Monday, January 31, 2011

More fun in the streets of Cairo with Hosni Mubarak photos

click to enlarge

"It's All About Me!" -- Sarah Palin inserts herself into another news story

By Pablo Fanque, National Affairs Editor
Illustrations by Jack Brummet

In a speech in Reno last weekend, Ex-Governor Sarah Palin said she thinks a recent media boycott of her is a good thing. . .because she won't be "blamed" for the uprising in Egypt.

Palin, of course, became a flash point during the national debate following the Tucson, Arizona shootings earlier this month.  Many people (and the criticism was bi-partisan) accused her of fanning the flames of intolerance, and some even said she was the catalyst for the Arizona murders/assassination attempt. 

Ex-governor Palin said that the boycott  on writing about her "sounds good, because there's a lot of chaos in Cairo, and I can't wait to not get blamed for it--at least for a month."
Citizens and media--old and new-- discussed her use of the phrase "don't retreat, reload!"  and her use of targets (which her office called surveyor's symbols) on a map of congressional seats.  She took the bait and struck back with her ridiculous and now infamous "blood libel" video.  She appears to not want to get herself mangled in the wringer one more time in January.


Hosni Mubarak, defaced in Cairo

A sample of some of the excellent Mubarak touch-ups being performed all across Egypt.  These four images all came from Cairo. . .

click to enlarge

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia crosses yet another line, or, Has dementia finally put its death-grip on Scalia?

By Jack Brummet
Jurisprudence Editor
(Illustrations, Jack Brummet)

[Ed's note/sidebar]: I didn't get around to writing about this, but I actually felt bad for Representative Bachmann when she performed her "tea party rebuttal."   She was focused on her crappy web-cam, while the network's heavy camera were off to her side.  She ended up looking like a goofball, and never looked into the camera of the national feed.  Conan, Huffington, and many others, of course, made hay on this.  OK, I didn't feel that bad for her...]

Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia recently drove up to the Capitol to lead a little seminar about the Constitution for the members of Congress, under the auspices of Tea Party caucus chair Michele Bachmann.  Justice Scalia's stint in Congresswoman Bachmann's Constitution prep school has triggered all sorts of backwash and blowback about exactly just what is the proper relationship between the Supreme Court and the rumpled wardheelers and corporate shills we call our political leaders. But as many have said, and written, the crux of the biscuit here is not about ethics, but about the twisted and warped view of the Constitution that Scalia and the Tea Party are promulgating

Jonathan Turley wrote in the Washington Post this weekend, that while Supreme Court Justices across the ideological spectrum have taken on increasingly prominent public roles, Scalia has become a "celebrity justice" by throwing in with the pinheads of the Tea Party and the far right bleeding edge of the GOP.

I don't have anything against God, or The Bible.  Quite the contrary.  And while neither of them are actually mentioned in The Constitution, you wouldn't know that from listening to either the Tea Party or Justice Scalia. 

While both Scalia and the TP talk about strictly interpreting the constitution, the Tea Party has more than once floated the idea of repealing the 16th Amendment (re: federal income taxation), the 17th Amendment (re: direct popular election of U.S. Senators), and even parts of the 14th Amendment.  And yeah, a couple of other amendments too.  Sooner or later, they will also get around to chucking the first amendment. 

These Scalia-Bachmann Con Law classes are not an introduction to the Constitution as much as a blueprint for reinterpreting the Constitution. My fellow editor, Pablo Fanque, called it "tweaking and editing the constitution to bring it into closer conformance with Mein Kampf."

Scalia has often said that the equal protection clause (e.g., the 14th amendment), originally meant to ensure black Americans the full rights of citizenship, was never intended to ensure equal rights for women or gay people.   But then, according to the Huffington Post, "he departed completely from the original intent of the amendment, using it as a justification for halting the 2000 recount in Florida and handing the presidency to George W. Bush."

And needless to say, both Scalia, and his lapdog Clarence Thomas, have hinted that they are more than willing to consider overturning the health care reform law. As always, they believe the rights of corporations supersede those of individual citizens--a bizarre reading of our founders' intent, and quite possibly, the opening volley in what may come to be known as the American Revolution II.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Five Years ago today, on All This Is That: My Grandma's Tavern In Carnation, Washington

click to enlarge - my Grandpa Del (his hook arm is hidden) and Grandma Galvin

By Jack Brummet - Originally published here on January 26, 2005

Not long ago, I wrote here about my Great Uncle Guy Huber, his visits to Kent, Washington, and, of course, his wooden leg. I also wrote about my Grandpa Dell, last year, and how I teethed on his hook arm when I was a baby...

Grandma Vera Galvin was Uncle Guy's sister, and Grandpa Dell was my Grandma's third, and final, husband. Alas, I don't have many tales to tell of my Grandma. She died in either 1961 or 1962. My mother is not all that forthcoming about her exploits, and wouldn't answer several questions I posed (or said "please don't write about that"), sticking mainly to the bare biographical facts. This was much different than when I pumped her for information on Uncle Guy. In fact, I don't have a lot of memories of her either.

Grandma Galvin is pictured in this photograph at a bar she owned in Carnation, Washington. Carnation was a small village in 1949, when she bought the bar on the town's main street. She owned it for about ten years. Also in the picture, with his one hand on the register, is Grandpa Dell Galvin. They must have been about my age in the photo.

All my life, I've been fascinated by her owing a bar. When I was a kid, women seemed to rarely even go to bars, let alone own one. But then again, most grandmothers didn't get married three times either, or drink beer 'round the clock. There must have been some vein of iconoclasm in the family, since my mom ended up being a Rosie The Riveter during WW II, and eventually a U.S. Marine.

The bar is a little spooky. . .but that's mainly the taxidermy I think. . .there is definitely a stuffed owl, and I'm not sure if the other birds are pheasants or wild turkeys. . .or what? They look too small for grouse. Another critter at the left end of the bar could be a porcupine, a marmot, a wild baby boar?

When I knew her, Grandma drove a pearl grey 1948 Plymouth. I remember several occasions sitting next to her driving somewhere. I also remember there was a "church key" for opening beer cans on her dashboard. I don't remember ever seeing her without a can of beer wrapped in a paper bag. She lived in a cottage (my mom calls it a shack) in Carnation.

She started the coal stove every morning--fat lumps of greasy coal kindled with tissues. The house had plumbing; I well remember the houses that didn't--and the cold treks to fantastically rank outhouses. One of my only other memories of visiting her in Carnation was having breakfast with one of Del's daughters, who also lived in Carnation. She gave me half a grapefruit. I don't think I'd ever seen one before. I know I hadn't eaten one. They squirted. I liked it.

Dell died of a brain tumor in the late '50s, and Grandma sold her bar. Or maybe she went broke. Grandma Galvin was now retired, and was just about to move in with my family in Kent, when she went into a diabetic coma and died in about 1961. I remember my dad telling me one morning that she had passed away.

It was years before I could really tell the difference between passing away and passing out. Passing out from drink was not unheard of in my circles and yet even then, at say, the age of nine, I could smell a whiff of it--you sense the people passing out are treading an tenuous chasm between being numb and being gone.

Five faces by Jack Brummet, drawn on the iPad

click to enlarge

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pleated Jeans Map of "what your state is worst at" reminds us of our Enumclaw series. . .

Pleated Jeans posted this great map recently.  It, of course, reminded us of our series of articles on Enumclaw, and a couple of other incidents that occurred in Washington State.

This article contains links to our horse (and other animal) reportage, including the original "Enumclaw" stories.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Poem by Jack Brummet: The Recurring Dream

The Recurring Dream
By Jack Brummet

I drag my wooden leg
Up a shattered staircase,

Across sagging boards
On a crumbling porch.

Light filters in
Through banks of cloud and fog

Radiating in waves from
A cockeyed half moon.

I hear sounds
In the dark basement.

The door is locked.
I twist the knob.

The door groans open.
I take a deep breath and shuffle in.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Jack Brummet poem: Escape

by Jack Brummet

Take the worst that could happen.
Add two zeros.

High fidelity clouds gather over
The tattered stage flats of a world on fire.

There is no one to clear our lift-off.
We sort our way between the shrapnel.

The ground rolls away behind us.
You and me.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

"Sure gonna miss her" -- Patricia Jane "Pat" Curran

A salute to my friend, and mother in law, Pat Curran.  I'm not quite ready to write about her.  But, let's just say that after a rocky start, we've been pals for 36 years, and traveled together, wrote poetry together, cooked, babysat, and debated politics, religion, and ethics many times.  Her greatest legacy, aside from all her great civics works, patronage of the arts and political causes, is, of course, her children, all of whom I love like my own brothers and sisters.  I will miss her very much, and will always be reminded of her by Keelin, the child who most closely resembles her (see the third to last photo).

Her obituary can be found here.

Here are some pictures of her at various times, in various places.


Poem by Jack Brummet: The Candidate

The Candidate
by Jack Brummet

It's you Up There
Trying to explain

To The Lamplighter
The Scoutmaster of all Scoutmasters

How you believed you were made
By a being of purity and love

But how do you choose?
Allah Jesus Krishna Buddha

Yaweh The White Goddess Frigg
Hailie Selassie Zeus Gyhldeptis

Turan Bikeh Hozho Lono
Waheguru Mithra Achiyalatopa

Jeebo Manannan mac Lir
Eight Immortals Baal Moloch?

How you do pick one
Without a sign

And then pick the right one
Where you at least have a shot

At getting it right
As opposed to choosing nothing?

They pull out the list
Of everyone you've ever

Lusted after fornicated with
Cheated on stole from lied to

Conspired against or harmed
Willingly or unwillingly

Written up it doesn't look so good
But you always knew there'd be time

To make amends recoup your losses
Or even repent

In a last minute bid
For a spot near the throne

You always bet you'd have enough warning
To carry on and save the clean living

For the very end
On the positive side of the ledger

In your chest beat
The heart of a Good Samaritan

Who never quite got off
The starting blocks

You're looking earnest now
At the Starthrower

And they tell you
To have a seat.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Dwarf throws in the towel: Sen. "Crazy" Joe Lieberman announces he is not running for re-election

By Pablo Fanque
National Affairs Editor

Sen. "Crazy" Joe Lieberman has announced he is not running for re-election in 2012.  I hope retirement enjoys that treacherous, sawed-off scumbag as much as we have!   Below are a few links to stories we've run on The Dwarf in the last few years.  Good riddance.

Electronic sign hacks, and a link to how to do them.

By Jack Brummet,
Persiflage and Pranks Editor

click images to enlarge/zoom


Road sign control pads are usually encased in a lock box, but that box is almost always unlocked. And while most road signs have password protection, that password is usually the default "DOTS"—or you can reset the password by holding "shift" and "control" while typing "DIPY" (so it defaults to "DOTS" again). has an article giving step by step instructions on how to hack digital road signs, with the caveat "DO NOT under any circumstances run around hacking into electronic road signs using the information contained in this step-by-step guide of how to transmit hilarious messages to passing motorists."