Showing posts with label not to fucking happy atm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label not to fucking happy atm. Show all posts

Monday, July 23, 2012

To Whom It May Concern

Now that the dreaded Nittany Lions have been declawed to everybody's satisfaction could we please put the same enthusiasm into taking assault rifles out of the hands of wackos or at least make it once again illegal for them to purchase them? Somehow I didn't think so ....

Friday, July 20, 2012

Observations

James Eagan Holmes walked into a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado late last night, threw tear gas canisters, and opened fire. When he was finished a dozen moviegoers were dead and at least fifty more injured. He carried four guns, all of which had been legally purchased, including an AR-15 Assault Rifle with a drum magazine holding 100 rounds of ammunition, a 12-gauge shotgun, and two Glock pistols similar to the one I once owned. The assault rifle and drum magazine were both illegal under the Federal Assault Weapons Ban that was allowed to expire in 2004.

You probably have seen and heard enough about the massacre to make you ill but I have a few random things too add.

As always happens in these situations every politician and political commentator had something to say today. Only one is worth repeating here, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "You know, soothing words are nice, but maybe it's time that the two people who want to be President of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it. Everybody always says, 'Isn't it tragic' .... there are so many murders with guns every day, it's just got to stop. Instead of the two people, President Obama and Governor Romney, talking in broad ways that they want to make the world a better place,
okay, tell us how."

It may sound cold but please spare me the political grief and flags lowered to half staff. Since 1968 more than a million Americans have died in gun related violence, a level of carnage we as a nation found unacceptable on our highways but somehow manage to tolerate in our homes, schools, and public spaces. In 2010 alone there were 8,775 gun related deaths in the United States or an average of two dozen a day. Our flags could very easily be kept at permanent half staff.

Next time you look in the mirror ask yourself a question, ask yourself if you really care about all this, if the grief is real. If your answer is that you really do care about it you're probably lying to yourself. There are 300 million Americans and only 4 million of them are members of the NRA. If you really cared, if we cared, the carnage would stop but instead, for now, we'll just wait for the next massacre.

Finally, in some states it is now easier to buy a gun than it is to vote. That says more about the current sad state of our nation than even
James Eagan Holmes did.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Observations on Art 7.7

Due to the astounding number of magazine subscriptions I have I've become the unofficial gallery librarian. I'm always throwing new ones on the table figuring somebody should read them if not me so it wasn't surprising one of our friends picked up an old issue of The New York Times Magazine yesterday. What was surprising is that it was one I never read so when he said "I bet you loved this article" I had no clue what he was talking about.

It was an article about Edward Conrad, one time Bain Capital founder and Willard Romney employee, (The Purpose of Spectacular Wealth, According to a Spectacularly Wealthy Guy), who also happens to be one of the largest donors to Willard's campaign. What follows is the paragraph that got his attention and than mine.

"At a nearby table we saw three young people with plaid shirts and floppy hair. For all we know, they may have been plotting the next generation’s Twitter, but Conard felt sure they were merely lounging on the sidelines. “What are they doing, sitting here, having a coffee at 2:30?” he asked. “I’m sure those guys are college-educated.” Conard, who occasionally flashed a mean streak during our talks, started calling the group “art-history majors,” his derisive term for pretty much anyone who was lucky enough to be born with the talent and opportunity to join the risk-taking, innovation-hunting mechanism but who chose instead a less competitive life."

I get so effing tired of people who equate studying art history with something like basket weaving. As for competitive, it seems the man doesn't know much about the art world. He may have made a fortune with a company that destroyed lives in the name of profit but he has never dealt with Larry Gagosian, unless he has bought something from him. At a certain level I may despise everything Gagosian stands for but he is very, very, good at what he does.

What can you do with an art history degree? Let me see, curate museums and galleries, manage auction houses, value art and other antiques, work for a historic trust, be an administrator, a journalist, picture editor, exhibition organizer, or you can
just teach something you love.

I'm sure a man of Conrad's wealth has an impressive art collection. I'm also quite sure he paid a tidy sum to somebody with an art history degree to tell him what to buy, another to handle the transactions, and yet another to take care of his most awesome collection.

For the record Kate Middleton has an art history degree from St. Andrews University, I know who I would rather do lunch with.

Vent over, for now.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Observations from the window 6.8

I haven't been writing much lately mostly because I have a lot on my mind lately and it has created a mess in which I can't put anything into words. Maybe that is just what my version of writers block is, a swirly messy mind. I've started multiple posts and finished none including a couple art posts I totally want to get out there. Over the next week I'm going to try and finish them as update some others I left open ended.

One thing I am staying away from, for now anyway,  is politics. As much as I love it I can't write about it without getting a headache. Politics in this country is just totally out of control, running on massive amounts of both money and ideology. At times politics is just war under another name an at times war is fought with no mercy. Sadly this seems to be one of those times.

History is about to reach one of its turning points and this November's election may tell us just how painful this turning point is going to be. If those who would turn back the clock should gain total power it may take a complete crash for history to sweep them away but in the end they will be swept away.

Like war, at times history is merciless.

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it ... always,” Mahatma Gandhi.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Observations from the Window 5.19

I don't know if I ever wrote about healthcare before, it's a sometimes touchy subject for me. My basic thought is that in a country supposedly as rich as this one nobody should be denied the best care for economic reasons. If we can afford the ability to kill in a historically unknown scale we should be able to take care of those in need. One shouldn't be forced to settle for lesser care because their insurance tier doesn't cover a treatment or drug. In 2009 a Harvard Medical School study said 45,000 deaths a year are directly related to lack of health insurance or approximately the same number as smoking kills. Think about that.

I bring up healthcare now because a good friend of the family recently became ill. She is far from poor but her story still tells something about healthcare in this country. I'll make it a brief story. Over a month ago she began having pain in her side and started weeks of seeing various doctors, receiving various diagnosis, and getting various treatments. The pain continued to worsen and finally her frustrated OBGYN scheduled her for an mri because our friend is highly allergic to the dye used in a ct scan. On the morning of the test she received a call from the doctor's nurse informing her that the hospital's radiologist had cancelled the test. He didn't know a thing about her or her case but cancelled it because, as health insurance raises its ugly head, there are procedures to follow and a ct scan must be performed before an mri. It didn't seem to matter that the test could worsen the problem.

Now totally exasperated and unable to eat much she went to the hospital's emergency room with a friend. At one point she was asked why she came to emergency with a stomach ache, had I been there this is the point in the story where a nurse gets slapped, but than I wasn't. After a day of tests it was discovered she had a growth in her abdomen and surgery is scheduled for this week. She has been in the hospital since than but the insurance company wont pay for her to remain there till the surgery. She has to go home, deal with life's other problems, and be re-admitted that morning.

A thought came to me yesterday, maybe I had seen it somewhere before, maybe not. If we have to live and die with health insurance companies why not just make them non-profits? Why should medical decisions be made based on the profit line? Why should a few individuals make millions running these companies when so many Americans go without healthcare?

In the end history may judge this rich nation on how it treated its poorest citizens when they needed it most.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Observations from the Bar 2.27

I was sitting at the bar watching the first ever Monday Daytona 500 which was also the first one ever run under the lights. This happened because of rain on Sunday which caused me to waste a Sunday afternoon at the bar with nothing to watch until a totally lousy Oscar show Sunday night. All things considered it was a normal race until it wasn't and just became totally bizarre. While the race was under yellow something broke on Juan Pablo Montoya's car causing him to spin up into a truck that was blowing off the track with jet engine, yes jet engine. The crash wrecked the truck's trailer and spilled 200 gallons of jet fuel onto the track which than ignited. While track crews put out the fire and cleaned up the mess the drivers wandered around the track talking as if they were stuck in traffic on the interstate.

I only bothered with that story because it ties in with something I had started writing earlier today. After watching the Oscar show last night I seem to have developed a social media pet peeve.  Anybody who knows me at all or reads this blog knows I have wildly varied interests. Art, politics, and sports constantly fight for space in my mind with other things that are always butting in. On twitter I just post whats on my mind or what I'm reading so you never know what you will get. Sometimes its the same thing for days on end and sometimes I go off in tangents by the hour.

Some people evidently have singular interests and others have accounts to just post on a single subject, both are fine with me. I have no prob with that because they usually have the best info or their subject anyway. What I do have a prob with is when some complain that other people aren't serious enough about the world's problems. I post about gay rights I lose followers, I post about Occupy I lose others, and the gods forbid anybody post about the Academy Awards because all hell breaks loose.

You know the world and its multiple problems are serious enough and we all need to escape now and than. Sometimes that includes watching a totally lame Oscar show and tweeting a photo of a gorgeous Milla Jovovich. Get the fuck over it.

For the record Milla looked totally awesome as does Danica tonight. Now back to racing.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Observations from Amerika 12.18

Some updates on my post of 12.2....

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA) passed both the House and the Senate this week. Despite earlier promises to the veto the bill President Obama now says he will sign it yet outside certain sectors barely a whimper can be heard. It seems the American people don't know about or more likely simply don't care about the provisions that allow the military to detain US citizens without trial. My cynical side can almost hear them thinking “well as long as it doesn't happen to me.” Supporters of the bill say it no longer requires the military detention of suspected terrorists, but it does allow it. President Obama has said that if the provisions negatively impact the nation he and the authors will work to fix it, don't hold your breath on that one. So what we are left with is the Constitution of the United States turned on its head and the knowledge that everything Adolf Hitler initially did was perfectly legal.

Any vote on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has been pushed back but probably not for long. An 11 hour committee hearing stalled Thursday after Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) tweeted that Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) was “boring.” Any further discussion was put on hold until next week. Over fifty amendments have been added to the bill by opponents yet Congress still seems dead set on destroying the internet as we know it. One interesting provision would grant immunity to financial companies that choose to boycott suspected pirate sites even if they haven't been told to do so. You might ask why they are singled out but it seems obvious to me, always follow the money. The hacker group Anonymous announced the beginning of Operation Blackout, what it calls its declaration of war on Congress because of SOPA.

This could get very interesting.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Observations from Amerika 12.2

It should come as no surprise that what follows occurred in the dark of night. I don't know how 93 US Senators, elected by the people of this nation, can look themselves in the face this morning. It boggles my mind how little media attention this whole thing has gotten.

Yesterday the Democratic controlled US Senate quietly passed the 680 page National Defense Authorization Act for 2012 (s.1867) by a vote of 93-7. Included in sections 1031 and 1032 of the bill is wording that for all purposes declares the whole of the United States, actually the whole world, a battle zone. As such the US Military could for the first time since the Civil War be allowed to detain United States Citizens within the US and hold them indefinitely without charge or trial. These same US citizens could conceivably face a military and not civil court. That is if they are given a trial at all. As it always seems today the purpose of the provisions is to make it easier to fight and prosecute terrorists but now it seems we are all suspect.

The sections are opposed by President Obama who promises he will veto the entire appropriations bill if they are included. Its is also opposed by the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and many retired military leaders. Friday morning the White House said the veto threat still stands.

"The bill is an historic threat to American citizens and others because it expands and makes permanent the authority of the president to order the military to imprison without charge or trial American citizens," said Christopher Anders, ACLU senior legislative counsel. It should be noted that a compromise was reached in order to pass the bill. The compromise? It only includes US citizens “if we want it too.” One can only wonder what any future President Dick Cheney would think of that.

It all reminds me of a quote....

“For once Benjamin consented to break his rule, and he read out to her what was written on the wall. There was nothing there now except a single Commandment. It ran: All Animals Are Equal But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others.”

George Orwell, Animal Farm

notes:
Those voting against the bill were Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Rand Paul (R-KY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Ron Wyyden (D-OR).

update - To clarify what "if we want it to" means.
A compromise amendment was passed which just pushes the entire matter down the road. The compromise simply leaves it to the Supreme Court to decide should some future president decide to assert the authority the bill specifically authorizes him to do. Our current crop of politicians can't even seem to get taking away our freedom right.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Observations on Penn State and JoePa

One of the great days in Penn State football history will be just that but for reasons none of us could have imagined until a perfect storm of misery swept through Happy Valley earlier this week. I just sent a friend an email in which I described today as a homecoming from hell and I can't think of any better way to put it here. Ash and I arrived late last night, Sean early this morning, and it seems like nobody can stay away. In the end we still are Penn State and nobody is going to take that away from us no matter how hard they try.

I have no idea how this game is going to play out, honestly nothing will surprise me. The prevailing opinion is that the player's heads aren't going to be in it so it's going to be ugly but I'm not so sure. I won't even try to comprehend what these players must be going through. I do know from experience that, no matter how depressed I was, when the game started habit and training took over and I just played.

The 'blue out' is born. During today's game donations will be accepted throughout Beaver Stadium with the proceeds going to two Pennsylvania organizations, Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. So far at other events, including the women's soccer game yesterday and a candle light vigil last night,  over $200,000 has been raised for these charities.

To put this day in perspective a person would have to be close to 70 years old to remember Penn State without Joe Paterno. That being the case I doubt they would remember it anyway.

To state the obvious this is going to suck.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Observations on Penn State and JoePa

Tears

morning update - Yes tears, tears for my school, for the kids abused, for the alumni, students, everybody involved, and tears for JoePa because I'm just so sad it had to end this way. But no tears foe Sandusky, if there is a hell hopefully there is a very special place there for him and his kind.

Stay by the phone Urban Meyer.

Observations on Penn State and JoePa

This just hurts. Ever since the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal broke I have been avoiding the subject like the plague. I didn't want to talk about it and failed, I didn't want to read about and failed, and totally didn't want to write about it but I can't help myself. Penn State has been my anchor for years, it really has helped me to survive more than anything other than my family and friends so it does hurt like hell to see it all end this way. No matter how it plays out the name Joe Paterno will never sound quite the same again and that's just sad.

Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is alleged to have sexually abused eight boys over more than a ten years, both before and after his retirement from the team in 1999. One incident in 2002 was witnessed by an assistant coach and reported to Joe Paterno who reported it to other athletic department officials including Athletic Director Tim Curley who was charged Monday for failing to report the information to the police, a crime in Pennsylvania. He was also charged with perjury in testimony to a grand jury and he resigned later in the day. Paterno, who was not charged or investigated, has been criticized for not calling the police himself or simply following up on what he had been told. Pennsylvania state police Commissioner Frank Noonan said Monday that Paterno fulfilled his legal requirement when he told his superior of the 2002 assault but he also questioned whether Paterno had a moral responsibility to do more. He did.

One of the blessings of Penn State is that it is situated in the mountains of central Pennsylvania with the nearest major media outlet an hour to the south in Harrisburg, literally down the mountain. That blessing is turning into a curse now with everybody from the BBC to Al Jazerra swooping into Happy Valley with seemingly one thing on their mind, Joe must go. I read one article in which the writer went so far as to call Beaver Stadium an “empty cavernous monument to JoePa's failed program.” Tarnished yes but to call a program with the highest graduation rate in the NCAA history failed is just shear stupidity. As long as I have been associated with Penn State there have been people both inside and outside the University who just wanted to bring Paterno down. I'll call it the Lance Armstrong effect, you can't possibly be that good with out cheating so there must be something hiding somewhere and if they just dig deep enough they'll find it. They failed every time but now it seems they have been handed a nuclear option with the timer winding down to zero.

I'm just terribly torn because I know how I would feel under any other circumstances and I know how I feel now. I just can't bring myself to turn on a man who has meant so much to my school. I do believe Paterno, how can I not, but I also know he is terribly wrong. At the bare minimum he should have pushed his superiors for some kind of public investigation and he should have condemned Sandusky's actions, friendship only goes so far. Another cop-out is for anybody to say it was out of his hands because of one thing I am certain, whatever Joe wants in Happy Valley Joe gets.

Should Joe go? As hard as this is to write it probably is time because there will be no moving on for the school until he does step down. But there is no need to fire the man who has made Penn State his life for 61 years, his contract is up at the end of this season. Just don't renew it.

As my dad reminded me yesterday the last time the the voices calling for Paterno's ouster were this loud in the valley I was a freshmen and Paterno was in the middle of his worst season ever. One of the men these people would have replaced him with?

Jerry Sandusky.

evening update - This statement was released by Joe Paterno today:

"I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief.
I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today.
That's why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can. This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.
My goals now are to keep my commitments to my players and staff and finish the season with dignity and determination. And then I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to help this University."

notes:
On November 4th Sandusky was arrested for 40 counts related to allegations of sexual abuse of young boys over a 15 year period. Sandusky is currently free on $100,000 bail pending trial and could face life in prison if convicted.

Saturday #12 Penn State faces #19 Nebraska in what is in all probability Joe Paterno's final home game as head coach of the Nittany Lions. It is also senior day which is a tear jerker in the best of times. I haven't made up my mind if I'll be making my planed trip to the game but I can't see myself not. If it is JoePa's last game in Happy Valley I'm going to have to be there.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Observations on Sports 9.24

The Phillies lost to the Mets tonight in the second game of a doubleheader, they lost the first game too, and the six before that. Eight losses in a row. The Phillies haven't lost 8 in a row since September of 2000. according to Elias Sports the losing streak is the longest in major-league history by a team that had already won 98 games. It is also the longest losing streak by a team that has clinched a playoff spot.

After his awesome game was wasted earlier today Cole Hamels said “I know the pitchers and we're ready to go. We're gonna go out there and t try to throw nine-inning shutouts. I know it's not possible, but that's our plan, so everybody just needs to get on board."

Today the Phillies played 18 innings and scored only three earned runs. They have scored three or less runs in 14 of their last 16 games.

If they lose to the Mets Sunday with Roy Halladay on the mound all bets are off. Than again the Mets have already beaten Cole Hamels this weekend so in all honesty I won't be surprised if they lose again. They now need to win all their remaining games to set a new Phillies record for wins, something they could have done a week ago.

The baseball gods do indeed taunt me now.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Observations on Politics 9.15

A quick look inside the Tea Party's America.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said “When you look at people in the bottom 5th of the economic ladder — those at the bottom — only 5 percent are there after 16 years. People move up, the American dream does exist…The rich are getting richer, but the poor are getting richer even faster.” Maybe only 5 percent are still there because the other 95 percent died off.

At Republican Presidential debate Monday night people actually cheered the idea of letting people die because they don't have health insurance. This after executions in Texas got a standing ovation at the first GOP debate. In 2007, the last year I could find the data for, 52 people were executed in the United States. That's enough to put us 5th in the world behind only China, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Good company all.

After Hurricane Irene House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced “The House has passed $1 billion in disaster relief funds that is fully offset, which we will look to move as quickly as possible.” Where do the offsetting cuts come from? It slashes founding to train and equip first responders by 40 percent. The Homeland Security Appropriations bill now contains just $2 billion for first responders in the US while the House defense appropriations bill provides $12.8 billion to train and equip troops and police in Afghanistan.

ThinkProgress used data from the CIA to chart how income income inequality in the United States is greater than in the Ivory Coast, Pakistan, or Ethiopia. We seem to be on the level of Uganda. In education the United States ranks 33rd in reading, 27th in math, and 22nd in science worldwide.

“We humans have the brains and the means to reach real planetary sustainability. The problem is with us and our focus on short-term growth and profits, which is likely to cause suffering on a vast scale. With foresight and thoughtful planning, this suffering is completely avoidable.” Jeremy Grantham, the so called Wall Street environmentalist, in the August 14th issue of The New York Times Magazine.

In Republican controlled Pennsylvania a GOP plan would change the way electoral votes are allocated in presidential elections and there is no legal way to stop it. Instead of winner take all it would give each congressional district its own vote and due to redistricting guess which party controls the most districts. A candidate could easily win the state's popular vote yet lose the electoral vote. Seems your vote counts less every day.

'Legally' speaking more and more the Republican party operates less like the party that gave us Abraham Lincoln and more like the one that gave us Adolf Hitler.

What the hell is going on in this country ?

update - I really hate that Hitler analogy but all the voting rule crap just reminds me of the NSDAP (ok, Nazi) rise to power in Germany. All perfectly legal and all perfectly immoral.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Observations from the Window 8.6

I tried, I tried so hard to stay away from politics for now but like a junkie needing its fix I just couldn't do it any longer. When every economist says this is the worst time for the government to cut spending we have massive spending cuts. The debt ceiling debacle, sorry I meant deal, could actually end up cost 1.5 million jobs. In July the illustrious Republican Senator Orrin Hatch said on the senate floor that the poorest and not the richest Americans need to pay more in taxes. Where the money for said higher taxes is to come from he did not say.

Living and working here with Ash makes my situation hard to explain. I live in the highest rent area in the world yet pay almost nothing because that is how Ash pays me for the work I do for her. Because of the gallery and some photo work I have money for the things I need and some things I want. I save some money by doing a lot of work on Foxy myself but I get killed on health insurance because of my history. I shouldn't complain at all because my situation involves choices that have made in my life and I could be saving if I had taken another path but I choose to do this. I just wish I was saving more so when that Paris opportunity arrives I'm ready for it but it is what it is.

Than you have my brother who graduated from Penn State in December with a degree in environmental science that included two minors. Six months later he is still waiting tables at place near my dad's and he thinks the recent national debt bullshit will probably kill his one recent hope because it involves government funding. The sis will be starting at State later this month and was just hit with a 4% tuition increase due to cuts in state funding to the university. The Department of Education already listed Penn State as the most expensive four year public college in the nation.

So where are we going in this country? Polluted water, smoggy skies, falling bridges, less education funding, and unhealthier Americans seems to be the direction. I'm proud Barrack Obama was elected President of the United States, I'm proud I voted for him, and I can say right now I will again. But Obama boasts that we will now have the lowest domestic spending levels since Eisenhower was President yet fails to mention that spending in Afghanistan avoided the knife entirely.

When I heard him say that all I could think was I wonder how the first black President of the United States would have liked living in the Eisenhower era.

Manchester Orchestra - Virgin

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Observations from the Coffee Shop 7.7

Today are the debt ceiling and budget talks between President Obama and Congressional leaders but I don't think anything will come of it yet. The Republicans seem to be itching to take the country over the proverbial cliff just to prove Obama is a lousy president and make sure he doesn't get re-elected. They don't seem to mind the prospect of taking the rest of the world's economy along down for the ride.

What I don't understand is why we don't see more in any mass media about a constitutional answer to the debt ceiling game of chicken they seem to be playing. The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution states “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.” Many leading economists, the Treasury Secretary, and even a few Republican Senators think this gives the President the authority to do anything necessary to ensure the nation's debts are paid. Basically he could say the Congress won’t pay the bills so I will, yet we don't hear a thing about it in any of the major media outlets.

This might not sound good, and I'm sorry if it pisses anybody off, but one thing I'm totally tired of is seeing and hearing rich white men with perfect teeth and tans tell us that we all have to sacrifice while they hand the richest Americans bigger and bigger tax cuts. I saw last night that some schools will be going to 4 day school weeks this year because they can't afford to keep the schools open for 5 days a week and yet we hand billions and billions to oil companies, corporate farms, and banks.

Honestly I don't know why some people just can't wake up and see what is happening before we end up a third world country taking handouts wherever we can. Below is a kind of CliffNote of The Rachel Maddow Show from June 27th that for me says it best.

"In 2005, four Republican senators decided to bring back something called PAYGO, basically a rule that says if the government spends something, it has to compensate for that somewhere else in the budget....
And even though four Republican senators, including John McCain, had supported legislation to do that in the past, when President Obama said, “OK, I will do this thing that you want,” those same Republicans decided that they did not want PAYGO anymore....
The idea of Congress setting up a bipartisan blue ribbon panel to work on bringing down the deficit was an idea Republicans had signed on for. Seven Republican senators co-sponsored legislation to establish that sort of commission last year....
And then when President Obama said "I like this idea of yours, let‘s go forward with this" those same seven Republicans decided they were against it....
Same thing on cap and trade. Democrats wanted to just ban certain levels of pollution in the air, but Republicans said, no, no, no, we have to use the market, Cap and trade was the Republican idea. Republicans were for it. Then, so was President Obama. So, now, Republicans are against it....
Democrats wanted to require that businesses cover all of their employees. Republicans said, no, no, we Republicans, we like bumper stickers about individual responsibility.
So, their counterproposal, the Republican idea on health reform was that business would be required to cover all their employees, but individuals, individual responsible, individuals would be required to get insurance.
The individuals mandate, Republicans were for it. Then so was President Obama. So, now, Republicans are against it....
Republicans were for terrorism trials in the United States when George W. Bush was president. Then so was President Obama, so now Republicans are against it.....
During the Bush presidency, the current Republican leaders in Congress voted 19 times to increase the debt ceiling by a total of $4 trillion. But now, they have discovered a desire to take a stand on this issue....
The kind way to understand this is shameless, craven, unprincipled partisan hackery."
She finished with, "Given the choice between thinking of them as that evil and thinking of them as just disgusting, I would rather think of them as just disgusting."

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Observations from the Heatpocalypse

In a continuation from yesterday I want to add that today it's just too damn hot to even function at all. I have no idea what the temperature is but I just heard the real feel temp is 108° and its only noon. In less than six months the Village has gone from the snowpocalypse to the heatpocalypse and scenes from "The Day After Tomorrow" are beginning to pass through my brain.

Still you have so many people who want to say that global warming is just a liberal theory and not scientific fact. I guess if you spread enough oil and coal money around you can make almost anybody talk stupid. When Mitt Romney was asked if he would disavow the science behind global warming he answered that he "believes the world is getting warmer and that humans are contributing to that pattern." Enter America's tard in chief Rush Limbaugh, “Bye-bye, nomination. Another one down. We’re in the midst here of discovering that this is all a hoax. The last year has established that the whole premise of man-made global warming is a hoax, and we still have presidential candidates that want to buy into it.” I really wish he would leave his air-conditioned splendor and check out the real weather. Hell maybe he could even sweat off a few pounds.

Than you have GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum who happens to be my favorite reason for moving out of Pennsylvania. In a brilliantly complicated conversation the candidate called global warming junk science. "I believe the Earth gets warmer, and I also believe the Earth gets cooler," Santorum said. "And I think history points out that it does that. The idea that man, through the production of carbon dioxide- which is a trace gas in the atmosphere, and the man-made part of that trace gas is itself a trace gas - is somehow responsible for climate change is, I think, just patently absurd ." Climate science boiled down to is the sun comes up and the sun goes down, until it doesn’t. Coincidentally Santorum made that remark while talking to, you guessed it, Rush Limbaugh. I can only imagine the cloud of cigar smoke wafting through the air after that show, maybe reminiscent of a coal fired power plant.

A few years ago global warming wasn’t such an ideological topic. Both liberals and conservatives recognized the threat and believed something should be done, they just differed on what it should be. But with millions of dollars being spent by Exxon and others with an interest in the status quo, a whole field of bullshit masquerading as science has been created to make people doubt the reality of global warming. Add to the phony science an ideological ‘spin’ that the whole theory is a hoax concocted by evil liberals who want to take over the world. And what do you get? Oil, gas, and coal interests are smiling with satisfaction, knowing that no serious action will be taken by the US government to reduce our reliance on these dirty fuels. So forget about reversing or even stopping the change. That chance is gone. All we can do now is hope to slow the rate of increase and protect ourselves against the inevitable effects of more droughts, floods, high temperatures, rising sea waters, melting glaciers, etc.

As always I bow to my brother on all things scientific. That last paragraph is totally my opinion but is mostly my brother's writing. It was just too good to pass up.

Linkin Park - Iridescent

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Observations on the death of Osama bin Laden, part II

I know this is a rather long post for me I but there is just so much garbage being tossed around now it could have been twice as long. I started to write it yesterday as part of that post but I didn't want to take away from my personal thoughts. I was going to end the whole with the following questions but they don't seem to fit either post so I'm going to put it here. Now that bin Laden is dead what is the reason to be in Afghanistan at all? Isn’t it time to come home before we follow the British and Russian paths out of the Hindu Kush?

And part II ....

One depressing aspect of bin Laden's death is how conservatives have come out to take credit for it. It was because of George Bush's policies or it was because of water-boarding they say. Bush had seven years to catch up with bin Laden and never did. No, it was because of continuing hard work of government agencies and President Obama having the guts to make the call to do it when he was advised not to, my gut tells me Bush wouldn't have done the same. He would have used jets or missiles and wiped out half of Islamabad in the process. I wish this would have happened sooner but thankfully Bush never had that chance.

Still some of the insane talk is more entertaining than other. Condoleezza Rice speaking on FOX News about Bush's bullhorn speech at Ground Zero; "But President Bush had at Ground Zero probably the most important moment maybe in American history." In all of American history, to name a few things that means Gettysburg, July 4th 1776, Pearl Harbor, and a moon landing. Granted it was probably Bush's finest moment as President but it was overshadowed by his 'mission accomplished' speech a year and a half later. Coincidentally bin Laden was killed 8 years to the day after that later speech.

But some of this commentary borders on sheer petty ignorance. Even Rudy Giuliani said "I thought the decisions about getting rid of the body were exactly correct." Yet some would have had it very different. Among them Glen Beck, "I really would have put him in a meat grinder with a pig." And the always charming Michelle Malkin, "They should have fed him to the pigs and not the fishes." Is it any wonder some parts of the world hate us?

Than there are those, too many to name, that believe Bush and not President Obama deserves the credit for the death of bin Laden. Let me remind them of this Bush quote from a press conference on March 13, 2002, just six months after the 9/11 attacks. When asked about bin Laden's whereabouts he answered "I don't know where he is, I’m not concerned about him anymore." Which is precisely the reason why President Obama did do in two years what Bush couldn’t do in seven. It all goes to prove, as Rep. Barney Frank said a few weeks ago, they all seem to live in cloud cuckoo land.

In a presidential debate on October 7, 2008 than candidate Obama said “"We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority." Senator John McCain mocked him as being naïve.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Observations on Politics 4.13, TBFM

I may have mentioned before that I have a temper but I don't dwell on it because lately I’ve been doing a good job of keeping it under control. Well last night I was looking at headlines when I came across one that just made me want to scream or honestly just smack her. "Michele Bachman calls for criminalization of same-sex marriage during speech in Iowa." (l)

During a speech to the right-wing and anti-gay group The Family Leader Bachmann called Planned Parenthood the "LensCrafters of big abortion" and than said this, "In 5,000 years of recorded human history, neither in the east or in the west, has any society ever defined marriage as anything other than between men and women."

What a totally ignorant bitch. Numerous societies have a broader definition of marriage or family than that and a broader understanding of human sexuality than purely heterosexual. To me faith-based is in such direct opposition to fact-based that it starts to approach pathology. "If I believe it strongly enough, it's true!"  Iraq had WMD's, Obama is a foreign born Muslim socialist and the founding fathers wanted the American government to be based on a narrow, radical and extreme interpretation of the Bible. Believe it? It's true.

Igor Volsky of Think Progress was there and asked the Minnesota congresswoman if she agreed with the stance of group head Bob Vander Plaats that homosexuality is a risky lifestyle akin to smoking. Bachman's answer was "Um. I don’t have an answer on that. I don’t have an answer. Why don’t I have another question." Because you are so damn pathetic you don't deserve another question.

Bachman often quotes this verse from the Bible, "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination" (Leviticus 18:22). Personally I think the first part of it is might be true, it's much better with a woman, but I have no first hand experience with a man to base that on so please no e-mails. The larger abomination here is that Bachman was elected to Congress at all and that she is taken seriously as a contender for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.

From this moment on I will simply refer to Bachman as 'TBFM' or  That bitch from Minnesota.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Observations on Politics and the Coming Shutdown

Some random thoughts on the government shutdown from my increasingly disillusioned mind as we approach 'zero hour' tonight at midnight ….

The fact that the Republicans and their teabagger members will shut down the federal government over the funding of Planned Parenthood strikes me as insanity or political theatre at its absolute worst. They keep saying it doesn't have to be debated today yet they don't offer to take the rider out of the budget bill.

I still miss Keith Olbermann but I'm finding that Lawrence O'Donnell is a worthy replacement. In some ways I like him more than Keith, he seems to be more in your face than Keith and less obsessed with Fox News. Still Olbermann's show on Current TV is slated to start in late May or June and I'll be watching from day one.

It has just amazes me to see so many young, healthy, rich white men debate women's health. All they seem to be proving is how little they know about it and how much less they care. They should know that Planned Parenthood can't spend any federal money it receives on abortion but it doesn’t seem to matter at all. So what does it spend the money on or what is it they want to cut? Teen pregnancy services, diabetes testing, breast cancer screening, and pap smears to name a few. I guess they think the oil companies deserve our money more.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor reminds me of the spoiled little rich kid on the playground. The bratty kid who was so full of himself because his parents would do or get anything for him and always had that I’m better than you smile on his face. The little shit that would run home and tell daddy when the weird girl yelled at him because nobody else would. Anyway, Cantor reminds me of that little shit, I mean kid.

Finally a question, who do you think would make a better President, Donald or Daffy Duck?

18:00 update - Going to share a bad joke I just received in an email. I'm not sure if I am saying it's bad because it isn't funny or because it's all too true. "What does the Republican party have in common with the Taliban? Both want to use terrorism to take away women's rights and return us to the world as it was like 1000 years ago. Difference? Republicans don't demand a burka.