Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Birthday: Long Tough Blog!

This lesson in internet distraction began on New Year's Eve, 2005. Happy Birthday to us, and a sincere Happy New Year to anyone passing by.

It's New Years Day in Australia, we had a fabulous time on Collaroy Beach watching the fireworks and families with Tin and her friend Di, had a few beverages, watched the fireworks at the Harbor Bridge on TV. Had a swim this morning - it's about 90° F - got some work down, now Im having a beer and listening to Penguins on a Rock.

I love my life.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The zombies: "Time of the Season"

I woke up with this song in my head and it will not go away. Maybe I dreamed about listening to the radio when I was four.

I love this song, for childhood memory reasons, and for that opening riff: "dum dum dum (tick) ahhh! dum dum dum (tick) ahhh!" But: "Time of the season"? I'm as relaxed as the next guy about lyrics and odd usages of phrases, but that just seems lazy. Might as well say "period of the period of time."  Then the "Who's your daddy"" business. Never did quite get that. But hey, we'll let that pass.

Because this, my friends, is a legendary video (go here if it doesn't play):

The Zombies - Time of the Season
Uploaded by peakers. - Watch more music videos, in HD!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Announcing: a Leak!

Why does Wikileaks announce that they're going to release leaked material they have? Doesn't it at least kind of defeat the purpose of the leaks? Especially in the case of a private entity like "a big U.S. bank"? Doesn't it give those being leaked from time to fix the damage that might be caused? In the case of the government, if the leaks could actually put people in danger, this is understandable, but even then you wouldn't have to announce it publicly. I don't get it.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Trying to Touch and Reach You...

Just for that one line, a beautiful George Harrison folk song for my beautiful far away girl.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Richie Havens: "License to Kill"

This song has possibly the weirdest line Bob Dylan ever wrote: "man has invented his doom, first step was touching the moon..." What, Neil Armstrong let loose the curst of the moon sphynx? Or is it space travel? Or am I missing something?

Probably missing something.

Anyway, it's a beautiful and haunting song, and the odd and slow tempo for some reason suits Richie Havens'guitar style in a very nice way.


Monday, November 08, 2010

Twenty-Nine Dollars (and an Alligator Purse)

I'm not sure how I feel about this song on the cassette player for the ride to work on an early morning. I may not be right all day:


Saturday, November 06, 2010


I wrote a song many years ago called "I Can't Wait to do a Tracheotomy." It's a love song. Some of my friends here might know it. I was just thinking about that song, and about my father, while looking out over a wide expanse of our Rogue Valley from the deck of my friend Eric's house - he's in Argentina - smoking a Seneca brand filterless cigarette that I bought on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation in Western New York recently. I was in Western New York to visit my father, and various other wonderful elements of my family. 

My father, it turned out, actually had a tracheotomy some years after I wrote that song. Some years after that he presented me with the metal tracheotomy contraption that he'd had to wear during that episode. The grandkids tell me he blew bubbles through it now and then. Dad gave the device to me because I'd written a song called, "I Can't Wait to do a Tracheotomy," and he thought I might like to have it. 

I still have that metal tracheotomy contraption; I saw it recently while going through my possessions in preparation for our move to Australia. I found it in a sandwich bag. Still shiny as ever. I think I'll take that contraption with me to Australia. Why not? 

I tell you this only because: There are some moments, some events, some memories, some combinations of moments, events, and memories, that make this weird painful thing called Life worthwhile. For me, that's one.


Friday, November 05, 2010

Thought for the Morning: Tax Cuts II

America, if Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Kobe Bryant, Alex Rodriguez, and David Beckham have to pay a bit more in taxes, they'll only have hundreds of millions of dollars left—and America will be destroyed.

This has been another Thought for the Morning.


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Thought for the Morning: Tax cuts

What we need now in America - what we really, really need the very most - is for people with secret bank accounts in Switzerland to pay less taxes. That would make everything perfect. It would be especially good for the unemployed.


Redux: Health Care Reform SAVED Money

Because it's being said again, and louder now that Republicans have taken the House, I have to go back to this post from last January:

Democrats have done a terrible job countering the "It costs too much!" screams from the teabaggers and other Republican miscreants regarding health care reform. How difficult is it to get this across:

• Passing a health care bill, say the Senate bill, which will cost $849 billion over ten years, SAVES money- billions and billions - because the government would spend MUCH MORE than $849 on health care over the next ten years without the bill.

• Again: The government already spends money on health care. We just do it horribly. Passing the bill would save billions and billions of government dollars.

• Passing the bill would save money - while providing thirty million more Americans with coverage, and ending the odious practice of denial of coverage due to preexisting conditions.

How hard is that to get across to the "It costs too much!" crowd?

More here: How Health Care Reform Reduces the Deficit in 5 Not-So-Easy Steps; here: Budget office says health care bill saves money; and this is just interesting.



Thursday, October 14, 2010

What Makes You Vote the Way You Do?

People too often appear to vote as if some time in the past their feelings were hurt by someone or something, and that that hurt and humiliation never quite went away. They vote for people who prey on those feelings, and who clearly do not have their interests in mind whatsoever. It's a real shame. The ballot box is no place for such immature crap. We have a country to fix and run.


Sunday, October 03, 2010

I'm Moving to Australia

Me and my other 5/8 are selling off most of what we own, putting a wee bit more in storage, heading off to New York to see and say goodbye to the dozens of members of my wonderful family, then, in December or so, we're headed to Sydney. Tin Tin is from there, and has wanted to go home for some time. I've already received a five-year permanent resident work visa. (I know that's an oxymoron, but that's what it says.)

I'll be writing still, only now as a freelancer rather than a staff writer. Tin Tin will be looking into acting, waking up her old agent skills, and making documentaries. And we will be making some books together, too.

After 20 years in little town, Oregon, this is a very big deal. A very big, very good, very exciting, downright freaky deal. (I'm going to go find me some platypi!)

On a very related note: Need a couple songs for the old electronic music device? This would be an exceptionally good time for a few thousand people to buy a song or two from my CD, Bottomfeeders. Please do go give a listen, I think you'll find something you like. (Over in the right sidebar there are many places to go for songs, including iTunes and Rhapsody.)

Thanks very much in advance.

P.S. Blogger has done some strange things with photos - it decided the center location and the size for that one. Oh well. It's a shot I took coming into Sydney in 2006. You can click to enlarge, and can see the harbor bridge and opera house right to the right of the bridge.


Seve Calls the European Ryder Cup Team

Seve Ballesteros called the European Ryder Cup team this week to tell them what life's really about. Looks like it worked. 14 1/2 -13 1/2 - wow! Wish I'd seen it.

Congratulations, E-Team. And well played, Americans, what a comeback.

P.S. For several posts on Seve, who has been battling brain cancer for many months, hit the "Seve Ballesteros" tag just below this post.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The World Needs More Anne Feeney

Folk-singing unionmaid and all around ass-kicking hellraiser Anne Feeney is experiencing some medical difficulties, I'm very sorry to say. Purchases of her songs are especially helpful right now, as you can imagine. You can help out by buying a song or three here, here, here, and here at iTunes. (The first link, CDBaby, has several more places to buy Anne's songs.)

Here's Anne's Facebook page, and you can join Anne's Caring Bridge group here.

We're thinking of you Anne, and Julie, and all your family and friends. We are thinking of you.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Marijuana Growers Join Teamsters Union

Ho-lee crap:

The workers are trimmers, gardeners and cloners. Cloners clone different strains of marijuana, depending on its medical needs, said Lou Marchetti, the business agent for Local 70, which organized the workers and negotiated the contract. Marjyn Investments provides medical marijuana used by patients suffering from cancer, HIV and other life threatening illnesses.


Under the two-year contract, the company will pay for the workers’ health care costs. The workers will receive pensions under the Western Conference of Pensions Fund, and their wages, currently at $18 an hour, will increase to $25.75 an hour within 15 months. They also get 10 paid holidays and 60 hours of personal time per year.

The times they are a-changin'...


What a Jerk!


And evil to boot!

Now TPM has unearthed a 1997 C-SPAN video that shows O'Donnell voicing concerns that a drag queen ball "celebrates the type of lifestyle which leads to the disease," objecting to terming those with AIDS "victims" and calling AIDS a consequence of a certain "lifestyle which brings about this disease."

What an asshole.


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

George Washington: "I Cannot Tell a Lie. Glenn Beck Can, Though."

America's Creepy Uncle lies to his "restore honor" crowd. Yep. Sounds about right.

I'll hide behind a smile
and understanding eyes
and I'll tell you things that you already know
so you can say
I really identify with you, so much
and all the time that you're needing me
is just the time that I'm bleeding you
don't you get it yet?
I'll come to you like an affliction
and I'll leave you like an addiction
you'll never forget me
you wanna know why?
cause I'm a liar


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Anti-Islam Bigotry = Good For Al Qaeda

You can feel the lava under this very thorough Frank Rich column. Just one tiny bit:

After 9/11, President Bush praised Islam as a religion of peace and asked for tolerance for Muslims not necessarily because he was a humanitarian or knew much about Islam but because national security demanded it. An America at war with Islam plays right into Al Qaeda’s recruitment spiel. This month’s incessant and indiscriminate orgy of Muslim-bashing is a national security disaster for that reason — Osama bin Laden’s “next video script has just written itself,” as the former F.B.I. terrorist interrogator Ali Soufan put it — but not just for that reason. America’s Muslim partners, those our troops are fighting and dying for, are collateral damage. If the cleric behind Park51 — a man who has participated in events with Condoleezza Rice and Karen Hughes, for heaven’s sake — is labeled a closet terrorist sympathizer and a Nazi by some of the loudest and most powerful conservative voices in America, which Muslims are not?


Pat Boone's Parents Were Ignorant, Hateful Bigots

Well, that explains it:

We are all, to a great or lesser degree, the inevitable product of how we were raised, what we were taught and experienced as children.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dr. Laura, Sarah Palin, and First Amendment Rights

A quick note to the simple-minded: The First Amendment protects citizens from suppression of free speech by government. It has absolutely nothing to do with other citizens giving you shit. When you mention First Amendment rights when talking about this, you are saying something really stupid. I know neither of you mind saying really stupid things, I just wanted to make note of this.

And I just have to transcribe a Tweet The Palin made about this, exactly as she wrote it, spaces or lack of them and all:

Dr.Laura:don't retreat...reload! (Steps aside bc her 1st Amend.rights ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence"isn't American,not fair")

She quit her radio show, if I'm understanding that spaghetti-headed drama queen correctly, because her First Amendment rights ceased to exist?

Kids, this is why they tell you to not do meth.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Long Tough Blog Fundraiser

And by "Fundraiser" I mean "Buy a song or three to support LT and A Long Tough Blog!"

I've never done a fundraiser here, and I don't have advertising (aside from the "Amazon Song Choices" button). I've maintained this blog for five years to say this and that now and then and to provide a place where people can hear and buy my songs. If you are so inclined you are invited to buy some songs, or even the entire "Bottomfeeders" album, and perhaps to even tell a friend or two about this humble internet abode. My personal favorite song on the CD: "Sigh." Something special happened with that one.

You can see the PayPlay link below. For other internet outfits where you find the album, look under "Songs For Sale - Cheap!" up at the top right of the page.

My great thanks in advance.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

"Read Ayn Rand" Written Across America

Some dumbass did a dumbass thing:

One man drove 12,238 miles across 30 states to scrawl a message that can only be viewed using Google Earth. His big shoutout: “Read Ayn Rand.”

Except he forgot to finish the message. I helped him out:


"Disappointment Haunted All My Dreams..."

I know they're a pretend band invented by those seven guys at the Trilateral Comminsion, or something, but hell, this is just a cool song. And the opening lick - from keyboard to guitar - is just fantastic.


Monday, August 09, 2010

Sarah Palin's Eye Roll at "I'm a teacher"

This video reveals something bizarre. At about 1:10, Palin asks this obviously thoughtful woman what she does. She answers "I'm a teacher." Palin goes "Ohhh," rolls her eyes, and her and her daughter share an "Oh, that's what's wrong with her" look. Watch for yourself to see if I'm reading too much into it.

And the "Oh you wanted me to be your governor!" moment 10 or 12 seconds in is such incredibly pure slimy condescension I can feel it on my skin.

Shannyn Moore at HuffPo knows the woman in the shot.


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Why Do They Call Them Racists? Part Bazillion

This video will make you want to drink lead paint by the keg. Summary: Barack Obama is an angry angry negro who is giving America's fortunes away to lazy no-good illiterate brown insect people - and they're not gonna take it anymore!

It was actually found on, a site put up by Sarah Palin supporters, who are all very hurt and offended that anyone ever had the vicious hateful gall to call them racists.

If you make it to the end...and you may not...the very last thing you'll see is Mr. Used Car Salesman Guy issuing a challenge: If Obama wants another white face to hate: "I'm you're Huckleberry." I am not lying about this. That's actually what he says. And he takes his glasses off as he does it. It's all very Starsky and Hutch.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Why Can't Bigots See Their Own Bigotry?

This is just so hard to comprehend:

"They hate Jews, they hate Chrisitans, they hate women, they hate dogs," Serain said. "[The idea of the new mosque] scares the daylights out of me."

Still, Serafin insisted she's no bigot.

"I want you to stress this -- I'm not prejudiced," Serafin told me.

How on Earth can a person like this - and there appears to be a growing number of them - not see their own bigotry?

And dogs? WTF?


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday, July 08, 2010

How to be an Awful News Organization, #539,355

Run a headline like Fox News does with an AP story here:

Lawyer Who Defended 'American Taliban' Now Heads DOJ Suit Against Arizona

The implication: that the U.S. Constitution and particularly the Bill of Rights are awful, terrible, no-good piece of shite documents.

Sixth Amendment, please step to the fore:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

If you want to be an awful news organization, take a crap on the Founders and the Constitution every chance you get. That is all.


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Guns in Church

Hey - now you can really have a shotgun wedding. Makes me feel so Jesus-y inside.

And: Anti-choice fanatics will find it so much easy to murder doctors, too. Yay, church.


Friday, July 02, 2010

A Mind Like a Steele Flap [updtd]

Methinks Michael Steele just found the only plank on the ship o' fools that is the Modern Republican Party. He actually said this:

Keep in mind again, federal candidates, this was a war of Obama's choosing. This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.

He said that about Afghanistan. Af-freaking-ghanistan. This has not been taken out of context. He went on to say this:

Well, if he's such a student of history, has he not understood that you know that's the one thing you don't do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right, because everyone who has tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed. And there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan.

There are so many levels of stupid in there that it almost poisons the mind just to contemplate them. I do not see how he survives this. It's Friday. He might be gone tonight.

Update: Boom.


Thursday, July 01, 2010

Is Offering Money For Private Emails Legal?

Imagine if someone was offering money to unearth all your private emails. If it were me I sure as hell would be talking to a lawyer. And Andrew Breitbart should not be taken seriously by a single person in news and politics ever again.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Confederate Yankee Gets Ridiculously Pawned By One of His Fans

The doofus of the blog world has a post up on the non-extension of unemployment benefits, highlighted by this:

By stopping unemployment benefits, the Senate will force those lazy Americans enjoying "funemployment" to get off their backsides and get back to work.

He gets this in his comments. It's longish, but worth every word:

I have read and enjoyed your blog for a couple of years. I am very conservative and always have been, but I have to say your comments on this issue are short-sighted, callous and deeply hurtful. I am staunchly for the private sector free enterprise capitalist way of life and hate what this current administration is doing to our economy, but I don’t have a great deal of hope it will get better until they are voted out of office. I thought I would put a face on this for you to perhaps enlighten you to what it is like to be one of those currently unemployed. I realize there are a percentage of unemployed workers who abuse the system, but the majority of unemployed workers are probably similar to me. I just turned 61 and I have worked without interruption for 39 years. I have been out of work since November 2008. My job was eliminated. My company was one of the large investment banks that no longer exist. I spent two consecutive 18 year employment turns: One with a large corporation that is about to go bankrupt after over 100 years in business and 18 years with this bank. My retirement was virtually wiped out when the bank went under and what was left I had to use to attempt to remain solvent through last year while I continued to seek employment. I have applied to every sector, public and private that I could think of and have looked out of state for jobs paying 75% less than what I earned before. I have had four interviews in the 20 months I’ve been looking. I’ve encountered endless examples of age discrimination and am vying with kids right out of school for the same job. Do you think I can get a job flipping burgers or working at Home Depot? Guess again. When hiring managers see my experience (I am a former Managing Director) they promptly move on to the 1-5 year experience range category. I’m not eligible for social security for another year; my husband who is 61 is not eligible and is disabled. We no longer have health insurance. My severance ended in December of last year and I exhausted all my savings until I could no longer pay my mortgage and the majority of my bills with the $1,600 a month I get from New York State. As a consequence we are facing foreclosure and bankruptcy and I have four weeks of unemployment checks left; the proposed extension would buy me a little more time until hopefully I can get a job. I have seriously contemplated suicide; perhaps you think I am adding this for melodrama - I am not. I have one child who is 25 and struggling in his first job to make ends meet; we tell him he is blessed to have a job and he alone prevents me from completely giving up. I remind those of you who would brand me a social pariah and leech that I paid far more into the unemployment insurance system than I am getting out of it, I hate my situation and find it unbearable and I am deeply ashamed to be in this position. I am happy for all of you who have jobs but you need to understand that these unemployment checks barely pay the necessary utility bills, gas and feed one’s family in the majority of cases. Please don’t be so quick to judge those of us who are good honest people who have worked hard all our lives and lost everything we had to show for it through no fault of our own and put us with the minority of losers who abuse the system.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Joe Barton is a Lying Coward

He has now tried to defend his shameful apology to BP, the company that not only put greed over safety and caused the horrible disaster now ongoing in the Gulf - but also killed 11 men in doing so:

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex) featured an article on his own website Wednesday morning, in which a conservative author defends the Texas Republican for apologizing to BP for the "shakedown" it received from the Obama White House.

Barton apologizes to those murdering bastards, realizes he's done something stupid and revealing, apologizes for his apology - as if that would make his apology any less revealing - and now wants to go back and kiss some murdering ass again. This man does not have an original thought in his head, or an honest or courageous bone in his body. What a disgrace.

* He's taken the article down. Another gutless move.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

General Who?

Civilian leadership of the military is a subject I don't know mountains about, but something I find fascinating. (How much of a reality it is when the Pentagon budget is more than $500 billion is separate issue.) And some smart people are saying that as of today civilian leadership requires civilian leadership.

And from that first link, this may not sound like it's from 1951:

The crisis exploded when a legendary general whose reputation overshadowed the president's, a general who was not willing to settle for stalemate after suffering a shocking defeat at the end of a fabled career, would not cease public disagreement with American policy and strategy.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

BP, We're Sorry We Got Our Gulf in Your Oil!


WASHINGTON – Rep. Joe Barton , R-Arlington, apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward on Thursday morning for the "political pressure" his company is facing.

Barton condemned the White House's handling of a meeting Wednesday with BP officials, in which President Barack Obama pushed the company to create a $20 billion escrow account for damage claims from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The congressman called the account a "slush fund."

"Apologized to BP."

Beyond comprehension.