Thursday, February 19, 2015

Frankly, Make All the Damn Stuff Legal

If we did, then we would not have this bit of government stupidity.

New rules on narcotic painkillers cause grief for veterans and VA

If people think life sucks or doesn't have sufficient thrills, then let them take all the drugs they want.  I wonder how many drug abusers would have opted for suicide had it been legal when they first went down the drug hole?

Overseas Contingency Operation: Victory In Afghanistan Update

As has gone Iraq, so goes Rubbleistan.  After all, the same crew brought us both operations.

More than 10,000 Afghan civilians died or were injured in 2014, U.N. says

Asshole Update: Giuliani On Obama

I have no idea what it means when an asshole complains about someone else's affective expressions or lack thereof.  Apparently Rudy is sure the Prez does not love good old number one (at least the way Rudy does).  What the hell does that mean?  It's pure bullshit.  It's GOP grist for the hate Obama mill.    I think what he wants to say, but can't, is "I think Obama is rat bastard Democrat who is in office when I should have been nominated and elected in 2008.  McCain sucks too."

Report: Rudy Giuliani tells private dinner ‘I do not believe that the president loves America’

Rudy must think very highly of himself, he wants a Prez who is just like himself.  That's a bit warped.

Pneumonic Disease: Update, EBOLA!

Oh, my god.  We can breath it in, catch it and die!  I bet the GOP fear factories will be working overtime on this one; there has to be an anti-Obama angle.  Do you remember the pneumonic HIV scare?

Damn, and we're fresh out of Ebola Czars too.  Is it possible?  Perhaps, but we do not have any evidence of transmission.  Check your fears or go live in a bubble.  

Limited airborne transmission of Ebola is ‘very likely,’ new study says

Shitting In Our Nest: Dead Bald Eagles Update

We almost killed them off with DDT.  Have no fear, we're persistent.  We will eliminate them and lots of other birds.  When will we finally off our own species?  Since greed knows no bounds, I suggest it will be sooner than we think.  The eagle killer lives on hydrilla.  Hydrilla?  Yep, it grows all over the place ever since greedy Florida capitalists introduced it--

Hydrilla is naturalised and invasive in the United States following release in the 1950s and 1960s from aquariums into waterways in Florida, due to the aquarium trade. It is now established in Canada and the southeast from Connecticut to Texas, and also in California. By the 1990s control and management were costing millions of dollars each year.

Bald eagles are starting to flourish again — but hold the confetti

Assume for the moment that we have a Prezette Clinton in 2016

Who will immediately benefit from her Administration?  Why her big donors of course.  And who are those donors?  Well, let's start with the Clinton's foundation first....

Clinton foundation’s global network overlaps with family’s political base

I wonder if there's list of who has pre-paid for what parts of USA, Inc.?  Even foreign governments now have a way to assist the Clintons, not that there will be any quo for the quid.

Shareholder Value Crowd Take Note

Unlike the GOP which is always, under all conditions, all the time for cutting taxes, you cannot have  the same idea with wages.  Sometimes you have to spend money on employees in order to have any future value at all.

As Walmart Gives Raises, Other Employers May Have to Go Above Minimum Wage

How About It?

I look at faith, the religious type, as a tragic human defect.  The faithful abdicate thinking, instead they obey and act accordingly.  Their behavior may be decent if the acts are humane.  Sadly, more of acts are harmful to living things than not.  I have no problem referring to Islamic terrorists or radical Muslims, do you?  Most religions provide us with an excess of batshit crazy folks who are just doing "god's will."  Since when does a god need a mortal to do "his will?"  Why is it his?

In the U.S. we have Christian loons of all kinds.  Some, such as the Westboro crowd even make a living by offending others with their religious spiel in public.  The loons are stopped by authorities.  The loons then sue over their free speech rights.  The loons collect settlement cash.  It's a living,  eking out god's will one lawsuit at at time.

The assorted hate groups from the Klan to Nazis, to White Power to Militias all appear to have some kind of "Christian" core books.  They are radical Christians.  Faith plus faithful plus prelates willing to manipulate the flock (for a donation) have done a ton of damage and will do more.

Oh, don't forget our fundies.  That faithful flock flips off science (while using the results of science in their daily lives).  Faith is a sickness.  So what's the big deal about linking a faith with criminal behavior anyway?  If more people linked all religions with religious excesses then we might put religion where it belongs,  in the ashcan of dumb ideas.  There's a space available next to the heliocentric universe view.

Faulted for Avoiding ‘Islamic’ Labels to Describe Terrorism, White House Cites a Strategic Logic

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ready, Set, Lose

About the only local group that can take on ISIL in Iraq are the Shiite militias.  If they withdraw, then I'd suggest that west Iraq will become part of the IS Claiphate and East Iraq will bemuse part of Iran as northern Iraq becomes New Kurdistan.

Iraqi Shiite cleric recalls militiamen from fight against Islamic State

I'm not sure what we'll do.  Send in the Marines?  Well, Obama is in the legacy biz, so why not.

I'll have to revise bitching about my genes

It's not mom and dad's genes, it's mom's bacteria?   Well,

Bacterial DNA from mom may be inherited

Merchant of Death Update: Weaponized Drones

This is a bit like the NBA Commisioner noting that the NBA isn't getting a piece of the action on basketball gambling and deciding that the NBA needs to get their slice somehow.

Instead of the NBA, we have makers of drones and their weapons.  Nations are scrambling to buy drones.  And what is Uncle Sam doing?  Nada.  Nope, we're preventing US companies from getting a  U.S. drones.

That was yesterday, today, Uncle Sam will allow drone sales.  Oh, there will be limits and controls.  UH, when has that kind of shit ever really worked?  Within ten years of U.S. weaponized drone sales, they will have become used illegally and probably on us in some fashion.

I wonder how much was paid to whom to sell on one more piece of USA, Inc.?

Obama administration to allow sales of armed drones to allies

US to allow export of armed military drones

Obama is working overtime to firm up his legacy.  I wonder what it is?

Book Review

I am not much of a reader of fiction.  I find all the odd stuff and insights into human behavior I need in newspapers.  However, as I was reading today's Post, I saw this review.  I may have to give this book a try.

The most unsettling, must-read novel this year: ‘Welcome to Braggsville’

It's Time to Move To Vermont

I am appalled at the number of people who go to church.  I realize going to church does not mean that much in terms of actually following a theology in daily life.  If evidence for living a religion's was regularly going to church, then the South would be vast Eden of progressive liberalism.

Map: The most religious states in America

Then again, Southerners may actually be living their religious creed, tenets and values.  If so, then Southern religion is really some fucked up shit.

College Football

Rape associated with football players is too common.  Actually, crime of all kinds associated with players, but buried by the school and local cops is all to common.  This past year we saw a perversion of the criminal justice in Tallahassee that kept a star Seminole on the field.  It's sad.  The real message is lie, cheat and steal are okay as long as you are winning.  What's a little rape among star QBs anyway?

Now we can add the Vols to the list of criminogenic schools.

University of Tennessee football players facing rape allegations

It's time to rid ourselves of college football.

I'm my own man or woman

Candidates love to spew that line.  Well, if you want to know a candidate don't listen to them, look around them.  Get to know who has taken the jobs of helping the narcissist get the nomination and election.  The coterie of cling-ons basically determine what the pol winds up doing on the stump and in the White House.

Will Hillary Clinton be Bill II?  Nah.  Will she be her own woman?  Nah.  She will be Obama II.

Hillary Clinton rebrands Obama’s frat house as her own

What about JEB?  Is he his own man?  Oh, that's rich. He's a Bush and it shows.

Jeb Bush: ‘I love my father and my brother…but I am my own man’

Now get prepared to be scared.  Scared of another war in Iraq.

Jeb Bush’s foreign policy team is eerily familiar, in one Venn diagram

My own man?  My ass!

Did Obama follow candidate Obama's words spoken in his speeches or did he follow the advice of those who got him elected to office?

Consider the Limpet

What's stronger than silk?  Can bite through Kevlar?  Uh, limpet teeth.  Yep, limpet teeth.

Nature’s newest strongest material

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Another Iraq, In Afghanistan

We did a bang up job training the Iraiqi army and police.  The evidence is in how they reacted in the face of ISIL.  Ouch.  So, given the lessons of Iraq, how'd we do in Afghanistan?  I assume we learned a few lessons and trained them a bit differently since we're still stationed in the rubble pile .  Oh, based on evidence, maybe we used the Afghan training plan in Iraq.  Ouch.

Taliban Attack Kills at Least 20 Afghan Police Officers

Fast Food or Is It Fat Food?

I rarely eat out.  When I do, it's not at a place such as Chipotle's.  I imagine most places are more like Chipotles than not in terms of calories, fat and salt.  How bad?  Well,...

At Chipotle, How Many Calories Do People Really Eat?

Capitalism fans take note

Capital has invaded health care.  I am of the mind that has not been a plus for most people.  Our escalating health care costs I fear are driven more by maximizing shareholder value and greed than much else.  I doubt that capital has improved the quality of care or our capabilities one bit.

Similarly in just about any business area, modern capital buys in,  Then it demands an immediate maximal return on investment.  Shareholder value rears its head again.  What kind of animal is it?  I'll just call it a vulture.

Funny how investment vultures (not the venture type) seems to make things worse for so many people.  The rich always will make do regardless of who wins and loses (that's one of the privileges of being rich).  Those who lost jobs as the cost of making another penny of profit will not do so well.  We have too many not doing so well.  We are, however, blessed with schmucks who make a living doing nothing tangible but investing money in other people's businesses.

Now get ready for another area to be ravaged by capital.  Yes there are areas not touched by investors.  Are you ready for law firms to be publicly traded?  I wonder how the quality of legal services will fare in the face of delivering shareholder value?

A law firm IPO? Not so fast.

It sucks today (if you live on the East coast)

I woke up to seven inches of snow.  The bay was frozen over.  Where it should have been water, it appeared to be another field of snow.   It snowed last night.  Virginia is covered.  It's so much fun to shovel snow to clear the bird feeding area.  Well it is fun to watch blue jays swoop in and grab peanuts.

Snow blankets Richmond region, roads

And in Washington, it's snow on the ground as well as the expected snow job we all receive everyday from all those fine elected bozos and bozoettes.  Do you know why Obama is acting all official and president these days?  That's easy, unlike Congress, he's no longer running for reelection.  Now is only real job is leaving office (will he outdo Bill Clinton in post prez fund raising).

  Snow day for the D.C. area: Roads covered and schools, offices closed

Another Fine Health Oops

Last week we found out that much of yesterday's reservations about cholesterol were, in essence, correct.  However, cholesterol fear did jack sales of statins.  I wonder if the health industry folks saw it coming and looked for another way to maintain and boost statin sales?  They had one with the heart risk calculator.  Score high, and it's hello statin highway.  Well, almost, but for one little thing, the calculators are inaccurate.  About all they do guarantee is statin sales.

I don't think the average Doc benefits from statin sales, instead they just follow the latest and greatest advice from the research farm.  Sadly, as they knee jerk their way through their practice, their patients pay and pay for drugs that were not needed.  Our medical world seems more driven by high profit margins of the few than much else.

Heart attack ‘risk calculators’ miss mark, researchers say

Monday, February 16, 2015

I Guess the Dems Are Now the Party of "No"

The GOP, a.k.a. Trogs, have the House and Senate.  Trogs appear to assume that Dems, who formerly invoked the lack of governance, the Constitution and Mom's apple pie, every time Trogs derailed a Democratic deal, now would behave as Dems think the Trogs should have acted in the past.  They won't. They have decided to emulate them instead.  It's their turn to say no to other side's version of good government.  Do we really need Congress?

Boehner Says He’d Allow Homeland Security Shutdown

We had an Ebola Czar?

Oh, yeah.  Back when the media spawned an irrational fear of death by Ebola, Obama named some political hack to be his E-Czar.  Ebola sort of came and went as the medical community did its job and the infections played out.   What ever happened to the hack?

Oh, speaking of hacks, how'd all of our Ebola troops fare? Did they build centers and save lives?  Well, the treatment centers in Liberia are nearly empty as outbreak fades.

The Wired World's Embezzlement

One used to have to work for a bank to steal cash with stealth.  An employee would create accounts, move funds around,  take a little here and there.  Before long, over time, the worker had a tidy sum to abscond with or keep as a reasonably safe steady income stream (it often supplemented shitty bank wages).  Embezzlers were employees.

And today, anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can become a bank "employee."  Banks and just about every other business does all its work on-line.  If work is online, it can be "seen."  If a thief can case the day to day operation of a bank, the thief can become a very successful embezzler.  Yep, it's being done--

Hackers steal up to $1 billion from banks, security co. says

I always appreciated a thief who counterfited nickels.  Back when nickels had more value, even the Treasury Dept. didn't waste time on them.  The nickels, over time, added up when one used them to buy a paper, a cup of coffee, a bus ride, and a candy bar everyday.  Yeah aiming low can let one meet some financial goals. I wonder what is today's counterpart to counterfeiting nickels, but by hacking?  

Damn, we're all going to have to buy drone collision insurance

Drones will soon fly everywhere.  The FAA is refining its rules for drones.  Is there a "Drones for Dummies" yet?  The flighty little suckers will be filling our local airspace before we know it.  The problem is sometimes, what goes up, comes down with unanticipated consequences.  I wonder what kind of damage a 50 pound drone can to a car?  A house?   A garden?  A gardener? And a gardener's dog?'

The Drones R' Us crowd have varied opinions about the FAA's proposed rules.  

More Egypt Needed

The thugs of ISIL won't be stopped by U.S. air power or U.S. military on the ground.  ISIL is the foul creation of power seeking Arabic crooks.  ISIL cloaks itself in some religious claptrap that springs form the history of Arabic Islam.  It is Arabic.  It is Islamic.  It will be destroyed only if other Arabs decide to obliterate ISIL and eradicate ISIL's perversion of Islam.  The U.S. and other can assist, but the primary actions have to be taken by Arabs.  If Arabs do not act,  then ISIL will be a pain in everybody's ass for several decades.

Egypt bombs Islamic State targets in Libya after beheading video

Egypt needs to send in the Arabic marines.  Will it?

Well Bless Uncle Joe

Do you remember Joe Biden's suggestion about Iraq?  He thought it should be divided up into three major chunks.  He saw a Kurdish north, a Sunni west and the rest in Shiite hands.  The Shrub and Joe's boss never quite agreed and decided to make one liberty loving nation out of rat pack of sectarian haters.  How'd the Shrub's master plan work out?  Well, if one's read anything about ISIL, the Iraqi Army and Kurdish Peshmerga, then one knows it's another U.S. SNAFU.  It all kind of makes one wonder what we bought with all that training and infrastructure development money doesn't it?

Where is Iraq headed?  Well, the Kurds are re-taking the north from the Sunni dominated ISIL.  The Iraqi Army has fled the scene and it being replaced by Shiite militias.  The western Sunnis are lined up with ISIL to keep from being killed by the militias.  Oh, the U.S. is sort of training the Iraqi Army, again.  I guess Joe was right, the three states of Iraq, except he did not mean for the Shiite part to become part of a greater Iran.   Now why did we invade Iraq?

Pro-Iran militias’ success against Islamic State could undermine U.S.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

And In Shrubland

It's always Sunni in Iraq. Well, sometimes it's very Shiite.  Let's face it, after being fully Cheneyed for eight years, everyday is just a Shruberific day for the freedom, liberty and democracy loving people of Iraq. In other words, it's as fucked up today, in not more so, than it was before we invaded and "made it better."

Sunnis may exit Iraq parliament after sheik’s slaying

Five Myths

Violent Extremism Hmm, then maybe we're just up against a new form of organized crime?

Of Interest

Best state in America: Iowa, for marriages that last If it is true that more marriages endure than in the past, then I think we need to correct for the reduced number of marriages today. I have a feeling, if we could adjust for those who in the past would have married but do not do so today then we'd find the divorce rate hasn't declined but would be about 50% as it was 25 years ago.


I have, for the most part, been of a scientific mind set all my life.  Science is a method to find and a body of knowledge about what's found out about the stuff of nature.  Science, for example,  cannot tell us why the universe exists, but it can inform us of how the universe has developed over a very long time.  Science cannot tell us why the first bit of brown algae popped from the primordial ooze, but it can, given the creature, follow it's development into the assorted creatures on the planet including us.

Science provides natural answers to natural questions.  The answers are not "True," no they hold or don't hold for now.  The simplest test of the value of science is its success.  Imagine the world without scientists, doing science to yield science that in turn is used by others to make things like refrigerators, microwave ovens, and all those other bits of modernity we assume have always been around.

Here's a piece on why it's hard for some to accept science--

Why science is so hard to believe