Saturday, February 26, 2011

This Week from Bob Park

Bob Park on cell phones ---

2. EPIDEMIOLOGY: RELATIVELY INEXPENSIVE UK STUDY SAYS IT ALL.
There has been no increase in brain cancers in the UK since the
proliferation of mobile phones in the 1990s. his firm conclusion comes
from a study released by the University of Manchester this week. All the
researchers required were laptops to access publicly available data from
the UK Office of National Statistics. Contrast that with the 10 year, $14
million case-control study of cell phone use in 13 countries carried out by
the World Health Organization. The costly study seemed unable to draw any
firm conclusions, http://bobpark.physics.umd.edu/WN10/wn052110.html . An
important branch of medicine, epidemiology is concerned with the
distribution of disease, but in the case of electromagnetic radiation (EMF)
it got off to a bad start. In 1976 an unemployed epidemiologist, armed
with a list of addresses of childhood leukemia victims, drove around Denver
looking for common environmental factors. She saw a lot of power lines.
Environmentalists saw brain cancer. Tort lawyers saw class-action
lawsuits. Epidemiologists saw full employment. But cell-phone radiation
just doesn't cause cancer. Do cell phones have any observable effect on
our brain? Let's see.

3. MICROWAVING THE BRAIN: IS THERE AN OBSERVABLE EFFECT?
Cell phones went from zero to ubiquity in a single decade. The Journal of
the American Medical Association this week reported an NIH study of 47
healthy recruits injected with a glucose solution and then exposed for 50
min to radiation from a hand-held mobile phone. The side of the head the
phone was held against was switched randomly. Positron Emission Tomography
(PET) scans exhibited changes associated with glucose metabolism on the
side of the brain closest to the cell phone. This was said to demonstrate
that exposure to cell phone radiation activates the brain, but "the
clinical significance of this finding is unknown." Hmm, that's sort of
limp. I am hopeful that someone will explain to me how the effects of
metabolism are distinguished from changes in blood flow associated with
thermoregulation. The only effect of microwave photons is to excite
molecular vibrations (heat). Blood serves as a coolant to keep the
temperature of the brain nearly constant in spite of cell phone radiation.

Better Advice

The Brits suggest no more than 2.5 ounces of red meat a day.  The Scandinavians are okay with a bit more.  Good old number one doesn't want to interfere with meats sales (lots of campaign cash there) so it doesn't give much advice.  Here's my advice, if you cannot go veghead all the time, then how meat of any kind,  no more than 3 days out of 7.  You will be surprized at the positive effects.

New U.K. guidelines: Eat less red meat

Legacyland

The Shrub built his kind of government in Iraq.

Ten killed in protests across Iraq


Did you expect otherwise?  Come on, the guy's a C- at best. Why do you think he was elected twice? Folks wanted a president dumber than they are. They succeeded.  Geeesh.

Egypt--Democracy Fans Take Note

Have you made your bets yet?  A year from now, will Egypt be all abustle with freedom, democracy and liberty?  Will it be re-Hosnied?  Will there be a new dictatorship in place?  I put my money on Hosnification once again.  Come on, democracy, liberty, freedom in an Arabic state?  I'd like to be wrong, but I doubt that the dominant religion really supports civil society one bit.

Tens of thousands of protesters returned Friday to Tahrir Square, the site of demonstrations that led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak two weeks ago, to keep up the pressure on Egypt’s military-led transitional government.


But by early Saturday, the military made it clear there would be limits to further dissent as soldiers and plainclothes security officers moved into the square, beating protesters and tearing down their tents, witnesses said.


Egyptian Military Cracks Down on New Protest

The GOP's Planned Parenthood

No, the GOP has not developed a heart.  They still do not care about women's health one iota.  They still want to kill Planned Parenthood.  I guess they figure there are donations and votes in every attack on human decency.  Well, the Dems can do a tit for tat on these schmucks.  The GOP supports subsidies to killing people too.  Yep they send money to NASCAR!

What?  The Trogs use the military, of course, to pass tax dollars to NASCAR.  I never thought about NASCAR as part of the MIC, but what the hell.  Come on, why do people watch car races?  That's simple, they want to see cars eat the wall, have huge wrecks and some death.   Should tax dollars be used to sponsor murder?  Well, if no, then bye-bye NASCAR and Planned Parenthood.  Be careful of how you defend your requests.  No tax dollars to Planned Parenthood, then no tax dollars to NASCAR.

Something GOP doesn't want to cut: Funding for NASCAR

Stereotypes?

It seems a bit odd and quite stereotypical, that the first male social secretary is openly gay "...with a penchant for outrageous humor."  Today, the social secretary, tomorrow the Secretary of State?  Why not State today?  It's good to see barriers fall, but sometimes as they topple they buttress the stereotypes--they take a more work and more time to be rid of.  Am I wrong?

Jeremy Bernard is first male, gay social secretary for White House

Wisconsin Sucks

The Gov. of Wisconsin, in his next move to bust unions, will layoff 12,000 state employees.  I doubt that voters elected the putz to bust unions.  I have a feeling they were more interested in jobs, taxes, and budgets.  I am surprized that the guy was elected at all.

He is part of right's war on the working class and middle class.  There has been a class war going on for decades.  The rich and their minions--the GOP and the Clinton Dems--have been taking everything they can from the rest of us.  Where do you think all the money has gone anyway?

If  the Governor's  latest actions succeed, then get ready for even further degradation of the middle and working class.  If you, dear reader, are in the middle class or working class and do not support unions, then you are committing economic, cultural,  and civil suicide.   If you work for a living, remember, you are just an expense to your boss.  You will be minimized.

Unless you want to return to the good old days, pre-1900, you better demand pay and benefits.  Unionized state workers should piss people off, but not because they of their pay and benefits, but because the rest of us volunteered to take it in the shorts.  We should be angered at our own stupidity, not their smarts.  If your butt  hurts, remember you did it to yourself.  Join state employees, get organized and take back the fruits of your labor.  Screw the rich and their thralls, what the hell do you think they've been doing to you?

Wisconsin Gov. Walker threatens to trigger layoffs for thousands of public workers

Friday, February 25, 2011

Pech Valley Bets?

How long will it take for the bad guys to reappear in greater numbers in the Pech Valley?  It was, under the old strategy, considered so absolutely vital to win the war.  Yep, we had to control the valley.  What the hell, change the strategy and who cares about the damned place.  What of the 103 guys who died in the Pech?

U.S. Pulling Back in Afghan Valley It Called Vital to War



Look, war is idiotic in the first place.  It's also idiotic in the second place.  Hell, it is idiotic.  And why are at war in Afghanistan?  Uh, who's in charge?

World Oil Markets in Turmoil

Oil is why we give a rats about Libya.  There's nothing else there.  Gadaffi and minions are still killing Libyans.  Now, about the oil....

Tripoli bracing for more clashes as government offers pay hikes, money to families

Legacyland--Day of Rage

What?  Folks in Iraq don't like the Shrub's creation?  He spread liberty chips all over the damn place, dipped fingers in democratic purple ink, and created a govment.   What's wrong with these citizens?  What will the government do?  Well, a small bit of shock and awe will teach to mess with Maliki!  Water-boarding coming soon!

5 killed as Iraqis protest in 'Day of Rage'


Ain't nation building fun!

Medal Winner Will Investigate Medal Winner Wannabes

Do you trust the U.S. military?  I haven't for a long time.  Generals and Admirals have their own agenda which little to do with the defense of the United States.  That agenda is paid for by the U.S. taxpayer.  We already spend seven times what China spends on "defense."  Military commanders are active participants in the military industrial congressional complex bilking of the Treasury.  War is still a racket.    Commanders financial and career interests come well before any of the patriotic rhetoric they spew to deflect our attention from the truth of their actions. You can hide a lot of malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance under a flag.

I doubt if Petraeus's investigation will yield have a fair, honest, complete and open investigation of the Psy-ops program used on Senators to garner more cannon fodder, guns, and green for the long lost war in Afghanistan.  In other words, it will be like Abu Gharib--the only real loser was the General who did the investigation, he had to retire.   Did the Army use Py-ops on Senators?  You bet they did.  Do you still trust the military? Why?

Military to investigate claim that psy-ops team was used to influence U.S. senators

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rolling Stone-- Another General Doo-Doo

This time it's Psyops on Senators.  That's a major no-no.  What they hell they did a version of it in Vietnam at MACV HQ.  Yep, Willard's dad was brainwashed in Saigon and today they're at it in Kabul.  Damn these guys can't get enough medals.

Another Runaway General: Army Deploys Psy-Ops on U.S. Senators

T-Bill Bullpucky

Every time I see Trog on the tube, I get ready for some horseshit about the Chinese owning us.  They're willing and able to imply that the Chicomms have bought all our debt.  That's nonsense.  We owe about $14 trillion, that's not nonsense.  To whom do we owe that huge sum?  Well, about $4 trillion is owed within our government.  One part of government borrowed from another part and gave them a T-Bill IOU--think Social Security.

The rest is called public debt, about $10 trillion worth.   Who owns it?  Well about 53% of it is held domestically.  Yep, individuals, banks, pension funds, and so on own their own debt.  The U.S. has lots of holder of T-Bills, they are a very safe investment.

The other 47% is held by foreigners.   China holds 9.8% of  our debt, then comes Japan at 9.6% followed by the United Kingdom at 5.1%.  Oil exporting nations--think Arabs--hold about 2.6% and the balance is held by lots of other countries.

So who owns us?  For whom do we toil?  Ourselves!  Come on, quit listening to pols, especially a Trog, for economic and fiscal information.  And for god's sake do not listen to talk radio for info about T-Bills, debt and tax policy.  Read a newspaper, go to the U.S. Treasury website, use the Internets and find out what's fact and what's bullpucky.

He's so easy to forget

Rod Blago... is back.  Yep, the feds are going to retry the schmuck, but on fewer counts.  I guess this means we'll have to listen to talk about his trial on cable newstaninment.  Oh, we don't have to listen, we can turn the damn thing off.  Hey, it's as good as any other reason.  To avoid an overdose of Blagovation, quit watching cable news today, turn off talk radio,  and read instead.    

Prosecutors seek to drop some Blagojevich counts

The Job of the House

Members of Congress, especially in the House, are elected to represent people in making laws, appropriating money, and keeping the ship of state more afloat than not.   On that last one, none of them have done that well--they've run the ship into a $14 trillion deficit sandbar.   Since we keep electing the same dorks to office, this must be where we want the ship.   The House built this sandbar of debt--both parties have worked hard to create this mess, it's very, very bi-partisan.

Most of House work is supposed to be voting.  Given all the blather from the 2010 election you'd think the members of the House would be hard at at work all the time.  Damn, only 174 have bothered to vote on every vote in the 112th.  That's not even a 50% voting average.  So much for doing their job.  Oops, I forgot their real job is hustling cash to run for reelection.  Funny how we keep voting for them.  Until the reelection rate for incumbents is under 50%, I'd say voters like the nation exactly as it is; that's sick, dangerous, and quite sad.

Handful of House members have missed 40 percent of votes

Libya

In Libya, the dictator won't give an inch.  The rebels have taken a couple of yards.  Gaddaffi's is now killing his fellow citizens to restore order.  He's in Tripoli.  Oh, don't forget what really matters in this shithole of the world--oil.  Yep, oil went over $100 a barrel because of the rebellion in Libya.  I have a feeling heads of state and oil industry folks would prefer Gaddafi to put this down and get back to normal, everyday, suppression and murder of all living things in Libya.  We really need to get off of all oil.  Until we do, every little shithole that discovers oil will have a dictator whom we support in exchange for the goo.

Gaddafi's son denies crackdown; loyalists reportedly shoot opponents in streets

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pirates

Four Americans were killed by Somali pirates.  The military says the pirates killed them after firing upon the navy vessel.  The military says the Americans were dead before they fired shots and killed some of the pirates.  Some surviving pirates said the military fired first and boarded their ship causing the slaughter.

I will accept what the military says, not because I believe they are telling the truth, but because it makes a great reason to eliminate the damned pirates once and for all.  Along the way,  I hope someone will follow Reagan's advice, viz a viz the military account--trust but verify.  I do not trust the military types much at all any more.  They've been politicized and are just one more government group living off the federal teat.  The MIC is very successful.

A U.N. directed armada needs to go over there and just sink pirate ships.  It a boat looks like it might be a pirate ship, sink it fast.  Do not even bother recovering the pirates bobbing along in the water, let them drown.  Sink the ships.  If more appear, sink 'em.  No questions need be asked, no quarter should be given.  If it's small vessel and it's in the piracy area it should be sunk.  Fishing vessels might consider remaining in port while the piracy problem is being addressed.   Solve the damn problem today.  Oh, we do have to make sure we hand out lots of medals too, military types love medals.  It can be the YHHABOR Service Award (Yo Ho Ho and A Bottle of Rum).      

Deaths of Americans at hands of Somali pirates a troubling escalation in violence, experts say

Competition in the Auto Biz

If you were afraid that Ford was not a competitor with Toyota and GM, rest assured they have been solid competitor.  Today we have proof via their best selling F-150 truck.  Yep--

Feds push Ford to recall 2005-06 F-150s over airbags



Can you imagine having an air bag inadvertantly go off in your face as you cruise down the Interstate?  Does anyone make a decent product any more?  Don't forget, Ford gave us the "Pinto"--that's early upper middle Moldavian for "Molotov cocktail on wheels."

What Happened to ODOMA, er, Obama?

After a couple of years, the guy's crack admin team now gets around to telling the Justice Dept. to quit defending the Defense of Marriage Act.  If it's unconstitutional today it was unconstitutional over two years ago.  It was unconstitutional when Clinton signed it into law.   Oh, forgot, Obama is running for reelection and he knows he has lost lots of voters.  I guess he's trying to regain the gay vote.  I wonder what he'll do for the progressive  vote?  Actually, considering the alternative-anyone in the GOP-he's got the votes.  It's the cash and free labor he's worried about.  Has DADT actually been revoked in the military yet?  Or are they still studying how to implement the change?

Obama team says it won't defend law that bans gay marriage

Oscar time again

I have not seen many of the movies up for Oscars this year.  There are no theaters in this area.  I use Netflix instead.  I have seen "Winter's Bone," "Toy Story 3," and "The Kids are All Right."  Of those three, Winter's Bone is far and away the best.  If the other pictures are better, great, but I have a feeling, once again the really best film will not win.  What's your take?

Cast Your Votes

More Mine is Bigger Than Yours

Speaker Boehner blames any future shutdown on the Dems since they won't compromise.  Of course compromise means meeting the GOP 99.999999% of the way.  I think the Dems might be permitted to  keep one Planned Parenthood office in Chicago open, on Saturdays,  once a month.

Unless the Dems do as bid, that's the compromise, the GOP will shut 'er down.  Come on, the party of no, is also the party of no compromise.  It's their way or no way.  The voters did not vote for this kind of bullshit.  The voters expressed a bit of displeasure with both parties.  Elected member from both parties continue to live up to their established sleazy standards.   And to think most of them went to law school.

Oh, how can a lawyer become even more untrustworthy?  That's  easy, just get elected to Congress.  I hope voters tale note and remove incumbents from both parties in 2012.  We need citizen legislators not party hacks.  Job number one should not be running for reelection.  While we're at it, let's make it one term in the Senate and no more than two in the House.  After serving in any elected federal office, make them return to the private sector--no more elections, no lobbying, etc.  Hm, one term presidents sounds better and better all the time.  

A New Volley From Boehner in Spending Dispute

Cell Phones

Do you read Bob Park?  If not, I suggest you do--

Here's a topical succinct observation from Mr. Park on cell phones and cancer:

No link to brain cancer was found in a 10 year, $14 million epidemiological study of cell phone use in 13 countries (the US was not among them); the study was led by the World Health Organization (WHO). So is it safe to use cell phones? Uh, the report doesn't exactly say, instead it concludes that "more study is needed." On the contrary, the WHO study itself was not needed. I remind you that flawed epidemiology led to the great power-line scare more than 20 years ago. Publicized by a series of ignorant articles in the New Yorker http://bobpark.physics.umd.edu/WN89/wn082589.html , it was a costly diversion that morphed into the cell-phone scare on Larry King Live http://bobpark.physics.umd.edu/WN93/wn012993.html . Epidemiology is a useful tool for identifying possible environmental hazards, but it is not science, or a substitute for science. The science of electromagnetic radiation is clear: photons with energies below the photoelectric threshold (extreme blue-end of the visible spectrum) are not cancer agents. The energy of the photoelectron threshold is about 1 million times the energy of a microwave photon. Blueberry consumption would have a greater chance of being linked to cancer. Even as I send this off, however, my mail is full of warnings from nonscientists about the dangers of cell phones.

Conspiracy Theories and Devil's Workshops

In the U.S. we are blessed with an abundance of conspiracy theories about everything under the sun.  Hell, we even have a conspiracy theory about conspiracy theories.   The net effect of so many theories is minimization of idle minds.  Imagine if all that mental energy were otherwise directed at the world as it actually exists.

Today, Pakistan is under the umbrella of a conspiracy theory.  Yep, they are convinced that the U.S. is using the CIA to hire thugs hellbent on destroying Pakistan.  The CIA and their thugs roam the countryside performing tasks designed by Washington to wreck Pakistan from within.

It's a good thing it's all a theory.  Hell, it was true, Pakistanis might drop by the Devil's workshop to find a plan of their own.  It is all a theory isn't it?

In aftermath of shooting, rising skepticism about American presence in Pakistan

Libya matters, why?

Qaddafi is not going to quit. He's fights on to retain his dictatorship. The press is not in Libya, so TV coverage is scant in comparison to Egypt. Does Libya matter? Look other than Israel, Egypt is a tourist destination--the pyramids. Libya is oil and gas production. Would we invade Egypt to assist "freedom" loving Arabs? No way, it's marble, desert, a couple of camels and a canal. Would we invade Libya? You bet, there's lots of oil in the desert. Ever read the history of Occidental Petroleum? If you haven't, take some time, and you will learn a lot about business, oil, and dictatorships.

New clashes reported in Tripoli; U.S. citizens evacuating

Unions

The Governor of Wisconsin is trying to eliminate unions from his state. The same goes for New Jersey, Ohio and Indiana. In all cases, they do not call it union busting, instead they talk about fiscal policy and budget balancing.

Unions have, once again, become the bogeyman of all that ails each state. Instead of rational analysis and reasonable solutions to problems, Republicans go after a non-budget item--the right to collective bargaining. The saddest part of all? Well, I fear lots of working people voted Republican.

Too bad voters had not read a bit of labor history before they elected management thralls into office. If they had, then there would be few Republicans in office in any of the union busting states. Make no mistake a bout it, the GOP is the party of business. Don't forget, to businessmen labor is just an expense that minimizes profit.

State budget clashes spread to Indiana, Ohio




Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Only Trogs Oppose Unions

It's funny how TV repeats and repeats more anti-union news than not.  Before long folks might get the idea  that most Americans oppose unions.  It would be easy to think a majority agreed with the Trogs in Wisconsin.  Guess what, it's not the case.  Most folks oppose what the Governor is trying to do.

61% oppose limits on union bargaining power

Scorecard! Get a Scorecard!

Arabs are revolting.  Revolting here, there, everywhere.  There are so many revolting Arabs it's hard to tell who's winning.  I guess god must approve these days, yesterday, god sided with the dictators.  Hmm, I wonder if the Imams, Ayatollahs and other clerics missed receiving a payment or two from the folks in charge.   We'll have to see which groups make successful offerings as stability return to the Middle East.  Until then here's an overview of revolters, revoltees, and others.

Arab world protests at a glance

bsp;

Wanna buy a County?

The way it's going in some of them, hang on a few years and you can pick one up for a song.  Well, it might cost a bit more, but 760 counties out of 3, 142 are losing population.  A dearth of births coupled with no jobs sends people packing.  The young move away.  The older ones, hang around, retire and die.  It's called a natural decrease.  Mining and manufacturing died off, then most of the other jobs died, now people die and finally a county will die.  I guess we should thank America's businessmen, they found bigger profits elsewhere.  Still think business types give a rat's about anything but profit?  

Census: Near-record level of US counties dying

Trogs Not Running

Pence bagged it awhile back.  Now it's Thune.  He'll hangout in the Senate instead.  He's a better debilitator than manager.  Who'll drop out next?

Sen. John Thune won't run for president in 2012

One Down?

Will he or won't he?  Will the poor white trash candidate run for the lease on Air Force On again?  It's sounding like he'll just stay on FOX and rake in the cash.

Does Mike Huckabee still want to be president?

Our Government in Action

Here's part of where our tax dollars go--

Raymond A. Davis, 36, has been detained in a Pakistani jail since his arrest. He has said that he opened fire on two Pakistani men after they tried to rob him at a traffic signal in Lahore. Pakistan contends it was murder.


President Obama and other senior administration officials have repeatedly described Davis as a diplomat who was assigned to the U.S. Consulate General in Lahore and have said he is entitled to immunity from prosecution in Pakistan.


But, in fact, Davis has spent much of the past two years working as part of a group of covert CIA operatives, whose mission appears to have centered on conducting surveillance of militant groups in large cities, including Lahore. Current and former U.S. officials said Davis had previously been employed by the sprawling security firm once known as Blackwater.



Raymond Davis, accused in Pakistan shootings, worked for CIA



Myself, I'd rather spend our tax money on rebuilding a school, providing food to the homeless, caring for the sick, you know all those little things we used to consider virtuous.  Instead we've placed a godly premium on death, we keep on killing, we keep on waging war.

Obama's Bungled War

We've got our usual tit for tat on civilian deaths in the Rubbleistan War.  We blew the crap out an area.  We know we killed some bad guys.  Our commanders in the ground feel another medal coming to their chests.

Oh, the locals say for every bad guy we took out, we took out  more civilians.  We promise to investigate.  They point to the dead and maimed kids.  We usually appoint a very bemedaled senior commander to look into it.  They get very adamant about our casual wastage of them.  Then we usually admit we blew the crap out to the area, and for every bad guy we had collateral damage of two kids, three women, one old guy and assorted goats.  Then I guess we make reparations--about $2.63 (I think that's a year's wages) a mushroom.  Our commanders go back into the ground and the locals go back to growing poppies.

This time around, our top, top commander in the ground says "no way" on kid killing and maiming.  Our troops had nothing but righteous kills.  Petraeus says the Afghans maimed and killed their kids to interrupt the operation and stop us from killing them.  The Afghans think he's sick.  This is very strange.  I think Dave has been in the ground a month or two too long.

Petraeus's comments on coalition attack reportedly offend Karzai government

If General Petraeus is correct, this "war" has gotten really fucked up beyond all recognition and it's time to come home.   If it's not true then we will not even achieve stalemate, it's time to come home.  This is a lose/lose situation.

On the question would adults, parents and others, intentionally damage/maim their children for some cause in a war?  Would they injure kids for gain?  Sure they do it without wars everyday everywhere.  Don't forget in so many areas of the world, women and children are chattel property owned by guys.  

Monday, February 21, 2011

This sucks

And I don't mean Pakistan not letting the guy go.  Geez, once again the CIA cannot do it's own work.  Hell they out source torture to Egypt.  Now one their hired thugs has been charged with murder.  Oh, the out rage, yeah, for me it's at the CIA for this kind of crap.  Now why to we have a CIA?  Pass the exploding cigars please.

U.S. official: Accused American in Pakistan a CIA contractor

Huge Costs are Kinda Relative

There are about 85,000 dams in the U.S.  We build them.  Then we assume they will take care of themselves.  They do not.  As a result we have about 4,400 dams in dangerous shape.  It would cost about
$16 billion over 12 years, that's 1.3 billion a year, to fix the damn things.  I can hear folks beginning to complain that it's too expensive, it will cost us too much, the economy sucks, and more.  Okay, how come those folks don't break a sweat at borrowing a trillion or so to pay for two useless idiotic wars.  Myself, I'd rather have safe dams at home than remain one more day in Iraq and Afghanistan.   I guess there is no Dam Industry Complex to lobby for dams.

Danger Pent Up Behind Aging Dams

Somebody needs to call Ghostbusters or someone

BP and Obama's compensation shill, Kenneth Feinburg, tells us the Gulf will be just fine and dandy by 2012.   Others think he's nucking futs.  NOAA, burned by doing as bid by pols, thinks it will take a bit longer than 2012.   How long?  Well, that's hard to say, but NOAA assures us the vast majority of oil  has degraded and is being consumed.  Well, other scientists who actually go to the bottom of the Gulf, take core samples and such, think it's gong to take even longer.  It's ugly down there.  Where'd all the oil go?  It went straight down, killed bottom creatures and keeps on killing them as the eco-system was wrecked.   Who you gonna trust-- a shill, an appointed lackey, or other scientists?  I'll go with the other  science types who do not work for our government.

Scientist finds Gulf bottom still oily, dead

How many planets?

The Milky Way Galaxy contains 50 billion planets.  500 million of them might support life.  That's a lot of ET homes.  Oh, by the way, the Milky Way is but one of 100+ billion galaxies.  That's even more aliens.  Don't forget that we are the aliens to our aliens.

Cosmic census finds crowd of planets in our galaxy

Shutdown

What happens if the Feds shutdown?  It's not pleasant at all.  It's also expensive in terms of forgone economic activity and the cost of cleaning up afterward.  If the GOP is determined to shut it down, I hope folks will remember and vote them out of office in 2012.  This is a case of throwing the baby, the bathwater, and bathtub all out at the same time.  Our economy is not in that great of shape right now.  This is the kind of jolt that can send it back into the septic tank.   And to think this is being done because the GOP think this is what voters really want.  2012 will be quite interesting.

What might happen if federal government shuts down again
 

Legacyland

Don't worry, life is still normal in the Shrub's legacy to the world--

Suicide car bomber kills 12 north of Baghdad

Bless my bearded Goby

I didn't realize that when God gave us dominion over the earth that meant we could, at will,  totally fuck up the ocean.  We're not quite done yet, but we've made tremendous progress.  Some day soon, the ocean will be full of sea life like the Goby--it's inedible by us.  That's progress? Well, no.  It is dominion?  Yeah, it's Libertarianism applied to fishing.  What about God?  Oh, come on, it's just us humans doing what we do best, shitting in our own nest.

Predator fish in oceans on alarming decline, experts say

Why Drones?

Do you understand why our government, through the CIA, uses drones to attack, destroy and kill folks who live in Pakistan (an ally)?  Granted, some of the folks the CIA targets are real bad guys, but why is it the CIA and why drones on an ally's sovereign soil (without their okay)?

I guess, without  torture, the CIA doesn't have as much to do.  At any rate, how is the exploding cigar crowd doing?   If we establish a righteous kill average, then we can evaluate the CIA aces and their clubhouse.  Okay, how does 2 out of 581.  That's two kills of real bad guys out of 581 attempts.  That's a lot of wasted cash--the drones do consume war materials--not too mention wastage of Pakistanis.   As an average it's less than 1% (0.34%).  If you were a batter in the bigs you'd have been sent off to the farm team long ago.  Hell, the farm team would have sent you straight home to farm your own farm

Is this just one more program that has attained a life of it's own?  If so, that means two things.  First, it's useful for managers to use in punching their career advancement tickets.  Yeah, spooky creds.    Second, it's a good tax transfer program--money moves from the Treasury into the private sector (military industrial complex).  As a bonus, it's all given the imprimatur of national security, so no one objects.  Fear is a two edged sword.  Oh, it's also easy for Congress to back--no dead U.S. cannon fodder, so no one pays much attention on cable news.  It's almost war free war.

Increased U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan killing few high-value militants

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Greedy Old Farts?

Here's a decent opinion piece on Social Security, especially if you think we live in a land of greedy geezers.  T'ain't quite true--

The nest-egg myth

Yum

Do you know of Yum Brands?  We've all eaten at Yum sometime in our lives.  Of course we didn't ask for Yum Fried Chicken, no we went to KFC!  Yum is KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver's, and A&W.

Now, guess whose picture may be second only to Mao in China?  Yep, the finger linking originator himself,  Colonel Harlan Sanders.  KFC is huge over in ChiComm land.  The Commies love KFC and KFC loves China.  Over 1/3 of Yums worldwide profit come out of China.  KFC is China's McDonalds.  Who'd a thunk it?  Oh, well, if you own Yum Brands stock, pay attention to China--if they decide to go all Commie again, your investment will be collectivized.

Local menu, managers are KFC's secret in China

A Bit Much

When I read this, I think I would like to see PETA show up, abduct the researchers, and fatten them up for a life of disease research.  Come on, do we really need to create obese monkeys to figure out that being a lardass will lead to diabetes?  There is a simple cure--tell the obese person that he or she is obese and that he or she has a choice.  They can eat and die from a variety of diseases (it is a kind of suicide).  Or they can quit stuffing so much food into their maw.  Unfortunately, the monkeys are owned property so who gives a rats, right?

Today’s Lab Rats of Obesity: Furry Couch Potatoes

Legacyland East--Hearts and Minds Again

We're hellbent on winning a stalemate, but along the way we lose the people we're trying to assist.  We lose some of them because we atomize them.  We lose others who watched us blow the crap out of their relatives, friends and neighbors.  But, hey, we don't count mushrooms, they're just wastage in our larger war, right?  Okay, what is the mission these days anyway?

Here goes--

Afghan government officials alleged Sunday that a U.S. military operation in the remote mountains of northeasternAfghanistan killed 65 innocent people, including 22 women and more than 30 children, the most serious civilian casualty allegation in months.


And ready for our guys--


American commanders went into crisis mode Sunday and launched an investigation into the incident in an attempt to find the truth and prevent the episode from damaging relations with the Afghan government.


However, we persist in old habits--


"It's up in the mountains, and it's not around villages, so we don't think it's very likely" they were civilians, the official said.

How's your shop run?

Is your business as successful as Google, Facebook or Twitter?  I'd  guess it's not.  And I'd also guess one of the main reasons is how your business is managed.  How are these very successful organizations run?  Well, begin with the word sharing, caring and add in a lot of group decision making.  Hey would your boss succeed at Google?

In a cutthroat world, some Web giants thrive by cooperating

Ready for some shutdown?

It appears to be on the horizon.  The Trogs are ready to play Rumplestiltsken, jumping up and down until they get they fiscal ways.  The Dems think the Trogs have gone to far.  And Obama, well, he doesn't like the GOP budget but may or may not  discover that he's been for it or against it.  We'll know before March 4th, that's CR do or die day.  If there's been no CR by then, then the federal government is running on vapors and will slowly grind to a halt.

While money will still be coming into Treasury, after March 4th, I think there is no authority to spend it.  I doubt if the feds can even borrow money without an appropriations act.  Of course, very important stuff will continue in operation--war #1, and war #2 and all the overseas military bases.  Health care will shut down.  Food Stamps will shut down.  Education will shut down.   Hmm, why not cut Defense (War) by $100 billion and keep all the other stuff? Oops, lots of federal ghost employees in so many Districts--and they vote.

Congress, Obama brace for showdown as government shutdown looms