Wednesday, February 29, 2012


My god. The Birther movement hasn't died. Still. Yet. Even now. This thing has more lives than Christopher-Lee-as-Dracula.

A short while ago, the following popped into my mailbox:
Sheriff Joe Arpaio To Hold News Conference Concerning Obama's Citizenship Questions on Thursday, March 1, at 3p ET.

After months of research, investigation, and harassment, the 'Cold Case Posse' will release their findings at a press conference.
Oh yeah. That's who you want as your spokesperson: The arrogant sheriff in Arizona often reviled as a corrupt, power-mad sadist.

The emailed release continues thus:
It's hard to believe that with an extraordinary amount of evidence (that dwarfs any other recently congressionally investigated issue) our elected officials have refused to look into the issue of constitutional eligibility and the related issues.
"Extraordinary amount of evidence," eh?

Curiosity compelled me to take a brief look at this "evidence," which you can find here. It's a compendium of all the familiar bullshit; although the theme has many variations, the primary argument comes down to the words "natural born citizen." The birthers have come up with a very strained interpretation of that term. Very, very, very strained. We're talking about the kind of straining you might do after eating a big bowl of concrete.

Scrolling down, one notes the following...
In early summer, 2007, the so called “Birther” conspiracy theory was first created by renegade members of an ultra leftist group known as the PUMAs. (That’s right! They were leftists). They were a splinter group of hard-core Hillary Clinton supporters who did not want to surrender the Democrat party nomination to Obama after a hard fought campaign leading to the 2008 Democratic nomination.
Oh man. Man oh man oh man. This is wrong in so many ways...

PUMA began on The Confluence, run by a very good writer who calls herself Riverdaughter. Is she an "ultra-leftist"? Hell, I'm probably (a smidgen) to her left, and I'm the guy who wrote "I like Ike" a couple of posts down. In 2008, most Democrats (incorrectly) presumed Hillary to be more conservative than Obama. In fact, the hyperbolic silly-billies over on Daily Kos spent most of that year talking paranoid nonsense about the "Clinton-Bush crime family."

At heart, the birthers are Birchers. They are the extremists -- not Riverdaughter, not the PUMA-folk who gathered around her, and certainly not me.

Real PUMAs steered clear of birtherism from the very beginning. I spent a lot of time poking holes in some of the early claims of forgery.

Alas, a Republican ratfuck operation infiltrated the PUMA movement and commandeered a large chunk of it. For the most part, the only PUMA-pushers who embraced birtherism were infiltrators -- red wolves in blue sheepskin. You can apply the term "ultra-leftist" to Larry Johnson, HillBuzz and the other pseudo-PUMA ratfuckers only if you're the type of person who also feels comfortable using the word "cute" to describe leprosy.

Sheriff Joe? Are you there?

I hope you're reading this. Three messages:

1. I used to visit AZ quite a bit. But as long as you're there, tourists should steer clear of the whole state. (Besides, New Mexico has better southwestern grub.)

2. If you want people to vote Republican, spewing birther madness is counter-productive. Right-wingers in this country have gone so fucking crazy that they have actually transformed me, an early and fervent Obama opponent, into someone who will probably vote D in 2012.

Yeah, I'll regret it. I get sick to my stomach just thinking about it. But reactionary conspira-creeps like you have left me feeling utterly weirded out.

If Obama has you for an enemy, Joe, then that useless sunvabitch in the oval office must have done something right. Give me a few months and I might even figure out what that something is.

3. I can't speak for Riverdaughter and the other writers who came out of The Confluence, but I have a strong suspicion that they'd tell you not to use the once-honorable PUMA label to justify your forays into birther nuttiness. If you truly consider the pro-Hillary Democrats of 2008 to be "ultra-leftists," then hie thee to a shrink and get back on your meds.

Ways to Stay Creative [THREE] - Curate an Inspiration Folder

While you browse your favorite websites/blogs, save any picture that inspire you, or that you like for no particular reason. Arrange them into folders, if you'd like (Outfits, Food, Home, etc.) or keep it all together if you prefer a little creative chaos. I like going back to mine and just flipping through the images to get new ideas. Take the time to delete the ones you no longer need. Make sure to name the pictures accordingly and add the source. You might need to go back to the site or the article for more info. I forgot to do the latter with mine, and I'm still biting my fingers over some unknown pictures I would like to retrace. Oh well. 

Photos by Dee & Duke. 

If tolerance is wrong I don't want to be right.

Two of Mrs. Fields favorite television shows feature interracial couples. So, in a way, I suppose we are making progress on the social front in this country.

Unfortunately, however, we are not there quite yet.

Just look at the picture that goes with this post. What's not to like? Well apparently not everyone shares my views.

"Kenyata White and Aeimee Diaz were celebrating their anniversary at the American Kitchen & Wine Bar in downtown Phoenix this week when they were suddenly asked to leave the restaurant for "inappropriate behavior." But after an uproar on Facebook and other social media sites, the lesbian couple has been welcomed back with open arms -- and free drinks.

The Arizona Republic reports that the couple was asked to leave the restaurant, which is in the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, after the two women were seen hugging and kissing at their table. A manager approached them to tell them their behavior was "inappropriate," and making other customers "uncomfortable."
"My partner and I were reminiscing," White told the Arizona Republic. "I had my arm around her neck, and she had her hand around my waist. I gave her a hug for about a minute, pulled myself away to give her a quick kiss, and then we continued talking." [Source]

One step forward and two steps back.

And as bad as that story was it didn't offend me as much as this one:

"As her elderly mother was dying, Barbara Johnson lay next to her on the hospital bed, reciting the “Hail Mary.” Loetta Johnson, 85, had been a devout Catholic, raising her four children in the church and sending them to Catholic schools.

At her mother’s funeral mass at the St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Md., a grieving Barbara Johnson was the first in line to receive communion.

What happened next stunned her. The priest refused Johnson, who is gay, the sacramental bread and wine.

“He covered the bowl with the Eucharist with his hand and looked at me, and said I cannot give you communion because you live with a woman and that is a sin in the eyes of the church,” Johnson told ABC News affiliate WJLA.
Her older brother, Larry Johnson, couldn’t believe what he had seen.
“I walked to the side of the church to console her, because she was clearly distraught,” Johnson told ABC News.

Larry Johnson said his sister, who has been in a committed gay relationship for 19 years, composed herself enough to give her mother’s eulogy, but then he was shocked at what happened next. The priest left the altar, Johnson said, and didn’t return until his sister was nearly finished speaking.

Family members added that the priest failed to come to the grave site, and the burial was attended by a substitute priest found by the funeral director.
Larry Johnson and his sister were outraged at what occurred on “what would already have been the worst day of my life,” he said." [Source]

Father, always remember to ask yourself: What would Jesus do? I think that's the whole point of this religion thing. Dogmatic insensitivity to your fellow human beings (regardless of their sexual orientation) will not get you into heaven.

Finally, congrats to Flipper on his big wins last night. Ricky, it was fun while it lasted. But it was just a matter of time before the rest of A-merry-ca found out what we already knew here in Pistolvania: That you are one crazy dude with visions of a theocratic A-merry-ca.

Elephants on PBS' Nature: Echo and Her Family. Sweetest Elephants.

It seems that each animal species embodies some collection of traits that we humans have and/or recognize. Elephants have a lot of the best of us. Care, sacrifice, love, playfulness, stamina, endurance, determination--and grief, depression, and longing as well--if you don't admire elephants, get a check up.
A recent PBS special on Nature was an emotional wellspring of insight into elephants.
mt kilimanjaro
A matriarch elephant, Echo, and her family are chronicled through many years including a heartbreaking famine near Mt. Kilimanjaro. Her wisdom leads to the survival of her family even after her death.
The story of little Elijah is amazing.
Born with poor legs, the elephants love him with great patience.
 he is speared in the rear haunch at age 8 but survives.
the women of the preserve weep as he reappears many years later. (more about the women of the amboseli trust HERE
did i mention you may weep most of the show? a good purge...

Watch this. you can see it all online here.
more on elephants, their language, poaching, etc. HERE

More about Mt. Kilimanjaro HERE

Vale Christopher Reimer

One of the saddest pieces of news last week was the passing of brilliant Canadian band Women's guitarist (and touring member of Dodos) Christopher Reimer last week resulting from complications due to a heart condition. He passed away in his sleep on February 21 at the age of 26.

To coincide with the memorial, Reimer's Women bandmates, Women's Canadian label Flemish Eye, and Jagjaguwar have asked us to stream both of the band's albums, 2008's Women and 2010's Public Strain (which we gave our inaugaral Best of album of the year award), in commemoration. Please listen, remember, put the good vibes out into the ether. We will miss you.

Matches of the Century: World Cup 1974 West Germany Holland

Snday 7 July 1974
 Olympiastadion , Munich
Attendance  79000 
Referee John Taylor

II ne pouvait pas en être autrement pour cette première Coupe du monde organisée en Allemagne de l'Ouest. On retrouva en finale sur la pelouse du stade olympique de Munich les équipes les plus fortes du continent européen. Pas de surprise en ce qui concerne l'équipe du pays hôte, championne d'Europe en titre, depuis la finale remportée à Bruxelles en 1972 aux dépens des Soviétiques de Roudakov et Onichenko par 3-0. Pas de surprise non plus de retrouver les Pays-Bas dont l'équipe de club phare, l'Ajax d'Amsterdam, a réussi un triplé (1971,1972 et 1973) en Coupe d'Europe des clubs champions sous la houlette de Johan Cruyff, magnifique avant-centre complet dribbleur, tireur, organisateur -et meneur d'hommes impitoyable pour l'adversaire. La bande orange aux cheveux longs compte en effet quatre titulaires de l'Ajax dans ses rangs derrière Johan Cruyff, les arrières Krol et Suurbier, l'infatigable milieu Neeskens et l'ailier Johnny Rep, soit presque la moitié de l'équipe. Sous la direction du sélectionneur Rinus Michels entraîneur de l'Ajax pour le premier titre européen en 1971, les Orange développent le fameux football total qui demande une condition physique exceptionnelle au service d'une disponibilité de tous les instants. Quand à ces qualités collectives et individuelles s'ajoutent la virtuosité d'un Cruyff ou la frappe de balle d'un Neeskens, on peut penser que les Néerlandais disposent d'une formidable armada capable de renverser tout sur leur passage, d'autant que les petits camarades qui composent le «reste» de l'équipe ne sont pas mal non plus : ils ont pour noms Van Hanegem, Rensenbrink ou les frères Willy et René Van de Kerkhof.

Seule ombre au tableau batave en cet été 1974, c'est le Bayern de Munich des Sepp Maier, Schwarzenbeck, Franz Beckenbauer, Paul Breitner, Uli Hoeness et Gerd Muller qui a repris le flambeau européen au niveau des clubs et qui forme l'ossature de l'équipe nationale. C'est donc bien la finale attendue, même si, lors du premier tour, l'Allemagne de l'Ouest a perdu le match de prestige qu'elle ne devait pas perdre devant son homologue de l'Est (sur un but de l'Ai* lemand de l'Est Sparwasser). Mais après cet inte'-mède germano-allemand sur fond de guerre fro les affaires mondiales des Allemands de l'Ouest ont repris leur cours : trois victoires au second tour contre la Yougoslavie, la Suède et la Pologne. Le parce des Néerlandais a été moins difficile: un seul me nul dans la poule de premier tour contre la Suède également trois victoires sans appel aux dépéri-Brésil, champion du monde en titre, de l'Argentine si de la petite sœur de la RFA, la RDA. Au total, attaque flamboyante - quatorze buts - et une défense de fer un seul but encaissé, et encore contre camp de Rudi Krol.
À leur habitude, les Orange sont sûrs d'eux connaît l'hostilité sourde que les Hollandais ont envers leur trop puissant voisins. Ils ont décidé d'attaquer le ; au plancher. Les fées du football leur sont favorables dès l'envoi. Ils obtiennent un penalty alors que tes Allemands n'ont pas encore touché le ballon. En effet, à l'entrée de la surface de réparation, l'arrière roit allemand Berti Vogts et le milieu de terrain Hoeness commettent un croc en jambe sur Cruyff. L'arbitre anglais Taylor indique le point de penalty. Neeskens s'empare de la balle, la place sur le rond de craie fusille Sepp Maier d'un tir sous la barre dans un silence de cathédrale troublé par la joie bruyante des porteurs de bannière orange. Nous sommes alors convaincus que Cruyff, le Hollandais volant au numéro 14, et ses comparses vont écraser le match. C'était compter sans la ténacité germanique de Beckenbauer et de ses équipiers. Après avoir laissé passer l'orage orange, les Allemands se refont une santé et, en vingt minutes, reviennent au score ; un penalty transformé par Breitner après un fauchage de Holzenbein par Jansen à la 26e minute. 

Le match redevient égal, insensiblement les Allemands reprennent la direction du jeu, aidés par des Néerlandais qui continuent à les prendre de haut. À la 44e minute, le renard des surfaces de réparation, l'inévitable Gerd Mùller, l'homme aux cuisses de colosse, arme son tir et trompe de près le gardien orange Jongbloed. En marquant à la dernière minute de la première mi-temps, les Allemands portent un coup à la superbe batave. De tout le tournoi, les Néerlandais n'avaient jamais été menés. Trop habitués à dominer, ils ne trouvent pas les ressources morales pour changer de jeu, un temps paralysés par une foule enthousiaste qui porte ses joueurs et ne ménage pas de ses sarcasmes et de ses nourris le grand Cruyff lui-même. Esseulé à la pointe de l'attaque, les jambes trop lourdes et l'envie émoussée, celui que même Beckenbauer jugea supérieur au roi Pelé, termine le match dans l'ombre. Rinus Michels eut beau faire entrer René Van de Kerkhof pour donner du poids à son attaque dès la 46e minute, rien n'y fit. Ce fut Becken-baueur qui brandit le trophée mondial chez lui, dans son antre bavarois.

Buts : Neeskens (2' s.p.) pour les Pays-Bas ; 
Breitner (25' s.p.) et Müller (43') pour la R.F.A.

Rfa : 
Sepp Maier, Berti Vogts, Franz Beckenbauer, Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck, Paul Breitner, Rainer Bonhof, Uli Hoeneß, Wolfgang Overath, Jürgen Grabowski, Gerd Müller, Bernd Hölzenbein. 
Sélectionneur : Helmut Schön

Pays-Bas : 
Jan Jongbloed, Wim Suurbier, Wim Rijsbergen (Theo de Jong, 68'), Arie Haan, Ruud Krol, Wim Jansen, Johan Neeskens, Wim van Hanegem, Johnny Rep, Johan Cruyff, Rob Rensenbrink (Rene van de Kerkhof, 46'). Sélectionneur : Rinus Michels

Codec H264, Mkv
Bitrate 1300
Sound 128 kbps
 from dvd9
Complete Coverage