February 27, 2013

Baby Boomers: Four funerals and a wedding…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Jane Stillwater @ 12:58 pm

A good friend of mine just passed away — and he was a Baby Boomer. Plus I know of at least three other Baby Boomers who have died during the last few months.

This whole Baby Boomer generation may be historically unique. They were all born at the same time, got jobs at the same time, had kids at the same time and retired at the same time. And will they now also be dying at the same time too? And what does all this mean? That now might be a good time to open a funeral home? (Sorry, sick joke, couldn’t resist)

Someone on the radio just mentioned that, at this point in time, there are approximately 75,000 people who are now 100 years old or older — and that many of them are still in excellent health. So maybe our Baby Boomers won’t be all dying off together after all.

And according to Dr. Mario Martinez, author of “The Mind-Body Code,” one thing that most of these 75,000 centenarians have in common is that they rarely, if ever, go see a doctor So much for giving Big Pharma kudos for keeping all these old guys alive! But I digress.

I myself had always planned to die at the age of 88 — 5,743 days from now (but who’s counting). However, given all this new information, I may even end up living forever. So. Then my next big question would be, “With all those years left to live, how can I possibly keep from being totally bored?”

Watching cable television 24/7 and taking endless trips to the mall aren’t gonna fill up my days for the next 30 or 40 years. Been there, done that already. Boring.

And I can’t just up and join the Army and go fight in the latest stupid corporate war either. The military is looking for young guys who they can brainwash into becoming trained killers, not little old pacifist me. Nor can I become an Olympic athlete or jungle explorer because I gots bad knees. But I could learn to play the violin or become the next Grandma Moses. Given 40 more years, I could do that. Or I could always write another book — or write a whole library-full for that matter.

If America is going to have millions of new 100-year-old men and women running around loose very soon, then we all need to start thinking about all the things we might be doing during all those extra years — things that will be useful, interesting and productive. We can’t just sit around in rest homes and/or bemoan the theft of our Social Security benefits for the next 30 or 40 years — or just spend all our time planning funerals.

I’m just saying.

This issue really needs to be addressed. We clearly need to start re-thinking what it means to be old.

PS: I still wanna be a war correspondent when I grow up. And, fortunately for me, the idiots who run this country are always abundantly happy to keep me supplied with an endless array of stupid wars to report on.

PPS: A 104-year-old woman just got kicked off of FaceBook for being too old! Just you wait, FB. She’s gonna be joined by a hecka lot more of us — very soon. But even then, spending 40 years updating our FaceBook pages is still no kind of life.

PPPS: Enclosed is a photo of the view out my bedroom window — as Hurricane Re-Hab gets closer and closer to the shores of my housing co-operative. On March 11, 2013, they are gonna re-hab my entire apartment — and then me and Ashley and sometimes Hugo and Mena are going to have to go live somewhere else for three weeks. DOES ANYONE IN BERKELEY NEED US TO HOUSE-SIT?!? Where’s a FEMA trailer when you need one?

PPPPS: Do we even care whether or not the current pope is gay? Except for the blatant hypocrisy of it all — all that holier-than-thou crap the Vatican issues about how women can’t be priests? Because they would foul up the “old-boys” network? No problem! Female priests could be lesbians if that would make the pope feel better.

Or has all this happened because priests aren’t allowed to get married? Perhaps if the pope had been happily united in a same-sex marriage (lavishly performed in St. Peter’s basilica with cardinals, altar boys and everyone dressed in their best), this whole weird scandal would never have happened.

Not only that but a gay pope (or even a married one) would then have additional resources to fall back on in old age, like in the movie “Amour” — yet another way to keep him (or her) from getting bored?

PPPPPS: Here’s a trailer for Jordan Rader’s new short film, “Crimson’s Kiss” — with a brief glimpse of me in it, playing a little old lady

February 21, 2013

AIPAC: Israel’s Santa Claus or just another wing-nut fringe group?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Jane Stillwater @ 1:13 pm

Have you ever found yourself in the following awkward situation? There you are, hanging out at a peace rally or something, chit-chatting with some perfectly sane left-wing progressive who hates war and loves democracy — and you both are happily nodding your heads in agreement regarding how mega-corporations, greedy neo-cons, avaricious war mongers and all of their sleazy congressional lobbyists are currently stealing your very own government right out from under your very own feet?

But then you make that one big mistake! You happen to mention that perhaps Israeli neo-cons might be killing too many Palestinian children on the West Bank. And then all hell breaks loose. And suddenly your sane and rational left-wing progressive friend is suddenly all in your face and screaming at you that you are being anti-semitic, while he himself has now become a freaking hero for gleefully cheering on greedy neo-cons, avaricious warmongers and sleazy lobbyists — solely because they are Israelis instead of Americans.

And suddenly YOU have become the bad guy for criticizing Israeli neo-cons who are using the exact same techniques that American neo-cons use, and that both of you are now protesting when they’re used in the good old USA — such as corporate election-buying, NRA-style fear-mongering, Fox-News-style propaganda lies, “preemptive” war, genocide, theocratic manipulation, indefinite detention, outrageous land grabs, racism, fudging public records, shady banksters, corrupt government officials, false-flag spying, corporate welfare for the 1%, nepotism, housing scams, insider trading and all kinds of other things that progressives normally hate.

And the next thing you know, your friend isn’t even SPEAKING to you any more. Or, worse still, he isn’t even reading your blog!

And if you should also happen to mention AIPAC and all the right-wing dirty tricks that it does here in America too, and all the wing-nut conservatives that it sends to Congress, your normally-sane progressive friend suddenly gets this hurt look on his face like he was a four-year-old and you had just told him that THERE WAS NO SANTA CLAUS!

But seriously, guys. Just tell me one single thing — just one little thing — that the America-Israel Political Action Committee has ever done that was even remotely progressive. Er, I’m waiting. What have you got?

On the other hand, I’m sure that you could tell me a whole bunch of things that AIPAC has accomplished that would make any right-wing fanatic proud and happy and supportive. Fox News seems to love AIPAC. So does the NRA. Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, even Rush Limbaugh get all googly-eyed over AIPAC. GWB loves AIPAC. And so does Dick Cheney. Can’t get much more wing-nut than that!

And who, exactly, do you think orchestrated that recent crazy filibuster against Chuck Hagel? The most sturdy crop of wing-nuts in the Senate this year were obviously behind that one. And who do you think was responsible for planting this year’s crop of wing-nuts and neo-cons in Washington? Why, it was Farmer AIPAC of course — using a Citizens United tractor.

To quote the Huffington Post, “According to at least one former Israeli diplomat, Alon Pinkas, [the recent Senate filibuster against Hagel has] risked introducing dangerous politicization into the U.S.-Israel alliance — exactly what the senators claimed they were trying to avoid. ‘When Israel is mentioned 166 times and China 5, you know something is distorted and wrong and cannot seriously reflect serious foreign policy priorities.’”

The politicization of America’s foreign policy by 40 senators whose campaigns were funded by AIPAC? Has a neo-con wing-nut fringe group taken over our Senate or what!

Would Emma Goldman, Rosa Luxemburg, Albert Einstein, Howard Zinn or even Noam Chomsky condone AIPAC’s obviously shady right-wing and neo-con tactics and goals? Or would even Hillel the Elder or the Baal Shem Tov, Master of the Good Name approve? What do you think?

Face it guys, AIPAC isn’t Santa Claus for Israel or even for America. AIPAC is Santa Claus for neo-cons, right-wingers and fringe-group right-wing fanatics.

PS: Here’s what Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh of Bethlehem University has to say about the AIPAC-funded Israeli neo-con wing-nuts who have taken over Palestine (and Israel too, shame on them): “Rhetoric about democracy and liberty in Syria and Iran is stripped naked when people see Western-supported colonialism, racism and subjugation in Palestine. Here is where billions in Western taxpayer money is used to destroy life while enriching land thieves and war criminals.”

PPS: Have you seen the new music video “Gangnam Gaza Style”? It’s hilarious! A handful of brave Gaza guys soon discover that, in their home town now under neo-con occupation, gas is mostly unavailable, ATMs don’t work, kids can only safely play soccer if they simultaneously watch out for IDF aerial bombardments, that they face chronic unemployment and have to sneak food in through tunnels from Egypt and that they live in the world’s largest prison — and they do all this Gangnam Style!

And here’s a video from my FaceBook friend Saeed Amireh (from Ni’lin) that we could easily call “Gangnam East-Jerusalem-Style” — if only someone would set it to music, and if only it weren’t so tragically sad.

And most of these heartless killings and bombardments and war crimes in Palestine are paid for with monies that have been approved by our Congress — under the financial influence of neo-con right-wing fringe groups such as AIPAC.

And then it is we progressives who get yelled at for not supporting cold-blooded murder. Sigh.

February 20, 2013

USA hacked off at hackers?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:26 pm

Posting a whimsical lighthearted column about the movie industry might not be a questionable move for a writer working in a country where approval, of the non-verifiable results from  electronic voting machines, is almost unanimous despite an overwhelming number of recent news reports saying that Google and Facebook have been hacked.

The Oscar™ Ceremony will arrive just as American politics and punditry are put on “pause” while waiting for the sequestration train wreck (Why didn’t Obama just leave well enough alone and not put the wars back on the books?) to take center stage.

While living in tinseltown, there was one question that we were never able to ask let along get an authoritative answer from a qualified expert.

We would like to ask a simple binary choice question for two hypothetical film projects.

The first one would be this imaginary dream project:  Shane Black is one of the very best script writers available.  We get a script from him and it’s going to be a downhill coast to the bank.  So, hypothetically speaking, he hands us a “top of his game” script and then we ask the dean of the USC Film School to pick student actors and a crew from the junior class to film it.


The most promising script writing student we can find delivers something that got him an A+ grade from a hard marking professor and then (magically) we get Martin Scorsese to direct, an Oscar™ winning cinematographer to work the cameras, John Williams offers to toss a few tunes on the soundtrack and then Robert DeNiro and Merle Streep sign on to head an all star cast.  They have to adhere strictly to the kid’s script.

If, after those two projects are completed and you could only go to see one, which one would you choose?

Speaking of Robert DeNiro, we loved seeing him team up with Al Pacino in “Heat” and that did good business.  So now we gotta ask:  Will Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise ever be matched up in one flick?

For that matter, wouldn’t you love to see what would have happened if Clint Eastwood ever get to play opposite John Wayne?

Can you imagine a cop, played by Angelina Jolie, tracking down a master criminal played by Nicole Kidman?  What if they both think Lenardo de Caprio is telling the truth when he tells each one  “I want to spend the rest of my life with you”?

Speaking of Brad Pitt, when we were in Kalgoorlie (in the W. A. [Western Australia]) we met a guy whose uncle had written a kids book about two spies who were married to each other.  Sounds like a flick Brad Pitt did with Angela Jolie, doesn’t it?  The last we heard the uncle was asking the Writers’ Guild to consider the possibility that there might be grounds for a plagiarism suit.  It’s been awhile.  We wonder how that worked out.

Did you like “Pritizi’s Honor”?

Folks watching “Apocalypse Now” are supposed to know that it is loosely based on Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” but didja know that Orson Well had a film based on the Conrad novel in development before he started “Citizen Kane”?  The Wells project was never completed.

Which would be better for music fans:  a new band gets to be the first to record a song written by the Glimmer Twins (Mick Jager and Keith Richards) or the Rolling Stones record a song that won an amateur song writing contest?

Far fetched speculation is fun as long as it doesn’t get taken seriously, but these days the best minds at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory (ACTF) are ready to signoff on American Politics because by clever mind games any attempt at telling the truth is automatically classified as an ungrounded conspiracy theory from a psycho case.

Movies cover a bell curve for truth.

Documentaries are supposed to be an accurate cinematic report on the real world.

Some films are accurate representations of real events.

Some films based on a true story sex up the script a bit to sell more tickets.

Some films distort things completely.

Other films such as Star Wars are complete fantasy.

American journalism has gone the “Star Wars” route.

How phony would photos of the World’s Laziest Journalist cutting brush on the WLJ ranch in the Berkeley Area be?  Why then did “journalists” sit silently by when President Tex, who was surrounded by Secret Service agents, posed for a few staged pictures and then the “newsmen” let the world think that a man who was surrounded by good guys with guns and had someone standing nearby with “the nuclear football,” would not hire some local trabajadors to do the work?  Hogwash!  It was a game of political spin and the Journalists were accessories to the deception.

The 2000 and 2004 Elections were both stolen, but suddenly and magically, after 2006 the unhackable electronic voting machines become completely beyond the capabilities of the foreign hackers who have been in the news lately and reverted to producing reliable results.  Stories reported by Brad Friedman indicate that the American people are being scammed by the assurances that the machines are unhackable but facts are now extinct and irrelevant for use in any debate with conservatives.

Some time back when election official in Washington D. C. challenged hackers to take their best shot at their new voting machines, a team from U of Michigan reported that while they were hacked into the machines they noticed that teams from Iran and China were also getting in there and taking a look around.

If the World’s Laziest Journalist can post the des key number for the electronic voting machines (F2654hD4) what makes the citizens, both liberal and conservative, so certain that hackers both foreign and domestic can’t crack the “unhackable” electronic voting machines?

Do you suppose that those hackers had anything to do with the light failure at the Supebowl?

The work crew at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory (ACTF) will have to be furloughed because of austerity budget measures and so they would be better off concocting some “pitches” to take to Hollywood and maybe try to get an agent who appreciates a good imagination and a command of current events.


If the guys in white smocks at the ACTF just want to kick back and take life easy (as their boss already assumes they are doing) they should just try to become Republican Congressmen.  According to a highly classified ACTF report, here is a summary of a Republican Congressman’s weekly schedule:  Tuesday morning call in filibuster holds, ring out, and go off to their girlfriends’ apartment to start the weekend.

Hangfire!  That sounds good to the World’s Laziest Journalist, too.  Flo of Progressive Insurance has 5 million friends on Facebook.  How can we get her to “share” a link to one of our columns?  If we could become a Republican Congressional representative we’d only need a few dozen good friends on K Street to feel appreciated.

Meanwhile, we’ll pound out some columns just for (as the kids now say) sh*ts and giggles.  We know that we will never make more than a handful of readers (at best) stop and think about the theater of the absurd being played in D. C.  Why did just one kid point out that the emperor wasn’t wearing any clothes?

Orson Wells once said that making a movie is getting the biggest train set a boy could ever want.  Unfortunately we don’t have the exact quote for fact checking so we’ll just go with the most famous movie sound byte of all time:  “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!”

Now the disk jockey will play Ringo Starr’s “They’re Gonna Put Me in the Movies,” Clint Eastwood singing “For All We Know,” and Paul Newman singing “Plastic Jesus.”  We have to go and take a break for a few days.  Have a “I want to thank the members of the Academy  . . .” type week.

February 19, 2013

Doublethink für Dummkopfs

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:21 pm

When the Berkeley Barb was busy railing against the Vietnam War, the editors would have to throw in some change-of-pace items to provide readers with a bit of serendipity outrage and so occasionally lefties would be asked to save a ration of their activist energies to become upset with the fact that some kindred spirits were being given life sentences for possession of a single marijuana cigarette.

The conservatives were adamant that the hippies in flyover country were getting what they deserved.  Now they wonder if they’d catch the liberals off guard by suggesting that any of those lifers who are still in prison should be given a pardon and their freedom.

Any kid who was given a life sentence in 1968, will if he or she were 20 years old at the time, be turning 65 this year.  What conservative wouldn’t be a walking example of schadenfreude in action if the folks who have been in prison all this time are given a full pardon (and thus save their state the cost of their incarceration) and face a life of retirement coping with a monthly Social Security check of Zero?

Isn’t it odd that in the states that had a liberal attitude towards pot smokers back when LBJ was the president, they are now experiencing a wave of change that indicates that rather than bring a liberal attitude to the states where some pot heads may still be serving out their life sentences, the states that were liberal are now being urged to fill their privatized prisons with culprits who wanted to toke up.  Would that be a retroactive “win” for the states that handed out life sentences for pot, all those years ago?

The CBS Evening News recently reported that many youths who are detained on possible violations of gun laws in Chicago must be released because of crowded prisons which make incarcerating the gun packing kids impossible.

No liberal or conservative will ever suggest sending the pistol packin’ punks from Chi to a privatized prison in Cali because the folks who run the privatize prisons aren’t going to want to deal with thugs.  Doesn’t it make sense that running a prison for space cadets who just want to chill is a much more appealing prospect than supervising a building full of toughs who know all about zip guns, shivs, and gang war brawling?

So it is that after all these years, the life sentences for pot are being retroactively ratified rather than revoked.

The kids who got a life sentence in the Sixties for a single reefer are now reaching that stage of life where constant medical attention will be subsidized by the states where they reside.  What conservative would not endorse the cost reduction option of cutting them loose at this late date and teaching them the value of self reliance via the old sink or swim tough love pardons?

If filling California privatized prisons with pot smokers while cutting shooters loose in Chicago doesn’t make sense to the readers of this column, perhaps they can start to change their thinking by rereading George Orwell’s novel “1984” and paying particular attention to the passages explaining the concept of “double think.”

At first the challenge of simultaneously holding two contradictory thoughts may seem like an impossible assignment, but if a white belt in a “double think” class watches the Republicans holding political offices it soon becomes evident that proficiency in “double think” can be achieved.

Students of double think, naturally, start their journey to enlightenment with the most difficult assignments.

For instance, a student will learn that George W. Bush didn’t have to have provide a coherent explanation for how the World Trade Center buildings fall down and go boom, other than “fool me twice . .  . won’t get fooled again!,” but President Obama must explain where he was and what he was doing (and with whom) when the attack on Bengazi was first being reported and then he must provide a full minute by minute account of how it was permitted to occur.  A double standard for explanations?  Are you really baffled by the question of “Why would one standard be applied to ‘Tex,’ and another to a Democratic President from . . . Hawaii?”

Students start shouting “Tell us!” and repeat the chant over and over again until they work themselves into a frenzy.  Try this at home and see if, after a couple a strong drinks and a few hours of chanting, you aren’t ready for a good old fashioned “necktie party.”

If a country is full of frustrated long term unemployed people, why not open up the employment market more by giving citizenships to resident illegal aliens?

Why would Americans believe that sending troops into harm’s way in a country where it is are just as likely for the locals to blow them up as it is for the enemy to set off an IUD, is a matter of necessity?  Isn’t it obvious that a country that has been reliant on the patriarch tradition that is centuries old, they’ll be ripe for change and anxious to try this Democracy fad?

If invading Iraq in a search for nonexistent WMD’s worked out so well, what’s the delay for doing a replay in Iran?

In a nation that fought WWII to preserve the Four Freedoms, isn’t it obvious that as the liberal media does the Cheshire cat disappearing act there will be growing need for liberals to buy a copy of “Conservative Thinking für Dumbkopfs” before they get tossed into Room 101 for a bit of attitude adjustment?

Speaking of that, it seems to us that the St. Patrick’s Day festivities at O’Kelly’s bar (and the nearby Tiki bar?) at Guantanimo will be the wildest blowout since the good old days at the Purple Porpoise.  (If you have to ask, you don’t have the security clearance to get an explanation.)

That brings to mind an old perplexing question:  Was Felix Rodriguez pulling our leg when he bragged that, oh so long ago, a member of the Berkeley City Council (whom only he called “Che”) was causing a sensation singing at amateur night at the local C&W bars?

Rather than spinning our wheels futilely on liberal causes that will be filibustered in the court of pop culture, the new thinking at the World’s Laziest Journalist headquarters is that we should point out that Mick Jagger has song numerous noteworthy duets and Willie Nelson has had an album using all famous singing partners (“Half Nelson”), so why haven’t they teamed up with each other?  Who wouldn’t like to hear them do a duet for a rerecording of “On the road again”?  Or “Crazy”?  Or “Satisfaction”?

What would it sound like if a clever recording engineer, spliced together the Mick Jagger (from “Ned Kelly”) and John Wayne (from “The Quiet Man”) versions of the song “Wild Colonial Boy”?

If it’s true, as we have read in James Michener’s novel “Texas,” that when Texas joined the Union, they included in the agreement, a clause that says at their option they could break up into five separate states (which would mean 10 men in the Senate), we wonder if the talk about secession might not take a surprising new turn someday soon.

We have been told (hearsay evidence isn’t admissible in court)  that at one time in the past, the airplanes at a Texas Air Force base were picking up the AM band broadcasts (on super station XERF) of Wolfman Jack.

Speaking of going in new directions and doublethink, we might start to do some market research fact finding to learn the potential for forming a group to promote and appreciate hypocrisy.

Liberals who have never even tried doublethink can not conceive how a gay, pot smoking, Republican could ever endorse his party’s agenda, but if the liberals ever embrace hypocrisy it will be “game over” for the Republicans at election time.

Meanwhile, until that day comes, we have an FDR utterance for our closing quote.

Bartlett’s quotes a speech given, by FDR, on October 30, 1940, as saying:  “Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.”

Now the disk jockey will play George Hamilton IV’s “Abilene,” Dean Martin’s “Houston,” and Marty Robin’s “El Paso.”  We have to go do a Google News search for Sgt. Sunshine, the SF policeman who toked up on the front steps of City Hall way back when.  Have a “I’m a rich boy now!” type of Giant week.

February 17, 2013

Leashes = animal cruelty?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 6:36 pm


Note: Fox and Humor are exempt from Fact Checking, so this pathetic attempt at humor haint been fact checked.

Finding a new Liberal cause to preach in Berkeley CA may be a tougher assignment than “Find an Atheist in the College of Cardinals,” but if you work at it long enough, eventually you will find a tableau of conduct on the streets that looks like it has been ripped from the pages of a textbook for Fascism 101.

Baron Siegfried L. von (with a small “v”) Richthofen III was a larger than normal example of a Husky and German Shepherd mix and the first time, when he became full grown, that we attempted to pull on the leash to indicate that we wanted to walk in a different direction, he responded by giving the leash such a powerful yank in the opposite direction that we where knocked into a prone position. Siggy then ambled over and positioned his cold wet nose a few inches in front of our face and, through clinched teeth, growled: “If you ever do that again, I’ll chew your face off!”

Ordinarily Siggy was just a big old pussycat, but we were aware of the Jekyll and Hyde transformation that would occur when he got drunk. He could be a mean S. O. B. (no disrespect to his mother) when he got soused and so we adopted a walking style that always included some slack in the leash (jut to show that we were adhering to the local leash law) and never used a quick jerk for a silent command.

Walking around in Berkeley, we assumed that, in a city where protests against animal cruelty in laboratories is as old as the cry “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids didja kill today?,” the folks who were walking small breeds of dogs would not make a change of directions look similar to footage of a helicopter rescuing an injured skier in the wilderness. We were astounded to find plenty of visual evidence to indicate that the shift from dog collar to a shoulder harness was not getting full enthusiastic support in the famed “People’s Republic of Berkeley.”

The writer Céline (not to be confused with a singer with the same name) once said that a dog only knows what it can smell. He would not be surprised to notice that on a walk most dogs will teach the lesson that the world is a smorgasbord of interesting and intriguing odors and each and every one has to be thoroughly investigated. If you don’t want to stop and smell the flowers along the way (as the old hippie advise goes), then don’t bother to go for the walk.

Back in the day, my roommate and I would have to spell out the word “leash” because if you said the word, Siggy ran over to where the leash was hanging on a hook, and point to it with his nose. You didn’t use the word in a caviler “just in conversation” manner if you didn’t want to go for a walk. Then, one day, it became obvious that Siggy had learned what “l-e-a-s-h” spelled.

Berkeley CA has one store, Paco Collars, which specializes in dog collars. We have, to the best of our memory, never seen another dog collar store in all our travels, which have taken us from Paris and Casablanca in the East to Fremantle on the shore of the Indian Ocean as the Western boundary of our inventory of world geography.

The unique store in Berkeley offers, from what we could gather form a quick visual inspection of the interior, some of the harnesses which transfer the leash stress to the dog’s chest, but most of the items were dog collars. We asked if some customers bought any dog collars for their girlfriends, but the fellow avoided a yes/no answer.

A columnist’s mission is not to find an issue and then proselytize to make converts for one side or the other; rather a columnist must find new and unique items of interest and, after putting them in a column, continuing on with the quest for the next example of amusing unique information.

The yank the dog phenomenon might seem like an apropos metaphor for a critical look at the way John Boner is bringing the Democratic Party and White House occupant to heel.

Was it our imagination or did we see the Boner repeatedly hold up a doggy litter bag to signify “that’s a load of crap!,” while the Democrats were applauding wildly during the recent State of the Union diatribe? (We always thought at a diatribe designated a group of Apaches who wanted to loose weight. [Bah-dump bump.])

We noted with interest that during the recent cruise ship debacle, the passengers had to use liter bags to defecate and then had to contend with leakage and spills. Why didn’t they just throw the damn things over the railing into the middle of the ocean?

That, in turn, brings us to the problem of what to do with a retired pope. Will he be subjected to “de facto” house arrest conditions or will he be permitted to go on the late night talk show circuit to promote his new book?

Some canine experts make the assertion that dogs intuitively understand human through voice tone and body language. Others with a more whimsical philosophy will tell you what books their dog reads and what his latest quip was. We learned from Siggy, that all German Shepherd dogs are “law’n’order” style Nixon Republicans on the day that the shooting at Kent State took place.

[Note: We had digital photos of the Paco Collars store, a dog with a harness for attaching the leash, and a B&W print of a snapshot of Siggy, but after an attack of Spring Fever, we decided to give the Photo Editor the day off.]

For those who are skeptical about a dog’s ability to understand human language, we propose a pragmatic experiment. Go up to a docile large all black dog and utter this column’s closing quote: “Black dogs taste best!” If he suddenly becomes belligerent, please explain how the transformation occurred without indicating that he was trying to refute that extreme foodie opinion.

Now, the disk jockey will play Iggy Pop’s song “I want to be your dog,” Elvis’s extremely sad “Old Shep,” and (on the opposite end of the emotional bell curve) Peggy Lee’s “How much is that doggie in the window.” Now we have to go and buy a copy of Chihuahua of the Baskervilles, for a certain dog who lives in Concordia KS. Have a (attention Waylon Jennings fans) “Reno just howled at the moon” type week.

February 15, 2013

Testing the limits of Overgovernmentalizing in SF.

Filed under: Commentary — Bob Patterson @ 1:21 pm

“Reporting at Wit’s End (Tales from the New Yorker)” (Bloomsbury USA, New York, N. Y. ©2010), which was written by St. Clair McKelway, is chock full of true life feature stories, mostly from the true crime genre file, from the Thirties and Forties.  The one titled “Who is the King of Glory” (written with A. J. Liebling), which was an example of a profile of a personality in the news, caught the eye of this columnist because we heard the name Father Devine years ago but have had no other information to add to his dossier.

The story hints that the famous cleric from the past was a tantalizing mixture of an amazing philanthropist and, simultaneously, (perhaps) a charlatan who gave mesmerizing sermons which were a jazz like riff using words rather than notes produced by a musical instrument.

According to information found online Johnny Mercer heard one of those remarkable talks and was inspired to write a song when he heard the phrase “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.”

The story in the book collection did not make a decisive conclusion and inform the readers about a final verdict on the question of any possible fraud or deception about how all the money that flowed into the coffers was spent.  We may have to look for a biography of the famed cleric to learn more.  That, in turn, made us question the journalistic quality of a piece that leaves a reader in the lurch about a central question.

The passages about Father Devine’s unique vocal style don’t do justice to it because in a transcript (page 112) much of the mischievous tone of the word play loses its magic.  “It has been tangibleated, and it can be retangibleated, it can and will continue to materialize, and repersonify, rematerialize, and repersonify, for the great materializing process is going on.”

The fact that a devotee left Father Devine a mansion and a large tract of land in Pennsylvania, made the World’s Laziest Journalist, who can barely get friends on Facebook to share a link to his columns, question his own ability to enunciate enchanting words and phrases.

At this point some skeptics (who want to ask a question in the manner of a Peggy Lee song) might wonder: “If that’s all there is to a career in online column writing, why not chuck it all and say ‘fuck it!’?”  To which we would reply “No my friends, not me.  I’m going to stick around, make fun of both the Republican and Democratic politicians, lace the columns with arcane, esoteric, and obscure facts that will provide Google bait to lure in new eyeballs (which in turn will cause the management to be [just a bit] more tolerant of this columnist’s eccentric style caused by misguided admiration for the three dot journalism pioneered by Walter Winchell and Herb Caen], occasional unintentional malapropisms, typos and/or misspellings, (lapses into poor taste?), and invent some new words (such as promobabble) in the hopes that some day some reader somewhere (Kalgoorlie W. A.?) might notice that sometimes this frazzled and idiosyncratic columnist has occasionally racked up a noteworthy achievement, such as posting a column like last Friday’s (It proved to be an echoed in advance of a news analysis on the front page of the New York Times on the following Sunday.) and thus be inspired to donate a mansion with a lavish surrounding estate, where the World’s Laziest Journalist Headquarters can then be relocated.

[Note here is the URL for the New York Times news analysis online.  People who are registered online as subscribers can copy and paste this link into their browser.  Otherwise it won’t work.]

Until that happy day arrives, we will have to provide our self with our own rewards for churning out a stream of occasional original insights, underreported stories, and pathetic attempts to replicate the wit of George Carlin.

You want original insights?  Did the USA win the Invasion of Iraq or did a lot of Americans get killed and wounded and a number of defense industries experience a boost in business for conducting the most expensive criminal execution in the history of the world?  If it was an undisputed KO win, what exactly did the USA win?  Did the prognostications that oil revenue would pay for that military adventure turn out to be accurate?  If (subjunctive mood) the U. S. did not win will corporate owned media let any reporter say that, let alone just ask the question?

Need another example?  We have done volunteer clerk work for the Marina Tenants Association, which has been embroiled for years in a running dispute with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.  Some members of the MTA have the opinion that the Supervisors grant real estate developers very lucrative deals to develop businesses in Marina del Rey, which is county owned land, and (hypothetically speaking) are given vast sums of money for their reelections funds in return.

In San Francisco, famed Candlestick Park, which is located on county owned land, will be demolished after the last Fortyniners’ Game of the 2013 season and the county owned land will be used for new private ventures.

The MTA is busy enough with Los Angeles County matters and they won’t have the time or resources to expand their citizen watchdog work into the San Francisco area.  The journalists in the Bay area will, mostly, be unaware of the fact that for more than fifty years some Nosey Parkers have been writing newspaper stories calling for investigations of the way Marina del Rey has been handled by the Board of Supervisors and thus the Bay Area reporters will not be alert to the potential for a monkey see, monkey do bit of (possible) chicanery in their circulation area.

The World’s Laziest Journalist does do repeated Google News searches to monitor the evolving story of the Los Angeles County assessor who has been incarcerated and has failed to post bail.  We keep wondering:  Is some law enforcement agency trying to negotiate some testimony in return for a sweetheart plea bargain deal?  If so, who are they trying to go after?

In the San Francisco area we noticed that as the 2012 Baseball Season drew to a conclusion, some baseball players had to sit out a few games because they had readings that showed a too high level of testosterone.  We have seen ads on TV that offer to increase the zest for life level of viewers by increasing their testosterone levels.  That made us wonder why Baseball players get punished for increasing their testosterone levels but viewers of the Evening News are urged to take measures to increase their testosterone levels.  Is that fair?

Would George Carling approve of the quip we made while watching the ads for the testosterone boosting products?  While watching the ad we blurted out the comment:  “If my doctor said I had low-T, I’d beat the shit out of him!”

On Thursday February 14, 2013, the Armstrong and Getty Show opened their phone lines and asked folks to make suggestions about how to protest the rising tide of overgovernmentalizing (we invented that word while waiting on hold for our turn to talk) in American Society, so we were full of testosterone and just wanted to suggest that folks call radio talk shows and say words that offend the FCC.  We didn’t want to actually say those words and incur a big fine.  We were immediately disconnected and the 10 second delay must have consigned our attempt to oblivion via the “memory hole.”  Guess they don’t have a sense of humor (at least we got a good item for the column from the effort).  Do conservative talk show hosts have an irony allergy?  Would Lenny Bruce approve our attempt to criticize big government?  Would Father Devine approve our attempt at wordification?

Speaking of increasing testosterone levels for feeling young, virile, and sexy, after we noted that this year will be the Chinese year of the Snake, we thought immediately of our quest to drive (or at least get a ride in) a Cobra and so we fired off an e-mail to the Los Angeles Shelby American Automobile Club (LASAAC), which includes a goodly number of examples of the famed car made by Carol Shelby, asking if they were planning any special Cobra events other than their annual car show, which is usually held in September on the Santa Monica Pier.

A club spokesman replied that there were no current plans for adding an extra Cobra event to their schedule to celebrate the year of the Snake.  Our expert authority concluded his reply with a quote that we will use for the column ending wisdom quote.  We were informed:  “Confucius say: Man who run in front of car get tired… man who run behind car get exhausted… and man who get hit by car get that run down feeling!”

Now the disk jockey will play the “Logical Song,” Joan Baez’s “Diamonds and Rust” (because of the line about “you were so good with words”) and Mama Cass’ “Words of Love.”  We have to go look up the meaning of omphaloskepsis.  Have a “senescence” type week.

February 13, 2013

How I learned to stop worrying and love Hypocrisy

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:51 pm

George Clayton Johnson, the fictioneer who wrote episodes for the Twilight Zone during its first season, urges writers to give their minds permission to contemplate impossible potential scenarios and so it is that the World’s Laziest Journalist decided that the Presidents Day weekend of 2013 would be a good time to post a column that posits the premise that the Republican Party is working towards the goal of destroying Democracy in the USA.

Is it too weird to ask if the Republicans started this campaign when some Wall Street executives approached American War hero Smedly Butler and proposed a coup d’etat as a way to save the USA from letting FDR take America down the road to Socialism?

Butler went public with the offer and that resulted in a Congressional Hearing that redacted some of the names of those involved when the transcript was published.  Publishing the names would have precipitated some wild irresponsible conspiracy theory talk and that was the last thing the country needed during the Great Depression.

After President Obama gave the State of the Union Speech on Tuesday February 12, 2013, it may seem to be a tad late to write a review of “The Peril of Fascism (The Crisis of American democracy)” by A. B. Magil and Henry Stevens International Publishers Co., Inc. New York, N. Y. ©1938, but in the Golden Age of Deception it might actually be too soon to plug it.

A column which contends that the Republicans might try to sabotage Democracy in America should be considered a “pitch” for a new Twilight Zone episode and not a serious attempt to write a political pundit’s version of a think piece.  However any attempt to disguise such a column as a subtle bid to get a writing assignment from Rod Serling, would immediately be greeted by fans with allegations that such a hypothetical task would be plagiarizing the “It’s a cook book!” ending for one of the most famous installments of that classic Sixties series.

To hear the pundits on the left tell it, you would think that culling a few voters from each precinct in the USA was some kind of massive effort to do what sports fans call “shave points.”

The use of electronic voting machines for manipulating the final voting results was questioned by “scientists” even before the technology had been refined and put into production.  Aren’t “scientists” the same bunch of weirdoes who (somehow) have managed to sell the Twilight Zone-ish concept of “Global Warming”?  (Isn’t it sooo easy to imagine just what Rod Serling would have said if he ever did a “Global Warming” episode during the first season?)

Fox, which wasn’t in existence when George H. W. Bush used a parolled felon to win his election, was the first network to call Florida for George W. Bush and some loons in the Conspiracy Theory world questioned the folks who concocted the fair and balanced concept for journalists saying that the fact that the man at Fox who made the call was related to George W. Bush.  So?  They never answer that question.

George Clayton Johnson urges rookie writers to imagine the impossible but wouldn’t he admit that the conspiracy theory crazies who suggest that “they knew” (and facilitated?) that some Arabs were going to crash planes into various buildings have abused the concept of imagining that he impossible might happen?

In the aforementioned “The Peril of Fascism,” the authors writing (page 174) about Huey Long say:  “So adept did Huey Long prove in playing on the hopes and prejudices of the poor and in covering up his secret deals with big business that he won widespread support, not only in Louisiana but in other Southern states and in sections of the North.”

Do the critics of the Republican game plan think that Ross Thomas’ novel “The Fools in Town Are on our Side” was some kind of prediction of the concept of a political booby-trap?

If politicians were really that shallow and cynical wouldn’t President Obama play the “treason” card and question the patriotism of the Republicans who (seemingly) stand read to withhold paychecks from the military as part of a partisan political strategy?

The Republicans have successfully questioned the patriotism of a Senator who lost three limbs while fighting in Vietnam (Max Cleland) and gotten a non veteran elected as his replacement.  Attacking a political opponent’s patriotism is a strategy that has proven very effective so why doesn’t Obama call them out for hypocrisy and suggest that any Republican complicity in the Sequester controversy is hypocritical and means committing a treasonous act which betrays the military?

Wouldn’t undercutting the military make the Republicans seem prone to hypocrisy?  So why not call them out on this?  Do the Republicans have some kind of intellectual property rights claim on hypocrisy?  Is there some kind of copyright infringement factor that means that the Democrats would have to pay royalty fees if they use hypocrisy to fight hypocrisy?

What would happen if, instead of ridiculing the Republican examples of (alleged) hypocrisy every day on his radio program, Norm (No Lables) Goldman suddenly had a

St. Paul’s moment and adopted the “your game, your rules; I’ll win” belligerent attitude and then started to use irony to lavish praise on the Republican forked tongue devil strategy?

If (hypothetically speaking) Norm Goldman were suddenly to start enumerating and analyzing the Republican strategy of saying one thing and doing the opposite from an adoring stance, which he didn’t actually hold, how would the Republican trolls respond to that?

Imagine for a moment that people tuned into his program today and heard him say that he endorsed the Republican strategy of promoting right to work laws as a stealth way to reduce wages and increase profits for the people known as corporations?

Yes, the conservative trolls would continue to call in and say “I agree with most of what you say, but what if there had been a guard with a gun at the Connecticut school?”

The lefties who listen to him would be baffled and have to stop and think about it.  If Lefties are in favor of unions and against wage reductions how could someone of that ilk say he endorsed the right to work movement?

In the Fifties IBM used the word “Think” to challenge Americans to do just that.  In the Sixties the phrase “Question Authority” was ubiquitous.  In the Ted Nugent era Americans find that the obstreperous attitude has been replaced by another corporate tsunami of promotional items that say “Obey!”

Norm Goldman often asserts that he will give the fascists a taste of their own medicine.  Well then, isn’t it time to form the Hypocrisy Appreciation & Promotion Society (HAPS)?

If Republicans are content to let computers count the voting results, why then are they so opposed to letting computers draw voter precinct boundaries?

If Republicans are in favor of letting teachers have guns, why not go for the fair and balanced approach and urge schools to let students be strapped (i.e. pack heat)?  Isn’t it hypocritical to say yes to teachers with guns and no to young men laden with raging hormones who are just aching to prove their potency?

Is it hypocritical for a pundit who advocates freedom of speech to avoid printing the transcript of an avalanche of unprintable expletives as this column’s closing words of wisdom and merely provide a NSFW warning and a link to one of Tommy Lasorda’s quotes about being happy and supporting his players, which can only be played on radio shows (such as the one by Los Angeles area sports reporter Jim Healy?) as a non-stop festival of bleeps?

Now the disk jockey will play the Rolling Stones song from the Seventies titled “Star Fucker,” the Rolling Stones contractual obligation album “********** (hint a ten letter word meaning felatio [Word spellcheck challenges that word too]) Blues” and “Let me squeeze your lemon.”  We have to go to the used book store and see if we can replace our MIA copy of Lenny Bruce’s autobiography.  Have an (what is the word for a word that has another word inserted into the middle of it?) Un*******believable week and a happy Presidents’ Day Weekend.

Wall Street & War Street: Why we have trouble liking Obama

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Jane Stillwater @ 11:54 am

What’s not to like about Barack Obama? He’s educated, erudite — and even cute. He gave a dynamite State of the Union speech. His family is perfect. Michelle is intelligent, suave, beautiful and compassionate, and Sasha and Malia look like an African-American version of the Brady Bunch. Plus every racist, wing-nut, fanatic, truther, birther and pond-scum in America hates Obama — so I should like him just for that reason alone.

Plus Obama is tall and thin like my father. How Oedipal is that?

And Obama is also trying to give us healthcare and to appoint judges on the Supreme Court who aren’t complete corporate shills and/or wannabe neanderthals. And the Prez is also trying really hard to drag America up from being ranked 33rd among modern first-world nations with regard to education.

Obama also represents all of that stuff that I fought for so valiantly back in the 1960s — racial equality, a Black man being able to achieve everything a White man can achieve, and like Ginger Rodgers used to say, “Doing it backwards and in high heels.” Except, of course, for the part about high heels.

So why are we progressives having so much trouble liking Barack Obama right now? Five little words. “Wall Street and War Street”. Too many of our young men and women in the military are dying needlessly and being used like Kleenex so that large corporations and weapons manufacturers can make a killing. Literally.

Plus Obama has allowed — and perhaps even welcomed — the militarization of America’s local police forces. The friendly cop on the corner is now wearing Kevlar and carrying super-heat.

And that’s not all. According to MSNBC, “Despite President Obama’s stated objections to American indefinite detention policy, his Justice Department has forcefully advocated for it in court.”

And apparently this policy also means that if you and I object too much to the corporate takeover of our country, you and I can be detained indefinitely in Guantanamo too — not exactly the Caribbean cruise we were hoping for. And Obama is fine with that. And War Street is too.

According to journalist David Sirota, “Obama, let’s remember, is the president who escalated the Afghanistan War and whose spokesman recently reiterated that U.S. troops are not necessarily leaving that country anytime soon. He is the president who has initiated undeclared wars in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya. He is also the president who, according to data from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, has launched more than 20,000 air strikes — and those assaults show no sign of stopping”

Not only that, but Obama has apparently been in cahoots with all kinds of sleazy Islamic fundamentalist wing-nuts trying to stir up big trouble in Syria as well — to the point that even those Syrians who truly hate Assad’s guts are beginning to prefer Assad over the foreign ‘rebels’ who are currently destroying their country with the help of the U.S.

And according to both CLG News and Haaretz, the Obama administration has also been giving War Street neo-cons in Israel a green light for further air strikes on Syria. “…’At least one to two additional targets were hit [there recently],’ a Western intelligence official indicated to Time, adding that Israel received a ‘green light’ from the United States to carry out further attacks in the future.”

That’s totally scary.

But the most important reason we have for not liking Obama’s constant flirtation with War Street is his increasing authorization of continuous drone strikes and “targeted” assassinations — both here and abroad. And do you know what this drone mess ultimately means for you and me too? At this current time, THERE IS NO PLACE IN THE WORLD WHERE ANYONE IS SAFE — not even in our own homes here in heartland America.

At any moment, today, right now, a War Street-owned hellfire missile could suddenly eliminate your home without warning — and you too. That’s even more scary than when I was a kid and we thought that at any moment an atomic bomb might do us in. But at least back then it would have been the enemy that was doing it.

In addition, on Obama’s watch, all too many Americans here at home have also been sold down the river into economic slavery by Wall Street — in its never-ending lust to gut the American economy, feather its nests in the Caymans and kill the golden goose that has been laying golden eggs for Wall Street all these years.

According to journalist Mark Karlin, “Obama, Geithner, Holder and others in the executive branch are sending a message that if you got enough dough and run banks too big too fail, you can break the law and hurt the economy for the average American, but you won’t be held accountable — and they will allow you to be rewarded to boot.”

I would love to be able to like Barack Obama. But for these two reasons, I just can’t. Why has Obama never stood up to Wall Street and War Street? Not even once? If he had, if he did, then his legacy as President would be AWESOME!

But as it stands now, Obama is just managing to stand only a couple of rungs higher on the presidential-accomplishment ladder than even George W. Bush — who wasn’t even legally elected!

PS: In 2003, Time magazine published a letter from me regarding Bush’s upcoming war on Iraq. It read, simply, “Is it possible that Iraq will be to America what Afghanistan was to the U.S.S.R.? The similarities are chilling.”

Well, it turned out that Iraq (and Afghanistan too) actually is to America what Afghanistan was to the USSR. And if you are looking for any further proof of that statement, just go look in your mailbox on the first Saturday in August. A whole lot of the money that might have gone to saving our post office is now going to pay for the Bush/Obama wars.

And also it seems that RepubliDems in Congress have come up with various poison pills that will force the USPS to sell off thousands of our post offices to private corporations.—Margot-Smith How post-Soviet-Union Russian oligarch is that!

And let’s not forget the poor buggers out in Rockaway who are currently dying in the snow because so much of our money went off to Wall Street and War Street instead of to them — just like all the old people who froze to death on the mean streets of Moscow after the USSR fell or else died when the equivalent of Russian Social Security disappeared. Oh well.

February 12, 2013

Austerity Budget vs. the Pope’s Retirement Package?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:26 pm

Charlie Sheen’s appeal to a killer to surrender, the pope’s resignation, and the President’s efforts to prepare for his State of the Union speech were some of the top news stories in the media on Monday February 11, 2013 and so the pundits went on “Condition Red” status in anticipation of a week that would not soon be forgotten.  In response to such a week, a columnist can try to provide the best (most quotable) analysis of one facet of the complex week, find an overlooked story that was getting lost in the shuffle, or use the Walter Winchell School of Journalism method, called three dot journalism, of trying to make one snarky comment about each of all the various topics of the week.

Comparisons of the search for the rogue cop in L. A., Christopher J. Dorner with the O. J. low speed pursuit seemed too obvious.

A full column about the time that John Dillinger was apprehended in Truckee CA would mean a lot of fact checking work.  Dillinger was arrested.  The local authorities telegraphed their coup to Washington and got a stultifying reply.  The local sheriff was informed that Dillinger was in prison in Indiana and their prisoner should be released immediately with an abundance of sincere apologies.  Three hours later they got a high priority update message that said “disregard previous message.”   It was too late and that little footnote to gangster history was consigned to a life of obscurity.  The fact that Truckee and Big Bear Lake were similar terrains would help add to the appeal of such a sidebar story.

The most famous fugitive in Canadian history also fled to a snowy mountain area to elude the Mounties.  Readers from north of the USA might like seeing a column in the USA that indicated a passing knowledge of their history.

A snarky suggestion about the possibility that law enforcement officials might want to check and see if their fugitive was hiding in the Gelenrowan Inn might tickle the fancy of readers in Australia, but that would be too esoteric, arcane, and baffling for most Yanks.

Technically isn’t one escape from Alcatraz still an open case?

We know of one fan of the TV series “The Fugitive,” who finally got to see the last episode of that program while he was in Saigon.  Have they ever use DNA testing to provide an update on the real life murder that provided the basis for the TV series?

For a column about papal history we would have to locate a copy of “The Bad Popes,” and reread it before attempting a long and accurate column about that topic.  What’s not to love about someone historians call “Pope Joan”?  Didn’t one of the popes have the heartache of contending with the scandal of one of his kids killing a sibling?

The topic of the state of the union should be easy to predict.  What do folks think a President who has just been reelected is going to say at the beginning of his second term in office?  The World’s Laziest Journalist is considering doing all the fact checking about the “sit down strike” Republicans are conducting in the halls of Congress and lumping all the relevant material into one column that would carry the headline:  “Dead Democracy Walking!’

It would take a massive amount of arrogant pride for a columnist to think that he could come up with an interesting thought provoking angle to pop culture that all the other commentators missed during a hectic news week.

The Internets was fascinated last week with a story detailing private e-mail material from former President George W. Bush which had been discovered by hackers.

Initial news reports implied that some unpatriotic scallywags might have been the culprits.  With small staffs and tight budgets, most privatized news media can’t waste resources on analyzing that innocuous crime news but if they did, what could else could it possibly be?  Didn’t Watergate start out as a “second rate burglary” item from a police beat reporter?

The media ignored the possibility that the hackers were from Iran or China and immediately focused attention of the unpatriotic possibility that Americans in cahoots with Anonymous were the culprits.

Did anyone have the audacity to suggest that the story was actually a Republican leak which will form the foundation for rehabilitating the Bush family brand name?  Wouldn’t the leaked – stolen – e-mails help humanize the former President?  Isn’t that how they started the campaign in the late Seventies to reshape Nixon’s image for history?  First you humanize him, then you deify him.  By the time Nixon was buried hadn’t his image been recast as a misunderstood American hero?  Well, if JEB is going to get the Republican nomination in 2016, when, where, and how would you start the effort to reestablish the Bush Dynasty image?

If any nationally known pundit hypothesized such an explanation, that fellow would immediately have to content with explaining how a copy of his “Employee ID card” from the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory had made its way onto the top Yahoo searches of the day list.

What’s not to love about a country where a President’s State of the Union speech morphs into the status of “opening act” for a Ted Nugent press conference?

Marlene Dietrich has been quoted as saying:  “If there is a supreme being, he’s crazy.”

Now the disk jockey will play Merle Haggard’s song, “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive,” Gene Vincent’s “Pistol Packin’ Mama,” and a memorial tribute playing of Reg Presley’s version of “Wild Thing.”  We have to go look for a copy of Cliff Arquette’s autobiography.  Have a “which way did he go” type week.

February 8, 2013

War Crimes and Irony

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:28 pm

“Turnabout,” the 1931 novel by Thorne Smith was given a very strong recommendation that sparked a relentless search in used book stores from New York City to Los Angeles.  The story is about the struggles of a married couple who became the victims of an ancient Egyptian god’s practical joke when he magically (as ancient Egyptian gods are permitted to do) switched their minds into the other’s body.

Our quest to find that obscure literary treasure came to an end in Los Angels many moons ago.  The book delivered the expected level of entertainment and in an odd twist of fate that copy of that particular paperback was handed off to the fellow who had given the original recommendation because he wanted to re-read the hilarious antics again.

It turned out that the concept of two fictional characters trading minds had previously been used in an obscure short story, written by A. Conan Doyle, about a student and one of his professors.

The concept of two disparate personalities switching host bodies was used in the Tom Hanks film “Big” which told the tale of a father and young son who experienced that particular transformation.

In a week in which Republicans were castigating a Democratic President for not following the rules of warfare and the Dems were shrugging off the criticism with studied nonchalance in the “I can’t hear you” mode of saying “bugger off,” the entire staff at the World’s Laziest Journalist headquarters was coping with a strong attack of déjà vu . . .

President Obama let an opportunity to investigate the possibility that George W. Bush and his posse might have (subjunctive mood) exceeded the bounds of good taste slip away and then when Obama gave his acceptant speech at the Nobel Peace Awards, he sounded a tad bellicose.  Now, the Obama supporters approach the subject of impeachment and charges of war crimes with a very Karl Rove-ish sounding collective voice and the Repubs (does that word mean folks who visit a tavern for the second time in one night?) are snickering with fiendish delight.

Isn’t there an old legal adage that states “Silence Implies Consent!”?

So if Obama was silent about any possible Bush complicity in war crimes (and he was), then, at the very least, the possibility has to be considered that Obama was an accessory after the fact for any (hypothetically speaking) Bush War Crimes.

The German High Command in WWII went to great lengths to insure that the citizens of their country didn’t know what was happening and thus they had a legitimate claim to say to the members of the various allied armies that occupied Germany after the war was over that the average German in the streets didn’t know what was being done in their name by their leaders.

George W. Bush made goddamn sure that his policies were reported by America’s Free Press and thus insured that sooner or later Americans would be accessories before, during, and after the fact to his dirty deeds, if, indeed, there were any.

How many conservatives completely ignored the precepts contained in Robert Jackson’s opening statement at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial and cried;  “He (Bush) didn’t know that there was no WMD’s!”?  More than a few.

Any debate, at this point, over which Party’s guy did or did not commit war crimes is an exercise in futility.

The War Crimes Studies Center operates on the University of California Berkeley campus and since they haven’t made any headlines about launching an investigation into the possibility of any Bush war crimes, that aught to settle the question once and for all.

By a remarkable coincidence, John Yoo, who led the team of legal advisors that George W. Bush used to insure that he never, either deliberately or accidentally, did anything which might arouse suspicions of potential War Crimes, works on that same campus and perhaps the War Crimes Study Center could invite Yu to be a guest lecturer who would be able to suggest to other countries what effective measures could be used to insure that their leaders would never commit a War Crime.  Isn’t preventing War Crimes as the Yoo team did, just as important as studying other countries’ War Crimes?

On Thursday February 7, 2012, Senator Diane Feinstein explained to excitable, gullible political activists that their concern about civilian casualties from drone strikes are based on only seven or eight fatalities and that efforts to allay their fears and rectify their gross misperception, based on a regrettable clerical error, should be made.

The fact that the Dems now sound like Bush supporters and the Repubs sound like some old Berkeley peaceniks, might appeal to some people with a connoisseur’s appreciation for irony (Isn’t the dictionary definition of irony:  saying the exact opposite of what you mean?  Don’t many people often incorrectly use that word [irony] when they mean poignancy?).

The cavalcade of confusion this week on talk radio is what brought the old literary gem, Thorne Smith’s “Turnabout,” to mind this week.

Many of Smith’s comic novels were turned into classic movie comedies and later TV series.  His novel “Topper,” became a hit movie for MGM in 1937 (with Cary Grant as the ghost George Kirby) and later a popular TV series in the Fifties.  Smith’s “The Passionate Witch” ultimately became the 1942 hit movie “I Married a Witch” and subsequently that morphed into the TV series “Bewitched.”

Smith’s novel “The Bishop’s Jaegers,” which told a story about a rich geek accompanied by his adventurous secretary and recounts their reactions when they land in a nudist camp.  It was ahead of its time when it was published in 1932.  Apparently it is still a little too edgy to be adapted into a film script today.

The acquisitions librarian at the World’s Laziest Journalist headquarter’s tried for twenty years to acquire a copy of “The Bishop’s Jaegers.”  At one point he balked at the chance to purchase a collector’s hard back edition for a hundred bucks.  Ultimately, at a used bookstore on Wilshire Blvd., in Santa Monica, he stumbled across a used paper back in the bargain bin for a dime.

Isn’t it rather poignant to note that Germans are not afraid of nudity but they are ashamed of their country’s participation in war crimes while Americans are terrorized by the concept of a nudist camp but are completely unfazed by the remote possibility of any hypothetical involvement in War Crimes.

At this point, some of this columnist’s faithful readers might expect this column to segue into a column’s end quote using Australian outlaw Ned Kelly’s final words, but that, like a War Crimes trial for an American leader, aint’ gonna happen.

In an opinion piece titled “Fear and Loathing in the Bunker,” published in the New York Times on January 1, 1974, Hunter S. Thompson predicted:  “ . . . an American invasion, seizure and terminal occupation of all oil-producing countries in the Middle East.”

Now the disk jockey will play “The Age of Aquarius,” “Springtime for Hitler,” and Randy Newman’s “Let’s Drop the Big One Now!”  We have to go dig up a new wedge issue.  Have a “no foul, no harm” type week.

February 7, 2013

“Beasts of the Southern Wild”: Learning how to stand up to aurochs

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Jane Stillwater @ 12:00 pm

Me and my son Joe and my granddaughter Mena finally got a chance to go see “Beasts of the Southern Wild” the other day. That whole freaking movie deserves an Oscar. It’s definitely got my vote. Wow!

And the movie’s main plot-line (which involved people idealistically working together to save their small town) reminded me strongly of my own housing co-op where I have lived for the past 33 years.

And this so-called housing “cooperative” once started off all idealistically too. Back then, we too had grand and idealistic intentions of working together for the common good — sort of like how the framers of the U.S. Constitution back in 1776 or whenever had put forth their own dreams of what a more perfect union would look like.

But gradually, over the years, my small housing co-op shamelessly degenerated into a bunch of self-seeking, self-interested individuals who would do anything to get a leg up. Corruption, apathy, conflict-of-interest, nepotism, lethargy, back-stabbing and bickering ruled the day among most of the residents. And, physically, the place soon started falling apart. I’m talking about major failing infrastructure here.

And so I’ve spent the last 15 years of my life fighting like crazy to get a re-hab to happen here at my housing co-op. And it finally did. And it’s a wonderful re-hab, don’t get me wrong. The contractors are doing a great job. But the process is truly intense. The whole infrastructure is being replaced, repaired and/or remodeled — almost from the ground up. Inside and out. And they are doing it while over fifty families are all living here too.

And the pressure of this intensive re-hab, as people struggle to get their life-long belongings all packed up in boxes, their walls pounded on by a whole battalion of workers, their siding and roofs torn off and put back on again and their heating and plumbing and bathrooms and carpets and kitchens replaced — it’s almost like the pressure of the storms, floods and new levees pressing down on that small town in “Beasts”. And this pressure has also acted to bring my own “small town” together again too and to finally, maybe, even become a real co-op again.

Or I could just be a dreaming idealist like Hush Puppy in the movie — but I hope not.

But is there a moral here somewhere? Sure, of course. Just like a huge disaster had brought a small town together in “Beast of the Southern Wild,” now our massive (but wonderful) re-hab is finally getting my housing co-op members to actually cooperate with each other for their own good. And who knows? Perhaps the many disasters that are also facing America these days will also finally unite us all into working together for our common good too — instead of all too many of us acting like aurochs toward each other, tearing at each others’ throats and ripping each other apart.

February 2, 2013

SFPD busts nudists

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:25 pm


KCBS reporter interviews protester Friday

On Friday morning February 1, 2013, the first page of the San Francisco Chronicle’s newspaper’s Bay Area Section carried a headline that read:  “Nudists hope City Hall protest will get them cited.”

The noon protest of the law that the Chronicle reported was scheduled to be held on the steps of City Hall but because it is a city law and because the steps are under the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Sheriff, the lunch hour protest was quickly moved to the adjacent sidewalks which are under the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Police Department.

In a city where the news media has featured saturation coverage of the Supebowl  football game which will pit a team from San Francisco against a team from Baltimore, the arrests drew a large contingent of journalists from a vast assortment of sources that feature news stories.

On Friday, in the town Herb Caen dubbed “Baghdad by the Bay,” a worker (or protester) would have been more noticeable if they weren’t wearing some item of clothing that proclaimed support for the San Francisco Forty Niners Football team.  The protesters wore shoes and not much else.




The Chronicle story plugged protester Gypsy Taub’s TV show, “My Naked Truth,” and her book, “Free Your Body, Free Your Mind,” which is available in the Kindle format.

Ms. Taub asserts that Freedom of Speech rights permit her to protest in the nude.  Was Lady Godiva the first nude protester in History?

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener wrote the anti-nude law and the San Francisco Examiner on Friday February 1, (accurately) predicted that a nude George Davis would officially announce his intention to run for the Board of Supervisor in Wiener’s District.

Some protesters wearing clothes vocally protested the arrests for being a waste of precious funds which would be better spent (they asserted) for other different facets of law enforcement such as drug laws.

The arrest drama was put on a temporary hold while protester Trey Allen helped a bind woman up the City Hall stairs.  It was a visual media opportunity that provide a human interest angle to the day’s events.



February 1, 2013

Ye Olde Scribe: Anti-Gun Control, PRO-Stand Your Ground???

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ye Olde Scribe @ 5:52 pm


But there is something that must happen first, nationwide, for Scribe to change.

Let’s pass a law that women, gays, American Indians, and blacks must not only own guns: provided by the state, but given sharpshooting training by the state. Mandatory: a special national Stand Your Ground law designed especially for women, gays, American Indians, and blacks. It would read, due to past oppression and intimidation if they feel threatened in any way they have a right to kill: no questions asked, no self defense plea possible for anyone claiming THEY felt threatened. You know, like maybe Trayvon Martin if HE had survived and killed Zimmerman? This might actually put a serious kink in gay bashing, rape, shooting teens who have every right to be where they are holding just Skittles and a drink, anyone who has possible intent on giving a woman a date rape drug, those who want to deny American Indians any rights or status they feel they have been, or were, promised.

There’s history here folks: Wounded Knee, slavery, tossing slaves that bogged down ships to the sharks, lynchings, gay bashing, Stonewall and more. If Custer’s Last were to happen today innocence would be automatic if Custer had won, like it would have been back then. With this change a modern day Custer would be like Trayvon: guilty no matter what actually happened. The Natives were defending themselves. Same would be true if Blacks massacred of KKK members, women put a new hole through Rush’s hate filled and Gays could have shot back at Stonewall.

Since we’re talking about a lot of hate-filled white men, let’s provide a special except to the law against machine guns. This should make efforts to defend themselves from perceived threats more efficient.

Considering past history this “special” right, above normal Stand Your Ground laws, for these groups even more necessary. So white boys can have their Stand Your Ground, the rest the special extended version, or 2.0, if you wish.

Now, Scribe is not actually suggesting this, but considering all the resistance to gun legislation, laws against hate crimes and support for Zimmerman, bashing of gays, hate spewed at women and recent defense of rape, Scribe does wonder if you folks so concerned with self defense would consider turn around fair play, or if you all are just the racist, homophobic, women hating evil a-holes you seem to be.

So how about it, Homeboys?

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