Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year Kids!

New Year's is not my favorite holiday and tonight I was planning to go to bed as usual and pick up where I left off last night with the absorbing biography of Martin Luther I have been reading for the past few days. Monday, to me, is way more of a holiday with college football games from morning till late at night. It is easily one of the best days of the year. This year it will be capped of by Georgia vs. West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl.

Anyway the Bit & Spur called, someone got sick, would I be willing to fill in on New Year's Eve? But of course, I'm always up for working, especially on a real busy night. So as I roam on into another year I'm ever grateful that I have work, health, friends and a beautiful desert in which to live. Life's good.

Guess I'll have to take the hummus I made down to the canyon, and share it with my friends who always so graciously gobble it up, making me beam inside.

Bit & Spur cuties

Homer says: "mmmmmm hummus".

Friday, December 30, 2005

Dictators defend freedom

Defending freedom

The following excerpt is taken from a review of the book Hitler's Prisons:

The similarity of Bush administration policies to "those of abusive regimes that we have historically condemned" is brought home to us by historian Nikolaus Wachsmann’s Hitler’s Prisons (Yale University Press 2004).

Wachsmann’s book is a detailed history of the conflict and cooperation between the traditional legal/judicial/prison system on the one hand and the police/SS/concentration camp system on the other. He does not mention George Bush or Bush’s "war on terror." However, the similarities leap off the pages.

Just as 9/11 was a crystallizing event for Bush’s seizure of executive power to suspend civil liberties, detain people indefinitely without evidence, and spy on American citizens without warrants, the Reichstag fire of 27 February 1933 was followed the next morning by Hitler’s Decree for the Protection of People and State. This decree became the constitutional charter of the Third Reich. It "suspended guarantees of personal liberty and served as the basis for the police arrest and incarceration of political opponents without trial."

In a frightening parallel to our own situation, Wachsmann writes: "Various police activities during the ‘seizure of power’ clearly damaged legal authority. Indefinite detention without due judicial process was incompatible with the rule of law. But, on the whole, there were no loud complaints or protests from legal officials." I read this passage the same day I heard on National Public Radio University of Chicago law professor Eric Posner defend President Bush’s use of extra-legal, extra-Constitutional authority to protect the people and state from terrorists.

The precedent for Alberto Gonzales’ declaration that Bush is the law was Reich Minister of Justice Franz Gurtner, who agreed in a cabinet meeting on 3 July 1934 that "Hitler was the law." Bush’s claim that extraordinary powers are necessary for him to be able to defend our country under extraordinary circumstances is identical to Hitler’s claim that he was entitled to ignore the rule of law because he was "responsible for the fate of the German nation and thereby the supreme judge of the German people." What is the difference between Hitler’s claim and the US Department of Defense’s claim that President Bush has the right to violate domestic and international laws?

Wachsmann’s book shows that it is extremely easy for extraordinary measures in the name of national emergency to become permanent. Germans did not understand that the Decree for the Protection of People and State was the beginning of legal terror.

Glad to know I'm not the only person who can clearly see the similarities.

Night on the town with the Bagwhan

The Bagwhan is vocal in his reveries.

Bowls of Baksheesh Part 3

The Bagwhan says always believe.
we went 5-4 in part 1 and 7-6 in the last part for a total of 12 bowls up and 10 bowls down. a $25 bettor would be up exactly $25, let's get to part 3 which includes the two biggest bets of the year:








The Bagwhan with a devoted student at his former ashram.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

I don't think it's funny no more

Democracy builders
At this point in history it is no longer a disputable fact that the forces of the American Imperial Empire are turning out to be the hegemonic monster regime of the emerging 21st century. That I live in a country where the majority of the population either does not grasp this fact or chooses to ignore it only makes the graveness of the current situation all that much more dire.
The U.S. has spent, so far, $210 billion on the war in Iraq which everyone outside the U.S. knows was lost the day that Shock and Awe began. Shock and Awe? Does anyone feel proud to be from a country that launches large scale offensive warfare, on innocent civilian targets, under such a sleazy smarmy banner of self-righteousness? It makes me sick to my stomach to think that some of my wealth was confiscated to produce the horrific violence and death of such a campaign.
It feels more and more like 1930's Germany every day. Instead of Warsaw it is Fallujah, Ramadi instead of Kiev. The Nazi Fuhrer told the Germans he was giving these savages a history by invading them. For them the sweet fruits of social democracy were just around the corner after conquest and the imposition of a civilized order.
Just before the holidays the current American Fuhrer came clean, to what many of us have known for years, that the U.S. Constitution is just so much toilet paper to greedy tinpot tyrants like himself and Count Cheney. That this is the closest we have come to realizing a true police state in the whole history of this dank republic is pretty scary. Not since Emperor Roosevelt bombed millions of innocent civilians and sent every person of Japanese ancestry to a concentration camp, or when Lincoln imitated Napolean, has a dictator president like this emerged so free to do what he pleases. It is a low point in history that cannot long be sustained or bring about a positive outcome in the short term.
All I can say is God bless the Muslims who are determined to take this Beast down. God bless them all! Each American bomb brings new soldiers to the fold of righteous revenge. A fatal fatwa upon your house!
Sic semper tyrannis!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Police State Blues

Welcome to New Orleans
Why was this man killed by government authorities?
Could they have used a taser instead?
Or maybe a net that they use to round up stray animals?
Will there ever be a full accounting of this state sponsored murder?
Very doubtful.
Welcome to Police State USA:
"Freeze muthafucka!"

I love trucks

This morning I decided that if I took a camera to town with me, to run errands, something would appear before me worth taking a picture of, and that I'd post a blog of whatever it turned out to be. I kid you not! Within a few minutes into the journey lo and behold there it was.

Monday's fierce winter storm knocked out the local electric transformer, and today a new one arrived at the Quichapa substation. The pictured crane truck, that will first pick up the destroyed transformer and then lift into place its replacement, totally blocked both lanes of Hwy. 56, taking its own sweet time backing in. A gigantic metal dinosaur controlled by a human brain. Way cool.

Just like a kid I still love trucks!

Ain't humans cool for building and maintaining such things as crane trucks and transformers?

Related news story:

Monday, December 26, 2005

Bowls of Baksheesh: Week 2

Village under cliff & cloud

Today's weather in Zion Canyon seemed to befit the special energy flow needed by holy men to conjure up predictions of future events. After weeks of above normal balm, we are today greeted by the dramatic and windy high opera of a frontal low which has intruded upon our sunny holiday reverie. (It's still December after all.) Have a great week of football! Now on to the main feature:

THE BAGWHAN returns with the 2nd installation of BOWLS OF BAKSHEESH the first six games we went 3-3, but with the BOWLS OF BAKSHEESH we went 5-4, $25 bettors would be up an astounding $15 for now. LETS GO:

monday 12/26 MOTOR CITY BOWL AKRON ZIPS vs MEMPHIS TIGERS -(4) a MAC team plays in this bowl each year so we'll go with familiarity. AKRON +4 (1 bowl of baksheesh)

tuesday 12/27 CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL COLORADO BUFFALOES vs CLEMSON TIGERS (-10) i don't even want to discuss COLORADO we'll go OVER 45 total points (3 bowls of baksheesh)

tuesday 12/27 INSIGHT BOWL RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS vs ARIZONA ST SUN DEVILS(-10) this is basically a home game for ARIZONA ST. RUTGERS hasn't been to a bowlin forever. ho hum for ARIZONA ST., something to prove for RUTGERS. RUTGERS +10 (2 bowls of baksheesh)

wednesday 12/28 MPC COMPUTER BOWL BOISE STATE BRONCOS vs. BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES(-2) this IS a home game for BOISE. on the blue carpet. in the last game for the head coach that put this program on the map. BC is better, but emotion wins this for BOISEBOISE +2 (2 bowls of baksheesh)

wednesday 12/28 NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS vs MICHIGAN WOLVERINES(-11)MICHIGAN in a non- new years bowl? do they give a rats ass about being in SAN ANTONIO?i don't think so. NEBRASKA +11 (2 bowls of baksheesh)

thursday 12/29 EMERALD BOWL UTAH UTES vs GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS (-9.5) where does GA TECH get off being almost a double digit favorite? UTAH +9.5 (2 bowls of baksheesh)

thursday 12/29 OKLAHOMA SONNERS vs OREGON DUCKS (-3.5) does OREGON have something to prove to the BCS or are they gonna bitch andmoan? bitch and moan OKLAHOMA +3.5 (1 bowl of baksheesh)


The Eagle Crags

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Bill & Disneyland turn 50

Bill & Mickey

Merry Christmas from Springdale

Merry Christmas in Springdale from Austin Excell's cows.

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Bagwhan is 3-1 going into the Fort Worth Bowl

Houston vs. Kansas
Houston mascot
Kansas Jayhawk w/Ok. St. mascot 1959

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The high for the state today

Springdale recorded today's high temperature for the state of Utah with a sparkling scrumptious 72 F. Christmas in the Holy Land of Zion indeed, where's my portable potted palm?

Let's all root for California tonight against BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl----the Bagwhan's prediction notwithstanding. I like the Utes and Aggies but despise the Cougars. It's sorta like hating the white and shiny Dallas Cowboys from when I was a young Redskin fan growing up in DC, but at least the Cowboys were worthy opponents, unlike the white bread chicken shit, sprinkled with converted Samoans (adding a brown hue & much needed bulk) rag tag bullcrap they call football in Provo. "And they called it puppy loooove...."

BYU is in a bowl game because Las Vegas is a fun place for Mormons to come and gamble and frolic in the warmth of bright December sunshine, on a traditionally slow week in Sin City. I don't know how many fans from Berkeley come but probably a few, because it's a very cheap flight from Oakland to LV. Let's go you Golden Bears! Let's win one for Tookie Williams!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Not to jinx anyone---but the Bagwhan is 2-0!

You crushed on the first two bowl games, your eminence.


Old pioneer cemetery in Springdale, Utah.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Balmy retreat for the holidays

Springdale from the air, deep down in da earth.

This year I'll be basking in the Zion sun for the Christmas holidays. A strong high pressure cell is dominating the weather over the Southwest and it is projected to be in the mid-60's and sunny for the foreseeable future. We are receiving the weather of the Holy Lands as a nice present from Mother Nature. Thanks a heap hon!

Click the Bit & Spur link for information about New Year's Eve at das Bit:

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Bagwhan picks the first week of bowl games

THE BAGWHANS BIG BOWL OF BAKSHEESH! let's get the first weeks crappy bowl games out of the way in one fell swoop. all games rated 1-5 bowls of BAKSHEESH

tuesday 12/20 New Orleans Bowl arkansas st vs. southern mississippi (-16.5) so. miss is much beter than ark st, but i'll call for the backdoor cover: ark st. +16.5 (2 bowls of baksheesh)

wednesday 12/21 GMAC BOWL UTEP vs TOLEDO (-3) small favs are 21-11 in bowl games: take the ROCKETS and give the 3 (1 bowl of baksheesh)

thursday 12/22 LAS VEGAS BOWL BYU vs CAL (-7.5) cal doesn't care, the mormon boys will stay sober and focused: take BYU+7.5 (2 bowls of baksheesh)

thursday 12/22 POINSETTA BOWL COLO ST vs. NAVY (-3) san diego's a big naval town but it's a long damn way from annapolis: take COLO ST +3 (2 bowls of baksheesh)

friday 12/23 FORT WORTH BOWL HOUSTON vs KANSAS (-3) the big 12 BLOWS: take houston +3 (1 small bowl of baksheesh)

John Riggins

saturday 12/24 HAWAII BOWL CENTRAL FLA vs. NEVADA (-2) florida to hawaii? why bother? take NEVADA and give the 2 (1 small bowl of baksheesh with a side of poi)

more from ON HIGH next Monday




His holiness at a recent spiritual conference.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

It just sorta made sense to me, I'm not a nut, yet

In the New Testament Book of Revelation, the angel sent from heaven to address the seventh and final church on earth before the Last Judgment, gives a description which totally reminded me of contemporary Western culture in general and why I'm grateful that the Muslim world has risen up to challenge the decadance of a death dealing empire and also for the East Asians who are holding the credit card. That angel knew its mark like it was today.

"I know all of your ways: you are neither hot nor cold. How I wish you were either hot or cold! But because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'How rich I am! And how well I have done! I have everything I want in the world.' In fact, though you do not know it, you are the most pitiful wretch, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. So I advise you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, to make you truly rich; and white clothes to put on to hide the shame of your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so that you may see."

The Last Judgment by Frangelico

$210 Billion Down the Hole

According to the latest estimates, the United States government has spent over two hundred and ten billion dollars on the war in Iraq. How do we put that in perspective?

We could divide $210 billion by 300 million Americans. That would tell us that the war has cost $700 for every man, woman, and child in America.

(How about you? Do you personally feel that you have received seven hundred dollars worth of freedom and security thanks to all the bombs we've dropped in Iraq?)

We can also divide the $210 billion by seventy million American taxpayers. That tells us the war has cost $3000 per taxpayer. Are those taxpayers satisfied with the 'freedom' from life and limb that our weapons have brought to so many Iraqi children – or would those taxpayers have preferred to 'selfishly' spend the money on college tuition and health care for their own children?

But maybe Americans don't count. President Bush says we will do 'whatever it takes' to help Iraq, implying that he'd even sacrifice America to save Iraq. Assuming we all agree with that sentiment, what have the Iraqis received – aside from demolished cities – for our $210 billion dollars?

Well, they haven't received enough to eat. A visit to a supermarket will confirm that microwave meals can be purchased for a dollar each, and so it is possible to provide a person with three square meals a day for only three dollars a day. The twenty-five million people of Iraq could be fed on $75 million a day, or $27 billion a year. That's only a small fraction of the $210 billion we've spent on Iraq. Yet, amid the ruins created by our violent occupation, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children are malnourished. Apparently, not even fifteen percent of our money is going toward nation-feeding – let alone 'nation-building.'

Nor has anywhere near the bulk of the spending on the Iraq War gone to our soldiers. Divide $210 billion dollars by 160,000 American soldiers in Iraq, and you see that we're spending $1.3 million per soldier. These are the same soldiers complaining about no air conditioning in 110-degree weather, poor medical care, the lack of body armor, the need to scrounge junkyards for vehicle armor, and a shortage of ammunition. None of our soldiers seem to have even $1300 worth of camping gear, let alone $1.3 million worth of high-tech equipment. And they sure aren't receiving $1.3 million apiece in pay.

(Maybe all those pro-war folks with those 'Support Our Troops' signs should wave them at the Oval Office. That's where their message needs to sink in.)

Perhaps you think that the $210 billion dollars went toward offensive military capability. But it is estimated by President Bush himself that the US military has at most killed only thirty thousand Iraqi insurgents, and if you divide $210 billion dollars by that number, you see that it is costing us $7 million to kill each insurgent. If George Washington had wasted $7 million in logistics to kill each Redcoat, the Continental Congress would have stripped him of command and regarded him as more damaging to the Patriot cause than Benedict Arnold! Today, however, the Bush Administration awards medals to generals who have achieved that astounding level of inefficiency in the Iraq War.

We're assuming, though, the money actually went toward fighting the war. Or does the word 'misappropriation' come to mind?

The Bush Administration admits it may have misappropriated a billion or two in Iraq because of accounting errors. But the scandal is far bigger than that. What about willful, conscious misappropriation – into a swollen federal bureaucracy, Congressional pork-barrel programs, and all those no-bid contracts for corporate political donors? Such practices might be perfectly legal, but still they have the whiff of corruption, do they not?

They also have a whiff of a deeper evil, considering that so many innocents have died for the prosperity of the unscrupulous. And we do have more important matters on which to spend the money – such as, say, a manhunt for real terrorists (Osama, remember him?).

Two hundred and ten billion dollars is a lot of money to spend with nothing positive to show for it. And the Bush Administration has nothing positive to show for the Iraq War. Not in making America safer, not in making Iraq better.

So just exactly where did the money go? It went where taxpayer money dedicated for 'idealistic' purposes often goes: down a fiscal black hole. And thanks to our current leadership, with our national debt already above sixty-five percent of GDP, America itself is rapidly accelerating toward the same event horizon.

For though we have squandered nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars on Iraq, there is no end in sight – unless, it is the end of America itself.

December 17, 2005

Joe Schembrie [send him mail] is an engineer and writer living in Washington.

Amen brutha!

"Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues!" - Revelation 18:4

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Same old lies, by the same old liars

The Warfare State

"This authorization is a vital tool in our war against the terrorists. It is critical to saving American lives. The American people expect me to do everything in my power, under our laws and constitution, to protect them and their civil liberties and that is exactly what I will continue to do as long as I am president."

-----President George W. Bush on his authorization of illegal wiretaps of American citizens without judicial approval or oversight.

"The government will make use of these powers only insofar as they are essential for carrying out vitally necessary measures...The number of cases in which an internal necessity exists for having recourse to such a law is in itself a limited one."

-----Adolf Hitler on the Enabling Act.

It was officially called the "Law for Removing the Distress of the People and the Reich." When it passed in 1933, it wiped democracy out of existence in Germany and established the legal dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. At least Hitler pretended he would limit his use of the act, unlike Shrub who arrogantly says he'll do whatever he wants "to save American lives" whenever he feels like it. The emeging little dictator should get someone smoother and slicker to write his stuff for him, somebody intelligent like Goebbels.

Connecticut apologizes, then hopefully secedes

God bless 'em!

Bush must be impeached!

He's outta control! The script of this play is starting to get pretty scary, at least to me.

Dead American soldier. For what?

Bush the protofascist

What me worry?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Devastatin' Dave caption contest

Caption anyone?
Photo was taken on the mysterious and inbred Kolob Terrace of southern Utah.

Bowling with the Bagwhan

The Bagwhan has promised picks for all of the bowl games, weather permitting. The first game will be played on December 20th, the New Orleans Bowl, pitting Southern Mississippi vs. Arkansas State. Stay tuned to this here blog for the Bagwhan's predictions into the future.

Historic meeting of the Bagwhan and Devastatin' Dave at the former ashram in Bethesda.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Wilco and Buckethead

There are brand new albums out by two of my favorite musical acts, Wilco (Kicking Television) and Buckethead (Kaleidoscalp). Both works, I am very happy to report, are masterpieces. Merry Christmas to me!
Kicking Television is a snapshot of a good band performing live in their home town in front of dedicated fans. The music exudes warmth and well honed execution among band mates who truly seem to like each other. Nels Cline has definitely put his mark on the sound with his extremely fast metal riffs and steel pedal drawl. Jeff Tweedy is at the top of his game as band leader and guitarist. The album is always playing at the music store in Cedar City, much to my delight. Everybody in southern Utah should shop at Groovacious, the best Mom & Pop music store in America!
Kaleidoscalp marks a return to heavy death metal shards carefully layered over sarcastic trash talking robot electronica with a healthy dose of horror movie cheese thrown in for good measure. Buckethead is a master blender of sounds, textures and beats. In this album he is successful at keeping the action moving along like a thrill ride at the amusement park. He doesn't get as bogged down in displaying his virtuosity, as in previous albums, and as a result is much more successful at connecting all of the disparate elements in each of these pieces together, stringing the listener along on a pleasant ride through the mental graveyard of postmodern alienation and the ultimate redemptive clarity that is possible through the music of a very talented artist. It can be a bumpy hellish ride to beauty and grace. Just read The Inferno.
The Android of Notre Dame is a great song as is the finale She Sells Sea Shells by the Slaughterhouse, which is reminiscent of the sweet tranquility and peace found on the albums Electric Tears and Colma. He's worth forking the bread over for!


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Holocaust denial

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Today the Iranian president was harshly criticized for calling the Nazi Holocaust a "myth" used as a pretext for carving out a Jewish state in the heart of the Muslim world. He has been denounced by European and American government officials but the rest of the world has been noticably silent concerning his remarks.

Now if he is to censured for such a statement, how come the Russians are still able to deny the 10 million who perished from deliberately planned government starvation of peasants in the Ukraine in the early 1930's? Is Turkey ready to officially acknowledge that from 1900 to 1923, various Turkish regimes killed from 3.5 to over 4.3 million Armenians, Greeks, Nestorians, and other assorted Christians? Will the United States federal government ever officially acknowledge the planned and systematic genocide and gulaging of the native tribes of the American West or the deliberate poisoning of the populace with 126 above ground nuclear tests from 1951-62, which blew across the entire country on the prevailing wind patterns? What about the use of torture this very day in some secret CIA camp abroad?
The murderous crimes perpetrated by Chairman Mao will never ever be openly proclaimed by the current rulers in China, whose bloody toll is estimated in the multi-tens of millions! The Japanese have just recently gotten around to saying they were sorry for the Rape of Nanjing, human scientific experiments on Chinese civilians and the 40,000 comfort girls (sex slaves) kidnapped from Korea, for the use of the military, during their brutal occupation of that country. Nice of them to admit it now wasn't it? I feel so much better now Dr. Phil.

Why get so worked up about Holocaust denial when known genocide has still not been fessed up to by supposedly legitimate and respectable governments? Are the Germans and Japanese the only ones who have to atone for their crimes?

We've all seen the pictures of Dachau. I believe there was a Holocaust. So now let's talk about the other 194 million people killed by central governments in the 20th-century!

While we're at it let's also cut President Ahmadinejad some slack. He's entititled to his own opinions about the truth as long the rest of the world's central governments continue to remain silent about thier own crimes against humanity.

Long Night Moon

Moonrise over Cedar Valley
Tonight's full moon will preside over the longest period of darkness in the lunar cycle, which is why it is often called the Long Night Moon. Makes sense to me.

Stay the course

Being an amateur historian is a painful hobby to have. Careful study reveals the regular and oft-repeated tendencies of tyrannical central governments, especially the modus operandi they employee in the harmful prosecution of wasteful wars.

Listening today to Shrub, who has been forced to admit to failures in his warmongering, I was reminded of Adolf Hitler when he had to admit to the German people about the utter destruction of the vaunted Sixth Army at Stalingrad. He went on to use that opportunity to also explain that renewed sacrifice from the populace was expected and that staying the course in war was the only way to avoid total annihilation by the Asiatic Bolshevik rapers who would sweep across the Vistula River if they were not kept in tow on a battle front. Fighting them on their soil was making it safer for all German citizens by keeping them contained in military conflict in their own pig sty of a country.

Hitler then told the huddled masses that by invading Russia the Germans were doing these people a big favor by improving conditions in this backward land of peasants, cossacks, Jews and Mohammedans, all viciously dominated by a murderous madman in the Kremlin. Victory meant setting up the first civilized government structure in the whole long history of this strife torn country. Victory meant a public trial of Stalin as a war criminal. Victory meant the immense oil reserves of the Caucasus. No siree Bob we can't back out now. What kind of signal would that send to these savages? Germany must stay the course!

Sound familiar?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tattoo you

Herve at the height (pardon the pun) of his popularity
I plan to put the above celebrity press photo up for auction on eBay but wanted to make sure that I had all of the details about its origin down pat. So I'm checking with all of you, dear readers, on a point of fact I wish to establish.

On the back of the print the caption reads:

The Sixth Annual People's Choice Awards held at the Hollywood Palladium.
Photo shows: Herve Villechaize (of Fantasy Island) and date, Darlene. (Jan., 1980)

Now if I'm not mistaken the woman shown next to Tattoo is really Charlene Tilton, who played Lucy Ewing on Dallas. This picture would have been taken before she landed that part on the show and was probably sleeping with Herve to advance her career. Whaddya think? Is it her?

Charlene as Lucy Ewing

Sunday, December 11, 2005

A musical gem

The Bonzo Dog Band
Nels Cline sent me a pair of CDs by the Bonzo Dog Band, which contains obscure rarities and even a few live performances by this legendary band that is one of my all-time favorites. A particular gem, that I had never heard, was a reggae protest song which has this catchy refrain:

Heigh ho!
Don't worry
Nobody can win
(Heigh ho! Heigh ho!)
No matter who you vote for, the government always gets in!

For a song that is over 30 years old it has a resonance and currency that made me smile and tap my foot in recognition. It caused Joe Jennings to laugh out loud for a few minutes. The complete lyrics, for those who might be interested:

Speaking of Nels Cline, the new Wilco album is out called Kicking Television. It is a two-CD live album recorded last May in Chicago. This is a phenomenal work and Nels makes them sound so sonically juiced up that they are literally a different band from just a few years back. Check it out dudes.
Nels Cline performs with Wilco in Los Angeles on 11/24/04.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Georgia vs. West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl

A favorite game animal of West Virginia
On January 2, 2006 Georgia will play West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl. The opening line in Las Vegas has the SEC champion Bulldogs favored by 9 points. I like this match-up a lot because I have lived in both states and happen to think that Athens and Morgantown are two of the coolest college towns in the United States. Of course I'll be rooting for the Dawgs, but wouldn't mind seeing the Mountaineers make a game of it. A big yee-haw to all!

Some fetching Georgia girls at the Redneck Games

Ain't American culture sumpfin' else?

Intellectual assessment of Las Vegas

The attached article, by a libertarian author and Nevada banker, presents a unique perspective on that phenomenon of urban geography known as Las Vegas. Having just spent a week there it is a timely reflection on a place that is unique and sometimes hard to nail down intellectually. This piece is a good start, with implications for the larger world of which Las Vegas is but a mere outgrowth.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Let's hear it for Saddam!

Don't take it sitting down!
The absolute absurdity of trying Saddam Hussien as a war criminal while just outside the doors of the courthouse, in the bleeding hemorrhaging country of Iraq, the invading forces are committing atrocities that this two-bit Baathist thug could only dream of accomplishing. The utter irony of the fact that he turns out to have been the only person that was actually telling the truth prior to the Iraq War boggles the mind and makes me wonder if I really exist in reality or inhabit the pages of a whacked out Evelyn Waugh novel.
With his freshly dyed hair and Brooks Brothers suit, clasping tightly his copy of the Koran, the former Iraqi leader draws way more admiration from me than the pale & pasty corpses that pass for political leaders in the land of my birth. Who would you want on your side in a bar fight, Saddam Hussien or Dick Cheney?
The fact that he is being tried for the deaths of 140 people in 1982 seems so trite in comparison to the wholesale slaughter and destruction wreaked by the United States government on a totally innocent country that had no intention of attacking us, nor possessed the capability to do it. It was Saudis flying those airplanes back in 2001, remember?
I hope Saddam will further hasten this spectacle of hypocrisy into the three-ringed circus that it truly is. I support his efforts to expose the U.S. government as the manipulative puppet masters that they are and to let his people know what a sham the whole exercise is. I think televising this trial to the Iraqi people will have an overall positive effect, in that they will see the U.S. for what it truly is----an aggressive torturing warmongering bully. I suspect that most Iraqis know it already.
Having George Bush and Dick Cheney try this man as a war criminal will ultimately serve to confirm what the rest of the world already knew in their hearts about the lawless gangsters who rule from DC, that they are corrupt and evil and must be defeated. If Saddam can further that cause, more power to him!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Las Vegas photo album

Corner of Tropicana & the Strip

Fountains at the Bellagio
Boardwalk on the Strip
Mojave Desert
My kind of picnic spot