s skippy the bush kangaroo: July 2012

skippy the bush kangaroo

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Post-WW II Non-Gay History of Popular Music

Cerberus at Sadly, No! does some heavy lifting in response to Dennis Prager's rant about "the California legislature [passing]...the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act[,] which [sic] mandates teaching the contributions of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people."

As one of the non-Californians on this blog—though my college girl friend graduated from Barstow High School and my wife's side of the family live in Albany, San Diego*, and (at least until the baby is old enough) Berkeley, so I'm not completely California-Free—I feel it my duty to help Prager set the record straight (as it were).

First, there were the Fifties. Everyone was straight in the Fifties; gays hadn't been invented yet. Certainly, a gay man would not have been the soundtrack of choice for more First Experiences than anyone this side of Barry White. And certainly the people of that time would not have made a Greatest Hits collection by a gay man the best-selling album of that generation, it's longevity on the Billboard charts only supplanted years later but a bunch of English guys singing about their Brain Damage and a Total Eclipse).

And lesbians didn't exist at all. So we certainly would not let our children know about them, or have them appear on something called "Teen Age Music International"

They would have no immortality.**

And then there were the Sixties, where people discovered gays existed, but we try to forget about that. By the late Seventies and early 1980s, Americans hated gays again. Indeed, the only people they hated more were Iranians.

So the last thing they would ever have done is made a gay Iranian into a multi-platinum recording artist who still gets treated as if he were a G-d today. Most especially, we would never use his song at Manly Sporting Events.

Or headlining—and stealing the show—at the worldwide broadcast of a concert for hope, charity, and food.***

By the Nineties, of course, the rise of rap music to the point where white kids were listening to it—and especially "Gangsta Rap"—just reaffirmed that there is no place for gays—and especially not gay men—in music.

And certainly even if there were gay men allowed near rap, they would have no lasting influence.

I hope it's clear from the above that ignoring gays throughout history will not at all negatively impact one's understanding of American popular music.

Now, if you'll excuse me, Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods is playing at Shakespeare in the Park this year, and I have to find a way to see it. Though I may first have to check what Alex Ross says about it in The New Yorker.

*Oops. Full disclosure: the relative who is generally finishing a stint of indentured servitude at UCLJSD is currently out of the country.

**I would have written this entire post just to get this one in. It's still one of my favorite recordings, and I can't bloody find a copy either.

***Or on movie soundtracks as possibly the greatest karaoke song of all time, even down to its use of bismillah in the lyrics. Or as the creator of a love song the rest of the world likes much more than I do. Devotees are offered the full twenty-plus minutes here:

posted by Ken Houghton at 8:53 PM | 6 comments

say hello

to the jane cerva daily
posted by skippy at 8:34 PM | 1 comments

big twitter is watching you

remember guy adams, the british journalist who got his twitter account suspended when nbc complained he was tweeting nasty things about their incompetent olympics coverage?

well, it turns out that it was twitter itself that alerted nbc to adams' tweets:

twitter employees alerted nbc staff to a british journalist’s tweets and showed them how to file a complaint against him, the television network has revealed.

...in an email to the daily telegraph, christopher mccloskey, nbc sport’s vice-president of communications, said twitter had actually contacted the network’s social media department to alert them to mr adams’s tweets.

“our social media dept was actually alerted to it by twitter and then we filled out the form and submitted it,” he wrote.
so twitter, who is a partner with nbc in the presentation of the olympics, apparently doesn't believe in the free flow of information on its own social media.

as of now, adams' account has not been reinstated.

update: the account has been restored, including the tweet w/the nbc exec's email adress, which is gary.zenkel@nbcuni.com, in case you'd like to email nbc and let them know your feelings.
posted by skippy at 1:37 PM | 0 comments

tuesday night music club

we're on the verge of another dust bowl

remember the year netflix really screwed the pooch? here's an insider's look at that disaster

five things you don't know about food stamps

14 reasons why this one is worst congress ever
posted by skippy at 10:31 AM | 0 comments

Monday, July 30, 2012

irony alert: network showing the olympics is a bad sport...

meredith viera, bob costas and matt
lauer at friday's opening ceremonies

sure, everyone on twitter hates nbc's lame-ass, tape-delayed, ignorant and racist coverage of the olympics.

but one journalist got his twitter account suspended...after nbc cried how mean he was:

guy adams is the independent's los angeles bureau chief. during the olympics so far, he has carved out a nice spot on the how-much-nbc's-coverage-sucks beat. now his twitter account has been suspended—supposedly because nbc had it cut off after he complained...

you can see some of his cached tweets here. the ultimate irony is that twitter's explanation for his account suspension was that he tweeted personal information about someone...the corporate email of an nbc exec in charge of the broadcast.

moral: don't remind nbc how rotten they are, and tune in for matthew perry's return to television this fall on go on!
posted by skippy at 9:34 PM | 9 comments

monday morning

rush limbaugh thinks african americans are as stupid as his listeners

whenart meets science: ants turn colors when eating colored sugar

increasing the minimum wage helps the economy

the 50 cutest things that ever happened
posted by skippy at 11:00 AM | 0 comments

when matt taibbi says to read a book

you should read it.
what i found most compelling about this book was the material in the beginning chapters, in which israel, through lawson, describes his early career as a trader on wall street. it’s this experience in the deeply corrupt netherworld of endless, relentless insider trading that warped israel’s mind to the point where he could become perhaps the biggest dupe in the history of con artistry - rolling stone

Labels: , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:28 AM | 1 comments

Sunday, July 29, 2012

skippy's sunday night music club

british version olympics day 3

Labels: , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:16 PM | 0 comments

environmental news stories sunday

for those little stories not bandied about on the talking head shows....

bee protection group under fire for failing to fight pesticide "armageddon." - a major bee conservation group in scotland has become embroiled in a bitter row for failing to back a ban on nicotine-based pesticides blamed for killing bees - glasgow herald

california ranchers hit by midwest drought. - california ranchers may be hit harder by the drought in the nation's heartland than farmers in the corn belt - sfchron

extreme drought areas in us nearly triple in one week . - the us drought monitor reports that areas on the nation under extreme drought conditions in key agricultural states has tripled in the past week. - treehugger

midwest crops, fish, water supply punished by drought. - temperatures heading north of 100 degrees fahrenheit and scarce rain portended another blistering weekend for much of the u.s. widwest, where the most extensive drought since 1956 is devastating crops, evaporating rivers, and threatening to push world food prices higher - reuters

on the missouri river, drought's effects are diluted by tapping northern reserves. - in times like these, you might have to dip into your savings. that’s true even for the missouri river. the big muddy has run through this year’s supply of snowpack and rain and is now drawing on reserves held in lakes upriver in north dakota and montana - kansas city star

in dallas area, high water use can be tied to affluence. - the biggest drain is water for landscaping. and that will come at a steep cost. state experts say that in the next 50 years, north texas will need an estimated $21 billion of new reservoirs and infrastructure to sustain the region’s water use as the climate gets hotter and the population grows. - dallas morning news

the london array: the world's largest offshore wind farm. - as britain strives to meet european renewable energy targets, the world’s largest offshore wind farm is rising from the waves off the coasts of kent and essex. - the telegraph

nationwide insurance won't insure fracturing. - after nationwide insurance publicly announced it wouldn’t offer coverage for property damage caused by hydraulic fracturing, the aftermath that ensued lit up a firestorm of anti-fracking rhetoric - sydney herald

north korea floods kill 88, leave thousands homeless. - flooding across impoverished north korea this month has killed 88 people, left tens of thousands homeless and devastated swathes of farmland, state media said. - afp

why science is a non-issue in the us presidential election – again. - in the face of a massive drought and climbing sea levels, are the presidential candidates going to talk about climate change? why is science always at the bottom of the list of campaign issues that resonate with the public? - talk of the nation

forgotten tragedy: timor sea oil spill. - it's been called the forgotten tragedy. fishing communities in indonesia's west timor region say their livelihoods have been contaminated by one of australia's biggest oil spills, the montara disaster in the timor sea - australia abc news

paraguay opens doors to unregulated foreign investment. - in his first month as president of paraguay, federico franco has thrown open the doors of his country to foreign investments that have raised questions about environmental safety - interpress service

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

posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:43 PM | 0 comments

hand held rocket launchers

let the people have them... or so believeth scalia.
...scalia’s across-the-board defense of weapon-carrying laws is not new, having been at the heart of his majority opinion in district of columbia v. heller, which protected an individual’s right to possess firearms. however, his nonchalant suggestion that private citizens could legally carry rocket launchers so long as they’re “hand-held” suggests just how willing he is to protect an armed nation. - think progress

Labels: , , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:11 PM | 0 comments

like a sunday afternoon

top utah gop fund raiser accused of rape

us lags behind 15 other countires in median income

love can come from lust, says study

can't get to london for the olympics? why not try brunsbuttel, germany, for the mud olympics?

and rip the star of kevin drum's cat blogging friday, inkblot. we know how hard it is to lose a pet, they are like family. our condolences, kevin.
posted by skippy at 11:28 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, July 28, 2012

skippy's saturday night music club

british music version olympic day 2

Labels: , , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:09 PM | 0 comments

one republican tells it like it is

the party really doesn't want blacks to vote. and they have been working on making that a reality. we weren't just imagining things with this voter suppression stuff...
in the deposition, released to the press yesterday, [jim] greer mentioned a december 2009 meeting with party officials. “i was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting,” he said, according to the tampa bay times. he also said party officials discussed how “minority outreach programs were not fit for the republican party,” according to the ap - salon

Labels: , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:50 PM | 0 comments

saturday come slow

bring back the 40 hour work week

robert frost: comfortable americana, or terrifying exixtential angst? or both?

chronicling mitt's mendacity vol. xxvii

my cats are beatles fans

and rip dr. who's first romana, actress mary tamm

posted by skippy at 11:58 AM | 0 comments

some peeps are freaking out

about the opening ceremonies in london last night. how dare they highlight "socialist" ideas of healthcare for all. you know, if british athletes get sick or injured, they won't face a financial disaster like our u.s. athletes. they won't have to face bankruptcy for any lengthy care for something like cancer.

and, to those talking heads on nbc who opened up the ceremony on the telly by asking if london was "ready" to host the olympics, i say "shut the f** up."



posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:48 AM | 1 comments

Friday, July 27, 2012

skippy's friday night music club

british band olympic version - day one

Labels: , , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:48 PM | 0 comments

the true olympic spirit

does not lay in victory...it is in the honor in the effort


posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:44 PM | 0 comments

pobre españa ... literal y figurativamente

forget "let them eat cake"...the banksters want spain to wear "handmedowns"
with spain on the brink of bankruptcy, its olympic committee decided to save money this year. it got its olympic uniforms for free, from the russian designer bosco, which also provided kit for the russian and ukrainian teams.

but several spanish athletes have taken to twitter to express their distaste for the freebie clothes they're required to wear. after an outcry over u.s. olympic outfits made in china, spain's olympians have a different gripe about their uniforms: they're just plain ugly.- npr

Labels: , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:39 PM | 0 comments

it's friday night

london hosting the olympics: kind of like how john hurt hosted the alien

for the first time, canadians are richer than americans

portugal decriminalized all drugs 11 years ago

and just in time for the olympics: the stupidest injuries in the history of sports
posted by skippy at 3:51 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, July 26, 2012

thursday's child

after a careful review, the boy scouts have decided to keep discriminating against gays

kids explain science

if the wizard of oz took place in china

bridges over freeways built for wildlife
posted by skippy at 1:34 PM | 1 comments

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

From Tolstoy to Tinkerbell...

I'm trying to be nice and not award Brad DeLong the Mitt Romney Truth in Advertising Award.

It's been five days, and so far nothing is working. So I'm going to throw up a fun ditty and leave it to the Blogtopia(tm, Skippy) Readership to find the post chez DeLong and the original quote. For extra credit, explain that the reason for the editing is that it's judicious, not malfeasance.*

Meanwhile, have some fun with this possibly-irrelevant tune.

*I haven't seen anyone else mention it directly, but I've been offline much of the past week. So probably I'm wrong.

posted by Ken Houghton at 9:20 PM | 0 comments

living the meme...orandum

in the wake of chik-fil-a's president stance against gay marriage,boston doesn't want the franchise in their city.

neither does chicago

newsweek owner barry diller tells staff dead trees mag will soon cease publication. oddly enough, staff panics.

peter bogdonovich is is sick about having made a movie about violence. we agree, at long last love was a bomb.

links via memorandum
posted by skippy at 8:51 PM | 3 comments

wednesday week

sf tsa frisks with the world's largest penis

america's overseas base empire and a dangerous new way of war

alaskan town votes in cat as its mayor

and rip george jefferson, actor sherman hemsley addendeum and dr. joe gannon, actor chad everett
posted by skippy at 12:12 PM | 1 comments

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

skippy's tuesday night music club

in honor of the late, great sally ride.
god speed, sally. thank you for inspiring millions of little girls to dream of reaching...and travelling...to the stars.

posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:59 PM | 1 comments

tuesday night fever

child abuse and hospitalization rates increases rises with increased foreclosures

how washington is wrecking the economy

greenland glacier loses chunk twice the size of manhatten

and rip first woman astronaut sally ride
posted by skippy at 10:30 AM | 1 comments

quote of the day

charlie crist:
“including as many americans as possible in our electoral process is the spirit of our country. it is why we have expanded rights to women and minorities but never legislated them away, and why we have lowered the voting age but never raised it. cynical efforts at voter suppression are driven by an un-american desire to exclude as many people and silence as many voices as possible.”

voter suppression is as close as you get in democratic politics to mortal sin. and it’s going to be one of the prime features of the 2012 election. it is shameful, cynical and frankly disgusting.
get ready for michele bachmann to denounce the former republican governor of florida as some
sort of whack-a-doodle kenyan loving muslim brotherhood joining socialistic pinko commie.

Labels: , , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:18 AM | 0 comments

my hands didn't build this

my hands got greased by that stinking governments money.
star of romney ‘my hands didn’t build this’ ad received millions in government loans and contracts - abc news

Labels: , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:08 AM | 0 comments

Monday, July 23, 2012

skippy's monday night music club

and we are still not talking about having a sane policy on guns.

Labels: , , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:41 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to herlander refugee
posted by skippy at 6:57 PM | 0 comments

monday monday monday

more than 381,000 infected in chinese foot and mouth disease outbreak

this isnwhat passes for investigative journalism on the right

here's a girl doing her impression of all 151 pokemon characters

the very first picture uploaded to the internet was of a comedy band of employees at the cern large hadron collider. we couldn't make this up
posted by skippy at 3:14 PM | 1 comments

michele bachman's words

inspire hate....and threats of violence.
huma abedin, the deputy chief of staff to secretary of state hillary clinton and the wife of former rep. anthony weiner (d-ny.), has been placed under police protection after receiving a threat, according to a report in the new york post.

the report, which cites unnamed law enforcement sources, says abedin was threatened by a man after rep. michele bachmann (r-mn) last week claimed the state department official had family ties to the muslim brotherhood and called for a probe.- the hill

Labels: , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:22 AM | 1 comments

Sunday, July 22, 2012

skippy's sunday night music

my sundays aren't the same since the x-files ended.

posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:00 PM | 0 comments

environmental news stories sunday

for those pesky little stories not bandied about on the talking head shows this morning.

dry as a bone: drought's wide impact is likely to last for years. - of all natural disasters, drought is the most common and the least understood. around kansas city, drought creeps — first claiming the missouri crop grower, then the kansas cattleman who can’t afford grain to feed livestock. - kansas city star

scientists discover pacific ocean contains higher than normal levels of caffeine. - if you've ever fancied a quick pick me up at the beach, you may not have far to look. scientists said they have found elevated levels of caffeine at several sites in the pacific ocean off the coast of oregon - london daily mail

baltimore's aging water system needs makeover. - nationwide, water system managers have awakened to the need to keep tabs on the condition of underground pipes and replace them before they fail, sometimes with catastrophic results. but many local officials have been unable or unwilling to confront the staggering cost and scale of a comprehensive overhaul. more than 60 miles of lines are deemed at high risk of breaking. - baltimore sun

dupont facing 30,000 claims for tree deaths. - a year after it became clear that a new and highly touted lawn herbicide called imprelis was killing and damaging many thousands of trees around the country, the manufacturer, dupont, is busy processing claims for compensation. some 30,000 homeowners, golf courses, municipalities and landscapers have submitted claims - new york times

record summer temperatures, by the numbers. - the weather this summer has been so extreme that it has rivaled the most destructive and unbearable summers in u.s. history, years that are infamous in weather lore. those years include 1988, which was the year that nasa scientist james hansen first warned the u.s. senate about the consequences of manmade global warming. - climate central

sen. merkley, citing climate fears, wants big study of coal export plans. - sen. jeff merkley (d-or.) is pressuring the obama administration to conduct a sweeping environmental review of proposals for coal export facilities in washington and oregon  - the hill

drought affects large swaths of u.s. - a devastating drought has taken over areas of the rocky mountains and midwest. author and conservationist william debuys tells renee montagne that one of the shocking things has been the number of new high temperature records. - morning edition npr

massive southeastern oregon wildfires: did weather, cows or grazing policies fuel the flames? - on one thing ranchers, federal land managers and environmentalists can agree: the long draw fire that devoured an area more than six times the size of portland in a week will take years to heal - the oregonian

fukushima workers told to lie about radiation exposure. - a japanese subcontractor working for the stricken fukushima nuclear plant has admitted it asked workers to lie about radiation exposure. - australia abc news

louisiana senator seeks faster permits for oil drilling. - continuing the lengthy battle with the obama administration over complaints it is still taking too long to approve new drilling permits, sen. david vitter, r-la., proposed legislation switching permitting decisions from the interior department to the department of energy - nola times picayune

green groups target new mexico senate race. - new mexico’s senate race has turned into a key test of political strength for the environmental movement, which is spending heavily to block former-rep. heather wilson's (r-nm) bid - the hill

lobster catch bottoms out. - prior to a massive die-off in 1999, connecticut's lobster fishery was worth more than $100 million a year. now, it's a fraction of that, and researchers from the state department of energy and environmental protection are embarking on another study looking at the effect pesticides may have played in the die-off - bridgeport ct post

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

posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:08 PM | 0 comments

bill moyers and chris hedges

discuss "capitalism's sacrifices."  a must listen to.

Labels: , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:42 PM | 0 comments

lazy sunday afternoon

florida's lt. governor counters sexual allegations: "i'm too good looking to be a lesbian"

national insurer won't cover fracking

occupy bohemian grove

eldery bees discover the fountain of bee youth
posted by skippy at 11:00 AM | 1 comments

Saturday, July 21, 2012

skippy's saturday night music

fiesta in santa barbara is coming up....and we're getting in the flamenco mood....

Labels: , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:23 PM | 0 comments

the outsourcer in-chief

mittens romney apparently has his mitts on more outsourcing companies.
in march 1999, shortly after romney left bto take over the troubled winter olympics in salt lake city, brookside capital investors inc., a bain-related entity wholly owned by romney, filed a report with the Securities and exchange commission that listed dozens of companies in which brookside held a stake the previous quarter. the roster included investments in singapore-based flextronics International ($13 million) and florida-headquartered jabil circuit Inc. ($41 million), two companies that were leaders in the fast-growing field of outsourcing electronics manufacturing and offshoring production to low-wage countries. together, these two investments represented almost 10 percent of brookside's $559 million portfolio. - mother jones

Labels: , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:23 PM | 0 comments

aurora might have been stopped

if the assault weapons ban hadn't been left to expire.
the ar-15 rife carried by holmes, a civilian semi-automatic version of the military m-16, would have been defined as a “semiautomatic assault weapon” under the violent crime control and law enforcement act of 1994. if the law was still in force, semiautomatic assault weapons would have been outright banned - think progress

Labels: , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:12 PM | 1 comments

canadian adoption

no. they are not adopting kids from other countries...they are adopting strategies to save kids. how a"boot" that, eh?
the city of vancouver has designed a climate change “adaptation” strategy to tackle a potential increase in street flooding, sewer backups, damaged forests and heat-related illnesses by 2050.

..“you either pay money to deal with extreme weather events now or pay money to deal with the after-effects of not having a plan in place,” reimer said. - vancouver sun

Labels: , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:37 AM | 0 comments

saturday clothes

chronicling mitt's mendacity, vol. xxvi

ohio cuts back on early voting

the 401(k) scam

religious fanatics destroy school in mexican town
posted by skippy at 5:37 AM | 1 comments

Friday, July 20, 2012

june 20, 1969

one small step...that changed the world...

Labels: , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:37 PM | 0 comments

I got another letter from Ronnie's teacher at school

First remarks...condolences to the families of the victims of the shooting in Colorado.  There sure seem to be way more crazies with guns these days then when I was young.  Naturally, there will be no discussion of gun control. especially during an election year, because when you're a politician, cowardice is the order of the day, and fear of the gun lobby rules your nightmares.  That said...

Look, I'm as much of a people person as any cranky, middle-aged, ready to fight you at the slightest provocation guy from Jersey could be, but I just don't like Mitt Romney.  Yes, I know the issues.  I have been a politics and government junkie for forty years (yes, forty years--at the age of fourteen I watched the entire 1972 Democratic Convention, gavel to gavel---the words "Ohio passes" still bring a smile to my face, and no, it has nothing to do with BMs).  I read everything I can about the issues, about economics, about political history.  I took probably 20 or 30 political science and political history credits as an undergrad.  I know you shouldn't vote for someone just based on likability, but I just don't like that guy.  He seems the most insincere politician I've ever seen, which is weird because faking sincerity is the most valuable tool in a politician's arsenal.

Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest as an excuse for posting this vid.  This is one of my favorite very obscure songs from one of my favorite very obscure groups.  If you've heard of this group...how are things in Baltimore these days?

posted by DBK at 5:22 PM | 1 comments

down the penrose lane


more @ penrose on politics!
posted by skippy at 12:19 PM | 0 comments

good morning, black friday

holy conspiracy theories batman! rush limbaugh thinks "the dark knight rises" is part of the plot against romney

the computer programmer that developed the '80's video game was a woman

zimmerman's cop comnection in the treyvor martin case

fox news pressures romney to let palin speak at the convention

and rip former snl writer and al franken's partner, tom davis
posted by skippy at 11:00 AM | 2 comments

Thursday, July 19, 2012

You Don't Tug on Superman's Cape...

Requiescat in pace, Tom Davis.

While I can't find the most famous sketch he wrote, here's Jacques Pepin explaining the real-life version of it:

And here's my wife's old friend, Stephanie, sharing stories about Julia. (Stories about Tom's old writing and performing partner are ongoing, as he—unlike David Bowie in Todd Haynes's imagination—really did become a Statesman.)

posted by Ken Houghton at 9:55 PM | 63 comments

you're so bain


limbaugh speaks --- and the internet notices!
posted by skippy at 7:53 PM | 2 comments

thursday night blues

the rise of the lesbian super-pac

staying home in november is not an option

carbon - it's freaky

pz myers refuses to ride the the chariot of the gods
posted by skippy at 11:11 AM | 0 comments

mccain shows some class and character

and slams whackadoodle michele bachman for instigating a witch hunt against huma abedin, aide to hillary clinton and wife of disgraced democrat anthony weiner.
on the floor of the senate wednesday, sen. john mccain (r-az) repudiated rep. michele bachmann’s (r-mn) mccarthyesque witch-hunt to root out the alleged muslim brotherhood infiltration of the u.s. government. the flap started when bachmann all but directly accused secretary hillary clinton’s top aide huma abedin of working on behalf of the muslim brotherhood in a letter with four colleagues to the state department’s inspector general demanding an investigation.- think progress

Labels: , , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:06 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

wednesday night prayer

the biggest threats we face from conservative religion

you deserve a break today -- unless you're gay

conservapedia's most over rated sports stars

10 of the world's most infamous cults
posted by skippy at 11:44 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

when you're a tuesday girl

don't blame technology for the shrinking middle class

6 million people can't vote due to felon disenfranchisement laws

stoned mice leads to breakthrough in understanding memory

and rip country music legend kitty wells; also passing, deep purple keyboardist (and writer of smoke on the water) jon lord
posted by skippy at 10:51 AM | 0 comments

Monday, July 16, 2012

monday monday blues

35 questions about bain romney must answer

nbc and microsoft complete their web divorce

genetically modified foods not served in monsanto's cafeteria

romney and son investigated for $8 billion ponzi scheme
posted by skippy at 11:44 AM | 1 comments

Sunday, July 15, 2012

king of bain (reprise)

back by popular demand...

there’s a little black spot on my resume
it’s just all of the jobs that i threw away
there’s a little pink slip that i’m thinking of
because firing folks is the one thing i love

canned 'em in california, let 'em go in maine
on my way to my gop white house reign
and you all watch your paychecks going down the drain
'cuz you know that’s why they all call me the king of bain
words & music: stung, a. winters, s. dopeland

and here's the music, if you want to sing along:
posted by skippy at 3:53 PM | 3 comments

lazing on a sunday afternoon

east coast blackouts were the result of gop corporatism

out-of-control cop sued for abuse

more gop calls for romney to release his tax returns

and rip producer of every great film you ever saw, richard zanuck
posted by skippy at 10:32 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, July 14, 2012

happy bastille day!

Labels: ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:30 PM | 2 comments

saturday ball

romney donor says lower income voters don't understand what's going on

number of homeless students tops one million

2012 on track to becoming hottest in u.s. history

ursula the sea witch forced to get liposuction
posted by skippy at 11:35 AM | 3 comments

Friday, July 13, 2012

get 'em out by friday

congressional republicans' increasingly incoherent attacks on medicare

romney invested millions in chinese firm that profited from u.s. outsourcing

sexual objectification, part 1: what it is

the top ten events in the romney olympics
posted by skippy at 9:24 AM | 2 comments

Thursday, July 12, 2012

thursday night

florida accused of covering up worst tb outbreak in 20 years

abandoned wal-mart transformed into a public library

hard-core gamers turn out to be violent, childish and misogynist

and daniel tosh makes rape jokes about a female member of his stand-up show audience;. here's a petition to get comedy central to take him off the air

posted by skippy at 9:42 AM | 1 comments

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

wednesday night hop

the 10 most unhinged right-wing reactions to obamacare ruling

innocent woman spends 53 days in jail

with his new hbo series newsroom, it looks like aaron sorkin has nailed down the all-important news pundit demographic

everything you need to know about mitt romney in one venn diagram
posted by skippy at 6:48 AM | 2 comments

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

happy 10 year blogiversary to skippy the bush kangaroo!

cartoon by penrose on politics! thanks, brett!


all of us here at skippy international are as pleased as a platypus to be celebrating 10 years of contiguous blogging at skippy the bush kangaroo!

who can believe that it's been 10 long and relatively unproductive years since skippy wrote his first blog post lo, so long ago?

so much has happened in blogtopia, and yes, we coined that phrase, in the intervening years.

blogtopia (y!wctp!) has grown exponentially, which is the only way to grow, if you ask us, and since you are reading our blog, we're assuming that you did ask us.

in the beginning blogtopia (y!wctp!) was simply a few malcontents switching from usernet flamer forums to pajama-clad rants in their mothers' basements on a daily basis. and now, look around you, blogging has become virtually a vitural world of millions of malcontents switching from usernet flamer forums to pajama-clad rants in their mothers' basements on a daily basis. and we helped!

we'd like to start out our over-indulgence of self-congratulation with, as is our tradition on our blogiversary, a look back at our very first blog post, lo those many years ago:
ok kids, this is my first attempt at blogging. why blogging? because i can. it's a lot like mt. everest in that way. we are all climbing the peaks of cyberspace to get to the pinnacle (or is it pinochle? i prefer canasta).

the web is one huge
library full of books that didn't have to go through an editor to get published. is that good or bad? in truth, it's neither (ok, i've seen some of these blogs, you're right, it is bad). but nonetheless, as the french say, pass the fries!

i gotta start off with thoughts about mr. bush's speech. didn't work for me. not me personally, but my stock portfolio. i spent most of this morning selling at least half of my holdings. one sep-ira which i had started in 1993, and had doubled in value by 2000, had fallen all the back to original value plus $50 as of end of trading today.

i hate to tell you kids this, but we're in the middle of another
great depression. that's ok, though, i'm old enough that my parents grew up during the first one, so i know some good techniques for saving money.
aaawwwww, isn't that adorkable?

we couldn't have done it without our wonderful staff here at skippy international, which includes our delightful co-bloggers, both current and past:

ken houghton, jim yeager, george, mahakal, tami the one true, rj eskow, holden caufield (formerly of first draft), g.d. frogsdong, carnacki (formerly of the mystery of the haunted vampire), and of course, pudentilla.

a big thank you also to brett penrose, who provides original cartoons to this humble space, including the one above w/obama and skippy sharing a cake (makes sense to us!).

also we must needs give mad props to lauren bruce, blogger extraordinaire and html genius, who designed our blogging template. and to august j. pollack, the brilliant artist/blogger who drew our beloved roo logo.

and of course, most of all we owe this blog's very continued existence to our enviromental editor and right-hand woman, cookie jill, without whom this space would have completely disintegrated into the cybervoid years ago.

we take you through the first 10 years of the history of this humble space below, as well as thanking our good friends and supporters (as well as those we lost), also below.
posted by skippy at 7:57 PM | 22 comments

Ten Years Gone

There is the most famous, Utopia. Greek for “No place,” made famous in English by Sir Thomas More, now generally used to refer to any place in the word’s homeland that was not given to the Jerrys for tupence in honor of the latest “bail-out” of the Fourth Reich’s bankers.

The above is borderline a violation of Godwin’s Law.  Which I think of as a blogsphere coinage,though it probably goes back to some geeky fandom.

There is “Eutopia.”  Good place.  Poul Anderson isn’t so famous as Sir Thomas More—never had an English muffin named after him, I guess—but he used that as the title of a story published in 1967 that apparently was the first time genre readers discovered that homosexuals exist.  Or something like that.

A Good Place.  Not where everybody knows your name—well, at least not unless you think “Every Breath You Take” is a song about Romance—but where you can always find something to do, and generally something that is interesting.

The rule of a Successful Blog—unless you’re someone with a built-in audience, such as a private-school educated Liberal who writes about how society cannot afford to keep the common weal even relatively healthy and how everything would be just great if there were vouchers instead of public education—is, first and foremost, that you write something worth publishing every day.  That’s generally in addition to your day job.  Or jobs.

Speaking strictly for me, I’ve written over 20,000 words in the past week. Blogging on top of it?  A rare occurrence.

And then there is Blogtopia:  “Blog Place.”  Sounds like a street name in Desperate Housewives or Weeds.

The coiner of that coinage runs this blog, and packs quite a kick.  Skippy started this blog before either of the above referenced television shows came on the air; one is now gone, and it looks as if the other might be wrapping up.

Ten years ago, the ugly domed stadium my train just passed—the one that may well bankrupt the city of Harrison, New Jersey—didn’t exist.  George W. Bush was still pretending he might not be determined to go to war for the second time, the first President in U.S. history to be so fiscally irresponsible as not to pay for the upfront cost—let alone the precious Human Capital associated with it—so that spending about $1,000,000 a year for each soldier would not burden the schools, the fire stations, the police stations, the roadways, or the power grid that soldier is supposed to be fighting to protect.



Ten years ago, the people who believe others shouldn’t have the right to vote were at least polite enough not to say so loudly and publicly to the New York Times.

Ten years ago, no one would have believed that the primary contender for the Republican Vice Presidential slot would be someone who would seriously propose that we need to cut medical benefits so we can give the rich another tax cut. (Far too many still do not.)

Ten years ago, I only had one daughter, my property taxes were half of what they are now (for the same house), and anyone who told you people would pay $80 or more a month for internet access (figure $30 for the home, $30 more for the mobile, $20 for the tethering—all plus taxes) would have been looked at as if they were insane. Now, people who don’t do it get looks of pity from their peers.

I wrote maybe a thousand words today that no one will read who does not have to.  Blogtopia is the place where you write, and read, what you want to, not what you have to.

Skippy has made the world a better place, and I am happy to be a(n infrequent) contributor.  I’ll try to do better.


posted by Ken Houghton at 6:48 PM | 2 comments

10 years of skippy: congratulations from our friends

one of the great things about blogtopia and yes, we coined that phrase, is the community of like-minded folks that all of us have created. people all across the land are able to stay in touch, trade ideas and snark, and generally not feel so all alone in this rapidly deteriorating world.

and we are reminded of this as we look thru our mailbox, enjoying the well-wishes from our blogging buddies.

the erudite and lovely jeralyn merritt, law superstar as well as cable news regular, is not only the founder and driving force behind talkleft (which also celebrated their 10 year blogiversary last month), she is also the person who coined the phrase, "blogiversary"!

jeralyn was one of our earliest and staunchest supporters, and we are very proud to have her send us her good wishes:
Happy 10th Blogiversary, Skippy! I remember when you began. Your creativity, wit and humor has always made Skippy stand out as a unique voice in the blogosphere. I have also appreciated your positive attitude and willingness to reach out to other bloggers. Congratulations on reaching the decade mark, I wish there were another 10 Skippys.

Jeralyn at TalkLeft.com

rj eskow's blog, night light, was an early pioneer in blogtopia (y!wctp!). rj was also one of our early co-bloggers. he went on to bigger and better things as being a regular on the huffington post. rj sends his greetings:
"skippy's blog is kinda like Robert Frost's definition of home: "When you have to go there, they have to take you in." No, actually, it's way better than that. When I was suddenly put out in the street by a petty blog squabble, skippy didn't have to take me in at all. But he did, 'cause that's the kind of kangaroo he is.

"What I found there was more than a blog: It was a genuine community. What skippy and the gang did for me was more than just an act of kindness. They kept me going when I was ready to give up. They may curse themselves every day for that -- and if they don't, I'm sure I can find them a volunteer. But I'll always appreciate it, no matter how bigheaded, arrogant, neglectful and self-centered I continue to be as I follow my downward trajectory in these, my sunset years.

"Peace out, and love to the house of skippy - rje"

our good friend brad friedman, of the bradblog, is a tenacious protector of voting rights. more than anyone else, brad has documented the ever-quickening erosion of said rights in this country. we are tickled to know him personally, and even more so that he took time from his busy schedule to write us this:
after an amazing ten years of blogging, one would think skippy would finally be able to afford to get that caps lock key on his keyboard fixed. alas, he still hasn't. i'm starting to think it might be on purpose.

but what do i know? I've only been at it for 8 and a half years, unlike mr. decade.

thanks for your unapologetic feistiness, on-target ass-kicking and unwavering whimsy for each and every one of those years, skipper! congrats! and, imagine that, you didn't even have to make shit up or lie about wearing a pimp costume even once to help make the blogosphere (and no, you didn't coin that phrase) and world a much better place over all of those years.

other than that, please quit blogging soon. i'd hate to be outdone by a kangaroo.


you can read some other well-wishers at their own blogs:

dave johnson, whose seeing the forest will be celebrating their 10 year blogiversary in five days

busted knuckles over at onery bastard

our good friend jill at brilliant at breakfast

driftglass @ driftglass

michael j.w. stickings at the reaction

batacchio at vagabond scholar

ron beasley @ newshoggers

our good friend joe gandelman of the moderate voice

bluegal (aka fran to her friends - who is our partner along with the late jon swift in our annual blogroll amnesty day project) wishes us the best over at her gig @ crooks&liars

august j. pollack, the genius behind our goofy 'roo logo, expresses his regards at some guy with a website
posted by skippy at 1:58 AM | 0 comments

skippy: the first 10 years


we at skippy international are proud of the three many accomplishments this blog has achieved during its tenuous ten year tenure thus far.

first and foremost among said achievements was being the very first blog mentioned by name on cnn, when daryn kagen expertly ducked skippy's assertion that she was as guilty of selective truth-telling as she accused blogs of being.

secondly and foremost among skippy's dubious achievements was getting cnn producer abbi tatton to not only start mentioning as many liberal blogs as conservative blogs on her short-lived feature, "let's sit at a computer on tv and look at the blogs! live! with abbi tatton!", but to also, finally, mention our blog as well! (also, we got a mention at columbia journalism review and a name-drop in a slate headline for our efforts!)

second and a halfly, and foremost, we also got to be the punchline for a terrific series of jokes on the daily show, thanks to the whole abbi tatton brou-ha-ha, and yes, "brou-ha-ha" is spelled with a "u":

please excuse the obligatory ad in front of this clip

thirdly, and foremost among our achievements, we would be remiss were we not to toot our own horn mention that it was our blog that found the first of many "mistakes" by ben 'dommie darko' domenech during his brief tenure as washpost official "blogger." these mistakes paved the way to the discovery of domenech's out and out plagiarism, which paved the way to domenech's out and out firing.

we could go on.

so we will:

we have been finalists for "best blog in the entire universe" (or something like that) too many times to count, unless it's relatively easy for you to count to four.
The 2008 Weblog Awards
The 2007 Weblog Awards
The 2006 Weblog Awards
2003 Weblog Awards

and, we are especially proud of our final showing in the 2007 contest:

we were among the first to win the coveted golden monkeyfister award (and we won it twice!)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

skippy collected over $10,000 in pledges for relief for aid to the victims of katrina.

we roused all of blogtopia (y!wctp!), left and right, to help us collect a million hits on or near our third blogiversary!

skippy corresponded with two incredibly talented mystery writers, sara paretsky and barry eisler.

we are a reference used in the wikipedia article on marcy wheeler.

but most importantly, we sold t-shirts!

ok, the t-shirts were not the most important things. of course, the blogroll amnesty day celebrations were the most important things, and we discuss that in length below in our fallen comrades post.
posted by skippy at 1:50 AM | 5 comments

10 years of skippy: our fallen comrades

probably mostly, and foremost, among our achievements in blogtopia and yes, we coined that phrase, was our partnership with the late, brilliant blogger jon swift (with a little help from blue gal) to create the still-ongoing-in-spite-of-our-relative-ennui-about-the-whole-thing national blogroll amnesty day.

we teamed with jon swift in our yearly efforts to ignore the uncaring, decidedly-unliberal (at least as far as linking policy went) behemouths that several popular lefty blogs had become, and made a consious effort to not only link to blogs with smaller traffic numbers than ourselves, but to encourage all of blogtopia and yes, we coined that phrase, to do so, too!
Medium Bad2

tho we lost jon swift, aka al weisel, a little over 2 years ago, we like to think that his unbridled generosity lives on in our blogging philosophy: that no voice is too small to be listened to; that no blog is too irrelevant to be relevant.

we are sad that we lost other great blogging friends during those 10 years as well. this blog couldn't have survived without the kind support of jim capozzola, who graciously paid the way for our banner-less blogger platform in the literal first days of our existence.

we also miss the wonderful pithy stylings of aaron hawkins, the uppity negro, as well as melanie mattson's bump in the beltway, both taken from us far too soon.

and of course, the constant support and encouragement of the great steve gilliard was a big part of why we continue, even to this day. we are sure there are dozens of other bloggers who feel the same way about steve's love for their work.
posted by skippy at 1:41 AM | 2 comments

Oh Wow...

Today, July 10, 2012, marks the tenth blogiversary of... skippy the bush kangaroo.

Tempus fugit, huh?

I came aboard* back in February 2005. That almost feels like another lifetime. Many things have certainly changed since then. Many another blogger has come and gone over the years (especially me -- I've come and gone four times that I can remember), but somehow, skippy has always been here.

I still have no idea why you continue to allow me to have access to your blog. Heaven knows I've given you more than enough valid reasons to drop me. All the same, I've given up trying to figure out why I still have access -- I just give thanks, and let it go at that.

Congratulations, on ten years Mr. Big Roo. And thank you.

(*: Actually, skippy made the decision for me -- he announced that I was one of his new co-bloggers, along with RJ Eskow, before I could decide whether or not I was worthy of the honor. So technically, I was drafted here. And that suited me just fine. But to be honest, I still haven't figured out whether or not I'm worthy of the honor. Maybe skippy likes to see a skunk at the occasional garden party, who knows...)
posted by Jim Yeager at 12:01 AM | 2 comments

Monday, July 09, 2012

Oh Well...

One of my favorite Fleetwood Mac tunes:

I've been on a bit of an FM kick since finding out that Bob Welch committed suicide last month. "Oh Well" predates Welch's time with the band, but in that what-the-hell-does-this-have-to-do-with-that style that has typified much of my blogging for many a year now, 1) I've always thought that Welch never got the credit he deserved for his contributions to Fleetwood Mac, and 2) the very structure of this song fits the way my life has been unfolding for the past year or so: a few minutes of disillusion and disgust, followed by what feels like an eternity of ennui. To make a long, boring story short, I work in one zoo, and when I clock out, I go home to another -- all in Nashua, New Hampshire. I don't miss the print shop job I lost, but I do miss Richmond, Virginia.

But whatever. Enjoy the song...


posted by Jim Yeager at 4:31 PM | 2 comments

monday, monday

christie vetoes tax increase for millionaires for the third year in a row

protesters demonstrate outside of koch fundraiser for romney

internet troll disses girl geek icon felicia day; internet strikes back

now it's funny: archie out of context

and rip quentin mchale and marty, character actor ernest borgnine
posted by skippy at 11:17 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, July 08, 2012

skippy's sunday night music club

rock'n roll history....in riffs..

Labels: , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:57 PM | 3 comments

environmental news stories sunday

for those pesky little stories that you won't see on the talking head shows...

has ‘organic’ been oversized? - organic food has become a wildly lucrative business for big food and a premium-price-means-premium-profit section of the grocery store. the industry’s image — contented cows grazing on the green hills of family-owned farms — is mostly pure fantasy. or rather, pure marketing. Big Food, it turns out, has spawned what might be called big organic - nytimes

toxic health dumping scandal. - the dangerous disposal of hazardous substances including liquid uranium and contaminated objects, the dumping of the confidential records of patients and the mishandling of asbestos have exposed a culture of mismanagement in sydney hospitals - sydney morning herald

texas seeks new water supplies amid drought. - the punishing seven-year drought of the 1950s in texas brought about the modern era of water planning. but the drought of 2011 was the hottest, driest 12 months on record there. - weekend edition

showing vultures a little love. - think of a giraffe lying on the serengeti plain. he has just died, maybe of disease, maybe he was killed by a pride of lions, but now he's a 19-foot-long, 4,000-pound mound of meat, which very soon is going to stink and rot and muck up the neighborhood. - national public radio - npr

rising temperatures and drought create fears of a new dust bowl. - triple-digit days. weeks with little to no rain. soil crumbling away. stunted corn stalks. right now the fertile fields of the u.s. midwest are experiencing corn-killing weather, with parts of five corn-growing states in the region experiencing severe or extreme drought - time magazine

torrential rain wreaks havoc across britain. - more than 200 flood warnings and alerts were issued by the environment agency on saturday as torrential rain swept the country, causing havoc in many areas - the guardian

scores killed in russia floods. - severe flash floods in russia's southern krasnodar region have killed at least 99 people and affected nearly 13,000 in the area's worst natural disaster in decades, officials say. - afp

u.s. drought sets record. - more of the nation is in the grip of drought than at any time in the past 12 years, including over half of the contiguous united states, according to the u.s. drought monitor. - orange county register

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

posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:08 PM | 0 comments

it must be sunday

john boehner can't make you love mitt romney

five famously disengaged employees and what we can learn from them

study finds spanking leads to mental illness

carry that weight, at least across the street! it's the abby road webcam!
posted by skippy at 8:56 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, July 07, 2012

skippy's saturday night music club

going out to all the bulls of pamplona tonight...

Labels: , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:34 PM | 1 comments

saturday at midnight

how critical thinkers lose their faith in god

blame game going on at cnn over plummeting ratings

former irs official calls for investigation into alec

mitt romney and the new gilded age
posted by skippy at 11:54 AM | 0 comments

is it bad form

to cheer for the bulls in pamplona?

Labels: , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:51 AM | 4 comments

oystapacolypse now

not good news for oyster lovers....and our planet.
 a disturbing nationwide decline in oysters and the life-giving reefs that they build is particularly dramatic in california, where the once-abundant native species has been virtually wiped out, according to a recent scientific study.

the report, published in the scientific journal proceedings of the royal society b, said olympia oysters, once an integral part of the native american diet and a staple during the san francisco gold rush, are functionally extinct. 

"essentially, today, the number of oyster reefs is zero," said rob brumbaugh, restoration director for the nature conservancy and co-author of the study. "it's the complete elimination of a key species and habitat on the west coast." - sfgate

Labels: , , , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:17 AM | 1 comments

Friday, July 06, 2012

friday's child

bobby jindal's strange history with exorcisms

romney's bain problem

"stand your ground" laws lead to more murders says new study

does "the amazing spiderman" seem like it has a few holes in the plot? it does
posted by skippy at 11:14 AM | 0 comments

san diego's 4th of july fireworks celebration

a 20 minute show....over in 20 seconds...but an awesome epic fail. 

Source: grist.files.wordpress.com via Jill on Pinterest

Labels: , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:03 AM | 0 comments

$5.5 million an hour

nice one day job.
duke energy ceo bill johnson resigns after one day, gets $44 million in severance - grist

Labels: , , , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:52 AM | 0 comments

crime of the century

and probably none of these banksters involved in the libor scandal will head off to jail.
modern international bankers form a class of thieves the likes of which the world has never before seen. or, indeed, imagined. the scandal over libor -- short for london interbank offered rate -- has resulted in a huge fine for barclays bank and threatens to ensnare some of the world's top financers. it reveals that behind the world's financial edifice lies a reeking cesspool of unprecedented corruption. the modern-day robber barons pillage with a destructive abandon totally unfettered by law or conscience and on a scale that is almost impossible to comprehend. - huffpo

Labels: , , , , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:30 AM | 0 comments

raul castro, 96, gets pulled over in arizona

of course he was. with a last name like that. with a skin color that wasn't caucasian. his case of being detained by arizona officials in 100 degree heat for more than half an hour should come no surprise. cases like this happen frequently since arizona passed its "show them papers" law. there is one major difference, though. a difference that will make people to pause, just a second, about arizona's "papers" law in raul castro's case.

raul castro is a former governor of the state of arizona.
the wife and a friend of former arizona gov. raul castro are calling for changes in border patrol procedures after agents recently detained the frail 96-year-old in 100-degree heat for more than a half-hour.

castro said he was traveling from his home in nogales, ariz., to celebrate his 96th birthday in tucson when his vehicle triggered a radiation sensor at the border patrol checkpoint on interstate 19 north of tubac.

castro said agents sent him to another inspection area and continued to question him outside his vehicle for 40 to 45 minutes even though he explained that he had undergone hospital testing on his pacemaker the previous day, likely triggering the sensor. - az central
think progress has more....
this is the third time the former governor and ambassador has been detained by border control. the first occurred years ago while he was repairing his own fence and agents stopped him and asked to see his work card — although they eventually desisted after castro pointed out a sign by his farm entrance that read “judge castro.” the second occurred years later in san diego, although that encounter ended shortly after someone recognized castro and said “governor, how are you?”

Labels: , , ,

posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:35 AM | 0 comments