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On The Road Again…Again

Yippee, I’m getting ready to hit the road again…Is Willie Nelson popular in Europe, do you know his song, On The Road Again.  It always goes through my head since my Dad always sings it when we’re heading out.  I think I left some pictures of him and his motorcycle “Ol Blue” in an earlier essay, but its a catchy tune and its been going through my head with increasing frequency.

The World turned Upside Down: 4th amendment WIN

The 4th amendment received a shot of life from the Supreme Court today.  In Belton (453 US 454), the rule was taken that once the police arrest someone in a car they have the right to search the vehicle under the theory that the suspect might grab a weapon from the vehicle, even though he was removed from the vehicle and handcuffed.  The Supremes now say that is not what they meant, that the law

authorizes police to search a vehicle incident to a recent occupant’s arrest only when the arrestee is unsecured and within reaching distance of the passenger compartment at the time of the search.

Spat upon by Hippies

You probably think I mean the myth that real soldiers got “spat upon by hippies” don’t you?  Well, I was a semi-real soldier (or would that be a real, semi-soldier, since I was in the USAF) who was stationed in Northern California in the 70’s, and spent much time in the great hippie bastion of San Francisco where I was treated….well, I really wasn’t treated any particular way, generally I was either ignored or accepted after some conversation.  Like “Do you like the new Quicksilver Messenger Service album or something like that.  Hell I even stood in line on Thanksgiving ’76 around winterland with the longhairs waiting to get into the Last Waltz and we all shared what we had….

No, the guy that got spat on wasn’t a soldier for his country, he was a Soldier for Reagan.  Now he is governor Tim Pawlenty, but back in the day he “passed out brochures for him [Reagan], on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota and got spat on by hippies”

Bo Diddley dead at age 79

Rock and Roll, Blues legend Bo Diddley is dead at age 79.  One of the great players in the foreground of the emergence of Rock and Roll out of the Blues via Rythym and Blues with his signature syncopated sound and wild exuberance.  I had the pleasure of seeing him live one time and he really was exceptional.  I first heard of him via the lyrics of Dylan’s “From a Buick 6″…Well, she don’t make me nervous, she don’t talk too much

She walks like Bo Diddley and she don’t need no crutch

So I went looking for who Bo Diddley was and there he was along with Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters and the rest who laid the foundation for the electric explosion.

Sorry this is so short…

Lest we forget what war means

It was a year or so before it became a story, but 40 years ago today US soldiers committed the worst of the known atrocities of the Viet Nam war.  A short article in the Economist gives the briefest of thumbnail sketches,

VICTIMS’ bodies were mutilated; women were gang-raped; a baby was used for target practice.

And here we are 40 years later, in a regime that had the apologist for My Lai, Colin Powell as Secretary of Defense engaged in another war started under another pretext.  When will we get the revelations about this war?  What we know is bad enough, certainly, but we know that worse will come.  Even just the daily destruction, dismemberment, humiliations of the occupation are atrocious, but there will be stories that come out that put the lie to this being a righteous occupation done by pristine warriors firmly on the side of the right.

As in all wars, this is a war fought by the young and the bored and the scared.  A war fought in a land where we are unwanted-even when we act our best.  I never thought that we would let ourselves get into another war without good reason, but once again I was wrong.

I’m Sorry I Lied To Y’All

I’ve been adamant that I would continue to support and vote for JRE and the issues that I believe he best addressed, and I’ve said that I would vote for him today no matter what.  I went to the polling place to fill out my ballot and found that I just could not vote for John, not because I didn’t want to-somehow I’ve been registered as a fu**ing gooper!  How the hell did that happen?  Did I register unknowingly when filling out some ballot measure?  Did I do it wanting to throw a monkey wrench in some gooper primary?  I don’t think so, the last primary I voted in was the 04 election.

And the Bombs go On (Off)

While we sit impotent and  axle deep in the quagmire of Iraq the rest of the region goes on falling into chaos.  Lebanon, which had nearly healed itself before the return of its troubles heard the echo of the bomb blast again as the anti-Syrian MP Antoine Ghanem was one of 5 people dead and thirty injured in a bomb blast in the suburbs of Beirut today.  According to AFP presented by France 24, the emergency rooms of two nearby hospitals were refilled with the butchery of war.

Reached by telephone, Ghanem’s daughter Viviane was in tears and said: “It may be my father but I haven’t officially been informed yet.”

European Union Court rules against Microsoft

According to Reuters today, as reported on France 24, The European Commission ruling that Microsoft used its market power to crush competitors was upheld.

The EU’s second highest court dismissed all the substantive issues of MS’s appeal of the 2004 ruling that went against Microsoft.  Procedurally, at this point Microsoft may only further appeal on points of law rather than of fact according to the story provided.  Microsoft was ruled to have harmed consumers rights to choice by unjustifiably tying new applications to its software.

The ruling was the first ever broadcast live by the 13 Judge, Grand Chamber of the Court of First Instance, located in Luxembourg.

Microsoft has not demonstrated the existence of objective
justification for the bundling, and … the remedy imposed by
the Commission is proportionate,” the court statement said.

More Below

Economist displays the power of Magical Thinking

Now look, children, here is how you dazzle rather than honestly make an argument:  If the surge is working it is a good reason that we should stay in Iraq; if the surge is not working it is a good reason that we should stay in Iraq.  Huh?  Watch the hand with the ball, not the hand fluttering around in front of your eyes.

From the 13 Sept 07 Print edition “Why They Should Stay”

This newspaper was not wowed by either man. The spin General Petraeus put on the military achievements of the surge exaggerated the gains. Mr Crocker’s claim to see a spirit of sectarian reconciliation bubbling just beneath the surface of Iraq’s stalemated politics was even less convincing. But on one point Mr Crocker was surely right. If America removes its forces while Iraq remains in its present condition, the Iraqi future is indeed likely to be disastrous. For that reason above any other, and despite misgivings about the possibility of even modest success any time soon, our own view is that America (and Britain) ought to stay in Iraq until conditions improve.

So, since its been a disaster we should stay: keep eye on ball as we move below