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.