Saturday, August 31, 2013

Oh The Tangled Webs We Arachnids Weave . . .

While we have this debate as to whether America should stick it's militarized nose in to yet another mid-east labyrinth of violence, let us do a quick spot check on the country that we last tried to rescue from tyranny to see how they are getting along:

BAGHDAD August 28, 2013 (AP)
Car bomb blasts and other explosions tore through mainly Shiite districts around Baghdad during morning rush hour Wednesday in a day of violence that killed at least 80, intensifying worries about Iraq's ability to tame the spiraling mayhem gripping the country.
It was the latest set of large-scale sectarian attacks to hit Iraq, even as the government went on "high alert" in case a possible Western strike in neighboring Syria increases Iraq's turmoil.
A relentless wave of killing has left thousands dead since April in the country's worst spate of bloodshed since 2008. The surge in violence raises fears that Iraq is hurtling back toward the widespread sectarian killing that peaked in 2006 and 2007, when the country was teetering on the edge of civil war.

Oooops! . . . hehe . . . . well - nobody's perfect - right?


We Bomb Them...We Bomb Them Not - - - - We Bomb Them...We Bomb Them Not - - - -...

Keep this in mind as this to-bomb-or-not-to-bomb Syria situation plays itself out:

Crash Course: A Guide To 30 Years Of U.S. Military Strikes Against Other Nations
A look at major U.S. military strikes as ordered by the last five U.S. presidents and the degree of international support behind the actions.
[Click Link for Full Article]

All of this military dick-waving activity reminds The Gadfly of a prescient and precious George Carlin bit where Jedi Master George expounds upon the subject of America's proclivity to getting involved in wars for dubious, and oft times, less than dubious reasons:

Carlin's brilliance and insight in to the uniquely complicated American soul and mindset is just simply unrivaled.  The Gadfly sure does miss his cranky ass.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Not So Great News for Rock n' Roll . . . .

Damn it!!!

Nazareth singer Dan McCafferty has retired from the band as a result of the health issues which forced them to cancel two sets of live dates.
The veteran vocalist collapsed on stage in Switzerland at the weekend, resulting in rumours that he’d had a stroke. Last month he collapsed in Canada. Both incidents caused the band to call off further appearances.

The Gadfly discovered Nazareth's music as a wee lad of around 14 years of age.  Their big guitar sound and Dan McCafferty's bawdy vocals blew The Gadfly's mind away and turned him in to a life long hard rocker.

The Gadfly wishes Dan McCafferty the best and hopes he has a chance to return to the stage and keep the Nazareth legend alive . . .

Now you're messin' with a
A son of a bitch
Now you're messin' with a son a' bitch
Now you're messin' with a
A son of a bitch
Now you're messin' with a son a' bitch


If It Was Good Enough For Jefferson and Washington, It's Good Enough For Me . . . .

[ Click Pic Above For Larger Version ]

Charlie Pierce reminds us of why we should all be wary of the U.S. intelligence apparatus and their penchant for royally fucking up benign situations to the point of abhorrent ineptitude:

In September, 2002, while on a layover at JFK in New York, Arar, a telecommunications engineer from Canada, was detained by US authorities because they thought he was a member of al Qaeda. He was held incommunicado in this country for two weeks and then sent on rendition, not back to Canada, but to another one of our staunch allies in the War On Terror. Once there, Arar was beaten, and held in a rat-infested 3-by-6-foot cell from which he could listen to the screams of other people being tortured. He was held there in those conditions for 374 days. Eventually, the Canadian government settled a lawsuit brought by Mr. Arar. Facing a similar suit, the United States government invoked a "state secrets privilege" to kill Arar's efforts to get justice. Ultimately, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
The plucky ally that was so willing to cooperate with the United States in the torture of Maher Arar was Syria.

When it comes to politicians and war ---- The Gadfly's advice is unembellished ---- Always, always, always question whether or not their interests accurately reflect the interests of the Americans they supposedly represent.  We The People have a voice and that voice must rise to the occasion when our leader's interests threaten the unalienable rights that our founders promised us .... Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness ....

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.


♫♫ . . Rocky Mountain High . . ♫♫♫♫♫ . . High In Colorado! . . . ♫♫♫ . . . Rocky Mountain High! . . . . . .♫♫♫

There's hope for this country's long term survival yet . . . :

Colorado's politics have become positively Californian lately. There are new restrictions on guns. Pot is legal. The legislative agenda featured an expansion of alternative-energy use requirements for rural consumers. Gay couples can now enter into civil unions.
There's a reason for all this.
Lots of Californians have moved to Denver and its environs, bringing a progressive strain of politics with them and angering more conservative parts of the state — so much so that 10 northeastern counties are planning symbolic but serious votes on secession this fall.
Conservatives have discovered that living on the far side of the Rockies is no longer far enough to get away from the influence of West Coast liberals.
"California migration, to a degree, has altered Colorado politics," says Mike Krause, vice president of the Independence Institute, a free-market think tank in Denver. "I see California license plates in my neighborhood and on my commute all the time."

The Gadfly emigrated to California almost pert near 30 years ago -- basically a young, disillusioned midwest guy who wanted to get away from the suffocating influence of conservative middle America and see how the dirty liberals were living life.  The Gadfly subsequently found his nirvana out west and has not looked back on his migration decision -- California is his now beloved home and it's where he will conclude his adventures in this plane of existence and discover the answer to the big question in turn.

So you go Colorado -- if the conservatives want to isolate themselves in their little mountain enclaves, The Gadfly has no problem with that -- as long as they acknowledge that they are still U.S. citizens and as such are bound by U.S. laws -- whether they like those laws or not.  The Gadfly can live in peace with these people, as long as they respect his views and concede that they have become a minority political and social movement now.  It isn't rocket science -- it is democracy in it's most unsophisticated form.


Share it . . . and help someone see life in a more positive light...

Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbes fame - channeling The Gadfly's outlook on Life.

Round and Round We Go, Where It Ends - Nobody Knows . . . . . .

The Gadfly is back at the old desert homestead after another week's worth of brain draining training in pursuit of his new career field.  Let's see what has transpired in his absence . . .

Obviously the big news of the week is America's, apparently imminent, intent on shoving a stick in yet another mid-east hornet's nest (Syria).

The Obama administration is postulating that their intelligence (here we go again) is certain that the Syrian government of this clown named Assad used chemical weapons to kill around 1400 Syrians in an area (Ghouta) that is a known stronghold of the rebels who have been fighting the Assad regime for 2 years.  And as such, America's political elites are pining for the bombing to commence in order to send a message of ambiguous disapproval to Syria which has the potential to turn a in-country confined conflict in to substantially wider hostilities.

Now - The Gadfly does not know whether America's (and don't believe for one second that Israel hasn't added their input in to that data) intelligence proves conclusively that Assad is guilty of using chemical weapons.  The Gadfly does know that America's and Israel's intelligence operations do not have a sterling track record when it comes to being forthright with the truth in such matters, and in fact have been known to manipulate such intelligence for their own military industrial complex agendas.

The U.N. and Hans Blix were 100%, provably right about Iraq not having WMD's back in 2003 and we ignored their evidence, and look where it got us.  The Gadfly is more than willing to allow the U.N. all the time that they need to do their business in this case, to complete their investigation and give their report to the world.  Should the results of the U.N. investigation validate the U.S./Israeli intelligence, then The Gadfly would accede that there truly would be cause for American action of some sort against the Syrian regime and that decision and the scope of the action to be apportioned will be made by President Obama and his advisers accordingly.

However - should the U.N. report be either inconclusive (for there have been reports of the Syrian rebels also employing chemical munitions in their fight against Assad's government) or contradictory to the American intelligence, then Obama needs to suck it up and aggressively pursue a more diplomatic solution, even if the war hawks don't like it, to this conflict.  Bombing a country that has already bombed itself in to the near dark ages over the past 2 years of their internal conflict is not going to help the people of Syria in their struggle -- and let's be clear -- it is THEIR struggle.

There is another bothersome question that The Gadfly has re: this alleged chemical weapons attack.  If this attack truly did occur, and The Gadfly is not insinuating that it did not, and it is a serious enough offense to warrant compulsory American military intervention -- The Gadfly is wondering why it is that the 100,000 + civilians that have been killed during the past 2 years by the Syrian government via delivery of conventional weapons (bombs, missiles, etc.) -- why weren't those 100k deaths cause for world concern?  What if there had been no chemical attack in Ghouta last week, and instead those 1400 people of Ghouta had simply been blown to bits by a conventional bombardment?  Would we now be on the brink of sending American made bombs into Syria to punish them and show them that America disapproves of their killing methods -- and in the process embroiling us in yet another mid-east conflagration?  The Gadfly is just asking some questions here.  There seems to be a rush to pass judgement on a complicated situation and a bigger rush, egged on (just like Iraq) by this country's totally fucking useless and corrupt media, to pull the trigger on U.S. military involvement - and that dear readers would signify that America's "leaders" have not learned it's lesson from the Iraq/Afghanistan debacles and it would then be imperative for the American people to stand up and with one voice say - ENOUGH!  No More Fucking Wars For The Military Industrial Complex!

That is what The Gadfly thinks - and he acknowledges that there is the chance he could be wrong about this situation - but The Gadfly was right when he sided with the folks who believed the Iraq invasion was a bad idea - so he is relying on those same instincts in this case.  Feel free to dissent with The Gadfly if you wish - your view will be respected.


Friday, August 23, 2013

How The Gadfly Stopped Worrying About the oBOMBa and Learned to Love Having an Irradiated Thyroid Gland . . .

Ok -- The Gadfly is officially getting a bit freaked out by what's happening in Japan with the Fukushima crippled nuclear power reactors.  After several quiet months of no noteworthy news about the place, they have, unofficial it appears, declared Defcon 1 and via carefully worded news leaks are readying the world for the worst possible fucking new news - Chernobyl on steroids:

TOKYO (AP) — Deep beneath Fukushima’s crippled nuclear power station a massive underground reservoir of contaminated water that began spilling from the plant’s reactors after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has been creeping slowly toward the sea.
Now, 2 1/2 years later, experts fear it is about to reach the Pacific and greatly worsen what is fast becoming a new crisis at Fukushima: the inability to contain vast quantities of radioactive water.
The looming crisis is potentially far greater than the discovery earlier this week of a leak from a tank used to store contaminated water used to cool the reactor cores. That 300-ton (80,000 gallon) leak is the fifth and most serious since the disaster of March 2011, when three of the plant’s reactors melted down after a huge earthquake and tsunami knocked out the plant’s power and cooling functions.
But experts believe the underground seepage from the reactor and turbine building area is much bigger and possibly more radioactive, confronting the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., with an invisible, chronic problem and few viable solutions. Many also believe it is another example of how TEPCO has repeatedly failed to acknowledge problems that it could almost certainly have foreseen — and taken action to mitigate before they got out of control.

Jeebus -- here we go . . . .

History shows again and again how nature points up the folly of man 


History shows again and again how nature points up the folly of man 

History shows again and again how nature points up the folly of man 

History shows again and again how nature points up the folly of man 


Pointing Out The Obvious and Telling The Truth Is a Dirty Job . . . . Thankfully Lewis Black is Up to The Task . . .

Gadfly's treat . . . . .

Don't tell me I never give you dear readers anything . . . .

: )


Red, White and Screwed --- A Modern Day American Prophet Tells it Like It Is . . . .

Got 57 minutes, give or take a few, to spare?

Then watch The Gadfly's favorite living comedian do his thang . . . you'll be smarter and happier for it:


I Love Rock n' Roll! But Not Enough to See Grandma Jett Shake It! . . . .

Some things, The Gadfly feels, are just better left to the ages:

Joan Jett can’t see the point in a Runaways reunion – and she thinks there would be more bad than good if it ever took place.
Lita Ford last year reported that she, Jett and Cherie Currie had settled the differences resulting from their 1980 split, that she’d had dinner with both her former bandmates, and that the topic of getting back together had been raised.
But she added: “I don’t know how Joan feels about it. I couldn’t get a solid answer from her. If she decides she wants to put together the Runaways again, I’d be in 100 per cent.”
Now Jett tells LA Weekly: “I don’t really get why we should do it – the down side is bigger than the up side. It would be fun for people to see, but you’ve got to remember we’re not who we were in 1976.
“It’s not worth it to me. We had a great band that kicked ass for three and a half years. I’m very protective of it because it was very special to me.
“To come back and have the press judge us… Plus, you can’t gauge the dynamics of the band. I’m just not sure it would be the reunion the fans are looking for.”
Instead, Jett is concentrating on her new album Unvarnished. She explains: “It’s some of the better writing I’ve done in a long time.
“I called this ‘the decade of death’ because I lost a lot of people who were close to me. That changes your perspective on things.
“Losing my parents was big. They were very supportive, my biggest fans. It was harder than I would have imagined. That seeped into my writing a lot, and I thought about life’s fragility.”

And besides, what dude The Gadfly's age wants to see Granny Jett strutting around in tight leather pants and overworked with a bit too much botox?

Better in The Gadfly's humble view to just leave this high school era wet dream right where it belongs - in his dreams:

Tell The Gadfly he's wrong . . . .


Deja Fucking Vu . . . .

The Gadfly has seen this movie.  It sucked the first time around.

WASHINGTON, Aug 23 (Reuters) - U.S. and allied intelligence agencies have made a preliminary assessment that chemical weapons were used by Syrian forces in an attack near Damascus this week, likely with high-level approval from the government of President Bashar al-Assad, according to American and European security sources.
The early intelligence finding could increase pressure for action by President Barack Obama, who made clear that he planned to tread cautiously even as his aides sought to narrow their differences in debate over possible military responses to the Syrian government.
The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, cautioned that the assessment was preliminary and, at this stage, they were still seeking conclusive proof, which could take days, weeks or even longer to gather.
But with a mounting international outcry over the apparent mass poisoning of hundreds of people, the issue appeared to have taken on a sense of urgency for the Obama administration.

Remember one of the reasons we supposedly stuck our nosey noses in to the Iraq business was that Saddam Hussein, according to early intelligence findings, gassed a town that was purportedly teeming with anti-Hussein/Government rebels?  All of that, of course, paled in to comparison to the great and powerful intelligence which unCurious George and Darth Cheney presented to us as the Gospel Truth, which had us quaking in our Fruit of The Looms at the prospect of Saddam creating "imminent" mushroom clouds over our meth-infested and dying rural towns and provinces.

Sigh -- and as if that still ongoing nightmare was just a figment of our collective imaginations - - now some folks are demanding, already, that we let the bombs fly again for an eerily similar event in a country that is even more closed off to the outside world than Iraq was?  Really?

The Gadfly feels then that those brave souls who are early and loudly braying for U.S. involvement in this sordid affair should be required to make enforceable pledges to have their own, of military age children, or themselves should they be military age qualified, to be the first boots on the ground when the time, and it will, inevitably comes.

You make that deal - and make it stick, and The Gadfly will shut his big fat, dirty fucking hippie piehole about this issue.

Oh yeah .. and this just goes naturally with the the subject matter of this post:

Generals gathered in their masses 
Just like witches at black masses 
Evil minds that plot destruction 
Sorcerers of death's construction . . .


A Flying Monkey From The Great State of Colorado . . . .

The Gadfly is convinced that somewhere deep in the moss and cobweb riddled recesses of your average right wing nutter brain, there exists a very tiny, microscopic possibly, nasty mouthed, hateful, ignorant little troll, who whenever the wingnut begins having normal, healthy human feelings and empathy for their fellow man, this bastard little troll whips out a pitchfork and rams it like a mountain climber's ice pick full force in to the wingnut's brain stem and as he violently shakes the brain matter caked pitchfork to and fro, he then whispers batshit crazy stuff like this in their eardrum:

A Republican state senator in Colorado is coming under fire after implying at a hearing on Wednesday that African-Americans and Hispanics faced increased poverty because they ate more fried chicken.
Sen. Vicki Marble (R) offered the remarks while the legislature's Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force was examining statistics behind racial disparity in the poverty rate, according to KDVR.
"When you look at life expectancy, there are problems in the black race: sickle-cell anemia is something that comes up, diabetes is something that’s prevalent in the genetic makeup and you just can’t help it," Marble said. "Although I’ve got to say, I’ve never had better barbecue and better chicken and ate better in my life than when you go down south and you — I love it."
"The Mexican diet, in Mexico, with all of the fresh vegetables, and you go down there and they're much thinner than they are up here, they've changed their diet," she continued.
Marble went on to mention "alcoholics, rageoholics, drug addicts, you have people, they say, who are addicted to porn."
Democratic state Sen. Evie Hudak told KDVR that “there was an audible gasp in the room."

Video/audio if it so pleases you:

[h/t to ]

Good lord -- The Gadfly just knows that the ghost of Scarlett O'Hara rose out of her grave and busted out some bad ass break dancing moves while listening to that woman speak.

Oh -- and can we finally arrive at a consensus which postulates that whenever a conservative Republican whips out the words "genetic makeup" while expounding on the subject of people of color, can we just cut off their mic right on the spot and move on to the next dumb ass wingnut?

Btw -- when Ms. Marblehead was "down south," The Gadfly doesn't suppose that she only had the opportunity to hang around solely with a bunch of skinny Vegan southerners -- did she?  The Gadfly has been down south, lived down south.  And nobody can tell The Gadfly that the whole shitload of obese white people that The Gadfly encountered during his deep south living experience didn't have a "genetic makeup" that endeared them to a pretty fucking wide gamut of fatty, greasy foods, including fried chicken - not that there's anything wrong with that - aside from the obvious health implications.  As long as it is deep fried and slathered in butter, believe The Gadfly -- those southern cracker motherfuckers will eat it.

Jeebus . . . . the ignorance of the Vicki Marbles of the world give The Gadfly a headache sometimes.


Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr . . . . . . .

The Gadfly always knew that there was something quite not right, as in abnormal - and abnormal in a creepy, psychotic sort of manner, about child murderer George Zimmerman's personality.

And as usual -- The Gadfly's instincts were spot on:

From the blog Rumproast - and The Gadfly feels that it's worth re-posting in it's entirety:

Friday, August 23, 2013

Keeping It Classy

George Zimmerman, the innocent, traumatized victim of dangerous Skittle-flinging ninja-thug Trayvon Martin, has been doing what you would expect someone who was acquitted after shooting an unarmed minor to death to do: lying low and contemplating the fragility of life while respecting the grief of the Martin family. Or not:

That’s Zimmerman touring the fucking Kel-Tec gun plant in Cocoa Beach and posing for photos with an employee like some celebrity or huckster politician (with boob sweat). Kel-Tec manufactured the gun used to shoot Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman also reportedly inquired about this sweet little number:
It holds 12 rounds of 12-gauge shotgun shells, which could take out half a busload of unarmed high-schoolers.
I know some of you are convinced Zimmerman is a cold-blooded murderer who went looking for someone to kill that rainy night. I always thought he was a squirrely incompetent instead, a squishy, officious little prick who thought strapping a gun on made him a BIG man and ended up killing a kid when his RoboCop fantasy went awry.
Damned if this personal tour of the death instrument factory and grip-and-grin photo-op don’t make me think y’all might be right after all. Who the fuck does such a thing, except a sociopath?

"Who the fuck does such a thing, except a sociopath?"   That truly is the magic question here isn't it?  The Gadfly has gained a new, lofty level of loathing for Mr. Zimmerman.  This asshole's claim to fame is this (and yes - The Gadfly is posting this for the sole purpose of allowing people to see the byproduct of George Zimmerman's and the state of Florida's evil gungoonery):

And now poor, persecuted George Zimmerman is cashing in on his new right wing, Wyatt Earp celebrity status by touring WMD plants and posing with WMD makers and WMD hardware.

The Gadfly is not ashamed to state, that if there is karmic justice in this world, this walking dog turd of a human being will meet a fate someday, not all that dissimilar to the 17 year old kid who wound up dead at the hands and WMD of Mr. Zimmerman for the sole crime of walking while black in Sheriff Zimmerman's hood, armed with Skittles candy and Iced Tea.

The Gadfly needs to go jump on his motorcycle now and take a blood pressure lowering ride out on a lonely stretch of desert road  -- before he ends up putting his fist through his monitor screen.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

This Flying Monkey Walks In To a Bar . . . .

Since it has become such a Herculean task these days keeping track of all of the idiocy that spews forth from the mouth breathers on the right, The Gadfly has decided to institute a weekly (or bi-weekly depending on how busy the wingnuts have been) episode where he will cull multiple instances of the Flying Monkey brigades on the right behaving like, well -- flying monkeys -- and giving prima facie evidence bolstering Charles Darwin's theory that some branches of humanity branched off and did not evolve quite as far as some others.

Suffice to say that it will be a gleeful cornucopia of wingnut monkey business all in one nice, tidy package provided exclusively for you dear readers with the goal of heartily satisfying all of your comedic entertainment needs.

Stay tuned . . . .


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Godzilla May Not Be Fiction For Much Longer . . . . .


TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's nuclear crisis escalated to its worst level since a massive earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima plant more than two years ago, with the country's nuclear watchdog saying it feared more storage tanks were leaking contaminated water.
The U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Wednesday it viewed the situation at Fukushima "seriously" and was ready to help if called upon, while nearby China said it was "shocked" to hear contaminated water was still leaking from the plant, and urged Japan to provide information "in a timely, thorough and accurate way".
"We hope the Japanese side can earnestly take effective steps to put an end to the negative impact of the after-effects of the Fukushima nuclear accident," China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement faxed to Reuters in Beijing.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga called the situation "deplorable", and the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said it feared the disaster - the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl a quarter of a century earlier - was "in some respects" beyond the plant operator's ability to cope.

The Gadfly, for the public record, would like to propose that any story about a possible nuclear meltdown which references that great bastion of environmental responsibility and natural resources veneration - China - as being "shocked" -- is officially fucking scary.

Considering that the Japanese nuclear industry folks are about as trustworthy as "Pentagon spokespeople", The Gadfly wonders if it might not be a good idea to begin stocking up on crates of iodized salt.

Jeebus . . . . .


Your Weekly Reading Homework . . . . Courtesy of The Frolicking Gadfly . . . .

Here are two articles that The Gadfly would highly recommend to anyone wishing to gain a broader factual insight into the Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden cases, without the taint of typical beltway media spin and obfuscation (aka government/corporate propaganda).

First - Andrew Bacevich, former West Point graduate, Vietnam War veteran and a man who's own son was killed during the Iraq war conflict, wonders sincerely, if based on the continuing drip of revelations that the NSA has been snooping on Americans a hell of a lot more than they have admitted to so far, whether there may be some validation in the claims that Snowden, and by virtue of the same activities, Bradly Manning, will both go down in history as American heroes and patriots of the highest order.  And believe The Gadfly when he tells you that Col. Bacevich is not, in a million light years, your typical, run-of-the-mill, dirty fucking hippie type, which makes his observations all the more fascinating:

Second - Charlie Savage at the NYT postulates a theory - one that we hippies were talking about years ago - namely that the persecution/prosecution and ceremonial stuffing in a locked dungeon and throwing away of the key of Bradley Manning may have a hell of lot more to do with the fact that the files which Manning gave to Wikileaks exposed a wide gamut of U.S. wrongdoing in Iraq, including the abuse of detainees by Iraqi officers under the watch of American forces and the systemic covering up of data which showed that civilian deaths during the Iraq war were most likely significantly higher than official estimates.:

Basically -- if you are going to consume any information on the Snowden and Manning cases, make it these two stories, and save the network & cable news viewing for the missing white girl story of the week or the obligatory daily Lindsay Lohan update - because honestly, that is pretty much all they are fucking good for any more.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

♫♫ Yes We Have No Good Asphalt ♫♫ . . . ♫♫ We Have No Good Asphalt Today ♫♫ . . . .

Ahhh yes -- the conservative utopia of no business taxes and no business regulation in all of it's John Q. Public screwing glory:

The sharp increase in heavy traffic from a historic oil boom has damaged many farm-to-market roads in South and East Texas. The damage related to energy development has become so extensive that state and local authorities lack the funding to make all the repairs. Last month, the Texas Department of Transportation announced plans to convert more than 80 miles of paved roads to gravel. The conversions are expected to start Monday, TxDOT officials said. But the plan has been met with criticism from lawmakers and some of the farmers and ranchers who live near those roads.
"Since paving roads is too expensive and there is not enough funding to repave them all, our only other option to make them safer is to turn them into gravel roads," TxDOT spokesman David Glessner said.

Yes - that's right dear readers - the conservative/Texan version of technological advancement is to convert paved roads into gravel roads because they cannot afford the maintenance and repaving of those roads.

What's next?  Replacing street lights with oil lamps?  Replacing Replacing modern fire fighting vehicles with horse-drawn, hand pumpers?  A return to hanging suspected horse thieves from the nearest oak tree without a due process trial by jury . . .? (The Gadfly will stop there lest the Texas GOP get any new ideas).

Steve Benen points out the obvious issue here:

The larger context of this is important.
On the one hand, Gov. Rick Perry (R) believes Texas' economy is amazing, and he's managed to strike the perfect balance between meeting the public's needs and keeping the private sector happy. Every other state, the governor assures us, should be following Texas' lead -- after all, thanks to the energy sector, the Lone Star State has plenty of money.
On the other hand, thanks to wear and tear from the oil companies, which have made themselves remarkably rich from Texas' resources, Texas can no longer afford to pave many of its roads, and will instead transition from pavement to gravel.

Until The Gadfly is presented with credible evidence refuting him, he stands steadfastly by previous assertions stating that the modern day, conservative movement is hell-bent on turning the progress clock so far back that the eventual outcome is that America becomes the world's most prolific, third world banana republic.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Shit Happens - - and Sometimes When Shit Happens to Yourself, You See Things in a Different Light . . .

At intervals in the timeline of mankind's history it has been a necessarily unavoidable task for some in society to forcefully drag the neanderthals kicking and screaming towards human progress.  Then again at other times enlightenment comes in the form of personal life experiences that pierce the bubble of lies and doctrinal bullshit that one has been dwelling in.


Clint Murphy, a 38-year-old former GOP staffer, offered a surprising message to his conservative peers last week, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. After his own battle against testicular cancer -- and subsequent struggle to obtain health insurance coverage -- he now supports Obamacare, the very program against which the Republican Party has fought for months.
"When you say you're against [Obamacare]," Murphy posted on his Facebook page, "you're saying that you don't want people like me to have health insurance."
As the Journal-Constitution notes, Murphy worked on various GOP campaigns and for several Republican organizations, starting in 1990s. In 2000, then a 25-year-old staffer for the Republican National Convention, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Murphy received four rounds of chemotherapy treatment, all covered by insurance, and his cancer was in remission by 2004.
After his mother's death, Murphy decided to take a break from politics in 2010, becoming a full-time real estate agent. It was then, he said, that he finally understood the burden of seeking health insurance with a pre-existing medical condition.

The Gadfly is sincerely happy for Mr. Murphy's recovery from his illness and wishes him well.

While Mr. Murphy's story has a happy outcome, the more pressing reality is that there are 40 million Americans who are currently living on the cusp of life ruination because they have no health insurance at all or are so under-insured that a catastrophic illness such as Mr. Murphy experienced or a major injury would ruin them economically and drive them in to bankruptcy. That should not fucking be happening in the wealthiest nation on the planet, and The Gadfly doesn't give a rat's smelly ass about all of the free market, capitalism will sort it out, libertarian bullshit arguments.  When it comes to people's lives and livelihoods - those arguments are petty and selfish and immoral and have proven to date to be utterly and miserably wrong and disastrous for too many Americans.

Medicare for all or a single-payer, Canadian/European style national healthcare system is the only answer to this crisis that should not be.

The Gadfly feels terrible for thinking it, but perhaps if more right wingers were afflicted as Mr. Murphy was, perhaps this country could at long, long last take that important step forward to guaranteeing that all of it's citizens have access to decent healthcare.  There -- The Gadfly said it.  Be disappointed in The Gadfly for having those feelings, but know that they are stated with deep hope that lessons will be learned, and the lessons learned will result in a healthier, fairer and more prosperous America for all.


The Gadfly Likes Ike Cuz' Ike Was Right . . . . .

Infuriating to say the very least:

Head Start programs will eliminate services for 57,265 children in the coming school year thanks to sequestration’s automatic, across-the-board spending cuts, according to new government data collected from individual programs. California, Texas, and New York will cut the largest number of spots, at 5,611, 4,410, and 3,847, respectively. Nineteen states and Puerto Rico will cut off services to more than 1,000 children.
The cuts also mean the reduction of 1.3 million calendar days at centers across the country. About 18,000 hours will be cut by centers that are dealing with reduced funding by starting days later or ending earlier. Some programs are also eliminating bus services, and children whose parents don’t have reliable transportation may not be able to attend.
The cuts will also impact Head Start staff. More than 18,000 employees will experience lay offs or reduced pay.

All the more so because of this:

As the U.S. prepares to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, the government watchdog charged with overseeing nearly $100 billion in contracts to reconstruct the country has found almost $2 billion in potential waste, fraud and abuse in the last three months alonesome of which has likely led to the deaths of American servicemen and women, according to the agency’s reports.
The string of alleged violations includes phantom projects, improperly awarded contracts, aborted projects, deserted construction, a general lack of transparency to comprehensively oversee projects and, in one instance, building a $34 million military facility that will never be used.

We can't afford to help some poverty stricken kids get a foot up in life, but we can afford to piss a couple of $ billion down a black hole propping up our ever so wonderful war machine in Afghanistan over the past 3 months (which equates to around $8 billion a year in unaccounted taxpayer money)?  Really?

You know - The Gadfly truly, desperately wants to be proud of his country and is so in some respects.  But when you read stuff like this, and you know that it does not have to be this way, and that the political and corporate elites of this country could remedy this shit if they wanted to, it truly does, at times, test your faith as to whether you are on the right side and cheering for the right people.


Jeebus Help Us All If These Looney Toons Bastards Ever Gain Complete Power . . . .

The Gadfly would like to propose that we finally put an end to the debate as to whether or not the GOP has been officially overtaken by lunatics hell-bent on turning America in to the world's most prolific banana republic/failed democracy.

And here's The Gadfly's evidence which should be the final word on this debate:

After months of in-fighting, the beleaguered Oregon Republican Party elected a new chairman last weekend. His name is Art Robinson, and he wants to sprinkle radioactive waste from airplanes to build up our resistance to degenerative illnesses. Robinson, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress against progressive Rep. Peter DeFazio in 2010 and 2012, took over after the previous chair resigned in advance of a recall campaign over her alleged financial mismanagement.
On nuclear waste: "All we need do with nuclear waste is dilute it to a low radiation level and sprinkle it over the ocean—or even over America after hormesis is better understood and verified with respect to more diseases." And: "If we could use it to enhance our own drinking water here in Oregon, where background radiation is low, it would hormetically enhance our resistance to degenerative diseases. Alas, this would be against the law." 
Robinson, who has a Ph.D. in chemistry, has marketed himself for the last three decades as an expert on everything from nuclear fallout to AIDS to climate science in the pages of a monthly newsletter, Access to Energy, which he published from his compound in the small town of Cave Junction.

"Alas" - this fellow bemoans - that it is against the law to knowingly dispose of nuclear waste by sprinkling it all over America from sea to shining sea or mixing it with our drinking water to nutritionally enhance it's ability to help us fight off disease.  Is it any wonder this psychopath lives in a place named after caves?

Imagine if you will, dear readers, a democrat being elected by his fellow party members to a position of party prominence such as a state party chairman, who advocated for his fellow Americans to gargle regularly with garden pesticides and bathe in sewage waste in order to build up a "resistance to degenerative illnesses." Does anyone but The Gadfly truly believe that that individual would not be laughed completely out of the party, much less be allowed to rise to the level of a state chairmanship position?

The GOP is toast folks.  They have lost the battle for control of their once Grand Old Party to the Teahadists and the cuckoo for cocoa puffs crowd.  All that remains to be seen is exactly how fucking crazy these people truly are and how far are they willing take that craziness in their jihadi-like quest for ultimate power.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tea Party Assholes Doing What They Do Best -- Being Assholes . . . .

They truly do make it difficult to sympathize with their message and their movement:

During a question and answer session at the meeting, Molina stepped up to the microphone and, with a quavering voice, asked, “Mr. DesJarlais, I have papers, but I have a dad who’s undocumented. What can I do to have him stay with me?”
Rather than make any attempt to assuage the girl’s fears, Desjarlais said, “Thank you for being here and thank you for coming forward and speaking,” but “the answer still kind of remains the same, that we have laws and we need to follow those laws and that’s where we’re at.”
The tea party crowd whooped and applauded wildly as the little girl took her seat, head down. Progressive Populist reported that Josie Molina’s father is currently in the process of being deported and that the girl is seeing a child psychologist in order to cope with the stress and anxiety.
Desjarlais is a former physician and anti-choice crusader who was fined $500 by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners after it came to light that he had engaged in multiple extramarital affairs with female patients. When one woman became pregnant, the staunch anti-abortion conservative pressured her into terminating the pregnancy. Another patient charged that Desjarlais prescribed narcotic painkillers to her for recreational use and frequently smoked marijuana with her.
“I know God has forgiven me” for the transgressions, Desjarlais told a conservative radio hostin an interview in December of 2012.

What The Gadfly finds especially galling about this story is that this Republican Tea Party congress critter truly is a piece of shit as a human being - based on his misbehavior as a physician - and no, The Gadfly does not accept this fucker's claim that "God has forgiven" him for his immorality - it's a coward's defense and it truly highlights Desjarlais's depravity as an individual.  So much so that The Gadfly would be more than willing to grant the girl's father's quest to become a U.S. citizen and gladly strip Desjarlais of his -- and The Gadfly is unwavering in his confidence that America would be better off for the trade.

Yet the Teabaggers wonder why their approval rating is hovering around 20% when they have degenerate assholes like this guy as their spokespeople.


The Denouement To This Story, If Left Unedited, Does Not Turn Out Well For Freedom As We Know It . . .

These stories are becoming much too commonplace -- more so than is healthy for a functioning democracy:

A small organic farm in Arlington, Texas, was the target of a massive police action last week that included aerial surveillance, a SWAT raid and a 10-hour search.
Members of the local police raiding party had a search warrant for marijuana plants, which they failed to find at the Garden of Eden farm. But farm owners and residents who live on the property told a Dallas-Ft. Worth NBC station that the real reason for the law enforcement exercise appears to have been code enforcement. The police seized "17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants ... native grasses and sunflowers," after holding residents inside at gunpoint for at least a half-hour, property owner Shellie Smith said in a statement. The raid lasted about 10 hours, she said.
Local authorities had cited the Garden of Eden in recent weeks for code violations, including "grass that was too tall, bushes growing too close to the street, a couch and piano in the yard, chopped wood that was not properly stacked, a piece of siding that was missing from the side of the house, and generally unclean premises," Smith's statement said. She said the police didn't produce a warrant until two hours after the raid began, and officers shielded their name tags so they couldn't be identified.

Being held at gunpoint by a bunch of steroid crazed SWAT droids for the evil crimes of "grass that was too tall," "bushes growing too close to the street," a "piano in the yard," and horror of horrors -- "chopped wood that was not properly stacked" ---- aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!  That's America baby.

The Gadfly believes that the only solution to this problem of the escalating militarization of civilian police forces is for citizens to start suing the fuck out of their local police agencies -- even if it results in putting those agencies out of business.  If that is what it takes to put an end to this tyranny - then so be it.

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ― Benjamin FranklinMemoirs of the life & writings of Benjamin Franklin


The Great Pussy Drought of the 50's . . . . . rofl

On a lighter note . . . .

It's the audio version, which is the way The Gadfly first heard it and in The Gadfly's opinion is the best way to hear it. . .

enjoy ...


Saturday, August 17, 2013

I Like Ike . . . . . . . . . . . ..........

Somebody once told The Gadfly that his blogging efforts were useless.

The Gadfly acknowledges that he is not Drudge, or Andrew Sullivan, or Eschaton or Huffington Post .... and The Gadfly truly does not give a shit.  The Gadfly does what he does for two reasons.  First -- anger.  Anger that we still have to put up with the fucking backwoods, white assholes of the Martin Luther King era who truly should be just fossilized at this point ... and that would be good for America.  Second .. because The Gadfly is afraid of not speaking up ... The Gadfly fears that if he doesn't open his big piehole, he could eventually be writing stuff like this:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

The Gadfly doesn't want "them" coming for his self or his children or grand children.  Nationalism, corporatism, militarism,  .. Dwight Eisenhower warned us about "them" .....

Take it for what it is worth to you.


Let Them Drink Fracking Waste Water . . . . . there is an eventuality to it all . . . it's called Justice .........

Oh dear!  What will we tell the children? . . . .

Federal authorities have opened a bribery investigation into whether JPMorgan Chase hired the children of powerful Chinese officials to help the bank win lucrative business in the booming nation, according to a confidential United States government document.
In one instance, the bank hired the son of a former Chinese banking regulator who is now the chairman of the China Everbright Group, a state-controlled financial conglomerate, according to the document, which was reviewed by The New York Times, as well as public records. After the chairman’s son came on board, JPMorgan secured multiple coveted assignments from the Chinese conglomerate, including advising a subsidiary of the company on a stock offering, records show.
The Hong Kong office of JPMorgan also hired the daughter of a Chinese railway official. That official was later detained on accusations of doling out government contracts in exchange for cash bribes, the government document and public records show.

Okay .... The Gadfly was excoriated some time ago for referencing a George Carlin piece where Carlin made a statement to the effect that if America, after a fair trial and conviction, held public executions for a few of these Wall Street snakes and a few Banking CEO's, perhaps that might send a message to those people that what they have done isn't okay.

The Gadfly will stand by Carlin's view unrepentant -- and as horrible as his idea is, the alternative of just letting them do their thing . . . . is unacceptable.

You go George:

JP Morgan Chase.  Bank of America.  Wells Fargo.  Goldman Sachs. . . . and Wall Street . . . .

Criminals.  And The Gadfly could put forth a fucking library of their crimes, but space at this shitty little blog is limited.

Release all minor marijuana offenders and put every fucking criminal banker and financial industries charlatan in goddamn jail for life.  And if they resist --- take George's advice . . . .


And It Starts . . . . . . .

On the heels of the Vikings post ......

: )


"Without free speech no search for truth is possible... no discovery of truth is useful." ~~~~ Charles Bradlaugh

Good god, it's NFL football season.  That means that The Gadfly will be extraordinarily ornery until the end of the year while he watches his beloved team, the Minnesota Vikings, stumble, fumble, and fuck up their way to yet another frustrating, hair-pulling, crying in your beer year.

But you're not a true fan unless you mean it.  You're not a true fan until you've done this:

Yes dear readers -- that is your beloved Gadfly -- in full team uniform.

You're not a fan unless you're willing to show it in public -- that was The Gadfly at an enemy team stadium strutting his Viking stuff.  The Gadfly survived his experience and earned respect from the enemy fans for not being afraid to dissent from the local sentiment. --- It's a lesson learned for gathering up the courage to speak out about issues that affect you and your family's lives and that is infinitely more important than a stupid football game.

The Gadfly loves his Vikings though ..and there will be more postings on this subject to come.


“The liar's punishment is, not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.” ~~~~ George Bernard Shaw

There's hope yet . . .

Some regular American folks are beginning to question the bullshit and lies being fed to them by some of their conservative elected officials.  This is good for Democracy.  It is vital for Democracy.

Watch a Florida Republican squirm when his Townhall meeting doesn't go quite as he planned it -- meaning his constituents refused to just blindly buy in to his bullshit pertaining to the healthcare situation in the country.  The Gadfly is warmed by seeing some of his fellow citizens speaking out.  Let's hope it inspires others to get involved and start publicly voicing their views as these good folk have.

Anyhow -- watch:

[h/t to]

The Gadfly hopes more of you dear readers will exercise your constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech, the right to assemble and the right to petition your government.  You and your children, grandchildren, family and friends all deserve a government that is of the people, by the people, for the people and shall not perish from the Earth.

“Apparently people don't like the truth, but I do like it; I like it because it upsets a lot of people. If you show them enough times that their arguments are bullshit, then maybe just once, one of them will say, 'Oh! Wait a minute - I was wrong.' I live for that happening. Rare, I assure you” 
― Lemmy Kilmister


If They Would Only Do The Right Thing . . . . . GOP and Conservatism Faces Their Waterloo . . . . . Will They Do the Right Thing?

The Gadfly has to chuckle at this stuff.  Anyone who has even 3/8th's of a functioning brain knows the demographic story -- and knows that it does not favor the Republican party as it exists in it's present form - which thanks to the haters in the Tea Party, is steadily turning off American women, American minorities, American moderates and it all will culminate in the GOP, in the not too distant future and even with all of their gerrymandering at the state level, becoming a fringe political party, consigned to minority status for decades to come.

The GOP poobahs are just now beginning to see and process the data which shows that Latinos are the fastest growing demographic in the country.  But the GOP is caught between a rock (in the form of the bigots and nationalists who control the Tea Party) and a hard spot -- which is the Latino American voting community.  Reince Priebus is not making this statement on his own authority --- believe The Gadfly.  These guys are beginning to realize that if you fuck over the Latino community in this country, your political party is doomed to eternal irrelevancy.

Check it out:

RNC chairman Reince Priebus called it “horrific” to say that undocumented immigrants in the United States should “self-deport,” an argument repeatedly made by Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign, and a platform endorsed by the Republican Party at the last convention.
“Using the word ‘self-deportation’ — it’s a horrific comment to make. I don’t think it has anything to do with our party,” Priebus said. “When a candidate makes those comments, obviously, it hurts us.”
As Steve Benen points out, however:
As recently as a year ago, Priebus helped oversee the completion of his party’s national platform, and guess what it said on immigration? “Republican delegates hammered out an immigration plank calling for tough border enforcement and opposing ‘any forms of amnesty’ for illegal immigrants, instead endorsing ‘humane procedures to encourage illegal aliens to return home voluntarily,’ a policy of self-deportation.”

So basically, as The Gadfly alluded to above, they have seen the demographics data.  They are fucking scared shitless.  They are flip-flopping so fast on this immigration bill stuff that their eyeballs are spurting blood.

Later in the article, they point out the obvious:

After the election, Priebus and the RNC launched a new outreach effort toward Latinos, following a dismal showing among minorities in the returns, and an “autopsy” report that showed that voters see the GOP as “narrow-minded” and “stuffy old men.”

But that's just the Boehner GOP --- they still need to corral the Teabaggers and tame their crazy asses.  That is the show that The Gadfly is waiting to see.  It's gonna be bloody and it's gonna, believe The Gadfly, determine the fate of the Republican part for the next decade at least.

The ball is in the GOP's court.  Can they do the right thing and in the process enrage their Frankenstein creation - the Tea Party?

Pass the popcorn . . . . .