Apex point - © Robert Sommers 2024

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Carlos Montoya

My father was a lover of all things spanish. Paella, De Falla, Casals. He kept building the perfect spanish house over and over again. Why did it take me so long to appreciate the intelligence, culture and breadth of my father? The older I get, the smarter he gets and the more stupid I feel. He conceived something and he made it happen. A bull. A brilliant and an incredibly accomplished man, although more than slightly detached from his progeny. Some of us chase our parents around our whole life, dead or alive, often still seeking their approval.

My father took me to see Montoya when I was a young man. Dad was also a devotee of the bullfight. He shot video of the great Carlos Arruza on horseback once while in Spain. I hope that it is still somewhere in the family coffers.

We would occasionally see the fights in Tijuana. Lomelin and Eloy Cavazos, that time period. You wanted to be on the shady side and steer clear of the fights. Lots of nasty catcalls. They would give the meat of the bull to the poor after the fights. This is the newer Bullring by the Sea. Best tacos I have ever eaten next door.

While admittedly somewhat barbaric, there is an aspect of medieval pageantry at the fights that I always appreciated.

I always wanted to visit Spain. My whole class went in my freshman year of high school. Being the poor kid on scholarship at prep school, I couldn't afford to go. Yet.

Rice Job

Republicans are calling for the head of our Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, in the wake of her spin job on Benghazi. Of course, we at the Blast smelled something fishy at the State Department as soon as the initial statements on the killings started coming out of their pieholes, one only needs to scroll back a few weeks to confirm. For weeks we have been told that the FBI was knee deep into the investigation, now we find out that they haven't even been on the ground yet, fearing for their own safety against enemy mortar attacks.

She made matters worse when right wing pundits noted that she skipped the United Nations address of our supposed ally Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu to do lunch, while finding the time to do five Sunday talk shows.

There is an official line with this administration and than there is reality, simmering just below the surface, and some times they are at distinct odds with each other. Obama has admitted wanted to create distance and daylight with the jewish state and his lieutenants carry out his marching orders, sometimes quite nastily and clumsily.

I am agnostic about the prospect of her resignation, since she is merely following the marching orders of her higher ups.

I just reread Rice's initial post massacre interview transcript on This Week. Irrespective of our intelligence community trying to take some of the pressure off and taking the blame for the State Department's initial characterization of the tragedy as a "spontaneous reaction to a film", it is quite clear that she is spinning hard here.

RICE: Well, Jake, first of all, it's important to know that there's an FBI investigation that has begun and will take some time to be completed. That will tell us with certainty what transpired.
But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous -- not a premeditated -- response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.
We believe that folks in Benghazi, a small number of people came to the embassy to -- or to the consulate, rather, to replicate the sort of challenge that was posed in Cairo. And then as that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons, weapons that as you know in -- in the wake of the revolution in Libya are -- are quite common and accessible. And it then evolved from there.  
TAPPER: Why was there such a security breakdown? Why was there not better security at the compound in Benghazi? Why were there not U.S. Marines at the embassy in Tripoli?
RICE: Well, first of all, we had a substantial security presence with our personnel...
TAPPER: Not substantial enough, though, right?
RICE: ... with our personnel and the consulate in Benghazi. Tragically, two of the four Americans who were killed were there providing security. That was their function. And indeed, there were many other colleagues who were doing the same with them.
It obviously didn't prove sufficient to the -- the nature of the attack and sufficient in that -- in that moment. And that's why, obviously, we have reinforced our remaining presence in Tripoli and why the president has very -- been very clear that in Libya and throughout the region we are going to call on the governments, first of all, to assume their responsibilities to protect our facilities and our personnel, and we're reinforcing our facilities and our -- our embassies where possible...
TAPPER: But why...
RICE: ... and where needed.
TAPPER: Why would we not have Marines at the embassy in Tripoli to begin with? It would seem like this -- this is obviously an unstable country. This is a region where U.S. interests have been attacked in previous months. Why were there not Marines there to begin with? 
RICE: First of all, there are Marines in some places around the world. There are not Marines in every facility. That depends on the circumstances. That depends on the requirements. Our presence in Tripoli, as in Benghazi, is relatively new, as you will recall. We've been back post-revolution only for a matter of months.
But I've visited there myself, both to Tripoli and Benghazi. I was very grateful to have a strong security presence with me as part of our -- our embassy detachment there. So we certainly are aware that Libya is a place where there have been increasingly some violent incidents. The security personnel that the State Department thought were required were in place. And we'll see when the investigation unfolds whether what was -- what transpired in Benghazi might have unfolded differently in different circumstances. 
But the president has been very clear. The protection of American personnel and facilities is and will remain our top priority. That's why we've reinforced our presence in Tripoli and elsewhere.
TAPPER: Look at this map, if you would. There have been protests around the world over the last several days. And President Obama pledged to repair America's relationships with the Muslim world. Why does the U.S. seem so impotent? And why is the U.S. even less popular today in some of these Muslim and Arab countries than it was four years ago?
RICE: Jake, we're not impotent. We're not even less popular, to challenge that assessment. I don't know on what basis you make that judgment. But let me -- let me point...
TAPPER: It just seems that the U.S. government is powerless as this -- as this maelstrom erupts.
RICE: It's actually the opposite. First of all, let's be clear about what transpired here. What happened this week in Cairo, in Benghazi, in many other parts of the region...
TAPPER: Tunisia, Khartoum... 
RICE: ... was a result -- a direct result of a heinous and offensive video that was widely disseminated, that the U.S. government had nothing to do with, which we have made clear is reprehensible and disgusting. We have also been very clear in saying that there is no excuse for violence, there is -- that we have condemned it in the strongest possible terms.
But let's look at what's happened. It's quite the opposite of being impotent. We have worked with the governments in Egypt. President Obama picked up the phone and talked to President Morsi in Egypt. And as soon as he did that, the security provided to our personnel in our embassies dramatically increased. President Morsi...
TAPPER: It took two days for President Morsi to say anything about this.
RICE: President Morsi has been out repeatedly and said that he condemns this violence. He's called off -- and his people have called off any further demonstrations and have made very clear that this has to stop.
RICE: Now, and -- and same, frankly, in Tunisia, in Yemen, and, of course, in Libya, where the government has -- has gone out of its way to try to step up security and express deepest remorse for what has happened. We are quite popular in Libya, as you might expect, having been a major partner in their revolution. What transpired outside of our consulate in Benghazi was not an expression of deep-seated anti-Americanism on the part of the Libyan people. Quite the contrary. The counter-demonstrations, the outpouring of sympathy and support for Ambassador Stevens and for the United States, the government of Libya and -- and the people on the street saying how pained they are by this, is much more a reflection of the sentiment towards the United States than a small handful of heavily armed mobsters.

Nice of Morsi to have his people call off further violent demonstrations. When the big boss is in the Muslim Brotherhood, you get remarkable access. The Obama administrations has a lot of political capital invested in the arab spring. They are all in with the notion that these nations and societies are mostly comprised of moderate voices who will eventually rout out the extremists in their midst. And they are perfectly willing to ignore reality when it is contrary to the narrative that they are trying to frame for their wishful world to come.

We are putting up a lot of money and shedding a lot of American blood on this guess. I personally think it is a very bad bet but I sincerely hope that I am wrong. A similar line of bullshit was being sown earlier this week when the State Department said that the recent Taliban attacks in Afghanistan were merely a sign of their desperation. Sounds like they are really on the ropes to me.

In two or three hundred years, perhaps with a heavy dose of education, psychedelics in the water supply and/or psychotherapy, the islamic world might be ready to join the rest of the human race. Until then, I am afraid that all of our blood, money and good intentions will be wasted for naught.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Political Mugs

There is an interesting new study that has been recently announced, soon to be published by UCLA researchers Colleen Carpinella and Kerri Johnson, that shows that republican politicians tend to look more feminine than their democratic peers. The findings will soon be published online in the peer-reviewed Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

It will be interesting to see if the findings extend to the constituencies as well. This new field of study is called "social vision," and is dedicated to understanding how others are perceived based on subtle visual cues.

"Female politicians with stereotypically feminine facial features are more likely to be Republican than Democrat, and the correlation increases the more conservative the lawmaker's voting record," said lead author  Carpinella.

"The Democratic Party is associated with social liberal policies that aim to diminish gender disparities, whereas the Republican Party is associated with socially conservative policy issues that tend to bolster traditional sex roles," Johnson said. "These policy platforms are manifest in each party's image — apparently also in the physical characteristics exhibited by politicians."

"I suppose we could call it the 'Michele Bachmann effect,'" said Kerri Johnson, the study's senior author and an assistant professor of communication studies and psychology at UCLA.

"We suspect that conservative constituents demand that their politicians be not just competent but also gender-typical, especially among women," Johnson said. "As a result, we think these women may find themselves in a double bind."

Interestingly, Republican male politicians tend to have more feminized features than their democratic brethren. The faces of male Republicans, on average, scored as less masculine than the faces of their Democratic counterparts.

"It may be unnecessary for Republican men to exhibit masculinity through their appearance," Carpinella said. "Their policy advocacy and leadership roles may already confer these characteristics on them."
"They started the project by feeding portraits of 434 members of the 111th House of Representatives into a computer modeling program used by researchers in their field. Loaded with a database of hundreds of scans of faces of men and women, the FaceGen Modeler allows researchers to measure how much the details of any one face approach the average for either gender.

The model compared each representative's face to the norm on more than 100 subtle dimensions, including the shape of the jaw, the location of eyebrows, the placement of cheek bones, the shape of eyes, the contour of the forehead, the fullness of the lips and the distance between such features as the bottom of the nose and the top of the lip. Armed with these dimensions, the researchers were able to arrive at an amalgamated score assessing the extent to which the face exhibited characteristics common to men or to women. Theoretical values ranged from -40 (highly male-typed) to +40 (highly female-typed).
Researchers then showed 120 undergraduates photos of the 434 politicians and asked them to guess the lawmaker's political party. When the undergraduates guessed that a politician was Republican, their judgments were 98 percent more likely to be accurate for women with the highest rankings for femininity; the accuracy of their judgments increased the more feminine the politician's face. When the undergraduates guessed that a politician was Democrat, their judgments were 58 percent less likely to be accurate for more feminine-looking women, and the accuracy of their judgments decreased the more feminine the politician's face."

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sketches of Spain


Floating cameras in space. Nikon cameras. Courtesy of Kip.


Justice Department docs released by ACLU shows huge increase in warrantless government surveillance. I went through the individual pdf's on the site and although they are redacted, they are informative. People are so fundamentally lame in this country that they will cede their personal liberties and civil rights with nary a bleat. Don't wake up. You're too stupid to wake up.

Interesting article over at the New Republic. Ryan sinking Romney.

Man eats horse? Propublica.

Warren's shirts came in. Is my office a dump or what? Just can't get around to cleaning it. If you want one email him at Warrenbishop1940@gmail.com........$10 cost

Kim sent this from hot 'lanta.

Bill L. sends a couple things over from the other side of the bandwidth. It's called equal time. I haven't vetted it. If you see a glaring inaccuracy here or anywhere please bring it to my attention.

Illinois Doctor Destroys Obama Care In One Amazing Sentence


What else  have they not told us about that is buried in the health care bill!  The devil is in the details. Please pass on to your colleagues and clients.Home Sales Tax becomes effective Jan. 1, 2013 The National Association of Realtors is not pleased with this new tax and hopes this information is forwarded to every voter prior to the election in November.    It doesn’t matter which side of the political fence you sit on - it will affect ALL of us.  When does your home become part of your health care? After 2012! Your vote counts big time in 2012, make sure you and all your friends and family know about this!     HOME SALES TAX - thought you might find this interesting, -- maybe even SICKENING! The National Association of Realtors is all over this and working to get it repealed, --before it takes effect.  But, I am very pleased we aren't the only ones who know about this ploy to steal billions from unsuspecting homeowners.  How many realtors do you think will vote Democratic in 2012? Did you know that if you sell your house after 2012 you will pay a 3.8% sales tax on it?  That's $3,800 on a $100,000 home, etc.  When did this happen?  It's in the health carebill, -- and it goes into effect in 2013.  Why 2013?  Could it be so that it doesn’t come to light until after the 2012 elections?  So, this is ‘change you can believe in’? Under the new health care bill all real estate transactions will be subject to a 3.8% sales tax. If you sell a $400,000 home, there will be a $15,200 tax.  This bill is set to screw the retiring generation, -- who often downsize their homes. Does this make your November, 2012 vote more important? Oh, you weren't aware that this was in the Obama Health Care bill? Guess what; you aren't alone!  There are more than a few members of Congress that weren't aware of it either. You can check this out for yourself at:   http://www.gop.gov/blog/10/04/08/obamacare-flatlines-obamacare-taxes-home

Allan S. says that I lose him when I talk about the food thing. Other people dig it. Sorry Allan and KerryJ. Saw a village voice article last week where they critique 7-11 italian sausage. Not bad.

"The thing is made by Oscar Mayer for 7-Eleven, and really, at $1.99 it was a good deal and quite tasty. I'd get it again, if I could put on the cloak of invisibility so as not to be observed going into the place."

We went out to Vintana with Connie and Dixon the other night for Restaurant Week. Last week the four of us went to Trattoria Trulli in Encinitas. Good meal, incredible tomato and nectarine salad. Great fruity tiramisu too. I had the veal. Hated the room, loved the food and company. Waiter a bit punchy.

Vintana is a beautiful place, like you are in a futuristic hangar. Lots of atmosphere, very hip and chic. Wish I loved the food. We started out with fritters. I had mussels and chorizo. It was pretty cold and there was barely any chorizo. I had the pork tenderloin with nectarine and fig paste. Overdone, over cooked, not memorable. Leslie's filet was much better. So so dessert, a berry crisp. We had an excellent red blend, syrah and merlot, can't remember the name. Great server Debra P. Chef Scott's cooking has honestly never really impressed me all that much. She shoots for the moon here and just misses but it is still a great dining experience.

Had a great lunch at the Prado today but that is a story unfortunately for another time.

We will be going dark soon. Don't worry and don't touch that dial. Adios y bueno suerte.

Walk On Boy



Blast reader, surf impresario, California historian, long time lifeguard and all around great guy Allan S. invited me out for a jaunt on part of his expansive turf earlier this week. Allan took me to his favorite beach on Camp Pendleton and I walked to the mouth of the river that sits at my front door, the Santa Margarita.

It was cool to be there, a beautiful, near deserted beach. There is a large least tern restoration project near bye.

Afterwards we went to La Especial Norte for chicken soup and then down to the Padres game, a game where they beat the stinking Dodgers. The Navy had a mass reenlistment before the game. I took this picture with my new Lytro light field camera, a recent gift to me, which I am still figuring out.

All in all a great time. Thanks, Allan!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Da Fook

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the United Nations today with one of the lamest demonstrations I have ever seen, a graphic of an Iranian bomb getting close to the 90% red line of no return. The demo seemed pathetic to me, patronizing and stupid, like he was lecturing a class of five year olds.

I think that he is under some illusion that people care what happens to his country. I got news for you, short of a smattering of heartland evangelicals, they really don't. Even a huge number of young jews can't stand him or his country, if what I read and sense is correct. They view him as a nasty bully and jailer, especially in Gaza.

Seventy years ago the world stood by and idly watched as six million people died and I for one, don't think a hell of a lot has changed. Israel gets taken out and the world will barely stifle a yawn.

Much of this is the Prime Minister's own fault of course. He has not been an honest participant in the process of finding a solution for the legitimate grievances of the Palestinian people and has played fast and loose with his promises on both settlement policy and what constitutes a safe and feasible buffer zone for Israel.

"No settlements" somehow gets parsed into "organic growth of existing settlements" leading to the inevitable conclusion that he is if not an outright liar, certainly an untrustworthy game player. Wait long enough and there is nothing left to talk about, certainly not a contiguous state.

If I was a Palestinian I would be declaring statehood yesterday, seeking U.N. recognition, doing anything and everything I can, because they will wait forever if they think that there is a solution coming from this Likud government. After all, all people deserve to live in dignity.

Bibi is trying to win a slow war of attrition that his country will not be able to sustain in the long run. He can't win the numbers game and Israel is surrounded by an enemy on every side that views them as an oppresive neighborhood bully. Enemies that will eventually have the same nasty weapons that Israel won't admit to having.  In many ways the current state of affairs is his fault. Netanyahu has antagonized even the moderates in the West Bank and lost any opportunity for a workable deal with his constant overplaying of the strength of his hand. Water is a critical part of the calculus.

People are tired of it. Barack Obama is not going to come riding up on his white horse to save you. He doesn't like you personally and has no affinity for your country, having listened to twenty years of speeches at the knee of Reverend Wright. Wars are easy to start and hard to finish and people are exhausted from the two that we are already in. Israel will have to take matters into its own hands. The way it has always done.

Commitment, to overuse my most tired metaphor, it's like bacon and eggs. The chicken gives a little but the pig is all in. I know that it doesn't sound kosher, but Israel is the pig in this one , it's the way it is. Deal with it the best way you can and don't expect any help from your pals because all the pluses for them are on the other side of the equation. Of course after Iran lobs a nuke on Israel, the U.S. will probably retaliate and turn Persia into a parking lot but by then it will be too late, there will be nothing left of anything. Anywhere. Masada all over again. Our part in the movie. It will always be Masada. Good luck.

Idiot Wind

Alternate take, Blood on the tracks.


Down in the groove © Rick Griffin Estate

Lots of transformation in the air by the looks of things. We have one Barack Obama, who has aspired to be our first transformational president since Ronald Reagan. I am not exactly sure about this whole transformation business but it sounds very, very important. And I think we all know by now that he will always be the smartest man in the room.

If you get a chance, get a copy of this month's Rolling Stone. I stopped reading it years ago, since I fail to recognize eighty per cent of the musicians they now write about, but I read the issue at the Escondido Library yesterday. A great article on one of the other smartest people in the room, Bob Dylan, by Mikal Gilmore. Dylan talks a lot about being transfigured. But only a select group of people even know what that means and if you have to ask, you evidently aren't, so don't even bother. Something about him switching places with the other Bob Zimmerman, the young biker who once took a rival's eye out with a chain and then was killed in a freak accident he foresaw in 1961. He may have been bodysnatched by this doppelganger, I'm not really sure.

I gather that it is a spiritual thing, wherein he joins the ranks of the pantheon of saints or something like that.  Dylan has given the world so much, a veritable Ghandi in our midst, but at times he sounds like a poopie old man who needs to change his depends. Needs to lighten up and not be so fucking serious all the time. Last guy you would want to invite to a party with his ever grumpy punim.

Calvin of course, started the whole transformation wave with his transmogrifier.

I checked out a copy of a new book on one of my favorite writers, Philip Dick, titled The Exegisis of Philip K. Dick.  This book explores Dick's own end of life tranfiguration based on a vision he had in february and march of 1974. After receiving a dose of sodium pentathol at the dentist's office, Dick slips into a fugue state he calls anamnesis and eventually visits a red and gold plasma entity that he names Ubik.

Dick spends the balance of his life sorting out this Ezekielian revelation, drinking lustily from the cosmic fount, with one foot barely touching ground. I have barely brushed against this book but remember from Divine invasion that he then sees christian stories from the bible playing out before his eyes, in real time, in an Orange County gas station, or something like that. Sounds visually rich, but like Dylan, a bit oppressive. A transfiguration phase loop, or cosmic passion play, destined to cycle over and over again until who knows what?

Then again, who hasn't been stranded once or twice in cold outer space, looking for one warm rock or another to call home?

Got a bunch of strange hits on the blog this morning and went to have a look. Now you type Jesus into the google search engine and you just might get, voila, the Blue Heron Blast. Jeezus...This ought to be great for my ranking.

Police arrest woman for "expressing herself."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Andy Williams, gone.

My step mother worked for Andy when he had the golf tournament in San Diego. I met him and drove celebrities around in a golf cart at one of the publicity events, which took place at both Golden Hall and Vacation Village, if I remember correctly. He was a nice guy and really had a great voice.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Death from the skies

"The Obama administration has also indicated that it considers any "military-aged males" who are killed in the vicinity of a drone-strike target to be likely militants, until proven otherwise."1

Two studies, remarkably different conclusions. In July, the New America Foundation was trumpeting that the use of drones had cut civilian deaths in Pakistan to near zero.

Here's an excerpt from an article by Obama crony Peter Bergen, CNN National Security Analyst and Jennifer Rowland, Specialist to CNN:
The New America Foundation has been collecting data about the drone attacks systematically for the past three years from reputable news sources such as the New York Times and Reuters, as well as Pakistani media outlets such as the Express Tribune and Dawn.
According to the data generated by averaging the high and low casualty estimates of militant and civilian deaths published in a wide range of those outlets, the estimated civilian death rate in U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan has declined dramatically since 2008, when it was at its peak of almost 50%.
Today, for the first time, the estimated civilian death rate is at or close to zero.
Over the life of the drone program in Pakistan, which began with a relatively small number of strikes between 2004 and 2007, the estimated civilian death rate is 16%.
And in the Obama administration, between 1,507 and 2,438 people have been killed in drone strikes. Of those, 148 to 309, or between 10% and 12%, were civilians, according to the New America Foundation data.
The drop in the number of civilian casualties since 2008 came as a result of several developments, one of which was a directive issued from the White House just days after President Obama took office, to tighten up the way the CIA selected targets and carried out strikes. Specifically, Obama wanted to evaluate and sign off personally on any strike if the agency did not have a "near certainty" that it would result in zero civilian casualties.
A new study cautions us that we may want to reevaluate the New America data. Researchers at Stanford and NYU Law Schools have not only pointed out many gross inaccuracies in the Bergen puff piece but some very misleading statements by administration officials. It is titled Living Under Drones, death, injury and trauma to civilians from US drone practices in Pakistan.
...while civilian casualties are rarely acknowledged by the US
government, there is significant evidence that US drone strikes have
injured and killed civilians. In public statements, the US states that there have been “no” or “single digit” civilian casualties.” It is difficult to obtain data on strike casualties because of US efforts to shield the drone program from democratic accountability, compounded by the obstacles to independent investigation of strikes in North Waziristan. The best currently available public aggregate data on drone strikes are provided by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ), an independent journalist organization. TBIJ reports that from June 2004 through mid- September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562-3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474-881 were civilians, including 176 children. TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228-1,362 individuals.
The authors interviewed over 130 victims and witnesses of drone activity, as well as their family members, government officials, medical professionals, development and humanitarian workers, members of civil society, academics, and journalists. Witnesses "provided first-hand accounts of drone strikes, and provided testimony about a range of issues, including the missile strikes themselves, the strike sites, the victims' bodies, or a family member or members killed or injured in the strike".

I haven't had a chance to read the entire report but I intend to. What I have read is truly chilling, where young children killed in schools and orphanages are tallied as militants. Those drones, ever present in Pakistani skies, are obviously not quite as surgical and hygienic in their precision as we were once told they were.

1.HuffPo Pakistan Drone Study Finds 'Damaging And Counterproductive' Consequences From U.S. Policy

Four more years. Oy.

"If he met with one leader, he would have to meet with 10." Obama advisor after the President left the General Assembly without speaking to a single foreign leader.

President Obama couldn't meet with any foreign leaders after his speech today but he and Michelle had time for a nice chat on The View monday. Sweet.

The New York Times article is really required reading. Because it is not just conservatives who have complained about his aloof nature and lack of people skills, it is democrats and foreign allies as well. This guy is one cold fish.

I have been quick to blame the lack of bipartisanship on conservatives, perhaps the president also deserves his own share of the blame. For all of Clinton's faults, he got things accomplished across the aisle. Obama is seemingly incapable of this.

While it is only fair to point to the more highly polarized state of politics today, is it possible that he has also contributed to our current state of disfunction?

I have given this a little thought and I offer a couple points; number one, is this what happens when you give the job to an ivory towered academician who has never held a real job outside of academia short of the community organizing gig? Perhaps we are better served when you have a Biden, Clinton type guy with a little more touch of the car salesman, someone who can actually connect with people.

We are told that Obama is a transformational President. I think this falls in with his innate narcissistic personality disorder and a serious jesus/messiah complex. It is enough to be in the same room with him, we are transformed by merely touching the hem of his garment. His message of hope is a reasonable platitude but at no time does the rubber actually hit the road.

I will vote for him, solely because I believe in choice and a more sane supreme court, but that is about it. Look forward to four more crappy years.
"The tensions between Mr. Obama and the Gulf states, both American and Arab diplomats say, derive from an Obama character trait: he has not built many personal relationships with foreign leaders. “He’s not good with personal relationships; that’s not what interests him,” said one United States diplomat. “But in the Middle East, those relationships are essential. The lack of them deprives D.C. of the ability to influence leadership decisions.”
 A Lack of Chemistry
Arab officials echo that sentiment, describing Mr. Obama as a cool, cerebral man who discounts the importance of personal chemistry in politics. “You can’t fix these problems by remote control,” said one Arab diplomat with long experience in Washington. “He doesn’t have friends who are world leaders. He doesn’t believe in patting anybody on the back, nicknames.
“You can’t accomplish what you want to accomplish” with such an impersonal style, the diplomat said."
Today Obama told world leaders that the recent violence is "an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded."

"If we are serious about those ideals, we must speak honestly about the deeper causes of this crisis," Obama said. "Because we face a choice between the forces that would drive us apart, and the hopes we hold in common."

We need to look at the deeper cause of the crisis. Because no normal person would behave like that. Send over the therapists.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Brilliant, Professor.

Mitt Romney wants to know why the airplane windows won't roll down?

What Am I Gonna Do With Myself ?

Sweet Mesquite

Good day on several fronts. Michael seems to be doing way better, my mother has stabilized. A computer friend showed me that my twenty thousand dumped photographs could be carefully retrieved from Time Machine, which is very important to me. Finished the working draft for my new online course book and think it will be sort of nifty. Going to the ballgame tomorrow.

 I wrote about the sweet mesquite beans of my youth in New Mexico earlier this year. Carol in Borrego Springs sent me a big bag over today. Thank you so much, Carol. That was very nice.

Life is a long song

Nice hawaiian shirt, might be an Avanti. Neat clip, I like it best when he lets the strings go off a smidge and is quiet for a second. Would have been even cooler if he took more breaks.

Cop shoots dangerous double amputee.

(CBS/AP) HOUSTON - A Houston police officer shot and killed a wheelchair-bound double amputee on Saturday after the man allegedly threatened to stab the officer and his partner with what turned out to be a pen.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Matthew Marin shot Brian Claunch, a mentally ill one-armed, one-legged man. Police say Marin and his partner felt threatened by Claunch, who was waving an object that turned out to be a silver pen.
The Chronicle reports that Marin had shot someone else in the line of duty three years ago. Marin will work three days of desk duty.
Arlene Kelly, the co-founder of Civilians Down, a Houston group that monitors police misconduct, questions whether Marin was justified in shooting Claunch, telling the newspaper that she wonders how dangerous a suspect is if he only has one arm and one good leg.

Read that he got within a foot of the cop with the ballpoint.

Gary Moore & Albert Collins - Too Tired

More stuff

CNN is defending its use of private entries found in the journal of the dead Libyan Ambassador, Christopher Stevens. Personally, I find it as vile as the theft of private documents by Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Completely irresponsible.

And so I was pleased when I heard about this message from the State Department's Philippe Reines to the BuzzFeed's Michael Hastings reporter regarding the issue:

"I now understand why the official investigation by the Department of the Defense as reported by The Army Times The Washington Post concluded beyond a doubt that you're an unmitigated asshole. How's that for a non-bullshit response? Now that we've gotten that out of our systems, have a good day. And by good day, I mean Fuck Off."

Quite succinct. Bravo.

Pamela Geller has been rattling islamic chains for the last couple years. She has started a fairly inflammatory subway poster campaign. The ad reads, "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."

Provocative, but I think well within recognized boundaries of free speech in her country. The answer from the islamic man on the street was interesting:

"Abdul Yasar, a New York subway rider who considers himself an observant Muslim, said Geller's ad was insensitive in an unsettling climate for Muslims.

"If you don't want to see what happened in Libya and Egypt after the video -- maybe not so strong here in America -- you shouldn't put this up," Yasar said.

But "if this is a free country, they have the right to do this," he said. "And then Muslims have the right to put up their own ad."

First the threat and then he catches himself. We have the right to put up our own ad. Fine, now we are getting somewhere.

I got two weird hits on the blog yesterday that are kind of creepy. The first one found me by typing in the words "Fuck Islam", the second "Fuck islam bumper sticker."

I don't ever recall saying anything like that. Don't think the blast should be a go to link for this sort of thing. Love everybody.

My friend Mark H. was down the other day, said he didn't care if I was right or left politically but it would be nice if I was right as in accurate a little more often. Ouch.


President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran once again called for the end of Israel's existence and said that jews had no historic roots in the mid east. The president is quite a kidder and I think that the prudent thing to do is ignore his threat to eliminate the jewish state. He doesn't mean it. Fucking Israel's problem.

"The New York Post, which has made no secret of its hostility toward Mr. Ahmadinejad, said it had tried to deliver a gift basket over the weekend to the Warwick filled with items including Gold’s Borscht, Manischewitz gefilte fish, Murray’s Sturgeon Shop whitefish, Zabar’s cream cheese and a free ticket to the Off Broadway show “Old Jews Telling Jokes.” The Post said Iranian officials at the hotel declined to accept it."

Robert making nice on AlterNet.

Smell the Glove

Got a note from KerryB about my recent column where I may have denigrated the polka genre. I have actually posted polka on the blog before, don't make me go find it, please. Frankie somebody from Chicago. Not enough beer in the keg for me to make a steady diet of it, sorry.

Polkahauntsus ( little known American Indian Princess )

Hey Robert,

Sometimes, when I was 12 living in Marquette Michigan, the only thing on TV sorta worth watching was Polka Party, a cheesy b&w, lo-fi, low budget, polked-up version of American Bandstand. Oh man, I hated that music !! 

But not all polkas are bad…

Beer Barrel Polka on a  Pipe Organ

Oompa Brass - Stairway To Heaven

Oompa Brass - Bohemian Rhapsody

Looked for a good Polkacide video on YouTube but didn't find anything that great. Fun band to see live though, or at least the original lineup was, w/ Jeff on guitar and Big Lou on accordion.

Scary stuff about Monsanto's g.m. corn and RoundUp. Lately they've found arsenic in rice. It's a wonder we're not all sporting giant tumors.

Thanks, Kerry.

Question everything

Solid Citizens Department:

Interesting bit in the paper this morning. The EPA is conducting a criminal investigation of Chevron after discovering that the company had rerouted pollutants around monitoring equipment at their Richmond Refinery and burnt them up in the atmosphere.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District found the pipe two years ago. Investigators have been investigating the use of the 3-inch (7.6-centimeter) pipe, which allowed emissions from a hydrocracking complex to bypass the refinery's pollution control equipment on the way to the refinery's safety flare system, at the discretion of the complex's operator.The feds now want to know who and why?
The EPA investigation focuses on emissions during a three-year period, said Wayne Kino, enforcement manager at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
Chevron in 2011 paid a $170,000 settlement to the BAAQMD stemming from the agency's civil complaint about the refinery routing pollutants past monitoring systems. Some of the refinery's pipes were not connected to monitoring systems put into place after the agency developed new emission rules, Mr. Kino said.
"We would require them to either monitor [the pollutants] or reroute them into the whole system," Mr. Kino said.
During the period investigated by the BAAQMD, the refinery sent an unknown amount of sulfur and waste oil to be burned at the plant's flare, Mr. Kino said.
Chevron says that the use of the pipe was inadvertent and that it is cooperating with the investigation. Look for them to pay a small fine and admit no culpability. That's how we like to deal with big corporations in this country.

This is my 3500th official post.

About that genetically engineered corn...

I just saw this scary study in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. Séralini, G.-E., et al. Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Food Chem. Toxicol. (2012), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2012.08.005 .This is the first peer reviewed study on the health effects of genetically altered corn.

You just might want to ease up on eating that genetically modified, roundup tolerant, Monsanto corn. Lab rats are sporting some serious tumors, mammary the most common, the pituitary second. Sex hormone balance was shredded and liver necrosis was two and one half times higher. Not so good for kidneys either. It is also resulting in a much higher rate of premature death in our little rodent friends. If you can wade through the study, please note that these application dosages were well below the recognized safety limits.
The health effects of a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize (from 11% in the diet), cultivated with or without Roundup, and Roundup alone (from 0.1 ppb in water), were studied 2 years in rats. In females, all treated groups died 2–3 times more than controls, and more rapidly. This difference was visible in 3 male groups fed GMOs. All results were hormone and sex dependent, and the pathological profiles were comparable. Females developed large mammary tumors almost always more often than and before controls, the pituitary was the second most disabled organ; the sex hormonal balance was modified by GMO and Roundup treatments. In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5–5.5 times higher. This pathology was confirmed by optic and transmission electron microscopy. Marked and severe kidney nephropathies were also generally 1.3–2.3 greater. Males presented 4 times more large palpable tumors than controls which occurred up to 600 days earlier. Biochemistry data confirmed very significant kidney chronic deficiencies; for all treatments and both sexes, 76% of the altered parameters were kidney related. These results can be explained by the non linear endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup, but also by the overexpression of the transgene in the GMO and its metabolic consequences.2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Here is part of the conclusion from the paper:
In conclusion, it was previously known that glyphosate consumption
in water above authorized limits may provoke hepatic
and kidney failures (EPA). The results of the study presented here
clearly demonstrate that lower levels of complete agricultural glyphosate
herbicide formulations, at concentrations well below officially
set safety limits, induce severe hormone-dependent
mammary, hepatic and kidney disturbances. Similarly, disruption
of biosynthetic pathways that may result from overexpression of
the EPSPS transgene in the GM NK603 maize can give rise to comparable
pathologies that may be linked to abnormal or unbalanced
phenolic acids metabolites, or related compounds. Other mutagenic
and metabolic effects of the edible GMO cannot be excluded.
This will be the subject of future studies, including transgene and
glyphosate presence in rat tissues. Reproductive and multigenerational
studies will also provide novel insights into these problems.
This study represents the first detailed documentation of longterm
deleterious effects arising from the consumption of a GM Rtolerant
maize and of R, the most used herbicide worldwide.
Altogether, the significant biochemical disturbances and physiological
failures documented in this work confirm the pathological
effects of these GMO and R treatments in both sexes, with different
amplitudes. We propose that agricultural edible GMOs and formulated
pesticides must be evaluated very carefully by long term
studies to measure their potential toxic effects.
According to the Right to Know blog, where I was first alerted to this study, Monsanto has been actively trying to suppress studies on its products, in the guise of protecting intellectual property.
...The reason we have been denied such critical information is that biotech companies like Monsanto have controlled and suppressed such research (because of patent restrictions on GMOs). As the editorial board at Scientific American wrote, “Scientists must ask corporations for permission before publishing independent research on genetically modified crops. That restriction must end.”
Another good reason to support accurate labeling of genetically modified food. Unless you want to end up looking like these rats. Or the rats at Monsanto.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Michael C

Got a call from Les this morning. He heard from Michael's close friend Jim Hall. Michael is alive. I surmise that he is doing better, although still in very critical condition. He apparently tried to pull his breathing tube out so there is some function. Got word late last night that family had been contacted so that is no longer a concern either. Keep your fingers crossed for our paisan. I will let you know when I know more.

Michael is a sweet man with a lot of integrity. It showed up in every plate of food. Here's hoping he gets a bunch more swings at life's pinata.

9-24-12 postscript -

I got an email from Kit Bacon that Michael C. is smiling and awake. It sounds very encouraging. We wish him a speedy recovery.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


We're sorry, so sorry

President Obama has taken a lot of guff from the right for supposedly apologizing to a lot of folks who don't deserve one. I don't necessarily think that he has but that's the popular narrative at least. I do believe that he errs a bit on the overly diplomatic side with people that don't deserve either the effort or courtesy.

Today word that the United States has produced television advertising to be run in Pakistan, production costs to the tune of $70,000 bucks, featuring President Obama and Clinton rejecting the contents of the nasty coptic movie and extolling American tolerance for all religions. We are going to reassure of these people of our good intentions. The spots are running on seven Pakistani networks.

My question is why? Why does the Pakistani public and Islamic world in general not ask itself why they are the the only people on the planet who still reserve the right to act and react like animals over a stupid cartoon. A dumb movie. Somebody calling them a name? How many people were killed and injured today when they went apeshit on their own police force, well over two hundred. We give these people billions of dollars a year and we are worrying about what they are thinking? Why all of this assume the position deference?

They choose to live like stone age barbarians and we are supposed to care what these people think? We think that we can some how win them over, get them to join the civilized world? You're joking, right?


A Pakistani official on Saturday placed a $100,000 bounty on the head of the maker of an anti-Islam film that has sparked a wave of violence and anger, as Muslims mounted fresh protests worlwide. Railways minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour also called on the Taliban and al-Qaeda to join the hunt and help accomplish the "noble deed."


Today Egypt's President said that the terms in the U.S./Egypt relationship had now changed.  Mohamed Morsi said the United States needed to fundamentally change its approach to the Arab world, showing greater respect for its values and helping build a Palestinian state, if it hoped to overcome decades of pent-up anger.

We have to change. Our bad. If I'm President I tell them to go pound sand. Don't kiss their ungrateful asses.
Morsi said it was up to Washington to repair relations with the Arab world and to revitalize the alliance with Egypt, long a cornerstone of regional stability.
If Washington is asking Egypt to honor its treaty with Israel, he said, Washington should also live up to its own Camp David commitment to Palestinian self-rule. He said the United States must respect the Arab world’s history and culture, even when that conflicts with Western values.
 He suggested that Egypt would not be hostile to the West, but would not be as compliant as Mr. Mubarak either.
“Successive American administrations essentially purchased with American taxpayer money the dislike, if not the hatred, of the peoples of the region,” he said, by backing dictatorial governments over popular opposition and supporting Israel over the Palestinians. 

Steve, the real thing.


A pretty rotten weekend. My trip to Spain may be scuttled, my mother is in the hospital again in Maryland. Sister says that she has stabilized but we will see. A friend and restauranteur across the street had what was reported as a massive heart attack this afternoon, airlifted to Palomar. Critical condition, hoping he can pull through. Paramedics got him breathing again. I just drove down to the hospital, went to the wrong hospital, then got lost. Finally found it and got the word. No one knows how to contact his brother or daughter, who hail from back east. Get well, Michael.

Got another email today that the merchants on the corner, Budd and Pat, are giving it up after fifteen years of trying. Another nail in the Main St. Coffin. Brick and mortar, such a 20th century concept, I know. Wish I saw more younger people stepping forward with fresh ideas but they all seem equally lost.


While many dig the tunes I play on the blog, others are obviously not entirely down with it. Ron L. told me that he can't take all the twangy shit. Many don't grok the blues. Brigitte said last night that she can take some of the music. A lot just ain't her thing.

I have gone from Varese to Burl Ives on this blog and pretty much all points in between, with the exception of polka, which I frankly can't stand. I guess I play a lot of black music, that is when I'm not doing the bakersfield jewish cowboy shtick. Lately a small jag to british 60's psychedelic, these things go in small waves. Love Clapton's big hair. I play some rock but prefer to try to provide the more obscure musical stuff. Everything was hip in its day and usually for good reason. You just have to have an open mind. But my musical fare is certainly not everybody's cup of meat.

Anyway had dinner at a friend's last night who helped craft style personas for some 70's metal bands of the Crue, Hatchett, Maiden ilk. The first leather and lipstick bands whose lyrics and music were so utterly unremarkable and vapid. I know something of the subject, my mother Adelle Roberts Fisher (at the time), was Kiss's first agent in New York. At some point in the seventies this whole horrible, meaningless genre was foisted on we americans. Worse even than Toto, Triumph, Foreigner, Journey and that stuff. Music for muggles.

This was my favorite slimy record cover of the period, a friend in high school had it in 74. Silverhead's 16 and savaged.

Most of the music of this period is just male paeans to excess and overindulgence. Bad boys with bitches. I am not sure what made these leather pants guys tick, since the music is so terrible and lyrics so utterly stupid.

Think it largely had to be a marketing strategy concocted in some record company back room, guess they were trying to follow in the immortal prototypical steps of Keith's Moon and Richards, trashing hotel rooms and themselves and setting a fine example for rockers to come.

 The Stones may actually bear a big share of the blame for this whole genre, largely setting the standard, their own downspin starting around Goats Head Soup. Or at least when Mick Taylor left.

Perhaps all that incredible psychic energy unleashed by the great acid bands like the Who, Beatles, Hendrix, Airplane, CSNY and Dead had to be met by an equal and opposing pendulum swing of dumb. The genius's who sell records crafted a cartoon image of a rock and roller and stripped out all of the dangerous politics, rebellion and references to the psychedelic bomb that had recently exploded in the collective youthful brain. Tender american brain cells needed time to regrow and record companies need to sell records. The seventies, my decade, went in a couple different directions. There were what I call the blue jean bands, Dead, Allman's, Band - the art bands like Yes, ELP, Tull and Genesis and then Bowie, Reed, T.Rex and the more glam contingent. Somewhere Little Feat and Steely Dan arrived and I guess Springsteen. In the end there was punk and new wave.

My musician friend Eric, keyboardist for a lot of big time pop bands, first introduced me to the yacht rock genre of seventies music. Heavily into the major 7th, these performers would include Bread, Michael Martin Murphy and Seals and Crofts. Stuff can get really painful fast. Leslie bought a couple choice cd's from the period at the swap meet. So bad they are good and fun to hum. Me and you and a dog named blue.

She also got a Winwood CD that should have been called the bad period, when the founder of Traffic and member of the Spencer Davis Group and Blind Faith did his best Kenny Loggins impression in the eighties. The producer sought out every bad Winwood song he could find and made a cd.  Listen once and then destroy.

Friday, September 21, 2012

SPENCER WIGGINS - I'd Rather Go Blind

Freitag frolic

It is hard to take a nuanced position in today's highly charged political climate. Everybody is very invested in pitching the sanctity of their position and the evils of "the other guy."

Ken thinks I am a flip flopper. He asked me if I was in the democrat or republican chair this morning.  The other day he said I was a liberal except in matters concerning Israel. I don't happen to think that is an accurate assessment but that's cool.

Although I don't think that is entirely fair. I prefer to think of myself as an honest referee. For instance I was happy to hear about the release of the Horowitz report yesterday on Operation Fast and Furious. I happen to share a lot of the anger of the right on this brutally concocted and ill conceived program. For once, I basically agree with Issa, a guy I never agree with.

"There needs to be supervision, there needs to be oversight and law enforcement operations like Operation Fast and Furious need to be referred from the start to the "highest levels" of the department," Horowitz testified in the 471 page report.

Last night, Lawrence O'Donnell was looking at the report as a vindication of Holder, Obama and the higher ups. No one had any evil motives. Looks like total system breakdown to me and the bigshots go unscathed. I prefer to think of it as a monumental catastrophe. Maybe they didn't know but they should have known. It happened on their watch, with their subordinates and a valuable American man was killed by one of the weapons released into the system because of this awful operation. No victories here for anybody.

This was such a bad deal. Three of the five lawyers who reviewed the wiretap applications testified to Horowitz to never personally reading the affidavits. No one can be proud of their performance when evidence of such blind incompetence come to light.


Here's one for you from TPM.

Interesting article at New Republic about current polling. With all of the other polls showing Obama with an increasing lead, Gallup and Rasmussen continue to go the other way. Complicated but it turns out Gallup does not include the "no home phone" demographic, which tends to skew minority.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sweet Hawaiian Sunshine

A missive from the retro futurist

Akaka Falls © Robert Sommers 2012
As you can imagine, this blog has grown into a hungry beast that takes up a whole mess of my time. I can't help it, the train's barreling down the tracks at this point, out of my control.

I've tried to put the brakes on before and found out that like the hydra, you cut off its head and nine more grow back in its place.

I guess I just have to accept it and move forward. What can you do, I like to shpiel?

I got a neat post card and letter of introduction from a blog reader today who goes by the name of The Jolly Curmudgeon.  Jolly lives in Hakalau, Hawaii and says that he reads the blast faithfully, it is "chewing gum for his brain."

I appreciate being able to put a name on one of those recurring green stars on my map. Welcome Jolly, thank you for the kind words and I will take your musical suggestions to heart. I dig Frisell and the little bit of Buckethead I have heard.
Next I want to hear from those blast fans in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. I know you are reading, we definitely need to pow wow. Don't know much about the country except that the women are very tough, won't even get off their horses to give birth. That's some wicked strength. Love the barbecue.

Would be cool for more of you lurkers to step forward, disclose yourselves and chat. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Run the numbers

From a.p.:

46% of the people, some 76 million households, paid no income tax last year. According to the Tax Policy Center study, 38 million taxpayers escape paying because their income is too low. One in five of the rest benefit from tax breaks for the elderly. 93% of those who owe no income tax make less than 50k per year. 5% make 50 to 100k per year. More than 430,000 make more than 100k annually. That includes 4,000 households  earning more than 1 million per year, thanks to tax exempt interest, reduced rates on capitol gains and dividend and other deductions.

Strange Brew

Mitt Unleashed

Jedi photo composite © Robert Sommers 2012
"My job is not to worry about those people." Mitt Romney

This whole Mitt video fiasco is just unbelievable. To have the opportunity to hear and see a politician actually honestly tell the truth as he sees it, it just doesn't happen very often ladies and gentlemen. Of course, his whole premise is largely full of shit.

I am a lifelong democrat who has never taken a penny of government assistance and pays my income taxes, close to one million dollars in a single calendar year in 1989 when things were really rolling. I don't expect any free ride dependent relationship with the government nor as far as I know, do any of my friends that vote with the democratic party. Don't know anybody who feels like a victim either.

You'd be surprised at the people that don't pay any taxes. They come from all income brackets, persuasions and political parties. Mostly they have really sneaky tax attorneys.

Mitt is doubling down today and I think that it will be a net loser but I say hear hear. He's finally telling us what he really believes down deep is the unvarnished truth and I for one, think he should keep talking. Some conservative pundits are aghast, blaming the handlers for not keeping their stake horse bound and gagged or at least parroting the standard party line. And the message has not resonated all that well, even Fox News today is showing polls with Obama with commanding and increasing leads in Ohio, Florida and Virginia, the crucial swing states. But it will probably not affect him with the average republican voter, who probably largely agrees with him.

Kind of reminds me of Dudley Moore in Crazy People, the 1990 film where he plays an advertising director who has a nervous breakdown and has an epiphany in the looney ward. He will tell the truth in his ad campaigns.

Comes up with the classic ad above. And a few others that are hilarious as well. Metamucil: We help you go to the toilet so you won’t get cancer and die. Or, You may think phone service stinks since deregulation, but don't mess with us, because we're all you've got. In fact, if we fold, you'll have no damn phones. AT&T - we're tired of taking your crap!

Mitt is finally able to speak from his heart. He thinks that roughly half the population are parasites looking for a handout and that he doesn't have a chance in hell with them. Maybe that is the real line dividing us. Liberals tend to think that people are generally good and do their best to be productive and decent citizens and conservatives think that a huge segment of the population is merely trying to "get over." Maybe it has to do with where you grew up?

Stalwarts on the extreme right are rushing to their new champion. Limbaugh, Jennifer Rubin (see Mitt finds his game plan) and that breed think he is finally on message. His political allies are fleeing for the hills. They may secretly agree with him but no chance in hell that they are going to open their mouths. This truthiness may not be so good for business.

"I think the basic point is correct. It's what this election is about. Do we want a government - centered society? Do we want to continue to build government and grow our debt at an unsustainable level and bankrupt this nation? Or do we want to start working toward a path of opportunity, success, things that actually make this country great," said Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin.

Limbaugh thinks this could be a teachable moment, a pivotal win for conservatism:

"...This could be the opportunity for Romney and for that campaign to finally take the gloves off and take the fear off and just start explaining conservatism. Start explaining liberty to people and what it means, and explain that they don't have to be in that 47%.  There's no reason for them, for everybody, to essentially have given up on their future in this country.  There's no reason for it.  This is, to me, such an opportunity to espouse conservatism and to explain to people. Now that people are focused on this, now that people are paying attention to it, this is a golden opportunity, and we know Romney's got it in him because of what he said to these people...We want to stop Obama.  We have got to get Obama and the Democrats out of power if this country's future is to have any semblance of its past."Rush Limbaugh - A golden opportunity for Mitt Romney

Keep pounding your war drums, GOP. Time to go all in. You're on to something.

Here's to the one republican who bothered to tell the truth, at least as he saw it. Thanks, Mitt.