Saturday, December 15, 2012

Conn. Shooting

I've been thinking about the shooting at the Newtown elementary school.  I've read and heard pundits begin to talk up gun control.  I've seen that the gun nuts have told us their usual tripe--now's not the time for talk and besides guns don't kill.

If people want gun control then they will have gun control.  This issue as with most, comes down to electing people who reflect one's thinking.  If gun nuts types are elected, then that merely means that the majority who bother to vote don't really give a shit about guns or actually support all the gun sales bullshit the NRA spews in the name of the second amendment.

Half of us don't vote--it's far worse in state and local elections.  Of the half that do vote, all it takes is a simple majority to win.  So, if any of us actually give a shit about gun control, then we'll quit yammering today and begin to work on the next round of elections in our states.  If people nominate and elect folks who commit themselves to working for gun control, then the gun lobby will dissipate back to what it was before--an org concerned with gun and hunting safety.

Want to control mayhem?  Then get concerned before the general election, the game is in the primaries for your state and locality.  This applies to about everything we like or don't like.   I contend we have exactly the world the voting majority wants.  Are you part of the voting majority?

Gee, It's The Bent Pyramid All Over Again

Egyptians did get the pyramid down after really screwing up.   Now the question is, will the get the politics of democracy, freedom and liberty right.  I think they will keep on rebuilding the bent pyramid  in politics.  Until Islam is put in the Mosque and the military stays on base, Egyptians will experience Mubarak 2.0.  2.0 is a military backed, Islamic dictatorship built on a constitution of convenience.  This time the Islamists will get even.

A polarized Egypt heads to the polls for vote on constitution

Too Little Too Late!

Gee, Delta is sorry for its employees treatment of the double amputee vet.  Look, apologies don't mean much.  Employees behave the way management wants them to behave.  Delta is just an airline that really sucks that has professional apologists when employees get caught living up to management's expectations.  Fly any other airline if you can.

Delta Airlines admits ‘we failed’ double-amputee Marine on recent flight, vows to ‘make it right

Thinking about going off into space?

If so, then you might want to think about the effects of blasting off on your bod.   I've wondered if folks  fart in space or does the gas build up until you return and get blown out all at once when you re-enter Earth's atmosphere and gravity gives your gaseous exodus an assist?

A Preflight Checkup for Future Space Tourists

Gee, He's A Trog, Did Anyone Expect Truth?

Look, the GOP's permanent poster child is Chuck Colson before he went to prison and found Jesus.  Chuck summed his attitude about the GOP (in Tricky's name) by saying he'd walk over his grandmother's grave for the party.  Trogs have no honor or decency, they just have an obsession with winning at any cost.  Truth?  From a Trog like Karl Rove?

Karl Rove’s Dark Money Group Promised IRS It Would Spend ‘Limited’ Money on Elections

Newtown, Conn.

Gunman kills mother, then 26 in Conn. grade school before turning gun on himself

Friday, December 14, 2012

Once Again Delta Proves It Sucks

I pretty much had to fly Delta to get where I needed to go.  If another airline had been available, I'd have used it.  Delta has gone downhill every year for years.  I began flying Delta after they bought Western.  I don't understand how they do it.  After awhile you'd think they'd bottom out and just stay uniformly lousy.  Not Delta, they work at being an airline that really sucks more today than it did yesterday.  They showed us again--

Marine double-amputee’s treatment on Delta flight angers other vets

Trogs Love Torture

They just don't like to talk about how much they personally enjoy having others inflict pain for them.  Oh, here's the lead--

After a contentious closed-door vote, the Senate intelligence committee approved a long-awaited report Thursday concluding that harsh interrogation measures used by the CIA did not produce significant intelligence breakthroughs, officials said.

The 6,000-page document, which was not released to the public, was adopted by Democrats over the objections of most of the committee’s Republicans. The outcome reflects the level of partisan friction that continues to surround the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other severe interrogation techniques four years after they were banned.



Report finds harsh CIA interrogations ineffective

Obama's New War -- Syria

The dude loves war.  He's started so many little ones.  Now he's taking us into Syria.  Today it's 400 guys with missiles.  Tomorrow, well, this is how Vietnam started.  A little help, some advisers, a bit of assistance before long the idiots in Washington had nearly a million of us in or near Vietnam.

U.S. troops will man Patriot batteries along Turkey’s border with Syria

We should not allow any military action without Congress's explicit approval.  Then if Congress says okay, we have to revive the draft and impose a tax to pay for action no matter how big or small.

Oh, well there goes State

I cannot imagine John Kerry as Sec. of State.  Well, I can imagine it and that's what bothers me.  The guy is not that bright.  Have you ever really listened to him speak?  Both his canned oratory and off the cuff chit chat suck.  His speechifying can even put a rock to sleep.   Look, the guy is the Democrat's George W. Bush.   Does a Bush at State sit well with you?  Kerry is a C- student at best, If I remember correctly, his GPA at Yale was lower than Dubyas.   What do you think of Kerry?

Susan Rice withdraws as candidate for secretary of state

Oops, every once in a while you get caught

If Big Gas and Oil have a school hire a guy who directs fracking to head up an investigation of the pluses and minuses of fracking, what does anyone expect other than a report that supports what is being done and what the industry wants to do.  However, every once in a while, industry sponsored "research" gets detected and gets blistered.  Not that it does much good--come on if you think Congress is on the pad, you have not been paying attention to our Universities.

In Wake of Scathing Review of Fracking Report, University of Texas Revises Conflict of Interest Policies

The real change will be that UT makes it harder to detect the conflicts of interest and finds ways to define conflicts out of existence.  Kind of like Congress has done by transforming quid pro quo into quo pro quid.

Voter ID Laws

Did the voter ID mess seem as though Trogs were attempting to have a renascence of Jim Crow from coast to coast.  It did to me.  The South has not learned anything, except that they lost the war.  There are two checks on grit and cracker mentality in voting.  First is the Voting Rights Act, however the Supremes will probably gut it this term-Scalia, Thomas,Alito, Roberts and Kennedy are pure legal rednecks.  The other check is more work, it's votes.

State legislatures set the local laws.  If the local laws are variations on Jim Crow and suppression of non-white votes, then  that means the majority of people who bothered to vote, voted for those yahoos and their laws.  If folks don't want Jim Crow, then they have to become much more concerned with state and local elections.  If you do not want voter ID then vote it out by electing decent people to state legislatures.  People pretty much have the government they want--we elect it.

Are Voter ID Laws Here to Stay?

Lunar No LIttering Laws?

I don't think there are any laws yet, but if there are then NASA is in trouble--Crashing the Moon

What if...

As astronomers look back, at earlier and earlier trace evidence of the universe's origins, what will they see at time 0?  What if it's a giant yellow smiley face?  Okay theists, think about that one for a while.

Hubble Comes Close to Spying First Stars

Thursday, December 13, 2012

We Cannot Cut Federal Spending

Why?  Well, basically we're all on the payroll.  Beyond the obvious, such as Social Security and Medicare, think about all the jobs that depend on federal tax revenue.  What proportion of us work for the fed?  I'm guessing it's between 40% and 50%--and that's not including old farts who are retired.  How can we cut anything?

There are 150 million reasons it’s so hard to cut federal spending

Who Invented the Bar Code?

In case you didn't know--the first product sold using a UPC scan was a 67-cent package of Wrigley’s chewing gum at a supermarket in Troy, Ohio, in June 1974.

Co-inventor of productivity-boosting bar code technology, N. Joseph Woodland, dies at 91

Sometimes It's Okay to Trash The U.N.

The U.N. is pretty much comprised of shitholes where no one wants to live.  When the people who run shitholes feel threatened they try to dignify their autocratic ways with treaties and sneak in a bit of language that will allow them to perpetuate their dictatorships.  When the U.N. goes a bit overboard, it's then okay to bash the crap out of the organization.  Now is one such occasion---

U.S. refuses to back U.N. treaty, saying it endorses restricting the Internet

Uh, oh.  If Obama is agin' it, the the Trogs will have to be fer it.  The GOP will back U.N. censorship and autocratic rule.  Oh, there's nothing new there now is there?  In the heart of every true conservative beats an appreciation of the way Russia, China, Iran, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Belarus and Cuba run their countries.

Fiscal Cliff Deals -- Tax Code

I don't understand pols.  Rewrite the tax code, yes, but do it completely.  Eliminate all deductions, exemptions, and tax expenditures.  Income or income in kind is all taxed.   The currently non-taxed becomes taxable--think health insurance.  Then apply a rate that begins at 1% of $1 and rises uniformly  from 1% to 30% as we go from $1 to $1,000,000.  30% is the top.  This will generate lots of revenue and piss everyone off so it's probably a pretty good plan.  The IRS becomes dedicated to one task--collection of taxes, that's all.    Charity should not be part of the tax code, nothing should be part of the tax code expect collection taxes.  Yeah that means non-profits are toast too.

White House, nonprofit groups battle over charitable deductions

How Do You Get Your News?

In print?  On-line?  I hope it's not Fox or MSNBC--they are newstainment for partisans.  C-SPAN is cool, this week and last they've had excellent shows on aspects of the fiscal cliff.  Some of them are worth finding on C-Span's website.

If you are on-line do you use a browser, which one?  What do you read?  I hope it's the major national papers, although I've given up on USA Today (the new website is lousy).  Do you use Google news?   How about the AP?  Reuters?  UPI?  I avoid videos, do you?

Then again you might be on the go and get your news as you mobile your way through the day.  How do you get your news?

THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF MOBILE NEWS

Arab Plfft -- Egypt

Still think Spring had something to do with democracy, freedom and liberty in Egypt?  Those ideas can never be embodied in a functioning government over there for the simple reason of religion place in Egyptian life.

60% - Most Egyptians Want Their Laws to Strictly Follow the Quran

Routers and WiFi

Yesterday I lost my Wireless network.   My WISP indicated it was my router at fault.  If I bypassed the router and connected directly to the incoming line, my PC was on the net.  I tried rebooting stuff.  No luck.  Then I needed to print something.  The PC I had directly connected does wireless printing via the router.  I turned the printer on. the little blue antenna light lit up and I printed.  At that point I began to think it's not the router but a WISP screwup.  I put the router back the way it was before I had problems, watched the tube, and went to bed.  This morning, I confirmed it's not the router--everything worked the way it was supposed to.  I guess the problem "fixed" itself overnight.  At that point I remembered the same kind of thing occurring a year or two ago.  I called my WISP and talked to a Tech.  He said he'd look into it.  I just hope he does and fixes whatever it was that knocked me out.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Posts

Due to technical difficulties, an intermittnet router, I doubt I will having much to say for a few days.  I hope to replce the piece tomorrow.  Until then...

Checks and Balances

Our federal government is a marvel.  "The Constitution" insures our continuity with a minimal amount of tyrannical behavior by those we elect.   All of the checks and balances deter government excess.  Of course they also deter doing anything with haste.  Our founders had lived and had learned history.  They knew how governments screw up and how they wind up doing damage to its citizens.  They built in roadblocks which, to the extent it can be done, insure we live in a democratic land of freedom and liberty.

I wish we had an equivalent for human behavior.  We don't have checks and balances on people who run for office or the parties that support their efforts.  The structure of our government prevents them from doing too much damage, but their personal excesses prevent anything at all.  Imagine what it would be like it if people ran for office, got elected, did their job and did not run for reelection.  Instead they left Washington and went back to their real job.  And they did so because they more or less had to due to human checks and balances.  How do we make it happen?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Michigan and Unions

I support unions.  I have no problem with closed shops.  I don't like right to work laws.  That all said, I have no sympathy with the folks in Michigan.  The voters, that percentage of eligible voters who bother to turnout and vote, spoke.  They elected a GOP dominated House and Senate.  They elected a Trog for Gov.  If the unionists and Dems don't like it, then they need to win local elections.  I have a feeling that several union folks voted for Trogs.  No one should be surprized at the what has occurred.  As everywhere else, the people of Michigan enjoy life exactly as they want it.  Votes matter and the party you vote into power matters too.  Trogs will never be pro-union.  So Michiganders,  how did you vote in the past two or three local elections?  Oh, and all you protesters, did you actually vote? Somebody, didn't, who?

Michigan Bills Limiting Union Power Pass in Legislature

Health Note

Despite Big Beefs Attempt to Fight Back Using Money and Science you will be healthier if you pretty much avoid eating anything that has a face.  If you must eat meat, try reversing the one day a week meat free routine and only have meat on one day a week.  Your bod will thank you, you'll save money and might have to take fewer pills.

At times I think the folks at Big Beef have cousins over at Big Tobacco.


Food Poisoning Tests For the Manufacturers of Food That Kills

Yep the victim of sloppy, greed driven, food manufacturers and vendors will be able to quickly and simply tell if they have a food that kills infection.  Why do the sources of their contamination like this?  Well, the test eliminates any way of tracking the contamination back to the source.  Yeah, no "fingerprints."  I wonder who funded this gem?

NEW TESTS COULD HAMPER FOOD OUTBREAK DETECTION

Arab Muck

Religious sectarians continue to move Egypt towards an Iranian style state.  Hell, why should they stop there?  The zealots could institute a Taliban style regime instead.  Yeah, their first public works project could be to raze all of those heathen pyramids.  Don't you just love religion!

EGYPT OPPOSITION FEARS VIOLENCE FROM BROTHERHOOD

Novel Idea

Gee, the filibuster is unconstitutional.  That actually sounds right.  The check on majority rule screwups is the courts, not the Congress.  Congress passes whatever passes by majority.  The minority rights and protections reside in the Courts who negate bad law.  So, let's rid ourselves of the filibuster.

Federal court hears arguments on Senate filibuster challenge

Pot. Kettle. Black?

Uh, oh.  One group tagged the other group with being sloppy.  The alleged sloppees have retaliated and charged the sloppers with sloppiness too.  It's a mess.  Gee, both groups are both sloppers and sloppees.  Welcome to the sloppy slope of nonscience.  Is social psych is really a science?

Social Psychologists Lash Out at 'Attack' in Stapel Report

Voting Rights and the Supreme Trogs

Don't forget Roberts and the Robes will, in addition to gay marriage, be warbling about the Voting Rights Act.  The members of the Court who are wholly owned by the GOP, Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts, will do their best to con Kennedy into agreeing with them.

The South they contend, that's the area mostly covered by Section 5, has learned its lesson and would not ever try to muck with the voting rights of minorities.  Yeah, they've learned in the same way business has learned about child labor--take away the law and kids would be back in sweatshops before the ink dried the repeal bill.

It's going to take a lot longer for the grits and crackers to change--try 100 years.   Fundamental hate is passed on within the family.  It takes time to fade from generation to generation.  Hell, a lot of them, not as many as did 50 years ago,  are still fighting the Civil War.

  The Other Crucial Civil Rights Case the Supreme Court Will be Ruling On

Torture

We'll never, in my lifetime (I'm 66), know all the whos, in our government, which tortured whom, when, how, why, at whose request, and with what real effect.  Hell, no one really admits that government employees and contractors, in effect, ran torture chambers.

Obama didn't even try to have Congress make torture illegal--he banned it by executive order and that is not the same at all.  With one little retraction, any future Prez can take over where Cheney left off.  We play language games to hide what we do.  Intense interrogations still occur, check out Bagram Air Base prison.

I have little respect for almost all elected and appointed officials.  Senior career officials, well, they're looking to become appointees, so trust and respect are minimal there too.   I cannot trust the White House, CIA or military with respect to any claims that any agent of the United States or affiliated foreign associates do not torture for us.  We just don't call it torture, we still engage in practices that used to be considered torture.  So much for law, freedom and liberty.  I'm glad I'm 66 and not 16.

The Senate Report on CIA Interrogations You May Never See

Monday, December 10, 2012

Whatever Happened to All the Protesters?

Back when the Shrub ruled from the Rose Garden, people were in the streets protesting everything that plant did in the name of the United States.  He warred.  He tortured.  He bankrupted us.  We heard eight years of howls.  Then Obama took over.  Nothing changed.   Barry tended the garden in the same way as his predecessor.  There were no howls.  Hell, even with a kill list there's no one in the streets.  Either he's getting a pass or all those protesters were Democratic plants.  Where's the noise about Obama's killing spree?

America’s drone war is out of control

Let's Hear It For ObamaCare!

The insurance based health care revamp is supposed to stem the increasing cost of health care.  I guess an extra $63 a year added to insurance premiums must actually be a decrease in costs somewhere.  Yeah, that's Washington logic.

SURPRISE: NEW INSURANCE FEE IN HEALTH OVERHAUL LAW

If you want to be all you can be

You know what to do, join the Army, provided you haven't become more than you should be already.

Rising number of soldiers being dismissed for failing fitness tests

Women and Girls

As we towards Obama's second term, I hope all females will think about the GOP and the campaign it ran to try and unseat Obama.  Then after thinking, become card carrying ACLU members and join the Democratic Party.  The GOP wants to take our country back, back to 1850.  Ladies, do y'all really want the GOP in charge ever again?  Hmm, I can see the GOP behaving akin to the Taliban.  I can be extreme.  Here's the piece that got me thinking about women, rights and the GOP.

Gunmen kill senior women’s activist in Afghanistan

Arab Broken

Spring, Sprang, Sproing, Sprung and broke.  Egypt is heading back to its good old days (way, way back to almost two years ago).   Will the generals appoint Morsi as the new Mubarak?  Will the military tolerate the Brotherhood?  Of course there is room for an Iranian twist on Egyptian autocracy.  One thing it will not be is what all those kids who gathered in Tahrir Square a couple years ago thought it would be.  There is no way Islamic Arabs can create much less sustain a democratic government of liberty and freedom for all.

Following presidential decree, Egyptian army takes over security ahead of referendum

Got a kid in college?

Do they have any idea of the kind of job they want or want to work towards?  How about government service?  Here's a book for your tykes who aspire to government service.

A Plum Book of Political Positions

Illegal Immigration

Illegals are about 100% Mexican who cross the border into the U.S., right?  Well, not quite.  As Mexican immigration declines, Central Americans are filling the gap.  Now we have two borders to deal with?  Yeah, we're shutting down Mexico's northern border (more theory than reality) and now Mexico's southern border has become a major source of illegals who come in, transit Mexico and cross its northern border into the U.S.  Hmm, will Trogs demand that we build a fence in Mexico?  It's a new mess.

The New Border: Illegal Immigration’s Shifting Frontier

Quick Answer This Question--

Q.  How do maggots heal wounds?  Bet you don't know the answer to that one.

Read -- How Maggots Heal Wounds -- and you will able to amaze your friends and family with your knowledge.

Utah has two idiots in the Senate

One, Orrin the Pious has been there so long, he's become a fixture in the Senate, I think he's become a spittoon.  The other is Utah's freshman Solon, Mike Lee.  He's already every bit the equal of Orrin and he's done it in one term.  Wow.  He might become an inkpot next year.

Anderson Cooper Calls Out GOP Senator: You Have ‘Very Scary Hypotheticals’ But No Proof

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Books

I've misplace the reviews, but here are a  few books I parked in my Amazon cart this week.

"Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962" - Yang Jisheng

"The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675" - Bernard Bailyn;

"Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War" - R. M. Douglas


That Beef May Kill You

It's a bit odd that the nation gave itself a gastronomic wedgie over pink slime they thought would kill us  or at least give us cooties.  The product was safe and lowered the cost of burger for lots of people.  Now I wonder if all the foodies will become as aroused over needled steaks.  These can make you sick and can kill you.  As slaughterhouses look for more and more ways to make a buck, their new techniques can do more than make us pull our undies into our collective crack.  Actually, there is a handy solution, try following a simple rule, if it has a face, don't eat it.

Big Beef: Beef’s raw edges

The Unemployed

Five Myths

This is America Too, A Lot of America

Give this piece from the Post a read -- In Rust Belt, a teenager’s climb from poverty -- now go to Amazon, a library, or borrow it from a friend and read "Deer Hunting With Jesus"

Prez Kill List Strikes Again

He's got his full Shrub on and is making us safe from all those bums who hate us for our freedom and shit like that.  Yep, one drone drops a  bomb and poof, a bunch of terrorists who surely would have been on the next plane from North Waziristan Airport to New York City are dead.

The dead include known terrorist Al-Kuwaiti and two others who, by Prez Kill List's legal determination, were also terrorists.  Yep, if you are in the blast zone that takes out a bad guy, then you are also bad, evil, and worthless.  The bad, evil and worthless included the bad guy's wife and child.  I wonder if those folks ever heard of Ruby Ridge, it's a bit similar.

Pakistani officials say US drone strike kills senior al-Qaida leader in Pakistan

Dictatorshipp of the Brotherhood (with military blessing of course)

Nascent dictator Morsi backed off his self aggrandizing grab for power a bit.  Do note that both the initial grab and its recension were only done "for the people."  Funny how turds in charge always act only for "the people."  Right now, I'd put my money on an Iranian style Egypt emerging within the next year or two.  Copts should think about migrating.

Egyptian opposition remains defiant after Morsi annuls decree