Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Can You Imagine?

It is one thing to come to our peaceful little town and mislabel Stu Rasmussen as a transvestite. It is much worse to mock the loss of a soldier at his or her funeral. But it is unconscionable to even imagine staging a protest at the funeral of Barack Obama's grandmother. Where is the capacity in the human mind to conjure such evil? And, in the name of Christ! One of Fred Phelp's misguided granddaughters carried a sign yesterday proclaiming Obama to be the antichrist. Fred has 13 children and countless grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He has sired an army of despicable hate. But even that cannot explain the thought process that comes up with such twisted thinking so as to protest the death and decent burial of Madlyn Payne Dunham. The Baptist church needs to come out and take a stand to distance themselves from these horrible people. From their action yesterday, their lawsuits, their website and their manifesto, they are nothing less than pure evil. They abuse the constitution and flaunt their protected freedom. Git-Mo should remain open and functioning if only to house Reverend Phelps and his sick inbred spawn.

Neither will I share the vile words they have used against Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center, nor will I devote any more time to the WBC. Reverend Phelps recalls the N word in bright flashing neon. He out-nazis the Nazis and should be treated appropriately. The framers of the laws of this land certainly did not have him or his "congregation" in mind when they created the protections of the constitution and its amendments.

It's time to move on...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Why I love Silverton-- Oregon, part one

Word came out that the not quite right Reverend Fred Phelps was planning a little excursion to Silverton to let his feelings be known about our town electing Stu Rasmussen mayor. Now, I've written about Stu. He is, to be kind, a free spirit. He was also duly elected. He may not make the prettiest woman, but he has done nothing to the Westboro Baptist Church from Topeka Kansas-- certainly, nothing to deserve being called a "60 year old pervert. Nobody else will just tell him to STOP! Everyone else (i.e. besides Westboro Baptist Church) despises him so much that they will gladly watch him morph himself into a snaggle-toothed old witch because they know they are all guilty of the same or worse sins." These words of love and acceptance come from a church...

A church that reaps the reward of media attention-- the same media that they call "FAG MEDIA SHAME" on one of their day-glo signs. A church that benefits from non-profit religious institution status while standing on the flag during their protests. A church where the word LOVE is never uttered. They are clearly and openly, the Church of Hate. Their website is www.godhatesfags.com-- go figure.

I hemmed and hawed a bit about participating in a protest. I thought it best to ignore them-- not give them the attention they so desperately thrive on. Well, I was persuaded, by one of my new best friends-- a longstanding Silverton resident, who reminded me, as the 150 or so people who turned out reminded me, why I love this community. The support and solidarity that was shown to Stu and to our town and the democratic principles we live by--and fight for--was overwhelming. I talked to Stu at the end of the event, after the pathetic pariahs of hate crawled into their rental Lincoln and motorvated on down the road. He was touched by the show of support. The crowd was empowered.

Overall, it was a good day... the good guys won. And we did a good thing.

Back in the day, you'd get your ass kicked by hardhats and hawks for doing shit like standing on Old Glory. Now, you do it in the name of Jesus and you guarantee your place in heaven. Hmmm. I'd gladly go the other way.

One child grows up to be
Somebody that just loves to learn
And another child grows up to be
Somebody you'd just love to burn

They came from Albany and Portland, The Dalles and even Silverton.

Me, Stu Rasmussen and Tom Levy

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different. . .

Dustin Pedroia--last year's AL Rookie of the Year was named AL MVP yesterday. In all objectivity, I cannot think of a more deserving player. Even in November, the Boys of Summer inspire.

Oh yeah... and Coco is headed to Kansas City.

This One's For You

You know who you are. Yeah, you. Listen up and listen good. And pass this on to Tom Adkins and whomever else you think agrees with the bizarre notion that racism and hate are a thing of the past in this country. White guilt was not assuaged on November 4th. Unfortunately, just the opposite. The market's down but hate is on an upward spiral, spinning out of control. The feel-good election is being reacted to with the ugliest forms of prejudice and hatred.

An editorial ran in today's Oregonian. It was entitled, "A colorblind society? Not yet." Not by a long shot:

"... a bus full of schoolchildren from a conservative community in eastern Idaho got caught last week chanting "Assassinate Obama" during their ride. These children were too young to understand what they were saying, as the district spokeswoman pointed out. 'They only old enough to soak up whatever they hear.'"

The editorial also stated that, "Law enforcement around the United States is seeing an unprecedented number of threats against a president-elect, as The Associated Press reported this week. Referrals to the FBI and Secret Service are up. Supremacist propaganda is up. Web traffic to white nationalist sites is way up. The Southern Poverty Law Center has documented 200 hate-related incidents triggered by the election, including various cross burnings, and public incitements to hang Obama."

I am not going to belabor the point. Actually, I wanted to move on. Write about something else, like Fabio the rooster who is hell-bent on drawing blood every time I enter the poultry pen. But I can't. Not yet, anyway. Newsweeklies and pundits are drawing comparisons to our president-elect to Lincoln and FDR. A lot of what is coming to the surface feels like the 60's-- both in the best of ways and the worst of ways.

I want to move on. You should, too. I know how corny it sounded when Beatle John first sang it, but it needs to be sung again... and heard. "Give Peace a Chance."

Hate cannot exist in a vacuum.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Inauguration Deficit Disorder

Can't you people wait?

I guess you're going to have to. The Facebook Freaks who are demanding Obama's impeachment realize he can't be ousted from an office he has yet to be sworn into. But the minute he takes the oath, they're there to relieve him. What grounds, you ask? What difference does it make? He's a Marxist. He's a Socialist. He's a schvatzah. He's not like us. He's this. He's that. He's too cool. He's too black.

Like the cop at the scene says. Okay, folks, move it along. There's nothing to see here. Just history being made. Go back to your ramshackle white trash homes. Lock the doors behind you. The show's over. Don't stand in the doorway. Don't block up the hall.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Dont stand in the doorway
Dont block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
Theres a battle outside
And it is ragin.
Itll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And dont criticize
What you cant understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin.
Please get out of the new one
If you cant lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin.

Why has it taken so long? Get out of the way, you pitiful fools. You have no idea how to deal with such a watershed moment. Your labels don't fit. And your vile protestations are so last century. Put Obama's head on a brown shirt flag waver. Sticks and stones. You're lucky he's so cool and so magnamimous. Otherwise, it would be the pillary for y'all. Even liberals/progressives or whatever the fuckin' label you want to throw on the thinkers of this not so perfect union is. We have limits and goddam, if you push us, there will be payback.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Bush Legacy

I'm thinking that maybe the President George W. Bush Presidential library will be housed in an I.M. Pei designed Johnny-on-the-Spot. But the guy can't wait. He thinks he still has capital and he's spending it right up until he's shooed out of office and shipped back to Crawfish.

Here it is...

That's great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and
Snakes, an aeroplane and Lenny Bruce is not afraid
Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn - world
Serves its own needs, dummy serve your own needs. Feed
It off an aux speak, grunt, no, strength, ladder
Start to clatter with fear fight down height. Wire
In a fire, representing seven games, a government
For hire and a combat site. Left of west and coming in
A hurry with the furies breathing down your neck. Team
By team reporters baffled, trumped, tethered cropped
Look at that low playing! Fine, then. Uh oh,
Overflow, population, common food, but it'll do. Save
Yourself, serve yourself. World serves its own needs,
Listen to your heart bleed dummy with the rapture and
The revered and the right, right. You vitriolic,
Patriotic, slam, fight, bright light, feeling pretty

It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine

Six o'clock - TV hour. Don't get caught in foreign
Towers. Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself
Churn. Locking in, uniforming, book burning, blood
Letting. Every motive escalate. Automotive incinerate
Light a candle, light a votive. Step down, step down
Watch your heel crush, crushed, uh-oh, this means no
Fear cavalier. Renegade steer clear! A tournament,
Tournament, a tournament of lies. Offer me solutions,
Offer me alternatives and I decline

It's the end of the world as we know it (it's time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it (it's time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (it's time I... )


... how often can you post a pile of shit and make it serious?

Twistin' by the Pool

(White House Press Secretary Dana Perino at the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point with AIG executives)

McClatchy Newspapers reported today that, "in an unusual 6 a.m. announcement, the Trasury Department said it would use the $700 billion rescue plan that was passed October 3--originally designed to purchase troubled mortgage assets--to purchase with taxpayers' money. some $40 billion in senior preferred stock from AIG." The article goes on to say that "taxpayers are now on the hook for $150 billion at AIG, not the original $85 billion."

"During Monday's White House briefing, spokeswoman Dana Perino said the decision was made for the good of the global financial system."

This announcement of added aid to the "ailing" insurance company comes just days after their "asset management meeting" at a resort in Arizona (for over $300,000). They were planning on hosting Terry Bradshaw for a motivational appearance. His usual fee is $40,000. He was not booked, but not necessarily in a show of belt tightening. One bill that leaked out was for about $400. for drinks and h'ors d'oeuvres at the local McCormick & Schmick's.

Readers will recall that after the inital bailout of AIG last month, their executives went on a "retreat" to the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, in Orange County, California, where they spent over $442,000. Still unconfirmed is Dana Perino's presence at the resort, twisting by the pool...

Mmm, youre gonna look so cute
Sunglasses and bathing suites
Be the baby of my dreams
Like the ladies in the magazine
Yeah, were gonna be so neat
Dance to the eurobeat
Yeah, were gonna be so cool
Twisting by the pool

Im a twisting fool
Just twisting, yeah twisting
Twisting by the pool

Apologies to Mark Knopfler for co-opting the above lyrics.

A 6 a.m. announcement??? I should be quoting REM's "The End of the World."

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I read the news today...

oh, boy.

Jim Reutenberg of the New York Times reported today that "just a few weeks ago, at the height of the campaign, Representative Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota told Chris Matthews of MSNBC that, when it came to Barack Obama, "I'm very concerned that he may have anti-American views.'"

But there she was on Thursday, after narrowly escaping defeat because of those comments, saying she was 'extremely grateful that we have an African-American who has won this year.' Ms. Bachmann, a republican, called Mr. Obama's victory, which included her state, "a tremendous signal we sent."

A few days ago, President Bush assembled his staff on the White House lawn and, holding back the tears, thanked them for their service. He also emphasized his earnest desire to make the transition for President-Elect Obama as smooth as possible, for the good of the country and so on. Today, Associated Press reported that President Bush is hard at work rolling back environmental rules for things like mining in the Grand Canyon, and dumping earth during mining into nearby streams (that was enacted by the Reagan administration). He is also working to allow higher levels of emissions from electric plants, as well as automobile emissions. The thinking behind this rush is that there is a 60 day delay before the new regulations take effect and once they are, undoing them will be "a more itme consuming job for the next congress and administration." There is a place in hell waiting for George W. Bush and perhaps his Presidential Library. And, no, you will not be able to use your AAA membership to get a discount

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Truth is Stranger than Fiction, cont.

LEFT: Stu Rasmussen, Mayor of Silverton, Oregon 1988
RIGHT: Stu Rasmussen, Mayor of Silverton 2008

Our sleepy little town is on the map. Our mayor-elect has made "stupid celebrities dot com." Really. Today, people from Portland won't ask where Silverton is. Instead, they'll roll their eyes. Portland, for chrissake. The place that boasts bumper stickers that read KEEP PORTLAND WEIRD.

Carl Hiaasen, Ed Wood or David Kelly--combined--could never come up with the plot line for this one. Of I wrote it, literary agents and publishing house editors would reject me and the manuscript summarily. I couldn't make this stuff up. Our realtor told us that Silverton was diverse before we moved here, but this is ridiculous. I am not being critical nor judgmental. Like the ump, I'm merely calling it the way I've seen it. Look it up. Google Stu. Or, maybe not. That sounds weird, too.

Lou Reed runs through my mind for the soundtrack. Or Paul Simon...

I know what I know,
I'll sing what I said,
We come and we go,
That's a thing that I keep
In the back of my head
I know what i know,
I'll sing what I said,
We come and we go,
That's a thing that I keep
In the back of my head,

Thursday, November 6, 2008

You Might be a Redneck...

Let me tell you a little story
About a man named Todd
Who has the balls of an elephant
And the arrogance of a God
Who used his wife's office to intimidate a trooper
And followed her around with a pooper scooper

Circus elephants... domestic terrorists

Now his wife's name's Sarah
And she's a real hockey mom
Who was asked to join the ticket
to be the maverick sex bomb
The party wanted to dress her
For about twenty thou
But that wasn't enough for
This Uppity White Trash sow

Saks and Neimans, you betcha

To Needless Mark-Up she did enter
Buying outfits and suits
Like the last big spender
Her poor little daughter
Looked like a trailer park mess
So for her, nothing less
Than a Luis Vuitton dress

Labels on bags, dresses and clutches

Poor Todd stood in the shadows
and began to pout
His old clothes made him really stand out
A new suit or two he really did need
So they buried the bills and hoped
The party wouldn't see

Big spenders, those Palins
Suits and boots
Brooches and jewels
A kiddie Vuitton bag
And that's not all...

Well, the Presidential election
It came and went
Her running mate and she lost
But the money was spent
The clothes she says
Will be put on sale
And poor old Todd
Off to the county...

Jail, that is
Graybar hotel
Scapegoat slammer

Now it's time for us to say goodbye
To Sarah and Todd and her brood of five
Or six or seven or maybe eight
While they head back north
And ponder their fate

Don't count her out
Not by a long shot
There are a lot of people
who still think she's hot
She's a mavericky woman who knows how to kill
And shops til she drops and racks up those bills

In Manhattan, gosh darn it
Department stores, boutiques
Fancy Restaurants and daylight in winter

Bye now
Y'all come back, hear?
Say, in about four years

Apologies to the Mortal Jivester

Not so fast...

Hold on a second, there Missy--

There are a few things we need to clear up before you get on that Straight Talk Express Jumbo Jet and head back up to the land of then midnight sun, or what ever you want to call that frozen wasteland that is just hospitable to reelect a convicted felon to the senate. There is a financial matter we need to clear up.

This thing about how much money you spent on clothing for you, your "first dude" husband and your oversized brood of kids, Bristol, Piper, Trig, Ski-Rack, Snowmobile and the developmentally challenged Zamboni.

According to a report in Newsweek, senior McCain adviser Nicolle Wallace had told Mrs Palin to buy three suits for the party's convention and hire a stylist. Instead, Mrs Palin was said to have gone out and bought clothes for herself and her family at high-end designer stores Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

One aide estimated Mrs Palin, the former Mayor of Wasilla, had spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $US150,000 and that $US20,000 to $US40,000 was spent buying clothes for her husband, snowmobile racer Todd Palin.

Newsweek said Mrs Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards and the McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. Some of the clothes have been lost.

This is the same Sarah Palin who defended herself by saying that "the clothes were bought for her" and she was frugal. She also said she was going back to wearing her own bargain clothes.

The Newsweek report also says Republican nominee John McCain rarely spoke to Mrs Palin during the campaign and his advisers deliberately kept him in the dark about the Alaskan Governor's shopping sprees because they thought he would be offended.

I'm wondering if the Alaskan senate will now take up the per diem scandal, of her charging the state for the nights she was at home as well as them footing the bill for her taking her daughters to New York with her on "state" business.

I hate to think this is a partisan issue, but does hubris run through the GOP like oil through the pipeline?

Just wondering.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Well, that was interesting...

Is it me, or did that seem a bit anti-climactic? Kind of like watching Dick (and Ryan [gag me]) counting down to midnight in New York with the Waterford ball when you're on the west coast and it's closing in on 9:00.

I agree with the pundits, that the impact of this election won't be felt for days and blah blah blah. Personally, I would like to call for a blogatorium. I will give it a day's rest if the rest of the blogosphere does. Sarah bashing has become instantly declassé and Mac is back (home) with Cindy. Let's all take Wednesday off. Save up your Monday morning quarterbacking until Thursday.

Me? I guess I'll change the strings on my Bigsby equipped Supro...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Devil's Tailpiece or Paul Bigsby and his damned invention should be relegated to obsolescence.

So I took my Eastwood/Supro Coronado DeLuxe off the wall and decided to plug 'er in. It must have been time, because the high e string broke. It's not like I just got the guitar, but I have to admit I have never changed the strings on it. It features a Bigsby tremolo tailpiece. Well, I had success with the fourth low e string. I also went through two g strings before getting it right with the third. I won't go into the technicalities, but one clearly needs three hands to change the strings with the aforementioned Bigsby tailpiece from hell. I'm currently soaking my pants that I dripped blood on. I know there is a retro/vintage rockabilly vibe to the Bigsby, but Leo Fender had a much better idea for string bending. Ingenious, I would say. I installed the strings, gently giving eighth and quarter turns on the keys, all the while holding the ball end of the string onto the tiny post. I repeated the process in fits, spurts and snapped strings until all six were on. I tuned it up, gently, the way a bomb expert would disengage the right wires, sweating but dead still. It worked. Once it was in relative tune, I plugged her in, tossed off a couple quick riffs and, not wanting to tempt fate any further, unplugged the Supro and hung it back on the wall. I took out my '62 reissue sunburst Strat, and let 'er rip. Exhale and rock. In my former life, as an Angelino, I would bring my 12 string to David Neely to power change the strings. Pity I am so far from him now. For more reasons than one. He had not revealed his political leanings during our conversations in his shop over the Mesa Boogie store. We would talk gangs and the deterioration of the City of Angels, but it was between elections and Dubya was firmly ensconced dans la Maison Blanc. But I digress. I have committed to never owning another guitar with a Bigsby tremolo. I have also gained an added appreciation for Mr. Neely's unique skills.

Like Neil says, "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World!"