Thursday, December 30, 2010

Social Notworking

There are a lot of Facebook pages visible on screens around my office this week, and not just among twenty somethings. There are pictures of Christmas puddings and snow drifts that just MUST be shared with all of one's "friends". I've avoided the Facebook so far only because they ask you to register your name when you're sent a link of someone's vacation snaps (and there are "friends" and relatives there to whom I'd prefer to remain invisible).

While looking for uses of the term "Social Notworking" just now, I stumbled on a British blog dedicated to the fad, "Social Notworking: Tired of the social networking malarkey?" at They have to be given special compliments for posting a couple of entries in 2007 and then losing interest in this stupid blogging fad as well.

I'm making "Social Notworking" my phrase for the fin de l'année, with the hope that looking at family slide shows online hasn't been replaced by something even more stupid by the end of twenty eleven. I still don't understand why the Facebook didn't die on the day that the first student was "friended" by a parent, but I think it's just an age thing. I don't know why college students of the 21st century call their parents on the phone either.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Thirty Years Ago Tomorrow

It's hard to believe that it's been thirty years already since we lost this beautiful soul and voice of reason.



Monday, December 06, 2010

"There ya go baby!" or Sarah Palin alienates the vegetarian vote

What will Sarah kill next week?

By the way, this rugged-individualist self-sufficient hunting junket to kill a wild animal cost over $42,000, but image is everything and the people who like guns and death and camouflage will love this unrealistic reality-show image as much as they love her brainless flag-waving books.

Support The Right to Arm Bears!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Save 100% Today. Pay Retail Tomorrow.

My little appeal isn't going to do anything to slow down American bargain-hunting consumerism. At 1:30 am this morning I was driving up the New York Thruway and there was a traffic jam that extended at least five miles south of Exit 16, where the crowds of SUVs and minivans were all getting off, heading toward the Woodbury Commons outlet stores. After passing Exit 16, I was back to 75 mph and one of the only cars heading North at that ungodly hour. So my little blog post reminding everyone that today is Buy Nothing Day will do nothing to slow the holiday shopping extravaganza. Non-union and overseas sweatshops and minimum-wage big-box-store employees will be kept busy again this year in honor of the holiday which honors Malcolm X on December 25.
With unemployment so high, part of me this year runs against every instinct in my body to consider: Maybe we need maniacal hordes of shopaholic zombies to keep our ailing economy alive. Maybe they are performing a service for which I have no stomach, shoving more and more shit into their oversized vehicles and living spaces. Or maybe not.
Maybe the answer, at least for me, is to commit the cardinal sin of American consumerism: Buy Less but Pay More. Low prices have negative effects on workers and main streets. There's not much I can do about it alone, but on a small level, rather than taking advantage of the coupons coming at me from Borders and Amazon, I have made my last four book purchases at my local independent bookstore, hoping to help keep alive a small main-street business and cultural center. And books (at least most books) have the advantage of being printed in the United States, mostly in industrial areas of the country that are otherwise hurting.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

God Save the Queen, 'cause tourists are money.

This is the song that I can't get out of my head since the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton was announced and royal weddings have been in the news. Maybe I can exorcise the tune by posting it here.
The Sex Pistols seem a lot tamer now than in 1977 (but still not quite tame).

Royalty has this way of making me feel like a republican (though not a Republican).

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Moment of Pure Beauty

Because I'm incapable of visiting YouTube without revisiting this video, I thought I'd share Grace Potter and Joe Satriani's killer version of Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer" here.

The Most Common Theological Question of American Children.

Around the upcoming compulsory happy holiday times, it's common to hear the motives of a popular Christian demigod questioned by intelligent young people in households throughout America: "Why does Santa love rich children more than me?"

Yes Virginia, there is a free-market Santa Claus!

(But if you need to shop, you can shop here.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Quote of the Day from Patti Smith

“Please, no matter how we advance technologically, please don’t abandon the book. There is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the book.”
-- Patti Smith (
quoted in the New York Times, 17 Nov 2010)

Patti Smith won the National Book Award for non-fiction last night for Just Kids. I'll have to move it farther up on my reading list. Right now I'm finishing Lives Like Loaded Guns by Lyndall Gordon and I have Life by Keith Richards and Freedom by Jonathan Franzen in the on-deck positions. All, of course, are being read in their paper editions (remembering that "e-books" are not books) and all are either from libraries or independent bookstores.

Congratulations Patti!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Post-Election Quotes of the Day (M.M. vs. M.M.)

"I think the most interesting thing to watch in the next Congress is how many Democrats start voting with us. Every one of the 23 Democrats up in the next cycle has a clear understanding of what happened Tuesday. I think we have major opportunities for bipartisan coalitions to support what we want to do."
--Mitch McConnell quoted on, 4 November 2010

"When your opponent states clearly that 'our number 1 job in the next two years
is to make sure you don't have a second term — our number 1 job is to defeat
you and to embarrass you,' you don't respond with Kumbaya."
Michael Moore on WNBC, 3 November 2010

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Karl Rove's Loss Yesterday

Here's hoping that hubris once again leads to a short residence of the Republicans in the House majority.

To hear Karl Rove talk about "the End of the Obama Liberal Agenda" before his natural constituency of Natural Gas executives today, you would think that the Republicans had won both houses with filibuster-proof and veto-proof supermajorities, and that he had personally been invincible in all his campaigns.
His group American Crossroads came after my Congressman, Maurice Hinchey, late in the campaign with this commercial that started to seem ubiquitous on cable in the Hudson Valley.

What was Maurice Hinchey's chief crime? I don't think there's any doubt that he became a target of the energy industry insiders bankrolling Karl Rove because of his sponsorship of the FRAC Act. The Fracking Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act would end a Bush era loophole written for the natural gas industry which exempts them from the Safe Drinking Water Act and allows them to pump chemicals into the ground without even disclosing which poison mixtures are being pumped into our land and water. In these pristine Catskills -- which still provide unfiltered water to New York City--this threat of drilling and inserting a toxic stew below our mountains and forests strikes everyone who lives here as criminal (if the Republicans can pretend to speak for every American, I can certainly pretend to speak for everyone in my Congressional district).
And despire generic attack ads financed from out of state that dominated local television, with 99% of votes counted, Maurice Hinchey leads Republican George Phillips by 52.4% to 47.6%. You lost this one Karl.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Today's Only Message: VOTE

... unless, of course, you're tempted to vote for the party whose platform is built on the twin pillars of tax breaks for billionaires and the repeal of a bill that extends healthcare benefits to children with pre-existing illnesses.

Monday, November 01, 2010

I remember too! That's why I'm voting early (and often) tomorrow.

Of course the parenthetical "and often" aside in the title is just there to annoy any paranoid Fox (and poll) watchers who still believe that Barack Hussein Obama is a Kenyan Communist Muslim installed in the White House by Acorn and George Soros rather than the American people, but we remember 2008 much differently.

My favorite two lines from the video are at the two minute mark: "I remember which party wants to take our country back." and "I remember which party wants to take our country forward."

Don't let the pundits and pollsters be proved right in their prediction that fear and amnesia will rule the ballot boxes tomorrow. Vote Early And Often (really, check with your local Acorn representative for how it's done, but don't tell the teabaggers or the fair-and-balanced press).

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween from Delaware's Republican Candidate for US Senator

You would think that with the Republicans' reliance on FEAR as their main electoral aid, that October 31 would be their second favorite holiday of the year (after September 11).

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sometimes True Blue Liberal is a Counterrevolutionary

As the owner of a couple of Gibson guitars (which take up more of my limited leisure time than this blog or tweeting or any other recreational computing), I was tempted to skip a couple hours of work and run over to see an event at New York's Hard Rock Cafe yesterday that had been billed in emails from Gibson in dramatic terms "Gibson invites you to witness a revolution. Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar Corp, will address members of the press, artists and fans, with an announcement that will change music forever. This is more than a press conference. More than an event. This is an uprising!" I didn't go, and I'm glad.
Henry Juszkiewicz and the teabaggers are devaluing the word "revolution" in twenty ten, because Gibson's attempt to "change music forever" was the Firebird X seen in this video from yesterday's event.

It looks and sounds gimmicky and (not to offend the demonstrator, who obviously knows his way around a fretboard) the size of the guitarist makes the Firebird look like it's the size of a Guitar Hero controller. How many of these electronics will be outdated in 5 years? Or worn out and unfixable in 10? A Gibson guitar with a MSRP of more than five grand should be around for at least 40 or 50 years, as the next video shows.
This is a Firebird III from 1963, showing why True Blue Liberal will be wearing white rather than red in this particular "revolution". Here's what a guitar should sound like.

Now I'm going to shut off my computer and pick up my Flying V or my SG. I have some practicing to do.

What Not to Wear to a Rand Paul Rally

Don't shop here unless you're very brave.

This Boot to the Head should be seen by everyone considering a vote for a Tea Party candidate

When following a link to this video of Rand Paul supporters assaulting an anti-Paul protestor, I got the following message page from YouTube.
There's no sex or profanity (though the actions of these thugs against Lauren Valle are obscene, and should be out of place in any democratic society), so I assume that the members of the YouTube user community who have flagged the following video have done so purely for political purposes.

If you didn't receive it in your email this morning as a card-carrying member of the Michael Moore Brigade, then you might also be interested in reading "A Boot to the Head ... from Michael Moore" on his website in which he places these brownshirt street tactics in a wider perspective. We're all going to get kicked, figuratively if not literally (though literally is always a possibility), if we let the pre-election pollsters be proved right next Tuesday night.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'M MAD AS HELL TOO, CARL!, or Go Frack Yourself

There's now less than a week left of these ugly emphatic orange and black signs along the side of New York's backroads, impeding the deer and wild turkeys in their quest to run into my car. Soon we'll be back to nothing but piles of leaves and bare trees on the roadsides. I don't seem to be mad about any of the things that Carl and Fox News want me to be mad about, but I am mad that one of Carl Paladino's first acts, if elected Governor of New York, would be to immediately allow hydrofracking here in upstate New York. Who cares if our previously pristine well water becomes poisonous ... and flammable?

Go frack yourself Carl.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The "Macaca Moments" of Twenty Ten

I spent years without TV (commented on in numerous previous posts), but now that I have cable again, I'm glad to have access to Rachel Maddow's common sense. In a perfect world, every American voter would watch this segment -- "Decision 1964" -- with which she opened her show tonight.

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's too bad they didn't let Banksy direct an entire episode.

I haven't seen a full episode of The Simpsons® in years, but now that I have a TV again, maybe I'll give it a try, especially after seeing the news about this Banksy opener that played on last night's episode.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Knowledge Defeats Blind Faith (once again)

It would be interesting to know which came first for most of the respondents, their knowledge about religions or their atheism/agnosticism, but as reported around the web today, atheists and agnostics are more knowledgeable about the world's religions than those who practice one of those religions. Click here for more details from today's LA Times.

A collection of ten of the questions from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life are posted at TBL had no trouble getting 10 of 10 correct, but it does seem like they must have chosen the 10 easiest questions (or I am very advanced on the atheistic scale). Take it yourself by clicking here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Who knew that Sarah Palin was one of us?

Should we send her a True Blue Alaska Liberal mug and button, or lift a toast of commie vodka in her honor now that a blogger for a New Jersey newspaper that hasn't totally gone out of business yet has written a piece titled "Sarah Palin: Just another whiny liberal claiming victimization"?
Of course this writer, this Paul Mulshine fella -- "the sole genuinely conservative columnist on any major American newspaper" in his own words -- doesn't seem to admit that most of the whining and whinging (I love the Brit version, which seems more onomatopoeically correct) has been pouring from people on the right claiming victimization by godless public schools, the IRS, non-whites & have-nots, ObamaPelosi&Reid, the mean liberals who call the teabaggers on their racism, and the gays & lesbians who are attacking their holy unhappy marriages (and the Newark Star Ledger is a "major American newspaper"?).
The fine White Whine of victimization has become the background noise of our culture, but it's so much easier to take one of Sarah Palin's most common and unattractive features and attribute it -- without any evidence of any liberal feelings or thoughts on her part -- to her "liberalism". And, as we know from Glen Beck, Liberal = Communism = Fascism = Nazism. The conservatives have learned that their second greatest weapon (after an unrelenting appeal to irrational fears of those feeling victimized) is to treat words as if they have no meaning grounded in facts or history. After the success of the Swift Boat lies about John Kerry and the WMD lies of the Bush Regime, they've obviously come to the conclusion that the most effective way to win any argument is to simply destroy the meaning of our common language.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Words Matter when talking about Terrorism and the Austin Suicide Bomber

Even without having cable, I'm well aware of the fact that the Fair and Balanced Fox News Network has absolutely no problem throwing around the words "terror," "terrorism," or "terrorist," when discussing the actions of dedicated extremists with malfunctioning explosives in their shoes or underwear (especially if those misguided souls are men of color with non-Anglo names). So why am I not surprised that I can't find any word with that terror- root used in any of the online Fox News articles about yesterday's Austin Suicide Bomber, the terrorist (and "normal, right down the middle kind of guy") Joe Stack?

The farthest their language seems to go when discussing this cowardly terrorist murderer is "tax protestor" or "domestic extremist." Their lead online article on him this morning ends with an attempt to understand to poor misunderstood criminal and put him into a larger historical context with which many of their viewers might empathize:

"Thursday was not the first time a tax protester went after an Austin IRS building. In 1995, Charles Ray Polk plotted to bomb the IRS Austin Service Center. He was released from prison in October of last year.

The tax protest movement has a long history in the U.S. and was a strong component of anti-government sentiments that surged during the 1990s. That wave culminated in the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people. Several domestic extremists were later convicted in the plot."

Terrorism is terrorism. Corporate styleguides matter. Corporate styleguides help form the opinions of those who get their news from the channel of Cheney and Beck and O'Reilly and Palin. How many Teabaggers will feel free to take the next step and consider the Austin Suicide Bomber a hero, along with the murderers of abortion doctors and other criminal heroes of the radical right?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Word of the Day is "Terrorism"

I'm just seeing the news now that a disgruntled taxpayer and private pilot (not usually an economically disadvantaged group) purposely flew his plane into a building housing IRS offices in Austin, Texas, killing himself and possibly others. Though he may have failed in his attempt to take out IRS agents and employees, certainly the intent is there to kill other people when flying a plane loaded with fuel into the side of an office building. Some other suicide terrorists certainly expected to kill other people when they did the same thing by flying their planes into office buildings in New York City and Arlington, Virginia in 2001.

"We do not yet know the cause of the plane crash," the Department of Homeland Security said in a release. "At this time, we have no reason to believe there is a nexus to terrorist activity. We continue to gather more information, and are aware there is additional information about the pilot's history." (FROM

If a 53-year-old white American male cannot be called a suicide terrorist bomber just because his name is Joseph Andrew Stack III rather than Mohamed Atta, then the language has no meaning.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Word of the Day is "Slumburbia"

"The developers’ favorite role models, the laissez faire free-for-alls — Las Vegas, the Phoenix metro area, South Florida, this [San Joaquin] valley — are the most troubled, the suburban slums [...] this is what happens when money and market, alone, guide the way we live."

Click the link for his full short blog entry on the ghost towns dotting the Sunbelt that are filled with underwater McMansions and minimalls of cigarette stores and cash advance outlets, but I also love that Timothy Egan quotes another writer of the American West to sum up the religion of economic bubbles and development even more succinctly:
"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."
--Edward Abbey, The Journey Home, 1977

Monday, February 15, 2010

"Meet Your Meat"

I had read about the "Meet Your Meat" video when reading Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals, but I avoided watching it until today. Not even the soothing familiar voice of Alec Baldwin as narrator makes the images more palatable, which, of course, is the point.
If you're thinking of giving up something other than Christianity for Lent, then you might be well-served by watching at least some of this (or finding more videos at the PETA TV archive).

Of course this isn't just about meat eating, or ethics. It's about corporations and the fact that, in the pursuit of dollars, EVERYTHING is permitted.
But we don't have to support it.

The Second Word of the Day is "Carnevale"

Who knew that Carne-vale is old Latin for "Farewell to Meat"?! Not me. But it's a great word to keep in mind as we approach Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday. "Farewell to Meat" is a thought that True Blue Liberal dot org can get behind for all the heath, environmental, and ethical reasons we've touched on in earlier posts.

I stumbled upon the history of the second word of the day this morning on a website called Meatless Monday, which is run in connection with the Johns Hopkins' School of Public Health and has the goal of reducing meat consumption by 15%. If it can't be seven days a week without meat, or five, or three, it's good to start somewhere. I just wonder when they'll be harassed and sued by those same cowkillers who went after Oprah in the '90s.

The Word of the Day is "Tea-publican"

First there was the "tea party" protester. Now meet the Tea-publican.
Conservative activists who once protested the political establishment are now flooding the lowest level of the Republican Party apparatus hoping to take over the party they once scorned -- one precinct at a time.
I hope I'm not the only liberal who sees great promise in this attempt by the teabaggers to infiltrate the grass roots of the Grand Old Party and complete the process of rotting it from within. The potential for more Republican defeats as right-wing extremists attack more Deirdre Scozzafavas as being insignificantly orthodox on questions of God and Marriage and Abortion seems great. The GOP is in danger of becoming as marginal as it was under Goldwater in '64. To avoid this fate, the few remaining moderate Republicans might actually try to find their backbones and emphatically repudiate the Teapublican agenda (but I doubt it).

Monday, January 25, 2010

the first Quote of the Day on to contain one of those emoticon things

Jim Carrey tweeted this about ten minutes ago on Twitter, giving us yet another reason to feel good about our decision not to pay a cable or satellite corporation for the privilege of watching other corporations' television programs. And if you're reading this blog on a device that doesn't show the image up above, Mr. Carrey's tweet reads:
television is weirdos judging weirdos viewed by weirdos who are just glad there are weirder weirdos out there. like me DAMN IT! %^(
Kill Your TV!

Tests confirm that True Blue Liberal continues to list toward port.

The visual representation of my results is to your left (where else?), but take the World's Smallest Political Quiz yourself to see if you can possibly be as liberal as me!

(h/t to @angryliberal for the link)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Another Quote of the Day from Another Prominent Republican

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.

This quotation from the Great Emancipator seems especially appropriate in this week when the five conservative members of the Supreme Court
fully removed the previous restrictions on corporate speech in political contexts andgave the corporations of America -- and the rest of the world -- "corporate personhood" that called for the protection of corporate "free speech" rights, with all the money that they can throw behind that speech. Imagine how sponsored speech will drown out real human speech when fully unleashed. The Fox-sponsored Tea Parties will seem like a tea party when there's so much corporate "grass roots" Astroturf covering the American landscape that we'll never need another lawnmower.

Though it's nothing to laugh about, it was very hard not to play with the idea of giving corporations even fuller personalities under the #CorporatePersonhood hashtag on Twitter a couple of days ago:
  1. Twittermap_normal TrueBlueLiberal Is the GOP so wedded to its capitalist orthodoxy that they're happy about Hugo Chavez's Citgo having a political voice? #CorporatePersonhood
  2. Twittermap_normal TrueBlueLiberal When Beef Products, Inc. was a little kid, he did unspeakable things to neighborhood cats. #CorporatePersonhood
  3. Twittermap_normal TrueBlueLiberal it's no longer hog heaven at the Smithfield Corporation home since the kids have read Foer's "Eating Animals" #CorporatePersonhood
  4. Twittermap_normal TrueBlueLiberal The wife of FedEx has more complaints than compliments about his single-minded obsession with speed. #CorporatePersonhood
  5. Twittermap_normal TrueBlueLiberal Archer Daniels Midland was a stuck-up Waspy jock in high school & he got worse with age. #CorporatePersonhood
  6. Twittermap_normal TrueBlueLiberal Young Waldo Martinsburg was an extremely unpopular nerd until he took his nom de rap of "WalMart" #CorporatePersonhood
  7. Twittermap_normal TrueBlueLiberal Were the Baby Bells committing incest when they remarried? Don't any basic taboos apply when we're discussing #CorporatePersonhood ?
  8. Twittermap_normal TrueBlueLiberal I hope the real census counts all the corporations too! #corporatepersonhood RT @TCDL GOP CENSUS SCAM IS AN OUTRAGE
  9. Twittermap_normal TrueBlueLiberal Or when you first conceive of incorporating. RT @ZenobiaDTC I guess life now begins at the moment of incorporation. #corporatepersonhood
  10. Twittermap_normal TrueBlueLiberal AIG's schoolmates always believed that milk-money thief Abner Ignatz Golddigger would end up in jail one day. #corporatepersonhood
  11. Twittermap_normal TrueBlueLiberal Bob&Carol&Ted&Alice have nothing on Proctor&Johnson&Gamble&Johnson. #corporatepersonhood
  12. Twittermap_normal TrueBlueLiberal Do corporate persons have genders? Is Coca-Cola a Girl and Pepsi a Boy? Or vice versa? #corporatepersonhood
  13. Twittermap_normal TrueBlueLiberal Kraft is accusing Cadbury of being a real bridezilla about their pending nuptials. #corporatepersonhood
  14. Twittermap_normal TrueBlueLiberal Microsoft is thinking of switching to a new - cooler - pocket protector #corporatepersonhood
  15. Twittermap_normal TrueBlueLiberal Young ExxonMobil could never take a bath without leaving a ring around the tub. #corporatepersonhood
  16. Twittermap_normal TrueBlueLiberal Wells Fargo's favorite game is still "Cowboys and Indians" #corporatepersonhood
  17. Twittermap_normal TrueBlueLiberal General Motors is still worried about the stigma of being demoted to Corporal Motors. #corporatepersonhood

The Quote of the Day about the double standards regarding religious extremists

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and I sent a letter to President Obama Friday, urging him to override the DoJ’s decision to try the Christmas Day Bomber in civilian court and designate him as an enemy combatant, so that he might still be interrogated in order to glean critical intelligence that might avert a future terrorist attack.

So if the Republican right-wing leadership and their teabagger shock troops were intellectually consistent in any way they'd want Scott Roeder waterboarded at Guantanamo to find other murderous Christianist terrorist cells, wouldn't they? I guess that, in certain world views, successfully shooting a doctor in a church is much less of a crime than unsuccessfully lighting your underpants on fire.

But there are many on the Right supporting the murderer of Dr. George Tiller during services at his Lutheran Church back in May. Just look at the comments on this Fox News article supporting Christianist extremism and murder. Even the judge is considering allowing the jury to consider a verdict of
voluntary manslaughter if this admitted murderer can prove he held an "unreasonable but honest belief" that he had to use force to protect another. What if Islamist extremists were allowed to make the same argument in an open court? Imagine the volume of the squeals from Cornyn and the teabaggers.

#3wordsconservativeshate, visually

The hashtag #3wordsconservativeshate took off on Twitter on Friday night, so I just wanted to preserve a few of them as a snapshot of the state of the hate in late January of twenty ten:
The triplets of words used in the Wordle up above : national public radio - john fitzgerald kennedy - public library funding - strong public schools - strong public option - Reagan rose taxes - #3wordsconservativeshate - true blue liberal - corporations aren't people - teabaggers teabaggers teabaggers - Franklin Delano Roosevelt - immigrants are people - gay marriage tolerance- gay feminist mother - hillary rodham clinton - Obama is president - Blackwater are mercenaries - Yes, Obama won - Yes We Can - Yes We Did - Dick Cheney's Daughter - Liberal policies Work - peace, equality, freedom -Universal Health Care - Rational Thought Process - Public Healthcare Option - Justice for All - Share the wealth - Basic Human Compassion - Proud American Liberal - Greed is Bad - Equal Rights Amendment - Liberté Egalité Fraternité - I'm Gay Mom! - and I left out hundreds and hundreds more, but these contributions seemed (to me) representative.
Unfortunately, #3wordsconservativeshate never came anywhere near the quantity of #3wordslibhate as shown here at So here are three more words: Quality Not Quantity.
Wordle: #3wordsconservativeshate hashtagImages of Wordles from are licensed by a Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

You Need Another Reason to Kill Your TV? How about people who mistake their psychoses for "God's Voice"?

... and blame the devil and the Haitians who fought for their freedom for the earthquake that devastated that nation last night:

Media Matters for America also has the Pat Robertson transcript for the segment up above on their website, but here's the important bit: " ...They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, "We will serve you if you will get us free from the French." True story. And so, the devil said, "OK, it's a deal." And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other.... "
Hey, maybe they just should have remained slaves. Right Pat?
As an example of the complete intellectual (if not financial) bankruptcy of these money-grubbing TV preachers, the Revolution in Haiti at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries was fought against the French revolutionary government and THE Napoleon -- Napoleon Bonaparte -- not "Napoleon III and whatever" who ruled fifty years later. I'm also not sure where Pat Robertson got his "facts" about and direct quote from "the devil," but I'm pretty sure that's a mythological creature incapable of speaking directly to non-psychotic humans, and I haven't seen his (its) name mentioned in any history books as being a key player in the events of 1791-1804.
Despite the ridiculousness of these claims though, the reanimated zombie that used to be Jerry Falwell rose from its grave today and said of Pat Robertson's attempt to link earthquakes to pacts with the devil, "I totally concur!"

The Quote of the Day: Maureen Dowd Describes Hell in Less than 100 Words

Here's yet another reason to kill your television. In her column in this morning's New York Times, "The Biggest Loser," about the wrong-headed scheduling moves of NBC chief Jeff Zucker, Maureen Dowd describes the television norm against which Mr. Zucker has sinned by shuffling Jay Leno between traditional late night and primetime slots:
"… older Americans … have always watched the networks in a particular way. The kids come home, do their homework, the family has dinner. They’re in front of the TV by 8, and 8:30 is known as the dog-walking slot. At 9, it’s time for more comedy. As they get tired, they like to watch a fictional drama that leads into the real drama of the late local news. And then they like to laugh again so that those images of war or a local murder are not the last thing they see before bed."
Hell in 95 words, and one of the reasons explaining why so many Americans would prefer to work late at the office.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"... if someone offers to show us a film on how our meat is produced, it will be a horror film..." another quote for the day

If there's any justice in the world, then Jonathan Safran Foer's first work of nonfiction (after the brilliant novels Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) will do to factory farms what Rachel Carson's Silent Spring did to DDT. At least it should turn a significant percentage of its readers into vegetarians and vegans. Or at the very least it will create more conscious eaters.

I finished reading this book on the train from work tonight. I couldn't return it to the library without sharing at least one quotation:
"Perhaps in the back of our minds we already understand, without all the science I've discussed, that something terribly wrong is happening. Our sustenance now comes from misery. We know that if someone offers to show us a film on how our meat is produced, it will be a horror film. We perhaps know more than we care to admit, keeping it down in the dark places of our memory -- disavowed. When we eat factory-farmed meat we live, literally, on tortured flesh. Increasingly, that tortured flesh is becoming our own."
-- Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals(p. 143)

But please consider reading the entire book. It should be widely read and it deserves to have a place in our national conversation.

The Quote of the Day. One More Reason to Kill Your TV!

This rationale for killing your television has nothing to do with the news today that the Fox News Channel has added Ms. Sarah Palin to their stable of on-air talent. This has to do with television watching in general, and its effect on your overall health.

Click the link after the quote of the day for more details.
"...researchers monitored 8,800 adults for six years to see what impact watching television had on their long-term health. They found that each hour a day spent in front of the television increased the risk of death from all causes by 11%. It also raised the risk of dying from cancer by 9% and the risk of heart disease-related death by 18%."
Kill it before it kills you.

The Visual State of True Blue Liberal dot Org on 11 January 2010

Judging by the following impartial visual analysis of True Blue Liberal blog, I'm obviously dedicating too many words to the Grand Old Party of Newt and Strom and Dubya lately:

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Quote of the Day from Martin Amis

Okay, it has nothing to do with politics, but of all the sentences that I read this morning this is the sentence (and a half) that popped out at me in my internet skimming and grazing.
"Keith was now well launched on the bullet train of the fifties where the minutes often dragged but the years tumbled over one another and disappeared. And the mirror was trying to tell him something."
--Martin Amis, The Pregnant Widow
(as quoted in The Guardian)
Maybe it has to do with the fact that I boarded that bullet train myself a few years ago, but I think it has more to do with the fact that Martin Amis has written some of the most perfect sentences in the English language in the last thirty years and I look forward to every one that comes from his pen, even at times when his political opinions may not be in line with mine.
The mystery is when I am going to get a chance to read this book. The Guardian article this morning says "next month", but has no price listed for the book yet and has two listings, one with a pub date of September 2008 and one with a pub date of February 4, 2010. The site lists a pub date of May 11 and doesn't even have a cover image posted (I'm sure that it won't be the UK image you see to the left). I guess I'll be adding to my personal carbon footprint by having this book shipped across the Atlantic Ocean in February.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Breaking the Eleventh Commandment, or GOP Fratricide Anyone?

"Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican."

Republicans have had no trouble breaking the other ten commandments in recent years, so it probably shouldn't come as any surprise that they have decided to ignore the eleventh too. "The Eleventh Commandment" was created to silence liberal Republican (yes, Virginia, there once was such an animal) criticism of Ronald Reagan in his run for Governor of California to avoid a repeat of the liberal Republican criticism of Barry Goldwater that had exposed him as a dangerous joke in the 1964 presidential election. The liberals, of course, shut their mouths and a grade-B moviestar and host of "Borax Death Valley Days" began his improbable rise to the chief executive offices in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.

Patti & Ronald Reagan Only Two Years Before Moving from Boraxo Commercials to the Governor's Mansion.

Luckily for us though, the conservatives in the Republican Party in 2010 do not seem as anxious to shut their mouths for the sake of party unity (unless the party unifies behind their own very particular brand of wingnuttiness).
Here are a few promising signs of the coming GOP fratricide just in the last two days:
So, are there any Republicans still observing the Eleventh Commandment? Of course there are. You don't hear Republican moderates in Maine or elsewhere in the Northeast speaking ill of their fellow GOPpers, do you?

Taking the Joke Too Far.

I have to stop looking around the darker corners of the Twitter and the blogosphere.

When a blog has to run a sidebar disclaimer reading ...
  • Legal Notice

    This blog does not promote, support, condone, encourage, advocate, nor in any way endorses [sic] any racist ideologies, nor any armed and/or violent revolutionary, seditionist,[sic] criminal, and/or terrorist activities!!! The author of this blog assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of information contained in this blog!!! This blog is for information and entertainment purposes only!!![sick]
... and places that disclaimer to the right of incoherent obscenity-laced racist rants and immediately below links to white supremacist websites and a sidebar advertisement for a t-shirt bearing a parody of Shepard Fairey's iconic Barack Obama 'HOPE' poster with the President's head tilted to the side, his eyes closed, and a noose around his neck above the word 'ROPE', and takes the nom de blog et twitter of "Obama is a Monkey," has the joke gone further than a mere parody of right-wing imbecility?

Because it has to be a joke, doesn't it?

Just asking. And hoping.

The Quote of the the Day from Charles M. Blow

If you don't want to immediately read the rest of Charles M. Blow's column,"G.O.P. Grief and Grieving," in this morning's New York Times after reading this first paragraph, then you're probably reading the wrong blog here at TrueBlueLiberal dot org:
The attack on the Republican establishment by the tea party folks grabs the gaze like a really bad horror flick — some version of “Hee Haw” meets “28 Days Later.” It’s fascinating. But it also raises a serious question: Are these the desperate thrashings of a dying movement or the labor pains of a new one?
His thesis is that American conservatism is going through the clichéd stages of grief over the Democratic triumph in 2008 -- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance -- and that the teabaggers are now in that angry stage where many of us found ourselves in the early years of the Dubya regime.
One less humorous take on the tea party movement is hinted at in a companion opinion piece in today's Times from Gail Collins prompted by the Washington Wizards' Gilbert Arenas and his recent problem with gun possession. She cites the fact that the vast majority of Americans, and even 82% of NRA members, want to be able to prevent terror suspects from buying guns at unregulated gun shows, and wonders about the minority opinion.
Let us pause for a moment to consider the 9 percent of respondents who said they thought this was a bad idea. Perhaps they live in the same compound with the 1 out of 10 dentists who did not think patients who chewed gum should go for the sugarless kind.
My guess is that all 9% of these gun nuts are also angry teabaggers. This angry minority on the right wing's fringe is much better armed than the hard-core opposition to George W. Bush was in 2002-2003.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Visual State of the Blog on the Fifth of January Twenty Ten

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Wordle: on January 5 2010 Try it for your own site. It's fun, and I've discovered that I need to use a slightly less pedestrian vocabulary.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

In Case You Had Any Doubts About the Republican Game Plan for Twenty Ten....

Here are the quotes of the day to remind you of the Republican game plan for 2010. Don't expect any change from 2009's stage-setting remark from the Republican Party's chief over-the-air gasbag, which appeared just before President Obama's inauguration:
I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: "Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails." Somebody's gotta say it.
There's a preview of the coming continuing obstructionism in an article from this morning's Washington Post about the current state of California's finances. There's no reason to think that Republicans in Congress and the media will do anything more than follow Nancy Reagan's old drug advice to "Just Say No," hoping that any resulting government gridlock will be blamed on the Democrats in November:
[...] The minority party spied opportunity in fiscal collapse. If the majority failed to govern the state, then the voters would turn on them, or so the theory went.
That raises a troubling question: What happens when one of the two major parties does not see a political upside in solving problems and has the power to keep those problems from being solved?

Knowing that the writers of the right-wing blogosphere and twitterverse have already set their CAPS LOCK keys and turned off their spelling and grammar checkers in order to jump into the fray with attacks and made-up "facts" in twenty ten, I thought that it was time to start writing more regularly here at and I even opened up a new presence on Twitter at @TrueBlueLiberal , largely for the same reason that I started this blog in 2004: to help protect the label "Liberal" from those who have no understanding of its meaning, but are happy to hurl it as an insult.
Happy 2010.

TBL Helps You with Your New Year's Resolution (if your resolution is to become a vegetarian)

To reinforce your resolve to stick to a diet in twenty ten that's better for you and animals and the planet, you don't even have to read all of Jonathan Safran Foer's new book Eating Animals. Simply read this short article on AlterNet today: "Yummy! Ammonia-Treated Pink Slime Now in Most U.S. Ground Beef."
Actually, maybe you don't even have to read the whole article, just read the title of the article again.

You're Welcome.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year [1986] "IT'S GOT FDR! IT'S GOT FDR! IT'S GOT FDR!"

Somewhere in the basement of a house in which I once lived there may still be an old VHS tape with the whole second set from this concert sitting on a shelf (of course, I no longer have a VHS player).

If I remember correctly, we had just bought our very first VCR and this concert was broadcast on a New York UHF station (because I don't remember having cable at the time). We got home from a New Year's Eve party at 2am and this concert was being broadcast live from the Oakland Coliseum, long after all the other prepackaged time-shifted New Year's Eve shows had been off the air.
This video contains "In the Midnight Hour," which was the first song of the second set, preceded by the arrival of the giant New Year's cake and balloon drop at midnight (3am EST) with the classic commentary from Ken Kesey and Fr. Guido Sarducci (a.k.a. Don Novello). Brilliant! What was Ken on?