Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday Night Music 02 23 10

"The Lebanon" was one of the Human League's lesser-known hits. I don't remember it getting a lot of airplay on this side of the pond, which is a shame.

I was possessed to post this one because I just ran across BBC4's "Synth Britania" on Youtube. The program covers the history of Britain's synth pop explosion, starting from when everyone saw Kraftwerk and wanted to be the future. So that's early OMD, Cabaret Voltaire, pre-hot women Human League, and those who came after.

It's been split into 9 9-10 minute parts. If you've got the time, follow this link and keep going. (Gary Numan shows up in part 5)

BIFF! POW! Birther! Batman on Joseph Farah's retraction demand

Riddler: Riddle me this, Batman. When is a Birther NOT a Birther?

Batman: A cunning riddle, Riddler. I'd say the answer would be 'When he doesn't say or do anything that would indicate, to the average person, that he was one.'

Riddler: Then explain, bat-brain, how Joseph Farah, editor of World Net Daily, could be a Birther. After all, as he rightly pointed out, While I have written tens of thousands of words about the subject of Barack Obama's eligibility and talked for dozens of hours on the public airwaves and given hundreds of interviews on this subject, never have I stated that Obama was not born in the United States.

Robin: Holy Word Salad, Batman! How do we cut through an explicit denial based on what he hasn't said? Newsweek's going to have to print that retraction, now!

Batman: Simple, Boy Wonder! We look at his actions, which, we are reminded time and again, speak much louder than words. And based on them, I would say that Newsweek has nothing to worry about for correctly identifying him as... a... Birther.

Riddler: Oh boy, we're in for a long-winded one, aren't we? Go get some coffee, boys. We're going to be a while.

Batman: Now, I will admit that Mr. Farah has, indeed, taken a very cagey route. But in this age of arguing what "is" is, I think we can look a little deeper.

ONE: There's the fact that, as he pointed out, Farah has "written tens of thousands of words" about why Obama has supposedly not shown his birth certificate. The fact that Obama HAS shown a thoroughly legitimate copy from the State of Hawai'i has not deterred Farah in the slightest. Nor has it deterred his writers - such as Dr. Jerome "Swiftboat" Corsi - from continuing to harp on the issue. Nor has it stopped him from helping to boost the quixotic crusade of one Orly Taitz, who has filed suit after suit trying to get our President disqualified from office by way of the courts.

Robin: Boy, and I thought Catwoman was nuts!

Batman: Well, chum... some things you'll have to wait to understand until you're older. But that issue aside, our remote hookup to the Batcomputer has World Net Daily on file. And look, there's over 300 stories at that site about the eligibility issue alone.

Riddler: So what exactly does that prove? Maybe he's letting his reporters go out on a limb on something he doesn't believe in, himself? Just because one asks a question doesn't mean you want to know the answer. It might just be rhetorical.

Batman: If this were a normal paper, and he were a normal publisher, that would be a point worth considering. However, given that Mr. Farah wrote many of those articles himself, I doubt his interest in the issue is purely academic. Indeed, every time he gets an answer, he seems to twist right around and provide another explanation as to why that answer is wrong. The latest theory is that the Hawai'i database could have been tampered with! And how could you argue against that?

Riddler: And what does that prove?

Batman: That proves that Mr. Farah is clearly crusading on this issue. He is directly involved in the investigation. He brings up all the things that he and WND have done at the end of every article he writes about the issue, including the billboard. And he is staking his career and reputation on the matter. Riddle me this, Riddler - why would he go to all that trouble if it was, as he claims, merely a matter of civic responsibility?

Robin: Not that you'd know anything about that, you, you, you cackling cowbell.

(moment of silence, Robin coughs and looks embarassed)

Batman: ...at... any... rate. That is my first point. And then let us consider the evidence of his recent actions at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He spoke for a total of forty minutes. And half of the first ten were all about the Birth Certificate. Watch this, Riddler, and then consider my third point.

Riddler: Which is?

Batman: An exchange with Andrew Breitbart, after the speech, during which Mr. Breitbart made it clear that he felt that asking about the Birth Certificate was not, and I quote, 'A winning issue.' And Mr. Farah replies 'It IS a winning issue!'

Robin: Um, Batman, you sort of lost me there.

Riddler: I'm having a hard time following myself.

Batman: Then Riddle me this, Riddler - when does a question become a winning issue?

(moment of silence)

Batman: When you're expecting the answer to tell you something you want to hear!

Robin: Of course! If he saw the birth certificate he really wanted to see, and it said exactly what the President was saying all along, he'd just look stupid.

Riddler:... but if he saw what he wanted to see, which was that it wasn't there at all, then he'd have the winning issue.

Batman: Indeed, Riddler. So, in deed, word, and goal, Mr. Farah is clearly a Birther. Just because he has not directly and publicly accused the President of having been born outside the United States of America does not exonerate him. His actions up to this date would lay a reasonable suspicion that he is, indeed, what Newsweek has deemed him.

Robin: And to top it off, he has to prove Malice aforethought to win the lawsuit.

Riddler: Confound it! Why do I always work with the wrong people? Boys, get them!

(And mindless cartoon violence ensues, solving nothing in the general scheme of things, much like arguing with Birthers...)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

BREAKING NEWS - MSU Griffin Speech Cancelled

"Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" - Johnny Rotten.

Straight from the horse-rider's mouth, by way of the American Renaissance site.

The newly-formed registered student organization at Michigan State University, the Sons of Liberty, cancelled its first public event. Nick Griffin, a democratically-elected member of the European Parliament and chairman of the British National Party, was scheduled to speak at MSU on February 18 regarding the fraud of man-made global warming. The event was cancelled because left-wing agitators caused other organizations to cancel their own events that featured Griffin, and it could not be justified for Griffin to fly to the U.S. to only speak at MSU and at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.


Jordan Zammit, the founder and president of the Sons of Liberty, said, “The Left does a very good job of advocating free speech for themselves while denying it to others. I am very proud to say that the Sons of Liberty, in its inaugural run, did what it was meant to do and that is ensure that all points of view are presented and that the first amendment is upheld for ALL people to the fullest. If the other speaking venues would not have canceled and his speaking tour called off, I can assure you Mr. Griffin would have been here Thursday afternoon as scheduled, intimidation or not.


Zammit also said, “Although Griffin was targeted in Sweden with assassination by leftists when they tried to bomb the train he was riding on in 2006, members of the Sons of Liberty were not—and are not—afraid of the red menace. My organization is made up of common sense young men and women, both considerably liberal and conservative, of numerous races and creeds, whom all believe that the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution are something sacred, and that no matter who is speaking, he or she has every right to, and whether you agree with them or not, it can never hurt to listen.”

Not that coming to listen would have been all that easy. According to Todd Heywood at the Michigan Messenger, no one wanted to give out the info on where the talk was going to be held. For a while it looked like the only people who were invited were members of the Sons of Liberty! But he persevered and finally found it the talk was going to be at the MSU Student Union... though that's a moot point now.

So who are the Sons of Liberty? Where will they strike next? And will we hear about it at all? Tune in to the rANT Farm!

Tuesday Night Music 2 16 10

The lead singer of The Knack just passed away from cancer, so I thought it was time to dust this song off and give it a spin.

It's cheesy as hell and very open to parody. But you can't deny that the beat and the guitars make work really well. If it'd been about anything other than some poor girl named Sharona, it might have been one of my all time favorites. As it is, I laugh and shake my head when it comes on the radio, but find myself drumming along with it before too long, anyway.

Rest in peace, sir.

Nick Griffin's Unexcellent American Adventure

Hot on the heels of the British National Party's being forced to admit non-White members, Nick Griffin's tour of America is going rather poorly. Maybe he should have stayed at home.

Some days, it doesn't pay to get out of bed. But for Nick Griffin, spokesperson of the until-just-recently Whites Only British National Party, it hasn't paid to get out of bed for at least a few months. Perhaps he will do us all a favor and stay under covers from here on out.

The trouble started back in September, when, at long last, the Commission for Equality & Human Rights realized that the BNP's long-demonized "no non-Whites" membership clause was just a little racist, and insisted that they change, giving them until a certain date to so so.

Griffin and his fellow boneheads were defiant, of course, but admitted that they would have to knuckle under. Attempting to get that decision reversed would have taken time and money that the BNP, by Griffin's own admission, did not have. So rather than be economically bled to death, the party has just voted to amend their constitution and allow non-Whites to join.

"We recognise legal reality," Griffin told the BBC: "They can't call us racist any more."

Sure enough, they have their first possible non-White member waiting. A septuagenarian Sikh who's lived in England since 1967. He's articulate, well-spoken, and hideously Islamophobic - having lived through the horrors of the Indian partition, and become worried that England is about to become a Muslim state.

(Which just goes to show that 1) Just because someone's a member of a minority religion, it doesn't make them a wise and even-tempered person, and 2) some people just deserve each other.)

But Nick's not the type to sit at home and lick his wounds. Instead, he has embarked on a tour of America, hoping to speak on various topics before ending at the White Separatist American Renaissance conference in Washington D.C.

Or so he planned, anyway. According to our friends at YAF-Watch, Nick Griffin's stop at Kenyon College was canceled when the sponsor learned what a dogs-lunch Mr. Griffin was, and the American Renaissance conference itself was canceled when anti-fascists rained on their parade.

That leaves only a barely-advertised stop at Michigan State University, which has hosted Griffin once before, back when MSU YAF was large and in charge. Now MSU YAF are apparently defunct - or at least uncharacteristically quiet - and a new group calling itself the Sons of Liberty are having Griffin come to tell us about how liberals are trying to ruin national sovereignty with climate change scares.

Jordan Zammit, a political science/pre-law freshman and founder and president of the Sons of Liberty, said, “It is an honor to host a distinguished speaker like Nick Griffin. His views will greatly contribute to the marketplace of ideas which is a fundamental aspect of a collegiate education.” The Sons of Liberty was named after the secretive pre-Revolutionary War group of American patriots—including Paul Revere, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, and John and Samuel Adams—who advocated for freedom and sovereignty.

Whether Mr. Zammit is fully aware of what Nick Griffin and the BNP stand for is unknown at this time, as is what the Sons of Liberty stand for, and why and how the American Renaissance people got the press release in the first place. Also up in the air is whether the speech will take place, now that the American Renaissance conference is kerflumpt.

We'll have to see how that speech goes, but if it's anything like the last time he came, Griffin may not leave with fond memories of Lansing.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

For those who have one, or several, and to those with none, have a wonderful and happy Valentines Day, preferably with one or more of the people you love.

Those who do not choose to celebrate this holiday may, of course, listen to this instead.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Charlie Wilson, RIP

Sad news in Rant-land tonight. I have just learned that former Rep. Charlie Wilson - yes, THAT Charlie Wilson - has passed onto the great party in the sky.

Former U.S. representative Charlie Wilson, a flamboyant 12-term East Texan Democrat who used his control of CIA purse strings to finance and arm an Afghan insurgency that drove out the Soviet occupation in the 1980s, died Feb. 10 at a hospital in Lufkin, Texas. He was 76 and had a history of heart ailments.

You can say what you like about how he may or may not have inadvertently created the Taliban, or at least aided in their early development, and his own motives for doing it. but the fact remains that Rep. Wilson helped the Afghan people keep the Soviets from just rolling over them like they did to so many other countries, and that can only be a good thing.

May the afterlife be full of hot tubs, hotter women, and all the fine, white powder you'd care to partake of (or not), sir. Goddess be with you.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Tuesday Night Music 2 9 10

What does one do when one gets tossed to the curb after the destruction of one of the first, best, and most self-destructive punk rock acts? One hooks up with some other people who hate rock and roll and make some of the best - and, admittedly, worst - music of the 80's. And that, ladies and gentlemen, would be Public Image Limited.

"Ever get the feeling you've been cheated...?"

Baggers and Birthers, Milk and Cookies

Is it any surprise at all that the Tea-Bang (as I've taken to calling the National Tea Party Convention) would attract some visitors from Birthistan?

Joseph "Mr. Mustache" Farah of Whirled Nut Daily got to get up and talk, and you can see that speech here.

(He gets into the Birther boilerplate at 4:57 if you don't feel like listening to him pat himself on the back or tell recycled jokes)

He seemed to be preaching to the choir, based on all the cheering. But apparently, not everyone was happy to hear the hue and cry. Andrew "Disco Baby" Breitbart was apparently most unhappy, and had a rather lengthy and heated conversation with Mr. Farah about what did and didn't belong in the Tea Party.

“I was talking to her,” said Breitbart. “She was asking me if I thought it was wise to bring it up, and I said, no. We have a lot of strong arguments to be making, and that is a primary argument. That is an argument for the primaries that did not take hold. The arguments that these people right here are making are substantive arguments. The elections in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts were all won not on birther, but on substance. And to apply to this group of people the concept that they’re all obsessed with the birth certificate, when it’s not a winning issue–”

“It is a winning issue!”

“It’s not a winning issue.”

“It is! It becomes even more of a winning issue when the press abrogates its responsibility–”

“You don’t recognize it as a fundamentally controversial issue that forces a unified group of people to have to break into different parts? It is a schism of the highest order.”

“Nothing exposes the president’s–”

“Then prove it!”

“The press isn’t asking the question–”

“Prove it!”

“Prove what?”

“Prove your case.”

“I should prove, what, a birth certificate that may or may not exist?” Farah had gotten irritated. “That’s ridiculous. You don’t even understand the fundamental tenets of what journalism is about, Andrew. It’s not about proving things. It’s about asking questions and seeking truth.”

Breitbart tensed up after that insult. “Right.”

“I know you’re not a journalist, so that’s fine. But don’t diminish people who’ve been doing this for 35 years.”

Audio is here, and it's kind of comforting to know that Mr. Breitbart talks over his friends, too.

But that quote from Mr. Farah is pretty telling, and could explain a lot of what happens at WND, which is absolutely notorious for throwing up outrageous half-truths and disproved "facts" in order to make its points. It's just too bad that the truth they seek is being thrown under the train in order to ask questions.

Speaking of throwing truth under the train to find the facts, Orly Taitz was, indeed, in attendance. She did not get to address the convention, but she did do some talking on its behalf to Russia Today:

Having Orly talk to them about the Tea Party Convention is almost as bad as having David Horowitz talk about the late Howard Zinn on NPR, but it a whole lot funnier. Orly claims that 99% of the "tea party movement" wants Obama to show off his documents.

Is she right? Judging from the applause Farah got, I'm not doubting that her percentage is probably pretty close.

And given that some of the other speakers had equally troubling messages, according to TPM, one has to wonder what was going on at that convention, and how it bodes for America's future.

Tea Party leaders had worked hard to keep the public face of the movement focused tightly on a small government, anti-tax message, largely steering clear of social issues, and appeals based explicitly on race. But this weekend, from the podium at Nashville's Gaylord Opryland Hotel, convention speakers espoused birtherism, anti-immigrant nativism, homophobia, Christian fundamentalism, and an apparent nostalgia for racially discriminatory barriers to voting.

But then, we know that Dale Robertson, who founded teaparty.org in the first place, likes to go out with signs like this. Why then should we be surprised by anything?

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Tuesday Night Music 2 2 10

You hear those gently chiming, distorted guitars and hear that smooth growl and you know you're listening to Alice in Chains. They're still around, though since Layne Staley died it's just not the same.

This is "Rooster" off of "Dirt," possibly the best album they did (Though I love "Jar of Flies" myself, especially No Excuses)

Monday, February 01, 2010

Birther Bombshell! Orly Admits to Working With Forgers

A short while ago, in the column Birtherdammerung, I noted that the Birther community seemed to be devouring its own children. And it couldn't happen to a nicer family, really!

One of the visible signs of that was on display a short time ago in a South Florida courtroom, in which some of the central players in Birthistan were all facing one another, knives out, over an entirely non-Birther matter. We had Orly Taitz on the witness stand, being grilled by Phil Berg over whether or not a signature on a legal document was hers, and on Berg's side were not only Charles Edward "Anarchy" Lincoln III, but bogus birth certificate hustler extraordinaire Lucas Smith.

The fur flew. Berg kept on Orly about her relationship with Lincoln, Orly accused Berg of extortion, and Orly's rather sensible counsel tried to keep it clean. To her credit, the Judge didn't let it turn into another Birth-go-round, but some things did peek out around the edges of the central question. To wit:

The Witness: I never told anybody to say anything not true. Lucas Smith who is now entering the courtroom has been convicted of forgery and will clearly not reliable so.


Yes, both Lucas Smith, who is here in court, has been convicted of forgery. Larry Sinclair has multiple convictions of forgery. They both perjured themselves. ...

Q. Now isn't it true that what you are relating to the Court right now, about Lucas Smith and Larry Sinclair, you knew that before you asked them to testify in your court case; is that correct?


A. That's correct. May I explain?

The explanation takes several pages, and starts on page 30 of the transcript, here.

The short answer is that she knew Lucas was a forger, and wasn't sure about the certificate he was peddling, but wanted it put into the record so she could get full discovery, march over to Hawai'i, and get Obama's vault copy of his birth certificate.

(Lucas Smith comes in on page 45 and plays it both ways, saying that at first Orly wanted to authenticate the certificate, but then said that it didn't matter because "the burden of proof is on Barack Obama.")

Now, this isn't exactly new news. Back in October, Larry "Limousine" Sinclair claimed that Orly admitted to him that she knew "the Kenyan Birth Certificates she filed in Court in her California case, as genuine, claiming President Obama was born in Kenya, were fake and fraudulent."

(Of course, that puts us in the awful position of trusting the word of a man who claims Barack Obama and he had a coke-fueled gay sex thang in the back of a limo.)

But now we have it from her own lips. She WASN'T SURE whether the really-real Kenyan birth certificate was actually really-real - much less Kenyan - and KNEW it came from a person convicted of forgery, but RAN WITH IT, anyway, in the hopes that she could get expedited discovery.

In my mind, that's like a prosecutor knowingly putting a false piece of evidence into the court in the hopes of getting a probably-guilty defendant to change his plea and fess up on the witness stand. And saying that's highly unethical is putting it mildly.

If there was ever a reason to drop-kick this woman's butt through the goalposts of disbarment in California, this is probably it. May it be soon.