Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Throwing The Bums Out Does Not Mean Replacing Them With Teabaggers

by Pablo Fanque
All This Is That National Affairs Editor

As we vote in the mid-terms, or to fill Congressional replacement seats left by the deceased, those politicians caught in bed with a dead woman or a live man, and the recently indicted or convicted, we need to remember that throwing the bums out, while often an excellent idea, is less of a good idea when you replace them with one issue bozos, tea-party cranks, and charlatans and mountebanks masquerading as reformers and agents of change.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Poem: But You Can't

But You Can’t
by Jack Brummet

You can withdraw it
Marginalize it
Forget it

Hide it
Lie about it
Or deny it three times before the cock crows.

You can snigger about it
Weep about it
Shout about it

Hide it under a bush (oh no)
Sing the blues about it
Or sweep it under the rug.

You can get an ulcer over it
Jump off the Aurora Bridge over it
Lose your family over it

Lose your shorts over it
Lose your mind over it
Or pretend it never happened.

You can dream about it
Run away from it
Rationalize it

Psychoanalyze it
Or drink it away
But you can't take back love.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Notions, potions, and lotions

click to enlarge - This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. This image, which was originally posted to Flickr, was reviewed on January 15, 2008 by the administrator or reviewer File Upload Bot (Magnus Manske), who confirmed that it was available on Flickr under the above license on that date.

Dare To Be Great, Getting Rolfed, Primal Screams, T.M., Yoga, Buddhism, Hari Krishna, Repressed Memories, Drum Circles, Gestalt Therapy, Psycho-analysis, hot stone massage, firewalking, dreamwork, Catholicism, Islam, Tai Chi, workouts, exercise, decompression, alcohol and other psychoactove substances, hot water immersion, steambaths and saunas--just a few that immediately come to mind of our various schemes to heal or just survive. Each one works for someone. Some work for millions, some don't really work, but because we think they work, they actually do work.

Faces 102: Stories

click to enlarge - you probably have to zoom it way up to read the stories

Friday, June 25, 2010

In the Methow Valley, at Wolf Ridge

It's always nice to be back in the Methow Valley. Mountains, rivers, critters, heat, friends, and family.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hey now - Iko Iko

I have been watching Treme, David Simon's (The Wire) new show about New Orleans, and Iko Iko was one of the songs last week.  I've always liked this tune, since hearing the Grateful Dead perform it in the 80's.  I have heard at least ten other versions, including Dr John's. 

"Iko Iko" is a New Orleans tune about two tribes of painted up Mardi Gras "Indians" colliding in a Fat Tuesday parade. The lyrics come from Indian chants and local catchphrases. The song, "Jock-A-Mo", was written in 1954 by James "Sugar Boy" Crawford in New Orleans, but people almost always think it is a much older folk song.  I know I did, until I looked it up today.  According to Wikipedia, "the main melody bears a strong resemblance to the guitar riff in "Son de la Loma" recorded by the Trio Matamoros. "Son de la Loma" was written by Miguel Matamoros sometime before May 8, 1925."

Iko Iko

My grandma and your grandma
Sitting by the fire
My grandma says to your grandma
"I'm gonna set your flag on fire"

Talkin' 'bout
Hey now
Hey now
Iko iko an nay
Jockomo feena ah na nay
Jockomo feena nay

Look at my king all dressed in red
Iko iko an nay
I bet you five dollars he'll kill you dead
Jockomo feena nay

Talkin' 'bout
Hey now (hey now)
Hey now (hey now)
Iko iko an nay (whoah-oh)
Jockomo feena ah na nay
Jockomo feena nay

My flag boy and your flag boy
Sitting by the fire
My flag boy says to your flag boy
"I'm gonna set your flag on fire"



(hey now)
(hey now)
(hey now)
(hey now)
Jockomo feena nay

See that guy all dressed in green
Iko iko an nay
He's not a man, he's a loving machine
Jockomo feena nay

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's OK to sack a General

by Pablo Fanque
National Affairs Editor

A General, George Washington, insisted that our form of government should have a military controlled by civilians.  And we know from history--in particular in Latin America and Africa--that military controlled by the military all too often launch coup d' etats, and if not an actual coup, will operate as a shadow government.

Most famously, no doubt, are the cases of Generals McClellan and MacArthur.  McClellan treated Abe Lincoln like a hopeless country bumpkin.  General MacArthur generally treated Harry Truman with disdain, and whenever possible ignored his orders and went his own way. 

Harry Truman on MacArthur (from Merle Miller's Plain Speaking:

"I fired him because he wouldn't respect the authority of the President. That's the answer to that. I didn't fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that's not against the laws for generals."

"I have finally concluded... decided that there were times when he . . . well, I'm afraid when he wasn't right in the head. And there never was anyone around to him to keep in line. He didn't have anyone on his staff who wasn't an ass kisser."

Lanky Link, on the other hand, had more patience than Truman.   In letters to friends, General McClellan often referred to President Lincoln as an "idiot" and "the original gorilla."  And worse, he publicly disrespected The Link and took insubordination to an all new level.   Lincoln once called on McClellan at home and waited several hours to see the general before a servant told him that McClellan had gone to bed. I'd have canned him on the spot. 

It became clear that McClellan did not want to lead his army into battle.   To justify his yellow streak, McClellan chronically overestimated the enemy, and claimed the Confederate army in Virginia was twice its real size. When pushed to make a plan and stick to it, McClellan became resentful.  Lincoln finally ordered McClellan to attack the Confederates in Northern Virginia.  McClellan ignored the order.

"If McClellan does not want to use the army," Lincoln wrote, "I should like to borrow it a while." When McClellan finally did show signs of life, instead of invading northern Virginia, he loaded his army on boats, sailed down the coast, and landed on a peninsula between the York and James Rivers.  After an extremely and deliberately sluggish march, the army came within six miles of the Confederate capital of Richmond before being beaten back by a smaller, poorly-equipped force led by General Robert E. Lee.  Later, McClellan and Lee fought to a brutal and costly stalemate at Antietam.  McClellan refused to follow Lee as the southern forces bugged out.

For six agonizing weeks, Lincoln and McClellan exchanged angry messages, with Lincoln pushing his recalcitrant general to finish Lee off.

On November 5, 1862, Lincoln finally gave him the boot.   McClellan tried to even the score, and was nominated by the Democrats to run against Link.  Lincoln won.  Again.

As we mentioned here yesterday, it's also time for General Stanley McChrystal to hit the bricks. This is not the first time he has disrepected his Commander In Chief.  But then, Afghanistan is Obama's War, and McChrystal was his hand-picked man to lead that war.  That war hasn't gone so well; the best you can say today is that we've made a little progress.  Insubordination aside, it may be time to shake the pumpkin and try some new leadership.  Even his most rabid defenders pulled back after the now famous (but yet to appear in print) Rolling Stone profile/interview of General McChrystal began widely circulating throughbout The Beltway.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs today gave an indication McChrystal is in the doghouse, or worse.  He told  reporters "There has clearly been an enormous mistake in judgment to which he will have to answer for," and chracterized "the magnitude and graveness of the mistake" as "profound."

Gen. McChrystal also took an arrow yesterday from the man who recommended him for command, Defense Secretary Robert Gates.  "I believe that Gen. McChrystal made a significant mistake and exercised poor judgment in this case,"  Gates said.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Don't be a wuss, BHO! Pablo Fanque reflects on Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and why Pres. Obama should have fired him as soon as he read the misguided (read: treasonous) Rolling Stone interview

By Pablo Fanque
National Affairs Editor
Photograph courtesy of The White House

The man leading our war effort in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, apologized today for granting an interview with Rolling Stone, in which he is portrayed as a lone voice of sanity who feels betrayed by The White House. 

The General has now been ordered to appear in person at the White House tomorrow.  Much press has been devoted today to speculation he will be ousted.   If we were in the President's army boots as Commander-In-Chief, we would publicly accept McChrystal's apology and then dismiss him.  His treachery in Rolling Stone aside, it's not like he is skillfully steering the Afghanistan conflict to a victorious conclusion. 

The Rolling Stone article quotes an aide to McChrystal saying the General was "disappointed" with President Obama after their first meeting, a meeting he felt the President was unprepared for. The article also accused Ambassador Karl Eikenberry of betraying McChrystal, in a leaked memo that said he doubted Afghan President Karzai was a good enough leader to justify propping up his government.

"Here's one that covers his flank for the history books, now, if we fail, they can say 'I told you so' " RS quotes the general as saying.    He goes on to say that the "real enemy" are "the wimps in the White House."
In Kabul today, General McChrystal issued a press release saying, "I extend my sincerest apology for this profile. It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened."  Really?

Take him out, Mister President.  And don't wait for the meeting tomorrow.  He dared you.  Stand him up and knock him down.

The Chalk Drawing


Monday, June 21, 2010

Eva Cassidy

Eva Cassidy could sing practically every genre...and sell it!  What else can you say?  She's had far more success being gone than she did while she was here.  There are even a couple of movies about her coming out, more--I suspect--about her pretty sad story than about her talent. I think Over the Rainbow is probably her biggest "hit."


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bigfoot makes his presence known in the southland

We like to think that the range of the Sasquatch, or Bigfoot, is mostly in the Pacific Northwest and Canada, but there have been numerous recent sightings in the east, below the Mason-Dixon line:

A North Carolina man--who swears he is sober in the audio clip--claims to have recently seen a Bigfoot on his property. 


Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Beat/The English Beat perform free in downtown Seattle this Wednesday

Hey Seattle--the English Beat are playing a free outdoor concert in Seattle at noon Wednesday. Their shows are musically excellent, and they touch the heartline with their warm, two-tone spirit and human goodness. I love these guys.  Dave long ago transcended that very serious mien of the 70's (see video, below) and radiates waves of warmth, optimism, and wit from the stage. 


Friday, June 18, 2010

The best music you'll hear today: Jake Shimabukuro covers George Harrison on the ukulele

This is probably the best music you'll hear today.  I've never heard the ukulele sound so beautiful.  What an incredible cover by Jake Shimabukuro of a great George Harrison tune.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Adios,and Namaste to Mrs. G. and The Women's Colony Website/blog

I was really sad to hear that Heather Gee and her confederates at The Women's Colony ( are pulling the plug on their very popular and important blog. She broke new ground, and I honestly thought TWC would become one of the most important sites in the entire blogosphere (and maybe even generate a... living).

Most of all, I will miss Mrs. G's literate, funny, shocking, intelligent and thoughtful writing. She really brought something important to the world of blogs, and she will be sorely missed. I hope she is pulling the plug to work on something long-form. I may not be a part of TWC's core demographic, but I found their passion, diligence, and professionalism inspiring.  Namaste, Mrs. G.

Del Brummet's spontaneous poem, from way back

In honor of our son Del's graduation tomorrow night, here is a movie of a spontaneous poem Del created when he was about six years old. . .

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Remembering the changeover, when the United States went metric

By Jack Brummet, Social Mores & Customs Editor

The U.S. went metric roughly 43 years ago.  We didn't quite get there. 

I remember diligently studying (circa 1963-64), the metric system in preparation for the big changeover. There would be no more pints or acres or inches. All the kids in school  received a small bundle of wooden blocks corresponding to various metric length and volume measures. And we had numerous class sessions devoted to hammering in the new way.  Yes, the U.S. was slated to go totally metric 43 years ago. However, we were somehow unable to shuck the customary US units system (our version of the Imperial system).   Was it business that killed the change?  Or us? 

You may also remember JFK's physical fitness initiative. The entire country would be buffed up by about 1970. Of all those initiatives, the only one that appeared to have caught fire was the move toward hydration. We were told to drink eight glasses of water a day without fail. OK, we may be fat and unable to determine what a metre or millilitre is, but we are well-hydrated. We won that one!  Everywhere you go people are carrying water bottles, plastic, metal, Nalgene, and even in Camelback packs with special bladders and hoses, so you can drink while moving. 

Much is made of the imperial system's basis of the size of a foot, or the distance between your knuckles. And yet the metric system is based on the speed of an electron, I think. Does that make more sense than the distance between some emperor's knuckles?

I wonder why have we not converted, or tried to convert, to metric for our measure of years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds? Why was it so important to convert linear and volume measures, but not the temporal ones?

As far as I can tell, some foods and fluids are sold my metric measure, but not much else.  You buy saffron by the gram, but other spices are sold by the ounce.  But one industry made the conversion (mostly):::::::::::::::::::::::::Hootch!  Gargle!  Whiz! Wine! Whiskey!   Beer is sold by the fluid ounce, but whiskey and wine: totally metric. The formerly beloved fifth or pint of whiskey is now the slightly smaller 3/4 of a litre bottle. Those little bottles of wine you buy on the airplane: 187.5 millilitres (or, 1/4 of a 750 millilitre bottle [the "new fifth"]. So, we may have really sucked on our adoption of metric measures, but the drunks have it down pat, at least on the fluid measures.  However, the liquid a bartender pours from a metric bottle almost always goes into a shot glass measuring ounces. 

'Time' Switches To The Metric System - In 2007, Time managing editor Rick Stengel attempted to force the U.S. towards the metric system.   A memo informed writers and editors that from then on, all measurements will be expressed in "both imperial and metric equivalents." Clearly, Stengel is waging a losing battle in a war we lost decades ago.  I haven't checked up on Time in these last few years to see if they have held steady or not...

Here is Stengel's memo on taking Time metric:

"Time is going global. And metric. Starting with the next issue, we will provide both imperial and metric equivalents for distance, weight, volume and temperature. (We've been doing this for some time in our graphics. Now we'll extend this to the general text as well.) This will help ensure that one text works for all of our international editions."
"In most cases, we'll use the imperial measure first and then show the metric equivalent in parentheses: five ft. (1.5 m); 170 lbs. (77 kg); 5 gallons (19 liters); 98.6 degrees F (37 degrees Celsius)."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

JFK, RFK, Teddy, and sister Patricia's orgies at the Carlyle in NYC

The Chairman of the Board

by Jack Brummet
Social Mores editor

Patricia Kennedy Lawford, Sammy Davis, Jr., Marilyn Monroe

In the early 1960's, the FBI was tracking what went on in Jack Kennedy's apartment at the Carlyle Hotel in New York, and in particular, the "sex parties" that occurred there, at least according to Mrs. Jacqueline Hammond.
Some of the participants mentioned in a recently released (under the FOI Act) FBI report include:  Frank Sinatra, JFK's younger brothers Bobby and Teddy, Marilyn Monroe, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Mr. and Mrs. Peter Lawford (Mrs. Peter Lawford was JFK's sister Patricia).


JFK and Marilyn in a clinch


Monday, June 14, 2010

It looks like Boob-gate is over? Pablo Fanque ponders the never-ending Sarah Palin "news cycles"

By Pablo Fanque
National Affairs Editor

Like the stories about Trig's paternity, and even better, maternity; her very public spat with her daughter's Ex-BF; tales of skulduggery in the Governor's Office; and reports and photos of junior high-style crib notes written on her palm with a Sharpie, we enjoyed the recent Boob-gate stories--and photographic evidence--circulating on both mainstream and wack sites. 

As you probably know from visiting All This Is That, we've never believed in letting the truth get in the way of a good story.

At All This Is That, we've never really been Palin-haters. Now granted, we were stunned to see her nominated for VP inthe first place, were alternately amused and horrified to see her in action those first couple of awkward weeks, and generally, been mostly depressed about her political ascendancy and amazing ability to sell books.  But she's lobbed plenty of cheap shots of her own, too, and more than earned whatever piling-on comes her way. 

All that said, Boob-gate is just another chapter in the bizarre and continuing story of the Ex-Governor.  Only last week, she was making headlines over her new neighbor, author Joe McGinnis, and just what his intentions were in becoming her neighbor.  Whenever Sarah Palin is out of the news for more than two weeks, some new contretemps or imbroglio erupts, and shortly thereafter, the Ex-Governor emerges to feed the teabagging rabble red meat by castigating the press, The President, Congress, and the Democrats. 

OK.  The silicon bag story is over (but really, unresolved).  Now, hang on two weeks for the next installment in the Sarah Palin psychodrama. . .

Naturally, this followed the usual trajectory.  After the story bounced around the internet and mainstream media a few days, Ex-Governor Palin appeared on Fox's Greta Van Sustern show to set the record straight.

"I know that “boobgate” is all over the Internet right now because there are a lot of, I guess, bored, idle bloggers and reporters with nothing else to talk about. And I think some of those folks, too, they need to grab a shovel, go down to the gulf, volunteer to help, clean up and save a whale or something instead of reporting on such stupid things like that.
"No, I have not had implants. I can’t believe, yes, that we’re even talking about this."

Save a whale?  Really?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

All of America Captured In Single Photograph? Not really.

Pablo Fanque,
National Affairs Editor

This photo and commentary comes from a Wonkette- (one of our favorite sites and sources) article titled "All of America Captured In Single Photograph."

Wonkette operative “Lily E.” was just driving around the outskirts of Madison, Virginia, this weekend when she was compelled to snap this picture of America 2010. It’s all there, everything. Everything.  Read more at Wonkette.
At ATIT, we're probably more cynical, but also far more optimistic than Wonkette, and while we don't think this photo captures the Spirit of America, it certainly nails a certain slice of life in these Unites States.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The forgotten Post-it note? Or the forgotten bolts?

I was shopping at QFC (a Seattle grocery store chain) this afternoon QFC.  I walked by one of those see-through elevators. On the bottom, through the glass, I saw a post-it note: "Larry, make *sure* to tighten bolts 6, 7, and 12 after you install the door"

I stood there and tweeted the story on my BlackBerry.  But, I NEEDED a picture. As I was getting ready to take it, an under-assistant manager asked me "what's up?"  I pointed to the note, and said "This is too good--I have to have a picture." " I can't let you do that," he said. "Really?" "Really." And, yes, really, I can't blame him a bit. . .

Digital Art: by Jack Brummet - Stained Glass Sarah Palin


Friday, June 11, 2010

Cathie Joy's Pro Keds shoes

Cathie Joy, a friend and fantastic Portland-based painter has new shoes out, based on details from her paintings.  You can order her custom Keds here.  

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Inside Jack Brummet's head

By Jack Brummet
On location in Orange County, California
This is the closest thing I could find to a graphical representation of my brain today.  It's been one of those days. . .


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Eat your own dog food!

By Jack Brummet, Games and Software Ed.

Actor Lorne Greene used to flack the dogfood Alpo on TV, saying "it's so good I feed it to my own dogs." It gained currency during the dot-com craze, and the phrase is still used most commonly in technology companies. I believe it is one of the central tenets of quality assurance (as opposed to QA's subdiscipline, testing).

"Eating your own dog food" means that you use the software you create, or play the games you make. In other businesses, you might actually eat the food you serve, watch the TV shows you make, or use the product you manufacture. This can be taken to extremes, of course, as in the Not Invented Here syndrome, where you not only eat your own dogfood, but you also won't touch anyone else's [1].

Ben Hamper, writing about life as a shoprat at General Motors in his book Rivethead, tells how anyone foolish enough to drive a foreign car into the employee parking lot would find their car keyed, tagged with spray paint, mirrors ripped off, and possibly rammed by a one-ton pickup. That is an extreme punishment for not eating your own dogfood.

Why should you eat your own dogfood? You actually get to know the product you are making. By knowing it, you may get some ideas about how to increase its goodness. In the case of games and software, problems, bugs and deficencies become apparent often only after extended use by a variety of people. Eating your own dogfood shows you believe in your own product. If you work at a brewery, a game company, or bakery, it probably works pretty well for you, if you manufacture cod liver oil, syrup of ipecac, chastity belts, or experimental aircraft. . .well, not so much.

[1] "Not Invented Here," describes a company that will use nothing developed by "outsiders." In many cases companies don't know a solution already exists. But even more often, the organization believes they can produce a superior product. Apple Computer, from System 1 through OS9 did not include many U.I. innovations (from, say, Windows) because they were not accounted for in Apple's human interface guidelines (a great document, by the way).

Apple rejected any change they did not invent...which, of course, ignores the fact that Apple cribbed most of this stuff from innovations at PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) in the first place. In the open source world, at any time, there are several groups working on different projects that all do the same thing.

Large corporations like Microsoft reject all use of open source software...because they feel the source sharing requirements are too onerous. Therefore they must come up with all these tools in house, no matter how much it costs and no matter how poorly the tool emulates what is already available for free.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Did Ex-Governor Palin have "some work done"?

By Pablo Fanque
National Affairs Editor

Our frequent tipster, D.E. of E.I., Wonkette, and dozens of other blogs and websites have noted that Ex-Governor Sarah Palin may have recently spent some of her mega-millions in book royalties on "some new work,"  or, as one author put it: "Did Sarah Palin Buy Herself a Couple of Luxury Items?"

click to enlarge

A Tweet from Wonkette:  "“Sarah Palin 12/09 no boobs  #Sarah Palin today, Instant boobage! only her #plasticsurgeon knows4sure.”

Alien Lore No. 173 - Our methane-breathing cousins on Saturn: NASA scientists say "alien life exists on Saturn's moon."

Thanks to All This Is That alien lore tipster Jef Clinton for this story

Nasa scientists have discovered evidence 'that alien life exists on Saturn's moon.'     NASA Researchers believe they have discovered vital clues that indicate primitive aliens could be living on the moon.  Hello, cousins!

NASA's Cassini probe has transmitted data back to us that led to extensive analysis of the complex chemistry on the surface of Titan.   Titan is the only Saturn moon with a dense atmosphere.  Astronomers claim the moon is generally too cold to support even liquid water on its surface.

One study, in the journal Icarus, shows hydrogen gas flowing throughout the planet’s atmosphere, showing  that alien forms could possibly breathe. Another paper, in the Journal of Geophysical Research, says there is no hydrogen on the surface of Titan. The hydrogen theory scientists believe the hydrogen may have been consumed by life. Huh?  Like, they used it up?

According to NASA, "researchers expected sunlight interacting with chemicals in the atmosphere to produce acetylene gas. But the Cassini probe did not detect any such gas."

Chris McKay, an astrobiologist at the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, CA, said: “We suggested hydrogen consumption because it's the obvious gas for life to consume on Titan, similar to the way we consume oxygen on Earth."

"If these signs do turn out to be a sign of life, it would be doubly exciting because it would represent a second form of life independent from water-based life on Earth.”

Professor John Zarnecki, of the Open University, said “We believe the chemistry is there for life to form. It just needs heat and warmth to kick-start the process."

They warned, as these tricksy scientists always do, that there could be other explanations for their findings. However, "taken together, these studies indicate two important conditions necessary for methane-based life to exist."

All photos and quotes are courtesy of NASA.  And we get to use them here because we, the taxpayers, paid for it.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Matt Smith's fantastic one-man show, All My Children, a textbook on the Games People Play

Last night, we went to see Matt Smith's one-man show, All My Children, at the theatre at Richard Hugo House in Seattle.  It was fantastic!  And highly recommended.

The story of Max Poth takes "what-might-have-been to extreme lengths: he tracks down the now-grown children of long-ago girlfriends—and claims to have fathered them all. What starts as a strange lark soon takes on a life of its own."   There are hilarious, touching, and creepy moments.  The fascinating/bizarre, plot is propelled by subtle and overt and outrageous humor, funny asides, and riveting dialog.  A surprise ending came out of nowhere and tied the show up with a bow, rolling up the previously disparate plot elements together in an affirmation of humanity and the games people play.  Great writing, great acting, great directing. 

This show is only on one more weekend--go see it!  Get tickets quick, since these first two weekends were sell-outs.  Go to Richard Hugo House; they'll hook you up with seats for $20/$10- students. 

Friday, June 04, 2010

Thanks, angels...for donating to the Muscular Dystrophy Association fundraiser (and keeping Jack out of jail)

Thanks everyone for your generous donations to my "bail" as part of the executive lock-up fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. I hit my goal of $2,400 yesterday. You guys are the best. Thanks from me, and the kids. I'll only have to do an hour in stir before I can use my get out of jail card. I'll try to post photos of my arrest by the Kirkland Police when it happens (June 17th).

If you would still like to donate, please do!  Jump here to make an online contribution.


The Guatemalan Sinkhole

Wow.  The Guatemala City sinkhole is now estimated to be 18 meters wide and 100 meters deep, in short, about 60 feet wide, and over 350 feet deep.  So, a 737 couldn't quite fit in the hole, but a three story building dropped to the bottom.  This is a National Geographic photo of the hole.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The sole recording of Hitler in private converation...(with English transcript)

Thanks to Jeff Clinton for this news tip!  This is the only known recording of Adolph Hitler speaking privately, in conversation.  He absolutely did not allow recordings.  This one was somehow recorded,  with Mannerheim, Ryti, Hitler, and Keitel in a meeting in a railway car. Part of the original tape survived and has been restored, and of course, posted at various ports of call on the internet.   It's really weird hearing Hitler behind closed doors.  Most other recordings we have of him are when he is in a frenzy, shouting invective at rallies and speeches. This is a whole different person, but yeah, it's still Hitler. 

What Hitler says to Mannerheim is surprising--he claims  that Germany intended to attack West already in 1939 but weather postponed it to 1940.

Hitler also claims that the East offensive was delayed by difficulties in North Africa and the Balkans; in 1940 Germany couldn't have defended the critically important Rumanian oil fields against Soviet Union's attack; that's why Hitler bought time by prolonging the negotiations with Stalin and encouraged the Finns to do the same.

Hitler: ...a very serious danger, perhaps the most serious one - it's whole extent we can only now judge. We did not ourselves understand - just how strong this state [the USSR] was armed.

Mannerheim: No, we hadn't thought of this.

Hitler: No, I too, no.

Mannerheim: During the Winter War - during the Winter War we had not even thought of this. Of course...

Hitler: (Interrupting) Yes.

Mannerheim: But so, how they - in reality - and now there is no doubt all they had - what they had in their stocks!

Hitler: Absolutely, This is - they had the most immense armaments that, uh, people could imagine. Well - if somebody had told me that a country - with...(Hitler is interrupted by the sound of a door opening and closing.) If somebody had told me a nation could start with 35,000 tanks, then I'd have said: "You are crazy!"

Mannerheim: Thirty-five?

Hitler: Thirty-five thousand tanks.

Another Voice In Background: Thirty-five thousand! Yes!

Hitler: We have destroyed - right now - more than 34,000 tanks. If someone had told me this, I'd have said: "You!" If you are one of my generals had stated that any nation has 35,000 tanks I'd have said: "You, my good sir, you see everything twice or ten times. You are crazy; you see ghosts." This I would have deemed possible. I told you earlier we found factories, one of them at Kramatorskaja, for example, Two years ago there were just a couple hundred [tanks]. We didn't know anything. Today, there is a tank plant, where - during the first shift a little more than 30,000, and 'round the clock a little more than 60,000, workers would have labored - a single tank plant! A gigantic factory! Masses of workers who certainly, lived like animals and...

Another Voice In Background: (Interrupting) In the Donets area?

Hitler: In the Donets area. (Background noises from the rattling of cups and plates over the exchange.)

Mannerheim: Well, if you keep in mind they had almost 20 years, almost 25 years of - freedom to arm themselves...

Hitler: (Interrupting quietly) It was unbelievable.

Mannerheim: And everything - everything spent on armament.

Hitler: Only on armament.

Mannerheim: Only on armament!

Hitler: (Sighs) Only - well, it is - as I told your president [Ryte] before - I had no idea of it. If I had an idea - then I would have been even more difficult for me, but I would have taken the decision [to invade] anyhow, because - there was no other possibility. It was - certain, already in the winter of '39/ '40, that the war had to begin. I had only this nightmare - but there is even more! Because a war on two fronts - would have been impossible - that would have broken us. Today, we see more clearly - than we saw at that time - it would have broken us. And my whole - I originally wanted to - already in the fall of '39 I wanted to conduct the campaign in the west - on the continuously bad weather we experienced hindered us.

Our whole armament - you know, was - is a pure good weather armament. It is very capable, very good, but it is unfortunately just a good-weather armament. We have seen this in the war. Our weapons naturally were made for the west, and we all thought, and this was true 'till that time, uh, it was the opinion from the earliest times: you cannot wage war in winter. And we too, have, the German tanks, they weren't tested, for example, to prepare them for winter war. Instead we conducted trials to prove it was impossible to wage war in winter. That is a different starting point [than the Soviet's]. In the fall of 1939 we always faced the question. I desperately wanted to attack, and I firmly believed we could finish France in six weeks.

However, we faced the question of whether we could move at all - it was raining continuously. And I know the French area myself very well and I too could not ignore the opinions, of many of my generals that, we - probably - would not have had the élan, that our tank arm would not have been, effective, that our air force could not been effective from our airfields because of the rain.

I know northern France myself. You know, I served in the Great War for four years. And - so the delay happened. If I had in '39 eliminated France, then world history would have changed. But I had to wait 'till 1940, and unfortunately it wasn't possible before May. Only on the 10th of May was the first nice day - and on the 10th of May I immediately attacked. I gave the order to attack on the 10th on the 8th. And - then we had to, conduct this huge transfer of our divisions from the west to the east.

First the occupation of - then we had the task in Norway - at the same time we faced - I can frankly say it today - a grave misfortune, namely the - weakness of, Italy. Because of - first, the situation in North Africa, then, second, because of the situation in Albania and Greece - a very big misfortune. We had to help. This meant for us, with one small stoke, first - the splitting of our air force, splitting our tank force, while at the same time we were preparing, the, tank arm in the east. We had to hand over - with one stroke, two divisions, two whole divisions and a third was then added - and we had to replace continuous, very severe, losses there. It was - bloody fighting in the desert.

This all naturally was inevitable, you see. I had a conversation with Molotov [Soviet Minister] at that time, and it was absolutely certain that Molotov departed with the decision to begin a war, and I dismissed the decision to begin a war, and I dismissed him with the decision to - impossible, to forestall him. There was - this was the only - because the demands that man brought up were clearly aimed to rule, Europe in the end. (Practically whispering here.) Then I have him - not publicly...(fades out).

Already in the fall of 1940 we continuously faced the question, uh: shall we, consider a break up [in relations with the USSR]? At that time, I advised the Finnish government, to - negotiate and, to gain time and, to act dilatory in this matter - because I always feared - that Russia suddenly would attack Romania in the late fall - and occupy the petroleum wells, and we would have not been ready in the late fall of 1940. If Russia indeed had taken Romanian petroleum wells, than Germany would have been lost. It would have required - just 60 Russian divisions to handle that matter.

In Romania we had of course - at that time - no major units. The Romanian government had turned to us only recently - and what we did have there was laughable. They only had to occupy the petroleum wells. Of course, with our weapons I could not start a, war in September or October. That was out of the question. Naturally, the transfer to the east wasn't that far advanced yet. Of course, the units first had to reconsolidate in the west. First the armaments had to be taken care of because we too had - yes, we also had losses in our campaign in the west. It would have been impossible to attack - before the spring of 19, 41. And if the Russians at that time - in the fall of 1940 - had occupied Romania - taken the petroleum wells, then we would have been, helpless in 1941.

Another Voice In Background: Without petroleum...

Hitler: (Interrupting) We had huge German production: however, the demands of the air force, our Panzer divisions - they are really huge. It is level of consumption that surpasses the imagination. And without the addition of four to five million tons of Romanian petroleum, we could not have fought the war - and would have had to let it be - and that was my big worry. Therefore I aspired to, bridge the period of negotiations 'till we would be strong enough to, counter those extortive demands [from Moscow] because - those demands were simply naked extortion's. They were extortion's. The Russians knew we were tied up in the west. They could really extort everything from us. Only when Molotov visited - then - I told him frankly that the demands, their numerous demands, weren't acceptable to us. With that the negotiations came to an abrupt end that same morning.

There were four topics. The one topic that, involved Finland was, the, freedom to protect themselves from the Finnish threat, he said. [I said] You do not want to tell me Finland threatens you! But he said: "In Finland it is - they who take action against the, friends, of the Soviet Union. They would [take action] against [our] society, against us - they would continuously, persecute us and, a great power cannot be threatened by a minor country."

I said: "Your, existence isn't threatened by Finland! That is, you don't mean to tell me..."

Mannerheim: (Interrupting) Laughable!

Hitler: "...that your existence is threatened by Finland?" Well [he said] there was a moral - threat being made against a great power, and what Finland was doing, that was a moral - a threat to their moral existence. Then I told him we would not accept a further war in the Baltic area as passive spectators. In reply he asked me how we viewed our position in, Romania. You know, we had given them a guarantee. [He wanted to know] if that guarantee was directed against Russia as well? And that time I told him: "I don't think it is directed at you, because I don't think you have the intention of attacking Romania. You have always stated that Bessarabia is yours, but that you have - never stated that you want to attack Romania!"

"Yes," he told me, but he wanted to know more precisely if this guarantee...(A door opens and the recording ends.) .

As it turned out, someone on Hitler's staff or Guards figured out about the recording....but somehow the tape was preserved.

Famous Jacks, including an All This Is That editor

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I never get tired of this one. I'm the least famous Jack on the list by an order of great magnitude, but there it is nestled in between two other Jacks.  Clearly internet related hits and searches figured in their selections

Jack Black
Jack Brummet
Jack Connector

jack brummet drawing: Faces No. 172

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Supremes Chisel Away At Miranda Protection

By Pablo Fanque
National Affairs Editor

Voting along predictable lines, a five-knucklehead majority of the U.S. Supreme Court has voted to further water down the Miranda Rights of suspects. 

“The right to remain silent” actually--now--requires you to speak.  The Supremes ruled 5-4 today that criminal suspects must explicitly tell police interrogators they wish to remain silent in order to receive Miranda protections. 

Writing the dissenting opinion, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that the decision “turns Miranda upside down . . . suspects will be legally presumed to have waived their rights even if they have given no clear expression of their intent to do so.”

More police Identikit faces I made in Faces 3.0

Another batch of composite faces I created in my police Identikit software.  OK, sure, they're not quite as spooky as the usual suspects you see on wanted the image to enlarge...

A semi-literate reader takes us and some other readers to the woodshed over a 2006 article on "An open letter to my teen-age son"

One of the coolest parts of having a long-running blog is that the posts are available and findable on the internet years later.  There are probably 20 or so posts we've written on subjects that appear in few other places on the internet.  Some of these articles come up at the top of internet searches (this one is the no. 1 result in a google search), and people often comment on articles from many years ago. 

"An Open Letter To My Teenage Son" is one of those.  I remember hearing this on AM radio many times when it came out (in late 1967).  It starts out half-rational--even inspirational--and descends into reactionary gibberish and hate when he talks about the war and "draft-dodging."

Click here to see our article, the "lyrics," and a link to the actual "song."

A couple of days ago, someone--anonymous, of course--left two comments on this post and on the comments about the post. 

"all you people must not believe in the flag or what rights you have that the military gave you by fighting for you damn rights so you don't like it there are other countrys that you can go to and then you can go to heckes after ward"

"well as for the youngster from Saterday July 12th 2008. that is becuase you were not brought up right i have listen to this song from almost day one and it brought chills to my back and its still doing it today so if i was your father i would say good get the f out. Thats just what i felt like"