Sunday, May 27, 2007

When Hardazz Met Lord Laydback...

[You probably know this story, but I'm going to tell it anyway. It's about acceptance and James Eagle is responsible for setting me off on telling it.]

There was this fellow who was really big on meditation.

In fact, with his all night vigils, fasts and asceticisms, he had meditated his ass into the ground and had achieved the most amazing sidhis. The sidhi of which he was most proud was his "diamond body" -- when he had the bugger charged and turned on he was invincible -- nothing could harm him!

Since I'm going to bring another character into the story, we'd better give this guy a name, so let's call him Hardazz.

Hardazz went to this convention where people who were into real heavy mystic shit like himself were gathered. Most had come to learn and exchange information, but Hardazz had gone to show off and impress people. Strutting around looking for somebody to impress, doing his special breathing exercise to "charge" his diamond body, he happened to overhear a couple of people talking about this "Master". Hardazz stopped up immediately and demanded to know who this person was.

"Why, don't you know? It's him over there.", came the reply and a little fellow over in the corner was pointed out to him, "He is known as Lord Laydback".

Well! This was just the kind of person that he needed to impress -- if he could do a put down on someone with a big reputation he would gain immediate recognition!

So, Hardazz went over to this Lord Laydback and introduced himself, "My name is Hardazz and I have achieved more power and sidhis than anyone -- yourself included, I'm sure.

"So, you are this Hardazz I've heard so much about? As to the fact that you have more sidhis than my humble self I am sure there can be no question."

Taken slightly aback, Hardazz puzzled, "Really?"

"Of course, you see, I have no sidhis whosoever!"

"Well, I do, I have 64 sidhis and that includes the most valuable and treasured of all powers -- a Diamond Body!

The discussion was beginning to attract some onlookers and this pleased Hardazz immensely, "See, I will show you my diamond perfection -- here, take this sword and strike me with your strongest blow!" Hardazz reached into his cloak and drew from its scabbard one of the two sharp swords he always carried with him and offered it to Lord Laydback.

"O, my, that will never do -- I hardly know how to handle such a weapon. Why don't you give the sword to that fellow over there?", Laydback pointed to one of the bystanders, a big muscular fellow who could have been a palace guard.

Hardazz gulped a bit but gave the sword to the big guy, took a deep breath, turned on his diamond body and said, "Okay, give it your best shot! Fear not -- nothing will happen!"

The fellow took the sword in both hands, raised it above his head and brought it down with such force and speed that it whistled through air and should have cloven Hardazz from the crown of his head down to his crotch -- however, the diamond body was as good as advertised, the sword blade broke into three pieces clattered to the floor!

"My, my, that was impressive!", spoke Laydback softly, "but something did happen, you see!"


"The sword broke," smiled Laydback, "I see you have another sword, why don't you take a swing at me? Don't worry, nothing will happen!"

Again somewhat puzzled but amazed at his good fortune that he would be able to eliminate some competition so easily -- everyone had heard what this snotty little "Lord" Laydback had said, so it would not be murder! Grinning a wicked grin, Hardazz drew his second sword which was even longer and sharper than the first, swung it three times around his head and struck Laydback with such a blow that it went clear through him.

As a matter of fact it went through him as if it had gone through air, which was not at all surprising as that describes pretty much what had happened.

Smiling, he walked over to Hardazz and offered to help him up, "See, nothing happened -- well, you fell on your butt, but that doesn't matter, does it? You are such a hard ass."

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Creating in Our Image

I was over at Main and Central today and, to my surprise, found Lurch musing in response to a survey that showed that something like a third of Americans maintain that they believe the Bible is the actual word of God, infallible, immutable.

The mind can't comprehend it.

It's not that I can't understand that people can stand up and testify that the Sun rises in the West and sets in East and that the Moon is not a rock, but a big glob of Green Cheese -- I can understand that. What bothers me is that poop-head people with degrees in theology continue to mislead their flocks of sheeple and feed them garbage while they sit upon a treasure of wisdom gathered by some of the best minds the human race has had the good fortune to bring forth.

Correct that, I do, in fact understand. It has to do with meal tickets, benefits, pensions, expensive cars and, the best hustlers, gold mines...

Remember Jim Jones?

He once said, "Look at these hands, see how soft they are, they have never done manual work..." Well, that quote was from memory, so it might not be correct to the letter and punctuation mark, but it will do...

O my!

Did I compare religious leaders of today in any way to the fellow who made them kneel in the shade and drink the Kool-Aid? If I did, I should say, "I'm sorry!". Don't hold your breath though -- cause I ain't a gonna!

But let us put the snide and the snark aside...

Partly because I am a cantankerous old coot, I have long distinguished between belief and faith..
The bottom line is that too many beliefs are an almost sure sign of a lack of faith.

Who has more faith than a baby taking its first steps -- and who has fewer beliefs?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Cash Crop

Talk about getting your news south of the border -- this is a clip from New Zealand gotten by way of Juan Cole's "Informed Comment".

If we can believe this report, farmers in southern Iraq are turning to the sure-thing cash crop -- opium poppies. This proves, if nothing else, that the War on Terra is at least as successful as the War on Drugs -- let's hear another good and well-deserved round of applause for the Codpiece!

Unfortunately, for the farmers, their cash crop may crump. The south of Iraq is not only hot but moist, not good for poppies. They should grow hemp -- but that is illegal!

Ah, but these poor misguided farmers, are they bad people for trying? Sheet, ask yourself, what would you do to put food on the table to feed your kids? Maybe you might even buy stock in Halliburton or KBR!

Seriously, the human equation is not all that simple, especially when the numbers crunch.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Support Our Troops -- Send Them Food!!!

I am getting this horrible, sinking feeling that the inconpetancy of the Codpiece administration could lead out troops not only into harm's way for no good reason [done] or a catastrophe [happening] but a debacle that could make Dien Bien Phu look like a picnic [in progress].

Remember a few weeks ago when those bridges were blown up around Baghdad? Over at Main and Central it was discussed, "What is going on here?" There were two ideas -- the one was that it was intended two cut off connection between Sunni and Shia population areas. Being the cynic, my contention was that it was to hinder logistics for the coalition forces.

Now we have reports that soldiers in exposed outposts are having to eat MREs (what we used to call k-rations) and that even in the Green Zone meals have been, um, simplified.

Don't get me wrong, our boys and girls are no where near starving, they may be eating corndogs, but they are eating! The point, though is logistics are strained and the question is, "Why?"

One could guess that it is because all that stuff comes up by land, in convoys from Kuwait -- but things are so peaceful now, as "surge is working". So, I don't know -- everything is so peaceful down in Basra that the Brits (and the Danes) are leaving soon. Of course, this will have no effect on overland logistics...

Hmmn, there is also the little thing that the Codpiece admin has been playing "Enron" games with us in regards to the "surge" -- the number of uniformed troops in Wudda-Wreck will soon top 200,000 (how many more than 120,000 mercenaries already in Iraq this involves is probably so secret you shouldn't even ask!).

As a Proud American, I have no problem with the Commander in Chief ensuring that the number of troops needed to "Get the Job Done" are thrown into the meat grinder. However, I and most parents would appreciate that they didn't "Enron" the figures. Jeeze, they are now training Air Force enlisted folk in the delicasies of grunt fighting...

Enough! I must stop! An outside observer might think that I was saying that prosecuting this war further in urban settings was leading to disaster!

Nothing could be further from the truth!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The "Game"

I closed yesterday's post with a remark that Haleh Esfandiari has been caught up as a pawn or sacrificial lamb in the "game" the US and Iran are playing and that neither part really gives a shit about what she may or may not have done.

When I woke up this morning, it occurred to me that a lot of people might not know what I was talking about -- "game"?

There is a "game" afoot and there are many players throughout the Muddled East -- but I will stick with the Americans and Iranians.

Not long so ago there was a great media ballyhoo when Iranian forces grabbed a handful of Brit naval personnel. The Iranians said they were in Iranian water, the Brits that they were in Iraqi water.

Who's to know? Who do you trust? More specific, how do you define Iranian/Iraqi territorial waters?

Those who rely on their news only from the 42" screen, won't know that the boundaries are in dispute -- treaties have signed but not ratified, that sort of thing. That means that, as far as territorial waters are concerned both parties are telling the truth, kind of -- or, more correctly, all parties are lying.

What were the Brits doing there anyway? Searching ships for contraband automobiles? Really? Well, I suppose so -- that's what the Brit military said. But I have to smile kind of funny in order to say that I believe it!

Those who get their news from the 42" screen may have heard or seen on a mud-line that US forces arrested/took in custody some Iranian diplomats up in Kurdland. But, I'll bet you dollars to donuts they don't know that Special Ops have been in Iran, kidnapping and "neutralizing" certain people. This might piss the Iranians off, I don't know for sure, but it might!

Our backing of an organization we ourselves term a terrorist group, so that they can make incursions in Iran -- that must irritate!

Are the Iranians are playing a tit-for-tat game? They took Brits, I suppose, as a surrogate for taking Americans. Now, they take a scholar like Esfandiari because, although an American citizen, she is also Iranian -- this is less dangerous than taking an, um, "full-blooded" American?

Esfandiari's arrest is likely not just or even mainly a message to the American gov't. It is a message -- and not a pretty one -- to the Iranian people in general and in particular those who might want reforms. There is/was a strong desire in Iran for reform, opening to the West and a more unfettered democratic process -- all the good things the Codpiece administration talks about.

In practice though, the reform elements in Iran, when they had some measure or power, that is a president and representation in their parliament and tried to come to an understanding with the Hyperpower -- they were snubbed. And now we have a case like Mr. A as president of Iran -- great job, Codpiece!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Grandmother in trouble -- Haleh Esfandiari

Juan Cole and others, including Amnesty, have started campaigns to pressure the Iranians to release a scholar who was arrested a couple of weeks ago in Iran. Haleh Esfandiari has since been held incommunicado in the Elin prison, a place not well-known for creature comforts.

She has now been charged. The charge, though serious, attempting to topple the present regime in Iran, on the face of it, sounds ridiculous -- Haleh is a 67 year old grandmother! She is accused of trying to develop network through which a "soft revolution" could be fomented in Iran.

Because of the, um, complicated relations between the US and Iran, one could wonder what is really going on here. Over at "Moon over Alabama", Bernhard dared pose the hard question, how do they know that she is in fact innocent. He has received a rather more varied and argumentative response in his comment section than usual.

Well, I suppose Cole and company don't know, they assume. In fact, I also assume, if nothing else, out of respect for Cole's integrity that this scholar is basically innocent of wrongdoing.

If nothing else, I have become skeptical of information from almost any official or gov't source.

There was a Big Terror Bust in Odense, Denmark last September and I immediately assumed that, at the least, it was overblown. Lo and behold, the crown witness was compromised earlier this month when it was revealed that, as an agent for the police, he had not only suggested making bombs but had scrounged the material for the explosives. I simply reasoned that Danish security was "jealous" of the Brit police and their "success" in unraveling terror plots in Great Britain.

The bottom line is that the observer learns to assume the accused innocent and that the charges, if not fiction, are overstated and that the reasons for arrests and arraignments are political and hidden agendas, for publicity and spin.

Haleh Esfandiari is director for the "Middle East Program" of the "Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars".

What is this "Woodrow Wilson Center"? I don't know.

I have absolutely no reason to suspect this center of anything. On the other hand, I do know that sovereign countries have experienced soft and not-so-soft revolutions and regime change with the help and/or encouragement of agencies of the US Gov't and that Iran was one of them in the 50's. I also know that, along with Syria and Venezuela, Iran is next on the list for regime change. More important, the Iranians know this also.

There are some odd twists to this story -- Haleh was in Iran last year to visit her 93 year old grandmother. On the way to the airport on December 30, her passport was stolen in a robbery (a robbery?!). When she went to get another passport and was "detained", interrogated for weeks, held in house arrest for four months, imprisoned two weeks ago and now charged.

My best guess is that she has been caught up in the "game" the US and Iran are playing and that neither part really gives a shit about what she may or may not have done.

Monday, May 21, 2007


I have this idea that it might be of some interest for those living on the other side of the Big Pond to know what makes the morning news here in the Happy Little Kingdom where the King is a Queen and the Queen isn't in drag.

I refer of course, to Denmark, that little snot-clump of peninsula and several islands on the northern edge of Continental Europe.

What made the news from the "outland" today on the 6 AM radio was the standing ovation Michael Moore got in Cannes for his latest movie, "Sicko". I've heard something about the movie before and understand that it is about the medical industry in the US and the interface it has with the American public.

From just what I know off the top of my head, I can guess that he has more, um, ammunition, here than when he was making flicks about guns.

Let me give you something to put things in perspective: The Brits and the Danes spend, respectively 9% and 8 % of their GNP on health care. The US figure, as I recall, is something like 14%!

Hmmn, couple this with the fact that the US spends nearly more on weapons and military related expenditures than the rest of the world combined then ask yourself: "What value are Americans getting for their money?"

As an average wage-slave, I have less to worry about health care living in Denmark Joe Sixpack, NASCAR Dad or Soccer Mom in the US -- and that's not even thinking about the homeless, the children who don't get enough to eat or the hardworking but undocumented workers.

As for the other thing, I figure Americans could expect a lot more, um, "bang for the buck" than what they are now getting.

Sheeze, I just read the other day that "Defense" wants to spend $25,000,000,000 on some exotic armored junk-heap on wheels they call an MRAP [Mine Resistant Ambush Protected] vehicle. The reason we need them is because the bad guyss have figured out how to blow up the crap we have now and are getting bored -- therefore we need something bigger to give them a chance to develope their assymetric skills even more.

O yeah, I forgot the kicker!

The gov't is going to investigate Mr. Moore because he violated something by filming part of the documentary in Cuba.

Sheeze, doesn't Mr. Moore know youse not supposed to go to Cuba? Of course, I suppose if you want to do a documentary on health care, ignoring Cuba would be like doing a documentary on sailing boats or wind power and ignoring Denmark!
Updates is something I don't usually do but if you think I am BS'ing about the dichotomic state of health care in the US, grok this post by Digby....

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Deep, Deep Wishes...

I would like to make the claim that there isn't all the much difference between running away from and running after something -- these are the two modes in which most of us live our lives.

When it all comes down to dust, everything you do is connected with your heart's desire and your deepest wish is entwined with your greatest fear.

A closer understanding of the poem below may occur if you read a song/poem posted here last September which was composed because of memories of my mother, Eunice, and my first foster mother, Amanda, who died all too soon after Eunice.
With every snowflake and every rain drop,
the one melting there on your cheek
and the other pretending to be a tear --
I wish that you were not so far away,
I wish that you were near...

With every breeze that moves the leaves!
With each bird that opens its beak to sing!
With every flower in the spring!

With every wave breaking upon the sands
of these foreign shores,
I wish that I had been bolder!

I wish that I had drunk deeper
of my mistakes and asked for more!

With every snowflake and every rain drop,
the one melting there on your cheek
and the other pretending to be a tear...

I wish you could hold me against your breast.
I wish I could hear my mother's breath.

Remember always, there is more to life than the brass ring just beyond your grasp. The important thing is to find or fill each day with some measure of meaning.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Divine Cabbage (A Vegetable Ontology...)

It's probably not too obvious, but there is a connection between Divine Cabbage, y'day's post which referred to Joe Bagent's essay, "Redneck Liberation Theology and a poem I posted some time ago, "Common Humanity".
You may not see the connections, but they are there I assure you.

In any case, the way a person worships or doesn't worship can have a direct relation to how hungry they are -- and that can be understood in a number of different ways!

It's a fact that confusion can make a thousand contentions.
Not to mention a million, simulated prostrations,
before this or that or any kind of cross!

And all that costly effort is then lost
like a belch from a belly full of beer!!!

Try to listen!..
You have no ears?

Is that supposed to be some kind of excuse?

The truth is far beyond bargaining!
Or, would you place conditions on what IS, !(?).

Come, fold your hands piously and pray:

O God!
Come to me as a head of cabbage!
and I shall give to Thee true homage!
I will worship Thee with all the pure
intensity of a desperately hungry man!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Life is More Than a Bag of Chips

What this is really about is an essay I just read by Joe Bagent, but first I must make a detour.

There is a folk singer you may never have heard about, his name was Alex Campbell and he was World Famous in Denmark.

He was a Scot from Glasgow and if you met him in the wrong way you might have thought him to be an insufferable bastard. The fact is though, he was really a nice guy. It's a hard life doing gigs here and there, struggling to promote an image so's you can get more pay when all you really want to do is for people to listen.

Alex wrote one song that should be in the school books, he sold it for fifty quid and regretted it ever after, the was later recorded many times and often been a hit. The name of the song is "So Long". I want to sing y' a couple of verses here:

I've seen what was war -- so long!
The pain and the scars -- so long!
The lies and the greed of the leaders of men,
Those cheats who would lead us to war again
So long!

But hope lives in me -- so long!
It's a new day I see -- so long!
In the courage and hope in a young girl's smile
The faith that lives in a little child.
So long!

The essay of Bagent's I refer to here is a difficult and in some ways a rambling piece, yet I find it to be one of the best things he has done. For me, it's like he has come full circle. However, if you are not familiar with his work that means nothing to you and a précis of his thought is difficult to construct. Joe Bagent is what they call in Denmark, an original, that is he is defined by himself.

Many of Joe's tales are so funny you laugh so hard that you are in danger of farting and crying at the same time. But this particular essay is different -- I think he is getting close to writing his manifesto of the American Dream or something like that.

I've been going through this essay, trying to pick out quotes and end up with this paragraph which made me remember Alex Campbell's song:

After all, it is not the coursing energy of the human spirit that is doomed. It never has been and never will be so long as a single newborn baby still squalls out "I AM!" immediately upon its delivery, even into this most recent issuance of "the world" we have allowed to happen in the name of reason, progress, science, democracy -- feel free to pick your own pious scientific, political or religious excuse. It does not matter. The animating forces of the universe seem unmoved by the collision of planets and implosions of supernova, much less the outbreak of a temporarily virulent virus called man on a speck of cosmic dust we call earth.
But go read the entire thing -- in fact read all his essays and the many fantastic letters people have written to him in response.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Rendering Caesar Unto Caesar

Well, it looks like the Codpiece administration finally "found" their "War Czar" [=fall guy?].

After a slew of retired generals said thanks but no thanks to the job [what they call a "Uriah's post in Danish] they appointed somebody, a three-star general by the name of Lutz. His choice was to either take the job or resign, I suppose.

Reprtedly he is a capable organizer and he is will surely need those qualities and I wish him no ill. However, if he took the job in the hopes of a fourth, I suspect he will end up wishing he had turned in the three stars for a set of civies.

Although, the duties of the "Czar" are not clear, it would seen that the idea would be to implement White House wishes while keeping a certain distance from responsibility.

A conflation and muddling of distinctions between military and political power has been a theme of this administration almost from the beginning. We first saw this in the preference of the Codpiece for the title of "Commander in Chief". That title is a good rendering of the Roman title "Imperator" which we know as "Emperor" -- "Czar" by the way, is the Russian rendering of "Caesar", the first Roman Emperor.

Just as the Senate of the Roman Republic had some say, our Senate, or course, still has some say in matters of this sort, and we can hope it will shoot the plan down.

In any case, I certainly don't think that things will go as badly as they did in the Third Galaxy and I hope no one thinks that I have ever intended to compare the Codpiece to the execrable Ronald Rexona!

Why things are going so well in Wuda-Wreck that a Brit think tank has figured out that there are not one but many civil wars in progress in that unfortunate country. In fact, they figure that the country is on the verge of collapse and that the gov't there has almost no influence in most of the country -- now who would have ever thought of that!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Triangle of Death and the Pentagrams of Hate

It would be cruel to simply single out the loss of one life in the senseless escapade the Codpiece administration unleashed and continues to impose on the Muddled East.

Yet, the news of yet one more snuff job in the Triangle of Death was just too much for me. The young man in this case was the son of a military father who had, with true conscience, opposed the plans of the War Lord from before the first smart bomb fell or the first tracer bullet was fired. What follows is dedicated to this son and father but also to all the other sons and daughters, mothers and fathers who have died and will continue to die in vain for the vanity of a popinjay.
As a child, I remember a Deep White Pit,
the broken bodies there and how they twitched.

I recall when they swore, "Never again!",
but the abattoirs are open for business again!

We send our young children, strong in their prime,
to fight for our honor but really for crime.

In the Triangle of Death, in the Pentagrams of hate,
while doing their duty, they all meet their fate.

Some quick, in a flash, some in exquisite pain
as they feel their life slowly trickle and drain.

For what purpose? For what plan? Dare we even ask
what dark visions hide behind that smooth mask?

Tell me: who demands such sacrifice,
who rolls the bodies like pairs of cheap dice?

While some fill rows and rows of pine coffins,
others have bankrolls to fill in their coffers!

Whatever put the idea in his head,
"War is a racket!" that's what the general* said?

Is it really all that hard to understand?

It's hard to be a hero, but it's worse to be man,
to live in this world you have to take a stand.
* Gen. Smedley Butler

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Soldier of the LIving Truth

The Berber poet and songwriter, Lounes Matoub, lived most of the last years of his short life in Paris, in exile from his homeland.

In connection with the publication of what became his last CD, he returned home briefly in June, 1998. (You can hear some of his music here)

A single coward would been enough, but he was ambushed and gunned down by a dozen thugs. When the news of the murder was made known, a voice was heard shouting in the streets of Paris: "Matoub is Universal! -- Matoub Lives!".

Indeed, he was and is a soldier of the Living Truth.

The intensely angry poem which follows this introduction is dedicated to the memory of all soldiers of the living truth, be they children of this or that or no religion at all. It should not be understood as polemic only about what happened in Algiera -- christian, jewish, muslim hindu, military or state-sponsored terror -- it is all shit from the baboon's ass! All the bombs are in the hands of terrorists -- can I say it any plainer?

Speak truth to power, sing the words you find in you mouth. The night is equally long for all of us whether we be hero or coward ´-- of what then should we be afraid?

He came to you with open arms
Full of roses red -- so red!
The breath in his breast was warm, so warm!
And you shot him dead...dead...dead!

In songs of love and simple truth,
He gave you the words he found in his mouth.
But you had to blow him down because
He revealed the snakes inside of you!

It gives me quite a chill to think:
You claim to know the "Will-of-God"!
A "will" which thrills to kill and fills
An empty purse with "Clots of Blood!"

You turn the Image of God into
Garbage and instant dog-food
With your bombs and nails and broken glass3:
You are shit from the Baboon's ass!

I could say more, I could say lots!
The Word moves and will not be stopped!
Your "Sacred Book" is Parrot-Speech!
Your "Holy Men" are perverted creeps!

Your "Heaven" is my hell & your "Hell" is my heaven!
Nothing that was revealed, do you know!
You've never known what was received
In Hira cave, so many years ago!

You are a dry, desert wind
And what you do to Holy Writ,
Makes Gabriel5 puke his guts and glow
With angelic rage at the gall of it!

You fill an empty purse
With wicked deeds and put them in a hearse,
This your ticket to eternal paradise?

When the severed heads and the blood of men
Trickled redly into the desert sand,
The Flower of Islam was cut back then,
And now, it's you who do the deed again!

I swear: there is no place in heaven!
Never! Ever! Not now nor then!
Come closer -- taste my spit!
You are headed for the Pit!

Islam is reborn in places known
By the minaret and sometimes not.
But all that you have ever grown
Is bleeding stubs and dried snot!

How dare you say, "God-is-great!"?
You have never known any "god"
Except the reflection of your own hate!
Your deeds say: "There is no God!"

No "God" except a restless night,
Ruling over betrayal,
Waste and shards of broken dreams,
Ruins echoing silent screams...

There is no redemption for scum like you:
Lovers of the Great She Goat
who rape young girls
then slit their throats!

Matoub lives and you do not!
And on that Day you burn
like dry grass.

While looking for a picture I learned that Matoub wrote "blasphemous" songs. So what? Has there ever been a prophet who wasn't known as a blasphemer, enemy of the state, both or worse? In my book, killing human beings is the far greater blasphemy than poking fun at the silly things people say about their religions.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Poke Your Eyes Out...

[Another report from the Third Galaxy. This seems to have been written by the inestimable Elmer Eggplant at the time when Ronald Rexona had yet to make his final bid to become the Supreme Hole of Arrogance.]

Sometimes you don't know whether to puke or cry, hit yourself in the head with a hammer or poke your eyes out so as not to see the shit coming down.

I've gotten to where I kind of miss our old Secretary of Defense, Donald Spacefield. True, he was a consummate azzhole and inveterate liar like the rest of the Codpiece administration -- but quite often his lies revealed exactly what he was thinking, it was almost like being able to read his mind.

I remember quite distinctly seeing him say that we would do anything, use any means to preserve and protect Our Arrogant Way of Life. I don't remember exactly when he said it, but it was after Terrible Tuesday and certainly before our invasion of Wuda Wreck. Even as old "Spacey" spoke, I knew that he was talking about control of the world's energy resources in general and in particular the oil and gas reservoirs of the Muddled East.

Instead of using our technology and expertise as well as the cloak of world leadership handed us on a silver platter by the tragedy of Terrible Tuesday, we would use our power to create a hegemony such as the world has never seen. Old Spacy was to implement the will of his masters, the Mighty Codpiece, Ronald Rexona and his evil companion Dick Snarly.

That was some five years ago and now, with more than half a million dead and millions more to die in the fulfillment of the deadly dream of domination I just learned something both new and subtly terrible, in fact an act of criminal negligence.

The eyes in space which monitor the changes in the oceans, the ice caps and the glaciers, the satellites which give us the raw data which allow us to determine how the global climate changes are taking effect and give us some chance of predicting what will happen in the future -- they are being neglected allowed to go dim, to degrade, become inaccurate and lose their usefulness.

Instead of trying to understand how meet the greatest challenge to our very survival we ever know -- monsters plan how to grab the last pieces of good cake for themselves and erect a Fortress of Arrogance.

Like I said, a poor fella doesn't know whether to puke or cry.

[It goes with saying that we should be glad that we don't live in the Third Galaxy. On the other hand, although it is most unlikely that things will ever get so badly out of control as they did in that poor world, if they were to do so, there won't be any Alien Veggies to come drifting down in their strange ships and pull our fat from the fire...]

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mom's Day, 2007

It's Mother's Day.

I think I'll step back a bit and let the snark, sarcasm and other effluvia flow down the sewers on their own.

Mother's Day, believe it or not, ladies and gentlemen, was not invented by Hallmark -- and Xmas was not invented by Wal-Mart!

Mother's Day, in America anyway, has its origins in a peace movement. It is mothers who give birth to the life sent off to this that and the other glorious war to make the world safe for whatever sound-bite is presently current. It is the mothers who have their sons (and daughters) come home in boxes or with their arms, legs and sanity left behind in the charnel houses and abattoirs of the battlefield..

If there is some distant Judgment Day where we all stand accountable for all that we have managed to screw up and defecate on in the brief years allotted to us on this moral coil, it will become apparent to all that the reason we failed as a somewhat sentient species is how we suppressed the source of all creativity in the name of this or that "God".

Woman is the fountain, the fruit and the vine.

Keeping half the human species in a thrall of ignorance, in poverty, denied the right to understanding, development, access to economic and reproductive freedom will seem incomprehensible to what we will become -- assuming we survive to realize the promise of our common humanity.

But, I'm not taking bets.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Most Awesome Times

[You should be pleased to know that the poem below has nothing to do with our world.

It was composed by the famous unknown poet from the Third Galaxy, whose name, for obvious if not good reasons we do not know. If it were not for the fact that the unfortunate people in the Third Galaxy seem to never had understood let alone mastered poetic discipline, I would call what follows a sonnet.

As usual, this was transmitted to me by an unemployed angel whom I know as Manu-El Ishman...]

It's not what's hid in ancient prophecy
As much as what is bid by hypocrisy!

These questions of what is wrong and what is right;
They worry me through long and sleepless nights
They ride me like a mare upon my bed...

I toss, I turn, my sheets are soaked with sweat;
Then, suddenly awake, I suck for life
In choking, sobbing, hulking, cursing breaths...

The perfumed words of those who "do God's-Will"
While in the name of "God" (or State!) do kill;
They fill our angels with ripe disgust and soon
They will puke their guts, and vomit flames of doom...

For those who read the writings on the wall,
These are the Most Awesome Times of all...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Sucking the Fort Dix Six...

A bellweather for me is what is "news" on the Danish radio as compared to what is news on the American MSM. Also, I watch for a difference between the 6 AM radio news as compared to the later newscasts...

"News" defines our outer reality.

One of the things that makes me proud and optimistic about the future of America is that, even on the diet of mis- and disinformation fed to the American Public, it has discovered that the Mighty Codpiece is a real work of art and a piece of shit.

Here comes the rant!

From here, it looks like the bust of the Fort Dix Six is WOW! -- except that it has yet to make the "news" here in Denmark

In Denmark we have yet to hear zilch about The Bust of the Century. The problem might be that, here in Denmark we had a similar bust last September. Seven guys were plotting to blow up this and that in the Happy Little Kingdom. The problem is that when the thing went to court, it turned out that the "crown witness" was a paid informer and that the paid informer was active not only in 2suggesting" terraist plans but also in getting the things that go boom...

Forgive me, color me cynic, whatever, but when, even at this stage and distance I learn that there were not one but two "paid informants" in this Fort Dix Six case, my antenna tends to perk up and I get this message "what the fug!" coming down the medulla obdura...

At the same time, almost, there was a clutch of Klan Klones busted in Alabama who were loaded, locked and ready to kill Mexicans. Um, this is headline news in the US?


Why not?

Going over to the completely ridiculous, there was a recent media scare that Canadian coins were spiked with spy microphones and maybe even cameras which sent info to God Knows Who -- maybe even Austin Powers and Doctor Evil -- the mind boggles!

However, it seems that the "microphones" were a red poppy them dumb Canucks put on some coins in memory of the hundred thousand or so soldiers they sent to the killing fields of France and Germany in the Theater of Stupidity we know as the First World War.

Here comes the moral:

A living democracy does not fall apart because some people get killed by some terraists -- no more than the degree to which society falls apart because of tens of thousands of people killed in traffic or hand gun accidents. Democracy falls apart because of endemic hypocrisy and lack of information.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Uranium Lite Revisited

Warning -- snark and rant alert!!

Common Dreams, re-posted an article The Guardian published on Tuesday about actual honest-to-God scientific research being done on Depleted Uranium, aka DU, but which much more accurately should called by the term they use in the Third Galaxy -- "Uranium Lite".

Scientists at the University of South Maine added particulate DU to cell cultures and -- WOW! -- they discovered that damage to chromosomes occurs! They say that it is too early to be sure, but particulate DU, known as "death dust" in the Third Galaxy, when lodged in human lungs could cause cancer!

Who would ever have suspected results like that? Frankly, these guys must be doing "junk science"! Don't they understand that the US Military has repeatedly confirmed that DU is harmless?

If anybody should know, the US military should know -- heck, they have disseminated several thousand tons of DU over Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan and there have been no reports whatsoever of health problems from civilians or soldiers! Well, not that many reports and in, any case, such reports have not come through the official channels, which are the only ones a decent Arrogant citizen would ever trust!

The fact is that DU is good -- it helps us win wars, smash tanks and kill bad guys.

It's just like bullshit which also is harmless. When spread out on the meadow, it helps the grass grow green and you can used to the smell. But, do I have to do research to know that people don't like to step in or prove that if you eat bullshit it will make you ill?

[End of snark, almost...]

The article in the Guardian begins with this graf:

"Depleted uranium, which is used in armor-piercing ammunition, causes widespread damage to DNA which could lead to lung cancer, according to a study of the metal's effects on human lung cells. The study adds to growing evidence that DU causes health problems on battlefields long after hostilities have ceased. DU is a byproduct of uranium refinement for nuclear power. It is much less radioactive than other uranium isotopes." [my stress]

Whether due to spin, misunderstanding or plain ignorance, the lines in bold caught my attention and I must comment.

DU is NOT an isotope — U238 is an isotope.

"Virgin" uranium is a cocktail of U isotopes, mainly U238 and U235, but other isotopes and radioactive elements are present.

DU is NOT U238 -- the byproduct of refining uranium for nuclear power AND nuclear weapons is NOT the pure isotope (U238) as the article seems to imply. The fact is that DU is a bit less than half as radioactive as virgin uranium.

Jeeze, that is why we call it Uranium Lite in the Third Galaxy!

As mentioned before, virgin uranium contains other radioactive elements than uranium, furthermore, it is not always virgin uranium that DU is a by product of, it can also be waste from refining material from breeder reactors -- in which case, DU will contain traces of Plutonium, Americium and death metal shit.

ALL radioactive material decays in cascades to other elements, many of which are much much more unstable (=radioactive) than the original element (and that DOES include U238)

As alpha emitters, none of the U isotopes are dangerous — OUTSIDE the body! An alpha particle is basically a helium nucleus with a high velocity -- kinetic energy. As it has a positive electric charge, it can only inches through the air and cannot even penetrate the outer layers of the skin. On the other hand, inside the body, the only thing to stop it are living cells...

The lungs are obviously a bad place in which to lodge an alpha emitter. However, such material, as dust or larger particles, if ingested along with food or liquids, will mostly end up in kidneys.

In conclusion, Uranium Lite (and virgin uranium for that matter) is as harmless as bullshit as long as you don't wallow in it or eat it along with your yogurt.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Love the Smell of them Rotten Apples in the Morning!

One might think that I go bit overboard on my attention to the firing of a handful US Attorneys and pointing to it as a significant sign of the deep running rot in Codpiece administration.

In a moment of recurring weakness, I find myself thinking along those lines myself!

But no, without the rule of law and in particular the independence of the judiciary from especially the executive branch of gov't, democracy can kiss its keester good-bye. This of course also applies to the lawmaking branch, but the executive branch is even more amenable to influence from special interests [read: corruption].

Was I over board on my reference to the NRA yesterday in connection with the Tom Wales murder investigation? He was whacked a month after "Terrible Tuesday" aka "9-11". If it had been any other time, this hit on a prosecutor would have been nat'l news. Today, Digby at Hullabaloo reminded of something that had puzzled me back then:

The Justice Department has refused to let the FBI check its records to determine whether any of the 1,200 people detained after the Sept. 11 attacks had bought guns, FBI and Justice Department officials say.

The department made the decision in October after the FBI asked to examine the records it maintains on background checks to see if any detainees had purchased guns in the United States.

Follow the link and read the rest of Digby's article.
Finally, the meme is always about "eight attorneys". If you have been living in the real world, you know there have to be more. [Josh Marshall is on the case.] Furthermore, there have to be attorneys who resigned so as to avoid being fired and many many more who changed their tune in order to keep their jobs and careers intact. It's part of the American Way and has to do with the kind of job security most Americans have.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Sweet Smell of Rotten Apples

[The fellow in the picture is not the rotten apple -- his name was Tom Wales and it's the investigation into his murder where the rot stinks]

As I wrote earlier, the roots of the US Attorney scandal run deep and rancid, have their source in the White House and consists of actions which not only do, but are intended to put the system of checks and balances, the very lodestone of the American experiment in democracy, out of order.

It is not simply about firing 8 US Attorneys. It is about the blatant politicization of the judicial process which begins with investigation and bringing cases to court. It is about instilling fear so that prosecutors who want to not only further but continue their careers will always have these two questions in mind:
"Can this case conflict with the interests of the Republican Party?"
"Can this case further the cause of the Republican Party?"

In Seattle, Washington, one late October night in 2001, a man sits in his basement working on his computer. His back is to the window. Outside, a person yet unknown creeps up, takes aim and fires five bullets through the window. The man is hit in the neck and back, he dies later the next morning in the hospital. His name was Tom Wales, he was 49, divorced, the father of two grown children. He was also a District Attorney who worked in the same office that US Attorney John McKay would later be in charge of -- and be fired from.

The case has the earmarks of a hit and you would think that a premeditated crime striking at the heart of the judicial system would be aggressively investigated -- the violent murder of a DA is very rare -- but you would think wrong. In fact, no Justice official traveled from Washington to attend Wales' memorial service -- this was not only not very good tone, it set the tone of the investigation.

I mentioned that John McKay was fired as US Attorney and the reason reason he was fired was because he did his job and insisted that this murder be properly and aggressively investigated.

The problem was that Wales was a gun control activist -- in fact president of Washington Cease Fire, a gun control advocacy group. Combined with the fact that Wales was snuffed with a handgun, too much publicity went against the interests of the Republican Party and the NRA -- how do you like them apples?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Such a Summerly Day and the Rape Weed was in Bloom

They have a saying in Danish which directly translates to, "all green is good for the eye" [alt grønt er godt for øjet].

What is meant is that it is good to eat leafy vegetables, but also that it is good to be where you can see green things around you, like the grass and the trees.

The sky was blue and high, the birds were in song and the air was thick with spring and summerly smells. We saw out over the fields, the small forests and rolling hills of the Danish countryside. The rape weed* in full flower was releasing their almost cloyingly sweet smell, their bright mustard yellow contrasted delightfully with the green of the fields wheat, barley, and other farmers' crops.

It is indeed a blessing to bicycle out of town on a day like yesterday when we went with Mette out to her little colony garden about two miles from where we live.

Yesterday was the tail end of Big Prayer Day Weekend here in Denmark, the last of the family left to return to Copenhagen Sunday morning and our old friend had invited us to have lunch at her colony garden.

"Colony garden" is a direct translation of "kolonihave". They are a special Danish institution which began in the first half of the 1900's as a social movement. The idea was to enable ordinary working folk and their families to get out of their dark and crowded apartments in the cities and towns and spend quality time in the open during the spring, summer and early fall.

Colony gardens are small green areas usually not far from a city or town. They are divided up into a number of small garden plots where people put up a cabin or shelter of some sort where they can spend the night or stay if the weather turns inclement. Otherwise, they will be outside, enjoying themselves, eating, drinking coffee, talking with friends, or just puttering in their gardens.

We spent our afternoon there, eating lunch, enjoying a few glasses of cold Italian frascati.

It was a lovely day and now I will turn on my sourpuss and Cassandra mode and pour some malurt in the cup, as they say in Danish.

On our way home, it was 80 F in the shade.

April was the warmest and driest on record, as were March, February and January this year (January was an almost record for rain, though). The same holds true for the last four months of 2006. May looks to be warm also. This spring when we've had a cold front, the weather has been like a "normal" summer day in Denmark. A cold front came in last night, for example, and when I got to work at 7:30 AM it was 55 F and clear skies...

Moon of Alabama had a nice, concise post about methane and global warming/climate change and the comments and links in the comments are recommended if you are not up to date on the subject of the effects of cow farts and melting permafrost...

Meanwhile, as Rome burns and the polar caps melt, Americans we treated with a mind numbing spectacle at the much ballyhooed debate with 10 participants bidding for the Republican nomination in 2008. Imagine -- people who are ostensibly jockeying for a chance at the most powerful executive office the world has ever known were asked to raise their hands if "they believe in evolution".

Jeeze, they should give them guys some coloring books and a box of crayons!

* "Rape weed" -- Brassica napus : a plant of the cabbage family grown for the oil which can be extracted fom its seeds.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Boo-Boo Wants Us to Stay the Course -- What to Do?

[Sorry, folks, the link is from Danish radio, so won't be much use for most of you]

Well now, don't that beat all?

Boo-Boo Wankerman (aka Ayman al-Zawahri) is making fun of the Democrats in Congress for their law about withdrawing from Iraq! He regrets that we are leaving so soon! He invites Bush to enjoy a cup of juice in a cafeteria in the Green Zone and asks us to stay until there are 200,000 American casualties.

Is Boo-Boo is a Republican?

I don't know!

As all I have to go on is that clip from Danish radio, I won't know the truth until O'Rantly, Limburger, Seepage and the other members of that bunch of bloviating blowhards have had time to digest the disturbing news that "Number Two" of El Cube is sad to hear that we may be leaving and depriving El Cube such an excellent place for on-the-job training of the Terraists-of-Tomorrow.

It will be hard for them to come up with an explanation with the proper spin, but I know they will be able to rise to the challenge once again and come up with some bullshit explaining the evil of Boo-Boo's ploy to sap our will. Surely they will show how this is all because of the Democrat's traitorous wimpiness and failure to bow before the Vision and Iron Will of the Great Decider and Almighty Codpiece.

Enough snark!

The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, Boo-Boo and El Cube don't have any real shit to say about what comes down the tube in Iraq -- he is just trying to piggyback on our misfortunes and those of the Iraqis and fluff the image of his rather decimated organization.

The facts are that "foreign fighters" are minor if not an insignificant part of the insurgency to end our [illegal] occupation and even they have no real connection to El Cube except that they are trying to horn in on their franchise image.

If you want a serious and concise prediction of what awaits us in the remaining time of the Bush Residency, follow this link to Juan Cole's Informed Comment...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Aiding and Abetting the Enemy -- Catch 86!

Lt. Col. William H. Steele is up on serious charges from his time as commandant of Camp Cropper in Baghdad where Iraqi prisoners were kept.

All I can say is that it is about time!

You remember Abu Ghraib in Iraq and Bagram in Afghanistan? You also remember Hotel Gitmo and places of which we have never learned their locations, let alone names, places where Abu Ghraib-ic things have been and certainly are still going on?

You also remember that nobody has been held to any kind of account or reckoning?

True, a few noncommissioned "bad apples" are now doing hard time. But, they were only doing what they had been told or led to believe they were supposed to do. They mistreated, abused, humiliated, beat up [tortured] prisoners in their care and got carried away a bit -- worst of all, they took pictures...

But nobody further up the food chain was ever charged with anything really serious let alone convicted and/or punished. Well, a few reprimands were dealt out to lower officers. A reprimand can stand in the way of promotions and therefore these unfortunates must be suffering absolute anguish!

But at long last there may be a chance for real justice!

A Lt. Col. and former commandant of Camp Cropper is facing very serious charges, the worst of which is "aiding and abetting the enemy".

What? Aiding and Abetting the Enemy? Shit! Where did all the torture go?

A few words about what kind of officer Lt. Col. Steele is:

Steele was described as a "person of unquestioned integrity," he was credited with maintaining "strict discipline and order" at Camp Cropper and showed "zero tolerance of prisoner abuse." Another said he was "a person with a conscience." One described how he intervened directly to protect a prisoner who had been mistreated by interrogators. He insisted that those serving under him treat the detainees "like human beings." He "was a constant target of those who like to use rough stuff."

Ah -- that's it! The poor guy was doing his job in accordance with his conscience as a human being -- how silly of him!

If a Joseph Heller was writing about Iraq, he'd have Lt. Col. Steele crossing Catch 22 -- except that here it would be violating Catch 86.
For the opportunity to experience more outrage and disgust, go read more at the link at the beginning of the post. Also, I couldn't find a picture of Col. Steele, so I used one of Gen. Smedley Butler -- I hope Col. Steele takes it as the honor it was meant as!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Big Prayer Day, 2007

This will be short.

Today is Big Prayer Day [Storebededag] in Denmark, which is always the fourth Friday after what is called Long Friday [Langfredag] here and, I think, Good Friday in most English speaking places.

It's kind of odd, you'd think, that the day commemorating the torture and snuff job on a rather well-known teacher of our common humanity and its relation to the Eternal is called "Good".

The explanation though, is as simple as why it is called "Long" in Danish. "Good", in this context, stands for "God" -- we see this in the common farewell phrase, "good-bye", which is a contraction of "God be with you".

In times past, even bakers closed on Big Prayer Day -- therefore, the custom became that they made a special bread especially suited for toasting, so that people could have something on Friday. However, these small breads [called "hvede" or "wheats"] were cleverly made to be quite tasty and people had to stock up on them to make sure they had enough...

Today though, it is seen mostly as a long weekend in the Spring and a good occasion for families to get together. This is why I will be brief today -- most of our family will be here in a few hours and Sunflower Woman has assigned me a number of chores in that regard this morning.

Speaking of prayer, there is a place up in north Jutland called Ejnar Bavnehoej which is the highest spot in Denmark. "Bavnehoej" means "bonfire high", that is a place where bonfires could be lit to signal to people miles around that there was some sort of danger afoot.

I came by chance to visit this place back in the early 1980s and was astounded by how much of northern Jutland one could see from the top of the hill.

As I stood there gazing over the parapet, I could see miles and miles of Danish countryside, rolling hills, fields and forests in the late summer afternoon. Suddenly, I found myself in the grasp of a strong feeling and emotion and found myself quietly praying. Just exactly what I prayed, I can't tell you, but it was something like, "In the time to come, please keep Denmark from harm.".

I puzzled for a moment what had moved me to do that and then I thought, o well, Chuck, you're a crazy old sot, so don't worry about it!

Still, I do wish somebody could say a "big prayer" like that for America, I think she needs it...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Obama and the American Nightmare

I had a comment to y'day's post that started the wheels turning in my poor old besotted brain.

This is what Cap'n Rich wrote me:

He's okay by me but is this the time for the Democrats to be experimenting with blacks or women?

We have to win this election or all is lost.

Perhaps someone else will step to the fore in the near future.

I don't know if Obama's bid for the nomination can be called an experiment.
From where I sit, it looks more like a groundswell. For whatever reason, this guy cuts across boundaries and makes people think things could really be different.

In a way, it is like with Howard Dean -- except that they haven't been able to kneecap Obama like they did Dean with the Rovian echo machine. Dean's bid grew out of the grassroots and Internet. It was a democratic initiative in the real sense of the word and it got pulled up like a weed.

For some reason, Obama has been able to avoid all attempts to smear or swift boat his campaign. Perhaps it has been because they didn't take him really, really serious soon enough. God knows they have tried to smear him, but, up to now, he just comes on stronger and will be hard to stop.

Frankly, I think he has a better chance than anybody -- even Hillary -- of defeating any candidate the Repubs can field -- including Giulanni. If he garners the nomination, the only way he could be stopped is with skullduggery of the ultimate and most darkest sort -- that's why, for better and for worse, I drew parallels to JFK, RFK and others.

That is the one danger I hint at.

The other thing that troubles me is that the legacy of the present administration's attempt to reinvent the office of President as a Unitary Executive will not disappear just because we elect a decent person. The momentum towards Empire, the City of Light on the Hill, the Pax Americana, with all the shadows in its underbelly will not be ended by a bit of benevolence however well intended.

The drift has been there at least since the end of the Second World War, in fact since the end of the Frontier in 1890 -- the Frontier was gone, but the Manifest Destiny did not go away, it only morphed.

The present administration has been more active than any previous executive to change, dismantle in fact the system of checks and balances built into the American system of government. A minor but telling example is that, from almost day one, the Codpiece has preferred the title of Commander in Chief and all too many civilians have acquired the habit of referring to the President as "Our Commander in Chief" -- this is of course complete bullshit.

The President is CIC of the armed forces and nothing more!

The word Emperor comes from the Roman title "Imperator" -- it is a military title and is well translated as "Commander in Chief".

I won't go so far as to say that if we get a Republican president and congress in 2006 that "all is lost" -- however, the coming election will be as important as the one in 1860.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Obama and the American Dream

One would have to be both blind and deaf with a frontal lobotomy to not be aware that Barack Obama's bid for the office of President of the United States has turned from not only serious but realizable.

When even a cynic like JamesEagle puts a bumper sticker on his car and donates real money to the cause, I know that Obama has arrived.

What is it? The only impression I have of this fellow is a speech I saw on PBS when I was in Illinois last September. My understanding is that he actually finds the words he speaks all by himself. How odd!

Much is made of the fact that Obama's campaign has already raked in enormous amounts of campaign funds, putting this campaign on a par with that of Hillary. The amazing thing is that, according to my understanding, that the majority of contributions have been from small folk like JamesEagle, for example.

Why is this? All I know is the speech I saw transmitted and it seemed to me that he spoke the words he found in his mouth to say -- at the same time he seems to speak the American Dream. We haven't seen this since JFK. True, John did not think up everything he spoke publicly, but he not only could pronounce all the words but also understood them and -- most important -- gave an impression that he meant them that has lasted the test of time.

What I am trying to say is that Obama appears to be able regenerate the vision of the experiment in government by, for and of "We the People", which is the United States. The Codpiece administration has only fed upon the dream, sucking it dry and spitting it out in curdles of hypocritical phlegm.

There is a danger here. The Offices of President and Vice President themselves have been corrupted by time and circumstance and the active efforts of the present holders of power -- the very clockwork of our government is out of balance. This will not change just because we have a charismatic personality installed as President.

The other problem is the question of "black". Is Obama really "black"?

Well, try the Poosah City Test. Send him back in time and space to Poosah City and have him drink from the "Whites Only" drinking fountain -- whuddya think will happen? Or let him go into a store and start to try on a hat -- will he hear, "Nigger, if you put that hat on, you have bought it!".

There is not only an American Dream, there is also a parallel American Nightmare in our soul as a nation.

Hear what I am trying to say: JFK, RFK, MLK and others* -- there is a line and when it is crossed, the darkness takes them.
* John Lennon, Paul Wellstone, Thomas Merton for a start, the complete list in a bit longer...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Waiting for ZOOM!!!

I'm waiting on pins and needles for my new toy.

I sent through cyberspace some hundreds of cyber-dollars for it.

It said on the web-site that it would be delivered within 3-4 working days.

Then they wrote me there would go two weeks because the thingie was out of stock...

[Sigh] nothing to do but wait for my Zoom H4 to arrive!

My new toy is a digital recorder that records, not to a tape or hard disk, but to a memory chip -- if you've ever had to go through taped recordings, you know how cool this is. The thingum has built-in condensator microphones in an X-Y pattern which I'm told give a nice ambiance. Also, it can do honest 4-track recording, that is stereo on stereo. It comes bundled with Cubase software for later editing on my computer. I'm really looking forward to this.

It has always cost me blood and tears to make the few recordings I am even halfway satisfied with. As professional, commercial recording has always been out of the question, I've always had to push all the buttons myself and this has always made it most difficult to capture the immediacy of that "live" feeling essential to my material.

It's not that my songs aren't "good" enough to be commercial, it's just that, when people really listen to these sad songs, they either cry or fall asleep -- that's not where the money is.

Many years ago, I lent our apartment for a week to a friend of mine while we were away. He went through my material such as it was at that time and recorded a little song for me which goes:
The Copenhagen Music Man is no "jolly Dane",
maybe he's crazy and maybe he's quite insane,
but I reckon he's suffered for his art...

Ah, Elliot, where are you now, you fuggin son of a Canadian dentist?

Elliot Rowan was one cool dude and one of the people I regret most having lost contact with.