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Friday, March 13, 2015

Space invaders.

He's screaming about "the probe" again. It's like he's the Six Million Dollar man or something. Does anyone have smelling salts? Maybe we should just hit him with one of the leftover hammers. Any other good ideas?

Mitch ... not another monster.Well, as you can see, we have had a house invasion. The perpetrator? None other than our mad science adviser, Mitch Macaphee. When NASA's Dawn spacecraft started orbiting his adopted home world of Ceres, he became extremely agitated. Smoke began to pour out of his ears and mouth, like VOL, from Star Trek. He simply could not live with the idea of being spied upon by the space agency. What if they stole his ideas? he thought.... then his plan to (dare I say it?) RULE THE WORLD would be scuttled. Shot down by a measly little, tin-pot space robot. THAT MAKES ME SO MAD .... !

Ahem. Sorry - I was channeling Mitch for a moment. Anyway, he denounced the NASA probe as a space invader and started bombarding it with deadly baritold rays. Deadly, that is, for vegetation on Gamma Hydra 4, but completely ineffective against ion-powered orbiter spacecrafts. Frustrated, he packed up his portable lab and lifted off. That's the good news. The BAD news is that he landed here, at the abandoned Cheney Hammer Mill, mad as a badger and ready to take his quarters back from Anti-Lincoln, who had scattered all of his junk over the floor of Mitch's lab. (Anti-Lincoln's gotten into origami in a big way, so the whole room is full of paper shards and scissors.)

Now Mitch talks (or shouts) in his sleep, and by day he's formulating theorems to destroy his imaginary enemies. I think he's been on that asteroid way too long, as a matter of personal opinion. But please - keep that to yourself! I may be subjected to a withering barrage of baritold rays!

Projects. Matt and I are working on some new songs for Ned Trek. I will also be posting some songs from Cowboy Scat on our YouTube channel very soon, for those of you who like listening to music on YouTube. I'll post, tweet, whatever when they're up.

Letter rip.

The letter sent to Iran's leadership by 47 Republican Senators was both condescending and idiotic. It recalled to mind our erstwhile president George W. Bush, an obvious dumb-ass who had an irritating habit of talking down to you. It's a bit gob-smacking to think of the likes of Tom Cotton schooling Iran's government ministers - most if not all of whom earned degrees at universities in the west - on the American constitution, but that's exactly what he and his colleagues attempted. Based on the negative response on this side of the ocean, more than a few of the signers have backed away kind of rapidly. "I sign a lot of letters," said John McCain. Per Daily Kos, others have suggested this was some kind of big joke. Funny, huh?

Just what we freaking need: McCain 2.0The mainstream media portray this as a kind of battle royale between the President and Congress, Democrats and Republicans, extreme left and extreme right. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the one-party state we call politics, there is a remarkable consensus on the topic of Iran. Both factions - Democrats and Republicans - consider Iran an outlaw state, both insist that it can have no nuclear technology, both blame it for the abysmal state of relations between our countries, both condemn it as a supporter of international terrorism, both repeat the mantra that "all options are on the table" with respect to Iran (a thinly veiled threat that is in itself a violation of the U.N. charter), etc., etc. What separates the two sides is nothing more than nuance.

There are a few real issues that bear on the Iran nuclear negotiations. They're detailed in the ANSWER coalition's open letter to Iran, which I have signed and which I encourage you to sign as well. As a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran is entitled to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. As cosignatories, we are obliged to respect that and to work towards the ultimate goal of arms reduction. We are doing the exact opposite, investing heavily in the "modernization" of our nuclear arsenal (under a Democratic administration, no less).

What ANSWER's letter doesn't go into is the degree to which we have tortured Iran for decades on end, from the overthrow of their democratically elected regime back in 1953, to our 25-year support for the Shah's murderous reign, to our backing of Saddam's war against Iran in the 1980s, and on and on.

If this is a dispute, it's a pretty paltry one. Let's turn this whole relationship around, finally.

luv u,

jp