Only by Jesters
Stephen Colbert somehow managed to get invited to the White House Correspondents' dinner, and to be given time on the podium.
I am waiting for him to "disappear". The Shrub was not amused.
Check out the video.
This may be the first time in a very long time that Bush got to hear what people are really thinking.
Sunday, April 30, 2006
Only by Jesters
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 11:38 AM
Monday, April 24, 2006
Well, let's see.......
Chuck and I had an interesting time flying out here.
I had an incredible time hanging out with Steve Barnes And Scott Sonnon at "The Path" seminar, which by the way was a resounding success. My account of what went on there will be my next entry.
Bobbe Edmonds came down with his student Todd for the festivities and we got time (though not enough because he wimped out and when home just because he has a job and family and other such minor things) to hang out together and talk about things Silat. I will tell you a bit about that as well very soon.
I stayed with my friends Todd and Tiel, who's hospitality rivals that of a medieval sultan. They also attended the seminar so they had to put up with me far longer than anyone should.
The weather here in Portland has been magnificent! I have not even been rained on once (though I suspect that this is yet another sign of global warming and the ecological disaster that we are heading towards, I am still going to enjoy the moment)
Before the seminar I got to spend some time with one of my Silat teachers, Guru Stevan Plinck, and yes, you will get an account of that as well because of some interesting thing that happened in class.
There are more adventures to be had before I can sit down and write this all out though so expect more in a day or two.
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 1:08 PM
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Monday, April 17, 2006
When I was young I was very fond of reading adventure stories.
Haggard was one of my favorite writers, but I would devour stories by Verne, Wells and Edgar Rice Burroughs as well.
Many of the stories took place in "Darkest Somewhere", and they all had one thing in common, the Witch Doctor.
The Witch Doctor was always evil, and what he wanted was control over his tribe or village. How he got that control was through fear.
The Witch Doctor used his "magic" to promote the fear, and his "magic" was always fraud.
The Witch Doctor will get out in front of the people with his totems and his Ju-Ju bag, dance around and scare everyone into thinking that if they don't do what the Witch Doctor wants, the "Spirits" will be angry and punish the village.
His totems were "The Terrorists", along with "The war on Terror", but now he has added "The Iranian Atomic Bomb". He shakes and rattles these objects in front of our faces while chanting his "magic" words designed to make us all afraid.
"The terrorists are coming to eat your children! They are going to steal your food and rape your women! Give me your power and I will protect you from The Terrorists! Give me power and I will stop the bad Iranians from possessing the ultimate magic and using it to hurt you!"
Then he holds up his Ju-Ju bag, which contains the magic symbols for "Higher Oil Prices" and "No Jobs" and "failed infrastructure" and tells you that only he can keep the evil in check.
And the "Villagers" of America cower in their huts.
And they give away their freedom to the Witch Doctor.
As long as the Witch Doctor has power this will never end.
If you want to know how the "Global War on Terror" will go, all you have to do is look at another war against an abstract noun, the "War on Drugs"
The "War on Drugs" has never become close to being winnable. All it does is keep our resources tied down (both human and monetary) and empower a criminal underclass.
The "Global War on Terror" is the same. It will be perpetual conflict and will drain us like a vampire. You can't win a war against an abstract noun, you can only win a war against specific people (which is why the Afghan Taliban are out of power, though we stopped short of winning that war for some reason)
The thing about Witch Doctors is that they need to have an established source for the fear they use.
So our Witch Doctor has turned Iraq into a breeding ground for people who will do terrorist acts (which is just a bit different than "the terrorists")
Iran will follow shortly, then we may never get rid of the Witch Doctor.
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 12:44 PM
Sunday, April 16, 2006
I found this on Don's blog (the only "Don" worth knowing) and thought it was kind of fun.
|Your Quirk Factor: 85%|
You're beyond quirky... You're downright bizarre.
You've lost touch with social norms and what's appropriate. And you're loving every minute of it!
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 3:45 PM
More and more people are coming to the realization that they have been had.
People like this Marine captain, who served two tours in Iraq.
America is beginning to wake up to the fact that George Bush is one of the worst things ever to happen to this country. That he has been responsible for more deaths than all the natural disasters we had last year. That he has lied to us, manipulated us through fear and has driven the country to the edge of bankruptcy just so he can line the pockets of his friends with blood money.
But people are waking up to the fact that Bush is a currupt warmonger, and they are seeing the hatred, intolerance and racism that drives the Right.
Come next election there will be a chance to set things right, don't let it pass you by.
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 1:05 AM
Friday, April 14, 2006
Even though we are just six years into the twenty first century, there have been a number of earth shaking events.
None though, approach this one for sheer gravitas!
As of this week
And not just any blog, a blog called "Thick as Thieves". How cool is that?
If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time you have seen Bobbe's always witty comments here. Well now you get the fellow himself. So get on over there and give him a bit of encouragement.
Bobbe is also a Silat player of some note, so with any luck we may get him to wax eloquent on things martial.
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 10:46 PM
Thursday, April 13, 2006
I just got an article published in the latest issue of Circular Strength Training magazine
(Flourish of trumpets)
"What?" you say. You have not read this incredibly kewl publication?
Then you need to check it out because it is an incredible resource.
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 10:52 PM
Friday, April 07, 2006
A couple weeks ago a friend brought over the DVD set of the first season of "Smallville", or as I like to think of it, the Superman Soap Opera.
Over the next week I managed to watch most of the episodes. It was fun, but nothing to write home about.
But on one of the last DVD's, at the end of an episode during a funeral scene there was a song. It was a cover of "Time After Time", the old Cindi Lauper song. It was nothing fancy, just one guitar and one voice, but it was beautiful. The woman who was singing had a rich, expressive voice with excellent range. But more importantly she had a sort of subdued passion. I could believe she was singing to someone, not to an audience, but to someone who she cared for, someone she missed.
I waited for the end credits to find out who did the song, but they didn't say.
For the next week, now and again I would remember the song and the sad, sweet voice singing it. Finally, I took the time to start hunting down the artist
It took a while, but I discovered Eva Cassidy, born February 2nd, 1963, died November 2, 1996.
I had never hear of her. No one around here had heard of her.
I managed to track down the CD that had the Lauper cover, and I discovered that everything else she had done was as good or better. I have to admit that I was a bit appalled that I had never heard of her.
My next discovery was that this woman who could sing achingly beautiful ballads could sing the Blues at least as well. She reminds me a bit of Billy Holiday, a bit of Aretha Franklin.
So I have been collecting her music. As far as I can find, she has seven CD's out and every one is worth every penny.
Her work covers a wide range. Her first solo album was "Live at Blues Alley" and it has some great tunes. They say "The Blues is the truth" and she tells some serious truth on this album.
I don't think anyone could top Louis Armstrong doing "What a Wonderful World", but she comes close, and her rendition of "Honeysuckle Rose" is sweet.
My very favorite of her songs is "I Know You By Heart" from her "Songbird" album. It is one of the most exquisitely, sadly sweet songs of lost love I have ever heard. If you can listen to it without your heart breaking just a little bit you have no soul.
So my dear readers, I am doing for you what I wish someone had done for me years ago. I am telling you to find some of Eva Cassidy's music and listen to it. It will make your world a better place just by the experience.
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 10:08 PM