy, intelligent equines that excel in almost every way. American mustangs, descended from mounts brought by the Spanish conquistadors, have a lot of Arabian lineage. I'm sure they would have done OK without Brownie's help.

Elmer Gantry took it in the ass.

Here's a great story. The guy who partnered with James Dobson to found his evangelical fundamentalist Christian empire, recently hired a young Gay prostitute to accompany him on a sunny vacation trip abroad. They shared a room. The guy doesn't deny it. Whats to deny, it happened.

I think most of these fundamentalist, evangelical Christian leaders are Gay. The job calls out for the same kind of sensitive, artsy showmanship that is required for interior decoration, hairstyling, high fashion design or Broadway musical choreography. Effective evangelical preaching is almost a universal stereotype crying out for a a Gay personality.

Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Robert Schuller, Oral Roberts, Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn, Bishop Fulton Sheen, name one, they're all Gay. In public they puff up, wave their gaudily ring and Rolex adorned hands about, smooth out their bouffant hairstyles, swish around in shiny, Italian designer suits and lisp loudly about the sin of homosexuality. In private, they long for a quiet, soft skinned, sensitive young man with white teeth and a big penis.

What a crack up.

I'm a Rambler. I'm a Gambler.

I grew up in a pretty typical church going American family. Pretty fundamentalist too, by today's standards. No card playing or dancing allowed. No shopping on Sundays.

Gambling was considered a major vice and completely unacceptable, not quite as bad as drinking, worse than smoking.

All of us kids played marbles. A kid took his bag of marbles everywhere. I would often forgo candy in order to buy marbles. There were high stakes games and low stakes games. In low stakes games only the pedestrian cats eye marbles were used. As the stakes went up the marbles became larger, more exotic and wonderful. The crown jewels of the marble world were agates. If there were some agates in the game, the stakes were high indeed and you had to ante up some to be let in the game. There was always a lot of controversy over whether steelies should be allowed as shooters.

A couple of bad games and a kid could be left marble poor, distraught and unable to sleep at night. It was cut throat gambling of the highest order. Nobodies parents minded it.

I Look Longingly At New Mac Pros

The computer I use is a first generation Apple G5 Power PC, of the type first released seven years ago in 2003. At the time, Apple charged over $2000 dollars for it and touted it as the most revolutionary and powerful personal computer ever. That didn't last long. I bought mine, in almost new condition, three years ago for just a few hundred bucks.

My computer has about the same power and capabilities as last years cheapest model net book. It's a lot less portable.

The good thing is that most people do their computer tasks and surf the web on these little net books with no problem. My seven year old behemoth works just about as well.

I figure it will be at least 2 or 3 years before I need to get a new computer. $400 for a computer you can use successfully for 5-6 years is a pretty good deal.

Tea Party on, Garth

Forty years ago today, the Kent State massacre happened. After that, hundreds of colleges and universities around the country shut down, many for the rest of the school year. This was a culmination of the movement that had started with Mario Savio and the free speech movement of the early 60s. It was a continuation of the protests that disrupted the Democratic National Convention in Chicago a few years before. It changed the way the right to free speech and assembly was regarded in this society forever.

The Tea Partiers are direct descendants of the campus protesters of the late 60s and early 70s. I hope they acknowledge the debt that they owe those young people of a half century ago.

Sarah Palin is the new Abbie Hoffman.

Power to the People, Right On!

Who are they fighting against?

The Wing nuts think abortion is some kind of deep philosophical divide in this country between upright, Christian fundamentalists, who believe in the revealed word of the crucified Sky God and effete, liberal secular relativists. It's a crock. Here's a quote from Business Week magazine.

"The Guttmacher Institute focuses on sexual and reproductive health research, policy analysis and public education. The study, based on an analysis of a nationally representative survey of women obtaining abortions in the United States, also found that in 2008: 58 percent of all abortion patients were in their 20s; 45 percent were never married and not living with a partner; 61 percent were already mothers; 42 percent were living below the federal poverty line; 36 percent were white; 59 percent had at least some college education; and 73 percent had some religious affiliation."

The women getting abortions aren't liberal relativists. They are young women, of modest means. They already have children. It seems to me that the decision to have a child or abort mostly comes down to economics. They can't afford another child. To have one would strain already fragile economic resources and make employment for these women more difficult. Most of them, even if they are married or in a stable domestic relationship do not have the option of being stay at home mothers. They already have at least one child. They know what the experience of having another child will be like. Sounds like an informed decision to me.

Liberal relativists are mostly too old to have children. Those that are not, take adequate birth control measures. I bet the abortion rates are much higher for the young adult girl children of Wing Nut Fundamentalist Christians than for those of secular humanist relativist couples. When the Wing Nut "Prayer Warriors" jump out of the bushes in front of abortion clinics, screaming murderer and shaking large color pictures of dead fetuses at the young women entering, who exactly is it that they are fighting against?

Poor, young women, often members of a racial or cultural minority, already hard up against it and looking at more of the same. Nice.

Is this the way they really want to expand and energize their political base? I think in the end, it will be a poor choice.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Bow Your Head With Great Respect And Genuflect, Genuflect, Genuflect

Thursday is the National Day of Prayer. I'm not religious but I'm not one of those people that has a problem with it. Occasions of public prayer have been going on all of my life. I'm not fond of them but I'm used to it. Public prayer has always reinforced my beliefs that the religious are boorish, stupid and oppressive louts. They don't even consider that others might not jump at the chance to grovel with them in obeisance to their Sky God. Over the years, public prayer has done a lot to strengthen my atheism.

During public prayers I do not bow my head and pretend to pray along. I stand up straight and look around.  A lot of other people do the same. We smile, wave and wink at each other. What Larks, Pip.

I don't mind public prayer.

That Franklin Graham guy is getting a lot of press over this issue now. He was on Morning Joe last night. Joe was having a hard time making him look good. I had never heard him speak before. The guy is a completely ignorant goon. His father, Billy is a very smart guy, for all that he is a big drinker, wife beater, fornicator and ethnocentric racist, among many other things. Franklin may share traits with his famous father, most sons do. Intelligence is not one of them.


The great American fortunes, shipping, steel and railroads in the 19th century, Autos, rubber, oil in the 20th, electronics and attendant software today and grasping, greedy bankers all along the way, were made by graft, corruption, political patronage and the ruthless suppression of legitimate competition. This isn't lying liberal propaganda, just the sad truth about a supposedly free enterprise society.

We're hearing a lot about how Barry O is a socialist maniac, out to redistribute the precious, hard earned wealth of honest Americans. What the fuck does that mean. I worked hard for a long time. Whenever there was an opening, I worked hard to get promoted and often was. Maybe I didn't make a lot but it was more than a lot of people did. I saved almost every penny I ever made. I don't really have very much. Given inflationary trends in a lot less time than it took me to save it, I will have nothing, whether I spend it or not.

I hope Barry redistributes the hell out of the wealth. The people that have most of it either stole it or inherited it and never worked a day in their lives. I'm not stupid enough to think I would get any of the redistributed wealth. I might even be one who gets what wealth he has redistributed. I don't care. It would be worth it just to see.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Christian Nation

I think it's interesting that there is a growing debate in this country over whether or not we are a Christian nation, whatever that means. I don't think this is the kind of debate where there can be a winner or loser.

What is really interesting is that we are having a debate over it at all. Forty or fifty years ago nobody, even the most devout atheist, would argue that America was not a Christian nation. We are certainly still a nation that promotes Christian virtues and ideals. Whether that will remain the case is a good question for debate.

Nobody is arguing that Christians don't have every right to practice their faith or even evangelize, as long as they don't impose upon the rights of others to believe differently. It is the right to force Christianity on everyone and discriminate against those that refuse it, that the Wing Nuts are afraid of losing. It is a well grounded fear. Without institutionalized Christian dominance, nobody will go along with the shit they are shoveling. It might be different if their beliefs had anything to do with the real teachings of Jesus but they don't.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Razor's Edge

This is my favorite news story in awhile.

You gotta love Hindu India.

Let's all become breatharians. It isn't so hard to believe. My Grandpa hasn't had anything to eat or drink since 1984.  He's almost a hundred and twenty years old. In this culture we call it dead. Semantics is all it is.