Archive for Iran

IGNORE THIS POST!

Posted in FLICKR, politics, religion, satire with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2012 by cliffmichaels

My second cousin Wesley G. Worthliston, III, had his right wing blog Absolutely Right wiped out by a severe rat infestation at the server farm hosting his blog. Out of family loyalty I reluctantly allowed him to post to Visions. His site should be back and running late today…

Andrew Breitbart, RIP

First, I  suppose I should thank cousin Cliff for “allowing” me to post here on his dubious and disgusting blog. He left  out that my dad, the Big Two as he’s called in family circles, a big time hedge fund manager, had to exert considerable financial pressure to get Cliff to do the Right Thing. His omission of that fact is a typical example of liberal sneakiness…

In any event, here’s the Saturday morning roundup…

Scalia’s shocking revelation of the Obama Administration’s secret plot to force broccoli onto every American family’s dinner table has apparently stopped the plan in its green & gruesome  tracks. We must remain vigilant, however; there are credible rumors the government is thinking of mandating that arugula be added to nursing home lunchplates.

Should copies of the  koran carry warning labels?

Kudo’s to SCOTUS for allowing strip searches. The idea now needs to be expanded to applicants for food stamps and unemployment brenefits (at least to those socialist programs are eliminated). Oh, adding women seeking to kill their unborn kids to the mix wouldn’t be a bad idea either!

Has Rush sold out?

Romny’s support for a budget plan that only provides for a modest increase in defense  spending and relatively small decrease in job creators’ tax rates is just another outrageous example of his liberal Taxachusettes views. What we really need is a total elimination of taxes on the top two percent of the population until the Obama recession is clearly over (and then a gradual increase to  maximum tax rate of four or five percent with tax free capital gains). On defense spending, the need for a twenty percent plus percent increase is painfully obvious. Until our defense budget substantially exceeds the rest of the world’s nations’  military expenditures combined we aren’t truly safe.   How to pay for it?  Duh! Root out those socialist giveaways Social Security, Medicare,  and Medicaid!

 Should Iraq become an American territory like Guam?

Nuclear weapons could be the answer to the Iran question…  I suppose for appearance’s sake we should reserve the nukes at first. While I don’t personally agree, I grant the case for exempting Tehran as a target.

An Obama victory in November will be a sure sign of massive voter fraud. The plan to post militia members at “minorty” polling stations in blue states enjoys growing support. I oppose the effort to arm militia members with automatic weapons – small arms should be enough to discourage fraud (unless, of course, Obama’s so called “Justice” department attempts to intervene).

Is Osama really dead?

Thank God Obama failed in his attempt to exterminate innocent civilians in Virginia. Sending a F-18 crashing down onto a defenseless retirement village is merely another example of the muslim Kenyan born fascist’s war on older Americans. Don’t be fooled by the lap dog socialist press’s attempt to call the assault on the elderly an “accident”. Our valiant military is far to good to have one of its first line fighters crash in a residential area. Obama’s vile attack was only foiled by his utter incompetence.

Should labor unions be prosecuted as criminal conspiracies?

Finally, Monday, when hopefully my blog will be back, I’ll be posting two great articles: Should Income Taxes be Voluntary? and Don’t Impeach Obama, Deport Him!

Oh, and I want to make it very clear I am NOT responsible for any pornographic photos posted on this page!

Photo by Unalienable Rights…, subject to this creative commons license

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Impure Thoughts…

Posted in erotic, FLICKR, history, lingerie, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, pinup, Sexy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2012 by cliffmichaels

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You’ve got to hand it to Rick Santorum. The man’s a genius! Only he figured out prenatal testing is a devil’s plot to facilitate abortion. He’d outlaw those pernicious tests. If women don’t know their unborn child is horribly deformed or suffers some illness which doom it to a miserable, painful and short life they will carry the child to term.

But think about it, while Santorum’s plan might prevent some abortions, it doesn’t go far enough. Pregnancy tests should also be banned. After all, any woman who learns she’s pregnant may opt for abortion. Better to keep the women folk ignorant. Why we ever allowed them to learn to read is beyond me.

Rick’s also spot on about the evils of contraception. The Pill, condoms, etc. just promote sexual wickedness, threaten the American family and pollute our bodily fluids. Again, however, he hasn’t gone far enough. He should adopt the religious strictures of fundamentalist Muslims and forbid unrelated men and women to be together without chaperones and he should demand laws mandating conservative dress for women so men are not plagued with impure thoughts.

Rick’s not the only one who is a brilliant thinker. Newt, while not quite in Santorum’s class, is sharp and prescient. Just in the past few days he’s revealed Barrack Hussein Obama loves infanticide. Newt has discovered we live in the most perilous times ever our nation has faced – not the darkest days of our Revolution or the Civil War, not World War II when we faced the combined might of the Axis Powers, and not even the Cold War when the Russians had thousands of nukes aimed at our cities. No, because Obama is coddling Muslims terrorists  (imagine! Giving Osama a proper burial!) and refusing to invade Iran, Yemen, Somalia and Ubekibekibekistan we are on the precipice of Armageddon. Only Newt – or Rick – can save our nation from being overwhelmed by Sharia law and the scourge of crushingly high taxes (37.5%!) on our job creators.

Thank God for the Republican party!!

Photos by Mario Mercea, remixed by me, all images subject to this creative commons license

Mario’s set OUTDOORS

 FLICKR GROUP: The Nude in Public or Outdoors

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Tempus Fugit

Posted in history, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 10, 2011 by cliffmichaels

Why does every political blog cover the exact same stories? Want to hear about Obama’s speech? You have about ten thousand choices. I read the Huffington Post and Talking Points Memo daily. I don’t know why. Both carry the same material just about every day. Maybe they steal from each other, or maybe the posters are just locked into the same mindset.

Its not just those two sites. At least on the lefty side of the World o’ Blog every blogger writes about the same subjects day after day after day after day. Yes, of course there are exceptions. Andrew Sullivan’s blog the Daily Dish deals with lots of original topics and, of course, Daily Kos discusses dozen of arcane subjects, as does Yglesias, but most blogs don’t fall far from the echo tree.

Today and tomorrow absolutely everyone will be writing about the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Most of the posts will cover the obvious and will echo each other’s point. I’m sure, by the way, it will be equally true on those despicable red blogs. And yes, the Mainstream Media will do the same in the shallowest way. Most of the stories will be the same, only the interviewers and interviewees will differ.

By the way, have you noticed how canned the news has become on the networks? Take a natural disaster, for instance. The story first tells us a tornado (or maybe a flood, earthquake or hurricane) devastated  (pick a town). Then we are shown thirty seconds of video of the devastation (we are always shown cars destroyed by the event; every flood story has  footage of shiny new Toyotas floating crookedly in the muddy water). Next we see a crying woman holding her baby, puppy, cat or father’s photograph; usually she’s obese, speaks in a redneck accent, and lives in a trailer park (her tin home was blown away, flooded, or shaken into slivers). “I’m just lucky to be alive,” she wails. Then comes the old, confused man who can’t find his wife, kids, siblings or cousins. Next we hear from the mayor, governor, chief of police, or some other political figure who tells us, in his or her ten second sound bite, how bad it was but how well the town, county or state is coping with the aftermath of the (tornado, flood, earthquake or hurricane). Finally, a chipper younger woman tells our intrepid reporter the people in (some town) are resilient and tough and, by God, won’t let this natural disaster destroy their spirit;  her husband, son, daughter, sibling or neighbor then declares he/she will definitely rebuild his or her house, store, barn, church or whatever because God will be there for everyone and his neighbors.

There’s an excellent chance the story will end with the heartwarming tale of how a dog, cat, pig, cow, gerbil or other animal, was miraculously spared by the tornado, flood, earthquake or hurricane. A video clip of the reunion of weeping human and precious fauna plays while the news anchor offers up some upbeat and  banal comment. Yes, the disaster was awful; but wasn’t it wonderful the poor guy found his dog, then he segues to a two minute piece about the health risks of potato pancakes and sour cream.

So now, of course, its time for me the share my own thoughts about that beautiful Tuesday morning ten years ago. I was in my office. My secretary had a small black and white television in her office. She interrupted my meeting with a client. “A plane hit the trade center in New York,” she said. Her report stunned me. I’m one those poor souls who live in the hinterland but are desperately in love with New York city. I didn’t end my meeting, however. Then the second plane hit; this was not a tragic accident. We were under attack. We spent the next three or so hours staring at the small TV screen.

The real impact of that unbelievable morning hit with the collapse of the first tower. As that monstrous gray cloud hurtled down to the street level I was overwhelmed and disoriented. How could this happen? How could one of those proud towers, so iconic, vanish in a few seconds. Next came the sickening realization that there were still hundreds and hundreds of people in the building when it fell.

The fall of the second tower, the spread of that hideous cloud over lower Manhattan, the news of the attack on the Pentagon, the scenes of the stunned survivors covered in that dust, and the shocked tones of the reporters deepened the sadness and drove home the monumental loss our country had suffered.

Some will write this weekend of how we lost our way when we stumbled into Iraq and slashed our Constitution’s guarantee of our personal liberty and right to privacy.  They will decry the loss of the solidarity Americans had the aftermath of 9/11. They will tell us our current debt and deep recession and the insane paralysis in our political system stem from Bush’s  jingoistic, hugely expensive (in both lives and treasure) response to the collapse of those gleaming towers.

Others will defend the measures the government has adopted to protect our homeland. They will defend “enhanced interrogation” and the establishment of  the hydra headed security service that makes us remove our shoes and intercepts our electionic communications. Some of them will urge us to engage in yet more military actions against  even more Muslim countries (Syria, Iran, Yemen, Pakistan…)

Each camp will assail the other. Each will declare the other is threatening to destroy what Makes America Great. They will disagree about precisely what that is. Neither side will listen to the other. There will be no debate, just a shrill cacophony of  angry shouts. 9/11 once united us. In the twisted decade since that mournful morning the divide between us has widened into a chasm so wide we cannot even hear one another.

I have my opinions. You have yours. What I feel this weekend is not anger. Nor do I wish to pontificate, not on this day.  No, this sunny, clear first September Saturday morning is reserved for somber recollection.

This day  I feel only sadness. I sorely miss those gleaming towers. These is an ache in my heart. Whenever I see the skyline of lower Manhattan I can still sense their presence, twin ghosts, pale and translucent, haunting the city. The towers are gone, fallen to earth that September morning now ten years past. They have vanished as has our smug assurance of our invulnerability. They fell, leaving behind only that roiled, suffocating gray cloud that has now spread so far and wide it  threatens to engulf us all.

Photo by Testspiel, subject to this creative commons license 

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How Bob Spent his Summer

Posted in erotic, fetish, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, Sexy, Uncategorized, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2011 by cliffmichaels

What says summer better than a goth festival in Ultrect? Luckily for us, Bob Suir was there with his trusty Canon EOS 50D to memorialize the dark proceedings in this large set of Gothic Beauties. 

 

Flickr Group: Goth Chicks  

 

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Long &Tiresome Liberal Rant of the Month

Posted in erotic, FLICKR, history, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, pinup, Sexy, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2011 by cliffmichaels

Image by Eric Fischer, subject to a creative commons license.

If  you’re just looking for a racy photo, scroll to the end of the post…  

It hurts to face the truth that VISIONS is just a third or fourth rate sex blog surviving by ripping off other people’s erotic  photos on Flickr. We’re so desperate here at VISIONS we might even resort to that utterly bankrupt Internet posting ploy, a slideshow (ten weirdist tits!).

But today we aspire to raise our tone. Today we wish to polish our prose. Today we shall pontificate, bloviate, hector, decry, condemn, and point with alarm and dismay.

 Warning: if you don’t share my rather mindless, lefty leaning, bleeding heart, fabianist, pacifist, suspiciously un-American views (I even believe Barack Hussein Obama was born in America) you might want to skip to the nude at thebottom of the page.

We all applauded the demise of the Soviet Union. For those of us who were children during the duck and cover days, the disappearance of the threat of near instant nuclear apocalypse was exhilarating. The stunning collapse of the iron curtain and the subsequent spread of freedom across eastern Europe seemed a near miracle. Its now difficult to believe that for anyone under the age of thirty or so the cold war and the Soviet menace is just another boring section in   history books, no different than the rise of the Roman Empire or the fall of the Third Republic.

Now, twenty-five years late the other cold war superpower, America, teeters on the precipice of economic and political catastrophe. Our political system has become sclerotic and been thoroughly captured by the corporate elite’s unending cascade of campaign cash; what’s good for General Motors, Google, is no longer what’s good for the country. Corporations are no longer national but global. The Republican party, always a cozy partner with business, has grown schizophrenic in its embrace of both the Tea Party and big business;  and the Democratic party has become equally complicit in corporate governance and has forgotten its prior proud championing of the working class and poor.

For quite awhile it puzzled me that no actor on the American political stage seemed genuinely concerned that the engine of America’s economy, the middle class, was declining in both wealth and numbers.  Both parties accept the high rate of unemployment and offer little or nothing to alleviate the accompanying human misery. There has been scant effort to stop or reverse the hollowing out of domestic manufacturing, and the resultant stagnation in wages and the decline in the blue collar middle class.  Now I have realized the dramatic rise of emerging markets in Asia and elsewhere  (think China and India) is quickly rendering domestic consumption less and less important.  With booming markets overseas, corporations save more by moving production offshore than they lose in domestic sales. They have also mastered the move of their profits out of the reach of the IRS, significantly reducing federal revenues.

And of course there are the endless wars. Iraq. Afghanistan. Libya. Maybe Iran. Maybe Somalia. Al-Qaeda & Global Terrorism. It is astonishing that in their insane rush to decimate federal spending neither party proposes any meaningful cuts in defense spending. We are willing to weaken medicare and social security, decimate spending on infrastructure, slash funds for the poor and children, but insist on holding the line on what we spend on fighter jets, aircraft carriers and tanks (all so useful in the War on Terror).  We sharpen the point of the spear and allow the staff to whither away. Despite its vast military might the Soviet Union rotted away from within. We are flirting with the same fate.

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away”.

………………………………..  Percy Bysshe Shelley 

Photo by Nick Sushkevich, subject to a creative commons license.

Flickr Group: Made in the Soviet Union

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Yet More Favorite Photographers…

Posted in FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2010 by cliffmichaels

I’ve written before about my dubious attitude about Flickr contacts. I have 256 contacts. Many people have more, often many more. Even with my modest number I rarely review my contacts’ photos. It’s just too much trouble.

But tonight I’ve decided to at least look at the photographs of my contacts whose work is first rate. I’ve also decided to share these artists photostreams with you…

Rebekka. Anyone who’s been on Flickr as long as I have knows of this remarkable Icelandic woman. Each photo in this set has been faved at least one thousand times.

Ali Shokri. This is about the fourth time I’ve featured this amazing Iranian photographer. I have never seen a photo of his I thought was anything less than superb. Each of the 76 photos in this set are gems; I love them all.

Catnip Intoxicating. While her technical skills may be lacking, her photos are always interesting.

Patrick Smith. Patrick is an unsurpassed master of landscape photography. All of his sets are gorgeous. I decided to link to San Francisco, but you should view them all! When I first saw his work I thought he was one of Flickr’s very best photographers and I’m seen nothing since to change my mind.

Sergio Battaglia. I like his landscapes as well. Sergio also does remarkable macros, particularly of insects.

Kevin McNeal. While some might criticize his shots as being over processed, I find them delightful. With their saturated colors, his photos remind me of some of the nature artwork of the mid 20th century. His set of his most popular photos is one sweet collection.

War and Rumors of War

Posted in FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , , , , on December 11, 2009 by cliffmichaels

Flickr isn’t just for pretty pictures. With the emotional wallop of  still photography, Flickr provides the world with a vivid photographic chronicle of conflicts around the world.

We have become accustomed to ignoring a three minute snippet of TV news about some far away chaos. Flickr shows us faces contorted in pain, police shooting down students in the streets, and the tens of thousands of young and not so young protesters massing in Tehran.

Here, in the form of a Flickr gallery, is a tribute to the brave revolutionaries in Iran and their supporters around the world:

IRAN IN GREEN

War has ripped apart Afghanistan for centuries. Its people are as hard and sharp as the high, cold mountains  surrounding them. America is but the latest power devastating the towns and country of Afghanistan. We claim good cause for our assault. Our “just cause” does little for the dead, the wounded, and the dispossessed of that ancient land. Another Flickr gallery:

AFGHANISTAN: Mountains of Sorrows