Monday, December 29, 2014

UpChuck Todd Rides Again

This one's making the rounds big time, so why not pile on a little?

Todd's main "point" is that if he barks at the politicians who make statements that are obviously untrue, then those politicians won't come on the show again.  As long as he doesn't call 'em on their bullshit, he'll always have a steady stream of "News Makers" on the show in order to attract lotsa viewers who'll absorb some of the enlightening messages from all those ads about Lockheed's F35 and Raytheon's new E-Surveilance Software and the killer drones from General Atomics (yes, that's a real company).

That's what makes sense now.  That's what passes for reasoning.  Chuck Todd doesn't want people who don't tell the truth to stop coming on his TV show.

I'm not big on arguing from a strictly binary position, but this one's kinda hard to avoid: Chuck Todd wants people to lie to us, on his show.

What exactly would be the harm in keeping liars off your show, UpChuck?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Cuz - Science, Muthuhfuckuh

And also too - it'd be kinda nice to see this happening a little more frequently back here in USAmerica Inc.

Winter Song

Winter Song --Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Micaelson

Friday, December 26, 2014

Lying Media

The DumFux News affiliate in Baltimore ran a clip that made it sound like protesters were ending their chant with "kill a cop".

And of course, it was bullshit (Hanlon's Razor notwithstanding).  The station took the story down after they got a lot of push-back, and they even made with the usual "apology", saying it was accidental - which is also bullshit because you don't accidentally do a quick-cut edit unless you're trying to make the thing say something it doesn't actually say.  This does not happen by accident.  Somebody wanted that clip out there.  Somebody OK'd that clip for air, and for posting on the website.

But it's prob'ly not gonna matter to the rubes - they got their Scary-Black-People fix and that's all anybody cares about.

In case anybody wants to know:
We won't stop
We can't stop
'Til killer cops
Are in cell blocks

Hanlon's Razor

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained in terms of stupidity.

I'll be trying a little harder to keep that in mind from now on as I try to sort my way thru some of the phenomenally idiotic political arguments that have come to be the benchmark of public discourse here in USAmerica Inc.

After Xmas Pix

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Song For Christmas

An Atheist Christmas Carol --Vienna Teng

It's the season of grace coming out of the void
Where a man is saved by a voice in the distance
It's the season of possible miracle cures
Where hope is currency and death is not the last unknown
Where time begins to fade
And age is welcome home

It's the season of eyes meeting over the noise
And holding fast with sharp realization
It's the season of cold making warmth a divine intervention
You are safe here you know now

Don't forget
Don't forget I love
I love
I love you

It's the season of scars and of wounds in the heart
Of feeling the full weight of our burdens
It's the season of bowing our heads in the wind
And knowing we are not alone in fear
Not alone in the dark

Xmas Pix

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Little Rational Thinking

...goes a long way.  From Rolling Stone:
After months of escalating protests and grassroots organizing in response to the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, police reformers have issued many demands. The moderates in this debate typically qualify their rhetoric with "We all know we need police, but..." It's a familiar refrain to those of us who've spent years in the streets and the barrios organizing around police violence, only to be confronted by officers who snarl, "But who'll help you if you get robbed?" We can put a man on the moon, but we're still lacking creativity down here on Earth.
But police are not a permanent fixture in society. While law enforcers have existed in one form or another for centuries, the modern police have their roots in the relatively recent rise of modern property relations 200 years ago, and the "disorderly conduct" of the urban poor. Like every structure we've known all our lives, it seems that the policing paradigm is inescapable and everlasting, and the only thing keeping us from the precipice of a dystopic Wild West scenario. It's not.
I have no plans to stop bitching about things - when I think something's wrong, I'm gonna bitch about it.  But while it's really lotsa fun to unleash a good cathartic-feeling tirade, eventually, there's no point in it if all I ever do is bitch about it.  So here's the thing: we've gotta come up with alternatives.

We have a problem with violence.  Recognize and deal effectively with that problem, and we're a big step closer to being able to solve some of the other problems that grow out of our problem with violence.

Right now, we look a lot like the townsfolk in the old westerns who hire a gunslinger to deal with (insert local bad guy here), but then realize they've only substituted one bully for another.

Violence in service of politics is at the heart of what we're supposed to be the exception to.

Let's try something else.

Like It's Christmas

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town --Ramsey Lewis Trio

Please Come Home For Christmas --Charles Brown

Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis --Tom Waits

The Christmas Song --Siatigas

Christmas In The Room --Sufjan Stevens

All I Want For Christmas Is You --Mariah Carey and Jimmy Fallon et al

O Holy Night --Dublin Gospel Choir

Christmas Tears (cover) --Eric Clapton

Someday At Christmas --Jack Johnson

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Deadly Rhetoric

(tengrain asks for citations to back up the claims of "propaganda", but of course, "conservatives" just get really upset when you press for things like evidence, so yeah - good luck widdat)
“We’ve had four months of propaganda starting with the president that everybody should hate the police. The protests are being embraced, the protests are being encouraged. The protests, even the ones that don’t lead to violence, a lot of them lead to violence, all of them lead to a conclusion: The police are bad, the police are racist. That is completely wrong.” --Mr 9/11, Rudy Giuliani
But even if I grant the assertion of "4 months of propaganda", how could that come anywhere close to the years of toxic anti-government slagging coming from the Radical Right?

"Government's not the solution, government's the problem."
"...drown it in a bathtub."
and on
and on
and on

And that's nuthin' compared with the deafening silence coming from the Ammosexuals at the moment.

Wanna talk about all those cuts in funding for Mental Health now?

I'm getting one of my lousy feelings that the Press Poodles will spend most of their time and energy spinning this into another episode of "Both Sides".  They'll report the controversy as if all things are equal, and we'll end up staying paralyzed in the middle.

Big fuckin' problems.  But the really big one boils down to this:  We can't go on being further and further isolated from our government when we were set up to be self-governing.  It astounds me to think of how much we bitch about "nobody taking responsibility for anything" when we sit on our thumbs and do nothing but bitch about how shitty everything is.

The Trouble With Bryan

Bryan Fischer (affectionately dubbed Reverend Fishsticks at Mock Paper Scissors), has decided that the homosexual agenda represents the greatest single threat to religious liberty we have ever seen in the history of our existence as a nation."

As usual, the "conservative" has shown some true colors here.  It's not a conservative value to deny people their rights.  Which should make it really clear that Bryan Fisher is as radical as they come.

Forget the usual bullshit about stirring up fear of the big bad homos - that shit does keep working surprisingly well on an awful lotta rubes, but by now shouldn't it be about as frightening as the Haunted House that the PTA puts on at the local middle school that's the same fucking thing every fucking year?

It's a pretty simple premise - the best way for me to ensure my own right's is by ensuring everybody else's rights.  

As we progress a little further towards Equal Rights, the only thing Bryan Fisher "loses" is what he believes (in his carbon-black little heart) to be his birthright as a white middle-class Christian American; his anointment by the almighty to have dominion over everything; to dictate to us what his imaginary friend tells him we must do to please him.  I can't think of anything more arrogantly and quaintly out-of-step with everything we've learned about self government over the last 2 1/2 centuries.

Entitlement much, muthuhfuckuh?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Stop This Shit Right Now

Two cops are dead because we don't do the Rational Thinking thing much any more.

And this doesn't help:

“Unfortunately, I don’t believe anyone connected to law enforcement is surprised this happened,” said Gary McLhinney, a former Baltimore police union president and former chief of the Maryland Transportation Authority police, who is now a labor negotiator for police unions. “Political rhetoric and lies have consequences. When our leaders make statements that encourage lawlessness and demean an entire profession, this is the result.”
First, I have to indulge myself with a tiny bit of Media Criticism - what “Political rhetoric and lies..." are we referring to here, Gary?  Wingnut Media have tried hard to paint Obama and Holder as "anti-cop" because they've been critical of the way some departments have seen fit to fund themselves by operating a shakedown racket primarily aimed at "the black community", but there's nothing in the WaPo story to indicate where that bit came from.  So it falls outa this guy's yap and just sits there - no challenge; no followup; no context.  Nuthin'.

Anyway, let the record show that "The Legion of Race Baiters" have all, or pretty much all, stepped up and condemned the cop killer in no uncertain terms. 

(source = Politico)
Obama: “I unconditionally condemn today’s murder of two police officers in New York City,” the president said in a statement released just after midnight on Sunday morning. “Two brave men won’t be going home to their loved ones tonight, and for that, there is no justification.  The officers who serve and protect our communities risk their own safety for ours every single day — and they deserve our respect and gratitude every single day. I ask people to reject violence and words that harm, and turn to words that heal — prayer, patient dialogue, and sympathy for the friends and family of the fallen.”

Holder: (labeled the killings an) “assassination” and “an unspeakable act of barbarism.”
He said the attack underscores the dangers police officers face each day in their jobs and that “we must not forget this as we discuss the events of the recent past.”
Holder called for communities and their police departments to forge closer bonds, “so that public safety is not a cause that is served by a courageous few, but a promise that’s fulfilled by police officials and citizens working side by side.”

Al Sharpton“Any use of the names of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, in connection with any violence or killing of police, is reprehensible and against the pursuit of justice in both cases,” the statement said. “We have stressed at every rally and march that anyone engaged in any violence is an enemy to the pursuit of justice for Eric Garner and Michael Brown… The Garner family and I have always stressed that we do not believe that all police are bad, in fact we have stressed that most police are not bad.”

But none of that matters anymore.  The Authoritarians have a coupla more very timely and  convenient martyrs now.  We've already begun seeing what looks like a push on social media to turn every cop into a saintly figure with the purest of intentions faced with the lawless brutality of the unwashed hordes of the ghetto blah blah ├╝ber alles blah.

The use of violence by an authoritarian government is intended to elicit a violent response from the governed in order for the government to gain sufficient rationale to use violence against the governed.  

And round and round we go.  Thanks for playing.

We're supposed to have set ourselves up to be the exception, because we were supposed to have recognized that we deserve better than to be perpetually stuck in the kind of cycle of violence that had been going on for a thousand centuries before us.

Maybe we figure it out and maybe we don't, but if history is any guide at all, we know we'll prob'ly be dealing with some even heavier shit before we get to the good stuff.

Here's to hopin' on the shortest darkest day of the year.

Solstice Tunes

An oldie - can't believe I have this (an original) on vinyl.

December --George Winston

Happy Solstice

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Saturday Groove (fixed)

Many The Miles --Sara Bareilles

oops - try it now

Come On Home --Joan Armatrading

I Don't Miss You At All --Nora Jones

I'd Rather Be Happy Than Right --Michael Franks

For You And I --10cc

Over The Rainbow --Melody Gardot

Friday, December 19, 2014

Yeah, OK - But Is It Art?

Grover Washington

I dunno why, but I have a weird link between Grover and Christmas.  So here's a little light seasonal funk to lift that (hopefully) light seasonal funk on a random Friday in December.

Winelight --Grover Washington

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Love Yourself

Hoping she can stick it out and become the "next Sara Bareilles" (as she mentions in one interview I heard)

All About That Bass (Accoustic) --Meghan Trainor

Today's Question

It seems we have a problem in this country with radicalized cops.  

So I'm wondering - where are the moderate cops, and why aren't they standing up in protest against the extremists in their midst?

Connecting Dots

When we stop caring for each other, it's not long before we stop caring about each other.

From truthout:
There is more at stake here than manufactured ignorance and an unconscionable flight from the truth. There is also a dangerous escape from justice, morality and the most basic principles central to a democratic society. The celebration of brutality, spectacles of violence and the affirmation of torture suggests that in a market-driven society with its unchecked individualism, sheer Darwinism and refusal to think about social costs or, for that matter, any notion of the public good, the addiction to cruelty, violence and torture becomes less difficult and almost too easy. In the age of disposability and despicable gaps in wealth, income and power, modern terror becomes normalized and points to the onslaught of a mode of totalitarianism that is more than an ephemeral moment in history. Violence is no longer marginal to American life; it is the foundation that now drives it.

Winter Song

Winter Song / White Winter Hymnal --Sil'Hooettes and The Virginia Gentlemen (UVa)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014