Friday, March 31, 2023

What I Saw On PBS Tonight

 It was awarding Joni Mitchell the Gershwin Prize for popular music from the Library of Congress.

It was wonderful.

I saw America.

Not donnieLand.

I saw love.

Not hate.

I saw a blend.

Not all white.

I saw love.

I saw America.

I saw what a lot of us - perhaps most of us - want us to be.

And what most of us want us to be is, is what we already are.

If only the haters were gone.

Once and for all.

But that's a lot to hope for.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

A Bud And Travis Song Re-Purposed: Maybe The donald Is Finally Finished

 donnie's in the slammer and he aint done nothin'

Dum da dum

Cataninetails on the back in the mornin'

Dum da dum

Bread and water for dinner in the evenin'

Dum da dum

Swear by golly he aint done nothin'

Dum da dum


This is a re-write of the chorus of 

My Brother's In The Lockup

from Bud and Travis, circa 1962.

Pesticide Needed?

It's so easy. 

To be appalled.

By the antics of morons like Margery.

But she's just a lab rat.

Responding to stimuli.

The problem is not with the rat.

She's performing to genetics.

The fearful problem is with the Lab.

The Lab chose this rat knowing how to stimulate her to achieve desired results.

And those results become more sinister by the day.

But the traditional solution - eliminate the beast - won't solve the problem.

A California Rat is hard to tell from a Georgia Rat.

In fact, it's hard to tell any difference between any of the states' rats.

One rat, more or less, is pretty much like the next rat.

Pesticide just brings in a new rat.

It's the Labs doing the stimulating that are the problem, and the danger.

And they have a rat majority in the house of representatives.

And those rats are all being stimulated.

And they all want to one-up.

Margery the lab rat.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Snippets In The News

 There's a Giant clown convention in Orlando.  

The Denver Metro is initiating a "riders with no destination" removal program; to expedite the program's efficiency offenders will be thrown off the moving train at point of discovery.

Speaking clowns, the Desantis Transition Committee has been working on a major annual festivity to be commenced during his presidency: the annual White House Christmas Tree is going to be replaced with an annual Christian Book Pyre, a thousand-foot-high pyramid shaped mound of books set aflame. It is thought that the nation's schools, universities and libraries can be emptied of books by the beginning of Desantis' second term at which time the pyre will be converted to riders without destinations.

TikTok executive tells Congress that "American TikTok data is safely hidden in Texas, so China can't access it".  Jim Jordan suggested that they bury the data for extra security.

A huge blob of seaweed is heading for Florida.


"I don't believe Gonzaga exists": Jimmy Kimmel jokes about the Bulldogs on his show. While the late night host joked about Gonzaga's existence during his monologue on Monday, he did get the pronunciation right.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

But Of Course, Politics Trump The Constitution; But The Law Also?

 The verdict for Impeachment One of the dildo decided in the dildo's favor: "not guilty".

Since there were only 45 Democrats in the Senate for that trial, and sixty seven guilty votes were needed to convict, the dildo was, obviously, found not guilty.

The verdict for Impeachment Two for the same dildo was also "not guilty".

There were more Democrats - 48 - but not enough for a guilty verdict.

It was interesting, though, that seven Republicans voted "guilty".

The dildo is now long gone, off hatching government overthrows with Rudy, The Pillow Man and Ol' Sidney; they are moving with alacrity.

At Ol' Sidney's suggestion, they are building a time machine in support of their project.

And the ravenous MAGGOTs rail, rile and rescind.

Things look good.

For the dildo.

There are, however, various criminal probes nearing completion.

And most or all of them appear to say that the dildo is going to be indicted and/or arrested.

For actions that can be described as "crimes" if committed by everyday types of people.

Because the dildo isn't president anymore, he is an "everyday type of people".

So the dildo may land in prison.

Because he can't escape the law.

I heard someone say.


After taking advantage of the leverage granted them by the Constitution to vote "not guilty" in the impeachment trials, and after having the grotesque attendant advantage of having that be a political act, and therefore free of any moral significance, the republicans again arise.

They arise as a single being, a single populous shriek, a voice "of, by and for the people" - the "people" from whom they all have sprung.

They rail against the law of the land: "the dildo is above it" (the law of the land) they shriek.

We shall see.

I guess.

Jon Stewart Says It Best In This Video

But here's a short prologue.

If you listen, really, really listen to the never-ending news stream that America has become, and translate what you are hearing, you will draw an interesting conclusion: most Americans don't make enough money to live in America.

And there is a reason.

And that reason is that all the money is in the hands of a few people.

And they won't let loose of it: they won't pay taxes, and, if they are employers, they won't pay their employees.

So neither of the obvious resources for keeping an individual or a family afloat are available: government services or a decent paycheck.

In the infrequently periodic occasions when workers get some leverage - like during the recent pandemic - and force employers to pay them, the employers just crank up their prices.

And that makes wage increases a costless action for the employers.

It also increases consumer prices: inflation.

The macro-economic solution to that temporary worker leverage is to raise interest rates until massive unemployment is created so that the workers are brought back to heel.

And the employers get to keep their higher prices and continue not paying taxes.

That's gonna blow up someday.

The Inflation Blame Game

Friday, March 17, 2023

Some Kind Of Criminal Or Just Plug Stupid?


They - Silicon Valley Bank - bought vast tranches of long term, I think 10-year, US Treasury Bonds - at the then going interest rate, which was very low.

Time and tide moved on and The Fed began raising interest rates, as The Fed has been know to do, on occasion.

It has been pointed out that The Fed wasn't precipitous in this move; it talked and talked and talked about the likelihood of doing it.

So SVB shouldn't have been surprised, and, probably, should have thought about other places to put its deposits.

But they didn't.

And The Fed raised rates and that made 10-year treasury bonds have a higher yield - a lower price compared to face value of the SVB bond holdings.

So if you owned a lot of 10-year treasuries with a lower interest rate - albeit with less than 10 years to go to yield their face value - you were pretty well screwed if you wanted to cash out before maturity.

You would, in that case, need to sell at whatever the market thought they were worth.

Most probably that would not be face value.

So you would probably not want to sell them.

However, SVB decided to sell their vanishing-value Treasuries at a multi-billion-dollar loss, and then issue a press release stating that they had done that, and that that had caused SVB to loose multiple billions of dollars.

SVB's customers got really nervous and all came into the bank on their iPhones and took out 42 billion in a few hours.

Then the bank went belly up.

I know that that is true.

I have no idea whether this, that I am about to write, is true, but I have heard from trusted sources that SVB had a consulting contract with Goldman Sachs - hundred million dollar contract - and Goldman advised SVB to sell the treasuries and to issue the press release announcing that astute financial maneuver. 

I guess Goldman has a script in at Net Flicks?

Is Brad Pitt providing the money?

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Taxpayers: Get Ready To Pay The Bankers Their Bonuses

 As the days keep creeping beyond last Friday, we keep hearing that Silicon Valley Bank was a fluke.

Between creeping and hearing about that fluke, the great domino line of world banking is getting ready.

Before many more creeps we should see the dominos begin to go.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

AUKUS: Odd Name For What It Is

 A long time ago I had this idea.

I think it was in the 1980s.

That was when Japan was kicking the ass of the non-Japanese speaking world.

In every way but war and destruction.

They had learned all they needed to have learned about that sort of thing.

Especially among those asses being kicked was America's.

I can't remember what it was that I thought I saw on the distant horizon that caused me to have my idea.

But I had it.

I called it the League of English-Speaking Nations: United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Britain. 

I included Japan.

In my idea.

AUKUS is some kind of long-term mutual defense treaty with submarine watercraft as its reason for being.

It's made up of Australia, United Kingdom and United States.

Stay tuned.

If India opts in once New Zealand and Japan have joined, we might have a future.

Woody Probably Would Have Been More Direct

 ‘This Land’ is not his song: Woody Guthrie’s family rejects Josh Hawley’s use of lyrics

Story by Judy Kurtz • 6h ago

The family of the singer behind the classic tune, “This Land is Your Land” has a message for Sen. Josh Hawley: This song is not your song to “co-opt.”

‘This Land’ is not his song: Woody Guthrie’s family rejects Josh Hawley’s use of lyrics

‘This Land’ is not his song: Woody Guthrie’s family rejects Josh Hawley’s use of lyrics

The Missouri Republican referenced the 1940 folk music hit by Woody Guthrie last week when introducing the This Land is Our Land Act, S. 684, which would “ban Chinese corporations and individuals associated with the Chinese Communist Party from owning United States agricultural land.”

In a Monday statement to The Kansas City Star, Guthrie’s daughter said the late performer’s family rejected Hawley’s use of the song in legislation.

“In this particular case, the co-opting or parodying of the lyric by those not aligned with Woody’s lyrics — i.e. misrepresentation by autocrats, racists, white nationalists, anti-labor, insurrectionists, etc. — is not condoned,” Nora Guthrie said.

While saying she accepted “This Land is Your Land” being used for political purposes from time to time, Guthrie explained, “We do not consider Josh Hawley in any way a representative of Woody’s values therefore we would never endorse or approve of his reference to Woody’s lyrics.”


Here's what I think Woody would have said to the Missouri Wonder.

(Image from Donaldson Collection/ Getty Images)

Saturday, March 11, 2023

World Peace In Our Time?

 In a recent post I flirted with the suggestion that maybe some Wuhan Lab Rats with lab engineered non-human to human jumping Covid virus had gotten into the product offerings of the famous Wuhan Wet Market.

I had found that suggestion to be a way to prove two of the Covid Conspiracy Theory Camps to both be right.

And what better way to start a move toward world peace than to normalize relations across conspiracy theories?

I could even imagine the sign in the market next to the little naked rat corpses: "Mini Rabbits For Your Rabbit Stew".

Obviously, I translated that from the original Chinese.

Going through those thoughts reminded me of an early evening in Saigon a long time ago.

This is a cut/paste from Saigon 1967.

What I especially like about this little vignette is that it brings in the Covid Virus Genesis Theory.

So, that's three.


It was one evening when I was waiting for a bus downtown to go to the Mayfair that I had two odd experiences.

It was getting dark.  I was standing at a bus stop.  There were lots of Vietnamese civilians milling around doing whatever Vietnamese civilians did at that time of the evening out on the street.  Since the bus stop was in front of some sort of public building there were also several white mice, as the Vietnamese police were called; they wore white shirts, hence the white part of their name. So there was an audience for the first experience.  A young, probably American, woman appeared out of the advancing gloom walking up the dirt roadside which served as a sidewalk, with a dog on a leash.  The dog was a Great Dane.  It was probably the biggest Great Dane I have ever seen.  The Vietnamese were amazed. Their eyes got very large, and everyone stopped and stared. I knew they were thinking about how many cutlets and steaks they could get off the beast.  It was a moment of intense cultural differentiation.

The other thing, that happened next, was of a similar cultural nature. The woman and Great Dane had receded into the other end of the gloom and I was still standing in the darkness, broken by a weak street lamp, waiting for the bus. An old Vietnamese man who was walking along the roadside stopped and said something to me.  He was carrying on his right shoulder a thing that looked like two wire circles each with a series of vertical spikes attached, with the circles attached to a central shaft.  On each of the spikes was a lump of a reddish blackish substance.  My impression was that it was probably some kind of meat.

He was trying to sell some of it to me.  I wouldn’t have bought whatever it was under any circumstances, but I was really curious about what it was.  I had never seen this sort of configuration of snack vending.  In some manner I asked him what the lumps might be, and he said something.  Of course I had no idea what he said.  Of course he knew I had no idea what he had said. He said something else, and this time made a gesture up to the sky.  He said something repetitively and pointed here and there above his head.  Since it had become dark the sky above us between the trees had become full of flitting bats. 

He apparently was a barbecued bat vendor.

Friday, March 10, 2023

After All The Hate-Dust Has Begun To Settle: Maybe COVID 19 Did Come Out Of The Lab In Wuhan

After three years of Asia Hate in America, COVID 19 may be becoming to be a big hate point again 

Or still.

Everything I am hearing says that the lab in Wuhan is strongly in the running for the source of COVID 19.

It's nowhere near certain, bit it is strongly likely.

One of the most unsettling things that I have heard that could lead one to believe that the Wuhan Lab is the source - but recall, all of you, I only deal in fake news - is that several predecessor viruses like SARS, which were feared to have been in their time to be the then next pandemic and weren't the next pandemic because they had no power to transmit themselves from non-humans to humans just fizzled as pandemic threats.

So why did COVID 19 make the jump from bats to us?

And become the Cause Celebre of killer bugs?

There is a school of thought that thinks that COVID 19, a near relative of SARS didn't just suddenly acquire non-human to human transmission capability, it got that capability engineered into it in the lab in Wuhan.

And somebody in the lab let some of the lab rats out on the street.

And ...

Then ...

Who knows?

Maybe the lab rats were offered in the wet market as lapin.

So everybody is right!!

But it is probably prudent to try to find out what happened after all the 2020 election considerations have passed us by.

So that we can be better prepared.

Next time.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Fireside Chat With Ol' Tucker

From NBC News:

 Tucker Carlson, with video provided by Speaker McCarthy, falsely depicts Jan. 6 riot as a peaceful gathering

Story by Sahil Kapur and Ryan J. Reilly and Sarah Mimms


I guess he didn't see this one.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Judith Heumann: What A homonymnously Appropriate Name

I had never heard of Judy Heumann until a few days ago.

As usual, someone with whom I should have felt to be kindred - if I really believed what I always say I believe, was somebody of whom I had never heard.

And, as usual, I had to question my education; it's coverage of the history of disabled people in America was missing, just like the history of black people in America was missing.

I had never heard of the Tulsa Massacre until 2022 - or maybe 2021; dates and times fade quickly anymore.

I had never heard of Juneteenth until about that same time.

And I had never heard of Judy Heumann until she died.

If I am able to elude the white supreme beguilement of donnie and the ravening hoard - which I THINK I have been able to do - how has that happened?

My education, obviously, hasn't been a contributor to that happy condition.

So, how?

I just don't know.

But I do like this quote from Judy.

“Our anger was a fury sparked by profound injustices. Wrongs that deserved ire. And with that rage we ripped a hole in the status quo.” ― Judith Heumann, Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Rye Whiskey


Once upon a time I was a folk singer.

Sort of.

Once upon a time, therefore, I was a guitar player.

Sort of.

Tonight after two or so years I picked up my guitar for the first time in that hiatus .

My fingers remember the chords.

My brain remembers the rhythms - got through Maryann swimmingly - but my calluses are gone.

That makes guitar playing challenging.

It used to be, after an extended hiatus - a few weeks, or months - the callus memory kicked in at once, and even at the outset of returning to playing, I had some hardness between my fingertips and the strings of my guitar.

And without that hardness - calluses - guitar playing is squishy-sprangly.

Squishy-sprangly was the rattling sort of sound that I was able to produce tonight on my guitar friend of 57 years as I picked her up and played her tonight.

I was back to being 16 years old, sitting on my bed and trying to finger the chords from Nick Manloff's chord wheel.

As was the case then, I have no calluses.

I know the chords now, but I have lost the calluses.

All of the preceding is what Heath Onthank used to call "vintage McKeehan".

In this case it's a prologue.

It's a prologue to what it is that I might be trying to say.

And that is that after Maryann, the next song that came to mind was Rye Whiskey which is a folk song that, I think I remember, came out of the Lomax collection.

It's a fascinating song to me because it is many songs.

I can only remember three of them currently.

If I remember correctly they are Rye Whiskey, Waggoner's Lad and Barbary Ellen (Barbara Allen).

I'm pretty sure there are several more.

Anyway, after doing Maryann I switched to Rye Whiskey/Wagoner's Lad.

Here is the brief poem that unfolded - I couldn't remember any more of either of its components.

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whisky I cry;

If I don't get rye whiskey I surely will die;

Hard luck is the fortune of all women-kind;

They're always controlled, they're always confined;

Controlled by their parents until they are wives;

Then slaves to their husbands for the rest of their lives.

I ran out of rememberary at the point of the women being slaves.

The "rye whiskey" refrain is the chorus and more four-line couplets are needed to finish the poem/song.

I'll get back to you with a You-Tube video when I get the calluses and the poem finished.

It'll be a good song. 

Secretary Pete: It's Time For Some Demagoguery

 One of the many advantages to listening to NPR is that one gets a real time feel for what's going on.

That's how it has been with the Norfolk Southern Disaster.

The Governor, the EPA and the Railroad's CEO have all stood within smelling distance of a pile of fifty-some smoldering tank car hulks, masses of dead fish and neighborhoods of ash covered houses; they have drunk glasses of water and sniffed deeply of the air and pronounced the water and air to be pristine.

What more could the people possibly want?

The Secretary of Transportation showed up late, but with his usual articulate coherence.

He was so articulate and coherent that I don't recall what he said.

He might have drunk some of the water.

I think he said that things were only moderately fucked up and that we had our best people working on improving it.

What more could the people possibly want?

And then the Prime Ameliorator showed up.

donnie went to his people replete with feigned sadness, feigned sympathy and feigned empathy; and he handed out bottles of water with his picture on them and he handed out free red hats with his name on them.

Seriously, my fellow citizens, what more could people want?

This morning on NPR I heard the CEO of the railroad talking to the people of East Palestine.

He was saying that things were all good and his company was going to make them even better.

The people didn't seem to be buying those assertions.

I heard them shouting stuff that they want.

What they want is to be bought out at competitive prices so that they can sell out, move out and re-build somewhere unpolluted, somewhere safe.

What they want is open ended, free access to lifetime medical care for all the maladies that will only begin to manifest now at the front end of what will become a lifetime of post Norfolk Southern medical misery.

What they want is their lives back.

Those are a few of the wants I heard shouted by the citizens of East Palestine on NPR this morning.

If Secretary Pete has any thoughts of higher office, he ought to return to East Palestine immediately and declare The East Palestine Rescue Plan: Norfolk Southern is responsible MORALLY, FUNCTIONALLY and FINANCIALLY: no weasel words, no bankruptcy, for giving the people of East Palestine their lives back.

He should recommend this Plan for immediate legislative action.

If the Secretary has abandoned any thoughts of higher office, so much the better; the East Palestine Rescue Act is non-partisan and non-political.

Of course! that declaration would be dead on arrival; of course! the republicans wouldn't let such a preposterous proposition even reach larval stage in the legislature; of course! if such a law were ever passed SCOTUS would scuttle it; of course! Fox Nooz would see its ratings flash through the roof as it conjured and delivered slyly crafted lies that have proven to be the only nooz that Fox viewers will tolerate.

But something else would also happen.

It would remind the rest of us that the Party that gave us the New Deal, Social Security and Medicare, things that made the lives of many of us even possible, and in many other cases made those lives substantially better than they might have been, is still here.

And a vote for that party has tangible positive results attached to it, not faces on water bottles and red hats.

I lied about the East Palestine Rescue Act being non-partisan and non-political.

If there is a breath of life left in our Republic that reminder might be the thing that gets it off the ventilator.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Snippets In The News

 Israeli vigilantes recently burned a Palestinian town.

During the pandemic, when somebody decided that it would be nice to make it less likely for poor Americans to starve while they simultaneously had high likelihood of dying from Covid, Congress upgraded SNAP in 2021 to pay a lot more monthly; now that it's less likely for poor Americans to die of Covid, that legislation has been rescinded; it was decided that it was time to get the poor American starvation rate back up.

In 2021, the total cost of the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was around 113.74 billion U.S. dollars. This is a significant increase from the previous year, when the total cost of SNAP amounted to 79.1 billion U.S. dollars.

If one wanted to avoid purveying fake news one would look for information supporting the fact that most of those SNAP funds go to American farmers; but that's too much trouble, so one won't do that.

Yesterday Ol' Mitch said that we need to spend much more than the current annual budget of $858,000,000,000 on "defense".

On Jan. 17, 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower gave the nation a dire warning about what he described as a threat to democratic government. He called it the military-industrial complex, a formidable union of defense contractors and the armed forces.

Seattle was the saddest metro area in the nation last month, survey shows.

Toxic waste from the Norfolk Southern disaster is being shipped to the most toxic state in the Union.

America's Minister of Hate, Lies, Misinformation and Topical Comedy has been awarded exclusive and unabridged access to the US Government's cache of January 6 coup d'etat videos.

Israeli vigilantes have been given government authorization to steal the Palestinian land necessary to build 10,000 more illegal Israeli homesteads.

The Southern Baptist Convention is ousting female pastors.

Witches now outnumber Presbyterians in America as number of Pagans soar to 1.5 MILLION - and millennials' love of yoga and star signs is to blame.

A new form of subliminal legislation - first of kind, ever, anywhere - makes it a capital crime for a physician to say "abortion" in Texas.

Seattle's City Council is working on legislation to make it illegal for downtown workers to exit downtown.