Saturday, March 17, 2012

Willard's Woes

It's nice to know a severe conservative likes cheesy grits.  He has friends.  Some own NASCAR teams, other own NFL teams.  He's not that concerned about poor people.  For Pete's sake he's running for president.  Since he's unemployed how can his wife drive two Cadillacs?  Maybe he lost his job because he liked firing people too much.  Either that or he lost his $10,000 bet that the trees are the right height.  Oh, well, he has the time go hunting, small varmints of course.  Before he heads out, will one of those people who are corporations tell him that "Sweet Home Alabama" was a Lynard Skynard song not by Alabama.  Willard is a man of the people, those people who make $40 million year and pay 15% or less in taxes.

The Shooter

The person who went on the killing rampage has been identified.  He's an Army sniper who has done several tours.  Did the multiple tours take a toll on his head?  If so, then aren't the ones who blocked having a draft, that would have made one tour the norm,  really responsible for this debacle?  Oh, don't forget without a draft no one gave a shit about the war--less than 1% had any skin in the game.  That's a sick policy, a long war by design. Sgt. Bale's actions are but the latest manifestation of that policy's diseased effects in Afghanistan today.

Soldier accused in Afghan shooting spree identified as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales

Einstein Rocks (still)!

The good folks at CERN hired a few mechanics from the local garage.  The grease monkeys tightened the nuts and bolts, lubed the gears and connected all the cables real tight.  The CERNies turned on the gizmo.   They shot neutrinos to Italy.  The neutrinos made it to Italy on time.  They did not arrive early.   If you bet against Einstein...

Not so fast: Second experiment refutes faster-than-light particles

Oops, forgot to tell you, I'm not into facts

The difference between reporting and doing theater is that the one presents factual reality and the other presents fabricated reality.  If you run a news program, it really helps to determine before you go on air if  the performance to come will be presented by a journalist or a troubadour.  "This American Life" on NPR did not (neither did Chris Hayes).  Oops, retraction time--

‘This American Life’ cites ‘fabrications’ in documentary on Apple suppliers

Buying votes in PR

Willard really wants to win the nomination.  Willard really, really wants to be President.  Willard really, really, really is pathetic.  Handing our checks to voters is one way to have folks show up for a rally.  What the hell, anything for a vote is okay, right?

Why do people show up for rallies?  It seems to be a very strange behavior if you have no stake in the election.

Romney campaign in hyperdrive before Puerto Rico primary

Trog Offs

Today is the real Missouri caucus.  The first one was just a fake.  Missouri is an odd place.  Tomorrow, Puerto Rico holds its GOP primary.  I don't understand how any Puerto Rican can be a Trog, does the GOP admit them?  The GOP is the party of rich, old, white guys who think life in 1850 was damned fine.  Then the Trogs will trundle to Illinois on Tuesday for another vote off.  As we make it to the 24th, next Saturday, they will have hobbled down to Louisiana for one for another round of cheesy grits and crackers.  Busy week ahead.  Lots of laughs coming our way.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Changes at GPO

Goodbye GPO Access, Hello FDsys

Today, March 16, 2012, marks a momentous occasion for the Government Printing Office and its groundbreaking service, GPO Access. After 16 years of keeping America informed, the GPO Access website is shutting down and been replaced by its successor, GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys).


Do you Weibos?

If you live in China and like the idea of Tweeting, but can't because the goverment bans Twitter, then you  weibos instead.  It's micro blogging, it's kind of free speech, it's going to be kind of history and we didn't even know it existed.  Oh, well, who won American Idol?

China clamps down on popular microblogs

Book Review: The Real Romney

Does Mitt Romney really love you?

Who Listens to Obama or Any President for that Matter?

A president yammers.  Does his yammering do anything except create hot air?  Well, yes, but not the way you might expect.  If a president is quiet, does anyone notice?  Uh, he can kiss off reelection.  Our politics has gotten a bit kitty-wampus.  Perhaps it's government by Rube Goldberg.  Then again, our founding four fathers may really have been Larry, Moe, Curly and Shemp.

Who Listens

Democratic BS

If you've been following the GOP race for their party's nomination, then you've been treated to oodles of bullshit, live and on video.  There's nothing more gut chucking than a pol pushing his version of himself.   Hey the incumbent has a vid out.  Watch it if you want, but remember it's from a narcissist about a narcissist who wants your love, your money and your vote because he works just for you.  In other words, it's a political bullshit feast.  Well, to Democrats it's a documentary.

Obama's 17-minute campaign movie is released

Time to bake upchucky cakes.

In case you missed it...

Balgo is now int the slammer.

Illinois' Rod Blagojevich, with small wave, enters federal prison

Hm, I wonder, "Dancing With the Cons?"

How do you spell Syria?

I'm beginning to wonder if it's spelled L-E-B-A-N-O-N, as in 15 years of civil war.   Is a long civil war what was lies ahead for Syria?  After a year of  fighting, it's gotten worse.  At heart it's sectarian and will get worse as each group tries to prove god is really on their side.  Since it's Islamic and Arabic, how much hope is there for  even a modicum of a civil society based on a bit of freedom and liberty for all?  Not much.

One year in, will Syria become a guerrilla war?

Is a rose by any other name....

Maybe that works with flowers,  but what if the name creates the rose?  In this case, pink slime.  Imagine if another name had stuck, say, "beef kibbles" or "solid beef."  Do you think folks would be in gastric distress over beef kibbles?  Would you prefer to have your burger with added beef kibbles or pink slime?  I think the name is the problem, not the product.

USDA: Schools can opt not to feed 'pink slime' to students

Okay, not about the Soylent Green....

What a hoot

Did anyone, back in January, expect that the GOP nomination would be decided in California, on June 5th?  Amazing.  I'm still hoping for a bloodbath at an open convention.

California could decide the GOP nominee

Gas Prices

As prices rise, where should we direct our frustration and anger?  Obama?  No, he's just one guy?  The 112th Congress?  That's a better target, but it's incomplete.  First we need to go the bathroom and look in the mirror.  Take a good look, you now see who is to blame, one the 300,000,000 who really created the mess.

We elect people to office.  They are supposed to govern in our interest.  Instead we allow them to govern in the interest of the rich interests.  After all, that's where the money is.  Our elected officials, all of them for the last 30 years, at least, have created the mess we all live with today.  We abetted the crime.

It won't change until we change.  Come on, does anyone really believe a President can make gas go up or down overnight?  The only ones dumber that Gingrich are those who believe that he could, all by himself,  make gas $2.50 a gallon.  It's not oil production that's the problem, it's, once again, Wall Street.  We need to direct our anger at ourselves and chuck all the Republicans and Democrats.

Maybe a bunch of folks should grab their pitchforks and track down oil commodity traders.....

Gas prices spike, and American motorists rumble with anger, frustration

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Unfortunately, it's not our father's (or grandfather's, depending on your age) war.  

Karzai demands U.S. troops leave village outposts; Taliban suspends peace talks with U.S.

Priest, Lesbian, Communion Follow Up

A woman dies.  Her daughter is denied communion at her funeral mass.  The daughter is a lesbian.  The priest is put on admin leave.  Now the priest is mouthing off.  All in all, it's this kind of crap that makes me wonder how anyone can belong to a religion at all.  Here's the latest--

Gaithersburg Priest Defends Decision To Deny Lesbian Communion

Oh, Please

Moral values?  Moral Character?  Sense of morality?  That's all it takes to run USA Inc.?  I cannot articulate the GOP's primary voter morality.  I cannot put morality and evangefundie in the same sentence.  Can you?

Rick Santorum’s moral appeal

Dogs Are Not Luggage

I have to wonder about the dog on the roof road trip.  Romney may have advanced degrees, but he's not too bright.  Maybe he should have put one of his sons on the roof instead...

Mitt Romney’s dog-on-the-car-roof story still proves to be his critics’ best friend

This is a good news headline--

As race drags on, GOP convention could turn from pep rally to brawl

Yeah, the GOP is like professional wrestling. Come on, have you listened to what those guys say.  None of them can really mean what they say.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The GOP Slog

Both Gingrich and Santorum must believe they can prevent Romney from securing 1,144 delegates and the nomination.  They must also believe that the GOP will nominate either of them over Romney in an open convention.  Belief is a funny thing.  Belief has little to do with facts, but it has a great deal to do with fantasy.

I have not counted all of the delegates yet to be allocated.  However, I bet that even if Romney did not win every remaining primary and caucus, given this year's proportional allocation rules, he will hit 1,144 by the end of June.  It will be close, it will be a slog, but he will hit the number.  If Romney comes in first and second in the remaining contests, he will probably obtain the delegates.  As I said, I haven't run through all the remaining states allocation rules in detail, but this makes sense.

Assume I am wrong and the convention is opened up after the first ballot.  Would Santorum win?  Gingrich?  They are every bit as much niche candidates as Willard.  Fortunately, for Willard, his niche include the establishment GOP movers and shakers.  So far, no alternative to the three has come forward.  I doubt that one will, unless the delegate totals begin to show that Willard will not secure 1,144 delegates.

I cannot see the moderate Repubs and Independents voting en masse for Gingrich or Santorum--they will not pivot back to the center.  I cannot see Willard winning independents--he will pivot, but when he pivots back to center, he's gone so far to the right he'll still be in right field.  I wonder, does this means the election is Obama's to lose?  I'm confident he can do so.

A bit more on Rushblob

Strategic Victory Watch -- War #5

#5 is the Sudan.  You haven't forgotten about it have you?  It's easy to forget with the unending noise being made over the three animated dung heaps who want to be the GOP nominee.   Take a couple of minutes and get up to date on the war fun in Sudan--some of it, as American taxpayers, belongs to us.

In South Sudan's violence, U.S.-backed army part of the problem

The rest of the month for the GOP

The GOP has a few delegate allocating events this month:

March 17, 2012Missouri52Caucus
March 18, 2012Puerto Rico23Primary
March 20, 2012Illinois69Primary
March 24, 2012Louisiana46Primary

And there is a debate scheduled--

March 19 on PBS at 9:00 pm ET

Will Willard win Illinois?  Will Santorum win Louisiana?   Who cares, as long as they keep going further and further to the right.

Well, who'd a ever thunk it?

Afghan support for U.S. pullout grows after shooting spree, attack on delegation

I guess the days of happy peasants throwing flowers and chocolates at us were never meant to be ours.  Of course if might have something to do with blowing the crap out their country, hanging around for over a decade, and being typical occupiers with no mission.   At two billion dollars a week, it's time to end it.  Come home now.


Frothy took Mississippi and Alabama!  Gringrich came in second in both states.  Willard placed third.  About 75% of voters were evangefundies which explains Santorum's victorys.  They spend most of their lives with their heads up their ass, so Santorum was a natural--in this case, he's really a man of the people. Willard may have thought the anti-Mormon strain in these states was a thing of the past.  It may be, but the anti-Mormon were the ones who turned out to vote.

Will it be a brokered convention?  Well, we'll have to count delegates from now until it becomes impossible for Willard to win.   The nice part is, the GOP will have a few more months to alienate independents, nice.

Santorum wins in Mississippi, Alabama

Oh, Willard did win American Samoa and Hawaii.

From Bob Park

WHAT’S NEW Robert L Park Wednesday, 13 March 2012 Washington, DC

1. SMART METERS: AND IGNORANT JOURNALISTS. Several years ago, I signed up for "Google Alerts" about the purported link between "cell-phone radiation and cancer." It's a great service. I get hundreds of Alerts about cell phones, almost all of which are dead wrong. That's fine; what I'm trying to figure out is why reporters so consistently get it wrong. I tried doing an additional search for "Einstein." It was, after all, Einstein's Nobel Prize winning 1905 paper on the Photoelectric Effect that introduced the concept of wave/particle duality. Einstein described electromagnetic radiation as discrete packets of energy (now called "photons") equal to the wave frequency times Planck's constant. Photoemission is thus possible only for photons of energy greater than the ionization threshold (about 5 eV for metals). That's in the ultraviolet region of the radiation spectrum, starting at the blue limit of the visible spectrum. Ultraviolet radiation can create mutant strands of DNA that are the seeds of skin cancer. That's why you should avoid tanning salons. You should also avoid sticking your head in microwave ovens with the interlock disabled. Microwave photons from cell phones, microwave ovens, smart meters, and Wi-Fi all have energies about a million times too low to create mutant strands of DNA. Better you should worry about the impending solar maximum. Microwaves can cook your goose, but you will die cancer free.

2. BAD CONNECTION: THE ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH TRUST. The most recent book warning about cell-phone hazards is "Disconnect," Devra Davis(2010, Dutton). Does Disconnect mention Einstein? Well," it quotes him at the start of chapter 11, "The right to search for truth implies also a duty." That's it. It makes no mention of his work, but last week something called "The Environmental Health Trust" issued a press release urging the United States to require health warning labels on cell phones. The President of the Environmental Health Trust is Devra Davis. The press release called for donations to support its work

3. FERTILITY: GOOD NEWS WHERE YOU LEAST EXPECT IT. David Brooks, a sort-of conservative New York Times columnist, commented this morning that fertility rates in the Arab world have been declining for three decades. Well, not in Afghanistan, which tops the 133 sovereign states of the world with a fertility rate of about seven. But war and poverty always make the fertility rate go up. Afghanistan is at the top with a rate of around seven.

4. IMPORTANT MATTER: IS THE LHC ON THE VERGE OF FINDING THE HIGGS? Nobody knows. Science is the process of eliminating supernatural explanations. The Higgs boson is the only elementary particle predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics that has not yet been observed experimentally. It’s not for lack of trying. As Drew Baden points out, the $5 billion Large Hadron Collider has been rummaging through all the drawers in the house trying to find the Higgs. There's still one drawer they haven't opened. They're getting ready to pry open the last drawer.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

He's so 1%!

Mitt Romney won't sign up for Medicare.  Why should he since he's sure he will become the next President and his job number one will be destroying Medicare as we know it today.  What a man of the people.

Forgotten amongst the grits and crackers

It's the nation's southernmost state.  It's Hawaii.  Yes, there are Trogs on the Islands.  Yes, they do import batshit from the mainland.  They will have a caucus tonight.  17 of 20 delegates are in play.  My guess is Romney will take the bulk of them.  See, Romney can win a Southern state.

Hawaii Republicans to vote in first ever GOP caucuses

Vegheads, take note

Y'all have been on to something, life.  Carnivores die sooner.  Folks, eat your veggies, fruits, and nuts.  Are you really sure you want that Big Mac?  Could fast food survive without red meat?

Eating More Red Meat May Mean Quicker Death

How and Why

Have you  noticed how it’s the questions without answers that cause us to be barbarians?  Some questions have answers.  Some do not.  For example, if asked “what direction does the sun rise in?  I can answer that and by saying  “the east.”  There’s no argument.  I can ask does the earth have a moon?  The answer is “yes.”  We look, point, and use words to convey our meaning. 
These kinds of questions and answers don’t cause us much grief.  The stock market has never tanked because someone insisted that sun rises in the west.  We haven’t had   a war over denying that the moon orbits the earth (well not that I am aware of, but I’m not an expert on Catholic history).  
This brings us to the other kinds of question, the ones we can’t really answer.  Oh, we answer them.  We’re all too often certain that our answers are as sound the Sun rising in the east.  On occasion we discover that others don’t quite agree with us.  They have a contradictory answer.  We can’t agree on whose answer is correct.  So, what do we then do?  Well, if our answer is important enough we each get out a baseball bat and proceed to beat the crap out of each other.  Truth is determined by whomever is the last one standing.
The questions that vex us, are usually about the why of something.  If we ask how, and don’t agree, it’s easy enough to say “let’s experiment.”  That’s damed hard to do with a question based on why.  For example, if you asked me “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” I’d have to say this seems testable.  However, we first have to find one single angel and do a bit of measurement.  Angels are ultimately why questions.  Since I cannot find one, I have to ask why? Then I am told, that I cannot measure an angel, because God made them undetectable to us, but they are all around us.  Angels are pure spirit.  We moved from how to why and did it effortlessly.  As I deny the existence of angels as measurable entities, we might then both reach for our baseball bats.  
I don’t understand, given 5,000 or so years of history that we have not learned to set the why questions and answers aside and live our public lives with the how questions and answers.  We haven’t.  We remain barbarians at war over answers to questions that cannot be answered with any certainty at all.  We just don’t learn.
There are a handful of questions we need to set aside.  If we do, then the world might become a more peaceful place.  Well, that is, until we find lesser questions to replace the big ones.  I am a bit pessimistic on this. 
The big questions without answers are why am I alive?  Why do I die?  Why is there good?  Why is there evil?  Why is there pain and suffering?  Those are the big five.  There may be others.  The answers to these questions drive us to mayhem in the name of our accepted answers when someone challenges the truth of our statements.  Perhaps we need to add in a "what" to the five--what is truth and what is knowledge?  

Hey, it's walking bullshit day!

Yes, the GOP Trogs are pandering in  Mississippi and Alabama.  It's primary time in two of the nation's civic cesspools.  The hinds will emerge.  They will vote.  They will opt for whomever the most hate for Obama.  Will Newt take both, none or one?  If Willard wins one, does that really do in his opponents?  If Santorum gets squat will he take his froth back to McLane and K Street?

Romney, rivals court Southern support ahead of primaries

Willard Gets an Endorsement!

It's no wonder it's all turning to shit...

Why?  Oh, we're medicating ourselves with anti-psyshcotics to get some sleep.  If you still think all the drug makers and health care community are thinking of your health, well, give this a read--

Antipsychotic drugs grow more popular for patients without mental illness

How many drugs do you take?  Did you ask your Doc to defend every script?  Did you ask your Doc a critical question--"what happens if I do nothing?"

Finding New Ways to Mind Warp the Troops

Leave it to the bemedaled defenders of military spending to find new ways to wreck young minds.  We've seen plenty of news on what the multiple tours have done to our soldiers.   Now, they won't even have to leave their bases in the States to come down with a debilitating case of PTSD or worse.  This sucks!

Drone pilots: Why war is also hard for remote soldiers

Strategic Victory Watch -- War #1

Now members of the puppet government have been shot at.  The shooters are ostensibly Afghans upset about the U.S. soldier who killed 16 Afghans.  Well, they're probably Taliban, a few unemployed with nothing better to do, and a couple or three zealots still pissed about burnt Korans.  Actually at this point, after 10 years, it won't take much for the bulk of the people to align behind any group who will fight to get us out of their country.  I'd suggest begin leaving now and have the job done by July 1st.

With respect to the soldier who went on the rampage, should he be handed over to the Afghans or not?  I'm confident the people who are really responsible for his behavior will never be charged with anything at all.  That list begins with George W. Bush and all his pals, in both parties, who decided it was safer to have multiple tours than revive the draft.  So who really killed the Afghans?

Militants attack Afghan delegation at site of U.S. killings

Monday, March 12, 2012

Nothin for Frothy

It appears that Willard may win Alabama and Pugdeball will take Mississippi.

In G.O.P. Nomination Race, Geography Has Been Destiny

Virginia, now Ohio

The white legislative guys have been trying to limit access to contraception.  One legislator in Ohio has a bill for the guys--

"...introduced a bill last week that would force any male to undergo sex therapy, receive a cardiac stress test and get a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner affirming impotency in order to get a prescription for any erectile dysfunction drug." 

 I like the notarized affirmation. Ohio will have form a department to keep track of all the limp dicks on medication.  It should be a public list.

Strategic Victory Watch -- War #1

If the Afghan people decide to join with the Taliban over the Koran burning and now the killings by a G.I., then we might as well pack it up and come home.  Oh, hell, let's just pack it up anyway.  11 years?  Why?  Feeling safer lately?

Taliban vows revenge for U.S. soldier's killings

There's something about land mines...

Land mines should have been banned long ago.  Now the Syrians are planting them to keep people in.  I guess that's so they can track them down and kill them in the streets.  It makes no sense at all.

ON THE TURKISH-SYRIAN BORDER _The Syrian military in the past month planted a band of anti-personnel mines along stretches of the border with Turkey, where last year more than 10,000 Syrian refugees fled the Assad regime's crackdown on the pro-democracy "Arab Spring" uprising, Syrian witnesses said.

Rhett Willard?

Who raised the price of gas?

I bet it's a GOP conspiracy.  Why?  Well as gas begins to cost to much to tank up, folks tank Obama.  As Obama tanks over the tank, the GOP realizes that one of their massively less than dazzling trogs might have a chance to beat him.  Hence, the GOP had to have hired commodity traders to raise the cost of gas so one of their bumblers might have a shot at the White House.  Come on, President Santorum?  President Gingrich? President Willard? See!

Is Obama to blame for the price of gas?  Well, yes he is.  He had his chance to pursue rigorous re-regulation of commodity trading and chose not to.  He remained safe and above the fray allowing Congress to produce Dodd-Frank.  That bit of law is a sop that assures campaign cash will flow.  In essence oil trading is as lucrative in 2012 as it was in 2008.  Did Obama cause gas to go up?  Yes, he failed as the chief administrator of the executive branch of our government.  Beyond regulation, he's about as responsible as your cousin Fred.

Gas prices sink Obama’s ratings on economy, bring parity to race for White House

The more things change....

Some newspapers can't bring themselves to publish cartoons that skewer the anti-abortion crowd a bit.  I've never understood why Doonsebury shows up on the Op-Ed page, it's just a good cartoon.  At one time I subscribed to the Deseret News because it carried Doonsebury while the Salt Lake Tribune did not.  I also subscribed to the Tribune.  The Deseret paper decided the cartoon was a bit much for its sensitive readers and dropped Doonesbury.  The next day I dropped the Deseret News.  The Trib picked up the cartoon.

Get ready--‘Doonesbury’ strips about abortion

Southern States

Apparently saying things such as you like grits, can't put a gun rack in a Volt or see Alabama in Pennsylvania doesn't get the rednecks very excited.  They are simple.  By choice, they remain ill educated, poor, and generally unkempt.

The only way to attract them is to talk race as you talk about Sharia and Jihadis.  Talk race as you talk about Wall Street bailouts.  Talk race as you talk about big government.  Talk race as you mention  the need to blow the shit out of Iran.  Just talk race and the typical Southerner will flock to your rally.   As I said, they are simple and proud of living just like their kin did in the 17th century.  Oh, if you  find a way to mention the War of Northern Aggression, they might even vote for you.  Talk NASCAR and race then  they will vote for you.

GOP candidates struggle to connect with conservative Southern voters

It's Getting Stranger and Stranger

I saw this headline, Tea Party Catholics and was taken aback.  I cannot quite put the two together.  It appears that the RC Bishops in the U.S. may lead the march back to the 12th century for Pope Ratzy--

Do they want to defend the church’s legitimate interest in religious autonomy, or do they want to wage an election-year war against President Obama? 

And do the most conservative bishops want to junk the Roman Catholic Church as we have known it, with its deep commitment to both life and social justice, and turn it into the Tea Party at prayer?

What I do not understand is why and how the laity will put up with bullshit from the pulpit. I'd flip them off and if I needed a church look to the Quakers. Have the faithful forgotten these are the logical descendents of those who ran the Inquitstion for 600 years?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Aw, he doesn't like the movie

Of course, he hasn't seen it.  Actually, I don't blame him.  I have no desire to see "Game Change."  Why would I want to see a flick about Sarah Palin?   McAncient McNasty however fears he is depicted accurately.  That pisses him off.

McCain blasts 'Game Change'

There is no privacy!

Take note, if you have plans to be a bigamist, make sure all your future wives do not use Facebook.

Man charged with bigamy after two wives find each other on Facebook

Oh God, I'm Going to Puke

Willard says "If the federal government were run more like the government here in Mississippi, the whole country would be a lot better off." Can you imagine the United States of Dead Last in everything, good, decent and wholesome? Talk about blind pandering! Oh, it's the GOP nomination bake-off. Since the race has dragged on a bit, Mississippi, for the first time ever, matters. The candidates are desperate. Willard even tried grits.

Santorum needs Mississippi. Well, he needs their delegates if he is to prove he is the most batshit crazy conservative candidate. He hopes a win will convince the base that Jesus loves him and hates Newt (he knows Willard is not on J.C.'s speed dial, he's a Mormon after all).

Newt has a southern strategy. Actually it's just a "win whatever I can" ploy. Folks know he's nuts, but with Frothy in the mix, folks have a choice over how low they can go. The south loves to wallow.

Paul is there. Why, I'm not sure, but he's there. I guess this is a hobby for him. I wonder how much money he's made buy running for Prez?

Suddenly Mississippi is a hot commodity for GOP candidates

Doesn't Student Loan Debt Top Credit Cards?

The cost of college has soared.  When I went to college, I paid for it as I went.  I took a few years off, joined the Army, earned the G.I. Bill.  I worked for a year or two along the way after the service.  I left graduate school without any debt.  Of course, the state legislature was paying a much higher percentage of the costs forty years ago.  Between less proportional public spending and schools spending more on admin salaries, students have to take out large loans.  I cannot imagine graduating with $50,000 worth of debt.  It has to jade one on the system.

Oh, student debt may be the next bubble--

Student loans seen as potential ‘next debt bomb’ for U.S. economy

Strategic Victory Watch -- War #1

After 10+ years, wars get sort of fucked up.  The erstwhile good guys become occupiers rather being the  liberators and conquerors who meant to make the world a safer place.  The logic of war remains mysterious.    The indigenous population becomes victimized over time by the occupiers, the puppet government they put in place, enemies still at large, and assorted other power seekers sniffing out possibilities for themselves.  It's not exactly a normal situation.  Now, we've added one more straw to the camel's back--

U.S. soldier detained after opening fire on Afghans; at least 16 killed

I wonder when the camel's back will break and when it does will we then see the Afghan people join the Taliban to oust us as they did the Russians.  If they make that decision, we lose, period.  We need to declare victory today and leave tomorrow.

Our Democracy

We live in a democracy.  Technically, it’s a democratic republic, but we see ourselves as enjoying the freedom and liberty attendant with living in a democratic state.  Our democracy is a work in progress, it’s dynamic.  Our democracy has grown, not so much in geography but regarding who has attained full personhood.
A person has all the rights and privileges afforded under the law.  Are you a person?  If you are gay, are you a person or only 90% there?  See that’s the dynamic side our democracy.   We began with full personhood for white propertied males of the correct religion (it mattered which colony you lived in).  
Over time, a declaration of independence, winning a revolution, framing a constitution and establishing a democratic republic, the seeds were sown for something very radical.  We declared all people to be equal and have unalienable rights. Of course, equality and rights didn’t quite apply to everybody living in the United States.  
Once the seed of freedom and liberty for all had been sown, it grew.  The franchise expanded.  Increasingly people attained personhood.  It took a civil war to affirm that blacks are people.  Of course it took another 100 years to make it stick so that personhood now belongs to every person of color across our land.
Oh, for women it took a bit longer.  Let’s just use 1919 as the date when women attained full personhood.  It’s been a bit of struggle to make their personhood stick, but today women are equal to men, period.  There are always aspects, details to be fought for and established to become normative.  One day, salaries will be the same.  It will be taken for granted.  Our politics and government are dynamic.
Over a couple of hundred years blacks, women, and other minorities have become people.  The sweep in such a short time is staggering.  Even gays have almost become people.  I expect them to be just one more group of folks within a decade.  Of course my fingers are crossed.  We have been living out a radical idea.  
For every radical force there is, unfortunately a countervailing reactionary force.  As more and more of us become part of the free and equal people, there are those who lose.  Obviously a slaveholder loses free labor when slavery is abolished.  The slaveholder will react.  The slaveholder will try to resurrect the good old days.  The slaveholder will do his best to take back the gains of others.  
Fortunately, once freedom becomes part of one’s life, it’s damned hard to let anyone take it away.  That does not stop the reactionaries from trying.  They are trying today.  We seem to be living in a time of disenfranchisement.  Gays are under attack.  Women, well, they’re being been assaulted over contraception, abortion, and health care.  The poor and blacks may effectively lose voting rights in the name of preventing voter fraud.  These few examples give you an idea of the assault on personhood.  Are you safe?  Remember at one time there was only one person, the monarch.       

Be vigilant, or we will regress.