Saturday, November 15, 2014

What if it had tanked again this year?

Do you remember when Obamacare's website came online?  You  would it you had needed a doorstop back then, because that was about all it was worth.  It bombed and stayed useless for a couple of months.

It's open enrollment again.  The site appears to be working.  Obama should have farmed the mess out to Amazon.   Oops, they couldn't,  I forgot we have another complex in action.  Yep, it'll never work quite right because it's the product of the Information Technology Industry Congressional Complex (ITICC).

Obamacare 2015 Sign-Up Under Way With Few Glitches

Too Many Bad Guys?

When the bad guys were pretty much the mob, the FBI was all we needed.  Now we have a more diverse set of creeps committing crimes and as a consequence we have more feds from lots of agencies playing at undercover cop.

Sadly, without oversight, any management, lack of training, and no real check on the use of seized assets we can now watch our nation move more and more towards a Keystone Kops version of a police state farce.

We don't have to worry about China overtaking us.  Ditto with the Russkies.  We will do ourselves in and call ourselves patriots to boot.

Where are all the concerned Repubs on this?  Oh, they're taking their 4,734th House vote on repealing Obamacare and planning to shut the government down over immigration.  And the Dems?  Oh, they have nothing to say, so they're spending all their time on fundraising for 2016.


More Federal Agencies Are Using Undercover Operations

Remember all that bullshit Obama spewed to con us into voting for him?   How about someone who with make that same kind of talk and then walk the talk.  It's not Hillary Clinton and it's not a single one of the Trogs.  Oh, well, like goes on as we continue to live in interesting times.




I like e-Ink but

A kindle for $200+  ($289 w/o ads and with 3G +WiFi) is a bit steep.  Still is sounds good.  I prefer the original reader for books over the Kindle Fire, but it's not a bit enough preference to make me pay $300 for another reader.

Kindle Voyage Is the Best eBook Reader Ever. But It’s Ridiculously Expensive.

Well, maybe....

Ya Gotta Love Loons

American Catholics are divided over Pope Frank, well less so the average frothy faither and more so the guys who wear all those 13th century clothes when they to go work.  Yep, Bishops are fer and agin the Pope.  Is this a new thing?  Nah, how about the Ariains bashed and bloodied by the Athanasians back in the early day and over the centuries.

Religion brings out the less than desirable of human characteristics.  The more intense one's faith the more batshit crazy one becomes.  Maybe Catholics will emulate the Muslims and resume killing each other off over how many fingers the priest holds up when consecrating the host.

Divided U.S. bishops debate big changes in private: ‘It wasn’t heated, it was heartfelt’

God hates chocolate

We all know that climate change belongs to god.  He/she/it runs the planet, right?  We are but his instruments.  If chocolate production is down due to lots of drought, then that means god does not want us to eat chocolate.  Okay, Christians your god wants you to quit sinning and leave the chocolate for the rest of us sinners who think the climate changes are man-made.

The world’s biggest chocolate-maker says we’re running out of chocolate

Hmm, maybe the coming chocolate crisis could be used to get Repubs on board to do something about manmade climate change.  Nah, they're stuck in the evangefundie primary rut.

Bless my slam dunk

The CIA has such an exquisite track record in the Middle East, perhaps only matched by the State Department's.  I'm sure the CIA will train Syrians well, perhaps not as well as the U.S. Army trained Iraqi soldiers, but up to their usual standards.

U.S. weighs expanded CIA training, arming of Syrian allies struggling against Assad

Friday, November 14, 2014

Movie Fans

Have you seen Interstellar?  I'll wait until is comes out on DVD or it streams in Netflix.  If you have seen it or plan to you might be interested in this piece--

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Separates Fact From Fiction In 'Interstellar'

And you thought it's just me.

No, all Repubs really are total Trogs.   As the reelected Brownback has done and will do to Kansas, the rest of them will do to the nation.  They are nucking cuts!

Analysis: Kansas' Budget Shortfall May Be Twice As Bad As We Thought

Has a state ever gone Chapter 7?

The GOP Sweep

Before the GOP sweep in the last election, I was so happy I could just shit.  Now that they've taken the Senate I'm so happy I could just dump.  How did you feel pre- and now feel post- the knuckle dragger wave?  It's most odd, but when Repubs wave they make furrows in the ground.  Will they try to make drooling the national pastime?

Little Enthusiasm, Familiar Divisions After the GOP’s Big Midterm Victory
What comes to mind when you hear the word “privacy”?
Privacy word cloud

Tree Hugger Stuff

How do you feel about paper vs. plastic?  Most tree-huggers get real frothy when one mentions plastic bags.  They really don't like them.  They've even had them banned in some areas.   Now they're trying to price them away--The surprising reason why those 5 cent charges for plastic bags actually work.

Of course paper may not superior to plastic.  Paper has it's own problems. Which is more environmentally friendly: paper or plastic?

Okay, we can all buy reusable bags and haul them to the store.  I assume anyone who takes their own bags to the grocery does wash the bags after every use.  One thing about paper and plastic, they are clean and minimize contaminants getting on this weeks food from the prior weeks purchases.

I'll stick with plastic and paper.  I'd probably pay the nickel a bag for sanitation.  

The Schmucks Never Quit With The Dominos

Do you remember why we waged war in Vietnam?  Well all those little nations in Southeast Asia were like a set of dominoes lined up one behind the other.  If one, say Vietnam fell, then it would cause the others to topple and become Commie states.  How'd we do on that one?  Vietnam went Commie and the others?  So now we come to ISIS and I'm getting that deja vu all over again feeling.

What begins as a touch of aid and assistance can, as it did before, grow into a full blown mess.

I saw this headline when I opened the Richmond paper today:  U.S. may play wider combat role in Iraq!  I'm not quite sure I want another war. Do you?

It didn't take us long to go from a MAG to MACV.   60,000 American deaths plus a couple million Vietnamese death later we left.  What's going to happen in the Middle East?

Repub. seem to love war.  I guess it's good for business.  Dems don't like war if a Repub is in the White House, but apparently are just fine with it when their guy is the commanderator.  Hmm, business would be better off backing the Dems in 2016, that way both sides would support the war and profits would be assured.  Odd, vote for war, vote for the Democrat, will that be Clinton's mantra?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

CNN

Dish and Turner can't seem to make nice.  Each side wants too much money at the other's expense.  The net effect is Dish subscribers can't receive CNN (the other affected channels are not that good).

When I saw CNN was gone I thought I was going to miss it.   Boy was I wrong.  CNN has become more joke than news station.  On TV I have BBC America, Al Jazerra and C-Span, I have more decent news programming than I can watch.  I found there was not a single time/show on CNN during the day that I actually tuned to.

I found that I had been using CNN when MSNBC was doing idiotic programming and I hoped for news (usually CNN was being idiotic too).

CNN is short over 10% of it's audience and I bet most of them didn't notice or care that it missing.  CNN should be just news,  but to do so it will have be taken private so shareholder value is thrown out with the trash.    

 

2014 Wrap up

Here's a pretty fair assessment of the Dems and their showing, rather lack of showing,

Mythbusting The Punditry Class' Election Postmortems

ISIS

I guess this is Desert Storm III, brought to us by two Bushes and one Obama.  We've heard the news. ISIS is going to come across the southern border and kill all 315 million of us.  ISIS is building a caliphate for world domination or some shit like that.

Okay, who wants to wage war against ISIS?

If you do then you agree:

1.  Congress must declare war now.

2.  A war surtax must be enacted now.  Unlike the Bushes, who'd charged it to the unborn taxpayer, if we wage war, we have to pay as we go.

3.  Revive the draft now.  51% of the forces have to be draftees.  Everyone has to have some skin in this third round of bullshit in the desert.  Oh, the draft will also apply to women.

4.  Now, really go to war, as in ground troops who will kill every damn one fighting for ISIS.

If we're not willing to do 1-4 then I suggest we bag it all and let the folks over Mesopotamia way kill each other off in a massive celebration of mortal sectarian violence.

Hey they made nice!

The kids will now play together, they made up.  I can't really believe book prices will really go down, but Amazon is an odd company.

Amazon, Hachette end monthslong dispute

Cast Your Ballot

With respect to the current Commanderator in Charge, Prez O'Bummer, will his last two years be more like his first six or will he do something?  He's good at talk, but short on walk.

Okay fight or fade, your call--

Will Obama fade or fight as Republicans gain control of Congress?

At times I think the only two good things about Obama is he's not McCain and he's not Willard.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cheese and Crackers!

How can this be?  Who'd ever thunk it?

CNN, Fox News: Two networks, two diametrically opposed audience viewpoints on cops and race


Afganistan as we leave

I'm not sure why we invaded in the first place.  We could have been as 9/11 vengeful as hell without invading that landlocked Islamic shithole.  After we invaded, I never did understand what we aimed  to accomplish.  I have had even more difficulty understanding why we started the Iraq war before we "finished" the Afghan one.  Then it made no sense to linger as long as we have in Kabul.  Hell we're still there and will be for a long, long time.

Oh, the Afghans recently had an election.  That's spiffy.  What was the outcome?  I'm not sure who won.  I don't really care, do you?  However, one outcome all our warrior pols can be proud of is an increase in the world's opium production.

Afghan Elections Cited as Factor in Record Levels of Opium Production 

Is there a Drugs Industrial Complex(DIC)?  Oops, there is, but it's also known as Big PHRMA.  PHRMA is really a DIC.  Damn, it's getting confusing,  we have two DICS.  Ah ha, to tell our DICs apart we can pre-pend "Illegal (I)" or "Legal (L) " to the reference and their respective acronyms.  That way we can tell which pols take money from licit LDICs and who favors IDIC.  Gee if a pol doesn't take money from either does that mean he is DICless?

Speaking of the DICless, are you ready for the 114th Congress?  After all, we have 435 newly elected dickless wonders.  I'm confident they will, over the next two years, live up to that sobriquet.  Two years from now, I do not think I will then be proven wrong for today's estimate.      

Obama is Bush

Did you vote for the putz in 2008?  Did you buy into that hope and change shit?  Did you really think he would end U.S. sponsored torture in the most emphatic way possible?  If you thought so, you backed the wrong person for Prez in 2008 (Clinton would not have been any better).

Obama issued an executive order.  That's it.  He did not undo Bush.  He did not get Congress to act in his first two years when he had the House and Senate.  In other words, torture is okay as long as he can duck responsibility for it.

Our position should already be crystal clear, it's not.

United Nations asks United States to clarify its position on torture

Thinking about Mexico

I was listening to a show on MSNBC this morning about the missing students in Mexico.  Apparently...

43 students were rounded up from the streets in a Mexican burg by the local cops who were only doing what their chief ordered.  He wanted to please the Mayor who wanted to keep his wife smiling(she thought the students doing some kind of fund raising made her town look messy).

The cops got rid of the kids by handing them over to the local cartel (affiliated with the Mayor and the cops).  The cartel apparently killed them, then burned their bodies then bagged and trashed their ashes in a river.  It can kind of make one shake one's head and begin to think how much better we are than the riffraff down in Mexico.

Nah, we're all just people who all have the capability of very destructive and self-destructive behavior.  We can control it and minimize it through our social institutions, but we can never quite rid ourselves of our worst nature.  It's constant work to be civilized.  Oh, lest we get feeling a tad too superior, have we  forgotten about our domestic forays into bits of barbarism.  Have you forgotten the Colfax Massacre?

Here's a beginning point to see our own history, it's far from complete, but it reminds me that here and everywhere, we are just people trying our damnedest.  Most of the time we succeed, but when we fail we really blow chunks.  We do tend to forget our latest bout of savagery.  Sometimes the savages emerge victorious.  Then what they did is, for the moment, deemed good, even admirable.    Are we poised to blow chunks today?  Where and why?  What's good and what's bad?  What do you admire?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Who voluntarily lives in Kansas?

Brownback Hit With Even Worse Financial News Days After Being Re-Elected

Believers

Believers are an odd lot.  They will persist in a line of thought even when the rest of the world knows and can show they are full of shit about X.  Speaking about full of it, until now, most Mormons didn't accept the polygamous life of their founder, Joe Smith.  Now they kinda, sorta, have to--

The Mormon church finally acknowledges founder Joseph Smith’s polygamy


Maybe, maybe

Yesterday I posted a piece about civil asset forfeiture.  It's not everyone's hot topic, but if you don't like criminogenic police, DAs, and judges it should be.   There's a case that may move forward challenging at least one instance of civil asset foreirture abuse (it's great way to pad short budgets).  Now if we could just have a tad of governance we'd be able to shut this shit down.

Highway seizure in Iowa fuels debate about asset-forfeiture laws

GOP Quiz

If Obama says "fer," then what does the GOP say?  Of course, they say, that is, they make noises that to humans sounds like "agin."  Want an example.

Okay, yesterday, Obama said he's fer net neutrality.  And what kind of gutterations did the knuckle draggers then spew?  Of course they drooled out sounds akin to "Agin!"

I do wonder if the Dems can get their act together and make sure that the Toggish imagery Cruz et al make do not stick but become seen as pathetic noise of pols who are subsidies of the  likes of Verizon and AT&T.

If you like oligopoly or de facto monopoly in the Internet, then drag those knuckles and drool with Cruz and Mitch McTurtle.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Business Tax

I agree that the federal tax code for businesses need to be reformed.  I have a suggestion.

Treat all businesses/organizations of all kinds the same.  Do not allow any kind of non-profit or special categories with one exception, a narrowly defined concept of religion/churches that would not be taxed as long as they stay out of the public square.  From GM to Frank's Corner Deli to PACs and Planned Parenthood all organizations that have income are taxed the same.  We can have one kind of business/organization/entity and then we can have one kind of form.  GM, a corporation would file the same form as would Frank for his small business.  Of course Frank would also file for his personal income.

All income/money/anything of value of any kind would be taxed.  The gross is what taxes would be based upon.  However, there would be two deductions.  First, dividends paid out would be deducted from the gross.  Second, wages and benefits would be deducted.  We tax money one time and one time only.

The business tax would then shift from being a tax on profit to a tax on gross existence.  I'm not sure what the percentage should be so I'll suggest 3%.

After the two deductions possible, any organization owes the Feds 3% of last year's gross annual revenue.  

There would be no deductions for anything else other than dividends and wages.  There would be no depreciation or any other kind tax manipulation.  Everybody pays, even charities, politicians and private schools.

This approach would probably reduce the code for businesses down to no more than 200 pages (it is government after all).


GM Remains, As Always, A Shitty Company

I followed GM for several years.  To fix the company, long ago I recommended clobbering at least the Olds Division and firing every third executive regardless of how "good" they may have been.  My GM solution was not exactly popular.  When GM asked for a bailout I wanted them to go bellyup, Chapter 7.  The world would be a better place without that company.  GM kills people.

Here's the latest in their cars that kill coverup--Reports: GM Ordered 500,000 Ignition Switches Before Recall Announcement.


Incongruous?

25 years ago the Berlin wall came down.  After it's fall, pieces were spread around the world.  I guess they are symbols that remind us of the politics of and what ensues from govermental human stupidity.

I wondered if a chunk of the wall made it to Isreal?  It did, one can go to the Ein Hod Artists' Village, Israel. At the Dada Museum, village center. and there it is.

I guess not many folks visit that village.

Tain't Right, But Does Anyone Give A Shit?

I seriously doubt if any pol in either party really cares enough to take this on.   I cannot see this ever, no matter how outrageous police behavior become, to make this a campaign issue.  I think they should, do you?

Police Use Department Wish List When Deciding Which Assets to Seize

Testing

I'm an old fart so my memory may be flagging, but I do not remember grade school testing at all.  I do remember SATs in my senior year of HS.  Other tests may have occurred, but not in a quantity that  imprinted testing as a theme bubbling up when I have have an occasional school days reflection.

Sadly, I fear that is not the case for the younger crowd today. At least I infer so based on the number of pieces I've read about the schools, accountability, and the testing industry that has apparently taken control of public education in all of our states.

I wonder how much federals and state tax money is transferred from public treasuries to private testing business bank accounts?  If you know the amount, then you might be able to give us a probability for the end of government funded massive testing in out schools.

Yep, our problem is government but it's not government per se, it's based in all those fill-in the blank industrial congressional complexes that we've allowed to be created in the name of governance.  Anyone for shutting down the Military Industrial Congressional Complex?  Let's do that one first and then zap education.  Oh, you have a friend of relative who benefits from the MICC...

I'm a lefty as anyone who reads my dreck knows, but on education I more align with Libertarians and Trogs--get the feds out of education, that is, out of the classroom.  A decent first step might be ridding ourselves of about 90% of the Dept of Education (fold the E back into what was HEW).  The federal government has a place in education, yes, they can build classrooms, but they have no place in who or what goes on in the from of the room.  Teaching is up to locals.  Local school boards will educate their urchins or not as they are wont.

Of here's a piece on testing--

States Listen as Parents Give Rampant Testing an F

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The People Have Spoken

Don't you love it when pols, upon a big victory for their party, blather on about "how the people have spoken."  This time it's the Trogs who yammer on and on about how the people have spoken for change and a new (GOP) way of governing.  Whenever I hear such bullshit I have to remind everyone about who the people are that have spoken.

Across the states this midterm about 37% of eligible voters showed up and voted.  Assume that all the victors received 52% of the vote.  When the GOP then prattles on and on about the American people having spoken they are referring to a whopping 19% of us wanting all that GOP horeseshit.  That's how we measure a majority?

The American people did not speak.  They are mute.  They do not care.  Therefore, the gridlock and all its associated stuff, is exactly the way the 37% of who did vote want it.  My side was drubbed, we'll reciprocate in 2016 when 55% of vote.

Oh, even in states where 55% turned out, remember a 55% margin of victory still refers to only 30% of all possible voters.

Question about the Democratic Party

If I asked you to come up with one word that summarizes the Democratic Party, that is, what one word captures the essence of what you think the Democratic Party stands for and works toward?  What is your one word?

Okay, before I tell  you my word, can you also come up with one for the Republican Party?  I have trouble with the Repubs.  I do not understand them at all.  So, I have to go the one word that, for me, nails the Trogs.  That word is "obedience."  

Okay what's your word for the Dems?  Leave me a comment if you can.  Now it's my turn.  My one word that captures the essence of the DemocraticParty and why I, despite much recent disappointment, remain a Democrat is "equality."

What will happen to the GOP?

Over the next few months we will see if there is one or more GOP parties.  The ultra right vs. the traditional right may become an entertaining fight (it might distract us from the expected brouhaha of gridlock).  Come on, does anyone think Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz can make nice?  The GOP providing amnesty and citizenship for all of the illegals now has a better chance of happening.  How brutal a fight?  I don't know, but I do hope it gets very bloody and leads to a schism amongst the Trogs.  Hmm,  it would split the white guy vote.

Gee, a three party race in 2016, Clinton vs. Bush vs. Paul or Cruz....