Wednesday, December 31, 2008

That's Good

A last bit of reporting for 2008 -- Mr. Chief Justice Roberts is stating that the pay of court justices is not keeping pace with inflation!

Congratulations Mr. Roberts! Welcome to the Real World. I hope this situation continues, and that you acquire a new, more egalitarian perspective with this experience! The policies you have supported have helped bring about this state of affairs. Ever heard of making your bed and then lying in it?

If not, I hope the demonstration makes it more understandable. Be sure to thank your colleagues for their support in making the world more difficult to live in -- and especially, thank the man who appointed you.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


It is the season when people celebrate. My actual family where I live is down to one person. My chosen family is also very small. And most of all, none of us want a lot of THINGS anymore.

Today I read an article on personal giving, and I have really joined the ranks of those who just help people around them who need something. It isn't that I have a lot of money. It's that people around me sometimes hit a wall and just cannot cope, while I have enough spare change to make their situations better.

I no longer have a job that brings in excess income -- but I have a job that will not disappear, and that counts for a lot. So it is only right to share some of that good fortune with those who have a hard time.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Another Modest Proposal

How about if the members of the Senate work for the same wage as auto workers -- or whatever they set as a fair wage for auto workers? After all, auto workers actually *do* something -- create a product that must then be sold so that they can stay employed.

The Senate doesn't do anything half so chancy -- so why should they get more pay?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Very Strange Idea

Here it is -- how do you make things right to a Guantanamo prisoner who is found innocent? If someone innocent is Moslem, here is a suggestion.

How about this: a ticket to Mecca, white clothing, three weeks of per diem, and a ticket to whatever place they call home -- from Mecca.

Why not give those declared innocent the hajj? It might make up respectfully for what they have been through.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Homeland Insanity

This morning on the radio I heard that Homeland Security had decided to put their bioweapons research in Manhattan, KS. Unfortunately, a lot of the weapons are meant to kill plants and animals. And so they are putting this THING in the middle of the US heartland and breadbasket,

They are devastatingly naive about security and experiments. Many labs have released things into the world that they did not mean to -- or something they were growing cross-pollinated into the world -- I cannot imagine that the works of this facility will be error free.

The old labs were on Plum Island, where the prevailing winds took problems out over the ocean. That sure beats having the prevailing winds take problems to Chicago or St. Louis.

Can the people who decided this be overridden? Better pray.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Captive Audience

Well, last week from Wednesday through Friday, the captive audience of Fox News was subjected to all-Mumbai all the time. I hope that by tomorrow the cleanup will have progressed enough that Fox will finally lay off. It was incredibly ugly.

With two wars of our own and a whole world out there, you would think that they could have spent a *little* time on something else...but noooo.

Saturday, November 22, 2008



We think is written by a man (78%).

Is this because it's literate? Because it is not emotional? Because it's political?

Wish I knew what the critera were.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Some Things Won't Stop

Some of the Obama Birth Certificate Crazies are still out on the trail. Some racists. Some who can't bear to lose.

Bush is still touting the "free market", when it will be anything but free for quite awhile. I suppose that some must count the draining of half the US Treasury to be a "free market" coup, but most of us consider it a disastrous failure.

I am personally very satisfied at the election results. I voted for Obama for his brains, and for his ability to maintain civility in the face of obnoxious aggravation. Those are valuable qualities.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I Thought I Wrote About It!

AUTHOR: Scorpio
TITLE: President Obama
CATEGORY: Politics

DATE: 07/27/2004 08:59:48 PM
If the United States has a future, you'd best believe that Barack Obama has a place at the point. He's going places.

A tremendous convention speech -- he understands what the people of this country are about.

Here is some of the text from CNN.

Afterword: the transcript.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Suspect

...that never before in US history have there been huge street parties in every major city after an election. I wonder if half the country took to the streets.

Better to do that in joy than in anger.

Last night I slept well for the first time in years. I trust that President Obama will be a fine leader. He certainly has more promise of being one that we have seen for a long time.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I Wonder

As I've mentioned before, I now work in a Federal building that has Fox on half its screens all day long.

Recently I've been seeing what look like breaks in the surface of the slippery guy they have announcing all day long. Every so often he breaks out in lefty statements. It makes me wonder if he is *required* to be a right wing nut job to stay employed. I actually heard him say two things last week that were really unlike the usual party line.

The first was when one of his required wingnut visitors said something about a statement Obama made. The Fox guy actually cut him off with "That is NOT true!"

The second was about Exxon.

"14.9 billion dollars in profits this quarter. I want every one of you to remember this the next time the price of oil rises and they go crawling to Congress for a handout. 14.9 billion dollars in profits." Interesting. And very unlike Fox.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Indiana does not permit robo-calls.

When a call center was given a script declaring that Obama was soft on crime, some 40 employees walked off the job rather than read the material to voters.

Yes, people left work and sacrificed their pay rather than read McCain's attacks.

We all wish that slime didn't pay -- and these patriotic and decent people walked out rather than spread poison. Good for them. I am personally grateful that there are people like that in our country.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Or October Surprise?

Is the US Army's navigation that bad?

Will George bluster and foam? Will he make excuses and generally add insult to injury?

Tune in tomorrow.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Excuses, Excuses

You know, no matter how the immoral candidate team tries to spin it, clinic bombers are terrorists as much as the Weather Underground ever was -- or perhaps more so, since their object is to terrify women who are trying to do responsible family planning as well as those who are doing something these immoral candidates dislike.

Have they no shame?

Nope, not a bit.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Right Stuff

I understand that I am fortunate that I do not watch television. The ads are making all sorts of folks crazy.

As another blog said, "I know what I have to do November 4. I figure I can skip listening to all the noise between now and then." Good call.

This morning, Obama drew a crowd of 100,000 in St. Louis. This afternoon he will draw another in Kansas City. If I could stand crowds I would go, but I just cannot imagine getting into the middle of 100,000 people. I expect, however, that the hill around Liberty Memorial will be packed solid. And I expect the county I live in will go heavily for Obama even though it is in Kansas. The county I live in now, and the one I was in for 12 years, are both solidly Democratic, and they are not going to switch this time.

Friday, October 10, 2008

"If This Goes on --"

The title above is a quote from Robert Heinlein, and also one of the three basic premises of Science Fiction.

Today, they are also a warning to John McCain, Sarah Palin, and those people at their rallies who scream and cheer at suggestions of hate and violence. The Baltimore Sun has an editorial warning those candidates that they are walking a line that they need to cut short -- a line that is encouraging venom, hatred, and violence. This country does not need to have candidates going around acting as if their opponents are terrorists.

If this goes on, and the hate fest escalates, it could mean lives lost and mob actions. We do not need that. If this goes on, for generations the name "Republican" could become a stink in the nostrils of decent folk.

The candidates must put a stop to their craven techniques, and disassociate themselves from nascent mob behavior.

This must be stopped ... it must not go on.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


If states and counties and local government were to release every prisoner in jail on marijuana possession charges, I'll just bet it would free up a whole lot of money. And if all of them who could afford it paid a small fine, I'll just bet that the money would come out to the good.

You know, this might be a good time to legalize pot -- and tax it, of course.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


The Republican vice presidential candidate is much like a self-propelled Furby. Someone says a slanderous thing in her hearing and she just repeats it mechanically until she gets another input. Do you know, someone mentioned reading the New York Times in her presence, and even though she clearly hasn't made a habit of doing this, she now repeatedly speaks of whatever article that person perused?

Considering the company she keeps, the things she says are not that great a surprise.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Oh What a Bad Idea

The Washington Post was reporting that the McCain campaign is going to attack Obama's character.

Uh-huh. And since Obama is gracious and decent, he'll take it? That is what committees are for, and a committee in favor of Obama has a rich tapestry of this to fight back on.

Judgement? Palin. Honesty? His continuous votes against veterans and serving personnel. Connections? How bout those gambling establishments, eh? Integrity? Cheated on his first wife and dumped her handicapped self for Blondie the Heiress. That will also serve for family values. Steadfastness? Selling the vice-presidency to the Fundies. Health care? Feeds from the Federal trough while advocating tax on the health benefits others get.

Do I need to go on?

It might be better if he were gracious. But no, not McCain.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Mystery

Via Avedon Carol at The Sideshow comes a pointer to cupojoe's discussion of bailing out the rich folks.

To me, it is a mystery that so many Democrats have voted in favor of the so-called bailout. Why -- WHY? -- would so many of them vote for a scheme that does not have stringent oversight and definitions of what is being bought for this price tag? We already know that the banks and brokerages cannot be trusted to regulate themselves. It's worse than giving more candy to screaming, hyper children.

And if we permit these incompetents to declare what they shall sell and what they shall not, we are just asking to be stiffed again at a later date as they fail once more. So why are Democrats getting in line to help screw us over?

It's insane.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On the Second Day

It Arose From the Dead.

Today the Senate will vote on the bailout. The differences? An increase in FDIC amount, tax breaks for middle-class and small buisness groups -- enough to make it parade as different legislation.

Both Presidential candidates plan to be there for the vote.

I really wish that they would consider making more provision to renegotiate loans so that the ARMS were eliminated in favor of fixed loans. ARMS are just a way to shark people and feed the banks.As a matter of fact, cleaning out ARMS should be a prerequisite to either getting a loan or selling off interest in the banks. This crap of money with no strings stinks.

Friday, September 26, 2008


In 2004, John Kerry was "the most liberal Senator". In 2008 it's Obama according to McCain. This is because the Republicans think that "liberal" is the worst epithet of all.


Obama pointed out that McCain views everything through the lens of Iraq. McCain denied it, then went on to form his next three statements through the lens of Iraq.

McCain really has no clue. My single health insurance was about 6600.00 a year. What good is a five thousand dollar tax credit toward health care going to do for a family of four or six? Most people just do not have the income to supplement that number and buy coverage.

McCain made it clear he only wants to spend for making war. If there is any intelligence out there, he will lose.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The next thing we need

is actual debate and discussion of the proposed bailout. Is it the best plan? Would other things work as well to infuse capital and take over debt. What is a "bad debt"? What is the sale price? Not that theoretical, top-of-the-market greedy-gulp, uh uh. That is a *good* debt.

I hope that Congress has some plan other than rolling over and spreading their cheeks.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fuck Bernake

And his little buddy Paulson, too.

Hurry up, eh? To stick our heads in a noose? To empty our pockets and shake down the grandkids?

Jesus Christ. They have no sense at all, do they?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Avoiding the Rush!

I left phone messages for all my congresscritters that bailing out Wall Street and the banks with the sweat of working America was an obscene idea.

Two of the three are up for re-election. This will pretty much determine who gets my vote to go back to DC.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Real Bottom Line

Alternate Brain hilights it.

There is only money to bail out the plutocrats. There is not enough money to care for anyone or anything else. The free market is only free if you are an owner. As soon as you fail big, there is the good old struggling taxpayer to bail you out. Of course YOU did not want to pay taxes -- oh no! It is just unFAIR to tax millionaires and estates and capital gains and business profits. Really -- it is only FAIR to tax the wages of working folks, and then use those taxes to bail out millionaires, capital gains, and businesses.

If you vote to keep these people in office, you are insane.

consider: how many years could 770 billion keep social security going? How many years of medicare extended to every citizen could it pay for? Add in the 25 billion to retool the auto industry, which has kicked and screamed at the very idea of designing safe, reasonable alternative fuel cars -- how many more years of things needed by those who actually pay the taxes that are going to be wasted on kissing Big Boy ass?

And Mr McCain sees these jerks as a financial model?? That the health industry should be more like them? That alone pretty much disqualifies him from being a decent and responsible leader. His idiot theories are in the way of seeing reality, and we don't need more of that.

$770 Billion Bailout

You know, Bush's proposed $770 billion bailout plan should probably come with the warning that there cannot be any more preemptive wars, that all wars mus have the consent of Congress beforehand, and that the US should withdraw from Iraq upon implementation of this bailout.

I have heard it said that the US only collects about 1.3 trillion dollars in taxes annually, so Bush's war plus the maintenance of a standing military plus the bailouts will literally leave us broke. So much for "tax and spend".

Those of you who voted for him have much to answer for.

[xpost Pacific Views]

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Modest Proposal and a Question

Modest Proposal. As Freddie, Fannie, banks and brokerages are taken over by the government, I hope all their employees from the head honcho on down are given their new GS ratings and pay scales -- and the choice of taking them or resigning.

That would definitely help stem the drain of millions of dollars.

Now the question: can you describe Sarah Palin?

Why yes -- George Bush in drag.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What McCain Has

is a Mommy. Not just the mother of five, but a mommy who will make sure her new boy is protected from having to discuss things like issues. Instead the agenda will include respect-or-no-interviews, the requirement that people without policy positions be taken seriously, respect for the destruction of the constitution, respect for opinions handed down from the pulpit with no proof, and a cultural imperative to kick ass and be first no matter how many bodies pile up.

Such a mom!!

Yesterday, Mr. McCain visited John Knox Village in Lee's Summit, MO. This was his core supporting audience. To get a place in John Knox Village cost a quarter of a million dollars back in the 1970's when Grandmother bought in. Today it must be even more expensive. It is everything from assisted living to an on-site hospital; basically full of elderly white Republicans -- a McCain constituency if ever there was one.

Someone at work with an evil sense of humor suggested this scene: Mr. McCain finishes his talk to thunderous applause, and then a nurse comes up and says loudly to him "That was very nice dear, now we'll get someone to show you to your room."

Do we ever wish. He can take his perky mom along with him.

[xpost @ Mockingbird's Medley]

Sunday, September 7, 2008


I put my Palin opinions up at Pacific Views and I kept it pretty clean and specific.

She has done a poisonous thing to the media coverage and to the tone of the Presidential campaign. Since her advent, discussions of issues and policies have gone away almost entirely. She has been in the spotlight stirring up culture muck and putting on a show that has the "circus" part of bread and circuses front and center.

Yeah, McCain is gonna stop those lobbyists! Have you ever heard such a lie? And he's going to cut spending. Oh yes, while he is giving billions daily to fight wars, he is going to cut spending and taxes, hallelujah!! Another lie.

It's time and past time for the news to examine the content of statements and whether accomplishing them is possible instead of just reporting any lie that candidates spout. Right now, the circus has them dazzled. And they are providing garbage 24/7 as a result. Britney for VP has them grovelling.

I hope the debates bring the current wave of brown stuff to a stop, really I do. Of course, TV may once again have a mandate to use only camera angles that mask the fact that McCain is much shorter than Obama. They managed it for Bush when the first debate showed he was the short person running. Keep an eye on those artifical shots, folks. I'm betting they contort angles dramatically again this time.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fall Is On the Way

Convention season has arrived.

Barack Obama named Joseph Biden as his Vice Presidential running mate. For me, that choice was a big null. I hope that he does act as an attack dog. Mr. McCain spends so much of his time being a hypocrite and a ditto-head that it would be good if someone pointed out his flaws regularly. In other ways, the choice of Mr. Biden is a cipher.

Next up, a pick by McCain. That should be illuminating.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Well That Was Fast.

Today Fox News was discussing the shooting in the Tennessee church, whether it was a hate crime, and whether the shooter is crazy.

"He said he hated liberals and he wanted to kill some. That is crazy."

I beg your pardon? Fox News? Look for the beam in thine eye. Fox cultivates people who "hate liberals" and "want to kill them". They have been doing it for years. It is one of the more repellent things about them. Bill O'Riley. Sean Hannity. Their pets and fellow travelers, like Ann Coulter and other repellent creatures.

They have been building toward this kind of act for years -- and now they have the temerity to declare that the gunman is crazy. Bullshit. Big heaping dunghills of bullshit. I wonder if Fox News could be considered an accomplice? They are certainly enablers.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I know

-- neither party has held a convention yet, and the campaigns are slogging along with the predictable lines by McCain and others about how horrible it is that a Democrat might act Presidential.

Well how darned awful!

I think I'd better take the rest of the summer off and not even pretend to listen. I may or may not have things to say in the meantime -- likely by a post at Pacific Views or a comment at Mockingbird's Medley.

Monday, July 14, 2008

La Jour de Gloire

Happy Bastille Day!

Some days I wish we were still in an age where it was possible to harness outrage into great changes.

We're not, and that may be a large part of what is wrong with the USA today.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Weekend Fun!

[via The Biomes Blog]

Take a Google Earth tour of McCain's ten (or so) properties!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

To Revamp an Old Joke

Does Cindy McCain really want to live in an apartment in a smaller house in the inner city -- one that is essentially subsidized public housing?

Well hey, maybe she could do an annual lottery for one of those eight extra houses she has -- sort of a personal effort toward lessening the mortgage mess.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Jesse Helms

Many years ago a writer friend of mine moved from Kansas to North Carolina to teach in Raleigh. Not too long after he got there, he reported back:

"You know that I used to think that Bob Dole was the worst, most reactionary Senator. Well now I live in North Carolina, and my Senator is Jesse Helms. Let me tell you, Jesse Helms make Robert Dole look like a great statesman."

Yes. Yes indeed.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Reason

For all the Fox criticism is because I now work in a government building, and Someone has the channel on all the public screens turned to Fox News, all day, every day. Yes, Propaganda Network is all that plays, and it's pretty rank. They have well-fed White Boyz with high, rude voices who talk over the guest segments. Most of the guest segments are blonde or brunette white women, or the occasional well-fed White Boy with a receding hairline.

It's really kind of appalling. And you can hear them fishing for some way to take Obama apart. So far it's almost all innuendo. I'd love to see them fish and flounder straight into November.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Yesterday Was "Icky Day" on Fox News

Though I suppose that almost every day is pretty bad on Fox News.

With great moral posturing they were discussing the teenage girls who made a pregnancy pact and managed to conceive. When discussing reason, some of the girls mentioned that they wanted someone who would love them. Whaaa? All those girls needed to do was examine how very much they love and honor their parents to see that this is not likely to happen between them and their child, either. Kids grow up, and often have great disagreements with their parents that challenge the myth of total loving.

The Fox anchorman also suggested that the affected school was too permissive, allowing pregnant students to attend classes and even helping them to graduate.

When I was in high school, 14 girls dropped out between junior and senior year. Pregnancy meant the end of school back then -- and the only readily available contraceptives were condoms; the pill wasn't available, nor IUD's; no shots; nothing but condoms. The atmosphere was not permissive, and yet the number of pregnancies was pretty high, even though the consequences included expulsion from school and a world without day care.

There is no way to keep a girl who wants to get pregnant from getting pregnant except a contraceptive shot, regularly renewed. Parents who think otherwise are living in a dream world.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


It absolutely wrenches me that people can hate others because of their skin color.

Believe me, most people are the same -- loves and fears, anger and hope. I can't stand the idea that my friends with dark skin have been scorned, abused and pushed aside because they are dark brown. Most of them are such kind, decent people. I don't understand the wanton evil that is racism.

I still remember the first time someone ever voiced a racist idea to me. It was summer, and I was headed for fifth grade. We were going to have swimming lessons. I walked to the bus stop for the kids from our area. When I got on the bus, there was one kid in every seat, so I went back and sat with the girl with the nicest smile. She was great -- friendly and intelligent.

When we returned to the bus stop that day and got off to walk home, a boy asked me how I could stand to sit with her. I was just stupefied. I said "What is wrong with you? You are Jewish. She is Negro. But nice people are nice people." I suppose I was especially dumbfounded because almost all kids of the 1950's were aware of the anti-Semitism that was played out by Hitler. I just could not get that people felt that way about any group as a group.

Of course, I also think that people who hate blacks also tend to hate women. Racism and sexism seem to go together. Me, I hope Obama chooses Hillary so that the haters have to spread their attention, and so that they feel that they will be no better off if they play out their hatreds.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fox News: Fairly Unbalanced

I saw a really slimy trick on Fox today. They showed Hillary giving a speech to the Israeli meeting, and she said that we shared foundation values: "Human rights. Women's rights."

When Fox ran the closed caption, thy just happened to leave out the words "Women's rights" -- coincidence? Malice? I report, you decide.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Is John McCain a Gigolo?

Much was made of the fact that John Kerry had a rich wife. I'm here to tell you that John McCain also has a rich wife, who ostentatiously owns eight homes. Eight! They must move every half season to a nicer climate or something. Maine for August. Florida for February. Skiing in January. New England for Christmas. The Poconos in June.

The man has 100% disability, 100% Social Security, and a Senate salary so he doesn't have to ask for an allowance.

The disability was given to him after VietNam -- he who does not want current veterans to get disability, medical care, or education benefits. Oh he had them, but there is no way he is as decent to the troops as the nasty civilian world was about paying him back when he served.

McCain is lucky that Obama is such a kind and respectful man, or in answer to his "inexperience" remarks, he would hear the "has-been" label that suits him so well.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Minimum

If one makes the minimum wage, one almost cannot afford to drive anymore. The minimum wage is $5.85. A gallon of gas was 3.69 this morning. Federal taxes on 5.85 are .58, social security and medicare are about another .60 -- food has leaped upward in price. A person on minimum wage cannot afford the basics, and it will continue to get worse.

Monday, May 12, 2008

If I Ran the Zoo

I started thinking about things I would do with the tax structure and US purchasing policies if I wanted to bring the country toward a more balanced budget and toward full employment.

1) Government contracts would only go to tax-paying, US based companies. If you wanted a contract, you'd be welcome to set up here.

2) Companies would pay taxes based on the profits reported to their shareholders. No deductions, no chicanery -- if you say you made money, you get to pay taxes on it.

3) Reduce the green-card holding populations back down to Reagan era numbers. Run boot camps to train domestic workers instead of importing foreign workers. Charge companies with foreign "call centers", help lines, and billing facilities a "worker retraining charge" equal to the difference between what they pay their foreign workers, and what they would have to pay a domestic employee. Put that money into a fund to pay education credits that people claim on their taxes. Maybe then English would become the first language of help lines again.

If I think of anything else, no doubt I'll write about it.


Friday, May 2, 2008

Color Me Skeptical

/tinfoil hat on/

The "DC Madam" was found dead today. Suicide.

And I am not sure I believe it, no matter how clear-cut it looked. She often stated that if she were found dead of suicide, it would be because someone killed her.

I hope she did what someone would logically do in that case -- I hope she transmitted all her information to someone charged with releasing it in the event of her death.

The web makes that pretty easy.

If I were in fear for my life, and I had information on that many people with access to folks who want to do them favors, you can be sure I would have made a web site, and that there would be someone to launch it if necessary. Let's hope she did the same.

/tinfoil hat off/

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

She What?

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton confirmed Monday that as president she would be willing to use nuclear weapons against Iran if it were to launch a nuclear attack on Israel.

Ugh. Just ugh.

"Nuke 'em! Nuke em!" Doesn't any candidate think before launching?

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Fred at The Slacktivist not only blogs Left Behind weekly, but his political commentary is wonderful.

Go and read it. Uncle Fred wouldn't lead you wrong. It was Just Like That in the Good Old Days.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Best Idea So Far

Over at Blah3, Invictus had the best suggestion I've seen for a lot of the mortgage problem -- let people take an emergency, one time withdrawal from IRAs and 401(k)s, interest and penalty free, with no repayment clause, for purposes of rescuing their homes from foreclosure. This would not be a loan, but a redirecting of a person's assets, and it would cost far less than any other kind of taxpayer bailout.

It would be nice if Congress at least considered something rational rather than immediately trying to decide how the rest of us should rescue people in big houses while we live in small apartments.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Shifting Lines

This primary season is at least making some interesting things stir.

Just this evening, Senator Obama spoke up in defense of Senator Clinton's right to keep running for the nomination. Whichever of them gets it, I will vote for. I will say, however, that his sense of fairness and graciousness impresses me -- it's been too long since we had that in our leadership.

The other piece of interesting news was taht Condolezza Rice spoke positively about Obama's race speech -- and the right wing has, of course, started unloading on her as a result.

The GOP, once the party of Lincoln, has become the party of racists. Their southern strategy was way too successful -- all those Southern Democrats who gave the Democratic party a bad name moved over to the Republican party, where they are doing the same. Face it -- racists stink up their environment. Democrats had them by default after the Civil War because Democrats did not impose Reconstruction on the South. Republicans, on the other hand, invited the pigs into their parlor. And their parlor stinks.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Several years ago, a friend of mine left the place we worked to work at her boyfriend's business. He claimed he was making a lot of money. Doing what? Writing mortgages.


Then another friend told me he took classes and wrote a mortgage. The job didn't agree with him. so he stopped doing it.

A third person told me they were taking classes on how to write mortgages, and that there was a money back guarantee that this would make the person big money in their spare time. Well, she didn't see it that way, so shortly after her class ended, she went and got her money back.

Do you see the trend here that I did?

The first person stayed with the job even though business took and abrupt downturn. She is never going to see the salary she wasn't paid. We can all see why by now.

I kept wondering what qualified these people to decide on the financial state of the applicants -- how they decided whether the loan was good. Short answer: they could not tell and their decisions most likely generated the instruments that are now being called "subprime". There was a real plague of mortgage writers for awhile. Now I am quite certain that I can guess at how that came to be. I'm also pretty sure that they have disappeared in the current climate.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


For days I have seen the headline Democrats Divided by Race, Sex on MSNBC online and I have been driven to wonder, is that worse than Republicans being *united* by race and sex? They are the party of rich old warmonger white guys as far as an observer can tell. Is that a *good* thing?

Sunday, March 9, 2008


The military portion of the budget is going up again. There is no sign that any of it will be used to resupply Guard and Reserve units that were stripped for overseas combat.

I used to date a guy in the military who likely let me know more about how his job worked than he should have. One of the things he did was prepare a raft of purchase orders in the couple of weeks before the end of the fiscal year so his unit would use up all the alloted money -- that way they could ask for more next year. They got along *fine* without all those "spend it or lose it" purchases, but this kind of thing is a ritual.

So here's a modest proposal.

At the start of the last month of the fiscal year, orders should be cut suspending all military purchasing. The money unspent at that time should be reapportioned to the Reserve and the Guard to pay for items like trucks, personnel carriers, and other pieces of equipment they left overseas. This should be done annually until all our units have been resupplied.

The gratuitous blowing of money at the end of the fiscal year should stop. We have too many deficiencies to make that acceptable any more.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


What blogs are Excellent? Here are my top ten:

The Sideshow was the first blog I ever checked every day. Avedon's blog is indispensable, and I'll talk more about it as I go down this list.

The Alternate Brain Fixer and Gordon are my kinda guys,

The Biomes Blog ;Mark does an interesting job of discussing marine science, and he often discusses other topics with some regularity.

The Fightin' Cock Flyer Michael Caddell does this Kansas Blog, and his main interests have to do with sustainable living -- gardening, fuel, and politics.

The Slacktivist Fred has been dissecting the Left Behind series on Fridays. He has his eye on the Fundamentalist movement

Skippy the Bush Kangaroo I got to Skippy via Avedon Carol's blogroll and references. Skippy has been making a point of networking the smaller blogs via his own blogroll.

Blah3 is often first with an important story, and it's a good place to catch things that are not noticed until later by more prominent news sources. Sometimes I wonder how he does it.

Unsolicited Opinion belongs to Rez Dog, one of my co-bloggers on the Medley. He's concerned about the war, about veterans, and about social justice.

The Reality Based Community is the effort of Mark A.R. Kleinman. He followed the Corey May story in detail. He is concerned with misuse of authority and unrestrained police activity. Someone needs to watch this stuff, and Mark is a good resource.

Last but hardly least, I write for two other blogs.

The Mockingbird's Medley was completely written by Mimus Pauly for several years. He reached a point where he wanted to give it up, but instead decided to invite other to post to his blog -- and I was one of the people he invited, much to my surprise. Mimus came out and decided to use his Real Name, and thus he started writing under the name of Jim Yeager. I always loved the Mockingbird's Medley -- I found it via Skippy, of course, and I found Skippy via Avedon Carol.

Pacific Views is another blog I got to off Avedon Carol's web log, and I have read it for many years. A few weeks ago, Natasha contacted me and asked me to become a contributor. How could I say no (though frankly, I suspect both Natasha and Mary are more tuned in than I am)?

So the two others I write for are mentioned here because they are excellent -- they were excellent before I ever showed up, and I've read them almost from the first.

Now each of you can feel free to name ten excellent blogs.

I was selected by Bryan of Why Now.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


There is a British newspaper web site called The Daily Mail. Lately I have noticed that MSN, MSNBC, CNN, and other US web news outlets have been using the Daily Mail as a source and as a vocabulary guide.

The one that is driving me nuttiest at the moment is "baby bump". The Daily Mail is obsessed with celebrity pregnancy, and has been referring to "baby bumps" for months. Well, the language has hopped the pond, and we now find this term on US news web sites. How ... cute. It is as if there has never before been a term for the rounding out of the female form, and so web content providers have latched onto this coy bit so they can discuss protrusions in a way that only offends adult females -- because, of course, offending them is irrelevant.

Many gossipy news stories are also wending their way to US sources several days after they have started to appear at The Daily Mail -- and of course they have the same links.

If you want gossip, you may as well go right to the source and read The Daily Mail, keeping in mind that all bearing women are under a baby bump watch.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Memory Lane

I am reminded that when I was in college, the euphemism for vomit used to be "ralph" -- a startlingly appropriate term these days.

I cannot imagine what possesses Ralph Nader. He has no qualifications at all for being President. Perhaps he loves the lifestyle -- panhandling, television appearances, blowing hot air, eating rubber chicken and local delicacies, and flying to and fro in the earth.

At least Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and their ilk now have a candidate. They hate McCain rabidly ... though since they do everything rabidly, perhaps the intensity is on the usual note. For people who are racist and/or sexist and who hate McCain, there is now a white male who is utterly useless just wating for donations and votes.

A Day Late

My very first blog post was DATE: 02/23/2004 08:06:40 PM.



Saturday, February 23, 2008

Temper Tantrum

One of the major ways that George Bush gets his way is by throwing tantrums -- as in "If you won't give telecoms immunity, I won't sign the FISA bill." And then he tries to shift the blame for no FISA bill onto the people who would not knuckle to his tantrum. Waaaaah, George! Waaaaah!!!

Face it. Telecoms have always known that they should not tap lines without a warrant. I used to work for one. They would not even tap your own line at your request to get rid of threatening and nuisance callers without a judge's ok in the days before Caller ID. They knew that spying was illegal. What? Did George tell them he would get a retroactive FISA warrant and then fail to do so? If that is the case, the telecoms have a valid defense. If it was not the case, they did wrong and they know it. Moreover, if that is the case, they really should be refusing to cooperate with a government that lies.

The current FISA legislation was offered without Mr. Tantrum getting his demands met. Good. He can sign it or not -- his choice. But his choice is no one's "fault" but his.

Friday, February 22, 2008

There's Only One Leetle Problem

The President of Turkey has declared that he is ok with allowing Moslem women to wear head scarves at the University.

I think that Iraq has been an admirable field test of "allowed to wear scarves." Saddam Hussein had pretty much westernized Iraq and had forbidden the signs of sectarian behavior, including scarves. When the US broke the Iraqi system, scarves came back -- and so did groups of male thugs who harassed and attacked women who did not wear them. The scarf is now required because when religious insanity is allowed out in public, threats soon make a demonstration of piety mandatory -- especially for women. Whenever men are permitted to form intimidation packs, this will happen.

And Moslem men, in particular, rove in packs -- especially the hyper-pious ones.

Turkey is heading for trouble.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thanks to Making Light

and to Teresa's Particles, I've been introduced to a new blog, -- and the particular pointer went to an article on maintaining one's standard of living in retirement.

One of my friends who retired this past year said he just got a call from his old company, and they want him to come back to work again. Now I will note that he's pretty near a genius, and they are only showing good sense. I'll also note that he started living off his 401(k) and found that he really should have saved more.

The article noted above especially details the amount of money one needs for medical care in retirement, and spots it at 250K to 550K. I don't think that many people have that kind of money set aside for their entire retirement, no less just for medical care. I know that out of pocket medical policies are insanely expensive. Mine has been about 7K a year, and it is a relatively inexpensive policy that I got to by paying 18 months of COBRA and then immediately starting the policy as a guaranteed continuation. There was no inexpensive alternative.

People joining AARP and anticipating reasonably priced health insurance will get a real shock. AARP does not have a regular full medical policy available in most states, but only a couple of wimpy supplemental policies that will pay maybe 200.00 out of a room cost of 5K or more per night. A band-aid on an evisceration, in other words.

Watch your candidates, folks ... see if they speak of the problems that are looming. Most people are headed for financial disaster. Maxed credit cards. Maxed credit. No bankruptcy. No insurance. No money.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


"Twister Victims to Receive Trailers" -- I am speechless.

No person in their right mind would live in a trailer in Tornado Alley. Trailers are tornado magnets. There is never a set of tornadoes that doesn't hit and demolish a trailer court. I once theorized that if we wanted to change the climate, we should move all trailers to Arizona, and then *they* would get the tornadoes.

Thanks FEMA. Thanks a lot. Formaldehyde interiors and tornado magnet exteriors. What else could someone with a disaster want?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Enumerated Rights Redux

When you put the words “enumerated rights” into Google, the following are the first three entries:

Incorporation (Bill of Rights) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[9] Black felt that the Fourteenth Amendment required the States to respect all of the enumerated rights set forth in the first eight amendments, ... - 74k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Restoring the Lost Constitution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It's tempting to do something similar and simply check the law against the list of enumerated rights. But the Ninth Amendment says (in its entirety) "The ... - 41k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
More results from »

Eccentricity: Enumerated Rights - 2 visits - Feb 1
The Bill of Rights belongs to that group of Constitutional items known as "enumerated rights" -- those written out explicitly so that no one could claim ... - 61k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Frightening, isn't it? When you search for this basic tenet of the Constitution, you get two Wikipedia articles and then a blog post I made a year ago because I was furious about the way our government was (and is) behaving. We had an Attorney General who did not know that there was a right to habeas corpus written right there in the Constitution – much to the shame of those who appointed Gonzales, and who confirmed such an ignoramus to that office.

US courts have pretended for years that Jose Padilla has no rights. This article explains what was wrong and illegal about the treatment Padilla was subjected to.

If we are counting high crimes and misdemeanors, the abrogation of habeas corpus is high on the list, but the complete disregard for enumerated rights, from "free speech zones" in violation of the First Amendment through all the others except number three make a body of crimes that break the oath of office taken by members of the administration. A mere court oath breach was enough to set the dogs on William Clinton. Where are those who hold oaths so dear now?

But let us return to Google results for today. Why is a very small blog's brief discussion of enumerated rights third in a Google search on this important topic? Where are the mainstream news articles or columns about the Constitution and its application to the way the US government functions? Where is the American Bar Association? Where are the law school papers and articles?

And last, worst – where are the court cases that cite the enumerated rights as reason to overturn actions of the US government during the last seven years?

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Seeing as how the Feds have done almost nothing toward rebuilding New Orleans, when storms strike and level entire areas, we need to take individual action instead of thinking that the government will help.

Monkeyfister is seeking donations for the victims of the recent tornadoes. Click to visit his site and give ten via the Red Cross or the United Way. The Salvation Army is another charity that gives plenty to folks who lose everything in disasters. Just label your contribution to assure that it goes to the recent tornado victims.

Monday the temperature here was 75 degrees. Tuesday morning we had a thunder ice storm, and the temps dropped to the twenties. The collision of cold and hot brings tornadoes, and five states were hit. We were just lucky this time. April, May and June are the most common tornado months, but when there are clashing weather fronts, any place and any day is a possible day for tornadoes. The high death toll reflects how unexpected these were. Go help the people out.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

No Matter How Often they Repeat It

Waterboarding is still a war crime. People were tried for doing it after WWII. The defense fails. It is still a crime no matter how many times Mr. Bush repeats himself.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Hole in the Polls

Polls are conducted by phone.

Surprisingly few people under 35 have landlines. The get their internet from cable, and their phones are wireless. This means that the youth vote has no voice in most polls.

The polling company that wants to be most accurate will soon have to send text messages to wireless subscribers. "Be Polled! Return this call to register your opinion. Press 1 for Democrat, 2 for Republican, 3 for No Opinion. If you press a 1 or a 2, you will need to enter a candidate number...."

I suspect that the polls would change percentages in interesting ways if methods were updated.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Other Posts

Other places -- this week I have made my first post at Pacific Views, and I placed one in the nest at The Mockingbird's Medley.

Other than those, I have been out there making comments. At The Sideshow I speculated that Harry Reid has caught a disease that is causing Republican-enabling, and out at Alternate Brain observed that instead of a memorial library, George Bush should have a memorial crater of industrial or nuclear waste. It would certainly be a more representative memorial to his time in office.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


As long as there are rapists, there should be legally available abortion. It's pretty much that simple.

If a woman wants to keep a child of rape, it's her decision. Likely she will be supporting it herself, since I'm not sure rapists are ever encumbered with child support.

On the other hand, if she believes that aborting the offspring of rapists will cull the kind of genes that produce rapists, more power to her; and a legal ridding of a possible pregnancy should be beyond question any time in the first three months.

One of the most evil things about Huckabible was that he pardoned a rapist who went on to rape and murder two more women. Any whimpering he does about the sacredness of life should be met with hoots of "rapist enabler!" and "Accessory to murder!" He's both, he is a blot on the body politic, and I hope he is soundly defeated, even if by John McCain, who is another blot on the body politic and a public Bush-hugger.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Green Food

Today MSN had a rather long article on "The Cost of Eating Green."

To me, the cost is not what's at issue here. What eating green does is support smaller and local food sources rather than contribute all the time to the shipping of food. I won't touch a New Zealand apple -- after traveling half a world, the poor apples have no flavor, no juice, and a completely indecent texture. Better they should have stayed in New Zealand and become applesauce! I try to pay attention to sources. Washington apples? Why not Missouri apples?

Let's face it, with peak oil coming or here, the gasoline tax on food transport is about to skyrocket. People who are currently eating green will not have a better place in line for scarce resources unless they belong to co-ops and the co-ops have a secure line on staples. But at least current people eating green are helping to develop resources against the day when the cost of transport is triple or quadruple that of the food itself.

If you have not been to a Farmer's Market, it's time to start going -- not that it will help you when the crunch comes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Oh Yes!

As the market plunges, as gas prices rise, and banks lose big due to the repackaging of loose loans into "new and improved!" collateral, what is Congress doing?

Complaining about a baseball player's personal trainer

I'm really glad that Congress gave themselves a raise this year, aren't you? And that they are really working hard on things like the war, the economy, and the rebuilding of New Orleans.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008


In terms of issues, Hillary Clinton is not the person I favor in the 2008 contest.

But when has media ever dealt with her in terms of issues? This week, news clips of her emotional patriotism and some anger were aired at the expense of any substantial political message. It is with great joy that I report that the people of New Hampshire gave their votes to patriotism and anger, with the second largest number going to the man who was human and gracious -- Barack Obama, who stated that the nomination process was difficult for all candidates.

Genuine patriotism. Excellent sportsmanship. What a wonderful thing to see those qualities rewarded.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Politics Happens

Iowa caucuses are today. Like many other liberals, I have to say that I think John Edwards would be the best person to start undoing some of the Bush damage. Avedon Carol writes a good list of reasons.

One of the best is that he has been discussing issues, not bashing other candidates or looking for little bobbles to turn into media circuses or nails for a crucifixion. Both Hil and Obama are -- too Republican for me, and I do not want a candidate who feels it is necessary to get on the faith bandwagon.