Thursday, December 20, 2012
So why wait? Sign up today and you and I will both get $10 in transaction fees!
Saturday, December 15, 2012
If roads were collapsing all across the United States, killing dozens of drivers, we would surely see that as a moment to talk about what we could do to keep roads from collapsing. If terrorists were detonating bombs in port after port, you can be sure Congress would be working to upgrade the nation’s security measures. If a plague was ripping through communities, public-health officials would be working feverishly to contain it.
Only with gun violence do we respond to repeated tragedies by saying that mourning is acceptable but discussing how to prevent more tragedies is not. “Too soon,” howl supporters of loose gun laws. But as others have observed, talking about how to stop mass shootings in the aftermath of a string of mass shootings isn’t “too soon.” It’s much too late.
Actually, the American Society of Civil Engineers says roadway conditions are a significant factor in 1/3 of all traffic fatalities.
Americans spend 4.2 billion hours a year stuck in traffic at a cost of $78.2 billion a year--$710 per motorist. Roadway conditions are a significant factor in about one-third of traffic fatalities. Poor road conditions cost U.S. motorists $67 billion a year in repairs and operating costs--$333 per motorist; 33% of America's major roads are in poor or mediocre condition and 36% of the nation's major urban highways are congested. The current spending level of $70.3 billion for highway capital improvements is well below the estimated $186 billion needed annually to substantially improve the nation's highways.
US traffic fatalities average over 30,000 per year, so we have over 10,000 deaths due to road conditions, and many billions of dollars wasted, every year. Seems like we learned to ignore our deadly infrastructure and our epidemic of gun violence. Maybe Americans are ignoring all kinds of things that are literally killing people? Pollution, Climate Change, Budget Cuts, Inadequate Health Care, Wars...
If terrorists were killing 10,000 Americans every year, I wonder how much we'd spend on war and security? The ASCE says we need to spend $2.2 trillion over the next five years to fix our crumbling infrastructure and make ourselves safer, more productive, and more competitive. So, a little over $400 billion a year (which we can borrow at negative interest and buy cheap materials with) seems like a real bargain.
Friday, December 07, 2012
Our friends at Nectar Hills Farm have started an Etsy store: Nectar Hills Farm Designs. The store features handmade sheep skin pillows, handbags, and hats, plus this amazing Scottish highlander cow skull.
This is a great way to shop for gifts that will help support our local organic farmers!
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
The concert is credited with making jazz a legitimate field of musical study at Oberlin, but it and the album did much more that. The album is further credited with initiating making jazz a subject of serious intellectual attention in a listening-centric environment; Wendell Logan, the chair of Oberlin's Jazz Studies Department, described it as "the watershed event that signaled the change of performance space for jazz from the nightclub to the concert hall".
In addition, it was one of the early works in the cool jazz stream of jazz; The Guardian's John Fordham wrote that "indicated new directions for jazz that didn't slavishly mirror bebop, and even hinted at free-jazz piano techniques still years away from realisation"; he further observed that it "marked Brubeck's eager adoption by America's (predominantly white) youth - a welcome that soon extended around the world ... for a rhythmically intricate instrumental jazz".Just listening to the album now takes me back to my youth, when I would listen to Dad play it--loud, so loud that you could hear it up the hill behind the house, all the way up to the shed (which he later tore down and put a hot tub on the slab), all the way up to the Kumquat tree, where I would sit on a limb and listen while looking at the view of the San Fernando Valley.
Of course, I was just one of many kids who's Dad taught him about Brubeck. Brubeck inspired many generations of musicians. While I tend more toward John Prine than Jazz, the influence is there, and it makes up a part of who I am musically--from what I play to what I listen to to this day.
Friday, November 09, 2012
The Global Temperature Markets are the perfect way for you to say "Screw you hippie! Global Warming is a Hoax!"
Act now before it's too late!
Saturday, November 03, 2012
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Vote for Culinary Delight Catering in the Los Angeles as LA's best caterer!Please click the link above to vote for my friend Emma Tate's catering company as the best caterer in LA! It will only take a second, and it makes her so happy!
And visit Los Angeles caterer Culinary Delight Catering's website.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The wingnuts, who call Obama a Kenyan/anti-colonial/food-stamp/non-work-requriing/anti-christ/witch-doctor/un-American/socialist/commie/hippie/dope-smoking/terrorist, are upset that Uncle Joe used hyperbole to describe the result of trickle-down economics, which steals the fruits of our labor?
Friday, July 20, 2012
In ads, interviews and social-media blasts, the Democratic president's team is casting Romney as a mysterious figure who is guarding important secrets about his wealth and work history.
Feeding the Democrats' storyline: Romney's refusal to release more than a year or two of his tax returns, questions about whether he is being honest about when he left his job at Bain Capital, and the reams of records that have been kept secret from his years as Massachusetts governor and chief of the Salt Lake City Olympics.
Here is an example of an unforced meme, and an unforced error by Willard. Or, perhaps it's not fair to call it an error, since there's really not much he can do, apparently. He really, really wants to be president, but that seems to conflict with the fact that he, in the past, really, really wanted to be rich. Now it seems his hard work at becoming rich is hurting his chances to be President. Hoocouldaknowed?
The fun part in this story is David Gergen, who is yet another pundit who has been so horrifically wrong in the past that it is a wonder that he still gets paid to spew what he thinks through his pie hole.
David Gergen, an adviser to two former Democratic and two Republican presidents, is among those who believe that questions about Romney's faith are an unspoken part of the Democrats' strategy of focusing on the secrecy issue.
"I think they're connected," he said. "Clearly they're trying to weave together: 'Do we really know what he did at Bain ..., do we really understand his faith and, you know, what he would do and who is he?' "
Democrats "know it's in the culture," Gergen said of questions about Romney's religion. "They don't have to say it. I think they're very intentionally weaving these together."
Gergen added that the Obama campaign's strategy could backfire if it mentioned Romney's religion directly.
Of course, Gergen doesn't have one shred of evidence proving that the Obama team is "very intentionally weaving these together." He just thinks it. And, of course, the reporter doesn't ask if he has any evidence, or even a plausible theory, supporting such a contention. Because that would be, ummm, reporting, instead of dictation, which is all reporters are allowed to do anymore.
None-the-less, if we just drop the whole thing about Willard's sky wizard worship being more secretive than, say, the Vatican is when moving pedophiles around, we find that the rest of the article focuses on more substantial issues, like, well, Willard's taxes and offshore accounts.
And, that's it. No mention of the erased hard drives from Willard's Governorship in the rest of the story. No mention of the secrets from the Olympics mentioned at the top of the story. No mention of anything else at all. And yet, there is so much they could have covered. Here's just one example:
The George W. Bush Presidential Library has denied a request by a Democratic super PAC to turn over documents relating to Rob Portman’s stint in the Bush administration.[/quote]
So many things to choose from when it comes to the leader of the GOP's secrets. In fact, at the end of the Reuter's article, the story just turns to some concern trolling on Gergen's part:
"Politically all of these attacks may in the end work, but it's also clear that they are going to come at the expense of governing in a second term" by making it even tougher for Obama to work with Republicans, Gergen said.
No worries that Willard's attacks on Obama might possibly poison the well with Democrats in congress if Willard wins, eh Mr. Gergen?
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
"I note that in his response to today's Supreme Court ruling, President Obama called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. I also note that the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill I helped draft in 2007 was killed -- in part -- by then-Senator Obama."--Senator Jon Kyl
I guess it's a good thing Senator Kyl is retiring, because he seems to be losing it.
Senator Obama voted for the bill.
As you can see at that same link, Senator Kyl voted to filibuster the bill.
So, not only did Obama vote for the bill Kyl says Obama voted against, but Kyl voted against the bill he says he was for.
Ergo, Senator Jon Kyl is a liar. Again.
h/t Steve Benen
Sunday, June 10, 2012
But there are guys I've worked with who, like Mohawk Indians on the high steel of sky-scrapers, would just saunter right out on those beams, like they were walking down the sidewalk. Of all the different specialist stagehands I worked with, I always had a huge respect for the riggers. They take big chances to make slightly more money than the guys on the floor, and they do it with gusto.
To put this incident in context, I was shocked to learn yesterday that more people died on the job in the US in 2009 than the total amount of Americans who died in the entire Iraq war:
...4,551 people killed on the job in America in 2009, carnage that eclipsed the total number of U.S. fatalities in the nine-year Iraq war. Combine the victims of traumatic injuries with the estimated 50,000 people who die annually of work-related diseases and it’s as if a fully loaded Boeing 737-700 crashed every day. Yet the typical fine for a worker death is about $7,900.
If you'd really like to get an idea of what a huge problem workplace safety is in this country, check out the AFL-CIO's Death on the Job Report.
In 2010, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4,690 workers were killed on the job—an average of 13 workers every day—and an estimated 50,000 died from occupational diseases. Workers suffer an additional 7.6 million to 11.4 million job injuries and illnesses each year. The cost of job injuries and illnesses is enormous—estimated at $250 billion to $300 billion a year.
We have a much higher worker fatality rate than other industrialized nations, and Republicans would like to cut OSHA and other workplace safety programs. Insanity. It reminds me of a poster we had back at Arkansas Explosives Inc, where I occasionally worked when I was in college: "OSHA is not a small town in Kansas." I guess if the GOP gets their way, it would be.
Saturday, May 05, 2012
I also worked with brother and bass player James Naughton, in the ABC carpenter shop, where I started calling him "good for Naughton," even though he's actually a damn good bass player and carpenter. I just couldn't resist the nick name.
Brian, James and Brian's son Corey Naughton started a band called the Naughtones (their MySpace page has more music):
In 2006 the Naughtones won a L.A. music Award for Independent Classic Rock Album of the Year for their debut album entitled "From the Nut." They were also nominated for Best Male Singer/Songwriter for their song called "Around Me."
In 2008 the Naughtones realeased their Sophmore album. The album is a five song EP that is featuring the group in its new state as the best they have ever been. The album is a Self titled EP that has won the L.A. Music Award's 2008 Producers Choice Award for Rock EP of the Year and also was nominated for 2008 Rock album of the Year by the L.A. Music Awards.
Biographies Brian Naughton started playing guitar at age 12. His first group was a surf band called the Velaires in 1961. In 1965 he joined a national surf group called the Persuaders. In 1969 Brian formed his own group called Rock Candy. Rock Candy was signed to MGM by a man named Mike Curb. In 1970 he took the opportunity to join the International super group called the Grass Roots. Brian toured and did T.V. shows (American Bandstand, Sunny & Cher, and Kenny Rodgers) with the Grass Roots until 1972. After that he played for a short while with a group called Peanut Butter Conspiracy. PBC had a big hit called "It's a Happening Thing." Always in his pursuit of his own original Rock and Roll, Brian left PBC to form a group called Rockit in 1973. By 1976 RSO Records signed the band and renamed them Rockicks. The band was managed by Warren Entner who also managed Quiet Riot. Rockicks shared a rehearsal room with Quiet Riot and also did gigs with them. They played all over the country and locally at places like the Roxy, the Aquarius Theater and Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Rockicks had radio commercials and a lot going for them until a show opening for Blondie at Whiskey was given Tom Petty. This was Tom Petty's big break show and the beginning of the end for the Rockicks. By this time his son Corey was about three Brian began his first day job at the age of thirty. Although Brian began earning his money behind the scenes as a stagehand he never stopped writing, singing and playing his guitar in little bands and local jam nights. Now Brian's life is all about the Naughtones and blessing the world with his amazing skills.
Brian's son Corey reports that Brian died of a heart attack, on the golf course, and that it was quick. I can report that the world needs more people like Brain Naughton, not less.
Start your engines, Brian. We'll miss you.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
In 2010, Willard paid 4 people just over $20,000 to help around the house. I wonder how much he paid when there were five boys running around? How many cooks? How many nannies? How many maids? How many drivers? Tutors? Gardeners? Ski coaches? Horse trainers? If Willard would just release all his taxes, we could all find out just exactly how much work raising five boys was for Ann Romney.
And I would really like to hear how the Willard team makes up for the fact that their candidate has let himself be defined as an out-of-touch rich guy war monger who lies a lot and wants to cut his own taxes even further?
And I would REALLY like to know how the Willard team makes up for the fact that he is the least liked Republican nominee WITHIN HIS OWN PARTY ever.
Romney's 42% support in the final 2012 nomination preference poll ranks among the lowest Gallup has measured for a nominee in its final poll since 1972, when the McGovern-Fraser reforms shifted power for choosing the nominee to voters in primaries and caucuses rather than party leaders at the national conventions.
Obama shares are still $6 at Intrade. It's a steal.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
|Photo of Nectar Hills Farm by Robin Supak|
Nectar Hills Farm is incredibly picturesque, with 200+ acres of pastured rolling hills, natural bubbling streams and crooked heirloom apple trees. It is the epitome of wild beauty. From the front steps of the 150 year old farmhouse it is easy to make out herds of sheep and scottish highlander cattle, seen as moving specks along the vast countryside. Curious pigs root through scattered brush with their babies in tow and two large emu birds step cautiously and proudly around the barnyard. Chickens and ducks cluck and waddle across the driveway enjoying their free range to the fullest, while the lone peacock seems to always be on his own personal mission. Grapes hang on a vine outside the kitchen door and near that stands a peach tree with fresh and fuzzy fruit. Throw in a few rescued dogs, a couple of friendly cats, several goats and three handsome horses and the joyful lively abundance has just begun to be summed up.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
This president should have put in place crippling sanctions against Iran, he did not.Benen points to the still quite conservative Jeffery Goldberg, who says:
It is precisely because the Obama Administration has constructed a sanctions program without precedent, and because the Obama Administration has funded and supported multinational cyber-sabotage efforts against the Iranian nuclear program, that Iran is panicking and lashing-out.
It is not only Israeli leaders who have doubted Obama's commitment to stop Iran's nuclear program; Iran's leaders themselves didn't take Obama seriously. After all, George W. Bush labeled Iran's government a member of the axis of evil, but then did nothing much at all to thwart its ambitions. But Obama, while avoiding rhetorical drama, has actually done more to stop Iran than the Bush Administration ever did.Here's the thing, Republicans. When you update your brain with the reality patch, which essentially just puts the Bush Administration back into your memory, you'll realize that we had a President who lied us into attacking Iraq, which empowered Iran, which wanted to protect itself from US imperialism and a belligerent White House that says shit like "Real men go to Tehran," so it gets going on building a bomb, and then this whole Mission-Accomplished ball of bee-hive gets handed to Obama as part of the giant clusterfuck that was the end of 8 years of GW Bush and Dick "Deficits Don't Matter" Cheney.
Obama then quietly repairs our image around the world, gets major-league sanctions going while keeping diplomatic channels open, slowly ratchets up the pressure, and even gets praise from Jeffery "WMD" Goldberg, and the best Willard (who's foreign policy team is a who's who of Dick Cheney's best friends) can do is a lie that stands out like a man standing in front of everyone with nothing on but his magic underwear, which is hanging by a thread.
Monday, February 20, 2012
For the record, Jan. 4 was when the story of Mitt not releasing his taxes got started. Put that in your general election pipe and smoke it.
Will Femia found (via Steve Benen) another interesting data point today.
Romney is having Trump campaign for him in Michigan. That's right. I said "for."
Santorum to win MI shares at Intrade are $4.26 a share right now. Seems like a good bet, considering how popular Trump is.
If you're trying to head off a guy in your home state who does well with the kind of middle class voters who define Michigan, and you bring in Donald Fucking Trump, then you are an even worse campaigner than I thought.
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
What's Worse, They Curse:
This Townhall column by Laurita Doan is the fucking shit. I mean, holy FUCK is it fucking great. I fucking agree with ever single fucking word in this motherfucker.
Americans seem to have become accustomed to the casual use of the “F” word, with celebrities tracking, proudly, the number of times they “drop the “f” bomb” in public. The frequent use of the “f” word has coarsened our public discourse. But, many of our most emblematic American values, the very characteristics that shape our national character and contribute to American exceptionalism, have been given a bad rep by liberals because they, too, are “F” words.
As George Washington his own fucking self would have fucking said, fuck yeah.
Freedom from an overly intrusive government that thinks that only government knows what is best for Americans. Democrats prefer to support over-expansive government intrusiveness in the lives of all Americans, and over-regulation of our industries that is stifling American competitiveness.
Too fucking right. It was over-fucking-regulation of fucking credit fucking defaults that fucking destroyed the fucking economy and threw people out of fucking work. I mean, fuck!
Faith, the belief that something exists that is greater than we. The acknowledgement that, regardless of the religious diversity that currently exists in our country, we were founded as an essentially Judeo-Christian society, so much so, that we have no qualms about putting “In God we Trust” on our nation’s money is a concept which Democrats seem to abhor and Republicans embrace.
Because as The Mothafuckin Son of God said, "put my fucking pops name on your money, bitch, or you motherfuckers hate fucking ME."
Go read the whole fucking thing.
Sunday, February 05, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
"I think people would have been happy to have a referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets in the South."Apparently, the Governor is unaware of the fact that any such referendum in the south would have resulted in the continuation of Jim Crow (see the election of Wallace as proof). Apparently, he's not talking about the black people, who were doing most of the fighting and dying, since they obviously wouldn't have been happy to have a referendum where the white majority voted to continue Jim Crow.
Corey Booker, the mayor of Newark, NJ, had this to say in response:
But dear God, we should not be putting civil rights issues to a popular vote, to be subject to the sentiments, the passions of the day. No minority should have their rights subject to the passions and sentiments of the majority. This is a fundamental bedrock of what our nation stands for.I wonder if Governor Christie would be so eager to put a referendum to the people on treating overweight white guys as second class citizens?
I get very concerned that we have created in our state, and we refuse to address and call it like it is, that we’ve created a second-class citizenship in our state. That’s what we have in America right now, we have two classes of citizenship. Jackie Robinson said the right of every American to first-class citizenship is the most important issue of our time.
I read the 14th Amendment clearly. It talks about equal protection under the laws, and that was never something that should go out to a popular vote, whether blacks, women or other minorities should be equal, first-class citizens.
Monday, January 16, 2012
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”--MLKThe older I get, the more I wonder about this. Yes, things are much better for many people. Poor people are still poor, but hey, according to uber-right Heritage Foundation, it's not so bad because they have refrigerators now! Way to bend that arc, boys!
Remember this King of Ironies: the motel where MLK was assassinated (while in Memphis fighting for union garbage collectors) is just blocks from the Peabody hotel where a bunch of ducks live in the Penthouse.
The GOP has all hands on deck trying to bend that arc back in the direction of rich white people. They stick their pry bar of fact-denial under the big arc, rest it on the fulcrum of hate and bigotry, hook up their elephants, and pull with all their might.
When faced with the fact that 45,000 people per year die because they don't have health insurance, they send out Senator 1% from Arizona, or former Senator Shitlube, to claim that it's not a lack of health care that kills them, but something else. Maybe they died because they chose to be poor. Or, in Santorum's case, maybe he thinks they're all gay and deserve to die for choosing that lifestyle. Or something.
"Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think."--MLKI can only imagine the headache Santorum gave himself when he tried to explain that he really said "blah people" instead of "black people." (So much for the Blah vote.) But then, Republicans, and apparently some Democrats and Independents, don't give a damn about the black vote. In fact, the southern strategy dictates that they get out there and blow those dog whistles just as loudly as they can if they want to get the vote that matters down south. Their continued battle against the Civil Rights Act might not get much traction outside the Paul campaign, but the GOP's war against the 1965 Voting Rights Act continues to this day, because their winning strategy is made up of two parts: get racist whites out to vote, and keep black people home. LBJ had some great things to say about this when he was getting the Voting Rights Act passed, as Charles P. Pierce pointed out in this awesome piece: On Our National Holiday, America's Everlasting War.
Race has popped up in the campaign this year. Newt Gingrich tripped over it while talking about food stamps and let's not even deal with the preposterous lie that Rick Santorum told about how he really said "blah people." Both of them were talking in gussied-up code, and they professed to be mystified as to how anyone could possibly think such a thing. And, of course, race has been a central theme (never a subtext; don't even try to make that case) in the irrational hatred directed at the current occupant of the White House. And it's not possible to read Lyndon's great speech — in which he called out "every device of which human ingenuity is capable, has been used to deny this right" — and not think of all the smart little clerks all over the country with their smart little voter-ID laws who are so damned mystified as to why people are so upset.Nobody is trying to bend that arc back more than Ron "Hate Whitey Day" Paul. The fact that a major candidate for President can get a large chunk of primary votes based on a philosophy that would allow states to return to Jim Crow and force women to give birth should be a shock, but it is not. A huge chunk of Republicans want to return to the 1950's, when women stayed home, even New Yorkers hated a black football hero (until he proved how well he could play), fire-hoses and dogs kept black people in their place, and wire clothes-hangers doubled as surgical tools. The only difference between Ron Paul and the whitest man to run for President in a long time is that Romney's religion was officially racist until 1978, while Paul maintains that just because he would let states return to their racist days doesn't mean he's a bigot.
On this point, I wonder what President Paul would do when Mississippi passes a law outlawing interracial marriage again, or when Texas passed a new anti-sodomy law despite the Supreme Court's ruling on Lawrence v. Texas...
Meanwhile, our extremely successful President faces a desertion from a bunch of lefties who, despite having handed GW Bush his "victory" in 2000 by voting for Ralph Nader in Florida and New Hampshire, apparently think there's no difference between Obama and Mitt Romney (who's foreign policy team is a who's who of Dick Cheney's war mongering friends).
Exactly how does one bend the long moral arc of the universe toward justice when a bunch of people who don't know what Strategic Voting means just stop pushing on our own lever, and let the GOP win?