Monday, November 30, 2009

A Private Matter

by Dick Mac

Tiger Woods was involved in an automobile collision.

The story is that his wife smashed the window of the car with a golf club to extricate him. This doesn't sound like a fender-bender to me. This sounds like the type of accident where emergency assistance might be required; and Woods has stated: "My wife, Elin, acted courageously when she saw I was hurt and in trouble."

It's impressive that a collision requiring extrication of an injured driver could be remediated by Mrs. Woods. Generally, when an automobile collides with a tree, emergency service personnel are needed because there may be head, neck, or back injuries that your wife might not know how to address.

"This is a private matter and I want to keep it that way," Woods said.

The spirit and letter of the law may prove otherwise. Florida law states:
The driver of a vehicle involved in a crash resulting in injury to or death of any persons or damage to any vehicle or other property in an apparent amount of at least $500 shall immediately by the quickest means of communication give notice of the crash to the local law enforcement department; however, if the crash involves damage less than $500, no injuries, the vehicles did not need a wrecker, and the crash did not involve an intoxicated or "hit and run" driver, you may download and complete the following report for insurance purposes.

- from Driver Report of a Traffic Crash, Florida Highway Patrol

Please note that it says nothing about private property or private matters.

Since Woods was driving a Cadillac and collided with a tree, chances are that the damage is in excess of $500. It can cost more than five hundred bucks to have a rear view mirror replaced on a Cadillac, never mind a fender or a bumper. In conjunction with the monetary threshold being passed, Woods himself stated that he was hurt. So, Woods has met both criteria that require him to report the accident to the authorities "immediately by the quickest means of communication."

Although Woods did not report the accident, a neighbor did, and Woods has refused to cooperate with authorities investigating the incident.

If Woods was Joe Sixpack, in Florida, crashed his car into a tree, and his wife extricated him from the vehicle with a golf club, and refused to answer questions of the authorities, do you think he would be sitting at home right now? No! He would be in jail.

Is Tiger Woods above the law? Does Florida law apply to some, but not to others?

It's no secret that I dislike Tiger Woods, and find the entire Professional Golf Association to be repugnant, and perhaps I would be kinder if this were David Bowie or Juan Pablo Angel. I think however, that if Angel or Bowie were in this situation, they would have been arrested.

But, it's not David Bowie or Juan Pablo Angel, and Tiger Woods has broken the law, and refuses to cooperate with authorities. I hope my firends in Florida receive the same treatment when they find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

What is Woods hiding?

Is it the other angle?

The entertainment angle that is more colorful, and is probably closer to the truth of the situation than not?

There are rumors that in their current marital discord, Mrs. Woods went after him with a golf club, and in his attempts to get-the-hell-out-of-Dodge, he jumped in his car and slammed into a tree as he tried to flee. In this scenario, she is not using the golf club to extricate him, but to kill him. In every state, that is assault with intent to kill.

Irrespective of the angle from which you like to view this incident, someone should be under arrest, or at least down at the station house answering some serious questions; and should be preparing to pay-to-the-piper.

What are the odds that action will be taken against the Woods family?

Woods speaks up, says crash is 'private matter'

Friday, November 27, 2009

What are YOUR plans for Black Friday?

by Al Falafal

Everybody's asking...

When Black Friday comes I'll stand down by the door And catch the grey men when they Dive from the fourteenth floor
When Black Friday comes
I'll collect everything I'm owed And before my friends find out I'll be on the road
When Black Friday falls you know it's got to be Don't let it fall on me
When Black Friday comes I'll fly down to Muswellbrook Gonna strike all the big red words From my little black book
Gonna do just what I please Gonna wear no socks and shoes With nothing to do but feed All the kangaroos
When Black Friday comes I'll be on that hill You know I will

When Black Friday comes
I'm gonna dig myself a hole
Gonna lay down in it 'til
I satisfy my soul
Gonna let the world pass by me
The Archbishop's gonna sanctify me
And if he don't come across
I'm gonna let it roll
When Black Friday comes
I'm gonna stake my claim
I'll guess I'll change my name

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful For What I've Got

by Dick Mac

For what can I be thankful?

I am alive, and I have a spouse, and a daughter. I have a family, extended family, family of origin, chosen family, faith community, school community, colleagues, heroes, and admirers.

I have the ability to reason, I have faith, love, hope, and friendship.

I am employed, relatively sane and healthy, sheltered, fed, warm, rested, and informed.

I have intellectualism, humor, and fun.

I live in New York City, I have neighbors.

I have a government that perseveres in spite of the best efforts of conservatives to destroy it. I have the right and ability to pay taxes and participate in my government. I have a government worthy of respect.

I am connected to the entire world via the Internet. I live with three televisions in a thousand square feet, two radios, six telephones, and two computers.

I have a car and a microwave oven.

I have clothes, jewelry, and accessories.

I have health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance, home insurance, car insurance. My bank deposits are insured. I have bank deposits.

I know the difference between right and wrong, and even if I choose poorly I have the ability to choose.

I have art, music, photographs, and memories.

I love and I am loved, I have loved and I have been loved. I have living friends and dead friends. Living lovers and lovers who have died.

I am charitable and benefit from the charity of others. I am generous and benefit from the generosity of others.

I have known grace.

I have much for which I am thankful.

As James Rado wrote in the musical "Hair":
I got my hair
I got my head
I got my brains
I got my ears
I got my eyes
I got my nose
I got my mouth
I got my teeth
I got my tongue
I got my chin
I got my neck
I got my tits
I got my heart
I got my soul
I got my back
I got my ass
I got my arms
I got my hands
I got my fingers
Got my legs
I got my feet
I got my toes
I got my liver
Got my blood

And on a lighter note, The Tubes sang:

. . . you are entitled to:
a heated kidney shaped pool,
a microwave oven--don't watch the food cook,
a Dyna-Gym--I'll personally demonstrate it in the privacy of your own home,
a king-size Titanic unsinkable Molly Brown waterbed with polybendum,
a foolproof plan and an airtight alibi,
real simulated Indian jewelry,
a Gucci shoetree,
a year's supply of antibiotics,
a personally autographed picture of Randy Mantooth
and Bob Dylan's new unlisted phone number,
a beautifully restored 3rd Reich swizzle stick,
Rosemary's baby,
a dream date in kneepads with Paul Williams,
a new Matador, a new mastodon,
a Maverick, a Mustang, a Montego,
a Merc Montclair, a Mark IV, a meteor,
a Mercedes, an MG, or a Malibu,
a Mort Moriarty, a Maserati, a Mac truck,
a Mazda, a new Monza, or a moped,
a Winnebago--Hell, a herd of Winnebago's we're giving 'em away,
or how about a McCulloch chainsaw,
a Las Vegas wedding,
a Mexican divorce,
a solid gold Kama Sutra coffee pot,
or a baby's arm holding an apple?

Thankful For What I've Got
Barbara Lewis

I Got Life
James Rado

What Do You Want From Life?
The Tubes

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" at 150

by Dick Mac

Darwin's landmark book, "On The Origin Of Species" was released 150 years ago yesterday.

Darwin's tome, for those who are not familiar with it, discusses the evolutionary process on this planet, the survival of the fittest, and natural selection, among other now-commonplace topics.

Darwin wasn't the only thinker of his day discussing evolution, but he managed to publish the most popular book on the topic and is, hence, the godfather of evolutionary biology.

Like other forward thinkers and scientists before him, Darwin's theories were met with great resistance, especially from religious zealots whose investment in Bible stories prevents them from opening their minds to reality.

In the 150 years since publication, many people have been educated, communication and publishing has improved to allow instantaneous publication, and blind religion has been met head-on by intellectualism. That's a lot!

Fifty years ago, on the hundredth anniversary of the publication of "Origins," the United States was a remarkably progressive culture. Between the years of 1959 and 1979, Americans became perhaps the most enlightened culture in the history of humanity.

The implementation and defense of civil rights and human rights became regular topics of conversation, and only a tiny minority of Americans embraced the xenophobia that so often defines Western Civilization.

At the end of the 1970s, the United States was mired in an economic morass that wasn't actually that bad, but it became the lynchpin of a campaign by far-right-wing modern-day industrialists (mostly bankers, actually) who saw an opportunity to return the American to a mid-19th Century economy and culture.

Campaigns against intellectuals, the disenfranchised, and the poor were launched around the country. Campaigns to burn books, deny rights to homosexual taxpayers, restrict access to medicine and education, and promote the deregulation of industry were waged, mostly in the name of Jesus Christ.

Americans who were struggling financially were convinced (and many remain convinced) that their economic woes were because of the poor and disenfranchised (who have no control over the economy). How this can be true, I will never know. We have eliminated most funding for the poor and disenfranchised, and American families struggle more now than they did thirty years ago. This tells me that the problem is the rich, not the poor . . . but I digress.

Or do I?

These campaigns against thinking and progress, which continue today in publications like the New York Post and the Washington Times, and on broadcast outlets like Fox News and CNN, succeeded at turning America from a culture of progress to a stagnant swamp of religiosity and hate.

Although I have no statistics, I am pretty certain that the theory of evolution was a pretty widely accepted notion among all Americans in the 1960s and -70s. I was raised a Catholic in Boston, and I don't recall anyone (even the clergy) declaring that creationism was the only accurate analysis of the origin of species and that evolution was questionable.

My memory is that most Catholics believed that God would create a universe where evolution was obvious.

Today, I actually know people who question the validity of evolution. None of them are Catholic; they all call themselves conservatives, all are college educated, and none of them participate in religious practice. Somehow, though, politicians have convinced them that evolution is questionable and creationism is valid.

Are you friggin' kidding me?

If you think the theory of evolution is not valid, or as my friend Joe's brother told him: you think the jury is still out on evolution, I ask you to please open your mind and stop parroting what you hear on Fox News. Evolution is real. I believe that God would expect us to accept that evolution is real. I believe that God gave us brains so that we could grasp evolution.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Make the Call -- US OUT of Afghanistan!!!!

by Al Falafal

Thanks to our good friends at AFSC.

Action Needed: Your call can stop the government from sending more troops to Afghanistan.

Now is a critical time to make your voice heard.

Call the White House comment line today and say you are opposed to sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. The comment line number is 202-456-1111. 

In the coming week, President Obama will likely be making a decision about the role of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. He has rejected the current proposals for additional troops until there is an exit strategy. We believe this is a good sign, and we need more — a decision not to send more troops to the region and to deescalate the war.

The decision will have a dramatic effect on the future of Afghanistan and the stability of the region.
This is the moment when we can have an impact.

If you only take one action for peace this year, please make this phone call to the White House today. Tell them you’d like the administration to put these elements into their Afghanistan plan.

White House comment line: 202-456-1111

No additional troops to Afghanistan.

A timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and for diplomacy and dialogue with all parties to the conflict, without preconditions.

Badly needed development aid provided, to be coordinated by civilian-led organizations, not the military.

Redirect the more than $44 billion spent yearly on war to supporting real human needs in Afghanistan and at home.

Help President Obama make the best decision on Afghanistan. Please take a moment and make your call today.

Wage Peace.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Works For Me! News Corp. Wants To Pull Content From Google

by Dick Mac

News Corporation, parent of Fox News, might be the single corporation most responsible for the death of the news industry as a source of actual information. The head of the company uses his control of media outlets as a porpaganda tool, not an unbiased news agency. I do my best to avoid his companies. It's next to impossible to completely avoid the News Corp. empire, however, especially since they purchased and The Wall Street Journal; but, we can make every effort.

News Corp. has implemented a right-wing agenda to manipulate the media that is duly impressive. Many of the more political outlets, like Fox News, run at a loss because the mission is not to make money but to shape the news and public opinion.

Many people don't know that Fox owns Fuel TV, National Geographic, and Speed. However, if you spend a day watching the National Geographic station, you will see that they are creating shows about war and crime that really don't fit the historic model of the National Geographic magazine.

I do my best to keep my television off of the News Corp. stations, I have never purchased the New York Post, and the myspace account I once used so much lies dormant.

I admit that I rely almost exclusively on News Corp.'s Fox Soccer Channel for my access to soccer broadcasts. News Corporation's international reach (the head of the company is from Australia and has successfully entered the British communications market), allows it to provide soccer programming that its closest rival, Disney (who owns ESPN) is struggling to play catch-up in that market (the largest sports market on the planet).

In a recent interview, the head of News Corporation said that he was considering a move to block Google bots from accessing News Corp. servers and signing an exclusive contract with Microsoft to provide access to that content through it's new search engine

This move will make my research much easier. If every news and information result from a News Corporation outlet was blocked from my Google searches, I would get a better list of results and I would not have to sort through the resulting articles as intensely, to avoid lies from New Corporation sites.

It is my sincerest hope that the powers-that-be at Google tip their hats to News Corporation, and say "It's been nice working with you, but see ya later alligator!"

I hope we all encourage Google to let News Corp. isolate itself, and I look forward to Fox being left out in the cold when goes the way of other Miscrosoft failures.

Doing the Math on News Corp.'s Threatened Google Block

Friday, November 20, 2009

LGBT Civil Rights

by Al Falafal

This is just a little something off the cuff - I wrote it in response to some blogger and decided that it was too good to just leave it with the homophobe I was flaming. Not that it's anything special. It's probably a piece of shit. But that would be too good to leave with the homophobe I was flaming...

It has been very fashionable in the straight white world to be outwardly pro-civil rights for black people no matter how you really feel (I know because I am able to pass among them - yes, it's spooky!). It has become faux fashionable to be tolerant of homosexuals but the idea of civil rights only applies to white people's black friend. Straight white people - and some blacks straights I know - act offended at the very suggestion that our struggle for equality may be equivalent to the black struggle for civil rights - which it is of course. But our experiences are obviously different and so what? As all my fierce black LGBT brothers & sisters realize, it IS all about civil rights. Many differences in our struggles, of course. We homos were never enslaved en masse against our will for several hundred years (except for the black slaves that happened to be gay - yes, there were gay slaves!) and we have had fewer riots. But I can give you one huge similarity and one huge difference.

Similarity: the bible. Fundamentalist Christianity has been used to justify racism and homophobia equally. You know those White supremecists - the KKK? Steeped in Christian racism! Steeped in it! Now the Klan and its influence has been cut down to size, thank god! - still a threat but not like they were at the height of the struggle for black civil rights. The face of homophobia in this country, however, is today the full-blown face of fundamental Christianity. There is nothing else to it.

Difference: I may not be totally accurate but it seems to me that the civil rights struggle for equality among the races was NEVER put to a popular vote. Has it? On any scale? I'd like to know. What I do know is that interracial marriage rights - that have been DEFINED as CIVIL RIGHTS - were not won by popular vote and they have never been subjected to a public referendum. Interracial marriage was legalized once and for all by the Supreme Court Decision in Loving v. Virginia (1967!). White racists (who were and still may be the majority of America) decried the decision but the uproar soon settled down and white racists contented themselves to quietly seething under their breath instead of mobilizing to restore miscegenation laws that were based on their racist biblical values.

Why? because when interracial marriage was legalized the white christian racists were too frightened to do anything about it.

Why is this important? Well, what do you think would have happened if interracial marriage HAD ever been put on the ballot somewhere in the country? Behind the safety of that ballot box curtain white people would have had no problem voting what they believed - voting against what they feared. But then again, blacks were getting so uppity during that time - who knows what kind of wild mayhem would have befallen our already riot-torn cities?

The point is that, out of abject fear, Catholics and fundamentalist christians dropped their opposition to interracial marriage after the Supreme Court settled the dispute. THE CHURCH WAS FORCED TO CHANGE THEIR BELIEFS THAT THEY SAID WERE BASED ON THOUSANDS OF YEARS OF TRADITION - THAT MARRIAGE IS ONLY LEGITIMATE BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN OF THE SAME RACE. After saying over and over that Marriage ALWAYS meant one thing - no mixing of races - suddenly they CHANGED their definition of marriage.

Now the Catholic Church makes another claim: that Marriage has ALWAYS only meant one thing - union of one man and one woman. That it would be "changing the meaning of marriage" if two people of the same sex were recognized as fully equal with their demand that marriage can only be between one man & one woman (at a time).

And now, once again, the Catholic Church claims that GOD HAS DECREED THAT THEY CANNOT and WILL NOT change their beliefs to accommodate the modern world. And since LGBT people are not at all scary to them - they can see that we are basically harmless - they have no reason to fear retribution the way they feared it in their tiny racist minds by inventing images of big black scary bogeymen - rampaging African Americans - who they had spent so long convincing themselves and each other were nothing but savage rapists and murderers.

White racist homophobic christians are not afraid of everyday queers because there are enough of us who look just like them. So they have no problem overstepping their boundaries as religious non-political organizations and spending millions of dollars funding referenda like Prop 8 & Maine's Question 1. They would never have done this after the law between interracial marriage was struck down.

To put the best spin on it - civil rights legislation, based on race has been seen, even by racist white christians, as settled law. No one dares put THOSE Civil Rights questions on a ballot. It would probably NOT be allowed. If they did put the question on the ballot as to whether blacks should be considered equal to whites, the racist white majority in this country would surely have re-legitimized the institution of slavery for blacks by now. Especially in the Southern States.

Did anyone ever suggest that interracial marriage rights be a matter of individual states to decide? I don't think so. But when it comes to OUR CIVIL RIGHTS, it seems all you have to do is get a number of signatures on a petition and then get the Catholic Church and Mormons to pump millions of dollars into a hateful campaign to motivate the hateful ignorant and voila! The majority has spoken - they must be appeased in their ignorance because it has something to do with god. And you don't want to piss god off, you know.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ref Hands Thierry Henry A Goal and France a World Cup Berth

by Dick Mac

In soccer, it is against the rules for any player besides the goalkeeper to handle the ball. If a player intentionally handles the ball, they can receive a yellow caution card. If the infraction takes place in the box, the opposition is awarded a penalty shot.

Although a penalty shot is not a guaranteed goal, the odds are very much in the favor of the kicker, and goals are more-often-than-not the result of a penalty kick.

Professional soccer matches are officiated by one referee on the field, and one on each sideline, monitoring both sides of one end of the field of play. A fourth official is at midfield acting as a sort of administrator.

A soccer pitch, even a small soccer pitch, is a huge playing field, and a single official is hard-pressed to officiate a good match. The governing bodies of soccer do not want to introduce video replays to assist referees making calls. The referee is allowed to confer with the other officials, and this often leads to calls being corrected. An official, however, is not required to confer with his or her colleagues in a controversial situation.

France played Ireland yesterday in the second leg of their World Cup Qualifying match-up. The winner of the two match (combined score) series would be invited to South Africa next year for the 2010 World Cup.

Ireland played hard, and according to many accounts was the superior team.

I was unable to see the match, but have viewed videos like the one below.

In extra time, Thierry Henry handled the ball in the box, preventing it from going out-of-bounds, and passing it to William Gallas who stood in front of the goal and headed it in for the winning goal. The goal should have been disallowed and Ireland should be going to South Africa next year.

I will be honest, it was a handball. But I'm not the ref. I played it. The ref allowed it. That's a question you should ask him.
- Thierry Henry

Ireland defender, Richard Dunne said:
Henry admitted afterwards he handled it, but it doesn't make me feel any better. We were cheated.

Thierry Henry is my all-time favorite player. He is an amazing athlete who is not known for cheating or unfair play. It is disheartening that he has made his way to the center of this controversy and to see that his entire career will be over-shadowed by this single event.

Damien Duff Interview

FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, needs to take serious steps to improving the officiating of matches. The official should have discussed the goal with the linesman, and he did not. There should be some mechanism in place that forces the ref to confer with other officials.

Then, the sport needs to implement video replays, even if only for goals, and even if only for the World Cup and its qualifying matches.

This particular incident compromises the integrity of the World Cup qualifying process and the competition itself. If France wins (unlikely as it is), this will be a World Cup with an asterisk.

Perhaps Damien Duff was correct: "FIFA wanted to see France in the World Cup, and not Ireland."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sarah Palin: The Movie!

by Al Falafal

Starting on her whirlwind book tour this week, Sarah Palin has consciously set herself up for a flurry of attacks from the left, right, and center (So go to it folks!). The more she is attacked the more the far far right of the Repugnican Party will rally around her, boosting her credentials as the standard bearer for the lunatic fringe.

Why can't the Republican establishment retire her to a quiet life of moose hunting in the political wilderness? Why has her appeal only increased in the wake of her catastrophic political expeditions? Why won't she listen to, or abide by, conventional political wisdom?

The answer lies beyond the realm of polls and punditry in the political psychology of the movement that animates and, to a great degree, controls, the Republican grassroots -- a uniquely evangelical subculture defined by the personal crises of its believers and their perceived persecution at the hands of cosmopolitan elites.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Saving Coney Island

by Dick Mac

Last Saturday, Charlotte wanted to go on a car ride. "I just want to ride around, Daddy," she said. "Let's go look at things."

We only had an hour before we picked-up mommy, so we couldn't really go far. This meant a ride through Brooklyn.

Brooklyn, NY is a big place. It is one of the five boroughs of New York City, and when I first visited Brooklyn in the early 1970s, it was called the Fourth Largest City in America. I don't know if that was true, or how that was measured; but, it gave me the sense that Brooklyn was a big place.

Statistically, it is about 71 square miles of land and 25 square miles of water, with a population of over two-and-a-half million.

There's plenty to see, and there are places I haven't visited.

So, we drove through Borough Park and Sunset Park, towards Bay Ridge, then all the way through Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst to Gravesend and due South into Coney Island.

Coney Island is a place we've visited a lot: there's a beach and a baseball stadium (where we were season ticket holders before baseball became too dull for me), a boardwalk, and an amusement park.

It's hardly news that Thor Equities has purchased most of the land in Coney Island, evicted the amusement park companies, and plan to sanitize it as a tourist/resort/shopping/condo mecca (none of which is needed in Coney Island specificially, Brooklyn generally, and in the United States anymore).

As I turned onto Stillwell Avenue and drove under the elevated train tracks toward Surf Avenue, Charlotte squealed "Coney Island!"

Yes, there's Nathan's at the corner.

She went on to explain to me that this was a nice place because there was a beach and a boardwalk and an amusement park and that there was a lot to do. As we approached the traffic light at Surf, I warned her that the amusement park was closing and that it might not look the same. I turned left onto Surf and the desolation was obvious right away. More storefronts than ever are shuttered, there are fewer people milling around, and as I made it to the second block, the once colorful Astroland park was a barren landscape of vacant lots.

The Wonder Wheel still stands, and the Cyclone is a historic landmark, so that will always remain.

All of this dullness stands in stark contrast to the glitzy multi-gazillion dollar MTA bus and subway terminal that stands across the street.

Charlotte was dismayed and I explained that a company had bought up all the land and planned to turn it into a big hotel and condo development. I told her that there were people trying to save Coney Island, and perhaps we would be able to visit again next Summer.

Some good news was released last night, when it was reported that the City of New York spent a hundred million dollars to purchase seven acres of land where the amusement parks stood, in an effort to restore come of the area to an amusement district reminiscent of the old Coney Island.

We don't need an area filled with chain stores, chain restaurants, chain hotels, and private security forces behind gates and restricted to people who have reservations. We need to retain something that is remotely like a public area accessible from the street, with access to the beaches, and amusing to everyone who wants to wander the streets of Coney Island.

There is hope that Deano's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park will remain, and perhaps someone will bring back Astroland.

Never give-up hope!

Seeking Revival, City to Buy Land in Coney Island

Coney Island Museum (

Save Coney Island

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

by Dick Mac

Armistice Day commemorated the signing of the treaty at the end of World War I among the Allies and Germany. It took effect at "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month." Today is Armistice Day.

War, in a historic perspective, is no easier to analyze than it is in the midst of the battles.

The two world wars of the Twentieth Century seemed like easy wars to justify and get behind. Those wars seem to have been about more than control of natural resources; those wars seemed to have some roots in the human race believing that there was a right way to live and that we would risk life and limb to ensure the rights of sovereign nations.

There have been a few other wars, or military actions, since then that have been efforts of human decency; I think of military conflicts in central Europe and Africa, undertaken to save ordinary citizens from genocide.

Today is Veterans Day, in the United States.

The American military has done some amazing things, and it is important to remember that there were times when men were sent to fight wars and they had no choice but to comply. Some of these men became heroes they never intended to be, some have been scarred for life. They deserve our thanks and respect.

We are creating new veterans today; men and women who have taken up arms at the behest of their nation, and no matter what you think of war or peace, today is the day to say thank-you to a veteran for risking everything.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Elizabeth Lambert, The Next Josh Wicks

by Dick Mac

Josh Wicks is the sociopathic goalkeeper of last year's D.C. United soccer club. He attacked his own players and stomped an opponent. Not wise choices.

Now comes Elizabeth Lambert, a 20-year old University of New Mexico defender whose skills resemble those of Josh Wicks. Caught on video in a match against BYU, she's been suspended from the team indefinitely.

Her transgressions are impressive:

Although there are plenty of dirty players in soccer, and plenty of good players who get away with gross violations, Lambert's actions border on sociopathic.

Perhaps she can be the first woman player in MLS and join the back line at D.C. United!

New Mexico player banned, apologizes

Monday, November 09, 2009


by Al Falafal

(Buy this t-shirt at: Radical Rags)

I never heard the word "Talibangelist" before today. I just LOVE it! Very descriptive. This and "Repugnican" get my vote for the most meaningful made up new terms to enter the English vocabulary this year.

I read about talibangelism in someone's response to the latest crop of annoyingly tiresome, stupid and irrelevant religious crap that Facebook homophobes have been posting in response to the vote in Maine to re-criminalize same-sex marriage. Why do we have to keep hearing what fundamentalists (some who strongly deny being bible thumpers) have to say about our right, as same-sex couples, to access the benefits of marriage bestowed by our secular government.

Enough, I say, with giving a shit what anyone thinks was written in any ancient book that may have had some relevance in a totally different reality than what we are dealing with here in the 21st Century.

Like the Taliban and other Militant Muslim groups, Christian fundamentalists in America want to perpetuate the mores of the dark ages - particularly in regard to negative attitudes toward homosexuality - while they twist everything else in their bible to rationalize their desire to indulge in advances of civilization that brought us to the 21st Century.

The concept of democracy, for instance, was completely foreign to the ancient minds responsible for all those stories that make up the bible. Didn't matter if they did not agree with or like the authority of their overlords and monarchs that ruled over them. They did whatever they were told to do and thought what they were told to think. They knew their place. Did not even matter what they experienced or wanted out of life for themselves.

The authors of the bible did not even envision a time when human slavery would be frowned upon, much less when democracy would be the basis of government anywhere on earth.

People who live in this democratically-ruled country today and claim to base their world-view on the bible are therefore nothing more than hypocrites if they do not refrain from participating in our democratic process.

Times have change, baby! And you know the changes have been mostly been for the better. If not, then take your sorry ass out of this modern context altogether. Go back to living without electricity, cars, TV and the freakin internet. Where does your all-encompassing bible give you the permission to indulge such vices?!

If you insist on imposing a medieval mindset - with its strictures against homosexual relationships and many other things that are facts of life in this contemporary world - then YOU HAVE NO RIGHT to enjoy ANY of the modern conveniences and privileges that have developed since the time the last book of your precious little bible was written.

You may be able to impede the progress of an enlightened civilization, but you cannot stop it. We SHALL overcome! Oh yes we will.

You all who have blocked our way for so long will soon be totally irrelevant, just as you were when ruled over by medieval monarchs and patricians who told you what to do, how to think and what to believe.

And you can all just go to hell!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Costume Party Humor

by Dick Mac

A couple was invited to a swanky costume party. The wife got a terrible headache and told her husband to go to the party alone.

He, protested, but she argued and said she was going to take some aspirin and go to bed; that there was no need for his good time being spoiled by not going. So he took his costume and away he went.

The wife, after sleeping soundly for about an hour, awakened without pain and, as it was still early, decided to go the party.

Since her husband did not know what her costume was, she thought she would have some fun by watching her husband to see how he acted when she was not with him.

She joined the party and soon spotted her husband cavorting around on the dance floor, dancing with every woman he could, grabbing a little feel here, and a little kiss there.

His wife sidled up to him and being a rather seductive babe herself, he left his current partner high and dry and devoted his time to the new babe that had just arrived. She let him go as far as he wished. Finally, he whispered a little proposition in her ear and she agreed. So off they went to one of the cars and had a quickie.

Just before unmasking at midnight, she slipped away, went home, put the costume away and got into bed, wondering what kind of explanation he would make for his behavior.

She was sitting up reading when he came in, and she asked what kind of a time he had.

He said: "Oh, the same old thing. You know I never have a good time when you're not there."

"Did you dance much?"

"I'll tell you, I never even danced one dance. When I got there, I met Pete, Bill, and some of the other guys, so we went into the den and played poker all evening.

But you're not going to believe what happened to the guy I loaned my costume to . . . "

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Tin Machine Nugget

by Dick Mac

The Tin Machine video you probably never saw!

Originally intended as a track on Tin Machine 2, "It's Tough" was pulled at the last minute, and it never made it into release.

Thanks to and fanatics around the world, we can now see stuff like this!

I'm sure glad David Bowie is the kind of artist who likes to see his art accessible by his fans.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Mainiac Amour

by Dick Mac

Most rapists, pederasts, syphilitics, murders, thieves, child abusers, liars, tax cheats, felons, and Republicans are heterosexuals. They profess their sexual preference for the opposite sex; and that preference is codified and protected.

Mainiacs have decided that these people are the only ones who should be allowed to marry. That's right, every child-raping straight man has the right to marry his partner.

On the other hand, Mainiacs have decided that hard-working, tax-paying, homosexuals, who are active, upstanding members of their communities may not marry their partners.

This sounds pretty unfair to me.

What's to be done about a community of people who refuse to allow a segment of their population the same rights as the majority?


I encourage everybody to do NOTHING about Maine.

Stop purchasing L.L. Bean and Cole Haan products, cancel your trip to Ogunquit or Old Orchard Beach, buy only Idaho potatoes, scratch lobster off your list, maybe even stop eating blueberries (since they are the state berry of Maine), and make every effort to keep your money away from the Mainiacs who have codified hate and inequality. Perhaps you could stop buying Stephen King books.

I plan to boycott everything Maine, and I hope you will join me.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

David Bowie - Station To Station - Live 1978

by Dick Mac

Live albums can be tedious and poorly produced; sometimes unlistenable. David Bowie and his producers have managed to release some remarkable live performances, and the "Stage" double-record LP release is one of them.

No other rock star could release a live record with so many instrumental tracks, and still get away with calling it a rock album.

This tour coincided with a most-remarkable time of Bowie's recording career.

Enjoy this high-quality live performance of Bowie's ten-minute masterpiece "Station To Station."

Once I could never be down!

David Bowie

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Amazing Power of the Repugnican Talking Point

by Al Falafal

Dithering: a word that had probably never been uttered in the history of television news was suddenly dancing on the lips of every talking head this week.

It is a testament to the awesome power of the Repugnican Smear Machine that they always seem to find the perfect new damning term to use against the Obama Administration to recharge their wild-eyed attacks at the very point where it seems they have exhausted the lexicon of slurs on any particular topic. Their rolling out of their exciting new term for their same old shit is blithely picked up and repeated so often it becomes "conventional wisdom" in the world of "reporting." Had Dick Cheney's speech writers used any regular term like "waver, hesitate, falter" or even "vacillate" there would be little news value in his latest criticism of Obama's mishandling of the Afghanistan occupation.

There is definitely much to criticize in Obama's distressing Afghanistan policy, of course, and he has been getting it hard and heavy from the left since he took office. But the strength of the left's objections and protests is generally only reported as data collected in polls designed to rate the President's popularity on a positive/negative percentage scale. The Left's opposition to Obama's Afghanistan folly is not considered "news" because it is apparently too hard a task for the simple minds who report the news - and the simpler minds who listen to them - to grasp the non-black & white, non-bipolar complexities of the real world.

What is too deep for them to fathom is the nature of that tension which exists uncomfortably between Obama and the political left - who want to support him despite his flaws. It's so much easier to "get it" when a Dick Cheney, Sara Palin or Joe Wilson exposes the high-strung, knee-jerk tension between Obama and the right - which just wants to see him fail at all costs. Because of the way the news industry has been reshaped by Fox News in recent years any criticism of this president and his administration is only considered newsworthy if it totally demonizes them. And they've found that this need not be done only by screeching "You Lie!" on the floor of Congress or making brazenly truth-less statements about death panels in the health care reform bill. Now it only takes the dropping of a single term into a speech, pricking up reporters' ears with a nebulosity of meaning to the average American. The underlying Repugnican strategy for foiling the Democrats has not changed. We're just seeing the phase where they resort to semantic vagaries after the insane things they've tried to assert outright have been thoroughly debunked as boldfaced malicious lies.

So Dick Cheney utters a familiar sounding Smear Machine-manufacture word, "dithering," with its built-in wink-wink connotations of Democratic light-weight feathery flaccidity on issues where Repugnicans have long been portrayed as stronger: warmongering. And though it's a term that has never been used before - and one that has plenty of synonyms in any cheap thesaurus, the Right Wing mouthpieces on Fox "News" and Limbaugh's Daily Spew obligingly repeat it like some nerdy kid who has just add another new word to his vocabulary and strains to use it every time he opens his mouth, often inappropriately.

As pathetic as all this is, of course, it is all the worse that the word is picked up intact, reported and repeated without question, by every news organization that still considers itself legit, even though they take their cues and news straight-up from the mouths of the Repugnican propaganda machine that is Fox.

They're all just a bunch of dithering fools.

Fortunately, we can still count on the calm, measured and reasonable voice of most trusted name in journalism to expose the hypocrisy and lies on all those Fox-ass-kissing news shows: Jon Stewart.

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