Retired Marine Col. Gary Anderson conducts war games for the U.S. military. Based on a number of recent games, he predicts Iraq would split along ethnic and sectarian lines, with Kurds, Shi'ites and Sunnis occuping different parts of the country.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Vid's a little messed up--
Same defective vid. Doesn't effect the story at all.
Monday, July 30, 2007
(Revised & Extended, 7/31: The term has meaning in another universe of discourse, wherein it also refers to a joint, and the following makes complete sense:
MaterSheet-rockers have their own peculiar craft-humor.
03-27-2007, 03:17 PM
It's not good to have a humped butt. If you stripe the center of your butt first, your hump will be more noticeable. Stripe the sides of your butt 1st, let dry, then stripe the center of your butt with a 10" knife. You can only give the illusion of taking the hump out of your butt.
LATE BREAKING NEWS: WE'RE NOW NUMBER ONE! NUMERO UNO! NUMMER EINZ!
Top DOG! out of over 1 million 100 thousand 'butt-humping' sites!
It is for that reason that I doubt the People will ever escape--or even significantly relieve--the choke-hold which the now-entrenched, powerful, anti-democratic forces of the electronic voting industry has gotten on our franchise.
Ask yourself: What ELSE are they corporatizing? They've got a piece of everything we share in common.
(Cross-posted on MyLeftWing)
The average U.S. automobile, traveling 10,000 miles a year on pure ethanol (not a gasoline-ethanol mix) would need about 852 gallons of the corn-based fuel. This would take 11 acres to grow, based on net ethanol production. This is the same amount of cropland required to feed seven Americans.
this will mean higher food prices: higher meat prices, higher milk/dairy prices, higher prices all across the Murkin menu.
which in turn will mean more 'food insecurity' among the least prosperous,poorest folks.
If all the automobiles in the United States were fueled with 100 percent ethanol, a total of about 97 percent of U.S. land area would be needed to grow the corn feedstock. Corn would cover nearly the total land area of the United States.
Already in Mexico, hundreds of thousands of peons who were once subsistence farmers can no longer afford to buy corn meal for their tortillas, so that folks like us can drive SUVs and Hummers and Navigators, and the entire obscene array of huge, inefficient piecesof mechanical crap; the pay-back comes when you look DOWN on your neighbors, i guess...
Sunday, July 29, 2007
That means, they don't hafta tellya what to think, cuz they're in control of what you think about. Their job is to teach you how to think about what they want you think about. And that 'how' is constructed in the vocabulary of their own privileged view, but by repetition, normalized and reified for mass. They start in the crib, and it NEVER stops.
(Consumption used to be disease that could kill you, by filling up your lungs and drowning you slow. Now it is the engine of the economy, which is filling up the country with crap and drowning us slow.)
Advertizing and Public Relations, the School, Entertainment (Sports, Personalities, Pop Culture), the Media are the hydra-heads on the body of an internal propaganda apparatus of amazing subtlety, incredible--global!--reach, and universal permeation. The whole purpose of this apparatus is to control the agenda and to teach the populace how to think about what they have already arranged as the topics you are gonna be encouraged to think and talk about.
Their genius is that you don't have to teach 'what to think'--so obvious a tactic even an American could probably see through, on a good day, after a good night's sleep and a light meal...
If you control the agenda, that takes care of itself. All ya gotta do is teach'em 'how' well enough.
B-CUZ the tools of observation and analysis always already condition the phenomena which are present to them.
Which, though I hadn't thought about it before in exactly these terms, is the basic insight of both quantum physics and husserlian phenomenology.
(Cross-posted at MLW, in comments; I find my own best writing comes in reply to the insights of another member of the same conversation.)
"In America the majority raises formidable barriers around the liberty of opinion; within these barriers an author may write what he pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them."
"As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in?"
" I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America. "
"In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own."
"No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country. "
"The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint, but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colours breaking through."
"There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle."
The Buncombe County (N.C.) Sheriff’s Office arrested activists Mark and Deborah Kuhn in West Asheville Wednesday morning after a complaint that the couple was desecrating an American flag. They say a deputy invaded their home and used excessive force.It's my sincerest hope that the people abused by this pig-shucking piece of crap cop--the Kuhns--sue the fascist, rathole Sheriff’s department into penury.
I’d want that fascist pig mofo’s badge, presented to me on a plaque in a ceremony presided over by the Sheriff himself and attended by media state-wide, with a public apology.
From a Kissingerian, 'real-politik' perspective, it is by no means impossible or unthinkable that the fascist Neo-Con/Zionist/PNAC cabal in the US regime advocated and advanced the current, militaristic USer course in the region because they understood that USer presence and military activity would, indeed, eventually lead to mortal, regional strife, in the course of which the competing Muslim factions would reduce one another to chaotic impotence, and in the aftermath of which the West could move in and recolonize the resources…
Gotta keep dat awl a'flowin...
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Scientists Hack Voting Machines to Prove Tech Weaknesses
"Computer scientists from California universities have hacked into three electronic voting systems used in California and elsewhere in the nation and found several ways in which vote totals could potentially be altered, according to reports released yesterday by the state," reports Christopher Drew in Saturday's edition of the New York Times.
Now I am morally certain that NO ONE could ever have IMAGINED that someone would want to utterly undermine the franchis and change the untraceable votes cast onto removeable computer storage chips after they were recorded, could they?
And that is to say NOTHING AT ALL about the backdoors and trapdoors and other wormholes that were engineered into the systems at the (for-profit, politically compromised--to say the least) companies that manufactured the machines and sold them enthusiastically all over the country. The goddam CEO of Diebold notoriously promised to do everything in his power to see Bush 'elected.'
Operated by "Proprietary" software; codes protected from inspection, even by federal elections officials, by intellectual property laws of various kinds. But safe as fuukin houses, cuz not one or 'ems EVER been opened up.
Nah, that'd never happen here...gotcher tin-foil cowboy hat on too tight, hombre...
Cuz if you do, i got some real nice, tribeca real estate in Manhattan i’d like ya to look at.
The “Rule of Law” has been a dead letter since IX/XI--actually, since Sandra Day O'Connor (may her fibroids consume her) installed the Busheviks cuz she wanted her replacement to be a fucking Puke. Unless something is done to resuscitate it—without immediate, emergency intervention—it will remain entombed, as no better than an atrophied, useless emblem of the better, more just, freer days, mummified like an ancient egyptian king.
If the Busheviks seizure of power, abrogation of the separation of powers, and other criminal enterprises—including the ICORP of Iraq—go unpunished, unrestrained, uninterrupted, how does anyone think to prevent it the NEXT time—and there WILL BE a next time…
(Addendum: Cross-posted on Corrente.)
UPI (Via TruthOut dot Org)
Burbank, California - Michael Moore said Thursday that the Bush administration has served him with a subpoena regarding his trip to Cuba during the making of his new film, "Sicko."
The Oscar-winning filmmaker, who appeared Thursday on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," said he was notified about the subpoena at the network's studios in Burbank, Calif.
"I haven't even told my own family yet," Moore said. "I was just informed when I was back there with Jay that the Bush administration has now issued a subpoena for me."
Moore filmed the trip as part of his film comparing the U.S. healthcare system with government healthcare systems in other countries.
He took three Sept. 11, 2001, emergency rescue workers to Guantanamo Bay "because I heard the al-Qaida terrorists we have in the camps there, detained, are receiving free dental, medical, eye care, the whole deal, and our own (Sept. 11) rescue workers can't get that in New York City."
Ya think that Mike, like Harriet Miers and others, can get away with ignoring that subpoena without finding a ration of cops all over his fat, hairy ass some morning?
Cuz, yaknow, Mike's fat...
Check It Out!!! You go after their advertizers, not unlike the way Spocko got in Melanie Morgan's/Disney's grill at KSFO.
Robert Greenwald's films fuukin' RAWK!!! Zum beispiel:
FOX Attacks Bloggers
FOX Attacks Climate Change
There's much/many more.
GO...and sign up. I have volunteered to make calls (though I couldn't make the sacrifice to actually watch)...
Friday, July 27, 2007
This looks like premeditated murder; assassination, even: three shots to the forehead, from close range? That ain’t NO KINDA accident.
The biggest question I have nurtured since the event was/is “why did they burn his journal?”
From AP (via TruthOut dot Org)
"Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player's death amounted to a crime," reports the Associated Press.
• South Korean hostages alive in Afghanistan; Release urgedDid I inadvertently tie my tinfoil too tight this morning, or is it possible that these actually ARE the intersecting and interlocking vectors of 'reality' and that, in important ways, each story illustrates and illuminates each other in ways that implicate for us the reasons that so-(and inaptly)-called 'po-mo' critics regard reality as textual?
• Suicide bomber kills 13 at Pakistan's Red Mosque; Photos
• India and U.S. announce nuclear cooperation deal
• Thousands homeless as Asian monsoons continue; Floods
• Exposure to Agent Orange linked to high blood pressure
• Rising ozone levels from pollution could stunt plant growth
• Goldberg and Shepherd in final negotiations to join 'The View'
Thursday, July 26, 2007
The indispensable Matt Renner and Jason Leopold, stalwart, indefatigable investigative reporters for TruthOut.Org now have the goods on Rover and the rest of the Busheviki 'political' team:
Previously undisclosed documents detail how Republican operatives, with the knowledge of several White House officials, engaged in an illegal, racially-motivated effort to suppress tens of thousands of votes during the 2004 presidential campaign in a state where George W. Bush was trailing his Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry.
The documents also contain details describing how Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign officials, and at least one individual who worked for White House political adviser Karl Rove, planned to stop minorities residing in Cuyahoga County (Ohio, where Cleveland is) from voting on election day.
The efforts to purge voters from registration rolls was spearheaded by Tim Griffin, a former Republican National Committee opposition researcher. Griffin recently resigned from his post as interim US attorney for Little Rock Arkansas. His predecessor, Bud Cummins, was forced out to make way for Griffin.
Another set of documents, 43 pages of emails, provided to Truthout by the PBS news program "NOW," contains blueprints for a massive effort undertaken by RNC operatives in 2004, to challenge the eligibility of voters expected to support Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in states such as Nevada, New Mexico, Florida and Pennsylvania.
One email, dated September 30, 2004, and sent to a dozen or so staffers on the Bush-Cheney campaign and the RNC, under the subject line "voter fraud strategy conference call," describes how campaign staffers planned to challenge the veracity of votes in a handful of battleground states in the event of a Democratic victory.
Furthermore, the emails show the Bush-Cheney campaign and RNC staffers compiled voter-challenge lists that targeted probable Democratic voters in at least five states: New Mexico, Ohio, Florida, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Voting rights lawyers have made allegations of so called "vote caging," against Republicans previously. These emails provide more evidence. One Republican operative involved in the planning wrote "we can do this in NV, FL, PA and NM because we have a list to run against the Absentee Ballot requests, and should."
If elected president, you and your family will be entitled to free government health care, courtesy of the fine doctors at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. But nearly 50 million of your constituents will go without any medical care at all -- and 18,000 of them will die during your first year in office simply because they lack health insurance. As the head of the government, how can you take advantage of its health care services, but deny it to so many citizens?
All candidates should pledge to take whatever health care is available to the least fortunate American. Right now, that's nothing. Hopefully as president, they'll have to make it something.
No candidate who will not take that pledge deserves your support or vote!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
“It is in justice that the ordering of society is centered,” wrote Aristotle. If so, Alberto Gonzales is a f–king anarchist.I must disagree:
“I believe that justice is instinct and innate; the moral sense is as much a part of our constitution as the threat of feeling, seeing and hearing,” wrote Thomas Jefferson. If so, Alberto Gonzales is blind, deaf, dumb, and unfeeling to a sociopathic extreme.
Rather than a bare anarchist, or even a sociopath, I'd call Abu Gonzo a 'loyal, compliant, anarcho-corporatist,' no different really from Cheney, or Bush--or Mussolini, come to it--or any of the rest of that feculent crew in their slavish loyalty to the corporatization/privatization of the whole of the USer 'commons.'
He's no sociopath. He's just following orders. His orders are to be such an outrageous, unignoreable nuisance to the Senate that they occupy all their efforts 'getting him', meanwhile leaving his bosses free to play.
(FWIW: The coincidence of this flap in the Senate with the firing by the U of Colorado of Ward Churchill is almost too ironic to be contained on the same page. Whatsoever else you might believe, he was NOT wrong that some of those working in the Towers that day were, in fact, engaged in work thich was designed to accomplish the violent conquest of distant parts of the world. His point was always that those folks were legitimate 'targets,' and the others were what the US military likes to call 'collateral damage.' The boot on the other foot is likely to be a bit uncomfortable.)
AbuGonzo is not the exception, and he's not the first. He may not even be the best of this crew of bare-faced scoundrels, liars, pimps, and gunsels. Everything we know about them since 2001 redounds with the truth of one observation:
EVERY effort these mo-fos have made since day 1 has been with the end in view of undermining, sabotaging, and undoing any and every institution and/or instrument of 'democratic, republican' self-government by which the People might resist or reject the designs of their would-be corpoRat Masters. They have done it by destroying the faith of the people in ANY government by their repeated, egregious and exaggerated performances of incompetence and roguery.After watching the Busheviki for the last 7 years, it would require a person with a deep commitment to political autonomy, and to government of, for, and by the People to resist the temptation to just say 'fuckit,' and resign from the field.
My buddy Mena gets to the heart of it:
Yes We Are Soo Fucked.There's really nothing wrong with the country that a million angry people encamped around the ShiteHouse, with pitchforks and torches, couldn't cure.
I have reached the realization that even our most heroic efforts at this point (and really for quite awhile now, maybe since 2000) can accomplish nothing more than triage and damage control. The ruination of this country is a done deal, nearly complete. In my opinion we might as well let the bastards have what they think they've won and save our energy for.... other things, as they've succeeded in destroying the legal means by which we're so feebly attempting to limit their depredations.
They want a new world order, I say lets give it to them. One which offers them no protections at all, in which they must try to enjoy their stolen luxuries in fear of their lives, and crucially, one without the backing of a corrupt superpower,would seem only fitting. There are only so many walls and even the strongest can keep out the dispossessed for only so long..
We don't need 'em, and all they'd do is poison the progressive agenda.
Hedges quotes Karl Popper, on the paradox of tolerance: If we are not prepared to defend tolerance from the intolerant, then tolerance shall surely perish...
The top one percent of households in the US of A now control more of the nation's wealth than the lowest 90%...
(H/t to Jim Terr for the link and the sentiment)
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
WASHINGTON - Frustrated by delays in health care, a coalition of injured Iraq war veterans is accusing VA Secretary Jim Nicholson of breaking the law by denying them disability pay and mental health treatment (snip)...The delays are unconscionable, although utterly predictable; as are the bureaucratic stratagems designed to disqualify--or at least to discourage--the injured from care and continuing benefits to which they are entitled. This has been a pattern in VA "veterans' care" at LEAST since the mid '60s', when veterans of VietNam started going crazy from PTSD which the VA insisted was not the fault or consequence of their service.
...In the lawsuit, (plaintiffs) note that government investigators warned as early as 2002 that the VA needed to fix its backlogged claims system and make other changes.
Yet, the lawsuit says, (ex-VA Chief) Nicholson(--who recently resigned his post--) and other officials still insisted on a budget in 2005 that fell $1 billion short, and they made "a mockery of the rule of law" by awarding senior officials $3.8 million in bonuses despite their role in the budget foul-up.
Today, the VA's backlog of disability payments is now between 400,000 and 600,000, with delays of up to 177 days to process an initial claim and an average of 657 days to process an appeal. Several congressional committees and a presidential commission are now studying ways to improve care.
According to a recent NewsHour report, for every person who's actually been killed in this war, there are 16 wounded and injured, and this is an unprecedented number. In Vietnam, for example, there were 2.6 injuries for every fatality, and in Korea there were 2.8.
And probably, inside five or 10 years they'll come up with a (cheap) answer, which does nothing to help the injured troops, but makes money for somebody in private health care, and ignores the real needs of the veterans.
By Peter Galbraith(NYRB, Aug, 16, 2007)
The Iraq war is lost. Of course, neither the President nor the war's intellectual architects are prepared to admit this. Nonetheless, the specter of defeat shapes their thinking in telling ways. The case for the war is no longer defined by the benefits of winning—a stable Iraq, democracy on the march in the Middle East, the collapse of the evil Iranian and Syrian regimes—but by the consequences of defeat. As President Bush put it, "The consequences of failure in Iraq would be death and destruction in the Middle East and here in America."
That's how fucked we are.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
So Connelly's one of the 'victors' here. But he's on the defensive. It is instructive to read Connely's strategy: his first line of defense repeats the same 'blaming-the-messenger' meme that --along with the famous "well-if-BOTH-sides-hate-us" routine--is the favorite resort of the powerful in the press desperately avoiding the responsibility for their authority and influence.
This is illustrative of what I call the "Svengali Paradox": The media must be influential, and must actively work to install and fix popular attitudes for them to be useful to the consumerist/capitalist/corpoRat clients who pay their bills. The arrangements keep literally hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars in circulation, fattening pockets and prospecti of everyone in on the deal. What the C/C/C pay for is the souls of the people.
In this service, the media have perfected--over the last nealy 100 years; roughly since Hearst invented 'objectivity', and with the invaluable help of Freud's favorite nephew, Edouard Bernays--techniques, now, with the aid of computer-generated imagery, to practice their ultimate skills: to craft with utter certainty the semiotic double-barreled image/message by which, even if momentarily, to reliably capture and bend the attention of their prey; to freeze them, and acquire them, harvested by the images no less efficiently than the buffalo were brought to market in their millions by the repeating rifle.
If you asked them, most Americans resoundingly would reject the notion that they are "subjects"--in the literal sense, their subjectivity shaped and formed by elite, oligarchic propaganda machineries of great subtlety, persuasiveness, and ubiquity. Most Americans do NOT believe advertizing is propaganda; and one can have career-altering/ending discussions on the subject with tenured members of various 'journalism' faculties all over the country whose sole shreds of integrity depend on the maintenance of that charade.
(Does ranch-bred game know its not "free?"
Well, it roams about pretty much obliviously...how would it know, being ranch raised, that fences aren't "natural."
til it gets shot, processed, packaged, and et....)
Show me someone who believes there is an objective difference between Dial and Zest, Ford and Chevy, Heintz/Hunts, less-filling/more-taste, whatever, and I will introduce you to a thoroughly socialized, domesticated 'consumer': bought and sold, over and over, and all the while, as docile as chickens in a box.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Paul Craig Roberts, Right-wing Stalwart, Tells Thom Hartmann "Another Attack's The GOP's ONLY Hope!"
I just checked the archives, and it's not up yet. (Addendum, 7/21, 8:38 pm MDT: here.
Friends of mine always have dismissed my discourses along these lines as paranoid ravings: that, in the event of another attack, not only would the People NOT blame the Busheviki, they'd turn--well, be turned, by the willing, lap-dog SCUM parroting the Regime's line--(probably violently) on the "Left" and "libruls, and Dems (i.e., 'us') as available scapegoats and surrogate terrorists, and blame 'us'--perhaps even try to punish "us"--for preventing the Preznut from protecting them. "If the libs hadn't tried to stop the war, if the civil libs guys hadn't stopped the torture, if, indeed, WE'D ONLY TRUSTED THE FUHRER to look out for us, this new tragedy needn't have happened."
Fuck me runnin', this fascist shit just about writes itself (well, a passing acquaintance with Goebbels helps too). Dolchstosse, anyone?
Oh, who's Paul Craig Roberts? Well that you should ask: Here's the Wiki entry.
By DAVID PITT, Associated Press Writer, Wed Jul 18, 3:01 PM ET
DES MOINES, Iowa - Blacks in the United States are imprisoned at more than five times the rate of whites, and Hispanics are locked up at nearly double the white rate, according to a study released Wednesday by a criminal justice policy group.
The report by the Sentencing Project, a Washington-based think tank, found that states in the Midwest and Northeast have the greatest black-to-white disparity in incarceration. Iowa had the widest disparity in the nation, imprisoning blacks at more than 13 times the rate of whites.
Such figures "reflect a failure of social and economic interventions to address crime effectively," as well as racial bias in the justice system, said Marc Mauer, the group's executive director.
Vermont, New Jersey, Connecticut and Wisconsin incarcerated blacks at more than 10 times the rate of whites, the group said, citing Justice Department statistics from 2005. Vermont had a ratio of 12.5, followed by New Jersey with 12.4 and Connecticut with 12.
States with the lowest black-to-white ratio were Hawaii, with 1.9, Georgia with 3.3 and Mississippi with 3.5.
In Iowa, blacks are imprisoned at a rate more than double the national average. For every 100,000 people, Iowa incarcerates 309 whites and 4,200 blacks, the study said.
Paul Stageberg, administrator of the Iowa Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning, said the results are not surprising, but the causes are subject to interpretation.
He said the state's disproportionately high black arrest rates are likely linked to high poverty rates among blacks and lower educational achievement.
In 2001, a governor's task force released a report that said 24 percent of Iowa prison beds were occupied by black inmates even though blacks comprised just over 2 percent of the state's population.
The group that compiled Wednesday's report made several recommendations such as reviewing federal drug laws and giving judges more discretion to decide sentences rather than imposing mandatory minimum prison terms.
The 'penal' system is one of the most powerful instruments of social contro in the hands of the 'majority.' Tell me it isn't in the interests of the'majority' to disenfranchise nearly a third, overall, of the non-white population, either by imprisonment or the consequences that issue therefrom.
via truthout.org (which, like everybody in the left blogosphere else is soliciting for donations):
Overhaul Plan for Vote System Will Be Delayed
By Christopher Drew, The New York Times, Friday 20 July 2007
Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are slowing their drive to revamp the nation's voting systems, aides said yesterday.You betchum, Red Ryder!!!
Under pressure from state and local officials, as well as from lobbyists for the disabled, House leaders now advocate putting off the most sweeping changes until 2012, four years later than planned.
Overhauling voting systems before next year's presidential election had once been a top Democratic priority, primarily to allow greater accountability and be certain that all votes registered on computerized touch-screen systems were counted. But state and local elections officials told Congress they could not make the changes in time for the balloting in November 2008, particularly in light of the extra workload involved in preparing for next year's much-earlier presidential primary season.
Confronted by similar concerns, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California and the chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee, said she had already decided against seeking any major changes in voting equipment before 2010.
"My sense is there's no way to get this thing in place by the election of 2008," Ms. Feinstein said. "Without adequate time, we could cause real problems in the election."
Senate Democrats say that stretching out the timetable could increase their chances to win enough Republican support to put the changes into law.
House Democratic officials say they are now working on compromise legislation that could allow hundreds of counties in 20 states to simply add tiny, cash-register-style printers to their touch-screen machines for the 2008 and 2010 elections, while waiting for manufacturers to develop better technology by 2012.
House officials said the compromise would ensure that all voting machines nationwide would have some kind of paper trail in 2008 through which voters could verify that their ballots were properly recorded and that could be used in recounts. Under the plan, New York, which has delayed replacing its old lever machines, would be the only state that would have to change its entire voting system by November 2008.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
In May 2001, just days before Cheney unveiled his long-awaited National Energy Policy, FERC entered into confidential settlements with Williams in which the company forfeited $8 million it was owed by California's grid operator for power Williams sold into the marketplace at inflated prices. Williams did not admit any guilt for the power plant shutdown and, on orders from Cheney, FERC agreed to keep details of the settlement sealed. FERC later entered into a similar settlement with Reliant. The company agreed to forfeit $13.8 million it was owed by California's grid operator, did not admit to any wrongdoing, and FERC kept the details of the settlement confidential.
Moreover, FERC kept California officials in the dark about the nature of the state's claims that its wholesale electricity market was being manipulated. Hebert is now the vice president of external affairs for Entergy in New Orleans.
For former Governor Gray Davis, the illegal behavior by energy companies like Williams that federal energy regulators discovered, then covered up, during a time when the former governor had said publicly he believed such behavior had taken place, is beyond disturbing.
Instead of protecting the interests of consumers, FERC's primary job, Hebert toed the White House line and together with Cheney, Hebert had come out publicly to say that Davis should immediately order the California Public Utilities Commission to relax environmental restrictions on the permitting process related to power plant construction and raise electricity rates to keep utilities Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison from becoming insolvent. The insolvency issue was due to the fact that the utilities were paying higher prices for power than it was legally allowed to charge its customers under the state's deregulation law.
Who'da EVER suspected the vice-criminal would be implicated in such things?
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Waddayano? NBC Chief Pentagon Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski Turns Out To Be (Hold Your Breath) A Sold-out, Sleazy Piece of Shit?
Per Media Matters (link in headline):
As The Providence Journal reported, Jim Miklaszewski not only took $30,000 from the Chamber of Commerce in apparent violation of his employer's policy on paid speaking engagements, the NBC correspondent then proceeded to call presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) a "loser" for attempting to defend a pricey haircut.Scandalous? Like that money-grubbing, venal, corrupt piece of shit gives a fuck?
It's reasonable to assume that John Edwards' economic policies -- his focus on poverty and health care and the growing gap between rich and poor, and his proposed solutions to these problems -- aren't very popular at the Chamber of Commerce. Edwards, for example, has said he would repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans in order to pay for his health care proposal, while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lists making the Bush tax cuts permanent first among its tax policy priorities. And in 2006, the U.S. Chamber gave nearly five times as much money to Republicans as to Democrats.
Put simply, an NBC correspondent took $30,000 from the business lobby to give a speech -- then, during the speech, he attacked a candidate whose policies the lobby opposes. This is deeply unethical, to say the least.
As Edwards embarks on his poverty tour this week, it's fitting we call upon the media to stop their endless stream of personal, negative, and often absurd attacks against progressives and return their focus to where it belongs: the issues. As a respected and influential journalist, Miklaszewski has a reputation to uphold as a serious and objective source of information on air and off. Calling a presidential candidate a "loser" over a haircut would be absurd enough. Doing so after taking $30,000 from special interests opposed to that candidate is scandalous.
He "got it out there," like the fucking CorpoRat tool he is.
For $30k, I am sure he'd fuck his own daughter in public, if it were GOPukes and the US Chamber watching.
Yaknow, I'm no Colonel, nor a Marine either; I'm just an old, wore-out, former Sergeant in the USAF, and--dumb ol' me--I had that part sussed out already in April, Two Thousand fucking THREE.
Now I know, that presupposes there will be even a pro forma electoral exercise. And, yes, I believe there is a very good chance that, in the event the 'attaack' occurs close enough to the 'election', there won't BE an 'election,' and that the Busheviks will use the power they arrogated to themselves earlier this year to pre-empt 'emergency powers" and remain in power indefinitely.
You think that can't happen?
You're fucking delusionary...
And she lied, and she evaded, and she temporized, then she fucking lied some more.
Follow the link under the headline here and listen in wonder as Insqueak seems to be trying to grow a pair. Astonishing.
Send him a nice note congratulating him on his newly rediscovered lil stones.
Meanwhile, the guy reading the headlines about Iraq blithely repeats the Bushevik talking points about how alQaeda-In-Iraq is the biggest threat there--an evident lie, inasmuch as just the opposite was the headline for the last month or more.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Reuters reports, "Tokyo Electric Power Company shut down three major generators at the world's biggest nuclear power plant after a powerful earthquake in Japan on Monday caused a brief fire in one of the units, company officials said."I'm pretty sure this is gonna be taken for bad news at Avila Beach, CA, where a big nuke plant sits almost astride an earthquake fault line.
It would be BEYOND ironic if Japan should become a site of nuclear devastation, again, this time at the hands of the 'peaceful' nuke, wouldn't it?
Monday, July 16, 2007
It has long been my opinion, and one for which I have caught untold RATIONS of shit, that every citizen should have the experience of being seriously rousted--the full-on, assume-the-position, grope/search/pat-down--for something they didn't do, by a 'good' cop on a bad day, or by a 'bad' cop ANY day...
The cops always 'work' for the 'majority'--white, middle-class--to protect 'em from 'undesirables.' Whites, the usual beneficiaries, need to experience--as individuals--the violence that their silence (or their vocal encouragement) authorizes in their names...
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Circulated through the good offices of TruthOut.Org, who are asking for donations, and to whom I send a small donation every month, because I read their bulletins religiously and admire enormously the in-house work they do. I don't know if the Moyers show is up at YouTube, but it's possible. Either way, see it, and consider it deeply.
(So-Called) Democrat Nelson Restores Funding for CheneyA "moderate?"
"The White House scored a win Thursday on Capitol Hill after moderate Senate Democrat Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) broke with his party to restore funding for Vice President Dick Cheney's office. The 15-14 vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee came after the House last month narrowly rejected a companion bid to punish Cheney in a continuing battle over whether he is complying with national security disclosure rules," reports The Associated Press.
What is fucking "moderate" about enabling these fascist motherfuckers to continue their subversion and destruction of the core principles of the fucking country?
According to Wikipedia, he enjoys a 73% approval rating out there in Dumbfuckistan/Nebraska.
Just how FUCKED are we?
We are TOTALLY fucked, irredeemably fucked, irreversibly fucked, irremediably fucked, fucked, fucked, fucked, fucked through and through!
Electing more sold-out shitwhistles--yeah, Hillary, Barak, Johnny-boy, I'm talking to YOU--to perpetuate the fucking status quo is NOT gonna redeem us from the clutches of these fucking fascist freaks.
Frankly, nothing short of blood in the streets--ours and theirs--will do that.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
This was the USer strategy in 'Nam, between April, 73, when the ground troops were mostly withdrawn (except for the embassy guards, etc), and the eventual fall of Saigon, in '75.
This is a much better approach, from the POV of the invasion/occupation's supporters, because it reduces the number of the occupiers/invaders vulnerable to attack--and hence, the casualty count among the invaders--permitting the civilians at home to breathe easier about all that nasty death and destruction. In the meantime, though, it also ups the terror ante for the victims on the ground, who never know where the next strike will come. Such strikes kill pretty much indiscriminately, despite what the techno-fux say about targeted ordnance.
Also, the brave 'warriors' are spared some trauma, because they don't typically see their victims or the aftermath of their deadly, murderous stealth attacks.
According to the story, USAF 'lifer fux' are "looking forward" to their enlarged roles in the conflict in Iraq. They gonna kill 'em s'mo raghaids!
(photo: B-1 drops its racks'; copyright, Ted A Morris, Jr)
Friday, July 13, 2007
Short of out-right rebellion, since the dawn of the 'modern' industrial era, there is and has been really only one way open to a disenfranchised People to reclaim their popular sovereignty when their interests are ignored or abused by an authoritarian Executive, abetted by a complicit Legislature:
A General Strike
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Busheviks Canned 9 of 93 USAttys For, In Effect, Insufficient Loyalty To Local GOP Political Agendas
What does that say about the 'reliability' of those other 84 fucking fascist hacks?
We know what lay behind the firing of the ones let go: They wouldn't truckle to the quotidian political demands of local GOPoobahs, such as New Mexico' Pete Domenici's and Heather Wilson's need to use Federal prosecutions to tar Democrats in a close election.
So the ones who kept their jobs: What ethical violations were the other
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Nailed him COLD! Twice!
Once in DC, and again back home in NOLA.
He says he's got 20 more names.
He'll only 'out' the hypocrites.
The head of the LA GOP today called on Vitter to resign.
Edwin Edwards (admittedly a Democrat) said the voters of Louisiana wouldn't reject him unless he were caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.
Edwards was a "LOOSYANNA" pol; Vitter's a sanctimonious prick.
I love Larry Flynt...in a manly way, of course, and with only a chinchilla of kink for the whole disability-by-gunshot thing....
If you haven't already, you need to acquaint yourself with the web page Fox Attacks (foxattacks dot com). That's the source for the video above.
Murdoch's been around, and been pulling evil shit, almost longer than the Chimperor and his minions have been alive.
And he'll be around and pulling more evil shit longer than they will be...unless somebody takes the evil motherfucker out. I'm not advocating it of course (I don't wanna be banned here, too), but it would be an act of high civic virtue to push the odious Aussie shitheel under a bus.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Military contractors write that a site manager sent four Americans on an ill-advised, fatal missionJoseph Neff, Staff Writer
When four Blackwater USA security guards were ambushed and massacred in Fallujah in 2004, graphic images showed the world exactly what happened: four men killed, their bodies burned and dragged through the streets. A chanting mob hung two mutilated corpses from a bridge.
Since then, Congress and the families of the murdered private security contractors have been demanding answers: Why did the lightly armed and undermanned team go through the heart of one of Iraq's most hostile cities? Why did the two teams sent out that day have four members, not the usual six?
Some answers can be found in memos from a second team for Blackwater operating around Fallujah on March 31, 2004.
Blackwater, based in North Carolina, sent two squads through Fallujah without maps, according to memos obtained by The News & Observer. Both of the six-man teams, named Bravo 2 and November 1, were sent out two men short, leaving them more vulnerable to ambush. The November 1 team went into Fallujah and was massacred.
The Bravo 2 team memos, in emotional, coarse and damning language, placed the blame squarely on Blackwater's Baghdad site manager, Tom Powell.
"Why did we all want to kill him?" team member Daniel Browne wrote the following day. "He had sent us on this [expletive] mission and over our protest. We weren't sighted in, we had no maps, we had not enough sleep, he was taking 2 of our guys cutting off [our] field of fire. As we went over these things we new the other team had the same complaints. They too had their people cut."
The deaths of those four men was the spark that led to the attack upon and the destruction of Fallujah, as an orgy of revulsion in the States (unwarranted, imho, since the dead were mercenaries, and had forsaken their claims to sympathy by signing on with Blackwater to begn with), with consequences which are still being felt, not least by the Marines who apparently murdered civilian women and children there in vengeance.
This story was picked up at HuffPost, but if there has been wider dissemination of the piece, I am not aware of it; it didn't make the AP wire.
The whole ICORP of Iraq is a total clusterfuck.
Or 'conservatism' become equated with altruism?
Sher the fuck not the way I've experienced it...
Still folks quote--with apparent approval--this piece of Churchillian codswallop:
Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains.
Of course, Churchill was essentially a crypto-fascist working for a putatively democratic Government and so was himself fundamentally conflicted.
Monday, July 09, 2007
I am pretty certain that Gore won't run.
He's been too sure, too firm, too uncoy about it.
He just doesn't want to do it.
And who will blame him?
The Busheviks have utterly fucked up everything they have touched (quite in accord with the orders under which they were installed.) The country is past redemption. Nothing anyone can or could do will change the situation. Anyone who takes the job will be confronted with an utterly intractable situation, and a series of completely unwinnable 'wars':
1) the next Prez will be charged with "losing" Iraq, at the same time having to do SOMETHING to ameliorate the damages already caused.
2) the next Prez will have to face the impossibility of imposing a global conscience on the notoriously conscienceless CorpoRat culture to confront the global climate crisis.
3) the next Prez will have to provide institutions for the provision of health/medical care to a people who will be becoming less and less healthy.
4) the next Prez will have to lower the expectations of the the US people so that they will be able to resign themselves to reduced circumstances necessitated by the fact that NOTHING about the way we live today is remotely sustainable.
That's right: nothing--absolutely NOTHING--about the present states of affairs is 'sustainable.' The next Prez will have to preside over the defeat of humanity. It ain't gonna be pretty; it is, however, inevitable.
I don't blame Al Gore for not wanting to step into that snake pit.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Violent weekend in Iraq kills over 220Story like this makes me glad I'm not French.
By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer
(2 hours, 31 minutes ago)
BAGHDAD - Prominent Shiite and Sunni politicians called on Iraqi civilians to take up arms to defend themselves after a weekend of violence that claimed more than 220 lives, including 60 who died Sunday in a surge of bombings and shootings around Baghdad.
The calls reflect growing frustration with the inability of Iraqi security forces to prevent extremist attacks.
The weekend deaths included two American soldiers — one killed Sunday in a suicide bombing on the western outskirts of Baghdad and another who died in combat Saturday in Salahuddin province north of the capital, the U.S. command said. Three soldiers were wounded in the Sunday blast.
Sunday's deadliest attack occurred when a bomb struck a truckload of newly recruited Iraqi soldiers on the outskirts of Baghdad, killing 15 and wounding 20, a police official at the nearest police station said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.
Also Sunday, two car bombs exploded near simultaneously in Baghdad's mostly Shiite Karradah district, killing eight people. The first detonated at 10:30 a.m. near a closed restaurant, destroying stalls and soft drink stands. Two passers-by were killed and eight wounded, a police official said.
Cuz, sheeeeeit, if a weekend can kill that many po' mofo's, an' de froggies git a extra coupla hours o'weekend, what could a 5-week vacation do? A dude could get him ASS shot off just takin' him time!!! Was I in charge, nobody ever get another mofo weekend ever, til they stop killin folks, dig?
See all them Iraqi dudes sayin" "Put me back to WORK, MoFos. I don' NEED no muthafuckin weekend! I be workin' ALL the time, 24/7/265.
You think they got bombs scheduled in Iraq?
Like, weekdays, it's ieds and efcs for the gis, but it's truck bombs and car bombs on weekends for the civilians?
The point is, there ain't no motherfuckin weekend ever killed anygoddambody.
And it's not like Yahoo News doesn't have space for better, less "nobody-did-it" headlines
By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 8, 2007; Page A03
The White House has decided to defy Congress's latest demand for information regarding the dismissal of nine U.S. attorneys, sources familiar with the decision said yesterday. Such an action would escalate the constitutional struggle and propel it closer to a court showdown.
Senate and House committees have directed President Bush to provide by tomorrow a detailed justification of his executive privilege claims and a full accounting of the documents he is withholding. But White House counsel Fred F. Fielding plans to tell lawmakers that he has already provided the legal basis for the claims and will not provide a log of the documents, the sources said.
I expect the Dems to cave, because the Busheviks are too damned sure they will prevail in Court, especially the SCROTUS, where the Opus Deists +1 will almost certainly uphold the Regime's claims to the "Unitary Executive." The Dims DON'T WANT that showdown.
Friday, July 06, 2007
While Thompson's betrayals of honor, oath, and duty almost 40 years ago do certainly indicate he is a man wholly lacking in principle, honesty, and trustworthiness, they clearly identified him as a man on the way up in the GOP. So, while those reports of his treachery to the Committee do mark him as a blackguard, name him a GOP spy, an agent planted in the Congressional machinery probably by the Nixon cabal itself, they do not indicate he was there under false pretenses, or sailing under false colors. I don't think it accurate to declare him a 'mole,' no matter how repellant his behavior or how corrupt his actions.
If, however, there ever were a GOPuke 'mole' in the innards of the Dem Party--a "mole" in the traditionally understood way of interpreting that terminology: someone pretending loyalty while acting for opposing interests--that one would have to be that bejowled, befouled, feckless fucknozzle, Joe Lie-berman.
There is much about Lieberman's career in the Senate that is clarified, even explained, if one regards him not as an independent actor, but as a (secret) protege of the wealthy and powerful Bush crime family.
Did you ever wonder why the Bushes, whose political power base originated in Conn--with Sen. (and presidential aspirant) Prescott Bush--would tolerate a Dem in the Senate from 'their' state if it weren't for the purpose of having a reliable source of Dim-inished intelligence on the inside and in the highest levels of the Dumbocrap party? The Bushes helped Lie-berman dispatch Lowell Wiecker, a 'disloyal' sitting Senator (vis, his Watergate record).
Or": Why would the Conn GOP put up such a string of such overwhelmingly underwhelmingly lack-luster challengers to Lie-berman, if it weren't to ensure that their 'mole' stayed comfortably in place in the deepest circles of Dumbocrap councils?
Then there were the circumstances of his 'election' last fall, which did/do no more than to confirm my opinion.
If you're looking for a mole--a true traitor--in the Dumbocrap Party, you have no further to look than their Vice-Presidential candidate in 2000: Holy-Fuckin'-Joe.
The History Boys
In the twilight of his presidency, George W. Bush and his inner circle have been feeding the press with historical parallels: he is Harry Truman—unpopular, besieged, yet ultimately to be vindicated—while Iraq under Saddam was Europe held by Hitler. To a serious student of the past, that's preposterous. Writing just before his untimely death, David Halberstam asserts that Bush's "history," like his war, is based on wishful thinking, arrogance, and a total disdain for the facts.
by David Halberstam August 2007
Many of America's most prominent journalists want us to forget what they were saying and writing more than four years ago to boost the invasion of Iraq. Now, they tiptoe around their own roles in hyping the war and banishing dissent to the media margins.
The media watch group FAIR (where I'm an associate) has performed a public service in the latest edition of its magazine, Extra. The organization's activism director, Peter Hart, drew on FAIR's extensive research to assemble a sample of notable quotations from media cheerleading for the Iraq invasion.
I went to the FAIR website, but couldn't find the source to which Solomon refers; it is possible the article, being current, hasn't made the archives yet.
(I support TruthOut.Org with a (small) monthly donation; you should, too.)
Thursday, July 05, 2007
By Jim Abrams, The Associated Press, Tuesday 03 July 2007
Washington - President Bush this month is giving an obscure White House office new powers over regulations affecting health, worker safety and the environment. Calling it a power grab, Democrats running Congress (say they) are intent on stopping him.
The House voted last week to prohibit the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs from spending federal money on Executive Order 13422, signed by Bush last January and due to take effect July 24. (Ed: Ah yes, the 'power of the purse'.)
The Bush order requires federal officials to show that private companies, people or institutions failed to address a problem before agencies can write regulations to tackle it. It also gives political appointees greater authority over how the regulations are written.
The House measure "stops this president or any president from seizing the power to rewrite almost every law that Congress passes, laws that protect public health, the environment, safety, civil rights, privacy and on and on," said Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., its sponsor.
"OIRA has quietly grown into the most powerful regulatory agency in Washington," the House Science investigations subcommittee, chaired by Miller, said in a report in April.
The administration contends Bush's order merely strengthens a similar directive issued by President Clinton in 1993 giving the White House budget office oversight of federal agency rulemaking....
Bush's executive order:
Critics say this will create a new bottleneck delaying the issuance of guidelines needed to comply with federal regulations.
- Requires agencies to identify "market failures," where the private sector fell short in dealing with a problem, as a factor in proposing a rule. The White House regulatory affairs office is given authority to assess those conclusions.
- States that no rulemaking can go forward without the approval of an agency's Regulatory Policy Office, to be headed by a presidential appointee.
- Directs each agency to provide an estimate of costs and benefits of regulations.
- Requires agencies to inform the White House regulatory affairs office of proposed significant guidance documents on complying with rules.
Did Darth "You Don't Know Dick" Cheney promote the war for private gain?New U.S. data show how heavily the Bush administration has relied on corporations to carry out the occupation of the war-torn nation.By T. Christian Miller, Times Staff Writer -- July 4, 2007
The number of U.S.-paid private contractors in Iraq now exceeds that of American combat troops, newly released figures show, raising fresh questions about the privatization of the war effort and the government's capacity to carry out military and rebuilding campaigns.
More than 180,000 civilians - including Americans, foreigners and Iraqis - are working in Iraq under U.S. contracts, according to State and Defense department figures obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Including the recent troop buildup, 160,000 soldiers and a few thousand civilian government employees are stationed in Iraq.
The total number of private contractors, far higher than previously reported, shows how heavily the Bush administration has relied on corporations to carry out the occupation of Iraq - a mission criticized as being undermanned.
"These numbers are big," said Peter Singer, a Brookings Institution scholar who has written on military contracting. "They illustrate better than anything that we went in without enough troops. This is not the coalition of the willing. It's the coalition of the billing."
The numbers include at least 21,000 Americans, 43,000 foreign contractors and about 118,000 Iraqis - all employed in Iraq by U.S. tax dollars, according to the most recent government data.
The array of private workers promises to be a factor in debates on a range of policy issues, including the privatization of military jobs and the number of Iraqi refugees allowed to resettle in the U.S.
But there are also signs that even those mounting numbers may not capture the full picture. Private security contractors, who are hired to protect government officials and buildings, were not fully counted in the survey, according to industry and government officials.
The companies with the largest number of employees are foreign firms in the Middle East that subcontract to KBR, the Houston-based oil services company, according to the Central Command database. KBR, once a subsidiary of Halliburton Co., provides logistics support to troops, the single largest contract in Iraq.
Middle Eastern companies, including Kulak Construction Co. of Turkey and Projects International of Dubai, supply labor from Third World countries to KBR and other U.S. companies for menial work on U.S. bases and rebuilding projects. Foreigners are used instead of Iraqis because of fears that insurgents could infiltrate projects.
KBR is by far the largest employer of Americans, with nearly 14,000 U.S. workers. Other large employers of Americans in Iraq include New York-based L-3 Communications, which holds a contract to provide translators to troops, and ITT Corp., a New York engineering and technology firm.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
I think off-roading by powered machinery should be banned entirely. It utterly fucks up the places where it is done. It disturbs animal populations, destroys ecosystems, creates disastrous run-off problems, and ruins the natural features of the land.
It has no redeeming social value at all, unless in the occasional accidental deaths of one or more of its speedier and less careful practitioners. Unless you think the highest value for those lands is that they should be shredded and trashed by the spinning tires and shrieking motors of substitute penises by thrill-seekers and mechanical show-offs to test their mettle and metal.
Just because you can drive a truck into the wilderness does not confer upon one the absolute right to do so. Given what is known about their effects, they should be banned from all public lands.
But there will be a horrible, political fight over the issue. Some folks do not seem to realize they are NOT entitled to screw up everything for everybody else.
Although I would, of COURSE, never advocate for violence, a few booby-trapped trails might convince 'em otherwise, n'est pas?
Lotsa folks claim they wanna 'reclaim' the flag a an emblem of progressive principles.
Not me. Not yet.
As Huey P. Long predicted, when fascism came to power in the USA, it came wrapped in the flag and singing a fucking hymn.
Cum stains wash out. Blood stains, not so much. And the banner is stained and corrupted almost beyond redemption, with the shit, blood, and tears of the dead--and it will remain contaminated as long as it its wrapped around the fascist fuckers in the Bushevik regime.
When they're gone--dead, preferably--mebbe then I'll try to recuperate it.
Oh, yeah: in case it matters, I'm a veteran, USAF, 1964-68...
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
THIRSTY EAR FESTIVAL
August 31 - September 2, 2007, Eaves Movie Ranch, Santa Fe
Tickets at the Lensic Box Office 505-988-1234
or online at ThirstyEarFestival.com
Others already scheduled include:
JOE LOUIS WALKER & THE BOSSTALKERS *** RICHARD JOHNSTON *** SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST *** RYAN McGARVEY *** JERRY FAIRES *** HIGHER GROUND & many more folk, blues, Cajun, zydeco, roots rock, bluegrass & alt-country artists on multiple stages to be announced.
Plus interactive demonstrations by ROGER LANDES (Celtic Music) and MICHAEL DOUCET (Cajun Music), kids' activities, local crafts, healthy food, NM microbrews & wine, solar & sustainable energy exhibits.
The festival stages are situated in the "Western Town" set at the J.W. Eaves movie ranch, about 12 miles south of Santa Fe on State Hiway 14.
Monday, July 02, 2007
And every hippie (and hippie-wannabe) in the intermountain west was there, along with artists, bakers, bikers, climbers, rafters, mountainmen, uppies, yuppies, and even a few straights; so the costumes were outstanding, and there was LOTS of skin on display, and lots MORE suggested through the skimpiest and sheerest fabrics, which became even more revealing as they became saturated with perspiration and rain...
An outstanding weekend: my crew stayed at a unique B&B called Stewart House, out on the road to the ski basin. The accomodations were ultra-satisfactory (though the firdge had difficulty chilling the beer), and the surroundings sublime, with the Taos high plains stretching off westward towards Tres Piedras and Tierra Amarilla, 60+ miles west, and the rugged and imposing Taos Mountains ringing in the eastern horizon, with the Sangres stretching south. I live in Albuquerque, where there is ALWAYS the subliminal hum of traffic from the Interstate, a mile or so away from my house. At the B&B, except for the occasional car passing on the road, it was gloriously silent -- the guy using the skip loader to grade his homesite half-a-mile away didn't start til after 9 am Sunday... Plus there was no internet hookup, no television, only a cd player for non-indigenous music: glorious silence.
Another factor that added amazing dimensions to the festival was the weather. Typically, in northern New Mexico in the summer, the mornings and early afternoons are clear, and the temperatures can get pretty high. Highs in Taos this weekend were in the high 80s. It is well to remember that Taos sits at about 8000 feet (@2500 meters) and there is much much less atmosphere between one and the sun. But also, typically, by mid- to late-afternoon, clouds build up around the mountains and over the plains and can bring blustery winds, and scattered rain-showers of surprising ferocity and normally short duration. One such storm cell on Satruday afternoon produced a double rainbow over the festival grounds. It didn't rain long enough to turn the field to mud, but it was long enough to lower the temperature by 20 degrees. The static electricity show which accompanied the rains was spectacular, and one of the big pine trees that ring the Kit Carson Park was blasted during the storm by a huge lightning strike/thunderclap.
So, then, an endorsement: Make the Taos Solar Music Festival next year if you can. It's usually the last weekend in June, before it gets unbearably hot even in Taos. The bands are usually superior, the food on site ranges from vegan/indian to your basic turkey-leg music fair fare. Tara's organic ice-cream--the variety was ginger-caramel--was superb. Oh, and if carmelized onions is not the most beguiling scent to waft over a sun-soaked music venue, then add to it the cloud or two of decent ganja...i coulda died happy.