INDIA: I’d Never Do It Again

2010/10/29

THIS LINK says it all.

I won’t paste any of the photos from the blog above here. Do visit it and have yourself a look around.

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Lega Nord!

2010/10/12

Let’s hope Italy’s condition is contagious.

France needs to catch it, and quick.

 


On Atomic Iran, the Usual Hypocrisies and Inching Closer to the Brink

2010/08/17

The Iranians, with Soviet assistance and a little luck, will get their nuclear ambitions off the ground this Saturday, 21 August, Year of Our Lord 2010. You can be sure that this has caused some hand-wringing and, perhaps, more than a little sleeplessness in Washington. I don’t believe it has caused either in Tel Aviv, though. I think the Zionists are making plans.

Despite a failure to disclose any information about their own nuclear capabilities, along with a wink and nod ambivalence from their American patsies, the Israelis have dealt with neighborly nuclear ambitions in a customary fashion throughout the years. They have flown by in the dead of night and dropped fire on them. You have only to ask Palestinian school kids what it’s like to have those guys for a neighbor, and the biggest threat from them is a flung hunk of pavement.

I am curious what Russian personnel will be in and around this facility when they throw the switch, if it gets that far. I don’t think Mother Russia is going to sit idly by if these people are injured or killed by a covert Israeli strike. Considering the audacity of their actions throughout the years, not to mention the recent slaughter of civilian aid volunteers in international waters, the next few days could be interesting indeed.

What Israel deems appropriate regarding it’s foreign policy is, frankly, of little concern to me. It is their uncanny ability to incite the U.S. military to action that gives me agita. I am reminded of the recent words of Oliver Stone, who stated “They (Israel) have fucked-up U.S. foreign policy for years.” Considering Mr. Stone’s primary occupation as a film maker, he was squeezed into an apology for that slip-of-the-truth almost as soon as he had said it. Such is life in Amerika these days.

Let it be known that I wish the Iranians no ill will, and it seems to me we should stop meddling in other nation’s affairs when we have such drastic problems at home. Not one more drop of American blood should be spilled in any of these regions. If atomic power and weapons are such forces for tranquility and stability when used and stockpiled by Israel, I don’t see how anyone can dictate Iranian policies regarding them.  Moorhead Kennedy and the rest who endured Iranian captivity during the glorious Carter years will please forgive my laissez-faire approach to the current Iranian ‘dilemma.’ Simply put, there is no dilemma as I see it.

May you live in interesting times. This is said to be an ancient Chinese curse, the first of three curses which increase in severity. A gold star next to your name, faithful reader, if you can recite the following two.


The Beginning of the Beginning of the End

2010/08/09

I really wish I had taken some economics courses instead of opting for pottery 101 in an effort to keep my GPA up. Perhaps a firm grip on the basics would help me to understand the current situation in America and assuage my dread. After all, these Harvard master-minds must know what they are doing. Surely they are in their current positions due to intellect and education. They have a plan, right? We can trust them, can’t we?

See here for the current unemployment figures. 130,000 jobs lost in July, 2010. That’s the Bureau of Labor Statistics current report. Of course, the figures are creatively reported. Those individuals who are under-employed (working in the food service industry with a Masters in ‘Business Administration, for instance) or those who have exhausted all benefits but remain out of work are not accurately represented. You already knew that, though.

See here for the FDIC’s report on bank failures of the last several years. This link speaks for itself. Res ipso loquitur.

California is struggling with mountainous debt. The Oakland police department laid off 80 police officers and released a public statement indicating which crimes it would not respond to. Yes, you read that correctly. The Oakland P.D. says you are on your own in the event of :

  • burglary
  • theft
  • embezzlement
  • grand theft
  • grand theft:dog
  • identity theft
  • false information to peace officer
  • required to register as sex or arson offender
  • dump waste or offensive matter
  • discard appliance with lock
  • loud music
  • possess forged notes
  • pass fictitious check
  • obtain money by false voucher
  • fraudulent use of access cards
  • stolen license plate
  • embezzlement by an employee (over $ 400)
  • extortion
  • attempted extortion
  • false personification of other
  • injure telephone/ power line
  • interfere with power line
  • unauthorized cable tv connection
  • vandalism
  • administer/expose poison to another (See HERE for the entire story and video.)

This is the initial phase of a down grading that will soon spread throughout all of America. A down grading of essential services as the average tax payer sees his burden steadily increased. As the dollar weakens and the economy swirls ever further down the drain. St. Louis, M.O. has followed suit in laying off one-third of their police force. There is speculation that this will result in an explosion of violent crime that cannot be countered.

In Philadelphia, budget constraints have led to “rolling blackouts” of local fire stations. This tactic may have already led to the death of one Philadelphian, as the fire house nearest his building was subject to just such a closure. Anyone familiar with municipal liability law will gladly tell you that there are few if any recourses left to the victims of such outrageous policies. In other words, you know damn well you can’t sue City Hall.

Perhaps we should all keep a loaded handgun and a few buckets of sand in our bedrooms.

These are but a few harbingers of our home-grown American doom. The Staten Island, N.Y. Little League saw their night games cancelled as borough president Molinaro stated the “electricity used by the park lighting would better serve borough residents air conditioners.”

During the past two decades, such blackouts have increased 124 percent — up from 41 blackouts between 1991 and 1995, to 92 between 2001 and 2005, according to research at the University of Minnesota. – source CNN

The American infrastructure is in dire shape as well, while we have spent nearly one TRILLION dollars fighting in Iraq and Afganistan. What was once a great nation of artisans and engineers is quickly being reduced to clerks, cashiers and grocery store shelf stockers. Most roads and bridges of America are over 50 years old and in desperate need of  repair. Do you recall the 2007  I-35 bridge collapse in Minnesota? CNN reported that there were engineering reports warning of this bridge’s faults as early as 1990. I could easily cite another fifty instances of decay gone unheeded, but the I-35 collapse is the most poignant.

Where are we headed in light of all of this bad news? We are headed toward the only pursuit America excells at these days. The familiar path we have walked down so many times in the prior century. The path that American leadership believes, mistakenly, will lead us out of this economic collapse. The path to war.

The nation that Jacques Chirac referred to as “That shitty little country” will lead the way, as usual.

It could begin as early as this evening. Will the new moon of August 10th, 2010 pave the way for a bombing run on Iran?

Time will tell, friends.

.


Arizona is a sharp stick in the eye of the Federal Government

2010/08/02

Whenever someone in a position of authority, from the local cops to circuit Judges, shouts “Racist!” you had better take heed. This is a vital step forward in the battle to erode your civil rights. This method is being brought to bear, firmly, against the Arizona Republic. Arizona is awash in illegal aliens. You will notice I did not use the current Newspeak description of ‘undocumented worker.’ This is because, contrary to popular belief, they are not there to pick apples and cut lawns.

If there were thousands of Swedes running amok, paying no taxes, entering our country without any cursory health examinations, driving drunk and uninsured, smuggling drugs, raping and murdering American citizens and weighing down our already over stressed public services, would it be ‘RACIST’ to point THEM out and question them?

Why is it  racist to expect colored people to adhere to the basic rules and tenets of society? Why are they continually excluded from the rules and regulations that the rest of us need deal with every day of our lives?

Wake up, federal government! Illegal is not RACIST. Illegal is simply illegal. Swede, Mexican, whatever.

If this country of ours is so concerned about infiltration by fanatical terrorists, you’d think they would do something about a corridor through which thousands of people illegally pass every week. Do you think all the recent legislation, up to the Patriot Act and beyond, has kept you safe from ‘terrorism?’ That dog don’t hunt, brother. That legislation was passed to bring the boot down on you, the concerned American. The watchful eye, ever closer to your ass with every Bill signed.

Reason no longer holds sway in this fine land. It is now about blind acceptance of whatever current opinion holds sway, and your rights under the U.S. Constitution be damned.

What of all the people who fought and died for that document? What of the grief of the loved ones of those souls? Do they hold sway over any of this madness? When one can simply walk through the dust and suddenly be granted all the amazing benefits of being an American, all the suffering and sacrifice of prior Americans is for naught. Wake up! This is OUR land, from sea to shining sea, remember?

Here is the whole pathetic story. Please take the time to read it.

God speed to you, and if that won’t cut it, SECEDE!


Demon Nicotine

2010/07/26

Last night I made love to Kathleen Turner. Not the present day, played Mrs. Robinson in the Broadway version of “The Graduate” overweight and 60-ish Turner. The sultry, starred in “Body Heat,”  knock you out of your socks 80’s version. I could plainly discern the texture of her earlobe as I nibbled it and if I were given all the perfume samplers on and in the case at the local Macy’s, I could easily identify which scent it was she was slathered in at the time.

The night before, I was locked in a death struggle with some fanged and winged arch fiend of hell wearing a London Fog trenchcoat. I noticed one of his hands in my preipheral vision, a scaly black claw with impossibly long fingers and nails to match, reaching into the sink as I poured milk over a bowl of Rice Crispies. All of this as my kitchen was illuminated by the light of a full moon that poured in through the windows.

Turning to face this seven foot hell spawn, whose head was mere inches from the kitchen light fixture, I suddenly became aware that the spoon I held in my hand previously had morphed into an oar. Yes, the thing you paddle a canoe with. This would have been a positive developement had said oar been manufactured by the Mad River Canoe Company.

Have you ever held an oar made by Mad River? They must be hickory. Or ash. Is ash a hardwood? Well, whatever wood they use, it’s a hard one. You could take on Godzilla with a Mad River canoe oar. Unfortunately, the oar I was armed with appeared to be made by the Fisher Price company. It was a very light plastic, and hollow. It reminded me of the wiffle ball bats we used to tape up to strengthen as a kid.

I flailed away at the demon with my wiffle-oar as he shreiked and bit chunks from me. I woke in a cold sweat, firmly convinced that I was still standing in my blood-spattered kitchen fighting to the death.

Such are evenings under the spell of the nicotine patch.

I had this damn smoking thing beat and I bought my first pack of Marlboros after a year’s hiatus. I ain’t going back no matter who’s in my kitchen after midnight, that’s for sure.


Where is the riff that will save us?

2010/07/20

The forties are an odd time in life. You just don’t know how hard to push yourself and it’s, sadly, just a matter of time until something goes ‘pop.’ The hills you didn’t even consider when snowboarding ten years earlier look just a bit steeper, the wind bites a little bit deeper, the aches of the next morning settle in sooner and they last a lot longer. You do it, none the less, but that pop is waiting for you, just around the bend, to say hello. Sooner or later. Maybe.

Forty-ish for me has been facing the fear of the ‘pop.’ The crunch, the whammo, the whatever it is that you’d have avoided with twenty-something, or even thirty-something, reflexes but you aren’t avoiding now. You do have a few advantages, though, with age. A ounce of experience is sometimes worth a kilo of confidence.

There is a difference between waxing nostalgic and the common sense that comes with experience. A dear friend and a brilliant attorney and I were talking the other day. I mentioned that I must be getting old because all this new ‘music’ just sucks. He commented that I wasn’t getting old, just observant. He said all that new stuff does, in fact, suck. Sometimes the words of a confidant are needed to convince one of their own position.

I bought another motorcycle on Ebay over the winter. It’s been a few years for me, but all the familiar skills rush back after a hundred or so miles and there is just the relief that comes with the intense concentration of riding in New Jersey’s traffic. To those that ride, well, there is no need to explain motorcycling. To those that do not it cannot be easily explained.

Twenty years ago while living overseas I rode a similar bike from Frankfurt to Barcelona. Two-up. I may be able to make that run now, but I think I’d need about twice the time to do it. A-8 was my favorite road back then. A vast banked slalom of grade-A German Autobahn that stretches through Bavaria into Munich and beyond. Racetrack-smooth sticky blacktop. No debris on the shoulder, not even sand, as you let the clutch out, pull away and twist the throttle. I can still remember the blue and white roadsigns that signified these magnificent stretches of tarmac. They said, and still say, “Go as fast as you like, but don’t make us waste our valuable time scooping up your vitals.” I wish America could adopt the German notion of personal accountability.

The sweeping hand of the tach climbs, up and up, past 8,000 RPM now and nearly fifty miles per hour. One click up into second and you are pushing seventy. A faint memory of the rules back home as you blow past sixty-five, the American danger zone, visions of some donut-eater with a radar gun flashing into your brain pan. Here, there are no such nuisances. Here, speed is just a question of skill. And guts. Lucky for me I had just enough of the former and absolute bucket fulls of the latter.

Third gear now, the almighty gear, and there is only the rush of wind as you power past one hundred and take the tach up to 9,ooo. Fourth, and then fifth, come on smooth as cutting into a $50 steak and there is a sense of sling-shot force and the rising exhaust note as the needle closes on 125, 130, 140. Light poles, farm houses, flocks of sheep all passing by at ridiculous intervals, seen and then unseen in the mirrors as you rocket past. It’s a whole different ballgame at 150 miles per hour, I can tell you that.

Hunter Thompson said “It will always be better to be shot from a cannon than squeezed from a tube.” I wish I had the chance to ride with Hunter Thompson.

Well, this is my forties and we’re back in New Jersey. A quick bounce off of 100 on Route 80 west bound towards Pennsylvania is about as far as I want to push it. Over this weekend, I rode up to Port Jervis. I have no idea why I went there, I just filled up the tank and pointed it and that was where she took me. Motorcycling is funny that way. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably wind up someplace else. Remember that book?

Anyway, I got back into town around five o’clock and it occurred to me that I needed a beer. Badly. There aren’t a lot of decent watering holes anymore. Every one with even a little character is now a TJ Max, or burnt to the ground, or worse yet, a ‘Sports Bar.’

How I loathe the ‘Sports Bar.’ Assholes sitting around with haircuts out of MTV’s Jersey Shore and the sleepy pace of the Yankee game wafting out of six ginormous Samsung flat screens perched over every inch of the walls. You couldn’t avoid them if you tried. How can you get laid or plan a revolution in this atmosphere?

Which brings me to the point. Those of you still here, thanks for bearing with me. The juke box. This one was set to some hip-hop satellite station cruising through an endless litany of loops and samples with a lusty dub-voice moaning the same blather every twenty-six seconds or so. I counted them, so I know the interval. Twenty-six seconds…mmmnnnnOOOOH…..mmmmmnnnnOOOH.

Three Heinekens is my limit when I ride. Usually. I couldn’t have made it through anymore of that music anyway so I paid my tab and I split.

In 1991, there was a riff that saved us all. Saved us from the loops and the samples and the Madonna’s and the GaGa’s. Saved us from the prepackaged plastic clam shell Grammy a-list bling motherfuckers. Brought us back into the garage, the goddamn garage we all remember, poorly playing power chords on an out of tune Fender while the fat kid from up the street banged away on his older brother’s four piece Pearl with a broken Paiste crash cymbal. No oooooh’s and no aaaaaaaah’s. Just sweat, warm beer and once in awhile a little dopesmoke.

Maybe, twenty years later, America will be lucky enough to get another good riff. Just one more.

I’m hoping for it, but it ain’t looking good, friends.