Sunday, June 28, 2009


How come no one has countered Ahmadinejad's and the clerics' condemnations of nonexistent British and American meddling in their internal affairs, when they have been major players and funders of Hezbollah activities in the Middle East and in Iraq? Who knows how many terrorists have been funded by them, directly or indirectly.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


For most of his long reign in Cuba, Fidel Castro made a habit of scuttling any improvements in relations with each successive American administration, largely by doing something to incite his neighbor to the north (such as shooting down aircraft piloted by anti-Castro partisans). But everyone should know that what he was doing was making it so that he could blame every ill in his country on America; had the embargo ended, he would have had a much more difficult time explaining his repressive policies and the economic hardship his people were subjected to. Now President Ahmadinejad, and his clerical handlers in Iran, seem to have taken a page from Fidel. Voting irregularities? What irregularities??. . .it is but the meddling of the nasty Americans. Neda shot in the chest by a Basiji militiaman? Oh no! It was one of the protesters, surely, incited by the Americans, who are causing trouble for the Iranian police and people. (I wonder if we Americans were also guilty of not allowing Neda a proper burial and that we also have helped harrass and depose from their home her family, as well as send the doctor who tried to help her scurrying from the country for his safety?). We haven’t violently put down a peaceful expression of opposition to a rigged election and imposed a reign of terror on anyone thinking of political and social reform. . .oh no, we are just closing ranks in front of those foreign devils, the Americans and British. How dare President Obama criticize our beating, maiming, terrorizing, and killing Iranian citizens? He is such a meddler. Too bad there is a sizable percentage of Iranians who are blinded by the clerics and their own closed-mindedness to see that the mullahs and Ahmajinedad are no better now than the brutal repression laid upon the Iranian people by the Shah and his Savak! I am getting sicker and sicker as the iron fist of an untrue Islam smashes the yearnings for freedom, throttles the people’s will. The question now is if the people will be brave enough to risk their lives now, beyond making nighttime calls from the rooftops, or releasing green balloons. I hope a contingent of Iranian taggers start writing messages of hope in green on the walls of the city. Maybe the beating of basiji as they storm into people’s homes will send a message. The Iranian people rose up once to shed an oppressor, I hope they can do it again. The Iranian Revolution I was derailed. After thirty years it is time to get in back on the tracks for the benefit of all Iranians. Americans are not the enemy. The enemy is within.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I watched in horror as blood suddenly streamed from her mouth, then nose, as it filled her lungs to capacity and spilled out into the street. She thankfully did not seem to be in pain, but in shock, her dark eyes rolling to her right, as if to watch the camera/phone being used to film her demise. Her eyes seemed to be saying, "Why me?" Her music teacher called to her to be strong, to stay with them, but the damage was too severe. Her name was Neda Agha-Soltan; she was a mid-twenties Iranian beauty who was attending (but it is unclear if she was supporting) anti-election protests in Tehran, when she was shot by a militia sniper. She has become an accidental hero. She is but one victim of the conservative religious thugs that police morality in the streets of Iran. They have been a brutal stifling presence in the country for thirty years, and one wonders how many they have beaten, harrassed, and even killed. But we know they killed this time! For all the world to witness. Perhaps as many as twenty others (who knows!) may have perished at the hands of these thugs, but hers was a death captured for all to see. Many Iranians have protested their societal in-home detention by the religious fanatics, protesting behind closed doors and gated garden, as well as underneath their scraves and chadors, but not often in the violent streets, until now. Iranians, especially the youth, orchestrate a daring dance of defiance. And it is women now who have stepped to the forefront---in the election and political protest---and it is only right, as it is they who suffer the cruelist penalties for independent thought and action. Bless them. I do not know if the youth/women/reformist movement can withstand the crushing blows of clerics and their minions, and I fear many will be disappeared (as happened in Argentina and many other societies in the 60s and 70s) or will be murdered. Do we really need another corps of black-clad women walking/praying in a public square in protest of the untimely demise of their children, who only sought freedom? Do we need new Kent States and Jackson States, Pettis Bridges, Wounded Knees, and other infamous occurances where brave protestors and often innocent bystanders paid with their bodies and lives to protest discrimination and oppression? Repressive regimes cannot last. . .they can only prolong the suffering of their people. They will always fall. The mobster mullahs (religious-shahs), and that is basically what they are. . .organized criminals leeching off society so they can thrive without truly working and can lord it over a terrorized populace. I do not oppose those who seek salvation in the embrace of Islam, but I do denounce any religious fanatic who believes they have a right to impose their views and beliefs on everyone (whether they be overseas or here in America). Long live this rebellion. May green wave proudly. Give strength to those who stand up to their oppressors. Maybe one day there will be a truly free Iran, and Saudi Arabia, and the rest of the Middle East (heck, the rest of the world, for that matter).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Blues

Had just come home from the ole Golden C
hoping my family would be waiting for me,
but no one was there, not kids nor my wife
silence so thick you could cut it with knife.
It seemed odd to me that on this holiday
there’d be no welcoming party, to say
"We’re happy to see you, was work today hard?
Here is some chocolate and we got you a card."
I lay on our mattress to get me some rest,
calm myself down and unburden my chest,
when the boys arrived from their lunch at McD
wife clearly had nothing to say then to me,
she turned right around and just walked away,
so I asked my boys "How has been your day?"
They jumped on the bed and snuggled up near,
and what from the youngest went into my ear?
"Mom says its your fault and she’s leaving you."
Out of my mouth a gasp must have flew,
the elder then added, my heart could not save,
"And we got to meet her old schoolfriend Dave."
After I finished a short cry and shudder,
and managed to regain control of my rudder,
ushered them off with hugs and some kisses,
guess that my marriage was one of those misses,
but my heart was broken, and this I can say,
it was a helluva way to spend that Father’s Day.


Last night I attended a free concert on the river featuring the old-timey country band Sugarmountain Boys (bluegrass?), who were pretty good, followed by the new cd-celebration-party stylings of the very enjoyable Black Bottom Biscuits. I don't usually go for too much rockabilly, but it was a different sort of treat. They played an upbeat and entertaining mix of songs. My friend Fred, who grew up with three members of BBB, called my attention to their concert and I decided to give it a whirl. Glad I did. I was especially taken by several songs in their second set, which included many crowd pleasers (and they do seem to have a following locally) such as the delightful "Fish Beer," humorous look at the urbanization of the countryside in "Don't Pave My Road," and funny looks at lost love in "Double-Wide Love Left Behind," and "Even the Roaches Miss You." Can't remember for sure, but there was one song I really liked, I think called "Can't Stop the Lightning." What I enjoyed the most was their sense of humor, especially in the confesssional story-like songs. No doubt they sit around drinking beer and reminiscing when one of them tells a funny story and another writes down a few lines, and the next thing ya know. . .a song! Lead singer Arnie seems to be a bit of a goof, in a funny way, but that also lends to the charm of the band. They all play pretty well and I certainly enjoyed it. The only downside to the evening was the extreme heat and the fact that my boys missed it. We are broiling down here. I wanted to jump into the Congaree several times.

Not to overlook another concert I attended a week earlier, I caught the smooth jazz of guitarist Terence Young, who was absolutely excellent, at a concert in Findlay Park. He is better known in these parts as a gospel musician, but I was very impressed. There were some other local acts in the mix, a couple quite good, but he headlined and I am glad I didn't miss it. I definitely will try to catch him in action again. Next to The Soul Mites, he may be my second favorite local artist now.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


A couple pics of my sons with new hairdos and wrap-around glasses. We'll be back.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Watched an outstanding and troubling movie, Changeling, tonight. I thought Jolie was excellent. I loved the period costumes and scenes. The story also touches a bone, when children are hurt and parents destroyed. What makes it even more angering is that it apparently is based on a true story. One of the better "normal" roles for Malkovich, who was very good. I wonder if anyone else thought the guy who played the lawyer Hahn thought he looked disturbing like ex-LAPD chief Gates.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Just finished a mini-marathon of Christopher Moore novels. Anyone who likes absurdist humor writing, with naughtiness and ironic criticism of sacred cows, and not a little bit of grossness and weirdness, then I encourage you to pick up some of his books. There are times when reading his work that I simply can’t stop giggling. He has become one of my favorite authors.

First up was The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, a return visit to the community of Pine Grove, whose denizens first had to deal with a human-eating monster in Practical Demonkeeping. This time the human-eating monster is a horny, shapeshifting water dragon whose intense vibes can draw his prey willingly and cause uncontrollable horniness in depressed humans. Desperate to wreak revenge upon a blues singer for causing him much pain, he causes confusion and chaos in the small coastal community. Wacky characters include a pot-smoking, but likable and honest local lawman; a greedy, porpoise-loving (and I mean "loving") pharmacist; a confused biologist who studies rats; and an ex-B-movie starlet who falls in love with the giant lizard. I regularly think Moore might have an interest in zoophilia himself, if not all brands of kinkiness. Nevertheless, the troubling arrival of the lusty lizard leads to the uncovering of mysterious going-ons on ranch land that boarders the town. Overall, it was a fun read, though not quite as good as Practical, and not nearly as good as some of Moore’s other books.

From the coastline of California we turn to the isolated Pacific island of Aluala in Island of the Sequined Love Nun, a tale of a disgraced private-jet pilot who had worked for a Mary Kay-like boss, but who is now given a shot at redemption as a pilot to medical missionaries---but he soon discovers a dark undertone to his new job. Another set of unusual characters populate Moore’s new world: a cross-dressing Filipino navigator, a determined old cannibal intent on reestablishing the old ways of his people, a talking fruit bat, a ghost of a WWII bomber pilot, and an outspoken (feminist?) pleasure woman for the island’s males. The protagonist, Tucker Case, fits the mold of many of Moore’s heros, wise-cracking never-the-wells with sympathetic, and often just, hearts. This story was excellent and enjoyable.

The two previous novels worked well in preparing me for the best read of the three. . .A Dirty Job. Now, for anyone who watched and enjoyed the television series Dead Like Me, I encourage them to pick up this novel. Charlie Asher has just had his world turned upside down, with the death of his beloved wife and the duties of taking care of his newborn daughter; he soon discovers that he is responsible for delivering souls, and that his daughter has sinister powers. With his new job come perils posed by a trio of nasty feathered female demons from the sewers and foot-tall creatures that seem put together haphazardly from various animal parts, often sporting unusual dress. The required cast of crazies includes a lesbian sister who likes to wear her brother’s expensive suits; the Emperor of San Francisco (who I think is based on a real historical character in the city), a goth clerk who accidently finds out the true nature of her boss; an ex-cop searching for his true love on the Internet; an intrepid, world-wise detective who has his eyes on Charlie; and a pair of huge hellhounds. I enjoy the character Minty Fresh, a giant black man with a penchant for saving his friends and who falls for Lily (the goth girl); he was a minor character in the very enjoyable Coyote Blue. Pulled together with humor and weirdness is are underlying themes of love, family, spirituality, and responsibility. No one I have talked to who has read this book has said they didn’t enjoy it.