Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rogues vs. Imbeciles

Rogues are preferable to imbeciles because they sometimes take a rest.

- Alexandre Dumas

Pardon me! Who gets the golden ticket when Bush vacates the White House?

More than 2,000 people have so far asked President George W. Bush to pardon them or commute their prison sentences as a parting gift.

Junk-bond king Michael Milken, big media owner Conrad Black and the American-born Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh (good luck on that one John!) have asked the Justice Department for Presidential forgiveness.

Of course, some highly placed lawyers lobby the White House directly for pardons. This includes people who haven't even been charged with a crime yet, like the disgraced former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales or that hormone-gobbling baseball pitcher Roger Clemens.

"I would expect the president's conservative approach to executive pardons to continue through the remainder of his term," said Helgi C. Walker, a former Bush associate White House counsel. And, in fact, Bush so far has pardoned far fewer people than his predecessors. A President can pardon people at any time, but generally wait until the end of their administrations for the most sensitive ones, typically before Christmas and after New Year's. An exception was President Ford pardoning Nixon. Nixon was on the hot seat and without that pardon would have been hauled in and out of court endlessly over the next few years. Instead, he got to write books, and consult presidents on up through Bill Clinton.

Last week, The President issued 14 pardons and commuted two sentences--for small-time drug offenses, tax evasion and unauthorized use of food stamps. His eight-year total is 171 pardons and eight commutations--less than half what either Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton issued.

A pardon is a free pass that eliminates civil liabilities stemming from a criminal conviction. A commutation reduces or ends a criminal sentence. The president's constitutional power to issue pardons is absolute and cannot be overruled; can forgive anyone he wants, at any time. Thus there is always the possibility of surprises!

click to enlarge the Nixon-Ford pardon

Bush's father, President George H.W. Bush, pardoned Reagan-era Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who was indicted in the Iran-Contra arms scandal. Weinberger's indictment by a special counsel days before the 1992 presidential election is believed to have contributed to Bush's defeat.

President Gerald Ford narrowly lost re-election in 1976 in no small part due to pardoning former President Dick Nixon in the Watergate scandal.

Bush earlier saved I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby from serving any time in the case of the 2003 leak of then-CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity. Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, was convicted of perjury and obstructing justice. He has not yet applied for a full pardon.

I believe President Bush could also pardon himself, as well as the vampire he selected as his Vice-President.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The second biggest lie ever told

The second biggest lie ever told could be:

"Don't worry. I'm only changing one line of code."
[ Ed's note: see also: The biggest Lie ever told ]

Friday, November 28, 2008

Alien Lore No. 145 - A landing party rehearses over Saskatoon

A fascinating light show played itself out in the skies of western Canada on Thanksgiving Eve. The light show certainly came from outer space. Some scientists say the lights and fireballs came from a meteor, or meteors. The light show was visible from Alberta to Manitoba, but appeared centered over Saskatchewan. Sure, it may have been a meteor, but we guess most readers of All This Is That will recognize it for what it actually was: an alien landing party in rehearsal maneuvers.

A dashboard chase camera in a police car caught the footage below:


Thanksgiving with the Sanchez-Curran-Brummet-King-Ericksen-Stewart-Ford-Querfurth Clan from Boston, Canada, Texas, Ohio, California and Seattle

Click to enlarge. The Thanksgiving clan, missing Henry,
Bo, Rod, Mackenzie, and. . . Del, who snapped the photo


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Comments: Never go full retard

I love it when people comment here. I don't encourage it enough. Once BlogSpot got the comment spamming under control with the bitmap word challenges a couple years ago, things were great. The level of discourse here is almost always high (generally higher than whatever ramblings Jack or Pablo have posted on any particular day) and very intelligent. A lot of web sites and blogs mainly have people trying to outsnark each other. But, do you read the comments on the heavily-trafficked sites like, say The Huffington Post, or YouTube, or even What are these people actually trying to prove? I was watching some YouTube vids of John Prine tonight (who seems like about the last person who would generate some sort of flame war in the comments). And this popped up in the comments on that great song Paradise:

click to enlarge

Which makes me flash back to this exchange in Tropic Thunder:

Kirk Lazarus: Everybody knows you never go full retard.

Tugg Speedman: What do you mean?

Kirk Lazarus: Check it out. Dustin Hoffman, 'Rain Man,' look retarded, act retarded, not retarded. Counted toothpicks, cheated cards. Autistic, sho'. Not retarded. You know Tom Hanks, 'Forrest Gump.' Slow, yes. Retarded, maybe. Braces on his legs. But he charmed the pants off Nixon and won a ping-pong competition. That ain't retarded. Peter Sellers, "Being There." Infantile, yes. Retarded, no. You went full retard, man. Never go full retard. You don't buy that? Ask Sean Penn, 2001, "I Am Sam." Remember? Went full retard, went home empty handed...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Williams Words - another generator--Williams Words

I have been fascinated with these image and text generators lately. Here is one I just encountered--Williams Words (and no, I don't know why there is no apostrophe).

Williams Words takes a word(s) you type in and creates a "poem." They look cool, anyhow. Unfortunately, at the moment, it can only handle ten words. Here is the output for my last name.

ru e
ru t
b e
b u t
m et
b et
b u m

painting: Woman 33

Click to enlarge


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Russian analyst predicts the breakup of the United States

click to enlarge
The U.S. will collapse and break up into separate parts (ala The USSR, Russia, Ukraine, and the 'Stans) according to a highly regarded Russian political analyst.

Wait, won't the Red States have all the guns and the farms???

Monday, November 24, 2008

Alien Lore No. 142 - The UFO sightings outside Istanbul, Turkey

Many people in the UFO community, and elsewhere believe this sighting, and video, to be "one of the most significant UFO videos of all time." The footage also shows two extraterrestrials on tape. The sighting/incident took place in a compound in Kumburgaz/Istanbul and was witnessed by nearly a dozen residents and filmed by a night guard (unfortunately I missed it, although I was in the vicinity last summer). The images captured are expected to have a tremendous impact throughout the world and be listed as the most important UFO/extraterrestrial images ever filmed.

As is often the case, thanks to Jeff Clinton for the tip...Jeff is often rumored to be the progeny of President William Jefferson Clinton. He is no blood relation to the soon-to-be Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. . .


BFF: Best Friends Forever? Hillary and Barack start down the road of world affairs

By Pablo Fanque,
All This Is That National Affairs Correspondent

Painting by Jack Brummet

Click the BFFs to enlarge

Global warming definitely exists, at least in the relationship between the two former arch-rivals Ex-Senator Obama and Senator Clinton. They are now unquestionably the most powerful man and woman in the Democratic Party (and soon, arguably, the world).

After all the bitterness on the campaign trail, Hillary's masterful speech at the Dem's convention this summer sealed it. In fact, Obama's top aides jumped out of their seats backstage and gave her a standing ovation as she walked by.

Obama soon called to thank her. Fast forward to when--->>

Late last week future President Obama reassured Clinton she would have direct access to him and that she could select her own staff as secretary of state. And the deal was done.

Some people even think ('though most people doubt) that Obama and Clinton could become close friends. There is a lot of mutual respect and they are both extremely intelligent. As it turns out, Obama is much more a centrist that the rabid Obamanistas could have ever believed, which seems to be a page from the Bill Clinton playbook. Dean Acheson was no friend of President Harry Truman and Henry Kissinger, while in agreement with Dick Nixon intellectually, clearly was no personal friend. Rusk, McNamara, et al. were not JFK pals, and were, in fact, more conservative. It will be fascinating to watch the relationship unfold between Clinton and Obama. . .whether it becomes a train wreck, or whether they become close, or even BFFs, as they work the world.

Sheer profundity from the poet E.A. Housman

This snippet is from a longer poem by the Victorian poet A.E. Housman, written in the 1890's. I've noticed this poem quoted a lot in various places in relation to our current economic woes.

The thoughts of others
Were light and fleeting,
Of lovers' meeting
Or luck or fame.
Mine were of trouble,
And mine were steady,
So I was ready
When trouble came.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Biggest Lie Ever Told

It has plenty of strong competition, but the biggest lie ever told is:

"There's no such thing as a stupid question."


Painting: The Accident

click to enlarge

Correction/not a retraction: The G20 video was real, but we did a poor job of contextualizing it.

By Jack Brummet and Pablo Fanque

A quick clarification on the story we ran yesterday on President Bush's reception at the G20 Summit, "Is President Bush Suffering From Leprosy?" We were troubled about this story from the get-go. Yes, the video was real. But even as we wrote and posted the story, we knew something wasn't quite right.

Let's face it, these people would shake hands with Papa Doc, Idi Amin, Sirhan Sirhan, Stalin, Carlos the Jackal, Herman Goering, or just about anyone in a position of power if it suited their purposes. Why would they shun W?

Daryle Conners confirmed reading about it later, and I independently realized late Friday night that we were probably seeing a clip of a "photo opportunity." President Bush, Merkel and the other leaders didn't shake hands because they all shalen hands a couple minutes previously. The handshakers were those not at the earlier photo-op. I'm not even going to look it up, because it is absolutely clear this is what happened! We got sucked into the blog/web hysteria on this one like everyone else. We should have known immediately what the context actually was. But it did give the Bush haters a chance to vent one more time (their time is running very short). You should have read the comments section on the HuffPo post on this!

Once in a while a story is just so tantalizing, you run with it (as we did in the summer over the Palin baby rumors that whipped around the internet like a tornado). And why not? After all, we're not some respectable blog with paying customers and advertisers.

When we print something scandalous, we want it to be completely true, or fictional from the ground up. Speaking of which. . .how was The President taken into custody last night when he was supposed to be at G20?

Senator "Crazy" Joe Lieberman lives to see another day

Barack Obama wisely led his party to save Senator "Crazy" Joe Lieberman from complete ignominy earlier this week. As much as I dislike the sawed-off, ferrett-faced turncoat, keeping the independent Senator in the fold once again points out Obama's incredibly wise and pragmatic approach to governing. My inclination, like many, was to punish Lieb for his transgressions. But Obama sent out word and spoke kindly of Joe, and, in the end, he survived. . .and kept his Homeland Security chairmanship.

Lierberman embraced George Bush on Iraq, and supported McCain in many appearances and interviews. Most of us could forgive all that. What is much harder to swallow is his speech at the Republican Convention--a point-blank assault on Obama, and the rest of us. In the end, though, Lieberman is a true Democrat. He split with us on the war issue, but on virtually every other issue, he relentlessly votes the party line.

Majority Leaer Harry Reid said “Joe Lieberman votes with me a lot more than a lot of my senators. He didn’t support us on military stuff, and he didn’t support us on Iraq stuff. But you look at his record, it’s pretty good.” The Majority whip, Richard Durbin, also had nice things to say about Crazy Joe. So we do have him to kick around for a while longer. Like many of Barack Obama's other one-time enemies, I suspect he'll hop on the bandwagon and become a real team player. Who knows? He might even join the Democrats again.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Poem: Narcissus [revision]

Ed note: We can't find out who created this cartoon.
If it was you, let us know! We like.


"They all sound the same," shouts someone in the audience. "It's all one song," replied Neil Young.
It's all about me;
Who do we spoof
When we pretend otherwise?

It's all one story,
It's all one poem,
It's all one song,

It's all one job,
It's all one painting,
It's all one game,

It's all one life,
It's all one wife,
Like it or not.

Barack Obama: "Off to a good start" says Republican leader

By Pablo Fanque, All This Is That National Affairs Editor

On Friday, the head Republican said that Democratic U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is "off to a good start" and admitted he was glad to see President George W. Bush on his way out the door.

"Our members, in one way, are kind of relieved by the departure of an administration that became unpopular and made it very difficult for us to compete," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Capitol Hill.

In large measure because of Bush's extreme unpopularity, Barack Obama won the White House in the November 4th election, as Democrats increased their majorities in both houses of the U.S. Congress. Two weeks later, their wins continue, as Senator Ted Stevens conceded the Senate seat he has owned for 40-some years.

Two more races remain undecided: the Georgia runoff election for Saxby Chambliss' seat. At this moment in the polls, Saxby has a four point lead over Democrat Jim Martin. And then there is the Minnesota race, where Norm Coleman is hanging on to a razor-thin lead over Al Franken. With 64 percent of the 2.9 million ballots recounted, Coleman is ahead by 120 votes. Anything can happen here. If by chance, both Chambliss and Norman Coleman were to fall, the Democrats would achieve their long-dreamed-for veto-proof supermajority. In a season of surprises, you just never know.

Did President Bush spend the night at the laughing academy?

By Pablo Fanque,
All This Is That National Affairs Editor

President George W. Bush was escorted from the East Lawn of the White House late Friday night and taken away in a Secret Service S.U.V. After seeing video clips on YouTube of his performance at the G20 Summit, and later, seeing a staff member reading Pablo Fanque's Friday article on All This Is That, the President reportedly became agitated.

An hour later, near midnight Washington time, George Bush was heard, and then found, outside the White House with a 12 gauge shotgun in one hand and a bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon in the other. He was alternately mumbling and howling when security guards approached him, disarmed him, and drove him to an undisclosed location (reportedly the rubber room at the laughing academy--possibly St. Elizabeth's).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Is President Bush suffering from leprosy?

By Pablo Fanque,
All This Is That National Affairs Editor

Thanks to Daryle Conners for this tip.

In this amazing YouTube video, soon to be Ex-President Bush is snubbed by fellow world leaders at the G20 Summit. It's not like he is actively being shunned; he appears to be literally invisible, except to the camera. It's just a little sad that this guy, who used to Run The Show, has fallen so slow. It's come to this.

Rick Sanchez says that Bush looks like "the most unpopular kid in high school that nobody liked."


Obama set to name Senator Hillary Clinton head of State Department

By Pablo Fanque,
All This Is That National Affairs Editor
on hiatus in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico

Paintings/sign by Jack Brummet

This could get very interesting. It already is. Both Obama and The Clintons each have three negotiators haggling over the Secretary of State cabinet position. How many other top slots in the history of America have ever involved six negotiators? I can tell you authoritatively. None. Ever.

Is this a harbinger of factionalism in the nascent Obama Administration? Bill Clinton has said he would do "whatever it takes" to open the way for Hillary to get the State Department nod. Whatever it takes includes forgoing many lucrative (to the tune of millions a year) speeches, disclosing major donors to the William J. Clinton Foundation, naming and forgoing many consulting clients, and in general, clearing most of his activities with the Administration. That is a heavy load for a guy that has done it his way for the last 16 years or so. It is interesting enough that he is being let out of the doghouse after his angry and often race-baiting performances on Hillary's road to the White House.

click fo enlarge

Future President Barack Obama is on track to nominate The Senator as secretary of state after Thanksgiving an aide to his transition disclosed Thursday.

It is utterly fascinating the way this has played out in the press, with leaks, and positioning on both sides. No Drama Obama is wrapped up in this fascinating minuet under the full glare of the press [1] and bloggers. She is a fascinating choice for SoS.

Once again, Obama has buried whatever malignant feelings he might have ever held toward her. He is an amazing pragmatist and practicioner of the forgive and forget school of politics.

Sure, many people believe he wants her on the inside, because as President Lyndon Johnson often said, "it's better to have them inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in." While many Democrats and beltway insiders openly question whether Clinton is too independent and ambitious to be the effective Secretary of State we desperately need, it is clear that Obama values her intelligence, diligence, experience, and yes, even chutzpah and moxie.

Large numbers of other Democrats believe in her too. Recent polls indicate that Hillary Clinton would have beaten John McCain by greater margins than Obama. Of course, that doesn't take into account the fact that her political organization collapsed in the face of Obama's clearly superior one. Would they have been able to put aside their infighting long enough to beat McCain? We will never know.

Clinton's nomination appears to be nearly a fait accompli. It will be fascinating to see whether she can live with the high degree of discipline Obama requires from his underlings. And that also applies to the 300 pound gorilla, Bill Clinton, who will need to spend a lot of the next few years sitting on his hands.

[1] Maybe not the full glare, with all the layoffs and downsizing of news organizations, including the latest one today: AP is cutting 10% of its workforce. Nearly every other major news organization has recently announced broad and deep cuts. "I guess this internet thing may actually really take off, after all."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bacon Porn!: hot bacon images

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

click to enlarge


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One grape short: Adolph Hitler was missing a testicle

An account by a German army medic has confirmed what the world long suspected: Hitler only had one ball. War veteran Johan Jambor made the revelation to a priest in the 1960s, who wrote it down, according to The Sun. The priest's written account has surfaced 23 years after Jambor's death.

This seems to confirm an alleged Soviet autopsy on Hitler's remains made shortly after the war claimed Hitler was lopsided. Most historians dismiss this reference as commie propaganda.

Records DO show Hitler was wounded in the groin in 1916 during the Battle of the Somme.

The Fuhrer's ball has been mocked for years in a British song:

Hitler has only got one ball,
The other is on the kitchen wall,
His mother, the dirty bugger,
Chopped it off when he was small.

She threw it over Germany,
It landed in the deep blue sea,
The fishes got out their dishes,
And had scallops and bollocks for tea.

Frankfurt has only one beer hall,
Stuttgart, die M√ľnchen all on call,
Munich, vee lift our tunich,
To show vee "Cherman" have no balls at all.

Until now there has never been proof Hitler was asymmetrical Down There. The priest wrote that Jambor saw the proof with his own eyes. Johan Jambor's friend Blassius Hanczuch confirmed that the medic had saved Hitler’s life in 1916.

Sir Paul McCartney hints at one last unreleased Beatle's song

An almost unheard, experimental track by The Beatles may finally be released 41 years after it was recorded at Abbey Road studios, said Sir Paul recently.

McCartney, told BBC Radio that "Carnival of Light" was The Beatles at their most free, "going off piste." [Editor's note: I didn't know the phrase off piste but dictionaries and the Wikipedia say it is "skiing in a sparsely inhabited rural region over ungroomed and unmarked slopes or pistes. More importantly, the land and the snow pack are not monitored, patrolled, or maintained. Fixed mechanical means of ascent such as ski lifts are typically not present. Backcountry skiing can be highly dangerous due to the avalanche risk..." ]

If this "tune" is anything like Sir Paul describes it, it will be a rock and roll treasure. Think Revolution No. 9 (a "song" I've always loved, and was stunned when I heard it in in 1968) to the Nth degree.

It sounds tantalizing. Maybe Revolution No. 9 in overdrive, "I said it would be great to put this on because it would show we were working with really avant-garde stuff," McCartney told Radio 4. 's According to the BBC, McCartney had wanted to include the track on The Beatles' Anthology compilations in the mid-1990s, but the rest of the band vetoed the idea. The rest of the band now includes Ringo and George Harrison and John Lennon's lawyers. Good luck with that, Macca!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Face fun with Pizap

click to enlarge is an image editing site with a really clean U.I. (although neophytes might not get that to discard a change you merely need to drag it offscreen). This transformation took couple of minutes. They did a great job of blending most of the parts...

Slap my ass and call me Sally!

I bumped into the hilarious phrase "Slap my ass and call me Sally!" the other day. Naturally, I wondered where it originated. . .

The first place I found was the Hot Sauce World web site, where they sell a hot sauce called "Smack My Ass And Call Me Sally...The Slap Heard around the World. One of the top twenty hottest sauces in the world. Don't forget to scratch the hand print on Chet's ass when you get the hot sauce bottle. 5 oz. $7.89."

A similar phrase was used by Australian and US soldiers during World War II: "Cut off my legs and call me Shorty!" Louis Armstrong recorded a song by this title in 1940 that was frequently played on US Armed Forces radio stations.

Google lists 75 hits for a similar phrase: "tie me up and call me Shirley."

"Slap me silly and call me Sally" also appears to be a 2 Live Crew tune. Here is it is in a fan video from YouTube:

The top ten virals web site has this photo, which makes me think someone actually manufactured clothing/undies with the phrase.

There's a band, with a site on MySpace named Slap My Ass And Call Me Sally.

I never did run into any serious analysis of the phrase or its origins on any language analysis, folklore, or slang sites like, or the Urban Dictionary. . .

It is used on hundreds of web sites as an expression, but I couldn't find any real detail. I gave up searching, but figured our readers might be interested in my meager findings in any case. It's not definitive, but, then, what really is?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Poem: Hazards

Sailing upper Puget Sound,
Our rusting ferry threads its way
Among rogue islands scattered

Across the rippled green water,
Passing sudden stone outcroppings
And islands that break the surface by inches.

The dark islands are punctuated
By random flares and points of light.
Plumes of grey smoke rise and drift away.

Under a half-moon, the islands
Look like Orcas bobbing
In the sound, their lighthouses and beacons

Like Cyclops eyes
Warning us to dodge
A network of shoals

And hazards that boats
Are attracted to by momentum
And dumb luck.

Nils Lofgren does a somersault playing a guitar solo with Springsteen's E Street Band

In this awesome video clip, Nils Lofrgen does a somersault while playing a guitar solo with Springsteen's E Street Band on tour this summer.
Now, remember, Nils is of my vintage, a spry 57 years old. Not bad, friendo! During his solo years (1974-) Nils would play guitar while doing flips on a trampoline.

Nils was in Grin in the early 70's, played with Neil Young on two of his most important albums (and at various other times since), and ended up in The E Street Band in 1984 with Bruce Springsteen, taking Little Steven's place, Clarence Clemmons, Patti Scialfa, & Max Weinberg, etc. The Boss , of course broke up E Street in 1989. He brought them back together in 1999 and both Steven Van Zandt and Nils were back in the band, as they are today.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Text warping tools online at Festisite

I used a few lines from a poem I wrote a couple weeks ago...and waved them, circularized them, rebus'd them, and mazed them. . .

All This Is That begins its 5th year today

click to enlarge

All This Is That is four years old today. So, I'm just going to ramble about that.

We've been farked five or six times, which is always fun, because 10,000-15,000 people show up. But the interesting thing about is that their readers are always looking for the next weird story. . .none of them become regulars. Once in a while we are someone's blog of the day, or a blog or website notes a--usually bizarre--post here, and between 30 and 500 people turn up.

Most of our readers Google into here. More than half the traffic on All This Is That comes from Google, Yahoo and other search engines; 40% of the visitors are regular readers. Most of our visitors come from the U.S. and Canada, England, Australia, Turkey, Japan, Germany, Croatia, Brazil, and Ireland, in that order.

Even though it's been four years, I still haven't gotten around to writing some stories I've promised (this year, for sure!). The content here, as you may have noticed, is random, and mostly generated by whatever strikes my fancy on any particular day. For the last year and a half a big focus has been the U.S. Presidential race. Six weeks in the last year were extended travelogues as I documented my travels in Mexico, England, Turkey and Greece. If I actually focused on something, we could generate tons of visitors. But I have never found any particular area I'd like to focus on. I'm not a niche kind of guy, I guess.

We've now hit Alien Lore story Number 145. I have published 150 original poems in the last four years. And we have published hundreds of weird stories. Some articles that come up at the top of a Google search: Looking for Nude Condoleezza Rice Photos?; Matt Bevalaqua, the killer; Enumclaw Horse Sex; The Brady Bunch Porn Movie; Clemenza's Godfather spaghetti sauce; and a few others). Every day dozens to hundreds of people come searching for those. A lot of people come looking for images and photos. Since even the early days, we've always published a lot of photos, paintings, and images. I've seen images I've created appear on dozens of other blogs and websites.

I've never written a word about my work (a/k/a "day job") in all this time. I think I'll keep it that way, even though I love my job, co-workers, and the business we're in...this gets too complicated as it is. . .

I still want to write these stories sometime (all are at least half-done):

My Worst Jobs, Part 6: The Fish: My five years working at Carl Fischer Music

Dad, or, John Newton Brummet II

The Kent Bus Depot (almost done!)

The Hook Arm, the Wooden Leg, False teeth, and Girdles - My people. One more hillbilly tale.

Growing Up Hillbilly (they stopped in Seattle because you'd need a boat to go further)

Growing up Kent: The Liquor Store, The Butcher, and The Barber

My life as an orderly

Well, I'll get around to it sometime. In the meantime, I've am enjoying not writing about politics for a while. Our Alien Lore readership has seriously dwindled with a dearth of content (interestingly, when I publish those stories, readership goes way up, but the regulars click away very quickly).

One in a while, I think about pulling the plug. But then I come to my senses. If a few hundred people a day show up, I must be doing something right. If I publish a book of poems--and I probably will sometime soon--it will sell a few hundred copies. If I publish a poem here, that many people will read it in one day. When I publish in a magazine that's good for my literary career, but, let's face it. . .no one reads 'em!

More soon. . .

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nils Lofgren plays Back It Up

This is a YouTube slide-show video a/k/a "slideo" of a great Nils Lofgren tune, Back It Up. Nils Lofgren formed a great power pop band, Grin, in the early 1970's. He also played on some early Neil Young albums, and has been a long-time member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.


Festisite: generate your own money

click to enlarge

This might be useful if you decide to start your own country or something.

Music Video: The Beatles perform Revolution


Music and lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We're doing what we can
But when you want money
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right

ah, ah, ah, ah, ah...

You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You better free you mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right
all right, all right, all right
all right, all right, all right

Nils Lofgren and Grin: Lost pop gems - Sad Letter and Love or Else

This was one of my favorite albums from my first year in college. The album included at least four or five other wonderful pop gems. Nils, as you may know, went on to work with Neil Young (playing on the masterpiece Tonight's The Night), and, of course, with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for many years (including currently). I think they asked him to join the Rolling Stones before Ronnie Wood took the job...

This was another one of those great records (think of Big Star or The Posies) that stiffed in the marketplace--especially when you consider the influence those records had on the next generation, and rock in general.

This record is so obscure, you can't even find the lyrics. That almost never happens. I found a book, quoted on the internets, that says "The failure of Grin to sell large numbers of records in the early 1970's is one of those mysteries of popular music. They seemed to have everything..."

Love or Else, performed thirty some years later:


Friday, November 14, 2008

TBTL - Too Beautiful To Live headlines iTunes podcast page

click to enlarge

My favorite radio show, Luke Burbank's TBTL is headlining the podcast page on iTunes. Download some shows there, stream it live from , or even listen to it live on KIRO 97.3 FM, if you live in the Seattle area, from 7-10 Pacific Time Monday-Friday, with a best of on Saturdays...

The $2 million bath of ashes

This is old, but interesting news from the Daily Telegraph in London on August 22, 2008:

"The chairman of a Nigerian development company was charged in August with stealing the equivalent of $5.5 million, and burning $2 million of that in cash so he could smear the ashes over his naked body in a nighttime "fortification" ritual in a cemetery."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or just another trial balloon?

Is this a mindf***er, or what? According to Charles Hurt in the New York Post today, President-elect Barack Obama is considering naming Senator Clinton as secretary of state.

Democratic officials confirmed that Clinton - who has often been mentioned as a possibility - is under consideration. Obama and Clinton met yesterday in Chicago, according to an unnamed Dem source.

Knowing Obama's intolerance for leaks, you have to assume this particular leak is an approved trial balloon. Remember how I wrote earlier this week about Obama being perfectly capable of letting bygones be bygones? This would be absolutely stunning proof.

"Any speculation about Cabinet or other administration appointments is really for President-elect Obama's transition team to address," said Clinton adviser Philippe Reines.

Other Democrats floated as secretary of state possibilities are New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson Sen. John Kerry, or ex-Senator Tom Daschle.

No one knows whether Hillary would be interested. After all, that particular glass ceiling has been shattered twice before. No one seems to know how serious this is. . .is it another flattering olive branch, like his earlier dangling of the VP slot?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Seattle cover-up: a ban on public nudity?

Seattle's tolerance for nudity may be coming to an end. A proposed rule banning nudity in area parks will have a public hearing in early 2009. The ban would include skinny dippers at beaches on lakes, rivers, and Puget Sound; nude volleyball; participants in the World Naked Bike Rides (three have been held in Seattle this year).

A Nov. 13 parks memo said "Seattle appears to be unique in receiving nudist requests for use of park facilities." The memo mentions that other cities have "some regulation of nudity in public places." As the memo points out, nudity is "per se not illegal" and "Seattle has no law regulating public nudity."

The rule won't affect the notorious naked bicycle riders in the Fremont Fair parade, since that event doesn't happen at a park.