November 1, 2008 archive

Beauty Shop Chat

I am a squirming environmental hypocrite because I still like going to the beauty shop for highlights. I figure I am middle aged, the body is falling apart so I can’t really deal with bad hair in addition to that. Do men have bad hair days? A bad hair day can completely distort and torment your perspective even if world peace and brotherhood is spontaneously breaking out around you, and also I am fairly shallow. I am sure there are real progressives out there that don’t worry about human unity and  universal planetary love  happening on a bad hair day but I just don’t happen to be one of them. If I was a real progressive I would be killing my own cows and growing my own cotton and making my own clothes with it using non toxic dyes and recycling my dog hair into natural insulation for the house and riding a horse to work. So. Hey I outed myself.

You aren’t going to tell your Republican gynecologist you’re a progressive in the middle of a pap smear, right? So I decided since I live in uber red state town that I wouldn’t mention politics to the nice but conservative lady who does my hair for fear of ending up with a Mohawk. I had one of those when I was 20, I think it might be slightly less cute at 44.

But it happened. My hairdresser told me she was confused she thought both McCain and Obama had some good ideas and she was vacillating but she “heard” Obama was against saying the pledge of allegiance and she found that very anti-American and she was worried he wasn’t a “true” Christian.

I asked her where she heard that. She wasn’t sure. I asked her if she thought John McCain was a true Christian and she said she was pretty certain. So, I asked her what church/congregation he belonged to. She had no idea. I told her where Obama worshiped and i suggested that if she wanted to hear his views she should go to the source and look at his website or hit youtube and see snippets of his speeches.

Aren’t you just far too intelligent to rely on what other people tell you, I asked? Don’t you remember high school when everybody gossiped and told one another what they “heard” and how often was it really true? She said hmmmmmm.

At this point the hairdressers and customers were all staring at me. And I thought hmmmm.

I am thinking here I am in a small town in the south are storm troopers coming in to take me away?

I was there . . .!! Obama Rally!

Learned yesterday morning that Obama was going to be in Highland, Indiana, last night, so I planned on going.  The rally was to begin at 7:30 p.m., at Wicker Memorial Park.

It was a beautiful, perfect evening!

Arriving, there was no allotted parking left, shopping mall across the street was packed and we were instructed by police to go to K-Mart  (nothing being said about it not being there anymore).  Kept driving until I saw more police, who told me where the lot was.  Parked and got on a shuttle bus (free) to go back to the Park.  Got off, walked to entrance, where police awaited, but, amazingly, no one’s purse or pockets were even searched.    Walked to the Park, where all of the standing room possible in front of the platform was filled to capacity.  Security everywhere.  Interestingly, the group in front of the platform were “gated” off behind them, then there was a goodly amount of space, then more “gating” and people behind that, myself included.

There’s more!

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

52 stories, no U.S. News yet.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 With US election, sun setting on Guantanamo trials

By DAVID McFADDEN, Associated Press Writer

1 hr 26 mins ago

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba – Camp Justice, erected six months ago for the first U.S. war-crimes trials in a half-century, already feels like a ghost town.

A hundred canvas tents pitched on a weed-choked airfield to house an army of lawyers and journalists stand mostly empty, even as air conditioning blasts through them to keep iguanas and large rodents at bay.

Only three reporters showed up this week for the trial of Osama bin Laden’s alleged communications specialist, in contrast to the dozens who attended earlier hearings.

Breaking the Dog Whistle

I like Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo, and think he has done an excellent job covering (and in many cases uncovering) the issues arising over the 2008 election.

I don’t always agree with him, but I think he has a good grasp of the difference between reporting hard news and editorializing, and he rarely mixes the two.

I also appreciate that he has established a real news organization that uses its own sources, and is a good model for citizen journalism.

But his latest posts on the negative cast of the McCain/Palin campaign have been breathtaking.

When he does editorialize about the dog-whistle smearing that has been done by McCain and Palin, his fury and contempt is clear, and because he’s not usually a ranter, that fury is more compelling in the contrast.

His latest post, McCainism is a doozy:

For my own part, obviously, I hope Barack Obama can pull off a victory on Tuesday. But more than that, I hope the result of the election can be a rebuke, a closing of the book on McCainism and the moral filth it has come to represent. I’m under no illusion that negative or even nasty campaigning will come to an end in the USA. I don’t think that’s realistic or even necessarily desirable. Hard-fought and brass-knuckle politics is something built into the fiber of American politics. It’s part and parcel of the intensity of belief and passion that many of us have for the issues at stake in our elections.

But McCain’s campaign has devolved into something altogether different … what with its increasingly open appeals to racial conflict and aggressive invocations of blood hatred of Arabs and Muslims. As The New Republic phrases it, McCain’s “subtle incitements of racial warfare and underhanded implications of foreign nativity.” Over the months we’ve become desensitized to the moral depravity of McCain’s campaign.

did i just hear what i just heard????????? holy shit.

ej and i are watching Dutch news at 8pm. and the video comes up of John McCain shouting to a crowd and i zero in when i hear::: I’M AN AMERICAN.”  that’s an exact quote. and then i think he said something like: i’m going to fight. don’t give up hope.

what the … what the … what the FUCK????????????????????????????

i mean i am stunned. even i am stunned. because at first, i heard it. and then i HEARD it. he’s an american. obama is not.

be ready on Nov. 5 is all i can say. maybe the progressives will become the new secessionists…

this just isn’t good.

anybody able to link this? because i’m still reeling………………

ps: the dutch love Obama!!!

The Bottomless Cash Machine

It’s not very often that I simply lift and reproduce someone elses article, but trying to say everything that needs to be said about this one would probably end up being sheer plagiarism anyway, and rather than go that route I think it’s better to just repost it in full with accreditation and backlink. If you thought you were pissed off for last few years, that was nothing compared to how you’ll feel come January.

From Naomi Klein writing yesterday in the Guardian comes a warning of the final outrage about to be perpetrated as the Bush Gang backs out the door, guns drawn and laughing, stealing every last dollar they can from you, after eight years of pillaging America.

You, your families, your children, your friends, and everyone you know are about to be robbed blind.

The Bush gang’s parting gift: a final, frantic looting of public wealth

The US bail-out amounts to a strings-free, public-funded windfall for big business. Welcome to no-risk capitalism

Naomi Klein

The Guardian

Friday, October 31 2008

In the final days of the election many Republicans seem to have given up the fight for power. But don’t be fooled: that doesn’t mean they are relaxing. If you want to see real Republican elbow grease, check out the energy going into chucking great chunks of the $700bn bail-out out the door. At a recent Senate banking committee hearing, the Republican Bob Corker was fixated on this task, and with a clear deadline in mind: inauguration. “How much of it do you think may be actually spent by January 20 or so?” Corker asked Neel Kashkari, the 35-year-old former banker in charge of the bail-out.

When European colonialists realised that they had no choice but to hand over power to the indigenous citizens, they would often turn their attention to stripping the local treasury of its gold and grabbing valuable livestock. If they were really nasty, like the Portuguese in Mozambique in the mid-1970s, they poured concrete down the elevator shafts.

Nothing so barbaric for the Bush gang. Rather than open plunder, it prefers bureaucratic instruments, such as “distressed asset” auctions and the “equity purchase program”. But make no mistake: the goal is the same as it was for the defeated Portuguese – a final, frantic looting of the public wealth before they hand over the keys to the safe.

Ridiculous, Hopeful Symbolism

The Coho Salmon return to greet Barack!!!!

Yeah, it’s silly but that was my thought as I read this article in the SF Chronicle. For eons there was no greater symbol of natures bounty than the Salmon runs in central Claifornia and up the coast. You could stand at a creeks edge and watch them literally swarm…

Meanwhile, salmon from the Garcia River were netted by the thousands, smoked and shipped to San Francisco. The Nature Conservancy’s Carah estimates that as many as 500,000 coho once squirmed and wriggled their way up California streams every year as late as the 1940s.

Old-timers living in Mendocino County remember spearing coho in the Garcia. After the first rains, dozens of young coho could be seen in every pool and eddy. They were so abundant that people simply ignored the 25-fish limit, sometimes just scooping the fish out of the water.

The fish began to disappear when the widespread clear-cutting of forests began after World War II. The rampant building of logging roads in the watershed, the removal of riparian vegetation and huge amounts of silt running off into the creeks ruined their habitat.


Then came the rapacious logging practices that have been a focus of many, many protests in Northern California, Southern Oregon and elsewhere. Protest like Redwood Summer, that led to the  Judi Barri case, an outrageous pepper spray attack, and perhaps best symbolized by Julia Butterfly Hill camping out in a giant redwood tree for 738 days to keep it from being killed. The clear cutting and resulting clogging and destruction of streams and rivers was incredibly destructive to the salmon population.

And then came Dick Cheney.

Pony Party: Crazy in Alabama

I went to Alabama last weekend.

This is just a long ass driveway….


Even the cats ride four wheelers in rural Alabama….


And the chickens….


Everybody has an old car or two setting around….


And hunting dogs, this guy hunts ducks….


My MIL’s pretty chickens, the one standing apart is a pet named Lucille. Lucille gets all kind of scraps and it freaked me the fuck out that Lucille ate some ham scraps. I said to her,”please don’t feed that chicken some chicken and turn her into a cannibal.”

She thought that was quite funny. I actually suspect she thinks I am very, very, weird.


My BIL doing some welding on some broken tool making equipment for my spouse whose major hobby is making knives. My BIL is six foot six and has hands the size of footballs. He is a bit crippled up from football and is a easy going guy but I think one would still not want to start a bar fight with him and he is fifty-five. He looked very elegant doing the work.


The incident at Hofstra was a SET UP!

With more time to process what happened at Hofstra, and with what I already know about the relative motivations and effectiveness of the Nassau County Executive, I have come to the realization that the incident between the local police and Iraq Veterans Against the War was a setup. The objective was to put veteran anti-war groups like IVAW and Veterans For Peace at odds with local DEMOCRATIC politicians who must bear the brunt of the bad PR and possibly (at the County level) punitive damages.

October Surprises…….

Pepe Escobar Commentary: Al Gore campaigns for Obama in Florida; Bin Laden still not heard from

For months there has been relentless talk of an October surprise capable of swaying the US presidential election – just as the Osama bin Laden video “Message to the American people” released in late October 2004. Possible October surprises include former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsing Senator Barack Obama and former vice-president Al Gore campaigning for Obama in Florida – the state that cost him the election in 2000. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda has vaguely endorsed Senator John McCain. But many – including top US government officials – are still waiting for an Osama bin Laden video.

El Dia De Los Muertos

cross-posted from The Dream Antilles


La Catrina in Mexico City

A brief, incomplete, somewhat opinionated guide to a wonderful holiday:    

The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos in Spanish) is a holiday celebrated mainly in Mexico and by people of Mexican heritage (and others) living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and relatives who have died. The celebration occurs on the 1st and 2nd of November, in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day which take place on those days. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.

Join me across El Rio.

Let’s Talk Mandate

 In 2004 this was the popular vote tally:

     Bush     50.73%  (62,040,610 votes)

     Kerry    48.27%  (59,028,444 votes)

Source — see pg 11.

On Nov. 3, Dick Cheney said this:  

“President Bush ran forthrightly on a clear agenda for this nation’s future and the nation responded by giving him a mandate.”   Source.

On Nov. 15, William Kristol wrote this:

“The hair-pullers and teeth-gnashers won’t like it, of course, but we’re nevertheless inclined to call this a Mandate.”  Source.

Continued below the fold.

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