The Friends of California Libre...

09 June 2007

The Memorial to Those Who Died So We Could Read Our E-Mail

Greetings, friends,
As I took my evening constitutional recently, strolling over the Hyperion Bridge, I noticed a lot of things which lifted my spirits and portend a good summer ahead. (At least it guarantees to be entertaining.) First the Blue Moon hovered above us (using the modern definition of Blue Moon as the second full moon in one month.) In Europe, however, this full moon began on 1 June, so their "calendar" Blue Moon is the one coming up at the end of June. Also, this is not an "official" Blue Moon at all, because THAT is the third of four full moons in one season. Confused and irritated with me already? Read up:

I also recently saw the Bug Man at Astro, so summer is really here! For those who don't know, the Bug Man is a homeless guy who sells ladybirds in our neighborhood, usually in front of the Astro or the Trader Joes (which I take as divine evidence that there is a place for the homeless in Amerika).

Which reminds me, I recently came up with a brilliant idea (I believe) and would like y'all to weigh in: After Miss Cluck told me a particularly nasty story about Woody Harrelson paying a "visit" to the tree-sitters up in Northern California, I thought, why don't we start a charity to send homeless people up to live in the redwoods and save them? Think about it...if a homeless person came up to you and asked for $5, what would you say? What if I came up to you and said, "Please donate $5 so we can send a homeless person up to Humboldt to live in a tree"? I'll bet some of you might give me $10 or $20. We'll save the redwoods and clear out Skid Row in rapid order!

Then as a kicker, every Auschwitz-like trainload of homeless going up to Humboldt doesn't come back empty, but full of 100% California marihoochie! Well, maybe that's me pushing it. Let me know what YOU think and I'll send the whole proposal to Julia "Butterfly" Hill...because I don't know who else would give a shit, and frankly she's a hot babe. (I hope she has a sense of humor too.)

Friends, the Jacarandas are also in bloom here in Hell-A. It is impossible for me to be depressed even over homeless people and redwoods when these wonderful Mexican trees pop out their aromatic purple blooms all over the neighborhood:

More good news: The scaffolding and the boards are down, and the Pinkberry is ready to open at Rowena and Hyperion, replacing a hideous Chinese restaurant that I went to once in 13 years. I am really looking forward to standing in a long line just to get vibed by the fro-yo Nazis while I read the menu (and don't dare ask any questions). The first and last time I went to the Pinkberry on Melrose, the whole place was full of beautiful unshaven boys and adorable Burning Man girls with their tiny dogs on strings, wiggling to the music and ready for the velvet rope. However, after my last encounter with Baskin Robbins on their "31 Cent Night", dozens of screaming Latino kids dribbling ice cream off their chins, I don't know what is worse. Hipsters or screaming kids...homeless or redwoods...YOU DECIDE!

The best news of all, my asshole neighbor in Number 5 (over the garage) has moved out. Some of you will recall my past encounters with this Hollywood stylist primadonna, none of which were pleasant or even educational. I thought he would be the annoying punch-line to my decade of tranquility at 3747 Evans Street, but now I have the satisfaction of outlasting him. If any of you are interested in renting a quiet 2 bedroom in ritzy Los Feliz, let me know and I'll ask the landlord, but I'm guessing $1800 - $2200.

For me it might be a $1000 bungalow above the playas of Santa Cruz CA, but we won't say nothing so as not to jinx it. I paid my second visit to the rustic mountain town of Boulder Creek (and they don't tell you what kinda boulders, heh heh) in as many months, and I'm glad to report that Mrs. Chance and Mr. Weigel are closer to "self-sufficiency" than anybody else. Time to start digging your garden, folks. As my great-granny might have said, "Stop praying and start canning."

In other news, I was recently very pleased to observe a glossy black Expedition cut me off, whereupon a glossy black Hummer roared by on the Ventura Freeway and promptly cut off the Expedition. The two behemoths then alternated in cutting each other off in a 21st century ballet of road rage, a delightful show to all the responsible geeks driving behind them in VWs, hybrids, Japanese cars...hell, pretty much anything other than a Hummer or an Expedition.

Then a mile up the road I saw a cop giving a ticket to a guy in a giant glossy black Ford F150. The only thing that might be better would be seeing Henry Vincent finally get nailed for speeding in his Mustang.

Yeah, the good news just dribbles over me these days. "They" decided to make an example of Paris Hilton, and though I don't want to tempt fate, I can't say I broke down in tears when I heard this:

Televangelist, Christian Leader Jerry Falwell Dies

Article and associated radio program about "Rev. Jerry Falwell, a pioneer among televangelists who later became a leading voice in the national debate over Christian values," and who died in May 2007. Also includes video and sound clips of Falwell, a timeline that covers events such as his founding Liberty University (1971) and organization of the political lobbyist group the Moral Majority (1979), and related material. From National Public Radio (NPR).

FIRST MY NEIGHBOR moves and then Jerry Falwell moves along! Mwahaha, I'm outlasting all my enemies. Well, that's awfully negative, eh? Maybe I'm in this mood because I stumbled upon an article about the New Wave music explosion down in Mexico City in theTimes . I was already kinda aware of this, because without cable I get only two stations that broadcast music videos, both in Spanish - LATV (channel 33) and MTV Tres (channel 63). The last few weeks I've been basking in this stuff, the boppiest music I've heard in years, spanning from the authentic 80s New Romantics, like Argentina's Soda Stereo, through Tijuana No with adorable Julieta Venegas to Noiselab and Cansei de Ser Sexy. Everybody who knows me should know, given a choice, that I would say to hell with the future and set my time machine back to 1980, but failing that, this revival down south is second-best. I've assembled a playlist on YouTube, crank it up and enjoy. I LOVE THAT CRAZY NEW WAVE:
La Onda Nueva

It might be fun if this works (means your e-mail is html enabled):
<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

See you at the Fonda maybe today (10 June)?

Speaking of the Tube, anybody catch our friend Azzam the American lately (the punk half-Jewish hard rocker from the OC who went caving with Osama bin Laden in Pakistan)?
Adam Gadahn

Uh oh...I smell a screed coming on. Is it just me or is this kid's delivery a little off? I mean, how dangerous can these people be if the best spokesman they have from America is a former Pantera fan from the OC? Couldn't they at least find some emo kid from the first city they tried to demolish, New York? I can't respect any terrorist group with such low production values...I AM a Los Angeleno after all. And (most) joking aside, can't some goddamn New Yorkers get together to form a hit team, go over to Afghanistan and finish Osama OFF? Our "President" ain't gonna do it, folks. Think of the firepower New Yorkers could amass, the local talent (remembering it was the Chicago mob that failed to wack Fidel Castro for Kennedy) and most importantly, the moral high ground they would have. The whole US might not have great legitimacy in Afghanistan ("hi, we're the folks who brought the guns back in 1980") but if a New Yorker showed up in Kabul and said, "Good evening, I'm looking for the asshole who killed 3,000 of my neighbors," by their own rules of hospitality, the Afghans should lead him directly to Osama...after tea, of course. I'll donate to that cause...Greater New York Area Hit Team. We've got one in LA too, it just isn't well-organized yet.

Well, as usual my Memorial Day thoughts go to my ancestors and their families who suffered through war, like the Scots-Irish "scum" who whipped the Brits in the Carolina Up-Country, the four men who died to break the US in half (three typically from typhoid instead of bullets), and most recently my great-uncle Guy, who served on the USS Saint Louis, first ship chasing the Japanese out of Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941:

For the more curious among you, the end of the caption reads: "Although damaged later off Bougainville and Leyte, the cruiser came back to hang up a record for gunfire - pouring 26,265 rounds of ammunition into the Nips at Okinawa." That's what went for political correctness in 1945...and way to go, Uncle Guy. Though it wasn't revealed at the time (propaganda goes both ways), that "enhanced" explosion in the left-hand photo was from one of six kamikazes who hit the "Lucky Lou" at Leyte Gulf, killing 44 sailors and nearly sinking the ship...whoa.

Like the men who fought in Vietnam (ringing success that against the Commies, so let's try again), what kind of bombs will the vets of the now-and-future war strap on when they flip out on our televisions?
Walter Cronkite: Iraq War a "Disaster"
By Hank Plante
CBS 5 San Jose
Iraq Is on the Verge of Collapse: Report
By Ibon Villelabeitia

You know, we should appreciate that this country, thanks to West Point, a relatively merit-based, civilian-controlled military, and the FIGHTIN' SPIRIT, has always done rather well through international combat...World War I, World War II, the Mexican War, the Barbary Pirates, etc. It's just guerrilla wars like Vietnam, the Philippines (still body for body the nastiest thing we ever did), Nicaragua, and yeah, the Civil War where lots of people on both sides end up dead for nothing. Typical. Other than the obvious fact that we let our government provoke a war which we could never win, it doesn't inspire confidence that we use such 20th century tactics (and a 12th century rationalization):
US Builds Baghdad Wall to Keep Sunnis and Shias Apart
By Mark Tran
The Guardian UK
US Erects Baghdad Wall to Keep Sects Apart
By Edward Wong and David S. Cloud
The New York Times

That's right...a tried and true technique that worked in China, Berlin and Belfast. If Shelley Woods and Henry Vincent can just walk into nightclubs without paying, why do you think a wall is going to keep anybody out?
Construction on Baghdad Barrier Halted
By Qussim Abdul-Zahra
The Associated Press
Frustration Over Wall Unites Sunni and Shi'ite
By Alissa J. Rubin
The New York Times

That's better. Forget they know down in Arizona, there's always an opening somewhere. Let's do what America does best, win the prize for huge, ugly, ostentatious architecture:
US Embassy in Iraq to Be Biggest Ever
By Anne Gearan
The Associated Press

Really, the way to peace in the Middle East is just to blow their minds with all the good stuff we have to offer:
Hooters heading for Holy Land

Maybe we'd better open one up in Baghdad next:
Opposition to the War Growing Among Troops
By Sarah Olson
t r u t h o u t Report

Seriously, though, compared to some of our past belligerence, this foreign adventure was poorly planned:
Is US Army Bent to the Breaking Point?
By Gordon Lubold
The Christian Science Monitor
Governors Say War Has Gutted Guard
By Kirsten Scharnberg
The Chicago Tribune

Maybe we could send in the LAPD...they'd have Baghdad in a state of controllable corruption and inter-ethnic street fighting in just a few months:
Police Action on Journalists at Melee Is Assailed
By Anna Gorman and Stuart Silverstein
The Los Angeles Times

Even the usual enthusiasts aren't behind this useless waste of lives:
Three Generals Spurn the Position of War "Czar"
By Peter Baker and Thomas E. Ricks
The Washington Post

I'm glad my party took a big stand which would, of course, result in absolutely nothing:
Can Congress End the War?
By David Swanson
House OKs Timetable for Troops in Iraq
By Anne Flaherty
The Associated Press
Senate OKs Iraq Troop Withdrawal Bill
By Anne Flaherty
The Associated Press
Senate Passes Iraq War Bill Requiring Pullout
By Carl Hulse and Jeff Zeleny
The New York Times

The real motivator isn't morality or even expedience or good sense; it's money:
Price Tag for War in Iraq on Track to Top $500 Billion
By Ron Hutcheson
McClatchy Newspapers

And pretty soon all the money will be coming from one country, US:
South Korea Draws Up Iraq Pullout Plan
By Jae-Soon Chang
The Associated Press
Denmark to Withdraw From Iraq
The Associated Press

At least no other country need fear mighty America for a long time...
Military Is Ill-Prepared for Other Conflicts
By Ann Scott Tyson
The Washington Post

...which is very comforting to our real enemies:
NATO and the Taliban
Le Monde Editorial
Attacks Spark Fears of Taliban Defeating NATO
By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson

If you want to commit a fraud or some other kind of white collar crime here, now is the time to go for it:
The FBI's Terrorism Trade-Off
By Paul Shukovsky, Tracy Johnson and Daniel Lathrop
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Of course, the stupidest President we've ever had doesn't even slow down at the verge of the precipice; nope, he'll be standing out there spinning his feet in the air like Wiley Coyote:
Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran
By Brian Ross and Richard Esposito
ABC News
Bush's Future Iran War Speech: Three Charges in the Case for War
By Michael T. Klare
Hardware King Bush Hits Iran for Peddling Arms
By Sherwood Ross
t r u t h o u t Guest Contributor
Is Bush Leading Us to Nuclear War?
By William D. Hartung and Frida Berrigan
In These Times

Why not? We're two peas in a pod:
U.S. ranks low, just above Iran on new peace index - Yahoo! News
A Drive for Global Domination Has Put Us in Greater Danger
By Al Gore
The Guardian UK

Sure, all of you out there believe in good sense and rational thought:
Bush Faces Opposition on Iran Attack
By Robert Parry
Consortium News
US Generals "Will Quit" If Bush Orders Iran Attack
By Michael Smith and Sarah Baxter
Pentagon Whistle-Blower on the Coming War With Iran
Iranians Worry About Rumors of an American Attack
By Marie-Claude Decamps
Le Monde
I Lost My Son to a War I Oppose. We Were Both Doing Our Duty.
By Andrew J. Bacevich
The Washington Post
Sheehan Quits as Face of US Anti-War Fight
By Dan Glaister
The Guardian UK

Too bad you aren't running for President:
McCain sings bomb Iran

Another pointless, unnecessary war:
Iran: How Far From the Bomb?
By Ray McGovern
t r u t h o u t Guest Contributor
Iran Sets Condition to Halt Nuke Program
By George Jahn
The Associated Press
Edwards: Treaty With Iran Possible
By Terry Moran
ABC Nightline
Swiss Discussed Compromise Idea in Iran: Diplomats
By Louis Charbonneau
Ex-Congressional Aide: Karl Rove Personally Received (And Ignored) Iranian Peace Offer in 2003
By Amy Goodman
Democracy Now!

It's the kind of shit that frankly, we wouldn't put up with for a day in the US; imagine a country across the world doing this off Catalina or in the Gulf of Mexico:
Nine US Warships Enter Gulf in Show of Force
By Mohammed Abbas
US Launches Show of Force in Persian Gulf
By James Calderwood and Jim Krane
The Associated Press
Former Bush Officials Accuse White House of Trying to Provoke Iran
By Deniz Yeter
t r u t h o u t Report
US Show of Force in Gulf Alarming: Afghan paper
By Sayed Salahuddin

We'll have help; the Muslims are gonna LOVE this war:
Israel Seeks All Clear for Iran Air Strike
By Con Coughlin
The Telegraph UK

Even our cetacean neighbors will be in it:
Ludicrous Dolphin Plan Shows We Are Scared Silly
By Brenda Peterson
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Aww, too bad. The fucking government ran out of money and got their war foreclosed:
US, Iran to Hold Rare Talks; Subject Is Iraq
By Ramin Mostaghim and Louise Roug
The Los Angeles Times

Just in time; 'cause this world is getting too violent for poor li'l me:
Granny finds grenade in groceries

Vive le screed!

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