Saturday, January 3, 2015

You Tel Me

Are Iraqis better off now without Saddam Hussein?  Did we take something atrociously bad and make it even worse?

The last time this many Iraqi civilians died was in 2007

2016

On the GOP side, money and mainstream Trogs seem to want Jeb Bush.  However, he'd have to win primaries across confederate America.  Those states are so far to the right of Bush he can't win them unless he either forthrightly becomes one of them (and becomes unacceptable to the rest of the nation)  or lies to them to get their votes (and becomes unacceptable as he is shown to be a liar  to them and the rest of nation).

Either way, he just becomes the next Romney version 23.1 who that lost to a guy who by all rights should not have been reelected.  Romney 1.0 had chance more than a chance, but purity won out over practicality.  Bush, as Romney, can't compete and win as version 1.0.

So who's out there in knuckle dragger land who is just crazy enough to woo and win primary voters and remain acceptable to lots of voters?  Well, most of the others, like Cruz, are too crazy or too mainstream (like Christie).  Both types, one way or the other would have to fake it like Jeb would have to and assuredly lose to any Democrat.

The GOP does have one person acceptably batshit crazy with most Trogs, okay with conservative Indies, and just fine with Blue Dog Dems.  Who is this GOP loon?  Well try Rand Paul in 2016 on for size.

Now let's switch over to the braying Jackasses, the mighty Democrats.  Hillary Clinton appears to be anointed by donors and blessed by a lot of dedicated voters.  If she declares she will win primaries.  She will be on a surer path than she was in 2008.  However, the scope of her message might get messy if she faces a couple of other candidates.  If She has to face Elizabeth Warren she will have to either assert her center rightness or lie about being a liberal Democrat.  Indies and weak Repubs will be listening and so will primary voting Dems.  Warren could, with an assist from Bernie Sanders, make primary life miserable for Ms.Clinton.  Ms. Clinton would have her own purity versus practicality needle to thread.

As Trogs such as Bush have a problem so will Ms. Clinton have a similar problem.  The Trogs have a mildly, but likable loon to step in and become their nominee, so who do the Dems have?  Well, most of the remaining field are pretty much like Clinton, just called back versions of her right wing Democrat center-rightedness.  However, there is one Democrat who, from his party's perspective parallels Rand Paul and his party.  The Dems Rand Paul is Jim Webb.  If the Dems get into a pissing contest over who really stands for the middle class and deteriorates into a "I can out liberal you" scream fest, then Mr. Webb could and probably would surface as the one sane Democrat running for Prez.

If Bush or any other Trog gets their party's nod, Clinton or any Democrat will win.  If, on the other hand, Mr. Paul gets the nod, then it's a lot less certain unless his opponent is Jim Webb.  Think about it.

Here's why this year will really suck

We cannot extract ourselves, so get ready for Desert Thing number III. Over 2015 it will get a lot worse. That will make the 2016 race all about the Middle East. Whomever is elected will oversee our return to Iraq. Let us give thanks to the Shrub and his Uncle Darth.  Gee, maybe this time we will be met with flowers and chocolates.

Middle East, 2015: further standoffs, tripwires and catastrophes

Good News and Bad News

With respect to our triumph in Afghanistan, here's some good news--the Taliban of old won't take over the new and improved government.  The Talbian is a bit fragmented.  Oh, the bad news,  multiple Talibans will compete with each other as they each try to take turf.  It's deja vu all over again, now it will be Taliban warlords running amok instead of the former tribal thugs.  For most folks death and destruction will continue for another century, but that's been Afghan normal as long as people have lived in that rubble pile.

Unruly Factions Hurt Taliban’s Bid to Capture Afghan Hearts, and Territory

Unlike S. Korea which developed a bit after the war ended in '53,  in the next fifty years Afghanistan will remain unchanged.

Huh?

After a Spa Day, Looking Years Younger (O.K., They’re Only 7)

What can I say, this is nucking cuts.

Place Your Bets

The Cleveland PD is passing the investigatory buck up a level.  One of their cops killed a kid.  Another case of righteous death by a cop's blazing gun?   I doubt one can get out of a quickly halting car, tell the subject to put his hands up, wait for the subject to react, assess bodily threat to self, draw, aim and fire all within in two seconds. We'll have to wait and see, but I'm betting Cleveland will have a Ferguson pulled for them.

It's time for all police shootings to be handled by some form of state level prosecutor and state wide grand jury.  Hell, I'd even pass the investigation to another state if we could.  My trust in officialdom and organizations is very, very low.  When you let locals investigate themselves, it's reasonable to assume they will err in their own favor--my CYA for you may be your CYA for me in the future.

Come to think of it, when state cops are involved, their should a federal prosecutor running the show.  I'm not sure what to do when it's feds who shoot folks.  I don't trust them to investigate themselves--would J. Edgar really do an honest investigation of his own folks, much less those he didn't like?

Cleveland Police hand off investigation into Tamir Rice shooting to county sheriff

Government works when we have the checks and balances that prevent people from doing very human, but very stupid shit.  To the extent we can implement such practices, we can institutionalize them, we can make them normative, and then merely have to be alert for retrograde behavior.  Eternal vigilance, folks, eternal vigilance!

The Voters Have Spoken!

Of course, that means most Americans were silent.  They didn't vote.  In this past election only 36% showed up.  That means 18%+1 determined who has the power to decide how we will govern ourselves.  Repub. will set the rules of the game including who can vote in what District at what time.

I hope the non-voters have a yen for life in 1850 since that is what the victors will attempt to deliver.  They aren't called conservatives for nothing, some may prefer 1750 or earlier.  Hell, Repubs given their reliance on Southern whites and batshit crazy Christians, I am sure they would repeat separate but equal all over again, but this time make it a national program.  Gee would the Supremes pull another Plessy v. Ferguson for them?  I think Roberts' Robes Quintet would.

Think about what you either voted for by voting or voted for by not voting.  If you are happy, fine, but if you've let out a bit of a fear induced gasp, then get ready to change it up in 2015 and 2016.  The only way to stop the retrograding of this nation is too defeat them at  the ballot box.   We've had enough of the knuckle dragging haven't we?

To the Dems who voted, well, be honest, we fucked up, we didn't turn out the local, District, and Statewide votes at all.  Elections have to be about more than the White House and a few Senators.  If Dems don't get moving to rid themselves of the Repub pestilence at every level, then I have to assume they are really closet Repubs, yeah, DINOs.  Hmm,  come to think about it, is Hillary Clinton really a liberal Dem or more like Nelson Rockefeller Repub.

Now that I think about it, are there any Dems thinking about running in 2016 whose actions actually precede their rhetoric?  If there is, other than Mr. Sanders and perhaps Jim Webb, tell me who?  Let's face it, most of us are attracted to candidates who talk a great talk.  We assume they, if elected will walk all their talk.  They don't.  I guess Dems tend to have it ass backwards most of the time, we should be looking for those who have walked and now talk about what they have done and will, based on a clear record, will try to do.  Got a candidate?

Republicans in state governments plan juggernaut of conservative legislation

Friday, January 2, 2015

Streaming

Do you stream any music?  I use Pandora once in a while.  When I'm at my Mac I pretty much listen to radio--KXCI, WMNF, KRCL, and WRUV.   I have tried Apple's iTunes Radio (like Pandora) but frankly it's not as good for my kind of music.   I do not listen to much pop or rock or whatever it's called these days.  I've never used Spotify or YouTube (for music).

Here's a piece on the economics of streaming.  If the companies would realize that a small amount of money from a large number of people is more doable, then they might make some cash.  For example, Pandora has about250 million users but only 3.3 million of them cough up $5 a month.  Frankly their service is not worth $60 a year.  I listen but I'm sure the ad revenue from users like myself don't really cover their costs.  The 3.3 million paying customers yield about $16.5 million a year.

If Pandora tried something like $1 a month, that's just $12 a year, maybe half of us non-payers might decide it's a reasonable fee.  Gee, 125 million times 12 is $1.5 billion.  Imagine if more services priced low, allowing people to pay a reasonable amount, it might be a bit better for all.


Gun Safety (Control)

I do hope the gun control folks figure our how to put the gun nuts back in the ammo can.  We have too many people packing.    Guns make no sense.   Think of the the two year old who shot his mother in Walmart and wonder, if instead of Mom, could it have been someone else walking by the shopping cart.  Yep, bang, bang, you're dead but it's okay--we've gotta think about the 2nd Amendment and protect the rights of idiots to carry guns and get other people killed.   I don't think the founders had any inking of a group like the NRA shilling for increased sales of gun and ammo companies when they crafted the 2nd Amendment.

Gun Control Groups, Blocked in Washington, Turn Attention to States

Target practice is not a sport.  If you go to a range with a pistol, you are improving the speed and accuracy with which you can use the weapon.  The weapon has one purpose, to kill a person, period.  If you practice with a long gun, you are trying to improve your accuracy to insure that you kill whatever it is you aim at--usually it's game, but I do wonder if, given the abundance of assault rifles, I  have to assume that all guns have one purpose, killing people.

Which of these do you want NOW!

The most anticipated innovations coming in 2015

Good Column

I like Mr. Robinson's opinion piece today.  Initially I was upset that he was giving advice on how the GOP can become a  better party.   I feared they might listen.  Then I noted his advice was to Southern White guys about race, so my fears were allayed.  What's that line about taking a boy off of the farm?

The GOP has a bad habit of appealing to avowed racists

There is a reason the GOP will always pander to scum like Duke and other social deviants.  The GOP begins it's politics with ideas of freedom and liberty first.   The Dems begin with the idea of equality and then include freedom and liberty.   Can you see the difference it makes?

Censorship

HarperCollins omits Israel from maps for Mideast schools, citing ‘local preferences’

Wow, Israel is deleted from an Atlas used in Arabic schools.  Horrors!  A book publisher who makes money selling books, edits books to meet the buyers demands.  Let's see, sell zero books or sell a bunch by omitting Israel from the Arab schools edition.

Okay capitalists, if you're pissed at Harper Collins, before you get on your high horse over the publishers deletion, you might want to do a little bit of googling on textbook censorship here in good old number one land.   A good place to start your inquiry is Texas, the Texas Schoolbook Commission and the Gablers.  Then head over to Kansas and query about creationism and textbooks.  

Lots of texts are censored for sales.  If publishers didn't, they lose sales.  Usually those sales are to government entities like schools.  So is your beef with publishers or schmucks with purchasing power in government or should it be with the dickheads who elect, direct and support the censors.

Don't underestimate the power of large groups of stupid people.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Good Message

This year, let’s stop telling women to stay safe. Let’s tell men not to assault us.

Happy New Year: Another Fucked Up War Front

Start your office pool now.  The pool is based on the date when the first U.S. soldier is killed in the latest incarnation of the Iraq War, it's called "Operation Oh Shit We've Been Here Before."  Get the date, win the pool.  We won't bother with spreading any of that liberty and freedom this time around.  We, in theory will just advise Arabs on the best way to kill other Arabs.  Now that's a wasted effort since they've been doing that quite well for a millennium or two.   Like I said it's another fucked up war.

U.S. advisers in Iraq stay out of combat but see fight edge nearer

If you are a bit put off by betting on who gets killed, start a troop strength pool.   When will U.S. troops number 12,000?  20,000?   For long term betting fans, bet on the size of U.S. personnel--military, CIA, State-in Iraq on Obama's last day in office.  Ditto with Afghanistan.  There are so many ways to wager on death and destruction.

Happy New Year: Fucked Up Movie Hack

Did you see "The Interview?" Why?

Now some food for thought.  What if Sony wasted well over $100 million on a total turkey the even Rogen/Franco fans would gag and heave on.  Hmm, why not hack yourself, get the FBI to blame it on North Korea, cancel the film out of fear, and have the U.S. government become your Dudley Do-Right then release the film on-line and at least begin to recoup what otherwise would be total losses.  With the attention the turkey may even make money.  Yep, that's a fucked up movie hack.

Sony expands digital and theatrical release of The Interview in the US

Wow, I think I've just outlined the next Seth Rogen film.

Happy New Year: Fucked Up Religion Front

Gee, Frank doesn't like slavery.  Wow, this from a guy who heads up the ongoing Inquisition (and you thought is ended, see "God's Jury" by Cullen Murphy).

Pope Francis uses new year mass to condemn slavery and human trafficking 

Yep, we're to forgo purchases that might be the product of exploitation.  Come on, his Church has been exploiting people since the Council of Nicaea in 325.  They've done well for themselves and continue to do so.  Yep, Frank and all the other religionistas make for a global fucked up mess.

Want to end slavery?  Well, first we kill are the priests, prelates and reverends....  

Happy New Year: Fucked Up Politics

And you thought the Republican Party consisted of decent folks.  Now that's a fucked up idea.  Where have you been since the GOP was absorbed by its Southern Evangefundie strategy?

There's a reason the GOP is mostly a bunch of white guys--

Much of David Duke’s ’91 Campaign Is Now in Louisiana Mainstream[and throughout the Red State nation]

Today Southern swill is aligned with the GOP.  In the past they befouled the Democratic Party.   It's not the party one has to pay attention to, one has to attend to the trash that crashes the party and takes over that makes for really fucked up politics.

Think about this, imagine in 2012 it was David Duke vs Obama.  Who'd have won?  Do you think that Duke would have received 75% or more of the white vote?  

Happy New Year: Fucked Up People Who Pack Kids and Guns

In case you missed this story, here 'tis.  Happy New Year!

Toddler Accidentally Shoots and Kills His Mother With Gun Taken From Her Purse

Whew!  Man, that is seriously fucked up even for a Walmart shopper in Idaho.

What I cannot get my head around is what will be the effect on the toddler.  At some point in his life he will have to face the fact that he killed his mother.   That's not an easy one to grasp.  Will the child grow up normal?  Will he become a human waste dying of drugs in prison?  Will he become a super gun nut with a couple dozen "mom" tattoos?

When my wife and I were discussing this matter, she quipped, "he's already a made man."  (We had just finished watching "The Sopranos" HBO series. How many kids have our idiotic gun laws turned into "made men and women" before they turn 10 years old?

Keep on packing gun nuts, but for your kid's sake, be a tad safer if you can.  If you can't just remember your guns first kill will probably be someone in your immediate family.  Ah the cost of 2nd Amendment freedom.


Happy New Year: Fucked Up War Front

Which war?  Oh, the Afghan War, you know Operation Enduring Meh.   After 13 years of whatever the Shrub, Dork and Barry, as imperial commandants decided our government would do, it's more or less done.  Well, done officially, NATO bagged it on the war front.  Now a bunch of folks will hang around and give advice to any Afghans who are willing to oppose the Taliban.

Yeah, I said Taliban.  We went after al Qaeda, we found them, we killed them, and then we let a bunch escape.  The terrorists split when Imperator Shrub decided it was time to invade Iraq.   With no bad guys left to kill, no permission to call it a day, our assorted warrior wannabes in the Pentagon, CIA, State Department and White House decided to make the Taliban a new enemy.  It didn't work out to well.  Hell it is their turf and they know how to hide.  The Taliban War has been worse than the stupids we displayed in Vietnam.

At any rate, we spent a lot of money.  We lost a number of soldiers.  We really didn't do much more than wage an odd war after al Qaeda's leader escaped at Tora Bora.  Now it's more or less over.  However, we'll remain there for another 50 years to prevent the Taliban from re-taking the entire rubble heap, a.k.a., Afghanistan.

So how's trick in Kabul these days?

Kabul was eerie and dangerous under the Taliban. It feels that way again.

Let's see, Saigon is commie these days but the rest of Southeast Asia is not--did you forget the Domino Theory bullshit our past Imperators spewed on us?  How long before we're recognizing a Taliban based government of some portion of Afghanistan?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Worth a read

Some things in the world are beyond my ken.  This is one of them.   However, that does not mean anyone has the right to bash, trash and brutalize folks of any kind.  I can try to understand, can you?

Transgender teen who died of an apparent suicide: ‘Fix society. Please.’

What's Your Perspective on Angels With Guns?

Someone painted an angel and a police officer on a Detroit building. The angel was holding a gun.

Why is Repub Land Really the New Confederacy?

Well, it may have more to do with race than they want to admit.  Repubs are the party of well off white guys, period.  Scalise's biggest problem is a blogger who found a bit of Southern normalcy and reported it for non-Southerners to read.  Scalise says he's not a racist,  By Southern standards, he's not since he's not a member of the Klan or other kindred white power groups.  However, by Southern standards he cannot refuse to deal with those folks, they are the majority of GOP voters in the state.  I guess it's de facto racism.

Steve Scalise distances himself from racially charged politics of the Deep South

Gee, it's New Year's Eve (already)

When you become an old fart, time seems to fly  by.  There's probably some reason for that, body parts failing that affect one's metabolism and then one's perception of time.  That and knowing one has fewer New Years ahead than behind may make it seem as though yesterday was the beginning of February 2014.

Needless to say parties are in the past.  Some years we've even had to take in for granted that the ball rose, New Years came and it's now Jan. 1, 8:45 am.  Then we put away the unopened Champagne and unused glasses.

I am sure the world turned to total shit after Guy Lombardo died and quit ushering in the New Year.  The pop music shows are full of singers I don't know and usually have no desire of coming to know.  So, we're left with CNN and Kathy Griffin and that white haired guy.

Happy New Year!




New Year’s Eve TV specials

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Good Cartoon

Hmm, he's just a oud mouth bully.  If he said follow me, would you?


















The best editorial cartoons of 2014

Packing for Safety

Gun nuts have an uncontrollable need to pack.  If they don't have a weapon concealed on their person they become nervous wrecks lost in fears that a nefarious guttersnipe will gun them down at any time.  Yep, pack it, but what are you going to do when it's your own two year old that shoots you with your own gun.  Gun culture is nucking futs.  It's safer to be nervous.

Toddler accidentally shoots and kills woman in Idaho Wal-Mart, police say

First, let's kill all the lawyers...

Well, let's do that after we zap all the execs at GM.  Oh, wait, second we have to fry all the state legislators who decided it was good law to cap damages.  Okay now we can waste the lawyers.


Victims of G.M. Deadly Defect Fall Through Legal Cracks

Repub. showing their true colors

Let's hear it for their felons:   Rep. Michael Grimm Resigns.  I guess his constituents were all crooks since he was elected even though he was under a 22 count indictment.

Crooks can be voters and ditto with the Klan and white supremacists.  Hey, the Trogs have a man who knows how to work the white sheet crowd: House Majority Whip Scalise confirms he spoke to white nationalists in 2002

The may drool acid while they drag their knuckles, but remember if you're white and male, you can find someone to represent you (donations are required) in Congress no matter how despicable you may be since they are worse.  

Monday, December 29, 2014

Sometimes, sometimes

I have to wonder about the folks who are so upset over Mr. Tyson's tweet.  However, they do provide light Xmas entertainment.  Now where's my sprig of holly?

Neil deGrasse Tyson explains why his Christmas tweet wasn’t ‘anti-Christian’

Are you a Repub or a Dem?

Here's how to find out.  Answer a question.   Assume a man owns a number of slaves on his successful plantation.  Now assume that there is a proposal for the state to free all slaves next Tuesday.  Is the state's action right?  The slave owner's property rights will be infringed and as a result he will be denied his right to pursue happiness.  The slaves however obtain their liberty.  Oh, don't entertain any ideas such as compensation, just what's above.   Which side is right?  Why?

I suggest that the Repub will support property/happiness rights and the Dem will support personal liberty.  If I am right, then maybe you can understand why you are a Repub, Dem or Indie.

Yep, there's a problem in Ferguson

To those folks who think Ferguson was just one cop doing his job and don't understand the brouhaha over his actions, I ask you to ask yourself is the memorial a pile of trash in the road or not?  If you think it's just trash, then can you explain why so many people put it there and keep it there?  We have a problem in this country, the focus just happens to involve police and justice.

Ferguson Police Department puts officer on leave after remarks about destroyed memorial

China and U.S. T-Bills

Does China "own" us?  Nonsense, but both of our political parties are chock full of folks who pretend that China does.  That way we can focus on China and not how we amassed the debt and who really holds what.

What portion of our national debt does China carry?  Oh, a bit over 10%.  Be aware there are many ways one can categorize debt, but when you come down to it, debt is just money one has promised to pay to someone in the future.

No, China does not hold more than 50 percent of U.S. debt

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Want to know how Repubs govern?

If you really want the Trogs to run the show, read this piece on the Secret Service.   Here's how they work.  They get patriotic.  They demand more from others who actually do the work as they cut their budgets.  Then they get really pissed off at what results from their oversight.  Sad part is, the morons who elect them, eat this shit up since all the pols do is, is blame the victims for choosing to be being victims.  That way no Trog is ever wrong.

Critical decisions after 9/11 led to slow, steady decline in quality for Secret Service