Saturday, April 14, 2012

Nah, The Difference is Batshit

Liberals and conservatives think differently?  Hm, I don't know about that.  I'll stay with batshit consumption as an explanation of why conservatives are crazy for awhile.  If it's in their genes, that lets them off the hook.   Let Cheney off?  Come on.   How can anyone want to go take our country back to the 16th century be seen as a reasonable person?  

Liberals and conservatives don’t just vote differently. They think differently.

The NRA

If Willard was not the GOP's nominee he'd be an NRA whipping boy similar to Obama.  Obama has not taken any actions against gun owners rights.  However, he has expanded them--today you can pack in the park.  That has not deterred the NRA.

The NRA suggests that Obama, on the off chance, might, perhaps, do something in the future that would be a tad anti-gun and thereby destroy the the nation (and the 2nd Amendment).  They have to specifics, no facts, just a feeling,but they assure is it's true.   With a wee bit of feeling gun nuts are good to go.  Yeah, go to the gun show and buy more guns and buy even more ammo.  I guess they perceive this is how to show their patriotism as they patronize guns stores and shows.

Come on, the NRA is really a guns and ammo sales lobbying org.  Willard is just lucky he's only GOP candidate left, otherwise the NRA would discover that he might, at some unspecified time, take a hard to define act that might lead to a gun owner getting really upset over something important to gun owners such a zit on one's butt.

Romney tries to reassure NRA that he will aggressively defend gun rights

They are on the right track

Over the years I have posted about giving your political dollars to charity instead of candidates who are  wholly owned subsidiaries of special interests.  Now it seems someone is trying to organize that kind of idea and create a website that facilitates giving (and making a political point).

New group hopes to divert campaign contributions to charities

If it works it might will make a point.  I'd prefer that people do it on their own.  Just give to charity and screw Obama and Willard.   Need a charity?  Have you  heard of Best Friends?  Uh, even if you are going to send Obama a few bucks, ( I assume Willard's fans read other blogs), how about sending Best Friends a 5 or 10 just for the hell of it.

There is real difference between Dems and Trogs!

If  you think not, then consider this--

If Republican front-runner Mitt Romney reaches the White House, he will push for the top 1 percent of American earners to save an average of $150,000 in taxes, according to an analysis of his tax plan by the Tax Policy Center. In a second Obama administration, these Americans would pay about $83,000 more than they do now.

That's just one small point of difference, but it points to the fundamental differences between Democratic and Repub views of the role of government and their respective political philosophies.  Who is Repub or Dem and why?

Obama, Romney tax plans for ultra-rich offer window on disparate economic views

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am a Democrat, an irritated one yes, but a Democrat.  Why?  Well, I guess I can't shake my early indoctrination in the New Testament BS and Catholic rhetoric about  Our Lady of Poverty.  The one piece that really stuck in my head is that we as a people and as god's children are only as good as the least amongst us.  Want your odds of going to heaven?  Well, how many poor people live in our nation?  We're judged by our individual and collective acts.  Just because I may not have sinned does not mean I am sin free.  Think about it.

I'd say we're not very good these days.  Sadly, we are going to do a whole lot worse as we add even more of us to the bottom of the pile.  The GOP cares about the top of the pile and not much else.  The Dems used to be concerned about all of us, I'm not sure they do today.  Is there a new party out there?

Truce time in Syria?

In theory the UN has pulled off a truce, a ceasefire.  I think it's just time for all to rearm and reload, otherwise we would not see--

Syria truce largely holds but 6 killed in protests

and also hear that--

Shelling of Syrian rebel stronghold of Homs resumes despite truce, 1 killed

A year from now, will Assad still be in power and still killing fellow Syrians?  I think so, it's going to be more akin to the Lebanese Civil War than much else.

It's Grumpy Saturday for Repubs

Oh, the GOP is off pouting.  It's upset.  It's going to be a petulant Sunday on the bobblehead shows.  The GOP may go into full snit.  Why?  Did Obama raise taxes?  Did Obama end the war on women?  Is Obama gaining even more ground against Willard.  Nah, it's Iran.

Talks are underway between Iran and six nations over their nuke program.  Damn, there's always a chance the issue might be resolved.  That possibility could mean no invasion of Iran.  God, we might not go to war with Tehran.  A war free future really upsets Trogs, especially Willard.  How dare the world interfere with GOP foreign policy and presidential campaign.

Iran nuclear talks begin in Turkey

Oops, another zipper problem

This time it's the zippers of those who protect the president's zipper from evil doers at home abroad.  The Secret Service is the president's chain-mail  codpiece.   All it takes is one link to fail and the whole piece falls apart.   Now the question is how many of the agents decided to make sexual purchases while at work protecting the President's cod? And we can ask what else occurred?

U.S. Secret Service agents recalled from Colombia

Have an e-book? Why?

I now know why I don't have one, but Mrs. Jake does.  I've never been one who has to have a particular book immediately.  If you see a book and have to have it now, then you probably have an e-book.

83% - Speed Cited as the Top Reason for Getting an E-Book

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Campaign and Money

Both Obama and Romney are owned by special interests.  They will make statements which appeal to people but they only act for corporate interests first, second and third.  We know this.  So, why do any of us in the 85% (100,000 or less in income) give either of them a dime?  I have a suggestion.

If you want to give and make a political point, don't give these guys a dime.  Instead, donate to your favorite charity in their name.  Good works get done and you can attest to your political commitment.  If they can't raise enough money for ads, they will have try harder to sell themselves to CEOs. For that matter, don't work for their campaigns.  Let them hire people (it can be a jobs program).  Instead volunteer for a program in your neighborhood that needs help.

Give one of them your vote, but remember they aren't going to do squat for any of us ordinary folks.

Maybe we need a new party and new candidates.  

Investment Tip

Buy stock in whatever companies make any of the parts, provide support for, or sell drones.  We, the hard working taxpayers are going to be buying a slug of them.

Drones to Increase 45% in Pentagon 30-Year Aviation Plan

Bus Company Rejects Jesus

No, that just attracts your attention.  Actually, it's just the ads the Christians want to run on the busses in London.  Pray the gay away is passe.

TfL bans 'gay cure' bus advert

Got Slime?

Pink Slime is just one process for getting everything but the Cheep, Moo, or Oink out of the beast and into the meat.   I do wonder who sat around wondering and then discovering these processes.  Oh, well, waste not, want not, espcieally if you can sell the slime for the same as prime.

And You Thought It Was Just ‘Pink’ Slime


What's Wrong With Independents?

As a lifelong Democrat, I do not understand Independents.   If they decide to vote for a candidate based on what the candidate says, then I hope they base their decision on who think has lied the least.  It certainly cannot be based upon what a candidate says.  For example, if Willard says Obama has raised taxes on folks and an indie believes that line, then he or she has a problem with facts, reason and logic.  If indies vote for a candidate based on what they say, then I'd like to talk to them about a bridge I have for sale in NYC.  Come on independents, it's party politics all the time.

Facts: Romney’s claim that Obama has raised taxes on ‘millions of Americans’

Politics Today

Have you noticed how the candidates and the parties can manufacture controversies so quickly and completely?  An innocuous statement provides the context.  The operatives leverage the statement into an item that reverberates across the web and echos in social media.  Cable news, seeing an inexpensive and easy to report item oblige and cover the item for days and possibly weeks.  Of course the controversies have nothing to do with the issues and merits of a candidate.  They do provide a great way to avoid talking about substance.  Since voters are just viewers it works quite well.

Today it's the Ann Romney "never worked a day in her life" kerfuffle.  The GOP will use this as much as possible to say "see it's the Dems who wage war on women."   Don't forget the last ginned up echo chamber of Obama's open mic.  And what about the etch-a-sketch?  Is this what you want in your politics?   Will any of the ginned up items change your vote?  It's a great way to get free air time and trash talk the other guy, but that's about all.  Given our voter participation record, I guess it's what we deserve.

Old Dominion Trogs

The Repubs in Va, passed a Voter ID law--the poor, young, elderly and blacks aren't their constituents.  The Gov.,  a fellow Trog, won't veto the bill, but the guy has a few ideas for amendments that effectively gut the bill.  That way the GOP can have a non Voter ID, Voter ID law.  Now we'll see who wins, the Trog or the Troggiers.   Rural Va. still has a problem with black voters, damn let them vote and they might elect a black president.  Oops.

McDonnell’s wise move on Virginia’s voter ID bill

N. Korea, Situation Normal

The son of the late bad hair dictator continues in his father's jumpsuit.  The sone, Eun, made a move to make nice with the  rest of the world. It was done in exchange for food--he keeps most of the nation in starvation.  As the food deal began to move forward, someone must have reminded him of a few things.  Fed people are healthy.  Healthy people can revolt.  If healthy people revolt, then he and his minions might lose their jobs.  Therefore, starvation has its merits.

With that set of thoughts in mind,  he ends the food deal by firing a missile--for space research of course.  Of course the research was really to see if they can launch a warhead on an ICBM.  Oops. The misslile failed.  Now the world will condemn Son of Bad Hair Guy, Eun.  That opens the door for another dastardly deed.  His people will continue to starve.

Outside of N. Korea, there will be much gnashing and some occasional rending over N. Korea.  Over the  the next couple of years we'll see the same scenario play out for 23rd.  It's been going on for decades.  The key is China.  As long as they keep the N. Koran pissant in line, it's just nasty nuke theater.  China needs the U.S. more than it needs Korea.  So be temperate in what you ask for with respect to N. Korea.

North Korea’s failed rocket launch raises fears of nuclear test

Still Have A Landline?

Wireless is in.  Wire is out.  Should Ma Bell be allowed to bag laws that make them provide low cost lines to everyone?  The phone companies see costs in the current laws.   If states bag the laws then the TelCos can flip off the landline customers.   Will the douchebags we elected to the various statehouses help AT&T or John Doe?  Well, since we elected them and they accept generous donations, I think we'll see the rurals heading back to the 1920s.  John and Jane Doe will not have a phone.  Oh, here come the Electric guys.  They want to know if they can quit serving up rural electricity.  The rurals are expensive for big companies to maintain.  So, who'd you vote for in your state legislature?

Landline rules frustrate telecoms profits

When Voters Don't Pay Attention

That's when we get Voter ID laws and Stand Your Ground laws.  Organizations such as ALEC accept donations to lobby for laws.  Companies support ALEC, until it becomes a bit embarrassing.  Then, after the damage is done, companies withdraw financial support.  Along the way, voters elected the douchebags who passed the laws that disenfranchise people and kill people.

So who is at fault?  Well, corporations have no ethics, they only have one rule--maximize profits.  Voters have responsibility if they are willing to accept it.  So far I'd say companies are more effective than voters.   Since only half of us bother to vote, it's fair to say we enjoy exactly the world the majority of those who vote desire.


Trayvon Martin shooting spurs protests against companies with ties to legislative group

Thursday, April 12, 2012

One thing we can count on is Christians

Yep, wherever Christians pop up, we can be sure gays will be attacked.

And in Britain--Christian group books anti-gay ads to appear on buses

Watch for it...

Remember the phone hacking done by Murdoch, Inc. in England?  It's not over.  It may come to NYC soon.

News International braced as lawyer brings phone-hacking scandal to US

Twitter

I don't use Twitter.  I hear about Twittered Tweets on TV newstainment shows.  They report Tweets.  It's a bit idiotic.  The latest was a Tweet from a new Twit, Ann Romney, who tweeted her first Tweet as a response to someone who said she'd never worked a day in her life.

Needless to say, it became a news item--that means it's easy to cover, has the importance of a week old potato peel, fills time, can be easily discussed and is really cheap to produce.  This one will be news all day today and maybe tomorrow too.

As I was listening to the pundits pundit I came to the conclusion that Twitter is the Internet version of a massive, international, grocery store tabloid like the National Enquirer.  If Twitter is the Enquirer then what is Facebook?    

We can count on douchebags to be douchebags

When it became embarrassing to take trips on someone else's dimes, our Congressional douches pass laws law that might have lead us to believe they'd cleaned up their act.  Come on, they're douchebags.  One thing about a douchebag is that they will always find a way to live up to their sobriquet.  Congress remains as sleazy as ever.  Douche on sleazeballs!

Law Shrouds Details of Congressional Trips Abroad

Sanity Breaks Out In Connecticut

One more state has joined the 16 others who have already decided that the state should not kill its people. Now it's time for the rest to join them and totally abolish the death penalty.  If the states end the killing then perhaps the feds will eliminate it too.

Conn. legislature approves repeal of death penalty

If you have the income...

This is the time to buy a house if you have a good job, a good income and the cash to put down.

Rate on 30-year fixed mortgage falls to 3.88%

Nanotech to the rescue

Nanotech can rescue us from ourselves.  That's those of us who forget to keep our electronic gizmos dry and then wonder why they don't work.  Instead of being a serial iPhone shopper, how about a 1/1000th of an inch coating on your existing phone that will keep water out!

An invisible wet suit for your iPhone or Android device

Here's are some of the companies who provide the the process, they have demo vids--P2i, HzO, Liquipel.

No One Could Have Missed This, But On the Off Chance...

George Zimmerman has been arrested and charged with second degree murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin.   As this goes forward we can expect 24/7 coverage of the trial.  Florida is a sunshine state so cameras are allowed in court.

How may logical trials will we see spin off from this one.  Will "stand your ground" laws be tired?  Will racial violence be tired?  Will race relations become a 2012 campaign issue?  The coming months are going to be very interesting.


Zimmerman could face life in prison

Joe McCarthy is Back!

Need attention?  Want folks to notice you?  Desperate for reelection?  Well, then make up vile shit and call Democrats members of the Communist Party.  It worked for Joe McCarthy.  Rep. West is giving it a shot.  Will it work for him?  Why do folks elect schmucks like this?

Republican Rep. Allen West says many congressional Democrats are Communists

Don't forget, he's all talk and no walk

At least that's his preference, it's safer.  If you can get away with talk, then no one gets pissed and donations keep on coming.  However some folks may want action, then his walk will depend on the size and generosity of the group involved.  If you're gay, think Obama will walk his talk, then by now you should know he might.  It will take time.  After all it's hard work being a decider.  As with DADT, this one will take a couple years or so.  I guess gay-bashing federal contractors donate more generously to Obama than do gays.  Just wait a year, if he's reelected...

Obama delays ban on discrimination by U.S. contractors, disappointing gay rights advocates

Taxes on the Rich

If Congress does what Obama wants they will pass the Buffet Rule.  It comes across, from his fine speeches and news sound bites, as a minimum tax on incomes from any source that hit $1,000,000 or more.  At first hear, it sounds like this.  If you make $999,999 in gains, you pay at a 15% rate, the current capital gains rate.  Then, if you add $1 and hit a million, you will pay at a 30% rate.  That is not the way it is.

The tax has a threshold and is applied gradually.  It taxes only the income in excess of one million at the higher rate.  It takes another million to go from 15% to the maximum rate of 30%.  To have one million taxed at 30% you'd have to have $2 million in income.  If you have $2 million in gains, $1 million is taxed at 15% and $1 million is taxed at 30%.  That's 23% isn't it, not 30%.

Pols are certain we're too simple to understand taxes so they feed us simple bullshit.  It's a great way to lie by bullet points.  Then again they might want us to see that they help the rich a bit even as they proceed to tax them a tad more.  I'm tired of the bullshit, are you?

Everything you know about the Buffett rule is wrong

In other words millionaires will not be taxed like the middle class taxpayer despite what the Bullshitter in Chief claims.  Maybe the rate should begin with 15% at $500,000 in non-wage income and increase to 30% at $1 million.

If Willard makes $22 million and paid 15% last year, then he handed over $3.3 million it the IRS.  Under the buffet rule he'd pay $150,000 on million number one and $6.3 mil on million number two thru twenty two for a total of $6,450,000 in taxes, which even at this level is not quite 30%.  It's 29%.  It's better than what exists, but to keep harping on 30% feeds the bullshit machine and deceives us all again.  Don't forget Willard is in the 1% of the 1% so the "30%" rate gets smaller as the millions slide back towards $2 million.

Willard is a dolt

Willard has been on the stump as a typical Trog.  He likes war.  He wants more war.  Hmm, he may not have checked in with the focus groups.  Even Trogs tire of war.  They have.  Willard is a dolt.

Post-ABC News poll shows drop in Republican support for Afghan war
Here's a political party quiz from Pew.  I am amazed that only 8% answered all the questions correctly.  I think I overestimate my fellow citizens.

The News IQ Quiz

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

With Friends Like Him...

Here's some to the things Frothy had to say about Willard.   I wonder if the Dems were listening.


'Pick any other Republican in the country. (Romney) is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama." 


 "Conservatives will not trust (Romney), will not rally around him." 


"Are you going to vote for someone that says one thing one day, anything else the next day that's necessary to win? Or are you going to vote for someone you trust?"


"Any time someone challenges Gov. Romney, Gov. Romney goes out and instead of talking about what he's for ... he just simply goes out and attacks and tries to destroy." 


"He's got a lot of money, but he doesn't have the convictions, the authenticity nor the record that is necessary to win this election." 

Do you think Frothy will be singing Willard's praises any time soon?  His narcissistic need to be on stage (an loved) will overcome all of prior assessments, assertions and conclusions.  Pols are more pathetic than not.   If Frothy does wind up praising Willard,  he will then be a liar or will to admit he was lying about Willard during the primaries and caucuses.  Funny how we tolerate this crap as just politics.

Remember Dusty Springfield?

I was reading this piece in the Monitor Weekly, "Beyond Adele," and had to revisit Dusty Springfield's music.  So many great songs and such a powerful voice.  Adele follows in a long line of Brtish singers, as the author puts it, Dusty's daughters.  If you remember Dusty and like Adele ( I do) then take the time to read the piece.  Then take a bit more time to sample (I use iTunes) Corrine Bailey Rae, Duffy and KT Tunstall.  Those are a few of the rising artists.  If you have more time, sample them all.  I'm going back to Dusty now and I'll re-listen to a bit of Duffy's huge voice.  I feel a purchase or three coming on.  

Nobody in business likes competition

It's a lot easier to fix prices  and be done with it.  Competition is work and you can lose.  Apple and publishers are being taken to court for price fixing on e-books.  Rather than compete with Amazon they conspired to raise prices.  Users would pay the prices since they wanted Apples's iPad more than cheap books (it can't read books in Kindle format).

U.S. sues Apple, publishers over e-books

Amazon may sell at a lower price, but they, as with Apple, rely on proprietary formats to succeed.  Come on, let's have one format for e-books and let the vendors compete for customers.  If a proprietary free format is good enough for Harry Potter, why not everyone else.  Ooops, capitalism is for the other guy.

Willard

I have noted how Willard tends to alienate segments of voters.  I heard a Trog Jesus jockey on MSNBC this morning.  He said that Willard needs to pick an exciting Veep.  If he does pick one, then there would there'd be at least one qualified candidate on the GOP slate  (to beat the ever evil Obama).  It was a strange statement.  Does anyone like Willard? Can he ever get voters to relate to him if  even his own folks think he's a douche?   Is he stuck with being a rich prick Mormon?  You can't have a beer with guy now can you.  Wow, Willard is the GOP's John Kerry!  Now about the dog he took on vacation...


Korea

I was listening to some news reporting on North Korea this morning.  Apparently the North is going to set off an ICBM to launch a "satellite."  Our aces think it's really a nuke delivery system test.  Of course this comes after they made overtures toward joining the rest of the world.  Ooops, there goes the invite to normalcy.  It occurred to me, this is what North Korea has done for 50 years.  It's their normal.  Maybe we should just routinize our reaction.

China does not want any change.  We don't want any nukes being launched.  As long the North merely acts like idiots then we should play their game.  We should expect this kind of behavior and depoliticize it in our domestic politics.  Threats and bluster are the North's way of saying, "We need some help, thanks for the food, now bugger off."  The North's power holders won't let go on their own.  

The Guy is a Dolt

Who?  Why Eric Cantor that's who.  What did he do?  Uh, he gave $25,000 to a get rid of incumbents PAC.  Uh, Eric must have forgotten that he is an incumbent.  Now he's saying it was a mistake.  No one checked on anything.  Then it was a staffer error.  Nah, the buck stops with him.  Actually his donation was for a good cause.  We should not reelect anyone.  At the very least Mr. Cantor showed us that he is a dolt and deserves to be voted out of office.  I hope he keeps it up.

Source: Cantor staff error to blame for anti-incumbent super PAC donation

Does Anyone Like Willard

Willard has spent a great deal of time pissing off Hispanics.  They will not vote for him--he even thinks naming Rubio as Veep will make it all right.  Willard has shown that he thinks women should do as they told with respect to their bodies and, aw hell, everything else.  He made his millions by wrecking companies, so he's not all popular with the working class.  He did spend too much time at Harvard (he received two degrees to Obama's one) so he's pissed off the lesser educated too.  Then dog owners really take issue with what he did to his dog.  I guess the only group still on board are white guys.  Ooops, belay that thought....

Poll: Romney Not Doing Well Enough Among Men

Maybe he should concede now.

Tennessee Replaces Kansas as National Joke

Creationism bill becomes Tenn. law

And the nominee is...

Not Willard.  It's time to think about 2016 and the Democrats.  Other than Clinton and Biden, who else  might show up and vie for a four year lease on Air Force One?   Have any of them started running already?

Hillary Clinton for president? Eight Democrats who might run next time.

Did you really think he was of presidential material?

Uh, Newt's $500 check to get on the Utah ballot has bounced.  It seems fitting, self defining and captures the true essence of the man.

Newt Gingrich's check bounces for Utah ballot

Interesting Question

Does Romney's candidacy mean tea party power has fizzled?

Did the teabaggers peak in 2010?  Are they just one segment of batshit crazy Repubs?  Maybe the question should be did the Teabaggers ever really exist as a separate poltical entity?   Teabaggers are just right wing Repubs who got some attention by the media.  It was a well played out bit of astro turf politics scripted by uber-reactionaries who saw a chance to expand the scope of reactionary politics in the party.  They succeeded.  Romney had to ratchet ever more and more to the right to get the apparent victory.  He may think he can pivot back to the center.  He won't be able to, the Repubs really are more reactionary than they were in 2010 or 2011.  

It makes for an interesting speculation.  If Willard stays to the right, the mainstream Repubs might stay home.  If he pivots back to the center, the reactionaries will stay home and begin to prepare for  2016.  Oh, God, Bachmann v. Santorum in Iowa, 2016?  Will new crazies emerge as Willard loses or will the GOP regroup with more reasonable types like Christie and Daniels leading the way?    

Strategic Ho Hum Watche -- War #1

We came in and blew the crap out of the rubble.  We had the bad guys cornered when the commander in chief deiced to fight a new war.  Afghanistan went on cruise control.  It didn't end.  We fought a bit.  They fought back.  The terrorists have all been killed or they fled to Pakistan.  The Talbian recovered and became the enemy.  We created an ineffective government.  Eventually we resumed trying to make it a real war (Iraq kind of ended) with Surge II.  It's become apparent no one wants us in Afghanistan.  The locals are tired of the death and destrution.  The Taliban want to return to power.  The government wants us gone too.  Oh, hold it, if we leave then the money is cut off and the government has to defend itself, so...

Afghan officials stress need for U.S. security presence beyond 2014 withdrawal

Oh, forgot, most of us here at home want the damn war to be over too.   War is foreign aid by other means?  

Supremes and Obamacare

How do you expect Roberts and Robes to decide on Obamacare?  Do you expect a 5-4 decision?  Do you expect Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Roberts and Kennedy to rule against it?  I do.  Why will they decide that way?  Will it be after deep and diligent consideration of the Constitution or because they all have the Repub National Committee on speed-dial?  I think their decision was made up well before they held three days worth of hearings.  The Repub members based their questions on FOX an RNC bullet points.  The Supremes are as partisan as Congress.  The Court is not as big a joke as Congress, but they are working on it.   We need to change things a bit.  All three branches of our government are dysfunctional.

Poll: More Americans expect Supreme Court’s health-care decision to be political

Don't forget, activism is in the eye of beholder.  Over the years, the Court gave us Dred Scott and Jim Crow.  I wonder what this court will serve up?

Women in the economy

“Invest in Women, Invest in America: A Comprehensive Review of Women in the U.S. Economy” was prepared by the Joint Economic Committee of Congress.


From Bob Park

WHAT'S NEW Robert L Park Tuesday, 10 Apr 2012 Washington, DC

1. THE LAST ASTRONAUT: FUNCTIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT IN SPACE. Retirement of the aging Space Shuttle fleet last summer (WN 8 Jul 2011) grounded the 62 remaining NASA astronauts. Although the US is one of the 16 partner nations of the International Space Station, an American astronaut would need a ticket on a Russian Soyuz to get there. The Bush plan was Constellation, a new program to deliver astronauts and supplies not only to the ISS, but also to the Moon, to Mars and "other destinations beyond." Constellation would have indulged all the space-colony fantasies at a cost that would retard genuine progress. Worse yet, astronauts romping around Mars would almost guarantee contamination of Mars with terrestrial bacteria, ending any hope of answering the profound scientific questions about the origin of life that draw us to Mars. In the end, common sense prevailed; Constellation was canceled.

2. THE FIRST ASTRONAUT: "INTRODUCTION TO OUTER SPACE." On the 40th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, barely a month after Sputnik 1, a dog named Laika was launched on Sputnik 2. Poor Laika survived a few hours at most. President Eisenhower shared a remarkable report with the American people: "Introduction to Outer Space," prepared by his Science Advisory Committee under the direction of James R. Killian, President of MIT (http://www.fas.org/spp/guide/usa/intro1958.html). "The cost of transporting men through space will be extremely high," it noted, "but the cost and difficulty of sending information through space will be comparatively low." A year later, however, NASA chose seven military test pilots to be the first astronauts, romanticized by Tom Wolfe in "The Right Stuff." John Glenn was picked for the first orbital flight, but NASA first sent Ham, a chimpanzee, to test the water. In spite of his lack of test pilot experience, Ham did everything John Glenn would do. Both Ham and Glenn would end up in Washington: Glenn in the U.S. Senate, Ham in the National Zoo.

3. A MESSAGE FROM MARS: "THE RIGHT STUFF" IS PLUTONIUM-238. The Mars Science Laboratory, including a new Mars rover, Curiosity, was launched 26 Nov 2011 from Cape Canaveral by an Atlas V rocket. It's scheduled to land on Mars at Gale Crater near Mount Sharp on 6 Aug 2012. The primary objective is to determine whether Mars has ever supported life. Curiosity is about five times larger than the Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, and uses far more sophisticated instrumentation. It’s designed to explore for at least one Martian year (687 Earth days) over a range of 5-20 km. Instead of solar panels, Curiosity relies on an RTG (Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator) for power, allowing it to operate at full power night and day, unaffected by dust collecting on its surfaces. The isotope of choice is Pu-238, an alpha emitter with an 87.7 year half- life that generates about 0.5 watts/gram. According to the March 23 issue of Aviation Week, U.S. production of Pu-238 was halted in 1988 and supplies are dwindling. NASA and the Department of Energy expect to restart production of Pu-238 in six or seven years and for the first time use the isotope more efficiently in the Advanced Sterling Radioisotope Generator.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

They Are Both 1%ers!

Obama and Willard are among the elite--they make a bundle every year.  Both claim the "man of the people title.  Neither can since they are not.  Do you trust either of them?  I do not. They are pols who seek office to build their Rolodex for post presidential investment (look at Clinton).  I just want someone who will administer the damn government in a reasonable manner.  I do not want a leader.  I do not want a "father" figure.  I do not want a narcissist in office.  I just want a reasonable manager.  Is that too much to ask?    Oh it would be nice to have someone who is honest and respects the rule of law.  Was Truman the last decent president?

Who's the rich guy? Obama, Romney duel over status

Streaming Can Make for Steaming

When there are too many providing too little and they all compete for your business, it becomes a mess.  Streaming content is everywhere on the web.  It's mind boggling.  I wind up sticking with Netflix because it's simple.  They have it or they don't.  Sometimes they had it and then they lose it.  I was watching "Monarch of the Glen" on Netflix for several weeks.  It's a great show.  Then one evening it had disappeared.  I called them.  They didn't get a license renewal on the show.  I had to finish watching on DVD.  At least Netflix has DVDs as a backup.  Why do they want to get out of the DVD biz?

I tired to find the show on other streaming content providers.  Some appeared to have the show.  None of them worked.  Sometimes they only had trailers.  Some were out of Europe and did not work in the U.S. ( I assume that to be the case).  It's confusing.  Is there a market for an an online streaming content clearinghouse--an index of who runs what, for what price, etc.? The good news is it's going to get even more confusing.  I think I'll stick to Netflix.

Flood of video streaming options could confound TV watchers

It's a good day...

Santorum has bagged it!  The downside is he's such an easy target.  However Willard's not too shabby, humorwise.  Damn, Newt won't quit, does it matter?  The other guy from Texas is building his brand for his son, what's his name?  The GOP remains a most odd lot of knuckle dragging Trogs who all suffer from the heartbreak of droolitis.

Santorum suspends GOP presidential campaign

He Really Is Full of santorum

What a difference a few years and desire to win at all costs can make.  In Frothy's case, he went from moderate to batshit crazy.  Pennsylvanians did not like Rick 1.0.  I'm fairly certain they will reject Frothy 2.0.  The guy is, simply put, an ass.

Santorum looks moderate in 2006 flier

Maybe Santorum is like St. Paul.  Paul, then Saul, saw Jesus, was blinded, saw the light, became Paul and has been screwing up Christianity ever since.  Rick lost the 2006 race, in despair he stuck his head up his ass, farted and blew out Frothy.  Will the GOP really allow him to screw up future generations of Repubs?  Who knows, but I wouldn't shake his hand.  He's covered with santorum.

Syria

Did anyone really think Assad would play nice with the UN?  Assad will not end the killing until he has eradicated his opposition.  It's not him personally, it's all those fine folks who work for him.  If he goes, they go.  If he steps aside and hightails it to some safe haven, then they will be caught and killed by those they have oppressed for decades.  That in a nutshell is why the fighting will not end until one side wipes out the other side.

GOP Fiscal Policy


Place Your Bets

Will the feds actually regulate mortgage bankers?  Right.  Does anyone really expect the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to write effective rules that are really enforced?  Come on, it's the same crowd who unregulated banking and gave us the economic meltdown who wrote the new law to return a modicum of regulation to the finance industry.  Think about it.

Consumer watchdog proposes crackdown on mortgage companies

Battling Accountants?

Obama has his green eye shade guys.  The GOP have theirs.  Now both teams will run the numbers on  Obamacare.  The Prez's crew says the law saves money, attacks the debt, keeps Medicare going and will put a chicken in every pot.  The GOP's minions say "bullshit." They don't say much else but that.

Oh, I forgot they also say "no."   Go ahead, say "Medicare."  Now listen,  Here it comes.  "NO!"  Try saying "Social Security."  And the GOP's eval,  yep here it comes, "NO!" That's the GOP solution to everything except defense contractors and other special interests who contribute generously to campaign coffers.  It's kind of sad when we realize the only reason we don't have national health care is because of how Congressional races (both parties) are financed.  Who's dumber, them or us, the voters?

Health-care law will add $340 billion to deficit, new GOP study finds

Don't Forget, Tricky Started the War on Drugs

After forty or so years, how's the war going?  Well, when our allies, whom we bribe to allow us to fight the war on their turf, tell us to bugger off, I'd say it's going well.  That evaluation is based upon the war's track record.  It's been bad from the get go, but we keep at it, so it's one of those, by definition, dandy wars.  It's been going on so long with secure funding, that we've even seen the development of a Drug War Industry Complex to  insure that the war never ends.  It would be lot more sensible to legalize the drugs and just say no to  the war.

Latin American countries pursue alternatives to U.S. drug war

Strategic Victory Watch -- War #1

We keep watching.  We're sure victory is just around the corner.  We've been certain of that for over 10 years.  Now that winter is over, the Afghans have begun to celebrate spring.  How do they observe spring?  Oh, they open the new fighting season with suicide bombers.    What was Einstein's definition of insanity--doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.  Now about that corner...

Two bomb attacks in Afghanistan leave at least 15 police, civilians dead

It Does Bite Back

Gee, x-rays can cause tumors.  Let's see, go to the dentist.  Open mouth.  Insert bitewing. Chomp down.  Zap!  Tumor accomplished!  Not quite, but it may be shown, beyond self-reporting to be serious.   At least you'll have a nice smile when the baseball grows inside your head.

Study links dental X-rays to brain tumor risk

Monday, April 9, 2012

Thank A Teabagging Trog

There are jobs out there.  Unfortunately, many of them require a bit of training.  The unemployed used to be able to go to a federally funded training center.  Oops, they are closing since the money is running out.  Why is the money running out?  Oh, the Teabagging Trogs in Congress are worried about spending and debt (for everything except defense contractors).   And you thought Trogs cared.  They do, but it stops at the inside of their own skin.

Federal Funds to Train the Jobless Are Drying Up

Tired of the Electoral College?

I finally am.   I resisted advocating for change simply because it's in the Constitution.  Now based upon the current state of our politics, I know it's time to rid ourselves of this anachronism.  It's time to elect our president by popular vote.  It cannot be any worse than what we do today.  We can do it without amending the Constitution.  States can agree to award their electoral votes based on whomever wins the national popular vote.  If states with 270 votes sign on, then it's done.  It's time for a change.  Here's a site loaded with info on the who, how, what, and why--

National Popular Vote

And while we're at it, lets make Congressional Districts a whole lot smaller.  How does one Rep for every 30,000 sound?  Before you react to a huge House, think about what the effect on your vote might be.  Then think about the Internet.  You might even know the schmuck you elect to Congress.

Thirty Thousand Per Rep

Bucket of spit watch

Gee, a bucket of spit, what does that mean?  Oh, it refers to the Vice Presidency.  The Veep slot will be a hot topic on TV "news" shows.  It will be great filler.  After all it's time to move on since Willard has been declared the winner.    Who really gives a rats about Willard's Veep?  Come on, who votes for Prez by looking at the Vice Prez?  Once elected, the Prez can shaft us, like Bush did with Dork, but how different would Bush have been even if he'd been dorkless?  Bush was the dick.  He just had another Dick to blame it all on.  The Veep is just one more bucket.

It's Bullshit

NBC edited the 911 tape.  They screwed up.  NBC news screwed up.  If it was accidental and a case of "my bad" then I suggest that NBC has finally followed their MSNBC tail and allowed entertainment revenues to wags the news dog.  They don't think.  They don't stick to policy.  They just make mistakes.  A guy is fired (good for ratings).  So what?  Is there any news (other than the BBC) on TV these days?

Trayvon Martin call was "mistake, not deliberate": NBC

If the weather is deep fired...

It's too warm for this time of year.  I fear what it portends for Summer and the future seasons.  If man did not alter the climate, then god did it.  Either way we're screwed.  Gee, what happens to the end of days bullshit if we all become so many eggs frying on the sidewalk?  I don't think that option was covered was it?  Maybe we can use our "god" given brains and regardless of who caused it, fix it.

Start of 2012, March shatter US heat records

In Case You Missed It...

The Prez stepped in a little steaming pile.  Of course, the presence of a pile allowed the GOP to make a big steaming pile out of a little poop.  Given the turd-off, cable news provided their usual stellar fecal coverage.  Granted the Prez was full of it, but these days pols all lie their asses off.  I suggest that we've reached or are pretty damn close to the point where words no longer matter at all (unless it's in a negative ad).   He would have been better off finding a quote about evil activist judges by a well know Repub and reading it  instead of saying what he said.

Obama’s selective memory of Supreme Court history

Autism and Obesity

If Mom is obese and gets pregnant then it appears to increase the odds she will have an autistic child.  Is this the cause of autism?  No, it's an interesting correlation from one study.  It's interesting enough to suggest that if one is wants to have a child, then one might spend a few months at the gym, adjust one's diet and then think about pregnancy.


Could autism be linked with mothers’ obesity during pregnancy? Study says it could be a factor

Exactly what did we "win?"

 He grabbed for history and we, our wallets.  Bush did his Iraq thing. We paid for it. He went back to Dallas as he passed his legacy on to everybody's champion of really good speeches, Obama. How's he handling the legacy of Iraq?

Well, “Maliki is heading towards an incredibly destructive dictatorship, and it looks to me as though the Obama administration is waving him across the finishing line,” said Toby Dodge, an Iraq expert at the London School of Economics. “Meanwhile, the most likely outcomes, which are either dictatorship or civil war, would be catastrophic because Iraq sits between Iran and Syria.”


U.S. policy on Iraq questioned as influence wanes, Maliki consolidates power

Sunday, April 8, 2012

There's an alternative to google maps?

Yep, it's called OpenStreetMap.


OpenStreetMap Celebrates Wikipedia Defection From Google Maps

It's been a while, but I think it's time for another award--

This time the "No Shit Sherlock" award goes to--

Stand Your Ground laws coincide with jump in justifiable-homicide cases


Water Myths

Five Myths

Obama in 2012

I have my issues with Obama.  I will vote for him--look at the alternative.  I will not give him any money and I will not work on his behalf as I did in 2008.  That's what happens when it becomes a vote against rather than a vote for election.  I'll let those who are voting for him work for him.

If you are undecided about voting against the GOP, consider this--The Supreme Court.  If the GOP wins the 2012 race they will probably be able to replace two justices.  Age and ailments are becoming a factor among the liberals.  Do you really want the GOP to own the court?  If so, vote for Willard and he will appoint more of the Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts types (and worse) to the court.  Remember they appointed Bush and gave us Citizens United.  Want more of that dreck?  Votes matter, will yours?

How'd you bet?

If you bet on the UN, pay up.  If you bet on Assad, then collect your winnings.  Did anyone really expect Assad to relinquish one iota of power?  The UN's attempt was a possible way for Assad to disarm, collect names and get poised for even larger slaughter of his own people.  His enemies flipped him off.

This time next year, unless he's killed by someone in his inner circle, he will still be in power.  If the other Arab dictators want him out, they will have to take him out by invading Syria.  The odds of that happening that are zero.

Syrian rebels refuse to give regime guarantees

Uh Oh!

I saw this headline--Cruise ship to retrace voyage of Titanic-- and immediately began to wonder, what it the ship hits a berg and sinks?  That would be spooky.

Strategic Lunacy Watch -- War #1

Let's see if I understand this.  Our guys (troops and mercs) cannot do their job unless they can swoop in on villages at night and kill bad guys.  Sometimes swoops take out ordinary Afghans that just want to be left alone.  The Afghans don't appreciate the random killings.  The Afghan government, that we appointed, funded and support, demands that we quit swooping (that should make you wonder).

So in the interest of staying at war, we have agreed to give the Afghans a piece of the swooping action even though we know they couldn't shoot their way out of a wet paper bag (we trained them and that should also may you wonder).  It all makes me wonder if there is anyone one in charge of whatever it is we're doing in Afghanistan.  I think it's beyond FUBAR.  I didn't think anyone could attain that level.  We have.  Why not call it a day and come home?  It's not a war anymore.

Afghans, US sign deal on night raids

Maybe His Religion Is the Problem

Romney seems to never quite attract female voters.  He lost them against Kennedy when he tried to run for the Senate.  I doubt they voted for him in great numbers in the 2008 primaries.  Now, compared to Obama he's losing the female voters by 20 or more points.

Have you noticed, other than his wife, there are no women (maybe one) in his campaign's inner circle.  When he ran Bain, there may have been one woman exec.  He ran more of a "Mad Men" type of shop.  

What has been the place of women in his Church?  Not that many years ago one of the Chruch's Prophets, Seer and Revelators said basically that women should stay at home, stay uneducated, stay pregnant and stay very obedient (Ezra Taft Benson).  The Mormons can make the Catholics look like a hot bed of equal opportunity.  Willard behaves, with respect to women, as he was raised and matured in his faith (especially when he was at BYU).  If he was a Democrat it would not be any different.