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Pull Up a Chair: Kiddie Lit

By: Elliott Friday September 19, 2014 11:38 pm

What’s your favorite children’s book(s)?

I’ve always loved One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. May be the first book I could read my own self. But is there an unbeloved Dr. Suess book?

Also loved reading Winnie the Pooh books and A. A. Milne’s kiddie poetry, especially fond of “Alexander Beetle” and:

“Now We Are Six”

When I was one,
I had just begun.
When I was two,
I was nearly new.
When I was three,
I was hardly me.
When I was four,
I was not much more.
When I was five,
I was just alive.
But now I am six,
I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six
now and forever.

My mother would read us fairy tales from “My Book House,” a multivolume set compiled by Olive Beaupré Miller, I suspect her mother read to her from the very same volumes. Classic illustrations.

My grandmother always gave us books at Christmas, I still have my Lonely Doll books, (that Edith!). I remember coming home from a visit with Timid Timothy: The Kitten Who Learned to be Brave, we must have gone to a library sale because it still had the pocket in the back. And I still have the book.

This is but a few off the top of my head. What books and authors did you enjoy growing up?

What books would you give a little kid today?


Cartoon Friday: Count Duckula

By: Kit OConnell Friday September 19, 2014 7:38 pm


I may not be working for Firedoglake anymore but … It’s STILL Cartoon Friday!

During my two years at Firedoglake I turned the Watercooler — MyFDL’s end of the night wrap up post — into something I looked forward to assembling every night. Partway through that process, I realized I could do almost anything I wanted with the feature. And between that and my love of cartoons, Cartoon Friday was born.

If you’re new or want to review past installments, here’s a retrospective of Cartoon Friday 2013 and a bunch of more recent installments.

Tonight’s selection is the Count Duckula episode, “There are Werewolves at the Bottom of our Garden.” It originally aired in November of 1990.

Duckula is a British cartoon which spun off from another popular series that also saw syndication in the United States, Danger Mouse. In the original series, Duckula was a fearsome villain — at least relatively speaking when you remember the main characters of the original series were a mouse and a mole.

For his feature series, he was reimagined as something far less fierce.

A colorful Mandarin duck

Ok, a bit more fierce than that.


Perhaps because Danger Mouse dispatched Duckula in the original, Duckula finds himself revived through an ancient and mystic rite — only Nanny, a clumsy hen and one of the vampire duck’s closest allies, substitutes ketchup for blood. Now the mighty warrior is much closer to an Inspector Gadget-like figure: he becomes a hapless vegetarian that survives primarily through the aid of his friends and servants like the tireless but cynical butler, Igor.

So curl up with a favorite libation and get ready to get silly — from the very first moments. Oh, they don’t make theme songs like that anymore.

Thank God.

Seen any good cartoons lately?

House Bans War Powers Resolution Actions

By: David Swanson Friday September 19, 2014 7:27 pm

The U.S. House of Representatives has not just left town, but prior to leaving passed a rule preventing any member from using the War Powers Resolution to force Congress to return and vote on war.

Here’s a video of Congressman Jim McGovern denouncing the rule (or read the transcript here):

[attempted to put video here]

If you watch the video, following Rep. McGovern’s remarks two of his colleagues run their mouths. The first is Congressman Pete Sessions nonsensically replying to McGovern. The second is Congresswoman Virginia Foxx on an unrelated topic. If you jump ahead to 10:25 McGovern replies to Sessions. It’s well worth watching.

In addition, Congressman McGovern and five other Democrats and six Republicans have asked Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to hold a vote on war. Here’s their letter: PDF.

MH-17 still exactly where it fell – two months after crash – with no investigation of wreckage

By: operationmindcrime Friday September 19, 2014 7:03 pm

The US media and the Dutch Safety Board have been saying that it is unsafe to investigate the wreckage of MH-17, however, this video proves otherwise, and shows that the only people that attempted to make the site unsafe at any time were the Kiev military which is proven by the type of munitions embedded in the ground close to the site. If your interested in examining the wreckage yourself, this is a good video to watch. It’s hard to believe 60 days have passed and EVERYTHING is still uninvestigated and uncollected by the investigating body delegated to do so. Keep in mind that in the history of plane crash investigations there has never been one like this, where the investigating authorities decided to actually not investigate. If that doesn’t reek of a coverup….I don’t know what does.

Considering that Kiev is a Nazi regime as proven by the threads below……and they had the means, motive, opportunity, and benefitted from the shoot down…..and they have conducted numerous false flag attacks previously…..there is a very strong probability there is a coverup being conducted.

There is a very strong probability that the new Kiev coup government shot down MH-17 and killed all those innocent people……including 80 children. The links below prove they have been killing innocent civilians for the last 6 months. The links also prove the American media has lied and covered up much of what has been going on.

The evidence is overwhelming the American people are being lied to and that Russia is being framed for what the US implemented in Ukraine. Note that the US has claimed they have satellite surveillance footage of the BUK missile that shot down the plane….yet they have never shown it. Note that they claim Russia has invaded 5 times yet they have never proven it. Note that no matter what Russia does they still get sanctioned. Note that there is the possibility that there are parts of victims bodies under these large parts of unmoved plane wreckage yet the wreckage still just sits there even though it is easily possible to access the site and conduct a proper investigation.

Even Conan Doyle would wonder “why is it that a party who is a suspect in a criminal investigation of a mass atrocity, is given a completely free pass, and a say, in whether the investigation related to themselves and an additional party is released to the public. The Dutch Safety Board and the British authorities are working in collaboration with Kiev even though it is a proven fact that Kiev, themselves, lied about their own BUK missile systems in the conflict/shoot-down zone. They were filmed with BUK systems near Slavyansk on July 4th by the Associated Press. Links here: Note that the rebels have no planes. therefore the Ukrainian military would have no normal need for these BUKs…..unless, of course, they intended to shoot down a plane.

Verifiable AP links here:
and here:

Multiple threads proving Kiev are Nazis (backed up by mainstream US media news websites) and multiple videos of Nazi atrocities they have conducted including numerous false flag attacks:

Duplicate thread-


The Ukrainian Crisis in Totality- February thru September – Extensive video evidence related to all major atrocities, false flags and coverups conducted by the Kiev regime against innocent civilians.

Ukraines grassy knoll (Graphic) evidence police weren’t the only snipers.

The Odessa Massacre – May 11th referendum

Odessa victims/walkthrough

The Mariupol Massacre- video evidence clearly shows US supported troops killed innocent civilians

Bombing of civilians in Slavyansk

Odessa one month later

Lughansk bombing

Krasny Liman

Mariupol one month later

Continued bombing of civilians of Slavyansk

Killing of civilians by US financed nazis

Where is the US anti-war left on Ukraine?

The US backed Ukrainian nazis killing in HD.

Malaysia Airlines MH-17

Shocking revelations about MH-17 shoot down

Duplicate thread-

Duplicate thread-

The US media wall of coverup and deception of the Ukraine crisis is breaking down.

Ukrainian TV channel financed by US openly calls for genocide of the people of east Ukraine.

Telegraph UK- Ukraine crisis: the neo-nazi brigade fighting pro-Russian separatists -Graphic Warning

The Ukrainian army marches in Kiev

Duplicate thread-

Duplicate thread-

Duplicate thread-


View NFL Player Crimes in Interactive Graphical Form

By: spocko Friday September 19, 2014 2:23 pm

Can’t keep track of which NFL player has committed what crime? Want to avoid filling in your Fantasy Football League with past or current domestic violence felons?

Sort by your favorite team, crime or position!

Here’s a nifty website (Link) that takes the data from USA Today’s updated arrest list and lets you sort and display the info by crime, team or position.

Note: No commissioners, NFL staff or team owners are on the list.

Think Goodell should resign? Ultraviolet petition here.


Killed by Congressional Cowardice

By: David Swanson Friday September 19, 2014 9:28 am

We tend to think of war as resulting from an excess of aggression or disorderliness or rebellion. Western academics hunt in the genes of foreigners and study chimpanzees to find the root of the nastiness.

But one would be hard press to count the number of people who have lost their lives to an excess of cowardice in the halls of the United States Congress. “This chamber reeks of blood,” said Senator George McGovern, who would have been shocked anew this week.

On Constitution Day, the House of Representatives — followed the next day by the Senate — decided to put off until after the next U.S. elections in November any possible consideration of the new U.S. war already underway in Iraq and Syria, but voted in the meantime to approve of shipping weapons over to Syria to fuel the violence.

Here’s a website that tells you how your Representative and Senators voted and lets you send them an appropriate message with one click.

Said Congressman Jim McDermott, who voted No: “This amendment, which is valid only through early December, serves as nothing more than a faux authorization designed to get Congress through the election season.  Moreover, it addresses only one aspect of the strategy the President outlined last week.  That is not a responsible way to conduct public policy.”

So, the President announced a three-year war, based on no timetable anyone has produced other than that of U.S. presidential elections. And Congress declared that it would consider looking into the matter after the next Congressional election.  But it’s not as if we don’t all know that they are allowing the war to go on and worsen each and every day. Numerous Congress members denounce Congress for what they themselves call a shameful act of cowardice. But which of them are protesting their “leadership”? Which of them are moving a discharge petition to force a vote? Which of them are using the War Powers Resolution to compel a vote regardless of what the “leadership” wants?

Back on the 25th of July the House overwhelmingly passed the McGovern-Jones-Lee resolution which required the President to seek Congressional authorization before sending troops to Iraq. The President went ahead and ignored that. Will Congress cut off the funding? Censure? Impeach? Nope. Congress voted to approve weapons and training for Syrians who are closely allied with the forces Obama is already waging an air and ground war against in Iraq.

Senator Tim Kaine had been leading the charge to demand that Congress vote before any new war. (As noted, the House did, and the Senate did not follow suit.) Now Kaine says a discussion of that following the U.S. Congressional elections will be sufficient. Until then, the United States will fuel the violence on both sides of a complex war, while repeating incessantly “There is no military solution” and deploying the military and military weaponry in a counterproductive effort to find a solution.

Remarked Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who voted No on weapons to Syria: “The consequences of this vote will be a further expansion of a war currently taking place and our further involvement in a sectarian war. . . . What is missing from this debate is the political, economic, diplomatic and regionally-led solutions that will ultimately be the tools for security in the region and for any potential future threats to the United States.”

Also missing was an organized opposition. Republicans voted yes and no, as did Democrats, as did the so-called Progressive Caucus, as did the Black Caucus. These people need to hear the message that cowardice is not a campaign strategy. They must be confronted with the demand that they stop this war, just as they were a year ago, when scary ISIS videos weren’t manipulating Americans into once again doing the bidding of terrorists who gain strength from U.S. attacks.  A year ago we spoke up. We confronted Congress members at town hall meetings. We stopped them.

Now they’ve literally cut and run. They’re taking a two-month vacation in order to pretend they have nothing to do with the escalating violence. They need to hear from us in person. But we can start by sending them a note to let them know what we think.

Remember, their duty is not to vote approval for a new war, which will then somehow make everything OK. Their duty is to uphold the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the U.N. Charter, the wisdom of most of the world, the lessons of the past decade, and basic common decency by stopping the war.

Over Easy: Are Privacy Concerns Generational?

By: msmolly

On Monday I came across a post at Techdirt about the reaction to Apple putting a U2 album in iCloud users’ storage space. The post described how after a backlash, Apple created a bit of code that would allow iPhone users to delete the unwanted freebie.

A bit of background: On September 9th, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the mega-band U2 decided to release its latest album free on iTunes.

U2 surprised the world today by releasing Songs of Innocence, their first album in five years, as a gift from Apple, available for free immediately to anyone with iTunes. The band made the announcement with Apple CEO Tim Cook at a Cupertino press conference for the new iPhone 6, capping the event with a performance of the album’s first single, “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone).”

A free gift might not be a “gift” at all for people who never asked for or wanted (or knew about) this promo but suddenly found the band’s album in their iTunes cloud account. After I read the Techdirt item, I promptly loaded the “music” app on my iPhone and scrolled through the albums, and voilá, Songs of Innocence appeared with the little iCloud icon beside it, indicating that it was available for me to download. As Techdirt put it,

The problem wasn’t that the album was free, but that the album appeared unbidden in the repository for a service that feels quite personal to the consumer. These were our cloud accounts that Apple invaded to leave their free stuff. You know what it’s called when someone leaves you something you didn’t want for free in your domain? It’s called litter. And, in this case, it was litter that you couldn’t even clean up.

So in response to the backlash, Apple wrote code to enable its customers to delete the “gift,” which, until that happened, was unremovable, though you could hide it.

I look at Facebook briefly once or twice a day (if that), just to see what my family or friends might have posted, and I rarely post anything myself other than an occasional comment on someone else’s post. But I posted an item about the Apple/U2 unwanted album, and was a bit surprised by the reaction.

My daughter’s (age 45) first comment was,

Oh the crime! A free album! So terrible!

When I pointed out that it was “my” iCloud space and I felt “invaded” by this unwanted deposit, a techie friend (former co-worker, in his 30s) chimed in,

It’s not your cloud space. It’s on iTunes server. If you want it, go claim it, if not then don’t. At best, it’s like having a receipt for something someone else bought you. It’s not in your space. It’s not taking up any space, it’s just a link to download it. That’s all. They gave you a link to download it if you want. (and a way to delete the link if you don’t want to see it.) I’m just trying to remain factually accurate here.

My daughter, again,

To me this iCloud thing is like getting one of the many free apps that come with the iPhone. The difference is that is already on my phone when I buy it and very often there is no way to delete it off the device, even if I don’t want it. This album at least I had the option. I don’t care if it was in my purchased list – it was free. And since I share an iTunes account with my husband and kids, there are lots of things in my purchased list that I don’t like/want. I don’t have to download them so no worries here! And I love U2 so of course I downloaded it

The reason for including the foregoing extended conversation is to ask a question of the assembled “dinerzens” this morning. Is my unhappiness at this “free gift” and my feeling of having my personal space and privacy infringed a generational thing? My mid-40s daughter and my mid-30s former co-worker didn’t seem to see any problem at all. Would this bother you? Or am I just an old(er) woman out in her yard yelling at iClouds? Opinions welcome!

Thursday Watercooler

By: Kit OConnell Thursday September 18, 2014 8:07 pm



Eva Ybarra plys a blue sparkly accordion against a backdrop of downtown San Antonio.

Eva Ybarra, Queen of the Accordion, performed in San Antonio, Texas at the International Accordion Festival.

Tonight’s music video is Eva Ybarra performing ”El Eco De Mi Voz.” Eva is widely known as La Reyna Del Acordeón — the Queen of the Accordion. Like Dwayne Dopsie, Tsuumi Sound System, and Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, she performed on Saturday at San Antonio’s International Accordion Festival.

I wanted to capture Eva as very few have seen her before- just her and the accordion. As you can see, she is one of the few who utilize the bass section of the accordion and composes her own songs.

Eva Ybarra, the ‘La Reyna Del Acordeón,’ is one of a few women accordionists who have become professionals in a style that has traditionally been dominated by men.

When she was 4, her father presented her with a small accordion. Migrant laborers, but also musicians, her parents were thrilled that Eva took interest in the accordion and now had an alternative to working in the fields. At age 6, she began performing with her parents around town, helping them earn extra money. By her late teens, she had mastered the instrument and was proving many wrong about the capabilities of a woman accordionist.

She recorded two CDs on Rounder Records A Mi San Antonio (1994) and Romance Inolvidable (1996). Most of the songs are written by Eva and demonstrate her virtuosity and creativity.

In 1997 she went to the University of Washington as a visiting artist in the Ethnomusicology Department. Currently, she teaches at Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio and works on various projects with Smithsonian Folklife.

This song is beautiful, but also a little sad — a fitting tribute for tonight, it felt.

With the changes coming to MyFDL, this may very well be the last Watercooler for a while. Tomorrow is also my last day with Firedoglake. Although Jane wanted to keep me on at FDL, I’m moving on to another opportunity. You can read this entry on my personal blog if you’d like to find out where I’m going next and where to find my writing. I’ll still be visiting and crossposting to the ‘Lake frequently, and you will always be able to keep up with me on Twitter and Instagram.

I began editing on Firedoglake in April of 2012. It’s been a pleasure to work with you here almost every single weekday since then, and I’ll miss editing Over Easy every morning, along with checking in with all the rest of you and your important, enlightening, and entertaining words. Thanks for being part of FDL and part of the Watercooler and part of my experiences here.

This is more like “so long” than “goodbye” — I may even host an occasional Book Salon. But I’ll still miss being a part of the Lake from Monday through Friday. You’ve taught me a lot and made me smile!


I’ll leave you with one last piece of weird Texas news to discuss around the Watercooler.

A Prada storefront in the middle of the desert, labelled Prada Marfa.

Neither a storefront not an advertisement, after all.

Lonely in the desert of Texas, on the way to Marfa, is an unlikely Prada outlet. Or so it might seem at first glance. It’s actually an art installation.

Prada Marfa is a site-specific, permanent land art project by artists Elmgreen & Dragset constructed in 2005. Modeled after a Prada boutique, the inaccessible interior of the structure includes luxury goods from Prada’s fall collection from that year. The door does not open, ensuring that the sculpture will never function as a place of commerce. Art Production Fund and Ballroom Marfa co-produced the project.

‘Prada Marfa is an artwork initiated by ourselves and realized in a collaboration with the not-for-profit cultural organizations Art Production Fund and Ballroom Marfa in 2005. It was not a work commissioned by the fashion brand Prada nor had the fashion brand any involvement in the creation of this work. They kindly gave us the permission to use their logo after we asked them, due to the founder Muccia Prada’s personal interest in contemporary art, and she donated shoes and bags, which have never been renewed but stay the same – as a historic display – inside the sculpture.’

The state threatened to remove Prada Marfa on the grounds that it was an illegal advertisement — only to save it through a bit of a legal loophole. From Adweek:

Prada Marfa, an art installation 26 miles northwest of the West Texas town of Marfa—featuring a fake Prada storefront containing luxury goods—is not an illegal advertisement and can remain on its site off U.S. Highway 90, the state decided this week.

The installation, by artists Elmgreen and Dragset, has been up since 2005. But it came under scrutiny last year, when Playboy built Playboy Marfa—which was deemed to be illegal advertising.

This week, arts organization Ballroom Marfa reached a deal with the Texas Department of Transportation to have Prada Marfa designated as an art museum site and the building as its single art exhibit.

An Adweek colleague who has been to Prada Marfa tells me you can see bullet marks in the bulletproof glass, as the stuff inside is indeed real Prada.


May you always find plenty to write about and the words never be blocked! And be sure to look me up if you’re in Austin …