I grew up reading comic books wanting to be a superhero. Comics taught me that those who speak the truth are heroes, all the rest are liars.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Angel's Singing 'Get On The Good Foot'

First time I saw James Brown in person was at a show in Sacramento in 1970 at the old Memorial Auditorium. It was unforgetable...to this day I could re-enact the whole show...it was just that great. From the long red cape lined with white rabbit fur to the crown, the horn section, the backup singers and the loud crowd as much a member of the band as the band themselves...he earned his title of 'the godfather of soul' with his rich performances and unique vocals.

Along the way James ran afoul with drugs, booze and violence...not surprising giving the life style, background and his talent... enough said...he paid a price with time served and then was given a pardon.

A few months ago (summer) I had a dream where I went to South Carolina to meet with James Brown and do a book about him. It seemed so real... For days afterward I thought I should go just to see what would happen...a kind of dream quest. I didn't, and now more than ever, think I should have. At least I have his music... and all those #1's:

  • Papa's Got A Brand New Bag ('65)
  • I've Got You (I Feel Good) ('65)
  • It's a Man's World ('66)
  • Cold Sweat ('67)
  • I Got The Feelin ('68)
  • Say It Loud - I'm Black and Proud ('68)
  • Mother Popcorn ('69)
  • Super Bad ('70)
  • Get On The Good Foot ('72)
James Brown had an additional 89 top 40 songs...

"Everyone should listen to James Brown first thing in the morning, for medicinal reasons." -Van Morrisson R.I.P.
I'm taking my medicine right now...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

This Is Only A Test...

Yeah and if you believe that then you'll believe in Minnesota's Rep. John Kline's Magic recruitment wand...

It appears that the federal government is going to "test" the selective service system:

"The agency is not gearing up for a draft, an agency official said Thursday. The test itself would not likely occur until 2009."

Meanwhile, the Secretary for Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson said that ''society would benefit'' if the U.S. were to bring back the draft. He later issued a statement saying he does not support reinstituting a draft. Which sounds a lot like John Kline's saying he doesn't support reinstituting the draft but wants to increase active military personnel.

...Wonder how that's going to happen?...oh yeah...a 'test'...

PS. Who is Uncle Sam and why does he want you?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thursday Tibits

Keith Ellison: Enlightening the GOP - One idiot at a time!
Minnesota's own Rep. Keith Ellison in replying to Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) letter:

I’m not an immigrant,” Mr. Ellison, who traces his American ancestors back to 1742. “I’m an African-American.”
Ellison went on to say:

“I’m looking forward to making friends with Representative Goode, or at least getting to know him. I want to let him know that there’s nothing to fear. The fact that there are many different faiths, many different colors and many different cultures in America is a great strength.”

As if we didn't already know how bad it is...Bu$hCo even lied about the numbers! Attacks in Iraq at record high: Pentagon. Want more...visit Carpetbaggers Report.

Bu$h doesn't care about the Generals. He doesn't care about the Congress or the Constitution or the Laws. And get a clue, he certainly doesn't care about you, your family or friends. That would require something called empathy...and they don't hand that out in a limo or at the ranch.

Oh, READ MY LIPS! I have a co-worker that informed me that now that the Democrats are on board with Bu$h, we're (demos) going to increase the troop numbers...so IT boy: Democratic leaders have united in opposition to Bu$h's idea of escalating the number of troops in Iraq. Republican leaders are generally silent on the unpopular idea.

The madman in the Oval Office has indicated that "he will listen but not necessarily defer" to military leaders on the question of an escalation of troops - and deaths - in Iraq, cuz he's the Decider.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) issued a statement yesterday that he's no longer open: "I don't believe that more troops is the answer for Iraq."

The next Majority Whip, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) told reporters this past weekend that "sending more soldiers to Iraq after the holidays would further drain an already depleted military."

House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued a statement today rejecting the idea of a surge.
And House Majority Leader-elect Steny Hoyer (D-MD) earlier released a similar statement.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

It's Time to Stop Spitting In The Wind

There are 12 or so million undocumented –or illegal aliens- living within the United States borders. That number doubled since a decade ago. Once found primarily in the fields of the Southwest, they now occupy the front lines of the service industry in almost every state. Minnesota is no exception to this.

They are all lawbreakers, here only because they violated our borders and broke the laws governing legal immigration. A majority of Americans feel that these immigrants have no rights here and should be sent back to where they came from….

I have a friend, David. I’ve known him for over thirty years, and he’s an undocumented worker. He’s from Mexico, living here illegally. His mother came to the United States when he was eight years old. She came because there were jobs (housekeeping) that allowed her to feed her two sons. They lived with other undocumented workers in a series of rundown one bedroom apartments. Now in his fifties, David went to school here, works here, got married here, and raised a family here. David has worked and virtually lived in the United States his whole life. When I look at David I don’t see an illegal alien. I see a friend, a good family man and an American. When ICE comes knocking, they won't see any of that...

In many ways David and his family represent an insoluble problem for the United States. There is simply no way that all 12 million illegal aliens can be swept up and shipped back to Mexico. Yes, they are all lawbreakers, here only because they violated our borders and broke the laws governing legal immigration. And in David’s case (like most of the 12 million), he's a vital part of the community and America's economy.

On December 12, in nationwide raids 1,300 undocumented immigrants were rounded up. 230 of those were arrested in Worthington Minnesota at a meat packing plant. If ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement ) had raids like this every day for a year, they would still only have 3% of the illegal population! It does nothing to control or stop illegal immigration.
Continuing down the path of enforcing immigration crackdowns will only increase taxpayer’s financial burdens (yes you pay for the raids, processings, and the incarcerations and deportation); and finally, the cost to the families themselves when social services has to be invoked in dealing with what’s been left behind or broken apart.
“Immigration raids cause more problems than they solve, the raids do not address the root causes of immigration and this is why we call for a moratorium on all deportations and raids,” said Mariano Espinoza, Ex. Director of MN Immigrant Freedom Network.
What we have currently is a system that fails to honestly address the immigration and border security issues facing this country. The raids on December 12 were an outrage that amounted to spitting into the wind, with the same net affect.

The United States immigration system is completely divorced from the real demands for legal entry visas in our economy. Take for example Minnesota which currently has a skilled laborer shortage. Couple that with the simple economics of a ruined Mexican economy where the wage differential between the U.S. and Mexico is about 11 to 1. Some studies suggest that in the agricultural sector there’s a 20-to-1 differential. And add in the passage of the 1994 NAFTA agreement which further depressed Mexican rural wages and accelerated the immigration wave.

No amount of fence building, fortifying the border with heat/motion detection, stadium lighting, infrared scopes or Blackhawk helicopters and aerial drones will stop people from trying to survive and make a better live for themselves elsewhere.
Enforcement-only measures will not stop illegal immigration. Taking less than .01% of those here illegally will not make the rest go back, stop them from working, or keep those sent out from re-entering. Again, let’s be clear, a raid like the one last week, repeated every day over the next year will only result in 3% of the illegal population being affected. Not a very good use of tax dollars or much of a deterrent. And the only message it sends is that we're helpless to address the real issues or root causes for our undocumented population.

The issues surrounding undocumented workers in this country have to do with pay inequity, human rights, and corporate greed. When we start addressing these issues in real terms then we might begin to affect change.

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Link to the DFL Links

I told the Minnesota's DFL Links organizer (Jason B) that I would post up the DFL Links icon on my blog(s)because:
  1. Jason asked me to and we're friends
  2. DFL Links is a great way for Democrats to meet one another and organize
  3. It links out to the group(s) at Zanby (another great tool built by and for Democrats)
  4. And lastly, because I can!

If you haven't done so already...check out both DFL Links (attend a meeting in your local area) and check out Zanby. As a reminder I've posted the icon up with a link under archives on the right hand side.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Getting Hot Outside the Kitchen

Headed toward 50 degrees today, in Minnesota…yeah right, global warming is just a myth! Oh pleazze...On Saturday night, Al Gore with assistance from MOVEON, is organizing viewing parties for 'An Inconvenient Truth'. See it, just so you know all the details of 'the myth'.

Along the same lines the Bush Administration feels they need to keep a closer track on US Geological Survey (you know, those folks who, amongst other things, study global warming).

“New rules require screening of all facts and interpretations by agency scientists who study everything from caribou mating to global warming. The rules apply to all scientific papers and other public documents, even minor reports or prepared talks, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.”
Naturally there will be victims besides science: The ‘Goddess of the Yangtze’ dolphin is now extinct due to increased ship traffic with the use of sonar. Congratulations to us all on killing a nearly blind white dolphin species that existed for 20 million years.

So you ask yourself…How? How do things like that happen? Why do we allow it? Well, this is how: Closure of 6 federal libraries angers scientists

The NASA library in Greenbelt, Md., was part of John C. Mather's daily routine for years leading up to the astrophysicist's sharing of the 2006 Nobel Prize for shedding new light on the big bang theory of creation. He researched existing space hardware and instrumentation there while designing a satellite that collected data for his prize-winning discovery.So when he learned that federal officials were planning to close the library, Mather was stunned.
And before you go all marshmallowy because it's not our local libraries…think again. Most Minnesota libraries have banking hours, abbreviated to save on budgets. I love how Pawlenty is touting a budget surplus while our schools and libraries have to fight each other for donations of used books.

But good news, for those that have perpetuated the lie of a global warming myth, hell will be even hotter (or so I’ve heard!)… Wonder if you can buy off the devil?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wednesday's Wankers

Surprise! Bush is still a Moron.
Sure it's going badly but it can get worse: A new poll finding that 70 percent of Americans disapprove of the president's handling of Iraq.


Duh, I'm rendered speechless just like those now dead and wounded by his arrogance!

Food for Thought? Bite Me!
Elizabeth Schulte's article Hungry for the Holidays at Counter Punch cites:
"The Average Food Stamp Application is 12 Pages, the Federal Firearm Application is Two Pages"
It goes on to mention the wordsmithing being played by the USDA replacing the word 'hunger' with 'very low food security'.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Ouch! Eagan Gives GOP A Lickin'

Ho Ho HO
Santa came early for the voters in SD38 this year by electing new Rep. Sandra Masin and Senator Jim Carlson. Couple that with the narrow defeat (160 votes!) of Democratic candidate Mike Obermueller, and it’s easy to see the times are a changing in Pawlenty’s backyard.

MnpACT blogger Chris Truscott had some interesting insight into the lone Eagan GOP Rep. Lynn Wardlow, and his pending demise:

"As Eagan grows, new residents are starting to cancel out those who know Wardlow as "my kid's old teacher/coach." These new District 38B voters expect answers on real issues and aren't interested in perpetuating Wardlow's taxpayer-funded retirement job in the Legislature."
And naturally the very cheap (but true!) dig at Wardlow’s inability to do anything except as directed by the GOP rank and file…

"He [Chris] thinks if new District 38A State Rep. Sandy Masin is smart, she'll stand where Wilkin used to sit and flash Wardlow a thumbs up or thumbs down before each vote. If Wardlow's smart he'll listen to Masin."
I also would give credit to the great Democratic activists and candidates in SD38. They worked night and day to turn years of RED into a Democratic BLUE. While Wardlow traded on his name recognition, Mike Obermueller was establishing his own name and stances on issues.

Mike is an all round great guy that's smart and caring, with a strong family and community base. Mike hasn't said if he'll run next election, but if the voters in SD38 are lucky, they'll see Obermueller make a second try against Wardlow. Of course, finding anyone better that 'lock and step' Wardlow is easy.... Still it would be great to have such a outstanding Democratic candidate like Mike Obermueller. Eagan Democrats gave the local GOP a lickin' and they're not done yet.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Right-Wingnuts Batsh*t Insanity Over Keith Ellison

Okay, it's a little over a month after the midterm elections and while some of the ramifications of the Democratic landslide are still open to debate, two facts are crystal clear: Keith Ellison is the first Muslim to be elected to Congress, and that fact is driving the right-wingnuts batshit insane.
Two examples of right-wing pundits racing at top speed to see who can be the stupidest have been pretty well publicized:

Dennis Prager, in an opinion column about Ellison's desire to be sworn in not with a bible, but the Koran: "...Forgive me, but America should not give a hoot what Keith Ellison’s favorite book is. Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don’t serve in Congress...

"CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck, ...""Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies."

The only thing Keith Ellison is guilty of is subscribing to a faith that hate mongers have decided to use in an effort to keep the gullible and the bigoted afraid.

Maybe some of it can be understood, since from day one, the majority of the media coverage has focused on Keith's religion to the exclusion of all else. Maybe it is understandable that some people in this country are asking how Minnesota could do such a thing as send a member of the "enemy" to represent them in Congress.

In all the hoopla about Keith Ellison's spiritual beliefs, no one seemed to get around to actually examining Keith's legislative record. After all, unlike his two opponents, he did have one, and it was exemplary.I covered the Minnesota state legislature for three years as a journalist, and I saw Keith in action day in and day out. I know Keith's record because I saw him establish it. I think it's safe to say that while Minnesota picked another elected official that defied "conventional wisdom," Keith Ellison is not another Jesse Ventura.

To those frothing at the mouth about how Keith is going to represent America in the United States Congress, I will just say this: Calm down. Keith did an outstanding job representing his constituents in the Minnesota legislature, and he will do a fine job representing them in Congress.

For those manufacturing a fake issue out of Keith's desire to be sworn in using the Koran, I want to point you to an article I wrote back in 2003 about the debate over a bill introduced in the Minnesota House.

I called the article "Food Fight" and it covered the efforts of the then GOP House majority to reduce the number of meals provided to inmates. The GOP had a sizable majority at the time, and the loony mean spiritedness was thick in the air.

Here is the relevant paragraph:"In a 90-minute debate, which was heated at times, DFL Representatives strongly spoke against the proposal. In an impassioned appeal to fellow Legislators, Minneapolis Representative Keith Ellison confronted the characterization of prisoners as rapists, murderers, and child molesters. Pointing out that more inmates are actually non-violent drug defenders, and that the majority of them are of color, Ellison invoked scripture: " However you treated the least of you, my brother, that's how you treated me."

Note that Keith didn't quote the Koran. He didn't quote Mohammed. He mentioned the Bible, and he spoke of compassion, which is a common theme of his. Keith spoke with passion and he spoke with obvious heartfelt concern about those who had fallen to the bottom rungs of society.

This is not the only example I could have used to illustrate these qualities, but it is the one that was easiest for me to find--none of the articles I wrote exists online any more.This is the kind of performance that sent Keith Ellison to DC and returned the GOP to a minority in the Minnesota legislature.

Others have already debunked the lie that members of Congress must be sworn in with the Bible, so I'll just refer to another right-wing loudmouth that was shot down earlier this year with the words, "You didn't put your hand on the Constitution and swear an oath to uphold the Bible. You put your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution."

Swear to uphold the Constitution is what Keith will do next month, and uphold the Constitution is what he will do after that. I know, because that's what he's done his entire adult life. And he will represent his constituents using the same values his detractors have shown they don't share. The ones they only give lip service to, while they hide behind overwrought shows of faith and use their Bibles to sow hatred and fear.

-Isaac Peterson is a friend, twincities writer and occassional guest blogger on Truth Surfer and Down with Tyranny

The New Domino Theory From Bob

Bob's boat load of lawyers might sue me for mentioning his 'New Domino Theory©' but he stated the obvious and it deserves to be repeated:

"As I pointed out in that diary, there will be no successful training of a competent Iraqi force that is not sectarian, and, short of adding an additional 300,000 to 400,000 American troops, there will be no quelling the insurgency.

So we should get out. "
Amen brother, let's do it now because we sure as sh*t are going to have to do it and the results minus more dead will be the same!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Get a Clue People!

You've got to watch this especially you're like me and fed up with all the self indulgent religious idiots trying to promote 'their' importances due to 'their' personal pipeline to the 'only true g*d' verse anything or anyone else...especially at the risk of all of us and...

...science and technology and common sense and humanity, heck...even the life of earth!

Get a clue people!

God is real. And he's unbelievable!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Living in Infamy

The Pearl Harbor Naval Station on the Hawaiian island of Oahu is the hub of United States Pacific naval power. Most of the Navy's major commands have headquarters there. Yet even after sixty-five years, its name is still synonymous with the surprise Japanese attack of "December 7, 1941".

I've lived in both locations being a military brat (and naval)...as always with war, there are two sides with stories. I think we tend to see black and white but in reality the world has a lot of grays. And just like 911 and the slogans of 'never forget', time has a way of making us all into fools.

Admiral Yamamoto:
"A brilliant man will find a way not to fight a war."
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
President Franklin D. Roosevelt:
"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy. The United States Of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by Naval and Air Forces of the Empire of Japan."

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Holiday Spirit

"Abu Clause is coming to town."
From News Corpse:
Please visit my entry in the Huffington Post Contagious Festival. Then put the link above on your blog, MySpace/Facebook page, and any place else you can. Email it to your friends, family, strangers.

Watch it!

Significant Find On Mars?

What's up on Mars?

NASA Schedules Briefing to Announce Significant Find on Mars
"NASA hosts a news briefing at 1 p.m. EST, Wednesday, Dec. 6, to present new science results from the Mars Global Surveyor. The briefing will take place in the NASA Headquarters auditorium located at 300 E Street, S.W. in Washington and carried live on NASA Television:

"The agency last week announced the spacecraft's mission may be at its end. Mars Global Surveyor has served the longest and been the most productive of any spacecraft ever sent to the red planet. "

Could it be....they've discovered more regarding the 'Cydonia face'?!

It is generally understood to be an optical illusion, an example of pareidolia. A few, most notably Richard C. Hoagland, believe it to be evidence of a long-lost Martian civilization along with other features they believe are present, such as apparent pyramids, which they argue are part of a ruined city.
Or is it something else like finding a 750 mile fence to keep illegal earthlings out? Or perhaps they've found signs of life from discarded cigarette butts at the base of pyrimids. Or maybe it's just how Marvin the Martian said:
"K9 do you suppose all earth creatures behave like thataway?"

To answer, yes, sigh, sadly, we do.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Boo Effing Hoo

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out…

Sabo is still whining that the DFL didn’t do as he wanted…and he’s right. Instead the DFL elected Keith Ellison as Minnesota’s first Black Muslim to Congress. That’s a win:win:win!
“Endorsements play a role, but they are an optional thing for a party. They are not something they have to do. There are times when no endorsement makes sense.”
Now that’s something I would push for if Sabo ever runs for office again. Fortunately the day of the dino is in the past.... ancient history... the end.

The War Is Over

John Lennon - Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

If you want it to be...
The xmas spirit is about caring, family, helping, loving, understanding, sharing, and peace... Maybe it shouldn't include sadness but it does and we need to stop looking away.

2,899, and that’s not all. This administration policy on the war has spent any credibility it had left. It’s time to shut down the war machine. It’s time for xmas. John had it right, the war is over if you want it to be...and I want it to be.

When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty my only response is that I am thankful I have a cup." - Sam Lefkowitz