s skippy the bush kangaroo: April 2009

skippy the bush kangaroo

Thursday, April 30, 2009

skippy's thursday nite music club

more swine flu music...

the beatles - piggies
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 2 comments

more flu mutations

the swine flu has already begun to mutate, and is now being reported in these various forms:

the twine flu - can be contracted from balls of string

the slime flu - will be caught when watching reruns of the nickelodian network

the walk the line flu - fans of johnny cash music are especially suseptable to this one

the swan flu - can be picked up while watching tchaikovsky ballets

the swim flu - people who smoke bongs w/michael phelps are particularly in danger of catching this strain

the swipe flu - only kleptomaniacs get this mutation

the swinson flu - watching any movie w/tilda swinson in it leaves one vulnerable to this one

the joe pyne flu - don't listen to old reactionary talk shows!
posted by skippy at 8:21 PM | 6 comments

polls show a new high for favoring gay marriage as well as favoring a new high

an abc/washpost poll shows americans are changing their ideas about many social concerns, including support for gay marriage and for marijuana usage:

take gay marriage, legal in massachusetts, connecticut and now iowa, with vermont coming aboard in september. at its low, in 2004, just 32 percent of americans favored gay marriage, with 62 percent opposed. now 49 percent support it versus 46 percent opposed -- the first time in abc/post polls that supporters have outnumbered opponents.

more than half, moreover -- 53 percent -- say gay marriages held legally in another state should be recognized as legal in their states. ..

on an entirely different issue, 46 percent of americans now favor legalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use, the most in data back to the mid-1980s and more than double its level 12 years ago. while 52 percent remain opposed, that's down from 75 percent in the late 1990s and 78 percent in 1986.

the biggest changes in the past two decades are 29- and 27-point advances in support of legalization among democrats and independents, to 49 and 53 percent, respectively. the slightest: a 10-point gain among republicans, to just 28 percent support.
we've always suspected that the problem w/repubbbs is that they don't get wasted enough...
posted by skippy at 5:35 PM | 2 comments

flu away home

track the swine flu in real time.
posted by skippy at 2:23 AM | 1 comments

who needs swine flu

when you have a rabies outbreak!
santa barbara county animal services is urging people to vaccinate their pets because of a rabies outbreak. the department says it has seen an unusually high number of wild animals with the disease. - ksby
and when they say "wild animals", they are not referring to the students at ucsb, although it may be hard to distinguish them apart at times.

Labels: , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:23 AM | 1 comments

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

skippy's wednesday nite music club

for those w/the flu...

queen - mad the swine
posted by skippy at 5:58 PM | 3 comments

swine flu most virual contagen since y2k bug

avoid the flu: don't do what this kid is doing

ignoring the fact that there are 36,000 deaths a year from regular seasonal flu in the us, and that there are apparently only 7 (not 152) deaths from the current h1m1 outbreak in mexico according to the world health organization, the multi-millionaire media has successfully tossed torture prosecution off the nation's agenda w/24/7 scare stories about sneezing.

even worse, crude oil futures prices drop drastically based on swine flu concerns, because pigs drive so much.


addendum: for all things biological, we always turn to mike the mad biologist, who echos our sentiments.
posted by skippy at 1:41 PM | 11 comments

the real reason for arlen spector's party change?

i think it's because he can't afford to lose his government paid healthcare. he wouldn't be able to buy health insurance on his own because of his little bouts with cancer.

you know those pesky "pre-existing" conditions.

Labels: ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:54 AM | 3 comments

can we get darth cheney on the stand

so lawyers can interogate him "enhancedly" to get some answers on his "former" company?
halliburton, kbr sued for alleged ill effects of 'burn pits.' a series of civil lawsuits against defense contractors kbr and its former parent company halliburton claims the companies endangered the health of u.s. troops and contractors in iraq and afghanistan by unsafely burning massive amounts of garbage on u.s. bases. -cnn

Labels: , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:47 AM | 1 comments

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

skippy's tuesday nite music club

kinky - mexican radio

kinky is an alternative latin music band from monterrey, mexico. here they do a cover of the 80's hit for wall of voodoo.
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 4 comments

(democ) rats deserting a sinking ship

senator arlen spector has switched parties to become a democrat. cnn:

the switch puts senate democrats one vote shy of a filibuster-proof majority of 60 seats. they can reach the 60-seat mark if al franken holds his current lead in the disputed minnesota senate race.

"as the republican party has moved farther and farther to the right, i have found myself increasingly at odds with the republican philosophy and more in line with the philosophy of the democratic party," specter said.

"in the course of the last several months ... i have traveled the state and surveyed the sentiments of the republican party in pennsylvania and public opinion polls, observed other public opinion polls and have found that the prospects for winning a republican primary are bleak."
we are not so sure that a 60 seat majority would automatically assure that the democratic agenda get passed easily...there are still, after all, many a blue dog still running around. as down w/tyranny reminds us:

although this will be a blow to rightists-- when franken is finally seated democrats will now have at least a theoretical filibuster-proof majority-- it won't do much for progressives. remember, as awful as ben nelson (ne), mary landrieu (la) and blanche lincoln (ar) have been on core issues-- lately joined by reactionary freshmen kay hagen (nc), mark begich (ak) and michael bennet (co)-- all of them, except nelson, are significantly better than specter. this year nelson and specter has each scored a 33.33 on the progressive scale when it comes to tough partisan votes that split the parties. and when it comes to selling out to vested interests, few members of the senate are as corrupt as specter. for example, the only current members of the senate who have taken more legalized bribe money from the finance/insurance/real estate sector than specter ($5,753,310) are former presidential candidates mccain ($32,423,813), kerry ($19,196,427), dodd ($13,238,806) plus egregiously corrupt handmaidens of the banksters like schumer ($12,834,746) and lieberman ($9,981,924). specter even beat out the most ethicless republican in the senate, miss mcconnell ($5,013,778). specter is still likely to play up to pennsylvania conservatives but this still looks bad to ordinary news consumers who will just be thinking that the republican party is falling apart and has moved so far to the right that they can't even hold on to mainstream conservatives like specter. olympia snowe (r-me), another mainstream conservative being pressured by the extreme right, isn't happy: "...[p]olitical diversity makes a party stronger and ultimately we are heading to having the smallest political tent in history for any political party the way things are unfolding.” yep, it's pretty much the limbaugh/secession party now-- and that is one really small, stinky tent.
posted by skippy at 5:39 PM | 4 comments

mad about rudy's family values

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 10:20 AM | 2 comments

Monday, April 27, 2009

skippy's tuesday nite music club

from a suggestion by blue girl...

the undertones - my perfect cousin
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 7 comments

why they call it 'the tiffany network'

cbs started its prime time line up w/a quick tribute to bea arthur.

as opposed to nbc which just seems to be, instead of creating entertainment, simply filling up time.
posted by skippy at 8:56 PM | 1 comments

pope entertains adulterers, right wing catholics silent

so ratzo's sipping tea with charles and camilla (all decked out in a mantilla ! - so 50s, so i don't fuck one guy while i'm married to another, especially a catholic other - how well a costume covers a sin in the vatican these days) and no one from mary anne (heaven forfend i appear on stage with obama who is not a catholic and does subscribe to current catholic teaching on abortion) glendon and the rest of her self-righteous, self-aggrandizing ilk are so crickets you'd think it was july.

whited sepulchres, baby, whited sepulchres

Matt: 23:27: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead.

posted by Pudentilla at 8:07 PM | 3 comments

my god, they've ruined everything

alfafa sprout warning issued - usatoday.com: "

by elizabeth weise, usa today
the food and drug administration is recommending consumers not eat raw alfalfa sprouts until further notice because the popular crunchy greens have been linked to a salmonella saintpaul outbreak in six states.
officials believe infected seeds, sold nationwide, are the source of the outbreak. the warning does not include bean and other types of sprouts.

there have been 31 cases of salmonella saiwtpaul in michigan, minnesota, pennsylvania, south dakota, utah, and west Virginia linked to alfalfa sprouts.

even sprouts
posted by Pudentilla at 4:27 AM | 3 comments

if you get swine flu, thank susan collins and the republicans

ds wanted pandemic planning $ in the stimulus, rs fought to keep it out.

gop know-nothings fought pandemic preparedness: when house appropriations committee chairman david obey, the wisconsin democrat who has long championed investment in pandemic preparation, included roughly $900 million for that purpose in this year's emergency stimulus bill, he was ridiculed by conservative operatives and congressional republicans.

obey and other advocates for the spending argued, correctly, that a pandemic hitting in the midst of an economic downturn could turn a recession into something far worse -- with workers ordered to remain in their homes, workplaces shuttered to avoid the spread of disease, transportation systems grinding to a halt and demand for emergency services and public health interventions skyrocketing. Indeed, they suggested, pandemic preparation was essential to any responsible plan for renewing the u.s. economy."

you already know the story, but the whole thing's worth reading.

posted by Pudentilla at 4:19 AM | 2 comments

Sunday, April 26, 2009

skippy's sunday nite music club

kiss - rock n roll all night

we liked paul rudd in role models: i just want to rock n roll all nite and part of every day
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 3 comments

reasons we still don't take the hardly-ever-right wing seriously

in response to a ben smith politico piece titled in gop base, a 'rebellion brewing', an apparently-conservative commentor warns the rest of us:

just last week obama and his loyal media told us that the democrats, socialists and loyal illiterates were totally discouraging the pathetic right. obama did not even notice that he recieved tons of tea bags nor did the media report on the grass roots. naeve or blind?
to which a later commentor asks "who's naeve?"

if these people ever learn how to spell, we might be in trouble.
posted by skippy at 8:10 PM | 3 comments

olestra...it's back....

but not in lay's potato chips this time...
olestra may no longer be in your potato chips and crackers, but you may see something close to it on the shelves of your local hardware store. procter & gamble, the company that makes olestra (brand name olean), is now using olestra-like chemicals to make eco-friendly paints and lubricants. the new product line is called sefose (you didn't think they would call it olestra, did you?), and provides a "cost-competitive sustainable alternative to petrochemicals in various applications," according to the p&g eb site. - scientific american

Labels: ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 2:43 PM | 7 comments

steele an election

how'd that ny-20 thing work out for you, michael steele?

(thx & a tip o' the kangaroo tail to tpmdc for the youtube!)
posted by skippy at 2:07 PM | 2 comments

environmental news story sunday

and you thought the pandemic flu was scary...

drowning in plastic: the great pacific garbage patch is twice the size of france. there are now 46,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometre of the world's oceans, killing a million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals each year. So how do we turn the tide? - london daily telegraph

bauxite bashers. a government plan to allow a chinese company to start mining some of the massive reserves of bauxite in vietnam has provoked an unprecedented backlash from an assortment of critics. but many believe the mining could cause irreparable damage to the environment--including the production of a toxic "red sludge." - the economist

gore, gingrich face off on climate. former vice president al gore pushed congress to find the “moral courage” to create a cap-and-trade system, endorsing a sweeping climate change proposal as “one of the most important pieces of legislation ever introduced in the congress.” - politico

pigs often infect farmers, meatpackers.pigs play an important role in the origin of pandemics because they can be infected by both bird and human strains of flu virus - washington post

orchard losses 'threaten species.' traditional fruit orchards are vanishing from england's landscape - with serious consequences for wildlife, conservationists have warned. the national trust says 60% have disappeared since the 1950s, putting local varieties of apples, cherries, pears, plums and damsons under threat

industries buried internal findings. a group funded by fossil-fuel-dependent companies that argued for years that human-generated greenhouse gases were not driving global warming was advised by its own scientists that this was the case. - washington post

hospitals go green across the u.s. green hospitals make sense for the health of the entire community: patients, staff and visitors. - ivanhoe broadcast news

madagascar drought threatens 250,000 children. up to 250,000 children are at risk of malnutrition and disease in southern madagascar as a political crisis and tropical cyclones exacerbate severe food shortages, the u.n. children agency said. - reuters

levees 'cannot save new orleans.' building bigger, stronger levees in new orleans will not be enough to save the us city from another hurricane katrina, a report has said. the risks of severe flooding in the city could "never be fully eliminated", said an independent panel of experts. - bbc.

hawaii reefs showing strain of overuse, lack of protection.the degradation has been so dramatic in some spots off heavily developed sections of o'ahu and maui that much of the coral has died and the fish stock is largely wiped out. - honolulu advertiser

the decline of seafood.no tuna, no salmon. no oysters, no skate. no cod and chips. imagine a world without seafood for supper. it's nearer than you think. - london observer

under the volcano. when mount redoubt began erupting last month, the nearby drift river oil terminal suddenly emerged from the obscurity of a low-key industrial facility to the potential source of an environmental disaster on the scale of the exxon valdez. - anchorage daily news

rising seas threaten renowned french coast. climate change has laid siege to france's aquitaine coast, dramatically speeding up the erosion of the 270 kilometre long atlantic coastline and threatening local communities. climate change means rising sea levels, more violent storms and increasing rainfall. - afp

a court for environment. do we need an international court of environment? stephen hockman, a former chairman of the u.k. bar council, thinks so. the court would provide resolution between states and would also be useful for multinational businesses in ensuring environmental laws are kept to in every country. - calcutta telegraph

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:48 PM | 1 comments

a good read

truthout has a review of margaret atwood's book on the current crisis:

t r u t h o u t | Paydirt: "



Sunday 26 April 2009
by: Leslie Thatcher, Truthout | Book Review

'Hell is like an infernal maxed-out credit card that multiplies the charges endlessly,' writes Margaret Atwood in her most recent book, 'Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth.' (Photo: The Prince of Asturias Foundation)
    Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth By Margaret Atwood, Anansi, Toronto (2008)

any other recommendations to pass along?
posted by Pudentilla at 12:31 PM | 0 comments

here's an idea...

this just occurred to us...

when the hardly-ever-right wing gathers for their 4th of july tea parties in a couple of months, a whole bunch of us should join them w/signage and banners protesting that "torture is wrong" and we should "indict cheney" and "impeach bybee" and the like.

after all, punishing the torturers is as non-partisan an issue as high taxes, n'es-ce pas?

addendum: the readers @ sadly, no! tell us this idea has been discussed and dismissed already. that's us, always late to the party...
posted by skippy at 10:55 AM | 3 comments

if you want to help get decent climate legislation passed

go read mr. silver:

the envrionmental inverted pyramid:

that is all.
posted by Pudentilla at 7:40 AM | 1 comments

how badly did the conservatives manage iceland's economy?

so badly that icelanders just elected a dyke to clean up the mess.

icelandic caretaker government wins election: "'the nation is settling the score with the neoliberalism, with the independence party, who have been in power for much too long,' sigurdardottir told supporters late saturday. 'the people are calling for a change of ethics. that is why they have voted for us.'"

(Via the guardian world news.)

posted by Pudentilla at 6:19 AM | 3 comments

wonder what rick perry will do?

the big picture wonders whether the feds will be bailing out state and local govs next

the next big bailout: atate and local governments: "

with state and local governments suffering from a steep decline in tax revenues, there’s ‘another S&L crisis’ coming, says diane garnick, investment strategist at invesco.

And since every crisis deserves its own bailout, get ready for the federal government to step in an prop up state and local municipalities, says Garnick, whose firm has about $350 billion of assets under management.


here in maine tax receipts have plummeted.

(Via The Big Picture.)

posted by Pudentilla at 6:11 AM | 1 comments

if you get swine flu, maybe you should thank a republican

effect measure on the latest flu news:

effect measure : swine flu: update; and the containment mirage: "as public health professionals they [cdc officials] are doing a heroic job, but they depend on dhhs [department of health & human services], of which they are a part, for building government-to-government relationships. those relationships suffered badly during the Bush years, with the result that mexico had a better and more comfortable connection with canada than the u.s. so why hasn't the obama administration righted the problem? Because, among other things, there is still no secretary of dhhs. obama's nominee, the highly capable administrator kansas governor kathleen sebelius, has had her confirmation held up by republican ideologues playing abortion politics.

if ever there was a time when we needed strong leadership at dhhs, this is it. playing politics has consequences."

put that in your teabag, john boehner.
posted by Pudentilla at 6:01 AM | 4 comments

cui bono/quo vadis pakistan?

juan cole suggests that certain parties, not the taliban, have an interest in making americans think that the taliban are about to take over pakistan:

Pakistan crisis and social statistics: "all the talk about the pakistani government falling within 6 months, or of a taliban takeover, flies in the face of everything we know about the character of pakistani politics and institutions during the past two years.

my guess is that the alarmism is also being promoted from within pakistan by pervez musharraf, who wants to make another military coup; and by civilian politicians in islamabad, who want to extract more money from the u.s. to fight the taliban that they are secretly also bribing to attack afghanistan.

(Via Informed Comment.)

posted by Pudentilla at 5:54 AM | 0 comments

yves thinks pelosi in on the bank scandal

are the democrats setting up elizabeth warren?

on pelosi's duplicity and apparent sandbagging of elizabeth warren: "and what do we make of pelosi's recent sponsorship of a new version of a pecora commission? her sudden interest, after the cop report came out, seems very oddly timed and inconsistent with her choice of and failure to rein in nieman.

pelosi: i'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

geithner: your winnings, ma'am.

(Via naked capitalism.)

posted by Pudentilla at 5:47 AM | 2 comments

Saturday, April 25, 2009

skippy's saturday nite music club

eddie cantor - if you knew susie like i knew susie

from the film of the same name
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 1 comments

ignorantia affectata

cia reportedly declined to closely evaluate harsh interrogations - los angelestTimes:

"the limited resources spent examining whether the interrogation measures worked were in stark contrast to the energy the cia devoted to collecting memos declaring the program lega.l"

they knew they didn't know and they chose not to check. but they did call the lawyers.
posted by Pudentilla at 7:00 PM | 3 comments

torture works, except when it doesn't,which is never

via washmonthly, we find out that torture doesn't work...according to the cia inspector general in 2004:

the cia inspector general in 2004 found that there was no conclusive proof that waterboarding or other harsh interrogation techniques helped the bush administration thwart any "specific imminent attacks," according to recently declassified justice department memos.

that undercuts assertions by former vice president dick cheney and other former bush administration officials that the use of harsh interrogation tactics including waterboarding, which is widely considered torture, was justified because it headed off terrorist attacks…

[inspector general john] helgerson also concluded that waterboarding was riskier than officials claimed and reported that the cia's office of medical services thought that the risk to the health of some prisoners outweighed any potential intelligence benefit, according to the memos.

the ig's report is among several indications that the bush administration's use of abusive interrogation methods was less productive than some former administration officials have claimed.

even some of those in the military who developed the techniques warned that the information they produced was "less reliable" than that gained by traditional psychological measures, and that using them would produce an "intolerable public and political backlash when discovered," according to a senate armed services committee report released on tuesday.
posted by skippy at 5:46 PM | 6 comments

those with dough in the know decide to go

sell sell sell: "A bit of a signal.

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- Executives and insiders at U.S. companies are taking advantage of the steepest stock market gains since 1938 to unload shares at the fastest pace since the start of the bear market.

appears to be time for the rats leaving the sinking ship adage.

(Via Eschaton.)

posted by Pudentilla at 1:46 PM | 1 comments

god speed, bea

you really did it your way.

you had the brains, talent, guts and compassion to speak out on some serious issues where others feared to tread...and you inspired many to fight for what they believe in....inspired some of us to become "new deal fanatics", as archie called maude.

thank you.


posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:28 PM | 3 comments

flu news - really scary

mexico city doctor: outbreak "far from 'under control'": "

first person report in comments to bbc coverage:

I work as a resident doctor in one of the biggest hospitals in Mexico City and sadly, the situation is far from 'under control'. As a doctor, I realise that the media does not report the truth. Authorities distributed vaccines among all the medical personnel with no results, because two of my partners who worked in this hospital (interns) were killed by this new virus in less than six days even though they were vaccinated as all of us were. The official number of deaths is 20, nevertheless, the true number of victims are more than 200. I understand that we must avoid to panic, but telling the truth it might be better now to prevent and avoid more deaths.

More here.


(Via paul kedrosky's infectious greed.)

posted by Pudentilla at 1:21 PM | 1 comments


the washington monthly: "

hilzoy says:

if we care about the rule of law, and about the idea that ours is a country of laws, not of men, then we should investigate those who break the laws, especially when they hold high office. the presidency is a public trust, not a license for criminality.

read it.
posted by Pudentilla at 12:43 PM | 1 comments

amen, brother

the gop: divorced from reality -los angeles times:

If conservatives don't want to be seen as bitter people who cling to their guns and religion and anti-immigrant sentiments, they should stop being bitter and clinging to their guns, religion and anti-immigrant sentiments./

read the whole thing.
posted by Pudentilla at 4:44 AM | 4 comments

Friday, April 24, 2009

skippy's friday nite music club

styx - domo arigato mr. roboto
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 12 comments


dalai lama
see more Political Pictures

Labels: ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 3:59 PM | 4 comments

are you watching, mr. coleman?

jim tedisco has conceded to scott murphy in the new york-20 congressional race. talkingpointsmemeo:

gop candidate jim tedisco, who trailed by 401 votes as of yesterday's vote count, has called murphy to concede, according to murphy spokesman ryan rudominer. (the latest vote count puts murphy ahead by 399 votes.)...

tedisco has released a statement, saying among other things:

"this was a close campaign every step of the way. ultimately, it became clear that the numbers were not going our way and that the time had come to step aside and ensure that the next congressman be seated as quickly as possible. in the interest of the citizens of the 20th congressional district and our nation, i wish scott the very best as he works with our new president and congress to address the tremendous challenges facing our country."
speaker pelosi's office confirms to us that murphy will be sworn in next week.
now if only norm coleman would see the writing on the wall and follow tedisco's example.
posted by skippy at 3:08 PM | 2 comments

everything old is new again

for the students of the classics, we humbly offer, the facebook aeneid
posted by Pudentilla at 2:11 PM | 1 comments

rule of law

glenzilla is on fire today:

democratic complicity and what "politicizing justice" really means: "

here's the thing. when you want to challenge a legal interpretation you do in the context of a lawsuit or legislation. if you do it outside those contexts, you're breaking the law. sometimes folks break the law in order to focus energy on legislation or force a lawsuit to challenge the law. but they're still breaking the law. that's why it's called civil disobedience.

so there's a lot of evidence that aWol et al. tortured. torture is against the law. if there are no criminal investigations of them, then we are choosing to have a politics unconstrained by law. there's a word for this and it ain't democracy.

for myself, i don't care if nancy pelosi and half the democratic party gets swept up in rectifying the horror aWol and his cronies made of our government. it's not about partisan identity. it's about choosing what kind of country we want by choosing what kind of rules we to govern ourselves by, and governing ourselves by those rules.


posted by Pudentilla at 9:58 AM | 3 comments

the polo ponies were pharmaceutically poisoned

by an error in "concocting" a medication that may be illegal here in the united states.

a top official of an ocala-based pharmacy admitted thursday that it incorrectly mixed a medication that was given to 21 polo horses that mysteriously collapsed and died last weekend in palm beach county.

jennifer beckett, chief operations officer for franck's pharmacy, said an internal investigation revealed that the strength of an ingredient in the medication was incorrect.

...both biodyl, manufactured in france, and a generic version are banned in the united states. the manufacture of it is illegal, said miami attorney j.b. harris. if franck was manufacturing a generic version, the pharmacy is likely to be pursued by authorities, harris said.

franck's pharmacy, headed by pharmacist paul franck, opened about 25 years ago. it specializes in making medicines that are no longer commercially available, according to its website. it serves both humans and animals. franck was disciplined by the florida department of health in 1992, according to state records. - miami herald

Labels: ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:45 AM | 2 comments

we're not on fire out here on the left coast

but the right coast isn't so lucky. our hearts go out to them. we feel their crispy pain.

fueled by waxy undergrowth and unpredictable winds, wildfires across a large swath of inland horry county destroyed dozens of homes and displaced thousands of residents thursday, leaving a smoky scar across the sky, scorch marks across the land and fears of more destruction to come.

the fires could burn for days, officials said, but conditions for fighting them were expected to improve thursday night. those same conditions - low wind and high humidity - will make for a friday filled with dense smoke and fog, officials warned. - the news & observer

and we're really not out of the "woods" yet in terms of being safe...we're entering our high fire season a little early and we don't have much water to deal with the parched "wild fire food" that our state offers up.
california is bracing for another year of bad wildfires as a thin mountain snowpack, parched vegetation and an early heat wave signal a third consecutive year of drought.

recent surveys by the state of california and the u.s. forest service found the sierra snowpack to be 80% of normal, and the moisture content in brush and grasses to be drier than usual by this time of year. - ustoady

Labels: , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:31 AM | 3 comments

no nuremberg on the potomic

sic semper tyrannis : nuremberg and american exceptionalism:

col. lang says we can't use the nuremburg defense to justify not prosecuting american torturers. not to sound naive, but we still can't get over the fact that folks are publicly defending torture. mind boggling. simply mind boggling.


posted by Pudentilla at 5:24 AM | 2 comments

a day late and a book and a flower short

informed comment: a modest proposal: george's day and saving bookstores (and not bad for florists either):

There is a delightful custom in Barcelona. On April 23, St. George's Day, men give their girlfriends or wives a rose. And the women give their male beloved a book. The gift of the book is said to have been initiated in 1926 as a commemoration of Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote.

we heartily support prof. cole's suggestion. mark your calendar's for 2010.
posted by Pudentilla at 5:20 AM | 1 comments

tune up the tivo

the next big hearing? (bill moyers tonight) - the baseline scenario:

simon johnson will be on bill moyers with michael perino, a law professor who's writing a history of the pecora hearings - the congressional hearings in the 30s that figured out how wall street ripped america off and into the 1st great depression and figured out how to stop them (until the reagan and his friends started the undoing of their good work).

posted by Pudentilla at 5:07 AM | 1 comments

the call 'em robber barons for a reason

the reality-based community: take the money and run: by jonathan zasloff

the ft reports that jp morgan chase and citigroup have announced that they will not participate in ppip, the treasury's plan to incentivize investors to purchase 'legacy assets' (i.e. toxic waste).

zasloff explains the outrage in 4 ez steps.


posted by Pudentilla at 5:00 AM | 1 comments


op-ed columnist - reclaiming america’s soul - nytimes.com: "

By paul krugman
published: April 23, 2009

... america is more than a collection of policies. we are, or at least we used to be, a nation of moral ideals. in the past, our government has sometimes done an imperfect job of upholding those ideals. but never before have our leaders so utterly betrayed everything our nation stands for. “this government does not torture people,” declared former president bush, but it did, and all the world knows it.

ask the kids say, read the whole thing.


posted by Pudentilla at 4:54 AM | 0 comments

on the verge?

stress test update | mother jones: "

nyt says:

analysts are already betting that the stress tests will show that banks need to raise significant amounts of new capital, as profits made in the first three months of the year give way to more losses, tied to credit card, commercial real estate and corporate loans.

kdrum asks:

the times report is very antiseptic, but it's a fantasy to think that any bank "on the verge" will be able to raise private capital, and the Treasury's TARP money is nearly exhausted. so then what?


posted by Pudentilla at 4:48 AM | 1 comments

is the bacon coming home to roost?

Seven people in U.S. hit by strange new swine flu | Reuters: "

factbox: new flu strain is a genetic mix
by maggie fox, health and science editor
washington (reuters) - seven people have been diagnosed with a new kind of swine flu in california and texas, the u.s. centers for disease control and prevention reported on thursday.
all seven people have recovered.

effect measure explains it all for you.


posted by Pudentilla at 4:32 AM | 19 comments

Thursday, April 23, 2009

skippy's thursday nite music club

cabaret voltaire - i want you
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 2 comments

look (and listen) to santa barbara's special guest

the dalai lama is in town tomorrow. and although the tickets were sold out in a matter of hours, you can still listen to the talks at ucsb on kcsb-fm.

kcsb 91.9 fm to air exclusive live radio broadcasts of the dalai lama’s uc santa barbara speeches on friday, april 24

“the nature of mind,” from 9:30-11:30am, pdt, and his follow-up talk,
“ethics for our time,” from 2-4pm

Labels: ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:14 PM | 1 comments

handshaking with dictators

other than physically controlling their populations, the biggest problem for autocrats -- most of them narcissistic monomaniacs -- is maintaining the legitimacy of their authority, which by definition is always on thin ice. to ______________ and his handlers perhaps it was just a photo-op. for __________ it was priceless. merely being seen or photographed in the presence of civilized society -- at summits, negotiations, in state visits -- empowers the autocrat and discourages his opposition. - kinda from the wall street journal's editorial written by a rightwing tool who apparently has forgotten a few photos of handshakes in history.

Labels: , , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:56 PM | 2 comments


the measure of a great politician: >i believe that while a good politician accomplishes what is possible, a great one expands the realm of possibility. he doesn't simply accept the lines of argument as their drawn and hew to the side with the most soldiers, he tries to redraw those lines to benefit his ideals. obama's jobs isn't simply to spend his own political capital, it's to grow his capital, and by extension, the moral weight of his ideals. perhaps pushing torture investigations would make passing health care harder. but this is the business he chose. this is the business of becoming great. and after what happened last year, we have the right to expect more of him. we have the right to demand more.

( ta-nehisi coates.)

posted by Pudentilla at 2:44 PM | 3 comments

queers to cuisinarts in connecticuts

let us hope the wave swamps maine as well. because as maine goes...

conn. governor signs gay marriage bill - Boston.com:

april 23, 2009

hartford, conn.—a decade-long battle for same-sex marriage in connecticut has ended with the governor's signature on a bill updating the state's laws.

gov. m. jodi rell signed the legislation thursday, one day after the state house and senate both approved it.
the bill removes gender references from state marriage laws. it also transforms existing same-sex civil unions into legally recognized marriages as of oct. 1, 2010.
the law comes after last fall's state supreme court ruling that gay couples have the right to wed in connecticut.


posted by Pudentilla at 2:32 PM | 3 comments

movin' on up

ezra's been invited to join the club

EzraKlein Archive | The American Prospect:


posted by Pudentilla at 2:17 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to illiterate electorate.
posted by skippy at 4:04 AM | 1 comments

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

skippy's wednesday nite music club

bat for lashes - what's a girl to do

creepy...but kewl...
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 5 comments

behold the power that is the blog, with sarah palin' in comparison

the mudflats tells us that gov. maggie o'connell puts the blame for her alaskan attorney general nominee not passing the legislature squarely on...teh bloggers!!

and we all know that for the first time ever, a governor’s attorney general appointment got voted down in the legislature. and it got voted way down 35-23. i picture some kind of large fuel-laden aircraft doing a perfect nose dive right into the ground. guess the governor was wrong about what alaskans want.

so what was the reason for this?

his own mediocre performance?

the fact that his anti-subsistence, anti sovereignty statements had every major native group in the state denouncing him?

the fact that he called gays “degenerates” and “immoral,” refused to take it back, instead creating a delightfully lame analogy comparing the gay community to lima beans (which he ”hates”) to make us all feel better?
the fact that multiple members of the community stood up with stories and quotes from ross’ past that were not only sexist, but misogynistic to the highest degree?

the fact that he told the legislature not to worry their pretty little heads about whether a new senate appointment from the governor was legal or illegal?

the fact that he wrote a letter denying that he’d ever said that, right before the audio of him saying exactly that was released?

the fact that the selection of this utterly controversial, divisive and inappropriate candidate happened in the first place?

no no no. according to palin, it was the bloggers.

gov. sarah palin is blaming bloggers and lies for the defeat of her attorney general nominee, who the alaska legislature refused to confirm last week.

“a great problem was public lies were told about mr. ross,” she said.

palin declined to say whose lies undermined ross, citing the blogosphere and e-mails from members of the public.
wow. so, it’s our fault. because, you see, if the bloggers and the rest of the media weren’t so damned nosy, and interested in what was going on in our government, and weren’t sitting behind our keyboards running our mouths all the time, then people wouldn’t have gotten so upset about it.

it’s kind of like when wayne anthony ross pointed out that there wouldn’t be such a problem with domestic violence, if women would just keep their mouths shut. i guess it kind of works the same way. there wouldn’t be such a problem with her appointments if the bloggers and constituents would just keep their mouths shut. now, i see.
gee, we didn't know we were so powerful.

and a belated congratulations to ak muckraker for continuing on her proud blogging tradition in spite of being "outed" by a drunk alaskan legislator.
posted by skippy at 5:54 PM | 5 comments

we're so honored, we can't even tweet!

imagine our surprise to find that mitt romney is following skippy on twitter!!

unlike meggers vs. karl, we think this is just swell! we actually thought mr. romney was the gop's best bet last go-around, and will try not to make fun of mormons or the olympics on twitter!
posted by skippy at 1:53 PM | 4 comments

yet another example of why you shouldn't swear @ people

sen. patrick leahy plans to initiate an investigation into the previous administration's use of torture, whether or not it can be bipartisan:

abc news' z. byron wolf reports from capitol hill: sen. patrick leahy pledged today that if he cannot get the votes to create a bipartisan commission to investigate u.s. torture policy under former president george w. bush -- and regardless of calls by president obama that any inquiry be bipartisan -- he'll conduct his own partisan inquiry in the senate judiciary committee.

leahy's comments after a press conference on capitol hill today exposed a growing rift between democrats in congress and the white house on how to seek accountability from bush-era justice officials for condoning torture in the aftermath of 9/11.
upon seeing the that news, a ruffian, commenting @ talkleft points out the obvious:

could it be cheney told the wrong guy to go f- himself? leahy has a good memory.
remember, kids, as the late great jimmy durante said, be nice to people on your way up, because you'll meet them on your way down.
posted by skippy at 1:32 PM | 3 comments

from the emails we never bothered to finish reading dept.

we don't believe a word of this, which we found in our inbox:

الساعة جولييت ، وهو طويل القامة وسيم فتاة ، وذلك جميل
ورعاية جيدة understanding.fair في البشرة ، والرعاية الجيدة
تقاسم honesty.i شهدت بروفايلك في (www.myali.net) التي تهتم بي كثيرا ، وقررت الاتصال you.I فعلا نريد أن تكون صداقة جيدة معكم
حتى لو كنت قد تزوج نكون صديق طيب ، أنا لها سبب
اختيار لك يا صديقي ، والثابتة والمتنقلة إذا كنت تريد أن تعرف more.pls الاتصال بي
معرف بلدي من خلال هذا نحن بحاجة الى الحديث ، وأكثر معرفة بنفسي وعلى قدم المساواة حصة الصور لبعضهما البعض.

نأمل أن نسمع منك.

مع السلامة مع بحرارة
> swap

we especially don't believe the "honesty" part, or the spelling of "hugs" w/2 g's.
posted by skippy at 1:26 PM | 1 comments

happy earthday

as is our tradition, we take a moment on earth day to direct you to some eco-friendly blogs, including

coyote crossing

biomes blog


and of course our own cookie jill.

addendum: via the biomes blog, here's a video of some school children watching a baby chicken hatch...

Little D Hatching Out of the Egg from Class 1-208 on Vimeo.
posted by skippy at 10:51 AM | 4 comments

cue the twilight zone music

suicide or....?
the acting chief financial officer of freddie mac, an embattled government-owned company that controls millions of home mortgages, was found dead today of apparent suicide in his suburban virginia home. - latimes

Labels: ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:02 AM | 4 comments

unfortunately there is a history in the horse world

of bad people doing bad things to horses. one of the most historic and heartbreaking was the sad, horrific demise of the champion alydar, who was remembered as affirmed arch rival in the glory racing years of yore.
once upon a time he was one of the fastest thoroughbreds in the world. in 1990 he was put down after breaking his leg—an accident, it was assumed, until last year. - texas monthly (2001)

Labels: , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:55 AM | 1 comments

happy earth day

Planet Earth | www.projectarchive.net
Originally uploaded by projectarchive.net
it's your big blue marble in the sky.
show it some love today.


posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:53 AM | 2 comments

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

skippy's tuesday nite music club

the supremes - there's a place for us
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 1 comments

say hello

to slothropia.

(and no, we didn't coin that phrase!)
posted by skippy at 4:47 PM | 1 comments

good buddha it's hot here

95.9 °F

time to go to ben & jerry's and get a free scoop of the good stuff on this "free scoop day!"

Labels: ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 2:02 PM | 2 comments

quote of the day

from the mudflats, talking about the oil industry in alaska, but can be applied to a wider context, we think:

crossing your fingers is never a good environmental policy.
posted by skippy at 12:06 PM | 1 comments

mad about republican hypocrisy

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 8:59 AM | 1 comments

Monday, April 20, 2009

skippy's monday nite music club

meryn caddell - the sweater

very cute video - very funny deconstruction of teenage love songs
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 4 comments

the full employment act of 2009

we could eradicate unemployment if we hired enough people to investigate all of the crimes committed by the bush junta...

Labels: , , ,

posted by George at 10:09 PM | 2 comments

21 confirmed dead

Polo Ponies
Originally uploaded by Keith Jack
such a sad, sad story.

speculation focused on the possibility of toxic shock, which would explain the symptoms displayed by the horses of dizziness, water in the lungs and cardiac arrest.

if so, that would lead investigators to ask what caused the reaction. it could be explained by contaminated food or water, which would raise the issue of whether the toxin was mistakenly or consciously given to the animals.

vet james belden, who was at the scene, told nbc: "clearly it's an intoxication ... there's some sort of a poison." - guardian

Labels: , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:28 PM | 7 comments

omg! like, meghan thinks karl is soooo creepy!

has the gop come down to this? meghan mccain thinks it's "creepy" that karl rove is following her on twitter:

karl rove follows me on twitter. that’s creepy. i joined twitter a few months ago; so far, it has been a liberating way to transition from political to personal blogging. it’s allowed me to share the less-serious aspects and humorously uncensored moments of my life. but there’s also been a downside: i am now being followed by karl rove, and my local sheriff, and god knows how many other political pundits. we need to take twitter back from the creepy people.
uh, we're not so sure that we do. let the creepy people have twitter.

and, to be really, really, honest, it's not like meghan mccain herself doesn't have a wee bit of the creeps about her. we mean, who writes a national column about having your twitter feed followed by somebody you don't like, instead of merely blocking that person from following you? that's just a little bit whiny and a little bit egotistical, which is, after all, the very essence of creepdom.

block karl from your tweets, babe! come on, meggers, it worked for jake tapper!

but, in the meantime, let's hear what sad kermit has to say about the subject:

posted by skippy at 7:00 PM | 6 comments

quote of the day

gavin @ sadly, no!

it’s hard to account for the cheap shots that thoughtful observers have leveled at jonah goldberg since the whitewater and lewinsky follies brought him before us. by this i mean that no, it’s easy to account for them, because jonah’s career as a public intellectual suggests a crank yankers puppet that calls people up pretending to be george will.
posted by skippy at 4:30 PM | 2 comments

Sunday, April 19, 2009

skippy's sunday nite music club

the frail - count on this
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 4 comments

skippy's sunday night music club

remembering the 80's...

thomas dolby - "she blinded me with science"

david byrne fronting the talking heads - "life during wartime"

xtc and "dear god"

Labels: ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:49 PM | 2 comments

just heartbreaking

simply heartbreaking.
at least 14 thoroughbred horses died today after collapsing before a polo match. vets hooked up intravenous tubes to the sick horses and fought to help them breathe as the horses from the lechuza caracas team were stricken by an unknown illness, officials said.

"some died right away. others lasted about 45 minutes," said veterinarian scott swerdlin, member of the palm beach equine clinic who was at the scene and said 14 horses died.- palm beach post
i've spent many a summer here in santa barbara at the polo matches. these riders and horses are tremendous athletes and the game is really exciting...you just ignore the jewelry and the attitudes of some of the club members. but this is just a tragedy to lose so many horses so soon...so mysteriously.

Labels: , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:01 PM | 2 comments

we learned about it the same time charlotte and miranda did

kathy kattenberg, over @ the moderate voice, points out the innate homophobia in the hardly-ever-right wing's self-righteousness over finding out that 'tea bagging' is more than a patriotic act:

scott johnson holds forth on teabagging and “public homosexuality“:

…there is something funny going on here, if not exactly where cooper, maddow and sullivan find it. cooper is widely reputed to be homosexual. maddow and sullivan are of course public homosexuals. it is funny in an ironic sort of way that these folks choose to disparage the tea party protestors from somewhere inside the homosexual subculture. why not just call the protestors girly boys and let everyone in on the joke? or would that spoil the fun?

there is not only something funny going on here, there is a story here. these supposed journalists and their networks (or publisher, in sullivan’s case) have rather seriously insulted the citizens who colorfully took to the streets to air respectable views in a most civil fashion. if they had any decency, cooper et al. would apologize for their vile reference to sexual practices in the context of ordinary citizens exercising their first amendment rights.
skip a beat….

update: i had missed matt taibbi’s vulgar assault on michelle malkin in this context drawing on the heterosexual form of the practice.
the heterosexual form of the practice. scott, who is reputed to be heterosexual a public heterosexual, thinks that oral sex is some weird, kinky sex practice that only homosexuals do, except someone just slipped him a note to let him know there is a “heterosexual form” of this practice.

scott, you are an ignorant, homophobic fool.
of course, many commentors on kathy's post accuse her of missing the point (the point being that the liberal media are trying to disrespect the tea bagging parties by use of sexual innuendo, or @ least by lying about the numbers of tea baggers attending).

we think kathy actually nails the point pretty good. and we won't use any sexual innuendo puns to explain it, either.

the hardly-ever-right wing are the ones who decided to use the phrases "tea bags," "tea baggers" and "tea bagging." witness this picture


from the washington independent post, scenes from the new american tea party, describing the rally outside the white house on feb. 27, 2009.

addendum: found via brendan calling...from this most recent tea bagging party in philadelphia:


so it's not as if the lefty's decided to denigrate the opposition w/bad taste jokes. the right labeled themselves w/a slang for a sexual act. it's hardly our fault if they didn't know it.

and it's not as if it was such an obscure, unheard of procedure. the hardly-ever-right didn't call themselves the felchers, after all. and skippy first heard about the sexual practice of tea bagging on "sex and the city."

(mrs. skipppy loves that show. skippy has seen every episode. twice. some several times. the skippy's have power-cycled thru the whole series on netflix. twice. and they saw the movie the first nite it came out. please, if you ever are in los angeles, do skippy a favor and put a bullet thru his head.)

our point here (and the point kathy makes @ the moderate voice) is, the right wing is so insular, so cut off from the very society they feign to want to change, so completely blinded to the rest of us, that they label themselves w/a slang term for widely-accepted sexual practice, and then get all self-righteous when we laugh at them for it.

but beyond that, as kathy points out, they are so homophobic, they attribute the sexually-oriented-neutral act to homosexual taunters. (interestingly enough, scott johnson** points to rachel maddow, a lesbian, who would have no interest whatsoever in tea bagging, as proof that teh gays (!!) are responsible for the disrespect. project much, scott?)

it's certainly not our fault that the ass-roots neoclownservatives are so out of touch w/reality that they are calling themselves the equivalent of an anatomically-lower blow job, and it certainly shows how thin their skin is, when they can't take a joke they themselves made, albeit inadvertantly.

and it's certainly not our fault when they show their true bigotry by incorrectly attributing the sexual act to a minority they revile on a regular basis.

luckily for us, the label "tea baggers" seems to be here to stay. we can only hope that, in an effort to show their continuing dislike for us, they try to "own" the label, much as black kids call each other niggers, or women proudly accept the word "bitch."

"yeah, we're tea baggers, and proud of it!"

addendum: need more proof that tea bagging only exposes the hardly-ever-right's bigotry? exhibit b...

** he. he. he. we said, 'johnson.' all right, so we couldn't make it thru the whole thing w/o an innuendo. go tell it to dick armey.
posted by skippy at 7:22 PM | 11 comments

environmental news story sunday

posting before i head on down to earth day celebrations here in santa barbara.

carver high is filled with pride and asbestos. there is asbestos in the ceiling, mold on the walls and water stains on the carpet. roofs leak and rooms flood. sewage pipes run overhead next to conduits for electrical lines. there is no sprinkler system. welcome to george washington carver high school.- columbus ledger-enquirer

biosolids concerns bubble to surface. orange county residents say sewage sludge spread on fields may be making them sick. orange county ranks fifth among the state's 100 counties in permitted biosolids application sites, according to the county. - chapel hill news

let the sunshine in. the future of energy as dreamed about by ardent environmentalists would bring a mini-electric plant to every garage or every rooftop. As it turns out, some of that vision already may be happening in gainesville.- orlando sentinel

there's still much to learn about long-term health effects of last year's fires. last summer's fires left a physical imprint on all california's northernmost landscapes. some residents of trinity county say the fires also cast another, less tangible shadow: on their lungs. with global warming, will smoke become a constant part of their lives?- redding record searchlight

a deadly rain: clean air act limited effect on adirondack lakes. in 1961, major bowes bought the covewood lodge on the banks of big moose lake. more than 60 years later he has watched as acid rain and other environmental changes have damaged the trees, killed the fish, and impaired the drinking water.- utica observer-dispatch

proof is in the poison: pcb toxins are hazardous to humans. three new studies concluded that even low-level exposure to pcbs likely contributes to developmental disorders in children, including autism, attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities and mental retardation.- green bay press-gazette

toxic marshes deadly to swans: coeur d'alene river laden with lead from silver valley mining. counting dead swans is a rite of spring for some u.s. fish and wildlife service biologists. the yearly survey helps track the toll that mining pollution takes on wildlife in the coeur d'alene basin.- seattle times

secrets of the sunbird quicksilver mine. as most defunct mercury mines lie deserted and unreclaimed, they often end up on the epa’s watch list or as superfund sites that, even after millions of dollars worth of mitigation, are almost never fully contained.- santa barbara independent

Labels: , , , , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:28 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, April 18, 2009

skippy's saturday night music club (bonus track)

strunz and farah - "bola"

Labels: ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:35 PM | 2 comments

skippy's saturday night music club

michael stipe and rem with the boss - "man on the moon"

Labels: ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:29 PM | 0 comments

april 18, 1906

the great quake of san francisco. the city honored the two remaining survivors of the temblor that made history.

and, speaking of earthquakes...we've had some little ones of late....

Labels: , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:15 PM | 3 comments

water wars

in california

thousands rally after four days of marching for valley farmers. turn on the pumps, the people cried again and again. turn on the pumps. "agua, agua!" thousands of farmers, laborers and others dependent on san joaquin valley agriculture pleaded for the state and federal governments. - stockton record

montara, redwood city recognized for water conservation. with california in its third consecutive year of drought and a state emergency calling for a 20 percent reduction in water use, conservation has never been more important. - san mateo county times

hundreds protest cuts in water in california. hundreds walked along dusty roads in the central valley on thursday -- part of a four-day march to protest federal cutbacks in water supplies. the march will end friday at the san luis reservoir, one of many in the area that are well below normal levels. - nytimes

valley march for water ends today. demonstrators in the four-day march for water are demanding, among other things, that government officials relax pumping restrictions at the sacramento-san joaquin delta so that more water could flow to farmers in the san joaquin valley. - fresno bee

bill would outlaw homeowners' association bans on low-water-use plants. two of california's biggest urban water districts have teamed up to sponsor state legislation that would bar local homeowner associations from requiring lush lawns in droughts and prohibiting homeowners from replacing lawns with less-thirsty plants.- contra costa time

recession slowing water investment to a drip. water, cheap and indispensable, has long been prized as a stable investment in both good and bad times. but as the population grows, urbanization tightens access to clean water and climate change promises more droughts, calls to upgrade the nation's crumbling infrastructure have mounted. - reuters

california farmers cope with drought. california is facing its worst drought in more than 15 years. water rationing could cost the state's agricultural industry more than $2 billion and 40,000 jobs. so the state's helping create a market for one of our most vital resources. - marketplace

comedian takes valley water crisis seriously. paul rodriguez understands the power of humor, symbolism and media attention. he is using them to publicize california's broken water-delivery system and staggering job losses in farm communities. - fresno bee

Labels: , , , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 3:03 PM | 4 comments

Friday, April 17, 2009

skippy's friday nite music club and cartoon corner

you may remember when we decided that john lennon did not provide the voice of john lennon for the tax day presentation of the beatles' cartoon taxman.

instead, the cartoon john was voiced by the great vocal artists paul frees. among other notable moments in cartoon history provided by the late, great mr. frees is this one from disney's wonderful world of color, fondly remembered from our childhood:

ludwig von drake - the spectrum song
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 6 comments

two words...

twitter sucks.


posted by Jim Yeager at 10:35 PM | 6 comments

tea baggers! now 33 1/3% stronger than the green party!

as you may recall, we were not impressed w/the numbers of protestors participating in the tea bagging parties on tax day.

nate silver, no conservative, estimated @ least 250,000 300,000 people showed up to vent. we thought that, in a country of over 300 million, that was a pretty insignificant number (a little less than 1/1000th).

so we emailed the national secretary of the green party, asking them how many americans were registered to vote green. unsurprisingly, the numbers were pretty close to those of the tea baggers:


very roughly, somewhere around 200,000, possibly a little more that's if you're talking about registration numbers, as opposed to membership. in some states, voters don't register by party at al, so membership is counted or estimated another way, often by a membership list, sometimes estimating by votes cast for green candidates. membership numbers would be a little higher than the number of registered greens, but the numbers are always changing.

nice blog, by the way - please let me know if you use thie information in an article, we may be able to post in on our website!

holly hart,

secretary, green party of the u.s.
thanks loads, holly!

so, even if we count no more than the registered members of the green party alone, the teabaggers were able to only scrounge up a mere 25% 33 1/3% more folks for their political agenda. and remember, the green party doesn't have their own cable news network to promote their events!
posted by skippy at 5:12 PM | 6 comments

kangaroo blogging friday

Eastern Grey Kangaroo - Mother & her Joey
Originally uploaded by whoops vision
showing some love version

Labels: , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:14 AM | 1 comments

Thursday, April 16, 2009

skippy's thursday nite music club

sound tribe sector 9 - aimlessly
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 4 comments

compare and contrast

we mentioned that nate silver estimates the teabagging turn out to be around 250,000 nation-wide yesterday.

we have found that the nyc protests against the gop convention, as well as the sept. 24, 2005 anti-iraq war protest in washington, dc, both drew those same numbers by some accounts.

and even if you take the lower estimates, those demonstrations easily pulled in at least half of the total tea bagging attendance in each of those singular cities on those dates.

so color us unimpressed.
posted by skippy at 5:48 PM | 1 comments

there's still 999 others

according to 538, appx. 250,000 people turned out to the tea bagging parties all across the nation yesterday:

but, based on news accounts of 306 "tea party" protests in different cities across the country yesterday, i get a cumulative attendance of 262,025, with a fair number of (probably mostly smaller) events still unaccounted for.

these figures, wherever possible, are drawn from objective attempts to estimate crowd sizes, such as police accounts or estimates made by reporters. organizers of these events have strong incentives to exaggerate crowd sizes. participants in them may have some of the same incentives, and it is notoriously difficult for people to accurately estimate crowd sizes once attendance has reached more than a few dozen individuals.
considering the us has a population of a little over 300 mill, this represents a little over .086 of one percent of the entire citizentry. that's a wee bit under a thousandth of one percent.

so, if you put a thousand americans in a large stadium, one of them would be a teabagger.

why are we giving all this attention to that one guy?
posted by skippy at 8:43 AM | 5 comments

question of the day...

this one's for everyone who's ever lived in the united states of america, and skippy reader essaress gave me the idea: how many states have you lived in?

i've lived in eight so far: massachusetts, georgia, tennessee, texas, vermont, ohio, new hampshire, and virginia. and i'm content to leave it at eight -- i could live in virginia for the rest of my life. but you never know, there might be a ninth way down the road...


posted by Jim Yeager at 5:54 AM | 14 comments

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

skippy's wednesday nite music club & cartoon corner

in honor of tax (and/or "teabag") day...

the beatles - taxman

we're pretty sure the beatles didn't provide the voices for the cartoon (or else john lennon also did the voice for disney's haunted house ride**), but they do sing the song starting @ about 2:40...

(** nah...john's voice here & the haunted house narration were done by the late, great paul frees)
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 3 comments

why twittr sucks

we just now realized the perfect metaphor for twitter.

it comes from david cronenberg's seminal film scanners. for those of you who aren't sci-fi geeks, the movie concerned people who, after insidious government experiments (are there any other kind?) acquired the psychic ability to make other people do things like wet their pants or kill people or have their heads blow up. but it came w/a price, because most of the scanners could hear everyone else's thoughts, but -- and this is the dramatic part -- were unable to turn it off at will.

so they went thru life hearing snatches of non-sequitorious conversations from other people's heads.

twitter is like having this state of mind voluntarily.
posted by skippy at 8:53 PM | 6 comments

quote of the day

dougj @ balloon juice on the turn out @ today's tea bagging parties:

finally, why do we have to pay attention to 100k tea-baggers when 10 million anti-iraq war protesters were considered a focus group?
posted by skippy at 8:22 PM | 4 comments

cold tea

skippy popped over to the los angeles/south bay tea party this afternoon to check on the opposition.

very little in the way of complete wackos were evident, to be fair. altho tammy bruce did make an appearance.

we estimate that about 500-600 folks showed up, which was quite a feat, considering that the weather turned cold today, and the gathering was on dockweiller state beach. the wind was coming in from off the ocean @ quite a forceful clip. in fact, one little kid holding a sign that said "atlas shrugged" actually got blown to the ground, poor guy.

the very first sign that skippy saw said "i'm not my brother's keeper," to which skippy replied, "so it's mainly a christian crowd, eh?"

the folks attending applauded the usual tropes of no taxes, no big government, etc. it was actually pretty boring, and not as fringe-tinged as other parties have been reported to be.

but to be very frank: skippy attended many anti-war protests in los angeles during the last decade, and the crowd today was dwarfed by most of those demonstrations. in fact, skippy organized a "he's not my president's day" protest for the february during awol's first year, and the crowd that showed up for that rally was comparable to today's teabag bonanza.

media matters provides this clip of cnn's susan roesgen interviewing a teabagger in chicago, who does seem to go off the deep end:

posted by skippy at 6:18 PM | 7 comments

eleven years...

during the spring of 1997, i was living in lowell, massachusetts and working full-time at a paper bag-manufacturing plant in my home town of pepperell, fifteen miles away. i was part of its printing department, my first taste of the printing business. and i liked my job. thought i had it made compared to about ninety percent of the people who worked at that plant, in fact. and this was a place with low turnover, too. sons and fathers worked there, mothers and daughters... even a father, son, and grandson at one point during my stay. the pepperell i remember was a plain old conservative, blue-collar, meat-and-potatoes kind of town. a fair number of people started working at that company right after high school or the military, and wound up retiring from there. this was during my own somewhat conservative phase, so that spring, i was starting to think along similar lines. i even mentioned to my mother that i was thinking about buying a house, and any pointers she might have toward that end would be considered. we talked for an hour or so about that.

by 1998, i was at my second job since leaving the bag plant in september. (odd but true fact: my last day there was the 11th -- i've had a dozen or so different jobs since graduating from high school, and i remember most of the end-of-employment dates. for obvious reasons, that one sticks out like a sore thumb.) and i hated this job with a passion. i wanted my old job back, but some bigwig at headquarters in minneapolis had announced that the pepperell plant was being phased out, and after watching both morale and the very environment of the place deteriorate for a couple months, i knew i had to get out and that once i was gone, i couldn't go back. on top of that, my musical aspirations had all but crash-landed after quitting the bag plant -- the band i was hoping to pull together simply fell apart, and looking back on that, well, it never stood a chance. but at the time, i felt like i was drowning, and i couldn't make sense of any of it.

hopping over some details... in march '08 '98 {whoops}, i told my family and my friends that i would be moving to richmond, virginia in april. i'd landed another bag plant job there, and a new apartment. my friends didn't like that, but they told me they wished me the best of luck. members of my family took the news a bit more personally. as a rule, in my own twenty-odd years of experience, new englanders tend to be somewhat surly and more than somewhat clannish in their outward behavior. i never got the hang of the clannish aspect of it (though i seem to have a death-grip on the surly bit), so when certain of my relatives started getting clannish on my ass, i didn't like it. i don't remember which cousin at the last family get-together we had before i left said this to me, but he definitely said, "you belong here."

other relatives told me i wouldn't last long in virginia. told me i'd be back in a year or two. other than mom, i don't remember anyone wishing me the best of luck. but what stuck in my mind was, "you belong here."

well, it's april 2009 now. i've been in virginia for eleven years. the bag plant job turned out to be a disaster, but i found a print shop i thought i'd give a shot, and started working there in december 1999. i still work there. and i still live at the apartment i was living in when i started working there (for three more weeks -- then i'm moving, but i'm looking forward to that). i was told i wouldn't last. i've lasted in ways i never lasted before. and you know what? with or without the print shop, i could live in virginia for another eleven years.

i don't miss massachusetts. or the pepperell plant. i don't miss the band that fell apart. and to a lesser extent, i don't miss my relatives or friends, either. i mean, i do have a history of leaving my relatives and friends behind, and sometimes i do regret doing that. but all the same... well, you do not tell me "you belong here." you just don't do that. i suggest you ask my family how that $#!+ works on me before you try it on me.

they've had eleven years to think about how to answer that...


posted by Jim Yeager at 7:02 AM | 3 comments