June 4, 2009 archive

Me & Baucus

I got an email from democrats.com with a click and sign petetion for single payer. I clicked and recommend that we all click. It is probably not going to happen but we may get a stronger public option by pushing.Anyhow, here is an email I sent to Baucus.

Senator Baucus

I want single payer for my grandkids and for generations unborn and for the homeless vets who sleep under the bridge nearby. Don’t worry I take them a load of blankets from BIG LOTS every fall with a $5 bill tucked in each. You could have helped them more but you came up short, not in contributions in performance.

The anger over single payer among us war vets is thick enough to slice. We remember when it was defeated in 60’s and 90’s and now we can add the 00’s. When I saw you say on teevee that maybe you should have left the single payer option in as tho it was merely an oversight I lost it. In addition you magnanimously dropped charges on the thirteen nurses and doctors you had arrested. What a guy!

I paid my American Express Credit Card $51.19 today. It was not due yet but I could not cancel it as long as there was a balance. In making the cancellation I mentioned your oversight on single payer and the $50,000 they gave to your campaign. I am not a constituent but a war buddy is and he is going to supply a vote and I am kicking in $50. Guess who gets them in your next election.

signed dungaree

Jed is on FIRE!

Give him some love here!

Energy Smart Jeff (that is, Senator Jeff) speaks up

Senator Jeff Merkley came to the podium during the luncheon session at America’s Future NOW! focused on energy.   He opened, reinforcing core points from his 2008 campaign:

If I’d been here a year ago, I would have talked to you about three things:  The need to transform energy economy, create jobs, and tackle global warming. … About the third, during the campaign, I spoke it about every single night. People asked me why, as it was 21st on people’s concerns.  I responded: it should be first on everyone’s agenda and the only way it will be is if we talk about it.

Senator Merkley speaks, today and elsewhere, knowledgeably and forcefully about Global Warming, providing a litany of items that should part of the agenda moving ahead. Amid these items and opportunity, Senator Merkley made some key points.  But, he provided a straightforward shorthand of what must happen.

If I am going to simplify the issue, we have to quit taking geologic carbon and turning it into atmospheric carbon.

Left Authoritarianism

I want to take a moment to speak about a phenomenon that I have become concerned about since I started reading political websites: the emergence of something that I will call left-authoritarianism.  There has always been a trend on the left, a trend quite distinct from what we typically call liberalism or progressivism, that has tended toward authoritarianism.  This trend found its fullest and most unfortunate expression in the rise of the Soviet Union and in that country’s betrayal of socialism early in the twentieth century. I am of the firm conviction that the viewpoints of people who think along these lines must be distinguished from those who hold liberal or progressive views.

So, what’s the difference?  The United States was founded as a liberal country.  The principles of Enlightenment-Rationalism, principles of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and the idea that the authority of government derives from the consent of the governed, are at the core of what the Constitution stands for.  Liberals, both of the classic 19th century variety, as well as current ones, still hold to these principles.  

Left-Authoritarians, however, do not.

RIP, Koko Taylor, I Knew and Loved Ye.

She passed yesterday, this legendary voice at the age of 80. I remember more when she was around 52, and used to hang out at the huge Blues House my friend lived in, in Dearborn.


The Detroit/Chicago blues community was tight knit, and nearly every weekend, the band my friend lived with would drag some musicians back from places like The Soup Kitchen, The Attic, Lenny’s and by god, it was divine.

The bigger “planned parties” would have a 5 dollar cover, with 2 full garbage bags of pre-rooled doobies by the door, and 7 or 8 kegs in the basement where the music was. The “other” stuff was usually available in pay-as-you-go in one of the 10 bedrooms. Heh.

I had never been properly introduced to the world of the blues, fresh out of High School, and what a way to learn them… so many greats whose names I didn’t recognize until much later played, sang and hung with us.

But Koko. Jesus, she could stop you cold. The funny thing is, some people would come in with an entourage, and splash, you KNEW “someone” had arrived. Most times you never noticed Koko come in, she had a way of making herself invisible I have often envied… but suddenly this VOICE would ring through the house, and everyone would jam down the stairs to hear her.

GOD she could sing.  Her shy little self would sidle up with all the flashy other stars, and when she opened her mouth you KNEW where the talent was.

Four at Four

50 years of climate change in the Himalayas captured on camera

  1. The Guardian reports in 50 years the Imja glacier in the Himalayas has been transformed by a warming climate from millennia-old glacial ice to a glacial lake. American mountain geographer Alton Byers returned to the place where Fritz Müller and Erwin Schneider once battled ice storms to take new panoramic photos of the glacier.

    “The 1956 photograph of the Imja glacier, then one of the largest glaciers at an altitude of around 5,000m, shows a layer of thick ice with small meltwater ponds. But by the time Byers took his shot in 2007, much of the glacier had melted into a vast but stunning blue lake. Today, the Imja glacier, which is just 6km from Everest, continues to recede at a rate of 74m a year – the fastest rate of all the Himalayan glaciers.”

Four at Four continues with court review of warrantless eavesdropping, undoing Bush-era policy on deportation, and the possibility of a U.S.-China climate deal.

HONORING THE FALLEN: US Military KIA, Iraq & Afghanistan/Pakistan – May 2009

Dover ‘Old Guard’

Dover ‘Old Guard’ team shoulders heavy burden


Election News Roundup: 5/27/09 – 6/3/09

Election reform is one of the most important issues facing our country and our world right now, even if it doesn’t get the coverage of torture or abortion.  The way that we run our elections and initiative processes determines who makes policy, the type of policy made, and the tone of our political discourse.  If we ignore it or take advantage of the electoral system, we our doing ourselves and our country a disservice.

This week:  Voter ID bill (aka poll tax) foiled in Texas by Democrats, corrupt Bush officials leading the charge for unsafe online voting, instant runoff voting’s failures, Ralph Nader accuses Terry McAuliffe of bribery, McAuliffe’s history of disenfranchising voters, FOX lies about Eric Holder, and more!

Death Throes of the WCMPS

I have been writing about the White Male Christian Power Structure that has run America, well….since it began. And yesterday, about how they maintain their control of our government: Does Anyone Still Doubt Our Government Has Been Bought?

How, though, do they get elected? They GOT elected by appealing to “The Base.” They got elected in olden times, because by far the majority of Americans identified as White Christian Males or lived in the households of White Christian Males, under some degree of Patriarchal control. The WCMPS base was nearly all of America. Nearly all of the Americans that were allowed to vote, anyway.

In recent history though, as America began a demographic shift, and even more importantly, a shift of consciousness, away from the rigid value system of both patriarchal and race and religion based thinking….they have had to work harder to hold on to their political structure. THEIR “Identity Politics.”

And they use “Useful Idiots” like Hannity, Rush and O’Reilly to enforce their Identity Politics. Idiots that through their Dog Whistle rhetoric, whip up a fear based hatred to motivate The Base to become politically active. In a ratio of participation that far out strips the General Population’s political involvement. All based on hate, intolerance and fear.

Not that I have to tell YOU that, you just lived through the last eight years too!

Outside The Wall

So you . . . thought you . . .

Might like to go to the show,

To feel the warm thrill of confusion,

That space cadet glow.

I’ve got some bad news for you, Sunshine,

Change isn’t well, it stayed back at the hotel,

And it sent us along, as a surrogate band,

We’re going to find out where you folks really stand.  

So far, it’s quite clear where ardent admirers of Obama stand . . .  

Barack Obama Pictures, Images and Photos

They stand for ardent admiration of Obama.

Can they support no torture prosecutions?

Can they support no investigations of BushCo’s 8 year crime rampage?

Can they support trillions of dollars for Wall Street criminals?

Can they support indefinite detentions, more government secrecy, and more NSA spying on Americans?  

Yes they can!

Meanwhile, as Obama’s ardent admirers clap louder for superficial change, the hard core RePug base is waiting for a great leader to emerge.  Someone who’ll wave the flag like it’s never been waved before, who’ll carry the cross into that bloody mess of a Holy Land, who’ll smite those heathen Muslims so Jews can live in peace until they die and burn in Hell for eternity, who’ll punish the enemies of Christianism and conservatism, who’ll boldly go where no RePug has ever gone before, even that halfwit wolf-killing governor of Alaska.  

They’re damn well not waiting quietly, they’re celebrating murder while they’re waiting, spewing racism while they’re waiting, inciting hatred while they’re waiting . . .

Waiting to cut out the deadwood.

Waiting to clean up the city.

Waiting to follow the worms.

Waiting to put on a black shirt.

Waiting to weed out the weaklings.

Waiting to smash in their windows

And kick in their doors.

Waiting for another 9/11.  It might not happen for 10 years.  Or it might happen tomorrow.  And then the shit will hit the fan like this country hasn’t seen since the Civil War.  

Neo-Nazi Turner Arrested for Incitement

We’ve all heard about right-wing radio wingnut and notorious neo-nazi Hal Turner getting arrested yesterday afternoon, but when I clicked on some links to flesh out the story, things got a whole lot more twisted than expected. Almost Ludlum-esque in the “nothing is as it seems” department.

Now, it’s not like Turner has suddenly upped his ‘usual’ rhetoric or anything. He’s been trying hard to incite violence among his certifiable fan club for years. He often calls for bombings, assassinations and open armed rebellion. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (which keeps close tabs on the haters), Turner may also be on the payroll of the FBI. SPLC’s Mark Potok wrote in the Spring 2008 Intelligence Report that…

On Jan. 1, unidentified hackers electronically confronted Turner in the forum of his website for “The Hal Turner Show.” After a heated exchange, they told turner that they had successfully hacked into his E-mails and found correspondence with an FBI agent who is apparently Turner’s handler. Then they posted an alleged July 7 E-mail to the agent in which Turner transmits a death threat sent in to his site that targeted Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.). “Once again,” Turner writes his FBI handler, “my fierce rhetoric has served to flush out a possible crazy.” In what is allegedly a portion of another of his E-mails, Turner discusses the money he is paid.

RIP David Carradine

If you cannot be a poet, be the poem.  ~David Carradine

david carradine

Actor David Carradine, star of the 1970s TV series “Kung Fu” who also had a wide-ranging career in the movies, has been found dead in the Thai capital, Bangkok. A news report said he was found hanged in his hotel room and was believed to have committed suicide.

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