Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Friday, December 21, 2012
Any way, it's another Winter Solstice (6:12am, EST), which is always something to celebrate. Days will now start getting longer, and that's a good thing.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Instead, St. Sleazy was holding his own press conference demanding more information. He was too busy grandstanding to actually hear the information he was requesting. Unless he's actually completely senile, this is flat out rank hypocrisy at its worst.If there's anyone in Washington who would benefit from a detailed briefing on what actually transpired in Benghazi in September, it's the senator who's throwing fits over what he thinks happened in Benghazi in September.
As luck would have it, the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which McCain is a member of, received a classified, closed-door briefing for nearly two hours yesterday, receiving up-to-date information. What did McCain learn from the briefing? Nothing -- according to the Republican ranking member on the committee, McCain failed to show up.
But what's unclear is why McCain didn't bother to attend the lengthy briefing on a subject he claims to care so deeply about. McCain had time yesterday to appear in front of cameras to talk about Benghazi, but didn't have time to get more information about Benghazi?
Update: According to a CNN report, McCain hosted his press conference demanding more information during the hearing in which he could have received more information.
Second Update: Josh Rogin also reported, "[A]lthough McCain had time to speak on the Senate floor and on television about the lack of information provided to Congress about the attack, he didn't attend the classified briefing."
"If you want answers, a good first step is to show up and ask a question," an administration official told Rogin. "That's what a senator does."
Added: His staff now says it was a "scheduling error." Alrighty, then...
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Benghazi may have been a security miscalculation, but I can't see how this adds up to a "scandal". Yes, it was a tragedy. Yes, the consulate wasn't secure enough given how unstable Libya still is. But you cannot conduct diplomacy by insulating behind walls and marines. A risk was taken, and, sadly, we lost four people. But somehow St. Sleazy McCain and Ms. Lindsay Graham want to make this the new Watergate. They're starting by attacking Susan Rice, although I find it odd that they feel the UN Ambassador is somehow responsible. The investigation will be a carnival sideshow, with plenty of grandstanding, but in the end Benghazi is a tragedy, not a scandal.
(BTW: If you really want to find a diplomatic scandal with a woman named "Rice", I suggest you look into the previous administration.)
Then we have the Petraeus/Kelly/Broadwell/Allen soap opera...I'm not quite sure how they'll blame Obama for this, but I'm sure somehow the right wing will. There is sex involved, so the media loves this story. I'll admit, I'm not comfortable with the CIA director having affairs that become public, but that's because I prefer a chief spy who can keep a secret. I'm old fashioned that way. Expect long hearings in the House on this one, but no real scandal.
Remember the Clinton years? Investigate everything, regardless of the facts. What started with a bad real estate deal (the Clintons lost $30,000 on whitewater) led to the travel office, then the Christmas Card list, before they finally found a blow job. It took years, but they finally found a "scandal".
In reality, Obama, like Clinton, is guilty of being President while a member of the Democratic party. And the repubs are going to do their very best to convict him of it.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
I'm not much for predictions, but I'm guessing that Obama holds on to a win via the electoral college. Nothing profound there; I tend to trust Nate Silver's math (he was a baseball statistician before moving into politics, which makes me confident) more than the pundit class. Also, I can't believe that a majority of Americans are stupid enough to believe Willard's non-stop lies. At least, I hope not.
If nothing else, today will bring the end of the campaign ad season. Which should be a relief for us all. (1,463 days until election day 2016, BTW.)
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
As we close in on election day, I find myself again amazed at the only country I've lived in. In the wake of a major disaster, our current president has done a great job of marshaling a federal government response. His rival staged a photo op collecting canned goods (which aren't needed) that now has proven to be mostly faked. Yet the polls are still mostly tied.
New Jersey Governor
I sometimes make fun of President Obama, calling him "Sober Panda Time", but the real fact is he's doing a decent job of running the country. Not my 'ideal', but my 'ideal' could never get elected in this country. And he is currently managing the response to this disaster perfectly. He's being "The President" quite well.
Willard, on the other hand, spent $5,000 on stuff to stage a campaign rally that he called a "relief" event. Last time I looked, Willard R-Money was really fornicating rich; maybe he could actually cut a check to the American Red Cross that might actually help. Not gonna happen.
(BTW: if you really want to help, AMERICAN RED CROSS The Red Cross is providing shelter, clothes, supplies, food and blood, as needed, for the victims of Sandy. You can donate blood, but in terms of items, you’ll be doing more for those in need by donating money instead of physical goods.Text message: Text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. As in the case with other donations via mobile, the donation will show up on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your balance if you have a prepaid phone. You need to be 18 or older, or have parental permission, to donate this way. (If you change your mind, text the word STOP to 90999.)Phone: 800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767); for Spanish speakers, 800-257-7575; for TDD, 800-220-4095.To donate blood: Visit this Red Cross Web page. Online: American Red Cross)
This election does truly matter. Instead of "the lesser of two evils" we have a choice between an honest, dedicated, competent, if mediocre, candidate or a corporate greedhead evil candidate. I'll be spending most of election day working a GOTV phone bank, myself.
(*bonus point to anyone who can identify the source of that photo in the comments)
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Calls for disaster relief will be going up soon, and all our prayers and good wishes go out to those effected by the storm. From all that I've read, our current President is doing everything possible to get aid to those in need, and it's good to have a competent administration in charge at times like this. This is the kind of thing we need a Federal Government for, conservatives!
In the aftermath, can we begin to address global climate change, maybe? Might be a good idea.
Scenes from Sandy through Monday here, and more epic pics are here. Incredible scenes.
I'm sure I'll have more comments soon, but for now I'm just trying to wrap my head around the scope of this disaster. Be safe, people!
Monday, October 29, 2012
Now, if my 49er's can keep winning football games and the "good guys" can win on election day...
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Now they get to face the Detroit Tigers for the championship. On paper, the Tigers look like the better team by a wide margin. But the Giants seem to defy odds, so it should be an interesting series.
Added: Some baseball history that I wasn't aware of:
Sean Kirst notes that this is the first time the Giants and Tigers have met in the World Series, despite their status as ancient teams. These two teams had plenty of success, the Tigers appearing in ten World Series prior to 2012, the Giants in sixteen (modern era). The teams tended to just miss each other. For example, the Giants were in the series in 1905, then from 1911-1913. The Tigers played in three straight from 1907-1909. The the Tigers went back-to-back in 1934 and 1935, while the Giants played in 1933, 1936, and 1937.Another example of the beauty of the game; even with over 130 years of history, something totally new can happen.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
And we lost, big time. Which set me on a life long path of cynicism. Nixon was evil, McGovern was decently good (read Doc, "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72" if you have any doubts), but evil won big. That's when I began to understand America.
I once thought that we would never elect someone worse than Nixon, but along came Shrub. Heck, Ol' Ronnie R was plenty bad enough.
I guess we get the government we deserve.
We have an election coming up. We have a choice. I hope you all know which way George McGovern would vote.
Monday, October 8, 2012
Afghanistan is certainly no Vietnam, as the lack of a real "anti-war" movement proves, but we've been fighting this stupid thing for eleven years now. Has anybody noticed?
It's a sad commentary when even an old hippie like me finds himself drinking beer and watching football instead of protesting...but at least my beloved 49ers won big.
And, later, we had a really good pizza.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
So I get out of class early tonight, told to watch the debate. Um, "yay!", maybe? We are assigned to write a paper on "what is said about health care?" instead.
Yeah, that sounds tough.
And, since I'm posting, my beloved Giants eliminated the hated Dodgers from the playoffs last night. That feels good.
I'm about to watch this debate between Willard and Sober Panda Time...
More beer, please.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
After all the speeches and campaign ads and debates, politics comes down to cold hard numbers. It always has; it always will.Now, the only factor he forgot to include in his calculation is: the number of mindless pundits with hair good enough to get them onto TV (623, but subject to change between now and the election) divided by the number of unstable leaders in the Middle East and North Africa (17, but variable), and add that number for the total electoral votes of whomever the eventual winner is. Simple, isn't it?
In my model, as in most such models, we start with the basics: The number of women to whom the GOP candidate’s grandfather was married at any one time, which in this case would be (4). You multiply that by the number of extramarital affairs conducted over a lifetime by the spouse of the current secretary of state (237). (CAUTION: This number could shift at any moment.)
You then add the number of emails sent in the past four years depicting the Democratic nominee with a bone through his nose, which would be 457,283. You divide that by the total number of beers and cigarettes tried by the GOP nominee in his lifetime (2), divided again by the total number of beers and cigarettes consumed by the Democrat (58,399).
You multiply that by the square root of the number of hair follicles transplanted into the Democratic VP (√6,798=83.53) divided by the best marathon time fraudulently claimed by the Republican VP nominee (2.55).
Subtract the percentage of Americans gratuitously insulted by the GOP nominee (47), add the number of times in a best-two-out-of-three match that the First Lady would beat you arm-wrestling (3), and then also add the number of dog-lover votes — in units of tens of thousands — lost by the Republican for transporting an aptly named Irish setter (Seamus) on the station-wagon roof (236.5).
Finally, you add the number of percentage points that all polls but Rasmussen are skewed in favor of Democrats (10). Voila!
You now have the mortal-lock number of electoral college votes that the Democratic nominee will win in any given year.
– Jay Bookman
(If you understood and enjoyed this post...well...I guess that's why you're reading this blog. Get help.)
Monday, September 24, 2012
When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous. And she was choking and rubbing her eyes. Fortunately, there was enough oxygen for the pilot and copilot to make a safe landing in Denver. But she’s safe and sound.
That's right, he really said that you should be able to open the windows on a commercial airplane. Which would allow you to breathe for, oh, maybe three seconds before explosive decompression sucked you and fellow passengers out of the plane.
Well, physics is just another science with a liberal bias, so Willard is against it. Just what we need running the country.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Speaking of people who Willard can't be bothered with, Palestinians. Willard plans to kick their can down the road, and hope for some decent outcome in the future. Preferably one where they can either be used for slave factory labor in an outsourced manufacturing plant, or quietly dead so as to stop inconveniencing the Israelis.
Well, for possibly the first time in his campaign for Oligarch, Willard said something that was actually true: "not elegantly stated" is an honest motto for his platform.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Otherwise, equal rights for all.
(I guess that even means including republicans getting married. Uh...yuck.)
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
All Willard actually knows about foreign policy is which countries are cheapest to move American jobs to, and where to find the best offshore tax havens for your millions of dollars. He might have some idea which countries he'd like to start a war with (not ones where he keeps his money), but anything more complex is beyond his comprehension.
It scares me to think that there are people who will vote for him. Years ago, I thought I'd never see a president who was worse than Nixon. Shrub came along and proved me wrong. Now we have Willard, who actually looks worse (and even dumber) than Shrub. Words fail....
Added: Romney's Incendiary Response to US Embassy Deaths in Libya Proves Him Incapable of Being Commander in Chief
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Trust me, Willard, if you actually do end up buying the presidency you're going to end up with a serious case of 'buyer's remorse'. You're not going to be able to turn this country into a gated country club, and the American peasantry will never really "learn their place".
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
I'm a sad case. It's time to admit it: I'm a political junkie. I'd been trying to stay off of the stuff, but tonight I got home from school (evening classes this semester), and I turned on NPR. Live from the
Kids, I really hope you'll stay away from politics. It's a terrible habit, and once you're hooked, it just might ruin your mind.
(since most of my readers aren't exactly "kids", and likely are already heavily abusing politics, you'll understand the advice was purely satirical.)
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
I'm beginning to wonder if someone is putting powerful hallucinogens in the water of this country. It's seems like each day brings campaign news that sounds like something only Lewis Carrol would create. We have rethuglicans saying that they're the ones who will "defend Medicare" from Sober Panda Time, that "mean, angry man running a campaign of hate", who's somehow stealing from Medicare by saving it money over the next decade. See, it's really, really mean of Obama to point out when Willard Rmoney is lying (which is "always"), and also he's an evil Muslim who eats pork chops and brews beer in the White House.
Now Willard and
"I believe and I think that the right approach is to accept this horribly created, in the sense of rape, but nevertheless, in a very broken way, a gift of human life, and accept what God is giving to you." said Rick Santorum (the guy who came in second in the GOP craziness derby). Also, Ryan has repeatedly vowed to put Planned Parenthood "out of business".
Maybe I hang out with a different kind of woman, but the women I know enjoy sex, and are against forced pregnancy. You know; "normal". So it boggles my mind that the mega-millionaire and the mini-millionaire might actually win while campaigning against sex and for forced pregnancy. I'm not surprised that a Mormon and a Catholic would support misogyny; just that they might actually succeed.
I don't think I like whatever this drug is.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
So I'd rather post about something that makes more sense to me: beer! Did you know that Sober Panda Time stocks his campaign bus with his own homebrew? It's true:
In perhaps the most startling revelation so far in Obama’s three-day bus tour across Iowa, it was revealed this morning that the White House brews its own beer, and that the presidential bus is stocked with bottles of that beer.
So there's your choice, voters: the incumbent is a homebrewer, the challenger is a Mormon. Who would you (this is the most foolish political question to ever become a 'meme', but I'll ask it anyway) rather have a beer with?
(p.s. A brief personal note for those who care: I'm fine, on break from school. Solid 4.0 last semester, and next semester starts in two weeks. The ongoing life in poverty is getting to be a drag, so I really hope this education pays off in the end.)
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Looks like America is about to get shut out on medals in whitewater at the Olympics once again. No surprise, as the IOC drug testing regime keeps all our best whitewater kayakers out by testing for THC which it calls a 'performance enhancing drug'. Which I suppose it is for whitewater. Certainly, all the best boaters I've known would have a hard time passing clean urine.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Thursday, July 19, 2012
I really shouldn't be surprised when the party of greedheads behave like the greedhead bastards that they really are, but I did sort of think that they'd be a little more subtle about it during the election season. Yet, the senate republicans actually came right out and filibustered the "Bring Jobs Home" act:
Washington (CNN) -- Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked the No.1 item on the president's congressional "to-do-list," refusing to allow a vote on a bill that would give tax breaks for companies that "insource" jobs to the U.S. from overseas while eliminating tax deductions for companies that move jobs abroad.It would be somewhat amusing to keep a scorecard of how many of these same republican senators campaign on the issue of "jobs", and blame Sober Panda Time for the weak employment numbers. In fact, I'm ready to give a (very small and worthless) prize for the first time McConnell or one of his cohorts says "Jobs, jobs, jobs" during a campaign speech. Because you know they will.
With job creation the top issue this campaign season, and outsourcing being blamed as a big contributor to the high unemployment rate, Democrats saw the bill as an election-year winner. Sponsored by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, who is running for reelection, the bill made it to the top of the "to-do list" for Congress President Barack Obama unveiled earlier this year.
The Bring Jobs Home Act would provide a 20% tax break for the costs of moving jobs back to the United States and would rescind business expense deductions available to companies that are associated with the cost of moving operations overseas.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
If you're paying any attention to today's news, you've heard that Ol' Willard R-Money is catching a bit of flak over whether he stopped running Bain Capital (the bane of the working person) in 1999 or not. My favorite response to this comes from Booman at the Booman Tribune (one of the best on the blogroll), who notes this:
If, as Romney claims, he did no work for Bain Capital between February 1999 and 2003 then he received roughly $400,000 for work he didn't do. The alternative is that he committed a felony, which even his defenders at FactCheck.org acknowledge. The $400,000 is significant because it was salary or compensation for work, and not interest payments or dividends or some other capital gain. But that doesn't mean that Romney didn't make a fortune on the roughly 6,000 jobs (at a minimum) his company destroyed in the four years in question. Let's be clear about this. Whether or not Mitt Romney was actually making day-to-day decisions for Bain Capital in the 1999-2003 time period, he was the CEO, chairman of the board, lone stockholder, and 100% owner of the firm. Even if he wasn't doing any work, he was being paid for work. Even if he didn't even look at the deals that cost at least 6,000 Americans their jobs, he profited from those transactions.Yeah, that's the kind of job I need: one that pays me $400,000 for doing nothing. Sure would beat being a poor college student. It's for reasons like this that, despite all his flaws, I support Sober Panda Time in 2012.
That's what makes it strange that he would use his absentee ownership as an excuse. If his partners had made bad deals and lost Bain Capital all its money, does anyone think Romney wouldn't have been upset?
Who gets paid nearly a half a million dollars to do nothing?
(also, Happy 100th Birthday to Woody Guthrie on Saturday.)
Sunday, July 1, 2012
A mass grave of prehistoric “giant wombats” – a marsupial the size of a rhinoceros – has been discovered in Australia, according to reports.To heck with cloning mammoths or dinosaurs. This world needs three ton giant wombats!
The discovery of about 50 diprotodon skeletons was the biggest to date and could shed light on why the animal become extinct, BBC News reported.
Diprotodon, a relative of the modern wombat, was the largest marsupial that ever lived and had a pouch that was large enough to carry an adult human.
According to the Australian Museum, it was “widespread across Australia when the first indigenous people arrived, co-existing with them for thousands of years before becoming extinct about 25,000 years ago.” Fortunately for the people, diprotodon ate plants.
(a mass grave of three-ton wombats found)
(Perhaps we could send several to this year's republican national convention, just for fun.)
Anyway, thanks for stopping by!
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
"I'm not dead yet! I'm feeling better!"
Short story: I'm in school full time, and enjoying it. Minneapolis is way too humid when it gets hot. I don't have regular internet access, and I have a hard time thinking about posting while I'm in the library or the school computer lab. Hopefully, I'll have this all remedied soon and can share more drivel with you. Thanks again to those who dropped money on me. It has really helped.
And, above all else, remember this: Homemade pizza should always have at least four different toppings!
Saturday, May 5, 2012
On Saturday (May 5) at 11:35 p.m. EDT, the moon will officially turn full. And only 25 minutes later the moon will also arrive at perigee, its closest approach to Earth — a distance of 221,802 miles (356,955 kilometers) away.
So, tonight is a "supermoon", which, naturally, I wont see. Ever since I moved to Minnesota, anytime there's an interesting astronomy event the weather is guaranteed to be cloudy. Meteor shower? Total overcast. Eclipse? Worst (and the only big) storm of the winter. Tonight? Completely cloudy with rain all night. I'm beginning to think Minnesota doesn't allow sky watching. It's also Cinco de Mayo and Kentucky Derby day, so there's plenty to celebrate.
Blegging: I know that it was only a couple of months ago that I blegged at you (and I'm totally grateful to those who gave donations. I hope you all got my "thank you" emails), but it's a new month, and again I'm struggling to meet my bills.
On a positive note, after way too many months of beating my head against the wall of underemployment I have decided to change my direction. I'm going back to school! From talking to my advisor, I guess being a 53 year old college student is a new trend. I'm going to start with recertifying in some old skills that I haven't used in over thirty years, and then expand into an exciting new modern field (medical records technology networking, if you really want to know) where I can hopefully find a decent job!
Which is another reason why I'm blegging: before I can actually collect financial aid, I have to pay a variety of fees for admission, registration, and transcripts (having attended seven different colleges seemed like a fine idea at the time, but now I have to pay for seven different transcript requests) which aren't that big individually, but add up to a challenge while I'm having trouble keeping the lights on. Once I get through these next few hoops, I'll be fine for the future (although I'll get to have a wonderfully large amount of student loan debt, which is a new American trend) and hopefully engaging in a whole new future. I just need some help right now.
I know this is a tough economy, and times are tough for most everybody (damn, I forgot to have any friends in the top 1%!), but any help you can drop on the paypal button on the right will be greatly appreciated!
Thursday, April 26, 2012
The White House announced a slate of 13 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients Thursday — a list that includes folk singer Bob Dylan, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, former Israeli president Shimon Peres, novelist Toni Morrison, and former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.
Other notable recipients include astronaut and former Sen. John Glenn, University of Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low (posthumously), and Polish resistance figure Jan Karski (posthumously).
The Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, is presented to individuals "who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
"These extraordinary honorees come from different backgrounds and different walks of life, but each of them has made a lasting contribution to the life of our Nation. They’ve challenged us, they’ve inspired us, and they’ve made the world a better place. I look forward to recognizing them with this award," President Obama said in a
The ceremony will be in "late spring," according to the White House.
Dylan has had a 50 year long recording career, which is pretty remarkable all by itself, but I doubt that he ever expected this honor.
Added: While Dylan has done some movie bits over the years (I still enjoy his role in "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid"), today's music stars are only suited for playing aliens on screen.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
a recent study published by the University of Illinois in Chicago claims that drinking only a few beers may, in fact, make men more intelligent.
The results of the test were quite interesting to say the least. Participants who consumed two pints of beer finished their problems in a cool 12 seconds, compared to non-drinkers who required 15.5 seconds.
"We found at 0.07 blood alcohol, people were worse at working memory tasks, but they were better at creative problem-solving tasks," psychologist Jennifer Wiley explained.
"We have this assumption, that being able to focus on one part of a problem or having a lot of expertise is better for problem solving," she continued. "But that’s not necessarily true. Innovation may happen when people are not so focused. Sometimes it’s good to be distracted."
The study participants who drank beer also solved 40% more of the problems posed to them compared to non-drinkers. "Sometimes the really creative stuff comes out when you’re having a glass of wine over dinner, or when you’re taking a shower," Wiley added.
Anybody who's ever hung out at a bar with me knows that I'm great at problem solving after a couple of pints. And my friends are, too. In fact, we can usually solve most any problem by the third pint.
(BTW: sorry about the paucity of posts. Life is trying to test me, but I'm still kicking.)
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
I recently read that on average 2 million blog posts are generated each day. Which I'm certainly not responsible for. But it did get me thinking about "what I post, and why I post it" and if I should be doing it better. I tend to lay off posting about the "controversy du jour", as among those millions of posts someone said what I'm thinking better than I would say it. Or has a "LOL Cat" of it. Also, I'm lazy. For example, just putting up a post that basically says "racism is bad, and it killed this kid in Florida" has a kind of pointless point to it, as many other blogs have already made the point more eloquently.
So instead, I tend to post things that interest me that are not mainstream. For example: Jane Fonda will play Nancy Reagan in new film. I find that to be a delicious irony. "Hanoi Jane" as the wife of republican saint Ronald Reagan. That's the kind of thing you couldn't make up in a piece of fiction. Fiction has to be believable.
Also, this reminds me that some of what I find amusing doesn't translate well across generations. The woman I live with (who is 21 years younger than I am) didn't see any humor in Jane Fonda playing Nancy Reagan. For her the Vietnam War was a chapter in her history book, and Ronald Reagan was president when she was born rather than an actor who shared a movie with a chimpanzee. The humor was lost on her, but she did agree that I should include it in a blog post, because "most of the people who read your blog are older" she said. Which is likely true, and I think I like that.
So, just because I haven't posted about 'something' doesn't mean I don't care about it. It just means I don't have anything original to say about it. Or, this is "my blog" so I can be as lame as I want to. And I really thank you for reading it (cuz' you only had 1,999,999 other posts to choose from.)
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
The new Ryan budget is a remarkable document -- one that, for most of the past half-century, would have been outside the bounds of mainstream discussion due to its extreme nature. In essence, this budget is Robin Hood in reverse -- on steroids. It would likely produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history and likely increase poverty and inequality more than any other budget in recent times (and possibly in the nation's history).
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Saturday, March 10, 2012
("No, only half a key. I had to split it with the sound effects man")
As I was lamenting the loss of Bergman to the woman I live with, I came to realize that firesign theatre is a unique type of humor. I played a few vignettes for her, and she said "I don't get it" while I was laughing. It's truly one of those things where you can divide the folks who "get it" from those who don't. Perhaps it was the times (and the herbs), but the Bergman influence has always been a part of how I view the world.
Monday, March 5, 2012
(Because the American president with a funny name met with the Isaerli prime minister with a funny name to discuss the Iranian president with a funny name)
“The Iranian nation has never pursued and will never pursue nuclear weapons. There is no doubt that the decision makers in the countries opposing us know well that Iran is not after nuclear weapons because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.”
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Which brings me to the 'blegging': I'm asking for help. After having almost no work in January, I haven't gotten any work in February (even through the temp agencies), and I'm now desperate. A new month brings a fresh set of rent and bills, but I'm broke. So I'm hoping someone would be able to drop something on the Paypal button on the right.
I last asked my readers for help about four years ago, and several of you were able to make small donations, which was huge at the time. I realize that most of my readers are struggling, too, so I'm not expecting much. Over the past four years, I've had a few times where I was able to drop a few coins on other poor bloggers as a way of repaying the help I received, and I'm really hoping to be back in that position soon. But right now, I'm desperate. If you can help me, anything you can drop in my Paypal account would be greatly appreciated.
Also, if any of you are looking for an inflatable kayak, I have my Saturn for sale on Craigslist: 13' Inflatable Whitewater Kayak. It's a great little duckie that I didn't get to paddle very much.
Thank you for reading me, and I hope to keep this blog going for many years to come.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
One special reason I enjoy Leap Day is that it's one of my nieces birthday, specifically her sixth birthday. She deserves a birthday drink, as not many kids celebrate their sixth birthday while in college.
Also, be sure to look before you leap today.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Fillmore was also a staunch defender against foreign intervention in Hawaii. France's Napoleon III attempted to annex the Hawaiian Islands, but was forced to withdraw after a strongly worded message from Fillmore suggesting that "the United States would not stand for any such action."
Yes, he saved Hawaii from the French for us. Also, I seriously doubt we'll ever have another president named "Millard". Although we are at risk of a "Willard".
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Sometimes there are things in the news that go way beyond my small brain capacity to comprehend, like when I read that in Italy police seize $6 trillion of fake U.S. T-bonds. I mean, counterfeiting $100 dollar bills I can grasp. But phony billion dollar T-bills? You can't spend those at the liquor store; the clerk wont have change. The total scope is amazing to me.
The fake securities, worth more than a third of U.S. national debt, were seized in January from a Swiss trust company where they were held in three large trunks.
Most of us (unless Bill Gates or Warren Buffet happen to be reading this) would consider a million dollars an amazing sum to have. We fantasize about what we'd do if we won the lottery, but it's usually a fairly mundane level fantasy: travel, buy a yacht, indulge our family and friends, that kind of luxury. With 6 million million, you could easily buy several countries. Or finance a couple of major wars...wait a minute...has anybody dusted those bills for Cheney's fingerprints?
(h/t to Pissed on Politics for the link)
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
The conservative group Morality In Media is head over heels today after all three top Republican candidates promised to go war against the distribution of porn. In a written statement, Rick Santorum said, “Federal obscenity laws should be vigorously enforced. If elected President, I will appoint an Attorney General who will do so.”
Not to be outdone, Mitt Romney gave a statement to the group that said, “(I)t is imperative that we cultivate the promotion of fundamental family values. This can be accomplished with increased parental involvement and enhanced supervision of our children. It includes strict enforcement of our nation’s obscenity laws, as well as the promotion of parental software controls that guard our children from Internet pornography.”
Friday, February 10, 2012
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Sunday, February 5, 2012
And the rest of the blogroll are all really smart, cool people who you should check out. Also, if you have a blog you'd like to share, leave a link in the comments and I'll be happy to add it. No commercial sites, please (unless they're paying me a very large bribe).
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
I think Ms. Giffords may be one of the most inspiring human beings I've witnessed in my life. She brought honor and integrity to both her political and personal life. I hope we all can agree to wish her the very best recovery possible.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who was shot in the head a year ago at a district event, announced in a video posted on YouTube Sunday that she will resign from Congress this week, in order to focus on her medical recovery.
The Arizona Daily Star reports:Before she leaves office, Giffords will finish her Congress On Your Corner event that was interrupted by a gunman on Jan. 8, 2011. In a private gathering in Tucson, Giffords will meet with some of the people who were at the event, her staff said.
“Arizona is my home, always will be. A lot has happened over the past year. We cannot change that. But I know on the issues we fought for we can change things for the better. Jobs, border security, veterans. We can do so much more by working together,” Giffords said in the message.
“I don’t remember much from that horrible day, but I will never forget the trust you placed in me to be your voice. Thank you for your prayers and for giving me time to recover.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Iran has repeatedly said that they want nuclear energy to produce electricity. Which actually makes a lot of sense. Iran has a lot of oil, but oil is a lousy source for electricity, for both efficiency and the environment. As a modernizing country, Iran is facing ever increasing demand for more electricity.
Then I read a piece by Thomas Buonomo at Informed Comment that I thought was truly brilliant:
An Alternative Course of Action
Considering the doubtful prospect of an effective sanctions regime and the unpredictable consequences of a military strike or covert action, the Obama administration should consider offering the Iranian government an opportunity for rapprochement in the form of renewable energy technology and financial incentives to help it achieve its ostensible goals.
Iran has abundant geothermal, solar, hydroelectric and wind energy resources that could help it meet its domestic electricity demand without presenting an inherent threat to the international community. This would require substantial investment but Iranian leaders might be prepared to consider such an alternative if the U.S. and other UN Security Council states were prepared to offer it attractive financing options.
Such an initiative would demonstrate to Iran that the United States acknowledges its legitimate energy and national security interests and is willing to take meaningful steps to support its peaceful aspirations and integration into the international community in return for its abandonment of its nuclear program.
Now, I realize that Iran is not exactly our friend. In fact, the history of US-Iran relations is one of constant conflict, and we haven't had diplomatic relations since 1979. But imagine how relations (and the propaganda) could be reversed if America offered Iran alternative energy aid, and we began relating to each other as respectful adults. If Obama were to actually do this, he'd deserve a Nobel Peace Prize, and it would drive the neocon warmongers crazy. Plus, it might actually work.