Wednesday, February 28, 2007

All My Grinching

Oh, I am indeed being a Grinch today. I posted my economic maunderings over at the Medley.

Yes, it's titled "Good Fortune", but only because my personal 401(k) did not suffer in the latest market slide. For awhile, I had investments that slid with the market, and a couple of years ago it wiped out several thousand dollars of perfectly good money. I started to refine my choices, and after I moved money out to an IRA after the layoff, I finally closed down the last of the marginal choices.

All the big boys are moving a chunk of the principal to foreign investments. Gates moved a billion to China so he will continue to be a billionaire no matter what.

Unless the Congress starts to put taxes back to pay for what we owe, things are going to get worse. Lots worse.

Friday, February 23, 2007


Today is Blogaversary number three. I can hardly believe I have been doing this that long. I started before the 2004 election. There has rarely been a shortage of infuriating or amazing things going on.

It Looked Odd

Yesterday I took someone to a WalMart in the suburbs. It was a very odd place. Almost all the people working there were over 70, and some looked as if they were over 80.

It looked like WalMart had gone into the senior day-care business and then put their charges to work as an occupational activity. Really.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Shame on Associated Press

Associated Press has just corrupted a label that had a very specific meaning.

A "dirty bomb" has always been one that spread radioactive materials.

Today, Associated Press has used the phrase to refer to conventional explosives set under trucks of chlorine. Attempting to associate nuclear materials spread with bombing chemical storage is a degradation of terminology. This happened earlier when almost anything that blew up was conflated with "weapons of mass destruction", when the actual weapons were often "weapons of middlin' harmfulness" instead.

Next thing you know, Iran will be accused of using "dirty bombs", and George will think that is a reason to attack them. The minds of people are being corrupted by slithery terminology and gross exaggeration. Thanks, Associated Press, thanks a lot. With reporters like yours, who needs additional administration propaganda?

The Great Circle

Follow the logic:

Bush invaded Iraq on intelligence cooked to his taste to justify invading Iraq. And according to No More Mr. Nice Blog, the New York Post published a push poll validating the stand of "We are at war so we should stand behind the president."

Um. If he invades Iran on cooked grounds -- nay, on any grounds but a direct attack on the US with armed forces -- will those same nitwits declare that we should stand behind him? I suppose on that ground they would have stood behind the leader who invaded Poland, too. Those who did so were ultimately tried as war criminals, and shunned as monsters.

Someday, our own monsters must be held accountable. Vive la Resistance!

edited for clarity

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I Tell Ya ...

It must be real fun to be a CNN web editor. It's the weekend, and their breaking news included the story that Britney Spears shaved her head. The only thing missing was the important fact that the lack of curtains now matches the lack of a rug[*].

And actually, she looks pretty good without that trashy hair. Makes her eyes look a lot bigger.

And that story about her being in rehab for all of a day -- hey, her rehab stint was almost as long as her first marriage! Doesn't she get a break for that? How can you expect someone to commit more time for rehab than for that most holy of unions, so holy and privileged that denying the status to gay people is the most important thing in some people's lives. Sheesh!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Watching Their Own Tails

Did you know that Bush's ranch is off the electrical grid entirely, and self-contained?

For what it's worth, Bush's Crawford ranch is completely off-the-grid and equipped with the latest in energy saving and renewable power systems. It has been described as an "environmentalist's dream home." The fact a man as steeped in the petroleum industry as Bush would own such a home should tell you something.

On a similar note, Dick Cheney's personal investments indicate he (or more accurately, whoever handles his money) is expecting economic collapse.

Neither Bush or Cheney (or really, any administration) can be honest with the American people about the severity of what we're facing. If they were honest with the country, half the nation would refuse to believe them while the other half would likely panic.

So if he starts a war with Iran and does critical damage to them, he can just go hide in Crawford, snug and power-fat while everyone else can just go ....

Do you like this picture? Whether or not you like this picture, do you get this picture?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I Am Spartacus

Yes. Make it known that standing up for your own is one of the most important things you can do.



Today, honest, I started looking at three-wheeled adult tricycles. If Bush attacks Iraq, I am going to buy one immediately -- because if he does that it will be the beginning of the end. This web post at Pygalgia says that the administration would be attacking to steal Iran's oil, but I don't think that would be a likely outcome. It is not easy to steal oil -- pipelines are way too amenable to sabotage. The supply line is way too long. We don't even *buy* oil from Iran -- and I doubt their customers would sit quietly by and permit such a theft.

Of course, if Bush does attack them, he should definitely be removed from office forthwith -- but I think he should have been removed for crimes quite awhile back. And if he does attack, it is not going to be with a ground incursion designed to maintain the infrastructure -- it's going to be with bombs.

Oh crap. Those of you who voted for these warmongers have much to answer for.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bringing Polygamy Back

The new Defense of Marriage proposal has some interesting wrinkles that aren't discussed. One provision is that having a child is equal to getting married.

If a man gets two women pregnant, would he be legally married to both under this proposal? And someone like Anna Nicole Smith, who has three men fighting over the paternity of her child -- if she had three children by three men, would she be married to all of them?

Yes, it is a measure intended to take discrimination in marriage to absurd lengths -- one to make people understand that procreation is not the only basis for marriage no matter what some religions like to preach. But it has far more entertaining implications than its authors intended.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Reasonable Complaint

On a Live Journal I read, a woman complained that headline news this last week has been all about drawing women as crazy and as bimbos, but it is very hard to find any news about how the Scooter Libby trial is going.

Actually, unless you read web logs, finding Scooter's trial is almost impossible. More and more it looks like the major news outlets are leaving the real reporting to the web logs they so despise, and putting on a freak show for ratings goodness. Mothers giving guns to children. Men putting children out to freeze. Ambulances dumping hospital patients on skid row. Reading the news is like wading in sewage.

And the politics of pretend scandals! Someone listed Obama/madrassa, Pelosi/large jets, Hillary/evil men and Edwards/mouthy blogers as all the recent attempts to show Democrats in a bad light, with nary a Republican smear. Of course, when Republicans do fall, the scandals are likely to be real and ugly -- accosting young boys or child pornography -- so maybe it is just as well we haven't heard about any recent activity.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Health Care for Veterans

The one thing John Edwards would make sure of is that veterans got the health care they need. A current tragedy is that of the young man, Jonathan Schultze, who pleaded with the VA for help, and who reported he was feeling suicidal, and who was dismissed without receiving an evaluation and at least temporary meds ... and who then killed himself.

It's a tragedy, and not even as *isolated* tragedy. With universal health care, this young man would not have had to go begging to the VA -- he could have sought care almost anywhere.

John Edwards proposes that the US institute universal health care. At least part of the money could come from the funds that Defense uses to fund dependent health care for service members whose families stay in the US when they are overseas. People married to service members would just have -- health care, like all other citizens. And think of it -- if a good chunk we spend is not paying insurance companies to tell us what we can't do, I suspect that money for the care itself will be more available than some opponents think.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Another post

up at Mockingbird's Medley.

Short, sung in five sharps.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Unwarranted Hysteria

Boston officials are not quite sane. Their response to the advertising stunt showing a lighted figure on a piece of board was nothing short of hysterical -- and they have the temerity to claim that the TV network is responsible for their reactions, and to claim that an apology is insufficient. They claim the people who set out these ads caused "harm" -- when the actual harm was caused by Boston officials. Not only is an apology sufficient, to me it's actually excessive. The people who should be apologizing are all these cowering city stuffed shirts.

Look, in Seattle city workers tossed the same ads in the trash when they found them. In Boston the police actually blew up one of the offending things before deciding that they were not harmful.

It's a really sad day when Seattle street crews are more sensible and intelligent than the law enforcement and security officials of Boston.