Saturday, June 2, 2012

Our Government In Action

If the adage "reap as you sow" is true, then the aces in Washington have sown a future disaster the we will all wind up reaping.   Live by the super virus, die by the super virus.

Cheat Sheet: Behind The U.S. Cyberattacks on Iran

The Guy is Pure Glop!

This is typical Willard.  It show how he thinks.  It shows how his thoughts inform his actions.  It shows his lack of core principles.  It shows that he is so out of touch with most people.  It shows us what a piss poor president he would make.  I don't care if you are a Dem or a GOOPER, this guy is wrong for the office.  Hell, the Shrub was better than Willard could ever be in office.

Romney scuttled, revived Mass. affirmative action

Who'd A Guessed

Willmitt Richney remains an affluent asshole.  He did not, in a fit of mindless charity, give it all away to the unemployed or the hungry.   If he had, then he just be an asshole.  He remains, the out of touch, core-less, rich prick who desperately wants to be President.  Gee, unlike Obama's voters in 2008, if Mittly is elected, his voters will never be surprised at what he might do in Office.  If you vote for an total pandering ass, you get a total ass.  Since he has no principles, there is no metric to measure and assess his deeds.

Romney reports net worth of $190M to $250M

There Goes November

If you haven't caught the news on our economy, here's a piece loaded with less than good news.

Dismal job growth shows U.S. economy slowing; jobless rate 8.2 percent

If Greece and Spain tank the Euro, then this Summer could see a slow reversal of the slow gains our econ had made over the past couple of years.  It this occurs, would you care to wager on the November election?

Ooops, Obama Misspoke

Obama must have crossed a line in his attacks on Willard and Bain.  Corey Booker dissed the Chief on a Sunday bobblehead show.  Now slick Willie tells that Rombot had a sterling record at Bain.  Damn, has the Prez been politically bitch slapped?

Maybe, but why?  Perhaps Obama's attack was feared to change from hitting Rominee personally into an attack on the way we do business in 2012.  Hold it, if contemporary capitalism is challenged, analyzed and discussed it might be rejected for a different version of capitalism.  That might affect campaign donations to today's incumbents.  It might reduce the party power of folks like Clinton.  Obama better leave Willard alone, the Dems in charge of their party would rather lose the White House than risk losing their access to the green kind of political capital.


Bill Clinton sticks another fork in Obama’s Bain strategy, says Romney had ‘sterling’ business career

Recruiting Bad Guys

I wonder how many more  hearts and minds have been lost to one more drone.

US missile strike kills 2 militants in Pakistani tribal region along Afghan border

I wonder what Rome would have done it they had had drones.  Gee, it this the modern day form of crucifixion?

Friday, June 1, 2012

What's Really Changed?


Voting Blocs

Okay, what about he black Mormon vote?  Were you ready for that one?  I hadn't given it a thought until I ran into this piece in the Salt Lake Tribune--

Black Mormons face historic presidential choice

Granted it's not a huge group, but it may be the only group whose members will be pleased with either Obama or Willard.

Mitt Obama and Barack Romney?

Have you noticed how similar the two are in some respects? As the two clowns attack each other I've found an area in both are quite similar.  Both oversaw investments in companies and in most cases both made money for their investors.

Willard took investors money and regardless of outcome made a profit--even it the underlying asset went belly-up.  Obama invested in companies owned by donors who thus made a profit even it the company tanked.  It's odd how they jerk each other around where they are so congruent.

Is Self Probing Illegal?

If a government agency can redact an author's work before it is published, do you think the redaction is done to insure accuracy and protect vital national security or is done to cover the butt's of the agencies senior civil servants, appointees and the White House? Based on past experience, I'd guess CYA, CYA, CYA.  How about you?  Oh, maybe not?  Okay if the government agency is the CIA.  Yep, CYA all the way.

CIA probes publication review board over allegations of selective censorship

Do you think the CIA can probe itself? Sure but let's put it this way, their fingers will be as clean post probe as they were pre-. Trust?  Nah, it's long gone and is not coming back any day soon.

Radiation is radiation, right?

Of course it is, unless the radiation provider is wearing a white lab coat and has a stethoscope draped over her shoulders, then somehow it becomes, by magic, a  less harmful radiation.   That's dangerous thinking.  It's not the nuke plant that will cause a third arm to grow out of your left butt cheek, it's your doctor.

Radiation: It's just what the doctor ordered

Hawking the Merch -- Yesterday's Stuff

Yesterday was the end of some campaign finance type of month.  The Democratic merchandisers were busy seeking cash.   I received a pitch from Joe, one from Barack, and one from an Obama group selling bumper stickers.  I wonder what today will bring?  Oh, I haven't bothered with posting about the Congressional sales pitch e-mails--they are just as frequent and pathetic.

Jake --
Before tonight's fundraising deadline, donate $10 or more and we'll send you a car magnet:
Get-Your-Car-Magnet But hurry -- this offer's only good until midnight your time.







 Thanks, Obama for America

Jake --
I need your help today.
Tonight is the May fundraising deadline, and it matters.
Please donate $45 or more before midnight:
Thank you,
Barack

Jake --
This is Barack's last campaign.
If you're planning to chip in again before November, we'd both appreciate if you do so today.
Make a donation before the deadline at midnight your time
Thanks,
Joe

I know Buddy Roemer has dropped out, but with every sales pitch I becomed more and more inclined to write in his name anyway.

Our Government in Action

Unfortunately, sometimes their actions do affect us.  Well, in this case it's those of us who fly.  Our air traffic control systems needs an upgrade.  Congress took action.  They told the FAA to make those skies friendly for the 21st century.  The FAA went off to plan.  The FAA isn't ready, they want more time and money to plan, plan, plan.  I have a feeling two things are occurring.  One, existing jobs and locations are threatened by changes.  And two, there's a grundle or three of "free" money in government planning--it's like crack for contractors.

Be prepared for a 21st century system being kicked off on or about March 3, 2100.

Plan to update air traffic-control system faces delay

Very Good Question!

Networked individualism: What in the world is that?

I hope the pols are paying attnetion--

We don't want another war.  We have had it with them (they cost too much).  Should we intervene militarily in Syria?  About two-thirds of us think we should not intervene'.  If the Bozo in the White House wants to send us into battle in Syria, he can.  Congress has given away their war making power.

It's time for Congress to rescind the War Powers Resolution and re-assume their Constitutional responsibility.  Syrian action?  Sure if:

1.  Congress declares war.
2.  Congress raises taxes to pay for the action.
3.  Congress re-institutes the draft to provide the men an women for the armed forces needed in the action.
4.  Congress mandates a Reductions in Forces, Reduction in Grade, Reduction in all of DOD at the conclusion of the action.

Did you ever borrow a telescope?

If you did, I bet it doesn't cost you a $100,000 a month to operate.  The GALAX ultra-violet scope was heading towards shutdown by NASA.  Then Caltech decided to see if they could borrow the scope.  GALAX appears to be headed towards several more years (hopefully) of operation.  This is a nice blend of the feds with other public or private entities.

NASA Loans Space Telescope to Caltech

Ooops, men are such....

It's Official, Men Are the Dirtier Sex

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Halt Damned Tide!

North Carolina is fast becoming the Kansas of the East Coast.  Perhaps the NC legislature should be reminded of King Canute. Canute set his throne on the seashore. He commanded the tide to halt. It didn't. He got his feet wet. Canute noted how worthless is the power of kings. I suggest the NC legislature is pulling a Canute. They can pretend the tide won't rise. I hope they will not seek federal assistance when the NC coast goes under.

North Carolina Bill Would Have State Ignore Faster Rising Seas

Is DOMA done for?

Court: Heart of gay marriage law unconstitutional

A federal appeals court Thursday declared that the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married gay couples, a groundbreaking ruling all but certain to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Interested in Amazon?

If so, then here's a piece from the Nation.  The author describes the rise of Amazon quite well.  He also tries to put the post-Amazon publishing world in perspective.  Amazon has been a huge success at selling books and e-books.  What have we gained and what have we lost as a result?   It's a longer piece but worth the read.  Enjoy!

The Amazon Effect

Life for the Unborn Taxpayer

Many people are concerned about the national debt being passed on to the unborn taxpayer.  They assume the unborn will be able to have a job, earn an income and pay taxes.  At the rate we're going, it might be the unborn's, unborn grandchildren who eventually pay the tab--if they can survive.

We know about global warming.  Climate change may do us in.  If it doesn't, then other things we've done to "make a living" may eliminate lots of jobs.  Ask folks who live on the Chesapeake Bay and its estuaries about making a life on the water these days.  Between over harvesting and polluting the Bay, we're killing off the oysters, crabs, and menhaden.  We're killing the Bay as the water rises.

Okay, who cares about crabs?  We can live on corn and wheat, right?  Well, we can if we have a lot of arable farmland.  We do in the plains states.  They irrigate the crops.  They take out more water than goes back in.  The Ogallala aquifer is in trouble.

Everyday we obtain more evidence that if you shit in your nest, you will die.

  Southern Great Plains could run out of groundwater in 30 years, study finds

If you missed it...

I missed the Hatfields and McCoys on A&E this week.   An acquaintance described it to me this morning.  I checked the A&E schedule, they are repeating the mini-series this Saturday.  If you missed it, DVR it on Sat.

How 'Hatfields and McCoys' became cable's biggest-ever hit

We've trained them

We've spent billions on training and equipment.  Now, as we stand down, they can stand up.  Ooops, on the way up they were blown to bits by the Taliban.  Didn't we defeat them?  After a decade it's hard to keep track of who is good and bad.  Even Santa Claus has quit going to Afghanistan.

Suicide attacks target police in Afghanistan

Trump Your Trump


They can go out of business

Give your donations to Planned Parenthood instead of Komen, you'll do more good for more women with your money.

D.C. Komen race registration is down

Annals of the Nanny State, Er, Uh, Nanny City

New York City knows what's best for you even if you don't.  To protect those who are just one more wrench in the bottom drawer of the tool chest, Mayor Bloomberg proposes a limit on the size of sweet drinks.  Bye-bye big gulp, hello make that a six-pack of 16 ounce sodas to go.  Obesity is a problem.  If obesity can be seen as a sin akin to booze and smokes, then we need new sin taxes on fats, carbs and sugars.  Gee, the evangefundies could start a program of their own -- Jesus was svelte, why aren't you!

NYC proposes ban on sale of oversized sodas and other sweetened drinks in anti-obesity effort

A Couple of Birthers


Time to get worried or just ignore it?

The fantasy based faithful don't give a shit. They either relish an impending end of days or blithely assume that Jesus would not let us kill the planet for him.   The rest of us need to worry and demand action.  I'm not sure if most of us are sane or not.  If you're worried about the unborn taxpayer, you might worry about whether or not they will even have a place to live.

Apocalypse Soon: Has Civilization Passed the Environmental Point of No Return?

In Limits to Growth, a bitterly disputed 1972 book that explicated these findings, researchers argued that the global industrial system has so much inertia that it cannot readily correct course in response to signals of planetary stress. But unless economic growth skidded to a halt before reaching the edge, they warned, society was headed for overshoot—and a splat that could kill billions.


Don't look now but we are running in midair, a new book asserts. In 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years (Chelsea Green Publishing), Jorgen Randers of the BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo, and one of the original World3 modelers, argues that the second half of the 21st century will bring us near apocalypse in the form of severe global warming.

It Didn't Work for Bonzo, It Won't for Barry

What won't work? Ballistic missile defense systems that's what.  Remember Bonzo's Star Wars system?  It was nutzoid from outset.  All it has done, in it's various guises, over the years is transfer tax dollars to the Military Industrial Congressional Complex bank accounts.  The latest version -- to defend Europe from Iranian missiles -- is also loopy.  Let's put it a bit more clearly--

Dream deterred 


A little-noticed report PDF released in September 2011 by the Defense Science Board, an independent advisory committee to the US Defense Department, found three major problems with the Early Intercept Ballistic Missile Defense now being developed. Apparently, (1) none of the necessary radars in the European Phased Adaptive Approach defense system are powerful enough to work, (2) none of the existing missile defense sensors can reliably distinguish among warheads, decoys, and other debris, and (3) US intelligence already has observed foreign ballistic missile launches that can deploy decoys and other countermeasures. So, after 27 years of development and $150 billion spent, there still is no effective missile shield -- it is still a dream. 

If the objective is really to piss off the Russians and return to some kind of Cold War, then let's say so. Let's knock off the anti-scientific pursuit of something that cannot be successfully built. Of course the real reason for the system may be payoffs to big campaign donors (by both parties) in the MIC.

Hawking the Merch -- Blue Light Special

It's the end of the month special.  I'm asked to give to get something.  I wish they'd provide a menu.  I wonder what I'd get if I gave $45,000 instead of a mere $45.

Jake --


Here it is, straight up:


Tomorrow's a big fundraising deadline.


It's a simple equation, really: What we put into this campaign is what we'll get out of it.


Please chip in $45 or whatever you can afford before tomorrow's deadline:


https://donate.barackobama.com/May-Deadline


I'm ready to work, and I hope you are, too.


Thank you -- and see you out there,


Michelle

From Bob Park

WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 30 May 2012 Washington, DC

1. NATURAL LAW: CATHOLIC INSTITUTIONS SUE THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. The lawsuit argues that the Obama healthcare plan violates the religious freedom of Catholic institutions by requiring them to cover the contraception costs of employees. In the eyes of the Church, artificial contraception violates the doctrine of Natural Law. If sexual intercourse cannot lead to procreation it removes the sovereignty of God over Creation. Try thinking that through while having sex. What are the odds of the Church winning its suit? The Church hasn't won a case based on Natural Law since 615 when the Inquisition forced Galileo to recant his belief in a heliocentric universe.

2. SPACE X: SPACE TRANSPORT COMPANY DELIVERED NO ONE TO THE ISS. Founded in 2002 by PayPal entrepreneur Elon Musk, Space X last Friday became the first private company to dock on the International Space Station. Presidential science adviser John Holdren called it, "an achievement of historic scientific and technological significance" and "a key milepost in President Obama’s vision for America’s continued leadership in space." The cargo capsule, Dragon, delivered groceries and collected the ISS garbage, but carried no people. That is indeed a big improvment over the Shuttle.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Our Pols?

Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which people have an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves.

A person with narcissistic personality disorder may:


React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation


Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals


Have excessive feelings of self-importance


Exaggerate achievements and talents


Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love


Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment


Need constant attention and admiration


Disregard the feelings of others, and have little ability to feel empathy


Have obsessive self-interest


Pursue mainly selfish goals 

Willard?  Obama?

Vatileaks Update

As Pope Ratzy continues to lead his flock back to 1253, he's saddened by his butler's betrayal of trust.   All things papal are to be secret, otherwise it might be embarrassing and set back his quest. Who knows what the real scandal is?  When God's emissary (and his associates) on earth gets his hands in Caesar's fiscal coffers, it does get a bit sticky.  Prelates are just people when it comes to money and power.   When will the faithful catch on, doesn't it suck to be used and abused for  two thousand years?

Pope breaks silence over Vatileaks scandal

Axis of Weasels Update -- North Korea

Our relationship with N. Korea is not the best in the world. The Shrub put them in the axis of weasels. We know they are partial to terrorism, the Shrub told us so. They have nukes. Did I mention they have nukes? Now the N. Koreans, after a seeming move toward a bit of international sanity, have an excuse to get return to their weaselly ways.

Apparently some ace U.S. general shot his mouth off about special ops teams sneaking into N. Korea to spy on underground tunnels--I assume they are related to nuke sites. The bemedaled one was talking in public. His remarks were heard by a reporter. The reporter did what reporters do, he reported what the ace said. Ooops, someone forgot that some N. Koreans are literate.

The generals counterpart aces in Washington deny any commandos were air-dropped into Korea. It's time for everybody to get their full huff and puff on.  Maybe generals are kings, and the Prez is the ace.  Does that make Congress a body of Queens and Supremes a bunch of Jacks?

U.S. denies N. Korea commando operation

The Jury is Still Out?

I have not followed the Edwards trial much at all.  He's a creep.  If he's found guilty that will be a plus.  If they free him, he's still a piss poor excuse for a human being.  He suckered a lot of folks.  Too bad his ideas so exceeded his morals.  I was surprized to see the jury is still out--

Edwards jury ends seventh day without verdict

Willard is the Winner!

Willard now has the delegates needed to be the GOP's nominee.  Texas gave him the delegates.  How did Willard kick off the victory?  Oh, he shared the stage with Donald Trump.  I guess, in his heart, Willard is a birther.
Romney clinches nomination, attacks Obama on Solyndra, but Trump steals the spotlight

God v. Caesar

God gets your soul, Caesar gets the rest.   When the two worlds overlap it gets a bit sticky, especially if the  godly crowd infringes on one of Caesar's own.   In Louisiana undertakers have paid the state legislature for the exclusive right to sell caskets.  When some La. monks began selling their hand made caskets,  undertakers responded.  It's in the courts now.

Louisiana monks go to court to sell their caskets

Please Worship

There are some theists, of the Christian flavor, who think God wants them to handle poisonous snakes. They also think God wants them to do this to show their faith in the very same God. They additionally think that, if they are bitten, they have to trust in that same God who had the snake bite the faithful one's hand. This is a good idea. I wish more Christians would take up snake handling. Perhaps there is room for Jews and Muslims to adopt this Biblical practice.

Oh, I almost forgot. A snake handler had faith, laid down with a serpent, got bitten in the ass and trusting in the Lord, he died. Fine practice, so all you faithful folks go buy a rattler and please get to worshipping.  Your faithful acts will make the world a better place

Serpent-handling pastor profiled earlier in Washington Post dies from rattlesnake bite

Iran's Been Flamed

Yesterday I did a post on Flamer.  Here's that link to the "Post" article--Newly identified computer virus, used for spying, is 20 times size of Stuxnet.

Today, Iran says it's been Flamed--Iran acknowledges that Flame virus has infected computers nationwide.

Is this the beginning of cyberwar?

Recruiting Bad Guys

The Shrub and Obama are similar in so many ways.  Their foreign policies, war on terror, and intelligence collection practices are congruent.  It's as though the Shrub is still planted in the Rose Garden.  Oh, both are also damn good recruiters for al Qaeda.

The Shrub excelled at increasing terrorist numbers and sympathizers via Gitmo, torture, Abu Ghraib and the Iraqi occupation.   The folks near the receiving end of the Shrubs's practices were won over, but to the other side.  The saddest part though is he didn't win any domestic hearts and minds.  His lies were exposed and our people were disgusted at what's been done in our name.

Now it's Obama's turn.  He ran on change.  He did.  He became a Shrub.  Obama continued his predecessor's terrorist recruitment business.  It's going well.  Of course he's used a new tool.  Every time a drone kills a bad guy, Arabs enlist or start thinking how much they despise the USA.  And as with the Shrub, he assures us that our guys only bomb bad guys--we never kill civilians.  I have a feeling Obama et. al. lie a bit on that score.  Actually, the truth doesn't matter on drone deaths.  If the Arabs on the receiving end of the attacks believe civilians have been killed by our bombs, then they have been killed by our bombs.  War and veracity  do not go together well.

Live by the drone, die by the drone.  I don't feel any safer because of drones.  I don't feel as though drones protect my freedom.  Do you?

In Yemen, U.S. airstrikes breed anger, and sympathy for al-Qaeda

How about Pakistan?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Prophecy

Every religion seems to have a bent for predicting the future.  Of course, none of the predictions ever seem to quite pan out, but they keep on asserting all kinds of bull.  After all, when you treat fantasy as fact, anything can be true.  There really are no rules in faithland, now are there.

I've learned one thing from a prophecy.  As some point this nation will be in dire straits. We will be in great distress and the Constitution will hang by a thread. Who will save the day?  Well, that person will ride a white horse and make it all right again.  Who is on the White Horse?  I think it's Crusader Rabbit.  Oh, what did I learn?  I learned that if Crusader Rabbit does save the day, then, then that Rabbit is a Mormon.  

Here's more than anyone wants to know about a Mormon prophecy.

Romney's Mormon faith in spotlight

The saddest part of this kind of dreck is that there are many otherwise intelligent folks who think it's really true.

Hawking the Merch -- Final Appeal

Once again Clinton is hawking the raffle of himself and Obama.  Midnight it the deadline.  I wonder how he defines "a few?"  Here's the sales pitch e-mail.  I wonder if they've figured out how to do a Groupon pitch yet?  

Jake --

The next time President Obama and I get together, you could be there.

We're meeting up on June 4th, and we're inviting a few supporters like you to be our guests for an evening in New York City. The deadline to enter is tonight.

Donate before midnight to help re-elect the President, and you'll be automatically entered to be there.

You can forget about the cost of the flight or the hotel. I'm told the campaign is picking up the tab for you and a guest.

It should be a great night. I hope you can make it:

https://donate.barackobama.com/Presidents

Thanks,

Bill Clinton

If we lived our lives in public, who'd need to spy on anything?

We don't.  So spy we will.  In the cyber age spys must be digital.  Oh, here comes one now.  It's the Flamer or Skywiper virus.  It's big, it's complex, and no one knows whose spyware it is.  I'd bet on good old number one being the owner/user.  Our desire to know everything about the potential enemies reminds of how the Catholic Church ran and documented the Inquisition or as the Nazis did likewise with their regime in Germany.  It's a function of powerful bureaucracies convinced someone is out to get them so they will find the enemies as they spread the truth. What's our truth?

Newly identified computer virus, used for spying, is 20 times size of Stuxnet

This Is Well Worth Reading

Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will

Who is the dumb cluck?

Falsehoods can morph into truths if sufficient numbers of folks repeat the falsity, but present it as truth  over and over again.  One of the best ones is the Millard Fillmore bathtub fabrication.  H. L. Mencken made it up.  Others, over time accepted it as true.  The story even made it into history books.  It began as a hoax.  It's still quite possible several people believe that Millard Fillmore installed the first bathtub in the White House.  Fact checking helps.

That brings us to Willard.  He's pulling a Menken/Fillmore, but  about Albert Shanker.  The quote works for Willard so he repeats it without bothering to discover that Shanker probably did not say it at all.  If he has the source that shows when Shanker made the alleged statement, then he needs to publish it.  If he didn't bother to see if he was speaking the truth, then he's just another lying narcissist who will say and do anything for power.  Pols really suck and they demean the cultural value of honesty.

Romney’s unsubstantiated quote from union leader

Why Does It Feel Hotter Than Before the Real Heat?

In a word, acclimatization.  Yep, the bod has to adapt to the new temperature regimen.  And as per usual, the older you get, the harder it is to acclimatize.  Is degeneration and decay of aging the way we cope with idea of dying?

How your body beats the heat

Bout Right!


A 13 Year War Fete?

Come on, we're going to celebrate the Vietnam war for 13 years?  This is so damn dumb.  If we must celebrate that mess, let us make the future festivities contingent on one thing occurring first.   Before we begin to party the nation must be at peace.   No wars, large or small, then we can have a gala.  Peace first, then we can spend over a decade proclaiming that war a heroic defense of freedom or whatever terms pols will choose for their pandering.  Is this a long term pre-pander setup for future pols?  Where are the peaceniks?  I think we need a few of them now.  Most of them disappeared when Obama replaced the Shrub.  That has really struck me as odd.

Vietnam War: Beginning 13 years of commemorating a divisive conflict

I say the above as a vet who enlisted in 1967.  I had my one year, all expenses paid vacation in that Southeast Asian paradise.  It was just another war.  It was death and destruction.  It sucked.  It made less sense than Iraq does today.  

Egypt

The revolting Arabs may have to revolt a bit longer.  They held an election.  No one was the clear winner, so there will be a run-off between an Islamic extremist and a clone of Mubarak.  I doubt this is the outcome the Arabs who deposed Mubarak anticipated.  Oh, the run-off may not occur.  A court has yet to issue a final rule on whether or not members of Mubarak's former regime can run for elective office or not.  If the court says "no, way," then it will be time for a second try at a general election.

New question arises over validity of Egypt election even as results are confirmed

Willard's The Winner

It's hard to believe, but Willard will be the nominee of the GOP.  Today, Texas primary voters will give him the delegates needed to exceed the 1,144  nominating requirement.  As Willard began dominating the primaries they became dull.  It was much more entertaining when Bachmann, Perry and Cain were in the race.  Oh, well, on to August for the GOP.  Who'd have ever thought we'd see a U.S. presidential contest pitting a black vs. a Mormon?  It's has to be hard to be a Southern bigot this year.

Mitt Romney to officially clinch Republican nomination Tuesday

College Debt

Some folks graduate High School, go to college, graduate and begin paying off, on average about $42,000 in student loan debt.  That's not a great way to begin life, but it beats what happens to another student segment.  About a third of students who go off to college, drop out and don't return.  They amass proportionate debt, but don't have a diploma that will land them a job to pay off the debt.  We've made a very strange post secondary educational mess over the past few decades.

College dropouts have debt but no degree

Monday, May 28, 2012

Put Down That Flag

Memorial Day is about remembering the war dead.  It's not a patriotic celebration.  It's a day of national mourning that began after the Civil War.  We, our nation, are into our second decade of war.  Along the way how have we treated the soldiers we sent off to war?  How have we dealt with them in death?  How have we treated them when they come home with broken bodies and mangled minds?  This is a day of civic mourning and introspection about how we have lived and want to live in and as members of our democratic republic.   Here's some reading--
  
This Memorial Day, the Best Stories on How We Treat Our Troops

Both of them suck, but what can we do?

Their lust for power must overcome the painful dyspepsia induced by unbridled narcissism.   Why else would anyone want the job?  It's bad enough to listen to their bullshit speeches.  It's worse to watch a TV ads--they are usually just one nanometer away from being bold faced lies.   The print ads usually just beg for our votes.  God, then their ad crap is uncritically rehashed and rerun on news and bobblehead programs.  I have no idea what transpires on radio.  We cannot escape the bullshit.   If you thought living on-line might be a way out, think again--

The Romney and Obama campaigns are spending heavily on television ads and other traditional tools to convey their messages. But strategists say the most important breakthrough this year is the campaigns' use of online data to raise money, share information and persuade supporters to vote. The practice, known as "microtargeting," has been a staple of product marketing. Now it's facing the greatest test of its political impact in the race for the White House.


I wonder how much Google will make from the 2012 election?  Maybe it's time for voters to reject both parties and their candidates.  Let's, just for the hell of it, all write in one name--Buddy Roemer.  Why him?  Well, why not?   Oh, jot down Ron Paul's name for Veep.  

Human Torches

The Buddhist monks who killed themselves via self-immolation back in the Vietnam era made little sense to me.  Their acts still seem more idiotic than not to me.   We've moved on, now we've added suicide bombers.  They make no sense other than being a one use weapon that may kill others.  Suicide feels like a dishonorable way to make your case about the world.  Is suicide an East-West divide?

The human torches are back. This time in China and Tibet.  Two guys doused themselves and ignited the gas.  Why?

  2 Tibetans set selves on fire outside Lhasa temple

Tit for Tat?

If it is true that an arm of the Iranian government is behind newly publicized plans to kill U.S. diplomats, isn't it more a case of turnabout is fair play than some unilateral evil doing?  The candidates for the GOP nomination spoke glibly for months about using assassins (special ops types) to stop Iran.  Iranians do listen to this stuff.  Who assassinated their nuclear scientists?  We live in odd times, don't we.

We can huff and puff out our patriot sphincter created holes (we have two of them) or we can ask for an accounting of our actions.  The accounting does not end the killing.  The accounting allows us to be more clear headed and precise about what we do to whom an why.  The accounting may urge our pols on.  Of course, we might also discover that  we might not like what we have done and currently do.  We might  demand that the elected cease their repugnant practices.

Secrets do not protect the nation, they protect the people who screwed up and keep on screwing up.  Secrets deter national resolve.  Secrets erode the nation's foundation.

U.S. officials among the targets of Iran-linked assassination plots

Who Abetted the Butler?

When the papal prelates lust for power these days,  they tend to write books or have exposes appear in the press.  Back in the day they poisoned their way to higher office.  Pope Ratzy's butler ratted him out.  Why?  Now we have to ask did someone help the butler?  Remember the Vatican has little to do with god, it's just one more very flawed social organization full of really demented men--don't forget that celibacy thing.

Reports: Italian cardinal also involved in Vatican scandal over leaked documents, corruption

Droning On

If it's Pakistan, then there must have been a drone strike.  Yesterday the CIA took out a bakery and four very suspicious people.  We don't know if there were any non-suspicious deaths or casualties.  Oh, I forgot the CIA and DOD has deemed all Pakistanis as suspicious, so who's keeping count.

Today, the CIA-DOD drone pilots blew the crap out of a vehicle and a house.  The pilot killed five suspicious Pakistanis.   I wonder, what is the real death count?

This has to be like a video game for the pilots.  They sit at their "game console."  They fly the drone and blow things up.  Do they see points flashing on their screens when the missile explodes?  Do they even realize they have killed people?  Do they see themselves as terrorists of a kind?  This is how we do the hearts and minds stuff.  How will we react when we're hit by a drone in NYC?

US missiles kill 5 militants in northwest Pakistan in fourth hit in less than week

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Who is dysfunctional?

Gee, is it the bunch of Catholic Bishops seeking a return to 1253 who are dysfunctional?  Nah, when you come down to it, it's the members of the Chruch who remain members if the face of all the pious bullshit foisted upon them by their religionists.  It's dysfunctional to remain a member in the face of lunacy.  God does not require anyone to obey a self serving idiot. Of course if the laity blames the Bishops they can claim to absolve themselves from the Churches problems. It's the Pontius Pilate defense.

Catholics caught between bishops, Obama’s birth control mandate

Hawking the Merch -- Update

The merchandise is Obama and Clinton.  They are raffling off themselves .  The winner gets to meet them on  June 4th.  The winner will also probably receive a $1,600 tax liability,  but will be able to breath the same air as those guys.  Wow. Needless to say I have not responded to any of the e-mail come-ons.  The last one pitched the pair for $3 a shot.  Yesterday I recieved the shortest blurb so far.  It's from some dork named Lucas Fleischer.  He's a digital director.  Is he the DNC proctologist?

Here's the latest from the guys who sell themselves.  Isn't there a word for that?

Jan --

Picture this:

It's the morning of June 4th. You head to the airport to catch your free flight to New York City. Enjoy the in-flight snack or movie. That evening, a car picks you up and takes you to the main event.

And that's where you meet Presidents Obama and Clinton.

I don't really know what else to say.

Stop imagining -- make it happen.

Donate today to be automatically entered for a chance to meet Presidents Obama and Clinton in New York City -- airfare and accommodations are on us:

https://my.democrats.org/Two-Presidents-and-You

- Lucas

Lucas Fleischer Digital Director Democratic National Committee

Deja Vu, Again

Afghans say a NATO-US night raid killed civilians.  NATO-US says, no we didn't there's no evidence.  Given the NATO-US track record on this type of exchange, in a couple of days NATO-US will confirm the Afghans are, in principle correct, but the numbers are overstated.  Afghan officials usually come back with greater numbers as a bemedaled US commander is assigned to fully investigate (it's what generals do).  The General will  finally agree that we did kill civilians and that the true number is much larger than the Afghans had been able to put together.  We'll then give everybody a crisp new $20 bill and ask that we all let bygones be bygones.  If you were an Afghan, wouldn't you be fed up with occupiers and want them all gone?

NATO disputes report of casualties in airstrike

The Shrub's Real Legacy

The Shrub gave us war on the cheap.  He used up troops to avoid the draft.  He cut taxes so we'd have the money to go shopping with.  Nothing was gained in Iraq, it may become an adjunct of Iran.  We're still avoiding reality in Afghanistan, the Taliban have effectively won.  The bills will be paid by the unborn taxpayer.   The Shrub's most enduring legacy are the vets whose minds and bodies have been trashed all so he might look good in history books.  Let's look at his enduring effects on some of us--

Almost half of new vets seek disability

Myths -- Marriage

Five Myths

Watch Out Kansas, Texas and Other Aggegations of Trogs

Paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey predicts end is near on debate over evolution

Question for Catholics

I heard an interesting question this morning.  "Will the Catholic Church ever approve gay marriage?"  I think most people would answer with a resounding, "No!"  The Church's theology runs too long and deep to ever accept such a practice.  Most people then move on to another topic.

Okay, but what if the laity changes, but the organization does not?  Will the Church then change?  If people begin to leave the Church,  would that then lead to change?  Since churches depend on donors to support clerics in their accustomed lifestyle, I think the Church would change when the balance sheet begins to point towards bankruptcy and prelates become faced with the possible need to earn for a living.

Churches are social organizations, they change and their membership changes.  Over time, even the seemingly  immutable core aspects of sacred truth are modified.  Money, status and power have their effects on people in organizations.  Sometimes they change and survive.  Other times they remain steadfast and die.  Will the Church accept gay marriage?