January 21, 2012

South Carolina Republicans Go Apesh*t for Newt’s Racism


Read Republican Racism is an Air Raid Siren, Not a Dog Whistle

January 20, 2012

E Cannabis Unum: Has medical marijuana helped my sore knees?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Jane Stillwater @ 1:57 pm

I’ve just about tried everything there is to make my sore knees and right ankle feel better — physical therapy, acupuncture, SynVisc (nasty stuff), chiropractic, Advil, hydrotherapy, Tiger Balm, xi gong, steam baths, reiki, Filipino psychic surgery, hypnotherapy, Zam-Zam water, deep-tissue massage, yoga,.. You name it and I’ve tried it. But nothing has worked — until now.

Now I’ve discovered “DocGreen’s Therapeutic Healing Cream,” which is made from shea butter, palm oil, vegetable wax and cannabis. That’s right, you read that right. I am currently rubbing marijuana onto my knees.

And, yes, it’s legal. And, yes, it works.

“But where did you get this stuff?” you might ask. “While standing on a corner in West Oakland? After skipping across the border to Tijuana? By following hippies around up on Telegraph? In the evidence room at the DEA? Where?”

I got it at my friendly local marijuana dispensary And what a trip that was too, with all kinds of types — from arthritic old ladies and dying cancer patients to young men and women who looked like they’ve never been sick a day in their life — standing in a really long line and waiting their turn in front of a huge display counter featuring everything from manufactured doobies and sativa buds to infused chocolates and ointments like the kind that I got.

But, hey, DocGreen’s soothing therapeutic ointment worked.

Plus it also made me sort of happy — a big surprise there. Not that I was stoned or zonked or nothing, and there was definitely no slow-motion-type incapacitation or uncontrollable munchies like I’ve heard that you get from eating dope brownies or smoking a spliff. And there was none of that sudden Bob Marley “one-love” positive-vib stuff either. I still have all the same worries and troubles that I used to have before — that corporatists are still destroying our country and my tooth still hurts and I’m still overdrawn at the bank — but now I’m just a little bit less on edge about all that and a little bit more able to cope.

PS: I figured that since just a little bit of DocGreen’s healing therapeutic moisturizer helped my soreness and also my frame of mind, then perhaps I should try a bit more. So I rubbed some of the ointment onto my sore neck as well. Wrong thing to do. An immediate headache resulted, and then I started worrying again all over — but this time more fiercely. Oh rats. I just knew it was too good to be true. Looks like I’d better go back to trying holy water and saunas.

But then I listened to Layna Berman on KPFA and she said that many people end up getting addicted to various substances by trying to “take the edge off” their lives. Hey, I wanna take the edge off! But according to Berman, no, that’s not a good idea, Apparently having worries is a good thing — because they force you to act, to try out different things that might end all those worries. Perhaps like joining OWS in order to end the corporatists’ sleazy reign of terror in Washington? Oh, okay.

Berman also stated that by using outside means of cheering oneself up, then our body loses its own ability to cheer itself up.

PPS: Then I listened to a video on “Full Disclosure” that talked about how California is being taken over by Mexican drug lords — even including taking over the legal medical marijuana trade. Yikes!

According to a recent “Full Disclosure” report, “Mexican Drug Cartels are controlling industrial farming of Marijuana while enslaving both the illegal alien laborers and the U. S. Farmers. Once entrapped by the Cartels, they are unable escape with their lives.”

Double yikes! Now I’m in danger of becoming a member of the Sinaloa drug cartel! Just because I’ve got bad knees.

PPPS: If marijuana is illegal, shouldn’t they make all those other artificial feel-good substances illegal too? Like cigarettes and booze? Wouldn’t it be nice if you had to have a doctor’s prescription before you could set foot into a liquor store?

PPPPS: Someone else just recommended that I just simply stick to eating mushrooms. According to a recent TED video on the subject, mushrooms are the last best hope for this planet and we can even use them instead of fossil fuel: Yeah, but can mushrooms make my ankle and knees (and brain) feel any better?

PPPPS: Then I went up to that dispensary on Telegraph Avenue at and got a chocolate infusion to eat. Forget that! One small bite almost the size of a baby’s fingernail and I was absolutely frozen in place for the next TWELVE WHOLE HOURS. I couldn’t even get to my computer to call for help on FaceBook!


This article is Part One of an ongoing series regarding the advantages and disadvantages of using medical marijuana. And if anyone wants to try DocGreen’s Therapeutic Healing Cream, please let me know and I’ll give you the 411.

Is there a UCB – von Richthofen link?

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:33 pm

Is there a link between the two?
The Chronicle saw a link

There are multiple bits of local lore and history that residents of Berkeley CA might find interesting, but that doesn’t mean that stumbling onto one of these obscure facts from the past will provide a columnist with a topic to use online because folks in other parts of the world might not be concerned with the hundred year old social life of a UC Berkeley graduate who went on to a teaching career in Oakland.

Would there be a world wide audience interested in her if further investigation revealed that after Manfred von Richthofen (AKA the Red Barron) was shot down, on April 21, 1918, during World War I, a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle sought out Miss Margaret P. Hayne and asked her if she had been engaged to him?

After noting that she denied that, a story in the Chronicle went on to report that “her friends believed that there was an understanding between the brilliant German aviator and the Berkeley girl.”

She was quoted as saying “I knew him very well, that is all.” She went on to explain that she knew his mother, brothers and sisters and that “ . . . a close friendship existed between myself and the family.”

The story informed readers that Ms. Hayne had graduated from UC Berkeley in 1903, passed the bar exam, and that she had had a law office in San Francisco before beginning her teaching career in Oakland. Was calling a woman approximately 35 years old “a girl” an early example of “spin”?

On Saturday, January 14, 2012, the World’s Laziest Journalist went on a topic safari to San Francisco. At the once-a-month warehouse sale held by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, we bought two book to be read with an eye for column topics, but we had also purchased William E. Burrows’ book, “Richthofen: A True History of the Red Baron” just to read for personal pleasure.

That nigh, when we opened up the 1969 book from Harcourt, Brace, and World Inc., while looking for the end-paper map, we noticed that a standard 8 ½ by 11 sheet of paper had been folded in half and tucked behind the back flap of the dust jacket.

We expected to find a review of the book at hand, but when we unfolded the paper it appeared to be a 100% size Xerox copy of the front page of a much older newspaper.

A story about Miss Margaret Hayne was circled in red.

Since a portion of the image identifies the San Francisco Chronicle as the source and sine it makes reference to the fact that Captain Baron von Richthofen had been shot down the week before, it would be relatively simple to track down the exact date of publication.

If we went to the San Francisco Public Library it would probably require just another hour or two of library research to ascertain that information and perhaps provide the basis for sending a feature story query letter to a magazine that appeals to an audience of aviation enthusiasts.

A quick online search revealed that the Red Baron was killed on the 21st of April in 1918, which was just a few days after the United States marked the first full year of participation in the War to end all Wars. Congress had declared war on April 6, 1917 because of a torpedo attack on the passenger liner Lusitania. Conspiracy theory lunatics have challenged the veracity of the official accounts of the incident ever since.

The alternative would be to put the information into the less scholarly form of a loopy column and skip over the need for extensive academic research.

Information that had been previously published several decades ago won’t qualify the column as a “scoop,” but a few Google searches indicated that a column about Ms. Hayne and the Red Baron would provide some information online that hasn’t previously been easily accessible for the curious readers on the Internets.

At the same time and place that we bought the Red Baron book, we had also purchased a mint condition copy of a 2003 Barnes and Noble paperback edition of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle,” with introduction and notes by Maura Spiegel. It was obvious from the blurbs on the back cover that if the columnist reads that book another column about how the exploitation of workers by the wealthy Chicago meatpacking company owners would write itself. Sinclair called the area Packingtown.

The headline “Occupy the Jungle” would help draw today’s readers into a review with comments about the 100 year old novel.

When “The Jungle” was published it spurred President Theodore Roosevelt into action and another of its effects, according to the Introduction by Maura Spiegel, “was shinning a bright light on the ever-darkening realms of child labor, prisons, insurance companies, and foremost, American enterprise and its role in the creation of a new American class of impoverished industrial wage slaves.” Isn’t the pendulum swinging back towards the sanctioning of child labor once again?

Some Republicans are hinting that such a move could benefit the United States in two ways: it would eliminate the need to spend tax dollars on school improvements and it would provide families with extra income.

Could Mitt Romney use Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” to assert that he will fight to reestablish the sacred American tradition of exploiting poor workers to help him get himself get elected as President?

Earlier in the week, the columnist had bought a copy of “Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid,” and learned about the concept of “Strange Loops.” According to the Author, Douglas R. Hofstadter: “The ‘Strange Loop’ phenomenon occurs whenever, by moving upwards (or downwards) through the levels of some hierarchical system, we unexpectedly find ourselves right back where we started.”

If the Occupy Movement is fighting the same injustices that caused Upton Sinclair to write his best selling rant more than a hundred years ago, does that mean it is time for Hofstadter to revise his book with more examples of contemporary culture’s modern flashbacks to the past?

Hofstadter maintains that many of M. C. Escher’s most famous drawings are images that embody the Strange Loop concept.

Would it surprise Hofstadter if the Republicans select JEB Bush as their Presidential candidate or would he merely shrug it off saying that it was just another example of the Strange Loop?

About two blocks away from the book sale and about two hours after we bought the books, Occupy San Francisco made the news with some protest activity at a nearby branch of the Wells Fargo Bank. We missed the chance to cover that chapter of the history of the Occupy Movement, but thanks to the material we gathered leading to information about a Berkeley student, the WWI ace, and the muckraking journalist, we would classify our topic safari to San Francisco as a success.

Ms. Hayne provided this column’s closing quote when she gave her assessment of von Richthofen to the Chronicle’s reporter: “He was a fine man.” We concur. Wasn’t respect for a warrior from the other side considered a proper manifestation of the chivalry code of conduct?

Now the disk jockey (can you see it coming a mile away?) will play The Royal Guardsmen’s “Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron,” the Guns and Roses’ song “Welcome to the Jungle,” and as a farewell tribute to a fellow whose formative years were spent in Berkeley, Johnny Otis’ “Willie and the Hand Jive.” We have to go check the show times for the new movie titled “Red Tails.” Have a “I don’t want to send those men up there in machines held together with bailing wire and chewing gum – but I must!” type week.

January 19, 2012

Campaign Trail Mixology: Is This the Season of the Mitt?

Tumorous rumors and loose talk from unnamed sources speaking anonymously. (If it’s good enough for the NY Times and Washington Post, it’s good enough for me.) Candidates and poll numbers listed in the order of the Jan. 17, 2012 CNN/Time/ORC South Carolina poll:

33 percent: Mitt Romney. The only clueless Mormon left in the GOP race, and the candidate our Corporately-Owned Media has determined will be most accommodating to their demands of lower taxes on the 1 Percent and multi-national corporations and less regulation on the Kleptocracy for which they stand, the Mittster is so oblivious he continues to wear expensive $3K watches and pricey hand-tailored suits on the campaign trail, unlike the more savvy wealthy Republican ‘populists’ who sport a cheap Timex and a presidential-wannabe trousseau of off-the-rack wear when in campaign mode. (Presumably, a pair of Sansabelt slacks and a JC Penney sports shirt would induce a rash if in direct contact with Mitt’s pampered flesh.) Of course, Romney’s stiff Disney World animatronic awkwardness when interacting with members of the human race is the stuff of legend, but he’s also a walking compendium of Talking Points and as bad as the Bush Boy at the quick ad lib when he’s thrown off stride. As with Junior, such attempts at spontaneity inevitably end in disaster with inappropriate laughter and bizarre facial expressions. Weirder, though, is Romney’s odd notions of what constitutes an endearing anecdote, sure to elicit an indulgent chuckle and mist the eye. In this he reminds me of the rural farmer who told the sheriff that he shot one of his five sons in the ass with a .22 rifle to teach all of his kids to ‘lissen to their daddy’ when he told them daddy gets to read the morning newspaper first. Farmer Ding-Dong just couldn’t understand why the sheriff then arrested him instead of sharing a fatherly chortle over those ‘dang young ‘uns.’ He was even heard to shout in protest as he was being taken away, “Sheet, it were only a flesh wound!” This is Mitt Romney: he can’t comprehend that ‘funny’ family stories about tying his crated dog to the top of his car for a 10-hour trip that resulted in the frightened pet’s diarrhea running down the back of the station wagon aren’t warmly amusing to other people; he can’t see that his ‘adorable’ personal memories are hatched out of The Addams Family rather than the Swiss Family Robinson. While I’ll give him a thumb’s-up for being entertainingly strange, this tin-eared weirdo can’t be allowed anywhere near the Oval Office — imagine a President Romney greeting the Afghan ambassador with a goat to ride around Washington because he knows that’s what those Afghanis like or, perhaps, tying some low-level White House staffer to the top of the presidential limo. “He loves it up there! He got up there all by himself!”

23 Percent: Newt Gingrich. A couple of tidbits: first, the MSM has generally missed reporting on the helmet-haired blonde woman with the fixed, insincere smile and intense pinball eyes that is Callista Gingrich, Newtie’s mistress when he was married to No. 2 and eventual third and current wife. The former Washington lobbyist (what a match made in heaven…or wherever) is not just ‘Stepford Wives’ creepy; she’s all the way to ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane’ creepy with her ghostly skin, deep red lipstick and hawkish, slightly mad gaze, and ‘Mr. Speaker’ doesn’t use the toilet without her permission. Staff defections from the Gingrich campaign can be traced directly to Callista’s iron-fisted control and she’s the one addicted to Tiffany bling to the extent that’d she’d put hubby in deep, embarrassing debt to feed her 1950s ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’ lust for overpriced jewelry. She’s also the source for some of Newt’s crankier and more crackpot opinions, the same ones that may ultimately sabotage any chance he has of nabbing the GOP presidential nomination. Second, word is Callista’s taking a page from Elvis’ Col. Parker by stuffing debate audiences with ‘paid groovers’ who will applaud Newt’s wacky ‘dump child labor laws’ and ‘blacks should get a job instead of food stamps’ memes. Back in the early days of Presley’s career, ‘The Colonel’ used to hire young ladies to scream and cry at Elvis performances, noticing that other young women would do likewise if prompted by the hirelings; similarly, Callista revs up debate audiences — she knows most Republicans are born followers — by having her pay-to-play band start the applause and shouts of approval making it seem, to the viewing audience and more gullible members of the media, as if Newt’s insane ideas have actually attracted some adherents among the GOP base. This way, Newt doesn’t have to issue any apologies or clarifications — ‘hey, look at that applause, my ideas are popular’ — and the catcalls and booing help intimidate into silence anyone who might dare ask a follow-up question. However, The Ging-Thing Who Would Be King has a problem that must give him night-sweats; the follow-up questions that have yet to be asked, but will be one day, if he’s the nominee: “Sure, Speaker Gingrich, but that janitor you just put out of work and replaced with a low-paid child; what about his family and where does he find work to support them?” or “You have accused President Obama of being the ‘food stamp president’ saying he would rather give poor black people food stamps than jobs, yet your party in the Senate filibusters every job-creating bill that Obama and the Democrats submit to them. Tell me, would you support Obama’s jobs bill and, if not, then where exactly are these poor black folks supposed to find work?” or “So, as president, you would cut off food stamps to the poor and middle-class and, if they couldn’t find a job in your economy, then you’d just let them starve?” Newtie’s crass ‘big ideas’ can’t stand up to a feather duster of logic and he relies on the craven MSM aversion to asking the hard questions to keep his leaky campaign raft afloat but, with the kooky, creepy Callista at the helm (she should have sci-fi Theremin tones accompanying her everywhere she goes), it’s only a matter of time until it crashes up against the not-from-Tiffany rocks and disappears from view.

16 Percent: Rick Santorum. Reactionary Rick’s record is one of head-twisting inconsistencies and soft-shoe corruption: as a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, Santorum condemned Iran as an Islamo-fascist terrorist state while refusing to support laws that would ban corporations like Halliburton from doing business with them; he billed a cash-strapped Pennsylvania school district over $70,000 to pay for educating his children who were living in Virginia at the time; he took campaign contributions from AccuWeather, a PA-based private weather tracking company and supported legislation that would prevent the National Weather Service from issuing free weather reports if a private for-profit weather report was available; and he supports Gitmo, indefinite detentions, and Cheney’s torture policies. His perverse and ugly Dark Ages Catholic religious views opposing abortion, gay marriage, birth control, feminists and the theory of evolution are well known, as is his hilariously dumb ‘man-on-dog sex’ speech, his belief that Americans have no right to privacy, and his absurdly blaming Boston liberals for the Catholic Church’s pedophile scandal in a 2002 article, for which he has yet to apologize. No wonder he set a record in the 2006 senatorial election for the largest losing margin by a Republican incumbent in history. There is really no reason to probe for back-alley ‘dirt’ on Santorum — it’s all public. He’s the whole ball of crappy Christopublican conservatism that’s been pushed on the nation for the past 40 years but, this time around, the religiosity blew up in his face. Seems the fundamentalist Christians who just endorsed St. Santorum as a ‘unity’ candidate to beat Romney in South Carolina don’t have the clout they once had; hence, Gingrich is leading Rick in the polls with only days to go until the SC vote. Unless there’s a last minute transfusion from his Christopublican friends, Santorum’s out of money and will soon discover he must quit the race to spend more time at home annoying the wife and kiddies.


January 17, 2012

Postcard from the Edge: Greetings from South Carolina!


January 16, 2012

Christopublicans Pick a Candidate to Bring Down Romney in S.C.


January 15, 2012

Mitt Romney and the Space Aliens


January 14, 2012

Bizarre News: What American corporatists are getting away with now

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Jane Stillwater @ 11:45 am

Bizarre News: What American corporatists are getting away with now

After I got my long hair caught in a vacuum cleaner the other day, my first thought was pure terror — like I had just been attacked by werewolves or vampires with claws! But then my second thought was, “Gee, at least I HAVE a vacuum cleaner”.

Despite the recent huge economic downturn, most Americans are still relatively well-off right now, even me. Sure, our infrastructure sucks eggs and we mostly have run-down schools and hospitals, but at least we still have them. Old and run down. But still functioning at least.

But wait! Perhaps help for our hospitals is finally on the way! Is it really true that American corporatists have recently decided to spend over nine billion dollars to build at least 20 brand new state-of-the-art hospitals in Georgia? According to RT News, yes indeed this is true.

The only problem here, however, is that the corporatists who currently own our country are now in the process of building these 20 wonderful new hospitals in the former Soviet-bloc state of Georgia — not in the American state with the same name that’s famous for peaches and Braves.

How bizarre is that news?

And now I’ve just read where American corporatists have recently sent in the U.S. Coast Guard to break up a strike by American longshoremen. That’s even more bizarre than getting one’s hair sucked into a vacuum cleaner — and even more painful. One can always just cut one’s hair off, but forcing America’s military to act like low-life strike-breaking scabs? That’s a cut to our democracy that may never heal.

ILWU members had been promised jobs in Longview as a priority condition for allowing corporatists to receive massive federal subsidies to build a new terminal at the Washington state port. But after the terminal was safely built, greedy corporatist slugs then fired the longshoremen’s union members point-blank — and not only got away with it but used the U.S. military as their own personal enforcers and thugs.

Am I the only one that finds this news a bit bizarre?

American coproratists seem to be getting away with EVERYTHING these days. Cheating on elections, throwing people out of their homes, never paying taxes, robbing our treasury blind, fighting undeclared wars for fun and profit on our dime, beating protesting citizens with clubs, buying off Congress, etc. But almost nobody in America seems to want to stop them.

Here’s more bizarre news — Stephen Cobert’s video explaining how corporatist superPACs steal our elections:

Had enough yet? Or do you want to read some even more bizarre news about what corporatists are getting away with now? Yes? Then take a long look at this: The unassailable New York Times, the esteemed Gray Lady herself, recently reported that the IAEA had accused Iran of using its nuclear program to develop military weapons. But guess what? The IAEA had said no such thing. Now the esteemed Gray Lady has lied to us (again) in order to get us into a useless and unnecessary war (again) that would only benefit corporatists.

Very deja vu. Very bizarre.

But — to me (but apparently to nobody else) — this is the absolute most bizarre news of all: Perry, Santorum, Obama, Romney and even Newt Gingrich and JEB Bush are all running on a platform of being good Christians. Huh? What?

NO ONE who either calls for the bombing women and children in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and America — or is actually out doing it — can EVER call himself or herself a good Christian. Ever. These people are no more good Christians than was Attila the Hun.

Send drones to kill babies? Where in the Bible does it say that Jesus did that?

Leaving the meek of the earth to starve to death and the peacemakers of the world to be jailed? Jesus is down with that too? Not!

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” said Jesus. Beating down non-violent OWS protesters with pepper spray, tear gas and truncheons? NOT CHRISTIAN. Not Christian at all.

Yet no one seems to be calling these monsters out on their uber-hypocracy. No one calls them out at all. That’s bizarre.

And it’s also rather bizarre that all these corporatist presidential candidates are happily telling us that they are in favor of “Democracy”. There is NOTHING less democratic than a corporation. Face it, CEOs are tyrants. Corporatists worship the dictatorship model. To tell us that they want America to remain a democracy is absurd.

Corporatists by definition are top-down kinds of guys, “Do what I say or else you will lose all.” Corporatists by definition are bullying-type authoritarians who spit on America’s treasured democratic principles — and don’t you ever forget it!

Now let’s turn to the comic-page section of the news.

The average American today seems to more and more resemble that Peanuts cartoon character Charlie Brown — always trusting that somehow Lucy will let him finally kick the football. But guess what? No matter how many times you vote for the party of Bush-Obama-Romney-Santorum-Clinton-Paul or believe mainstream media reports or trust corporatists to finally hold the ball upright, you are still gonna get tricked every time. And you’re still gonna land flat on your face while corporatist secretly laugh at you as you lie there in the mud. And it’s still gonna hurt.

How’s that for bizarre news?


YOS Productions Presents: Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam

Filed under: Quote — Ye Olde Scribe @ 9:39 am

HEY! Scribe would have given him an “A!”


From Ye Olde’s digital mailbox…

Q1. In which battle did Napoleon die?
* his last battle

Q2. Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?

* at the bottom of the  page

Q3. River Ravi flows in which state?

* liquid

Read Less

January 13, 2012

Mitt Romney’s Crock O’ Crap Comics


Do Republican Candidates have Vertigo?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:30 pm

Is the Republican Presidential nomination “the stuff dreams are made of”?

Has the Democratic process in the USA become a zombie sham that will remind mystery fans of the plot for the classic film “D. O. A.”? Thanks to the magnificent voting machines that leave no paper trail, Democracy seems to be alive and well just as Frank Bigelow (Edmond O’Brien) did at the beginning of the classic noir movie. A closer look reveals that he has been poisoned and his days among the living are numbered. Is voting in the USA also an example of “dead man walking”?

The lofty goal of gaining the Republican Party’s Presidential nomination seems to be scaring some away from the selection process. Should the Republican attempt a cure of this curious example of political Vertigo by hiring someone who will remind them of the glory days of the past and the achievements of the Bush Dynasty? Would JEB Bush fit the bill?

Perhaps the Republicans should, as Brigid O’Shaughnessy (Mary Astor) did in the Maltese Falcon (1941 version directed by John Houston), and seek the help of Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) and hire him to solve the case of the missing acceptable frontrunner?

All of these potential column themes presented themselves in disguise as the art exhibition at the Bancroft Library on the University of California Berkeley campus, which marks the beginning of that library’s centennial anniversary. We went to see the exhibition, which will continue into February, as a way of doing some fact finding in preparation for the Noir City Film Festival which will begin with showings (separate admission required) of “Dark Passage” and “The House on Telegraph Hill” on the evening of Friday January 20, 2011 at the Castro Theater.

Part of the Bancroft exhibition is a DVD presentation of a cinematic fugue of highlights of noir films shot across the bay in San Francisco.

How many times can a columnist get away with being the only pundit predicting that JEB will be the guy who not only gets the nomination but will see the win check mark by his name on Election night later this year? In all the excitement about the turmoil of the primary season, we’ve lost track of all our attempts to do with political commentary what Hans Brinker did with loud shouts. Have we posted five warning columns, or was it six?

How many times can a mystery fan/car buff be thrilled by the spectacle of a Mustang going airborne in the streets of San Francisco? Especially if the green machine is being driven by Steve McQueen? Particularly if the columnist lived in the Pacific Heights area of that city at approximately the same time that movie (reportedly the first Hollywood feature to be filmed entirely on location [San Francisco]) was being shot. Furthermore, what if the writer had been a passenger riding around that city, in his high school and college buddy’s car which was an identical twin to the one seen in Bullitt?

The Noir City Film Festival is presenting this columnist with an existentialistic budget crisis. Should we buy a series pass and see all the movies (some of which we have seen before)? Should we buy a pass and see enough of the films to make it an economically feasible choice? Should we carefully asses the series schedule and only see the crème de la crème of the selection and wind up spending less than the pass would cost?

Recently, choosing a column topic has caused us another existentialistic panic attack. If we write a column featuring some aspects of the contemporary political scene, such as pointing out how the American media seems to be singing a very coordinated chorus questioning Mitt Romney’s lack of universal appeal within the Republican Party, will we lose our audience for not running with the wolf pack of jackals who apparently want to help do to Romney what was done to Howard Dean in the 2004 primary season?

Howard Dean became an inconvenient frontrunner and so the press was ordered (“and ask ‘How high?’ on the way up”) to declare the man for whom the Republicans had made extensive preparations (like the legal paperwork for the swiftboat groups?) to defeat the new “frontrunner.” The press responded in “your slightest word is my command” fashion.

Could America’s diverse and independent voices of political commentary, in the corporate owned realm of mass media, be coached on what they can and cannot say in America’s Free Press? We seem to be the only one saying: “You bet your sweet, weekly paycheck that can happen!”

If, however, we write a column about contemporary culture that features some new information about a celebrity (such as some possible Banksy [or Blek le rat?] murals spotted recently in Berkeley CA) then in the one venue we get perceptibly more hits.

If we write a column with a unique bit of political opinion and/or information, that gets more hits which type of column suits us best?

What if, among the anemic hits the digital auditors notice that it got some log-ons from the New York Times computer? Well then maybe the site management can overlook some anemic total hits numbers and give the columnist the amount of tolerance for eccentricity that Dirty Harry got? Does it impress the site M. E. if a writer scoops the great gray lady?

In the solipsistic world of content providers, who knows?

We recently talked to a well informed political activist who predicted that not only is fascism and martial law coming to the United States, but, she warned, it will start with some newsworthy events in Oakland CA. The way she sees it, things will spiral out of control there and the authorities will (like Watts in 1964?) be forced to call in troops to restore order. The crisis will be prolonged and the troops will stay in place with little or no voices of alarm coming from the (allegedly) pro-Liberal media.

If a writer is the first to mention a prediction that comes true, does that count as a scoop?

What if a columnist peppered his work with obscure cultural references that meant that (hypothetically) half of the Google searches that landed new readers on the site were a result of his idiosyncratic “Google bait”? What’s not to like about luring fresh eyes into the tent?

According to an urban legend in the photojournalism community, LIFE magazine offered to pay $100 per roll for undeveloped film shot in Watts during the civil unrest of 1964. Young and daring photographers had the opportunity to use that dangerous photo op to make good money and firmly establish the foundation for a lifetime career in photojournalism.

Young photographers have the attitude: “We can run over to the scene of the action and shoot a few pictures and make some money!” Older photographers tend to employ the philosophy that “we can walk around San Francisco on a warm winter day and get some good feature shots and if Jalopnik doesn’t use them, so what, we will have had the fun of being there and taking the pictures.”

Scoops, predictions, commentary, feature photos, and news pictures all fall under the classification of content. Have “hed counts” become as extinct as the American Buffalo?

The citizen-journalist fad means that some content providers will function as a one-person news organizations and thus have the chance to fulfill the early Intenets hopes for the development of unique voices.

The obsession with finding items that will go viral tends to indicate that the trend is toward a digital popularity contest and the likelihood of a thought provoking column from a unique voice, getting a massive amount of hits is considerably diminished. “Go viral or die!”

Speaking of “going viral,” did we miss an online video that purported to show banksters urinating on some mortgage loan adjustment modification applications?

In the time that it took to write this column and take some photos for possible use as accompanying illustrations, we could have cranked out an alternative column that lamented the pathetic possibility that a hand full of voters in two small states have put the Republican Party’s seal of approval on someone who is perceived by some cynics as being “a member of a cult.” Instead, we choose to go searching in San Francisco for something that could (metaphorically speaking) be considered as the columnists’ McGuffin of accompanying column illustrations.

We would like to thank John’s Grill for their permission to take a photo of “the Black Bird.”

We’ll post a few links for those readers who might like to do the work to find some additional facts and information about the month of noir events in the Bay Area.
(There is a reason we are called “The World’s Laziest Journalist.”)

Since none of the Republicans attacking Mitt Romney have said “Mr. Romney, you are a card, sir,” we will have to resort to a closing quote from Auric “the ultimate 1 percenter” Goldfinger: “Mr. Bond, you are a card, sir!”

Now the disk jockey will play the Vertigo soundtrack album, the Birdman of Alcatraz soundtrack album (if it exists) and the Jefferson Airplane album “Surrealistic Pillow.” We have to go see if we can find Bill Cosby’s recording about driving around in San Francisco. Have a “stuff dreams are made of” type week.

January 12, 2012

Something Stupid This Way Comes — GOP Freak Show Descends on S.C.


January 11, 2012

Mitt Romney: Running On Emptiness


January 10, 2012

Exploiting sports fans for fun and profit

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:39 pm

Misfits with a championship ring?
Is this a grateful Giants fan?
Are there that many fans in California?

In order to frame the topic of the exploitation of sports fans let’s outline an impossible hypothetical situation: Would citizens of California agree to use their tax dollars to subsidize the building of a new stadium in Perth, in Western Australia, for the West Coast Eagles? NFW! No way, Jose!

Would tax payers in San Diego and Los Angeles agree to let the state subsidize a new football stadium in San Jose? Not bloody well likely, eh?

Would football fans in Los Angles agree to let Los Angeles city and county subsidize a stadium to lure a major football team to their city? It seems that is a distinct possibility.

If the politicians in Los Angeles ignore the naysayers can the wealthy team owners count on the wealthy news media owners to forbid their word slaves from stirring up any opposition to such a deal? If the politicians fork over massive amounts of tax payers dollars for such a hypothetical project can they then (perhaps?) expect some generous re-election campaign donations from the team owners? (Ask the Marina (del Rey) Tenants Association about that.)

Has any team owner been shameless in the exploitation of eminent domain in the pursuit of personal wealth? Is there any example of a humble rancher or homeowner being Bushwhacked by such a move?

If low-income housing is being defunded at the same time that sports owners are counting on getting government subsidies and tax breaks can that be used by the OWS protesters as an example of their contention that the one percenters are insatiable in their hunger for profits via the trickle up principle?

While we were traveling in Western Australia (AKA the WA), we noticed that some license plates signified that the owner was a West Coast Eagles fan.

We can not say the name of the Football team in Fremantle Western Australia because that team has been embargoed from using the word by a pants manufacturer company in the USA.

How much revenue could be raised in California if football fans could pay extra for a license plate with their favorite pro-football team’s logo on it? Would there be any similar additional “found money” funds available if a similar option was offered to baseball fans? To basketball fans? How feasible would that option be for fans of college football teams?

Are regional license plates in a huge diverse state such as California a good idea?

Obviously there would be some folks in Berkeley CA who would be willing to pay extra to have a Cal logo on their license plate but would there be enough to make it an economically feasible option?

According to an urban legend, years ago when one California town was given the three letter combination of “CBS,” broadcasting personnel from all over the state flocked to that city to buy a new car which would get one of the prized letter prefixes.
While traveling in the WA, we were told that the “KBC” letters combination indicated that the car’s owner was a resident of the Kalgoorlie Boulder City area.

Recently there was a news story in Northern California about a woman hockey fan who gave a whack in the head to a person in the row in front of her. Unfortunately the victim was a young girl recovering from recent brain surgery for cancer. The victim had to be rushed to the hospital. Did that story get much play from news media in (for example) Concordia Kansas?

Do sports team owners use regional factionalism to keep fans from organizing in much the same way that Republicans use a multitude of wedge issues to keep the squabbling Democrats from forming a consensus on a party platform? How hard would sports team owner work to discourage a national union for fans? Would they bring in the Oakland Police Department to break up any rallies urging the formation of such a group?

Recently while visiting the Westwood section of Los Angeles, we noted that there were no bookstores selling new books other than the student book store at UCLA. Westwood used to have a delightful assortment of bookstores including the Bruin Book Company (BBC) which operated on a 24/7 basis.

Would publishers be able to getaway with it if they could convince the politicians in Los Angeles to use tax funds to build a store where the publishers could then “do their thing”?
Would fights between people wearing Strand Books T-shirts and City Lights Bookstore T-shirts ever make the national news?

We heard a report on KCBS news radio Monday about the conditions being imposed on 49ers fans who want to buy season tickets when (not if) the team moves to San Jose. They mumbled something about an additional “$20,000 builders fee” to be extorted from the fans. Would soccer fans in Great Britain put up with that kind of exploitation of their wallets? Would Manchester United, Arsenal, and Tottenham Hotspurs fans put aside their rivalries and say: “Not by the hair on our chinny-chin chins!” and cause a fuss or would they meekly fork over the blackmail fees? We read both San Francisco papers on Tuesday morning but couldn’t find any stories about the possible exploitation of the faithful fans. Perhaps readers can do a Google news search for more about the “builders fee” nonsense called “the Stadium Builders’ License” (SBL).

Is it an oxymoron for nudist camps to sell souvenir T-shirts?

When the San Francisco 49ers play in Oakland, that city usually approves extra police officers to be assigned to be on duty and monitor the game. Do they think that somebody will try to steal home plate?

Are sports fans part of the one percent or part of the 99%?

Will regional rivalry inspire Occupy San Francisco protesters to taunt the people from Occupy Oakland with cries of: “Our cops can beat the snot outta the Oakland PD!”? Or “The bankers in San Francisco are meaner and more ruthless that the folks doing the foreclosures in Oakland!”?

Is it true that in Los Angeles two rival documentary film crews got into a fight over access to a foreclosure eviction proceedings event at a movie star’s mansion?

If there is going to be an unused football stadium in San Francisco, how likely is it that some concert promoter will convince some altruistic rock musicians to do a benefit concert there to help the Occupy San Francisco protesters bail fund? Folks could urge support from the SF City Council by singing: “All we are sa-a-a-ying is give Rock a chance!” It would be a No Nukes Muse type concert for the “No Crooks” cause of those folks who have been exploited all the way out of their foreclosed homes.

Did Yankee fans meekly surrender “the House that Ruth built” and get an inferior replacement? Are they paying more for tickets to the new venue?

Didn’t Oakland have to provide the Raiders’ owner with all kinds of perks to get him to move his team from Los Angeles back to Oakland? Didn’t he get all sorts of breaks to go down to L.A.? Are tax breaks like sex and drugs in that “you can never have enough!”?

Is it time for sports fans to Occupy the empty football stadium and join together for their own good and form a union or are they afraid of being labeled “socialists” by Uncle Rushbo. (Doesn’t he usually get to sit in the owner’s suite when he goes to a sporting event?)

Leo Durocher, the manager of the New York Giants provided a T-shirt suggestion for the one percenters when he said: “Nice guys finish last.”

Now the disk jockey will play Teresa Brewer’s “I Love Mickey” (featuring Mickey Mantle), which is not to be confused with “Gimme Mick,” “Do you know the way to San Jose,” and the Stones’ “Street Fightin’ Man.” We gotta go dig out our “No Nukes” T-shirt. Have a “Go Hotspurs!” type week.

Warning: Before You Vote for a Republican for President


January 9, 2012

A war on Iran? Let’s do it!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Jane Stillwater @ 3:18 pm

[Author's note: For the wiser of us, this article may appear to be a satire but for the rest of us, a war on Iran might actually seem more like a macho wet-dream come true -- once again confirming Plato's most excellent cave theory...]

Let’s put our money where our mouth is, stop constantly blathering on about how desperately we want to launch a war on Iran — and just do it. I’m bored with life anyway — and there’s really not much else going on between now and when the next season of “Survivor” starts up.

Almost all of the Republican presidential candidates this year seem to be rabidly in favor of a war on Iran (except, of course, for Ron Paul — but he’s never given any media airtime so he doesn’t count). So let’s vote for Romney or Gingrich or Santorum or that GOP wannabe Obama or Perry or whoever. I’m tired of just playing video-game wars and watching war movies. I want to see the real thing. Again.

Republicans, GOP wannabes and their corporatist buddies on Wall Street already have an excellent “make-a-war” track record. They’ve already gotten us into that bloody, expensive and deadly war on Iraq, that terrible, unnecessary and grisly war on Afghanistan, and that truly weird war on Libya wherein Al Qaeda was actually our ally.

When it comes to starting exciting-but-disastrous wars, Republicans and corporatists have turned out to be real pros. So, pretty pleeze, give these cool-crazy dudes yet another shot at getting us into yet another meaningless, expensive and bloody war — this time a war on Iran. I can hardly wait! How exciting is that!

Do you ever watch TrueBlood on TV? And don’tcha just love it when they stage their vampire wars? Lots of carnage, lots of blood. Very entertaining. But a war on Iran would be even better — another American vampire war on the Middle East, only ours are fought with real blood.

Go ahead, guys. Get this war started. Entertain me.

And when things go awry like they always do during wartime, then you and me will probably be dead too — when corporatist vampires start sucking blood from us as well as from Arabs and Persians. Go ahead, bite me!

Can’t you just hardly wait for this next war to start?

And it looks like we’re not gonna have to wait very long either.

According to WhiteOut Press, “In one of the most blacked-out stories in America right now, the US military is preparing to send thousands of US troops, along with US Naval anti-missile ships and accompanying support personnel, to Israel.” U.S. boots on the ground in Israel? What? Now all of a sudden the IDF isn’t good enough for Ehud Barak and he wants our boys over there too?

But why?

The poor enslaved Palestinians have already been subjugated and subdued by the IDF to the point of embarrassment (it’s getting harder and harder these days for Israeli corporatists to pretend that Israel is in danger — or even a democracy or even barely Jewish), so obviously our troops won’t be needed to enslave more Palestinians or steal more of their land. That’s already a done deal. So perhaps this sudden need for U.S. missiles and U.S. troops on the ground indicates that our Ehud might want Washington’s help in enslaving and subduing Iran as well — turning it into yet another open-air prison like Gaza.

According to Israeli journalist Uri Avnery, however, that’s never going to happen and we’re all gonna end up with a swamp of a war instead because if America and Israel do attack, then Iran will simply block the Strait of Hormuz — and there’s not much that even American vampires can do about that.

“Still the Iranian missiles will come in,” writes Avnery, “making passage through the strait impossible. What next? There will be no alternative to ‘boots on the ground’. The US army will have to land on the shore and occupy all the territory from which missiles can be effectively launched. That would be a major operation. Fierce Iranian resistance must be expected, judging from the experience of the eight-year Iraqi-Iranian war. The oil wells in neighboring Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states will also be hit. Such a war would go far beyond the dimensions of the American invasions of Iraq or Afghanistan, perhaps even of Vietnam.”

Yay! Bring it on!

According to Middle East expert David Pratt, “Some European countries, notably France, seem keen to fall in behind Washington’s sanctions bill signed by President Barack Obama on December 31. Earlier this week French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe urged EU countries to follow the US lead in freezing Iranian bank assets and imposing an embargo on oil exports.”

Oh goody! Now Europe wants to get in on the action too! Now we’ll all die for sure as the war on Iran begins to expand and sweep across the rest of the Middle East, Israel AND Europe — and then possibly on to America as well, probably leaving only those One Percent guys alive in their bunkers and in a good position to snatch up whatever pieces of prime real estate that are still left standing.

And I’ll have my own piece of prime real estate too — the plot next to my parents at Skylawn. Face it, guys. I always wanted to be a zombie — and here’s my big chance! Grateful dead, move on over.

“But Jane,” you might ask, “why are you being so pessimistic? All those experts are wrong and the Repubs are right. America can easily win a war on Iran.” Nope, nope, nope. Iran is not just some camel-driven economy that is barely out of the stone age. Tehran is as civilized as Paris or Rome. I’ve been there, I’ve seen the place. It’s got the internet and traffic gridlock and everything. It’s even got Gucci, Benneton and Calvin Klein!

Iran also has at least 20 submarines and all kinds of missiles. Should America or Israel attack Iran, there would definitely be a hot time in the old town tonight. And not just in Tehran — but also in Tel Aviv, Paris, London and perhaps even Washington DC as well. Get out the marshmallows, folks! This war will definitely heat up. We’re good to go.

According to Global Research at, “The Iranian defense has the capability to sink not one, but many US Naval ships currently flexing their muscles on the periphery of Iranian territorial waters. Such an event would register with shock and horror in the US public mind, but worse, may be used by Washington hawks to justify a revenge nuclear strike against Iranian civilians. Both Washington and Tel Aviv have already raised the talking point of deploying ‘tactical nukes’ against Iran….

“Any nuclear conflagration by the US or Israel would most certainly result in a global backlash against the West – at its worst acting as a procession into the hot stages of World War III – or at its very least, re-balkanizing the geopolitical scene into a New Cold War, with the West on one side and Iran, China, Pakistan, and Russia on the other.”

Barbeque time? Oh yeah. We might even end up being able to roast hot dogs 24/7 almost anywhere in the world — or be dead.

PS: I recently saw a really excellent movie (here’s a review of it: about Freud and Jung and Jung’s mistress, Kiera Knightly — and they all got together and talked about Eros and Thanatos and the human mind’s bizarre attraction to death. Hey, I’m attracted to death too! Death is sexy as hell. But I’m obviously not the only one that is attracted to death. Apparently our so-called leaders in Washington are too.

Love or Death? “TrueBlood” or “Survivor”? I’m sort of kinky that way — bored of living — so I think that I’ll go with TrueBlood.

Which one will you chose?


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