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BB's website.

I am in home hospice care at my residence in Las Vegas.
"Thanks to all for your well wishes and prayers.
The Thrill is ... going. And I'm tearing up.

If you don't know who BB King is, go find out. As a start, he was the first really innovative electric guitarist, taking T-bone Walker's stuff and running with it. When Rolling Stone ranked the greatest guitarists of rock music of all time, BB finished third, behind a couple of guys named Hendrix and Allman. You've never heard a rock guitar solo that didn't have some BB in it.

Travel well, blues man.


Where do you rank BB on the list of great guitarists?

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Fri Apr 10, 2015 at 10:28 AM PDT

Rand Paul proves he's not sexist

by blue aardvark

By walking out of an interview with a male reporter (from The Guardian) and having an aide turn off the lights, leaving the reporter sitting in the dark.


After offering a terse response to Lewis on how he plans to reach both the Republican base and more centrist voters, Paul abruptly shut down the conversation and walked away from the reporter, who continued to push for “a specifics answer.” As Lewis explained to the camera that he and his team had been asked to leave, someone turned off the lights.
Questions about how to reach both the base and the wider voting population are off limits? Sweet Cthulhu's tentacles, what questions are permitted? Could this guy come across as more spoiled?

Beneath the Orange Squiggle of Power: actual film of Rand Paul's childhood.



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Huff Post

“Here’s your job, Republican Party," Nugent said over the weekend in comments posted online by Right Wing Watch. "Twenty to 25 of those guys kill themselves every day, and they haven’t told you why and they haven’t told anybody else why but they told me why: because the commander-in-chief is the enemy.”
Yeah, Obama could totally get a fix to the ACA through a Congress that answers to people who think this guy is sane.

BTW, Nuge, didn't you go to great lengths to avoid becoming a veteran yourself? Chickenhawk trying desperately to wrap himself in the honor of those whose service broke them down.

Nugent was speaking at the Republican Party of Maricopa County, Arizona's Lincoln Day Dinner, where he had been introduced by controversial sheriff Joe Arpaio, the website reported.
While we're at it, this is also a reason to loathe Arpaio. I'm surprised that putting the two of them together in the same room didn't cause spontaneous generation of maggots in the flesh of everyone in attendance.

So how do you feel about the fact Ted Nugent owns lots of guns?

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Terry Pratchett, who died recently, was a kindred spirit.

The author dug up 81kg of ore to produce it [note: a sword], smelting using a makeshift kiln built out of clay and hay.

To add a trademark element of fantasy to it, he threw in "several pieces of meteorites - thunderbolt iron, you see - highly magical, you've got to chuck that stuff in whether you believe in it or not."

I think you should put in your application now to be reincarnated on Discworld.

Thu Mar 26, 2015 at 07:13 PM PDT

Mike Pence and the Anti-Christ

by blue aardvark

"Your money's no good here".

That's the message Indiana Senate Bill 101, signed by Mike Pence today, sends to ... well, everyone who isn't in the majority religion in a community. The law seems to be a reaction to the recent expansion of gay and lesbian rights, but it can apply to divorced people, pagans and Jews and Buddhists, and anyone else who somehow offends someone's sense of right and wrong, so long as they can cite a religious justification.

"Your money's no good here" is a message that has been sent before, of course.
Jim Crow laws
Nazi antisemitic laws

Adolph Hitler and the KKK stand in solidarity with you, Governor Pence. Of course, you can console yourself with the thought that no one will ever treat you or your descendants like this; your religion is in the majority, and will remain so. Right?

Of course, there's always this rather famous passage from Revelations.

15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

So there you have it, Governor. The Bible tells of a day when Christians will be the minority religion, and will be told "Your money's no good here".

Do you really believe that a weapon wielded by Hitler, by the racists of the American South, and by the Antichrist himself, is somehow a weapon of good in your hands? Are you really that blind?

For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind:


Personal favorite:

The only thing we have to fear is this list of things you can find on my campaign website. #TedCruzCampaignSlogans

Raw Story (citing the Guardian)

The judge in Ferguson, Missouri, who is accused of fixing traffic tickets for himself and colleagues while inflicting a punishing regime of fines and fees on the city’s residents, also owes more than $170,000 in unpaid taxes.

Ronald J Brockmeyer, whose court allegedly jailed impoverished defendants unable to pay fines of a few hundred dollars, has a string of outstanding debts to the US government dating back to 2007, according to tax filings obtained by the Guardian from authorities in Missouri.

The judge was also named among a group of white Ferguson officials found by the Department of Justice investigators to be writing off citations for themselves and friends while punishing residents for similar offences. Another of these officials, court clerk Mary Ann Twitty, was fired by the city in connection with racist emails also uncovered by the inquiry.
He's evidently a racist plantation owner who cheats on his taxes and fixes tickets for white people while putting the screws to African Americans.

Ferguson shows the good old boy's club in action. I am not a lawyer, but I have to wonder if this counts as a racketeering organization per the RICO statues. It will be interesting to see if the usual suspects can defend even this.

The white guys in Ferguson were guilty of far worse crimes than the blacks - certainly of worse than poor Michael Brown ever was. What do you think the odds are of a cop shooting Ron Brockmeyer after he raises his hands and surrenders?

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Wed Mar 04, 2015 at 12:16 PM PST

Ferguson: "It's Never About Race"

by blue aardvark

Charlie Pierce

Worth a read as Charlie gives a little background on some of the people who are being paid to explain to white America why there's nothing to see here.



DOJ found that the distrust between African-Americans and the Ferguson Police Department was largely attributable to the department's approach to law enforcement.
File this under "not surprising at all but still news".

More updates coming.

From Politico

In addition to violations by police, the DOJ found that the city of Ferguson’s municipal court amassed revenue through excessive ticketing of residents living in or near poverty. The investigation alleges that this practice encouraged police misconduct.

Over 16,000 of Ferguson’s 21,000 residents had outstanding arrest warrants, the majority of which were the result of cases involving minor traffic or housing code violations.

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Thu Feb 26, 2015 at 09:13 AM PST

About DHS funding

by blue aardvark

Hey guys, just for clarity of thought, there's 3 DHS issues that need to be kept separate.

1) Should the existing DHS be funded?
2) Should the DHS exist, or be broken up into its constituent parts?
3) Should the constituent parts exist (i.e., do we have too much "security")?

I submit to you that the current GOP bill tying funding of DHS to Obama's immigration executive actions is not to the slightest degree - not even epsilon - a step toward addressing either (2) or (3). It does not raise the issues, it does not make people think about the issues, it doesn't move towards (2) or (3) as a side effect. If your goal is the dismantling of the security state, tying DHS funding to immigration is NOT your path forward.

I see not too much point to (2), it seems like a bureaucratic organization chart matter, the sort of thing that management proudly announces will lead of "efficiencies" and "synergies" until the next re-organization by the next manager.

Issue (3) is very important and is going to require attention to detail, persuasion of the voters, electing more and especially better Democrats - you know, work. There's no fast way to undo 13 years of "ZOMG teh terrorists are coming!", and defunding DHS actually makes that work harder, because as we've seen, the reflexive response to taking a meat axe to DHS is to protect it all. The security state is an elephant, and elephants are eaten one bite at a time.


The NYT, relying on FOIA information obtained by Greenpeace.

He (Dr. Soon) has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work.

The documents show that Dr. Soon, in correspondence with his corporate funders, described many of his scientific papers as “deliverables” that he completed in exchange for their money. He used the same term to describe testimony he prepared for Congress.

Climate Change is a conspiracy ... er, Climate Change Denial seems to be. Pro tip: most scientists don't view testimony before Congress as a deliverable product.
Charles R. Alcock, director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center, acknowledged on Friday that Dr. Soon had violated the disclosure standards of some journals.

“I think that’s inappropriate behavior,” Dr. Alcock said. “This frankly becomes a personnel matter, which we have to handle with Dr. Soon internally.”

And I hope they scrupulously follow the existing rules to the letter. Dr. Soon is entitled to his academic freedom; he is not entitled to use that principle to excuse unethical behavior.

If there was more Federal funding of basic science, would there be less of this sort of corruption?

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Thu Feb 05, 2015 at 03:35 PM PST

Humans of the Oval Office

by blue aardvark


There's a lot of dust in my office right now, I think I need to speak to the janitor.

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