Sunday, November 30, 2008

THANKSGIVING CHEER STRAIGHT FROM THE MOTOR CITY TURKEY TED NUGENT: It's tough love for the poor from the Waco, Texas, madman

"The terrible economy has taken its toll on a number of hard working Americans and their families," writes Ted Nugent in a recent on-line edition of Human Events, the journal of the far right crank establishment. "It is incumbent upon each of us to do what we can to assist our fellow citizens in getting back in the American Dream free market race."

But, Ted writes, a lot of the poor don't deserve charity.

"America has a chronic class of self-inflicted poor people," Ted writes. "By and large, they are poor because they have made poor life choices. In too many cases, poor parents pass on their poor values and choices to their children. Poverty then becomes generational, a way of life. Trying to break the cycle of chronic poverty when Fedzilla does whatever it can to sustain it is analogous to trying to melt an iceberg with a match."

And remember, it's the fault of Democrats!

See here. And don't, don't, don't overlook the comments section for the pure milk of the bigots' human kindness. I tried to help that poor addled hooker by giving her a minimum wage job in my shop making useless widgets, but she just wouldn't have any of it. You can't help people who won't help themselves.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


GUNS N' ROSES Chinese Democracy

Frank Zappa once said something on music journalists: People who can't write interviewing people who can't think for people who can't read.

If you picked up today's Los Angeles Times and saw Ann Powers' review of Guns n' Roses (actually, Axl Rose's) Chinese Democracy, another aphorism came to mind: People who don't get hard rock and can't write about it, doing so -- at length -- for editors and a readership who dislike it.

Powers writes, seriously: "Rose's music tells the saga of the mutually abusive relationship between the freight train's axle and the rose it crushes, a potentially poisonous flower that keeps growing back." (This is from a good review, one which fatuously delivers a comparison to "Citizen Kane." "Axl Rose can finally take a bow," Powers concludes.)

Look for it in Da Capo's Best Music Writing of 2008-2009, presumably pre-vetted by the series editor, maybe looking to get into the Times' Calendar section once or twice before it's driven out of business by Tribune Company in the next couple of years.

So DD rode the Pasadena Gold Line to BestBuy and snagged a copy to hear the alleged sonic wrestling match between the freight train axle and the rose.

Chinese Democracy is a collection of witless over-produced hard rock tunes, undistinguished in accomplishment but remarkable in that it took three times as long as the Iraq war to make. If one has listened to poor to middling hard rock and metal records for forty years and still enjoyed the majority of them, in this grand river Chinese Democracy is never awful and almost never worse than fair. But it is never quite good, even momentarily. The first two thirds of it is over-arranged big rock with all the roll exterminated. The last third is big-sounding over-arranged balladry. You can't tap your feet to any of it. Neither can you bang your head. And it is never joyous or even remotely humorous. Therefore, one cannot get quickly and satisfyingly drunk to it.

While loaded with melody, Chinese Democracy surprises in that it contains almost zero memorable hooks. ("Street of Dreams" almost reverses the trend -- that's almost. The next memorable thing is entitled "Catcher in the Rye." Really. Look, this is a guy who must get tears in his eyes over the rock opera version of Frank Wedekind's "Fruhling's Erwachung.")

Rose is not much of a lyricist, anymore. (He might have been ca. "Welcome to the Jungle.") However, whatever's being sung, wherever you drop the laser, it's about his pain -- pain from the past, pain from lovers, memory pain, enemy pain. Perhaps the only thing left out is pain from impacted wisdom teeth in middle age.

Chinese Democracy is stuffed to the gills with stupendous guitar playing, often complicated and terrifying, maybe more thoroughly tweezed and produced than ever before. However, relatively speaking, very few people listen to heavy rock records because the solos are shit hot but everything else is aggressively so-so.

Axl Rose sings and screams -- and when he can no longer always do it on key, Auto-Tune has his back, which adds yet another technical layer of ornate filigree to the whole whiz-bang.

If you were a fan of late-Eighties hard rock, that LA style, bombastic codas and declining riffs overlain with vocals aiming for great drama, there are echoes all through Chinese Democracy. And then there's all the quizzical and quixotic rubbish in the in-between places -- bits of speech from Martin Luther King, flamenco guitar, an accapella interlude employed as a non sequitur -- spackling up the album's holes like pieces of chewing gum.

It's a marvelous feat of engineering.

Summary: The Sorrows of Middle-Aged Werther, final act yet to be determined. Think -- work of prematurely old rock star, long overtaken by obsessive-compulsive disorders.

ZZ TOP Live from Texas

The omega to Chinese Democracy's alpha. A "best of" collection, played avuncular, tight and raw in Texas. Songs about a shack, a whorehouse just outside La Grange, about come drops adorning a lover's neck, about going downtown for tush, about eating barbecue. You know all the songs, you can dance to them, they're made for getting smashed to, and they're amusing. The guitar is oiled, the vocals quite frequently off-the-cuff and laden with funny asides. The guys in ZZ Top are in their sixties and they make the act of looking comical cool and dignified. And even if you're not a stupendous guitar player, you can play most of the stuff on this record. (Plus there's a bonus track of stand-up comedy, ZZ Top-style.)

Live from Texas is much simpler to describe than Chinese Democracy. When you go to BestBuy, get it instead.

Friday, November 21, 2008

THOUGHTFUL HOLIDAY GIFTS: For all your old white trash pals in the GOP

DD received his annual gift catalog from Stupid Redneck Co. a couple weeks ago. It's chock full of items perfect for your favorite white grandpap, Joe the Plumber or very Midwestern-looking matron.

Let's get right to the best of the selection.

So funny, they'll soil themselves!

Caution: For best results with red, use only
after spaghetti dinner.

For the patriot who knows the government is
going to take his assault rifle. First ten sold
with complimentary copy of "The Turner Diaries."

How to make sure your comments
get posted at

On Jesus's Ten Best Books of All Time list.

Finally, a companion shirt to "I'm With Stupid"

Genuine Grandpap & Old Fart Brand white lace chair
armrests. Spray can of cheap cigar odor included.

Meth Whore mug not shown.

Americans are still world leaders in innovation.

For the special ninny who actually
watches Ghost Hunters on the Sci-Fi channel.

Official camo bush jacket for dogs.
Designed and certified genuine by Ted Nugent.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

DEPARTMENT OF WAR CRIMES: Tortured men ordered released

Today, Glenn Greenwald comments on the court ruling which ordered the immediate release of five Bosnians who had been tortured and held for six years at Guantanamo by the American government.

The column says almost everything needed.

It may be worth reviewing an old piece from the DD archive here.

It discusses the Bush administration's misuse of the old Manual of Afghan Jihad for propaganda purposes. The manual, one of a number of similar publications, was put together in the late Eighties and, at the time, did not directly relate to plans for conducting terror on Americans, being a product of the Soviet occupation.

Sections of it were devoted to teaching its readers what to expect in the way of torture if they were caught and imprisoned by repressive regimes. In the original text, these are all countries in the Arab world, not the United States.

Since then, you can update it to include the United States of America. It's a terrible and onerous legacy.

DD is currently reading Max Hastings' Armageddon, a book on the last year of the war in Europe against Nazi Germany. Hastings spends pages discussing the incredible human costs of the conflict and the treatment the Allied and German armies meted out to their enemies and civilian populations.

The German military, along with the Soviet Army, were two of the most reflexively brutal and merciless armed forces in history. Locked in titanic combat with each other on the eastern front, for them, nothing was too abominable.

On the other hand, Hastings speaks highly of the way in which the American army in Europe handled its prisoners. German soldiers, almost all of whom fought on both fronts during World War II, invariably wished to surrender to the Americans.

Of course, on the battlefield and in direct contact with the enemy, the US fighting man was not always particularly civilized. But torturing of prisoners doesn't crop up to any visible degree in Armageddon. (The case was different in the Pacific theatre against the Japanese.)

Hastings attributes the fair way in which the US military treated its captives to the inherently good qualities of American society and those raised in it.

In 1945, the American army in Europe fought the most deadly efficient and ruthless military in world history and did not force its men to abandon their souls. The same cannot, in any way, be said of the threat posed by al Qaeda and miscellaneous Islamic terrorists since 9/11.

That the US government, under the direction of George W. Bush and others, chose to turn itself into an executor of torture, forsaking basic human rights we once stood for, is a debacle which will prove very hard, if not impossible, to live down in our lifetimes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

THE LEHIGH VALLEY CRANK: Local edition of "The Turner Diaries"

Overtired after the election, Tetanus let the inner child hang out today in the Lehigh Valley blogosphere. Showcased by the Morning Call newspaper in Allentown, here, you can jump the gun on today's entry by scrolling down to the Lehigh Valley Conservative. You shan't want to miss "Our Failing Culture."

Initially, Tetanus explores one of the popular scapegoat themes emanting from the extreme GOP right: Americans are the product of failed public school education and that's why they elected Barack Obama, the socialist/Marxist.

"To continue the brainwashing, the Hollywood entertainment industry and the MSM join in to destroy our traditional American way of life," it rants. "The public schools start with our very young, the colleges re-inforce those liberal Godless attitudes ..."

Nothing to see here. Move along, now, it's just the primate flinging poo at the bars of the cage.

But it gets better, launching into an even more paranoid white identity screed, one the author of "The Turner Diaries" would have been proud to call his own.

"If the churches get too bold, the ACLU will intervene, only on behalf of liberal causes, as we know," it continues. "These people are mainly communist Jews and others who hate Christians. I looked up many of the members, so I know! I also did much googling on why this is and found that many of the Jews that came here from the former Soviet Union, were the elite educated class that work primarily as professors in our universities. If you remember, about 30 years ago, some of the American Jewish groups were complaining that too many Soviet Jews were being persecuted on a religious level and wanted to come here for religious freedom. I think it was under Carter. Thousands came here and most all were well educated and not the average working person. How did we know who these people really were? The cold war was going on and the Soviets could have purposely sent Communists here to work against us. I would say that they have succeeded. There was no way we could have vetted them since the Soviets had all the records."

To summarize: The Soviets sent Commie Jews here during the Carter administration to be in the ACLU and universities. They hate Christians. You can Google it.

Has DD missed something?

"I am NOT anti-Jew, I am anti Communist, anti-Fascist and anti-liberal," Tetanus attempts to explain. "I believe that 78 percent of American Jews voted for Obama and I am deeply concerned about that."

In any case, DD doesn't believe Morning Call editors read any of the blogs their newspaper chooses to showcase.

We should take the time to remind them of their current awkward position.

Send mail to Call editors Ardith Hilliard and/or Michael Hirsch commending them on helping to put the Lehigh Valley's best foot forward on the web.

If you need a letter, cut and paste the text below. It's gracious and polite but uniquely to the point.

Dear Editors:

I'm writing to commend you on the all inclusive quality of the Call's webpage devoted to the Lehigh Valley blogosphere.

Without the broadmindedness shown by editors, I would never have learned that the American Civil Liberties Union and universities are filled with Communist Jews who hate Christians.

For reference:

Again, a special thanks and tip of the hat to you for showcasing new and bold ideas from the local blogosphere. It shows that you care in these times of great national difficulty and ignorance.

E-mailers may find this to be a useful tool.


The Lehigh Valley Crank

Obamahitler coming

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I SURRENDER: US ricin kook gets three years

In a happier time, Roger Bergendorff did the album art for this LP.

Today, ricin kook Roger Bergendorff was given three years in the Federal pen for possession of the poisonous protein. The original news was summed up by DD here and -- more interestingly here at el Reg.

"It takes a special kind of American to be fascinated by ricin, and last week the latest, Roger Von Bergendorff, was indicted in the District Court of Nevada," DD wrote a few months ago, somewhat coldly. "Bergendorff possibly qualifies for an award in failed Darwinism, being the only person in recent times to have seemingly accidentally poisoned himself with the protein toxin, but not quite effectively enough for the FBI to have nothing to do except attend his funeral."

"Roger Bergendorff said at his sentencing in Las Vegas that he never intended to hurt anyone," informed AP.

"I know it sounds crazy. I made it just to have — and that's why I kept it," Bergendorff told the court.

Bergendorff said he never meant to use ricin and feared God's judgment.

"[Bergendorff's sentencing] ended a dramatic saga that once raised fears Bergendorff had poisoned himself while plotting a biological attack on tourists or unsuspecting gamblers on the Las Vegas Strip," reported AP hyperbolically.

Indigent man poisons himself with ricin. Dramatic -- only if you think terrorists are everywhere. Stupefying, though -- absolutely.

From a happier time, DD was surprised to find evidence of Bergendorff in his record collection. At one time, Bergendorff, a graphic artist, did the album cover for Head East's 1980 album on A&M records, US 1. "Peaked at #137 on Billboard's pop album chart," notes Head East's website here. "I Surrender," a tune written by Russ Ballard, was the catchiest number on the record.

But today...

"You not only proved a material threat to yourself, you proved a material threat to everyone around you when you possessed this stuff," the judge, Robert C. Jones, said in court.

"In interviews with The Associated Press, Bergendorff has admitted distilling the lethal powder from the beans of a backyard castor plant while he lived in San Diego in 1998," reported the wire service. In typical know-nothing reporter fashion, the AP showed it doesn't know anything of ricin.

Ricin is not "distilled" from castor beans. More matter of factly, Bergendorff pounded castor seeds to a powder. The leftover powder contained ricin. Although the mainstream media has long been unable to grasp this point, ricin is not purified in this manner. Rather, it goes from being in the seed of a castor plant, to being in a powder that was formerly the seed.

Despite what you may have read, homeless people -- essentially Bergendorff's status -- cannot purify ricin.

However, you can download a "ricin recipe" from the Internet. Knock yourself out. Another recipe and its criminal history is explained here. Click on the second thumbnail image for original details.

Ignore the write-up from The only stuff that's correct in it is taken without attribution from my piece at GlobalSecurity.Org here.

To cite something your host wrote at an earlier juncture:
A self-defeating and nihilistic interest exists in [ricin], as if every red-blooded, disappointed and frustrated American kook has a defiant right to possess a recipe on their hard disk and a packet of castor seeds nearby, perhaps next to an unregistered handgun equipped with a silencer made out of a vegetable. This ensures a constant trickle of criminal apprehensions and prosecutions, a process the government handles efficiently, depositing ricin crackpots where they belong. Bergendorff, like everyone else before him, is headed for prison for an indefinite period, a just sentence when considering that, unintentionally or not, the ricin crackpot's major contribution is to frighten the locals when the gendarmes and hazmat teams descend on the neighborhood.

On ricin from the DD archive.

Monday, November 17, 2008

GOT YOU IN A STRANGLEHOLD, BABY! Then he crushed your face

"The election of Obama is an example of Americans voting against their own self interest," wrote Ted Nugent on Sunday. Nugent's column runs weekly in the Waco, TX, newspaper and virtually nowhere else.

"[The election is] also further evidence of the dumbing down of America," the Nuge adds.

If you're one of DD's Euro-readers, perhaps you want to know what Waco's famous for.

Well, there's the Branch Davidian massacre.

And there's Baylor University. It's college football team is the perennial doormat of the Big 12 conference. Baylor is a Christian college -- try not to sneer -- and it no longer bans dancing. That's good. "Footloose" was a very popular movie in the United States, you know.

"[Americans] are dunces, products of a failed public education system," continued the Nuge, emphasizing why Barack Obama was elected.

Yessirree, the Nuge has been busy. In addition to his book, "Ted, White & Blue," he's written a column for a right-wing opinion site, Human Events.

The problem, Ted relates, is that Republicans have been too wimpy, too tolerant, too all inclusive. Republicans have gotta get the Calvinist iron back in and kick out all the RINO's (Republicans in Name Only) who diluted the strict conservative message.

Since George W. Bush is leaving, there's one less big RINO to kick around and so the job is starting out on the right foot, we think.

"Consensus building is for wimps and soulless people who stand for nothing," instructs Ted. "Compromise is not about being tolerant: these days, it’s about giving up conservative principles.

"We must not make the mistake of keeping the GOP tent so big that there’s room for RINOs ..."

Nugent informs readers that "[consensus] building means compromising values and cutting deals with the socialist prankster punksters whose goal it is to turn America into EuroAmerica."

I know Ted's onto something here and DD is in full support.

The GOP needs to get more white, male and rural -- except for Sarah Palin and Michelle Malkin. (Palin's great because she brings in the White Dudes for Palin demographic, guys between 25-35 who harbor forbidden secret love for strict women who'll smack their penises with a hammer and wear shiny stiletto-heeled boots in the bedroom.)

Also needed in the GOP revitalization effort are a couple of guys who aren't white.

"Newt Gingrich, Jed Babbin, Governor Jindal of Louisiana, Thomas Sowell, Glenn Beck ... [they] need to turn up the heat and bring this less government, more individual freedom and strong national defense revolution to a boil," Nugent adds.

Well, there are only two non-white guys in there. One -- Bobby Jindal -- is governor of the state where the Bush administration's botched disaster response drove a couple hundred thousand African Americans out.

Ah, you can't have everything. It'd be stupid to make the GOP tent too big, right? Where would we put all those people?

About now, you're probably thinking DD doesn't like the Nuge. You are so wrong!

I was one of the few people in America who bought Love Grenade at BestBuy last year and liked it!

And DD wrote this about the Nuge's penultimate studio album, 2002's Craveman:

"The toting of more hot, whirling metal to the fray is an American white-boy religious practice. Whether it's 30 seconds over Baghdad, 30 seconds in the woodlot, or 30 seconds [on stage] in Pontiac, crushing the foe or audience under an avalanche of high explosives—TNT or the acoustic kind—makes the old rod hard ... Ted fans don't care about his flappin' gums. Annoyance is a key ingredient of the great Nuge shtick. There's joy in listening to it because the gibes are toss-offs, scatting as entry point for the relentless monsterification of '50s rock and roll licks."

That was published in the Village Voice here! And the Village Voice -- well, let's just say that at one time there was no bigger news place in the US for leftist socialist pansies! (Then it was taken over by some douche bags from Phoenix -- that's in a red state -- and all its editors were fired. But that's another story.)

So don't be thinking DD doesn't enjoy a steady diet of Ted. It keeps me strong.

In the recent election, three people voted for Ted Nugent in

That's three more than voted for you or me, buddy.

A Ted Nugent kind of guy

No day is complete without your Tetanus shot.

Without it, you'd be all stiff. You'd have lockjaw!

Liberalism is a mental disorder, informs an expert. One of the symptoms of liberalism is "creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization."

Example: Americans elected Barack Obama because they are dunces, products of a failed public education system. Or, the reason the GOP lost the election was because it was stabbed in the back by RINO's -- Republicans in Name Only.

"[And liberals] are like teenagers whose will-to-be-gratified was never subdued, and now cannot grasp the simple logic of what is being said to them ... They are so emotionally obsessed with getting what their hearts want that they are unwilling to listen to reason. That is why liberals resort to personal attacks, name-calling, accusing, yelling, discrediting, or changing the subject ..."

And "Barack Obama is our King Saul" ?!?

Cheat sheet

"Stranglehold" -- from the album, Ted Nugent. [1]

Friday, November 14, 2008

OBAMAHITLER COMING: And other weird tales

"Ex Hitler youth, Hilmar von Campe, tells us we may be headed for real trouble," warns Tetanus today.

In case the point's not made clear: "Hitler had his Nazi youth groups brainwashed in much the same way as we have ours now, except Hitler was more nationally organized," it explained a day earlier. Christ is about to return, muses one reader, perhaps an avid fan of the books of Tim LaHaye.

More reasonably, gun sales are up -- writes another Lehigh Valley blogger. With Barack Obama as President -- a liberal -- there might be "cause for concern." Is it a a "slippery slope" moment?

Coincidentally: "What will you do when they come to take your guns?" -- a blurb on the jacket copy of "The Turner Diaries" when it was published by National Vanguard.

"Earl Turner and his fellow patriots face this question and are forced underground when the US government bans the private possession of firearms and stages the mass Gun Raids to round up suspected gun owners."

"I would congratulate [Barack Obama] on a well run campaign, remind him that it is the guiding light of the U.S. Constitution and sacred Bill of Rights that makes America so great and that his voting record of creating the curse of 'gun free zones' has proven to be the preferred slaughter zones for killers of unarmed, helpless victims, and that he damn well better cut it out," said famous Waco-resident, Ted Nugent, to a newspaper writer in Tennessee.

Earlier in the year, Ted was less diplomatic.

"Obama, he’s a piece of shit," he told a crowd at a concert in California. "I told him to suck on my machine gun." But that's Ted. Exciting on stage. But I'm sure he never personally told Obama to suck on his machine gun.

Ted's new book, "Ted, White & Blue," is currently at #274 on Amazon's sales list.

"In his trademark unapologetic style, Nugent will praise God, guns, and red-blooded, full-throated Americanism against pantywaist politicians, nanny-state judges, and tofu-eating Obamamaniacs," reads the book description.

Hey, don't forget the fags. Someone ought to shoot the p.r. man who overlooked that essential strawman for the ad copy.

"In Ted, White, and Blue you'll discover: Why war is the answer to so many of our current problems ..."

TW & B is apparently an easier sell than Ted's last studio record, Love Grenade, bought by virtually nobody except your host. Ted's most recent CD is a live performance recorded in Sweden.

Anyway, Ted Nugent plays guitar a whole lot better than he writes.

As a rocker, Ted's responsible for two of the best tunes in the business: "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Yank Me, Crank Me." However, if you're not a lip-reader, it will take you about the running time of both songs to get the essential substance of it in the store. In music, that's good. In books, not so much.

So while TW&B is by Regnery, the publishing arm for the far right, his audience isn't getting the best utilization of talent.

People who bought Ted's book also bought noted author Chuck Norris's "Black-Belt Patriotism," Amazon informs.

Here's another magisterial book, in at 1,250,151 on Amazon: "The Neglected Voter: White Men and the Democratic Dilemma" by David Paul Kuhn.

New in trade paper as of September of 2008, it has garnered fulsome praise. "Democrats needn't despair ... Kuhn shows them how they can win white men back," wrote some expert back when no one knew any better.

"It is really a powerful book," wrote one white man. "I went in skeptical and went out having been thoroughly been changed by it. It moved me ... and I thought i would just be mad at it. I purchased this book by accident."

"As a Republican, I found this book very interesting and must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading page after page about how the Democrats have failed at the polls because it [sic] has repeatedly attacked white men and failed to appeal to them," opined another white man.

Cheat sheet

In case readers don't recognize the reference, the meaning of "The Turner Dairies," as ranked by Google, is here.

DD read it years ago as research on American extremist literature during the publishing run of the old Crypt Newsletter. It's probably the most successful book of the genre, if successful is the right word to use.

Today, too many of the neo-Nazi white identity screeds from it often resemble what comes out of the Republican party. During the McCain campaign, the constant complaint about socialism -- of others, i.e. black people, getting something they don't deserve, was present. It's also all through "The Turner Dairies," only the book is much less polite in its furnished solutions.

The liberal elites of "the System" -- the US government -- are the enemy, too, in "The Turner Diaries." When the revolutionaries gain the upper hand near the book's climax, an atom bomb on the Pentagon, they begin hanging people -- notably Jews, judges and university professors. This minor excerpt -- "A grossly fat old man, whom I immediately recognized as the Federal judge who had handed down the System's most outrageous rulings in recent years ..." -- could easily come straight from evening news on the Fox channel complaining about the gay marriage statute in California or any other judge said to have gone rogue and defied the will of the people in civil cases which don't align with the so-called cultural values of its viewers.

Also see Sean Hannity re Fox News' "expose" of Barack Obama by anti-Semite Andy Martin prior to the election.


News piece on death threats aimed at the President-elect.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

YOU NEED YOUR TETANUS SHOT: Gordon Brown, rusty nail, threatens One World government

"We have a situation developing in American since it’s inception in 1913 that is about to destroy us and few have any idea as to what I’m talking about if I say the 'Money Changers,'" warns Tetanus balefully in today's edition.

This horrid image does unfix my hair. [1] What's left of it, anyway.
HOT, FLAT & CROWDED: Friedman's book of suggestions beached by economy

Feel a little pity for Thomas L Friedman's Hot, Flat and Crowded, his new book on what must be done to deliver a green revolution in America. With the economy collapsed, political will in the United States is now decisively hostile to almost everything in it.

Nevertheless, Friedman's premise is easy to absorb and reasonable. The world's growing middle class (and the desire of those not yet in it to join ASAP) is bringing environmental and energy catastrophe. And if the rest of the world follows the same pattern of consumption as practiced by the US, it will only end badly. The real limits to growth have arrived, Friedman says, taking the place occupied by the Club of Rome over thirty years ago.

Read the rest of the review here at el Reg.

Friday, November 07, 2008

VESTIGIAL REPTILE BRAIN: GOP red matter, boundaries determined by science!

Now ubiquitous voter trend map, illuminating compression/isolation of the GOP hard case to places you don't really wanna go. This can't be good for tourism.

Snapshot taken from Krugman here.

Reptile brain -- here.

Also visible on this map, as per yesterday's chat, is the anomaly in southwestern Pennsylvania. Your host noted the McCain margin was so small as to be almost unnoticeable. However, still it exists -- like a bit of metastatic cancer resistant to all therapeutic strategies.


Drilling down, in Fayette, Beaver and Washington counties there was a slight loss in total voters between 2004 and 2008: 229,037 -- down from 233,427 in 2004. Odd, at a time when the election showed record turnouts.

One explanation: People left for greener pastures or died, and they tended -- perhaps -- to be Democrats rather than Republicans.

Another possibility, an antagonizing one, is that parts of two of these counties are in Jack Murtha's congressional district. And perhaps some voters simply objected to him calling them racists and rednecks on top of Barack Obama's bitter Pennsy voter remark and were looking for some payback. Was it two too many affronts?

If so, it was a voter example of cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.

Or did some really believe the conspiracy nonsense about Obama bankrupting the coal industry on the next to last day before the election?

Or perhaps it was something else, still unnoticed.

Yesterday, DD also noted that his birthplace, dire and grim Schuylkill County, held the Republican line between 2004 and 2008. (55-45 in 2004, 54-45 in 2008.)

Schuylkill also lost a noticeable chunk of voters at a time of record turnout. This year's turnout was four percent LESS than 2004's.

Your host will take a small leap and chalk it up to exodus. If you could leave Schuylkill County for a job or life in a kindlier part of the state in the last four years, you did. And you were probably a Democrat.

As an example of how Schuylkill County is a place of loyalist hard cases, voters re-elected a much loved, but recently dead, man for the state's senate on Tuesday.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

VOTER TRENDS IN PENNSYLTUCKY: Dems drink GOP milkshake, they drink it up!

The New York Times voter map grants a real bird's eye view of election results here.

Drilling down by county and comparing results with returns from 2004, one immediately see the enormity of the GOP defeat in what was considered a battleground state. Although Pennsylvania had been trending toward the GOP, the work of the Obama campaign machine, the hard reality of economic disaster, and the meretricious quality of the McCain/Palin effort, combined in a debacle for the Grand Old Party.

Although John McCain and Sarah Palin spent much time in the state, it was wasted effort. Voters, for the most part, chose to ignore what they had to say despite what superficially appeared to be enthusiastic rallies in the Lehigh Valley and Pottsville. And a hard core of white and older uneducated voters was reduced and compressed in the interior of the state. This region -- where social attitudes gave rise to the term Pennsyltucky long ago -- seems to be melting away in importance as urban expansion along the interstate highway from the Jersey border to north of Reading picks up momentum. Paradoxically, it's where the mainstream media spent most of its time trying to take the temperature of the locals during the last six months of the campaign.

It sets up like this:

Voting results by county in 2004, when the state went narrowly for John Kerry.

Voting results by county on November 4.

Counties which went for George Bush in the state's interior flipped for Barack Obama. These included Centre county, which encompasses State College and a growing and educated professional workforce of voters and Dauphin County, with a mobilized cadre of black voters in Harrisburg and highly educated professionals at the Penn State School of Medicine living in the the well-to-do community of Hershey.

The statistics are striking. In 2004, Dauphin County went 54-46 for Bush. On Tuesday, the ratio reversed, 54-45 for Obama, despite McCain's well-publicized campaign stops in the area.

Centre County went for George W. Bush in 2004, 52-48. On Tuesday, the GOP was pounded, 56-43, a complete reversal accompanied by a net gain.

In county after county in the state's interior, McCain won by much smaller margins than George W. Bush in 2004. These counties are traditionally Republican strongholds although they are not nearly as voter dense as the urbanized regions around Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and the Lehigh Valley.

For instance, in sparsely populated interior counties like Montour, Clinton, Snyder and Perry, McCain saw voters much less enthusiastic about him than George W. Bush in 2004. (Examples: Montour -- 64-35 for Bush in 2004, 57-42 for McCain in 2008; Snyder: 71-29 for Bush in 2004, 64-34 for McCain in 2008; Perry county: 72-28 for Bush, 66-32 for McCain.)

Remarkably, in York county -- another region given special attention by the McCain campaign, the GOP lost a full eight percentage points between 2004 and 2008. (64-36 for Bush, 56-43 for McCain on Tuesday.)

Oddly, Schuylkill County almost held the line with 2004. The reasons for this are unclear although DD ventures that it might have something to do with a loyal nugget of dead-end voters over the age of 65. Nationwide, the white codger vote went for John McCain (although this was not the case in California, where it was given over to Barack Obama). And Schuylkill County has a rather elderly population.

One anomaly is seen in a trio of counties south and west of Pittsburgh near the West Virginia border. Beaver, Washington and Fayette flipped for John McCain, whereas they had voted with John Kerry in 2004. It was the only region of the state which went against the grain. However, for McCain they were not a help. In these three counties his margins of victory were so small as to be almost moot. In Fayette County, for example, he won by a hair -- 150 votes. In the overall state picture, they might as well have gone for Barack Obama. One neighborhood in Philadelphia erases any theoretical gain of, say, 150 voters in an entire county.

If one zooms out to the national picture, DD would like to draw your attention to Louisiana. It became LESS Democratic in 2008, going from 58-42 for Bush, to 59-40 for McCain.

If ever these was a state where one would expect an electorate to rise up and dole out some payback to the GOP for George W. Bush's reaction to the disaster of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Louisiana had to be it. And herein, perhaps, lies the answer. The poorer voters, predominantly African-Americans, their homes smashed and never replaced, were either driven out of the state or still in such a bad way, they weren't in position to vote. McCain and the GOP, the beneficiary of a natural disaster of Biblical proportion.

However, in California, there was some measure of revenge to be seen at the polls. San Bernardino and Riverside counties, east of Los Angeles and making up what is known as the Inland Empire, had voted with George W. Bush in 2004. On Tuesday, they flipped.


Probably because -- of all the places in the United States -- it's where the voters have been hit hardest by loss of homes to the subprime lending crisis and the national economic collapse. And they sent the GOP something less than a love letter.

The party of the unbending dumbshit

Umm, er, I read in Webster's dictionary that Marxism was the same thing as Obama said.

DD continued to watch Fox yesterday. Your host sees it as a bunch of people who've been pissing in the bathwater for years. Now, suddenly they've noticed they're coated with stink. But they still can't figure out why.

Which brings us to Joe the Nutter Plumber, who was on Hannity & Colmes.

If the election map from the Times is correct, Joe didn't have much juice in places like the Pennsyltucky interior or the Inland Empire. But what he does have is the best mind one can bring to the playing field after a decayed public school education. But paying more for public schools smacks of socialism, so Joe's presumably all right with his handicap.

Joe was asked by Alan Colmes whether he though Obama meant trouble for the country.

"I mean, you know, right back to as far as the socialist issues, spreading the wealth," he stumbled. "I mean, you know ... that is right out of Karl Marx. You know, Webster's dictionary I had this morning for another show I did. I mean, if you read it, that's exactly pretty much word for word what Obama said."
(See here for another who noticed.)

Yep, we all reach for Webster's when searching for something definitive on Marxism, like a quote from Barack Obama.

Don't laugh! Colmes didn't!

In any case, it's been made abundantly clear for some time that the GOP prides itself on being the party where you can flash your official dumbshit card with pride. It's how you show you're not an elitist, someone "eloquent," a guy who could never be president of the United States because you don't understand the problems of the common man.

The GOP has worked hard for these misunderstood people. And it deserve the fruits of its labor. The whole big bushel basket.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008



There was nothing better than to see the Republican Party boiled down to little more than the reptile part of its brain by Barack Obama's message of hope and reason. The electoral map shows a moth-eaten cloth of cracker states and midwestern dead-end Christians in the red, the GOP reduced to a virtual hard core regional party of primarily the deep south, its carnival of bad ideas and imagined cultural superiorities firmly given the bum's rush by countrymen worried about the economy, the future and America's place in the world.

DD and a good friend tuned in to Fox News early to check on the collapse among the cheerleaders for the mentally ill. Karl Rove had procured a special gift of cookies with an image of FoX News as icing. They were garish and screwy, obviously embarrassing to anchor Brit Hume who remarked that they'd go to the break and eat them. From time to time we checked back. At one point, the go-to guest was Charles Krauthammer who carried on about how Americans still didn't know Barack Obama. During one interval, William Kristol was arguing the "point" that election results showed Sarah Palin ... mattered to folks who voted for John McCain and who said that Sarah Palin mattered to them.

Quick, the sedatives!

Anyway, you know the way you think you must look to others when you've just suffered a wet fart in the underpants? That's what the Fox News people looked like. Only they couldn't gracefully excuse themselves to clean things up.

Finally, Fox included a feed from a flash mob of young people who were showing up in front of the White House. Dancing, they shouted "Obama!" over and over. As an action akin to a pelting of the scorned with eggs, one might presume it appropriately got under the skin of the the most disliked president in modern history -- the Great Decider Hider.

In Pennsylvania, as predicted, Obama's campaign significantly whittled away GOP margins in the traditionally Republican interior.

"Obama's campaign also succeeded in keeping McCain's winning margin in key GOP strongholds to a minimum," wrote the Morning Call newspaper today. "In Lancaster, which handed Bush his biggest edge of any county in Pennsylvania in the previous two elections -- by 61,000 votes in 2000 and 71,000 in 2004 -- McCain led by about 26,000 votes.

"McCain won in much of central and western Pennsylvania but those counties were not enough to counter Obama's landslide in many eastern Pennsylvania counties."

In redneck and white Schuylkill County, "voters favored John McCain by a slight margin Tuesday ..." wrote the Pottsville Republican.

McCain underperformed in this Republican base. "In Schuylkill County, with 88 percent of precincts reporting, McCain led Obama 51.5 percent to 46.8 percent," added the newspaper.

In the Lehigh Valley, Obama beat McCain by a margin of 2-1. The Morning Call should have made an editorial choice. Its readers certainly did.

One can think of many good things Barack Obama can immediately do. Motion that he will close Guantanamo, end torture as an American instrument in the "war on terror," reaffirm that the US government believes in a rule of law, not men, and reiterate that he intends to keep his word and get the country out of Iraq.

But one of the first, DD hopes, will be to phone George W. Bush and tell him something like this: "Just drive straight until I'm handed the wheel or there will be trouble. No more bad garbage from you, now."

The GOP reptile does not go quietly or without inflicting wounds. Voters here banned gay marriage with Proposition 8. From the start, Prop 8 was an initiative of and for bigots and the intolerant and, one is ashamed to admit, the benighted Catholic church. It was widely condemned and illustrates there is still much work to do in removing a special stain of ugliness from this country. On the day when the country made history and elected its first black president, it is a stinging paradox that gay people would be stripped of the right to marry.

And it shows the cultural war is not over. Count on the fanatical religious right to make more noise and trouble on how people they don't care for are inferior in the eyes of their lord.

Some things, however, will never change

"There is an evil that is pervading this country." Oh, Tetanus! And this, too.

And for more amazement, here.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

GOODBYE TO OLD TETANY: On the last train out

"[The G.O.P.’s] long transformation into the party of the unreasonable right, a haven for racists and reactionaries, seems likely to accelerate as a result of the impending defeat," wrote Paul Krugman yesterday.

"Anyway, the Republican base, egged on by the McCain-Palin campaign, thinks that elections should reflect the views of 'real Americans' — and most of the people reading this column probably don’t qualify."

Timorous to the very end, DD's almost favorite Pennsy newspaper, The Morning Call, did not endorse a presidential candidate. Your host knows editorial probably wanted to go for Obama and the future but to say so would have risked the fiery rage of Lehigh Valley cranks.

Speaking of which, today's post would not be complete without a visit to old Tetany and Co. on the day of reckoning.

"McCain and Palin went out of there way to keep from making personal remarks against the Democrats," asserts the Lehigh Valley Conservative.

"Policies are fair game but not personal attacks!"

Oh, Tetanus! I could not o' said it better.

DD hopes readers from el Reg take the time for an eyeful. It's part of America, chaps, gone barking mad.

We'll be heading out to the local school in about an hour. In addition to the obvious, we'll be voting to put down Proposition 8, as a reasonable and civic-minded person would do to any rabid dog loose in their backyard. Note again the handiwork of the intolerant and bigoted (including the Catholic church), determined to prevent gay marriage from toppling their world -- all in the name of their Jesus, not yours, kuffar un-American swine.

Monday, November 03, 2008

WAR ON TERROR: Conveyor belt for corporate welfare masquerading as funding for national security

As the final [day] counts down to the US election one can look at the past few years and be deeply disappointed at the country's approach to national security.

Rather than count off every single well-publicized major gaffe and fiasco, it's possible to list more minor things which, when taken together, indicate the country essentially as leaderless and adrift at sea as it is in everything else.

The first example is in the use of the war on terror as a continuous conveyor belt delivering corporate welfare.

Your host then proceeds to the run through, taken from the money train that is funding for defense against bioterrorism.

Since 9/11, every (and that's every) public government and paid-for-by-the-government threat assessment on al Qaeda or jihadi bioterror capability has been spectacularly wrong. To this writer's knowledge, none has ever been corrected. And none of the many assorted experts, analysts and technicians responsible for this empty work has been shown the door. There's no penalty for being wrong all the time.

It's one of the single worst sins practiced by the American government during the last few years. In using "experts" to peddle fear of jihadi WMD capabilities, it has been wrong a staggering 100 percent of the time.

DD is dead serious. It is an atrocity committed against common sense and reasonableness. And it has had a strong negative effective on national policy, our attitudes about the nature of the enemy, the way others see us, and for average Americans who have been so poorly informed, their fears stoked by an unscrupulous and rotten system, largely for the sake of taxpayer dollars, business and political agendas.

Next to losing a quarter of the value of your 401(k) in the last month, this is pretty dry.

Nevertheless, you can read the rest of the analysis here at el Reg.

"Dick Destiny you've hit it on the head ..." comments one reader. "Just more far left liberal drivel," counters another.

Just another day in the formerly good ol' USA.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

DIGGING UP THE PAST: Made at Lehigh University, Chainsaw fanzine

Chainsaw fanzine, #5

Punk rock-loving bloggers can always be counted on as archivists.

Chainsaw fanzine was DD's first and only stint as a pamphleteer. Made and duplicated at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, in the early Eighties, you could get it by mail-order or at Play It Again Records on the south side of town. My ex-wife was its "editor and a half," as she has told me.

She also did all the art, including the covers, which always took a good deal of time and care. If there is credit to be handed out for them, it all goes to her.

Issue number five's cover was originally posted here.

"I don't know how many issues these guys put out, but the cover is badass," the poster writes.

Good for a T-shirt pattern, I think.

Hmmm, how many issues of Chainsaw were there? I no longer remember. Not many, though. The last issue had the symbol/decal for the band Chrome on its cover. So if someone has that, look for the number. However, sometimes we failed to put them on the issues. Oops!

DD no longer has any of these old things. They were stored in Pine Grove, Schuylkill County, and left behind when the move was made to California. When dementia took down bad ol' Mom, she threw them out.

It was never much trouble to sell through the runoffs of the fanzine. The biggest publishing job might have been as large as a couple hundred, max. A surprising number went out-of-state to record distributors in Maryland and California. Others were sold at the local record store.

Chainsaw led to Play It Again Records expanding its inventory to include indie vinyl. It had been a local chain of two stores, primarily dealing in used classic rock. I bought many records at PIA and interested the owner in taking Chainsaws at the counter. At some point I was also able to convince him that some people would probably buy the records reviewed in the fanzine. I put him in touch with one of our distributors and that started the store's sale of independently made vinyl, which naturally encompassed the punk rock scene in the States and overseas.

Issue 6, cover originally posted here.

The above was a conflict of interest: My noise band, Senseless Hate, for the cover illustration.

Senseless Hate 'Mechanical Death' cassette, 1982. About one hundred were made, all given away. Who would buy them?

Reviewed by Jeff Bale in Maximum Rock 'n' Roll


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