The soul has greater need of the ideal than the real for it is by the real that we exist, it is by the ideal that we live

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How does this happen

Monday's may be a no blog day for me.  It appears my schedule that day will keep me busy all semester.

So, today let's look at Michelle Bachmann and her insistence that not only was Hurricane Irene a message from God, but that we should  explore for oil wherever we can find it and let the environment fend for itself. i.e. "Let's drill in the everglades."

Also, Bryan Fisher if the AFA wants to re-criminalize Sodomy. Says there's no reason it can't be a felony again.

And the worst news of all this week... Michael Vick got a 100 million dollar contract.

And so it goes:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

the road to hell

i truly meant to  post hgf earlier, but i was busy, then i had to go to work for a while.  if for no other reason than to demonstrate the power of handsome young men.  they can get me to do so many things mere mortals cannot.

So without further ado:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Know nothing

We've managed to politicize everything, and in turn managed to reduce everything to ridiculous terms.

Take for example the common lightbulb.

Thomas Edison invented the damn thing in 1878. He invented the phonograph in 1877.

Do we still use wax cylinders to record sound? No! We have electronic technology, and manipulate the sound digitally.

So why, pray tell, would we continue in this age of resource management, to use the exact same bulb in it's 1878 form? Shouldn't we apply our technological advancement and knowledge to the electric light?

True, the light from some of the new bulbs sucks. But hat can be overcome with a bit of time. And some of the led's are quite good now.

We have choices in regard to light source, and we should exercise them. No nothing is cheap anymore, and yes we, being humans fear change, but seriously folks. It's not the democrats fault that we need to move to other sources of light and that it needs to be mandated.

It's the Republicans

No, not everything needs to be legislated, and it was probably a bit much to require the change by law. Simply require the manufacturers to make more efficient bulbs and let things sort themselves out would likely have made the Republiicans happier, at least we could say that the market was making a change that was necessary and not that we were making everyone do this by law, but they didn't.

But turning the sommon light bulb into a source of derision like I saw this morning on, just means one thing. We're fools and misdirection is the easiest way to fool a fool, or a lot of fools.

and so it goes:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What's the matter with Kansas?

Adults who aren't smart enough to leave kids alone and let them be kids, mostly. There's a whole litany of other things wrong with Kansas, but that's our focus today.

What did these kids do wrong? Nothing!Someone said "There's a time and a place for this kind of stuff."..AND IT'S CALLED COLLEGE.

I love each and every one of them for doing what comes natural.

they were kids being kids,yet here in Kansas we have to turn some innocent prank into a moral dilemma.

Fucking Kansas.

Bethany suspends golfers after racy picture
BY Tony Adame
The Wichita Eagle
1 of 1

Golfers on the Bethany College men's team posed for a racy photo.

A racy photo has the Bethany College men's golf team in hot water.

All 15 members of the team at the small, Lutheran school in Lindsborg posed naked for an unofficial team picture, with strategically placed golf clubs to cover their genitals.

Athletic director and golf coach Jon Daniels suspended the team for three tournaments — two that would have occurred on the same day — because of the picture.

Daniels was caught by surprise when someone e-mailed him the photo.

"I had no idea they were doing it," Daniels said. "After one of (the golfers) put it on Facebook, then it got sent to me.

"I've been around a long time and I think this is a case of young people who just don't think beyond the moment and don't realize who they're hurting."

Daniels said the team took another picture, clothed, before they decided to go with the one that got them in trouble.

"Until someone sat them down and explained that they did something wrong, they didn't have any idea," Daniels said. "But I think they understand now."

The Swedes will miss tournaments on Sept. 12 and 13, when Daniels planned to send split squads to the Evangel Tournament in Springfield, Mo., and the Central Christian Tournament in McPherson. They'll also miss the Oklahoma Baptist Tournament on Sept. 19 at Shawnee, Okla.

Team captain Jack Hiscock told KAKE News that the team would appeal the suspension to the school's president, Dr. Scott D. Miller.

Bethany has won 11 of the last 15 KCAC championships and competes in the NAIA.

"It put me in a bad spot as the athletic director and the golf coach, and it put the reputation of the program in a bad spot," Daniels said. "This is a scholar-athlete team, a team that always wins and is nationally ranked... but something like this makes all of that forgotten."

Read more:

and so it goes:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I dint mean to

but I did.  I skipped yesterdays post.

School has started, it's getting hot and I still can't find a house to buy.  Well I've found two actually.  But they both have problems.  Nothing insurmountable, I think, but they're both a lot of work.

One i love, but it's problem is expensive and could cause big problems if  not attended to.   The other I like, and it's probably the better investment, but it's in a place I'm not sure I want to live.

Perhaps the right one is still out there waiting for me to find it, or it to find me.  We'll see.

And Will Smith seems to be single again.  Hey Will!  I'm single too!

And so it goes:


Friday, August 19, 2011

Speaking of voices in the wilderness

Paul Krugman has been telling us for years and we've never listened, not one time. 

via NYT-

Paul Krugman

Has market turmoil left you feeling afraid? Well, it should. Clearly, the economic crisis that began in 2008 is by no means over.
But there’s another emotion you should feel: anger. For what we’re seeing now is what happens when influential people exploit a crisis rather than try to solve it.
For more than a year and a half — ever since President Obama chose to make deficits, not jobs, the central focus of the 2010 State of the Union address — we’ve had a public conversation that has been dominated by budget concerns, while almost ignoring unemployment. The supposedly urgent need to reduce deficits has so dominated the discourse that on Monday, in the midst of a market panic, Mr. Obama devoted most of his remarks to the deficit rather than to the clear and present danger of renewed recession.
What made this so bizarre was the fact that markets were signaling, as clearly as anyone could ask, that unemployment rather than deficits is our biggest problem. Bear in mind that deficit hawks have been warning for years that interest rates on U.S. government debt would soar any day now; the threat from the bond market was supposed to be the reason that we must slash the deficit now now now. But that threat keeps not materializing. And, this week, on the heels of a downgrade that was supposed to scare bond investors, those interest rates actually plunged to record lows.
What the market was saying — almost shouting — was, “We’re not worried about the deficit! We’re worried about the weak economy!” For a weak economy means both low interest rates and a lack of business opportunities, which, in turn, means that government bonds become an attractive investment even at very low yields. If the downgrade of U.S. debt had any effect at all, it was to reinforce fears of austerity policies that will make the economy even weaker.
So how did Washington discourse come to be dominated by the wrong issue?
Hard-line Republicans have, of course, played a role. Although they don’t seem to truly care about deficits — try suggesting any rise in taxes on the rich — they have found harping on deficits a useful way to attack government programs.
But our discourse wouldn’t have gone so far off-track if other influential people hadn’t been eager to change the subject away from jobs, even in the face of 9 percent unemployment, and to hijack the crisis on behalf of their pre-existing agendas.
Check out the opinion page of any major newspaper, or listen to any news-discussion program, and you’re likely to encounter some self-proclaimed centrist declaring that there are no short-run fixes for our economic difficulties, that the responsible thing is to focus on long-run solutions and, in particular, on “entitlement reform” — that is, cuts in Social Security and Medicare. And when you do encounter such a person, you should be aware that people like that are a major reason we’re in so much trouble.
For the fact is that right now the economy desperately needs a short-run fix. When you’re bleeding profusely from an open wound, you want a doctor who binds that wound up, not a doctor who lectures you on the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle as you get older. When millions of willing and able workers are unemployed, and economic potential is going to waste to the tune of almost $1 trillion a year, you want policy makers who work on a fast recovery, not people who lecture you on the need for long-run fiscal sustainability.
Unfortunately, giving lectures on long-run fiscal sustainability is a fashionable Washington pastime; it’s what people who want to sound serious do to demonstrate their seriousness. So when the crisis struck and led to big budget deficits — because that’s what happens when the economy shrinks and revenue plunges — many members of our policy elite were all too eager to seize on those deficits as an excuse to change the subject from jobs to their favorite hobbyhorse. And the economy continued to bleed.
What would a real response to our problems involve? First of all, it would involve more, not less, government spending for the time being — with mass unemployment and incredibly low borrowing costs, we should be rebuilding our schools, our roads, our water systems and more. It would involve aggressive moves to reduce household debt via mortgage forgiveness and refinancing. And it would involve an all-out effort by the Federal Reserve to get the economy moving, with the deliberate goal of generating higher inflation to help alleviate debt problems.
The usual suspects will, of course, denounce such ideas as irresponsible. But you know what’s really irresponsible? Hijacking the debate over a crisis to push for the same things you were advocating before the crisis, and letting the economy continue to bleed.

hgf and perry too

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I keep telling you and telling you listen? Nah!

I've known bloggers to simply give up. To end their blogs and walk away. Why? Because no one is heeding their message. And who can blame them?

Lemmings that we are, we seem bent on following our "Leaders" off that cliff that WE ALL CAN SEE. And why? Because we can't seem to be able to think for ourselves unless it's Verizon or AT&T, or netflix, or premium cable, or Old navy or H&M. The big questions go unanswered.

Why, you ask? Well good, because I'm about to tell you.

Our education system is broken. We have at least one entire generation that has no concept of how our government works. Most don't even understand Judicial, Executive, and Legislative. Let alone how a bill becomes law and what if anything they can do to influence the outcome. And sadly most don't even care.

Now in their defense, most do agree that our education system needs to be fixed, but that's mostly out of their memory that history class was boring, not that we've become this nation that thinks that turning out automatons who know math and science is the answer.

How can we create an effective education system (which is what we need to do, start from scratch) when the parties involved don't understand that the whole person is what needs to be developed. There is more to the human experience than numbers and facts. Understanding the inner workings of people and how they think, why they think what they do, and if they think at all, is basic to an ability to comprehend how to reason one's way through any situation.

So, the Arts, Psychology, Humanities of all stripes are essential to a complete education and we will not ever be able to begin to repair the damage that's been done to the existing system until we understand that.

Unfortunately this takes one vital ingredient. Money.

The GOP isn't the least bit interested in becoming the party of the common man, it's goal is to make people think that's what it is, but in truth what it wants to do is convince people to be proud of their ignorance.

To be thrilled that insurance company flunkies get to decide whether they live or die based on how much it costs to keep them alive.  Why?  because "A healthy, educated populace is difficult to govern."  And if we start asking hard questions and demanding cogent answers the Rick Perry's of this world won't be able to deliver the goods.

Perry, our latest candidate for the GOP nomination, gets all too well the notion that simple short sound bites like, "I mean, printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous—or treason, in my opinion.” do more to inflame the misunderstandings between the haves and have nots when it comes to education than any other political tool he could use. He wants people "riled up," he needs them to be "riled up" so he can exploit their weaknesses. And to do the bidding of his handlers.

That's why starving the government of capital at a time when it needs to be spending money to help its citizens is such a worthwhile goal if you want to privatize...well...everything.

This makes more rich people rich, and makes the division of the classes even wider.

But let's take a look at what Alan Sloan of Fortune magazine has to say on the subject of hijacking one issue to use it as support for another:

American idiots: How Washington is destroying the economy
By Allan Sloan, senior editor-at-large August 18, 2011: 5:00 AM ET
What's ailing us? It's not just unemployment. It's not just Europe's debt woes. And, no, it's not Wall Street this time. It's the takeover of the economic debate by fanatics who are up to no good. Fix that -- and maybe you fix the economy.
FORTUNE -- What the hell is going on?
Standard & Poor's, the bond-rating agency, downgrades the U.S., and the world trembles. The markets here go nuts on the first trading day after the downgrade, losing $1 trillion in value. European Union finance chiefs are playing Whac-a-Mole with members' debt problems. And England … England was literally burning.
Only three short years ago we were all terrified when our financial system was on the brink of disaster after Lehman Brothers went broke in September of 2008. Those scary times seemed to have disappeared in the spring of 2009. But now those fears are back -- and things are even scarier, the stock market's "green" days notwithstanding.
Our current mess is different from the Lehman-related horror because it stems primarily from politics, not economics. The previous fear-fest came about because Lehman's bankruptcy disrupted financial markets in unanticipated ways. Today's crisis was completely avoidable. You can blame it directly on the fools who brought our country to the brink of defaulting on its debts in the name of saving us from … I'm not sure what. Yes, the Tea Party types bear primary responsibility -- but they couldn't have done it without the cowardice and incompetence of the Obama administration, which let things get way out of hand. This whole fiasco just enrages me. And it ought to enrage anyone who wants the U.S. to act like a real country rather than some third-rate failed state run by fanatical factions that hate one another.
So why is today scarier than 2008-09? Because this time not only have we got troubled financial institutions to deal with, but we have serious, substantial countries facing possible default on their debts. Including, heaven help us, the U.S.
Things were already bad because of fear and financial fragility afflicting Europe. But the problems took a quantum leap because of fallout from Standard & Poor's totally justifiable Aug. 5 downgrade of U.S. long-term debt. The U.S. economy was already listless enough, with gross domestic product barely growing -- and maybe even shrinking -- plus record long-term unemployment. (One telling statistic: The percentage of U.S. adults with jobs is down to 58.1%, from 64.7% in 2000, according to the St. Louis Fed. That, my friends, isn't good -- see chart below.) The fear, loathing, and political divisiveness are going to make things worse, not better.

So what he's saying is that the inmates are running the asylum and we, meaning the ineffectual Obama Administration, has done nothing to call attention to that, nor to stop it.

If Barack Obama really wanted to lead us the manufactured crisis of the debt ceiling was a golden opportunity. Sometimes leading means that you have to make tough decisions about what's best and then take whatever steps are necessary to make those decisions come to fruition. If he'd had the courage to step up and do that, to invoke the 14th amendment and simply solve the debt ceiling crisis himself he'd be a hero because we likely wouldn't have had our credit rating downgraded (yes it's a very small difference from AAA to AA+ but it's perception that counts) and though the nutcases in the Tea Party would still be naysayers because "he hadn't allowed the democratic process to unfold." (and you know that's what they'd say) in the end he'd be proven right. But he didn't do that! He slunk around and played theater with them, and bad theater at that, and in the end all but caved in to their demands.

He's a huge disappointment, and seems not to understand at all what it means to be Presidential.

But why do bloggers such as myself keep saying these things over and over when it never seems to help?  Because there has to be some voice of reason in the wilderness.  Because it's our duty as citizens of the United States to stand up and challenge our elected officials.  Because, hopefully, in the end they'll take some notice of  what we're saying and what needs to be accomplished to move this country forward.

Unfortunately, we're so broken in so many ways that most of don't really understand how it is that our  government functions...and given our poor leadership it's unlikely that most will ever have any interest in finding out.

And so it goes:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fools and our money

Last week an old man who comes into the grocery engaged me, as usual in political conversation. Now, I guess I'm a bit naive, because his notions have always been benign but with a slightly liberal bent, so when he recommended book I went to the library and got a copy of "The 5000 Year Leap."

I got two pages in when I realized this was a conservative manifesto written by a Mormon who contends that Americans can only lead when they're "virtuous and morally strong" read, zombie-like believers in the American God. (You know the kind white guy with a beard they always paint when they're referring to that guy who was born and bred in the middle east.)

The book goes back today. But that old man will stop his little political diatribes I guarantee Assuming we agreed about our political ideals by the things he'd already said and since when we we're talking he said something about government spending and I said, "You've seen that bumper sticker that says "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out off other people's money." Haven't you? He had. I said, "Well, the problem with capitalism is that you never run out of other people's money."

I doubt he'll be bringing up politics again.

But speaking of fools here's a great little piece about Dam Brownback:

Sam Brownback's right turns shock and appall New York Times
Posted by David Martin on Wed, Aug 17, 2011 at 8:02 AM

Sam Brownback is accused of grandstanding.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s brand of conservatism has become an object of curiosity at The New York Times.

Last month, the newspaper cited his decision to ice the Kansas Arts Commission as an example of the extreme austerity measures that states are taking. On Sunday, an editorial in the Times called Brownback foolish, indulgent and partisan — all before it reached the first period!

The editorial addressed Brownback’s decision to return a $31.5 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant related to the federal health-care reform that conservatives liken to a tumor of evil wrapped in pus-colored gauze.

Before Brownback developed a case of grant winner’s remorse, the Kansas Insurance Department was planning to use the money to design and implement a Web-based health-insurance exchange. Exchanges are supposed to help individuals and businesses shop for private health plans when the law goes into effect in 2014. (The law, commonly known as the Affordable Care Act, is being challenged in the courts.)

But there will be no innovation of this variety on Brownback’s watch. The governor cited the “uncertainty” of the federal government’s ability to meet its obligations as his reason for returning the grant.

The Times thinks Brownback is pissing away an opportunity. The editorial mocked his worries about Washington’s ability to pay its bills, noting that as a U.S. senator, he voted for the tax cuts and war spending that have contributed mightily to the nation’s deficit habit.

Brownback’s first impulse was not to grandstand. In December, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger said Brownback wanted her to proceed with the planning for an insurance exchange.

But hard-liners pressured Brownback to return the money. “This administration should be fighting with every fiber to stop implementation of Obamacare,” state Rep. Charlotte O’Hara, an Overland Park Republican, told Secretary of State Kris Kobach on his Internet radio program, according to a report in The Topeka Capital-Journal.

House Speaker Mike O’Neal felt that O’Hara’s remarks were intemperate. He removed her from a legislative committee on health issues. His actions suggested a man who thinks that when the federal government plops $31.5 million on a tree stump, you put the money in your sack and slink back to Middle Earth.

But once the governor refused the grant money, O’Neal fell into line and started complaining about federal mandates and attached strings.

So, governor, your objection to Obamacare has been noted. Today it only cost the state’s IT professionals the chance for meaningful work.

And so it goes:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The bitter with the sweet

I think I might be just about to dive in the deep end head first on more than one count.

I found out something this afternoon I shouldn't know about a house I'm looking at because i ran into a chatty neighbor when I was there looking at it...again.  So maybe Boo Radleys house is the one.

Then of course  I found out I've spent all the money in my checking account because I didn't account for an automatic withdrawal.  Fuck!!!

Tomorrow is already a whirl with transferring funds, figuring out where my damn extra checks are in the storage, which makes me mad at myself, because i should have kept them out so I could get to them, and then getting dinner started, (it's brisket it's wonderful but it takes forever), and then meeting my broker so we can look at this house again.

The other jump I think I might be in the mood to make is into love.  He's awful nice, and he, for reasons that faileth human understanding, seems to think I'm sweet.  Now there's a guy one should keep around if he's delusional enough to think that.

And so it goes:

Monday, August 15, 2011

The future is now

So now THIS is running for President:

anyone with sense should be afraid.

Too much going on during this vacation.  Too many decisions to make too much to get done and as usual no really challenging choices. 

Getting old is boring right now.  I'm needing a change...maybe lots of them.

And so it goes:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Speaking of trends

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia (AP) - Sherlock Holmes' first adventure has been removed from sixth-grade reading lists in a central Virginia county.
Brette Stevenson, a parent of a Henley Middle School student, had complained that "A Study in Scarlet" is derogatory toward Mormons.
The Daily Progess ( reports that the Albemarle County School Board voted Thursday night to remove the book. A committee commissioned to study the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novel said in a report that it's not age-appropriate for sixth-graders.
The book includes a flashback to 1847 Utah that recounts the actions of a Mormon community when a non-Mormon man wants to marry the daughter of one of its members.
Stevenson said she's pleased with the decision.

This is where unreasonable people take the phrase "politically correct."  It's yet another indication of the inherent stupidity of Americans.

And so it goes:
Whoda thunk Sweets was this sweet.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The only thing we have to fear might not be fear itself

This guy, such a naysayer. If he's right I'll just cry.

Austin, Texas (CNN) -- As a resident of Texas for 36 years, I keep wondering why the rest of the nation pays any attention to our political and cultural absurdities and yet still chooses Texans as presidents. Our most revered historical moment, the Alamo, was arguably a mass suicide. The slaughter in San Antonio was followed by a massacre at Goliad, the fall of the Confederacy to Union forces, and later by the Houston Astros. Texas has a legacy of losing.
None of this apparently matters, though, because America is beginning the process of electing another Texan to be president. Gigantic tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations, a trumped up war and a ruined economy from the last Texan seem incapable of dissuading supporters of Rick Perry.
His Saturday speech in South Carolina will make clear that he is entering the race for the White House and will spawn the ugliest and most expensive presidential race in U.S. history, and he will win. A C and D student, who hates to govern, loves to campaign, and barely has a sixth grader's understanding of economics, will lead our nation into oblivion.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Politics: Rick Perry surges in poll
The big brains gathered east of the Hudson and Potomac Rivers believe that Mitt Romney is the candidate to beat. But they are unable to hear what Rick Perry is saying. The Christian prayer rally in Houston was a very loud proclamation to fundamentalists and Teavangelicals, which said, "I am not a Mormon." The far right and Christian fundamentalists have an inordinate amount of influence in the GOP primary process and, regardless of messages of inclusion, very few of them will vote for a Mormon.
James Moore
"We think a them Mormons as bein' in kind of a cult," one of the Houston rally attendees told me. "I couldn't vote for one a them when we got a real Christian like Governor Perry runnin'."
Perry, of course, can't come right out and print bumper stickers that say, "Rick Perry -- 2012 -- Not a Mormon." But he doesn't have to. He's wearing his faith like a power tie while Romney stays quiet as a tabernacle mouse on the topic of religion. Romney has business experience and intellect that are not on Perry's resume' but he is from "Massatoositts," (Webster's Texas Edition, see also "Massachusetts"), and Texans love to kick their political boots into New Englanders' squishy parts. Perry is about to remind the tea partiers and fundamentalists that Romney created a state health care plan, (the horror, affordable health care for everyone), believes global warming is real, and has a troubling history for conservatives on the matters of abortion and gay marriage.
So much for Mitt.

The audacity of Sarah Palin
A C and D student, who hates to govern, loves to campaign, and barely has a sixth grader's understanding of economics, will lead our nation into oblivion.
--James Moore

Michele Bachmann, who is from Iowa, and is Perry in Prada, has the same appeal among Teavangelicals. Her husband's reparative gay therapy sessions, the Newsweek cover and a few speeches that were not reality based will, eventually, make even the GOP primary voters realize she is bound for the desert and not the Promised Land.
Bachman will run close to Perry in Iowa but will disappear into the snows of New Hampshire where religious fervor isn't exactly considered a positive attribute. In South Carolina, Perry's money, image and support will become overwhelming.
Romney and Bachmann are the only serious impediments to the Perry nomination. Ron Paul, who makes more sense than any crazy person to ever run for public office, has never been able to expand his cult to the mainstream.
Herman Cain is too brutally honest and lacking political experience, and Tim Pawlenty, what's-his-face-from-Minnesota, suffers from the heartbreak of ineffectuality.
Fueled only by speculation that he might announce, Perry became the putative front-runner (heard that word at a fancy Washington restaurant and thought it was cool). Because presidential politics tend to be more visceral than intellectual, Perry's coyote-killer good looks, $2,000 hand-tooled cowboy boots, supernova smile and Armani suits, combined with podium skills to embellish the mythology of Texas, all will create a product Americans will want to believe and buy.
After he wins the nomination, protocol will require Perry to have discussions with Bachmann about the vice presidential slot, but he will, eventually, turn to Sarah Palin. The general election will force the Texan back toward the middle and he will stop talking about faith and abortion and gay marriage; Perry will campaign on jobs and the economy.
Palin, who is loved by the tea party as much as Perry, will keep the Teavangelicals animated while he tries to talk to the adults to win the election on a single issue: the economy, stupiderest!!! (Forget about Rudy Giuliani; the GOP cannot win New York, don't need it to take the election and Giuliani is wrong on gay marriage for this ticket).
The general election will, quite literally, decide the fate of a nation. Every time Team Obama criticizes the Texas economy for its minimum wage job boom, the president will be accused of attacking the working men and women of America. (Texas has created a large share of the new jobs in the United States in the last decade but studies indicate many of them are at places like Wal-Mart and Carl's Jr.)
President Obama will also get beaten up for presiding over the first bond rating downgrade in U.S. history as well as high unemployment. When the cold rains fall in early November next year, unemployed voters in places like Ohio will step into the booth and dream of a minimum wage job in the Texas sun selling fishing rods at big box sporting goods stores or working in call centers; they will vote against Barack Obama.
And in the process, they will write the epitaph to set upon the tombstone of history's greatest democracy: Perry-Palin, 2012.

And so it goes:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

the least of us

So here's to privatizing Social Security. Should we all be stupid enough to allow ourselves to be placed at the mercy of the always volatile markets we'll likely see more and more days in which our security dwindles until we're living in huts.

Think I'm being dramatic read this from the AP:

Just when they thought it was safe to go back in the water, many 401(k) investors who were regaining their comfort level with the stock market took another hit.
They certainly weren't anticipating another steep market slide so soon after losing as much as a third of their retirement savings in the financial crisis of 2008. To try and bounce back, many workers over 40 kept their money in stocks hoping to repair their losses and get ahead.

Indeed the strategy paid off for many. The more than 110 percent climb of the Standard & Poor's 500 index since the market bottomed in March 2009 restored some vigor to what had been discouraging account statements. Those who continued to contribute to their 401(k) and stayed invested, saw their balances recover and most were ahead of where they were before the market collapsed.
Then the escalating debt ceiling debate stirred the market throughout July and early August, helping to fuel a 13 percent drop in the Dow Jones industrial average, including heart-stopping days like Monday, when it fell more than 600 points.
It was all just too much for many investors, who flocked to their accounts to get out of stocks.
Transfers in the 4.7 million 401(k) accounts monitored by consultant Aon Hewitt exceeded $1.6 billion on Monday, more than three times the normal level of activity. In a typical day investors make around $300 million to $400 million in 401(k) transfers.

All of the assets moved Monday were taken out of stock funds and invested primarily in bond funds. It was the fifth-highest day of transfer activity since the company began tracking the data in 1997.
"Psychologically it goes back to the point that we've had two bear markets in 10 years," said Adam Bold, founder of The Mutual Fund Store, a manager of $6.5 billion based in Overland Park, Kan. "A lot of people say I can't handle that again."

The investors who lost the most in 2008 were the workers who had spent the longest time building up their accounts — those in their 40s and 50s who had remained in a 401(k) plan for more than 20 years. The majority had recovered their losses and had more money in their accounts at the end of June than they had before the 2008 market collapse.
However, this latest downturn hurt the same group again

As of yesterday, about 64 percent of middle-aged long-term workers had more money in their accounts than at the 2007 peak of the stock market, according to data compiled by the Employee Benefits Research Institute for The Associated Press. At the start of July, at least 80 percent of that group had more money than they did in 2007.
It's good to know, however, that because most 401(k) accounts have a mix of stocks, bonds and other investments, they typically fare better than the broader market in a downturn.
Consider that the S&P 500 fell 15 percent from June 30 through Monday's close. However, 401(k) accounts monitored by EBRI were down between 6.6 percent and 9.5 percent.
That highlights the importance of having a diversified portfolio that reflects your years until retirement and your personal risk tolerance.
One of the most damaging behaviors retirement investors can engage in is pulling all their money out when markets drop.
This typically means they're locking in losses at the bottom of the market and they often fail to re-invest before a market rebound.
That was highlighted by that fact that those who pulled money out of stocks Monday already lost the opportunity to claw their way partially back on Tuesday alone. The Dow rose 429 points on Tuesday. The swing from the day's to the low was more than 500 points.
Dramatic moves seem to be more the norm these days and investors can probably expect more volatility.
"Corrections are happening faster now, but it's the same thing with recoveries," Bold said.
One positive that might come out of the past week is that call volumes to help centers of 401(k) providers are up indicating a desire to seek advice about what to do.
"Even if people aren't taking action, they're reaching out. They want to know what they should do," said Pam Hess, Aon Hewitt's director of retirement research.
Aon Hewitt research released a few years ago indicated that investors who sought help improved their annual performance by 1.86 percent. The research will be updated in about a month to include 2009 and 2010 behavior. Hess said the results will show dramatic improvements.
"I hope employees take the opportunity to set up a long-term plan now," she said.

And so it goes:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Very Good Question

I ran across a story on that shocked me, and at my age I'm not easily shocked. But this one did. And not only did the story shock me, the debate that then raged in the comment section really surprised me as well.

It seems that white people feel victimized by black on white crime and think some websites, like the one in question focus too much on white on black crime.

Of course we see so much coverage of white on black crime in the MSM (yes this story wasa on CNN but I'd have to ask how much of this type of crime actually ends up on the MSM?) why should we worry?

Here's the story via Towleroad:

I would ask how can this be, but I realize that we live in a world that wants to go back to a time in which white people were allowed to commit these crimes. A world in which white people were allowed to flaunt their entitled status, one in which nothing and no one matters except what the white person in question wants. Spoiled children throwing a cultural tantrum because they're going to have to share.

We still live in a place where it's "I got mine too bad for those of you who didn't get some." A parallel that could easily be drawn when it comes to GLBT rights and equality. It's still a world controlled by a privileged few, and any of us who aren't on board with what they want will do without until we can wrest control of the reins from their grasp.

Watching this video is a reminder that it's more important than ever to walk the talk. To stand up for what is right for all people not just whatever group or groups we belong to.

The question in my mind is, will we learn before it's too late?

And so it goes:

Monday, August 8, 2011

and so it goes

I'd rather see drunk eyes than crazy eyes, but hang on, look at the kin below.

are we seeing a pattern?

striking resemblance

Take a look at the previous photo, does any feature jump out at you?   How about

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

We're looking for the last honest man

KC Mayor Explains Son's Incident At Restaurant

Mayor's Son Accused Of Threatening Officer's Job

The Kansas City Mayor's Office is acknowledging an alleged disturbance involving the mayor's son at a Kansas City restaurant.Mayor Sly James’ 22-year-old son was accused of refusing to pay a bill at a restaurant in Kansas City's Power and Light District over the weekend. Police were called. 
Reports say Kyle James allegedly threatened the officer, telling him he would be fired.Mayor James’s office released a statement that said, "My son is a 22-year-old man who made a mistake. He is extremely embarrassed and very sorry for the entire incident."No charges were filed against Kyle James.
That doesn't sound like much of an explanation to me, sounds like Daddy chewed some ass and then gave a quick curt statement so we'd know he had.  Kyle James sounds like a spoiled stupid kid to me.
Is he gonna be  our new Gloria Squitiro?  Perhaps our Billy Carter?  Swell, that's what we need to further our bumpkin image.  
In other lack-of-honestly...

Is there anything I don't have to sell to have a clear conscience?

You Shouldn’t Trust Your Car to the Men Who Wore the Star

Posted on July 29, 2011 in: Uncategorized|Jump To Comments
If you’re the sort of person who stopped filling up at BP stations after the Gulf Horizon disaster, here’s hoping you’re not shopping for gasoline at Chevron, owner of Texaco, instead. The companies’ behavior in Ecuador over the last 37 years, and in the nearly 20-year lawsuit brought against Texaco (purchased by Chevron in 2001) by victims of its epic despoiling of the area, is right up there with the worst in the oil industry’s oversubscribed Hall of Shame. In fact, it may even make BP look good.
Now you may have missed the latest wrinkles in the Chevron-Texaco case — Donald Trump’s run for the presidency was brewing as they came down — so, perhaps, like the American media, you were distracted. Or maybe you are resigned to expecting appalling behavior from oil companies. But the record reveals that Texaco and Chevron have outdone themselves even by the low standards of their industry.
Because Tom and Ray have a limited attention span, a short summary will have to suffice: Texaco moved into a remote, 2,000-square-mile region of the northern Ecuadoran rainforest to drill for oil in 1964. Not even bothering to employ the industry’s substandard “best practices” for stewardship of the land, the company trashed the place but good, digging nearly 1,000 unlined pits into which it would pour for permanent storage (by 1990) over 18 billion gallons of inadequately treated, carcinogenic, toxic waste, such as benzene.
It flared hundreds of millions of cubic meters of natural gas and spilled over 17 million gallons of raw petroleum from leaking tanks and pipes, cumulatively loosing into the Amazon rainforest over 80 times the amount of raw toxins that BP puked into the poor Gulf of Mexico. With environmental damage whose clean up cost was estimated by an internal Texaco audit in 1992 in excess of $8.4 billion, the company had decimated an unspoiled land, along with five different, indigenous peoples and their livelihoods. Extraordinary cancer, childhood leukemia and mortality figures were inevitably part of the legacy. Even though Texaco quit Ecuador in 1992, the toxic materials continue to leach into soil and drinking water and will for decades to come.
On behalf of 30,000 of its victims, Texaco was sued in New York in 1993 (Âguinda v. Texaco). The company proceeded to spend years fighting to have the case removed from U.S. jurisdiction, and finally succeeded nine years on when the case was transferred to Ecuador, whose famously pliant judiciary’s judgment the oil company agreed at the time to abide by. But nine more years later — 18 years after the original suit was brought — much to Chevron’s disgruntled amazement, in February of this year, the Ecuadoran court found it guilty guilty guilty, not only of causing more than $8 billion of damage to the rainforest, but of serial corrupt practices during the trial, including: fraudulent “remediation” of polluted lands, attempting to set up the judge and bribe international journalists, as well as sundry other dirty tricks and obstructions of justice, all of which led the court to levy additional punitive damages for a total judgment against it of $18 billion, unless Chevron issued an apology. It didn’t. Instead, it appealed the Ecuadoran judgment in Ecuador. (So, too, did the plaintiffs, who said the judgment in their favor left out several categories of damages, which the evidence would tend to support.)
Meanwhile, Chevron — which assumed all of Texaco’s liabilities when it bought the company — had already gone on the offensive in the United States, just in case. With one 2009 supplemental damages report prepared for the court by American experts finding that the pollution was likely to cause 10,000 deaths over time and that the actual remediation cost of the mess Texaco made was more likely $118 billion, Chevron had been motivated to take extreme measures.  Hiring a “transnational” litigation team with experience discrediting and wearing down poor, foreign plaintiffs in egregious environmental suits, it launched a blizzard of aggressive counter-suits in the United States in 2009 and 2010, with more than 30 actions seeking costly discovery filed in 16 federal jurisdictions, each intended to make the prosecution of the case against them time-consuming and unbearably expensive. Among its targets, the filmmaker, Emmy-Award-winner, Joseph Berliner, whose documentary film “Crude” followed the case against Chevron. In a move assailed by the likes of The Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press, as well as more traditionally liberal organizations, the oil company persuaded a New York judge to compel the production of 600 outtakes from the film.
Then, using edited and out-of-context outtakes from Berliner’s film as its evidence, two weeks before the judgment against it, Chevron filed a RICO suit against each of the Ecuadoran plaintiffs individually and their American-born, Harvard-educated lawyer of 17 years, Steven Donziger, alleging that the case had been a fraud from the beginning. Refusing to honor the judgment of the forum it had once demanded, Chevron/Texaco asked a federal  judge in New York to issue an order that any judgment the Ecuadoran court might issue would be unrecognizable and unenforceable anywhere in the world and asking that an injunction be issued so that the Ecuadoran plaintiffs would be barred from attempting to have any judgment enforced ANYWHERE in the world.
A New York judge, Lewis A. Kaplan, mysteriously granted almost everything Chevron/Texaco asked for, while denying the Ecuadorans the right to present evidence, and barring Donziger, their lawyer of 18 years, the right to participate in the trial. A U.S. court of appeals has since overruled Kaplan’s novel preliminary injunction. So the case goes on.
Chevron — which didn’t just have its day in court but more than 6,500 days in court, so far — is back to papering plaintiffs to death, with endless discovery requests hurled at Donziger, as well as former interns, associates and lawyers on the case. The Court of Appeals will hear the case the week of September 12.
Mark it on your calendar. But whatever happens, you may want to  stay out of Chevron stations for some time to come.


Jamie Lincoln Kitman
A Car Talk Blog


And so it goes:

A crowd came in and sat down
And then a man began to yell
About savin' souls to heaven
And for the sinner there was hell
Well later on that night
In a motel room down the road
He kept his meeting for a cat-o-nine beating
>From a leather-clad man named Moe
An honest man
We're looking for the last honest man
An honest man
Keep searching for the last honest man
There's a man that moves the masses
On a big city radio dial
He shouts and screams at all he's seen
Runs a talk show like a trial
And there's a bartender keeping secrets
About a boxer that took a dive
And in an office way uptown a deal is going down
That could get somebody four to five
Now we'll keep looking high and low
And we'll keep searching 'round
Is everybody, everyone, dishonest in this town?
Well they'll stab you in the back
You get a handshake and a smile
But if one don't get ya, the other one will
And ya gotta walk that mile
-Stan Ridgway

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me!

Lately I've contemplated taking a job I do not want. The reasons were purely security...and was obscene.

But today, for reasons I can't explain mostly because I don't understand them, the light bulb finally came on over my head.

I haven't taken it because that's not what I want. Sure I want insurance I don't have to pay 100% of, and vacation pay and sick leave and to know that there'll be a paycheck every two weeks or whatever.

But that's not what I want.

I want to teach and direct and make pots and work with horses. THAT'S what I want, and if I have to drive a 15 y/o honda (ok maybe honda is going a bit far) to get that then that's what I have to do. I have spent my entire working life compromising my ideals for the security of a paycheck. Fuck it.

What if i decide to cash in and spend my twilight years making pots and riding my bicycle through the south of France? Then that will be By God what I will do.

Enough of this sacrificing for someone else who never seems to sacrifice for me! Enough of this hand wringing over, "Will I starve to death in my old age."

I'm starving NOW. I'm living in my brothers poolhouse, I'm barely hanging onto my car, and the credit cards...well let's just say the ppl at Capital One are saints. So what the fuck am I afraid of?


George Bush already took it all. He took it and what did he do with it? Did he try to take over the world? no. Did he take over Wall Street? no. Did he take off and go live on a tropical Island? No! That dumbass moved to Dallas!

So if George W Bush gets to do whatever he wants, why should I think I cannot?

The mantra that got me through undergrad and grad school was "Nothing is going to stop me from going to college." Well now it's time to adapt that mantra for the situation.

"Nothing is going to stop me from living my life my way on my terms."

p.s, Erik Pappas is a P.O.S.

And so it goes:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Seig Heil!

Well it's happening, we're becoming Nazi Germany.

The uninformed, illiterate, likely inbred and certainly easily influenced denizens of Republic Missouri have sided with some narrow minded asshole college professor who has decided that Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five should be banned because it teaches ideas contrary to the bible.

We're ripe for the picking.  Mostly because we're so damn stupid.  America isn't going out with a bang like nuclear war as they want us to imagine our fantastic demise...we're going out with a DUH!  Cause we're not smart enough to get smart.  Maybe I should chuck buying a house here and get out while I can.  Soon we'll be so disdained we'll be lucky if ANY country would accept one of us.

Take a look at the story via

Yielding To Censorship: Mo. School Board Bans Books That Are ‘Contrary To The Bible’

August 2nd, 2011
By Rob Boston

Other Issues regarding Religion in Schools and Universities, Religion in Public Schools and Universities

A fundamentalist in Republic, Mo., complained that two books offended his interpretation of the Bible – so out went the books.
Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse-Five is considered a modern classic. That doesn’t mean it’s a particularly easy read. Indeed, it deals with some fairly heady topics. When I first encountered it in high school, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. But it sure made me think, which, in my view, is what a good novel should do.
Funny thing about that thinking – some people see it as dangerous. And a few of those people sit on the school board in Republic, Mo.
The board voted 4-0 recently to ban Slaughterhouse-Five and another book, Sarah Ockler’s Twenty Boy Summer, after a local resident complained that the books teach ideas contrary to the Bible.
Wesley Scroggins had originally targeted three books, but the board voted to keep one, Laurie Halse Anderson’s award-winning Speak, on the shelves. According to the Springfield News-Leader, Scroggins “challenged the use of the books and lesson plans in Republic schools, arguing they teach principles contrary to the Bible.”
After the vote, which removes the books from the curriculum and the school library, Scroggins said, “I congratulate them for doing what’s right and removing the two books. It’s unfortunate they chose to keep the other book.”
Actually, what’s unfortunate it that the school board didn’t stand up for church-state separation and the freedom to learn. And it’s unfortunate that the education of students at Republic High School is being held hostage by such narrow-minded people.
It might also be unconstitutional. In 1982, the Supreme Court struck down a book censorship plan at a New York school district. Members of the school board in Island Trees had banned eight books, including Slaughterhouse-Five, after a statewide right-wing pressure group started a campaign against them. Board members agreed, calling the books “anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, and just plain filthy.”
Justice William Brennan led a court plurality in striking down the censorship scheme.
Brennan wrote, “In brief, we hold that local school boards may not remove books from school library shelves simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books and seek by their removal to ‘prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion.’ Such purposes stand inescapably condemned by our precedents.”
In 1993, a school board in Olathe, Kan., ordered the removal of the book Annie on My Mind from a school library because it deals with homosexuality. Parents who supported the novel sued and won. A federal court ruled that public schools may not ban books “based on their personal social, political and moral views.”
It sounds like the school board in Republic did exactly that. One fundamentalist complained that the books offended his interpretation of the Bible – so out went the books.
If there’s any silver lining in this sorry incident, it’s this: Telling young people that they can’t or shouldn’t read a certain book or listen to a certain CD almost always causes a run on that book or CD. After all, it’s imperative to find out what it is that the adults don’t want you to see or hear.
So I say to the students of Republic High: Get your hands on a copy of Slaughterhouse-Five. It’s worth your time. And if you’re having trouble finding a copy around town, drop me a line. I know a source at a used-book store who can round up as many as you need.

One person complained and they banned books.  Where do we start to educate a populace this simple-minded?  I'm at a loss.

Incedentally, I will pay for as many copies of Slaughterhouse Five as the citizens of Republic Missouri want. 

And so it goes:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Why so serious?

I have become convinced as I've grown older that there are some people who  know nothing more than to inflict pain.  That seems their purpose in life.

Why that is and how we became that culture I'm not sure I'll ever know or understand. 

But I know they exist, they keep rearing their ugly heads in my own life so I can attest to their existence.  No one is nor should they be prefect.  But to exert much energy to create turmoil in the life of another for no gain, nor any discernible reason, is unconscionable.

True, we all have fantasies of revenge of destruction of venting our anger at someone or something, but we seldom if ever act on it.  Because we know the reward will be short lived, if it exists at all. 

But those who live to hurt others don't care about that and turning their own hatred inward is the inevitable step.  It's also the best revenge...just to know it will happen.

If we can't have harmony at least we should have justice.

And so it goes:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Barack Obama is a huge disappointment

A sentiment echoed by everyone of my friends.  Just exactly what has he done that hasn't been halved by his innate ability to compromise the goods out of any and every legislation. Now he's done it with the debt ceiling/budget debacle.  Instead of going on television and telling the American public, "Look, these idiots are confusing apples with oranges!  The debt ceiling and the budget are not the same thing and I will not be held hostage by one to get the other.  If these morons don't/won't understand this then i'll invoke the 14th amendment and take care of this myself. May your God bless America."

But no, he stands there and plays at theatre, which wasn't even good btw, and postures with the best of them and at the last minute "strikes a deal" 

Worthless!  Worthless I tells ya!

Next November I'll be flipping a lever, punching a chad, or touching a screen, depending on where I live, and it'll be the box next to this guys name, but it won't be out of an overwhelming desire to do so.  It'll simply be because the choices are non-starters.  Pity we aren't smart enough anymore to elect real leaders.

So in the absence of real leadership let's recap my weekend.

Thursday I went to a cocktail party with the ex and had some fun.  It amazes me that there are people who, at our advanced age don't know there's a certain decorum at a cocktail party, but apparently they don't.  Got lot's of news right at the end of the night that I didn't know how to respond to, still don't really.  It didn't exactly frighten me, and it didn't exactly put me off, likely since I sort of expected some of it.  But it proves to me that chances do come round again.  Maybe this time...

Friday went for martini's for a bit, then off to dinner with my dear friend C, and then back to martini's.  Had great stories to tell and of course horror stories about real estate.

Saturday spent the afternoon looking at said houses, almost all of which were non-starters (using that phrase a lot today) then took myself out to dinner.  While I was sitting there some friends came in and we started debating about driving to the least desirable city in the metro to see Brody Buster was worth it.  It apparently was.

Sunday rode around with some poor schmuck who was doing every single thing wrong with his horse he could imagine and blaming the horse the whole time.  No wonder that poor horse hops around trying to get rid of this guy, he was pissing me off and he wasn't sitting on my back. This guy may never learn.  He wants to debate every thing I tell him.  This is not a debate it's instruction, how hard is that to understand.

And tonight I will be leaving work for a bit so I can go to the visitation for the father of a friend.  Hate to go to these things anymore, but I'm not emotionally invested in this one so I think it'll be ok. If not, too bad I'm a big boy.

I seem to be doing something that causes acquaintances and complete strangers alike to feel like they can/should tell me their life story. I must  identify this behavior... so I can stop it.

And so it goes: