Friday, December 31, 2010

And on the Pak side of Af-Pak

It certainly seems that the Taliban has more sway in Western Pakistan than does the Pakistani government.  We, the US, don't count at all, we lost their hearts and minds amongst all the bodies produced by the CIA drone attacks in Western Pakistan.  It's a normal day in the neighborhood.

Bombs kill 1, wound 3 in western Pakistan

There Goes the War

Homeland Security chief arrives in Afghanistan

She's going to give them advice on securing borders and preventing drug smuggling?  Oh, boy, with help like that....

Eco Fight!

When I saw this headline," E.P.A. Limit on Gases to Pose Risk to Obama and Congress," I became a bit concerned.    Would the EPA actually have the balls to do what no one else has dared to do?  Will the EPA stem all the hot air, belches and farts that emanate from the Capital and the White House?  My god, this will be a case of government getting on its own back!  How will the Supremes decide what we must do?  Oh, my god, 2011 will be an interesting year.  Then I realized it was about global warming, greenhouse gases and tree hugging stuff.

Maybe the EPA could spend a little bit time and money to regulate excess political gas?

Facebook

I still do not get Facebook, I must have a modestly sized amygdala.  Facebook is a social networking site.  A lot of folks use it.  Apparently it now gets more usage than Google.  If potential voters use something, you can bet your digme that your favorite pol uses it too.  I bet they also twitter,but then they are all twits to begin with.  Who's good?  Who's bad?  I don't care, but here's a piece on pols who use the tubes to grub for votes.

Palin, Republicans get high marks from Facebook users

I love Rep. Amish, a GOOPER, using Facebook to explain his votes.  How many times does he have to say "I'm a Republican, so if the Dems are for it, I'm not.  I just say No." 

It was an amazing run...

And it was an incredible game last night.

Stanford ends Connecticut women's historic winning streak at 90 games with 71-59 upset

Legacyland

As Iraqis continue to exchange holiday gifts, they have not forgotten their Christian friends.  Now, I wonder will our Christians here at home demand that we enter into the Iraqi spirt of giving and give the Muslims a gift of a Crusade for Jesus?  Didn't the Magi come bearing Frankincense, Shock and Awe?

Series of Baghdad bombings target Christians, police say

A Good Move, But...

TSA has been and will be replaced at some airports across the nation.  Private security personnel are apparently as good as TSA, which does not say much, and may even be better, which is good if "better" does not cost more tax dollars.  If there is a movement afoot to transform TSA into an administrative regulatory safety enforcement agency only,  then that's a great way to start a new year.

Oh, there's a but, there's always a but, but if we pay for TSA as regulators and also pay private contractors to do what TSA currently does at airports, what have we done?  About all we will accomplish is to make the national pad even bigger than it is today.  We will not reduce government cost.  We will not really make government smaller.  TSA employees are replaced by private contractor employees, but remember it's not the employer that matters.  What matters is who provides the money for the paychecks that matters.  Public or private, if the money comes from tax dollars, it's still government and the ones receiving paychecks are really government employees.  So what can we do?

Well, we can get government out of the "safety is job number one" business.  We can establish a national baseline of airport/airline safety.  We can administer and enforce a set of laws and regs.  We do not have to pay for the implementation of the rules and regs.  Being safe is a cost of doing business.  If you want to fly you pay for security.  If you run an airport, you pay for security.  If you  run an airline you pay for security.  Safe skies have to become a cost of business.  It cannot be subsidized by tax dollars.

We will not solve our budget and deficit problems until we take on the pad.  It's not the number of actual federal employees that is the problem, instead it is all the other jobs which depend upon tax dollars that we need to discuss.    As an end note, with respect to private security at airports at least two things will occur over the next five years.  First, the cost of paying the contractors will go way, way, beyond the amount we would otherwise pay for just TSA.  Second, the quality of the private contractors work will decline, remember the private sector has one goal--maximize profit.

As frustration grows, airports consider ditching TSA

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Give this a read and then read the next post

If your amygdala is huge, then you're reallly into Facebook!

Study: More Friends on Facebook Equals A Bigger Amygdala In Your Brain


Oops, it may also mean those folks are trogs and have eaten batshit (see next post).

Which comes first, the coward or the conservative?

Too good to pass by.  I know what wrecks human brains and turns otherwise decent folks into conservatives.  Yep, they ate batshit and we know what happens then.  

Study: Conservatives have larger "fear center"

Legacyland

I don't understand why Bush has not retired to Baghdad.  He toppled Hussein, spread liberty, and established a democracy in the Middle East.   He should be proud, move there, and run for president of Iraq.

The former dictator who controlled all means of destruction is gone.  Now everyone is free to wield a weapon of personnel destruction.  It's a democracy alright, shaped by our former fearless leader's thoughts on life, the universe and everything.  Iraqis are expressing their democratic right to annihilate each other.

Iraqi police commander killed in triple suicide attack

What did we expect when we elected a shrub as leader?

Wanna Bet?

The EPA has a plan.  Their plan will lead to a clean Chesapeake Bay by 2025!  The EPA even has some new law on its side.   With an eye to the history of Bay cleanup efforts in the past,  an economy that is not really recovering,  where unemployment remains high and will for years to come, and with the  "small government / no taxes" crowd on the rise, would you like to place a wager on EPA success?   I pick February 2013 for failure if Obama is personally shellacked.  If not then, then my second pick is February 2017 when the GOP has once again assumed the lease on Air Force One.  When the GOP takes the White House, they will derail the EPA Bay project over state's rights and cost issues.

EPA unveils massive restoration plan for Chesapeake Bay

New Year BS

It's that time of year, old or new, for lists.  We will see lists of what was in that is now out.  What is out?  What is the new in?  I half to admit, sometimes I haven't a clue about what an "out" refers to, then I am baffled by it's replacement "in."   Enjoy these lists from the Post--

The List: what’s out, what’s in as 2011 dawns

She's Back

How could we ever forget Christine O'Donnell?  Her campaign was last Fall's election humor revue.  She may not be a witch, but see may be a crook?  Witch is she?  Stay tuned.

Christine O'Donnell, ex-Senate candidate, subject of federal campaign funds probe

Her reference to Biden reflects her own lack of integrity and the politics of the Teabaggers in general. I still do not understand why anyone in Delaware voted for her, but then who can fathom the batshit crazy mind?

Green Schmean!

Are the highways full of small fuel efficient cars?  When gas was hitting $4+ a gallon, folks started  looking for better mpg.  They started to bag their Hummers and opt for small cars and trucks.  Then gas went down, stayed down, and the little cars became litter on auto sales highway.   Trucks sell well.  SUVs with a tad better mileage sell well.  Hybrids and such sell, but how many do you see outside of the urban markets?  Yep, we went greenish.  When gas hits $5 a gallon, unemployment is still at 10%, wages for workers are flat to going down, what will happen then?

SUVs lead U.S. auto sales growth despite efforts to improve fuel efficiency

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's a contest!

The GOP is running scared.  They've been out trogged by teabaggers.   If the GOP can't be the biggest patriot in the room, they've run out of sabers to rattle and they've waved the flag into tatters what can they do?  Uh, they will read!  Yep, they're going to open the 112th Congress with a reading of the Constitution.   Then they will, on every bill, give a Good Constitution Seal of Approval Citation.  Yep, I can hear Boehner now, "Hey Nancy, see, my Constitution is bigger than yours."

Two new rules will give Constitution a starring role in GOP-controlled House

Christmas in Legacyland

The Shrub must be proud of what he did in Iraq.  Liberty abounds!  Folks are free to exchange holiday gifts no matter if they are Christian, Muslim or Jew.  Season's greetings were exchanged in Mosul today--

Suicide Bombers in Iraq Kill Police Commander

I'm feeling safer everyday

I wish our government would get out of the "safety is job number one" business.  The do safety about as well as the Senate debilitates and legislates.   Our government officials seem to have the notion that all the bad guys have agreed, with respect to airplanes, that acts of terrorism  will only be committed by paying passengers who board an airplane.  If that were true, then the wands, puffs, and porn shots might be a bit, not much, but a bit effective.  Unfortunately, the bad guys never got that memo---

Critics contend failure to screen ground workers risks airport security

Obama's Bungled War

Bless my weapons of mass destruction, is Obama pulling a Bush on us?

Aid groups in Afghanistan question U.S. claim of Taliban setbacks

Aw, hell, let's give the man the TASS award for accuracy in reporting!

The Winner of the Glenn Beck History Award Goes To--

The winner is the State of Virginia for it's approach to U.S. History in public school textbooks.  Authors make it up,  call it true, it's easy, and the books are cheaper too.  The Standards of Learning really helped, so kids, remember you really are SOL when it comes to the content of your education.  Hell, it doesn't matter does it?  The teachers obviously don't know the difference between fact and fiction, the kids can't know that's why they are in school,  and the parents don't give a damn.

Some Va. history texts filled with errors, review finds

And the Joe Stalin Historiography Award Goes To---

And the winner is the U.S. Army!  In so many ways we keep on becoming our former Soviet enemy long after their demise.   Hey,  it's less risky, medalwise, to completely erase the battle from the history books.   Once again, I'm getting that deju vu Vietnam feeling again.

Army edits its history of the deadly battle of Wanat

Did they ever come clean about Pat Tillman?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Future Wars

The needed prequel--Rescind the War Powers Act.  Only Congress can declare war and send soldiers off to die for their country.

Now for future wars.

1.  Before any U.S. troops can do anything, Congress has to declare war.  No declaration, then no war.  The White House and the four year temp who administers the Executive Branch cannot send troops off to war without Congress.  It's simple.  It's also Constitutional.

2.  Upon a Declaration of War, the Selective Service Administration will begin to draft able bodied men and women to serve in the armed forces for the duration of the war.  Once you are in, via draft or enlistment, you will be in until the war ends, you are maimed or you are killed.

3.  Income tax rates, upon a Declaration of War, will immediately be raised to the levels they were at the end of WWII--top bracket was 90%.  A national 2% sales tax will also be immediately imposed.   In other words we will pay as we go into the next war.  If it's worth a Declaration of War, it's worth putting all of our resources into the war.  War is a sin so let's be sure we don't pass anymore sins onto the next generation.  Oh, we'll have to be sure to bring back controls and regs to minimize war profiteers too.   During war, there is no gain, just breaking even.  When at war, it's has to be a 100% war effort.

That's it.  Put 'em in place.  Now imagine they had been in place after WWII.  Okay, would we have fought any of the wars we've fought since WWII?  I think not.  I think we'd have a better and smaller military.  War is horrible, it is hell.  Unless every damn one of us loses something to war,  we should not fight 'em.  There is no honor.  There is no glory.  There is just death and destruction.  Let's make certain that we, all of us, not just 1% of us,  fight the next one.  

Whither goes war?

We citizens of the United States remain at war in Afghanistan.  We have lost over 700 soldiers in that bollixed bit of bellicose wastage.  It began in 2001.  In a few days it will be 2010.  The only folks putting a positive spin on the recent war assessment are Obama, his staff, and his generals.  The rest of the world sees an endless deteriorating mess.  Afghanistan's future is more rubble, more death, and more despair.

Diplomacy has no place over there, since is no national government in Afghanistan.  What is called the Karzai government is a corrupt sinkhole of venality.  There are no local governments either, except those which emulate the national model.  However, there are warlords.  The Taliban is everywhere.  There are no terrorists.  Al Qaeda is not in Afghanistan.  The opium crop has been up every year since we "liberated" the damn rubble heap.   Our CIA kills Pakistanis via drones to avoid a war with an "ally" over whose army can invade what sovereign space.  We effectively now have an AF-Pak war.   We have added troops.  Their efforts have been modestly successful here and there, but mostly not so successful.  Overall,  there's been no real difference.  The war remains stagnant, but more deadly.

No one has found a solution.  It costs us billions every week.  Our war, our deficit?  Did you want this war?  This war will not end for decades unless we decide to end it now.  That's all it takes, one simple decision, end the war today.  

There was a time when I actually believed our elected officials would not frivolously send our soldiers into harms way, but that ended a long time ago.  Today, face saving, campaigns contributions, reelection and war profits send our soldiers to their deaths.  End the damn war.      

The weather is getting strange

We had snow on Christmas Day.  It started to snow early Saturday afternoon.  It snowed the rest of the day and night.  Sunday was lots of snow, all day, all night.   The East Coast was blanketed.  I tried to measure the snow depth, but it was a challenge,  the snow was accompanied  by a fierce wind that blew the snow from here to there.  It was a challenge to walk into the wind too.    It had to be between 8-10 inches by late Sunday.

Sunday night and all day Monday was below freezing with howling winds.  My house is not airtight, it really howls and whistles as it  becomes one with the wind.  The sun was out though.  I think the wind stayed steady between 20-30 mph with sustained gusts of 40 mph.  Since the day after the day after Christmas sucked there was only one thing I could think of doing.  Yep, it was time for a  "Scary Movie" marathon!  They are so bad, they are good!  I've put them away for next Winter.

Today, there's not as much snow in most places around my yard, not because of melt-off, no, the wind blew it all into the bay in front of the house.   The sun is out.  The temperature will rise into mid to high 30s.  The snow will melt as 10-15 mph winds continue to blow.   This is Winter in Tidewater Virginia?  It seems more like Utah, except, we will bring in the New Year with bright sun, 60 degree temps, and lots of rain!  May everyone have had a White Christmas and  a Muddy New Year!

Hmm, New Years looks like it's going to blow chunks.  What will I do?  Yeah, I feel a "Bring It On"  movie marathon in the offing.  Again, so bad, so good, especially with hot buttered popcorn and a Coke!

Do you buy Kosher food?

Okay, how about halal food?  Halal is the counterpart for Muslims,  to Kosher for the Jews.   Will you be seeing halal food in your grocery store soon?  I'd bet on it, there's money to made hawking religiously pure food to religious foodies.  And there are other products too!  I think both religions got it all wrong.  I bet god loves a good pork barbecue, hell, he created us, the grill, the charcoal, the pigs, and all those fine sauces.

Is marketing a measure of our society's level of tolerance?  In 1950 how wide a distribution did Kosher foods have?  In 2010, where can't you find Kosher foods?  Okay, what other types of products, availability, and advertising for what groups  do you know about?  Can a history of  our nation be shown via marketing and product distribution?

US Muslims: a new consumer niche

Does the niche emerge because the nation is ready to be tolerant so we then market.  Or,  does the niche exist so we market to it  with a side effect of increased toleration?  Does the hand of the market kind of slap us up side the head and remind us to be nice (and make a buck or two along the way)?

Now we find out why the cops killed him...

The cops didn't bag the guy's ass because he had shotgun on Temple grounds.  No sir, the perp also had a machete and a sword!  That makes all the difference I guess.

Man killed outside Utah temple had machete

Obama and Vick

Redemption and second chances are part of our culture.  It's the kind of thing we see as normal and right.  However, along the way, there are some lines that should not be crossed.  Michael Vick did far more than enable and finance a dog-fighting ring.  What I read during his trial was pretty damn bad.  He was a direct, willing, and active participant in brutalizing dogs and killing dogs.  To be succinct, when it comes to animals, he a sick bastard,  a sadist.  I doubt that some time in the joint re-habilitated him all that much.     Obama is giving praise for the multi-million dollar second chance to Vick.  Hell, Vick's even got advertising gigs again.  Is this redemption or just football owners greed?  Did Obama cross a line? Does the NFL give that much to politics?  Boycott the Eagles?  Vick?  Obama?  Or is all okay?  What's your take?

Obama weighs in on Michael Vick, and other cultural issues

Merry Christmas from Legacyland

And in Iraq, the Muslims are exchanging Christmas gifts--

2 suicide bombings kill 19, wound 45 in western Iraq

TARP

Deadbeat banks?  Yep, community banks have not re-paid any of the money they borrowed from us to save their sorry asses.  They're being prudent (greedy).   Hey, if these are small banks, are they also small businesses?  Gee, I thought small businesses were the engine of everything in the good old number onedom.   Hm, marginal to begin with, make lousy financial decisions, borrow tax money to bail them out, welsh on the debt and still pay the CEO and board decent salaries.  If that's the kind of engine we expect to generate all those needed jobs and rebuild the old savaged econ with, then we have a far more serious problem than we imagine.  Could be have a tad more big factories instead?

Obama administration steps up monitoring of banks that miss TARP payments

Monday, December 27, 2010

Murkowski wins!

The 112th Congress, Senate side, now has a full complement of 100 Twits! The write-in pick will be certified as the winner.

The asshole who lost has decided to quit talking out of his ass and has accepted the butt plug of defeat.   He won't contest Murkowski's write-in victory.  She will have six years of rights to dump on Alaskans.  After this election, we all know that she'll lay loads of tax dollar loaves all over that last frontier!  2016 and reelection is just around the corner.   Maybe she'll get that bridge to nowhere going again.

Miller won't block Murkowski Senate certification

Bullshit Lives On

Here's a short piece on the recent ramblings Janet Neapolitan on TSA and safety.  Using her standard of objectivity, I'd say she's about 85% full of pure Donkey dung.   Does that mean she might know or doesn't know jackshit?  Give it a read, then ask yourself, "now,  do I feel more secure?"   It's nice to know that someone named after an ice cream is protecting the homeland?  

Homeland Security chief defends airport security

Feeling Safe? Belay that thought!

Just because you've been wanded, swabbed, puffed, felt up, and pornified, you think those skies have gotta be safe by now?  Oh, my, on your last flight, did you see anyone making a list of cargo put on your plane?  Did anyone check the list even once, much less twice, for things that are naughty and damned dangerous?  Oops!  What can anyone do?

Well, don't fly.  At least you won't be blown higher and higher.  Oh, look up.  See that ting speck?  Yeah, it's a cargo plane of bananas from Honduras headed to Toronto, Canada.  Guess what, it's an over flight, as in, it's flying over your ass and none of those bananas have been inspected for stuff that blows up.  Guess what's coming to your back yard soon?  Get ready for free bananas and assorted cargo jet parts.   Have a safe holiday!

Cargo that flies over the United States doesn't get screened to federal standards

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Advice

Momma don't let your kids grow up to be shotgun toting, Mormon Temple loving kind of guys (or gals).    In S. Jordan, Utah they get killed by the police.  I wonder if the departed was a gentile, a plain old Mormon,  or a Mormon who had Temple admission permission?  Then again, it is hunting season.

Armed man at Mormon temple killed in Utah shootout

  

Myths

If you missed any of the WaPo's 5 myths columns this year, that's a shame.  Here are some of the best ones from 2012--

The busted myths of 2010

Recipe

As I contemplate doing a food/cooking blog, like there aren't enough of them, I thought I'd pass on a dish I made the other night.  I made some risotto with Parmesan added.  I did a chiffonade of baby spinach leaves.  Then I made a cream/cognac/butter sauce with a bit of nutmeg.  The three went together on a warmed plate by making a 6-8" ring of risotto, then filling the ring with a mound of spinach, and finally drizzling the very hot sauce over the spinach. The spinach warmed and slightly wilted.  The risotto absorbed any extra sauce.  With a bit of bread, some fruit, and some wine, it made a very pleasant meal.

I bet this would work quite well with any kind of thin sauce you like.  I bet heated balsamic would be quite tasty too.

Do you trust a politician?

I don't. They are narcissistic truth challenged bastards and bastardettes. When they say money does not influence how they write bills and how they vote, I have to say BULLSHIT or better yet, pull a Joe Wilson and declaim "You Lie."

Look at all that money businesses spend on Congresstypes. Unless every businessman who hires lobbyists just loves spending money and getting no return, then Congress is and has been for sale for a very long time. If the market works, then all that cash to Congress has to buying laws and regulations that do conform to what the purchasers wants.

Bless my spirit of capitalism,  "the paying customer comes first" must be Congress's motto. Voters just have to hope the effects of laws and regs trickle down something other than legislated piss.

Today,  Congressional greed and avarice has just gotten bigger, slicker and slimier than in the past. With each passing Congress more and more Congresstypes, their aides and staff are singing "Laws for Sale" every damn hour of every day.

Lawmakers seek cash during key votes

Christmas Surprize

The good folks in the White House, in Congress, at DHS, and the TSA have a present for all American taxpayers.   Bless our rising deficit, they may have to find something better than the porn-o-matic body scanners!  Don't despair, the money borrowed from China to pay for the scanners will be fully spent!  No one wants the lobbyists and the folks on the Security Industry pad to suffer just because they make cheaper shit than cheap shit from China--not in cost, but in ineffectiveness.  Come on, how long do you think Wal-mart would sell this crap?  So get ready for the next round.  Fly the naked skys?  After a full body cavity search?

Exactly What is Being Detected?


But the machines could miss something far more deadly: explosive material taped to someone's abdomen or hidden inside a cavity. Researchers and security experts question the technology's ability to detect chemical explosives that are odorless, far smaller than previous incarnations, and easily molded to fool machines and security screeners into thinking they are part of the human body.



Why not give every passenger of bit of Second Amendment action, and make flying into the new Wild, Wild West?

Christmas Technology

I am amazed at our electric gadgetry.   My Internet connection is wireless.   Cable will never make it to my neck of the rurals.  It beats the hell out of dial up and costs less than satellite.   I have a router that allows me to make Ethernet or wireless connections to the blessed Tubes.  It would be nice to have a bigger pipe, but the way our pols think, rural means suburbs of D.C.

I may be a bit web isolated, but I can shop the world from home!  E-tail works,  I did all my shopping via the Internets!   I click, enable my plastic, and a few days later a very nice UPS guy shows up with my stuff.  When I first moved here, he even showed up during a tropical storm that was worse than the a hurricane the prior year.    I heard that e-tail was up at least 15% over last year.  I did my best to help send those numbers up.  So far, e-tailing is better than retailing.

If I have a problem with a click based order, it's fixed, fast.  I stay happy.  I cannot say that for brick based sales.  It's usually a pain in the ass.  When I had more stores to choose from, I quit shopping at stores for varying periods of time--depending on how pissed I had become.  There are a couple I never returned to.

Maybe that's why e-tail is better--more competition, customers can shop anywhere in the world, customers can shop anytime,  very lean profit margins,  and no one has to shop at the one e-tailer in town.   Plus, I assume, fear may play a role.  A PO'd customer can craft a blistering  post to  a blog, on Facebook, on on  Twitter, etc., and have it, just by dumb luck, resonate with millions of other folks and actually affect one e-store's e-sales.

I digressed a bit.  I bought a ROKU box this year.  I wanted to access NetFlix and do the Instant Play thing.  Last night, I gave it a try.  It was easy to hook up.  The ROKU display came up.  I connected to my wireless router.  The box updated itself.  The box told me to go to my PC, go to ROKU and type in an account number displayed on my TV set.  I did.  The box took off, changed it's display, said "Thank You." I then added Netflix to my ROKU account.  The box told me to activate whatever it is that needed to be activated at Netflix,  It gave me a number.  I went back to the PC, went to Netflix, activated ROKU and came back to NetFlix on my TV.  We selected a BBC documentary to watch, "Monarchy: Series 1."  We watched the first two episodes.  We went to sleep.  It snowed (see prior post).

It took all of 5-10 minutes. It worked without any problems at all.  To me, that's how all the electronic stuff is supposed to work.  Somebody has some very good programmers at work.  As I am in my early days of old fartness,  this in retrospect, is like sci-fi.  Yeah, every movie, ever made, on tap.  Well, not every, but a monster passel of them.  Technology is fun.  Hell, if we didn't have the tech toys imagine how we might wind up entertaining ourselves--don't think to positively on that, Roman games, goat polo, ritual slaughter just for the hell of it, etc.  We really do need to wire the world!    

Snow!

It started to snow yesterday, Christmas Day.  By sundown, we had a white Christmas.  Now it's an even whiter day after Christmas.  The white is deeper, much deeper.  All I can say is "Bah!  Humbug!"  It snowed all night.  To make it even better, the major storm is supposed to hit today and leave a nine inch residue.   And this was supposed to be a warmer and drier Winter!  Come on, this is Tidewater Virginia.  Snow?  At least it will hit near 60 degrees by week's end.  Snow sucks, I didn't bring my snowblower with me when I moved here, I needed it in Utah, but on the bay in Virginia?  

Hope y'all's Christmas was merry, bright, silver-belled, decked with holly and anything but white.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas


and 


Happy New Year!

And in the land of Seagulls

Utah has a bunch of big crosses along their highways.  They mark spots where state police died.   The courts have decided the crosses cross  the line between church and state.  An appellate court won't reconsider the case, the crosses have to go.

I guess the judges saw the crosses as expressing Christian stuff a bit too much.  Hm, I wonder if it would have changed the outcome to have used a "Mormons aren't Christians"  as part of the original defense?    See, Christians and Mormons both just happen to use crosses a lot, so in Utah, they're quite ecumenical.  I bet other religions use crosses now and then.  Hell, an atheist or two might too.   The line between church and state would then not be crossed.  Of course, in Utah, there has never been a line, it's always been a pretty, theocratic state.


Appeals court won't reconsider highway cross case

Why scanners?

Do scanners do much beyond giving everybody who flies their 15 seconds as a porn star?  What if we found out that's about all they do?  Would we quit buying them?  Has anyone done a good really analysis yet?  How about a half-assed one?   Or have DHS and TSA just bought the damn things because.

Because?  Yeah because, the scanner industry, an arm of the Security Industry Complex, knows how to lobby better than most and they get their grievances redressed fast  (and spread around some cash).  There's an army of professional scannerites on Capital Hill, so we had best expect scanners at every airport, regardless of size,  in the country by the end of 2012.

Look, terror  and terrorists are the new Communists.  Were you soft on Commies?  The Red menace was everywhere, now they make all our cheap shit.  Hey, are you soft on Terror?  Hm, if you oppose scanners, then maybe we need to hold some hearings, is HUAC still out there?

When scanners are everywhere,  they'll come up with something "better."  It's not about terror and safety, it's about  keeping fear alive so we won't bat an eye at what people in government jobs purchase to keep us safe.  Folks need to start screaming "Bullshit!"  Welcome to the DHS/TSA safety through fear pad,  Merry Christmas y'all.

Firms' lobbying push comes amid rancor on TSA use of airport full-body scanners

We're really going to win those hearts and minds...

Why is the CIA sending drones into Pakistan and blowing the crap out the place?  I've tried to put myself on the ground over there and I cannot but help see us as their terrorists.  That's not a good way to win the war on terror is it?  The CIA should not be doing the military's job, this program will backfire on us within the next couple of years.  Merry Christmas.


As drone strikes have increased, so have assassinations, Pakistanis say

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Omlete

Tonight I made different kind of omelete.  Instead of a tri-fold which I normally make, I did a bi-fold.  It's easier and eats almost as well.  I never mastered the rolled omelette.  I did a different mix of fillings also.  I added minced onion, a chiffonade of  baby spinach and finely shredded Gruyere cheese.   Once plated I hit them with a bit of coarse ground salt and fresh ground pepper.  They were cooked properly, no brown tinges of overcooking to speak of.  They were good!  With some bread and wine, a very good meal.  If you  can eat eggs, add omelets to your monthly menus.

Now I feel a crepe compulsion coming on....

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Reaction to our 2010 Lie of the Year

Our choice of "government takeover of health care" as our 2010 Lie of the Year prompted a flood of emails, blog posts, columns and editorials.

As you'll see in today's special Mailbag, much of the reaction has been from readers who disagreed with our conclusion. Some said we overlooked the huge government mandates in the health care law, while others said we were "communist and anti-American leftists."

The websites Reason and Hot Air were critical of the choice, as was an editorial today in theWall Street Journal. But others, includingWashington Post blogger Greg Sargent and newspapers in Pennsylvania andMassachusetts, cited our work.

We appreciate the feedback, even from our critics. We're thrilled to see fact-checking being discussed so prominently.
We're now hard at work finishing up GOP Pledge-O-Meter, our new feature tracking the 2010 campaign promises of the Republican leaders. It will be launching very soon.

Have a great holiday. Watch for the Pledge-O-Meter and some other exciting new features in the new year.

Legacyland

Will Legacyland be Balkanized?  It might, those oil dollars and greed can cause very strange things to happen.   Hell, they might invade a sovereign state for not reason, shock and awe them,  then, oops, they cannot do that.  You have to be an 800 pound gorilla in a world of 100 pound monkeys to do that.

Southern Iraqi city eyes break from Baghdad

Pipe Dream?

It would be a good change, but it probably ain't gonna happen.  Senators get uppity, they moralize, they yammer away, and then usually go to recess before changing the rules.  Tradition is a bitch.   Probability?  Better than it's been in a while, but at best 50/50.

End of the Filibuster?

Tax Cut Bullshit

Still feeling good about the Republican/Obama tax cut mess?  If you are, then you must be tickled pink that banks get about $9 billion tax cut out of the deal.  I guess that's how we build jobs and get Americans back to work.  Oh, don't forget the whole mess is done on borrowed dimes.  Yep, about  $1 trillion worth of dimes will have to be borrowed from somebody over the next two years.   It was a bad bit of compromising.  It will cost us dearly.  I hope I am wrong, but....

'Active financing' exemption for some businesses to cost taxpayers $9 billion

Dear TSA

The good folks at Homeland and TSA are missing the boat.  Every time they bring a new piece of "makin' us safe" nonsense on line,  citizens get a bit pissed, the press has a field day, and after a few modifications and apologies life goes on eventually.  Instead, they could get good, even proactive, PR with one little change.   The one change might even have the average Jane and Joe  demanding even more intrusive security procedures!

For example, on the security feel-up, all they had to do was make a simple announcement just prior to implementation.  It would go like this "we're sorry if Muslims don't like being felt up, but the safety of air travel comes first."  Hell, if the body scanners had been introduced by TSA telling us that "unfortunately, scanners may make planes Muslim free zones" (due to Muslims religiously rooted "modesty" over porn shots)  Americans would have been lining up to be scanned.  Folks would even fly more.  By now we'd see body scanners at every store entrance.  There'd even be an app for that too!

TSA scanners, pat-downs particularly vexing for Muslims, other religious groups

Success?

How do you measure success?  If you are a pol?  If you are Obama?  If you are a voter?  If you are a liberal Democrat?  If you are a GOP trog?  I bet the answers to these questions are remarkably different.  I see the lame duck "success" as more of the "hey, a quarter loaf of good Republican bread if better than a Democratic loaf."  How about you?  If you  worked in the Obama 2008 campaign, will you do the same in 2012?  By the way, what was in the three quarters loaf foregone?  Oh, got Gitmo?

Obama hails 'progress' despite forecasts of gridlock

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Fat Lady Has Not Quite Sung Yet

She's on stage, the band is in place, but no one has told her to sing yet.  Oh, I'm talking about DADT.  Congress has repealed it, Obama has signed it, it's law.  Now what can old bemedaled white guys do?  Well, they can have oodles of studies on how best to implement the repeal, after all we don't want to affect our straight able bodied cannon fodder effectiveness.  Geez, it takes a simple order from the Commander in Chief and it's done.    That's what we have all those high ranking officers for, to follow orders and get the job done without behaving like a bunch of management MBAs.  If they don't do the job, then can 'em and promote a few hungry Lt. Colonels right past the full birds and you will see the birds really hustle and the remaining Brigadiers bustle their brass off.


Why will it take so long to lift 'don't ask, don't tell'?

Remember the Group W Bench?

Okay, that was from Alice's Restaurant.  Now, how about the Z bench?  Z for zero as in too damn dumb to  serve in the Army.  If you can't pass the test, you're not qualified to kill bad guys. Wow, 17% of Utahns are too dumb to serve.  Hold it, don't start saying disparaging words about the Great Basin folks, they're not as dumb as the nation as a whole.  25% of the young are too stupid to become G.I. Joe.  Heckuv of thing to be number one at, but we're working on it, that and obesity.

Pay attention to how pollers poll

As we head into the 2012 election season, yeah, it's underway and has been for some time, pay attention to who gets called and how.  More and more people do not have landlines, especially the younger crowd.  If they are not represented in a sample, then the poll will be bunk.  Pollsters will have to tell us how they are sure they tap the cellphone only segment of the population.  Pay attention to their methods.  Remember if the sample is not random in a meaningful way and not representative then there can be no inferences, it's just answers to questions by x number of people.  If a poll didn't tap 50%+ of the 25-29 olds, it misses a bit reality that may be meaningful, they may be inclined to vote differently from the landline based members of the their cohort.

More Than Half Age 25-29 Only Have Cell Phones

Communications keep on a changing

I still use a VCR and listen to some music on vinyl.  I don't own a camera--film or digital--rather I have no idea where the film one is so it's about the same as not having one.  I guess I've been an old fart for decades and I'm only 64.  I'm not a Luddite, just a slow adopter.  Now I learn that e-mail is lame, passe and out of date.   Hmm, guess I'll just stay an old fart as I become one for real (based on age).

E-Mail Gets an Instant Makeover

It's in the record book!

Wow, 89 consecutive wins.  Now that's a basketball team!  Oh, no one noticed.  Why?  Well it was set buy the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.   If you want to watch good basketball, forgo the pros, turn off the men's college game and tune in to the women's teams like UConn and Tennessee (plus about all the other teams too).  What's the glass ceiling in women's sports? Whatever it is, it's still there.

UConn Women Own the Longest Streak

The Unintended Consequences of Electing Nincompoops

As usual Congress could not quite get around to appropriating money for the current federal fiscal year.  Since Oct. 1, 2010 the feds have been running on continuing resolutions.  We are again, but I bet the earmarks from last year carry over, those guys may be ninnies, but they are crafty.  What will be the outcome of the CR?  Well, costs have gone up, but cash is flat.  Something will give.  The GOP still thinks voters voted for them.  They didn't.  They voted against the Democrats.  As we can expect, the GOP will thus act in a manner that pisses off  the voters over the next two years.  The Dems will then re-gain in '12 what they lost in '10.  When will voters decide to boot both parties?

Stopgap Bill Hamstrings Government Programs

What happened to California?

There wasn't an earthquake, Calif. didn't break off and float out to sea, so where is it?  Oh, after all the rain, it has sort of melted and eroded itself into the Pacific.  Hey, it's really still there, but they've had a lot of rain and more is on the way--

LA evacuations ordered; Calif braces for more rain

Less Blue and More Red

Congress will be redder as blue states lose seats in Congress per the 2010 Census.   Hmm, I wonder if Obama banked on this change for 2012?  He's flipped off the professional whiners in the liberal wing of the party, pissed off most others and the blue states will have fewer votes in the Electoral College.  Damn that's why he's trying so damned hard to be a Republican.   Job number one is  a lot of work, it's a full time job, I wonder when he has had time to manage USA, Inc.?

Seat changes

Legacyland Scenario

Here comes Dec. 31, 2011.  Iraq reminds us, "everybody out."  They mean everybody.  We pull all our troops out.   Then on Jan. 1, 2012 they tell us this means all the mercs, contractors State Dept. nation builders, and assorted do-gooders too.  We are given two weeks to leave.  We comply.  On Jan. 15, 2012 the Iraqi government suggests we downsize our embassy to a token presence.  Hillary comes home.  By the end of January 2012, the U.S. has an ambassador, two aides and his dog Spot in the billion dollar palace we built.  His budget is cut.  He leases the embassy to the Iraqis.

On February 1, 2012 Maliki dedicates a statue to the nation's champion of liberty and democracy, himself, as he begins a purge of all Sunni Iraqis.  By March 2012, Maliki has shut down parliament, re-opened the torture chambers and announced an alliance with Iran to eliminate Israel and the great Satan-the U.S.  On May 1, 2012 we pull the ambassador out and sever diplomatic ties and announce a boycott of Iraq.  Now that's a legacy worthy of George W. Bush.

The probability of the above is quite, quite low, but it's something to consider--


Maliki's governing style raises questions about future of Iraq's fragile democracy

It's Gonna Be A Slam Dunk, For Sure

The CIA, known for exploding cigars, weapons of mass destruction detection, moles, and really accurate assessments of Soviet military capability, is going to analyze the damage done by Wikileaks.   They have even formed the "Wikileaks Task Force"  (WTF).  Yep, I bet no one even noticed that the acronym can be read somewhat differently than they may desire,  but what the fuck, we already know what they will find.  The damage is worse than bad, it is so bad we have to classify how bad, so "trust me."  It will require billions an billions of tax dollars to be spent on making government secrets more secure (from U.S. citizens of course).  The exact amount will be classified.  The actions taken will be classified.  The results of the fix will be classified.  Why did Truman do this to us?

CIA launches task force to assess impact of U.S. cables' exposure by WikiLeaks

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ratzy Misspoke about condoms

The Vatican has informed the world that the Church's position on the use of condoms is as specified by Pope Ratzy.  A spokescardinal noted, the use of condoms does not matter in those cases since the people involved are already eternally damned and are going straight to hell anyway.  And the march to the 12th century continues.

Vatican clarifies pope's condom comments

Net Neutality

Here's a piece on the FCC's new Net Neutrality action.


Why everyone hates new net neutrality rules—even NN supporters

In your heart you know he's just a good old boy*

Remember as I posted earlier,  sheet over your head is Klan attire.  If you drape it over your shoulders, it's the Citizens Council look.


Barbour: Segregationist Citizens Councils That I Praised Were 'Totally Indefensible




*racist cracker

Make the House Bigger

If you are a member of a group of 708,045 people, do you think the leader of the group knows all the members?  Isn't that a little large to have one person represent all members.  It's way too large.  The Census put the 2010 population at about 308,000,000.  That means each Representative represents a District of 708,000 people.  It's time to expand the House.  How big?  Let's try 60,000 member groups.  The House would become a body of about 5,133 members.  Before you react, "that's too large" we have computers, we already vote electronically, we can build big buildings, and who says the entire House has to meet in one place at the same time?   Hell, let's move Washington to the middle of the nation.   I think we'd all have better representation and see a diminution of party power.  Now, what do we do about the 100 debilitators in the Senate?

Why did anyone move to Texas?

They did, in large numbers over the last ten years.  So many that Texas picks up four seats in the House.  That sucks, but there's no accounting for the lack of taste.  As Texas picks up four that means other  states lose four seats.

It's official: The U.S. population is 308,745,538; Texas gets 4 new seats

Slavery

The folks of South Carolina still want to own, buy and sell people, provided the people are not white.    They can say slavery was not part of the Civil War,  but anyone can say "look a flying pig."  Saying it does not mean that pork is actually aloft.  Slavery was the root cause of that war, it informed every reason given for secession.  That war was an insurrection.  It was an act of treason.  The good folks of S.C. are celebrating their heritage, today we call also call it human trafficking.  S. Carolina is a very strange place.

150 years on, Civil War still stirs South Carolina passions

He's a Republican Candidate for President?

Hold the macacca!  Haley Barbour,  an old white guy form Mississippi, did not have that bad a life during the Civil Rights era.   Wow.

He was with the folks who opposed the Klan.  Hm, if the boys in town wear bedsheets to cover their heads and deny Blacks their rights, especially the right to live,  then they are the Klan.  Now, if the same boys uncover their heads,  deny Blacks their rights, but let them live (except as lynched via public acclamation) then they are a Citizens Council.  Haley enjoyed the good old days.  Haley loved the Citizens Councils.  He thinks everyone felt likewise.  I bet he longs for the good old days.  I bet most of the GOP does too.  Kind of explains the red states, no?

Discussing Civil Rights Era, a Governor Is Criticized

We're not making quota

Damn, executions are down.  Juries are getting all wussy and putting 'em away for life without parole instead.  This has to be un-American or some BS like that.  What can we do to keep our  number one status in state directed murder?  Hey, let's have more capital crimes!   Let' make everything a capital crime.  Volume always works.

Oops, sorry, state murders are down because there's a shortage of the chemicals used to kill the cons.   Global tech keeps on biting us in the ass.  Bring back the guillotine.  Whoosh, whoosh,  it works all the time.  Juries, get cracking and demand that the  convicted lose their heads instead.

Death Penalty Down in U.S., Figures Show

Bungle On!

Our compromiser in chief, also the current strategerator in chief, has found a way to stay on schedule in Rubbleistan.  Yep, we'll be out of Afghanistan in 2014.  Before y'all get too excited, note our troops will not exit to the West and home.  Nope, as we did in Iraq, they'll just exit East to the next front.  The War on Terror will never end even if don't call a WOT a WOT anymore.  A peace here is only as secure as the next war there or some BS like that.   I bet this plays well in 2012.

U.S. Military Seeks to Expand Raids in Pakistan

Legacyland

Bless the brush cutter, Iraq has a government!  It's only taken nine months or so, but they finally formed a new government--the election was last February.   Iraq is truly Bush league.  Is T-Ball their national sport yet?

Iraqi lawmakers approve new government

The MIC is global!

As so much economic activity has been globalized over the past couple of decades, it's no surprize to see our Military Industrial Congressional Complex has also been globalized.  Does it make you feel safer and  more secure to know we buy our war fuel from some firms in Russia and Kyrgyzstan?  I bet the Russians laugh all the way to the bank as we flail away in Afghanistan.  Did they pay us as they failed back then?  Can a military be effective if its war machine is global and dependent on possible future enemies?  Maybe we need to end war instead.  Yeah, right.

Pentagon, State Dept. criticized over Kyrgyz jet fuel deals

Bullshit Lives On

Public servants are under attack because they make to much.  Yep, some folks are pissed because government workers take home more than the average taxpayer.  Hmm, average?  Okay, who pays most of the tax dollars?  Why it's the same crowd who have been screwing the American worker by lowering wages, eliminating benefits, scrapping pension programs, and transforming work into a series of temporary jobs so that they can have even more cash to invest at Goldmans.  Now, the rich see another money pot to attack and steal.  The they have egged on their thralls to lead the charge and demand that public servants everywhere be made to live like they work in Shithole, Ohio.  Class war?  You bet, it's time for the real bad guys to pay.

Public servants feel sting of budget rancor

Net Neutrality

The FCC is ready to enact some new rules for the Tubes.  In theory, they will enforce net neutrality.  The Post piece makes it sound reasonable.  However,  since this is Obama's FCC, get ready to discover he's compromised the Internet away.  After all, who needs a whole loaf when a quarter loaf will do?  Damn, there I go again, acting like a whining, sanctimonious, purist, professional liberal.  I've quit hoping for change, how about you?

FCC set to enact new rules affecting Internet access

There go our taxes

Were you ever puffed prior to boarding an aircraft?  If so, that experience is just a memory now.  The $20 million plus worth of machines are now stored in warehouses.  Puffers didn't quite work like the manufacturer thought they might.  How much have we spent on full body scanners?  How much more will we spend.  Yeah, it is us, the taxpayers who pay for this junk.  Will scanners be warehoused when bad guys find a cheap, easy way to beat the detection of whatever it is TSA is looking for.   What will be the next bit of Rube Goldberg machinery that DHS buys to make us safe?   The puffer exemplifies the TSA and DHS, they receive appropriations, the appropriations are puffed, they go up in the air and come down in the wallets of the Security Industry Complex buddies.  9/11 changed everything all right, including how fast pols and cronies can create a new tax dollar transfer industry complex.  Feeling safer?

Auditors question TSA's use of and spending on technology

Monday, December 20, 2010

Jib Jab


So Long to Ya, 2010

Food That Kills, Your Dog or Cat. Brought to you by Kroger's

Yep, Kroger's has some special cheap dog and cat food made just for them.  As they profit from sales, pets are dying.   Gee, if Kroger will kill your pet to make a buck, do you think they give a rat's about anything that has their name on it?  They won't even let us know who makes the crap for them. I wonder how many other brands the manufacturer of Old Yeller makes? Does anyone make a decent safe product any more, or is it only profit maximization that matters?  Don't forget, Greed is a deadly sin.

Pet Food Recall - Kroger Dog and Cat Foods

Who benfits?

Well I'll be damned the boss is now going to hire more temps.  Not just for the season, but as a new way of doing business.  He says it's due to the recession, tough economy, weak markets, etc.  If I didn't know better I'd day this is just management's new way to make subsistence wages the norm.

Funny how the board still makes more, top management makes more, stockholders make more, and investors make more.  Where did all that more come from?  Where's organized labor when we need them?  Oh, they're off playing with their hemorrhoids.

Happy New Year,  but don't expect more, get used to expecting less, a lot less.  I think we need more than a passle of class tussle.  I hope no one still believes in corporate ethics and the social responsibility of business.  Unless they get kicked in the balls, on a regular basis, they do what they exist to do, maximize profits today, period.   Where'd I put my steel tipped boots?  

Weighing Costs, Companies Favor Temporary Help

Cost of Credit

Here's an informative site.  How much does the bank, the credit card company, and the processing company make on a $1.50 pack of gum bought on plastic at a convenient mart?  You'll be surprized.

True Cost of Credit

Good Question

For gay rights, is repeal of 'don't ask' military ban the end or the beginning?

Pardon my bluntness

Obama's first two years are a series of cave ins.  He calls it all compromise.  Now he's discovered that as he has become more a Republican than not, the liberal part of the base is pissed.  He's must have counted the votes for him in 2012.  My, my, Obama is now trying to make nice.  I do hope the liberal/progressive leaders in the party will tell him, as VP Cheney said to Senator Leahy in the Senate Chamber,  "go fuck yourself."  Hope and change can win an election, but it takes deeds grounded in those hopes to obtain change to get reelected.  Obama remains talk but no walk.    

Obama reaches out to liberal groups to shore up Democratic base after tax deal

What Would Jesus Tell Ratzy?

Pope Ratzy wants to know how the Catholic Church has pretty much derailed itself.  He wants to know what's wrong with its message and Christian life in general.  He really wants to know how they  allowed the widespread sexual abuse of children by priests.  He's musing away in his palace looking for an out that saves his Church but minimizes salvation.  


Hmm, I wonder if it ever crosses his mind to ask how Jesus would answer his questions?  Probably not,  for as Christ answered, he'd have to give away his red Prado slippers, cool hats,  and sell off the Vatican as the Popemobile became a rusty hulk.  The eye of needle is not any larger today than it was 2,000 years ago.  Ratzy seems to have forgotten the Lord does not want us to co-mingle the things that are God's with the things that belong to Caesar's.   


People in the church's organization made the mess.  They did things.  They said things.  Their criminality was abetted by others to preserve the organization.   Who really believes that the Pope sees his job number one as guiding all of God's children towards deciding to live for salvation?  Free will is a bitch.   That's the bitch that is at the core of good, evil, and morality.    


When priestly vanity, pride, and greed diminishes and minimizes the Sermon on the Mount then church which grew out of the pain and misery of widows, orphans, and the poor will flail and fail.  How has the Vatican done lately on that "least amongst us" thing?    I wonder how Jesus would evaluate Ratzy and the Vicars of Rome these days?  

Pope: Church must reflect on what allowed abuse

Are You Ready for a Brave New World?

Is suspicion a crime?

After 9/11, which we all know just changed everything, elected and appointed officials decided to make us safe.  The question is, did they, or did they just create a massive foundation for a police state?  The terrorist threat will abate, but will the data collection infrastructure be turned off or will it be turned towards us?  Dana Priest has an unsettling piece in today's Post.  Give it a read, then if you are old enough, imagine what Richard Nixon would have done if such a system had been in place when Tricky was in power?  Scary isn't it?  Now consider this,  imagine this system in place and Dick Cheney is in the White House.  That can scare your hair white.  How would Saul Alinsky counter all this data collection?  It kind of makes me hope for several more Julian Assanges and more Wikileaks.  Break out the authoritarian state Sci-Fi, which future will we be living, when?

Monitoring America



I wonder, would DHS, FBI, CIA, et al, discover threats just to prove their work is necessary?  Hmm, what is a self-fulfilling prophecy?  We've had missile gaps, how about a terrorism gap?  

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reminder

Every once in a while we need to remind ourselves of why we must be vigilant about our government.   Vile people do take charge as folks go along to get along and allow ends to justify means.   It can happen here.  Here's a book that reminds us about what happens when folks lose control of their government and accept rule by subhumans.

Caught between two killers

Kids and Food

I have trouble getting my head around hungry children in this country.  It's not right, but it exists.  I have a feeling, every hungry child has been created by some rich prick somewhere so he can have even more money in the bank.   It's great that billionaire assholes like Gates and Buffet have decided to give their money away, but maybe they could build a factory, a farm, a store, so that everyone who wants a job could have one, today and tomorrow.  They'd be able to take care of their kids.  Here's the piece that got me thinking about kids and food.

5 myths about school food

Every dollar spent on food for children by our government reflects at least $10 removed from the system by the rich to feed their greed and buy their toys.  We're subsidizing the rich.  Think about it.

Legacyland in peril?

The time is coming soon, well, in about a year, when the SOFA says all of our military is supposed to leave Legacyland.  Lots of folks sort of assumed "all" really meant "most" and "most" would be defined over the coming decades.

Unfortunately as we gave the Iraqis, lots of shock, oodles of awe, a two minute liberation, and years of a bone headed, mind numbingly inept occupation the Iraqis withdrew their hearts, minds, and kept their flowers and chocolates for themselves.

Now, the Iraqis are saying"all" means "all."  Well, all military.  The American taxpayer will support a new an improved civilianized war as the State Department takes command of thousands of mercs and  consultants who just want to help, for a fee, the poor beleaguered American hating Iraqis.  I guess the liberty chip spreaders didn't work quite as planned, sometimes they can create an elected Hamas.    

The administration has already drawn up plans for an extensive expansion of the American Embassy and its operations, bolstered by thousands of security contractors. The embassy in Baghdad, two satellite offices in Mosul and Kirkuk, and two consulates in Erbil and Baghdad are scheduled to take over most of more than 1,000 tasks now carried out by the American military.


Politics in Iraq Casts Doubt on a U.S. Presence After 2011

Is this the beginning of a State Department Industry Complex within the MIC?

Wikileaks

Did he or didn't he?  Did Assange fail to use a condom during consensual sex which then became non-consensual because the condom broke or what?  Sweden has some interesting sex laws.  It even reads a bit like one of those Swedish art films of yesterday.  Two women, comparing notes I guess, say he was the same rotter to each of them.  He says "bullshit" in return to each of them.  Here's more then you want to know about sex, lies, and secret documents.

Swedish Police Report Details Case Against Assange

Somewhere lurking in all this mess I think we'll find the boys and girls who make exploding cigars at the CIA at work to conform with White House requests.    

USA, Inc.

Congress has been owned by corporate American for a very long time.  Business learned how to redress grievances quite well.  For every dollar "donated" they obtain at least a $29 return.  The White House has also become a subsidiary of a confederation of Industry Complexes.  Come on, who's the real beneficiary of the Health Insurance Reform Act?  With two down, the Chamber of Commerce is making it a trifecta as they absorb the Supremes.  Roberts and the Robes love to play at Chamber venues.  All three branches of government are now of, by, and for the good folks at USA, Inc. who sponsor all the clowns we elect and the appointees.

Justices Offer Receptive Ear to Business Interests

Saturday, December 18, 2010

About Time

Senate Repeals Don't Ask, Don't Tell

What Happened?

The world's greatest debilitative body may accidentally do something worthwhile.  They have voted to end debate on DADT repeal.  In about an hour or so, the final vote will occur.  51 votes for and DADT is rescinded.  Will it finally end?  I hope so, it was bad from day one, but then Clinton never did understand the military.   I bet homophobes like McNasty will try something to derail the end of DADT.   I still do not understand how anyone who is gay, could have been, is, or will be in the future, a Republican.

Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Advances

Seems like a good idea

Make Julian Assange irrelevant

Predictions

The FCC is going to figure out what to do about net neutrality and the proposed NBC/Comcast merger.  Regardless of what it decides, I know what how it will evaluate its action.  The PR piece has already been written.   The FCC will tell us it's actions are better than sliced bread for Internet users, TV viewers and consumers everywhere.  All of their decisions are, as always, from their perspective, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious for American consumers.  Note consumers do not donate to campaigns, much less vote.  Consumers seem hellbent on performing unnatural acts on themselves, as they persist in occasionally thinking government remains of, by and for the people.  

What will the FCC do?  It won't be a staunch defense of net neutrality.  Their actions will benefit the media giants and the telecom bigs.  Who will take it in the shorts?  Oh, all of the consumers out there in the audience.   Obama, in hot pursuit of his job number 1, reelection, will boast and brag about his FCC's insightful decisions as he panders for votes.  The lies and duplicity will abound as one more piece of our government is sold to the highest bidder.  Cable news will report about the FCC's fantastic work.  Better hope newspapers continue to exist.

TV's future: FCC decisions on Internet access, Comcast-NBC merger approaching

Bless my hope and change, is it a Comeback?

Adding another $1 trillion to the deficit over two years with stuff that will not perk up employment or jobs is a comeback?  Come on, Obama has had his eye on job number 1, getting reelected, and that's all.  Most of the items in the bill will not do much other than buy independent voters.  He won't be able to buy Republican votes, they're already committed to any batshit crazy nominee the GOP puts in play.  If this compromise/comeback turns off Democrats, can will he have bought sufficient numbers of Independents to offset losses from his base?  

Now let's pretend, all this bill does accomplish is to borrow money.  Now, it's October 2012, unemployment is 9%, the economy is still growing, but very slowly say 2% a year as we have to extend unemployment benefits again.  Think it's still a comeback?

For President Obama, signing tax-cut bill makes for a good day after a bad election

End the Kabuki, We Need More Wikileaks

Maybe more leaks would end the nonsense of secrecy.  Now an ally's spook shop has outed the name of one of our CIA spooks in retaliation for drone attacks.  Apparently the CIA guy was not all that undercover anyway.  About the only place he's not named in in this country.  It took me about one minute with Google to find the guy's name.  Give it a try yourself.   How long do you think it would take someone who knows what they are doing?  Does this paragraph make any sense?

The CIA requested that the recalled station chief, who is still undercover despite being named in multiple overseas media reports, not be identified. The officer, 43, was described by current and former colleagues as a case officer who had previously served in Stockholm and Baghdad and was regarded as a rising talent in the agency's clandestine service.

It seems like we're living the logic of the Pentagon Papers all the time these days and have been for too damned long.

Is an ally who rats out an ally or really an enemy?  Hm, we ought to ask ourselves about this.  Why do we still have these little boy's clubs?

Top CIA spy in Pakistan pulled amid threats after public accusation over attack

  

Friday, December 17, 2010

Public Service Announcement

Don't forget the IRS will not send paper tax packages out this year.  Don't forget to go to the IRS site (IRS.gov) and download what you will need to file your return.

It's still the same old GM

They should have been put out of business when we had the chance.  The federal bailout appeared to have altered GM's management style.  Well it didn't, it's the same old crap.  Come on, seatbelts that don't restrain passengers?

G.M. Recall Is Latest in a Busy Week of Auto Safety Issues



 Would you buy GM products?

Lie of the Year!

PolitiFact.com
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Lie of the Year: "the government takeover of health care"

If you followed the health care debate or the 2010 campaign, I'm sure you heard the claim that the new health care law is a "government takeover" of health care.

We've named it our Lie of the Year because it was not only the most pervasive falsehood of 2010, but it worked. A majority of Americans believe the new law is a federal takeover.

It also won top honors in our Readers' Choice poll, beating out the second-place falsehood (Rep. Michele Bachmann's claim about President Obama's India trip) by a substantial margin.

Check out our story to see why the health care claim is false and how it illustrates the Democrats' difficulties in messaging.

We've also posted excerpts from our interviewwith former DNC chief Howard Dean and your comments from our Lie of the Year survey.

If you have comments about our choice, we welcome them at truthometer@politifact.com.

Ready, Set, Have Some Google Fun!

Google has a new tool (or toy) out!

Here's the article--In 500 Billion Words, New Window on Culture

Or go straight to the simple tool--Books NGram Viewer

Help

Here's a sentence I saw this morning in a Post piece on the Senate and the spending bill.

After a day of backroom negotiations, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) announced that he could not overcome a Republican filibuster after GOP senators turned away from billions of dollars of so-called earmarks they had sought in the bill.




What I want to know is why the author used the expression, "so-called" to modify "earmarks?"  They are, rather, were, now that the bill's killed, earmarks.  Earmarks do mean Congressionally Directed Spending.  There is nothing "so-called" about them.  Why has this expression become so popular and over used these days.  I hear in on cable news every day.  I see it in the papers every day.  Doesn't it usually mean that the object, to the author or speaker, is not quite really what the the reader or listener might otherwise accept on it's own?  If the term is expression is over-used, do we then have a case of the the so-called so called?Hmm,  I guess it might actually be appropriate to refer to cable TV's so-called news programs.

Is the over use of "so-called" just today's replacement for an overused "alleged?"

I like the idea, tax soda pop!

I like the idea, but don't think it would do much about fat kids and even fatter adults.  Without the soda, folks of all ages would just eat another 400 calorie slider or wolf down the mother of super-sized fries.  We eat too much.  This is a problem of overeating and under working.

We sit on our asses and eat too much sugar, fat, and salt--they're the goodies that transform otherwise  barely edible dreck into very tasty fast food.  Actually we have fast and faster food.  Fast food now comes primarily from the grocery store--the real work has been done in a factory, it's all that nuke, heat and eat stuff.  Faster food is fast food the comes hot from machines at places like Burger King, McDonalds, etc.

I'd also tax the crap out of pastries.  While we're at it, lets add a convenience tax to all food.  After the harvest, we tax every bit of convenience, that's the work part, added and tax it.  Fresh produce would be tax free, but from there on, the taxes would increase as more and more convenience is added.  It's a food only version of the value added tax.  Yeah, the Big Mac might still only cost a couple of bucks, but the tax,well, you'd start thinking of doing all the work for yourself.  How much is a pound of ground chuck these days?  

Is that right? Soda taxes would help fight obesity?

I hope I'm wrong

The Bush Legacy Tax Cut Preservation  Bill has passed the House and Senate.  Now it heads to the desk of the Compromiser in Chief to become the law that finally wrecks our economy and our government.  I hope that's not too catastrophic, I may have stretched it a bit, but this law will do more harm than good.   If you have $1, here's a prediction you add to it and buy a pretty good 50 cent cup of Joe.  Obama will not be reelected in 2012 because of this bill--it will not create jobs, it will not improve the economy, it will not generate additional tax revenue, and it will not do a damn thing its advocates tout it will.  2012 will see the beginning of the end of Social Security and Medicare--the seeds are in this bill.

That's just me, here's a story on the bill, and begin following the 2012 race for the 4 year lease on Air Force One--

Congress passes extension of Bush-era tax cuts

What to do?  Save every dime you can, pay off all your debt, build the biggest cash cushion you can, take up gardening, canning, spinning, weaving, but splurge on one item, a really good pitchfork!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'll be blunt

If the House de-rails the Republican/ Obama Bush Tax Cut Legacy Preservation and it costs the guy reelection  that's okay, he's not a Democrat anyway.   Clinton screwed the nation with one blow job,  Obama just screwed us with all that hopey changey stuff.  Damn,was Sarah Palin right?

Liberal concerns delay House vote on tax-cut deal

It's taken some time

After  a couple millennium being the top persecutor of others, Pope Ratzy is now pissed.  Yep, his band is on the the wane and tends to be those persecuted by those fomerly persecuted by good Catholics.  Oh, it's gotta hurt.  Once you could torture and kill for god and be assured of a slot in heaven, now you have to suffer and risk hell.  I wonder Ratzy has vile thoughts about god?

Pope calls Christians the most persecuted

Jake's Town Creek Kitchen

Today, since it's snowing and too damn cold, I decided to to cook over a hot stove and stay warm. Look, I don't like snow. It sucks. So does the cold. So, to stay warm and not see all the damn white stuff I cooked, kept the fire going and fed the birds too.

I have been wanting some fried mush for breakfast of late. Okay, mush fans, it's just polenta. So, I made a batch of polenta. It's ready to be sliced, fried, and served like a pancake--a touch of butter, maple syrup, and some bacon on the side (I'm only a semi-veghead). Tomorrow will be good delicious morning.

I also love Risotto. I made a batch of saffron risotto. It is very tasty. Hell it' way good! We'll have a bit of it for dinner, along with the fresh baked focaccia. Good risotto demands a decent bread doesn't it? Yeah, I had to bake too. Focaccia--oil and salt version--is so damn good with a bit of cheese, caramelized onions, and chopped reduced tomatoes. Dinner is going to be simple but so very yummy tonight.

What'd you cook today?