Monday, May 25, 2009

Flying the Black Flag

What are we, a pirate nation?

It was moving to see the U.S. flag flying at half staff over Taylor Square on Memorial Day. But that black flag flying underneath it always galls. The practice of flying the black POW-MIA flag under the U.S. flag on national holidays started back in the 1990s. It is meant to be a symbol of national concern and commitment to resolving the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War in Southeast Asia.

But to traditionalists like me, it just seems wrong. I have not forgotten the not-so-old days, when the U.S. flag would fly alone on its flag pole from schools and post offices and other government facilities. That was majestic. Nowadays, the U.S. flag all too often has to share the flag pole with the POW-MIA flag.

And who do we have to thank for this act of stupidity? The U.S, Congress of course, which authorized this atrocity under Bill Clinton's signature in the Defense Authorization Act of 1998. Don't get me wrong. I have seen some very tasteful and moving displays of the POW-MIA flag at war memorials and cemeteries where it has been flown from a separate pole. Just take the black flag off the U.S. flag pole.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sarah Borges on the Club Passim Stage

Sarah Borges on the Club Passim stage.

The Sarah Borges garment district at 47 1/2 Palmer Street.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Waterboarding Nancy Pelosi

So it turns out the current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was briefed by the CIA on its enhanced interrogation techniques way back in 2002. And just how descriptive that briefing was n the technique of waterboarding, which people ranging from President Obama to his 2008 Republican rival John McCain have called torture?

What is it with the flags and pearls? We seen this look before. This is fast turning into a “What did she know and when did she know it?” moment among Democratic critics of those techniques. Nancy wants a truth commission. Her critics just want the truth.

Nancy wasn’t House Speaker back in 2002. But she did use her anti-Bush credentials to propel herself into the Speakership in the 2006 election. LBOTC has long regarded Nancy as a just another do nothing politician (still waiting for your budget, Nancy). So we find the charge that she was briefed on torture techniques and did nothing inherently believable.

We can think of one way to get to the bottom of this. Waterboard Nancy Pelosi!

Air Force One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

A volcano of sorts erupted last week over a PR photo shoot of Air Force One overflying the Statue of Liberty. Someone at the Obama White House thought that would be a good photo opportunity. It turned out a little too good, with the low flying plane and two military fighter escorts causing a good deal of angst in lower Manhattan. New Yorkers bemoaned the painful memories of 9/11. The press erupted.

The ritual handwringing has been conducted. The press demanded to know the cost of the photo shoot. The Air Force says the photo shoot cost taxpayers $328,835. I never trust official estimates of this sort. Another estimate puts the cost of the extra fuel at only $35,000.

And who was at the center of this volcano? Louis Caldera, Director of the While House Military Office. He has resigned, effective May 22, giving himself “two weeks to complete the necessary out-processing.”

And all for what I have to say is not a very good picture. Is that New Jersey in the background? Maybe there are more pictures to process and develop over the next two weeks. I want to see the one from the angle backdropping the Manhattan skyline and ground zero.

Some better pictures of Air Force One:

Air Force One taking off from Bakersfield, California.

Air Force One overflying the coastline.

Air Force One overflying Mount Rushmore.

The new hybrid flexible fuel Air Force One, introduced on April 1, 2008.

Air Force One moving down the runway. With 2 trucks and six guys in the shot, I put the official cost estimate at $100,000.

Air Force One parked on the tarmac. No extra fuel costs for this.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mayfair on the Club Passim Stage

Margaret Glaspy wants to tug at your heartstrings.

The David Wax Museum wants to "dry your heart like venizen and hang it on a clothesline!" You must listen to The Great Unawakening.

Mayfair in Harvard Square

The streets were packed with stalls and people and sidewalk art ...

Jesus the metrosexual.

Tea time for dragons.

Can't hold a candle to that tongue.

A message for Barack Obama.

Nothing caps off a May Day fair like a dance around the maypole with a swirl vanilla ice cream.