Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bob Park's Newsletter

I particularly enjoyed this weeks newsletter, I hope y'all will also...


WHAT’S NEW   Robert L. Park   Friday, 19 Nov 2010   Washington, DC

1. LIFE: A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE ON TODAY’S GLOOMY NEWS OF THE WORLD.
Last week in describing the search for extraterrestrial life I recounted 
the celebration in the Eagle pub of the discovery of the structure of DNA, 
as told by James Watson in The Double Helix. I got a couple of lines in 
response from Raynor Smith that put it in perspective. I posted it above my 
desk and now share with you: "These great men did indeed discover the 
secret of life. The secret is to gather with friends in a warm pub, and 
raise your glass to celebrate your accomplishments, and likewise those of 
your friends, whether large and earthshaking or small and humble." 

2. START:  HAVE THE REPUBLICANS COMPLETEY LOST THEIR MINDS?
Here's the picture: It's been 20 years since the Cold War ended, but 
thousands of thermonuclear warheads, still reside in Russia and the US 
under conditions of questionable security. How many megatons does it take 
to counter the threat from Iran and North Korea? Meanwhile, armies of 
religious fanatics dream of the glory of being the first nuclear suicide 
bomber.  It would seem to be a sensible plan to reduce the number of these 
things, but the Republicans seem to be in no hurry to ratify the agreement. 
There is always danger in delaying international agreements; windows have a 
way of closing in response to unrelated incidents. We knew Jesse Helms 
(Senator No) was dangerous; he enjoyed blocking progress. Jesse went to his 
reward seven years ago.  Now we are finding that the Republicans are all 
crazy. Their sole objective seems to be blocking Obama. 

3. STOP: TODAY IS THE ANNIVERSARY OF CLIMATEGATE.
The suffix added to the word climate is intended to draw comparison to the 
Watergate break-in, but the comparison is spurious. In all of the public 
scrutiny, no one seemed interested in finding the perpetrators of the only 
criminal offense in the entire affair: hacking into private files. Anyone 
who uses a computer should know by now that nothing in the cyber world is 
truly private.  That shouldn't disturb scientists, openness is our culture. 
Government should try it sometime. 

4. WIMPS: THE UNIVERSE WE CAN’T SEE.
When they were building the Large Hadron Collider it seemed to be all about 
finding the Higgs boson.  But there seems to be increasing interest in 
using the LHC to to learn something about the 85% of the universe we can't 
see. We know it's there because it has gravity, but that's about all it 
has. The betting is that it's a particle, and the leading candidate is the 
WIMP (weakly interacting massive particle). Gianfranco Bertone in 
yesterday's issue of Nature predicts that if there is such a ghostly 
particle it will be exposed by LHC in the next few years.

THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND.
Opinions are the author's and not necessarily shared by the
University of Maryland, but they should be.
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How's the War on Terror GoingThese Days?

We have not been attacked since 9/11. Why? Is it due to the hundreds of billions we've spent on snoops and spooks? Has all that illegal wiretapping saved our bacon? Have we tortured the terrorists until they said "Uncle?" I'm sure there's not a government official who would deny their self importance in making us safe. Of course most of us don't work for Uncle Sam so we have a different perspective. It's a bit less self serving and probably more accurate since our incomes don't depend on preventing attacks. Why haven't we been hint? Well, we've either been lucky or are too damned hard to hit.

Why Has the U.S. Not Been Attacked?

What's Your Political News IQ?

From Pew--

Take the News Quiz

Media Matters Newsletter

Below is the Media Matters Newsletter.  If you don't receive it and you like what it says Then use the links at bottom to sign up for it.


Glenn Beck is the face of Fox News
To those Fox News journalists who are reportedly "worried about the prospect that Beck is becoming the face of the network": Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes have picked a side in this fight -- and it's not yours.
For months, accounts of internal tension over Beck have been leaking out of Fox News. Back in March, media critic Howard Kurtz -- then with The Washington Post -- reported that "there is a deep split within Fox between those -- led by Chairman Roger Ailes -- who are supportive, and many journalists who are worried about the prospect that Beck is becoming the face of the network. ... Beck has become a constant topic of conversation among Fox journalists, some of whom say they believe he uses distorted or inflammatory rhetoric that undermines their credibility."
In an October New York Times Magazine profile of Beck, Mark Leibovich -- who noted the "[o]ff-the-record sniping shoots in both directions" and could be related to upcoming contract negotiations -- reported: "But the friction is evident in many areas."  In addition to reporting -- like Kurtz -- that some Fox News journalists felt Beck's inflammatory rhetoric undermined the network, Leibovich introduced a new twist: Ailes' support for Beck may have been flagging.
Ailes, Leibovich wrote, "has generally been supportive of Beck," but he's also "complained about Beck's hawking his non-Fox ventures too much on his Fox show" and has been "vocal around the network about how Beck does not fully appreciate the degree to which Fox News has made him the sensation he has become in recent months."
With his ratings in a slump, advertisers dropping like flies, and the reported sniping from Ailes, it seemed possible that Beck's influence at Fox might wane.
Then Rupert Murdoch stepped in.
When asked at the News Corp. annual shareholders meeting later that month about Ailes' reported frustration with Beck's use of Fox News airwaves to promote his own brand and interests, Murdoch dismissed such concerns, saying, "I don't know whether you watch Fox News, but Mr. Beck is the least of our stars who take liberties in promoting their interests."
And Murdoch was unfazed when asked at the meeting about reports that nearly 300 advertisers are boycotting Glenn Beck, responding, "That's not true. ... Maybe four or five who have been moved over to Mr. O'Reilly's program. No one has taken any money off the channel."
But perhaps most surprising was Murdoch's unprompted praise for Beck in a November interview in his native Australia, which was paired with some trash-talking aimed at Fox News ratings giant Bill O'Reilly. O'Reilly's "easy" treatment of now-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an interview was "disgraceful," Murdoch said. He then lavished Beck with praise:
There's a guy on Fox who started on CNN called Glenn Beck.
He is a little bit of an actor, he looks in the camera all the time. He's very genuine, extremely well-read libertarian, doesn't make any secret of it. He says don't trust the government, don't trust me, just trust yourselves.
He's hit a nerve. Millions -- millions -- watch him at five in the afternoon!
Never mind that these days, O'Reilly regularly pulls in well over a million more viewers in his 8 p.m. slot than Beck does in his 5 p.m. slot. Or that advertisers -- by Murdoch's own admission -- have moved from Beck's program to O'Reilly's. Beck is the one Murdoch brags about.
Is Murdoch out of touch with what is happening at his own network? Is his defense and praise of Beck an accident? That seems unlikely, given that he views the network as the jewel of his empire. When asked earlier this week by Fox Business' Liz Claman what News Corp.'s best growth market is, Murdoch said, "Our best growth engine right now is in this country." When Claman pressed for specifics, Murdoch immediately responded, "Fox Business. Fox News. Seriously."
He later noted "other cable channels" -- though not by name -- and gave "Fox Broadcasting Company" a shout-out, but it's clear that he believes financial future of News Corp. as a whole is tied closely to the financial future of Fox News.
Murdoch has quite consciously pushed Beck to the forefront at Fox News, and with him the type of paranoid, incendiary rhetoric and wild inaccuracies with which some Fox journalists are growing increasingly uncomfortable.
With a directive straight from the top of News Corp., Roger Ailes quickly fell back into line as Beck's key backer at Fox News.
Ailes came roaring back to Beck's defense this week in an interview with Kurtz after prominent Jewish leaders and Holocaust survivors condemned Beck's three-day attack on financier and philanthropist George Soros.
In the special series -- which ran from November 9th to 11th and was heavily promoted by Fox News -- Beck falsely accused Soros of being a Holocaust collaborator and repeatedly attacked Soros with anti-Semitic stereotypes, referring to him as a "puppet master" and accusing him of controlling the media, the political process, and the global economy.
Kurtz, now with The Daily Beastreported that Ailes offered a "spirited defense" of Beck in the wake of his recent attacks on Soros, and that Ailes had even reached out to the Anti-Defamation League -- one of the groups that condemned Beck's "puppet master" series -- to smooth things over.
In fact, according to Kurtz's interview, Ailes' only real gripe with Beck seems to be that Beck criticizes Republicans too much. Ailes told Kurtz: "Beck trashes Republicans every night. I've said to him, 'Where the hell are you going to get your audience if you keep this up? You're trashing everyone.'"
Kurtz added: "There's one criticism that Ailes doesn't want to hear. He admonished the staff after unnamed Fox journalists told me they are worried that the divisive Beck is becoming the face of the network. 'Yeah, shut up,' says Ailes. 'You're getting a paycheck. Go on the team or get off the team. Don't run around here badmouthing a colleague.'"
Indeed, Murdoch and Ailes have made their game plan for Fox News increasingly clear with their constant Beck boosterism. And ironically, Ailes' analysis of Jon Stewart in his interview with Kurtz seems to best apply to Fox News and Ailes himself:
"If it wasn't polarized, he couldn't make a living." ... "He loves polarization. He depends on it. If liberals and conservatives are all getting along, how good would that show be? It'd be a bomb.'"

  

Pope Ratzy's March Back To the Past

Pope Ratzy keeps on making bold moves to take Catholics back to the 12th Century.  He realizes the job may not be complete during his reign as chief protector of souls and the funny hat.  Ratzy has been rigging the future deck.  He keeps on appointing new Cardinals.  Cardinals are the ones who elect a new pope when the church has an old pope. In Churchese, old pope means dead pope.  Yep Ratzy wants to be sure the Cardinals will elect someone just like himself who will continue to restore the 12th Century.

Pope creates 24 new cardinals amid cheers

Don't we have national secrets?

Surely this must be covered under some national secrets or important stuff law.  After all, it is government, military and quite embarrassing.  That's what we have secret stamps for, they cover your ass (it's a really big  stamp).

Oops: Air Force sends tanker bid details to rivals

Attention Old Farts

Here's a way you can take it with you when you go.  All you have to do is use plastic.

Dying With debt: A dirty little retirement secret

There won't be any chance of a death tax if you charge more than your estate is worth and you get even with your urchin spawn too.

Be All You Can Be, Join the CIA Drone Corps

If we have to have wars, let's keep them honorable.  We need to return to olden days when both sides lined up opposite each other and kept on shooting until only one idiot was left standing.  Why on earth are we using drones run by the CIA to "fight" the AF-Pak war?  Oh, there is no Pak war is there.  We kind of declared a unilateral war, but not war in their nation.  From the perspective of the schmuck on the ground, do drone attacks seem more like terrorism or war?  If the Taliban sent a drone to the USA and dropped in on Jersey City, would it be called a sneaky terrorist attack? Or,would it just be the price paid when a people are at war?  Do most of us realize we are at war?

U.S. wants to widen area in Pakistan where it can operate drones

National Pig Sty

After the Supremes said, "there can be no limits placed on free shit," the GOP pounced without question.  They wallowed in their own waste for two years.  They shoveled their crap on TV, on Radio, on the Tubes, and in Print.    They found lots of wealthy folks who donated hot steaming piles to the GOP sty.   After a two year fecal festival the GOP regained feeding rights to the taxpayer funded House slop trough.  It's taken the Dems some time, but since winning elections is all that really matters, they have learned that their shit stinks too and it's okay.  So, watch out, here come the Dems, they are going to dive into the national septic tank.  Plop! Glop! Skorp! They are in the turd bin and are looking for Democrats willing to donate a lunker or two. Hey buddy, can you spare a loaf?  After all, they want to be the winner in 2012. I think the prize is a very tasty box of chocolate covered road apples.

Democrats strategists ready to take page from GOP playbook in 2012

Welcome to the Afghan Bowling Lanes

As Obama keeps throwing gutter balls in the 10th game of Bush's screwed up war, all the current bowler can do is hit the reset button, pray, throw the ball and hope he gets a strike.  Yep, the reset button is today's  strategy.  It's the new and improved NATO bowling team.

All Obama needs is Billie May to hawk the new Sham Wow war team.   Oh, hell, he's dead, then again this war has been on life support for years.  So there's no "but wait."  Oops there is, NATO is getting a bit tied of the Afghan war.  Members see new bowling alleys they'd rather play than stay at the Shrub's Shithole Lanes.  Bets on when we leave the emporium if it's left to folks like the Shrub and Obama?

NATO discusses 'new phase of engagement' in Afghanistan

Friday, November 19, 2010

That's enough ethics for the 111th!

Chuck E. Rangel will formally be called a rat by his peers.   Now what about the the ratette's trial?

Rep. Maxine Waters' trial delayed indefinitely

More Teapots and Tempests

First it was Olbermann, now it's Joe Scarborough.  Joe has been suspended because he made political campaign contributions.   In both cases, I don't quite get why anyone cares at all.  Both of them are not journalists.  They are not reporters.  They are entertainers, alright news entertainers.  They are about the same as John Stewart and the Daily Show.

MSNBC might do us all a favor and clearly indicate that if a show includes the name of a person or is on in prime time, then it is news entertainment, not news reporting.  It's hard to find straight news reporting on CNN, MSNBC or FOX at any time of the day.  Let the entertainers contribute to their heart's content, as long as they periodically remind viewers they are not reporters, they are entertainers.   Who cares what entertainers do with their money anyway.

Joe Scarborough suspended from MSNBC for political donations

No blackholes, yet!

However, the LHC team did round up a few dozen atoms of anti-hydrogen.  You know what that means don't you?  Yep, it can mean only one thing--starships!

Antimatter Breakthrough

Silver Lining

Even though the Dems lost control of the House there is some good news.  Most of the 60 seat loss came at the expense of Blue Dog Democrats.  Blue Dogs are really batshit eating trogs who wear jackass suits.

As usual the damage was actually self inflicted.  The House loss, was a loss, but it was not a total loss.  The Dems paid the price in '10 for their major mistake of pursuing trogs to run as Dems in '06 and '08.  Pelosi will be  Minority leader, so let's finish the job the voters started and purge the rest of them.

Oh, get rid of the jackass who pursued the Blue Dogs in the first place.  No Blue Dogs in '12.  Yellow dogs are always welcome.

Midterms pull Blue Dogs from power, cutting ranks in half

112th Congress

The third most important matter before the 112th's House members has been faced.  After job number 1, fund raising, job number 2, planning reelection in 2012, comes job number 3,  getting as cool office as possible.  After 1,2, and 3 who has time for much else?

The ins and outs of the Capitol Hill office lottery

Joke On

The House Ethics Committee, now that's an oxymoron, decided to let Chuck E. Rangel hang around.  They recommended telling the rat that he's a rat of rats.  The entire House will vote to censure or not to censure the bum after Turkey day.  If they had decided to kick the crook out, they'd set a precedent and then have to have 434 other hearings that would vacate the House.  

I'm sure the American voter does not know the meaning of either of  the words "best" or  "brightest."  I have not seen any evidence elected to show otherwise.  However, voters have given us an abundance of evidence that they can define define several words, such as cheap, sleazy, crooked and narcissist.  What other words have Americans shown they know?

Charlie Rangel censure recommended by House ethics committee

Obama's Bungled War

As we war on for a 10th year in Afghanistan, the answer of the month is "Tanks."  Oh, the question is "How do we achieve stalemate in our time?"  Yep, the aces of firepower have brought in tracked shock and awe.  They are certain the Abrams M1 tank will cow and defeat the Taliban who were deposed and removed from power in 2002 and are not the terrorists we were going to eliminate, but that's another war story, isn't it.

I don't know how you will react to the story, but the headline invoked memories of well tanked Russkies getting their big red butts kicked by Mujaheddin (Taliban today?) freedom fighters.   Will this become a massive case of deja vu all over again?  How much longer will we allow this waste to continue?  It no longer has  much to do with the freedom and safety of anybody, but is quite profitable for the MIC and other war leeches.

U.S. deploying heavily armored battle tanks for first time in Afghan war

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Question

It's almost Thanksgiving of 2010 and we don't know who is really seeking the GOP presidential nomination yet.  This is very strange.  Does it mean the GOP is having a FUBAR moment?  I hope so.   May uncertainty, confusion and despair thrive in their midst for more months than Mrs Jake and I have fingers and toes.  I may not be a total fan of Obama, but god, the troggy alternatives lead me to make a host of upchucky cakes.

Who will run to be batshit eater number one?

Investment Aces

Let's here it for the creative folks who gave us Swaps and CDOs.  They have been able to make money by securitizing just about anything under the sun.  Of course the creators of such opportunities do not invest in said opportunities unless they have to cover their asses to keep the con alive.  See, the money is in using other people's greed and money to make money by changing them for the creation of an opportunity, sales of an opportunity, and maintenance of the opportunities.  There is so much money in service of greed.  Hmm, investors might take a closer look at what they are doing to themselves.

Oh, the same type of folks whose creative endeavors brought down the U.S economy have found a new area of life to destroy--BASEBALL.  Yep, they will securitize the lives of 13 year old kids.  They will sell shares in his future.  If he makes it to the bigs, then they'll make a killing.  Once again who is making money how?

New Exotic Investment: Latin Baseball Futures

Another Bush Legacy

What's taken the AG so long?  The DNA waiver should have been trashed on day one of his admin.  This is the kind of thing that does not take study and review at all.  Oops, forget they have to study doing what is legally and morally right within the context of the bosses job number one--raising campaign cash and getting reelected in 2012.  It's so easy to forget that appointees serve at the pleasure of the first find raiser.

How did the DNA waiver become part of our Justice system?  Well, it's simple and was a normal practice for eight years, find a  Bush add a dollop of Congress, throw in a smidge of secrecy and out pops institutionalized injustice.  And with each iteration it's another legacy that others will have to clean up.  What a racket.

Attorney General Eric Holder to reverse Bush policy on DNA waivers

Newsweek

I don't know if Tina Brown can save Newsweek or not.  If she does, it won't be a news weekly at all.  Funny how the Economist thrives.  At any rate, for months it's been a third rate rag, however every once it a while they have an interesting piece.  The most recent issue I've received had an interesting article on the Presidency.  If you aren't a subscriber give it a read--

Hail to the Chiefs

I'm not sure why but I found the Newsweek site less than interesting.

Obsolescence

Is marriage passe?  Is it an artifact of the past?  A recent poll indicates that might be so, but is it?  If we eliminate the sacred side of the marriage--that's religion--is there a solid legal and economic basis for marriage?  Maybe as much as half of our population does benefit from marriage, so, for them it's tossed out the door.   The other half experiences a net gain and retains.  What's the future of marriage?

Oh, before we reject it take the time to go a library and review the "Family" literature from the late 60s and 70s.  Back then the family and marriage were seen as doomed!  Yep by 2000 there would be no families, the institution would have withered away in the U.S.A.  There predictions were not very accurate.  I'd suggest any predictions about the end of marriage be somewhat tempered.   Perhaps the poll is less a people's assessment of marriage per se and a more honest assessment of importance religion in our current lives.

Four in 10 say marriage is becoming obsolete

Baddest of the Bad?

I have a problem with the trial of Ahmed Ghalilani.   He was found guilty of  1 count but cleared of 284 others.  The trial was in a civilian court, not a military commission.  My problem is not that he was cleared of 284 counts, but of the reaction from the White House and members of Congress.  We, in theory, live in a country based on the rule of law, one law for all.  If a jury finds you guilty, you are guilty.  If it finds you innocent, you are innocent.  If there out disagreements with the outcome, you go back to another trial as long as there is no double jeopardy involved.

The harpies seem to have presumed guilt and the jury did not.  Obviously, the problem is the court.  As they begin to scream for military commissions we might pause and wonder what these folks want in a legal system.  I don't know why, but Star Chambers come to mind.  It's a sad commentary that the critics still think evidence acquired via torture is legal.  Oh,it is in the military commissions?  If so, maybe we need to revisit, not the Gitmo detainees, but our military courts and the central role of law in our history.

If the Gitmo folks are so damned bad, it should be obvious to a casual observer as well as a jury of 12.  Perhaps the government allegations have been mostly bullshit covering a massive case of CYA.  Oh what a wicked web we have woven in our government's recent Torquemadan revival.

Ahmed Ghailani, Gitmo detainee, acquitted of all but 1 charge in N.Y.

Oh, don't lose sight of the fact that the one guilty count will put the dude in a slammer for about20 years or more.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Here's one to think about

Should news organization's pay for stories, interviews or photos or not?  If an org pays for the stuff if prints, is it breaking an unwritten rule or is pay to play just the way it is today?  What are the boundaries, if any, on paying sources for information?  Does the reputation of the org matter more than cash that might be used to get the story?  Holding everything else the same for a moment, if the New York Times paid for stories, would you say they're then just another National Enquirer?  If both bought stuff would you equate Gawker with say "The Christian Science Monitor?"  If reputation matters, will cash for trash tarnish the stature of an org?

Up for audit: 'Checkbook journalism' and the news groups that buy big stories

The Greedheads are Feeding

When investors gobble up GM stock at $33 a share in an IPO it may be good and bad.  The stock is owned by us via our government.  Remember we bailed out the inept bumblers who ran GM into ground.  It's a way to get our money back and make a buck or two, maybe.   Investors have committed to purchase so many shares that GM and the Feds decided to unload 478 million shares, originally it was going to be 365 million shares.

Now, remember it was the investor class and their bankers who wrecked the economy, which, after over two years, still limps along in a 9.5% unemployed "recovery."  Will these folks find a way to use GM stock in some creative securitized way and insure that the stock becomes worthless and that GM has to go Chapter 7 in the near future?  I have confidence in the investor class.  They can and  will accomplish what GM managers tried to do for years.  How long do you give GM to survive without Federal management?  Would you buy GM stock today?

GM confirms expanding IPO by 31 percent

State's Rights Fans, Here's A "Four Loko" Question

Okay, should the feds, specifically the FDA be allowed to ban "blackout in a can" or not?  Some deaths may have resulted when college kids drank too much of the stuff.  One can of the stuff is described as being about the same as drinking a six pack and a cup of Joe.  I have no idea whether or not it was just binge drinking "Four Loko" or the deaths involved other factors.  Does anyone?  At any rate, is this the stuff of national banning or should it be left to the states?  If the beverage is deadly junk, then what about when one state does not ban the stuff?   What are the limits of regulation and what constraints can be placed on the market? When? Where?

Phusion Projects, maker of Four Loko, to remove caffeine from its alcoholic drinks

TSA may have over-reacted

The head of TSA told Congress, get x-rayed, get felt up or don't fly.  TSA is hellbent on keeping us safe.  I wonder if the 112th Congress, a bit dominated by the "Don't Tread on Me" crowd, might tell TSA boss John Pistole to go perform an unnatural act on himself?  Would they have the balls to cut off funding to TSA?  It might become interesting.

If folks do not like the federal strip searches they can force the feds to change, all they have to do is not fly and say why they are not flying.  If people took a month off from air travel, the Airline companies would then buy, it's called grievance redressing, some changes from the White House and Congress.  Hey, that's a pipe dream.  It won't happen, when did the American people ever voluntarily inconvenience themselves for anything?

If you won't submit to screening, you won't fly, TSA says

I'm not hearing any trogs and teabaggers getting their government off our backs, 10th Amendment forever, and deficit reduction blather going on this round of federal probing at all. Why?

Digging it deeper

PBS canned Juan Williams.  It was a mistake.  That action provided the GOP with attack ammo and even lost some supporters along the way.  Williams was trog in a liberal suit and not worth the attention he received.  It cost PBS and will cost them over the coming budget year or two.  Now, PBS has done it again.

As giving Williams the shaft was lamely defended by saying "it was just a policy enforcement decision," now "time constraints" are the only reason Tina Fey's acceptance speech--loaded with some funny barbs about conservative women--was edited down to almost nothing.  The funny material was not aired.  The funny material was, let's say, not funny to trogs like Palin et al.  So much for PBS's integrity.

PBS cuts Sarah Palin jokes from Tina Fey special

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Strip Searching

I guess strip searches is how the President makes us safe and secure.  It's a most odd way to do job Number 1, raising campaign funds and getting reelected.  How do you feel about those full body scans?  Ready for a pat down?  Okay, what will TSA do when a butt bomb makes it onto a plane?  Then, the snap of latex glove will acquire a whole different meaning for air travelers.

I don't like the feds being in charge of air security.  This crew, TSA, is managed by the same folks who cannot even keep our roads repaired, our damns intact and and the lights running much less operate in a balanced budget.  The pols gave us the economic meltdown and now we go along with their strip search requirements.  Damn, we are a strange people.

Look, government has no business being in airplane security.  Government can spy and ferret out bad guys, but damn, get them out of the airports.  If travelers want security, then they need to pay for it.  Security is best left to the individual airlines.  If an airline wants to give you a pre-flight probe, then you can fly with them or find another probeless airline.    If airline X has planes that blow up, they will be out passengers very quickly.  This is an area where the market will work better than all those elected and appointed numbnuts who cannot think past the next election.      

Now this is a real legacy

As the Shrub pursued his quest to be known as a pretty good president, he stared a couple of wars, wrecked the nation's economy and trashed all the rights our citizens used to enjoy.  Today one of his legacies requires air travelers to either pose for some naked pornlike xrays or be aggressively patted down.  It's gotta be a good feeling to know you will go down in history as the president who laid the foundation for making citizen strip searches a mandatory travel requirement.  Every time an employee cops a feel it will make us all safer, right?  That Shrub guy is one warped little guy.  Wonder what his parents did to him as a kid?  Don't like the TSA and what it's doing these days?  If not, let your Congressman know and opt out.  Oh, send the Shrub a note too.

Scanners and pat-downs upset airline passengers

10th Amendment Fans Take Note

Hey there, state's rights fans, here's another issue for y'all to get all frothy about.  The feds are going to get on the backs of motorcyclists.  Well, actually it's their heads as they move to require all states to make motorcyclists wear helmets.   Break out those "Don't Helmet on Me" flags and let your Congressman know how you feel.  Of course if you  like the idea, you can let your Congressman know it's a good idea.

Feds say all motorcycle riders should wear helmets

How's Your401(k)?

Back when the Shrub was wrecking the nation, the economy collapsed.  My 401(k) took a very large hit.  Whose didn't.  The GOP stole a lot of value from me.  Now, that a Democrat is in the White House, my 401(k) is finally back to where it was when the Republicans stole my money.  Funny how it works that way.  Can someone explain to me why GOP is called the business party?  I've done better in the market under two Democrats--Clinton and Obama--than I have under two Bushes and a Bonzo.  Now why would anyone want the GOP to return us to the "good" old days of Bush?  

Which Side is Yours

Assuming you want "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to become a chapter in our military's history sooner rather than later what would you do with the current Defense Appropriation Bill?  It contains language the says DADT is outta here, now.

One group says let's not put the money at risk, take out the DADT verbiage and give the War Dept. it's cash.  The other side says pass the bill as it stands, if you don't end DADT you don't get the green.

I like the group that says pass it as it stands.   Gee, it might be one way to begin controlling spending, they'd have to just go from one continuing resolution to the next as the Senatorial opponents of DADT repeal sink deeper and deeper into the quickmire of bigotry.

Activists split over 'don't ask, don't tell'

Obama's Bungled War

Let's see, Petraeus has been blowing his "surge is working" horn in Afghanistan.   As he's been tooting away the head of the Afghan government, President Karzai,  has been requesting that we sort of back off all the bombing, shooting and other war like stuff.  Karzai thinks we can stand down a bit.  Now that's an oops in the making isn't it?  Do the Afghanis want a timetable?  Can we import a SOFA from Baghdad?  Or do others really want us to hang around?  Don't forget the  Bungled War review is still on for December.

Afghan officials play down Karzai comments


You can bet there is a large contingent of Afghani officials who do not want us out. We have gold. They do not. They really like gold. Damn, are we leasing the battlefield from them? That is just strange.

Cyberwars

The Stuxnet computer worm appears to have been designed to seek out and destroy centrifuges in Iran.  The worm would make the machines go a tad to fast.  If an object spins too fast it will break apart.  Centrifuges are a bit delicate and spin in a very controlled manner.  Stuxnet appears to have had some code that would tell the gizmos to whir at self destructing speeds.  Gee, Stuxnet is a suicide virus.  What is it with the Middle East and suicide?

Stuxnet worm possibly made to cripple Iran centrifuges

Good Week for Black Holes

Yesterday I posted a piece on black hole burps. Today, it's newborns!  Yep, the stargazers have found a brand new black hole!  They've been watching it grow from a fading ember of a star into a baby matter sucking black hole of doom!  Of course, than damn thing is really 50,000,000 years old--it takes time for light to get here from there, but hey, to us it's looks like a matter sucking tyke.

Hm, all this black hole news makes me wonder.  Can god burp a baby black hole and not get sucked in?  Maybe Nietzsche was partially right.  God is dead, but he's only kinda, sorta dead.  See, god hit that old event horizon as he burped a babe and now resides inside what has grown into the mother of all black holes.  Talk about black holes in the hands of an angry god,  man, the next big bang is really going to be huge.  Do you think god will create black holes in the next universe?

Scientists witness apparent black hole birth

It's a weird world

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Senator Turtle Recants

Yep, Mitch McConnell, a.k.a Turtleman, has changed his mind about earmarks! Last week he defended earmarks. Over the weekend, tea party types talked about making turtle soup. Yesterday, Mitchiepoo decided that earmarks are bad, very bad. What a putz.

GOP leader in Senate backs a ban on earmarks

Rat Bastard Trial

The Ethics Subcommittee tried Rep. Charles Rangel yesterday.  They agreed,  Charlie is a rat bastard.  There's no dispute over his behavior.  As they did so, the elderly rat bastard walked out of his trial.  It was a great photo op for all with several quotable huffs and puffs.

Now, the committee has to decide, given that there is no dispute about Chuck's behavior, since he was and is a real rat bastard, is it any big deal or not?  Compared to the 434 other rats in the House, is Rangel more bastardly than any other member.  That's got to be a damned hard decision, it's not even a case of the pot calling he kettle black, it's a case of one rat calling another rat a rat.  Will Chuck E. Rangel be found guilty of being a rat bastard, er, make that be found guilty of being a typical Rep.?

Rangel walks out of House ethics trial

Monday, November 15, 2010

Trog and Teabagger Alert

Let me see if I have this right Reaganauts, government is too big, right?  Okay, we need less government and more free market.  We cannot afford to have government on our backs.   Government bureaucrats should not be able to tell anyone how to run their business or make the stuff they sell.  Okay, I hope it's a teabagger that does not get the needed shock from a defibrillator because it's a malfunctioning piece of crap.   Myself I'd opt for a whole lot more regulation.  How about you?

FDA: Defibrillators malfunctioning too often

Investors are wrecking the economy

We all now have a basic understanding of what investment houses did to us via the housing bubble. They securitized debt and made more money than god. To keep making money, they needed more debt. More debt was provided by sub-prime mortgages. Goldman's, for example, made money, not on holding the securitized debt per se, but through creation, sales, and maintenance fees. Investors took the real risk, made money, then really lost their asses.   Goldman's got spanked a bit.

They are still securitizing debt. SWAPS and CDOs still thrive in a largely unregulated market. As greedheads look for new products to create and hawk, they found life insurance policies. Yeah they buy and securitize life insurance policies. When Granny taps out, investors rake in the proceeds. Okay, anything else new?

How about lawsuits. Today it's just bankrolling them, but you can bet that securitization is just around the corner.  Invest in the class action lawyer, charge interest, and the investor cashes in win or lose.   Is this is how folks have decided to make it rich, is it any wonder the USA will soon be eating China and India's dust?

Putting Money on Lawsuits, Investors Share in the Payouts

HuH?

Senator McNasty will always call for new studies.  Hell, if he was only person on the planet who opposed DADT, he'd demand studies on his own sorry carcass.  He's a puny person.  Why does anyone listen to this schmuck?

McCain wants study of 'don't ask' repeal on troop morale

Pipe Dreaming....

1. Senate Democrats are expected to elect the same party veterans as their leaders when they return to work this week, but a new class of junior lawmakers is exerting its influence by challenging the chamber's sacred traditions and the partisan, top-down governing style that has marked the past two years.

2. A top goal for '06 and '08 Democrats is to change Senate rules that allow a single member of the minority party to prevent legislation from advancing. They want the Senate to take a more entrepreneurial approach to crafting bills, rather than falling back on the same veteran chairmen and their pet policy prescriptions. And they are unwilling to write off Republicans, viewing the opposition as the linchpin to advancing Democratic goals.

3. Bets?

This Bothers Me

Should University presidents be paid like CEOs?  For some reason that sticks in my craw a bit.  I have feeling the big bucks really result from federal dollars supporting all these schools.  Take away the federal dollars and public and private University salaries would come down, way down.  These folks are just one more segment of our population that lives on the pad.  Want to end this type of excess?  It's easy--get rid of the Department of Education and federal education loan programs of all kinds.  If schools have to compete for students with limited cash, the retail prices will go down.  Let the market work in higher ed.

10th Amendment fans, take on something you can show to be a serious usurpation  of state's rights, then take actions to correct the wrong.  Current education policy, procedure and law is one such area.  It goes beyond just abolition of the DOE, but it's a good discussion starter.

Million-dollar college presidents on the rise

And in the middle ring of the Circus tent...

The election is over.  The surviving reelected Dems have been outfitted with ass prosthetics, the rest, who had their entire butt removed by voters, are bandaged sufficient to keep blood off the upholstery.  The 111th Congress limps back into session today.

It's called a lame duck session, but we know that's a polite way of referring to a rump session of losing one cheek wonders.  In January, the Dems will have to give up the cool offices and pass the gavel back to the batshit eaters.   I wonder what it feels like to have salt poured on an open butt wound?   It's gotta hurt.

As pain permeates the House Dems, one of their fellow butts for brains brothers, who lost one cheek but was was reelected, may lose the other cheek.  Yep, it's Charlie Rangel trial day.  Will Rangel lose his ass or be allowed to remain as one more half assed House Democrat in the 112th Congress?

House panel to begin Rangel ethics trial


It's Lame Duck Time

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mapping the invisible

Dark matter is invisible. It's everywhere in the universe. No one has ever seen, touched, held, manipulated, or counted any of it. It makes up about 25% of our universe. There's no darkmatterometer that clicks, whirs, or beeps when you're near some. It's not part of our sense based reality. So how can anyone map dark matter? It helps to be quite clever and know a thing or two about astrophysics. Dark matter does affect large glumps of ordinary matter. Ordinary matter is us and all the stuff we sense, about 5% of the universe. If dark matter's effect on ordinary matter can be shown, then you can indirectly map where it is (remember this is on a bodaciously humongous galactic scale, it's not like a map of anyone's hometown). Now about the other 70%, dark energy...

Hubble Helps Build Most-Detailed Dark Matter Map Yet

Whazzat?

This a black hole burping after a big meal.

800_nasa_gamma_label_101111.jpg

I wonder what happens when one farts? Lays a loaf?

And we're off to 2012

Gee, who'd a guessed that Obama was going to try for a second term?  Hell, that's all he's been doing from day 1.  Need some evidence?  Okay---Obama adviser will leave WH next year to start 2012 re-election bid.  However, should Obama run for a second term?  Some folks think he shouldn't--To be a great president, Obama should not seek reelection in 2012.


Myself, I'd like to see him run, but he has to be vigorously challenged and lose the party's nomination.  Maybe then we could rid our selves of the Demicans, Dixiecrats, and Dunderheads.

Can you balance the budget?

Give it a try--

Budget Puzzle: You Fix the Budget

Crazy Jesus People Need Not Read This, Everyone Else Please Read On

The climate is getting a bit warmer.  Our actions have increased the average temperature a bit.  As a bit here and a tad more there continue, the cold stuff suffers.  The cold stuff is ice.  It's melting.  If a glacier that  rests on bedrock melts, it adds water to the ocean.  If the ocean has a net gain of water it gets deeper.  The increased depth is most apparent on the coasts, particularly the low coastal areas.  It may be melting a bit faster than expected.  How does a 10 foot increase by 2100 sound?  It is possible.

As Glaciers Melt, Scientists Seek New Data on Rising Seas

Gee how many feet higher would the Atlantic have to go to make the Chesapeake Bay just part of the Atlantic? Hey if all the ice in the Antarctic melted off....

Here's Why Transparency is Needed All The Time

Should we, through our government, after ridding the world of Hitler and his Nazis, have given aid and comfort to some of the war criminals?   Was it okay to bring them into this country and work to prevent their detection by others just because they had a skill we wanted?  It's something to ponder as we look at our world today.  Did we lost sight of the rule of law back then as we have of late?  Would we, our government, pull such boneheaded stunts if our actions were transparent and not hidden by a convenient "top secret" national security stamp?

Nazis Were Given ‘Safe Haven’ in U.S., Report Says