Friday, November 13, 2009

Terrorists In Our Army? Are They Muslim or Christian?

Hasan looks nuts. He doesn’t look like a terrorist. The look on his face says goofy. It reminds me of Oliver North. Was North a terrorist?

Oh, yeah, I guess he was, wasn’t he?

But North wasn’t a terrorist in the way Muhammad Atta was. Atta certainly didn’t have that pseudo-goofy look at Hasan has. Atta could scare people in a horror movie without an axe, a chainsaw or a hockey mask.

In the other photo Hasan looks like Marlon Brando as Kurtz in “Apocalypse Now”. From all accounts so far, Hasan was psychopathic not terroristic.

Michigan gubernatorial candidate and House Intelligence Committee ranking Republican and overall spiller of national secrets, Pete Hoekstra was on Fox yesterday trying to drive home the false point and expand the foundation of this phony issue that Hasan murdering GIs last week was terrorism.

Beck, Hannity and O’Reilly are all trying to beat the same drum—that terrorists in the military is the new Communists in the State Department is the new Kenyans in the White House.

And we know how that’s going.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chenemy Combatant

How long is it going to be before Dick and Liz get on Fox or Strapon-opoulos and complain that Obama is to blame for Major Hasan shooting American servicemen at Fort Hood, or complain that Obama secretly and personally encouraged Major Hasan to shoot those servicemen, or complain that Obama secretly shot those servicemen posing as Major Hasan.

Given the nature of these conspiracies, which have not yet been offered by Dick and Liz, I have a conspiracy of my own.

What if Dick used his contacts at the CIA to turn Hasan into a MK-Ultra killer just to be able to try to convince the American people that we are not safe with Obama—the same vaudeville act he and his daughter have been doing for months now, not realizing that vaudeville died long ago.

Or, what if Dick and George developed Hasan into an MK-Ultra killer way back in 2007 and his programming leapt to the “kill stage”?

Michigan Republican Pete Hoekstra, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee yesterday revealed that our intelligence community had been monitoring the emails between Hasan and Yemeni imam and Al Qaeda Tupperware party organizer, Anwar al Awlaki. He reportedly has also launched an investigation.

This comes as a surprise to the Pentagon, which was never told about the monitoring of Hasan. Hoekstra claims the Obama administration is purposefully withholding information on Hasan.

What a fucking opportunist! He is also running for the governorship of Michigan and wants to use these scare tactics to get elected, assuring Michiganers that he is hard on terrorists so he’ll definitely be able to protect the Great Lakes State from Canadians.

Like Hoekstra, Cheney is also running…to stay out of jail for torture and other crimes against humanity, and is using scare tactics—therefore, terrorism—to scare Americans into protecting him from being forced to wear the orange jumpsuit.
Hurry up, Spain!!

The photo above is not only the product of wishful thinking, it is also a tool of visualization for all you people who can bend reality in accordance to their will based on the images they focus their incredible concentrative mental powers on with candles, crystals and psilocybin.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Astro Turfer

Like the Silver Surfer, Marvel Comics has introduced its new comic book character, the Astro Turfer, seen here with a hangover after a night on the town hall meeting.

While the Silver Surfer roams the galaxy looking for planets for Galactus to consume, the Astro Turfer roams the U.S. looking for health care discussions to obliterate with screaming and shouting.

The Silver Surfer’s work stems from his profession, an astronomer, and his identity is known as Norrin Radd, while the Astro Turfer’s work stems from his role as someone against health care for all.

And while no one knows the Astro Turfer’s identity, many suspect him to be either Joe Lieberman or Barack Obama.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Baa Baa Barack Sheep

There is no blog today. Have a good weekend and remember: one of those sheep up there may be Obama waiting for Marine One to land and for health care reform to be finished.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

e(lection dis)

Does Tuesday mean it's over between them?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Keeping Eyes on the Prize

According to MSNBC Obama was not a factor in the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races. In fact, to extrapolate on that assessment, Obama doesn’t seem to be a factor in much of anything these days—certainly not health care reform.

However, Palin, Beck, Limbaugh and Armey may have been a factor in the very telling election in New York State’s 23rd district. Their candidate, Doug Hoffman, looking like someone arrested on “Dateline: To Catch a Predator” conceded, handing a victory to a Democrat in that district for the first time since the Civil War.

The strange thing about all the brouhaha raised by conservatives in getting Hoffman into the New York 23 race is that district gets absorbed by surrounding Democratic districts in a redistricting based on the 2010 census.

I can’t wait to hear how Beck, Limbaugh and Palin spin the Hoffman loss. Gingrich ought to have a bit of fun with this. Let’s keep the civil war going.

For Democrat losses, Chris Christie is said to be a moderate, a fiscal conservative but not a social conservative, so the Tea Baggers will not make any real headway there until they put tremendous pressure on him and he caves to Birther demands, if that happens.

Bob O’Donnell effectively refused Palin and her brand of conservatism and won anyway over a weak Democrat. However, she will probably take credit for his victory.

Jon Corzine was apparently an unappealing incumbent. His approval was at 39%. There is speculation that his connection to Goldman Sachs may have contributed to his downfall in addition to other issues. The voters are tired of Wall Street.

Bloomberg got a run for his money, literally, by someone without much political power or billionaire bank account. Bloomberg is also another incumbent and is associated with Wall Street.

Bloomberg and Corzine are connected to Wall Street. This does not bode well for Obama in 2010 if he does not get the economy going by then or does not punish Wall Street more harshly than Geithner and the boys have so far.

While the losses of Corzine and Deeds do not necessarily presage the future of the Democratic Party, they do presage the future of similar Democrat candidates—those weak Democrats like Harry Reid, Blanche Lincoln and others who refuse to be tough.

Reid wants to wait until next year on health care. Obama’s response will probably be, “Well, if you say so.”

Some believe this is a bad idea. I entertain the possibility that they want to move Republican refusal to participate in an historic piece of bad bill legislation that the vast majority of Americans want, despite all that poser Tea Bagger nonsense in July and August, as close to the primaries as possible.

A year ago tonight the great Anarchist of Ann Arbor and I discussed our beliefs that the first party to split, thereby creating a third party, would be the Republicans. We may be seeing that materialize right before our eyes. The Tea Baggers will be so incensed by Hoffman’s loss in New York that they will come back in greater numbers and intensity in 2010.

But the Democrats beginning to split between progressive and conservative may become the speculative talk of 2012 if not sooner.

A possible Democrat strategy for 2010—or simply my delusion—is the Democrats may be hoping the conservative wing of the Republican Party will defeat a sufficient number of Republicans in 2010 primaries so that Democrats gain the Republican seat easily in the general election a year from now.

I do not know what the issue for the 2010 general will be right now that will separate the Democrats from the Tea Bagger/Birthers. Certainly health care reform should be decided in favor of the insurance companies by then. There is still time.

And maybe that strategy applies to conservative Democrats as well. Goodbye Lincoln, Bayh and those in the House too numerous to mention. The delusion disclaimer is still in effect.

One thing I believe this election says loud and clear is: Democrats get off your asses, get some guts and do the right things before 2010.

Obama, this means you too.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Wrong Things

How is it that in a country of 300 million-plus, in a representative democracy of 535 Senators and Representatives, that one man can “kill” something that benefits, well, according to an AP story over the weekend, a whopping two percent of our population.

Well, everybody’s talking about Joe Lieberman exercising his option in the Senate to filibuster this extremely weak health care reform bill that will benefit almost no one which progressives have promised to bend over and vote for just to be loyal democrats.

And Obama talks about
how hard change is. While he made small and medium advances on his agenda, his legacy will most likely be judged (by me) on health care reform, Afghanistan, Iraq and the economy. How many times have I and others tried to get him out of the White House and involved in the health care reform process.

But he didn’t and now Lieberman may wreck all that change Obama promised way back when. Didn’t Obama reach out to Lieberman earlier this year and convince democratic leadership to give ol’ Joe some important committee chairmanship, like Homeland Security?

I never graduated Harvard and I’ve never been elected president, but even I knew bi-partisanship was bullshit. Sure, change is hard—especially if you keep fucking it up from the beginning.

Right now I’m watching
“The Right Stuff”, the 1983 Phillip Kaufman film based on the 1979 book by Tom Wolfe. And while the film may have taken some artistic license and emphasized the pilot over the scientists and the politicians who made it happen, the fact is without the pilots’ expertise, how different would the space program have been. Armstrong’s piloting of the LEM on the moon with only a few seconds of fuel is a perfect example.

A couple of months ago while watching “Serpico” I wrote that we needed a Frank Serpico in Congress to clean it up and get rid of the corruption.

Now I’m writing that we need a new generation of politicians with, you guessed it, the right stuff.

These new politicians would hold with pride, dignity and integrity, the weighty meaning and solemn responsibility of the office which they would hold. They would be leather jacket-wearing, gum chewing, whiskey drinking courageous hotshots who would push the boundaries, just as Yeager broke the sound barrier, of creating and enacting legislation that helps the people, just like all the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts who also did what no one did before them.

American space exploration since Kennedy’s call to action drew qualified and fearless men and women to the mission.

But when Obama called for Change, no one—not even Obama himself—seems to have heeded that call. With Kennedy’s announcement about the moon shot, we made it to the moon many times. But in this analogy, with Obama’s call for health care reform, we exploded just above the launch tower.

Until we can get some politicians with the right stuff, it may suffice if Obama would simply put Joe Lieberman on the moon.

Friday, October 30, 2009

An Obvious Lie

GOP secret revealed: Republicans don’t want a public option or health care for the poor (including poor white Tea Baggers) because they know there is a Swine Flu vaccine shortage and they want poor people to die from H1N1.

Huffington Post ran a story about Dana Perrino and Swine Flu vaccine shortage which conservative critics of the public option are using as proof that the government cannot run a health care program despite the fact that Medicare, Congressional health care and the military are all government-run.

But what these “conservative critics” failed to mention is the secret and real reason the GOP doesn’t want a public option or health care for everyone or to approve Obama’s nominee for Surgeon General is they know there is a shortage of the Swine Flu vaccine and they want to capitalize on that fact.

Conservative Republicans don’t want poor people to have health care through a public option, but especially single payer, because they want poor people who are uninsured to die from Swine Flu because they know that means there will be more vaccine for the rich.

Republicans want poor people to be forced to die from Swine Flu.

What they also won’t tell you is that Swine Flu re-emerged during the Bush Administration and was re-named “H1N1” because they believed poor people were so uneducated that they would get confused about its meaning.

The “h” and “n” are said to mean “have nots”—the poor in America. 11 means 11 million which is the number of poor in America they hope will die.

Republicans will deny this because they are Republicans and love the rich.

Ask Cheney, Palin, Beck and Limbaugh why they hate the poor and want them to die from Swine Flu and see how they deny it and change the subject by accusing Obama of being Hitler-ish.

Be sure to wash your hands after shaking mitts with a Republican or Blue Dog—they may be trying to infect you if they think you are poor.

There is even some speculation that Rush Limbaugh has become addicted to the vaccine which means the shortage will only increase in the coming months.

There is also speculation that Glenn Beck uses his show to mind control Republicans in the Senate to hold up Obama’s Surgeon General nomination because he too hates poor people because he thinks they’re crybabies about their “disadvantage”.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Senators or Cynictors?

I get angry when I watch the news about health care reform, then I become fatigued by the anger. Unh…I, I…need to go lie down….

I am tired of all this legalized corruption and legalized bribery that enables Senators Joe Lieberman and Evan Bayh, among many others, to sabotage health care for Americans who need it because of campaign contributions from the health insurance industry.

I for one think we should call our Congresspoersons and tell then we sincerely believe their adult male of large mammal feces.

What a great photo above, eh. While Jesse Helms took pride in being called “Senator No!”, I think Ben Nelson may take offense at being called “Senator Nose”.

Okay, my apologies—wait, what?—oh, another one:

I don’t know which Ben Nelson is less capable of—health care reform or hair care reform? I mean, is that a really bad toupé or are his hair weaves made of wool?


But seriously, Obama worked hard to get Lieberman the Chairmanship of Homeland Security. Was this Obama’s attempt to show forgiveness and induce his prized bi-partisanship? Did Rahm make him do it? I don’t get Obama anymore. Is there a Quija board in the White House?

Salon writer Glenn Greenwald was on
Rachel Maddow last night (FF to 5:30) and revealed that Bayh’s wife sits on the board of Wellpoint and they own nearly a million dollars of Wellpoint stock and, consequently, Bayh may vote to filibuster for reasons of “fiscal responsibility”.

Obama wanted bi-partisanship but he got Bayh-partisanship. Obama promised transparency, but the only thing completely visible are these guys’ true motives in denying reform.

Bayh and Lieberman should be investigated not only by the Senate Ethics Committee but by the FBI.

The American people (are you listening, progressives—I mean, reading?) need to remember what these Senators have done with their elected responsibility and vote them out. They are corrupt, they do not care about people and they are a cancer.

I will say it louder.

They are a cancer in the body of America!

We need health reform just to cure us of them.

Voting. That’s the real public option.

Single payer!

Single payer!

Single payer!

Single payer!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Back on the Cheney Gang

Dick Cheney attacking Obama for not creating more war is an awfully unnecessary charade.

At least George Will had the clarity of vision to say yesterday on George Stephanopoulos that he wished Cheney and Bush had dithered more before invading Iraq where there were no weapons of mass destruction.

But it wasn’t about WMD or terrorist connections anyway, it was about destroying Iraq so KBR could profit from taxpayer paid military logistical support and Halliburton could profit from taxpayer paid contracts to rebuild the oil plants and infrastructure.

The angle of war profiteering seems never to surface in any mainstream media analysis of Cheney’s statements, or his motives for making those statements. His daughters are only surrogates in this tactic.

It seems to me all the Cheneys want is war, war, war and the multi-billion dollar profits that go with it, and they will stop at nothing to get it. Cheney’s war profiteering connection to Halliburton and its subsidiaries, including KBR, must be examined by the media daily, making Cheney answer to questions about his true motives.

According to the
Cheney/Halliburton chronology that appears in Halliburton Watch, KBR was under investigation by the SEC for its accounting practices way back in 1998 while Cheney headed Halliburton. KBR paid $7.5 million in fines and was allowed to continue, promising it would no longer commit or cause future securities violations. How they were allowed to participate in Iraq in ways that killed soldiers and raped contractors must be due to Cheney.

A quick read through shows how Halliburton made money through contracts with Iran and Libya, which violated a US ban on trading with nations which sponsored state terrorism.

This should fall under Michelle Bachmann’s call on “Hardball” a year ago for an “in-depth exposé” of un-American members of Congress and other parts of the government. To send American men and women to their death just for billions in profit is criminal and un-American.

Fox does exposés on ACORN, but do they have the balls to expose Cheney and the war profiteering of Halliburton, KBR and other defense contractors in determining military policies?

For that matter would MSNBC be allowed to run with that story given that their owner, General Electric, is also a major defense contractor? Doubtful.

CNN? Ha! They confuse passivity with fairness.

Cheney doesn’t care about America. If he did, he would not have steered Iran Contra House Committee Chairman Lee Hamilton away from the drug aspect of that anti-American scandal from those patriotic posers, Reagan, North, Bush, Poindexter, et al.

I remember a couple of years ago when security for American ports was being outsourced to a company from the United Arab Emirates, Dubai Ports World, and Americans went ape shit until the government prevented that from happening and gave it secretly to another company based in the Middle East.

Perhaps if Americans fully realized how Halliburton and its subsidiaries were compromising US military lives through their corruption—nah, it would never work unless Americans felt the fear somehow that Halliburton, through greed, was allowing Middle Eastern countries and possibly terrorists compromising our security by exploiting and bribing Halliburton CEOs in the UAE.


With Halliburton moving to the UAE to allegedly avoid answering to US government investigations, maybe someone needs to explain this to the American people in the context that Cheney wants war in Afghanistan so his dear Halliburton and their subsidiaries can profit secretly through a maze of back door connections.

Halliburton, KBR and the other subsidiaries have proven they have no morals or scruples or love of country, and Cheney, as their former CEO and Chairman, is doing as ex-vice president what he was doing as Chairman and CEO—manipulating America for war profits.

Maybe one day, because of Cheney and Halliburton, calling someone a capitalist will have the same insultative (new word) meaning as calling someone a socialist. What Halliburton does is not capitalism, its “crapitalism” or “corrupitalism”.

Okay, now I’m becoming too, too clever—or annoying. But not like Cheney.

Somebody get Spain on the phone. Tell them to hurry up and put Cheney on trial for war crimes before he starts another war in his New American world domination Century.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Johnny Carson

It is customary in blogland to honor someone on the day they died rather than on the anniversary of their birth. But who knows if I will be doing this in January and I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to someone who I admired greatly as a child and young man, someone who helped determine the direction of my life.

Two hosts of the Tonight Show and nearly seventeen and a half years ago, Johnny Carson left the Tonight Show and I cried. Nearly six years ago he died and I cried again. I had a few male role models when I was growing up and Johnny Carson was one of the biggest.

As I mentioned here once before, I first heard the sounds of the Tonight Show from the other room when my father would come home from work more than forty years ago and settle in front of our old 16 inch black and white television with the antenna and bad reception with a Pepsi and a box of Cheezits and laugh.

Carson began the Tonight Show when America was a completely different country.

He was on television every night before the Civil Rights movement was subjected to the violence it endured in Birmingham, the murder of Medgar Evers, the March on Washington. The same day Carson took over the Tonight Show, James Meredith enrolled at the University of Mississippi—the resulting riots about which caused JFK to send 5,000 federal troops to quell the violence.

He was on every night before JFK was assassinated and while all the assassinations that followed throughout the 60s, including the murder of Lennon (who he knew) in 1980 and the attempt on Reagan in 1981.

He was on every night before JFK ramped up Vietnam and through its end in 1975 and all the years after while America came to terms with exactly what Vietnam was and what it meant to our divided country.

He was on before JFK made us all aware of the Cuban Missile Crisis and left the Tonight Show several months after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

He was on before the 60s counterculture grew and on to the early-90s nostalgia of 60s counterculture.

In this space, I have written about the power of popular culture to transform our world politically—especially specific entertainers, like Michael Jackson and the Beatles. The same can be said for Carson. His easy humor and gentle charm got us through all the difficult moments during his thirty years on the air mentioned above and many more.
And it is for having enabled us to cope by being there every night (except Mondays, guest hosts and vacations) that Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992 and honored by the Kennedy Center in 1993 for his contribution to American culture.

Carson saw America through one of the more difficult periods in our history, save for the Revolution, the Civil War, the Depression and World War Two.

It can be argued that Carson helped facilitate some of the transformation America went through with regards to Civil Rights because he launched the careers and gave valuable national exposure to so many black entertainers like Bill Cosby, Redd Foxx, Flip Wilson, Richard Pryor—and that’s just comedy. Let’s not forget Sammy Davis Jr., Ike and Tina Turner, Muhammad Ali.

Carson was the last Tonight Show host, and one of the last talk shows hosts other than Dick Cavett, to feature authors and scientists and thinkers back when the Tonight Show was 90 minutes and some even after it became an hour long.

While Carson did showcase some members of the counterculture, his biggest contribution in this area was helping to launch or strengthen the careers of those like the Smothers Brothers who would feature the alternative mindset through humor and music.

Had the nameless (and brainless) NBC executive not decided to erase the entire Tonight Show tapes from the 60s, we would obviously had a better idea of Carson’s 60s legacy. Instead, the legacy with which we are most familiar is after the show moved from New York to Burbank and became more focused on Hollywood entertainment for its guest list, and may be deemed as more showbizzy. If we had his 60s Tonight Shows, we may have had a better idea of how great his achievement on American television really was.

Perhaps the closest we can come to that is the show with Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Judy Carne and George Gobel from 1969. The segment where Gobel is doing his bit and Dean Martin keeps flicking his cigarette ashes in Gobel’s plastic cup without his knowledge is at the end of this post.

At one time, he was the highest paid person on television and its most powerful person. As Jackie Mason said upon Carson’s death, “He will go down as the most powerful personality in the history of that whole damn box.”

Carson owned the Tonight Show while hosting it and he never let NBC executives control him as Leno and O’Brien were forced to tolerate. Carson walked in 1967 for more money and when he returned after NBC caved to his demands, he remarked that NBC stood for “Nobody But Carson”.

Carson monologue was the daily group therapy session for the country as we navigated 30 years of turmoil and recovery. Carson’s gentle humor appealed to so many on almost all sides of the political spectrum.

Many people allayed their fears during his monologues, conceived their hopes and made plans to realize their dreams by seeing others do it through their first appearance on his show.

While I did not think all of Carson’s attempts at sketches and characters fit his style and some of his conceptual humor was obviously borrowed from Letterman’s Late Night show, and may have been an obvious stretch to capture younger viewers, his comedic strength was obviously his conversational wit and ability to poke fun at himself and his failed monologue jokes.

Carson was an intelligent man who had a tremendous appreciation for the comedy and show business icons and institutions that came before. Because of the length of his tenure, he was a bridge to almost all that came before.

He had an easy-going style and charm, a handsome face with soothing, twinkling eyes. Everything about Carson to me as a kid when I regularly started watching him in the early 70s was perfect. There was no other place to find spontaneous humor. He was kind and quick with guests.

He mocked Watergate almost mercilessly in his own style. He may have done the same with Iran Contra but I was unable to watch him regularly then because of the tenuousness of my daily existence in New York back then.

I was so taken by Carson that I sent him Carnak jokes when I was 13 and did oil portraits of he, McMahon and Severinsen also when I was 13 or 14 and was going to send them but didn’t.

I became a disc jockey at the age of 19 because Carson started in radio. I developed a comic style long ago first borrowed from Carson, then others.

In 1980 I told Jay Leno in his dressing room where a bunch of local comics, including former “Family Feud” host, Ray Combs, were discussing comedy and show business when Leno was opening for Perry Como when he asked what my career aspirations were, that I wanted to take over the Tonight Show, but not from Carson—I wanted to take over from the person who took over from Carson.

Obviously I blew that opportunity this past June, or way back in 1993, or way back in 1980, depending on how you think show business works and what you know of me.

A dream came true in 1984 when I appeared on the Tonight Show in March of that year via videotape as a Bad Mime character for a Robert Klein segment from New York for “NBC’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes”. The part was created by a former David Letterman writer and friend. Carson laughed loudly at my only line and that filled me with endless joy and a sense of accomplishment. I sent the videotape to a former performer friend and never got it back.

Because of Carson’s gentle style and institutional status he was mocked by some in the 70s who did a harder-edged comedy and mocked as well in his later years on the Tonight Show because he was an older institution and therefore a target of ridicule by some younger comedians who now don’t seem to even have a career.

Carson’s wit, timing and encyclopedic memory always made him better than his material. He almost always stepped outside the material, mostly with just a look. Had he trusted newer comedy writers his could have expanded his appeal in later years. But he always trusted older comedy and never seemed to want to explore. His older writers did not seem to be able to handle the Letterman style of humor.

I wish those who release the Best of Carson DVDs would just repeat the shows as they were on Comedy Central or some other cable channel. I also wish they would go back into the early 70s and release more material from those shows.

Watching a Best of DVD right now, the comedy seems timely, like the shows I am watching that are thirty years old now were taped this evening.

The genius of Carson’s longevity is that his humor was witty, spontaneous and intelligent with just enough playful silliness on good nights. That’s why he worked well with animals, children, old people and average Americans.

And he was more than just a comedian he was also a showman as well as an intelligent conversationalist. He had a personality which was magnetic and with which one could easily identify, which harkens back to old show business, rather than simply being a performer. You knew Carson, or wanted to know him.

He understood what entertainment really was and he endeavored to bring the best to his audiences for thirty years. He loved to laugh which helped him as an entertainer because he entertained himself. He also admired clever and inventive comedians and gave them every break he could.

He left when he knew it was time and he never looked back. That made his legacy even greater because he had integrity, while single-handedly spawning the next generation of late night American television talk show comedy.

He’d be 84 today.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Vote Yes on Rape

I have known several women who were victims of rape and child sexual abuse. I have a deep sensitivity to the effect it has on women—and men for that matter.

But this post is not about the Jamie Leigh Jones case, but rather the political fallout from the vote on the Franken Amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill. I state this up front so as not to seem insensitive.

So, having said that, I have said in this space two or three times before that if Democrats and/or progressives work real hard in 2010 they could unseat a few Republican Senators and Representatives over health care reform because they were so blatantly against the will of the people.

Now, another issue has emerged to further batter them into oblivion—
30 of their Senators having voted against the Franken Amendment which prevents government contracts from being awarded to companies that prevent—as KBR did—employees from suing their employers for rape and assault.

The case of Jamie Leigh Jones is particularly egregious because it shows the arrogance of contractors under the Bush Administration’s fatal folly in Iraq such as Blackwater seeming to, literally, get away with murder. It also shows the arrogance and insensitivity of Republican lawmakers who are used to voting like this in a business as usual/status quo approach.

But there is a backlash against the 30 Senators. In
newspapers in their states, editorials are popping up against the Senators’ votes throughout the Midwest and the South.

This is exciting news because it is Republican Senators being called out by constituents in their own conservative communities.

I particularly hope Saxby Chambliss of George is defeated because of his Swift Boat-style dirty tricks against Max Cleland in the 2002 election.

An Obama strategy I saw in an Associated Press story was to appeal to women on health care to get reform passed. With this horrific story revealing the relationship between contractors and the Republican side of our government in the “terror-industrial complex”, Obama may have an opportunity to change business as usual in Washington and Democrats may have an opportunity to also change business as usual in Washington.

Right now the Republicans are not only imploding and exploding but they are doing it to themselves by themselves and not from anything the Democrats are forcing upon them.

Imagine what can happen when Democrats and progressives begin working to defeat them in the 2010 elections. Republicans are simply on the wrong side of issues that benefit the American people and that has to be the basis of election strategies in the midterm.

This is why progressives have to organize, fundraise and work hard to defeat Charles Grassley, Tom Coburn, David Vitter, Johnny Isakson and Mike Crapo. They may lose Harry Reid but still be able to gain seats if they lose no others.

And if progressives really work hard there are a few Democrats who should be defeated as well. Unfortunately, Ben Nelson, Kent Conrad and Max Faucus (cheap joke) are not running.

I think Democrats should throw the controversy surrounding this vote in the face of the Cheneys and make them shut up.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Fox and the Henhouse

Much is being made about Obama’s Henhouse taking on the Fox. Suspicion and doubt is easier than the patience of waiting to see how a game plays out. Presently, Obama is taking on the radical right and pointing out what fakes Fox is.

However, one way of looking at this is it creates the illusion that Obama is the good ol’ liberal we knew we elected and secretly he using this Fox attack as a distraction as we get to the crucial time when he, the health insurance industry and participating Democrats drown the public option like nine year olds pouring water on an ant hill. Obama says he “prefers” a public option but won’t demand it. Yet, most everyone I trust says quite correctly that without a public option it is not real reform.

Either Obama is playing a very sophisticated strategy in pursuit of the promises he made last year or he is slowly selling us out.

As the Kinks sang, “Paranoia will destroy ya”, however there are possible realities we must consider just to understand the terrain of the whole battle field.

His ratings dropped fifteen points in the polls recently on health care at the same time the polls attest that most Americans want a public option more than they want bipartisanship.

I think the Obama Henhouse has sniffed the air and smelled the change in the direction the wind is blowing, which means they know Americans are tired of his delaying delivering on his promises. They are afraid the American people are soon to be as vocal about a public option as gays are for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Obama gets close to the issues in which he made impassioned campaign promises about and then all he does is make a speech.

He’s made a speech about DADT, he’s made speeches about health care reform, especially in admiring the not necessary to be admired Olympia Snowe vote, and on and on.

Sometimes I get the feeling he’s stalling for time until the Supreme Court rules that corporations are people too and he’s given the signal by his overlords to declare martial law, force us all into corporate labor camps, work co-ops and employment pools while being forced to buy their health insurance or imprisoned, forced to buy their products or fired and forced to fight in their wars to take oil, uranium and water, and nuke Iran, Russia and make an uneasy peace with China.

That’s the new America for the new American Century.

What’s the difference between a neo-con and a paranoiac? Paranoiacs don’t get political appointments, they only get elected.

Obama and Fox has repercussions. As Craig Crawford said on Olbermann tonight, it only makes Fox bigger. It means they will mobilize the conservative vote in 2010 and take House and Senate seats away from Democrats.

Another way of looking at that is: by turning up the heat on Fox, and with mid-terms at stake, it may serve to further divide the Republican Party so that the far right breaks off and neither trusts the other and they cannot get their act together to mount any sort of solid opposition to Democrats.

But, if Obama was truly interested in skewering Fox for its bias, why doesn’t he next go after CNN for its bias as well, or for it simply being ridiculous in covering certain issues.

Obama changing how the major media in this country performs its democratic function and inform our citizenry would be something I could believe in.

I’m waiting for him to tell us we just couldn’t get a public option and blame it on Fox’s influence on the Teabaggers and the Teabaggers’ influence on Congress—which we all know is a lie.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Muslim Interns

Much is being made on the right about Muslim interns infiltrating Congress.

Oh, the hypocrisy.

Back in the 70s, Reverend Moon Shine’s Out His Ass had a plan which he implemented where he was going to put sexy young women in the offices of Congressmen and those women would convert the Congressmen into Moonies and obey Moon’s commands in his quest to rule America.

According to Wikipedia, “In 1977 and 1978, a subcommittee of the United States Congress led by Congressman Donald M. Fraser conducted an investigation of South Korea – United States relations and produced a report that included 81 pages about Moon and what the subcommittee termed "the Moon Organization." The Fraser committee found that the KCIA [the Korean Central Intelligence Agency] decided to use the Unification Church as a political tool within the United States and that some Unification Church members worked as volunteers in Congressional offices.”

This made Moon an enemy to the United States. Moon is still powerful and well-respected within far right Republican and Christian Right groups—the very club that Representatives Sue Myrick, John Shadegg and Paul Broun belong to. Apparently this started with World Net Daily, which is obviously so myopic, bigoted and fervent they cannot see what damage lobbyists are doing to Congress compared to Muslim interns.

Oh, the hypocrisy.

Oh, the paranoia.

Oh, the book sales.

According to Suhail Khan, a former Capitol Hill staffer and political appointee of George Bush on
Rachel Maddow, this all began as a way to sell the book that Sue Myrick admitted to writing the forward for, “Muslim Mafia”.

CAIR is the new ACORN.

Many of you may be too young to remember a young Iranian parliamentarian named Yusuf Makarti who, back in the 70s, tried to make a name and career for himself by claiming Christians were secretly infiltrating the Revolutionary Guard.

He became very powerful and preyed on the anti-Christian paranoia that gripped Iran during the decade in which they lost their lovable Shah.

Do ya feel me? Do ya get me?

Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari was
released on bail today.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I got back a little while ago from Santa Barbara and have not had the time to put into a piece about Obama being a wimp on the public option.

While up there, my friend and co-writer Rinde on our honor killing script, had me watch
Persepolis, an animated feature by Marjane Satrapi, based on her graphic novel, and Vincent Parannoud that was nominated for a 2008 Academy Award for best Animated Feature. The English version stars the voices of Gena Rowlands, Sean Penn and Iggy Pop.

The story is based on Ms. Satrapi’s life beginning with her childhood in Iran before the fall of the Shah and how the changing Iran affected her life and the lives of those around her. It is funny, and sad and enlightening.

Neo-cons and other idiots, like John Bolton, would have us go to war with Iran because of the religious regime and the nuclear power/bomb controversy, Persepolis allows one to identify with people in Iran, through the story of Marji. Her ups and downs and fears, doubts and confusion mirror our own. But what Marji survives, we in America could never comprehend because we have not been controlled by a ruthless dictator, nor have we had a strict religious government control every aspect of our society and our country—yet (give the tea baggers another four-five years)—and we have never been at war and had our family members killed by the authorities simply for their beliefs.

As told from the perspective of little Marji, beginning as a little girl and growing into adulthood in Teheran and abroad in Austria, it is very charming and endearing, especially as the more serious themes of the film are presented.

Normally Americans seem to have problems enough with French culture by itself. However, Persepolis adds another culture to the mix and makes the world thrice smaller. The humor is universal and transcends any cultural barriers real or perceived to the individual viewer.

The visual style is minimalist but powerful. The animation is constantly clever and inventive.

The world becomes smaller and the people in countries we are told are our enemies become our friend through popular cultural endeavors like Persepolis. As the east and west come together through conflict and tension in many circles, a film like Perspolis can make the fear go away.

We in America need as many Persepolises as possible—especially when it comes to people in Muslim countries—especially right now. We need to know that people are people.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Baron and the Terror-Industrial-Cheney Complex

As I write this, I am watching the audio commentary of Terry Gilliam and Charles McKeown on the DVD, “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen”, the 1989 Gilliam film, a wonderfully surreal film that uses its surrealism to hide a very serious message.

If any of you watched Countdown tonight and last night then you may be way ahead of me.

I bought Munchausen on Tuesday and was watching it while writing the Liz Cheney post that appeared on Wednesday, the day Gilliam asked Olbermann the question about the Colin Powell comment about the terror-industrial complex in the September 2007
GQ Magazine article.

The actual “terror-industrial complex” quote is in the last three sentences of Powell’s answer to the question, “So do you think we’re getting too hunkered down and scared?” on page 2.

“But come on, this is not a threat to our survival! The only thing that can really destroy us is us. We shouldn't do it to ourselves, and we shouldn't use fear for political purposes—scaring people to death so they will vote for you, or scaring people to death so that we create a terror-industrial complex.”

As you all know (the only reason for this paragraph is this advert for
“Why We Fight”), the terror-industrial complex line is an update of Eisenhower’s military industrial complex line.

So now we have another nail to put into the political coffin of the Cheneys. Fear for political purposes is exactly what the Cheneys are doing, in addition to trying to revive the phony national security issue from 2004 which almost gave Bush/Cheney/Cheney the vote, but it didn’t so they had to resort to dirty tricks in Ohio.

Cheney’s connection to Halliburton should be proof enough as to what his and her motives are. Politics is so filled with phony issues to leverage power. The problem is the mainstream media will not accuse or question the Cheneys about using fear for political gain or about their obvious motives for claiming Obama will not keep us safe from terrorists.

After all, the real purpose of Keep Halliburton Rich—I mean, Keep America Safe, is not to scare us terroristically but to scare Obama politically and remind him to make sure the war profiteers’ gluttony and greed are continually satiated with tax dollars that could be used to give us all free health care—fully paid by our tax dollars for our entire lifetimes rather than be given to the terror-industrial complex.

As many of you know, Eisenhower’s complete line was going to be “military-industrial-congressional complex” but he decided to omit the congressional reference at the last minute, or thereabouts.

The pertinent part of Eisenhower’s quote is:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the
military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

Here we are nearly 50 years later with Obama doing nothing on his campaign promise to end
no-bid Federal contracts over $25,000 and breaking his campaign promise about tougher rules against revolving door lobbying in his administration.

Maybe Liz and Dick are doing Obama a favor, making his job easier in helping the system of war mongering maintain the pace it achieved during the last eight years.

Cheney (take your pick) is the Right Ordinary Horatio Jackson in Munchausen—killing the truth (as personified by Munchausen) and lying by telling the story to the city of the enemy Turk being just outside the gates to maintain control.

As Gilliam puts it in the commentary at the end of the film when Munchausen forces them to open the gates to reveal no threat, “And we open the door, and has it all been a dream, has it all been an illusion? Were we ever under threat? Are there terrorists in the world, we ask ourselves, or is it just an illusion to maintain power?”

Obviously we have terrorists in our world, but how much of what Cheney is doing simply to use fear to feed the terror-industrial complex? We may never know.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Don’t Read This Blog

A potpourri of disjointed thoughts about some of today’s political realities:

Mr. T. Party "Sucka!" I was giving the Tea Party guy Allen Olson the benefit of the doubt until he answered Chris Matthews question about who he’d like to see replace Lindsay Graham as Senator in South Carolina and he said, “Sarah Palin”. And I heard her name in my head a whole second before he said it.

I’m human. Even I get tired of being angry at the Tear Partiers and the Birthers and the Deathers because they’re so stupid. I want to understand and accept them as humans with concerns and needs and loved ones to protect the best way they know and feel.

But since I cannot control my emotions because I’m a passionate (read: angry) liberal (actually I’m not a liberal, I prefer to be called a “liber-real”). I’m a leftist with a coherent grasp on reality and the state of the world and my enemies’ place in it—just kidding—but I cannot accept the idea of Sarah Palin as anything other than a cartoonish Halloween costume and mask (glasses not included) or a talk show host on Fox.

A Real Deather! Rick Perry may have killed an innocent man. Perry always reminded me of a good-looking, dumb jock kind of guy. And, he did the jock kind of thing by pulling the plug on the innocent father. Perry probably had two thoughts going simultaneously—his re-election and at least the father would finally be with his dead daughters in Heaven.

This is precisely why I have been against the death penalty since I was young and growing up in a death penalty state—because of the very real possibility of convicting and killing the wrong person. You see, the arts and culture can affect the masses. That thinking is what “To Kill a Mockingbird” did to me.

Drop kicked! Black team players and the businessmen involved with the St. Louis Rams have rejected Rush Limbaugh’s desire to participate in the team as an owner. To paraphrase Malcolm X, “The ‘I hope he fails’ have come home to roost”.

A great capper in all this would be to take Limbaugh’s football-shaped head and kicking a field goal with it.

Goddama Obamma! Yesterday Mr. Change thanked Olympia Snowe for her vote when the Democrats didn’t need it and for her political courage. Let’s hope that means he has become sufficiently
inspired by her to find some of his own.

For those salivating uncontrollably and feeling unfulfilled by the above mention of Mr. T, I have taken pity on the fools!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

American Domination

Well, Liz Cheney is at it again. For a woman who has no more brain power than is required to watch one’s neighbors from one’s front porch rake their leaves, she is trying to make herself seem important by creating a phony issue which she is also trying to make seem urgently important.

And for her efforts—and lies!—she seems to hope the result is: Republican victories in 2010 and 2012.

The issue is Keep America Safe. It is also a website.

The whole project is spearheaded by Ms. Cheney and William Kristol, whose greatest claim to fame is being the son of Irving Kristol and creating Sarah Palin, the political force so powerful she imploded halfway through her first term as governor and not even the Virginia gubernatorial candidate wants her to campaign for his election; so politically savvy, the editorials written for her but attributed to her were refuted as being full of lies, confused logic and misinformation.

One can judge Kristol’s intelligence level not only by Palin’s “success-ion”, by also that inane, bufoonish smile permanently plastered across his face. To paraphrase an old saying: “Ignorance of one’s ignorance is bliss.”

But back to Liz. She is repeating much of what her father said back in the summer, most all of which was proved false by reports, experts and operatives who work every day in the business of keeping America safe.

Break through the façade Liz presents and you may find her father’s connection to defense contractors who want wars to keep going for profit. This is something the mainstream media never presses them on, preferring to be polite rather than journalistic.

Accusing Obama of being a radical is like accusing daddy Dick of being Wild Bill Hickok, or accusing Orly Taitz of being Perry Mason, or accusing me of being Noam Chomsky.

Dick Cheney was vice-president before 9/11. He has access to the intelligence that said Obama was determined to strike in the U.S. and he was as attentive to that as he was while hunting with Harry Whittington. The Republican tactic is to charge their opponents with what they are guilty of.

Liz should do what she is best at. So, Liz could use her numerous talents to also keep America…many things.

For example, I suggest Liz is capable of launching the following campaigns and their accompanying websites…

Keep America Dull.

Keep America Scared.

Keep America at War.

Keep America Hated.

Keep America Ridiculous.

Keep America Paranoid.

Keep America with conservatives permanently in the minority because America has changed and won’t buy their bullshit anymore.

NOTE TO OBAMA: Chill on the radicality, bro. And watch your back that Liz and Dick aren’t conspiring with those who are launching an attack on the U.S. just to scare American’s further into voting Republican. The way you’ve been going it’s going to be an uphill battle for you to get re-elected. Know why? You can’t make the same promises again that you’ve reneged on so far.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Christoffa Corombo

The right likes to complain that Wikipedia is a misinformation, propaganda and brainwashing tool of the socialist, liberalist left. Ha! Wrong again Capital-istas! The description in the Wikipedia article of Cristoffa Corombo (yes, that was his real name in his native Genoese language) states that he was an “navigator, colonizer and explorer”.

If Wikipedia was so lefty, they would have added “terrorist” to the list, don’t you think?

No offense to all my Italian, Genoese, Spanish and Portuguese friends who celebrate Corombo as a great explorer and Columbus Day in his honor.

While the U.S. is presently engaged in its “War on Terror” and we recently observed the day when terrorists attacked us “for our freedoms”, many may take offense at my use of that word, but Wikipedia’s Wiktionary has two definitions for “terrorist”: “One who governs by terrorism or intimidation…” and “Any one who uses terror as a weapon in a political struggle…”

Wiktionary’s usage notes for “terrorist” adds, “The use of the label "terrorist" is often controversial or subjective, since one person's terrorist may be another's freedom fighter, and vice versa.”

And there you have it. Those who won, celebrate Corombo as a hero, but those who lost, namely between 9 and 20 million native inhabitants of the New World see him as something else. And their vision of him is based on his actions, not on the propaganda of the victor.

Would you believe it was more than mere coincidence if I told you that the origin of the word “genocide” is “Genoacide” to honor Corombo’s origins?

Just kidding! But what a wonderfully ironic, almost fateful, coincidence it is.

Islamic terrorists refer to us as “unbelievers”. That is exactly how Corombo and the Spanish Crown saw the Taino and Arawak. We rightly condemn the beheadings of American contractors in Iraq, but we revere a man like Corombo even though he and those under his command
have done far worse.

Many Columbus apologists like to say that’s just the way it was back then, expecting humanitarianism 500 years ago is ludicrous. It would be if 1500 years before Christoffa Corombo there wasn’t another man who embodied humanitarianism and who Corombo’s first name derives from? You know who I mean. But more than that, Corombo came from that religion and yet his actions suggest he was the unbeliever.

If you think this is harsh, wait until you read my Thanksgiving post. The sooner we de-mythologize people and our history which does not reflect the most sacred, truly sacred, of American ideals like pursuit of happiness and everyone created equal, the sooner we can rebuild America into a country where free health care for all is a reality. If not, George Bush may one day be Saint George.

The right claims the media in America has a liberal bias. But if the media had a liberal bias would we not see more stories about issues in Indian communities on CNN and MSNBC? Not necessarily. Why? Because most liberals don’t care and aren’t aware of the realities in Indian Country.

This seems to me to be the power of Corombo in America. Human rights abuses in foreign lands are high on liberal agendas, but human rights abuses with regard to Indians in America are not.

It’s obvious that conservatives have bought the bullshit. The sad, tragic reality is that even many liberals have been brainwashed not to think outside this little box. As the Anarchist of Ann Arbor will tell you, many libs are just knee-jerk reactionaries, people playing on the other team with no real desire for change, just difference.

I used to work as a dishwasher in a Beverly Hills hotel. We had a Mexican cook who would tease me about being American by accusing me of having stolen land that once belonged to Mexico. Instead of guilt and an apology, my response was, “Yeah? And who did Mexico steal it from? Do you even know the name of the people to who this land really belonged?”

He couldn’t answer. But I’m sure he’d heard of Christoffa Corombo.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Had Lennon Lived

John Lennon was born during the bombing of Liverpool in WWII. He came into this world in the middle of some of the worst violence of the last century and he left through violence.

The CW—conspiratorial wisdom—is that John Lennon was murdered by agents of the Reagan Administration who knew what their plans were for Central America in the early 80s when Lennon emerged from reclusion and did not want Lennon interfering with their anti-communist crusade as he had with Nixon’s in Vietnam.

Jon Weiner wrote
“Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files” to explore the FBI’s surveillance of the ex-Beatle during his era of radical politics in the early 70s. The documentary “The US vs. John Lennon” explores the same.

It does not matter why Lennon was killed because nothing will change that fact. However, had he lived, we may well be living in a different world now. The same could be imagined if Bob Marley, who died in May 1981, had lived.

A couple of months ago I wrote a post espousing my theory that we would not have a president Barack Obama today had Michael Jackson’s influence not been felt in America especially for the last three decades.

The same is true with Lennon. Had Lennon lived he would most likely have focused first on his music and being a father. He had a young son to raise and an older son to get to know.

If memory serves, Lennon said in the Playboy interview that he had plans to do new versions of “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. “Milk and Honey” would have had some new songs and he would surely have worked with a wide variety of musicians. He would have appeared on the 1981 Grammy’s to universal adulation.

The Beatles would have certainly re-united for the Anthology albums and, chances are, they may have re-united for new Lennon and McCartney collaborations and Harrison compositions from their matured perspective to help us look back at the 60s and project those values of peace and love throughout the 80s, 90s and now on an album or two or more and perhaps even a handful of performances—especially in Liverpool and maybe Hamburg—almost always for a worthy cause.

Perhaps Lennon would have teamed with his son Julian. Perhaps Julian would not have even pursued a career had his father lived.

He may have worked with Oliver Stone on a film project or two. He almost certainly would have performed at the big anti-nuclear rally in Central Park in June 1982 that Dennis and I attended.

Had Lennon lived, he and McCartney would have been able to snatch their songs away from Michael Jackson and we’d be spared the abuse of Beatles’ songs by Target and whatever credit card/bank that commercial is for.

But Lennon’s greatest effect may have been politically. If Lennon had avoided politics, America’s involvement with the Contras would have ignited his awakening. A benefit concert for CISPES seems appropriate, where Lennon may have sung and recorded a new version of “Give Peace a Chance”. Maybe a solo album titled “The Savior”, the English translation of El Salvador, or “The Agency”.

As Iran Contra developed, that scandal’s political embarrassment for Reagan, North, et al would have whetted Lennon’s appetite for political blood and revenge against conservative American presidents and their self-serving egos.

He may have made some critical remarks in interviews or at rallies about Reagan, North et al which would have caused a stir. He may have re-united with Abbie Hoffman who had re-emerged by 1980 as well, and may have inspired Jerry Rubin to put aside his success in business long enough to get radical about Central America.

Having survived the Strom Thurmond-inspired plot to have the INS deny his Green Card and deport him, Lennon may have felt inspired and emboldened to take on Reagan and the CIA. He would certainly have inspired many to take on Reagan, North et al, which is the reason for his death that the conspiracy theory mentioned at the top of this post is based on.

Had Lennon lived perhaps Reagan, North et al would have imploded harder and Bush would have lost to Dukakis, who, if he won, would have lost to Bush in ’92—or Clinton—primarily because of the economy.

Had Lennon lived it may have been harder for the Christian Right to become as powerful as they had because Lennon would have skewered the right-wing Christian hypocrisy in Central America—and right here in the U.S.

“Imagine” may have been followed by another anthem, “Realize”. He would have performed in Berlin right after the fall of the wall since they performed several times in Hamburg before and after its construction. The wall’s fall was certainly in keeping with the world vision he expressed in “Imagine”.

He and Yoko may have introduced America to some form of self-help psychology on Oprah. And just for the hell of it, for a week, he and Yoko may have taken the center square on the New Hollywood Squares, hosted by John Davidson from 1986 to 1989.

The Internet would have been the perfect tool for Lennon’s peace movement. But the big question is: How would Lennon have reacted to September 11th?

I think he would have reacted by reaching out to Muslim activists and musicians, which means he would most definitely have worked with Salman Ahmad and Junoon. After all, Lennon was a major inspiration to Junoon founder Ahmad.

Through Ahmad, Lennon would have reached out his message of peace and “Imagine” throughout the Muslim world to any of those who would listen. And he would have succeeded.

I wrote about Junoon in two posts, one of the
52nd anniversary of Lennon meeting McCartney and another post three days later about Junoon.

The American government feared Lennon in the 70s because of his influence over America’s youth. As Lennon got older and there were new generations of youth, Lennon’s influence would have naturally grown much bigger.

The changes he could have helped bring about are left to all of our imaginations. And isn’t that what he said. I think what is most important to be remembered about Lennon is he used his imagination as a tool.

We must all do the same.

Lennon was a Libra—the most powerful star sign in the whole zodiac. Librans understand what I mean.

Sorry, just a little astrological elitism.

Here’s one of my favorite Lennon songs:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Possessive Progressive

After the vote on Al Franken’s amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill, I am even more convinced that a progressive agenda can gain ground in 2010 and prevent Republicans from increasing their seat count in the Senate and perhaps even the House.

Of course, that is, provided the progressive movement can generate money and organization in time.

Conservative Democrats and Republicans have shown themselves to be against the American people and that can be proven with the health care reform shenanigans making it abundantly apparent that they have been on the side of the anti-people health care/insurance industry.

With Franken’s amendment Republicans have further shown themselves to be on the side and in the pocket of the defense industry and against women’s rights and the American people.

The Republicans are currently led by Limbaugh and Beck. They have no leadership, they have no policies, they have no plans. Not even Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman can save them.

Max Baucus has revealed himself to be an automaton for the health insurance mafia. So have Conrad and a host of other God Damnedocrats.

Republicans, it has been said, are going to run on Cap and Trade and a few other issues. After their eight years in power and their recent behavior they can be further ostracized from American politics with some effort. And that’s not including the further damage they can and will do to themselves between now and then as their desperation, stagnation and ignorance forces them to continue being stupid. And I mean, really stupid.

Conservatives are now so desperate they are starting to re-translate the liberal parts of the Bible to make Jesus seem like a heartless capitalist.

And Sarah Palin is still around, isn’t she?—lots of embarrassing self-destructiveness there to exploit.

However, I caution progressives not to get too greedy. Right now Americans want and need a progressive approach to various issues, but I suggest progressives wait on immigration reform and a few other issues until progressives have proven themselves to the voters they need that they are not commies and socialists and the economy has revived.

The pundits are wrong about Democrats losing in 2010 if progressives take charge.
Come on progressives. Now is the time to begin rising to these challenges.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


When Lorne Michaels was meeting with NBC execs before “SNL” went on the air, he told them not to judge the show by the first few shows, but to judge it by its 17th show. One exec whose name I cannot recall actually promised he would watch the 17th show.

That show was hosted by Gerald Ford’s press secretary Ron Nessen—proof that “SNL” was a hit.

This is my 100th blog, and thankfully I never encouraged anyone to judge my blog by its 100th installment.

What strikes me today is news that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who Iran’s Ayatollah would have us believe is Iran’s president, has Jewish ancestry. This is actually an old story, as it was reported back in January on Israel National and others had it before they did.

I know everyone is making much ado about this today and they should. A rightwing Iranian president with a Jewish background claiming the Holocaust did not happen is like a former Roosevelt Democrat claiming Medi-care is socialism.

Ahmadinejad being Jewish saying he hopes the Jewish Zionist state vanishes from the pages of history is like Limbaugh saying he hopes Obama fails.

No, wait, it’s more like Dick Cheney shooting Harry Whittington in the face.


Representative Mark Kirk telling China last year America is not good for its debts?


Is it like Max Baucus elected by the people but serving the insurance industry; because, as you know, access to an appropriate health care profit is a corporate right.


Regardless, what this means is Iran will soon be embroiled in its own movement calling for its president to reveal the truth about his roots and heritage in much the same way our own “birthers” are doing with our president.

This is perfect timing for Orly Taitz, who has just about shredded everyone’s patience—and FINALLY her credibility—in the US by now claiming Judge Clay Land, who recently ruled against her, with
secretly meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder in a diner across the street from his courthouse in Georgia.

Perhaps Madonna should go to Tehran and get Ahmadinejad involved with Kabbalah. She can entice him by telling him it is, after all, Kab-allah.

It’s not that Ahmadinejad’s Jewishness is being exposed that is embarrassing, it is that his identity as a Mossad operative is being exposed.

That’s right. Mossad sent Ahmadinejad to Iran to rise to the ranks of president so he can round up Muslims on the streets of Tehran just as they round up Muslims on the streets of Gaza and the West Bank.

Ahmadinejad who was once only a self-hating Jew is now also a self-hating Muslim. Only the Muslims he hates himself are the people of Iran.

Ahmadinejad has issued a decree that the Muslim holy month in Iran will henceforth be known as Rosh Hamanadan.

Ahmadinejad’s Jewish name was revealed to be Sabourjian. What wasn’t revealed was that now the Ayatollah Khamenei refers to him jokingly as Matzomoud.

On to 101.

Monday, October 5, 2009

October Fifth Throughout History

This day is important—at least in this post—for three reasons: the Beatles released their first record, “Love Me Do”, on this day in 1962, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” premiered their first show on this day in 1969, and I breathed my first breath on a Saturday night on this day in 1957.

For the longest time I thought these two events were signs of some greatest that I would achieve. Let it be understood from this day onward that God is definitely a practical joker.

But I’m not writing about me and Python and the Beatles sharing this day. This is written to introduce you readers to the man with whom the Beatles and Python share a connection and without whom they arguably may not have existed or would have been different—perhaps even detrimentally different.

Terence Alan Patrick Seán Milligan, otherwise known as “Spike”, is also one of my comic heroes.

In America, Spike Milligan is largely unknown even though his contribution to the Beatles and Python is easily recognizable. It seems some smart PBS or syndication executive would have run Spike’s “
Q” series over here back in the 70s as “the Goons” as they are affectionately referred were aired on many public broadcasting stations. After all, Benny Hill made it to America.

Silly American programming executives.

Milligan, along with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe (and Michael Bentine at the beginning), created
The Goon Show, which was a BBC radio show that ran from 1951 to 1960 and was not only hilarious, it was revolutionary.

Before the Goons, British comedy was largely the music hall variety with baggy pants, silly hats and joke jokes, similar to our early vaudeville. The Goons shaped a type of humor that has inspired much of British humor today. It was surreal, it was silly, it lampooned contemporary events as well as the stuffy, upper class British culture of the day.

How the Goons inspired Python is easier to see because both are comedy. In fact, Milligan’s Q5 series was broadcast months before the premiere of the Pythons, and in the Q link above, John Cleese recalls telephoning Terry Jones and discussing with him how terrified they were because Milligan was already doing the show they wanted to do.

Not only that, but all the Pythons were schoolboys when the Goons were influencing all of Britain in the 50s.

Another school boy influenced by the Goons in the 50s was John Lennon. Back in 1972 Lennon wrote
a review for a book of Goon Show Scripts. Lennon was also a big fan of Lewis Carroll. But the Goons contributed much to Beatle humor, not to mention personnel.

George Martin, the man who brought the Beatles music alive—along with the Beatles, of course—produced records for Peter Sellers and the Goons. In fact, recognizing Martin’s connection with the Goons was one of the things that endeared Martin to the Beatles, according to Martin in, perhaps, several interviews. In fact, George Martin served as Milligan’s best man for his 1962 wedding.

Richard Lester, who directed “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help” also directed “The Running, Jumping, Standing Still Film” with Sellers and Milligan. The same high-speed silliness in “A Hard Day’s Night” was first explored in “The Running, Jumping, Standing Still Film”.

Milligan suffered several mental breakdowns, a true example of the fine line between madness and genius.

It is no accident that the root of the word “funny” is “fun”. And despite Milligan’s manic depression, The Goons are pure escapist fun. The silliness is contagious. And the genius can be influential as well.

The Goons had fun doing the show as the adlibs and off-mike laughter will attest. One cannot help but get carried away with them. If you’ve had a bad day, the Goons will soon make you better. My two favorite characters are Bluebottle (Sellers) and Eccles (Milligan).

So, my birthday present to all of you is Spike Milligan. I hope he brings you as much joy and pleasure as he has me. I was introduced to him by an ex-writer for Late Night with David Letterman.

I haven’t been the sane since.

Below is the first link to what sitting in the audience for a Goon broadcast must have looked like. It was filmed in 1966 for a show for Harry Secombe, the rotund Goon.

Embedding was disabled, but you can access part 1 through this link:

This is part 2:

Explore Milligan and the Goons and I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I am considering not participating in Obama’s plan to hold us economically hostage through hefty insurance fees and fines for not signing up for what may well be fake reform through welfare for the health insurance industry.

As Moulitsas said on Olbermann tonight, Obama may think he will be able to take any bill the Senate gives him, call it historic health care reform and sign it believing he is insuring (no pun intended) his place in history.

I did not vote for him twice for his personal glory. This is the strangest position I have been in as a voter. I wanted him to succeed and now feel betrayal. I listen to Republican attacks and find them to be so stupid and yet I cannot get behind Obama while finding 99.9% of Republicans and about 89% of Democrats abhorrent in this health care reform debate.

The mental melt-down on the right with town hall screaming, health reform lies, socialist labels, calls for assassination, guns at rallies, calls for military coups and more lies, lies, lies.

I don’t know which is worse—the inspidness of Limbaugh and Beck on a daily basis or the inspidness of Baucus and Conrad on a daily basis.

I hate that the majority of Democrats are so corrupt they cannot do what they were elected to do.

Does Boehner and Cantor think we believe their bullshit? Does Harry Reid have any look on his face other than just woke up?

The Republican hypocrisy when complaining about Obama and Clinton compared to Bush and Cheney makes me want to scream.

I applaud Rep. Alan Grayson for hyperbolically proclaiming the Republican health care plan as don’t get sick and if you do, die quickly.

I fear for the future of America and wish I had more power to do battle against the corporatists who are “trying to take away our freedoms”. Isn’t that how they used to describe terrorists?

Almost all Republicans and Democrats in Congress are anti-American by the truest definition of American.

Those town hallers are puppets and do not impress me as being real Americans in the Constitutional sense or Christians in the Jesus preaching sense yet they continue to act as morally superior and victimized by everyone.

If they want true socialism, let them go live in Cuba. I am sick and tired of people living in the country with the highest standard of living and the worst health care system for a country like ours of complaining of socialism. They are idiots and they have no appreciation for America.

I am frustrated there is no discussion among progressives that they can, as I believe and have written here many times, actually win elections in 2010 and steer America in a pragmatic progressive direction not the reactionary liberal one. I am frustrated they are not following through with any kind of plans to battle conservative Republicans and Democrats.

If there was ever a time for progressive Democrats and Independents to win by holding lying Republicans and Democrats to their lies it is now.