Saturday, February 28, 2009

The sad news about racial hatred in our country

Reading the story below is enough to make you cry -- when oh WHEN will this kind of thing die out on our planet? The ignorance that fuels it is still rampant across all levels of income. White supremacists exist in every income and educational level throughout our nation. Although years ago you would find these people voting as Democrats, there was a huge shift when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964. The Republican Party now owns most of these racists. There are levels of racism within that party, with many of the more educated people not even considering themselves as racist, yet they send around messages on the Internet that include racial slurs and threats at Obama and his family. Just look at the recent political cartoon in the NY Post, in which Obama was likened to a chimpanzee that lay dead on the sidewalk, killed by the police, one of whom said to the other, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next Stimulus bill." This was defended by many Republicans as just "harmless humor."

And then there are the full-out, Katie-bar-the-door racists with a capital R -- the white supremacist neo-Nazi types, spurred on in their madness by right wing cartoons and other political spewings of that kind. I am very concerned for the safety of our president and his family, with those types giving full vent to their hatred on the Internet and in despicable, vicious plans and actions. The article and video below tell the story of that kind of hatred that is still alive and well in America in the 21st century. Racial hatred just keeps rolling along through the generations of the ignorant and uneducated, many of whom still maintain membership in the KKK. But what also gives me chills are the numbers of Americans who think they are open-minded and compassionate -- and who harbor this kind of hatred within themselves, even with all their education and "compassionate Christian" upbringing. Their inability to see the dichotomy between their professed Christianity and their racial intolerance (and often intolerance of gays as well) is an amazing feat of mental compartmentalization. Until their consciousness can be raised (perhaps in many generations down the line), leaders like Obama--and anyone who is deemed "different'--will be in constant danger from the crazies in our world, who hear the hysterical fear-based rhetoric of the right wing as a drumbeat stirring them to violence.

We need to keep praying for our president and his family, that they will be kept safe from harm as Obama tries to right the many wrongs that were done to our country in the Cheney/Bush years.

by David Neiwert


When President Obama visited Camp Lejeune this morning, you have to wonder if this story was somewhere in the back of his mind:

A federal grand jury indicted a former Camp Lejeune Marine on Wednesday on charges that he threatened the life of Barack Obama, the U.S. Attorney's Office confirmed today.

Kody Brittingham, 20, formerly a lance corporal with 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, was accused of making threats against Obama while he was president-elect, said Robin Zier, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office for the eastern district of North Carolina.

Brittingham was arrested by the Jacksonville Police Department on breaking and entering charges in mid-December 2008.

Naval investigators discovered a journal allegedly written by Brittingham in his barracks after his arrest by civilian authorities in December. The journal contained plans on how to kill the president, as well as white supremacist material, a federal law enforcement official said.

This incident is just one of many that are bubbling up across the American landscape right now. The right-wing race haters are not only motivated and out recruiting heavily, they're getting angrier by the day, especially the more Obama successfully advances his agenda. We've been writing about this for awhile now.

CNN's Rick Sanchez had on Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center yesterday to discuss this. The main point revolved around the SPLC's annual report on the State of Hate, written by David Holthouse:

From white power skinheads decrying "President Obongo" at a racist gathering in rural Missouri, to neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klansmen hurling epithets at Latino immigrants from courthouse steps in Oklahoma, to anti-Semitic black separatists calling for death to Jews on bustling street corners in several East Coast cities, hate group activity in the U.S. was disturbing and widespread throughout 2008, as the number of hate groups operating in America continued to rise. Last year, 926 hate groups were active in the U.S., up more than 4% from 888 in 2007. That's more than a 50% increase since 2000, when there were 602 groups.

As in recent years, hate groups were animated by the national immigration debate. But two new forces also drove them in 2008: the worsening recession, and Barack Obama's successful campaign to become the nation's first black president. Officials reported that Obama had received more threats than any other presidential candidate in memory, and several white supremacists were arrested for saying they would assassinate him or allegedly plotting to do so.

At the same time, law enforcement officials reported a marked swelling of the extreme-right "sovereign citizens" movement that wreaked havoc in the 1990s with its "paper terrorism" tactics. Adherents are infamous for filing bogus property liens and orchestrating elaborate financial ripoffs.

The SPLC has an interactive map that lets you see where each of these hate groups is based and just who they are. As usual, California again leads the nation as the state with the most hate groups with 84; Florida is a distant second with 56.

Sanchez and Potok also discussed the recent case of the would-be dirty bomber in Bangor, Maine, whose plans were nipped in the bud when his angry wife shot him to death.

As always, the remarkable thing about these cases is that these would have led the broadcasts at Fox and CNN (not to mention set off weeks' worth of obsessive posts at Michelle Malkin's joint) had the suspect been Muslim, Arab, or otherwise had brown skin.

As I noted previously:

In other words, hate groups are almost certainly going to be exploiting fresh opportunities for recruitment, both ideological and actual. The stage has been set by the past decade's demographic shift, but the Bush Recession will in any event give them a big jug of gasoline for their bonfire. Obama's election will give them a figure upon whom they can focus their hate, and the immigration debate will give them an issue to recruit and organize around.

Eventually, innocent bystanders in the general public will be the ones who pay the price.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Diseases and deaths of composers site

Interesting site -- telling of the diseases that caused the deaths of major composers -- and some of the medical treatments they endured in their time.


I personally think we need more than a Truth and Reconciliation Commission -- my preference would definitely be a true investigation and prosecution of Bush, Cheney, and everyone in their administration who abused their office to lie to the American people and to damage our Constitution and the U.S. image all over the world. But Senator Leahy's proposal could be a start -- and may be the only thing the Obama administration would even consider. I don't think we can move forward, as President Obama says he wants to do, until we have addressed what happened -- and make sure it NEVER happens again! So I have signed Leahy's petition -- you may want to read it and see if it is something you want to sign.

Dear Friend,

We have just emerged from a time when White House officials often acted as if they were above the law. That was wrong and must be fully exposed so it never happens again.

That is why Senator Patrick Leahy has proposed the idea of a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate abuses during the Bush-Cheney Administration. These abuses may include the use of torture, warrantless wiretapping, extraordinary rendition, and executive override of laws.

Rather than vengeance, we need a fair-minded pursuit of what actually happened. The best way to move forward is getting to the truth, finding out what happened, so we can make sure it does not happen again.

Please join me by signing Senator Leahy's online petition at -- urging Congress to consider establishing a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate the Bush-Cheney Administration's abuses.

Or, click the link below:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Terry Fator, best ventriloquist EVER! And a marvelous singer as well!

Bobby Jindal's speech panned by everyone, including Republican pundits

Obama and his forceful, dynamic speech would have been hard for anyone to follow -- but Jindal seemed pathetically ill prepared. Nothing he said resonates any longer with the American people--with the exception of those who hold fast and hard to the neocon spin. These folks believed everything Cheney and Bush told them. Plus, they think Sarah Palin is great and Joe the Plumber is a hero. If you put an articulate adult in front of them who speaks the plain and simple truth, they are unable to recognize it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Written in 2004 -- but still applies today

Article written in 2004 about Bush supporters in Florida and how they think:

Here is another article about what is happening right now with Republicans who are pouring out vitriolic hatred at Obama, 30 days into Obama's presidency. Imagine what they'll be like a few more months down the road:
Unhinged in 30 days: the Right Wing media's Obama era implosion

Monday, February 23, 2009

Another example of Republican idiocy (as if we needed it)

By Steve Benen

EXCERPT: Five years ago, Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ken.) won re-election despite odd and erratic personal behavior. Now, in advance of another re-election fight, Bunning is acting strangely again.

Last month, Bunning decided not to show up for work for a while, and refused to say publicly where he was. More recently, the Kentucky Republican has been more tight-lipped, at least until this weekend.

U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning predicted over the weekend that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would likely be dead from pancreatic cancer within nine months.

Note to Bunning: better to remain silent and be thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt.

One Reader's comment:

Bunning has plenty to answer for - not only his absences (the first week of new Senate for a "family commitment" he'd made six months before? Sounds like a rehab clinic to me). His bizarre behavior could either be drug/alcohol related, or he's in early stages of dementia. Or, I suppose, he could just be a jerk. But this is the kind of thing that the Dems could go after him for:

Jim Bunning Foundation

On December 18, 2008, the Lexington Herald Leader reported that Sen. Bunning's non-profit foundation, the Jim Bunning Foundation, has given less than 25 percent of its proceeds to charity. The charity has taken in $504,000 since 1996, according to Senate and tax records; during that period, Senator Bunning was paid $180,000 in salary by the foundation while working a reported one hour per week. Bunning Foundation board members include his wife Mary, and Cincinnati tire dealer Bob Sumerel. In 2008, records indicate that Bunning attended 10 baseball shows around the country and signed autographs, generating $61,631 in income for the charity.[16] "The whole thing is very troubling," said Melanie Slone, Executive Director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

NOTE: 25% of those proceeds is only $126,000. He paid himself MORE than that for an hour per week, over that time-frame. Wanna bet that he didn't pay taxes on any of it either?


Krugman's Argument for Nationalizing Banks

I think his argument is a good one, and I hope Obama listens to it:

Obama's Seven Days in May Moment

by Robert Parry
This article should be read in its entirety -- and also the Readers' Comments that follow it:

Only one month into his presidency, Barack Obama is finding himself confronting not only George W. Bush’s left-behind crises but an array of influential enemies in the military, financial circles, the political world and the media – determined to thwart Obama’s agenda for “change.”

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Three of John Wheeler's songs are now on youtube

Andre Pais, a young man from Portugal, is here in California for 3 months, talking with John Wheeler and attending John's meetings. He has put 3 of John's songs on youtube--and added their words to the screen.

You can hear John sing these songs at:

Song of the Sixth Patriarch

In This Moment (John's newest song)

Zen Medley

You might notice that the words to the Sixth Patriarch Song (Hui Neng) have just a couple of glitches on the screen, which should be corrected at some point. They don't quite match the words John is singing. Those corrections are as follows:

I made up my mind I would journey to his feet and (not I) ask him to lead me to the one reality.
Who would (not Who'd) have known (in every mention)
Buddha is the light in my own (not on) mind (in every mention)



Important to know about charitable donations


If you give to a charity over the phone, there's a growing likelihood that most of your donation will go to the telemarketer instead, according to an analysis of California state records.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


By Brent Budowsky

You gotta love the far right.

Now they are running an ad invoking Jesus in support of Herbert Hoover/George W. Bush economic policies. If they imply Jesus would support George Bush's tax cuts for the rich, do they believe Jesus would support Dick Cheney's policies of torture? Would Jesus support Abu Ghraib? How about the cover-up of Abu Ghraib? Would Jesus support that? How about insurance companies opposing healthcare reform?

Now, I would not presume to state with certainty what Jesus would do politically today. But it is fair to ask, since the right initiated the debate: Don't you agree that Jesus would be far more likely to support helping the homeless and the foreclosed-upon ahead of the bankers and Wall Street execs who make millions? Wouldn't Jesus more likely support stewards of the earth against polluters opposing global warming action? Since Jesus believed we should cure the ill, wouldn't Jesus support single-payer health insurance, or other major heathcare reform? Since the right-wing vision is Darwinian survival of the fittest, and the hell with people CNBC reporter Rick Santelli calls "losers,” I would think Jesus would agree with Nancy Pelosi's vision, much more than, say, Eric Cantor's, right?

Let’s have a debate. Would Jesus support Darwinian economics or liberal Democratic proposals to help the homeless, feed the hungry, clothe the needy, cure the ill and be stewards of the planet against global warming? Would Jesus support a human-rights policy of "do unto others" or waterboarding and the naked aggressions of Abu Ghraib? What would Jesus think about perjury, putting one's hands on the Bible and lying under oath? What would Jesus think of Scooter Libby? You tell me, conservatives, I dare you.

Who would Jesus bail out first, millionaire bankers or foreclosed-upon homeowners? What would Jesus believe in more strongly, tax cuts for the rich or using the money to care for wounded troops? How would Jesus have voted on the stimulus: doing the most to help the needy, or cutting the jobs program in half in favor of more Bush-esque doggie-bag tax cuts for the wealthy?

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t claim to know for sure what Jesus would do politically today. I am a "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's" kind of guy. BUT — if the right wants to force the issue …

I think it is much more likely that Jesus would be a liberal Democrat than a "help the rich,” "endanger the planet" Darwinian conservative Republican. Right?


The mother of all Denials!!!

More Damned Lies from the neocons. Now it's Richard Perle, a major architect of the Iraq War, asking, "Who? Me? I didn't do anything! Who do you believe? Me or your lyin' eyes?" Oh, you really have got to read this one from the Washington Post! It's a wonder they didn't tar and feather him and ride him out of the room on a rail. Lying is so much a part of the sociopathic neocon character that they expect us to swallow anything they say, even when the truth is staring them in the face in the form of their own words and videos from the past.

Sadly, there are still some Republicans who will swallow this whole -- just as they swallowed every other lie told to them by the Idiot Bush, the Dark Lord Cheney, and the Prince of Darkness who is quoted here, trying to revise history in a most abominable way. These poor deluded dyed-in-the-wool Republicans will continue to defend Bush and the evil men in his administration -- and will no doubt vote for Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber when they run on the Republican ticket in 2012. In addition, in their blindness, they are already angrily blitzing Obama as he tries desperately to right the Bush wrongs. Not even caring that they and their own families will be terribly affected, these Rush Limbaugh "dittoheads" are hoping and praying Obama will fail in his attempt to save our country and the world from economic disaster. Read the following article -- and laugh and cry along with me:

Prince of Darkness Richard Perle Denies Own Existence!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Short video -- well worth watching: Jared Diamond

Short video of Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel -- giving a sensible analysis of where we are today in our world. Our choices will make the difference on how it all turns out...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Failure to supply earplugs costs thousands of GIs their hearing

And on and on it goes...

Thousands of GIs have suffered preventable hearing loss because they were not supplied with earplugs to reduce the din of battle. Many have a permanent ringing in their ears they will suffer throughout their lives.

The condition is widespread. In 2006, the Veterans Administration paid out more than a half billion dollars to veterans with tinnitus, a condition which affects nearly half of those troops exposed to blasts.

The U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine conducted a study 141,000 GIs between April, 2003, and March, 2004, that showed tinnitus --- ringing in the ears---accounted for more than 30 per cent of post-deployment-related diagnoses.

"There were not adequate supplies of earplugs to fit all deploying soldiers," the Center found. "There was also failure of an Army medical readiness automation provide unit commanders with information regarding troops having adequate hearing protection...Finally, there is evidence...that soldiers having blast injuries may not have been referred to audiology for adequate evaluation and treatment," the Center said.

In part as a result of this malfeasance, of the 1.3 million soldiers that have been deployed in the two current wars, 70,000 are collecting disability pay for tinnitus and 58,000 more are collecting for hearing loss. That adds up to 128,000 GIs, or one in 10 deployed.


Republican Death March

Republican Death March: Betting the Recession Continues and America Fails
by Brent Budowsky

The passage of the jobs bill represents a great victory for President Obama, a huge triumph for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and a tremendous moment for the smart Republican senators, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine. It is a crushing blow for the do-nothing, obstructionist, recession Republicans who are betting against America.

A popular president with support in the nation that has risen again to the high 60s to mid 70s in popularity asked for a jobs bill by Presidents Day, and gets it. The recession Republicans, tarred by landslide losses in 2006 and 2008 because of their diehard support for George W. Bush, sink further into the political hole. When America recovers, Obama wins; Harry Reid wins; the Speaker wins; Sens. Snowe, Specter and Collins win; and the recession Republicans lose. They are betting the ranch that America fails, because they know if the program succeeds, if America succeeds, they are left out on the limb of that old black magic of recession Republic economics.

These guys have gone so far right, they can't see Main Street with a microscope. They are so politically maladroit, the best they can serve up for a nation that is hungry for solutions is a stone-cold dish of Bush doggie bags.

They tried to cut the jobs bill in half. They tried to take spending for jobs out of a program to create jobs. They opposed fuel-efficient cars for the federal fleet, weatherizing buildings in the cold winter and building schools for the kids while they supported that old black magic of tax cuts for the wealthy and repeated, ad nauseam, the sad platitudes of Herbert Hoover and the defeated policies of John McCain in 2008.

The three Republican senators standing almost alone in the region of the nation where most Republicans are no longer welcome are called traitors and Benedict Arnolds.

The recession party gloats when Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire declines to serve in the Cabinet, though he will not run again and will very probably be succeeded by yet another Democrat in yet another state where the recession Republicans are no longer welcome in Senate seats or the governor's mansion.

The death march of the recession Republicans continues. It is their curse, their failure of economics, the curse that led them to minority status for a generation after Hoover, the curse that led to their latest disaster in 2008, after their disaster in 2006.

The recession Republicans are hoping the president fails, and betting the ranch that America fails, which is a very bad bet indeed.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

VIDEO: SNL skit on Congressional Republicans these days

Hilarious! Shows Congressional Republicans in their best idiotic form, with Dan Ackroyd taking the part of John Boehner. See it at:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

SPEAKING ONE TO ONE: A Personal Sharing

Since I first established this blog, most of the entries have been political, because my concerns for the country and its citizens were astronomically great during the Cheney/Bush tenure of EIGHT LONG YEARS. I felt that I had to be constantly vigilant during those terrible years for our country while incompetence was rampant in our government in the highest offices in the land. There was no one trustworthy in that regime, and the errors in judgment by Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, and their ilk were so egregious, I felt compelled to be on alert every day. Not that my vigilance kept more terrible disasters from occurring under the dastardly rule of the neocons, but at least I could call my senators and representatives and protest, protest, protest. Perhaps my protests, together with the protests of millions of others in our country, did prevent far worse tragedies from happening; that is something we'll never know. But the point I am making is that I felt I HAD to be on daily duty to make my outrage known at the dismantling of our Constitution, the unnecessary invasion of a country that had done nothing to us, the continuous lies of our "leaders" that tried to justify the war in Iraq that still haunts us, the loss of our privacy rights, the withholding of habeas corpus, the approval of torture by the neocons, etc., etc.

Now that we have a responsible adult in the White House, even one with some of the flaws that every human seems to embody, I am relaxing somewhat from my political concerns, because Obama's flaws seem extremely minor when compared with the gigantic flaws of the previous administration. Ahhhh....intelligence, thoughtfulness, and even eloquence are once again characterizing our President and the men who surround him. Some of the Bush/Cheney wrongs are already being addressed. Thus, I have not felt the need to turn on the TV or computer immediately every morning to find out what fresh new hell was in store for us that day, and my political postings have dwindled from a torrent to a trickle. I am not suggesting, however, that I will not be keeping pace with the political scene from now on--far from it. Our country and our world are in perilous times, largely due to the horrendously incompetent stewardship of the Bush administration. There is so much to undo and to make right! The economy is the worst it has ever been in my lifetime, with seemingly very few options to turn it around. But at least Obama and his team are trying to correct the situation, instead of piling up error upon error, with evil intent, as Cheney/Bush did.

Even now, we still have Bush/Cheney supporters like Rush Limbaugh telling his "dittoheads" he hopes Obama fails in his mission to turn things around. Imagine that! What idiocy! What utter disregard for our country and its people! It is bass-ackwards "patriotism" of this kind that our country needs to divest itself of. I am thankful that the majority of the people in our country have grown beyond this conscienceless, immature type of thinking. I am heartened to see that the neocon philosophy, though still upheld by some (i.e., the bankers on Wall Street!), seems to be slowly dying out, taking its greed, selfishness, and me-first attitudes with it. If we and our planet are to survive, that kind of thinking must be replaced with service-oriented understanding. It has seemed ironically amusing to me that Republican ideologues like to refer to themselves as "compassionate," yet their political practices, especially during the Bush years, have mostly been self-serving and completely devoid of compassion (or even concern) for others, or for the planet itself. Still, in spite of all the problems our country and the world continue to face now, a feeling of relief has rushed over me just knowing that someone competent is finally in charge. I pray that Congress will stand behind him in making the right decisions for our country and the world.

Trusting that the political situation is finally in capable hands in Washington, I would like to switch gears and speak about something that is of even more importance to me.

The purpose of my blog has always been to share things that are meaningful to me, with the thought that perhaps there may be a few readers who will also find them meaningful.
I recently turned 73 and, although I don't feel my age, the mirror tells me I am certainly beginning to look it. (~.~) The old "three score and ten" life expectancy has been reached and passed. I've experienced many life events through those years, and now I would like to share some of my lessons learned and wisdom gained from them. Who knows--perhaps it might help others in some small way.

Not long ago, I posted a list of "Pointers" from John Wheeler's site,, with the thought that they might be helpful to those who are looking for deeper answers in life. My own life's search has been a long one--for answers to life and death. Even as a child I was thinking: What is this all about? Why are we here? What is the purpose of it all? Who or what are we? I know I was not alone in asking those types of questions. I suspect most of us do it from time to time throughout our lives, especially during the difficult times of illness, loss of loved ones to death, and other hardships. For me, these were ongoing questions for which I tried to find answers in many ways, some of them fruitful, most of them not.

In succeeding posts, I'll be talking in a "one to one" kind of way to whomever might be interested about my journey, with the hope my mistakes will not have to be repeated by others. There is a happy ending and that is the most important thing I will want to share! (~.~)

Valentine's Day, the holiday when love is celebrated, seems an appropriate day to begin posting these personal comments, since so much of my life's search was in pursuit of love--and the happiness I was certain was going to be found right in the center of love, once it was attained. I failed to recognize that the love I so much longed for was not going to be found outside of myself. That was an important truth I had yet to learn.

to be continued)

From Brasscheck TV re: YouTube bullies

Ah yes, there will always be the Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck/Ann Coulter dittoheads, doing the dirty work for their cult leaders. No surprises here -- it is just part of their normal way of "communicating" their idiotology.
 We get a lot of our videos from YouTube.  It's easier that way and since time is limited, we go with what's easiest.
One thing that has discouraged me about YouTube is how quickly good discussions degenerate. A very astute
subscriber who has pointed out and even sourced many of the videos we include in our daily mailings let me in
on what to me was a big secret. Believe it or not... There are people who check YouTube every day to
find popular videos that discuss topics that are unflattering and unhelpful to various right wing agendas.
When they find one, they register a brand new YouTube account and start using it to disrupt the discussion by
attacking the video, the speakers on the video and other people making comments. They also post false
information which they assert to be true. (And send it out by the tons in their e-mails!)
Their goal is nothing less than to disrupt free speech by shouting down the people who've gathered
to have an honest give and take exchange.
We've posted some info today so that you can learn more
about this phenomenon and how to counter it in an ethical, above board way. Maybe YouTube will be inspired
to create some functionality to make it easier to identify people who are abusing their system and making it a
less useful tool.

- Brasscheck


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Garrison Keiller on Obama's election

Wow! America is cool

We are being admired by Swedes! We don't have to pretend we're Canadians. We elected Barack Obama!

By Garrison Keillor

Be happy, dear hearts, and allow yourselves a few more weeks of quiet exultation. It isn't gloating, it's satisfaction at a job well done. He was a superb candidate, serious, professorial but with a flashing grin and a buoyancy that comes from working out in the gym every morning. He spoke in a genuine voice, not senatorial at all. He relished campaigning. He accepted adulation gracefully. He brandished his sword against his opponents without mocking or belittling them. He was elegant, unaffected, utterly American, and now (Wow) suddenly America is cool. Chicago is cool. Chicago!!!

We threw the dice and we won the jackpot and elected a black guy with a Harvard degree, the middle name Hussein and a sense of humor -- he said, "I've got relatives who look like Bernie Mac, and I've got relatives who look like Margaret Thatcher." The French junior minister for human rights said, "On this morning, we all want to be American so we can take a bite of this dream unfolding before our eyes." When was the last time you heard someone from France say they wanted to be American and take a bite of something of ours? Ponder that for a moment.

The world expects us to elect pompous yahoos and instead we have us a 47-year-old prince from the prairie who cheerfully ran the race, and when his opponents threw sand at him, he just smiled back. He'll be the first president in history to look really good making a jump shot. He loves his classy wife and his sweet little daughters. He looks good in the kitchen. He can cook Indian or Chinese but for his girls he will do mac and cheese. At the same time, he knows pop music, American lit and constitutional law. I just can't imagine anybody cooler. Look at a photo of the latest pooh-bah conference -- the hausfrau Merkel, the big glum Scotsman, that goofball Berlusconi, Putin with his B-movie bad-boy scowl, and Sarkozy, who looks like a district manager for Avis -- you put Barack in that bunch and he will shine.

And the coolest thing about him is the fact that back in the early '90s, given a book contract after the hoo-ha about his becoming the First Black Editor of the Harvard Law Review (FBEHLR), instead of writing the basic exploitation book he could've written, he put his head down and worked hard for a few years and wrote a good book, an honest one, which, since his rise in politics, has earned the Obamas enough to buy a very nice house and put money in the bank. A successful American entrepreneur.

The last American president to write a book all by his lonesome self, I believe, was Theodore Roosevelt, who, on graduation from Harvard, wrote "The Naval War of 1812," and in my humble opinion, Obama's is the better book for the general reader, but you be the judge.

It feels good to be cool and all of us can share in that, even sour old right-wingers and embittered blottoheads. Next time you fly to Heathrow and hand your passport to the man with the badge, he's going to see "United States of America" and look up and grin. People in Copenhagen and Stockholm are sending congratulatory e-mails -- imagine! We are being admired by Danes and Swedes! Even if you worship in the church of Fox, everyone you meet overseas is going to ask you about Obama and you may as well say you voted for him because, my friends, he is your line of credit over there. No need anymore to try to look Canadian.

The mind reels. Have a good day. :-)


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

President Obama is literally driving the Republicans insane

The Rightwingnuts are flailing their arms and screaming epithets -- Rush and his dittoheads are out in the desert, plotting revenge but knowing they have no clout with anyone intelligent. The right wing has increased their insanity to a degree unheard of in modern times. Isn't it WONDERFUL?!!! After Eight Long Years of suffering under their choices that brought us nothing but grief, let them spout off all they want. Except for their ever-dwindling group of supporters (some of them do catch on eventually!), no one is listening.

President Obama is literally driving the Republicans insane
by Bob Cesca

The historical record of far-right ridiculousness has been well-documented here and throughout the blogosphere.

Who can forget Michelle Malkin's inspired cheerleader skit? Or when Rush Limbaugh mocked a guy's Parkinson's Disease tremors. What about John Boehner's public sobbing jags? Pat Robertson insisting he could leg-press 2,000 pounds. Sarah Palin's turkey geeker photo op.

George W. Bush telling us that Iraq is a "peeance freeance." Remember when Bill O'Reilly shouted down the son of a 9/11 victim? Already, we're talking about a mélange of weirdness and upside-down logic suitable for the ages, and that's all prior to January 20, 2009.

But I don't think we ever anticipated that the presidency of Barack Obama would, among other things, send the far-right into a freakazoid display of shockingly deranged conniptions and outright crazy talk -- their manic hyperdrive engines, fueled by Rush Limbaugh's gesticulating arm flab, blasting them out of their political Mos Eisley cantina scene and expelling them a thousand parsecs beyond the zero barrier of insanity.

Too much?

Just to be clear, I'm not talking about the lies or distortions or their utter lack of credibility (zero cred) on broad-ranging issues like, you know, foreign policy and the economy. What we have here is the equivalent level of chaos as, say, the first group therapy scene from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. In other words: a total berserker meltdown.

Seriously, have you ever seen the Republicans more twisted and kerfuffled than they are today? Movie metaphors aside, I've been hard pressed to find greater examples of insanity from the far-right than have been exhibited in the past week alone. Here we have a Republican Party that's been discredited and bloodied, and yet in the face of an enormously popular president who is confounding conventional wisdom while building a working consensus among American voters, the Republicans appear to be reflexively coughing up the most intellectually violent chunks of hooey on record.

They're screaming about fear-mongering, even though we had eight years of this.

They're screaming about fiscal responsibility, even though we had eight years of this.

They're screaming about free speech, even though we had eight years of this and this and this.

The historical record of far-right ridiculousness has been well-documented here and throughout the blogosphere.

Who can forget Michelle Malkin's inspired cheerleader skit? Or when Rush Limbaugh mocked a guy's Parkinson's Disease tremors. What about John Boehner's public sobbing jags? Pat Robertson insisting he could leg-press 2,000 pounds. Sarah Palin's turkey geeker photo op.

They're honest to God screaming about fascism, even though we had eight years of this and this and this.

Yes, the Republicans have claimed to have "found their voice." If this is true, then their "voice" sounds exactly like Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge and Michelle Malkin, depending on the day.

So what are these voices saying exactly?

For starters, Rush Limbaugh -- the de facto leader of the Republican Party -- said on his show Tuesday that the entire economic meltdown was actually precipitated by a conspiracy between George Soros and a cabal of billionaire liberals who deliberately sought to sabotage the world economy in order to get Barack Obama elected.

He, of course, has no real evidence for this, other than what the shadow people told him while he was tweaking his TV remotes.

Okay, so I made up the part about the shadow people, but the rest is seriously what Limbaugh was telling his audience of dittoheads yesterday. What Limbaugh doesn't know, however, is that Soros is actually a hobbit who's conspiring with Elvis to fake another Moon landing. (Shh!)

Confined to its own phantom zone of crazy, there's only so much harm this can do. After all, Limbaugh's puffy melon has been bombarded with a mountain of hillbilly heroin large enough to crush God. But I wish I could report that this was wholly the product of Limbaugh's condition. It's also a theory that was also repeated by Donald Luskin: a seriously wrongheaded economist and, go figure, former economic adviser to Senator John McCain.

Speaking of John McCain, he was pilfering extra helpings of rich, creamery crazy from Michelle Malkin this week. Senator Coburn and Congressman Boehner were doing it, too. Last month, Malkin nicknamed the president's recovery bill the "generational theft" bill, arguing that the debt it would create will serve to rob future generations. This, naturally, disregards the nearly doubled national debt and record-breaking deficits created by George W. Bush with programs that, when taken individually, were enthusiastically endorsed by Malkin (Iraq, tax cuts and so on). But there was Senator McCain on Face the Nation on Sunday talking about "generational theft." Whatever, senator, the fundamentals are strong so what's does it matter, right?

Meanwhile, Michael Steele, the newly elected head of the RNC and preemptive excuse for the next time a Republican talk radio host blurts out a racist remark, tried to tell a national television viewing audience that the government has never in the history of the United States created a job -- only "work." Yep. Do I really need to outline why this is crazy?

Former White House chief of staff Andy Card, meanwhile, attacked President Obama for violating a totally nonexistent Oval Office dress code. Republican columnist Fred Barnes cited a former Limbaugh producer named Marc Morano as his "scientific" source on global warming. FOX News is reading Republican talking points verbatim and passing them off as news copy -- typos and all. And after eight years of the smirking frat boy named George W. Bush, Malkin went so far as to accuse President Obama of being "snippy" during his prime time press conference.

Elsewhere, another far-right blogger is vowing to never again fist-bump with her friends at her tennis club. And when she's at the grocery store and is confronted by magazines with the president's face in the checkout line, she turns the magazines backwards. All of them. I'm not making this up.

They have indeed totally lost their shpadoinkle and despite purely involuntary spikes in my blood pressure, it's so much fun to watch. By successfully debunking their lies, rising above their bait and merely presenting a contrast of character, President Obama is making the Republican A-listers appear small, petty and absolutely befuddled. They're frantically struggling to figure out how to counterpunch, so they're grabbing, borrowing or downright plagiarizing ideas from anywhere, irrespective of the general quality of the idea. And if the Republicans are at all interested in continued survival, someone they respect should probably smack their hands and scold: Drop that filthy Limbaugh quote! You don't know where it's been!

But if this is their "voice" and they're satisfied with it, I for one welcome the new Republican "voice" and wish them a hearty and very sincere: Good luck with that.


Fast food? We never heard of it!

I confess I am older than dirt! (~.~)

It's been said before but let's hear it one more time..

'Someone asked the other day, 'What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?'

'We didn't have fast food when I was growing up,' I informed him. 'All the food was slow.'

'C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?'

'It was a place called 'at home,'' I explained. ! 'Mom cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.'

By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table. But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it :

Some parents NEVER! owned their own house, wore Levis, set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country or had a credit card. In their later years they had something called a revolving charge card. The card was good only at Sears Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears & Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore. Maybe he died.

My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was mostly because we never had heard of soccer. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow). We didn't have a television in our house until I was 5. It was, of course, black and white,

I was 13 before I tasted my first pizza, it was called 'pizza pie.' When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese slid off, swung down, plastered itself against my chin and burned that, too. It's still the best pizza I ever had.

We didn't have a car until I was 4. It was an old black Dodge.

I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone in the house was in the living room and it was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn't know weren't already using the line.

Pizzas were not delivered to our home. But milk was.

All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers my brother delivered a newspaper, six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which he got to keep 2 cents. He had to get up at


every morning. On Saturday, he had to collect the 42 cents from his customers. His favorite customers were the ones who gave him 50 cents and told him to keep the change. His least favorite customers were the ones who seemed to never be home on collection day.

Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies. Touching someone else's tongue with yours was called French kissing and they didn't do that in movies. I don't know what they did in French movies. French movies were dirty and we weren't allowed to see them

If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren. Just don't blame me if they bust a gut laughing.

Growing up isn't what it used to be, is it?

MEMORIES from a friend :

My Dad is cleaning out my grandmother's house (she died in December) and he brought me an old Royal Crown Cola bottle. In the bottle top was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it. I knew immediately what it was, but my daughter had no idea.. She thought they had tried to make it a salt shaker or something. I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board to 'sprinkle' clothes with because we didn't have steam irons. Man, I am old.

How many do you remember?

Head lights dimmer switches on the floor.
Ignition switches on the dashboard.
Heaters mounted on the inside of the fire wall.
Real ice boxes.
Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner.
Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.

Older Than Dirt Quiz :

Count all the ones that you remember not the ones you were told about

Ratings at the bottom.

1 Blackjack chewing gum
2. Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water
3. Candy cigarettes
4. Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles
5. Coffee shops or diners with tableside juke boxes
6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
7. Party lines
8. Newsreels before the movie
9. P.F. Flyers
10. Butch wax
11. TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning. (there were only 3 channels)
12. Peashooters
13. Howdy Doody
14. 45 RPM records
15. S& H greenstamps
16 Hi-fi's
17. Metal ice trays with lever
18. Mimeograph paper
19 Blue flashbulb
20. Packards
21. Roller skate keys
22. Cork popguns
23. Drive-ins
24. Studebakers
25. Wash tub wringers

If you remembered 0-5 = You're still young
If you remembered 6-10 = You are getting older

If you remembered 11-15 = Don't tell your age,
If you remembered 16-25 = You're older than dirt!

I might be older than dirt but those memories are the best part of my life.

Don't forget to pass this along!!

Especially to all your really
OLD friends...