Saturday, February 18, 2012

Another Question

Do you trust the cops these days?  Do you feel they are on your side and work for justice?  If not, why not?  Do you think that when Nixon declared the war on drugs, he guaranteed that people would relegate the cops to being just one more powerful group to stay as far away from as possible.  How much of policing in your mind comes from TV and drug busts?  Of course TV reflects reality, writers are creative, but they get most of their ideas from the newspapers.   War on drugs, good or damned huge mistake?

Hi Ho, It's Off to War We Go!

Iran cannot have the bomb, that's what our "leaders" say.  Nay, we will all perish if they get the bomb.  Screw it, let's be proactive and have a war, can we make it global? Can we use our nukes?  Why not?  End it an give it all back to the dinosaurs.

Iran poised for big nuke jump

Torgs Please Note

Boldest nuclear cutters recently? It's been GOP


The Obama administration's consideration of severe cuts in nuclear weapons generated a flurry of GOP criticism - "reckless lunacy" in the words of Arizona Rep. Trent Franks. But the historical record shows that in the two decades since the Cold War ended, Republicans have been the boldest cutters of the nuclear arsenal.

As I have pointed out several times, Republicans have massive problems with facts, reason and logic. What will they do if the Supremes decide that lying is not protected under the 1st Amendment (see earlier post)?

Trogs are really Trogs

Now the GOP won't support the Violence Against Women Act's reauthorization.  Of course they don't want to return to the good old days when guys could openly wear their wife beater shirts, wink, wink, nod, nod.  They will throw out the baby with bathwater because the renewal might include a few other groups they just can't bring themselves to see protected from domestic violence.  Who are they?  Go ahead guess.  It's the GOP, yeah Gays, Illegals and Indians...

The objections, led by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and a few conservative organizations, are not over the VAWA as a whole, but over a few new provisions in the reauthorization -- specifically, protections for LGBT individuals, undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic abuse and the authority of Native American tribes to prosecute crimes.


Remember is the GOP wins in 2012, it's 1850 here we come.

Culture Wars

With all the religious liberty claptrap that has bubbled up since Obama did his mandatory contraception insurance thing, I've come to a couple or three conclusions.  First, there are too many Catholic pundits and bobbleheads on TV news programs.  Second, no one seems to worry about pols doing Rome's bidding these days as they did when Kennedy was running for office.  Third, based upon what I've seen on TV, there is one group of people which is not needed in any public discussion of contraception/religion--women.

Once again the GOP has found a non-issue to flog.  They are pathetic.  They have again shown they have no core, hence Willard is actually their ideal candidate.

Here's a religious question

If you are a black female would you convert to Mormonism?  If you say yes, have you ever lived in Utah?  Now, if you are female of any flavor, would you voluntarily convert to Mormonism, or any of the other major religions?  Ditto on race?  Where do you wind up?  Okay guys, where do you plop down?  Myself, I think I'll explore Odin and his progeny.  I like the sound of Ragnarok.  Then again Druids have a way with trees and rocks.

Mindful of history, Mormon Church reaches out to minorities

Wow! This it is a great question!

As the Originalism Rocks tour continues, Roberts and the Robes have decided to sing about "lies." How many songs have been written about lying and cheating? This tune could become a hit, #1 with a bullet! Hit, if the Supremes decide that lying is not protected by the 1st Amendment!

What a novel idea, we have free speech provided that the speech is truthful. Damn, every current elected official could spend time in the Big House (isn't that what Mitt called it). I bet the RNC and DNC have booked a private gig for the Supremes. This song begins with a lie about unearned military medals and could go way beyond Stolen Valor.

Supreme Court to hear arguments on whether a lie is protected speech 

He lied, until he was caught. Now, the Supreme Court must decide whether the First Amendment protects Alvarez and other wannabes from prosecution. The consequences could stretch well beyond what lawmakers and veterans call stolen valor.


"If false factual statements are unprotected, then the government can prosecute not only the man who tells tall tales of winning the Congressional Medal of Honor, but also the JDater who falsely claims he's Jewish or the dentist who assures you it won't hurt a bit," Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals warned in a ruling that overturned Alvarez's conviction under the Stolen Valor Act, which criminalizes false claims to military honors.

Work and Life in These United States

The nature of work has changed over the past couple of decades.   Remember down-sizing?  How about the rustbelt?  Have benefits gone south?  Oh, does anyone still offer defined benefit pensions any more?  Yeah, NAFTA, Wal-Mart, and APPLE didn't cause the changes but they reflect a work world that benefits them not the workers.  In short, we're becoming one large FOXCONN.

Surge in temp workers reflects fundamental change in American workplace

I think someone needs to get organizing and revive a union or three as it becomes more and more a handful of "owners" and a whole lot of modern day serfs.

Newt is angry

Gee, folks won't let him get free airtime and he's pissed.  What a guy.  This is presidential material?

Gingrich chides Romney, Santorum for skipping Ga. debate

LIberty for all front

Liberty goes forward one step--Same-sex marriage bill passes Maryland House of Delegates

And it takes a step backward, the Fat Lady didn't sing, the Fat Man said "no"--NJ Gov. Chris Christie vetoes bill allowing same-sex marriage a day after Assembly passes it

Trust

Do you trust the people in the ATF? FBI?  CIA?  Military?  Congress?  The White House?  Would people employed in these or any part of our federal government violate someone's rights or commit crimes  to gain publicity?  To gain political advantage?  To gain a bit of power?  To receive larger budgets?  What makes any of us trust someone else?  If the basis of trust is broken, can trust ever be regained?  That being said how are you feeling about---

Federal agents arrest Amine El Khalifi; he allegedly planned to bomb Capitol

Has government trust become as big an oxymoron as military intelligence?

Friday, February 17, 2012

ONe of these days...

One of these days it will be a suicide bomber who was not assited by the FBI, CIA or other government agency who does really blow something up.  It bothers me a bit that the perps are egged on and provided with the  equipment by the FBI.  I'm never sure if the bad guy was really that bad or not.  The FBI gets a bust, fear levels are maintained, and the security budgets go up.

I do wonder what will happen if an Arab does blow himslef up in D.C., kills several and wounds more.  I don't think I'd like to be easily recognized as either Arab or Muslim about then.   We might have a repeat of the Red Scare, but on a grander scale.  We'd deport Arabs en masse along with a  lot of Mosques being closed (burned).

Does the FBI help or hinder?

Federal agents arrest man who allegedly planned suicide bombing on U.S. Capitol

Oh, my!

We have idiots demanding that we jump in and help the Syrian people who are trying to oust Assad.  It's pretty much a civil war.  If we did decide to join the fray, we need to think about that line "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" in the context of all our laws about abetting and succoring terrorists.

We might have to invade ourselves, akin to what we did to Afghanistan, since Al Qaeda is part of those fighting against the dictator Assad.  Think about it.  We'd be, by helping the Syrian people, allied with terrorists.

By our current standards that would make us terrorists.  Unless we abandoned Syria and helped Assad stay in power, we'd have to shock and awe our own butts since we'd effectively be harboring terrorists.  I bet we'd be violating all the freedom from terrorists laws we've put on the books since 9/11.  I can't wait for the GOP to begin calling Obama a terrorist for supporting Syrian freedom.

Feeling safe?

Top U.S. intelligence officials confirm al Qaida role in Syria

The issue is women's liberty

Contraception is just the latest ploy of a bunch of guys (and their gals) to keep women as subjects and in their place.  The GOP is reactionary.  The GOP wants to restore the 1850s.   Unless the issue is brought forward during this campaign season, if a Republican wins, women's liberty will be reduced, period.  Actually unless you are a well off white guy, your liberty and freedom will diminish too.

Lawmakers debate mandated coverage of contraceptives in health-care law

What's Wrong With This Picture?

This is a panel of witnesses at a hearing about the mandatory birth control benefit.  Do you see anything amiss?

If you say it five times, it's true, right?

I've been wondering where that "98% of Catholic women use contraception" came from.  I disregared the number since it seemed to be too large and too convenient a number for Dems to use.  When data is excessively serendipitous for politicians it pays to be a bit cautious.  If they'd been saying that 66% of Catholic women, of child bearing ages,  use the pill (or equavlant) I'd have accepted it but still wondered about the source.

98% of Catholic women are flipping off the Pope?  Come on, lets find the source--

The claim that 98 percent of Catholic women use contraception: a media foul

Someting to look forward to

Imagine that we've left Afghanistan.  We've been gone for ten years.  Okay, now look at the 2022 DOD budget.  Yeah, right there on line 23,246.3 there's an entry:  Afghan Army--$10,000,000,000.  Yep, we'll be paying for them to have an army now and we all know it will continue (are we still in Germany?) for a long time.

It will probably be more than ten billion a year since we'll re-equip them regularly too.  I wonder if the State Dept. has thought about building a huge embassy, like the one in Iraq, in Kabul.  War, peace, it does not matter, defense dollars will keep flowing from taxpayers to unspecified pockets.  Does anyone really think that Afghan troops will receive even 50% of what we pay to sustain their army?  How much will return to the U.S. bank accounts of members of our Military Industrial Complex?  How much will come back in campaign donations?


Afghan army to cost U.S. billions of dollars after 2014 withdrawal

What color is his collar?

Santorum is feeding us a line of santorum about being a regular moron.  He's rich moron.  He's not a lobbyist, no, he's a consultant.  Where have we heard that before?  Now he wants to become president and parlay that into a fortune just like Clinton.

Santorum reports millions in income as Washington consultant

We've Found the Anti-Romney

It's not Santorum.  It's not Gingrich or Paul.  No, it's Helen Radkey!

In Mormon files, researcher Helen Radkey seeks to cause a headache for Romney

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Money in Politics

Other then pols, their staff, their operatives, their advertising execs, TV pundits, TV stations and a few others, no one really thinks all the money in our politics does anyone any good. There’s too much of it. It corrupts our government. Unfortunately, there is next to nothing that we can do about it.

Money will find a way to buy government. Pols will find a way to sell our government. The Supreme Court didn’t help matters when it equated money with speech and decided Corporations are pretty much people when it comes to speech. There’s a lot of speechifying out there in TV and radio land.

Limiting money by law is a fools game. Look how little has been done since the Watergate scandal ushered in campaign finance reform. We’ve reformed it so will and so much, more is spent than ever before. It’s not quite as bad as it was when Nixon had a bag man named, I think it was Kalmbach, who wandered around with $250,000 in cash to assist the CREEP. Oh, Nixon was a creep and he had a committee whose acronym was CREEP (Committee To Reelect The President).

Money has been checked a bit, but it always finds a way to get around legal barriers. This year we’re looking at a few billion spent on campaigns alone. I have no idea how much speech is passed around to pols between elections. I assume it too is a tidy sum.

Money corrupts the elections, the elected, and the government between elections. Is there any way to “fix” the mess?

I think there are a few fixes. They will sound odd but I think they will make it so expensive to buy government that the rich will just quit.

First, we have to increase the size of Congress. I mean really increase it. Right now, the fat cats only have to buy 536 people. That’s 435 Representatives, 100 Senators and one President. Why not up the cost by increasing the number of bribees?

Instead of one Rep per 700,000 or so people lets return to a Constitutional ratio. Make it one Rep per 40,000 people. The House will go from 435 sleaze-balls to 7,750 Representatives. That number is a bit more daunting to play Quid pro Quo. Also, by increasing the size of the House, each Representative literally lives a bit closer to most voters homes.

I have a feeling if we radically increase the size of Congress, we see also see a commensurate decrease in long term incumbency. Instead of a 95% chance of being reelected, it might go well below 50%. If you know the bum personally, you might have a tendency to throw him out as times change.

Another thing that might change is voter participation. It would go up. Elections would be much more personal. Voters would know their candidates much more intimately. There would be more voters turning out to vote someone in or better yet, out.

Now about the Senate. The nation has a few more people than it did in 1800. Let’s increase the size of the Senate also. Instead of 100 how about 300 Senators. Every state would elect two Senators every two years. Again the cost to buy Senators would go up a bit.

Similarly, voters would have a bit better chance to personally know their august bums. And, as with the House, voters might vote them out a bit more frequently. As times change, the Senate would also change a bit more quickly.

How about it? Beat could we beat the fat cats buy making it too damn expensive to buy all those elected officials? Could we also strengthen our democracy at the same time. Why not?

Disturbing food for thought

Upgrading Voter Registration

Let's have a typical U.S. election.

If half of registered voters show up and vote, and the winner will get 50% +1 of the votes.  Crudely, the winner was elected by 25% of all registered voters.  The winner is the "minority-majority" victor.  Now let's look at this with an eye to some disturbing data from Pew.

About 25% of possible voters are not registered to vote.  I guess that means only half of 75% of possible voters show up and vote.  The winner receives his half of that half, or a win by a solid 19% of possible voters.  That's not quite a democracy is it?  Oh, we also have to make an adjustment for faulty registrations.

One in eight registrations are faulty.  Some of those will wind up being counted when technically they should not.  It's not fraud, but more an issue of the letter of the law.  Assume for want of any hard data that 10% of faulty ballots were counted but should not have been counted.

We have to reduce the winners victory percentage a bit more to get a better sense of how little it takes to win an election.  If the victor's margin is 19% we have to even reduce both sides by an estimate of problematic votes.  If 12.5% of registrants are in this camp, we assume only 50% did show up and vote.  That 6.25% is split, 50% goes to the winner and 50% to the loser, however 10% of each split should not have been counted.  That's 1% (it's rounded up) each that should not have been counted.

The victor's 19% minority-majority becomes even smaller--18% of us elected the putz.  And we still wonder why Congress sucks?

Do Your Part

As the Feds, States and Localities do their part to cut back on frivolous un-needed spending, you can do your part too.  Quit going to the beach for swim.  We can take the public out of health as we keep the spending in Defense.

U.S. to cut funds for water testing at beaches

After Running for a Decade


Demographic Change


Of all newlywed couples in the United States in 2010, 15 percent were intermarriages. Here are the states with highest and lowest percentages of intermarriages as part of all new marriages statewide, 2008 to 2010, compared with the District, Maryland and Virginia. Read related article.


Rick is just a little Newt

Santorum has been riding the Washington K Street Special for a few years now.  He's done well selling access and shilling former Senator Santorum.  Newt's been riding that train for years and has made a fortune punching tickets for folks who need help redressing their grievances, as a historian of course.

Rick, boarded the train after he left the Senate.  There is a revolving exit door in the Senate chamber, it leads straight to the Lobbyist Station.  Rick hasn't made as much as Newt, yet.  Blue collar background?  Sure.  Blue collar guy?  Not since he decided to be a lobbyist (un-official of course).  He's just one more greedhead looking to get that presidential Rolodex (look how well Clinton has done).  He likes that 1% life.

Santorum releases federal tax returns showing rise in wealth in 3 of 4 years

R.I.P. -- The Lecture?

In ways this is good.  For the most part, a great deal of my lecture hall learning sucked.  Every once in a while a Prof pulled it off.  I guess those are the ones I remember and the others are vague ghost like trace memories of fading noises.  Quick who taught your Sociology 101 course?  See.

What's coming down the learning pike to replace or change the lecture based model?  Before we trash the lecture entirely, we need to remember that the lecture was a reminder  to students to read the damn books and think about the contents.  All in all, learning still remains the student's responsibility.

Colleges looking beyond the lecture

Global Warming

Global warming has yielded some weather extremes--compare this Winter to the last one.  I have a nasty feeling that this coming Summer will be extreme in ways we may not be prepared for.  Global warming, it's caused by all that crud we put in the air right?  Well, don't forget we also warm a lot of water.  Some of it is water we used to reduce the crud in air.  Can I hear a Catch-22?  Any one got a fuel cell?

In hot water: The "other" global warming

From Bob Park

WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Wednesday, 15 Feb 2012 Washington, DC

1. CULTURE WAR: ABSOLUTE FREEDOM OF RELIGION IS A MYTH. Republican Presidential wannabes Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have worked themselves into a lather protesting the Obama policy of including coverage of contraception costs incurred by employees of religious institutions under the Affordable Care Act, describing it as a "declaration of war against the Catholic Church." This was mere ignorant political hyperbola. There are, after all, 217 religious denominations listed in the 2006 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, differing only over which superstitions they choose to believe. There is, of course, a strong precedent for legislation that gets into the marriage bed, as in the ban on polygamy practised mostly by Mormons. We certainly don't want to discourage anyone from practicing contraception.

2. THE PILL: THE MOST IMPORTANT TECHNOLOGY ON EARTH. Atmospheric pollutants are causing global warming, our oceans are becoming sewers, shrinking freshwater resources are threatening food production, energy costs are rising, our beautiful blue planet is changing color. There is hope. These trends will all be reversed if the average fertility rate of the planet falls below two; it already has for much of our planet .

3.DECEPTION AT DUKE: SADLY RECALLING AN EARLIER EPISODE. On Sunday, February 12, the CBS series 60 Minutes reminded us of the largely unfulfilled promise of television to expose the foolishness and fraud that diminishes our brief lives. If you did not see Sunday's program I urge you to obtain a copy. Much earlier, many of us had followed with growing wonder the news on television as Dr. Anil Potti reported amazing progress in tailoring chemotherapy to a patient's own genetic makeup, with remarkable results. However, as the science community often tells the public, it's not a discovery until it's been independently confirmed. The willingness of researchers to open their findings to the entire scientific community is what gives science its success and credibility. In this case, it could not be confirmed and may be one of the biggest medical research frauds of all time. Unfortunately, it was not the first time that Duke University had fallen victim to foolish and fraudulent science.

3. PARAPSYCHOLOGY: J.B. RHINE FOUNDED THE FIELD AT DUKE IN 1934. Even today, Parapsychology, including extrasensory perception, has millions of believers, including some describing themselves as scientists who tend to be drawn ever more deeply into belief. Perhaps it's a selection process. A scientist won't get much coverage by announcing to the press that no evidence could be found. The unexpected is more interesting; of course it's also more likely to be wrong.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Today's Posts Were Sparse, The Author Was Out

I had a regular doctor's checkup early this morning.  It was nothing special.  A poke here, a prod there, a bit of this and that.  No big deal.  I knew I would have blood drawn--statin usage makes regular checks a good idea.  I had not eaten or taken fluids since midnight.  There was one new item, my Doc indicated I needed a pneumonia shot.  It was okay too, barely felt it..  The folks at my clinic do very good work.  I'd say they're painless but I can feel the finest  of needles within 1/4 inch of my skin.

The Doc finished with me, she's very good too.  I went to the clinic office to make an appointment for my next visit and see if the office folks needed any more insurance info from.  I had insurance changes since my last visit, I'm now an official old fart--I'm on Medicare.  It's a club card of a kind.

As I began to chat with the office folks, I felt a bit faint, then a whole lot more faint, and proceeded to pass out.  Apparently one of the RNs heard me saying something real original like "this sucks, I feel lousy."  She held me up against the counter, another RN found a wheelchair.  I remember being put in the chair.  Then I woke up on my back in one of the clinic rooms with wires attached to my chest.

I'd been hooked up to an EKG.  I stirred, said something.  They, there were a lot theys, I didn't know all of them, they started asking me questions.  As they assessed and talked at me, I began to feel better.  Then I read a patch on one of my questioners jacket--in nice embroidered letters it said "EMT."  It didn't take like to surmise they were there to take to the hospital.

Needless to say. After I heard my Doc indicate that my heart seemed okay, I was ready to leave the clinic.  My Doc, however, in very polite way, suggested that I go to the hospital.  After all I am now an old fart remember--Medicare--who knows what might have put me out cold.

For the first time ever, I got to see the inside of one of those ambulance boxes.  It really was similar to what I've seen on TV.  The EMTs did they job quite admirably.  It didn't take long.  The clinic is less than a mile from the Hospital.

I spent most of the day in the ER.  I was hooked up to machines.  Blood was taken a couple of times.  The upshot was, I'm a healthy old fart who passed out for unspecified reasons.  There were no signs of any cardiac linkage to my involuntary zonking out.  The ER Doc called it a Vasovagal event.   Oh, I began my day with an 8:00 am appointment and made it home about 5:00pm.

The author was out for awhile, but mostly was stuck in an ER bed all day.  I think it all came down to bit of dehydration more than anything else along with my "stainless steel allergy.'  

Why home schooling?

Home-schooling demographics change, expand

The GOP Field


Good Question

Why do tea partiers flock to Santorum, given his voting record? 

Simpler answer, he's not Willard.

Israel vs. Iran

It reamains a bit tense.  Will one side seek to relive the tension with an attack on the other?  If so, will the U.S. enter this mess?

Bangkok blasts prompt new accusations against Iran a day after Israelis targeted

Women in Combat


Okay Willard, Here' a Request--

Will you  use your influence to have your folks stop baptizing dead people?  By the way, how many dead people have you baptized anyway?   I'm surprized this has not come up before now.

Elie Wiesel calls on Mitt Romney to make Mormon Church stop proxy baptisms of Jews


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Aren't you glad...

The Trogs will form a Purity Crusade if they win.  Of course I consider them to be obscene.  Will they off themselves for me?

Santorum, Romney and Gingrich vow to enforce anti-porn laws

Go ahead

Google "Romney" then look at about the fourth item returned.   Glad Willard is now a peer of Santorum.  What about Newt?

‘Spreading Romney’ satire leaks into candidate’s top Google results

Pay Attention

There is a difference between a budget and an appropriation.  Now you can listen to the Trogs talk through their drool--

The Truth Behind The GOP’s ‘1000 Days Without A Budget’ Canard

And you thought our government was not bought and paid for?

It's a 1st Amendment thing to boot--

Lobbyists sue Obama administration after being booted from boards

New Jersey and Gay Marriage

It would be a great deal simpler if the state was in the civil union contract business and left marriage to churches.    From the state's perspective it's all contract and no sacrament.  

New Jersey Senate OKs gay marriage bill

LIve by the Drone....

All those drones will be coming home.  Since we'll have them here at home, it would be dumb to mothball them when we could use them, right?  Imagine what a drone strike could do to an Occupy Wall Street crowd.  Does the Posse Comitatis Act apply to drones?  Look, store them in the Arizona desert and be done with it.  We don't need federal drones "helping" us out at all.  They will be abused and will kill citizens at least once.  Once will be too late.  Maybe we've gone past the chance to remain a nation that is founded on the rule of law.

Pentagon working with FAA to open U.S. airspace to combat drones

Bullshit from the Bully Pulpit

Okay, Defense spending fans, this one's for you--

President Obama and the defense budget

End of Days Update

Our Trogs must be tickled with the level of increasing violence in and around Israel.  If war comes then they are certain it will all be over, the Fat Lady won't even have to sing.  Nope, god will do the rapture thing, wipe out the Jews, and let the rest of us enjoy a thousand years of suffering and then kill us all off.  Look, these folks are beyond crazy, but please note, it  is getting more than tense in the Middle East.  Syria, Iran, an Israel are in one of those situations where a simple action can ignite a massive conflagration.

Israeli police heighten state of alert following overseas attacks, step up patrols

Oops?

Did the Trogs finally realize that voters might flip them off and out of office?  With a 10% approval, the GOP might try out using the word "maybe" or "how about" instead of always demanding that Obama bugger off.  At least the payroll tax will not be an issue again.  I was looking forward to the GOP trying to intentionally tank the recovery just to increase the odds of winning an election.

House Republican leaders agree to payroll tax holiday extension without offsets

It's still a bit bleak

With a nifty new budget, Obama is off to he fiduciary low crawl races.  We will continue to borrow more than we spend and amass a larger and larger debt.  Unfortunately, the incumbents of both parties concern themselves with far greater issues than simple fiscal health.  Yes, they are concerned only with getting reelected and being in the majority.  The net result, well, don't be concerned about the unborn taxpayer, be concerned about he unborn taxpayer's unborn grandchildren.

Republicans need to knock off their one word platform.  If "no" is all that voters want from them, then we are in deeper shit than I imagine.  Democrats need to back off looking for new ways to say "yes" to new programs.  Both parties need to focus on fixing the mess they made.  Congress made the mess--they write the laws and approve the spending.  It's a bipartisan creation.  They need to check the partisan carp and fix it.  That being done, then they can revert to the moronic politics they so relish today.

Raise taxes, cut spending, rewrite the tax code, assess regulations, reorganize the executive branch and more.  However it needs to be done of, by, and for the 99% not the 1%.  After our house is put back in order then pols can wreck it again as they sell themselves and our government to the highest bidder and service the 1%.  How different are successful large donors from pimps?

Obama budget: National debt will be $1 trillion higher in a decade than forecast

Monday, February 13, 2012

I might have selected a different title

It's a hop, skip and a jump from "Truth Team" to "Truther" which I'm is what GOOPERs will wind up called the folks Obama assembles to get the facts out and on the table.   I wonder to what extent Obama will develop his own set of facts?  I don't think the assorted media fact checkers need to go out of business.

Obama campaign launches "truth team"

One more state legalizes gay marriage

Washington gov signs gay marriage bill into law

Willard May Lose Michigan

The latest PPP poll suggests that the puritanical prig, Santorum, has taken the lead in Michigan.  Willard was assumed to be the winner there because his father was Governor.  Of course, Willard would have let Detroit tank, be sold off for parts, just as he did with other companies while at Bain.  Folks in Michigan do not see him as from Michigan.  Will the Trogs coalesce around the 17th century Jesus candidate?   So much for the 21st century in Trog land.

Santorum leads in Michigan

Cable Newstainment

Cable TV news shows seem to be less and less meaningful these days, especially the Sunday morning ones.  Show X has Sen. Whathisname (R--Any State) on for an interview.  The topic is Obama's budget.  The host asks a reasonable question and regardless of the the question receives a response which in essence says "It's obvious Obama blows chunks" or "It's unconstitutional and Obama sucks."   No matter the topic, if it is about Obama or the Democrats and the guest is a Republican, the answers will all assure us that the Dems "suck and blow."

Of course, when the parties are reversed it's the same.  If you can remember when Bush was President, the Democratic guest equivalently assured us that Bush, on all matters, was just so much "suck and blow."  At times I hope for a bit of analysis and candor from our elected officials, but it's all air in and air out.  The permanent campaign does not take a break.

When one of Obama's appointees comes on a show, if the topic is Obama's policy on X or Y, then the suck and blow disappears but is replaced by absolute tribute and praise.   No matter the question, the officials will assure us that Obama does walk on water.  It gets old and the damn thing is, the shows seem to think having a high official on the their show is a super "get."

If a casual observer can predict what X will say about Y, what does the "get," get  the observer other than a stultifying mental numbness.  To minimize brain freezes caused by cable newstainment, use your DVR.  Record the show, bypass the "get" and go on to the panels, book mentions, or other items that may pop up.  These segments are less predictable and sometimes provide new information and you will still be able to say you watched whats his face's program the next day at work.   No one will be able detect that in fact you didn't listen to Sen. Whatshisname.  

Willard, Is He Conservative?

The answer to that question seems to bother the "Bash and Drool Marching Society" (Republicans).  They cannot say "yes." They won't say "no."  They do say, "I'm not sure."  Willard has been running for President since he took over the Olympic Games in 2001 and they don't know yet?

Willard has been telling people about his record, positions, politics, and beliefs for more than a decade.  He's even written a book about himself.   People are still unsure.  People must not trust what he says.  Why is the GOP so fearful of applying the duck test?  It it looks like duck, walks like duck, and sounds like a duck, it's a duck.  Oh, got it.  They have.  He's a moderate duck.

Why is he still in the race?  Got that too, he's not a puritanical demagogic prick like Santorum, a dangerous lunatic like Gingrich or a La-la landsman like Paul.   The GOP wants a conservative but all they can field is a Republican Dukakis.  In Obama v. Willard would Willard continue to insist he's a Trog or go left of Obama?  Stranger things have happened.  Now about Obama and the duck test....

Still Going to Reelect Your Rep. or Sen.?

If so, why?

Congress' Job Approval at New Low of 10%

Just another amoral pig

That about sums it up, he wasn't that great folks.

JFK intern recounts long-ago affair in new book

Sorry Tree Huggers

Look, it's an election year.  In years one through three, a Democratic President will hug trees, but in year four, if it's his first term, tree hugging has got to go.  After all, the anti-everything party, the GOP wants to fell trees not hug them.  Obama, in turn must pursue the felled tree hugging votes--independents.  Pandering has begun, the larger the voting block the greater the pandering.

Obama administration slows environmental rules as it weighs political cost

Grammy Awards?

There were awards, a few.  Mostly it was an odd and continuous assortment of musical excess, which I assume is today's standard.  I did learn a few things last night.  I've learned that old singers do need to fade away and not croon another tune.  I learned that the musically challenged will surround themselves with oodles and oodles of flashy sets and bodies rushing around on garishly lit stages.  I also learned about Adele.

Adele can sing.  Wow, can she sing.  She doesn't need a band or backup.  "Rolling in the Deep" along with Jennifer Hudson's tribute to Whitney Huston  were worth hanging around for three plus hours.  Now I will return to another year of music I enjoy.  I will add Adele's "21" and I may have to listen to Bruno Mars a bit.  The rest I leave to younger more discerning ears.

Here's another perspective on the Grammy's

Disjointed Grammys honor Whitney Houston

Willard's 2002 Gig

Was Willard Crusader Rabbit who rode in and single handedly save the 2002 Winter Olympics?  Naturally he thinks he did, after all he is running for president.  There is another perspective, he was more of a Deputy Dawg who kept the locals in line and secured lots of federal spending.  Utah did get a really nice chunk of its then falling apart because of no maintenance expenses Interstate system re-built with lots of federal cash.   How important was Willard?  Outside of Utah, folks tend to think he saved it all.  Inside Utah, well, there are other perspectives.

10 years after Salt Lake City Olympics, questions about Romney’s contributions

If Willard does become the GOP thing bearer (I would say "standard," but that might lead one to infer they have even one), will the Olympics be featured in more than one SuperPac ad?

Ox Goring Time Again

Obama has proposed a budget.  The GOP has flipped him off (they didn't even read it).  It doen not matter  what's in the budget, if Obama says "way," the GOP will say "no way."  That's our politics.  Of course there's still the matter of a tad of latent to blatent racism in there too.  At any rate, there's more red ink.  Not as much as in the recent past, but more than sufficient for the "Pity the Unborn Taxpayer" crowd to wail and gnash.  Hey, it's an election year to boot, so does anyone expect Congress to actually do their job?  Nah, they'll be spending their time on national and local TV and radio seeking donors and voters.

Jacob Lew defends Obama’s spending plan

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Darwin Day


Today is Darwin Day, Charles Darwin's 203rd birthday. In celebration, we offer you a selection of books about his discoveries and his influence on science.
Whether you want to learn more yourself or teach others, we invite you to read online, downloaded for free, or buy a printed copy.
Darwin's

Darwin's Gift: To Science and Religion

256 pages | Hardcover | Price: $22.46 
With the publication of Darwin's Gift, a voice at once fresh and familiar brings a rational, measured perspective to the science of evolution. An acclaimed evolutionary biologist with a background in theology, Francisco Ayala offers clear explanations of the science, reviews...[more]
Science, Evolution, and Creationism
Download Free PDF
Science, Evolution, and Creationism

88 pages | Paperback | Price: $11.65 
How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with...[more]
Understanding Climate's Influence on Human Evolution
Download Free PDF
Understanding Climate's Influence on Human Evolution

128 pages | Paperback | Price: $29.25 
The hominin fossil record documents a history of critical evolutionary events that have ultimately shaped and defined what it means to be human, including the origins of bipedalism; the emergence of our genus Homo; the first use of stone tools; increases in...[more]
Evolution in Hawaii
Download Free PDF
Evolution in Hawaii: A Supplement to Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science 

56 pages | Paperback | Price: $13.45 
As both individuals and societies, we are making decisions today that will have profound consequences for future generations. From preserving Earth's plants and animals to altering our use of fossil fuels, none of these decisions can be made wisely...[more]
In the Light of Evolution IV
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In the Light of Evolution IV: The Human Condition

428 pages | Hardcover | Price: $53.10 
The Human Condition is a collection of papers by leading evolutionary biologists and philosophers of science that reflect on the Darwinian Revolution as it relates to the human condition at levels ranging from the molecular to the theological. The...[more]
In the Light of Evolution III
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In the Light of Evolution III: Two Centuries of Darwin

432 pages | Hardcover | Price: $53.10 
Two Centuries of Darwin is the outgrowth of an Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium, sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences on January 16-17, 2009. In the chapters of this book, leading evolutionary biologists and science historians reflect on and...[more]
In the Light of Evolution, Volume II
Download Free PDF
In the Light of Evolution Volume II: Biodiversity and Extinction

432 pages | Hardcover | Price: $53.10 
The current extinction crisis is of human making, and any favorable resolution of that biodiversity crisis--among the most dire in the 4-billion-year history of Earth--will have to be initiated by mankind. Little time remains for the public, corporations,...[more]
In the Light of Evolution, Volume I
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In the Light of Evolution Volume I: Adaptation and Complex Design

380 pages | Hardcover | Price: $53.95 
In December 2006, the National Academy of Sciences sponsored a colloquium (featured as part of the Arthur M. Sackler Colloquia series) on "Adaptation and Complex Design" to synthesize recent empirical findings and conceptual approaches toward understanding...[more]

An Ass Named Willard

The man is an ass.  He has no core.  He has no consistency.  He has no principles.  Well, save one, a fixed, non-deviating,  goal to become President.  He flips.  He flops.  He says whatever anyone requests him to say as he pretends the current utterance has always been his position.  He's more a ventriloquist dummy than much else.  He is severe alright, severely inconsistent.

Lately he's been ragging Gingrich and Santorum on their love of earmarks.  Willard does this to show his Teabagger creds.  They might be impressed until they check his record.   Yep moderate and Massachusetts come to mind.

SPIN METER: Romney backed earmarks as governor

Republicans remain an interesting species

Oops, he gave them an issue


McConnell: GOP Will Fight To Let ANY Employer Deny Birth Control Coverage

Super Pacs

Right now we are focused on the GOP nomination process.  We've seen what oodles of cash can do in terms of ads--if they help your guy they're just ads, if they hurt your guy, they're evil negative ads.  Many  ads, of both flavors, are financed by rich guys and gals who want to own a piece of a four year lease on Air Force One.

The money is already excessive.  Imagine what it will be like this Fall.  Both sides have their money bags selling candidates like so much uncoordinated meat.  We, the audience will be entertained and amused.  If it bothers you at all, then give a thought to all that money that will be spent on House and Senate races too.

If you were a billionaire would you rather purchase a President or a dozen Reps and Senators?  Myself, I think I'd fund the Congressional sleazebags, they'd have a better chance of serving me more than eight years.  They'll need money, but the payoff will be so much bigger and long lasting.  Hell, I bet even if I funded more than a dozen Congressional Super Pac campaigns, it would be cheaper than the top slot dues.  Imagine owning eight or ten Senators who will do your bidding.  Get ready for debauchery of cash.  The quid will get its quo, we are so blessed with political prostitutes and rich Johns.  Why am I reminded of trophy wife right now?

Send your thanks your to the the Supremes.

Billionaire Political Complex

We've all read about the 1% who fund candidate Super Pacs.  The Super Pacs allow candidates to fight on well after, in former times, they would have left the field.  The Super Pacs are like gladiator training schools.  The billionaires fund and run the camps.  The pols, their gladiators, compete and entertain us in debates and cable TV interviews.  Instead of a champion emerging early the GOP gladiators are sustained by their masters and keep on fighting.  Candidates have their houses.  Willard is sustained by the House of Bain.  Newt is buttressed by the Adelson Academy and even Santorum has found a affluent backer.

Let's see in Roman times, the good folks who enslaved and trained the gladiators for the games, aspired to be part of decent Roman society, but they were seen more as pimps and butchers.  As the 1% buys and sells their champions, we too know they just run whorehouses.

Look GM still sucks

The U.S. government saved a company and its supply chain--the unemployment hit was thought to be too big to accept.  GM was a poorly run company then and despite seemingly "bouncing" back today, remains so.

The government still owns about 500 million shares of GM.  It hasn't sold them due to the poor stock price of GM.  GM's IPO back in Nov. 2010 saw oodles of shares sell for $33.  The target break even price for the U.S. government was about $48.  What's GM worth today?  Oh, about $25.  I have a feeling that within a few years we'll confirm the bail out was bad business, good politics, but bad business.

GM is sticking it to Uncle Sam.

Success in China

If Starbucks has made it in Communist China, why didn't Barbie?  Could Mattel use a Starbucks model to revive Barbie?  If they can't,  then maybe a competing line of commie Bratz might succeed.

Why Starbucks succeeds in China and others haven't

Egypt Living Up to Expectations

The military secured Mubarak for decades.  The people ousted Mubarack, but forget about the military.  Now the military, in conjunction with the dominant politicos of faith, is insuring Egypt will continue to be a non-democratic, non-free land without a smattering of liberty.  It's time for our arms merchants to forgo future sales to Egypt and end that and all aid to Egypt.

In Egypt, NGO crackdown and draft law have chilling effect

Myths

Five myths about white people

Obama's Screw Up Continues

Obama appeared tone deaf on the Catholic Church/Contraception/Insurance mandate.  His folks made a policy.  After a while the Catholic hierarchy reacted (don't forget, it's the same aces who used the church to protect pedophile priests).  The clerics and GOP candidates began to rend garments and gnash their gums over religious liberty.  Obama went oops, re-grouped and came up with plan B.  Whew.  It seemed like what should have been proposed in the first place.  Problem solved, right?

Wrong.  The churchy guys now say no way to plan B too(pun intended).  Oops.  Now they cast the matter as totally dealing with liberty.  That strikes me as most odd, the Catholic Church being concerned with liberty, that is a joke.   Catholics, as would every other religion, gleefully rid the world of those who do not accept their Truth.  The only check we have against inquisitional zealots is a fragile secular document, The Constitution.

The Church wants secular firms, who happen to be Catholic or of any other Jesusy flavor, to be able to deny policies based on their personal faith.  Get out your old Christian Yellow Pages, it's going to get ugly.  By the way, if the Catholics get their way, they will discover the South will rise again, hate and bigotrywise, and the Mormons will return to cargo cult status.

Oh, the issue is not liberty, it's contraception, birth control and every aspect of women's rights which the Church so thoroughly condemns.  It's, as it has been for so long, a fight between 21st century modernity and minds stuck in the 12th century.

If the argument winds up being accepted as one of religious liberty, then how does President Santorum sound to you?  If the argument is seen for what it really is all about, contraception and women's health, then Obama  will get  second term.  I hope this does not sound sexist, but it really is up to the ladies.   What's it going to be ladies, the Church or birth control and your rights?

   U.S. bishops blast Obama’s contraception compromise

Once again I'll ask a simple question, if the birth control pill, from the get  go, had been for guys, do you think we'd have any aspect of this issue in front of us today?

Hey, Willard's a Winner, Kinda, Sorta

It would have been bad if lost both, but he managed to win Maine and be selected Trog of the Year by the conservative belch and drool society, a.k.a., CPAC.  Willard has the money, the organization, and is sorta liked by 25% of primary voters.  Of course his main issue, the economy, may have passed him by.  Do you think he can do social issues?

Mitt Romney wins support of Maine caucus-goers