Friday, July 20, 2012

Top Of The Class

Maybe a real jerk:
“He was an honor student,” White said. “So academically he was at the top of the top. He distinguished himself from an academic point of view during his four years with us graduating with highest honors.”

Glory To Our Great Gun-Totin' Republic!

Hate to say it, but Michael Moore told you so!

Starting about the 7 minute mark in this video, in "Bowling For Columbine," Michael Moore explains exactly why Colorado is particularly vulnerable to mass gun massacres. (Hell, I understand: I once lived in Englewood and worked at what's now called Lockheed Martin, based in Littleton). A decade later, nothing's changed.

For once, please, gun glorifiers, for the grace of God, it's time for you to Shut Your Vile Pie Holes Up!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sheriff Joe Is One Bizarre Phoenician Cookie!

Press his buttons and watch him react:
“Show. Us. The. Mircofilm,” he demanded. “I said it a while back. Show. Us. The. Microfilm. And we’ll all go back home and forget this! Where is the microfilm? Where is the microfilm? Is it in Hawaii? The Department of Health? What’s the big secret?”

...They spun new webs of the conspiracy, alleging secret codes were hidden in the birth certificate and claiming they found an elderly witness who could decipher the cryptography. It was the latest tweak to a theory that has long been debunked but remains kept alive by small pockets of conservative activists and writers.

Mike Zullo ... told the crowd of local journalists that he and the sheriff had been threatened and were possibly in danger for uncovering the information. He said Arpaio personally assigned an armed deputy to tag along with him on a trip to Hawaii in May to protect him from potential threats. Zullo showed photos of Hawaiian police cars that he said were sent to intimidate them as they sleuthed around the islands looking for clues.

“It’s time for this charade to stop,” Zullo said. He claimed a grand a coverup was afoot. “This is a real long time to be looking into something…Eventually something’s gotta give.”

[I]n May, he sent Zullo and the deputy to Hawaii to look into it even more. Paid for by taxpayers, the trip cost about $10,000 and included a nine-night stay in a Honolulu hotel, according to records posted online by Phoenix television journalist Brahm Resnik.

"Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" - DMTC - Wednesday Night Rehearsal

So Mitt Hasn't Even Fully Revealed One Tax Return Yet

I think he really doesn't want to reveal his tax records:
So, did Romney or anyone acting on his behalf or for some entity he controlled take advantage of the 2009 UBS amnesty program? You’ll note the reporter’s question flagged above asked if all FBARs were filed “in a timely fashion.” Malt didn’t address that part of the question. He just said all had been filed.
Well, perhaps he never will, and we can all come to whatever conclusion we wish to regarding that decision, and carry that judgment into the polling booth.

Mr. Endicott Is Shocked! Shocked!

An affront to the profession!:
I was making my way through the A section of Monday's Bee when I came across a story that so shocked, stunned and amazed me that I had to reread it to make sure I had not misunderstood. The headline read: "Reporters trade away final say on quotations."

It was a New York Times story detailing how Washington-based White House and political reporters were surrendering to demands from both the Obama administration and the Mitt Romney campaign for final editing power over any published quotes that come from interviews.

This is beyond outrageous. It flies in the face of everything I ever learned or knew about journalism, and editorial integrity and independence. There simply is no way that those being covered should have any input on the product of those doing the covering.

What's next – submitting entire stories for a stamp of approval of some campaign lackey?
Casablanca, 1942:
Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.
Captain Renault: Everybody out at once!
Yes, Mr. Endicott, there is gambling going on in the casino. The reason a blogosphere exists at all is that people have learned through the hardest possible experiences that journalists, especially at the highest levels, routinely allow government officials, businessmen, and others with a direct stake in stories to essentially write their stories for them. Think Wen Ho Lee scandal in the 90's, or Valerie Plame in 2003. The journalist is there to take dictation and put the imprimatur of objectiveness on pure propaganda. That's all. It's a lucrative trade too! Watergate was a long, long time ago. Think the movie "Network." Modern journalism is so utterly compromised - since the early 90's, really - that I'm surprised people still take it up as a career.

Sacramento Shakespeare Festival Equipment Stolen

The Sacramento Shakespeare Festival reported Wednesday evening that all of its technical equipment for lights and sound has been stolen from the William A. Carroll Amphitheatre.

The group has cancelled its Thursday night performance of "The Comedy of Errors" and rescheduled the rest of the weekend's performances.

"King Arthur" on Friday and Sunday, and "The Comedy of Errors" on Saturday all will start at 6 p.m. so they can be performed in daylight.

The festival has cut ticket prices to $10 for these performances, and representatives said they hope the public will show support by attending these shows.

Enjoying The Remains Of Hurricane Fabio Today

Que fabioso!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Freakier "Breaking Bad" Gets, The More Accurate It Becomes

The paradoxes of BrBa (h/t, Kate):
So it’s somewhat surprising that in depicting the mechanics of the meth business, “Breaking Bad” is so notably realistic. I spent the past six months interviewing drug traffickers and D.E.A. agents for an article about the business side of a Mexican drug cartel, and, having been an ardent fan of “Breaking Bad,” I was startled by how much the show gets right.

...[I]n a clandestine industry, having a quality product isn’t enough. You need distribution. Selling drugs on the street is a risky job, and generally falls to the most dispensable folks, in this case Pinkman’s knucklehead associates Badger, Skinny P, and the portly, mohawked Combo (R.I.P.). ... As Walter’s business grows, his needs outstrip the limited abilities of his sales force. This is a constant problem for drug runners. I spoke with one longtime trafficker who told me that a recurring liability in any scheme is the inclusion of some friend or cousin who invariably turns out to be a drunk or a junkie.

...“We need a proper infrastructure,” Walter eventually concludes—a buffer that will insulate them from the dangers of the street. (“Layered,” is how Pinkman characterizes this arrangement. “Like nachos.”) For help in this regard, they turn to Saul Goodman (J.D., University of American Samoa), no mere criminal lawyer, Pinkman points out, but a criminal lawyer. ... But believe me when I tell you that I have met lawyers like this. It takes a special brew of amorality and pluck to represent a drug lord, and Saul is an only slightly exaggerated version of some very real attorneys who ply our Southwest border.

By Season 4, Walter is earning seven million dollars a year, and how to launder large amounts of money is a perennial challenge for narcotics professionals. ... So when Walter’s wife Skyler suggests buying the car wash where he used to work, she definitely has the right idea.

...Saul also introduces Walter to Gus Fring, the brilliantly realized and also surprisingly realistic meth-king proprietor of the Los Pollos Hermanos chicken chain. Flashy drug dealers in the Scarface mode make for enjoyable movie villains, but in real life they don’t tend to last long in the business. Quiet businessmen like Gus, on the other hand, often thrive.

...The one feature in the show that is most glaringly off is the gleaming subterranean mega-lab that Gus constructs for Walter. To be sure, labs like these exist—just not in the United States. One major challenge for any meth producer, which gets scant attention on the show, is how to source adequate precursor chemicals, which are heavily regulated in the States. In real life, it would be impractical to undertake the sort of industrial-scale production that Walter does (two hundred pounds a week) inside this country, because of the difficulty of acquiring the necessary chemicals.

...Otherwise, the show’s portrayal of Mexican cartels is devastatingly accurate. It has been suggested that Vince Gilligan has a sick mind, but nothing he could dream up, even the unfortunate fate of Tortuga, can rival the creative barbarism of the cartels.

What's Sacramento's Jillian Owens Up To These Days?

About 6' 6".

Forever More (Fkek Remix) - Roisin Murphy Moloko

More 2003!

Sunlight - DJ Sammy

More 2003 nostalgia today! :)

Bailey Peeks Out Of The Basement

Since the weather warmed up, Bailey the Rabbit retreated to the basement, and has remained there non-stop for almost two months.

Bailey's very careful about security. He'll huddle under piles of lumber, with multiple escape routes all planned out, so, if any hawk wants to get him, the hawk will have to puzzle out the combination lock first, open the door, walk into the basement, and ferret around under the pile of lumber. It's kind of sad, in a way: it's kind-of like having a little autistic child living in the basement.

Nevertheless, last night, it was cool enough that Bailey decided to come out of the basement, in order to enjoy the cool nighttime ambiance. No hawks, either....

Kurtis Mantronik - How Did You Know?

Nostalgic today for 2003.

Hurrican Fabio About To Attack Malibu

He Crawled Out Of The Swamp

And he's not going away either:
“Eight years was awesome and I was famous and I was powerful,” Bush told the Hoover Institute’s Peter Robinson. “But I have no desire for fame and power anymore. … I crawled out of the swamp and I’m not crawling back in.”

Remains From Hurricane Fabio Are Entering Southern California

I wonder if that means it will rain in the southern Sierra Nevada? In any event, tomorrow we may see some cloudiness from Fabio even here in Sacramento.

"Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" - DMTC - Tuesday Night Rehearsal

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Horace Gonzalez, aka The Cow Of Justice

Miscreants of Woodland, fear.....

Bows, Final performance of DMTC's "Hairspray"


I saw a middle-aged man, perhaps a merchant, using a spray can to paint over a tagged surface on a cover for telephone equipment. "Hate those taggers," I said, then added "or are you tagging yourself?" He chuckled and said, "I just get tired looking at it."

Truth Hurts

McCain says he didn’t pass over Romney for Veep because of anything to do with taxes. It was because “Sarah Palin was the better candidate.”

Monday, July 16, 2012

Squasher Of Dreams

J.: And so, here it is! A classic picture of Janis Joplin, topless! Perky, isn't she? I picked it up last year from a fellow who works in a thrift store. There seems to be another photo attached to the back: I don't know what that is. The folks in Hollywood are casting about for Hollywood memorabilia. Maybe this photo is worth lots of money!

M.: Well, let's see. This doesn't appear to be a photograph.

J.: It's not?

M.: No. It's some kind of magazine stock cardboard paper. It looks like someone had a magazine with Janis Joplin's picture in it, and used scissors to cut the picture out, in order to put it up on the wall, or something. The photo on the back is whatever happened to be on the next page. It's probably from the Sixties, but it's not original. Here ... let's go online ... See, there is the Google image of the same photo of Janis Joplin. The original photo is somewhere, but not here.

J.: (sigh)

Very Pleased By Obama Roughing Up Romney

They have him exactly where they want him. This might be the turning point of the campaign!:
A question: why exactly did Romney do his full media blitz Friday afternoon? I strongly suspect it was driven in large measure by Romney’s personal umbrage at being called a liar or having the word ‘felony’ spoken even in proximity to his name. The only logic of doing that kind of full court press is to bring forth something new to the table that can change the direction of the debate. But the only thing that counted as somewhat new was Romney’s emphatic restatement that he’d release only this and last year’s tax returns.

...I think the best angle on what’s happening here comes from TPM Reader WM …
I’m not a GOP operative (thank God), but I do work on Wall Street (the industry, not the geographic location) and I think it’s worth noting that Romney’s reaction to the Bain Storm is very much of a piece with the way assorted hedge fund managers, bankers and other Masters of the Universe have responded to even the slightest criticism from Obama — with as much shock as outrage.

Over the past 20-25 years these guys have gotten used to extreme deference from BOTH parties (think Cory Booker and Ed Rendell) and like to think of themselves as rational beings who are far, far above the partisan sandbox in Washington, up there in the financial heavens, doing the Lord’s Work — to quote Lloyd Blankfein.

I’ve had enough contact with the PE guys to know they particularly see themselves in a heroic light — as the saviors of capitalism from the quasi-socialist clutches of entrenched management, the unions, outside pressure groups, and the other “stakeholders” of the big public corporations (the PE guys really detest that concept).

What’s more, they’re usually insulated enough from normal human reality that they can assume all “reasonable” people see things the same way. And when you’ve got as much money to spend on campaign contributions, endowed chairs, wingnut welfare, etc. as they do, an awful lot of people are going to see things your way, or at least tell you that they do.

Point is, Mitt is not only congenitally blind to the optics of all this, he also appears — to quote Sonny from the Godfather — to be taking it very, very personally. That’s the only way I can explain his incredibly bizarre decision to spend the entire afternoon on TV talking about it, which is about the best way imaginable to keep the feeding frenzy going.

You’d think after a gubernatorial race and two runs for president, Romney would have adjusted his attitude, or at least figured out a strategy for dealing with it. But he apparently can’t — the sense of his own rectitude (upon which his sense of entitlement rests) just won’t allow it.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Got Punched In The Face By Homeless Guy

As I posted on Facebook in the wee hours this morning:
So, now it's war. Returning home this evening, I found the homeless guy who's been defecating under my bedroom window over the last week camped in my driveway. I got aggressive, and so did he. He punched me in the face and shouted threats; I took photos for my blog. Interestingly, Sac Police did not really respond: overburdened with calls. So it'll be interesting to see what happens next.
When I arrived home after the "Hairspray" cast party (about 12:35 a.m.) I saw the homeless guy camped out exactly where he had camped out last week: in the driveway near the alley, but despite there being no fencing right there, it is technically and legally my property. It is likely that this fellow is the same one who has been defecating under my bedroom window lately. Even Joe The Plumber (who is homeless himself) had noticed this fellow perching himself in the corners of the parking lot where he could observe the comings and goings of my neighbors and I. I'm convinced this passive-aggressive approach of his is no accident. It's a kind of casual imperialism, moving in where he thinks there is going to be little or no resistance.

So, I got out of my car and ordered him to leave. He was sleepy and reluctant. I explained he was on my property. He slowly assembled his belongings. I started taking flash photos of him, and he began getting angry. He hurled obscenities: I hurled them right back. My anger began getting the best of me. He threatened all-out war, and promised to break every window on every building in the immediate vicinity of my house.

He began rolling his shopping cart down the alley, as I followed a short distance behind, taking a few more flash photos. As we approached 21st Street, he turned in a rage, and lunged towards me. He seized my eyeglasses and threw them on the pavement, and punched me on my left cheekbone (which drew blood, but barely-hurt in the excitement). I retreated from his reach.

We then had a standoff for about ten or fifteen minutes, interspersed with lots of yelling and obscenities. I was able to retrieve my glasses, and regain eyesight. He menaced me - even threw a lit cigarette at me at one point - but I didn't want contact any longer. At one point, he moved to the NE corner of 2nd Ave. & 21st St. (his weird dog sat down in the middle of 21st St., despite the danger of traffic) as I went about calling 911, but the guy eventually changed his mind, and started heading north with his shopping cart on the sidewalk beside 21st St., before disappearing altogether.

The cops never showed up. It was about an hour before closing time for Sacramento bars on a 'Second Saturday' night. The cops asked if I needed medical help, but unless there was a lot more blood on the pavement, they had other, more pressing, priorities. They suggested I should file a police report this week.

I'm adding a bit better lighting, but have no interest in adding a home security system, or purchasing a gun. What this fellow needed was some guidance about where his limits are, and I was able to provide that.

Julissa Veloz At "The Social Club"

Julissa Veloz, around midnight Saturday morning, at "The Social Club".

I took some video of her performance. It's not very good, but for the record, here it is.

In any event, here is a better video of one of her popular songs....

A "Classy, Decadent" Evening At The Social Club

I initially had trouble figuring out where "The Social Club" was located, so off I went to the Web to find out. Apparently it's upstairs over "The K Bar", at 10th & K Streets. Discovered they prefer 'classy decadence' there.

Now, Sacramento has some classy, non-decadent places, and some non-classy, decadent places, and a whole lot of non-classy, non-decadent places, but this is the only place I was aware of that featured 'classy, decadence'.

The omens were good when I arrived. They ushered me in without collecting a cover charge, but nevertheless making sure I was over 21 years of age. The club seemed to be modeled after clubs in Las Vegas, or LA, but somehow seemed friendlier, and not as intimidating as those places.