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Big Brass Blog is a group blog founded in February of 2005 by Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend and Melissa McEwan of Shakesville (formerly Shakespeare's Sister). The mission of this collaborative effort is to stand as the premiere forum where strong, enduring voices of Progressivism provide what liberal politics has been missing: the unapologetic, unrelenting voice of liberalism in the darkness visited upon our world by Right-wing extremists, their ruinous policies, and their hypocritical beliefs.

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14 July 2011

Dead Babies

by: Lisa Ranger

Dead babies can't take care of themselves
Dead babies can't take things off the shelf
Well we didn't want you anyway
Lalala-la, lalala-la, la la la
--Dead Babies, Alice Cooper

My possessions are causing me suspicion
but there's no proof
in the paper today
tales of war and of waste
but you turn right over to the T.V. page
--Don't Dream it's Over, Crowded House

You’re missing that one final screw
You’re simply not in the pink my dear
To be honest you haven’t got a clue
--I'm Going Slightly Mad, Queen

They only hit until you cry
And after that you don't ask why
You just don't argue anymore
--Luka, Suzanne Vega

Over the past several days Lisa has had the misfortune to be exposed to what passes for news today -- Caylee mania.

People she did not know implored her on the day of the not guilty verdict, "Did you hear?", as though this decision were something that would jostle the sun and the moon (Casey Anthony and the Court of Public Opinion). For three years Caylee's sad story has provided fodder for those who would declaim against the forces of dissolution in the U.S.: Justice must be served for little Caylee, and that means mother Casey must go down.

Yet justice worked as it must; the prosecution did not present an airtight case. The whole lot of the Anthony's are misfits and liars, and it is very hard to disentangle a bag of snakes. CNN promises 24-hour coverage Sunday, July 17th, when Casey Anthony is released, just so we may release a bit more bile.

Observers gathered outside of the Orlando courthouse daily to score one of the 50 tickets in. A psychologist was on air to minister to the viewer's grief ("over time, the sadness and anger will fade"); it is reported that a lightning strike at Caylee memorial "could be a sign from the angels", and there is a Broward County resto who won't serve the bad Caylee jurors. All of this was gotten in 20 minutes of CNN "news". We really are a fried chicken short of a church picnic.

More to the point:
Why is the nation transfixed by tales of blond babies murders? Remember the Jon Benet Ramsey furore in the 1990's? Jon Benet was the six-year-old blond beauty pageant "star" who riveted the nation in her death. How about Madeleine McCann, blond British child reportedly kidnapped in Portugal? But what about the other 2,000 kids killed annually in the U.S.? Well, they don't meet the photogenic bar for one reason or another.

Poor children fall through the cracks of supervising agencies with appalling regularity, but they don't permeate our collective mindset; just more statistics. Welfare workers are swamped with bloated caseloads, but no new taxes (the lesson of GHWB has not been lost.)

Do we care about the black toddler baked in an oven this March in Mississippi (that's how they do in Mississippi), or the Asian baby fried in a microwave that month in L.A.? How about Alexis (Lexie) Glover, found dead in a frigid D.C. creek, repeatedly failed by the child services system? Or Banita Jacks, who killed her four daughters because they were "demon-possessed"? Or 7-year-old with cystic fibrosis Charles Poertner, found dead last December in horrific circumstances, or Danieal Kelley, and so many, many more.

The answer is, No, because they are not pretty little blond babies. We are hypocritical dunderheads.

[cross-posted @ RangerAaginstWar, with links.]

01 November 2010

Forward to the Past!

by: Father Tyme

Republicans and The Tea Party: 20th Century ideas for the 21st Century.

I'm as disappointed as any Progressive over the spineless actions of the Democrats and Pseudo-Democratic President. However, we really ARE between a rock and a hard place and sadly, the Democratic Leaders know it and are taking full advantage of it.
But unfortunately ignoring or not voting for the Democrats including the quisling Blue Dogs in Congress will only hurt us to a much greater extent than them. The only CURRENT realistic alternative is to vote ALL the Democrats back in. If there's a choice between a current Blue Dog or turncoat Democrat and a Progressive running, so much the better. But not voting for a Democrat just out of spite or because you think it'll send a message won't do the country any good. In fact it'll probably result in a much worse economy and quality of life...for those of us not making a few hundred thousand dollars a year!

It's a hell of a choice; those who have no balls (Democrats) but do SOME things for the people or those (Republicans) who would emasculate the rest of US! (Some, like O'Donnell, may actually want Americans turned into eunuchs!)
The choice then, is clear for now. We must maintain a Democratically controlled Congress. We've lost too many freedoms already and the Tea Party and Republicans will take the rest from us. That alternative is unthinkable, unaffordable and probably unlivable for many Americans.

So vote Tuesday as if your and your family's future depends on it. Hold your nose or whatever expression best describes your disgust and make sure the Democrats continue control of our government.

Keep Democratic control of Congress and over the next 2 years we can actively work to install true progressives and replace those who did nothing for the Left. It'll be better than having Boehner and Bachman, McConnell and Sessions running and ruining our lives for the next two years.'ll be time to change, starting with the primaries and especially with the top position. Remember those who shit on us and replace them. Not with change we can believe in but with change that will be real.

28 August 2010

The Standard of Honor

by: Dark Wraith

Martin Luther King, Jr. versus Glenn Beck

Dr. King's dream was not that, one day, opportunistic Right-wing extremists would blubber about honor they have never earned and a God they use as a tool of insular, self-serving hypocrisy.

Honor the standards of heroism, and thereby reject the failed pretenders to the platform of leadership.

· · · · ·
17 June 2009

Just a few years too early...

by: Father Tyme

I think there might be more than 73 when the time comes...and it seems to be coming for real now. The zealots of the 70s didn't have the power of funding to pull it off then, but thanks to Deadeye and the Neos, the America of our founders is quickly disappearing!

02 January 2009

It's Like This

by: Foiled Goil

Sunrise sunspots

What Will Matter?

~Michael Josephson, © 2003

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame, and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.

It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.
So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won’t matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.
It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.
Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.
So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought but what you built; not what you got but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered, or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter are not your memories but the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom, and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

To download a color copy, (pdf) go here.

For a video presentation, go here.

12 November 2008

Tales Of Woe

by: Debra

My sentiments exactly.  When I saw the article yesterday about Michelle Obama being only interested in getting her kids settled and that she isn't going to have a seat at the decision table, I thought, "wow, she has had to give up everything that made her who she is and settle for picking the drapes."  She isn't an extension of her husband, she is a person in her own right.  If she had wanted to be a stay at home mom, she would have done it earlier in her career.  And as one commenter pointed out, if Hillary had been elected what role would Bill be playing right now?  It certainly wouldn't be as the interior decorator, clothes horse or chief babysitter.  America is so far behind the times when it comes to gender equality that I doubt we will ever catch up to the rest of the world.

Dumb-dee-dumb dumb.   To say they weren't the sharpest knives in the drawer is putting it mildly.  I'm sure the KKK would like to disavow all knowledge.

I'm desperately looking for a place I can afford here in San Jose and having no luck at all.  99% of the ads for places under a thousand dollars have been either preforeclosure homes or a variation of this letter.
It is a great pleasure that to you are interested in my Place.Thanks for your email and it is my gladness to hearing you I am a Single Christain Father, With no kid, My Wife, Pass by Last 4 Month  (got dead). Due to the Fatal Accident we Had she got Dead, and I got Dislocation on my Legs and Hand, My name is Pastor Rev Benard Glott The Owner of the 2 bedroom home and its located @ 3665 Benton Street, Santa Clara, CA 95051 I am presently in West Africa due to my transfer that makes me leave the house and also want to give it out for rent and looking for a responsible person that can take very good care of it as I am not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean at the time and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its own. So for now, i am here in west Africa, My new house and put all my worries off concerning the maintenance of the apartment  for, since i am not residing there for now.I left behind some Facilities and electonics which include the rent, and a DVD player, air conditioning, alarm system. The kitchen is fully equipped with all necessary cooking utensils, arefrigerator-freezer, four-hob and oven, microwave,dishwasher and washing machine, My Computer Connected with Internet Acess Also the keys to the House are right here with me, and the lease document. Which i can send to you after all necessary agreement has be accepted. Also i will like you to know that the rent charges is not really the issue ,but your absolute maintenance of my apartment is most important thing so will want you to get back to me with the Application form below.
And here is one of the many variations.
We are so much excited. My name is Jeff Garza the owner of the apartment and also want you to know that it was due to my transfer that makes me and my wife and little daughter to leave the apartment and also want to give it out for rent and looking for a responsible person that can take very good care of it while we are not at the state as we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean at the time and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its own. So for now, we are here in West Africa, our new house and put all my worries off concerning the maintenance of the apartment for, since i am not residing there for now. I left behind some Facilities and electonics which include the rent, DVD player, air conditioning, alarm system. The kitchen is fully equipped with all necessary cooking utensils, refrigerator-freezer, four-hob and oven, microwave, dishwasher and washing machine, my computer connected with Internet access also the keys and document of the apartment are right here with us in West Africa, and the lease document. Which i can send to you after all necessary agreement has been accepted. Also i will like you to know that the rent charges is not really the issue, hope you are okay with the price of $699 per month including utilities like water, gas, heat laundry facilities, air condition and so on, but your absolute maintenance of my apartment is most important thing, if you are really interested in renting this apartment get back to me so that i can forward you an application form for you to fill so that i can start all necesary arrangement asap.  Here is the apartment address :   347 Massol Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95030, USA   ..... Pls note that you will be viewing the apartment from outside and won't be able to inspect because the keys and document to the apartment are with me here in africa and. It is located on a cool, quiet and safe neighbourhood.
I've received about fifteen of these responses so far.  Meanwhile, my landlord is taking me to court and that will prevent me from renting anywhere else in the future.  I don't have a clue as to what to do.  The effects of moving on mom will be bad enough, moving her to another state would be disastrous besides being fiscally impossible  Her doctor doesn't think she should go into a care facility yet and adult protective services told me not to move her until we have a solid place to stay.  For the first time in my life I am having anxiety attacks and they are as far from fun as you can get.  I know that I'm hyperventilating and that lack of oxygen is what causes my vision to go dark, but it is really hard to get my breathing to slow down when my heart is beating abnormally fast.  All I can say is that this situation sucks and I need help.

Oh yeah, and now my internet connection is slower than dial up (ten minutes to load a page, the signal keeps dropping) and I can't get anything done.  I can hardly wait for the next shoe to drop.


Update: The manager came over and made me an offer to extend the time until February 15th, as long as I can come up with a $1000 in three days. I'm thinking of selling my car, but then I wouldn't be able to get to work at all the places I have to be since the bus service isn't all that great. And certainly not within the time frame that my job requires. But I'll do it in order to stay here for a few more months and keep a roof over mom's head. They say that when one door closes another opens. Unfortunately I think I'm stuck in a real world variation of Cube.

27 October 2008

Keith O: Say Something, John

by: Foiled Goil

TPM Election Central:

McCain Communications Director Gave Reporters Incendiary Version Of "Carved B" Story Before Facts Were Known

Think Progress:

McCain campaign ‘steered’ reporters to hoax attack story

Huffington Post:

Ashley Todd Story Pushed By McCain Campaign Aide, Say Reporters

Raw Story:

Report: McCain camp hyped attack tale before truth emerged

BarbinMD, KOS:

McCain Campaign Pushed Now-Discredited Attack Story

Steve Benen, Washington Monthly:

What Did The McCain Campaign Push And When Did It Push It?


Olbermann to McCain: Speak up and lead!

[ 5:46 ]

Oct. 27: In a Special Campaign Comment, Keith Olbermann says John McCain needs to speak out against those who would use Friday’s hoax attack as a means to re-open the racial divide in America.

· · ·
20 July 2008

In Celebration

by: blackdog

Funny how "happy" dancing can lead to all sorts of activity, and lead even the most stalwart types down the path of happiness.

From the Mule last night:

Oh happy day!!! PeterofLoneTree is at my place and we're both doing
our happy dance. I was out of my mind with worry. We'll all sleep
better tonight, sweet blackdog.

This is for PofLT and MM. May they bask in this, and even I still have a romantic bone or two.

I have heard something about a ring, should I be worried?

Good news two days in a row.

I have io add this now, I know I've overused ir but it ia appropriate for you two, the lights that rise up at the end must represent the Mule and Petey.

To beautiful to pass over, sorry.
13 September 2007

Standard Orbit, Please?

by: blackdog

Since my debacle with diverticulitis in order to get my mind back I have been reading. It has helped. For the longest my sense of time and memories were affected until I began a program of forcing myself to read. Many of the books I had read before, but some were new. It was an attempt to rejoin the human race in the only way I could, I had no coach or mentor besides the limited contact I have with you sorts here on the web, pardon me, those tubes or them internets.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have had many visitors while I was debilitated who tried to make connections with me, but I was somewhere else, I can't right now tell where that was, I will soon. But once again, I was fortunate and continue to be so. Oh, shit. The shrub is on the radio screaching it's path to whatever. Strength Man! Overcome idiocy and mediocracy!

I admit to being a lightweight here, but I'm not totally stoopid even though I was not too recently classified as being such by a bonified test over at BS.

Having said that, with no admission to any truth or rumor of the facts as seen by more lucid members of this or any other blog, I now make a bold claim.

Many people really are stupid, unable to obtain or absorb information and in the face of that, openly defiant of any challenge to their interpretation of the world around them. I'm not speaking about an idiot's raving, these are in most ways "normal" americans.

Their view of the greater world comes from a more limited view, with more limited options than some have. They have fallen into the trap that Western Civilization has fought for so long. The fight continues and is not limited to westerners. They and I have succumbed to the easy and wide path of accepting authority whatever the hell it says, since that allows the individual to not make choices on their own.

Thank gawd, the shrub has retreated into it's own hole and my mind is slowly returning.

To attempt to bring a measure of continuity to this I have finished a most interesting book sent to my by one of the posters here. For that I thank that individual and apologize for taking so long to read it. It was "Infidel". I think a great read, and a primer for anyone who wants to know more about life in parts of the world that westerners do not understand, we are on different planets but we can now interact with each other in ignorance due to our ease of transportation. But can we interact on our understanding or our acceptance of other cultures?

I had read 2/3 of this book and attempted to tell others in my immediate family that I thought it was a really good read, I got as far as Holland when my most significant other locked onto Holland and interrupted, reminding me that that blond white girl abducted?? in Aruba was most likely sent on her way to hell by the Dutch government, and sold into slavery to Venezuela with the insinuation that Hugo Chavez had a direct hand in it.

I quit.

As long as faux news has the attention of the idiots in this nation truth and reality are in question.

Might as well get on a UFO and do whatever.

Talk about a wet fish in the face.

On the plus side, I got to see an old friend recently, I feel that he has a similar view of ridiculous bullshit.
11 September 2007

and now?

by: astraea

In Nazi Germany, good people kept expecting a sanity to break through that never did (philoctetes-complex-no-2.html). I see that again. I see it here, in our opposition to this war, to much of the policy of the last seven years.

Even without a responsible, truth-driven press, we have a populace that HAS more or less awakened (see below*). Yet we can do nothing to change our lack of representation: realistically, Congress -- our only hope, the only hope "the people" ever have -- is still hamstrung. The votes aren't there, leadership or no, though ground and time and maybe some history and even future justice have been saved by wrestling back the leadership of the committees.

But We The People? We who are not represented by this regime? We are silenced. Impotent. There is Homeland Security, the Patriot Act, the Blackwater storm troopers and the ability to call out the Nat Guard of one state against another -- over the wishes of even the Governor. Things no one asked you about giving the power to do. There are now stun guns that do crowds. Guns that turn innards to gel. Machines that seek and destroy, the later two already in use in Afghanistan and Iraq. (The line is crossed. What "morality" in such warfare? Who are the terrorists now? )

This is more than Jefferson bargained for, an informed public incapacitated by a diabolical messianic corporate-fueled and stockholder-fed regime.

AND YET -- it could all be turned around if those last -- those stockholders -- developed a conscience, an awareness, a knowing-what-they-do. Intellectually and morally bankrupt (what more proof could there be that morality is not the exclusive province of religion?), inflated, they fuel it all -- are the very foundation of it -- most of them doing it by simply not making a decision, not finding their place in the scheme, their responsibility it it.

A mirror:
The worst excesses of the Bush regime have stemmed directly from its leader's character- that is, its rampant cronyism; its arrogance and egotism; its peremptory, bullying tone and methods; its refusal to brook criticism from within or without; its frighteningly authoritarian impulses; its need to create enemies as a means of governing; its impulsiveness and naivete: its outright contempt for the law; and its truly staggering ability to substitute its own versions of what it wishes the world to be for any recognition of objective reality. ~Kevin Baker, HARPER'S Aug 2007, pg 39.
Realty. That's what's missing in individuals so ready and willing to be blind (that image, the baby eater in Pan's Labyrinth), living unexamined lives, blindly believing in the honor of this (just another) honor/shame culture.

NOW is the time to speak out. You don't need a megaphone. Ask youself, ask everyone: Look at your own portfolio. What does it fuel? Who owns it? What are you buying? Every dollar you spend empowers something. Please, please -- know what it is and act.



The entire Iraq war debate is now just a Washington insider game. The country has decided.

Just 36 per cent in the AP poll said the troop increase has helped stabilise Iraq, only slightly more than the 32 per cent who said they thought it would in February as the build-up began. Voicing that view were almost two-thirds of Republicans, about one in seven Democrats and about a third of independents.

In addition, 59 per cent said they believe history will judge the Iraq war as a failure, including 28 per cent who said it would be viewed as a complete failure.

Asked if the United States made a mistake going to war in Iraq in 2003, 57 per cent said yes, about the same number who said so in April.


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