Friday, September 19, 2014

Joe Biden's prestige just rose inestimably in my eyes.

Joe Biden, at an event for Nuns on the Bus in Des Moines on Wednesday, quoted  from my favorite author's greatest novel, the most famous of the Proverbs for Paranoids that appear in Gravity's Rainbow -- number 3:
Proverbs for Paranoids:
1. You may never get to touch the Master, but you can tickle his creatures.
2. The innocence of the creatures is in inverse proportion to the immorality of the Master.
3. If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.
4. You hide, they seek.
5. Paranoids are not paranoid because they're paranoid, but because they keep putting themselves, fucking idiots, deliberately into paranoid situations.
--The Proverbs never appear in one place in Gravity's Rainbow, so these are collected from pages 237, 241, 251, 262,and 292
If I hear that he has started quoting Proverb 1, I'll turn TrueBlueLiberal.Org into a full-time dedicated Ready For Joe 2016 website.

arrrrrrrgh.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

As Long As We're All Writing About Presidents and Golf: "...now watch this drive..."

Earlier this week Maureen Dowd accidentally hit send on "The Golf Address," possibly the worst piece of prose ever to appear on the Op/Ed pages of The New York Times. However, she was only the latest in a long line of pundits and ideologues since 2009 who have been condemning President Obama for taking time to play the traditional sport of upper-middle-class white Anglo-Saxon businesscriminals when he should have been chaining himself to his desk.

Only Eisenhowers, Nixons, Fords, Clintons, and Bushes are allowed time on the links while serving as President. Starting in 2017, President (and golf course impresario) Trump will certainly benefit from the fresh air as he solves all the problems left behind by the current administration while hitting little white balls.

Now watch this drive:

Friday, August 22, 2014

Robert F. "Bob" McDonnell and his CBN University Thesis on the GOP and the Family

No one should be surprised that when you do a Google image search for "bland generic white guy" you get a page full of "Bob" McDonnell photos, should they? (And TBL readers don't need me to label this image as satire, do you?)

That, and the fact that he wrote the following in his 1989 thesis at Christian Broadcasting Network University (now Regent University) as a 34-year-old married man make it all the more surprising predictable that he is now in the process of throwing his wife under the bus to protect himself and whatever shreds may be left of his former political daydreams.
The family as an institution existed antecedent to civil government, and hence is not subject to being defined by it. It is in the law of Nature of the created Order that the Creator instituted marriage and family in Eden, where He ordained that "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." Family arises out of this divinely-created covenant of marriage between a man and woman, the terms of which can neither be originally set nor subsequently altered by the parties or the state.   --page 13 of "The Republican Party's Vision For the Family: The Compelling Issue of the Decade"
Another gem from the young Republican politician's CBN University thesis and wedge-issue playbook about the importance of paying lip service to marriage and the family.
 {NOTE: While the Google Image Search results may have been altered for satirical purposes, there actually was a university founded by Pat Robertson and named after his Christian Broadcasting Network in 1978. It changed its name to Regent University in 1989 when Bob McDonnell received his master's and law degrees from that institution of religious indoctrination. If you look at the first page of his thesis, you'll see that it was written at "CBN University", not Regent.}

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

"...no faith teaches people to massacre innocents." Has Barack Obama read the Bible?

President Obama was perfectly correct today to condemn the Islamic State murderers who executed American journalist James Foley, but I have to take exception to some lines in his remarks:
... They [the group known as ISIS, ISIL, or The Islamic State] have murdered Muslims -- both Sunni and Shia -- by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can for no other reason than they practice a different religion. They declared their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people. So ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day. ...
--Barack Obama, 20 August 2014 [emphasis added]

We don't have to search further than the unread books sitting in every American hotel room to find a "faith that teaches people to massacre innocents":
Deuteronomy 13:6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
11 And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.
12 If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the Lord thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,
13 Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;
14 Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;
15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.
16 And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the Lord thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.

17
And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers;

18 When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the Lord thy God.
--King James Version [emphasis added]
We have to stop paying lip service to this god of the three Abrahamic faiths as if he were nothing but a benign and peaceful poltergeist.

Another August Anniversary : Joyeux Anniversaire AFP

When the Allied forces entered Paris in August 1944, eight French journalists took over the Office Français d'Information (OFI), which had been a tool of the Vichy regime and the Nazis.

On August 20, 1944 the Agence France Presse (AFP) we all know today sent out its first dispatch.
«À tous les journaux libres de Paris. Grâce à l'action des Forces Françaises de l'Intérieur, les premiers journaux libres vont paraître, à la veille de l'entrée des troupes alliées, dans Paris presque entièrement libéré. 
L'Agence Française de Presse leur adresse aujourd'hui son premier service. Au moment où des combats se livrent encore dans la ville, et où tombent de nombreux combattants de la liberté, nous saluons tous nos camarades de la presse, disparus, emprisonnés et déportés, et notamment nos 21 collaborateurs tombés dans les mains de la Gestapo. 
Au service de tous les journaux libres, l'Agence Française de Presse assurera, avec l'objectivité stricte qui est le devoir d'un organisme d'Information, la diffusion de nouvelles scrupuleusement contrôlées et recoupées, qui, en attendant l'installation d'une censure militaire, ne doivent en rien gêner la marche des opérations sur différents fronts.»
Happy 70th birthday to the AFP.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

R.I.P. Lauren Bacall 1924-2014, True Blue Liberal

Lauren Bacall passed away at the age of 89 in her apartment at the Dakota on August 12. This quote comes from the end of an article by Clancy Sigal I read on Salon this morning:
"All her life Lauren Bacall stayed a true-blue, New York, left-of-center, liberal Democrat lobbying for Adlai Stevenson and Bobby Kennedy. Or as she proudly boasted in a late interview, 'I’m anti-Republican. A liberal. The L-word!' "
I knew there was a reason other than her looks and "The Look" that I loved her in To Have and Have NotKey LargoSlick Hare, and The Big Sleep (and anything else she appeared in). I didn't have to dig too much deeper to find the transcript from "the L-word" interview with Larry King on CNN from May 6, 2005, when many liberals were renouncing that label.

KING: Have you always been politically motivated? 
BACALL: I have. I have. I come from a...
KING: You go back -- In fact, I saw you.
BACALL: I saw you? 
KING: I saw you speak for Adlai Stevenson. 
BACALL: You did? 
KING: In New York. I believe Bogey was with you. 
BACALL: Yes. 
KING: In '52. 
BACALL: '52. That's when my -- two of my greatest friendships began with Arthur Schlesinger and Alistair Cooke, 1952. 
KING: And what a man Stevenson was. 
BACALL: Oh, what a great man. (INAUDIBLE) you see this country. Please. Don't get me started, as they say. 
KING: So we missed a good opportunity. I think, even his critic was say that Adlai Stevenson was a great...
BACALL: He was a brilliant, brilliant man. But no one had heard anyone except Roosevelt speak with wit. You know, they couldn't figure out what that was all about. Couldn't be serious. 
KING: He had a great wit. 
BACALL: He was brilliant. 
KING: Are you big a "D" Democrat? Do you...
BACALL: I'm a total Democrat. I'm anti-Republican. And it's only fair that you know it. Even though...
KING: Wait a minute. Are you a liberal? 
BACALL: I'm a liberal. The L word! 
KING: Egads! 
BACALL: I love it. Being a liberal is the best thing on earth you can be. You are welcoming to everyone when you're a liberal. You do not have a small mind. Little picayune things. You want to welcome everyone. Liberal, little picayune thing. 
KING: You're open to...
BACALL: You want to welcome everyone. Liberal, I'm a Roosevelt. I'm a -- and I hear anyone say anything about FDR... 
KING: You're a new dealer, fair dealer. 
BACALL: I'm a total -- and I was a kid and I'm total, total, total liberal and proud of it. And I think it's outrageous to say "the L word". I mean, excuse me. They should be damn lucky that they were liberals here. Liberals gave more to the population of the United States than any other group. 
KING: Well, Social Security. 
BACALL: Everything.
*** 
KING: Very well said. Spoken as a true liberal.    BACALL: Don't knock the liberals.   KING: I'm not.    BACALL: Yes, you are. You secretly you do.   


Monday, August 18, 2014

The Quote of the Day: "Visit the Caliphate Before the Caliphate Visits You"

It's not just NPR, but NPR is what I listen to when I'm not listening to music, so I have to blame them for giving over much too much of their Iraq coverage to the experts who were part of the fuck-up of the last decade. Having a uniform and brass on one's shoulder should not automatically qualify a person for opinions about war and peace, but NPR has been interviewing a lot of officers lately.

Here's the one I heard on the ride home this evening. At the 3'45" mark of this interview, Marine Colonel Gary Anderson (ret.) disqualifies himself by using the forbidden jargon "Boots on the Ground," but ten seconds later when Audie Cornish asks him if those "Boots" should be worn by Americans, he gives us our quote of the day:
"Well, I know it's not a popular thing. The American people think that they're uh tired of war, but uh they're gonna be a lot less tired when some of his [Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's] American passport holders come back and start shooting up shopping malls and things like that. I think the watchword that I would use is 'Visit the Caliphate Before the Caliphate Visits You.'" 
This "watchword" (another suspect bit of jargon) would fit perfectly coming from a mouth of a Bush Administration cabinet member and could have been written as one the publicity tropes coming out of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) in 2002-2003.

Network News Sums Up Woodstock for the Nation on August 18, 1969

Here's Walter Cronkite and the CBS News team. Be sure to watch the John Laurence commentary after the commercials for Carnation Slender and Friskies dog food:


Here's Frank Reynolds' ABC broadcast, in which Howard K. Smith's commentary sees Woodstock as a precursor of future overpopulation:


And here's a young Lem Tucker reporting from the scene for NBC:

It's too bad that there was no such thing as cable news in August 1969 so that Fox News could tell us how awful it really was.

Friday, August 15, 2014

45 years ago this afternoon, this happened...

... Richie Havens was the first performer to take the stage at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, and he set the mood and theme for the next three days of peace and music.
Try to forget this summer's bad news for at least the next four minutes and fifty-two seconds as you watch this video: