Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Congradulations Rachel Laven

Jim Beal's Night Lights Now blog. ( recently reported on the success Rachel Laven is having. I have seen her and her brother burning up Casbeers. She is a young girl with a woman's voice who writes, plays, and sings much beyond her 14 years.

It turns out she has been selected to particpate in the BBC World Service staging of global talent contest for young performers. Called "The Next Big Thing," the contest attracted more than 1,000 entrants from around the world.

"Laven, on the strength of the song "Can't Concentrate," has made the short list of 20 competitors. She's up against talented youngsters from the Ukraine, the UK, Malawi, Brazil and lots of other places on the globe."

"On-line voters, and what's described on the BBC Web site as "a global panel of music industry names," are doing the judging. Voting to determine six finalists will end Nov. 28 at midnight GMT. The finals are set for Dec. 9."

It's true you can hear Laven and her family every Friday night at The Cove, 606 W. Cypress St., beginning at 6 p.m.

Plutocracy In Action

Well, it’s crunch time for our money-grubbing elected officials, who have until Dec. 9th to collect special interest money before prohibited by the approach of the next legislative session. In related news, the Texas Ethics Commission convened this week to issue their long-awaited ruling that public officials who report gifts of cash or checks need not report the amount of the gift.
This happened before, after Tony Ceverha reported a gift of two “checks” from builder Bob Perry to help defray legal expenses associated with his involvement in Tom DeLay’s criminal organization TRMPAC. (Rick Perry later appointed Ceverha to the board of the State Employees Retirement System, which soon lost money investing in the Kinetic Concepts Company, owned by GOP moneybags Dr. James Leininger)
In another bizarre move, the Ethics Commission has ruled that a handshake is the same as a beating. I urge anybody who happens to meet a commissioner in the next weeks, to be sure to give him a hearty handshake.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Science as Truth

I was talking to my dad over the holidays. He is a scientist. He told me that the DOD shot a large nuke into the ionisphere and polluted it with harmful radiation for generations. Contaminating the Van Allen belts that way makes exploration of the upper reaches of the atmosphere impossible. I did not know this. Heretofore I remember the science books in school saying something like this:

The rotation of Earth's metallic core causes the formation of magnetic field lines around the Earth. The Sun causes a constant stream of ionized particles, which are mostly electrons and protons, to stream out into space. The Earth's magnetic field protects the surface from the particles from the sun by deflecting them. However, not all of the particles are deflected. Some if the particles are trapped in one of two doughnut-shaped magnetic rings surrounding the Earth called the Van Allen radiation belts. These particles then circle around Earth's magnetic lines. Most manned missions stay well below the Van Allen radiation belts, letting Earth's magnetic field protect them.

That's a lie. Here's what really happened:

Project Argus (1958)

Between August and September 1958, the US Navy exploded three fission type nuclear bombs 480 km above the South Atlantic Ocean, in the part of the lower Van Allen Belt closest to the earth's surface. In addition, two hydrogen bombs were detonated 160 km over Johnston Island in the Pacific. This was called, by the military, "the biggest scientific experiment ever undertaken". It was designed by the US Department of Defence and the US Atomic Energy Commission, under the code name Project Argus. The purpose appears to be to assess the impact of high altitude nuclear explosions on radio transmission and radar operations because of the electro-magnetic pulse (EMP), and to increase understanding of the geomagnetic field and the behaviour of the charged particles in it.

This gigantic experiment created new (inner) magnetic radiation belts encompassing almost the whole earth, and injected sufficient electrons and other energetic particles into the ionosphere to cause world wide effects. The electrons travelled back and forth along magnetic force lines, causing an artificial "aurora" when striking the atmosphere near the North Pole.

US Military planed to create a "telecommunications shield" in the ionosphere, reported in 13-20 August 1961, Keesings Historisch Archief (K.H.A.). This shield would be created "in the ionosphere at 3,000 km height, by bringing into orbit 350,000 million copper needles, each 2-4 cm long (total weight 16 kg), forming a belt 10 km thick and 40 km wide, the needles spaced about 100 m apart." This was designed to replace the ionosphere "because telecommunications are impaired by magnetic storms and solar flares". The US planned to add to the number of copper needles if the experiment proved to be successful. This plan was strongly opposed by the International Union of Astronomers.

Project Starfish (1962)

On 9 July 1962, the US began a further series of experiments with the ionosphere. From their description: "one kiloton device, at a height of 60 km and one megaton and one multi-megaton, at several hundred kilometres height" (K.H.A., 29 June 1962). These tests seriously disturbed the lower Van Allen Belt, substantially altering its shape and intensity. "In this experiment the inner Van Allen Belt will be practically destroyed for a period of time; particles from the Belt will be transported to the atmosphere. It is anticipated that the earth's magnetic field will be disturbed over long distances for several hours, preventing radio communication. The explosion in the inner radiation belt will create an artificial dome of polar light that will be visible from Los Angeles."(K.H.A. 11 May 1962). A Fijian Sailor, present at this nuclear explosion told me that the whole sky was on fire and he thought it would be the end of the world. This was the experiment which called forth the strong protest of the Queen's Astronomer, Sir Martin Ryle in the UK.

"The ionosphere (according to the understanding at that time) that part of the atmosphere between 65 and 80 km and 280-320 km height, will be disrupted by mechanical forces caused by the pressure wave following the explosion. At the same time, large quantities of ionizing radiation will be released, further ionizing the gaseous components of the atmosphere at this height. This ionization effect is strengthened by the radiation from the fission products. . . . The lower Van Allen Belt, consisting of charged particles that move along the geomagnetic field lines . . . will similarly be disrupted. As a result of the explosion, this field will be locally destroyed, while countless new electrons will be introduced into the lower belt." (K.H.A. 11 May 1962)

"On 19 July . . . NASA announced that as a consequence of the high altitude nuclear test of July 9, a new radiation belt had been formed, stretching from a height of about 400 km to 1600 km; it can be seen as a temporary extension of the lower Van Allen Belt." (K.H.A. 5 August 1962)

As explained in the Encyclopaedia Britannica: "Starfish made a much wider belt (than Project Argus) that extends from low altitude out past L=3 (i.e. three earth radiuses or about 13,000 km above the surface of the earth)" Later in 1962, the USSR undertook similar planetary experiments, creating three new radiation belts between 7,000 and 13,000 km above the earth. According to the Encyclopaedia, the electron fluxes in the lower Van Allen Belt have changed markedly since the 1962 high-altitude nuclear explosions by the US and USSR, never returning to their former state. According to American scientists, it could take many hundreds of years for the Van Allen Belts to restabilise at their normal levels.

(Research done by: Nigel Harle, Borderland Archives, Cortenbachstraat 32, 6136 CH Sittard, Netherlands.)

These creepy neo-cons who want to militarize space know for a fact that any anti-weapon system we put up there could be neutralized with a cheap 1 klt. missle explosion at a similar altitude.

Don't let them rape us for billions in a neo-con boondoggle. And don't trust Cold War science books.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Fog of Justice

Well, it is news that state Judge Michael McSpadden wrote to Gov. Perry about harsh penalties and mandatory sentences for two-bit drug busts clogging the courts and costing us millions, but don’t hold your breath waiting for reform. I’m all for pragmatism, but this doesn’t quite hit the mark as a “McNamara moment” where he figures out that he was wrong to be sending people up the river for the last twenty years. Worse, I just don’t see anything coming from this. How many years did it take Perry to pardon the Tulia defendants? A state executive and legislature that can’t do anything right are not going to become brave all of the sudden and buck the ayatollahs they’ve been pandering to all these years. Progressives in Texas are going to have to wait for the other 49 states to do bold experiments in harm reduction, personal liberty, and equal justice under law. Prohibition is just too great an opportunity for the private prison industry, their lobbyists, the legislators they support, the many law enforcement agencies addicted to tax dollars and seizure proceeds, and blue-nosed bible beaters that ‘doth protest too much.’
Now, prove me wrong, please.

Down on the Farm

A report from the AP today that the Bush administration won’t require farmers (read agribusiness, family farmers now exist only in the specious arguments against estate taxes) to register their animals in a national database to track outbreaks of diseases.
More wrong thinking from people who think laissez-faire and caveat emptor is the answer to everything. The danger of leaving food safety in the hands of the market was exposed during the Spanish American War when more troops died from eating Armours bully beef than in combat. The White House is bowing to the Cattlemen again, remember, the people who tried to sue Oprah? They consider deaths from e-coli and bovine spongiform encephalopathy an acceptable part of their business model. Worse, consider the billions we spend to keep mad jihadders from blowing themselves up in our planes and buildings. Such attacks could kill thousands. This is small beer compared to what a cheap and dirty biological attack on the food supply could do to this country. A testing and inspection regime comparable to what is done in Europe and Japan could detect and contain such an attack. This inaction by the people who claim to be protecting us is identical to their insistence on leaving our healthcare system in the hands of buccaneers in the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries in a time when we have been threatened with biological attack. Remember, Saddam Hussein had anthrax spores, hell, they came from U.S. Army stocks at Fort Dietrich Maryland. Ask Donald Rumsfeld about that one.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Chupacabra Report

More news that gets my goat.
Harris County clerk Beverly Kaufman wrote a letter to the Chron to respond to their critique of the November election. She admitted that we “still have a ways to go” but then proceeded, in typical Tory fashion, to blame the messenger. I have to wonder if the party in power finds it in their interest to prevent fixing problems. This could be a rearguard action to preserve the perks of their waning hegemony, as long as there’s money to be made and axes to grind. When they start losing I expect them to become interested in needed reforms such as providing a paper trail for verification of electronic ballots.

The WaPo reports that Bush has appointed Eric Keroack, medical director of A Woman’s Concern, a nonprofit group from Massachusets, to be the new chief of family-planning programs at the Dept of Health and Human Services. A Woman’s Concern is a Christian pregnancy counseling organization that advocates abstinence and opposes contraception, saying that “commercialization and distribution of birth control is demeaning to women, degrading of human sexuality and adverse to human health and happiness.” –Yeah, and Margaret Sanger practiced eugenics, like Hitler.

AP had a story about Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo bringing criminal and civil charges against a Kaiser Permanente hospital for dumping a demented 63-year-old woman on the streets in a hospital gown and slippers. I wonder if they stiffed the cabdriver too. Maybe somebody from The Church of the Market can help me with a Bible verse, how does it go? “Howsoever you treat the least among you, so do you treat me?”

But the news isn’t all bad, how about this one: WICHITA, Kan. — A botched kidnapping ended with one of the assailants shooting himself in the groin, police said.
The man had just stuck the gun in his waistband when it fired, shooting him in the left testicle, authorities said. He cringed, causing the gun to fire again and strike him in the left calf, they said.
The 23-year-old man managed to walk into a hospital for treatment. He and his two alleged accomplices, ages 18 and 20, were arrested on attempted kidnapping charges. They were accused of trying to kidnap a teenager in a dispute over stereo speakers.

Workers of the World Unite!

Good God, everybody, "in Houston, 14 janitors and supporters were arrested after handcuffing themselves to each other and to the front door of Chevron's Houston headquarters building."

They threw garbage bags into the revolving door and tossed the bags around the entrance before they handcuffed themselves together.

It took about 15 minutes for police to arrive.

"Chevron is one of a number of companies that contracts for office cleaning in Houston, and is not a party to the talks between the SEIU and several janitorial cleaning companies," according to a statement from Chevron.

"We respect the process of representation and negotiation, and we encourage those parties to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both sides."

The Service Employees International Union represents 5,300 janitors in Houston who work for the city's five largest cleaning companies.

About one-third of the janitors, who earn an average of $5.30 an hour, launched a strike Oct. 23.

They want a raise in wages to $8.50 an hour and to get health care benefits.

The SEIU focused on Chevron because it's a market leader in Houston, SEIU spokeswoman Lynda Tran said.

"If they were to instruct their contractors to pay higher wages and benefits, it would go a long way toward moving the business community here to follow suit," Tran said.

Then the cops came on horses and trampled the peaceful demonstrators, wounding four, including an 83 year-old grandmother from New Jersey who came to protest.

The arrested were places on bonds of $888,000, totalling $39.1 million.

Chevron maked $10 billion in profit the last quarter, they can afford to pay a decent wage. Support industrial workers to save American jobs for your children.

Call Chevron now and tell them to settle the strike

In Houston call Ed Spaulding, Policy and Public Affairs Manager, 832-854-6641.
In San Ramon, call David O’Reilly, CEO, 925-842-3232

11/21/06 NEWS!

Thanks to Burnt Orange Report:

A tentative agreement has been reached. Apparently, "Mayor White made many phone calls over the past several weeks behind the scenes."

We have reached a tentative agreement for a 3 year contract for janitors.

Wages: $1.15 increase the first year, $1.00 the second year, and $.50 the third year.

Health Care: The third year is when single payer health insurance will kick in and janitors will pay $20 per month into that plan. It is a plan designed and managed by SEIU and we are hoping to get all of our members nationwide on this plan.

Vacation: Two weeks paid vacation per year

Holidays: 6 paid Holidays

Hours: 1st year everyone must work a minimum of 4 hours a day, 2nd year everyone must work a minimum of 5 hours per day, 3rd year everyone must work a minimum of 6 hours per day.

Protection: We have a grievance procedure in place. We have protection for all of the striking workers to get their jobs back with no discipline, We have a disciplinary proceedure in place so that no one can be illegally fired for no reason any more.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

JC Christian on Countess Sekula

I lifted this whole cloth from the General ( because it was just too funny not to share:

Substitute Legislating for the Hammer

Rep. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs
Substitute Congressperson

Dear Rep. Sekula-Gibbs,

I'm not sure you have what it takes to substitute legislate for The Hammer. Congress is a very rough place, and your new colleagues are sure to test you to see if you are as hard as the guy you're replacing.

First, it'll be something small, say, Rep. Doolittle will sneak into your office and steal your spoon. Then, when you're sitting in the members' cafeteria, eating freedom fries with your fingers, he'll sit down next to you and make a big show of eating his soup with that spoon. If you don't call him on it, you'll be labeled as a punk. Once that happens you're screwed. Your caucus-mates will strip your office and force you to go on smack runs when Limbaugh's in town.

Fortunately, you've already made a few moves to earn yourself the kind of reputation that'll discourage that kind of testing. On your first visit to your office, you treated your staff so cruelly that five of them quit on the spot. It must have been one heck of a tirade. You scared the Washington Post reporter who witnessed it so badly, he wrote a "goofy, light-hearted profile" instead of the truth to avoid becoming a target for your anger.

Still, that may not be enough. Your best bet is to search out the biggest, meanest guy in your caucus, perhaps Joe Barton or Denny Hastert, kick his ass and make him your bitch. That'll earn you the respect you'll need to make it through the remaining 46 days of your term with your honor intact.

Heterosexually yours (in a way in which my wife, OfJoshua would approve)

Gen. JC Christian, patriot
posted by Gen. JC Christian, Patriot | 1:21 AM

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tailypo Taaaaailypooh!

I have seen Tailypo in the alley behind my house. He is big (50-60 lbs.) black, and blood thirsty. The first time I encountered him, he was in a tree biting the heads off a family of squirrels. He was snarling so loudly that people came out of their houses to watch. I intend to capture this monster on film and report additional findings. This truly a crypto-zoological mystery at this point.

Starting next year, driftwood, in association with liquiddaddy entertainment, inc. plan to launch, an on-line magazine. This will be fun. We would like artists of all stripes: visual, performance, music, photography, poetry, prose (non-fiction, fiction, news) to contribute. Please contact us for inquiries. We would especially like reviews, and band's mp-3's. Ivan Maltz, the continental, will be featured with regular reviews on food, booze and culture. We look forward to offering a line of merchandise from monkeys to mangos, including lucha masks, dashboard icons, and tee-shirts from fera unidas. Maybe a 24-hour ghost cam at St. Domineques' in D'Hanis?

driftwood is in the studio roughing out tracs for the next record "dedicated (to a cowboy & cowgirl in the sky)" for release in '07. LD recording artist Johnny Cleveland is serving time on the chain gang in guntown for a few months, but will emerge tanned, rested, and ready to kick some ass. We miss him.

We would like to thank everybody for Zippidy Doo Da's move from a ranking of 1,721,000 to 1,032,000 in six months. This is very encouraging.

Dos Pachangas is gonna have a little girl baby, and Nails is expecting again. Everybody wish them continued good luck.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisiton

Funny postmortems:

"Republicans lost but conservatism won!"

"Texas Democratic Party didn't really care about the governor's race; instead they concentrated on the district judge's races."

"Republicans weren't conservative enough."

"Perry has a mandate."

"People really don't understand the complexities of this war."

"6 in 10 voters prefer smaller government."

"It's the Democrats problem now!"


We wish Nancy Pelosi all the luck. She is a hellavu leader. I worry a little because the last four speakers left in disgrace: Jim Wright, Tom Foley, Newt Gingrich and Dennis Hastert all were ruined, mostly for sex and corruption. I truly hope she gets a chance to prove her worth.

Although I don't believe in comity and bipartiship, and look forward to Rummy's war crimes trial among others, it is comforting to see Democrats working together to elect Ciro. Henry Bonilla is personification of the worst of the Bush Era, and needs to pass into obscurity with the rest of them.

Give, give, and give. Go, Ciro!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Velociraptor Warning

I respect a politician who can revisit his positions and adjust in the light of reality.
There’s too many dead-enders who are locked into their dogma, or are afraid to buck their backers. On the other hand, sometimes an about face is nothing more than crass opportunism. Dr.Shelly Sekula- Rodriguez- Gibbs, who sought an endorsement from Planned Parenthood in 2001, now subscribes to the orthodox republican anti-choice position. She also is suddenly in favor of local police enforcement of immigration laws.
This brings to mind what she told the crowd at her rally in Sugarland last week. “I know I could have given you an easier name, and next time I’ll think about it.”
Should this be a warning to guys out there named Smith or Jones? What else would she be willing to change to join the ranks of the reactionary republican rubber stampers?
Might she change the hair and lose the glasses and come back as Tom DeLay?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Best Served Cold

I'll make this the last post before the election. Having bought enough supplies to last 'till wednesday, I will retreat to the media viewing room starting with the sunday atrocities, and main-line cable like Bill Bennett in a pachingo parlour.

So much to cluck-cluck and thigh-rub over! It has been noticable the last few days that the republicans feel the need to create a bone-simple media myth around this election that will leave them blameless victims with a storeyline that will sustain the blind hatred of the flying monkeys until next time. Wing nuts cannot live without feeling victimized and hating a strawman. That's why they never stopped being assholes even though they controlled nearly every power center in the country. Ironically, this loss should make them "happy."

It might go like this: the media wouldn't let them get their message out, (bias) about the economy, Iraq, education and tax reform. Forces conspired in the perfect storm to paint the pukes with the pink brush. Voters got spooked by the war and lost their guts. The mommy party beat the daddy party because they accidentally burned down the house while installing gun safes, baby monitors, and smoke alarms.

Revenge is the oxygen they breathe.

However, all the guff they spewed over John Kerry's "joke" reminded a lot of people why Democrats often lose. They run effete, WASPy, pinched intellectuals instead of leaders with a human touch. That reminds me...Chris Bell is gonna lose.

The last three times we have run a beaurocrat dressed like a cowboy, an affable billionaire, and an empty suit.

Back to the US, what the republicans probably don't understand is that the base of the Democratic (hear that you f-ckers, it's "democratic" not "democRAT party") Party don't only want these hosebags out of office, they want to see them in prison. Dark days for the pubes are ahead. No amount of rump sex and crank will make it better.

Let the games begin!