Friday, April 30, 2010

passing through my life.

Yesterday we dined at Wendy's. Sitting near the window was a rotund gentleman of considerable age and evident hard wear. So far, nothing wrong. This could be me.

He was attached to an oxygen tank, though, which I intend never to be. Well, still OK. Ill health is not something to blame on the victim, in general. But wait, he's wearing a T-shirt that says, POWERLIFTERS FOR CHRIST. I'm thinking, I hope Christ gets something out of the relationship, because I'm not convinced it's doing anything for the man.
Carolina, North and South, are looking very good these days, sayeth I with first hand knowledge, because it is now more like early summer there and everything is flourishing.

Updates will depend on computer access.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This is for PAT W.
Plaudits from BIRCHES go to our Senator Carl Levin, who had the nerve to throw "shitty" right in the face of those thieves who appeared before him yesterday at a Senate hearing.

I still believe those "F#*king guys" should have to face justice. I'm still holding out for guillotines.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


For those of you who are strong as well as intelligent, I recommend this scary essay from James Kunstler:



President Obama's speech at Cooper Union last week was a remarkable performance. It managed to appear forceful and serious without containing any really serious or forceful proposals to discipline a banking system that is running a hostage-and-ransom racket on civilization. If this is finally what the Obama Experience is all about than his detractors have been right all along: he is a tool.

Some news from the ancients.

1. I went to breakfast with some of my buddies this morning, and as it happened, I was the one who stood in line to pay the bill. I noticed that the table nearest the counter was occupied by elderly people, even older than I. They were talking about posting pictures to Flicker. Now, not one of those folks was younger than 70. It occurred to me that if either one of my parents were at that table, at that age, they wouldn't be able to grasp the whole idea, much less act on it. It would be just too esoteric, too complicated. I don't know that my father ever took a picture with a "brownie" camera, or operated a stereo.

2. Back to reality, the elderly lady paying her bill ahead of me at the restaurant was paying in coins. She had brought a handful of them with her to the counter, leaving her purse behind at the table. Meticulously, she counted out the money, and thinking she had miscounted, she counted it again. Still not right. She had to leave the checkout line and go fetch her purse. Then of course, it became a problem of digging in the bottom of the purse looking for the change to make the right amount. I'm going to guess that this lady, like my parents would never have an iPhone or a Blackberry, or even a computer, and would certainly never contemplate posting pictures on Flicker. But, you see, some things never change, and that includes the exasperating behavior of old ladies at checkout counters.

3. My cellphone received another one of those nuisance advertiser calls, only this time, it got stuck on the screen that says, UNKNOWN CALLER, etc. I went to the Verizon store, even though Verizon is another of those companies which behave the way government behaves when it has you in its grasp. The young man looked at the phone, then looked at me as if I were a child and said, "Well you just push one of the buttons." Whereupon he pushed every button on the phone and the screen did not change. Perplexity spread across his youthful visage, and then maybe a bit of annoyance, and he said he had never seen anything like this before, which I doubt because I never think I'm the first one that a particular calamity has befallen. With the flick of a fingernail, he popped off the back of the phone, fished out the battery, disconnected it, reconnected it, and pushed the power button. Up came the welcome screen, and then the correct screen. "That solves half our problems," he said, and smiled kindly.

So my advice to you old folks out there who are struggling, as I do, with electronic equipment my father wouldn't have touched, here is my advice. Disconnect it and then reconnect it and solve half your problems. It will probably work with that machine some hospital some day puts you on to keep you around for a few more weeks.

4. I got a call from one of those charities that keeps calling no matter how much you contribute. They have that right, you know, even though it may annoy us a lot. So this time, on a sheer passing whim, I said that I was dead. "Oh, I'm so sorry," came the answer. "My condolences. I'll update our records." So, I will probably never hear from them again. Next year I may try this with the IRS.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Letter from Dashmann

Many rightwing folks like to say Obama hasn’t accomplished much during his 1st term and that they will take back both houses and the Presidency in 2012.

You might help remind them that during Obamas term so far ;

We didn’t go into the deep depression we were headed for ---

More people than ever will soon have health care.

Employment job loss has stopped and we are starting to add jobs.

GM will soon pay off its loans and issue stock.

The stock market is back from a dismal collapse near the end of the Bush administration.

We didn’t accidentally invade any innocent countries and get 100,000 people killed to the tune of a trillion dollars.

All this in just one and a half years !!!!!!!

Tell me what George W. Bush accomplished in 8 years that was so special ????

Saturday, April 24, 2010

good question: found online

Found this online here: CLICK

"Will Hopi and Navajo police officers now be able to stop anyone they think is in Arizona illegally?"

It's Caturday!

gift wrapped
from FELIX

Friday, April 23, 2010

The "Loyal" (but confused) Opposition

Tribute to Earth Day

What could be more appropriate than this Earth Day happening: An oil rig is ablaze in the Gulf of Mexico. It sinks. It's outpouring millions of gallons of raw crude into the Gulf.

I conferred with my religious adviser Rat Patterson, I mean Pat Robertson, and he says it's God's punishment for not electing DRILL BABY DRILL candidates Palin and Ghostly, last year. This will keep happening, I suppose, until every pool is black and deadly.

But there is hope! Obama wants to drill. Every new well is an opportunity!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

21st Century Momma Goose

Hark! Hark!
The Congressmen bark:

"The Bankers are coming to town.
Fill my till
I'll kill the bill
And vote Regulations down. "

Earth Day

Try to find some way, however large or small, to honor Earth Day.
GREEN AMERICA: Has made a list of "Ten Things You Should Never Buy Again."
Here are some of them I intend to honor.

1. Styrofoam Cups: In truth, I ordered coffee this morning at the coffee shop and got it in a styrofoam cup. I am resolved to never forget my own non-plastic cup when I go to the coffee shop. I hope the strength of my intentions is stronger than the strength of weakening memory.

3. Bleached coffee filters: I am going to make a concertd effort to find where they sell the brown, unbleached type and then set in a supply of them.

5. Teak and Mahogany: Well, this will be easy. I can't claim any credit here, really, but I do promise.

To see the whole list and decide what you might agree to, go here: CLICK

today's favorite headline

Survey: Librarians get frisky in stacks
I would think if you stack up librarians, they would behave pretty much like any other pile of professionals. I think we need IRISH MIKE's input on this one.

Thursday Morning Smile Maker

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

comment on Arizona's problem

I understand Arizona's unhappiness with the lack of a national policy on illegal immigration and the crime that it has brought to their neighborhoods.It is not just a question of Mexicans or Central Americans looking for work.

However, this is a state that is very Republican. When that party had control of the national government, nothing was done for their problem. I think that the border states who are contending with the problems of illegal influx, crime, drugs, human smuggling, pressure on social services, etc., are entitled to a national policy that isn't constantly in flux. Let's get this all settled.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

anyone for coffee? Monday morning?
3 folks showed up! Bravo! Loved it! Thank you!

comment on Obama's "socialism"

I'm amazed that Obama has gotten tagged as a "socialist". I'm going to assume that this tag is appreciated only by the nutty right wingers who don't now what a socialist is, because for a lot of people I know, and for me as well, Obama is very far from being a socialist, and is in fact too conservative.

Let us assume that some of Obama's conservatism is actually a nod to reality. Maybe he has to proceed much more slowly than the real liberals would like. Could it be that off-shore drilling is an example of his caution in moving the U.S. toward a non-oil based economy, which jittery Americans feel is dangerous?

I am thinking of the slowness which the Obama government has practiced in the area of job creation, and of the lassitude of his efforts in drafting new regulations for the monied interests who nearly collapsed the world's economy while themselves getting rich. These are things that would have been first nature to FDR or Truman or Lyndon Johnson, or any other liberal of past generations.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's Caturday!

Erin's kitty:

"The name is SMASH, buster
and whose gonna make me move?"

JERRY ("Bugsy") has sent two cat-themed items which are really proper for Caturday.
1. Herding Cats


Friday, April 16, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

some good news amid the bad

Australia has arrested the captain and first mate of the Chinese ship which ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef. The Australian government is saying that the ship did great harm to the reef, which is protected by law. Besides the physical damage caused by the ship's hull, tons of fuel were lost into the water. The government believes it will take 20 or more years for the Reef to recover.

Some sources say that the ship's captain had deliberately taken an illegal course through the area, causing the grounding.

God Quakes CHINA

I have been reliably informed by my personal religious adviser, Rob Patterson, or is it Pat Robertson?, that God has struck China with its second serious earthquake in a year because the people who live there have been getting uppity. What are they uppity about? Not enough to eat.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Friends Report on April 12

St Patrick's Day celebrants 2010


Turning 'Texas Education' Into an Oxymoron

by Jim Hightower

In the good-and-good-for-you department, food scientists are now touting the health benefits of enjoying a handful of nuts every day. I, for one, am glad, because I love nuts - pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds, you-name-'em. But my favorite nuts, by far, are the homegrown natives that have taken root in one particularly fertile area of my state: the Texas Board of Education. You just can't get any nuttier than this bunch!

This board, little-known even to us Texans, has lately risen to national notoriety, making our state's educational system a punch line for comedians everywhere. That's because a handful of ultra-right-wing nutcases have taken over this elected overseer of Texas educational policy, and they're hell-bent to supplant classroom education with their own brand of ideological indoctrination. Their way of achieving this political goal is to rewrite the state standards that textbook publishers must follow to get the lucrative contracts for providing teaching materials for every student in the state, from first grade through high school.

Their latest exercise in ideological correctness comes at the expense of the social studies curriculum. They spent last week going through guidelines for history, government, economics and sociology textbooks, purging references that offend their doctrinaire sensibilities and substituting their own nutty biases and ignorance.

How nutty? Take Thomas Jefferson. They did! They literally did take Jefferson off a list of revolutionary political thinkers from the Enlightenment period, replacing him with a favorite of Christian fundamentalists, John Calvin. Thus, the prime author of our Declaration of Independence - poof - disappeared! Jefferson's unpardonable transgression? He coined the term "separation between church and state."

Any concepts that might spur progressive thoughts in young minds were also expunged. "Justice," for example, was stripped from a list of virtues meant to teach grade-schoolers the characteristics of good citizenship. No doubt the board majority would love to get its hands on the Pledge of Allegiance'sassertion of "justice for all," but luckily, the pledge doesn't come under the members' purview. Yet.

The nuts were able to strike "responsibility for the common good" from the citizenship characteristics list, however, and they just missed deleting the American ideal of "equality." They also narrowly lost on a vote to impose a new requirement that students be taught that the civil rights movement created "unreasonable expectations," but they did manage to balance the positive impact of Martin Luther King Jr. with an insistence that the "positives" of Joe McCarthy's witch-hunt for commies and of Jefferson Davis' secessionist government also be taught.

IRISH MIKE and DASHMANN - correctly identified the picture as The Bowery Boys who starred in a bunch of movies. None of them won the Academy Award, In fact, I don't think anyone would ever consider nominating one.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

a hunch

I believe that the Republican campaign design is becoming clear. It will fail. Not many people will believe that Obama is unAmerican or is the "most liberal president in the history of the United States."

But, I wish there was a viable third party I could vote for for congress.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It's Caturday

If you ever go across the sea
To Ireland
Don't forget to befriend the local cats.

AMY and new friend, ami

Friday, April 9, 2010

Note from FELIX

PHOENIX – The Arizona House voted Thursday to make the state the third in the nation to allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit, sending the governor a bill that would allow Arizonans to forego background checks and classes that are now required.


Comment: WHY?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

study defines Tea Party

older, conservative, Republican

"In three national surveys, done for New Models from December 2009 through February 2010, 57% of Tea Party members called themselves Republicans, another 28% said they were Independents, and 13% were Democrats. Two-thirds of Tea Party members identify as conservatives but 26% say they are moderate and 8% described themselves as liberal

"The study also found Tea Party members are more likely to be male by a 56-44% margin, slightly older than the electorate as a whole and middle income earners. When it comes to issues, the research found that Tea Party activists espouse a strong economic conservatism."


Here's a very good chuckle --- Take the Tea Party pledge... CLICK

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

college gang banging

Note from IRISH MIKE:
"The gun nuts next will want high school kids to have the right to carry concealed weapons."
Check out this proposal to arm university students:


crazy for Michigan

How proud we are here in Michigan to be the mother state of so many distinguished screwballs. Everyone knew that Tim MacVeigh and his crew were headquartered here, but that was not even the beginning. The Michigan "Militia" were famous before that for their crazy leaders, their comedic rushing about in the woods playing assassins and guerrillas, and their psychotic pronouncements on the events of our times.

Now comes the arrest of eight or nine "hutaree" "militia" from the southern part of Michigan, who were, it is alleged, laying plans for the murder of democracy. If they hadn't had more dangerous weapons than the whole country of Belgium, they might have been ignored and laughed off. To become a hutaree, one needs to have abandoned all sense of proportion and civility, and to have fallen in love with guns and bullshit. If you get an erection when someone mentions the word "grenade," then you might be a red-necked hutaree.

Let me tell y'all out there in the non-Michigan world, most of us here are actually perfectly sane and have no plans for plundering, pillaging or chaos. Most of us look to make our society more unified, not more schizoid.

a new charge ---

One of the new right wing attacks on Obama is that he's trying to disarm America. This is the lead on the Drudge Report today.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The condition of our democracy

stories like this should disturb all of us, not because it happens to be one party or the other, but because the process is becoming so much "for sale" --

Whitman leads California governor's race: poll

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Billionaire Republican Meg Whitman has pulled ahead in the California governor's race after contributing a record-breaking $39 million to her own campaign, a Los Angeles Times/USC poll showed on Monday.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Congratulations to our STATE fans/friends for this year's successes in basketball.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

It's Caturday!

(But late, many apologies.)

Earl comes visiting

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dashmann recommends

GEORGY GEYER: (excerpt)
One thing has become very clear in this exhausting fight over health care, and that is the question of the personality of Barack Hussein Obama. Far from an extremist of any cloth, he is a man who wants to update the American dream, to modernize our institutions from inside. Health care is his first home run, and we have a pretty good idea now of what ballgame he is playing.

little comment

I see on the news that 50% of Republicans are eager to vote in November. I believe that this is because they have not yet seen their candidates.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thursday Morning Smile-Maker

Religious tests

I've found that some people don't know when I'm joking, when I'm being cynical, when I'm being sarcastic, etc. So maybe I should start labeling my stuff.


I was reading this article online, and it suddenly occurred to me that the Pope has it perfectly right. He believes in a God who inflicts horrible things on people and evidently, even Popes, and even entire religious institutions, so they can prove their faith by overcoming them.

This was the beginning of the article.

Pope sees sex scandal as test; bishops urge reform

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI sees the priestly sex scandal as a "test for him and the church," his spokesman says, as bishops around Europe used Holy Week's solemn call for penitence to pledge transparency in dealing with the abuse of children.

It seems to me, following this logic, that the real test is of the children so we should probably be thankful. God has sent them a curse in the form of priests to molest them. Now, can they, through faith and suffering, overcome these challenges and become good Catholics anyway?