s skippy the bush kangaroo: February 2012

skippy the bush kangaroo

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

rip davey jones

a big part of our early adolescence has passed, or, at least one fourth of it. monkee davy jones is dead at age 66. usatoady:

his publicist, helen kensick, said the singer died in indiantown, fla., where he lived.

with an infectious smile and easy humor, the diminutive brit played the paul mccartney role in the beatles-inspired quartet, which also included peter tork, micky dolenz and mike nesmith.

jones sang lead on some of the group's biggest hits, including daydream believer.

jones, who like his bandmates had continued to perform, had dates scheduled for march.

rest in peace, davy. here's our fav of yours:

the monkees - daydream believer
posted by skippy at 3:47 PM | 2 comments

The Six O'Clock Alarm Would Never Ring

There were two real musicians and two others: the kid who kept beating out Paul Williams (the short Canadian whose Phantom of the Paradise is a true classic) for roles such as Circus Boy (and who sang lead on most of the hits), and the English kid with the longish, straight hair.

Don Kirshner wanted a photogenic—telegenic—group he could control and sell. The songwriting would be taken care of by The Professionals: Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, Neil Diamond, John Stewart (who wrote the song shown below), Jerry Goffin and his wife "Oh" Carol King, and the other residents of 1619 Broadway.

But something happened on the way to that place. It turned out that the musicians were real musicians, and the two actors—who later toured with Boyce and Hart—understood that the musicians wanted to do more—like write and make music—and supported those efforts.

The musicians had friend (such as Frank Zappa) who added absurdity to shows that otherwise were comedic. The Texan began to write and produce country-rock songs, in the days before Sweetheart of the Rodeo. The four became a group, and began to do interesting things—even (Heaven forfend) publicly credit the studio musicians who worked on their albums, not to mention those who toured with them.

It lead to fights that did no one any good in the short term: Kirshner decided that if they weren't going to be The Prefab Four (as wags later referred to them), he didn't need to keep them around. The country-rock album was delayed until after The Byrds disc proved that the kid Had the Right Idea After All.

After three short seasons, it fell apart. The television series ended, and almost no one missed it. The group made a few albums and a movie over the next few years, but first the bassist and then the lead guitarist left.

The more you look at it, the more you think the bright-eyed English kid kept them all together Just Long Enough. And when they re-formed, nearly twenty years later, recording some new material and even being a tour (apparently, until Don Henley gave them a negative review, at which point the lead guitarist quit the tour and returned to his successful production company). And they tried some more, but the thrill was gone.

And now the English kid has taken that Last Train to Clarksville, being "done too soon" of a heart attack.

RIP, David Thomas "Davey" Jones.

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posted by Ken Houghton at 3:06 PM | 0 comments

Why I'm Voting "No" on the SAG-AFTRA Merger Part 2

[second in a series by actor/blogger Gil Christner]

There are other reasons that I am hesitant to vote yes on this current merger proposal. To be honest, the biggest of these other reasons is purely selfish: I want my pension! (and I’d like to keep the Screen Actors Guild-Producers Health Plan, one of the premiere health insurance plans in the country!)

There is no literal way to know one way or the other how the merging of the two separate health and pension plans of the two unions would play out (unless you know Dr. Who or Bill & Ted). However, one can make educated guesses, based on current and past realities. The Pro-Merger contingent argues that a combined merger, and by implication, a combined health and pension plan, would be obviously stronger. But there many many experts that would take exception to that vague idea, or at least raise some alarm bells about taking it as fact.

Variety reports on the lawsuit filed by the Minority Opposition view to stop (or at least, disregard) this week’s ballot until a comprehensive actuarial report can be made on the pros and cons of merging the two health and pension plans:

Monday's filings by the opponents included a declaration by Alex H. Brucker, an attorney with three decades of experience in employee pension and health plans, that blasted SAG for asserting that merging the unions and the plans would "only benefit" participants and that "merger is the best way to protect our benefits."

"These are not supportable statements of fact," Brucker said.

Merger backers contend that combining SAG and AFTRA will make it easier to combine the plans as a first step toward resolving the problem that performers face in making contributions to the separate plans and then not meeting the earnings qualifications. Brucker said in his declaration that the question of merging SAG and AFTRA is "indistinguishable" from the question of merging the plans and can't be considered separately.

"It is my opinion, based on my careful consideration of this issue, that a plan merger raises complex issues, could create serious problems and conflicts and could result in loss of benefits for both SAG and AFTRA members," Brucker said. "The precise impact on plan benefits (or required member and co-sponsor contributions) cannot be properly assessed without an ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) Impact Report."

Yet the pro-merger side cites very few experts in defense of their position.

In fact, in the official “Feasibility Report,” the only evidence put forth by the two unions are 7 letters from various lawyers around the country (including one co-counsel to the AFTRA plan; more on that below), which state that (a) merger of the two plans is legal, (b) mergers of plans of other unions have happened in the past and (c) many times those plans prosper after merger.

Nobody I know has even questioned the truth of a, b or c. However what is missing is a specific estimation of what might happen (the positives and the negatives) if these two specific plans were to merge.

In fact, the trustees of the AFTRA plan themselves doubt that it would be easy or simple or perhaps even advisable, denying the above-mentioned Plan co-counsel’s involvement:

Recently, a document entitled "Feasibility Review" was posted on the SAG and AFTRA websites and purported to discuss the feasibility of a merger of the AFTRA and SAG health and pension plans. This document contained the opinion of various lawyers stating, among other things, that there are no legal impediments to merging the plans. Included among the legal opinions was one from co-counsel to the AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds, Jani Rachelson.

The Board of Trustees of the AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds wishes to make it absolutely clear that the opinions expressed in this "Feasibility Review" in no way represent the opinion of AFTRA H&R’s Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees did not request or authorize this opinion of Fund co-counsel and had no prior knowledge of this letter before reading the posting on the websites.

Although there is no doubt that plan mergers are legally permissible in appropriate circumstances, the merger of pension and health funds as large and divergent as the AFTRA and SAG plans raises complex and unique financial, legal and benefit issues which can only be addressed through a comprehensive analysis performed by the funds.

No position has been, or will be, taken by the AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds Trustees or its co-counsel until such time as a comprehensive feasibility study is performed.

But the icing on the cake of my “No” vote in regards to the health and pension comes in the form of the last, most recent feasibility study of possible plan merger. This is the infamous Mercer Report, done in 2003 when the unions were again considering joining together as one.

This report raised several questions in 2003 about the supposed benefits of merging the two plans. It raised enough questions that the trustees of the SAG pension plan to deem merger “unacceptable.”

Though I have no specific knowledge of the two plans’ viability together or separate, I can’t honest believe that economic conditions have improved so much since then that what was deemed economically unviable in 2003 would now be considered smooth sailing to easy street in 2012.

[More Later. Part 1 can be read here]

posted by skippy at 11:12 AM | 1 comments

wednesday night

romney recalls vivid memory of an event that happened before he was born

10 big questions for conservative politicians

russian scientists revive frozen ice age flower back to life

occupy andrew breitbart
posted by skippy at 1:07 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why I'm Voting "No" on the SAG-AFTRA Merger Part 1

[ed. note: this post is by Gil Christner, one of the founding editors of Skippy International. He is a working member of both performers unions and active in SAG Union politics.]

I did my first Screen Actors Guild job in 1979 when I had one line in “More American Graffiti.” I played a hippie in a commune who refused Candy Clark’s plea for money to bail her boyfriend out of jail. I remember the line well: “He still owes me 50 for that key I fronted him.” What Acting! Bravo!

I joined AFTRA a couple of years later when I did a commercial under that contract. So I have been a proud dues-paying member of both performers’ unions for over 30 years. And I must say that both Unions have done well by me; I have made a living under SAG contracts for nearly 20 years (not to mention the great health benefits I got and the Pension I am getting), and AFTRA was instrumental in recovering money from a producer who used tape of me in a TV show without my knowledge or permission. I am glad to be a member of both esteemed organizations.

Yet I am voting “No” (two times…one ballot per union) on the current SAG-AFTRA merger proposal. Now, make no mistake, I am definitely NOT against the merger of the two unions in theory. But there are many many reasons why I think this specific proposal is not only bad for the Screen Actors Guild members, but bad for Middle Class Actors all across the country as well.

On the surface, merger of the two actors unions sounds like a great idea. In fact, the surface idea of it is one of the main talking points that the pro-merger side is touting. What could be better than all actors in one Grand Union, working together, battling Management for the betterment of its members? Solidarity forever, Together United, We’ll Never Be Divided, The People Yes!

Unfortunately, there is one large detriment to the specifics of SAG merging with AFTRA in my view, and it flies directly in the face of Union Solidarity.

For those unaware of the specifics of the two actors unions, AFTRA not only represents actors in television and radio, it also represents Broadcasters: On Camera News people, Sports and Weather Casters, Announcers, etc. And putting aside the question of whether Broadcasters’ work and contract problems are the same as Actors, putting aside the question of whether Broadcasters would have voting rights on Actors contracts, or whether they would even honor an Actor picket line, I have a huge HUGE prhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifoblem with the current paradigm of Broadcasters and Union work.

Simply put, Broadcasters work off the card (non-union) with impunity. AFTRA never punishes union Broadcasters for working non-union shops (and there are plenty of non-union shops: CNN, Fox Sports, etc). I am unwilling to consider merging the Screen Actors Guild, whose Global Rule One is Don’t Work Non-Union, with a union that refuses to enforce a similar, fundamental definition of what it is to be in a Union. I forsee a weakening of union standards, and probably union effectiveness, if it’s accepted behavior to work non-union.

[we will provide Gil with space to air more reasons later - ed.]

here's part 2
here's part 3
posted by skippy at 2:25 PM | 5 comments

everything's tuesday

markos wants dems to vote in open gop primaries (today in michigan!) just to keep the clown show going

why patriarchal men are scared of birth control

the 10 scariest states to be an atheist

russia faced nuclear disaster in 2011
posted by skippy at 10:14 AM | 0 comments

Monday, February 27, 2012

come monday

the industries that cry wolf

4 out of 5 economists agree: the stimulus worked

why has obama reversed course on medical marijuana?

animals doing people things
posted by skippy at 10:09 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, February 26, 2012

beautiful sunday

what real class warfare looks like

mIssouri catholic bishop seeks dismissal of cover-up charges

mormonism no longer one of the fastest growing religions

bathe in knowledge: functional bathtub made out of books

and, may we take a moment to give kudos to ed kilgore, who has taken over steve benen's spot @the political animal @ the washington monthly. unlike other inside-the-beltway blogs who only give us two "open threads" for their entire weekend content, ed turns over his space to new voices every saturday and sunday. this allows new writers to gain exposure, and certainly gives readers something to do besides extend flame wars with trolls! good job, ed!
posted by skippy at 10:40 AM | 2 comments

Saturday, February 25, 2012

why sag members should vote 'no' on upcoming merger

from the sag-aftra minority report web site:
a "no" vote will force the unions to re-think this current rush to merger and place pressure on the unions to go back to the drawing board and create a merger plan which puts the needs of actors in first position. we are not against merger. we believe all actors should be represented by one union. that will be the only way to increase actors leverage and protect our sag pension and health plans. this current merger plan is flawed in so many areas and does nothing to end the dilemma of split benefit contributions or to increase our leverage at the negotiating table.

we agree, this vote is coming too fast. certain questions have not been answered, and they are the very questions to which "merger" was supposed to address. however nobody has specified "how" merger will address these questions.

we at skippy international say, if you are a member of sag and/or aftra, vote "no" in the upcoming ballot.
posted by skippy at 2:31 PM | 0 comments

dancing on a saturday night

conservatism thrives on low intelligence and poor information

gop aide sentenced for disenfranchising robo-call on election day

how jack kirby helped the cia rescue diplomats (and it all started with roger zelazney!) (via avedon

and it's dogs against romney
posted by skippy at 9:53 AM | 0 comments

Friday, February 24, 2012

skippy sez: "vote NO on sag aftra merger"

here's the official web site of the minority opposition to the sag aftra merger

we at skippy don't endorse the merger. pensions will be merged and, by all accounts from various studies on specifics, the sag pensioners will lose benefits.

for a comprehensive, easy to read non-partisan analysis of why this merger is bad for actors, read the editorial from bizparentz, a group of parents of working child actors. their only concerns are their children's welfare, not 58 year-old commercial character actors.

and here's the opposition statement being included in the ballot mailing next week.

not to mention the loss of individual membership vote for national officers, instead sending reps to convention to choose. these, and a myriad of other results plus the dearth of specifics to remedy the problems the merger purports to address, make us at skippy internatonal vote a big no!

addendum: what jackson pollack sez:
posted by skippy at 2:38 PM | 0 comments

every friday afternoon

moochers against welfare

conservative personality disorder

need to protect your personal data? there's no app for that

swiss plan janitor satellite to clean up space junk
posted by skippy at 11:22 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, February 23, 2012

skippy's thursday night music club

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:18 PM | 0 comments

happy blogiversary to steve benen!!

it's steve's ninth blogiversary!

steve was an early fan of this humble space, and treated us well while he running the carpetbagger report. after a stint at political animal, now he's in the big time, as a blogger and producer for rachel maddow.

steve has always been the first read for us in the morning, wherever he happened to be working. he's one of the go-to voices in blogtopia, and yes, we coined that phrase! good work steve, and congrats!
posted by skippy at 9:30 PM | 0 comments

jersey thursday

celebrating philip glass at 75 at the tune in festival all this week

the myth of small businesses as job creators

need moralizing about abortion? ther's an app for that

these evenings you can see mercury with your naked eye
posted by skippy at 10:55 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

skippy's wednesday night music club

a little stevie ray

posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:51 PM | 0 comments

Feature or Bug? Yes edition

I know my musical taste is slightly off.  I prefer Hearts and Bones to Graceland, am far too fond of Street Legal(a disease shared with Harry Brighouse of Crooked Timber), and would rather listen to Speaking in Tongues than Remain in Light (and probably both over Fear of Music).  But until yesterday I never had cause to ponder that my skewed perspective on pop music might also harm my perception of "Prog-Rock."

Jim Henley, taking a moment of Twitter time from trying to save the world from spreading Santorum, suggested yesterday that "Wonderous Stories" (the second hit single* from Going for the One) is "the worse Yes song," rather than "Don’t Kill the Whale" (the first single from the subsequent Tormato albumen).

I dissented, and Jim was gracious enough to explain his reasoning, noting that the lyrics to "Don't Kill the Whale" make more sense than those of "Wonderous Stories."  So I know we’re looking at the same data.**

But that’s the problem. You see, Jon Anderson lyrics aren't supposed to make sense.  I mean, really:

Bluetail, tailfly / Luther in time / Suntower asking / Cover, lover / June cast, moon fast

In the end we’ll agree,we’ll accept, we’ll immortalize/That the truth of the man maturing in his eyes

And here you stand no taller than the grass seas / And should you really chase so hard / The truth of sport plays rings around you

Only the second example, and that just barely, can be passed off as the lyrics of someone whose natural bent is not toward "goofy."****  Were Anderson not a castrati, David Byrne’s career might well have ended somewhere between "Love is a Building on Fire" and "Life During Wartime,"***** in recognition that tracks such as "Burning Down the House" or "Stay Up Late" owe their lyrical structure to ransom notes and Tales from Topographic Oceans.

As we follow the path of the band, we see Anderson becoming less and less lyrically obscure—a problem compounded as the music never gets more interesting. Variations on Stravinsky or Copeland sound less unique in a time when aspiring mainstreamers such as Barry Manilow are adapting Chopin, and eventually the audience realizes that they can go to the symphony instead, and the band is left to produce the Love Beachs and Tormatos of this world.******

In short, there seems still some faint glimmer of hope left when "Wonderous Stories" is released; that hope is dashed upon the rocks a year later with "Don't Kill the Whale."  At least, that was my perspective.

Jim, dealing with the singles, clearly disagrees.  So I leave it to the Skippy readership:

Don't Kill the Whale

or Wonderous Stories (which doesn't appear to have had an Official Music Video)

I report, you decide.

*Phrase used loosely.

***I haven’t verified that we’re in agreement that Going for the One is a superior Yes album, which seems rather like saying that one’s latest bowel movement was solid and relatively monochromatic. The homoerotic Roger Dean cover—a naked man staring up at a skyscraper; Robert Plant, one suspects, can relate—and the presence of the Obligatory Unending Song That Takes Up the Second Side*** make that a recognizable Yes album, while Tormato makes ELP’s Love Beach obituary seem like Foxtrot, or perhaps Selling England by the Pound. The band is, by that point, dead in the water, and their inevitable follow-up with the most successful single of their career, "Cloner of a Top Ten Hit," only proves that.

***I suspect "Awaken" takes up the second side; I owned it on 8-track. Certainly, it is as interminable as the album version of "Roundabout."

****A friend who is much more of a Yes fan than I, even to this day, declares that the secret to Jon Anderson lyrics is that if your interpretation of them makes sense, you’re probably hearing them wrong.

*****"Think of Memphis/Home of Elvis and the ancient Greeks"—had Byrne not freely admitted that was a gaffe, he could have taught history with Victor David Hanson

******Or find themselves being turned into something else, e.g., McGuinn, Clark, and Hillman, where Byrds songs and instrumentation were produced to sound like all the other Capricorn Records of the time.

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posted by Ken Houghton at 11:35 AM | 2 comments

long wednesday

2010 census data shows child poverty rate in u.s. highest since the 1950's

arizona's cas against unions seems to be dissolvong

10 things barristas won't tell you

really really really tiny lizards
posted by skippy at 9:12 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

hey...assemblymember monning - go truck off

we have to fight for food truck rights. just say no to AB1678!
even though house minority leader nancy pelosi recently called food trucks "a model for small business innovation," other california legislators are considerably less bullish on the whole phenomenon.

last week, carmel assemblyman bill monning introduced a bill prohibiting food trucks from selling food within 1,500 feet of an elementary or secondary school between the hours of 6am and 6pm.

monning's bill is intended to be part of the state's effort to create a healthier eating environment for its school children. some educators feel that a whole slew of newly implemented programs--such as lausd's new, district-wide healthy lunch menu or santa barbara's revolutionary s'cool food initiative--are being undermined by the presence of nearby food trucks slinging significantly less healthy options. - huffpo

apparently assemblyman monning has not visited and sampled the food from santa barbara's mobilecafesb which is a program of the santa barbara school districts' nutrition services department, under the direction of nancy weiss, director of food service. they provide a delicious and nutritious option for three area schools, and appears at local events like earthday.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:10 PM | 0 comments

skippy's tuesday night music club

fat tuesday version...laissez les bon temps rouler!

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:54 PM | 0 comments

especially for you groovy tuesday

mormon church apologizes for posthumously baptizing simon wiesenthal's parents

u.s. district court denies breitbart's dismissal of sherrod's lawsuit

nasa pulls plug on last main frame computer

nancy brinker's annual salary at the susan g. komen charity is equivalent to 400 mammograms per year
posted by skippy at 11:13 AM | 0 comments

Monday, February 20, 2012

chelsea monday

aclu offers $1000 for examples of voter impersonation

the verbal anachronisms of downton abbey

(and doctor science has even more!)

no herman cain on dancing with the stars
posted by skippy at 10:30 AM | 1 comments

Sunday, February 19, 2012

say hello

to the jane cerva daily
posted by skippy at 8:33 PM | 0 comments

any given sunday

superman vs. the kkk

the pathology of inequality: our national dementia about work and wealth

kodak may not survive but kodakery lives on

escaped emu on the lam in vermont
posted by skippy at 9:51 AM | 3 comments

Saturday, February 18, 2012

come saturday morning

positive thinking does help you live longer

man brings guns to church, accidentally shoots pastor's daughter

private plane intercepted after accidentally flying thru obama's air space. the problem? it was smuggling dope

is it ok to shoot bigfoot?
posted by skippy at 10:52 AM | 2 comments

Friday, February 17, 2012

black friday rule

hungary destroys all monsanto gmo corn crops

marines nazi flag whistle blower comes forward

honor the hyatt hotels boycotts

newt's bus breaks down in west hollywood, locals not too sympathetic
posted by skippy at 10:54 AM | 1 comments

Thursday, February 16, 2012

holy thursday

why being sleepy and drunk is great for creativity

the problems romney's math

bankruptcy papers reveal more than 8000 more sexual abuse victims

san diego demonoid or dead opossum?
posted by skippy at 10:31 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

just wednesday

seriously, kevin, this is something we'll never need

a history of ireland in 100 excuses

20% of republicans likely to vote to re-elect obama

man proposes during pokemon game w/custom made pokemon "diamond" card

bad kitty for president
posted by skippy at 10:28 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

the two sides of monsieur valentine

mitch mcconnell's valentine to the ladies

14 ways economists say i love you

the periodic table valentine

we're saved! it's sarah palin vs. nazis from the moon
posted by skippy at 10:44 AM | 2 comments

Monday, February 13, 2012

can't get blue monday out of my head

marcy winograd quits the democratic party

libertarian ron paul gets reimbursed twice for government trips

rick santorum's culture war and obama's november victory

best scale/ratio/universal angst game ever
posted by skippy at 10:23 AM | 1 comments

Sunday, February 12, 2012

happy blogiversary!

to the political carnival!
posted by skippy at 6:14 PM | 0 comments

another park another sunday

cruising for homosex at cpac

palin, stalin and alinsky

6 things you should know about arizona's attack on workers

are you a brony?
posted by skippy at 10:29 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, February 11, 2012

rip whitney houston

she will be missed
posted by skippy at 10:11 PM | 3 comments

book of saturday

20% of republicans likely to vote to re-elect obama

gop senator and cpac white supremacist panel thinks diversity is the grwatest threat to america

the canadian seal hunt is dead! long live the seals!

yay! monty python reunites! (sort of!)
posted by skippy at 10:43 AM | 3 comments

Friday, February 10, 2012

american friday night

the affordable care act saves seniors $2.1 billion in health care costs

jc penny won't fire ellen

7 signs the corporatocracy is losing

male monkeys prefer trucks to dolls; female monkeys like both
posted by skippy at 11:08 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, February 09, 2012

skippy's thursday night music club

since i'll be staying in the little italy section of sandy eggo...i wonder if they'll have italian infused background music...

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:45 PM | 0 comments

but then, a week ago last thursday

why we love ellen

alec vs. the middle class

unionization rises in 2011

inoffensive atheist billboard challenge: accepted!
posted by skippy at 6:06 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

i'm going to the california democratic convention

my first time. i'm kinda scared. i've always seen tv coverage of conventions and seen these whacky people wearing whacky hats...and vowed i would never do anything like that...well...i'm going but i swear i won't wear one of those hats....

i'll be bringing my computer along and hopefully give you some evening blog posts covering the goings on...that is if i'm not bloto'd out with all the parties i've been invited to.

sandy eggo...here i come!

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:41 PM | 1 comments

skippy's wednesday night music club

i'm feeling like i want the good times to roll...sing it mr. jordan.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:27 PM | 0 comments

the gop hates americans

no. really. they are heartless and cruel. they like seeing people suffer.
the 2010 buick enclave parked in her garage kept michigan resident renee moore from getting food stamps for two months last year, even though her family's income had dropped to below the poverty level, her husband's ford explorer had 300,000 miles on it and her family had less than $1,000 in the bank.

why? In the eyes of the state, she owned too much. - sfgate

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:07 PM | 1 comments

ash wednesday blues

are romney's strengths enough to beat obama?

the quiet triumph of obamacare

but if you want y.ou campaign contributions to count, don't give them to obama

and rip the very last wwi veteran
posted by skippy at 10:10 AM | 5 comments

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

say hello

to homeless on the high desert
posted by skippy at 11:48 PM | 1 comments

skippy's tuesday night music club

tonight...a song that italians might not want to hear.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:34 PM | 0 comments

assemblymember das williams fights for californians again

assemblymember das williams joins national movement against sugary drinks

after hearing the frustration of parents, teens, communities and health advocates throughout the state and across the nation about the runaway marketing of sugary drinks to youth, assemblymember das williams (d-santa barbara) is urging californians to learn more about these beverages and be mindful of what we put in our bodies. 

in an effort to mobilize against the most prominent factor contributing to our nation’s obesity epidemic, williams is supporting the national, kick the can campaign at www.kickthecan.info, the go-to source for those who want to learn the truth about sugary drinks and how to fight back against the beverage industry and the liquid sugar that they try to pump into our bodies.
...in the coming weeks, assemblymember williams will be introducing a piece of legislation to ban sugary sports drinks from schools and help promote healthier choices for middle and high school students.

kickthecan.info is a project of the california center for public health advocacy and serves as a home base for a national movement challenging the power of pop. visitors can access a variety of information and advocacy tools and even participate in the movement by posting videos, photos and comments to describe their frustration with the ubiquity of sugary drinks, showcase over-the-top advertising and highlight local campaign successes to inspire others to change the beverage world in which we live.
website for assemblymember das williams: http://assembly.ca.gov/Williams

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:41 PM | 2 comments

early on tuesday

dear democrats, the stimulus worked, start acting like it

anti-gay senator kicked out of tennessee restaurant for being anti-gay

meanwhile, state gop elections official in indiana convicted of voter fraud

pythons are eating thru everglades mammals at an astonishing rate

and happy 200th birthday, charles dickens
posted by skippy at 10:26 AM | 0 comments

Monday, February 06, 2012

say hello

to dave away from home
posted by skippy at 7:22 PM | 1 comments

better b.a.d. than never

yes, blogroll amnesty day lives on! more people joining in:

bacon and eggs
posted by skippy at 6:33 PM | 0 comments

call it stormy monday

steve benen is doing a bang-up job over @ the maddow blog. be sure to check out his weekly analysis of mitt's mendacity every friday

mass incarceration and justice in america

the craziest mofo who ever lived

boba on board: star wars family car decals

world's longest running experiment currently on its 85th year
posted by skippy at 10:42 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, February 05, 2012

environmental news stories sunday

for those pesky little stories that the corporate media doesn't want to tell you about because covering the clown circus (aka the gop debates) is much too fun...

surrounded by air pollution. - once a refuge for people desperate to breathe the clean desert air, metropolitan phoenix now battles the smog and smudged horizons the refugees were trying to escape. the pollution clogs lungs, aggravates asthma and traps people with respiratory diseases in their homes when conditions worsen - phoenix arizona republic

europe cold snap claims more than 260 lives. - the death toll from the vicious cold snap across europe has risen to more than 260, with hundreds having to be rescued after a ferry caught in a snow storm hit a breakwater off italy. - afp

climate in dc doesn't favor clean-air rules. - in february 1998, the governor's air quality strategies task force delivered a thick report recommending actions that could reduce air pollution in metropolitan phoenix. since then, almost nothing has happened to address the threat of traffic-related pollution sources along major roads and freeways or to help children or adults with respiratory illnesses aggravated by air pollution - phoenix arizona republic

gulf oil spill's 'trial of the century' could end before it begins. - bp and negotiators for federal and state governments are frantically working to confect a settlement so they won't have to leave the fate of billions of dollars in potential pollution fines and spill damage payments in the hands of u.s. district judge carl barbier. the trial is set to being in three weeks - nola times picayune

could drought threaten south africa's rooibos tea? - south africa's rooibos tea only grows in a small area and erratic weather patterns - blamed by some on climate change - mean the plant and the new industry are now under threat - bbc

ssssscotland here we come! - grass snakes from england are colonising scotland as climate warms - glasgow herald

cooked eggs recalled in california, 33 other states. - cooked eggs are being recalled in california and 33 other states over concerns about possible listeria contamination - latte times

rising australian floodwaters spark mass evacuation. - mass evacuations were under way in northern australia sunday as record flooding that has cut off thousands of people threatened to engulf areas devastated by wild weather last year. - afp

staying afloat. - drought, floods, low milk prices, decreasing water rights – uncertainty is a way of life for northern victoria's dairy farmers - melbourne age

chevron refuses to apologize for ecuador pollution. - u.s. oil supermajor chevron corp. refused to issue a public apology for pollution in ecuador’s amazon region before a court-imposed deadline, saying it is not responsible for toxic drilling waste that has spoiled ecosystems and harmed local communities’ health - latin american herald tribune

"skin deep" in more ways than one. - very little if any media attention or research has looked at the possible connections between african american beauty salons, the personal care products utilized primarily by black women and adverse health outcomes, specifically in the area of reproductive health. but that has begun to change - sf bay view

texas drought forces a town to sip from a truck. - spicewood beach is one of the first four subdivisions, made up of about 1,100 people, in drought-stricken burnet county to run so low on water that it had to be hauled in by truck - nytimes

glaciers face new threat as ice is stolen. - glaciers across the globe, at risk from climate change, now face a new threat, a u.n. report says -- ice thieves - upi

rare february blizzard rages in denver. - while snow in colorado isn't unusual, it's rare for denver and eastern colorado to get a storm of this magnitude during february. most of denver's snow comes during the fall and spring, and this storm may break records for the biggest february snowstorm. - climate central

mysteries of killer whales uncovered in the antarctic. - two of the world’s leading experts on the world’s top marine predator are now in antarctica, tagging and photographing killer whales. climate change and other human impacts, such as overfishing and the accumulation of toxic chemicals, are rapidly altering the whales’ habitats and their prey - yale environment 360

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 5:44 PM | 0 comments

blogroll amnesty day is here again!


once again, it's time for our yearly celebration of blogroll amnesty day!

readers of this space know that b.a.d. is the holiday wherein we ask everyone in blogtopia (and yes, we coined that phrase) to link to 5 smaller blogs w/less traffic than theirs (no bad jokes about no blogs having less traffic than yours, please).

this way we all can introduce our readers to new voices in blogtopia (and yes, we coined that phrase)' as well as giving greater exposure to blogs which may otherwise go unnoticed.

now, please realize that b.a.d., or "blogroll amnesty day" for short, does not, much like purim, fall on the same date every year. it is more or less dependent on various factors in the yearly cycle, including the number of blue moons in that previous calendar year, the day of the week that chinese new year falls on, how interested we are in lent next month, and when and/or if we remember. usually, tho, the celebration starts on superbowl weekend.

of course, the impetus for this whole ordeal originated w/our dearly departed friend, the legendary jon swift, aka al weisel, who was quite upset by the original blogroll bloodbath and self-amnesty declaration by those big box blogs who shall not be named.

al, in his guise as conservative blogger jon swift, wondered why so-called liberal blogs would have the least liberal blogrolling policies. we here at skippy international joined al/jon in his mock self-righteousness, and thus, five years ago b.a.d. was born!

to begin this year's festivities, we'll let our long-time partner in this endeavor, blue gal, introduce some ground rules:
small and newbie bloggers please be aware of the ironclad rule that you are not allowed to make "hey no blog is as small as mine" jokes regarding blogroll amnesty day. the rule is, straight from the queen of the indy blogs herself (ahem), that you are not allowed to complain or mention your blog's low traffic until you have been posting daily for a year. if you're little, link other blogs that are new or still growing their audience, and encourage them to practice their craft daily. then, show them how.

truthfully. not only is the "there are no blogs smaller than mine" joke unoriginal, it's not funny, and is seriously whiny. unless you have a blog with literally zero traffic, which means that even you don't bother to read it, then you can bet there are blogs with traffic smller than yours. be a mensch. find them. link to them. help each other out.

one two more favors: you may write this post any time during b.a.d., but when you do, please forward a link of it to us, and we'll happily include it in one of several posts we'll be doing all thru-out the celebration.

also, if you would be so kind, please include a link to this very blog post in your own. one year we actually got a headline @ memeorandum (here), and, truth be told, we're itching for another.

addendum: heavens, as our saintly mother used to say, we'd forget our own head if it wasn't screwed on! we'd be remiss if we failed to invite you to email us for the codes to the above graphic!

also, we would be remiss if we failed to thank batocchio, whose original graphic of jon/al was the foundation of this year's banner for b.a.d. [ed. note: and for his tireless work in this year's pre-production.]

double addendum: yes, we are late w/b.a.d. this year. sorry, we were busy helping susan g. komen w/their back-peddling, a full-time job. however, we will therefore let b.a.d. run a few extra days, so don't hesitate to put up a post and email it to us!
posted by skippy at 2:51 PM | 7 comments

out goes the b.a.d. air, in comes the b.a.d.!

more blogroll amnesty day postings!

jill @ brilliant @ breakfast!

steve hynd over @ the agonist

busted knuckles over @ ornery bastard

mikeb302000 over @ mikeb302000
posted by skippy at 1:30 PM | 1 comments

all the sundays

barnes & noble takes on amazon in the fight of its life

good luck to laffy on her gig w/the new progressive radio station in dc

will coral reefs be gone by the end of the century?

energy.gov: where information goes to die

think before you pink
posted by skippy at 10:08 AM | 0 comments