Tuesday, January 30, 2007

iPod-age Baker's Dozen

***idea blatantly stolen w/o permission from The Blog of Lewd Enlightenment***

1. Hispanic Impression - Queens of the Stone Age
2. Stanley Joe- The Meat Purveyors
3. El Rey de los Chingones- Chingon
4. Time Travel-Micheal Andrews
5. 17 Lashes- Reverend Glasseye
6. Flyin' Saucers Rock & Roll - Billy Riley And His Little Green Men
7. One Piece At A Time - Johnny Cash
8. The Playboy Channel - Negativland
9. Blood And Tears - Danzig
10. Speak To Me/Breathe - Pink Floyd
11. Shadow Of The Reaper - Six Feet Under
12. Ain't Got Nothin' - The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
13. My Mood Swings - Elvis Costello

File Under - No Shit Sherlock

Military hindsight is 20/20, but so was so much public foresight (including us wacky liberals) on Iraq:

Fallon says U.S. miscalculated Iraq

from the AP wire: Adm. William Fallon, who is poised to become the top American commander in the Middle East, says the United States miscalculated the ability of Iraqi forces to take control and underestimated the enemy's persistence....

Click here for full story

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I Have Four More Personalities

For your reading pleasure - RedMeat.com

No news is good news? Prior to the new year I selectively applied to only the best job postings I could find (which were scarce approaching the holiday season) and did very little follow-up. After January 1, I started the whole kit-and-kaboodle-job-search by making near-daily networking calls, applying for any and everything in my field and following up with mailed hardcopies, etc. Ironically, I got more interest and return calls prior to Jan 1, BUT there have been more jobs 'out there' the first 3 weeks of the 1st quarter than all of Q4. What gives?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

He is Franz Kafka... FRANZ KAFKA!

I go in waves with reading and these waves have high peaks and low-lows. Right now I'm in a peak phase and have a strong hunger to read.

I just read Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami and despite my better judgment, Cell by Stephen King. Kafka was a good bit of surreal escapism I indulged in during the xmas vacation in Texas. Despite the heady beginning and interesting duel story lines and tense choice, it seemed that the ending was rushed and failed to tie together many of the loose ends, and not to the credit of the style either. I have a fetish for post-apocalyptic stories so when my Mom handed me a paperback of SK's Cell I said, "What the hell, why not?" It's no The Stand and is written in SK style 1.0 that we all loved in ninth grade, but it was a good no-brainer for the plane ride home and such. As usual, the characters were weak, the story had a nice pace, it was better than the title suggested, and the ending, like all SK novels, sucked or it may be argued, left us hanging for part II...I'll pass on that.

Now I am looking for another book to dig into. Preferably something fiction and a little (or a lot) on the weird side, but NO fantasy. I'm not opposed to sci-fi, but so much of the genre is just space drama...and I don't want to read that crap. You know me dear reader. Any suggestions?

And speaking of Kafka: for your viewing pleasure - the best Rock Opera EVER!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Repost - Spread the Word

Bush will soon announce his "plan" to send more troops to Iraq, despite the objections of military and diplomatic officials. In order to stop this escalation of the War, please call Congress and the President as soon as possible. Calls have an impact!

The White House # is 202-456-1111, to leave a message.

Call the Congress switchboard at 1-800-828-0498 (if you have free cell phone minutes, call 202-224-3121) and ask the operator for the Senator and/or Representative you would like to message. The key Senators are Lugar, Warner, Graham, McCain, Collins, Hagel, Specter, McConnell, Levin, Durbin, Biden, Rockefeller, Reid, Obama, Clinton, etc. There may be others you favor. Key Representatives are Murtha, Chandler, Yarmuth, Kucinich, Shays, Pelosi, etc.

Talking Points: De-escalate, Investigate, Troops Home Now!

End the War Now. Stop the escalation now. No more troops. Bring our troops home now. The Iraq War was a huge mistake. We have more than 3000 American military dead and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead, injured, or homeless. Bush and Cheney lied about our progress in the War. Iraqis want us gone. Terrorism is overstated. The adverse impact of our leaving Iraq is overstated. Bush will sacrifice our troops to keep the war going and try and justify his decision to go to war. The White House is laying the groundwork for an escalation of fighting including the possibility of a new draft.

Please support this effort to help ensure that the Iraq War ends soon and we do not escalate the war by sending more troops.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Pas D'ennemi a Gauche

from opednews...

Who Really Starts All the Wars in the World?

The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.
-- Mel Gibson

By John F. Miglio

The old French expression, pas d'ennemi a gauche (no enemy on the left), has a lot of wisdom in it. Basically, it means you have nothing to fear from individuals or governments more liberal or progressive than you are. Your real enemies, those who want to conquer or subjugate you, always come from the right of the political spectrum, especially the far right.

What does it mean for a government to be far right? Using the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Constitution as conceived by our Founding Fathers as a base line for a liberal democracy, the leader or leaders of a far right-wing government would invalidate or pervert almost everything these documents stand for in an effort to assume more power for themselves.

Two classic examples of 20th century countries that started out as democracies (albeit weak democracies) and ended up as far right dictatorships are pre-World War II Germany and Italy. During this time period, Hitler and Mussolini seized control of their respective countries and turned them into fascist states, i.e., states with governments marked by, among other things: a heightened sense of nationalism, repression of civil liberties, widespread propaganda, intolerance of minorities, and economic alignment with large corporations.

For Hitler and Mussolini, it was absolutely critical for them to align themselves with large corporations in order to bankroll their fascist states and sustain their power as they systematically destroyed democracy. To underscore this point, Mussolini once remarked, "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."

The linkage of corporate power (big business) to government was also evident in almost all the half-pint dictatorships that emerged after World War II in Central America, Africa, the Middle East, etc. Like Germany and Italy, many of these countries with dictators started out as fledgling democracies only to be undermined by the big business interests of their own countries working in conjunction with American corporations and our CIA.

Currently, one fact that the mainstream media rarely mention in their reportage and analysis of terrorism is that our CIA helped both Saddam Hussein and the Shah of Iran to topple the democratically elected leaders of their respective countries. As a result, both Iraq and Iran became repressive regimes that tortured and killed their own people while working out sweetheart deals with American oil companies and enriching themselves and their families in the process. The same can be said for Saudi Arabia, whose royal family (as well as Saleem bin Laden) bankrolled the Bush family and his pals on more than one occasion.

Now, boys and girls, do you think this type of behavior had anything to do with laying a foundation for hatred of America and future acts of terrorism against it?

Historically, it never works out when a democracy is taken over by the far right wing-- even if the ruler of the country bends over for American interests and becomes "our son-of-bitch," to use Big Al Haig's term-- because the people of the country will always suffer, and it eventually leads to revolution and/or terrorism. Nevertheless, this is the policy the United States has pursued since World War II.

But what about the far left wing? Again, using the aforementioned documents conceived by our Founding fathers as a base line for a liberal democracy, a far left-wing government is one in which the individual rights and liberties of its citizens are scrupulously upheld and protected by fairly elected public officials who carry out the wishes of the people.

I know this may come as a big shock to the brain-dead fans of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, but our Founding Fathers were on the far left of the political spectrum. In fact, those revered icons from days of yore-- Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Thomas Paine, etc.-- were left-wing rebels who started a revolution in response to the anti-democratic policies of King George III of England, a right-wing tyrant who, ironically, was of German ancestry and went a little batty later in life

Wait! You say. It's inaccurate to claim that tyrants or fascists only come from the right wing of the political spectrum. What about the left-wing commie bastards, like old Joe Stalin or Chairman Mao? Weren't they left wing? And isn't communism even more left wing than democracy? Perhaps, depending on how you define it, but Stalin and Mao were not left wing.

They may have started out as left wing, but they certainly didn't end up that way. If they had, they would have never become ruthless dictators, since it is the goal of ideologically pure communists to share the wealth and power of the country with the workers, who are in charge of the means of production.

In reality, Stalin and Mao were just the opposite. They abandoned their left-wing communist ideologies, devolved into right-wing tyrants, and transformed their governments into brutal totalitarian states that shared many of the same characteristics as fascist regimes.

This illustrates an important point: When left-wing ideologies like democracy and communism are hijacked and perverted by right-wing tyrants, the net result is equally corrosive and dangerous: democracy transforms into fascism and communism morphs into totalitarianism. Neither one an appealing prospect for citizens who look forward to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Another less-than-appealing prospect citizens have to look forward to under these governments is perpetual war. Perpetual war, as Orwell noted, is perhaps the most important aspect of a fascist or totalitarian regime, because without the constant threat of a common enemy, the mass population would not tolerate the other hardships and indignities. Which is why right-wing dictatorships always feel the need to attack other countries, expand their empires, and create enemies within their own State.

So, to answer the question, "Who Really Starts All the Wars in the World?" I think it's safe to say, it's not the Jews, it's not the Arabs, it's not the gays, it's not the liberals, it's not Barbra Streisand or Michael Moore. No, make no mistake about it. The real culprit is the far right wing of any government. It creates the political, social, and economic environment that starts all the wars and lays the groundwork for all the revolutions and acts of terrorism that follow. It has always been this way throughout history, and probably always will be.

And who is running our country today? The Bush administration, the most right-wing administration we've had in the United States since, well, the Reagan administration. And unless we get rid of these goose-steeping, war-loving, propaganda-spewing corporatists in the next election, you ain't seen nothin' yet!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Aught Seven - Year of the PooDog and Other Misc. Crap

Our new year started out with a lot of poop from our dog 'Happy'. I won't go into the stinky details, but Happy has had a bath 3 times (2 times using professional pet washing facilities) since we got back from xmas vacation.

Then Ladyfriend and I stumbled across a series of YouTube videos of farting babies. I don't think I laughed so hard in all of 2006. Yes, I am easily amused.

Then weird shit happened early on, but I think it's great when people can keep a sense of humor through it all. When James Brown died, I smiled as his death brought about the memory of getting arrested the summer before my senior year in high school. I was trespassing in some woods to swim in the Guadalupe River. I was wearing some cutoff jeans and nothing else. I had FREE JAMES BROWN written in blue zinc on my chest too. I was very, very scared in the jail that night, but I knew the brothers had my back.

So I'm getting this vibe that 2007 will be a shitty, stinky year and yet I'm laughing a lot, and I like that. So with that said, I think I'll post some of my New Year's Resolutions that will help me to roll with the punches...and poo. Some are standards, others are radical for me:

1 - Walk and do simple strength exercises everyday
2 - Stop drinkin (this 16-year-in-the-making-third-trimester beer gut has got to go)
3 - Laugh often
4 - get a job that I enjoy
5 - stop eating meat
6 - get organized