Friday, February 29, 2008

1 out of 99 Americans are now in prison: we've cracked the 1 in 100 barrier

click to enlarge

We've finally cracked that elusive barrier: more than 1 out of 100 Americans are now in the hoosegow, calaboose [1], jail, prison, penitentiary, and medical lockup.

According to an Associated Press/CBS story, for the first time in history, more than one in every 100 American adults is in jail or prison. I was going to do the math to figure out when 10%, and even when all of us, will be in jail. But I didn't; it's too depressing.

[1] A word I learned of reading Herman Melville, my favorite American novelist. [cal·a·boose /ˈkæləˌbus, ˌkæləˈbus/ noun Slang. jail; prison; lockup. Origin: 1785–95, Americanism; (<>

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Isla Nubars a/k/a Del Brummet post a new demo: The Fantasy of the Century

Click here to hear the new demo, Fantasy of the Century, and listen to some of the old ones...

Poem: The sounds on Puget Sound

[jack writing in from Austin, Texas. Yeah, it's not a Texas poem at all...]

The sounds on Puget Sound

The fog pushes up the hill
and the stars fade
into a milky film

smeared across the sky.
I hear the voices
of three distinct sea lions--

Momma, Poppa, Baby,
Or maybe three bachelor
sea lions frisking on the jetty

outside Golden Gardens.
The barks come steady now
and I wonder if they're cold,

but Baja is just a swim
down the coast
and it's not easy

to leave the salmon, shrimp,
crab, squid, sardines,
smelt, octopus, oysters,

anchovies, starfish, cod,
clams and geoducks behind.
Maybe it's the lunar eclipse

getting under their hides,
and the moon, melting away
yanks their bearings awry.

The foghorn on the buoy begins
its low moan in counterpoint
to the random sea lion arfs

and out along the sound
somewhere between Seattle
and Bainbridge Island

I hear the muffled putt putt putt
of a tugboat hauling a sand barge
into Elliott Bay

and I realize the sea lions
are just barking
to cover up the engines.

Fiddling around with Grand Central from Google

As you might see on the sidebar, I've installed a Call Me! button.

This is kind of a mindf***er, really. Google Grand Central assigns me a telephone number (in my Seattle area code even) and if you click the button on my sidebar a 'bot will call you and connect you to the All This Is That voice mailbox. I can access all this from my smartphone or my computer or a a public PC. I chose the direct to voice mail option for calls from this blog (since Pablo Fanque and whatever scurrilous slander he decides to post generates plenty of hate mail.

They claim I have this phone number for life. This one phone number will ring me direct or via voicemail at any or all phones I use --work, home, and cell. I can even switch phones in the middle of a call. And it will call all my phones at the same time, if I choose that option, whichever one you pick up becomes your phone. I'm not explaining this well.

Other cool stuff--if you leave a message, I can post it directly to my blog with one button push. And I can download all the messages as MP3 files. A side benefit is that I can once again phone in voice calls to this blog (which has been defunct for two years). I tested this tonight (see below), but this looks to be interesting technology anyhow...if only for a voicemail box with no public number (and callers have the option of giving no name or number). Obviously I don't totally get it...but it's pretty cool. Or at least it seems like it tonight. Tomorrow morning, it may just seem about as exciting as Friendster.

I kind of stumbled reading this poem, since I'd never read it out loud before (and every time I do, I find several things I want to change because I don't like saying them out loud!). And my phone was fading in and out a bit, since I am in a weak cell area...but it kind of shows a little of what Grand Central can do. So, if you're ever in the mood, call the All This Is That Voicemail Box.


Video & Lyrics: Bob Dylan's I Want You

[jack writing in from Austin, Texas]

This is one of those YouTube pseudo-videos...a song, with a photomontage. In this case, the song is great, and the photos they used are mostly choice. (Lyrics follow). I want You is one of my top ten favorite Dylan songs...

I Want You
by Bob Dylan

Copyright © 1966; renewed 1994 Dwarf Music

The guilty undertaker sighs,
The lonesome organ grinder cries,
The silver saxophones say I should refuse you.
The cracked bells and washed-out horns
Blow into my face with scorn,
But it's not that way,
I wasn't born to lose you.
I want you, I want you,
I want you so bad,
Honey, I want you.

The drunken politician leaps
Upon the street where mothers weep
And the saviors who are fast asleep,
They wait for you.
And I wait for them to interrupt
Me drinkin' from my broken cup
And ask me to
Open up the gate for you.
I want you, I want you,
I want you so bad,
Honey, I want you.

Now all my fathers, they've gone down
True love they've been without it.
But all their daughters put me down
'Cause I don't think about it.

Well, I return to the Queen of Spades
And talk with my chambermaid.
She knows that I'm not afraid
To look at her.
She is good to me
And there's nothing she doesn't see.
She knows where I'd like to be
But it doesn't matter.
I want you, I want you,
I want you so bad,
Honey, I want you.

Now your dancing child with his Chinese suit,
He spoke to me, I took his flute.
No, I wasn't very cute to him,
Was I?
But I did it, though, because he lied
Because he took you for a ride
And because time was on his side
And because I . . .
I want you, I want you,
I want you so bad,
Honey, I want you.

Keith Olberman nominates John McCain as the worst person in the world after changing his third denial in as many days!

One of my favorite television political wonks—Keith Olberman—named John McCain as the winner of his worst person in the world award today. In this case, John McCain denied knowing the man who introduced him at a rally and used Barack Obama's middle name, Hussein, to whip the crowd into a frenzy. McCain denounced him and denied knowing him. Well, not quite. As it turned out, the McCain campaign hired him as a fluffer more or less "to throw red meat to the crowd." And John McCain had met him twice "at a rally or something."

Jump here to see Keith Olberman's video piece.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Oregon Mayor fired over her underwear (or, rather, where she wore them)

The website has a story today about the mayor of a small Oregon town who was recalled Monday over [pictures of her that appeared on her MySpace page 0n the internet.

She told KATU News Tuesday she had no regrets and seemed to harbor no hard feelings about the recall.

"My reaction is that the democratic process took place, and that is a good process that we have in the United States, and it's fair," she said.

I'm just glad it wasn't my Mayor:


Debate 20—a lumbering snoozefest—we call it a draw—guaranteed to anaesthetize the newly enfranchised democrats—a weird sense of calm prevails

click painting to enlarge

[jack writing in from Austin, Texas] Hillary's opening was almost beyond bizarre. Unfortunately it seemed off the cuff, and in fairness, she has had the first question in the majority of the last debates (still including up to 7 people). But still.

The rest of it, I'd score them each a point here, a point there. One thing that really struck me—and a commentator on MSNBC also mentioned it—was that Obama never seems to generate real excitement in the debates. When he appears in public, speaking to a packed stadium, yeah, El Hombre es en fuego! But he doesn't transmit that same excitement in debates. I think he probably can. But I don't see it. He comes across as way cool. I actually count it against him that he never loses his cool in these unscripted public events. Is he the kind of man who only catches fire when he is front of an admiring throng? Or is it that he's more comfortable speaking to The People? If that's true, he may be right. It's probably long past time to think we can change the corrupt Washington system by working with congress. Maybe Obama really can take it to the people, and rally the country around real change.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Desperate Clinton campaign's thoughts and actions now more closely resemble the last days in the Fuhrer Bunker than a Democratic politcal operation

<--Click your favorite Senator to enlarge-->

It's a little sad for a long-time supporter to see The Clinton Machine throwing this hydra-headed fusillade of slung mud, desperate Hail Marys, and straws for the wind.

I do believe in hardball, but I believe what the campaign is promulgating is a scorched earth policy--wrought from wrath without a hope of turning around her bungled campaign--that will come back to damage Obama when he faces off with John McCain. [1]

It wouldn't have been so unseemly a couple months ago, when Senator Clinton was leading Senator Obama by 15 points, but coming now, when, really, all is lost, it seems crass, desperate, and guided more by anger and entitlement than wisdom.

I will be in Austin in the afternoon tomorrow--which should be interesting. Austin is an Obama hotbed. Who knows, there may even be a candidate around..though I doubt it. Hillary's lost Austin, Obama won't bother showing up in a town he can win hands down, and I doubt if McCain ever bothers to appear.

At this point, I only regret that Hillary is in the race for two more weeks, doing incalculable damage. . . as our reader/frequent Kev points out, Obama doesn't really need anyone's endorsement right now, But he does indeed need "all hands on deck" as Kev wisely said, come the general.

Well, it's time to get all hands on deck and slap a muzzle on Hillary Clinton. Over the last few days she:

►Denounced Obama over the weekend for an anti-Clinton flier about the Nafta trade treaty;

►On Sunday, sarcastically portrayed his message of hope as naïve;

►On Monday, Senator Clinton delivered a scorching speech comparing Mr. Obama’s lack of foreign policy experience to that of the candidate George W. Bush;

►In Clinton’s Monday speech , she also portrayed herself as “tested and ready” to be commander in chief, while accusing Mr. Obama of believing “that mediation and meetings without preconditions will solve some of the world’s most intractable problems”;

►And the capper was a photograph of Mr. Obama in ceremonial African garb that appeared on the Drudge Report (see our post on this in yesterday's All This Is That), and the item’s author, Matt Drudge, claimed that the image was provided by a Clinton staff member.

Clinton advisers said the attacks were an effort (among other things) to knock Mr. Obama off balance before the debate on Tuesday. Good luck! In the world of videogames (I'm told) there is something known as a finishing move. A finishing move is the coup de grace performed on a crippled enemy. With the Clinton campaign in desperation mode, we just may see Obama apply the finishing move tonight. We may have to wait until March 4th for the twitching to stop, but I have a real feeling Obama may put an end to the madness tomorrow.

[ED'S NOTE: And the Obamanites have to realize sooner or later that this isn't some kind of landslide in the making. Start your real work now! He's had an incredible run and he's an incredible politician--at least on the wholesale level. We don't know how his retail politics fare; how he works on the ground, getting things done with the best and the brightest. We'd bet he's pretty good. He hasn't been a backbencher in the Senate, but let's face it, he hasn't been there very long at all either. He's shown character, charm and elan, and in the end, he's been a political mastermind. If he pulls this off, and leaps from the state legislature to the Presidency in four years...WHEW! He just wrote the book on something George McGovern tried, and Forbes, Perot, Anderson, Nader, Ron Paul, Howard Dean, and others couldn't pull off--a populist, people-based run for the oval office.

Video: On the set of Grandma's Boy and the roll it all up scene

This is a clip shot during filming my recent favorite knucklehead film. Grandma's Boy is a film focused on marijuana, videogames, office politics (think Office Space grafted onto the gane world) and, in a strange way, family.

And another video,of one of my favorite scenes in the film Grandma's Boy:


Monday, February 25, 2008

The Clinton Smear Machine Turns The Dial To 11

In another desperate move, someone in the Hillary campaign has circulated a two year old photo of Barack Obama in native Somalian costume. The photo was taken in rural Kenya. Obama was on a five country tour of Africa.

According to the Drudge Report, an email by one staffer asked "Wouldn't we be seeing this on the cover of every magazine if it were HRC?"

Obama's people, of course, accused the Clinton campaign Monday of "shameful offensive fear-mongering." Clinton campaign manager Maggie Williams shot back: "If Barack Obama's campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed."

The Clinton campaign team really has devolved into a cheap-jack mudslinging machine. At this point, if the Senator were running against Idiocracy's Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, I'd probably vote for Camacho.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ralph Nader enters the Presidential race to save us from ourselves

Ralph Nader announced this morning on "Meet The Press" that he is launching a third-party campaign for president on the Sunday talk "Meet the Press" in Washington, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008.

Nader ran as a third-party candidate in 2000 and 2004, and probably cost Al Gore the election by siphoning away nearly three percent of the vote. So why wouldn't we want to elect the guy responsible for putting George Bush in the White House.

Barack Obama, responded Saturday to Nader's earlier criticisms that he lacked "substance," and praised (and damned) Nader: "In many ways he is a heroic figure and I don't mean to diminish him. But I do think there is a sense now that if somebody is not hewing to the Ralph Nader agenda, then you must be lacking in some way."

Senator Clinton called Nader's announcement a "passing fancy" and said "obviously, it's not helpful to whomever our Democratic nominee is. But it's a free country," she told reporters in Rhode Island.

Republican candidate Mike Huckabee, speaking before Nader's announcement, said Nader's past runs have shown that he usually pulls votes from the Democrat. "So naturally, Republicans would welcome his entry into the race."

"If the Democrats can't landslide the Republicans this year, they ought to just wrap up, close down, emerge in a different form," Nader said.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

The best of times, the worst of times for Senator McCain

This has to be both one of the best and one of the worst weeks in John McCain's life. He emerges as the last man standing, only needing to dispose of the minor Huckabee insurgency to claim the nomination. And then the New York Times drags up the old conflict of interest and possible adultery charges from 1999, and all of sudden McCain has a noose around his neck. The bright spot for the Senator is that the far right and the neocons, and people like Limbaugh and Hannity are now circling the wagons against the onslaught...they may have been very unhappy with McCain as the presumptive nominee, but there is no way they're going to let that pinko newspaper damage McCain.

One thing you can bet on, and it happens in every one of these cases. There had to be a near-arctic-blast of air blowing between John and Cindy at the breakfast table this week.

Check out our exclusive interview with the Senator. Pablo Fanques spoke to Sen. McCain yesterday. You can find the interview here: John McCain tells All This Is That's national affairs editor "OK. I drilled Vicki Iseman. So what?"

John McCain tells All This Is That's national affairs editor "OK. I drilled Vicki Iseman. So what?"

In an interview today with All This Is That's national affairs editor, Pablo Fanques, Senator John McCain at first mocked the New York Times recent revelations about a possible relationship he had had with the lobbyist Vicki Iseman.

Fanques: So is there any whiff of truth to the story?

Sen. McCain: Sure, I guess there's a whiff of truth. She is a woman, and a good looking woman. It's more convenient to pin her on me than it would be a male lobbyist. That's for sure. Every person on the hill deals with lobbyists.

Fanques: But the New York Times also alludes to something deeper than a drink with a lobbyist.

Sen. McCain: Sure they do. Have you read the 'paper lately? They allude to a lot of things. And the Times has a stake in getting their boy Obama elected. They shredded Hillary Clinton, and now they're coming after me.

Fanques: But that still doesn't really answer my question.

Sen. McCain: But isn't this interview supposed to be about how I would support the arts after I'm elected?

Fanques: It is, indeed. But this seems a little more important.

Sen. McCain: Than what?! This is a f***ing sideshow you're running here. Let's talk about The Issues.

Fanques: We are. This has become the issue.

Sen. McCain: Look. I've become a threat to the Democrats and to the New York Times. So you drag up a ten year old story and start flogging it. It's not relevant to the campaign.

Fanques: So just what WAS your relationship with Ms. Iseman?

Sen. McCain: I think I explained that. Several times this week.

Fanques: But the New York Times and some of your staffers seem to think otherwise.

Sen. McCain: You're talking about Pravda here. A paper that is ashamed of the United States. And some traitor staff members who will be rapidly disposed of. Pardon me for ending that sentence with a preposition.

Fanques: But Senator, you've explained that you did some business with a lobbyist. Now, it seems, you need to explain the accusations that have been lodged against you about having a romantic relationship with Ms.Iseman.

Sen. McCain: Really. OK. I drilled Vicki Iseman. So what? Do I get the same pass you gave Slick Willy? Do I get the same pass you've been giving Obama and Hillary?

Fanques: Pass? I don't recall hearing these sorts of allegations against them?

Sen. McCain: Then you have your head in the sand. Because it's all out there. This interview is over. [click].

Friday, February 22, 2008

President Bush's Happy Feet & speculations on the debate and endgame between Hillary and Barack

Our President Bush gets happy feet on his visit to Liberia in Africa. Hey, what's he got to lose? I wish our Democratic candidates could also get happy feet going. Tonight's debate was interesting. Hillary, at one point, totally blew it, and at a later point hit at least a three-bagger that would have been a home run if she hadn't blown it so badly with her Xerox comment earlier...(this ought to smoke Kev out of the woodwork!). And she ended the debate on an incredibly moving grace note. But a zinger here and a tear there don't turn around the kind of explosive juggernaut we are seeing with Barack Obama. I'm getting excited about Obama. But I've talked myself into being excited before, as you've read, for even hopeless causes like Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis. I guess what I really want is for Obama or Clinton to have a Bulworth Moment, or a Peter Gibbons moment, or an American Beauty moment...where they throw caution to the wind, and let the freak flag of truth fly and damn the consequences.

I could just about personally guarantee to deliver Obama or Hillary five million votes if they would just get up on stage in a beer-stained Grateful Dead t-shirt, fire up a bong and then deliver a torched version of a state of the union address, at the end of which the audience would be rolling in the aisles, convulsed with insane laughing fits! Wouldn't it be nice?

A bittersweet note on Hillary Clinton's likely departure is that there will be no Clinton-McCain tilt, which by all reports (due to their friendship and great mutual respect) would have probably been the cleanest Presidential and most civilized campaign in the history of the United States. . .

It's just about the end of the line for Hillary, but you never know what happens next. Two days ago, John McCain stepped into it with the New York Times' revelations about the lobbyist--they imply he was "making the beast with two backs with her. Political wonks remember this story from nine years ago. It seems like old old news. But the press drumbeat seems to just be beginning. And the New York Times seems to be standing fast on their story.

A chicken in the backyard in Bucerias (Nayarit, Mexico)

click to enlarge

A Mexican backyard in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico. Now, this kitchen has some elbow room! This backyard is great! There is a laundry, a cooking area and dishwashing area, lines for hanging clothes, a huge box of the glass jars from devotional candles (you know, the tall candles in glasses wth pictures of Madonna or one of the Saints), a sack of beans (the greyish frijoles usually found in Nayarit and Jalisco...I don't know their actual name, but they're similar in texture to a pinto, with a slightly more earthy taste like, say, a field pea, or a black-eyed pea), and a lot of other things that don't fit in the house.

And one chicken. The lone chicken standing by the water bucket, reminds me of the wonderful imagistic poem by one of my favorite American poets:

The Red Wheelbarrow
by William Carlos Williams

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white


The JFK conspiracy buffs, and cover-up fanatics are about to have a field day...

A sketch, detailing how the single bullet
theory works. Click to enlarge.

A batch of old documents linked to the slaying of President John F. Kennedy has reportedly been unearthed in Texas. The documents include a highly suspect transcript of a conversation between assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and Oswald's killer Jack Ruby that numerous people have thought is actually a work of fiction--a bogus conversation that was destined to be included in a novel about the JFK assassination conspiracy. This is according to a Dallas Morning News published on Sunday.

The newspaper said the Dallas County district attorney's office, which found the documents, would display them at a news conference on Monday morning.

The Morning News said the items from an old safe in a Dallas courthouse included personal letters from former District Attorney Henry Wade, the prosecutor in the Ruby trial. Jack Ruby shot Oswald two days after the president's death. There were also papers and records from Ruby's trial, a gun holster and clothing that likely belonged to Ruby and Oswald, D.A. Craig Watkins told the newspaper.

One item is sure to inflame the Kennedys, the surviving Warren Commission members, and the ranks of the dwindling but still vocal and cantankerous of the JFK conspiracy theorists. This is a conversation in which Oswald and Ruby allegedly discuss killing Kennedy to halt the mafia-busting agenda of his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy (ed's note: Jack Ruby, although Jewish, was allegedly an associate of La Cosa Nostra).

The Morning News said one theory about the transcript was that it was part of a movie script Wade was working on with producers, for a film that was never made.

As you know, the official U.S. government version of the murder is that Oswald acted alone when he shot Kennedy on November 22, 1963, as the president's motorcade passed the Texas School Book Depository in downtown Dallas.

A few days later, Ruby shot Oswald dead at point-blank range as police were escorting their prime suspect. Live on national TV, which I remember, they played and replayed that whole long, weird weekend. Jack Ruby died some years later in prison.

Drawing: detail from Canvas 136

click to enlarge

This is a detail from one of the canvases in my Faces series. I have been drawing these for nine years, and have completed around 14o canvases, each with 16 faces, and about a dozen with 96 faces (or six faces in each square that usually holds one).

The Trailer From "Strange Wilderness"

The trailer from Strange Wilderness, out now, from Happy Madison productions, with many of the same gang that brought us the comedy masterpiece Grandma's Boy:


"That's right, play my head, Monkey"

click to enlarge

"That's right, play my head Monkey, " says Dante to his chimpanzee roommate.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

No Politics Thursday: A drawing and a painting

A drawing: Sixteen Voters 36" x 36" (Ink [a/k/a Sharpie] on Mississippi School for the Blind canvas).

A painting/assemblage: Owner Will Maintain 24" x 48"(Acrylic paint on pine panel, with doll eyes, a lightning bolt car emblem, two stickers, an "owner will maintain" sign I found in a ditch in 1995, and an old saw blade I bought for a dime at a junk store).

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Alien Lore No. 124 - Three airline crews report seeing UFOs as big as a battleship in 1976

click to enlarge

In 1976, three pilot crews from three different airlines saw UFOs "as big as a battle ship."

On May 14, 1977, the “Natal Daily News” from South Africa, published an article about this UFO incident titled “UFOs as big as battleships, pilots claim":

"For fear of being ridiculed, pilots of three airliners kept secret the sighting of three UFOs over Portugal, later described by one of them “as big and solid as battleships”.

"British Airways Trident jet pilot, captain Dennis Wood, who has been flying with the airline for 20 years, said he and his crew first spotted the UFOs while flying from London to Faro.

"The sighting, described by experts as the most important in the past decade, was also made by the crew of a British Tristar below the Trident and the pilot of a Portuguese airliner. All the stories tallied.

"Captain Wood, 42, said he and the Tri-star crew made sighting reports when they arrived at London’s Heathrow airport but kept it all a secret for fear of being ridiculed. Captain Wood has come forward in the hope that Britain’s ufo experts will turn a serious eye to this particular sighting."

“Suggestions that the three objects were balloons, stars or satellites, strange clouds or reflections are quite unacceptable to us”, he said. “As I looked to the west we saw this very bright headlamp in the sky. All the cabin staff saw it too and I told the passengers. Then it was joined by two cigar-shaped objects as big and solid as battleships”.

"On the return trip, captain Wood tilted his radar scanner. “There, in exactly the same spot, were these two cigar-shaped things. We got to within seven miles of them when they disappeared from our screen”.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Are you doing Your Part for Home Security???

You may have not realized this, but as we sit here, you have certain responsibilities to the Homeland Security. We are now, and generally are, in a state of Elevated security threat. You should have by now completed the steps outlined in step Green, Blue, and Yellow. According to the government, you need to stay ever vigilant, and prepared.

Green - Develop a family emergency plan. Share it with family and friends, and practice the plan. Create an “Emergency Supply Kit” for your household. Be informed. Visit or obtain a copy of “Preparing Makes Sense, Get Ready Now” by calling 1-800-BE-READY.
Know how to shelter-in-place and how to turn off utilities (power, gas, and water) to your home.
Examine volunteer opportunities in your community, such as Citizen Corps, Volunteers in Police
Service, Neighborhood Watch or others, and donate your time. Consider completing an American Red Cross first aid or CPR course , or Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course .

Blue - Complete recommended steps at level green. Review stored disaster supplies and replace items that are outdated. Be alert to suspicious activity and report it to proper authorities.

Yellow - Complete recommended steps at levels green and blue. Ensure disaster supply kit is stocked and ready. Check telephone numbers in family emergency plan and update as necessary. Develop alternate routes to/from work or school and practice them.
Elevated Risk Continue to be alert for suspicious activity and report it to authorities.

Orange - Complete recommended steps at lower levels. Exercise caution when traveling, pay attention to travel advisorie. Review your family emergency plan and make sure all family members know what to do. Be Patient. Expect some delays, baggage searches and restrictions at public buildings. Check on neighbors or others that might need assistance in an emergency.

Red - Complete all recommended actions at lower levels. Listen to local emergency management officials. Stay tuned to TV or radio for current information/instructions. Be prepared to shelter-in-place or evacuate, as instructed. Severe Risk Expect traffic delays and restrictions. Provide volunteer services only as requested. Contact your school/business to determine status of work day.

video: Drive Monkey Drive!


Monday, February 18, 2008

Homecoming queen beats sister with wooden leg, smears feces in cop car, and threatens to burn down the neighbor's house, (and that's just recently)

click to enlarge

Donna Sturkie-Anthony makes Tanya Harding look like Mother Theresa. Jump here to MSNBC to read the sordid story.

A painting of Jerry Melin (with links back, and a poem)

click to enlarge

I found an old picture of Jerry and decided to fiddle around with it. Curiously, in the original--and you can still see part of it here--is a piece of framed sheet music titled "Dear Old Pal Of Mine."

Here are earlier references to Jerry Melin on All This Is That:

Jerry Melin, Master Forger and Craftsman
A Blog for Phil Kendall
Photograph: Jerry Melin At Mud Bay, Bainbridge Island, Washington
Jerry Melin, still missing, still missed
Mel, Part 1
Audioblogger Post::::Kevin Curran And Jerry Melin Meet The Poet Allen Ginsberg At The Grass Roots Tavern On NYC's Lower East Side
Senator Jerry Melin Speaks Out About 1979
Further ruminations on Phil Kendall

A poem I wrote for/about him:

Shorts For Jerry Melin [ca. about 1988]

A dim crescent
Hung cockeyed
On cathedral skies.

An orchard of salt pillars
Circles Gomorrah's ashes:
Lot's Wife had no name.

Two vultures flap
Side by side into the sun.
Calcutta awakes.

The wine in this cup
Has a tide all its own.
I am the sucking moon.


West Dakota Senator Hoolihan endorses Obama, urges split ticket with Larry Craig

Senator Otis Hoolihan (D), West Dakota

Another superdelegate has jumped on the Obama bandwagon. Senator Otis Hoolihan held a press conference in Crockett, West Dakota this morning to announce he was throwing his support to Senator Obama. Hoolihan urged Obama to run on a split ticket--with Senator Larry Craig (!), and asked him to put a lid "on all this fainting at rallies silliness."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Five Paintings: The Presidential Candidates Left Standing

Click to enlarge Barack

The Presidential Candidates Left Standing, are paintings of the last candidates in the race for the Presidency (excluding the absolutely hopeless Communists, Socialist Workers, Libertarian, and other fringe parties). Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee are just barely standing. Hillary is standing, but becoming very wobbly.

Click to enlarge Ron Paul

Click to enlarge John McCain

Click to enlarge Huck

Click to enlarge Hillary

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Obama's response to fainting at Barack rallies ("here, have a Brawndo. It's got electrolytes") , with a brief history, and video clips

This is a really weird story and it is spreading rapidly--as these things tend to do--over the 'net.

My son, Del, came home from the Obama rally in Seattle a week ago today and told us about a woman fainting in the audience, and how Obama asked the crowd for help, and then passed a bottle of water down from the stage. At the time, I jokingly told Del, "yeah, she travels on his plane. She's his fainter."

Fainting is not unusual at campaign rallies. If you do a G.I.S., you'll find several stories of people fainting this month at rallies held by all three Clintons: Bill, Hill, and Chelsea. It will be interesting to see if this story has legs. I hope not.

There is a hint in some accounts I've read that the faintings are a direct response to Senator Obama's power as a vector of hope, love, and change; to his almost Messianic followers who look at him figureatively and literally as a sort of savior. When I was a young river-dunked Baptist, I went to a few revivals, and it was a feature of these big meetings in arenas, racetracks, and camps. When there was serious testifying going on, women would faint. The "Deacons" were all equipped with smelling salts and extra handerchiefs. And people would faint when The Call came (the call to come on stage and accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior) and you could stand up and wash away your sins with the blood of the lamb.

As it turns out, the usual Republican suspects are trying to make something of all this fainting. Like James Vicevich, a Connecticut radio talk show host, who has gone into some detail on this. Like Dory Monson, a conservative and reactionary hater and talk show host at Seattle's KIRO 710 AM.

This story is either a shocking revelation, or the usual Republican/Conservative claptrap. Today a Connecticut radio host show host cites several instances of an occurrence that has become common during Obama events:

The formula-->a woman faints-->Obama pauses his speech to speak about the fainting woman-->a bottle of water is passed down from the podium-->someone in the audience shouts "what a man!"

Seattle, Feb. 8, 2008. "Obama tossing a bottle of water to a woman about to faint received big cheers," reported. " Obama told the crowd to part so that the woman in question could leave and called for help. A young girl in the crowd shouted out, 'What a man!' [ed's note: We can verify this one, because Jack's son Del was at the rally and repeated the above story almost verbatim]. The audience roared with laughter (although "the press that has seen this happen before rolled its eyes").

Hanover, N.H., Jan. 8, 2008. "A young woman in the Dartmouth College gym fainted, and was eventually rolled off on a gurney by emergency medical technicians," the Los Angeles Times reported. " Obama was speaking of the episode from the stage: 'She's OK,' 'She's talking.' The Times reported "Obama looked worried as the medical crew worked." Minneapolis's WCCO-TV has a video clip of Obama handing a bottle of water to the Dartmouth fainter, and asking the crowd to part for the EMTs.

Madison, Wis., Oct. 22, 2007. According to the Associated Press, "Three people fainted in the midst of all the enthusiasm."

Montecito, Calif., Sept. 8, 2007. " A woman standing in front of the stage fainted. The Associated Press reported. "The candidate paused and asked the crowd to make way for firefighters. A supporter shouted, 'You're a good man,' and Obama appeared a little embarrassed. "


Friday, February 15, 2008

Video: Bert and Ernie Try The Rock Band Game

A video of Bert and Ernie rocking.


The end of the line for Senator Clinton

It's just a little sad for me to realize we won't have a female President, after all. This is an important thing, and it's shameful we've let it go this long (and now, for four, eight, or twelve years further out).

Unless Hillary comes up with unprecedented margins in the upcoming primaries, it's over, and it may already be over. Nine months until the General election leaves nine months to doubt and wring our hands. I am hoping that instead, we can enjoy the next year as one that will leave us Bush-free and Obama will come on strong and decimate the competition by mid-summer.

Johnny Winter rocks...Video (and lyrics) of Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo

I am not a huge fan of Johnny Winter, but I enjoy his blues. [ed's note: Disclaimer: Jack does not actually own any recordings by Johnny Winter]. At one point in time, and maybe even still, he knew how to rock. Rick Derringer wrote this song and had a huge hit with it (and I think Johnny may have charted with it). I never cared much about the tune--until I saw this video. Johnny Winters and his two sidemen tear the song up and Johnny shreds on guitar. This is an incredible rock and roll performance.

Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo
lyrics by Rock Derringer

Couldn't stop moving when it first took hold.
It was a warm spring night at the old town hall.
There was a group called 'The Jokers' they were layin' it down.
Don't ya know I'm never gonna lose that funky sound.

Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Lordy mama, light my fuse (Light my fuse)
Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Drop on out and spread the news.

Skeeters start a buzzin' 'bout this time a year.
I'm goin' 'round back, said she'd meet me there.
We were rollin' in the grass that grows behind the barn.
When my ears started ringing like a fire alarm.

Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Lordy mama, light my fuse (Light my fuse)
Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Drop on out and spread the news.

Yeah, did somebody say keep on rockin'?

Hope you all know what I'm talkin' about.
The way they wiggle that thing really knocks me out.
Gettin' high all the time, hope you all are too.
C'mon little closer gonna do it to you.

Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Lordy mama, light my fuse (Light my fuse)
Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Drop on out and spread the news.

Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Lordy mama, light my fuse (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Jump on out and spread the news.
That I'm tired of payin' dues (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Done said goodbye to all my blues (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Lordy mama, light my fuse.

Alien Lore No. 123 - Two Recent British UFO sightings


The Portsmouth sighting - click to enlarge

Hab Rahman stopped to take snapshots [that word snapshot, is slowly fading into obsolescence, isn't it?] of a strangely lit sky. When he downloaded them to his computer, he noticed a mysterious glowing object. A fawking UFO!

Hab (of Portsmouth England) said:I didn’t spot anything when I took the picture but then later on when I looked a bit closer and zoomed in, there it was. I’ve never really believed in UFOs but this is a bit weird and quite freaky."

“I’m not really sure what to make of it but I can’t think what else it could be.” The photo of the flying saucer-like object was taken just after midnight in a Portsmouth car park.

Hilary Porter, from the British Earth and Aerial Mysteries Society (BEAMS), said the sighting could be credible/legit. She said: “It would be very difficult to fake that photo and the UFO is at a tilt, which is the way they normally fly. You don’t normally see that sort of UFO over this country, we generally get orange orbs, so the photographer who got this photo has got quite a coup.”

The Ministry of Defense refuses to comment on individual sightings. A MoD spokesperson said: “The MoD examines reports solely to establish whether UK airspace may have been compromised by hostile or unauthorised military activity. Unless there is evidence of a potential threat, there is no attempt to identify the nature of each sighting reported.”


click to enlarge

This photo of a UFO over Cornwall was this week hailed by experts as one of the best ever taken in Britain. The classic flying saucer shape is seen above two ships. And UFO watchers believe it could be proof we are NOT alone. You think!?

Kelvin Barbery snapped the mystery object from a coastal path between Swanpool and Maenporth, near Falmouth. In a weird twist (and just like the sighting/photo above), Kelvin, 55, did not even see the UFO at the time.

He thought he was just shooting a seascape—but when he loaded the digital camera photos into his computer, the round metallic “craft” was in the centre of the shot, about two miles away.

Kelvin, a facilities manager for schools, said: “There were a couple of tankers out in the bay and I thought that it made a nice shot. "

“There was nothing in view and certainly no fault on the camera. "

“When I got home I couldn’t believe what I had. I thought, ‘Wow, where did that come from?’ I’m not the sort to believe in UFOs — now I’m not so sure.” '

Nick Pope, one of Britain’s foremost UFO experts, said the photo was one of the best he had seen. The former Ministry of Defense UFO analyst, said: “If I was still there I’d be looking at this very closely. The object looks structured, symmetrical and metallic. This man has caught something very interesting indeed.

Michael Soper, of the Contact International UFO group, agreed: “This does appear genuine. Digital photos can be doctored but everything about it appears consistent.”

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Would you fire this woman? Patti Solis Doyle photos


Bill Clinton: Hillary is the underdog; the campaign is running on a shoestring

Say what you will about President Clinton, he's a loyalist, and he'll be out there plugging for Hillary until there is no one left to browbeat and armtwist...

It's all over except the wheezing? The Clinton campaign in tatters?

Maggie Williams: took control of the campaign

The Senator Still skinnin' and grinnin'

Harold Ickes: still in, on the hunt for superdelegates

Senator Hillary Clinton, in public at least, keeps right on whistling past the graveyard. Yesterday, she campaigned across South Texas trying out a more grass-roots sort of message in at attempt to staunch her recent string of eight straight lost primaries in one week.

Patti Solis Doyle: out

Deputy Campaign Manager Mike Henry: out!

Maggie Williams, a confidante of Mrs. Clinton when she was first lady, has taken control of the campaign since the departure last weekend of Patti Solis Doyle. Ms. Williams is running a daily triage on what ads to buy and is also expanding the inner circle of advisers to extend beyond the old Clinton crony network.

Communications Director Howard Wolfson, now charged with
making Hillary more likable

According to insiders, the campaign is in shell-shock.
And cork it, Senator Barack Obama's camp yesterday declared the Clinton campaign doomed. Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said that Mrs. Clinton can't become the Democratic nominee without winning every remaining contest in "blowout form." In a conference call with reporters, he said that "even the most creative math" won't do it. Listening to the pundits on Hardball, I'd have to agree. Yes, Hillary has upset the pollsters and pundits over and over in this campaign, but this time it looks like there won't be any miracles; it's all over except for the wheezing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Jesus Christ struck by lightning!

click to enlarge...

The world's largest Christ was hit by lightning this week. A thunderbolt over Rio de Janeiro hit the statue Christ the Redeemer.

The 130 foot tall, 700 ton, concrete statue sits on top of 2,300 foot Corcovado mountain overlooking Rio.

I don't know if this is a meteorlogical quirk, or God was sending a message. Or both.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Guy Brummet's Road trip/Or Growing up hillbilly, part 14

This is a verbatim transcript of an email from my brother Guy. The trip he describes happened last week.

"One of our more interesting vacations, if you like to spend lots of money.

"We started out leaving Friday at 2:30 after work, but both passes were closed, so rather than driving through Portland to get to Montana, I suggested going over White Pass, which worked okay, until my brother in-law, Harold blew his transmission ($4,000 to repair), so we called back home and had someone bring another truck and they would pick up the trailer on the top of the pass [ed's note: you have to love that back home they have all this spare rolling stock to deploy].

"Well that seemed like a good thing, but, I took my trailer to the top of the pass, unhooked it, and went to retrieve the trailer a couple of miles back to get it off the road. My brother in-law hooked it up (well he thought he did) then he noticed the lights went off on the trailer as I was towing it up the pass, well the light didn’t just go off the hole damn trailer broke away, broke the safety chains and went across a lane of traffic! Well luckily it ran into the bank, oh yeah, then I seen it going backwards down the pass so I drove my new truck backwards past it down the pass, got in front of it and just before I had to let it ram me, the trailer safety brake decided to work and it stopped about three feet in front of my truck.

My wife would have killed me if she seen me drive the truck and use it for a sacrifice, but I didn’t want to see the trailer go down the hill either.

"Well we realized he did a crappy job of hooking it up, I just got it re-connected and moving when a cop pulls up, I didn’t stop to chat, but my Harold told him I lost control but recovered. He was still waiting for me to tow his truck up to the top. 9:00 PM rolls around and we are finely on our way again, while Harold waits for a tow truck and the back up truck to arrive, 4 hours later the tow truck arrives and he spends the night in Yakima, and we arrive in Spokane at 3:00 AM.

"I guess this is a bit long, so here is a brief description of the rest, blew up one more truck engine in Montana on the way home, blew up two snowmobiles in Montana, but we brought two spares:>) got so much snow the last two day we couldn’t go anywhere, and the area we rode in had a broken groomer, so the trails were not very good. We did have a good time in the hot springs at out Lolo resort, but all that was, was a heated swim pool, they claim a hot spring heats the water. Of course the mountain passes were all closed coming home, so we sat in my truck on the pass until midnight when they reopened Snoqualmie, so we got back home Sunday at 2:00AM.

I must admit I am glad to be at work!

Barack Obama, Kevin Curran, & All This Is That

Jack and Kev, in non-debate mode -- click to enlarge

If you are a regular reader, you will know that we frequently engage in verbal fisticuffs with reader and frequent participant Kev. We have tilted frequently on the viability of Obama v Hillary. One thing we do agree on (aside from most of our core values) is Mario Cuomo. And we are slowly perhaps coming to agreement on Senator Obama. An exchange from today:

Kevin said...
You've been slogging him pretty hard and long now, Jackie. What do you have against the guy? And don't say it's his supporters cuz you have been steadily negative since right after you called him tougher than dirt and figured his experience to be roughly equivalent to your gal, Hil's. That goes back a year or more. I'd bet a quick review would show you've steadily ragged him since then.

Jack Brummet said...

OK. Are you calling shenanigans?

I was absolutely stunned and humbled by the speech he made at the Democratic convention in 2004. And he was a huck; an Illinois legislator. His keynote address was extremely good. Maybe not quite at the Cuomo level of speechification, but the best I'd heard in years.

He was elected to the U.S. Senate that fall with 70% of the vote. In thr Senate, he co-sponsored bipartisan bills on controlling conventional weapons and on tightening accountability in the expenditure of federal funds (a position you have to admit is not so different from that of Ronald Wilson Reagan). In the current session of Congress--contrary to my frequent claims of near total absenteeism--he sponsored legislation on lobbying, electoral fraud, climate change, nuclear terrorism, and medical and psychiatric care for returning military basket cases.

In ways, I've been fighting against Obama because I don't think it's his time (and boy I know he's tired of hearing that old saw). And I don't want him to waste his shot. Because he does deserve to be President, and in my booklet, solely because he has the love and the strength and the passion to draw this country together. And if we had to wait four or eight or even twelve years for that, that would be OK. If we run him now, you have to guess we only have one shot. But I'm not so sure we have those four or eight or twelve years to sparel

On the other hand, I guess, I am willing to sacrifice Obama now, because I am not at all sure there will be a second chance. I don't want a sacrifice...I want him to win.

Will I fight for Obama? Of course. But I also worked for Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, and Kerry (well, with Kerry my involvement was only through checks). I hope Obama supporters have the stomach for the compromises their candidate will need to make to be elected. Hey guys, it's not the 60's! Ok. Maybe he won't nominate Lieberman, but whoever he does nominate will not likely sit well with his core supporters.

Yeah, I've been very tough on Obama. But he needs that. He has just about shown he can take anything that gets hucked at him.

So, at this late date, I too, am about to join the Obama bandwagon; he is my fourth and final choice.

I started out with John Edwards, and hung with him for a long time, and in the last couple of months, leading up to the first primaries, I settled on Joe Biden--even at that point a hopeless long shot. Then it was straight into Hillary's clutches. So, I come to Obama as my fourth (and final) choice. What spooks me the most is that Mondale, Dukakis, and Kerry were also my fourth choices. But even at this (comparitively early) date, I feel far more positive about the prospects of Barack Obama than I did with any ot those other three disastrous candidates.

Jack Brummet said...
Let me also note that I am all for Obama making the Supreme Court nominations that will surely come his way. There will likely be at least 2,3, or 4 in his first term alone. I'd be fine with Hillary's choices too. However, I also do not think Hillary will get the same kind of honeymoon as Obama. If he really is the uniter, and the vector of change we hope he is, Obama will be able to move mountains. And in my heart, I know that when Hillary tries to move mountains, she encounters the proverbial irresistable force. . .