Sunday, August 20, 2006

George Allen is a Shithead.

"This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt, macaca, or whatever his name is. He's with my opponent. He's following us around everywhere. And it's just great . . . Let's give a welcome to macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia."
-- Sen George Allen refering to S.D. Sidarth while campaigning in rural Virginia, Ausgust 2006.

Just what we need another Republican idiot for president! Allen doesn’t even have the smarts to employ standard Republican code words when referring to ethnics instead hurling racist slurs (admittedly one more at home in a Parisian brothel than a Virginia burb) when feeling a bit out of sorts. What's up with that George, you miss the meeting?I suppose we should be thankful for his mother’s partial North African background (though I in no way indict the woman for her son’s boorishness) that he didn’t call Mr. Sidarth a “Sand nigger.”

An apology, which came hours after Allen's campaign manager dismissed the issue with an expletive (and insisted the senator has "nothing to apologize for,") did little to mollify Webb's campaign or Sidarth, who said he suspects Allen singled him out because his was the only nonwhite face among about 100 Republican supporters.

In the fall of 69 Allen's Palos Verdes High football team was scheduled to play the Morningside Monarchs, a predominently black team from down on the flatlands. During the week before the game, a bunch of racist graffiti was spraypainted on the outdoor walls of Palos Verdes High. It looked to be the work of vandals from Morningside. However, the word "Monarchs" was misspelled, and suspicion immediately fell on George Allen. He fessed up and was forced to apologize over the school PA. School officials made sure the incident was not publicized. They didn't want to see Allen's father embarrassed. Allen had done it to stir up racial tension between the schools -no other reason.

Great, racist graffiti, a confederate flag fetish, tastes in interior design that lean towards nooses, and his place of birth is Whittier, California. Sounds like Rove’s dream candidate!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Hey all! Sorry I've been absent, summertime and all that....

Anyway we played a fun game over at My Left Wing, thought I'd see if you would like to play.

The rules:

Pick any city (preferably one you know and love), and imagine that it never was there as a city at all, just the woods, riverbank, swampland, beach-and-dunes, or whatever was there before the city was built...except for three places or institutions that are there now. They could be anything: cultural, commercial (yes, bars and restaurants count), educational, professional, or just something personally significant.
You may pick more than one city, but no more than three; if you do, it would be fun if one wasn't in the US, but that's OK too. No, you may not pick the whole city as one of your "places", but a reasonably sized neighborhood or an institution with multiple sites may count as one, as long as there's a theme or discernable character that ties it together. For instance, I'm not sure Harlem should count, but the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with several sites, would. The French Quarter in NOLA, yes; Staten Island, no. You get the idea.
So the Question is:
What city/cities would you choose?What three places/institutions would you keep?Why?

My reply:

I'll Bite...City 1. Barcelona


The Montana Bar with it's cold cervezas and monumental record collection (hey I'll need something to sip!)

At least one block of La Rambla (if I can't have the whole street).

One Building by Gaudi.

City 2 Dubrovnik, in what used to be Yugoslavia :(


The walk atop the wall of the city from which you get such magnificent views.

The nude beach on the island in the bay.

One of the little cafes where they serve iced coffe and you can watch the piegons fly their proscribed circle from the cathederal each hour when the bell sounds... oops that's four....
and to be a homer....

City 3 St. Louis


The Gateway Arch

New Busch Stadium

Cunetto House of Pasta - on "the Hill". Best Italian west of NY and south of Chicago..... :)

What do you say?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Soon To Be An Oliver Stone Film

“How did it come to this?” the Pressurebent sthinks as he hangs up the phone.

The late afternoon sun slants through the huge windows behind his desk in the Offal Office; He hears Laura quietly slobbing in the ouster office.

“’Hit’s all Daddy’s fault,” he ruminants “who could life up to that? Big war hero jock pilot; superspook conspirator; throwin’ up on that Jap P.M. I never had a snowball’s chance in Crawford. Hell I didn’t even want all this, Hied have been just as slaphappy to stay a drunk and play with my baseball men, but NOOOO he had to shame me, said I wasn’t upendin’ the family honor and all that happy horseshit. Goddammit all!”

Pissed now The Usurper punches the call button on his phone, “Harriet, git me the Vice Pressurestint on the phone. And I mean now!”

“Do you think that’s wise, Georgie?” Miers simpers “Mr. Chaney is a very sick man.”

“I don’t care if he’s got the ribspreader up his ass, Harriet, just git him on the goddamned phone!”

Dubyah hangs up and waits for the connection to be made.

“Wonder what they’ll do with all my pressurebential memorobiliates and all... my collection of “Archie” comic books? My Howdy Doody Sippy Cup? My Desert Cammo G.I. Joads? Toss ‘em all in that river yonder, I suppose. Don’t recon they’ll let a felonizer build a Pressurebential Library.”

“Too bad, Laura’ll need a job.”

“What the Hell,” he sthinks “won’t matter much now” as he reaches for the bottle of Jack in the lower file drawer.

“ Might as well get pie-eyed…..”

The phone rings.

“Dick, that you?” he drawdles picking up.

“Well it ain’t Saddam Hussein, you goddamned idiot.” Chaney rasps.

“Why so ornery, Dick? Yore morphine drip on the fritz?”

“Go Fuck yourself.” Chaney chortles.

“You already made a job of that, asshole."

I just got off the horn with Senator Mac Cain, he said the Federal Marshals will be here in an hour to haul my ass to jail.”

“Ain’t the first time, G.” Chaney seems to be relishing the development.

“Go fuck yourself, Lon, but save some fer Lynne!” W laughs.

“Shit, that pony ain’t pranced in 10 years, dumbass”

“Tell me about it.”

Anyhow that asswipe Cain said he could get me a cush lock-up In South Carolina if I come along quietly. Jerk’ll never forgit South Carolina.”

“They’re talking jail?” Chaney muttered in disbelief.

‘Yeah... shit that’s right - you’ve been in and out of a coma!” W chugs some Jack.

“Just after that David Gregory went nuts and beat Rummy near to death with his microphone, the Senate cut a deal with the World Court in the Haggis…. er ….whatever and said they’d perp walk me outta the Whitehouse and give me a coupla years if them Belgianians would just lay off.”
“What about the Joint Chiefs?” Chaney asks.

“Them losers ain’t gonna be no help, Dick, they tole me they’d rather patrol Fallujah naked with as cap pistol than go agin Mac Cain.”

“Wimps” Chaney grunts.

“And the Secret Service ain’t gonna do nothing either unless there’s gunplay.” W grumbles.

“Well, there’s that Colt in my Desk, W, go down with your boots on!”

“I’ll ponder on that, Dick. How’s the transplant comin’?

“Good news, they found a donor.”

“But you got that rare type, C-note negative , how’d they find one so fast?”

Halliburton came up with it; some 15 year old kid caught one in the back of his head in Baghdad. Same type!”

“That was lucky.”

“Not really, we’ve had our eye on him for some time.” Chaney coughs.

“Well I hope you come out the other end Dick, with Rummy laid up and Rove run off with Gannon, I’m runnin’ short of friends.”

“Watch yer backside, George.”

“Go fuck yourself, Dick.”

As he hangs up, W pours a third shot of Jack. “I’m getting a little buzz on” he sthinks and looks at his watch, “Johnny Lawdog will be here soon.”

He punches the call button on his phone.

“Harriet, call Condi and tell her to git her skinny ass up here.

Hanging up he walks once more around the Offal Office. At a side table he lovingly strokes a studded dog collar given him by Tony Blair. The Jack working on his pint sized brain, he wells up as he reads the inscription “Yours, B(itch)."

Turning to his desk he picks up a glass bauble the Christian Coalition had sent, shaking it he watches with childlike wonder the thousands of “Snowflake Babies" flurrying about a vignette of his Crawford Ranch. Laying it down he moves on to his most prized procession - a paperweight fashioned from the shrapnel of a Daisycutter that had been dropped a multi family dwelling in Qana. A gift from the Israeli Defense Minister.

Reeling from the liquor and what passes for emotion he nearly swoons when he hears the knock on his door.

Walking in, Condi sympathizes “It’s a dark day, Mr. Pressurespent.”
“Sure is” W sobs.“Condi, do you believe in God?”

“You know I do, Mr. pressuredent, it was on the application.”

“Prey with me Condi,” W's drinking from the bottle “Prey with me now.”

He falls on his knees.

“Like that you mean, on our knees?” Rice is incredulous.

“Yes, Prey with me!” W gropes at her knees.

“I couldn’t possibly, Mr. Pressurebent, this is a $1500 Armani pantsuit!. Rice backs away.

W crumbles to the floor in a fetal psition, cradling the bourbon.

“Fuck me, President Pelosi! Mommy will be so pissed. Sheeeet! W mumbles as he passes out.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Not much on the net about our beloved General Astray but I hope this photo does him justice and here are a few facts from Wikipedia....

On September 2 of that same year, King Alfonso XIII conferred command of the new regiment on Lieutenant Colonel of Infantry José Millán Astray, chief proponent of its establishment. Milan Astray was an able soldier but an eccentric and extreme personality. His style and attitude would become part of the mystique of the Legion. On September 20 the first recruit joined the new Legion. This date is celebrated yearly.
The initial make-up of the regiment was that of a headquarters unit and three battalions (known as
Banderas or flags). Each battalion was in turn made up of a headquarters company, two rifle companies and a machine gun company. The regiment's initial location was at the Cuartel del Rey en Ceuta on the Plaza de Colón. At its height, during the Spanish Civil War, the legion consisted of 18 banderas, plus a tank bandera, an assault engineer bandera and a Special Operations Group. Banderas 12 through 18 were considered independent units and never served as part of the tercios.
Francisco Franco was one of the founding members of the Legion and the unit's second-in-command. The Legion fought in Morocco in the War of the Rif (to 1926). Together with the Regulares (Moorish colonial troops), the Legion made up the Spanish Army of Africa. In 1934 both units of the Legion and the Regulares were brought to Spain by the new Republican Government to help put down a workers revolt in Asturias.
Under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel
Juan Yagüe the Army of Africa played an important part in the Spanish Civil War on the Nationalist side. The professionalism of both the Legion and the Regulares gave Franco's Nationalists a significant initial advantage over the less well trained Republican forces. The Army of African remained the elite spearhead of the Nationalist armies throughout the Civil War. Following the Nationalist victory in 1939, the Legion was reduced in size and returned to its bases in Spanish Morocco. When Morocco gained its independence in 1956 the Legion continued in existance as part of the garrison of the remaining Spanish enclaves and territories in North Africa.
June 17, 1970, legion units opened fire and killed eleven pro-independence demonstrators at the Zemla quarters of El-Aaiun in the Western Sahara, (then still the Spanish Sahara). The incident, which came to be called the Zemla Intifada, had a significant influence on pushing the Sahrawi anticolonial movement into embrarking on an armed struggle which still goes on up to the present, though Spain has long since abandoned the territory and handed it over to Morocco.
Through the course of the Legion's history Spaniards have made up the majority of its members, with foreigners accounting for 25 percent or less. During the Riff War of the early 1920s most of the Foreigners serving with the Legion were Spanish speaking Latin Americans. After
1987 it stopped accepting foreigners altogether and changed its name to the Spanish Legion.
In the
2000s, after the abandonment of conscription, the Spanish Army is again accepting foreigners from select nationalities. The Legion today accepts native Spanish speakers (mostly from Central and South America, but even from countries like Germany) between ages of 18 and 28, be they male or female.
In recent years the Spanish Legion was involved in
Bosnia as part of the SFOR. It also took part in the Iraq War, deploying in Najaf alongside El Salvadorean troops, until the new Spanish government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero fulfilled its electoral promises by withdrawing Spanish troops from Iraq. The Legion units deployed in Iraq were involved in several combats against the insurgency. In 2005 the Legion was deployed in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Stabilisation Force (ISAF).

Esprit de corps
Millán Astray provided the Legion with a distinctive spirit and symbolism intended to evoke Spain's
Imperial and Christian traditions. For instance, the Legion adopted a regimental unit called the tercio in memory of the sixteenth century Spanish infantry formations that had toppled nations and terrorized the battlefields of Europe in the days of Charles V. Millán-Astray also revived the Spaniard's ancient feud with the Moors and portrayed his men first as crusaders on an extended Reconquista against the Islamic civilization; and later as the saviours of Spain warding off the twin evils of Communism and democratic liberalism.
The Legion's customs and traditions include:
Its members, regardless of rank, are titled caballero legionario ("knight legionnaire"). When women became admitted, they were titled damas legionarias ("lady legionnaire").
Legionnaires consider themselves novios de la muerte ("death bridegrooms").
When in trouble, a legionnaire shouts ¡A mí la Legión! ("To me the Legion!"). Those within earshot are bound to help him regardless of the circumstances. In practice, Legionnaires are never supposed to abandon a comrade on the battlefield; they must try to help him until all have perished, if necessary.
Contrary to usual military practice, Legionnaires are allowed to sport
beards and can wear their shirts open on the chest. They are also allowed tattoos, especially the Legion Shield, or typically depict scenes of war. From its establishment the Legion was noted for its plain and simple uniforms, in contrast to the colourful dress uniforms still worn by the Peninsular regiments of the Spanish Army until the overthrow of the Monarchy in 1932. This was part of the cult of austerity favoured by a unit that considered itself on more or less continual active service.
The Legion's
march step is faster than the Spanish military standard, 160-190 in contrast to the Army's 90 steps per minute.
During the
Holy Week processions, the paso carried by legionnaires is held not on the shoulder but on their extended arms.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Miguel de Unamuno

"The man of flesh and blood; the one who is born, suffers and dies - above all, who dies; the man who eats and drinks and plays and sleeps and thinks and wills; the man who is seen and is heard; the brother, the real brother." Miguel de Unamuno (from The Tragic Sense of Life, 1913)

Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo was born in Bilbao as the third of six children of Félix Unamuno, a proprietor of a bakery shop, and Salomé de Jugo, who was also his niece. When his father died Unamuno was brought up by an uncle. In his childhood he witnessed during the siege of Bilbao the violence between traditionalist and progressive forces. This experience left deep traces in his political thinking. Unamuno studied in his native city at the Colegio de San Nicolás and the Instituto Vizacaíno. In 1880 he entered the University of Madrid, where he studied philosophy and letters, receiving his Ph.D. four years later. Unamuno's dissertation dealt with the origin and prehistory of his Basque ancestors.
Unamuno's early years were deeply religious but in Madrid he started to visit the Ateneo, sometimes called the blasphemy center of the city. In its library he read works of liberal writers. After completing his doctorate Unamuno worked as a private tutor in Bilbao, where he also founded with his friends the socialist journal La Lucha de Clases. From Bilbao he moved to Salamanca, to assume the chair of Greek at the University. In 1891 he married Concepción Lizárraga Ecénnarro; they had ten children. In 1896-97 he went through a religious crisis, which shattered his belief in finding a rational explanation of God and meaning in life. From universal philosophical constructions and outer reality he turned his attention to the individual person, inner spiritual struggles in the face of questions of death and immortality. Unamuno once stated: "Wisdom is to science what death is to life or, if you will, wisdom is to death what science is to life." Seeing that reason leads to despair, Unamuno concluded that one must abandon all pretence of rationalism and embrace faith.
In 1901 Unamuno became rector of the university; he held the post intermittently until his death. He was relieved of his duties because of political reasons for the first time in 1914. In 1924 he was exiled to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands for opposing the military dictatorship of General Primo de Rivera. After a few months, he escaped to Paris, where his friends helped him create attention internationally to his exile. He then settled in Hendaye, the French Basque town nearest to the Spanish frontier, where he spent five years. General Rivera died in 1930 and Unamuno returned to the University of Salamanca, and was reelected rector in 1931. He worked as the professor of the history of the Spanish language, but in 1936 he was removed once again - this time denouncing Francisco Franco's Falangists. Unamuno was placed under house arrest.
When The Republican General Milan_Astray took control of University of Salamanca on October 12, 1936, Unamuno confronted him with these words:
"At times to be silent is to lie. You will win because you have enough brute force. But you will not convince. For to convince you need to persuade. And in order to persuade you would need what you lack: Reason and Right."

Milan-Astray shouted in reply, using typical fascist reasoning;

"Death to intelligence! And long live Death!" whereupon he drove the elderly Unamuno out of the university at gunpoint. Writer and independent thinker, original mind and rector of the University of Salamanca, Unamuno consequently suffered a heart attack and was dead within a week.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


So sorry,whatheheh, I haven't been keeping up. I spent a few days at my sister's place, recuperating and she has a telephone provider, not friendly to posting. And while your lucid responses to my posts should be reason enough to carry on, I do wish we had more company. The apparent loss of Marks O and Jackie O distress me and my muse is definitly on the wan. Do not give up on me completely, I may have a comeback in me. My arm is mending but probably will never be the same. Tendons at my age can be stubborn to rehab. Sigh. Lacking inspiration I give you my portrait of my Dad ( Left) and his brother Dick, two fine up from the dirt democrats who helped shape me. My father also carried scars from manual labor, but perhaps bore them better than I....

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Dolores Ibarruri - La Pasionaria

" The Spanish people would rather die on its feet than live on its knees. And do not forget, and let no one forget, that if today it is our turn to resist fascist aggression, the struggle will not end in Spain. Today it's us; but if the Spanish people is allowed to be crushed, you will be next, all of Europe will have to face aggression and war." When the fiery La Pasionaria made this speech in France in 1938 it was a plaintive cry to a sleeping world. Born in desperate poverty in Gallarta, Spain, on the 9th of December, 1895, Dolores Ibarruri matured to become one of the finest orators of her time. Mother of six children, only two of which survived the grinding poverty and lack of adequate food and health care rampant in oligarchical Spain, Dolores took to heart the teachings of Marx. Were she to need more reason to embrace radicalism, her huspand was arrested during a strike in 1920. My poor words will not do her justice, I will let her speak for herself. "The crude reality, the bare truth, hit me as it did every woman, with its unforgiving hands. A few short, fleeting days of illusion and afterwards, in my own experience, I learned the harsh truth of the popular saying 'Mother, what does it mean to be married? Daughter, it means to sew, to give birth and to cry'. To cry, to cry over our misfortunes, to cry over our powerlessness. To cry over our innocent children, to whom all we had to offer was our caresses soaked with tears. To cry over our pain-filled lives, without prospects, with no way out. Bitter tears, with a permanent curse in the heart and a blasphemy on the lips. "Vincent Sheean, the brilliant journalist and author of Not Peace But A Sword said of her - "Sometimes she gave it to them so straight and hard that you could hear the gasp of the whole audience. Her purpose was, of course, to make such failures and mistakes rarer in the future. She criticized the government not at all, but her own and the other revolutionary parties came in for some terrific lashings. And then, having frightened the audience into breathlessness by her picture of disaster, she set out to prove that victory was possible, and on what conditions. To an ordinary American journalist in the front row of the hall it seemed that she was asking these people to stop being Communists altogether, at least until the war was won. The genius of Dolores - her unquestionable genius as a speaker, the most remarkable I ever heard - worked upon them its customary miracle, and she had the whole audience cheering with enthusiasm when she finished." - La Pasionaria "Passion's Flower".