Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday noise

Eons ago, I used to write record reviews for FOCUS ROCK ENTERTAINMENT (screen capture of old publication here! Only image I could find online!). They paid me in t-shirts, movie and concert tickets, tote bags and other crap nobody else wanted, and records. RECORDS. Lots and lots of vinyl, some of which I still own because I can't bear to part with it.

One of the records I reviewed was VOLUNTEER JAM, which contained this major kick-ass song from the Charlie Daniels Band, jamming beautifully with members of the Allman Brothers Band and the Marshall Tucker Band. (The song ultimately emerges as more Allman than Daniels, but with Charlie's signature holler.) The rest of the album is also very good, but as I wrote then, this song shoots the record right into the stratosphere. (And I'm STILL right.) Yes, you heard that smoooooth Dickey Betts gee-tar before you even saw him.

Look how young everybody looks! Ain't it good to be alive and be in Tennessee?!?

Birmingham Blues - Charlie Daniels Band/Volunteer Jam (live)



If you have never heard of Mike Bloomfield, you should have. He passed away in 1981, and I sobbed my little heart out. A member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band as well as Electric Flag, he also provided great music for one of my favorite movies, Medium Cool.

I don't know who is singing, but it's that amazing, stinging guitar noise I want you to hear! This song is credited to Robert Johnson himself.

The video has some good visuals of Chicago (beloved home of Bloomfield and Butterfield), and contains shots of some of the more famous venues they played in.

Sweet Home Chicago - Mike Bloomfield (live)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

It's enough to make you sick

Last evening, Occupy Greenville sponsored a Teach-In featuring a showing of Sick Around the World, followed by a spirited and lively discussion. There were maybe a dozen of us in attendance.

This follows our showing of Sick Around America last week--both shows produced by PBS Frontline.

It's a depressing situation: how did this country's health care system get so messed up? Can we fix it? Will 'Obamacare' make it better or stretch our existing makeshift solutions to the breaking point?

Sick Around the World profiled five rich, capitalist, Western countries, and how they have managed health care for their citizens: Taiwan, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, and the UK. All systems are far superior to ours, and running on less.

From the transcript of "Sick Around the World"--some highlights:

T.R. REID: [voice-over] Here's something else that's different. Japanese patients have much longer hospital stays than Americans, and they love technology, like scans. They have nearly twice as many MRIs per capita as Americans, eight times as many as the Brits.

So how do they keep costs under control? Well, it turns out the Japanese health ministry tightly controls the price of health care, right down to the smallest detail. Every two years, the physicians and the health ministry negotiate a fixed price for every single procedure and drug. Like the items in this sushi bar, everything from open heart surgery to a routine check-up has a standard price, and this price is the same everywhere in Japan.

If a doctor tries to boost his income by increasing the number of procedures, well, then, guess what? At the next negotiation, the government lowers the price. That's what happened with MRIs, which are incredibly cheap in Japan. I asked the country's top health economist, Professor Naoki Ikegami, to tell us how that happened.

[on camera] In Denver, where I live, if you get an MRI of your neck region, it's $1,200, and the doctor we visited in Japan says he gets $98 for an MRI. So how do you do that?

Prof. NAOKI IKEGAMI, School of Medicine, Keio Univ.: Well, in 2002, the government says that the MRIs, "We are paying too much. So in order to be within the total budget, we will cut them by 35 percent."

T.R. REID: So, if I'm a doctor, why don't I say, "Well, I'm not going to do them, then. It's not enough money"?

Prof. NAOKI IKEGAMI: You forgot that we have only one payment system. So if you want to do your MRIs, unless you can get private-pay patients, which is almost impossible in Japan, you go out of business.

T.R. REID: [voice-over] So that shafts the medical device makers and must limit innovation, right? Well, no. Japanese manufacturers of scanning equipment, like Toshiba, found ways to make inexpensive machines they could sell to doctors. And guess what? Now they're exporting those machines all over the world.
The whole show was like this, a series of PRICE REGULATING realizations that blew my little mind. (Why do we accept the AMA's flimsy-ass excuses for everything?)

In Taiwan, everybody must opt into the system, and they issue a standard government health care card that you just pop into a slot, like paying to park: Zip. All I could think, watching them flip that wonderful little card in and out of various slots, was how these rabidly-anti-government guys around here (waves to my radio-show callers!) would never go along with something like that: galdurnit, I won't get a guvmint ID card! I can hear it now--echoes of last week's Ron Paul rally dancing in my head.

What is interesting is that once they finally get it established, even conservatives in these countries appreciate (and want to continue) universal health care for all of their citizens. And at that point, it becomes another political football, as liberal politicians threaten the populace that conservatives want to cut benefits. (Could that actually happen here?)

In Switzerland, their system was a wreck as late as 1994. It took a lot of political will to change it. Their administrative costs are now 5% of their medical budget, compared to our whopping 22%. From the transcript:
[on camera] One of the problems we have in America is that many people -- it's a huge number of people -- go bankrupt because of medical bills. Some studies say 700,000 people a year. How many people in Switzerland go bankrupt because of medical bills?

President PASCAL COUCHEPIN: Nobody. It doesn't happen. It would be a huge scandal if it happens.

T.R. REID: [voice-over] But here's Switzerland's challenge. Having achieved universal health care, it has to decide how much citizens are willing to pay. Today, an average monthly premium for a Swiss family is about $750. But there's pressure to raise the premiums. And it's already the second most expensive health care system in the world, although still much cheaper than ours.

What's interesting about Switzerland is that after LAMal's success, people in this proud capitalist country see limits now to the free market.

[on camera] Could a 100 percent free market system work in health care?

Pres. PASCAL COUCHEPIN: No, I don't think that. If you do that, you will lose solidarity and equal access for everybody.
In conclusion, there appears to be three major factors to make universal health care work:
These capitalist countries don't trust health care entirely to the free market. They all impose limits.

There are three big ones. First, insurance companies must accept everyone and can't make a profit on basic care. Second, everybody's mandated to buy insurance, and the government pays the premium for the poor. Third, doctors and hospitals have to accept one standard set of fixed prices.

Can Americans accept ideas like that?

Well, the fact is these foreign health care ideas aren't really so foreign to us. For American veterans, health care is just like Britain's NHS. For seniors on Medicare, we're Taiwan. For working Americans with insurance, we're Germany. And for the tens of million without health insurance, we're just another poor country.

But almost all of us can agree that this fragmented health care mess cannot be ignored. The longer we leave it, the sicker it becomes, and the more expensive the cure.
I'll repeat the question here: Can Americans accept these ideas, do you think?

~*~

Update: Walkupy's recent bust in Madison County, Georgia, did not dim the hardy spirits of our Occupiers! We tweeted news of the arrest to the world and the Madison County Sheriff's Office was bombarded with phone calls from all manner of lefty busybodies such as your humble narrator. The Powers-That-Be responded by setting them free with all charges dropped--WOOT! Very happy about that, as one of our local Greenville Occupiers has joined up with Walkupy for a stint. (We love you, Lynne!)

From the Anderson Independent Mail, here are some very nice pictures of Walkupy on the roads.

~*~

At left: Daisy and the dangerous sign-carrier. (Would this man hit anybody with a sign?)



Speaking of busts, the official consiglieri/producer of the DAISY DEADHEAD SHOW, Gregg Jocoy, was cited for having a sign that was TOO BIG, outside the federal courthouse last week, during the Occupy the Courts action. Yes, there is some dopey Greenville County ordinance about the size of signs.

And what about Newt's enormous signs all over the county (that still haven't been taken down by his lazy supporters)? Well, they don't count, since it's a PICKETING ordinance! Big signs are okay, but not if you are walking around with it... I guess he might hit somebody with it? He'll poke his eye out!

So, an expensive citation, which I suspect was really because he was out there yelling about the courts. Occupy the Courts was a national succcess, if (as usual) receiving little media coverage.

I love seeing the Occupy movement stretch out in all directions!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Another fine mess

Kurt Vonnegut dedicated his 1976 novel Slapstick "to the memory of Arthur Stanley Jefferson and Norvell Hardy, two angels of my time."

Ah, weren't they, though?

Laurel and Hardy - Water fight clip



It took me a long time to find one that features Stanley starting to cry! (@ 2:14) I always adored them both, but Stanley's funny crying gave him the edge, and he was my favorite.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Al Jazeera: The challenges of Occupying South Carolina

Al Jazeera ran an article about South Carolina Occupy!!! Woot!

How interesting that it's up to foreign journalists to understand what's going on around here. You sure can't find this kind of insightful analysis in the New York Times, or even the Greenville News.

Excerpt:

With about ten per cent of South Carolinians unemployed, economic woes might make South Carolina seem like a receptive setting for the Occupy movement - which reserves some of its harshest rhetoric for banks and corporations they deem largely responsible for income inequality.

But compared with other states, there aren't many Occupiers in South Carolina: in Charleston, the state's second-largest city, there are some 20 to 40 active participants, says Anjana Joshi, a research analyst at a Charleston law firm.

South Carolina tends to be a conservative state: its governor and all but one congressman are affiliated with the right-wing Tea Party movement. Deb Morrow of Occupy Spartanburg says dislike of President Obama is so strong in parts of the state that it's "difficult to get people to engage" with issues such as unemployment and income inequality.

Although about 75 Occupiers held a demonstration at the capitol last Saturday in Columbia - near a statue of segregationist senator Strom Thurmond - about ten times as many people had gathered on the other side of the state house earlier that day as part of an anti-abortion rally.

Laura Olson, a political science professor at Clemson University, doesn't think the Occupiers' small numbers are necessarily problematic for the movement. "The political context here makes it tough for any kind of progressive movement to get much traction. But that can be an advantage in a way too," she explained. "Even though you're not going to attract huge numbers of people, you might get folks who are more deeply committed than you otherwise might" in a more liberal state.

The many faces of Occupy

The stereotypical Occupier is often portrayed as a young, unemployed, college student. That may be one demographic - but far from the only one.

South Carolina, with its many military bases and academies, has a lot of veterans - and a disproportionate number of Occupiers seem to be veterans. Of the 11 people arrested when Occupy Charleston set up a short-lived encampment in the city's Marion Square, five were veterans, including Ramon Caraballo of Charleston.

Caraballo, who served in Iraq for 15 months during the surge, links his participation in Occupy with his military service. He says he became involved with Occupy after seeing police in Oakland fire beanbag guns and tear gas canisters at demonstrators close-range - which he says the US Army isn't allowed to do to Iraqi protesters. "We ourselves are dead wrong for what we impose in other countries - and we can't even follow those rules here," says Caraballo.

And in the seaside city of Myrtle Beach - which has a large number of senior citizens - many people active in the Occupy group there are retirees, says Brian Noyes Pulling, himself a retired social worker.

Although Occupiers in South Carolina say the reception they've gotten hasn't been overwhelmingly negative, it hasn't been altogether welcoming, either. Cliff Berardo, a driver from Columbia who's involved with Occupy, says people in the state often see participants as "dirty, filthy hippies" who "want a free ride". For example, Ronald Moulder, who's active with the Tea Party, described Occupy participants demonstrating at a Tea Party convention in Myrtle Beach as looking "like they just got out from under the bridge".

Olson believes that many South Carolinians "see the movement as sort of distant from here, as something that is going on in big cities in the North ... It feels too '60s-ish, I think, for a lot of folks".

Increasing activism

"There are whole communities of people that our local government just doesn't care about."

- Anjana Joshi of Occupy Charleston

Some Occupy groups in the state are trying to overcome the perception that they are, in the words of Occupy Spartanburg's Deb Morrow, "just standing out there and doing nothing". Every Sunday, for instance, Occupy Charleston holds a free potluck dinner in the city's low-income East Side neighbourhood. "We try to get into our actual communities and help people and fill the void that the government has left," says Joshi. "There are whole communities of people that our local government just doesn't care about."

A handful of Occupiers are becoming active in electoral politics as well. Although Occupy groups do not endorse political candidates, at least two Occupy participants are running for congress in South Carolina, both against Tea Party incumbents elected in 2010. Deb Morrow is running in the Democratic primary in the state's 4th District for the chance to take on Trey Gowdy. And Jeanne van den Hurk of Greenville will challenge 3rd District congressman Jeff Duncan if she becomes the Democratic nominee.

Both say one of the main reasons they're running is the role money plays in politics. "There's becoming an awareness that corporations are holding us hostage," van den Hurk told me at an Occupy event in Columbia.

Occupy participants largely reject comparisons with the conservative Tea Party movement - and vice versa. "They want government," said Charleston Tea Party chairman Mike Murphree. "I don't want nothing to do with government."

Comparing movements on the US Left and Right

But although their politics are quite different, there are nevertheless some similarities. "Both movements are coming from the same place," argues Olson, "and that is anger, dissatisfaction, alienation, lack of trust in government."

Both movements say they've changed the national political dialogue: Tea Partiers claim that more Republican politicians are talking about federal spending and taxes; Occupiers point out that income inequality and corporate misdeeds are becoming part of the public discourse - even in the Republican primary.

There's no way to prove causality, but some Occupiers here note that Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry's attacks on Mitt Romney for his tenure at private equity firm Bain Capital sound very similar to what Occupy Wall Street has been saying all along (Perry went so far as to call Romney a "vulture capitalist" - not a charge often made by Republicans today). Archconservative pundit Rush Limbaugh took notice, averring that Gingrich is "singing from the same hymnal" as the Occupy movement.

Candidates' talking points come and go. Perhaps a longer-lasting political effect of the state's Occupy movement is the forging of a network of left-leaning activists "who didn't know each other a year ago", in the words of South Carolina Green Party co-chair Scott West. "We all know one another now."
We sure do! I now count both Deb Morrow and Jeanne van den Hurk among my friends.

Nice article, and thanks to the ever-intrepid Joni LeCompte for putting me onto it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Babylone Buildings

I have no idea what he is saying, since I flunked my second year of French. But I love this CD, and this is one of the best tunes on it. I do know what Rastafari means, and I can follow along well enough.

Chris Combette is originally from French Guiana and also lived in Martinique. I love his sweet voice and phrasing, and very much wish I could translate the lyrics for you. (I can't find them anywhere on the net, in any language.)

Enjoy!

Babylone Buildings - Chris Combette

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Newt Gingrich wins SC Primary

At left: Newtie gloats, photo by Jeff Siner of the Charlotte Observer.




I knew Newtie would win, simply from all the signs. They started small, and within the past week, they exploded into banner-sized "NEWT 2012" screaming at us from every interstate exit all over the county.

Simply put: a Catholic vs a Mormon? A Catholic will win. Santorum, also Catholic, brought in the #3 spot, with Ron Paul (who didn't spend much money here), bringing up the rear. Looking at it from a fundamentalist point of view, there is no contest. Certain old-school Christians still don't trust Mormons.

Speaking personally, Mormonism seems to be the most interesting thing about Mitt Romney, otherwise, he is just another rich, Republican hack politician, like the rest of them. But I am not a typical South Carolina voter, of course.

Nonetheless, Newt's big win surprised a lot of people, particularly after (second) ex-wife Marianne Gingrich gave her famous "Newt wanted an open marriage" interview. This segued into CNN's John King asking Newt about her accusation during the debate (first question!), and Newt's robust, cheeky response. (go to about 2:30 here) I guess the Republicans appreciate Newt at his most bratty. (I hope so, since there is plenty more where THAT came from.)

More:

Gingrich routs Romney (The State)

South Carolina primary: Newt Gingrich basks, looks ahead to long race (Politico)

Gingrich: S.C. 'decided to be with us in changing Washington' (CNN)

Newt wins SC primary (CBS video)

Newt Gingrich wins South Carolina (UK Guardian)

Gingrich wins South Carolina primary (Washington Post)

Yall need to congratulate me for getting through this whole post without making fun of Callista's hair.

Dead Air Church: 30 Years

It is my official AA anniversary, folks! Today marks my 30th year without alcohol. (gasp) I can hardly believe it myself. At left: an image from one of the late-60s AA comic books, titled "It happened to Alice."

I am no longer a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, for a variety of reasons. (I touched on some of my issues with AA here and here.) But I still credit the organization with saving my life. Nothing else would have worked for me. The very aspects of AA that are so harshly criticized now, such as the pseudo-cultish environment, are the very things I most needed. My ongoing druggie-party-atmosphere had always provided me with 'friends'--and consequently, when I cleaned up, I needed "new playmates and playgrounds" to take their place... or I was going to run into big trouble. Immediately. The social environment of AA was crucial.

I remember once having the vivid sensation of having jumped from a window on a very, very high floor... and inexplicably, soft, loving hands, dozens of hands, caught me and brought me safely to earth. Often, when I think of AA, I have this sensation, this vision, that I will never forget, of all the hands reaching out to catch me.

Sometimes it makes me cry, because I did not deserve it. Not at all.

It was amazing that this should happen to me, that these loving, kind hands should catch me after all I had done. This is what Christians call Grace. I deserved to crash through the concrete, and yet... I was spared.

It is impossible to come through such an experience unchanged and unscathed. My spiritual curiosity began then, generously mixed with survivor's guilt: Why have I been spared, when other good people were not? As I would hear (ever more often, it seemed) of famous and nonfamous addicts dying (page down here, for my musings about John Belushi, the first famous addict to die after I became sober), I would experience almost dizzying gratitude (and accompanying relief) that I had stopped when I did.

The gratitude has never abated. Perhaps that is key.

~*~

Recently in Feminist Blogdonia, there was a huge uproar over a controversial, confessional post, written by a popular male feminist, about violence against women he had committed while still using. This didn't surprise me, but it surprised, shocked, and horrified many others. And from their shock, I learned an important lesson: I had intended to write a longer piece for my 30-Year anniversary. I wanted to tell a harrowing story, since it underscores my gratitude; it makes it very clear that I was in crisis, and how far I have come.

And yes, I have a few I could tell.

I now know that such stories, stories of pain and addiction, stories of insanity, stories of possible death, near death and death itself, need to be kept secret and/or only shared with people we know well and deeply trust. Online is not the place, as Hugo discovered. And that's too bad, isn't it? But I am glad Hugo went their first. As a result, I certainly won't.

And so, I shall leave it to your imagination ... with the help of a few movies.

Warning: these video clips tell the truth.


And a very happy anniversary to me! :)

~*~

In this clip from Trainspotting, Ewan MacGregor is in drug withdrawal, hallucinating and haunted by various dead friends, including the baby that died in his apartment (because they were too high to feed her).

Here we learn the important lesson that guilt can become actual monsters that follow you around.



At the end of Clean and Sober--Michael Keaton realizes what the film audience already knows:



From Spike Lee's Jungle Fever, here is Samuel L Jackson as "Gator", with the late Ossie Davis and the incomparable Ruby Dee:



And we end with two trailers from Requiem for a Dream, the best and most honest movie ever made about addiction:




Friday, January 20, 2012

Ron Paul in Greenville

At left: Presidential candidate, Congressman Ron Paul today in Greenville.



What does it mean that so many working class people packed into a drafty, cold, wet airplane hangar to listen to a rather unremarkable-looking 76-year-old doctor talk mostly about his interpretation of the Constitution?

And they hollered, screamed, and stomped appreciatively?

I dunno, but as usual, I am impressed. I met about a half-dozen or more people I knew, too. I can confidently tell you that I could never say the same about any other Republican candidate... and possibly even the Democrats, at this stage of the game.

The Ron Paul folks (see below) are real people and I like them. They are friendly, and not a single one said anything nasty about the Obama bumper stickers I have not gotten around to scrubbing off my car. One sign on the back of a pick-up, pointedly read: DEMOCRATS-YOU CAN VOTE IN PRIMARY! (You certainly don't see signs at other candidate's rallies, openly asking for votes from 'the other side'.) Just like the last time, I enjoyed the event.

Until someone can explain away Ron Paul's populism, I can't dismiss it. On my radio show tomorrow, I will be addressing the race-baiting politics of the South Carolina primary, which have notably been from Newt Gingrich, not Ron Paul. I will be talking about why Ron Paul is considered by many to be the most progressive choice at this point.

One out of four young African-American males is in prison (the percentage may even be higher here in South Carolina), largely due to the failed and expensive drug war. The sorrowful end-results of the drug war have decimated black communities, and left heartache, gangs and poverty in their wake. (Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs coke-fiends have all of their bills and legal fees paid for by OUR money.) Of all candidates, left and right, only Ron Paul calls for a total end to this barbarism.

And it must be underscored, this is a radical and anti-racist position.

However, I must be honest... I am disappointed the Paul campaign here in South Carolina has radically downplayed the good doctor's anti-drug war positions. Recent Greenville News articles did not mention Ron Paul's controversial positions a single time, even though it certainly was news the last time he debated here! Ordinarily, I would attribute this to the usual shoddy job by the Greenville News, and yet, I noticed the info table at the rally today featured position papers about the Patriot Act, Civil Liberties in general, and virtually everything else but the drug war specifically. Hmm. Why not? (The mainstream media keeps repeating that Paul has 'widespread youth support'--surely they know his opposition to the drug war is a big reason why?) Is this because they believe their best chances are with conservatives here in the Palmetto State?

I think Ron Paul's anti-drug-war politics are a big draw with Independents, liberals and other civil-libertarians, and in fact, I am disappointed the Paul campaign didn't target minority communities with political ads seeking crossover voters and support. (Or would that compromise support among conservatives?)

If the guy with the pickup truck gets it, surely the people running the campaign, can too?

~*~

I saw my old comrade, the venerable Ted Christian, who ran for congress against Bob Inglis in 2008. He informed me he would be voting for Ron Paul "from now on."

I offered that Dr Paul was 76 now and probably would not run for president again.

"I don't care, I will keep on voting for him after he's dead," he said. He then informed me that the van outside with "Ron Paul 2012" on it, was his.

Not at all surprised.


Below, some photos of the rally, starting off with Ted's van--and that's Ted and me in the last photo. As always, you can click to enlarge.







Wednesday, January 18, 2012

City Information

Yes, I haz it!




Today is the mass internet-blackout and log-off in protest of monstrous, evil SOPA, which I previously wrote about in depth here. I haven't changed my mind since! STOP SOPA!

We are being asked to limit our overall online activity today, if possible, in protest of this repressive attempt to control internet discourse.

Although I do thank you all profusely for stopping by! Have a lovely Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Occupy and Walkupy

Hey, you crazy kidz! My apologies for intermittent internet woes, keeping me from bringing you all the straight dope on the South Carolina primary.

Well, what can I say?

We are averaging about one robocall every 2-3 hrs or so. I assume this is because I voted in the Republican primary in 2008 (for Ron Paul, a deliberate act of strategic voting that I will be repeating on Saturday). These damn phone banks are harassing the hell out of us... I assure you, I have no desire to talk to Rick Santorum or Newtie, who have virtually wallpapered my neighborhood with their annoying signs. Newt's people seem to be focused on internet exits, while Santorum's people are targeting particular neighborhoods, concentrated with born-agains. Newtie wants it all!

I'd like to thank author Jeff Sharlet for being on my radio show Saturday to talk about Occupy writers. (I did not hear him as well in the studio as you could hear him on the air. Not sure I understand the reason for this broadcast phenomenon.) THANK YOU, JEFF! I was a nervous wreck with someone so important on my show and hardly slept at all the night before. (Does this stuff happen to Rush Limbaugh and those people?)

I am still learning, and it is at such moments that I realize how far I have to go.

On Saturday, after the show, there was a march in support of Occupy in Columbia, and my consiglieri, Gregg Jocoy, was quoted in the news account! As I said, no sleep at all, and I just didn't have it in me to march around Columbia. However, on Sunday, your plucky heroine was back with Occupy Greenville at Bergamo Square; a local hip-hop group, High Stakes, showed up to lend their support. (2nd photo at left) A Ron Paul supporter also dropped by and wished us well. I didn't see a single other campaign worker, from any other campaign. (I guess they don't have many face-to-face folks, and would rather just bleat bullshit in random robocalls.)

Tonight we welcome Walkupy with a potluck! I have made my trusty Curry-Lentil soup, just for them.

From Spartanburg Herald-Journal:

Spartanburg County residents might have seen them during the weekend, a group of 18 walkers trekking through the Upstate, ranging in age from 18 to 63.

They are part of Walkupy, a march to raise awareness for the Occupy Wall Street movement, said Darrin Annussek, a participant from Philadelphia. The group carries American and peace flags. One participant flies a Texas flag as they walk, and another bears the Veterans for Peace flag.

On Sunday, they were headed into Greer from Duncan, along Highway 290. Today, they’ll head to Greenville.

“We invite anyone to walk for a day, or a few hours,” Annussek said.

Annussek, 36, joined Walkupy in Philadelphia. The original march began in New York and went to Washington, stopping for a visit at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial there.

Annussek has been walking since the beginning of November, he said.

“It’s amazing meeting people,” said Annussek, who left his job as a career counselor to participate in Walkupy. “There seems to be a general understanding that something has to be done to change the country. We’re getting the word out for social change.”

Annussek used to live in Inman, and he said the group’s reception in the South has been amazing. A participant of the recent Occupy Spartanburg demonstration downtown assisted the Walkupy group over the weekend, helping the marchers find accommodations. Annussek said the marchers have camped out and stayed in a couple hotels but mostly have received lodging from churches and private homes.
It will be great to meet you all at last. My soup rocks, and its vegan too.

Hope you all had a great Martin Luther King Jr holiday!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Haley Watch: More More More

For the record, I am ambivalent about linking Will Folks' Republican blog, FITSnews.

Folks is the blogger who claims he got into [South Carolina Governor] Nikki Haley's pants, before she reached her current levels of megastardom. I tend to believe him, simply because I want to... and because he and the governor were "good friends" and close political associates at one point (he didn't invent this out of whole cloth). I certainly haven't seen this accusation bring him any goodies. Quite the opposite. As a Republican blogger, you don't print sex rumors about a beloved Republican rising star without encountering a lot of conservative anger. The subject of haters throughout the state, Will Folks has had to stand up to the kind of scrutiny that makes most accusers melt into a puddle... and he hasn't. Instead, he has been emboldened. He continually threatens a tell-all book about their affair, and has stayed on Nikki's trail like the proverbial bloodhound. (Hell hath no fury like a blogger scorned!) As a result, FITSnews has all the goods on our governor. Will has stepped into the breach and made Haley-watching his CALLING.

Unfortunately, another result: Will has found it necessary to double down and get dirty, which is too bad. There is a rather disgusting, old-boys-network, locker-room vibe in the comments on Will's blog, and for that I heartily apologize. Like me, he rarely deletes anyone, even the people who hate him, so it's all right there, including the nastiness. The guys like to make nasty sexual remarks about Haley, and although Will himself rarely does, his claims about Haley have been the overall catalyst. Like most bloggers, he seeks high-traffic, so he allows it. He shouldn't, but then, it's his blog. But the continued tolerance of nastiness DOES say something about him, which I don't think he quite realizes: It compromises his account of events. Would designer-clothes-clad Nikki crawl into an SUV and copulate with such a FRAT BOY? The more the pesky frat boy-vibe triumphs at FITSnews, the less believable Will Folks' account is.

And yes, I WANT people to believe him. I think he is telling the truth. I think he felt USED by a candidate, who screwed him primarily for political support and good press. And she then left him twisting slowly, slowly in the wind, and he was furious as a result. So, he decided to go after her and make her his raison d'être. In his position, I might have done the same.

This has made for a great blog, with tips coming in across the land, but it has also made for a blog with too much sexual (and sexist) innuendo, which sometimes tips over into racism as well (since Haley is Asian, the first nonwhite governor in SC). He needs to get a handle on that shit if he wants to be taken seriously and go nationwide, which he could. GO BIG OR GO HOME, Will. Grow up and leave the locker room, and muckraking fame could well be yours.

Having said all that, I will now link FITSnews, with the appropriate CAVEATS. Beware misogyny in comments, or just skip the comments. Will's reporting itself is not offensive, except of course for his subject matter: Nikki Haley herself is plenty offensive.

Bold type is from FITSnews.

:: Federal probe into Nikki Haley "Family Temple" Expands - A federal investigation into the finances of the Sikh Religious Society of South Carolina – the temple where S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s parents, Dr. Ajit S. “Doc” Randhawa and Raj Randhawa worship – has expanded to include the governor’s personal and campaign finances, multiple sources familiar with the ongoing probe tell FITS.

Specifically, agents are said to be investigating whether Haley and her husband, Michael, received improper payments from the temple – allegations which have revived lingering questions about discrepancies between the couple’s meager pre-gubernatorial income and the lavish lifestyle they enjoyed.

Haley is a former Sikh Religious Society board member as well as the former accountant for the temple. Randhawa, her father, is the current president of the congregation.

In addition to a 2010 scam in which Randhawa allegedly doled out tax receipts to donors in excess of the amounts they actually contributed to the temple, agents are also said to be investigating allegations of possible financial “co-mingling” between the temple and Haley’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.


:: The Nikki Haley “Family Temple” Files - FITSnews managed to get their hands on the actual pdf files. ((applause))

:: More “Haleynomics?” - The original FITSnews story about the Sikh temple, right before the 2010 election. Prescient as always, Will correctly informs us this won't influence the election, but "could possibly have far-reaching implications beyond it." We can only hope.

:: Sources: Feds Investigating Randhawa - The temple’s poor fiscal management is nothing new. According to Richland County court filings the Sikh Religious Society has been sued four times since March 2010 – including actions to foreclose and debts totaling $116,000. In a court filing dated October 15, 2010, the temple was given a twenty-day notice of an impending lawsuit regarding a lien placed on its property by Hardaway Concrete Company – one of several contractors that is suing the temple for non-payment of invoices.

In addition to failing to pay its debts, there are also questions about how “Doc” Randhawa has managed the temple’s books.

Until last October, shortly before FITS began making inquiries regarding the temple, contributions earmarked for the project were sent directly to Ajit Randhawa’s residence, however in recent months the congregation has been asked to “make a deposit direct to BB&T” and “call your friends and relatives to donate.”

Speaking of donations, one of the sources we spoke with told us that Randhawa has a history of providing donors with tax receipts that are in excess of cash contributions made to the organization – which if true would be highly illegal.

Also – and this is the most damaging allegation – several congregation members claim that Randhawa may have illegally funneled money intended for the temple into his daughter’s gubernatorial campaign.


Needless to say, this story has not really hit the major press AT ALL, except for some passing mentions here and there. The Republican star-machine is busy prepping Nikki for Italian Vogue, and seem to regard this little investigation as just that, little.

We'll see, won't we?

Good work, Will.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Deb Morrow for congress!

Deb Morrow has not 'officially' announced her run for congress, but I already blurted it out on my radio show, Saturday morning. She was a great sport and didn't mind.



I attended Deb's first organizational meeting in Spartanburg, yesterday. I love that an Occupier is running for office, but at the same time, I am skeptical that the Democratic Party brass will allow this, or will back her candidacy. Will they find some party-hack to run against Trey Gowdy, since Deb is a genuine working-class, progressive Democrat?

As you may recall, this is what happened in 2008 to Ted Christian, who was bringing all kinds of Ron Paulish-Libertarian-leaning local folks into the Democratic party. In response, the Establishment Dems trotted out some flunkie, whose name slips my mind, to pretend to run against Republican Rep. Bob Inglis.

And most recently in 2010, when Inglis was down for the count, the Democratic party could have tapped some local heavy-hitters, or at least found another rabble-rouser like Ted, to give the Republicans a run for their money. Instead, they sat on their hands and let the GOP take the 4th District, once again.

Sometimes, I wonder if these things are choreographed, as so many non-jury trials are. Is it all decided by the powers-that-be before the elections even start? (Do they divide up the state, as Roosevelt and Stalin divided up Europe?)

I am reminded of Christine O'Donnell's doomed Delaware senatorial campaign, which the Republican Party honchos ignored. She was elected in the primary due to a groundswell from the Tea Party Movement, which embarrassed the Yacht Club Party to no end. There they were, clutching their hanging-chads, and asking WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED? The Tea Party out-organized you, is what. They took it straight to the people. And as a result, the resentful Republican Party in Delaware basically disowned O'Donnell and did not share their considerable political and financial power with her. Who is THIS person, seemed to be the consensus. (And as Glenn Greenwald and others pointedly noted, this is precisely why "regular folks" were ready to listen to her.)

History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy and the second time as farce. I hope this won't be the farce. It would be fabulous if Deb actually won the 4th District congressional primary, simply due to a groundswell of anti-bailout sentiment; people are totally fed up with the rich getting it ALL. But will the Democratic party support Deb, if she wins? Or will some boring, party-approved, regulation white guy get brought in at the last minute?

If this happens, it will likely be the last time I help out a Democrat candidate. Like one of my heroes wrote, we won't get fooled again.

~*~


Today's confession: I am unsure of what my sign means. Well okay, I know what it means, but not all of the particulars. I grabbed it from a pile, because it was RED, my favorite color. ;)

I also think the idea of MORE bailouts, makes most ordinary folks start frothing at the mouth, and that's the reaction we want! (Yes, we stood out there in the rain, which really does wonders for my hair. Is there any way we could bottle this, do you suppose?)

Commercial: Don't forget to drop by Coffee Underground tonight for our Occupy-Greenville-sponsored showing of "Capitalism, A Love Story"--a film by Michael Moore. The show starts at 7pm, so be there or be square!

~*~

Aside: Sitting here watching INSIDE DAISY CLOVER (no relation) and wishing Natalie Wood had not drowned. They have re-opened the case, but having read all of the major biographies and accounts of the drowning-story, I have no idea what they think they are going to find. It's 30 years later, people. (Is there newly-discovered DNA evidence or something else we don't know about?)

In this movie, they dubbed Natalie's singing voice with Jackie Ward's, just as they dubbed her voice in WEST SIDE STORY with Marni Nixon's. (She always found that embarrassing, that her singing was not deemed good enough.) They left it alone in GYPSY, but partially dubbed Rosalind Russell's voice with Lisa Kirk's.

I read that Barbra Streisand wants to play Mama Rose, which is the world's most perfect casting. THAT WOULD BE SO TOTALLY AWESOME! Although some people prefer the actress who actually won the Tony award for the playing the part, Patti LuPone.

I do love Patti, but Streisand IS Mama Rose, and I am really pulling for her in the role. I just swoon thinking about Barbra singing this:

Everything's Coming Up Roses - Ethel Merman



Extra points if you knew she was gay, according to Jacqueline Susann, who knew everything about everybody. (And who suddenly just thought of the movie "Airplane"?)

PS: This song is officially dedicated to Deb Morrow!!! Good luck to you, Deb.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Vermin Supreme for president

Newt avoids confrontation with Occupy protestors



Quote from above-linked account:

The protesters waved signs and chanted, supporting two competing candidates in the Republican primary: Ron Paul and an individual named Vermin Supreme, who wore a rubber boot on his head and danced while speaking through a megaphone.
Is this a great country or what?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Press Release: Mitt Romney's "Jeremiah Wright" problem


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - JANUARY 9, 2012
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Alumni of Bob Jones University
Contact: Jeffrey Hoffman (646) 271-5980

NEW YORK, NY, JANUARY 9, 2012: Mitt Romney has a preacher problem down in South Carolina. Republican presidential hopefuls have long coveted endorsement by the Chancellor of Bob Jones University, Bob Jones III. Every serious Republican candidate since Ronald Reagan has made the pilgrimage to Greenville, South Carolina's "Fortress of Faith." In 2008, Mitt Romney enthusiastically accepted the Bob Jones endorsement: "We're proud to have Dr Jones' support and look forward to working with him to communicate Governor Romney's message of conservative change to voters," Romney spokesman William Holley said.

SO, WHO IS BOB JONES? Standing on the steps of the White House in 1980, Bob Jones III once told an AP reporter:
I’m sure this will be greatly misquoted but it would not be a bad idea to bring the swift justice today that was brought in Israel’s day against murder and rape and homosexuality. I guarantee it would solve the problem post-haste if homosexuals were stoned, if murderers were immediately killed as the Bible commands.
For over three decades, Bob Jones has shouted his hatred and homophobia from the chapel platform of Bob Jones University, regularly equating homosexuality with bestiality, murder, rape, theft and child molestation in his daily rants to the thousands of students as young as junior high age in his audience. To this day, he has never apologized for the views he expressed to the Associated Press in 1980.

Today, Mitt Romney's campaign has disavowed its previous attempts to woo gay voters. Is this the same Mitt Romney who told Bay Windows newspaper that "I'll be better than Ted (Kennedy) for gay rights?"

A group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, alumni and faculty have compiled a video and have established a new blog to document the rampant homophobia at Bob Jones University, at lgbt-bju.org. This group asks Governor Romney to repudiate the endorsement of Bob Jones III in the last election and to join us in demanding an apology by signing our petition, which can be found online at change.org.

Lbgt-bju.org offers confidential support and advice to those within the fundamentalist lifestyle who may be questioning their sexuality or gender or who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Media inquiries should be directed to Jeffrey Hoffman, a public spokesperson for this group.

Monday Music: Here at the Western World

Steely Dan - Here at the Western World

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Funeral of Pfc. Justin Whitmire

At left: Pfc Justin Whitmire, age 20, upstate soldier killed on December 27th, only 19 days after arriving in Afghanistan.






I had planned on titling this post "Up close and personal with the Westboro Baptist Church"--but instead, I witnessed an amazing sight. I saw about 3000 members and associates of the Patriot Guard Riders stand in loose formation outside the Simpsonville Baptist Church. They stood quietly and respectfully during the funeral of Justin Whitmire. (No smoking or cell phones, conversation kept to whispers.) And then, as the honor guard departed, the bikers lined Main Street (Highway 14) in Simpsonville, holding American flags aloft. The phalanx on both sides of the road was impressive, as the Patriot Guard provided an escort for the funeral procession.

The line of people stretched for miles, all the way to the cemetery. It was astounding.

The infamous Fred Phelps and his equally infamous Westboro Baptist Church was nowhere to be seen, although they had threatened to picket Whitmire's funeral. There were copious rumors they had already arrived in the upstate, including (if you heard my radio show this morning) a local sighting at Walmart. I had heard of the Patriot Guard and knew they were attending, but I had no idea there would be so many of them. The rumble of thousands of Harley-Davidsons in downtown Simpsonville, echoing off the old buildings, sounded like the engines revving at Talladega. (Apparently, this is one way they drown out Westboro's noise, when they confront them.)

It is puzzling to me (to say the least) that WBC continues their evil deeds. Nobody likes them. Nobody agrees with them. Certainly, nobody appreciates their picketing of grieving veteran families. They are mostly a grim and disturbing sideshow, at this point. This morning on my radio show, we discussed at length why they continue these bizarre shenanigans... and it was during this conversation that one of my callers used the word ASSHOLE, the first cuss-word on my show to date (unless you count "dumb-asses"--and I don't). I'm just glad *I* wasn't the one to say it!

(Yes, it took Westboro Baptist Church to finally break the no-cussing rule on The Daisy Deadhead Show.)

Apparently, WBC makes money every time they open their whack-ass mouths. SOMEBODY must be buying what they are selling, since they continue to travel all over the country for these anti-veteran protests. In fact, they are majorly lawyered up, so one of their shakedowns is goading people into hitting or hurting them, and then suing them for damages and denial of their civil rights, etc.

The way the Patriot Guard stood so firmly and with such dignity, was heartening. Many of them were wearing Christian-oriented biker wear, and I realized, they feel responsible for confronting WBC as Christians. They will not let these people do this nasty stuff in the name of Christianity, at least not without their own Christian witness alongside them. I have a great deal of respect for that.

They were beautiful.

I am so happy that Justin's family had such dignified, dedicated escorts for their son. My thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time.

Photos below--as always, you can click to enlarge. My dastardly camera-battery ran down before the Highway 14 formation, but at least you get an idea of how many folks turned out.

The radical transformation of a moment of fear and hate, into a display of respect, solidarity and love, is a lesson we all can learn.

~*~










Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday links of interest

DEAD AIR presents Friday linkage for your perusal, on this eve of the first New Hampshire primary debate.

First up, Senator Rick Santorum, family man, is another morally-bankrupt fake. (Nah, go on! Say it isn't so!) Check out Politico's Santorum: Ultimate D.C. insider:

Rick Santorum received a troubling email in 2009, when he was working as a Fox News analyst — an aggrieved husband was accusing Sen. John Ensign, Santorum’s friend and former Republican colleague, of having an extramarital affair with the aide’s wife.

Santorum quickly tipped off Ensign that the man was threatening to go public with the scandal, a move that set in motion a chain of events that allowed Ensign to get ahead of the news by presenting his version of the story first.

For anyone who knows Santorum, his decision to protect Ensign was not surprising. During his 16 years on Capitol Hill, Santorum developed close personal ties with Republican lawmakers, became immersed in the inner workings of the Senate, climbed the ladder of leadership and embraced earmarks.

As Santorum tries to seize the tea party mantle and paint Mitt Romney as the ultimate establishment candidate, the reality is that Santorum became the ultimate Washington insider.
Interesting! Faithful, moral Catholic daddy of seven, makes sure to protect an adulterer from the ire of his constituents. How is this moral?

Answer: it isn't. Santorum is Mr Morality when it suits him, but not when it doesn't.

Radio show host (and former Fox News talking head) Alan Colmes got in considerable trouble for criticizing the behavior of the Santorums, after Karen Santorum had a miscarriage: They brought the fetus home to show the kids.

No, I could never make that up:
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has evoked squeamishness and ridicule for retelling the story of the death of his son, Gabriel, at 20 weeks gestation and the family's unconventional response -- taking the body home from the hospital and allowing their other children to cuddle the corpse and say goodbye.

The Internet lit up with comments this week after Santorum's meteoric rise to second-place in the Iowa caucuses, nearly tying him with presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Some described Santorum's story as "weird" or "horrifying."

Gabriel was the couple's eighth pregnancy and he survived only two hours. In her book, Karen Santorum wrote about bringing the body home to their other children.

''Elizabeth and Johnny held you with so much love and tenderness," she wrote. "Elizabeth proudly announced to everyone as she cuddled you, 'This is my baby brother, Gabriel; he is an angel.'''

But some mental health experts believe the Santorums may have been ahead of their time by ritualizing their son's death in order to exorcize their grief, though they say taking a body home is unusual and not recommended.

In the context of the times -- the year was 1996 when the family buried Gabriel -- their behavior was understandable, according to Dr. David Diamond, a psychologist and co-author of the 2005 book "Unsung Lullabies."

Helen Coons, a clinical psychologist and president of Women's Mental Health Associates in Philadelphia, said couples are not encouraged to bring a deceased fetus home.

"If a couple chooses to do a burial or memorial service for a third-trimester loss, funeral homes will assist in a caring manner," she said.
Everyone jumped on Colmes for his insensitivity, but I think he simply verbalized (accurately) what the rest of us were thinking.

And Santorum is running for the highest office in the land, Saints preserve us.

~*~

More stuff:

FBI Changes definition of rape (Mother Jones)

Illinois Lottery Checks Bounce For 85 Winners (Huffington Post)

Doggie survives avalanche! (UPI)

David Bowie turns 65! (UK Guardian)

Employees of big companies fill Ohio's Medicaid, food stamp rolls, report says (Dayton Daily News)

Twelve Things You Were Not Taught in School About Creative Thinking (Psychology Today)

~*~

And I profusely apologize to everyone for not writing a much more fascinating blog post... but I confess I have spent my whole day babbling ON THIS INTERMINABLE THREAD instead.

And don't forget to TUNE IN TOMORROW! 9am EST, 1600AM and 94.9FM in upstate South Carolina!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bachmann Bails

At left: Cover of The Madness of Michele Bachmann by Ken Avidor, Karl Bremer and Eva Young.


Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign is history. Those of us who planned elaborately-amusing blog posts making fun of her husband's pray-away-the-gay therapy are profoundly disappointed. I was looking forward to at least a few more weeks of the Michele-and-Marcus follies. Gone after the Iowa caucus? She can't even make it to New Hampshire? Lightweight!

Bachmann placed sixth in Iowa. How Michele Bachmann went bust is explained by Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post:

What happened in the 144 days between those two dates was a mix of bad luck, bad strategy and a candidate who opted for a national rather than Iowa-focused campaign, according to a series of conversations with former strategists and advisers to the Minnesota Republican. That series of factors created a potent concoction that left Bachmann out of money and options less than 24 hours after the first vote of the 2012 presidential primary.

“At the end of the day, voters liked her but didn’t see her as the party nominee or their president,” said Ed Rollins, Bachmann’s one-time campaign manager. “She didn’t make the sale.”
What's next for Michele Bachmann? asks Alex Pareene of Salon:
Michele Bachmann, a deeply deluded and irresponsible religious fanatic who until this week was apparently seriously running for president of the United States, has slunk back home to her oddly shaped Minnesota congressional district to brood on her future.

Politico declares her a “lock” for reelection, but that depends on whether or not she runs. She effectively promised not to, but that promise may have been predicated on her remaining a legitimate presidential candidate. (Minnesota law prohibits running for two federal offices at once.)

Bachmann is not a lock because she’s particularly beloved in her district — as longtime Bachmann critics have been at pains to point out to the national media, she never wins Stillwater, her district’s largest city, and she has tended to win tight races with help from third-party spoilers — but because she is hugely popular outside her district, with a nearly endless supply of Christian right cash.

It’s fun (“fun”) for political observers to imagine her going up against Sen. Amy Klobuchar, but that would be nuts even for Bachmann. If she couldn’t beat Ron Paul in Iowa among Republican voters, she’s not going to win a statewide election in more-liberal Minnesota against a popular incumbent.
What I wanna know is, how did we ever get stuck with this person on the national stage? People like this are usually consigned to the outback, aren't they? How could anyone take her seriously as a presidential candidate?

Pareene mentions that:
It has been honestly disturbing to watch as a woman who was a local joke when I left Minnesota years ago rose to become not just a larger joke but then suddenly a national figure of some influence and seriousness, and that her rise was abetted by precisely the qualities that made her a joke in the first place — her vicious small-mindedness and bigotry and self-evident idiocy — is what makes people deeply cynical about the intelligence and decency of Other Americans not like themselves, to the detriment of our politics. So to see her roundly rejected is cause for some small celebration, even as hateful troll Rick Santorum rides his resentment-fueled momentum into the next contests.

So, honestly, who cares what Bachmann will do next? The future Bachmann deserves is one of total obscurity. It would almost be appropriate if this avowed “non-politician” remained an uninfluential absentee House of Representatives backbencher. Though it’d be much more satisfying if, say, Minnesota legalized gay marriage and Marcus divorced her to marry Ted Haggard at a wedding officiated by Keith Ellison.

Bachmann may not be making any detailed plans for the future, considering that she believes she’ll be raptured away any day now, which both I and her apocalyptic death cult would likely agree would be a good thing for all involved.
We could never get that lucky... although I think she'd be great on a reality TV show: Praying Away The Gay with Michele and Marcus.

Oxygen network? Lifetime?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ohio Players album covers

... were amazing, proudly artsy and pretty dirty, too. (I'm so glad Tipper Gore and the fabled PMRC wasn't around to police us in the 70s.) Did the powers-that-be know about these album covers?

Although pioneering-funk band The Ohio Players (whom I was wildly fortunate to have seen live in 75, rocking the proverbial house!) had #1 hits, these eye-popping album covers seemed to stay under the radar. I remember seeing one of them in a very conservative, old-school Midwestern drug store, another at a truck stop that sold lots of coffee mugs with Bible verses on them. You just had to wonder.

At left, the cover of PAIN, which when opened up, looked like THIS. Coupled with PAIN was, of course, PLEASURE. Finally (and what did you expect?) there was both ECSTACY and ORGASM. That last one, with the metal (is it metal?) dildo popping out of the guy's back, blew my little mind.

Enjoy the linkage-gallery of nostalgic, nasty images; beware questionable taste, probably NSFW.

~*~

And now we go to the video!

Although we are given to believe "skin tight" refers to a woman's jeans, I don't think it does... or rather, I don't think that is the only thing he is talking about. Just a lucky guess!

I remember an interminable ride on the Interstate, primarily saved by these fabulous jams. For this reason, I prefer the long version of this funk masterpiece, which I play in heavy traffic or late at night. Therefore I insist on foisting the original long-ass version on all of you. This is what funk is supposed to sound like! (Yes, you really should listen to all eight-and-a-half minutes for the full 70s experience.)

PS: The guy making this video can't resist showing us the album cover, LOL.

Ohio Players - Skin Tight



Gone, gone, gone with your bad self.

Almost curtains for Newt? We can only hope

You can click to enlarge. (Thanks again to Yellowdog Granny!)

And for those of you who believe we jest, here is Jonah Goldberg's National Review column (you've been warned!) quoting and further analyzing Newt's statements about putting poor kids to work, scrubbing toilets.

Apparently Newt is unaware that lots of us have already had those jobs, and now they go to the undocumented immigrants he wants to keep here in the country working on the cheap. (Does he understand that this is a fundamental contradiction, like most of what he says?)

If I can figure this much out, maybe *I* should be the one running for president.

The Iowa Caucus (not primary, as I incorrectly stated previously) is tomorrow, and hopefully, Newtie will go away after that. However, there is a monster-sized NEWT GINGRICH FOR PRESIDENT sign down near the mall, so I expect him to do fairly well here in the Palmetto State.

Stay tuned, sports fans!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Cee Lo Green Changes ‘Imagine’ Lyrics during New Years Eve show

... and in doing so, has pissed off everybody.

From Yahoo News:

R&B singer Cee Lo Green prompted a rush of anger for his New Year‘s Eve performance of John Lennon’s “Imagine” in which he swapped the lyrics “no religion too” to “all religions true.”

Green performed the famous ballad shortly before the ball dropped in New York’s Times Square. It was broadcast during NBC‘s New Year’s Eve special and CNN carried a portion of it as well.

The full line Green changed was: “Nothing to kill or die for, And all religions true,” prompting a flurry of angry reactions from atheists and Lennon fans alike on Twitter.

According to the Huffington Post, Green himself took to the site to defend his performance and responded to several profanity-laced messages. All of Green’s tweets were deleted from his account Sunday morning.

“Yo I meant no disrespect by changing the lyric guys! I was trying to say a world were u could believe what u wanted that’s all,” Green wrote in one now-deleted message.

That didn’t stopped the barrage of outraged tweets, many of which accused Green of committing “blasphemy” by altering Lennon’s song.
More about the incident:

Cee Lo Green changes lyrics to Lennon's Imagine to include pro-religion message enraging fans (UK-Daily Mail)

Fans angry that Cee Lo changed 'Imagine' lyrics (MSNBC)

Cee Lo Green Changes 'Imagine' Lyrics To 'All Religions' From John Lennon's 'No Religion' During New Year's Eve Show (Huffington Post)

Song lyrics are changed all the time and few people seem to care. I am startled (and pleased) that this lyrical-alteration has garnered so much attention.

And I hope everyone else had a Happy New Year!