That's "Campana-stan" or ''Land of Campana." It reflects the Weltanschauung of Michael E. Campana, President-for-Life of the Republic of Campanastan. Welcome to Campanastan - no passports or visas required!
Thirsty in Suburbia Gayle Leonard documents things from the world of water that make us smile: particularly funny, amusing and weird items on bottled water, water towers, water marketing, recycling, the art-water nexus and working.
WaSH Resources New publications, web sites and multi-media on water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH).
Water 50/50 From Jay Famiglietti at UC-Irvine. Fifty lectures in fifty weeks: The 2012 Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lectureship. A global lecture tour delivering the message about our changing water cycle, groundwater depletion, and the future of freshwater availability.
Water For The Ages Abby, another PNWer, writes about global water issues with passion and concern.
“Sir, you’re taking an excessive amount of time here. You should move on.”
It was about 4:50 AM on Easter morning, just past the nearly-empty TSA main terminal checkpoint at DC’s Dulles International Airport (IAD) when the authoritative voice spoke those words. I spun around to see a trim, tall African-American TSA officer. His name badge bore the name “Williams”. I wasn’t sure what I had done wrong since I was not holding anyone up, just gathering my belongings: putting my laptop back into its case, donning my Pendleton hat, and tying my shoes.
I can’t remember exactly what I said (“Are you serious?”) to Mr. Williams, but thoughts of violating some obscure TSA mandate about loitering after clearing security resonated throughout my brain. Then I scrutinized his face, saw a smile emerge, and realized he was just kidding. I asked him just to make sure, and his smile grew.
Thus began a remarkable 25-minute ‘visit’ with TSA Supervisor Michael Williams.
We all know the jokes about TSA and what it stands for: ‘Thousands Standing Around’, ‘Thousands Screwing Around’, ‘Terminated Sales Associates’, ‘Taking Scissors Away’, and all the other disparaging terms. Those terms did not fit Michael Williams.
He confessed that he came over to me because he liked my hat. I explained it was a Pendleton, from Oregon, 100% wool, and great for traveling because it was crushable. At my suggestion he tried it on. It looked great on his clean-shaven head.
From that small talk we moved on, although I am unsure what triggered the transition. He explained that there were far fewer than he expected for a Sunday morning. There must have been all of five people being screened.
We talked about a lot of things: resentment (see today’s quote, which he enjoyed); 9/11 and my sister; sorrow; his two sons; his late mother; my confiscated bottle of Armenian cognac at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport; public perception of TSA; and more.
What struck me was his work philosophy: if he treated people with respect, it will be returned. I heard the voice of man who cares not only about those who work with him but also those in his charge during screening.
I told him that IAD has had a 'special place' for me since that fateful9/11 day when my sister boarded AA flight 77. I mentioned that I was toying with the idea of retracing on 9/11/11 -- the tenth anniversary of Ann's murder.-- what proved to be my sister's final flight. He seemed concerned and wondered whether that would be a good idea. I explained that I thought it might bring a greater measure of closure. He nodded.
Our conversation soon ended. I stood for a minute to reflect on what had just happened; it was like talking to a friend.
Some of my more cynical readers may think I was 'gamed' or 'interrogated' by Williams (like I was 16 years by a US Customs inspector after driving back from Mexico). Not true. I saw his reactions, and besides I had passed through security and if not for dawdling, I would have been out of there long before he arrived.
When I told Mary Frances of this event, she smiled and noted that it occurred on Easter. She told me that the event was a gift - that I had given Williams a gift. I'm unsure I did that. but I believe I received a gift from Williams. The thing is, I'm not quite sure what the gift is, but I suspect it will eventually reveal itself.
Perhaps that will occur on my next visit to IAD.
“Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” – Carrie Fisher (and others).
Here is the world's most sophisticated country (albeit with a 1950s-era air traffic control system) and it could not prevent its controllers from sleeping on the job!
The PFL used to have this problem in Campanastan. It was difficult to solve; even 'visits' to our 'mountain resort' did not prevent the problem.
Finally, after tolerating this aberrant and dangerous behavior, the PFL enlisted Campanastan's best minds to devise a solution. They did, and it has worked like a charm.
Our top engineers rigged a system whereby if a call from a pilot to the controllers is unanswered within 45 seconds, a klaxon sounds and does not go off until the call is answered. What if the controller is in the bathroom? No problem; there are radios in all bathrooms with the same klaxon.
Is the klaxon loud enough? In a year-long test on 'vacationers' at our 'mountain resort', the klaxon never failed to rouse even the deepest sleeper within 30 seconds.
The system cannot be short-circuited. Any attempt to fool with the system triggers an even louder klaxon and an alarm at the State Secret Police office, which all airports have.
We are proud of our technology, and will gladly help our dear friend and ally, the USA.
"In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king." -- Unknown
On April 9, 1961 several hundred musicians and their friends gathered in New York's Washington Square Park to sing folk songs and hang out, just like they did most Sundays. But on this day, the New York Police Department came to kick them out.
The events of that day became known as the Beatnik Riot, and Saturday marks its 50th anniversary.
Here is Dan Brasin's 1961 film Sunday, which recalls the event.
Here is the conclusion of the story:
The event itself got plenty of newspaper coverage, with one headline proclaiming "3,000 Beatniks Riot in Village."But the hysteria faded quickly.
Today, Izzy Young lives in Sweden. He says the Beatnik Riot is pretty much forgotten, except for Drasin's film, Sunday, and Young's collection of photographs and newspapers clippings.
But Drasin disagrees. He says the events of April 9, 1961 did have a lasting significance.
"It was a chaotic day, without a whole lot of rhyme and reason," he says. "But it was certainly representative of the era to come, when the people confronted established authority and started holding them accountable. It would've been unthinkable in the 1950s. But this was the beginning of the 1960s."
The folkies did ultimately get their permit to play in Washington Square Park. David Bennett Cohen — who went on to play keyboard for the band Country Joe and the Fish — says if the police wanted to discourage musicians from gathering in the park on Sundays, the plan backfired.
After all, it's hard to visit Washington Square Park today and not run into a musician — they don't actually need permits anymore.
"Except for that one little glitch with the cops, there was never really any interruption," Cohen recalls. "If I remember correctly, it came back even stronger."
I'd almost forgotten the Beatnik Riot; I was 12 years old at the time.
But then again, I have forgotten a lot of things about the '60s.
"The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it. " -- Abbie Hoffman
The Huffington Post has a collection of the eleven best Beck video parodies.
''I went to the movie this weekend with a gun. And surprise, surprise, I didn't kill anybody!'' -- Glenn Beck
''This president I think has exposed himself over and over again as a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture....I'm not saying he doesn't like white people, I'm saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist.'' -- Glenn Beck, on President Obama, sparking an advertiser exodus from his FOX News show, July 28, 2009
Mary Frances sent this to me. I suspect it's been around for some time. Interesting sentiment.
If you are looking for an April Fools' Day post, gohere.
The Green Thing
In the line at the store a woman wanted plastic bags but the cashier told the older woman that plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized to her and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”
That’s right, they didn’t have the green thing in her day.
Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soft drink bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, using the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But they didn’t have the green thing back her day.
In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.
But she’s right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.
Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up electricity. Wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
But that old lady is right, they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.
Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a pizza dish, not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for you. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used wadded up newspaper to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
But they didn't have the green thing back then.
Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing back then.
They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty, instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled pens with ink, instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But they didn’t have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus, insteadof turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
Isn't it a crying shame that we didn’t have “The Green Thing” back then?
Of course, back in my day we burned leaves n the street, didn't pay much attention to stewardship of the land, water and air, and did a host of other things that were hardly 'green'.
Happy April Fools' Day! ¡Feliz el día de tontos de abril!
In a fit of extreme displacement behavior, I found myself at the WWW site of the Klamath Falls (Oregon) airport. Klamath Falls is a small city of about 21,000 in the high desert of southwestern Oregon. Its metropolitan area population is around 66,000.
My incredulity spiked at this statement (emboldening and italics are mine):
Klamath Falls Airport serves as the major link in the nation's commercial air transportation system. Currently, Klamath Falls Airport is the 307th largest commercial service airport in the United States.
WTF? Huh? The major link? I wouldn't even say 'a major link in'. I think they meant to say 'the major link to' or perhaps 'the link to'.
Perhaps I'm being picky; that's always a possibility.
Or maybe it's just Spring fever on this first day of Spring.
"There is no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid people who ask questions." -- Chris Berman
Schlumberger, one of the leading oil companies in the world is glad to announce the successful nomination of your email address in this new year's global promotion for the sum of 600,000.00 (Six hundred thousand Euros). Your email was nomination on a random computer ballot system drawn from a global database of emails. To process and claim your prize, please contact your claims executive below:
Mr. Michael Ortega Tel: +44 704 577 8305 Email: email@example.com
Kindly send your name and surname, contact number and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org and quote the ref# SchlumbergeRx14012/10/01/2011-_600, 000, 00. Please only send replies to: email@example.com
Congratulations for your award.
Schlumberger Oil Company Ray Jefferson
Wonderful - Mr. Ortega has a Russian email address and a UK country code. What a confidence builder!
And it's Schlumberger, not Schlumberger Oil Company. And a company like that wants to give me money?
Feel free to take advantage of this.
"There's a sucker born every minute." -- P.T. Barnum
"How fitting that Lara Logan was 'liberated' by Muslims in Liberation Square while she was gushing over the other part of the 'liberation.' Hope you’re enjoying the revolution, Lara! Alhamdilllullah [praise allah]."
"Lara Logan had to outdo Anderson [Cooper of CNN]. Where was her buddy [General Stanley] McChrystal."
Yes, yes it was wrong what happened to her.Of course, I don't support that. But it would have been funny if it happened to Anderson too."
"Jesus Christ, at the moment she is becoming a martyr and glorified we should at least remember her role as a major war monger."
"Look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women, which is still wrong, but if was worse than [sic[ I'm sorry."
And some comments from assorted blogs:
"A pretty one, with lots of untamed, uncovered wild blonde hair."
"To devout muslims, she's legit rape-bait. What was CBS thinking?"
"Welcome to Islam. It's immoral to eat pork but rape is acceptable."
"It's INEXCUSABLE for a blonde female to be there in the midst of these savages! Maybe now she knows the true face of Mooselimbs."
"She's lucky she wasn't beheaded for infidelity afterwards by the islamic savages."
For the record, spouse Mary Frances was groped when she visited me in Egypt in 1995, despite her best efforts to 'cover up.'
I'll close with this beauty from Michelle Malkin:
"I fail to see why we would expend any energy -- beyond that which is released by the detonation of a thermonuclear weapon -- to defend these people and their country. Islam is the opiate of the uneducated -- and unwilling to be educated -- masses in the Third World." -- Michelle Malkin
When I lived in Cairo I noted that there seemed to be a plethora of streets named after dates. When I would finally ascertain the significance of a particular date, it was usually some lame reason like "That was the day we didn't get our butts kicked by the Israelis as badly as we thought we would" or somesuch nonsense. Didn't seem that modern Egypt had much to celebrate.
Now there is a real reason to name a street after a date. Let's hope that today becomes the namesake of a major boulvevard or a renamed Tahrir Square and that the reason will be "It was the day we deposed a tyrant and started on the road to democracy."
But there is a ways to go yet.
Okay, who's next?
"We won't leave until Mubarak steps down and God willing, today's protest will be peaceful. Everything will turn out good and he will step down for sure." -- Yasmine Mohamed, Egyptian university student, 11 February 2011
Okay, you're about to get a restaurant recommendation from someone who is not a gourmet and is not particularly fond of Indian cuisine. Nevertheless, I reluctantly took Don Siegel's advice and accompanied him and Nancy Kim to an Indian restaurant, Rasika. It's at 633 D Street NW (202-637-1222), just off the National Mall.
It was the best restaurant meal I have ever had!
Don is a gourmet and has published abook on Chinese-Kosher cooking. His wife Betty recommended Rasika and none of us was disappointed.
It was so good I even had sweetbreads, a food I'm not partuclarly fond of. They were the best dish (we just ordered about eight plates of appetizers).
We arrived right about opening (5:30 PM) and were seated in the lounge where we could order anything they served. To get a table in the dining room you need to make a reservation about three weeks in advance,.
Service, drinks, desserts, coffee - all excellent.
As an erstwhile college DJ who once did a show called The Dirty Dozen that featured rock songs that had been banned or nearly so because of real or imagined sexually offensive lyrics I was overjoyed when I stumbled upon The History of Banned Rock and Roll, It gives a year-by-year account of banned songs, although it sseems like it's not all that complete. It is part of a larger site, Classic Bands.
But what I found especially interesting was the partial list from Clear Channel Communications that listed songs its radio stations might wish to avoid playing in the short term following 9/11. Here is the list:
Steve Miller "Jet Airliner" Van Halen "Jump" Queen "Another One Bites the Dust" Queen "Killer Queen" Pat Benatar "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" Kansas "Dust in the Wind" Led Zeppelin "Stairway to Heaven" The Beatles "A Day in the Life" The Beatles "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" The Beatles "Ticket To Ride" The Beatles "Obla Di, Obla Da" Bob Dylan "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" Arthur Brown "Fire" Paul McCartney and Wings "Live and Let Die" Billy Joel "Only the Good Die Young" Barry McGuire "Eve of Destruction" Steam "Na Na Na Na Hey Hey" Drifters "On Broadway" Shelly Fabares "Johnny Angel" Los Bravos "Black is Black" Peter and Gordon "I Go To Pieces" Peter and Gordon "A World Without Love" Elvis "(You're the) Devil in Disguise" Zombies "She's Not There" Elton John "Benny & The Jets" Elton John "Daniel" Elton John "Rocket Man" Jerry Lee Lewis "Great Balls of Fire" Santana "Evil Ways" Louis Armstrong "What A Wonderful World" Youngbloods "Get Together" Ad Libs "The Boy from New York City" Peter Paul and Mary "Blowin' in the Wind" Peter Paul and Mary "Leavin' on a Jet Plane" Rolling Stones "Ruby Tuesday" Simon And Garfunkel "Bridge Over Troubled Water" Happenings "See You in September" Carole King "I Feel the Earth Move" Yager and Evans "In the Year 2525" Norman Greenbaum "Spirit in the Sky" Brooklyn Bridge "Worst That Could Happen" Three Degrees "When Will I See You Again" Cat Stevens "Peace Train" Cat Stevens "Morning Has Broken" Jan and Dean "Dead Man's Curve" Martha & the Vandellas "Nowhere to Run" Martha and the Vandellas/Van Halen "Dancing in the Streets" Hollies "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" San Cooke / Herman Hermits, "Wonderful World" Petula Clark "A Sign of the Times" Don McLean "American Pie" J. Frank Wilson "Last Kiss" Buddy Holly and the Crickets "That'll Be the Day" John Lennon "Imagine" Bobby Darin "Mack the Knife" Surfaris "Wipeout" Blood Sweat and Tears "And When I Die" Dave Clark Five "Bits and Pieces" Tramps "Disco Inferno" Paper Lace "The Night Chicago Died" Frank Sinatra "New York, New York" Creedence Clearwater Revival "Travelin' Band" Neil Diamond "America" Tom Petty "Free Fallin'" Bruce Springsteen "I'm On Fire" Bruce Springsteen "Goin' Down" Phil Collins "In the Air Tonight" Chi-Lites "Have You Seen Her" Animals "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" Fontella Bass "Rescue Me" Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels "Devil with the Blue Dress" James Taylor "Fire and Rain" Edwin Starr "War" Lynyrd Skynyrd "Tuesday's Gone"
Got some great songs here. I remember hearing a haunting version of Knockin' on Heaven's Door with lyrics about 9/11. I was in DC for my sister's memorial right after 9/11 and almost went off I-66 when I heard it.
So what were some of the songs that made my Dirty Dozen (all pre-1971)?
My favorite: Manfred Mann's version of Dylan's If 'You Gotta Go, Go Now'. When I got to WCWM-FM in 1967 we were ordered not to play this. Guess what? Fairport Convention covered this (in French), Si Tu Dois Partir.Next favorite would be the Standells' 'Try It'. Ah, the bass and the drums....
When you listen to these you will wonder what all the fuss was about. Imagine trying to ban a song today because it had the phrase, "Cross your heart with your living bra." (Judy in Disguise).
Yeah, there were others, too - just can't remember them. I'm lucky to have recalled these.
"You know that it would be untrue You know that I would be a liar If I was to say to you Girl, we couldn't get much higher Come on baby, light my fire Come on baby, light my fire Try to set the night on fire" -- The Doors, Light My Fire
Skateistan: To Live And Skate Kabul is a beautifully shot film that follows the lives of a group of young skateboarders in Afghanistan. Operating against the backdrop of war and bleak prospects, the Skateistan charity project is the world’s first co-educational skateboarding school, where a team of international volunteers work with girls and boys between the ages of 5 and 17, an age group largely untouched by other aid programmes.
What's interesting is that The Onion's approach flies in the face of previous satirical political targets.
Political satire typically seizes on a public official’s foibles or flaws and exaggerates them — Gerald R. Ford’s clumsiness, Bill Clinton’s fast-food cravings, George W. Bush’s malapropisms, for example. Turning the craft on its head, writers at The Onion have created a caricature of the vice president that is entirely incongruous with his public image. Of all Mr. Biden’s imperfections, being a womanizer and a drunk are not on the list. In fact, he does not drink and has been, by all accounts, a devoted husband and family man for more than 30 years.
The result has been endless fodder for Biden jokes — too many, in fact, for The Onion to publish. So at a time when no major news media outlet has a reporter dedicated solely to covering the vice president, writers at The Onion are generating so many story ideas about Mr. Biden that editors have to turn them down.
“We have a backlog of Biden jokes,” said Will Tracy, The Onion’s associate editor. One idea Mr. Tracy said he had to nix: a spread by the vice president in Playgirl inspired by Burt Reynolds, whose nude pose for Cosmopolitan in 1972 on a bearskin rug became an emblem of 1970s hedonism.
“We decided it was almost too big time for him,” Mr. Tracy said. “We like it better when Joe Biden is doing very small-time stuff, like getting kicked out of Dave & Buster’s, not appearing on the cover of a major national magazine.”
"Uh, uh, Chuck Graham, state senator, is here. Stand up, Chuck, let ‘em see you. Oh, God love you. What am I talking about." -- Joe Biden, to wheelchair-bound Missouri state senator, Charles Graham, 9 September 2008.
1) What was the average monthly private sector job growth in 2008, the final year of the Bush presidency, and what has it been so far in 2010?
2) What was the Federal deficit for the last fiscal year of the Bush presidency, and what was it for the first full fiscal year of the Obama presidency?
3) What was the stock market at on the last day of the Bush presidency? What is it at today?
4) Which party's candidate for speaker will campaign this weekend with a Nazi reenactor who dressed up in a SS uniform?
1) In 2008, we lost an average of 317,250 private sector jobs per month. In 2010, we have gained an average of 95,888 private sector jobs per month. (Source) That's a difference of nearly five million jobs between Bush's last year in office and President Obama's second year.
2) In FY2009, which began on September 1, 2008 and represents the Bush Administration's final budget, the budget deficit was $1.416 trillion. In FY2010, the first budget of the Obama Administration, the budget deficit was $1.291 trillion, a decline of $125 billion. (Source) Yes, that means President Obama has cut the deficit -- there's a long way to go, but we're in better shape now than we were under Bush and the Republicans.
3) On Bush's final day in office, the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 closed at7,949, 1,440, and 805, respectively. Today, they are at 11,108, 2,512, and 1,183. That means since President Obama took office, the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 have increased 40%, 74%, and 47%, respectively.
4) The Republican Party, whose candidate for speaker, John Boehner, will campaign with Nazi re-enactor Rich Iott this weekend. If you need an explanation why this is offensive, you are a lost cause.
The moral of the story is this: if you don't vote this year -- you're not going to like what comes next.
"Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. " ~Plato
Interesting premise posited by Hayes Davenport over at Freakonomics Radio. He contends that the decline in runs scored in major league baseball is not due to better pitching, but better defense. Not sure he proves his point, but it makes for interesting reading.
The correlations are certainly nothing to write home about.
Statistics? Baseball's got plenty of 'em. Every baseball player is in some exclusive statistical club. I'm waiting for the next sportscaster to inform me that so-and-so is only one of three players in major league history to have 1,000 hits, 500 RBIs, 100 HRs, 150 stolen bases, and four ex-wives.
And what happened to all the home runs? Well, of course it is the lack of steroids and fabulous pitching. That's why a skinny ex-Pittsburgh Pirate who'd never hit more than 16 HRs in a season led all of baseball with 54 this year. No one else hit more than 42.
Great pitching. No steroids. Uh-huh.
"Baseball fans are junkies, and their heroin is the statistic." - Robert S. Weider, In Praise of the Second Season (1981)
Just the other day my wife asked me if Jerry Lee Lewis had died. I told her I didn't think so, despite all his health problems.
A few days later I heard an NPR interviewwith 'The Killer' - just a few days before his 75th birthday, which is today.
Lewis hails from Ferriday, LA. I've driven by his childhood home. His cousin, preacher Jimmy Swaggart, also grew up in Ferriday. I once heard Lewis say that cousin Jimmy was a better piano player but chose to follow God. That Swaggart followed God could be open to debate, but there is no question about who or what Lewis followed (although his mother enrolled him in a bible institute in an illl-fated effort to guide his life). His personal life has been a shambles, and he ultimately had to find refuge in country music after his 1958 marriage to his 13-year-old cousin caused him to be blackballed from radio.
I have always loved Lewis' early rock 'n roll music, like his Great Balls of Fire (below, from American Bandstand) and Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On (my favorite). His trademark pounding piano is something else.
The man's an amazing talent.
"If I'm going to Hell, I'm going there playing the piano." -- Jerry Lee Lewis
The Tea Partiers have made a big deal about returning to the principles espoused by the Founding Fathers. In this morning'sOregonian(and in the New York Times a few days ago) Ron Chernow's Op-Ed piece lays to rest the myth that the Founding Fathers were a bunch of like-minded men who moved in step with each other.
Like many popular insurgencies in American history, the tea party movement has attempted to enlist the Founding Fathers as fervent adherents to its cause. The very name invokes those disguised patriots who clambered aboard ships in Boston Harbor in December 1773 and dumped chests of tea into the water rather than submit to the hated tea tax. At tea party rallies, marchers brandish flags emblazoned with the Revolutionary slogan "Don't Tread on Me" while George Washington impersonators and other folks in colonial garb mingle with the crowds.
So all the Founding Fathers were states' righters? Here is what Chernow writes:
Jefferson and his Republicans (not related to today's Republicans) advocated states' rights, a weak federal government and strict construction of the Constitution. The tea party can claim legitimate descent from Jefferson and Madison, even though they founded what became the Democratic Party. On the other hand, Washington and Hamilton -- founders of no mean stature -- embraced an expansive view of the Constitution. That would scarcely sit well with tea party advocates, many of whom adhere to the judicial doctrine of originalism: i.e., that any interpretation of the Constitution must abide by the intent of those founders who crafted it.
No single group should ever presume to claim special ownership of the Founding Fathers or the Constitution they wrought with such skill and ingenuity. Those lofty figures, along with the seminal document they brought forth, form a sacred part of our common heritage as Americans. They should be used for the richness and diversity of their arguments, not tampered with for partisan purposes. The Dutch historian Pieter Geyl once famously asserted that history was an argument without an end. Our contentious founders, who could agree on little else, would certainly have agreed on that. Give this article a read.
"If the first amendment doesn’t work, the second will." -- Tea Party sign
So now we''re hearing stories that UFOs and their LGM (Little Green Men) and LGW have tampered with our nuclear missiles. There will be more on this at a National Press Club event in DC on 27 September 2010.
The latest is this story emanates from former USAF Captain Robert Salas, one of the sponsors of the aforementioned event and author of Faded Giant (guess what the book is about?), who recalls an incident at Malmstrom AFB in Montana in 1967:
On March 16, 1967, Salas was 60 feet below ground working a 24-hour shift monitoring a launch-control center outfitted with 10 nuclear Minuteman missiles.
"I got a call from the topside guard, telling me they were watching some strange lights flying around in the sky, making odd maneuvers. They didn't think they were airplanes because they were going very fast, turning on a dime and not making a bit of noise," Salas told AOL News.
"A few minutes later, he called back, this time screaming into the phone, scared to death, and he said, 'Sir, I'm looking out my front window and there is a glowing red oval-shaped object hovering right above the front gate, and I've got all the guards out here with their weapons drawn.' "
The guard told Salas the UFO was approximately 30 to 40 feet in diameter with a very bright, pulsating light.
What happened next?
"All of a sudden, we started getting bells and whistles going off. As we looked at the display board in front of us, sure enough, the missiles began going into an unlaunchable, or no-go, mode. They couldn't be launched -- it went from green to red.'
After the incident, Salas and his men were told not to discuss the event with anyone. The article concludes:
After the extraordinary events at Malmstrom Air Force base where it appears a UFO may have been responsible for shutting down 10 nuclear missiles, Salas wonders if the military has any legal authority to command its subordinates not to talk about something this significant -- something that he maintains represents a technology not known today.
Here is official USAF policy:
No UFO reported, investigated and evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our national security; (2) There has been no evidence submitted to or discovered by the Air Force that sightings categorized as "unidentified" represent technological developments or principles beyond the range of present-day scientific knowledge; and (3) There has been no evidence indicating that sightings categorized as "unidentified" are extraterrestrial vehicles.
As a youngster I read everything I could find about UFOs and LGMs. I was convinced that some sightings/encounters involved craft of extraterrestrial origin. I still believe in UFOs in the strict sense: simply because something cannot be identified definitively does not mean it is full of LGMs from the planet Zocor.
But maybe - just maybe - we are looking for the wrong type of evidence. Perhaps the LGMs have left some of their refreshment behind (thanks to Gayle Leonard).
"If I become President, I'll make every piece of information this country has about UFO sightings available to the public and scientists. I am convinced that UFOs exist because I have seen one." ---President Jimmy Carter during his Presidential campaign
In the late 1960s Skinner was a gym teacher at Robert E Lee High School in Jacksonville, Florida, who loathed long hair on men and sent such students to the principal's office for discipline, and presumably, a haircut.
One of those students was guitarist Gary Rossington, who later mockingly named his band after Skinner.
Here is an interview with Skinner's son, Leonard S. Skinner.
Campanstan enjoys a stellar reputation among donors. Foundations and other donors don't hesitate to give us money. They know that all funds are personally handled by the President-for-Life (PFL) so any diversion or misuse of funds is minimized. If the PFL spends it, by definition it cannot be a misuse of funds!
The Ministry of Donor Disbursement (MoDD) assesses what the funds should be spent on, then the PFL's office takes over.
To illustrate this process, consider the vehicles we recently purchased for the State Secret Police. We could have gone with the usual Mercedes or BMWs but those are so common (even the Azerbaijan police have 7-series BMWs) and don't really meet the SSP's special needs: grabbing dissidents and other terrorists quickly and hastily departing.
MoDD thought of purchasing high-end vehicles such as Jaguars, Bentleys, or Rolls-Royces. But these cars have a fundamental problem: they are British. Each of them requires the purchase of a full-time mechanic. Furthermore, they will not start unless the mechanic is in the car or within 3 meters of it. Any attempt to defeat this safety device will trigger a small thermonuclear explosion, proving that British carmakers can at least get one thing to work properly!
So what did we get? Shelby GTs. These are not originals, but replicas built in South Africa under license from Carroll Shelby.
They have a Ford v-8 that generates almost 500 HP and a 5-speed manual transmission built in the USA. The shifter is short-throw.
Most of the major components are also USA built. The body is fiberglass.
And there is plenty of room in the back for a spare tire and space to stuff dissidents and other scum.
So why do these cars exemplify our frugality? Well, they are made of readily-available USA parts. The engine and transmission are USA-built and easy to maintain; we will not have to train new mechanics. And, since the cars go 320 kph (200 mph), State Secret Police officers can run their 'errands' in less time than before and therefore be assigned higher daily quotas of dissidents, necessitating fewer SSP officers. Big savings in money!
It is little wonder that donors with bulging briefcases flock to Campanastan like flies to the body of a rotting dissident!
“Show me the man and I'll find you the crime." -- SSP motto
Since I'm baking a cake for a potluck dinner tonight I thought I might as well post something useful - the recipe. My late younger sister Ann Judge gave me this recipe about 30 years ago, with the following note:
This sounds and looks like a stupid cake but everyone loves it. Very moist and keeps a long time. Good to make ahead of time and freeze.
It is simple to make.
Thoroughly mix the following ingredients:
1 package Duncan Hines butter cake mix (disregard box directions, execpt for high altitude) 4 eggs half cup cooking oil quarter cup water 1 small box instant vanilla pudding 8 ounces sour cream (can use 'light' sour cream)
Then stir in 6 ounces chocolate chips and a half cup chopped walnuts. Grease and flour a Bundt pan and pour mix in. Bake for about one hour at c. 350 degrees F. I always check it after about 50 minutes. When you insert a toothpick to test doneness, the cake should be moist but not mushy. After the cake cools, sprinkle with powdered sugar. That's it!
My sister noted that she added the chips and nuts to the mix in the Bundt pan, so as to keep too many of them from sinking to the bottom. But I have not done that and have not had any problems. Besides, no one seems to care.
"Here's a dessert even you can make. It's called the 'Better Than Sex' cake. It isn't, but you probably don't remember." -- Ann Judge, upon presenting me with the aforementioned recipe, 1981.
185 voices. 243 tracks. 12 countries. A choir unlike any other. What started as a simple social media experiment, has become a poetic metaphor of our shared humanity and the power of connection.
Acclaimed composer and conductor Eric Whitacre offered the sheet music of his original composition, "Lux Aurumque" ['Light and Gold' in Latin], as a free download and invited singers to submit a video of themselves performing one part (soprano, alto, tenor, or bass). These rather ordinary videos of solo performances were then pieced together to form a choir of singers who have never met each other...but have unwittingly created music in perfect harmony together.
In between the fireworks, auto and furniture sales, and barbecues, take a few minutes today to read the Declaration ofIndependence and the remarkable Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, which came along 11 years later:
If you are an American citizen, thank your lucky stars for those 56 guys who signed the Declaration in Philadelphia in 1776 and started this thing rolling.
While you are at it, give extra thanks for the First Amendment, which guarantees five fundamental rights, which you can remember with the mnemonic RAPPS: religion, assembly, press, petition, and speech.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, two giants in American history - friends, then opponents, and finally friends again - both died on this day in 1826. As I get older, I think less of Jefferson and more of Adams. Both were great men, but the former 'talked the talk' and didn't always 'walk the walk' (e.g., slavery) whereas the latter tried to do both.
Enjoy the day, and enjoy RAPPS!
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." -- Declaration of Independence
"What better way to head off more oil drilling, nuclear plants, than by blowing up a rig? I'm just noting the timing, here." —Rush Limbaugh, suggesting that "environmentalist whackos" deliberately blew up the oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico in order to stop offshore drilling, 29 April 2010
"I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to have been very, very modest." —BP CEO Tony Hayward, interview with Sky News television, 18 May 2010
It's appropriate that as I sit here in Oklahoma City because of a cancelled flight, watching Jack Bauer commit mayhem in New York City (in real time!), that I post this video of a deranged tortoise vigorously defending its territory against cats.
Go, Jack! Got a partner for you.
“You can't trample infidels when you're a tortoise. I mean, all you could do is give them a meaningful look." -- Terry Pratchett
So you're probably wondering, "WTF?" But this is for real.
Check out these quotes from last Sunday'sNew York Times concerning the issue of "Mirandizing" Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad before interrogating him:
"When we detain terrorism suspects, our top priority should be finding out what intelligence they have that could prevent future attacks and save American lives. And our priority should not be telling them they have a right to remain silent." -- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
"He's a citizen of the United States, so I say we uphold the laws and Constitution on citizens...He has all the rights under the Constitution...We don't shred the Constitution when it's popular." -- Glenn Beck
Kudos to Beck for taking a stand that no doubt left many of his conservative supporters scratching their heads.
It's easy to support rights that correspond to popular opinion or the views of your peer group; it's tougher to support them when they run counter to popular opinion or are opposed by your peers. That's why we're different from those who would attack us.
Beck didn't take the easy way out, but took the road less traveled. McCain, facing a tough reelection fight, took the easy way.
My mother, Ruth Ellen Emerson Campana, died on 8 May 2003 at the age of 83. Although she lived for almost two years beyond 9/11, that event killed her just as sure as those Saudi Arabian terrorists killed her youngest child, Ann Campana Judge, on American Airlines flight 77.
My mother was remarkable woman. Born in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, in 1920, she was an archetypical Southern lady. No profane language, kind, compassionate, soft spoken, a beautiful drawl, proud of her Southern Scots-Irish roots but no apologist for the Confederacy although her great grandfather fought for the South.
At age 23, she married my father, John Pilgrim Campana, an Italian-American from Boston, and the two of them settled in New York City, where my father taught high school. Although my Harvard-educated father was the family scholar, my mother was no slouch. She majored in history and English at Flora Macdonald College (now part of St. Andrew's Presbyterian College) in Red Springs, SC, and graduated at 20. I owe many of my semi-decent English skills to her. Each Sunday night she would would write five words and their definitions on my blackboard. Those were the 'Weekly Words.' I relied on her to correct my writing more than I did my teachers. Why? Becuase she was better than they!
My friends loved her. 'How come your mother's so nice?' was a common question. But she was no pushover. My father's hot-blooded Italian nature often manifested itself when one us overstepped our bounds, but my mother would generally raise her voice only slightly, or just glare at us. The message got through.
While still raising three children, she returned to teaching in 1960 and taught fourth grade. Her students idolized her.Here is a beautiful tribute from one of her fourth-grade students, Fred Avolio. Fred also remembers the 'Weekly Words.' And yes, Fred, I remember bringing my pet iguana into class.
My mother was also somewhat naive. One story stands out. I must have been 16, Ann 13, and older sister Ellen was away at college. We were chatting at the dinner table, something we did every evening. My mother related a discussion that occurred in the teachers' lounge at her school. Seems she came in during a conversation, and a few of the teachers were laughing about something called '69.' She was puzzled so she asked one of her colleagues what it was (she had concluded that it had nothing to do with math). He told her that she had better ask someone in her family. So she did. Ann and I could hardly contain our laughter, and my father's jaw dropped like I had never seen (he taught high-school in Brooklyn so I knew he knew). I believe it was Ann who matter-of-factly told her what it was. Then my mother's jaw dropped. I think what surprised her and my father more than anything was that their 13-year old daughter knew exactly what it was.
Despite the fact that she lived in the North for 35 years, she never lost her Southern grace and charm.
In 1978 she finally returned to her beloved Tar Heel State.
When my sister Ann was murdered, my mother was living with her and husband Geoff Judge. After Ann was killed she continued to live with Geoff (an amazing man who treated her as he did his own mother) but soon after that she began to shut down. When Ann's beloved black Labrador Bubba died, that was it. First she decided she couldn't walk on her own. Then, she stopped talking. Finally, she stopped eating. The end came soon after that, peacefully, while she slept. I believe the death certificate reads 'heart attack' but I know better - burying her baby killed her.
The irony is that today's saying is something she would say whenever she heard of a parent burying a child. I doubt she ever expected she'd have to do the same.
Especially her youngest.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom!
'The hardest thing any parent has to do is bury a child." -- Ruth Emerson Campana
Urban legend maintains that the song was originally titled 69 Tears but was changed by the record company.
One of the early Mexican-American bands - and they were from Michigan, too. Some consider them the first punk band.
Still got it, guys!
One of the few organ riffs I mastered, but alas, no Vox Continental!
Too many teardrops for one heart to be cryin' Too many teardrops for one heart to carry on You're way on top now since you left me You're always laughin' way down at me But watch out now, I'm gonna get there We'll be together for just a little while And then I'm gonna put you way down here And you'll start cryin' ninety-six tears Cry, cry, cry now --96 Tears by R. Martinez
Here's a videoof Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) showcasing his extensive knowledge of earth science, obtained during his pursuit of a PhD at the University of P.O. Box 2000.
Thanks (I think) to colleague Roy Haggerty for bringing this to my attention.
From the YouTube site:
Meet Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA). While questioning the Navy's Pacific Fleet commander, Adm. Robert Willard, at a March 25 Armed Services Committee hearing, Johnson worried that the island of Guam might capsize if we put a few thousand more people on it - because it's only 7 miles across at its "least widest" point. Johnson later explained that he was speaking metaphorically. Watch the video and judge for yourself.
Johnson represents Georgia's Fourth district, which previously sent the red menace Cynthia McKinney to Washington. Needless to say, around 150% of his district voted for Obama in the last election.
Johnson is a member of the House Democratic leadership, serving as Regional Whip for the Eighth Region (GA, FL, MS, AL, U.S. Virgin Islands). He sits on the Armed Services Committee and the Judiciary Committee. A frequent and harsh critic of President Bush, he thinks criticism of Obama is secretly racist, and has called for the censure of an Obama critic in Congress..
The 55-year-old Johnson is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University and the Thurgood Marshall School of Law. So far, Johnson is the leading contender for this year's Sheila Jackson Lee Martian Flag Award.
Methinks the good Congressman may have tipped a few too many.
“The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.” -- Albert Einstein
Sure, you’d think the chief executive officer of a company struggling to emerge from bankruptcy and desperate to salvage an $8 billion buyout-gone-bad would have better things to do than pester his underlings with crazy proclamations. But in the case of Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels you’d be wrong.
Randy Michaels? Sounds like a 196os Top 40 DJ's nom de plume.
The man at the top of the troubled media empire took time out of his real job this week to issue a list of words and phrases — 119 of them, to be exact — that must never, ever be uttered by anchors or reporters on WGN-AM (720), the news/talk radio station located five floors below his office in Tribune Tower.
Believe me, I’m not making this up.
You can see a list of the offensive words and phrases at the bottom of Feder's post. Note that Michaels confused 'moot' and 'mute.' Duhhh...
In other news, stay tuned, because in our top story tonight, some really good (or bad) news: as expected, in a surprise move yesterday, informed sources say, a world class icon, diva, mother of all motorists, and famed undocumented alien, lauded for putting area residents at risk and in harm's way, but at this point in time behind bars for allegations that -- according to sketchy details that, to be fair, have officials and authorities under fire for speaking out -- he reportedly engaged in shower activity with all of you folks at 5 am in the morning, underwent surgery, utilized an undisclosed vehicle in torrential rain in a near miss manhunt when it was time for a break, literally fled on foot, completely surprised his mother with a clash with bare naked police behind closed doors, definitely possibly completely destroyed a medical hospital under false pretenses, and is lucky to be alive after, the fact of the matter is, he lent a helping hand to a legendary incarcerated pedestrian lone gunman (the perpetrator who over in a neighboring state, perished in a perfect storm of no brainers and things that went terribly wrong, and was plagued by killing sprees in which he gave 110% only to have his senseless murders marred by the untimely deaths of guys and folks whose fatal deaths came in the wake of auto accidents, and while it may be a mute point, let's everybody touch base on the fact that he was under seige in the wake of unrest after shots rang out in close proximity of the best kept secret on the campaign trail which had authorities reeling up in one place and down in another, and going forward, the alleged aftermath of the death toll for youths behind the podium exceeds those out there, down there, and out in that other place by a two to one margin), is seeking white stuff for those of you that want it, and thus, we'll explain what he did when we'll be back -- we'll be right back, after the break and after these commercial messages, and we say "we're back," "welcome back," or "welcome back everybody."
"The incompetent with nothing to do can still make a mess of it." -- Laurence J. Peter
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