Sunday, October 31, 2010

Who Are the Vote Suppression Agents in Your Neighborhood?

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Election day nears, and electoral disenfranchisement can happen everywhere – even on a certain street we know and love. Come and meet the people who want to make sure you don’t get to vote on November 2nd.

Narrator: You know, there are all kinds of people in your neighborhood. There are grocers, police officers, mailmen, and teachers, even moms and dads. You know all about them. But there are also people maybe you don’t know about. They don’t wear a special uniform, and don’t always work out of a special building. And they do things that maybe they don’t want you to know about, mostly because they’re un-American, and sometimes just flat out illegal. They’re around you all year long, but, just like Santa Claus on Christmas, you only really see them once in a while, on Election Day. They’re called Voter Suppression Agents, which is a really fancy way to say “anti-democratic scumbags.” Why don’t we go and meet some of them?

(Narrator walks along with the camera and sings)

“Tell me who are the vote suppression agents in your neighborhood? In your neighborhood? Who are up – to – no – good? Who are the vote suppression agents in your neighborhood? They’re the people that you meet each day…”

(Narrator goes over to a trashcan and knocks on it. O pops up, visibly annoyed and brandishing a large, expensive cell phone.)

O: What the !@#$ do you want?

Narrator: Oh, hi O. I was just bringing some folks around to talk to you about what you do for a living?

O: Who, moi? That’s none of your damn business. SCRAM!

Narrator: Oh, come on, O. I’ll get you some fresh stinky garbage? Maybe a couple… Franklins?

O: Oh… heh heh. Well, never let it be said I’m not for sale. I’ll just take those Benjamins now, my good friend.

Narrator: One now, two later. So what DO you do, O?

O: Well, that’s an interesting question. Why don’t we just say I coordinate various efforts to ensure that only certain demographics get out to vote, on the behalf of certain individuals who, as I’m sure you can guess, really would rather not be identified.

Narrator: Mostly Republicans, I’m sure.

O: Oh, you would surprised, actually. I’ve had a number of interesting counter-offers from all sorts of people – even people who aren’t actually running, but have a specific economic stake in things turning out a certain way. It’s not all about the immediate payoff, you know. There’s always room for a long-term strategy.

Narrator: Of course-

O: But, you know, I’m entirely apolitical in this matter. At the end of the day I have to go with the highest bidder. Not that I’m confirming or denying anything, you understand!

Narrator: Of course not. What do you actually do?

O: All kinds of things. Mostly I get like-minded people to do my job FOR me, without knowing I’m working a job, so I don’t have to share too much of the payoff. Usually I just whisper a few ideas in someone’s ear and send them off in the right direction. Sometimes I have to directly supervise, which is dangerous, both because if they get caught it might get back to me, and because they might want some remuneration for their services.

Narrator: Sounds like fun. Can you give us some examples of who’s doing your job for you?

O: Well… oh, here’s some of them now. Just let me do most of the talking, okay? Hey, C! Get your big, blue ass over here!

(C and a number of other large, blue monsters dressed in imposing suits stomp over)

C: Hello O, how are you today?

O: I’m just fine. Hey, um, my friend here’s interested in, um, joining the cause, shall we say. Can you let him know about your technique?

C: Technique? What this thing?

O: What you do.

C: Oh! What me do. Me and me friends dress up like this, and go to polls on Election Day. Me stand close by and wait for people who look like people we no want voting. Me ask them for ID, and if they show me ID, I say that ID no good to vote. Or I say they need two pieces. It depend on how smart they look.

Narrator: Does that actually work?

C: It work real good. No one argue with big blue monster in suit and tie. And if they start to argue, or ask ME for ID, me eat them! NOM NOM NOM-

O: No, no. No. C, you can’t eat them. That’s illegal.

C: Oh. Well, what me do?

O: *sigh* You get in the damn car and drive to the next polling office on your list, and start up again. You also do that if the same police car drives by twice in an hour, or if you overhear someone say something about talking to the poll workers about you. We discussed this… remember?

C: Oh yes. Yes. Sorry. Me forgetful.

O: That’s why you’re out today, right? Scoping out polling stations? Looking for good places to ambush minority voters and white people who look smart enough to not be our kind, but stupid enough to fall for that trick?

(C nods, along with the other monsters, but it’s clear he doesn’t fully understand.)

O: Okay. Here’s some cookies. Go on your way.

(O tosses them a really old package of crumbly, wormy cookies. The monsters jump for joy and run off, nom-noming the cookies in unadulterated joy, getting crumbs all over their nice, clean suits.)

O: *sighs* You know, they’re useful and they work for cookies, but I’m looking forward to the day we can just deport them all back to Monsterland.

Narrator: So you DO pay some of your employees?

O: I prefer to think of them as patriotic volunteers. And yes, sometimes I do have to shell out for their services, but it’s usually crumbs compared to what I make. I prefer using free labor. Like getting big, nasty-looking people to stand along the main routes to and from the polling stations, and look intimidating with their protest signs.

Narrator: Well, how does that help you?

O: Well, you have to understand – most of the voters I’m trying to turn back are chicken!#$% and think too much. If they see a big crowd of nasty people, who watch them the whole time they’re parking, they might be afraid to park or walk by them for fear of what might happen.

Narrator: I see. So they don’t have to ask for ID or anything, do they? Just look mean.

O: Exactly. And if they give the evil eye to minority voters who came from countries where voter suppression was, shall we say, much more physical, they might decide to not risk it and go back home. And the best thing is I don’t even have to pay them. I just call the right people, who talk to the right people, and then it’s on. Oh, look, there go some now!

(A group of hulking, walking teapots carrying pro-cutlery signs walk by, chanting unintelligible slogans, and boiling over with barely-restrained rage.)

O: Heh heh. You see that? Big, dumb, and angry for all the wrong right reasons. That’s how I like ‘em. You get enough of them on your side and it’s a shoo-in.

Narrator: Okay, I think I get it. But what about those people who won’t be intimidated? How do you deal with them?

O: Funny you should ask! Here’s another one of my non-employees right now.

(E comes running up with a big stack of papers.)

E: Hey O! How are you today?

O: I’m just lousy, E. How about you?

E: I’m just ducky, thanks to you and your great ideas!

Narrator: What are all those papers you have there, E?

E: Oh, it’s the greatest thing ever! We found a way to make sure that thousands of people can’t vote this election! And it’s all thanks to O, here.

Narrator: Really? Are you suppressing voter fraud?

E: Oh no, we’re creating it! You see, all these people on these lists didn’t sign for a piece of registered mail we sent out about a month ago. So we can now say they aren’t really there, and when they go to vote, they’ll be turned back at the poll. Hehehehehehehe.

Narrator: Well, that’s effective.

E: Oh, it gets better than that. That’s only HALF the list. The other is people who are using their foreclosed houses as their address. We’re arguing that it isn’t a legitimate address because they house isn’t really theirs, anymore, and by the time it gets through the courts the election will be over! It’s just total genius!

O: Well done, my good and faithful servant. Well done.

E: So do you think I’ll be head of the election board next time or what?

O: I think you’re on the right track, my friend. Run along now…

(E runs off, super-excited to have done the right wrong thing.)

Narrator: Wow, and not a trace of any remorse or regret on that face. You sure picked the right person for that job.

O: Well, why should he be remorseful? Everything he’s done is perfectly legal. He’s just raised legitimate challenges to the legitimacy of certain voters. We can’t help it if most of the people he sent those registered letters to are registered Democrats, or that people most likely to be foreclosed upon tend to be the sort of people we’d rather didn’t vote. That’s just a total coincidence.

Narrator: I guess you’re right.

O: Now, the other idea I gave him? The one about using the third party to register voters and toss out the forms filled out by Democrats? Now THAT’S total genius. The folks doing the door-to-door on that have no idea they’re being used as tools. They think they’re just getting out the vote. Oh will those people ever be surprised when they find out their own registrations never happened! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Narrator: Wow, it sounds like you have it covered from several different angles.

O: Do I ever? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You should see what we can do with phones. Case in point…

(G walks by, dressed professionally, with a hands-free headset on)

G: Yes ma’am, that’s right. Your polling place has been changed. You need to report to 1313 Mockingbird Lane, instead. Just ring the doorbell, they’ll be waiting for you. Oh, you’re so welcome. Have a wonderful day, and don’t forget to vote!

O: Hey G, how’s it going?

G: It is going ever so well, O. That is the 304th stupid hausfrau I have successfully contacted to send to a false voting location. And that’s just on my lunch break. Which, I think I should point, counts as overtime for our little arrangement?

O: *sigh* Yeah, that it does. Just get the paperwork on the hours for you and your phone bank to me the day after, okay?

G: And the other phone bank that is telling Democratic voters with foreign-sounding last names that if they attempt to vote they will be quizzed by Homeland Security agents and possibly arrested and deported? They will also need some remuneration, my good friend.

O: Like I said, hand it all on the day after—

G: Oh, and I have taken the liberty of putting another idea into motion. On the day of, a separate phone bank will be calling the so-called get out the vote hotlines and tying up their phone lines, so they cannot answer calls from people who need transportation to the polls. I think you will find that will keep a number of our non-preferred demographic from attending.

O: Oh… yeah, that is a really good idea, G. Wow. I wonder why I didn’t think of that.

G: It is because I am super-smart and loveable. Now, if you will excuse me, stupid hausfrau number 305 awaits!

(G dials the number and walks out of earshot before he can start talking.)

Narrator: Well there’s an enterprising young monster. You might want to be careful, there, O. He’ll be taking your place someday.

O: Not if we deport him back to Monsterland first.

Narrator: Say, aren’t you a monster yourself, there, O?

O: Yes, but I’m a useful monster. That’s why I get to stay when the !#$% hits the fan. Do you have any other dumb questions?

Narrator: Well, I guess I’m wondering what else you might do that’s relatively inexpensive. I see you have to pay the phone banks, but—

O: Well, one day we’ll have bots that can do that for us, and mister smarty pants loveable monster is going to be back to flipping burgers at the local McMonsters, at least until he’s on a slow boat to—

B: Hey! O! What’s hanging?

(B comes on up, dressed in jammies and sipping a latte from Sturmbucks)

O: Why, chads, of course. HAHAHAHAAHAHAH.

Narrator: Well hi, B. I didn’t know you knew O, too. What do you do for him?

B: Well, what DON’T I do, more like. Nahahahahah.

O: Oh, you’re gonna love this part of it. B, how many people are you, right now?

B: I’m up to twenty as of last night.

Narrator: Oh? Well, you know, they make medications for that kind of problem, B.

B: Nhahahahahaha! Not like that, my friend. I’m talking about online. I’m twenty different people on about seventeen different web sites, all trying to get people from our non-preferred demographic to not vote.

Narrator: Really? How do you do that?

B: Well it’s pretty simple, actually. You just register on a left-leaning political website with a forum a few months in advance, make lefty-seeming comments on a fairly regular basis, but not too much. Maybe make a few milquetoast posts about how corrupt both parties are, and how voting is just a total waste of time, but again, not too much.

O: Yeah, you know. ‘If voting changed anything they’d make it illegal’? We’re still getting kickbacks from that one.

B: Either that or you go whole hog about The Conspiracy, and how we only change faces and not masters every election cycle. But that’s so crazy that I have a hard time portraying it for too long without becoming a total cartoon. I prefer embittered cynicism to total paranoia.

Narrator: So what do you do then?

B: Well, as the election gets closer, I make more and more noise about how voting is a total waste of time, and we’ve been betrayed and should just go on vote strike. Either that or I suggest we vote for third parties at the national level, knowing full well they have no chance of ever getting elected, at this point. But I’m kind of leery on doing that for too long, too. That’s too hopeful and, like I said, I prefer embittered cynicism. It’s my forte.

O: And the best part is, he doesn’t even have to try too hard to convince people. Most of the loudest and most frequent posters are already on vote strike, or else easily pushed over to throwing their rights away over the latest scandal or disappointment! It’s like they want to be disenfranchised!

B: Yeah. Thank God for David Icky.

Narrator: Oh, is he one of your non-employees, too?

O: Are you kidding? I only wish I could take credit for the Muppet Matrix thing. If I knew a way to make the non-preferred demographic think nothing really mattered, it would be so simple to do whatever we wanted. I’d be like, ‘hey, kids, nothing’s real! We’re all television for aliens! Don’t vote!’

(Everyone turns to look at us, slowly, and then go back to talking to one another.)

B: Well, if you’ll excuse me, guys, I got to get back to those websites! People to lie to! Flamewars to start!

Narrator: Just out of curiosity, B – how much do you get paid to do this?

B: Ha! I don’t get paid anything. I do this out of the goodness of my heart because it’s !#$% funny. But, you know, O, when the time comes, I hope my contributions to the cause will be kept in mind?

O: Yeah, yeah. On with you.

(B leaves, cackling)

O: And before you say anything, smarty-pants – we caught that conehead freak on camera with an underage pigeon three years ago. He’ll do anything for us, now. Anything.

Narrator: So you sometimes pay, sometimes bribe, sometimes blackmail, but mostly just make suggestions to the right people?

O: Oh yeah. It’s the only way to keep plausible deniability. It’s what separates you from the amateurs who get caught.

Narrator: Like those guys who were encouraging Monsters in Arizona not to vote in seemingly non-partisan Monster-language commercials.

O: Exactly! The only reason the mainsteam media hasn’t turned that into a field day yet is because we’re keeping them distracted with stupid candidate tricks and the occasional sideshow. After the election, it’ll turn out the money for that little trick came all the way from the top.

Narrator: But I suppose the people who would do the prosecuting would be replaced by people the winning side put into place.

O: You got it, my friend. And it’ll take years to go through the courts, anyway, so nothing will happen. But that’s still way too close to the trashcan for my liking.

Narrator: Well, this has been a very enlightening conversation, O. I have to say you are totally worthless piece of !#$% and I hope you get what’s coming to you.

O: I’m on the side of the Patriots, my friend. Also the Founders. And, um, speaking of the Founders… I think I get some Ben Franklins, now?

Narrator: Yes you do. Have four.

(O takes his money, laughs, and disappears back into his trash can, slamming the lid down as he goes. Narrator walks away, still looking at us)

Narrator: So you see, there are Vote Suppression Agents everywhere. People use them all the time, even in less-important elections. They might call with false information, act as barriers outside of polling stations, try to intimidate you from voting, or make you think that your vote doesn’t matter and you should just stay home.

You have a right to vote. You have every reason to vote. Do not let garbage-eating grouches take your right away from you, or talk you out of it.

(O pops up from the can, angry)

O: Hey! These hundreds are fake!

(He is suddenly surrounded by Federal Election officials)

Officials: Yeah, well these guns are real. You’re under arrest, !#$%-^&*#.

Narrator: Good night and good luck. Blessed Samhain. And don’t forget to vote.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday Night Music 10 26 10 - Gary Numan, Crofoot, Pontiac Mi,

In 1979, I was 8 years old, and my parents listened to an oldies / soft rock station whose principal selling point was having really good updates on morning traffic patterns. When I heard "cars" for the first time it was like something flipped a switch in my brain. I didn't know music could sound like THAT. I didn't understand the lyrics at the time, but it had the coolest pre-MTV video I'd ever seen (this was the age when video pioneers were folks like Poco) and that sound... THAT SOUND!

I got the Pleasure Principle with my own money. I think. Maybe I just bought the single from the neighbor girl with a dollar of said money. But when I got the album I listened to it over and over, and tried to get my friends interested. If they needed any further proof that I was a wee bit weird, that was it. I remember one friend singing "Jimmy is a mental / cause he likes Metal" when I put it on the jukebox at a pizza hut when my cub scout den went out for an educational za' trip. Ah well.

I've loved gary since I was 8. 8. I am now almost 40. In all those years I have never been able to go see him live. I've either been on the wrong side of the Atlantic, or someplace he wouldn't normally come through, or destitute, without reliable transportation, kidnapped by aliens (whom Gary prays to on a regular basis, or so we're told) and any number of other lousy excuses.

So when a friend told me he was coming to MICHIGAN, and the tickets were INEXPENSIVE, and it was on a night I DIDN'T have to work... fuck yes, was I going. Wild horses couldn't have dragged me back from that precipice. I might have driven further, paid more, and re-arranged my schedule three times with four different people. I was going.

And I did.

What can I say? I was six feet away from the man. He had five other people on stage, four of whom had synthesizers, and they played through the entirety of Pleasure Principle. They came in to the b-side Asylum, went into Airlane, and then just started rocking out. The crowd -- surprisingly moribund and unmovable during the opening act's decent techno work -- surged into motion and sang along in something approaching religious ecstasy. There wasn't a silent voice in the hall by the time he got around to Cars, which, as you could expect, he saved for the end.

Then, hands rushed out and took away two of the synths, got out two guitars -- one for Gary -- and a different microphone, and they started into other works. The first one was unfamiliar, and might be off the forthcoming album. He played works from Exile, Sacrifice, Pure, Jagged... and then got everyone screaming with Down in the Park. They knocked off with Are Friends Electric, and then came back for a couple more, truly ending the evening with A Prayer for the Unborn.

Gary is exactly what I thought he would be. He towers. He leers. He conducts the darkness as though shadows were leaking out between his fingers. His voice is surprisingly intimate, then explosively powerful. He has lost none of his energy.

For a man who was sidelined -- for the first time ever in 35 years of touring -- from losing his voice on the 19th, he was amazingly vocal. He was also in good humor, as his bemused grins at people yelling FUCK YEAH GARYYYYYYYYYYYY while drunk off their asses could attest.

I wasn't the only one there with the "first album" story. Folks my age. Folks older. Folks much much younger. All came together at the church of Numan to pray to the aliens. This was worth waiting for and I'm glad I could finally make it happen. Hopefully I will not have to wait more than 30 years to see him again.

In other news, Pontiac is a bitch to get out of, due to poor street signage and asinine construction problems. I think I broke three traffic laws to get where I needed to go. Thankfully, it was Monday/Tuesday at midnight, and the cops were probably receiving handjobs from clowns. In cars.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thank You, Juan Williams

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"Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot... But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

With those words, NPR and FOX News contributor Juan Williams won the dubious prize of having the first aforementioned affiliation ripped away from his chest, and having the latter one staunch the bleeding with a new 2 million contract.

One need not be too surprised at the sudden handing down of mo money. The Right is always happy to take in Leftist waifs and strays who have "seen the light," or else had it rammed up their posterior for being dumb.

They say we always get what we deserved. Apparently Mr. Williams deserved to become the poster child for the supposed tyranny of the "Left," as viewed through the lens of those who think National Public Radio takes our tax dollars and uses it to promote bad things -- like not being a jerk.

And Juan Williams was being a jerk, and should have known better. After all, if another NPR employee had said, on the public record, that they felt nervous when a black man sat down next to them on the bus, would they have lasted much longer at that institution?

Oh, but that's different, maybe you say; Black Americans didn't cause 9/11, did they? You say that thing about the bus, you're being a racist, but if you say what Williams did, you're just being honest about being prudent in this day and age.

Or maybe just human.

Maybe he was really trying to make the point that even he -- someone who should have known better -- still harbored those feelings, in spite of knowing better. That's what he's trying really hard to say now, even though he didn't seem to try really hard to say it when he was talking to Bill and his co-guest on the segment in question.

And if he had said that, and that he was trying to overcome those feelings, then things might have happened differently. But somewhere between O'Reilly's interruptions, and Islamic groups' complaining, the real message may have been lost, and Williams was dropped like a hot falafel.

So the lesson seems to be two-fold, here. Point the First, don't admit to having a problem with other people's presumed race, color, sexual orientation, or religion if you can't quickly follow it up with "... but I'm trying to fix that," and, Point the Second, don't try to do any two-point explanations on Bill O'Reilly's show, because he will not let you get a word in edgewise.

But the real story here isn't what happened to Juan Williams (unfortunate), or whether it was right or wrong (debatable). It isn't even whether it was censorship (it isn't) or a violation of his First Amendment rights (are you kidding me?).

The real story here is the sudden enlightenment that the fallout has brought us. There were many things that needed to come out and be shown to the public, and this unfortunate imbroglio has been the mother of all enemas in that regard.

So thank you, Juan Williams.

Thank you for showing us that, when it comes to Muslims in the post-9/11 world, anyone -- even someone well-educated and left-leaning, such as yourself -- is in danger of being islamophobic.

Thank you for giving us an opportunity to realize that, yes, a lot of people at FOX News, and on the Right, see no problems with being Islamophobic, and, indeed, think that more Americans really should be.

Thank you to the Right for coming to the defense of Juan Williams' free speech, thus giving us the chance to ask where they were, and what they were saying, when Helen Thomas was castigated for saying something just as stupid, herself. (though she does appear to have been given the chance to jump before she was pushed)

Thank you for giving the Right yet another chance to show us how little they value intelligent informational programing, and would prefer to leave us to the tender mercies of FOX news, the Washington Times, and whatever corporations are buying reporters these days.

Thank you for giving certain members amongst that Right the opportunity to try and defund NPR of its taxpayer dollars for this latest slight, thus ensuring that many more people will go and vote against them to ensure that paltry 3.3 million continues to come in.

And thank you to NPR for showing us that, while they'll excuse some stupid speech on behalf of contributors past and present, there is apparently a line in the sand, though where it is may change from tide to tide.

We at the rANT Farm wish Mr. Williams much luck in his future as FOX News' go-to Black Liberal in residence. He may face some tough times ahead, and awkward silences around the water cooler, but if he has any trouble fitting in, at least he can start a conversation by talking about "those people," and how they make him nervous.

You'd just think he'd know better, since, if FOX News had existed 50 years ago, he'd doubtlessly have been one of "those people," too.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday Night Music 10 19 10

When MTV was new and shiny and bright, and they never ever thought of airing anything that would make it impossible for them to play music 24 hours a day, they used to play some amazing stuff, and some not so amazing stuff. I would gladly sit through untold amounts of total crap just because one of the veejays said that a band I liked would be up soon. And Split Enz was one of the ones I'd sit through Poco for.

"I got you" is one of those defining moments when you know it's the 80's all over again, and this video earns points for being New Romantic, creepy, and a glorious song to boot.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Democrats vs. Republicans / Disappointment vs. Disaster

Once again, some of the rightfully angry would prefer we break our toys and go home, rather than play the game with its currently crooked rules and skewed outcomes. But if we do that, we risk our nation sliding back into a replay of the Bush II years. Do we really want to live through another disaster?

Story is here, at Op Ed News.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

HOLD IT! LTC Lakin still with "Patriot" Backers (maybe)

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It would appear that, all visual evidence to the contrary, LTC Lakin's securing of a new (and hopefully sane and competent) legal team over the weekend has not spelled an end to his association with the American Patriot Foundation. Maybe.

After the news got out that LTC Lakin had gotten a different legal team together (given that his previous defense team's plans had been rendered armless and then legless in two different sessions with the judge) the APF started rerouting browsers from the Safeguard our Constitution website to their main site, which spoke about their involvement in the Lakin case in a decidedly past-tense tone.

However, the link to the SOC site has since gone back up again, and the APF has this to say regarding their involvement.

The American Patriot Foundation is pleased to announce that LTC Lakin has repositioned his forces, has retained new legal counsel, and is extremely grateful that the Foundation will be dedicating the critical next few weeks before his planned court-martial on November 3-5, to focusing entirely on public affairs, strategic communications/messaging and coalition-building and that their support will continue seamlessly as the new attorney prepares for trial.

The website of the Foundation is being re-designed to reflect this new focus and emphasis. Contrary to the impression left by some blogs and internet commentary, LTC Lakin is consistent in continuing on the same path that he announced publicly six months ago when he released his first YouTube video-- and consistent with his military training, to continue to request assurance from Pentagon leadership that his military orders, including his deployment orders to Afghanistan, are legal-- authorized at the highest level by a Commander-in-Chief who is Constitutionally eligible, per Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.


The Foundation is pleased to continue to support LTC Lakin, a decorated and outstanding officer with 18 years of service in the Army, as he persists in his pursuit of the truth, the rule of law, and in support of his sworn oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Terry is gratified by the many people who have stayed in constant touch with him through the website and deeply appreciates their support, their guidance and suggestions, and their prayers.

Reading all that, two things come to mind:

1) This sounds like a massive CYA blurb, possibly to reflect the fact that they're still soliciting for money on Lakin's behalf (and their own????) and, frankly, have nothing better going for them, but no longer have a real hand in the outcome of his trial given that their hand-picked lawyer, Paul Rolf "Otis" Jensen, is decidedly off the team. "Repositioned his forces" is a nice way of saying "fired his generals," IMHO.

2) Why the hell didn't they leave the site up and then update with all this, rather thank yanking stuff down and then putting it up? Did it really take 24+ hours to hammer all this out, or were they hunkered down on the phone trying to figure out how to spin this? (I favor the latter, but the former would not surprise me in the least)

At any rate, Jensen is definitely gone-baby-gone. I doubt we will be hearing anything from him on the matter due to client confidentiality clauses and all that. Besides, he's already got another high-profile case on his docket: a case of celebrity dogbite in reverse!

What now? There's been some speculation that the new legal team might try and mount a defense by saying the old one (and the APF?) led LTC Lakin seriously astray, and turned what was essentially a bizarre hobby into actual mutiny by telling him he actually had a viable, winnable case as opposed to a sad and sorry windmill tilt. On the other hand, maybe they're just going to do the best they can to cushion the coming blow. We'll see in about a month, here.

But we should take a moment to think about poor Jensen. This was his big chance to get his name out there as THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN A PRESIDENT, and instead he's back to personal injury cases. Poor fellow Jensen, who went toe to toe with Anderson Cooper, spread birther boilerplate on national television, and became another bright and guiding light in a field full of stinky and sticky black holes, is now going to slide back into the relative anonymity of has-beens and also-rans who tried and failed to touch the Sun.

And his client kicked him back there.

In honor of a man no longer worthy of news, who has definitely lost the game, we present our usual Tuesday night music. The classic hit by Human League: "Don't You Want Me?" (apparently not)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

SHOCKER! LTC Lakin Deep-Sixes Legal Team!

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STOP THE PRESSES! In a shocking move, just days after their planned defense was rendered quadriplegic by the judge, LTC Lakin has broken up with the legal team provided by the American Patriot Foundation (that would be Paul Rolf "Otis" Jensen, the dog bite attorney) and secured the services of another, hopefully more competent team.

We do not have any direct comments from either Lakin or Jensen, but it would appear the romance is over, and neither side has wasted any time getting over it.

As of today, the Safeguard Our Constitution site, once a busy, screaming beehive of activity, is no longer directly accessibe. All former SOC URLS are now directed right to the APF's main page. The only mention of L'affaire Lakin is a decidedly past-tense blurb on the Current Projects page.

And Mr. Jensen's page no longer has a large display of him helping LTC Lakin break the UCMJ. Instead there is a redirect to his snazzy legal firm page (look out for that DOG!)

So who is Terry seeing now? According to Phil Cave:

Looks like LTC Lakin may have reached out to Neal Puckett, a real military law knowledgeable person. Either that or Neal is playing a birthday joke on Dwight.

He also asks a very good question...

Query: who at this point is going to be paying LTC Lakin’s legal bills. The website had solicited donations on the basis that they would be paying all of LTC Lakin’s legal bills did they not? Or did I miss something on that? What about all of the money donated to APF on behalf of LTC Lakin?

... which I think gets to the heart of the matter. Did the APF ever really think they had a fireball's chance in Hel of getting Lakin off the hot seat, much less get full discovery on Obama's documents? Or was this a cynical attempt to get some attention by using a willing patsy, and then reap as much money from his sad hide as they could before the show came to an end?

In other words, was this ever more than a right-wing publicity stunt, with Lakin used as bait?

As I've said before, the American Patriot Foundation's motives are highly suspect. I don't think we should be looking at Obama's records -- we should be looking at theirs. I think we'd find a number of things of interest if we did.

Irregardless, I hope LTC Lakin's new legal team convinces him to drop this Birther nonsense, and can find some way to help their client dig UP, for a change. It would be nice if this story could have something other than a horribly tragic ending.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Birthermail - 10/01/10


I too have been trying to have a look at Obama's original birth certificate, passport records, school records, or anything that will clear up the discrepancies with his many Social Security numbers.

Is there any way you could look for them for me. I thought since you visit there often, you could look and see if Obama has them hidden up his or Michelle's ass.

Dear (Name Redacted)

Thank you for your enthusiastic email regarding a part in our upcoming production, “I Was a Teenage Homophobe.” Unfortunately, we have already secured actors for all speaking parts, and will not need any extras.

I know that must be disappointing, given that you were told otherwise, as you indicated. The truth is that I was certain I WAS going to need someone to replace a real problem child actor. But after a rather tense, ‘come to Jesus’ meeting with me and his agent, he swears he’s going to lay off the booze, uppers, and goat-sex so he can concentrate on his craft. He’s a friend of a friend of a friend of my producer, so I have to take him at his word.

However, I have forwarded your resume over to my colleague, who is currently casting “Night of the Return of the Living Birthers.” Given your stunning work in “Night of the Living Birthers,” “Return of the Living Birthers,” and “Birtherdamerung II: Electric Boogaloo,” I think you would be perfect for at least one of the parts.

No need to thank me! That’s showbiz.

Yours truly,