Sunday, February 28, 2010
I'm speechless. Let's just leave it at that. And no, it doesn't have to be Wal*Mart, it could just as easily be Safeway, Ralph's, Raley's, Trader Joe's, even church...
Friday, February 26, 2010
We've been cleaning up the garage again. A yearly or biannual exercise and our focus this time was the massive amounts of electronics stored here and there. Very old electronics. A couple of Dell desktop 486's and a couple of very old laptops. Make that three laptops and four desktops. Even a Toshiba portable PC that was at least 25 years old and forty pounds of portability. A two storage tubs filled with peripherals such as old mice, Jaz drives, Zip drives, hubs, cables and cords. Even my very first PC was still with me, an Epson with a 40MB hard drive and 12MB's of RAM. Of course every PC had a large and useless monitor to go along with it. All old and useless…to me. In my previous life I had been one of the first corporate nerds, a geek. I was one of our original IT guys and they even sent me off to learn programming. Which I never used because I was far too busy being the goto guy when someone forgot to turn on the printer and this was the 'emergency'. In exchange for my good humor, I was given new PC's to try every few months. Plus every new toy that my boss handed down to me in rapid order. And as these things aged, I selected the 'best' and collected them for some plan; which I have no memory of now.
I had enough to fill the car twice. Shameful! But where do we take this stuff? Luckily I had just read a story about a group called Computers for Classrooms. We found their address and took our first car load over to them. Incredible! They have a warehouse where computers and peripherals are stacked incredibly high. They're everywhere! On our second trip, we included all of our old cell phones and the accompanying wall warts. We were free at last! And nothing went to a landfill; that was the best part.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
I was browsing the Costco ad and marveling at the fact that Samsung is now in the small camcorder business, selling a full High Definition 1920x1080 camcorder that weighs just 3.4 ounces! All that technology for just $79.99! And then I saw the hearing aid ad...do you ever get the feeling that elders are being ripped off? And I know why; we are a smaller market and it's a needed item. You don't 'need' a camcorder.
I'm lucky that I don't need a hearing aid. Perhaps I will someday and all I can do is gripe about the price; there is no way for elders to boycott this industry that is stealing from them and they won't suddenly develop ethics.
By the way, that price is for one hearing aid.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
"Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) today asked the Obama administration to investigate what he called "the greatest scientific scandal of our generation" —"
Right now, Mr. Inhofe hasn't done anything criminal, he's just wasted peoples time. And he is certainly free to be an idiot…But if he forces the government to spend a dime on his fantasies, he needs to be prosecuted for malfeasance in office.
"Senator Inhofe also called for former Vice President Al Gore to be called back to the Senate to testify."
Maybe I'm wrong about the malfeasance, perhaps he just need to be locked up for awhile, at least until his meds are adjusted.
I loved this! This pledging thing has to be right up there along with Public Prayer. Totally useless. The Pledge Of Allegiance time would be better used for a teaching moment...maybe some study of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights?
And yes, the author of the Pledge really was a Socialist.
I'm sorry, but Socialists don't scare me one bit, in fact I like most of them and admire a few.
Good stuff here...certainly some clear thinking and that's always refreshing.
I've been reading the weirdest piece from the NYT. It's on 'gun control' and the expectation that President Obama and his henchmen will be going door to door and collecting our guns. This is paranoia of the first degree and I have never been able to figure out where this Presidential gun control myth came from. I'm almost certain it came from the devious mind of some Republican thug who wanted to create some hysteria among the hysteria prone, such as the NRA. It worked, yet no one can cite the Presidential Plan to Destroy Our Guns. It doesn't exist, yet the mindless masses are flocking to the gun stores and the gun shows.
From the article
"Last month, the Indiana legislature passed bills that block private employers from forbidding workers to keep firearms in their vehicles on company (private) property."
Wow! These are the same people who don't like government control over any of their 'rights' but are quite willing to take rights away from employers. What happened to 'private' property?
And then this little gem…
"The watchword for gun owners is stay ready," said Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the National Rifle Association. "We have had some successes, but we know that the first chance Obama gets, he will pounce on us."
The President will pounce? Well, Mr. LaPierre has a long history of public paranoia and it seems he must be off of his medications once again.
And then, in Virginia…
"…the legislature rejected a bill requiring background checks for private sales at gun shows and repealed a law that Mr. Kaine had supported to prohibit anyone from carrying concealed weapons into a club or restaurant where alcohol is served."
No background checks? None? So anyone who feels the need for a gun can simply go to a Virginia gun show, buy the weapon of choice and then go bar hopping with it. Sounds civilized to me!
I am a little sensitive to all of this as yesterday, while we were shopping at Target, the Brinks Armored Transport people showed up as we were in line. Both men walked in, heads swiveling right and left constantly and with their hands on the pistol at their belt. They were grim. I don't know these guys. How safe are they? Are they sane? They didn't look like it. I felt threatened. And now I'm reading that all across America, people are demanding the right to carry concealed weapons…anywhere! And we have no idea as to their mental stability. None! It's absolutely crazy and we're going to see some terrible violence from it.
I used to be a member of the NRA and I used to hunt…before Mr. Heston became the leader of the group. His rhetoric drove me away and made me sad to see what he and others had done to what was once a peaceful and useful group that advocated gun safety. They don't do that anymore. Now with Mr. LaPierre at the helm, the crazies have destroyed all of the gun safety plans.
What a stupid nation we have become!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
"Some forces have complained the directive has led to overly restrictive rules on conducting operations."
What's 'overly restrictive' about making sure you are not killing innocents? You know what would be better? That would be to stop this altogether and go home. Then return with books and material to build schools and hospitals. Terrorists don't stand a chance against education and goodwill.
"its policy of beginning meetings with prayers violates the Establishment Clause"
I am confused. I'm a christian and I'm still confused. Do we know for sure that the 7 commissioners are actually praying? I know their eyes are closed and their heads are bowed...but are they really praying or thinking about what they need to do after the meeting? And the audience in attendance? Can we guarantee they are praying as well? And I seem to remember that Jesus said to go into a closet to pray. Silently; just you and God. Makes sense to me. The idiots pursuing this case make no sense. I think I'll pray for them. Silently and in my closet.
As I read the dismal financial news coming from Sacramento and then remembering a personal story I heard; a friend's wife is a school teacher, kindergarten, and her salary was reduced by $2,500 this past year and she had donated a little over $900 in materials to her classroom. A lot of teachers won't do that, but that's not the point of where I'm going with this; I see a real disaster coming because of our citizens refusal to support educational needs. Some real facts; there are millions of jobless men and women right now and their jobs will never come back. 'Buggy whip' jobs are what I call them. They have no place in this century and it's a terrible shame that no one was willing to step up and let these people know that there was no future in what they were doing and that they needed to be retrained and soon. It didn't happen and now there's no money for retraining. No government money, though there is plenty of private money for that kind of stuff, but you won't see it being spent. So now we have millions of perpetually unemployed and because we don't want to educate our children, we will be adding to that number every year as we 'graduate' another high school class. A class with no job skills because we thought that they should all be on the college track. Not going to happen now. And do you want to know what is one of the most dangerous things in the world? A male, between the ages of 16 and 24, without an education, a job, or hope. That is dangerous! Any sociologist will agree. Especially in a country where we allow firearms to be sold and trafficked so easily. Watch your back…
Monday, February 22, 2010
Another day in Afghanistan. Another $billion dollars and more untold death. What's a human life worth? And all of this blood and money is being spent for what?
Once again, I made a mistake and read the comments. Disgusting. One commenter wrote -
"Does it never occur to anyone to ask: "What where innocent civilians doing in a remote area to begin with? They are probably family of Taleban to be that far out. Don't forget, if the taleban are willing to be suicide bombers I'm sure they have no qualms about placing their families in danger to making them look like "innocent civilians" for this very purpose."
Idiot! They live in remote areas!!!!! Until they were killed. 90% of Afghanistan is 'remote'. This comment is obviously from someone who couldn't find Afghanistan on a map even if you gave him a week to do it and marked it with a bright red star...
Wanna know why we are losing friends in the world? Wanna know why the schools here are overcrowded and failing in their mission? Wanna know why the infrastructure of the country is crumbling away? I could go on but you already know the answer....
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Maybe I should go back to bed. It does look inviting now that I have read a few blogs and then I remembered some of the stuff I read and thought about yesterday as well. What a jumbled mess in my brain! I received the AARP magazine for this month and it didn't take long to get me riled up as I read about the elders that are just hanging on and all because of health care issues and the fact that the government won't help Social Security recipients because they aren't poor enough. All because a bureaucrat, during the 1960's, used figures from 1955 to determine the poverty level for Social Security. That was when food made up 1/3 of the average budget. And the average meant average no matter where you lived. The figures used means that close to 8% of elders live below the poverty line while if figures were used that more accurately represented the costs of what it takes to live in this century, the number would double. And there isn't a politician around that will allow those 1955 figures to double. They would rather keep a lid on it and ignore it than acknowledge their own failure to represent all of their constituents.
Then, the Wingnuts want to abolish Social Security and Medicare altogether because they claim we need, as a nation, to become self –sufficient again. So what do we do with all of those for whom self sufficiency isn't an option? Ignore them until they die? And the self sufficiency, is that the same self sufficiency that we Americans had in the 1930's when there wasn't a job to be had? When a poor family had to exist on handouts from churches and better off neighbors? If there were any.
And then I finished reading the Good Soldiers by David Finkel. Tragic. Brutal. But it should be read by all. Especially now that we are further engaged in a pointless war in Afghanistan while Iraq seethes, ready to erupt once more. Who will take care of that when it happens?
And the money! It's an incredible amount that is being spent for war. Our defense budget is 10 times larger than the closest four rivals…combined! What and who are we scared of? And can't we find something better to spend it on?
Speaking of money, the Right Wingnuts are talking as usual about how we need to lower taxes and reduce government yet there is no mention of reducing our defense budget which would make all arguments about tax cuts go away in an instant. We would have to argue about how to spend the surplus. And there is no mention of the immense drain on taxes caused by the Farm Bill, that bloated piece of legislation that supports 'farms' with huge subsidies. And the money from those subsidies goes most often to stockholders in ConAgra, ADM, Cargill, Monsanto, the kings of Agribusiness. It doesn't go to the small farmer…if any are left. What would happen if we took some of that money away and spent it on ourselves? Heck, take it all away and let these people compete on the world market. Oops! I forgot, these Agribusiness companies are already international. The subsidy we give them is just icing on the cake.
I give, I'm all ranted out and nothing has changed nor will it.
"“People are voting with their feet,” he said. “This is a very unique place in a very difficult economic time.”"
Well, they certainly aren't using their heads...and there's a lot of this going on.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Just when you think you have heard it all, something comes along to top it. Masking tape, anyone?
Good post here and way down at the bottom is a link to this great story of the poor people of Hawai'i who have lost their freedom. Who will save them?
This story about Hawai'i really needs to go nationwide and be read every day until the nation gets it!
I'm reading the book, "The Good Soldiers" by David Finkel and it's a tough one.
Washington Post correspondent Finkel chronicles the 15-month deployment of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion in Baghdad during 2007 and 2008, when the chaos in Iraq subsided to a manageable uproar. For the 2-16, waning violence still meant wild firefights, nerve-wracking patrols through hostile neighborhoods where every trash pile could hide an IED, and dozens of comrades killed and maimed. At the fraught center of the story is Col. Ralph Kauzlarich, whose dogged can-do optimism—his motto is It's all good—pits itself against declining morale and whispers of mutiny.
So well written that you are tempted to cry at the futility of it all as Finkel tells you of what he saw while he lived with the 2-16. And he doesn't do a hatchet job for pro-war or anti-war activists. He simply tells you about every day and every soldier.
Sure, I am very much anti-war. No war has ever been won, not one of them, they just slow down to a simmer only to erupt again, years later. But you read of the bravery of these young men and you have to be moved. But read carefully, they hate the war and their bravery is for one another and not for their nation. They have no respect for anyone who hasn't seen what they have and I cannot blame them. They would and will give their lives for a fellow soldier but they would gladly spit on a Senator or Congressperson.
And then there is the military itself; the Army in this case. If it were a corporation it would have failed year ago. Bankrupt. The top echelon is completely removed from plight of the ordinary soldier. Yes, the Generals say otherwise, but actions are what count and these soldiers have definitely been abandoned by the 'Army'. Being a 'Volunteer' Army, they can only hope that they get enough good men and women to volunteer. Good men and women are hard to find though, so the Army has to lower its standards to get enough bodies. And sometimes the results of that policy are disastrous, putting the lives of the 'Good Soldiers' at terrible risk.
Then the aftermath of war comes alive as the author visits the hospitals where the terribly damaged young men of the 2-16 are being cared for. Some for the rest of their lives. The author points out that the lifetime cost for the care of the wounded will easily surpass the cost of the war itself. A good war? There has never been one, only good soldiers.
Read the book. I think you have an obligation to do it. I got my copy from the library and Amazon has a good preview and reviews to read. Link to Amazon…
Friday, February 19, 2010
Another thought about the tea party wacko's; They all complain of high taxes and an intrusive government. They complain that the economy turned bad on them and the government that they don't want intruding isn't doing enough to help them. What? Let's start with taxes and the fact the US of A is not a highly taxed nation. When it comes to tax rate by GDP, we are solidly in the middle and nowhere near being an over taxed nation. But no one likes facts. An intrusive government? We have some of the lowest numbers in the world when it comes to those who actually cast a ballot and vote for the government we have. They complain about Obama yet he won the election and quite easily. Why is that? Again, no one likes facts. The poor economy? We are a debtor nation and how did we get that way? By buying beyond our means. Cause and effect. No one made us max out the credit card and buy the new house and the car to go with it. We, the citizens did that and now we want to blame someone else. Blame the banks? Sure, but we walked in the door of those banks and were willing customers. It always come back to us. We elected, in a fair manner, all of our government, the Senators, Congresspersons and the President. We deserve them. Just like we deserve the schools that we won't fix by additional taxes. Instead, we want to cut taxes when we all know that education is our only way out of this mess. And how about those roads? Who should pay for them? The government isn't helping enough? We created the financial disaster over the period of at least twenty years but we want the government to fix it overnight. But no one likes facts…
My thoughts about the tea party wacko's…I do believe that most Americans are drawn to some of the rhetoric coming from them. Heck, some of the things that some of them say resonates with me. But I do believe they are going to fail because they have no unity and no leader. They say they don't want a leader and they want to remain a pure grass roots group. Fine, but they will fail because they have no common voice. Everybody gets to have their say and that only creates chaos; and fun for the talking heads when they show the tea partiers on film at 6 and 11. Who wants to have a dialogue with a group that only knows high decibel political tactics? They will fade away once their entertainment value wears off…unless they find a leader who can speak for them. Coherently.
As they should be. Imagine that! Has the man no shame?
Have you ever seen a Wingnuts when he or she isn't furious? They sort of disappear. It's only their anger that makes them visible. And after awhile, they begin to fade even when they are angry...they lose their superpowers in the presence of truth or Kryptonite. I forget which one...
Thursday, February 18, 2010
"Gibbs said that Homeland Security is investigating all angles but the incident does not appear to be terrorism."
Flying an airplane into the side of an occupied office building is not terrorism? Oh! I see now...the pilot wasn't a Muslim. Maybe he was a Baptist?
I read the book so whenever I see the name 'Charlie Wilson' I am appalled all over again. I know that there was movie with the same name; forget about it. Movies made from books are like dinner with a Jello entree. You really need to read this book. It is timely now and will always be as long as we have a Congress.
And yes, I was glad to hear that Charlie was no longer breathing the same air that I do.
…not a lot later, just two hours since I climbed out of bed and I've been doing the usual; drinking tea and browsing the internet. I keep telling myself 'do not read the comments' on stories published on MSM websites. And yet there I was, at the bottom of a CNN story, scrolling through the written evidence that our schools have failed us again. I know everyone has an opinion, but some should run that opinion through a spell check at the very least. Then place it immediately in the circular file. Thank you!
I rail at polls and pollsters all of the time and in 90% of the comments, they quote from poll results. What are they thinking? Polls are created by pollsters to obtain the results they want. That's it. Pollsters are not independent. They are paid for their results and they darn well better be the results that the client wanted.
By the way…did you know that 90% of the 'percentages' quoted in comments and blogs are false?
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I was wandering around and one link led to another...and suddenly I was here. Now I have, from the very beginning of this 'Birther' idiocy, believed that President Obama was born exactly where he said he was born. Those who believe otherwise have a screw loose. Maybe two screws. But I did find this FactCheck to be extremely interesting. And perfectly clear. What was sad though, were the responses of the 'birther's when confronted by facts. They lied and they even lied to themselves in some sort of desperate emotional need to be right for once in their pitiful lives. Sad, indeed.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I got up this morning and read the news as I usually do and once again I was irritated by the way the news is reported. I read the headlines and since I already know something about the stories being reported on I am flabbergasted by the various reporters views. But, wait...they aren't supposed to have views are they? News is supposed to be reported on as seen and heard and lies exposed for what they are, simply lies. That's 'Fair' and that's 'Balanced'. Isn't it? Reporters aren't supposed to spread lies, are they? And speaking of Fox news as I was trying not to. Here's a news organization that's run by Sir Rupert Murdoch, the Right wingnut from Australia who is only interested in, guess what? Money! He has no scruples and that's not a lie. And by throwing in sensationalism and blatant lies to the news mix, he gets Americans to believe that what they are seeing and hearing is factual. Any small amount of research will show you that the Fox Network lies, but who wants to do research, right? The other American news sources are not much better and so I have to get my 'Fair and Balanced' news from abroad. And guess what? Those news sources almost always have the news first and it's reported in depth and not just in the headlines.
Anyway, read this short story, it's good...no lie!
Monday, February 15, 2010
Good article! "In 2008, 14,180 Americans were murdered, according to the FBI. In that year, there were 34,017 fatal vehicle crashes in the U.S. and, so the U.S. Fire Administration tells us, 3,320 deaths by fire. More than 11,000 Americans died of the swine flu between April and mid-December 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; on average, a staggering 443,600 Americans die yearly of illnesses related to tobacco use, reports the American Cancer Society; 5,000 Americans die annually from food-borne diseases; an estimated 1,760 children died from abuse or neglect in 2007; and the next year, 560 Americans died of weather-related conditions, according to the National Weather Service, including 126 from tornadoes, 67 from rip tides, 58 from flash floods, 27 from lightning, 27 from avalanches, and 1 from a dust devil."
When you read the article you will see that there were NO deaths from commercial airplanes falling out of the sky. None. The weather, yes, the weather killed more people than two airplanes would hold. Good article, but there are far too many people in our US of A that will not look at data and prefer to see the sky is falling.
The terrorists are coming! The terrorists are coming!
34,017 fatal vehicle crashes ??? Wow! That adds up to 94 people a day, which means 3 deaths per hour or 1 every 20 minutes. I'm staying home.
"“I am not a flake.”"
Some amazing stuff here and something like it is bound to come to neighborhood near you as the mid term elections brings out the weirdo's. This is a lady that thinks it is normal to carry her pistol into the market and is indignant that she is not allowed to. Are there muggers in the vegetable aisles? And believe it or not, she has a good chance of winning this thing. The right wingnuts believe she speaks in a normal manner. They believe that she is sane. The world has turned upside down if she wins.
On the plus side, if she wins, she will probably force a secession and Texas will leave us. That's a good thing if she's the governor.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Oh, no! Repair California is out of money and won't be able to get the Constitutional Convention on the ballot in November. Sad. But...I never saw a single plea for money on the internet. I didn't see anything remotely like the p[ledge drives for money for disasters. What were they thinking? That we would know about their needs intuitively? Even their website, http://repaircalifornia.org/ doesn't mention money unless you look all of the way down at bottom.
This is the first sane initiative we've seen in years and it's sad to see it fail to get on the ballot. But it falls on whoever was telling them how to run a campaign.
Google has a real battle ahead as it tries to move us forward in internet connectivity. And it's not just a speed contest, it's actually a test of how we value education. The higher the download speeds, the more often the computer will be used. Low speeds turn off the intellect and the quest for knowledge.
here's the current top 14 world-wide in internet download speeds...
Top Countries by Download Speed
- 23.35 Mb/s Korea, Republic of
- 18.17 Mb/s Aland Islands
- 17.38 Mb/s Japan
- 16.73 Mb/s Latvia
- 15.24 Mb/s Romania
- 14.76 Mb/s Lithuania
- 14.58 Mb/s Sweden
- 14.08 Mb/s Netherlands
- 13.99 Mb/s Andorra
- 13.77 Mb/s Bulgaria
- 12.28 Mb/s Moldova, Republic of
- 10.73 Mb/s Hong Kong
- 10.64 Mb/s Portugal
- 10.24 Mb/s Slovakia
and where is the US of A? Half the speed of Romania. 1/3 the speed of Korea. Makes you feel proud doesn't it?
29. 7.57 Mb/s United States (this speed is given to us by the media giants that control all we watch and listen to)
There's a list somewhere on the net with IQ levels by nation and it compares quite well with the list above.
Well, we did get to the moon first. So there!
I wrote or posted something on this matter just the other day and this morning I found this well written and thorough post on the subject of Texas school boards/textbooks. When, oh, when will the Capital C Christians learn that you cannot re-write history? It's like Whack-a-Mole with these idiots.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
The thought struck me the other day that the Republicans seem to have forgotten President Eisenhower. They always refer to themselves as the Party of Lincoln, though Abe would never understand why they chose him. But among somewhat contemporary and heroic Republicans, there is only Eisenhower. But, they don't talk about Ike; are they embarrassed by him? I remember him quite well; I was only a young teenager when he took office and then he was my Commander in Chief for a few years of my time in the Navy. He had high approval ratings and yet the Republicans seem to ignore him. I turned to Wikipedia this morning and found this…
As President, Ike oversaw the cease-fire of the Korean War, maintained pressure on the Soviet Union during the Cold War, made nuclear weapons a higher defense priority, launched the Space Race, enlarged the Social Security program, and began the Interstate Highway System. He was the last World War I veteran to serve as U.S. president, and the last president born in the 19th century. Eisenhower ranks highly among former U.S. presidents in terms of approval rating. He was also the first term-limited president in accordance with the 22nd amendment.
Throughout his presidency, Eisenhower preached a doctrine of dynamic conservatism. He continued all the major New Deal programs still in operation, especially Social Security. He expanded its programs and rolled them into a new cabinet-level agency, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, while extending benefits to an additional ten million workers. His cabinet, consisting of several corporate executives and one labor leader, was dubbed by one journalist, "Eight millionaires and a plumber."
Yes, there it is. Ike was a Socialist! No wonder they won't mention him. It's also no wonder that I thought he was a darn good president. Especially when he tried to cut down the Department of War and warned us of the military industrial complex and their schemes. A warning we didn't heed. Did you know that he appointed Earl Warren to the post of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Republicans of today must froth at the mouth just thinking about that one!
Of course they, the Republicans, never mention Nixon or Joe McCarthy either. By the way, Ike didn't care much for Nixon. I told you he was a good guy! And probably the last decent Republican in the land.
Friday, February 12, 2010
This is scary. I always thought of Canada as being a place of refuge if your political views here in the US of A attracted the same kind of attention you read about in the article. Oh, Canada...indeed. What's happening?
Some good stuff here...though I still wonder why people who seem to be intelligent continue to use profanity when writing. I can understand it when it's verbal and immediate...but when you are writing you have plenty of time to find that perfect word to use. Just my observation.
"I’m never going to pretend like I know more than the next person. I’m not going to pretend to be an elitist."
Well, she's doing that well. You could never accuse her of being elite. Dumb? Yes, you could say that.
What is it with people like her? For myself, I want the smartest guy/gal possible to be president. I want him or her to 'know more than the next person'. Unfortunately, and to our detriment, this is the most powerful nation on earth. With atom bombs. Thousands of them. (like you need more than one?) For a job like this we need someone with a high IQ. As high as possible. I know...once the IQ reaches a certain level they know enough to avoid being elected. But I think there should be an IQ standard for candidates. 120 or above. People who read. And are proud of it. People who think. Often. And she doesn't qualify.
When will she go away?
Thursday, February 11, 2010
New Poll Shows Support for Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
By DALIA SUSSMAN
But the wording of the question in a new New York Times/CBS News survey demonstrates the way people respond to polls.
I know I shouldn't let these stories bother me enough to post them here...but what else would I do with my grumpiness? I can vent here and then my wife sees a contented husband. It's free and it's easy, so I do it. Now, back to the story itself...when are we going to stop depending on polls for everything? It is the least accurate form of data gathering and yet we see it as some sort of Oracle. Presidents rise and fall on a poll? National policy is decided by a poll? Get real!
As a side note, I was in the Navy in the early sixties and there were homosexuals in our unit. No one had a problem with it. This policy should never have been in place and a persons sexuality is none of our business. Homosexuals should serve openly and proudly. The only ones that have a problem with this are politicians from the poorer states, where the Capital C Christians rule. That's also why they are poor. And uneducated.
Another headline that really irritates me!
How Christian Were the Founders?
By RUSSELL SHORTO
Conservative activists on the Texas Board of Education say that the authors of the Constitution intended the United States to be a Christian nation. And they want America's history textbooks to say so.
I'm a christian and I'm offended by these yahoos that want to change history. It wouldn't be a problem if Texas were the size of Delaware, but it isn't, so the national textbook publishers are quite willing to subvert history to make a sale and that sale will be for the whole nation; they won't publish a 'Texas Only' textbook. And those idiots on the Texas Board of Education know that. Creeps!
I just had a revelation after reading the Google/high-speed internet story. It's no wonder that I'm such a curmudgeon. Those of us who were born in the late 30's and the 40's saw America grow into the world's greatest place to live. Now we are seeing the decline. And that makes us irritated. Health care was not an issue in the 1960's and we flew to the moon. We could do anything or so it seemed. Something happened in the 70's and you can make your own case here…but somehow greed became stronger than ever. This was time for the growth of the multinational corporation that have allegiance to no nation. (These are the same corporations that SCOTUS thinks are citizens) I am a curmudgeon because so many people refuse to see that we're slipping, have slipped. And we can't change until we realize that. This country needs that 'we can go to the moon' spirit again and as long as we have the Party of No dragging us back, we'll never get there. And the Democrats' have to change as well. They have to define what is petty and rise above it. Leave the No sayers behind.
I was looking at the stories in the NYT email and hoping that the Times hadn't moved into their upcoming 'fee to read' mode. I have a feeling that won't last long. Although it may take awhile before the NYT says 'uncle'. It took them about a year before they realized that hiding the columnists behind a fee wall was not such a good idea. And on that same note, I see from the headline that eBook readers are showing reluctance to pay beyond the $9.99 price that was first established with the Amazon Kindle. Duh! Even $9.99 is far too much to pay when you think about the fact that there are no printing presses, paper and ink, and no transportation costs when you buy an eBook. They're making a bloody fortune at $9.99!
Then I read the story about Google deciding to pressure the ISP's with their high speed internet model that they will bless some city with. Imagine really high speed service…just like they have in other countries.
But there is this from the critics… "They say that by spending relatively small sums, Google would be, in essence, pressuring the telecommunications companies that provide broadband access to millions of American homes to abide by Google's rules."
Google's rules? Sounds like sour grapes and it hints at the fact that the telecom's want to choke the pipelines and charge us extra for anything that resembles high speed. And they want to control every 'pipe'. Google is working for us, the ordinary citizens, in this endeavor. Telecom's bad. Google good.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
This is a fascinating article and well written. But...it starts with this,
The Tea Party movement, with its loud crowds and explicit signage, has been an intriguing force for months. Their rallies, protests, and townhall appearances have created a storm seldom seen in American history.
An intriguing force? A storm seldom seen? What if they had been ignored as they should have been, considering their numbers? Would we have seen any storm at all?
Sunday, February 7, 2010
You really need to watch the movie, Food Inc. Then any reference to Monsanto takes on a whole new dimension. You can get it on Netflix and it's worth watching as it's not like so many documentaries; boring. This will engage you from the beginning and keep you engaged all of the way to the end. We're talking food here! Important stuff and Monsanto knew that awhile ago and made their play while we were doing something else. Something important I'm sure. Anyway, watch the movie and think about the SOTUS decision allowing corporations unlimited power to attract your vote and your Senator/Congressperson's vote. As if Monsanto needed more power...
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Browsing as usual when I ran across this nasty piece of work from one of the Supremes.
"Questioning the Supreme Court and other government branches needs to stay within the range of fair criticism or "run the risk in our society of undermining institutions that we need to preserve our liberties," Justice Clarence Thomas said Thursday."
How dare he! For shame! And who decides what 'fair criticism' is? The court? And that bit about 'running the risk of undermining institutions et al' comes right from the playbooks of those who would take away our liberties, not preserve them!
Thoughts I had while taking a shower; Sarah Palin. For the past year she has taken a comedic role in my thoughts. She was funny! And she constantly said and did funny things. I mean, two or three times a week. Recently we got to read her email from when she was a part-time governor, about 3,000 messages, and they were also funny. Except for the parts where it was obvious that the 'First Dude' was taking on the role of governor without the benefit of an election. But now she is evil. No longer funny. If she stands on a stage this weekend with the fascists of the tea baggers, she has become evil simply by association. You would think that she would know better…wait, what was I thinking?
And I thought about the fact that the latest and most bought and paid for Supreme Court has once more decided that corporations are people. It was a huge stretch of the imagination to decide that many years ago and the stretch has not become any easier, but they did it! I mean, you really have to turn your brain off if you want to think that a corporation is a person and with the rights of a person when the correct view, the intelligent view, is that corporations don't have rights all…they have obligations. Duh! Think about it; is there one corporation, one only, that you can call a friend? Would you ask a corporation for advice? Never mind, I quit…it's all too obvious where those five justices get their pay.
I've been hearing about Tom Tancredo once again; something I was hoping would never happen. But he's back and his recent speech at the tea baggers convention had everything in it that a fascist would love. I simply don't understand people like Tancredo; how can you wake up every morning just filled with hatred? And as he makes his way through the day he is constantly reminded that we live in a wonderfully diverse society, a society that he hates and with pure venom in every word he speaks. Everywhere he looks, he finds himself surrounded by people who do not look just like him nor do they speak or think, heaven forbid, like him. Doesn't he get it? This country was founded with diversity written right into our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. Yet, he wants to drag us back to a time in the 17th and 18th centuries when religious zealots would control our every thought and action. He may not realize it, but our Declaration of Independence was also written to declare us free from our fellow citizens who would enslave us in a theocracy. People just like him. And sad but true…his hate speech is protected by our Constitution. But it doesn't mean that we have to listen.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
"The war in Iraq that will eventually cost between 2 and 3 trillion, NOT paid for; Hundreds of Billions in tax cuts for the top 1%, NOT paid for; prescription drug bill written by the drug and insurance companies costing 400 billion over 10 years, NOT paid for; over 700 Billion TARP bailout by the Bush administration with NO strings attached, NEVER to see any of that money returned..... ALL under GW Bush. This my friends is the reality."
Why, oh why aren't Democrats pushing this message. It's all true, so there is no good reason for them not beat the Party of No over the head with it. The Republicans wouldn't hesitate to do it to them if the shoe were on the other foot...but it isn't and never has been.
So why can't President Obama fix a devastated economy in his first year in office? Because the Party of No took eight years to create the devastation. That's why. And they refuse to help now when it's needed.
I decided to open another blog. I know, I know…I have far too many already and plenty that are underused. Some, I setup for others that don't know how to create and manage blogs but they soon died. Not the people, but their interest. I suppose I could close those and who would know? If they ever noticed that their blog was gone I could blame it on Blogger. Something technical. It would be nice if Blogger had a closet to put these things then I wouldn't be having this conversation with myself.
Anyway, back to the new blog. It can be found at http://stevespeppers.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Just wondering...is there any chance we could get couple of text books for the local school out of that money before it's spent? Our text books were printed in 1996 and it would be great if you could find us a little something in that budget for us. You can't? It's all 'vital' for our defense and every dollar counts? Okay, sorry I asked.
Oh, why not...this poll has been all over the net and I just looked for the blog that had one that was easiest to read. I guess this ties in in some way with a study I read the other day where the the US of A has an average IQ of 98, placing us at #18 among the nations of the world. Sad. Yes, it is our education system that provides us with poll results like this and the IQ levels of a lesser nation. And we are cutting our budgets for education once again. Go figure...I guess it's another plot by that foreign socialist President of ours who was only elected with the help of the commie ACORN organization. By the way, did you know he was going to steal our guns as well?
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
The world is getting to me. Overwhelming me. I saw the movie Food Inc. last night and was revolted by what I saw. Because I'm retired and have a computer, some time and a natural curiosity, I've been aware of this stuff for years but I've always kept it in the back of my mind and tried to avoid thinking about it too much. And now, after watching the movie, I have to wonder why this story has never made the front pages. Where are the responsible journalists? Or is that an oxymoron? The scope of power that these corporations have is overwhelming. Multinational corporations; the kind of corporations that the Supreme Court now allows complete freedom to say whatever they want, as if they were 'people'. What irony; as I saw in the movie, the Food libel laws, also known as food disparagement laws and informally as veggie libel laws, are laws passed in 13 U.S. states that make it easier for food producers to sue their critics for libel. So now you can't even criticize the food you eat.
I live in an agricultural county and I have seen the power of the Ag community. Nothing happens in this county without their approval. And now I see that one of the Ag giants has taken over the rice dryers a few miles from here; they have their name painted up high on the face of the dryers. And I have to imagine that they now control all the rice production in the county. Could I be wrong? Sure, they just came to town to buy one little part of the food chain. Yes, indeed!
Is there any good news in this…yes, Polyface Farms and they don't care what you call them. They aren't afraid of the public's opinion of them. If only their farm was close by and not 3,000 miles away…if only.
See this from Wikipedia…
See this from Polyface Farms…
Monday, February 1, 2010
I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn't.
- Jules Renard
I know that God exists, but sometimes I agree with Jules.
Good article points out that every independent voter takes power away from the political parties. A good thing. Without 'puppets' to manipulate, the parties will have to listen to real people, people who think for themselves. Go independent!
As long as I'm in a ranting mood, I should continue and I found one little article in the Economist all about cuts to education budgets everywhere…and I mean everywhere and not just in Glenn County, California and the US of A. Every government is looking at making cuts to their education budgets. Once again, governments, both good and bad are in the hands of incompetents. If you were a surgeon, would you cut off one hand when times were tough and you needed to save money? If you were a carpenter, would you sell your hammer to make it through the hard times? Of course you wouldn't. In every case, education is already seriously underfunded and how can anyone, in our case, Schwarzenegger, sell the hammer and cut off the hand? Education is the fuel for our economic engine. Without it we retreat to darker times and that's where we will stay unless we change that decision. Facts are facts and the US of A is nowhere near the top in the list of tax rates for countries. We are quite comfortably somewhere near the middle. We are not over taxed at all. But we are in the hands of incompetents and fools. Fools who hide their idiocy by declaiming that we are, instead, over taxed because that's something that the public loves to hear! Ear candy! But it is another lie. And sadly, education is the current victim of the liars.
Last week's Economist had a great article on Big Government and why we should not hate it. Sure, it's fashionable to ridicule the government, any government, yet we cannot do without them. Government is the glue for our society and without it, chaos would ensue. Duh! In our society, we are aided by the many actions of government from the moment we take our first breath till the moment of the last one. And, except for a few of the uneducated crazies, we love it that way. So government isn't the problem at all, it's whoever is running the darn thing. The leader and his crew are the ones we need to hold accountable. Then the article goes on to point out that Republicans have been responsible for the largest government growth since Ronald Reagan started it with an almost 190% increase in the size of government! Incredible! And this was from the man who constantly ridiculed 'government' while building his own empire of deceit. George the First, his predecessor, continued this pattern until Clinton took it down into the range of less than 40% growth. Dubya, of course, turned it around and ran the increase numbers into the stratosphere while using the Reagan model of deceit. The numbers are there, there is no way for the Republican lawmakers to deny them…but they do. Every day, they turn to the memory of Ronny and pray before heading off to do 'His' work. I guess I am just tired of the lies and deceit…I should get used to it.
Boo the Magic Cat has been doing a great job in the area of pain relief and mood altering. She's almost the equivalent of a dose of any anti-depressant. Unfortunately, she has become a one person, one family kind of cat. At the sound of the doorbell or a knock on the door , she makes a dash for a hiding place, usually under our bed. I've dragged her out and tried forcing face to face interviews with other humans but it is very apparent that I'm in danger of being shredded by her claws as she desperately tries to leave my arms.
The weekend is over and I'm getting ready, in my mind, for a 'new me'. I need to start a walking program and do it soon. I'm almost a week post-op now and the pain is easily manageable. There are no reasons for me not to walk and a million reasons why I should. Okay, rain might be a reason to avoid the stroll, but only if it is pouring.
I'm really doing well on my art projects now and can hardly wait to start another. I need to have a dozen going at once or I'm frustrated. Although I have not been able to (physically) do any gourd art lately, it has not been gone from my mind. And we harvested a new crop of gourds and they are drying out on the patio. Plus, I've found seeds for all sorts of gourds and I think we'll have a great harvest next year. Varied. The grandchildren are going to help in this by taking care of the seedlings for me in their parent's greenhouse. It's an old greenhouse that came with the house, but what a luxury! It's probably 30' long and 10' wide. More than enough room for the few seedlings we'll put in there.
Since I'm feeling so much better now it is time for me to move my acrylics and sundry other items out to my 'studio' in the garage. The table in the family room was cramped and completely inadequate for the projects I had in mind and was working on…but it was pure heaven during all the days that I could not go far at all because of the pain. I could work on something for ten minutes and then head back to my chair to recuperate. Half an hour later I was up and back in my 'indoor studio' for another ten minutes. It was slow but it worked. And now it is time to move to a space that will allow me to work on the 20"x30" illustration board that I bought recently. I'm all about bigger canvas! I'm using the word 'canvas' here to denote anything at all where you place your art. Once I'm well enough to handle the saw and large pieces of wood, my canvases will be much larger.