Music to Interrogate Prisoners By

So Mother Jones, a magazine I always get confused with Mother Earth News*, has songs it says are used in American military facilities for “torture”. I’ll quickly mention the fact Mother Jones, like many on the anti-war side, has an exceedingly loose definition of torture. Some people apparently think anything which might make a prisoner uncomfortable is torture. While being somewhat ludicrous, such behavior also reduces the term down to a pointless smear. If everything beyond asking prisoners politely is torture, then the term is effectively meaningless. The vast majority of people will quit responding to the accusation once the bar is set low enough. For a clear example in contemporary American culture, look at accusations of racism and sexism.

Anyhow, by my quick count, on the RAID box that holds all our music we have 10 of the 24 songs listed. Does this mean I’m trying to torture myself? Funny, I never noticed any tendencies towards masochism before now.

I recall the last time this issue surfaced, when we were trying to get Noriega out of a church in Panama, I had a greater percentage of the music used. Of course, I was actually in the Army then, so it’s not surprising. I’ll call attention to only two of them that stand out as particularly egregious behavior:

The Barney Song and the Meow Mix commercial.

I don’t know who came up with those choices (PsyOps, maybe?) but I’ll freely admit that if you played either of those at me for an extended period of time, my already fragile sanity would snap like a twig. I think Barney may be a little culturally specific to work on the rest of the world, but a loop of the Meow Mix commercial would drive anybody mad after a while. It’s an inspired choice.

Speaking of inspired musical choices, I present to you Celtic Frost performing Mexican Radio. Stan Ridgway is still out and about and releasing records, so you might go by his website and see if his latest offerings interest you.

*One group of hippies is much like another to my mind.

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Apparently, the key to web traffic is interesting content updated regularly.

No wonder my Sitemeter numbers have tanked lately. Perhaps I should address the issue.



Entitlement's End

The first boomer got her Social Security retirement check. Entitlement programs as we know them today just became unsustainable.

I can't help but have the sneaking suspicion it's gonna get pretty ugly around here before we fix the ginormous fucking mess we created for ourselves. Between this and the impending election, I'm gonna end up buying a lot of guns this year, I think. I've having one of my paranoid years.



Give Me Money

I want your money. However, as I am not from the government, I can’t just take it from you. Well, I could, but I’d have to get up off my ass and find you, and then you wouldn’t have the amount of money I desire in your pockets. So I’ll have to bow to market forces and offer you something for it.

How ‘bout a house?

Yes, we are selling YPS Manor, nevermore to walk the carefully manicured grounds and enjoy the raucous screams of the resident peacocks while we stroll down the garden promenade. Wait, we don’t have peacocks. Or a garden promenade. And if ‘carefully manicured’ means more than ‘mowed grass’, we don’t have that either. I’m hallucinating again. Someday I’ll get the dosage right on these meds.

Anyhow, if you have the slightest interest in living in a small eastern suburb of Houston, stately YPS Manor is up on the block. Email me. We’ll deal.



Vice Presidential Dreams

So Mittens bailed out in an attempt to make himself look statesman-like for his 2012 run at the prize. People are now asking the inevitable question: who will McCain, as nominee presumptive, pick as his VP? If he picks Huckabeeste, it’s all over but the crying. Whichever donk wins the nomination will beat that ticket like a redheaded stepchild. Of course, I predicted Fred as the eventual winner. My crystal ball is apparently a bit murky when it comes to politics.

I can, however, tell you who it won’t be: Ron Paul. Somebody floated that absurd idea at me the other day and it was more than I could do to not laugh at the poor soul. First, the fact the Washington establishment is not overly enamored of the good Doctor comes into play. McCain is nothing if not an insider. He shares many viewpoints with a lot of the elitist asshats in DC, and Ron Paul isn’t a part of that club. Conversely, why the hell would Ron Paul want to take the VP slot with an asshat like McCain in the pilot seat? He would have little or no influence, and wouldn’t see any of his ideas implemented. Plus, when McCain acts like the crazy old man he is, Paul gets tarred by association.

The final reason is the brutally pragmatic one. I would not take odds on anybody who gets elected with Ron Paul as their VP surviving their term of office. Somebody out there would decide that Ron Paul as President was worth the price, and try to take McCain out.

Look for Thompson to be the VP pick. Romney won’t take it because he has dreams of 2012, and nobody else registered enough interest with voters to matter.

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Super Tuesday

Actually, it's Super Fat Tuesday. Does that mean anyone you vote for today is more fattening than usual? Or are we voting for obesity at the polls instead of with our stomachs? No, wait, that's not it. I'm so confused. Anyhow, we should get a clear front-runner from both sides after today. Any way this turns out, I won't like it. So we'll say no more about it until tomorrow, when I expect to be slightly hungover and extremely bitter.

The weekend was a little hectic at YPS Manor. The last final push to market the house was underway when the call came that domestic harmony and marital bliss had completely eluded certain others in the universe. So I fired up the truck and went and picked up the nniece* (hereafter referred to as N) and a whole pile of her stuff and moved her into the house.

However, as mentioned, I did manage to smoke the corned beef. I am, so far, not impressed with my electric smoker. The corned beef was looking extremely pallid after 9 hours on the smoker. I brought it inside and threw it the oven at 400 degrees to brown up a little. This had the somewhat unfortunate effect of drawing a lot of the salt to the surface. The last corned beef turned out better, but that was done over charcoal. The smoke flavor is more pronounced, and the meat just looks better. I may see if the electric smoker can be repurposed to something useful, since it doesn't do so hot as a smoker. I will try it again, just to finalize my opinion. So far it's failed with a turducken and failed with a corned beef. I need some other form of meat to try before I can conclusively establish a trifecta of fail and pronounce anathema on the smoker. I have a couple books on sausage making. Maybe I can make some sausage and try smoking it in the electric as final resort...

*Our not-niece. Not technically our niece, but effectively so. De facto as opposed to jus sanguine, I s'pose.

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