Monday, December 20, 2010

Out to Sea

Mom’s funeral was yesterday. I did the same thing I did with Darcy, we went and scattered her ashes at sea. Although it is still raining throughout SoCal, down in Costa Mesa at the coast it was barely raining at all, so it wasn’t a problem.

However, the sea’s were pretty rough so we had to make it quick and hold tight to the railing. Bennet and Summer were the only ones there. I told them they were the only family I had left and Summer hugged me and said I wasn’t going to get rid of her, ever. Bennet agreed, said he wouldn’t even be here today if it wasn’t for me so anything I needed they would do.

All very emotional, especially when you consider that I’m not really related to them, Bennet is Darcy’s son so he is my stepson, and Summer is my step Daughter-in-law. Making Ally my step-granddaughter.

But I’ve always felt that family is the people you choose more than the accidents you were born with. My mom was not the best mom in the world but she wasn’t the worst either. She is the one person who knew me for the entire 57.5 years of my life - or the last one left, anyway. My sister did and so did my dad. But my dad died when I was 13 and my sister around 6 years ago of cancer.

I’m still stuck in a deep depression, hope it lifts soon.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Mom

My mom died yesterday. Actually she died Nov 16 but they didn't bother to tell me until yesterday. She was in pretty bad shape at 93, dementia had taken her mind away, to the point where she couldn't even speak but could only make animal noises. It was hard to watch. I didn't visit her much because she hadn't recognized me for 4 years now. I would stop by occasionally to make sure the nursing home was taking good care of her.

The picture is Darcy and Mom from about 15 years ago, it's not very good but it's the only one I can find. Darcy is only 5' 4" tall so you can see how short Mom was. The most startling thing over the last 4 years was her face. When no one was home any more her face underwent a dramatic change, very shocking to look at.

At one time all the women in my life were threatening to die on me; our cat Nikko (she was our baby), my sister, Darcy and my mom. My sister died of cancer one day before her 60th birthday, Darcy died one week before her 61st birthday, but my mom outlasted all of them at 93. She was always pretty tough, but I think even she felt it was time to go because she was barely eating. Food used to be her favorite thing, as a tiny, old woman she could put away quantities that would put a truck driver to shame.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sen Bernie Sanders

There Is A WAR Being Waged Against The Working Families Of America!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Logo


I got this off of Facebook but really like it, not for regular use but to look at once and laugh a bit.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Arnold and Meg

Here is a great ad against Meg Whitman, who is trying to buy the election - outspending Jerry Brown 10 to 1. I sure hope she doesn't succeed.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Vote Democratic Part 3

Bill Maher says it best this week:
When it comes to voting, when we only have two choices, you got to grow up and realize there's a big difference between a disappointing friend and a deadly enemy.
I'm as disappointed with Obama as anyone and I had few expectations. Way back at the beginning I said I didn't think he would make a great president because he really isn't a progressive, that I'd be happy if I could get health insurance, which I am just about to sign up for.

But no matter how disappointed we are there is still a HUGE difference between the dems and the pubs. Bill continues:
The Democrats have a D because they barely pass but you know why the Republican symbol is R? Because it's the noise a pirate makes when he robs you and feeds you to a shark.
Here is his latest New Rules:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Scientific opinion on climate change

Here is an excellent Wikipedia article on global warming:
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007
Main article: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
In February 2007, the IPCC released a summary of the forthcoming Fourth Assessment Report. According to this summary, the Fourth Assessment Report finds that human actions are "very likely" the cause of global warming, meaning a 90% or greater probability. Global warming in this case is indicated by an increase of 0.75 degrees in average global temperatures over the last 100 years.[5]
The New York Times reported that “the leading international network of climate scientists has concluded for the first time that global warming is 'unequivocal' and that human activity is the main driver, very likely' causing most of the rise in temperatures since 1950”.[6]
The New York Times retired journalist William K. Stevens wrote: “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said the likelihood was 90 percent to 99 percent that emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, spewed from tailpipes and smokestacks, were the dominant cause of the observed warming of the last 50 years. In the panel’s parlance, this level of certainty is labeled 'very likely'. Only rarely does scientific odds-making provide a more definite answer than that, at least in this branch of science, and it describes the endpoint, so far, of a progression.”.[7]
The Associated Press summarized the position on sea level rise:
On sea levels, the report projects rises of 7-23 inches by the end of the century. That could be augmented by an additional 4-8 inches if recent polar ice sheet melt continues.[8]
The scary part is that each time the scientist have the chance to measure something it surprises them that it's far more advanced than they thought it was. No one is saying what they all know, it's already too late - and it's the American's fault.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gandalf and Magneto


World's best T-shirt. You tell them, Ian!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bread and circuses

Queen Marie Antoinette of France, daughter of ...Image via Wikipedia
This phrase come from Roman times, from Wikipedia:
This phrase originates from Rome in Satire X of the Roman poet Juvenal (circa 100 AD ). In context, the Latin phrase panem et circenses (bread and circuses) is given as the only remaining cares of a Roman populace which has given up its birthright of political involvement. Here Juvenal displays his contempt for the declining heroism of his contemporary Romans.[1]: Roman politicians devised a plan in 140 B.C. to win the votes of the poor; By giving out cheap food and entertainment, politicians decided that this policy of "bread and circuses" would be the most effective way to rise to power.
In other words, give the masses food and crazy entertainment and they won’t question what the people in power are doing.

Ever wonder why we see Lindsay Lohan all over all the news channels all the time but NEVER hear about bills trying to pass in congress, or what bills have already passed. They want us fat and happy so they can do what they want without the masses rioting or doing any other unfortunate things.

The problem is they got greedy, they got so carried away with stealing the product of our labor that they have taken away a lot of bread, so the middle-class shrinks and the number of poor go up. And people get restless.

Even in their own economic structure they need people to make enough money to buy things or everyone - even them - gets hurt.

Who are “they” you might ask? Our corporate overlords and the politicians who they get elected so that tax laws can be made in their favor. It’s happened time and again throughout history. It really doesn’t take much to keep the masses feed well enough so they don’t riot, after all, rioting is hard work and you could get hurt.

The best example of this is the French Revolution and Marie Antoinette, who said “Let them eat cake!” That was the problem, no one had any cake, everyone was in financial distress and starving. All the French Royalty had to do was make some minor sacrifices (like eating cake only twice a week instead of every day) and give some of the bread to the poor so they would calm down.

Not quite the same these days because television is the best entertainment in history. But the powers that be forgot to include the bread so the system is collapsing and there might be rioting in the near future. If too many become homeless they won’t have TV to calm them down.

Of course, the Corporate Masters have an escape plan: All they need to do is move to China and let the Chinese become their new market while letting America descend into third world status.
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Vote Democratic Part 2

I found out about that chart in the first post from Rachel Maddow, who got it from Ezra Klein's blog. One of her fans sent her a new chart. This shows the same thing, that when the dems are in charge our incomes rise a lot more than when pubs are in charge. But in this chart he lays it out when the dems are in charge of the House, or the Senate, or the Presidency, or have it all. Ezra's chart dealt only with the Presidency.

You see, the Republicans are lying to you, when they say the Democrats are tax and spend they mean the dems tax rich people and spend it on the other 95% of us. The taxes for us 95% don't change a whole lot, not a lot of room for change, but the top tax rate can change dramatically. All through the 40's and 50's the top tax rate was around 90% for all income over $400,000 - and what happened in the 50's? We had a strong growth that created a strong middle class for the first time, in fact, most of the country moved up from poverty to the middle class.

In 1980 Reagan dropped the rate down to around 25%, which made the rich very, very happy. Of course, the deficit and our debt grew faster than ever before in American history and he had to raise taxes. He's known for lowering taxes but a lot of people are surprised when they hear he then raised taxes 4 times during his 2 terms. His voodoo economics simply didn't work.

The big lie from the Republicans is that they got the middle class to think the raising or lowering of taxes was about them and not the rich. There are 2 ways a modern economy can function, the rich can be taxed at a high rate in order to supply the 95% of us with a variety of services, like roads, schools, police, military, welfare, medical care, etc. Or all the tax breaks can be for the rich which funnels all our money from us 95% upward to the rich, so they can get richer and richer. Since Reagan took office until today the top 1% saw their incomes increase by 250%, while the bottom 95% of us saw our income drop by 6%. Productivity increased quite a bit as well but the workers who are working harder and better don't get to reap the rewards, it all gets funneled up to the rich.

The end results of Republican economic policy is a total collapse. It happened once back in the 1930's and we had the Great Depression as a result, and happened again at the end of Bush's watch but we were saved from another depression by Obama's economic policies. So that instead of the Second Great Depression we got the first Great Recession. Semantics? No, it really does make a difference. When Bush left office and Obama took over we were losing 700,000 jobs per month - yes, PER MONTH!! Now, we have a net gain of jobs being added by about 40,000 per month.

Unfortunately people are still feeling it because we need to be adding 300,000 jobs every month just to keep pace with the population growth. In other words, 300,000 new workers enter the job market every month. Still, moving from a falling economy to one that is gaining is quite a grand feat and worth giving Obama much credit for.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Vote Democratic!!!

Why, you ask? Look at this chart below, this alone is more than enough reason:


The blue lines show how much more we will all make under Democrat rule. Unless you are in the top 5% - those making over $200,000 a year - you WANT the democrats in and should dread the idea of Republicans gaining power again. Look at how bad it’s been lately, that all came from Republican policies going back 30 years but topped off by 8 years of George Bush

And make no mistake, Obama’s stimulus worked, it kept the economy from going over the cliff. It’s hard to make the argument that it would have been much worse without the stimulus, but I’d like to think most human beings are capable of at least that much abstract thought. We would all be in the second great depression right now if it wasn't for Obama.

What will the Republicans do if back in power? Tax cuts for the wealthy and subpoenas for everyone, shutting the government down. If tax cuts created jobs we wouldn’t be in this mess now because the tax cuts have ALREADY been there for 10 years and fewer jobs were created under George Bush's watch than any other president.

If you look at the chart you will notice that even the top 95% make more under Democrats, so why do the rich support Republicans? Because Republicans will lower tax rates. The majority of the money made by millionaires and billionaires comes from investments, which are taxed at a straight 15% rate. It used to be 20% under Clinton, so they have been making out like bandits over the past ten years. And instead of saying “OK, we’ve done really well for the past ten years, we should turn it around and help the lower 95% get a bigger cut of the pie, that’s only fair, after all.” What they really say is “KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY MONEY AAAARRRGGGGHHHH!!!!”

So vote Democratic if you want your income to go up, vote Republican if you want it to do down. And remember that while the tax breaks for everyone are over at the end of this year Obama wants to lock them in place permanently for everyone making under $200,000, but letting the tax breaks end for the top 95%. The Republicans want to continue with the tax breaks for the wealthy and are threatening to not vote for middle-class tax relief by itself. Those tax breaks for the wealthy mean an extra $100,000 per each million of income in the pocket of millionaires.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Michael Moore and the Mosque

Michael has a new blog where he intends to write every day. The one he wrote for today, 9/11, is:
If the 'Mosque' Isn't Built, This Is No Longer America
I've been talking about this for weeks, that we should be building a mosque right AT ground zero which would stick it in the face of oppressive Muslims world-wide. Mike says the same:

I am opposed to the building of the "mosque" two blocks from Ground Zero.

I want it built on Ground Zero.

Why? Because I believe in an America that protects those who are the victims of hate and prejudice. I believe in an America that says you have the right to worship whatever God you have, wherever you want to worship. And I believe in an America that says to the world that we are a loving and generous people and if a bunch of murderers steal your religion from you and use it as their excuse to kill 3,000 souls, then I want to help you get your religion back. And I want to put it at the spot where it was stolen from you.

You tell 'em, Mike! Much more at the blog and it's worth checking out, like this quote from George Washington:

"The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy -- a policy worthy of imitation. ...

"It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens ...

"May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants -- while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid."

Too bad America has seldom lived up to that ideal.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chrome

Google Chrome IconImage via WikipediaGoogle Chrome has been my choice for a web browser for a few months now. Seems to work pretty good, much better than Safari, which I no longer touch. Firefox is good but Chrome is faster. The new Firefox 4 looks to be almost as fast as Chrome, but I haven't tested it much yet.

But - I just downloaded Chrome 6 and damned if this thing isn't even faster than the last version. Pretty soon it's going to be loading stuff while I'm just thinking about it.

Everything I do on the new Chrome seems to be very smooth and nearly instantaneous, I like it.
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Edward R. Murrow


‎"We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men."

For those who don't know Murrow was a great reporter and commentator. Keith Olbermann uses his closing remark "Good night, and good luck" as an homage to him, not to claim he is the modern Murrow. That full speech can be seen here as an excerpt from the movie about him, it was his retirement speech.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Best Bush Poster

It really pisses me off that Obama is now taking the blame for Bush's crap.

Bush trashed the economy and bailed out the big banks. When Obama came into office he attached the caveat that the banks had to pay us back, Bush just gave them the money, no strings attached. But now everyone blames Obama for the bank bailout. It was already a law passed by Congress when Obama took office.

Obama kept the economy - and likely the entire world's economy - from going off the cliff. We'd be in the Greater Depression if McCain had been elected.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

SMBC


SMBC stand for Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. It's a site of cartoons (so why doesn't the C stand for Cartoons? I don't know). Hours and hours of fun.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Crazy People

I found this cartoon at The Godless Liberal Social Society on Facebook and had to repost it here. This probably explains why I'm an atheist better than many pages of writing.



Monday, August 23, 2010

Muslims

Here is an article that lays out what the whole question is, it's not really about the Mosque at Ground Zero (which is not a mosque and is not at ground zero).
One thing is clear: the feverish discourse about Muslims’ role in American society is not about the proposal to build an Islamic community center a couple of blocks from the World Trade Center site. Park 51, as it’s being called, merely let an ugly genie out of the bottle. The dark stain of Islamophobia had spread far and wide long before the controversy erupted.


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Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Story of Eggs

White Eggs in CartonImage via Wikipedia
Tuesday morning I got sick as a dog, spent all morning in the bathroom, throwing up and other things. Finally went to bed around 11am and slept straight through until 4 pm. I was just out of it. I figured I must have developed an allergy to eggs suddenly. I might have had a fever but it's hard to tell with me since my internal temp fluctuates between 96 and 101 for no apparent reason and with no symptoms, so I usually don't bother to take my temp any more.

Wednesday night I hear the news blurb "Egg recall, story at 11." I didn't stay up until 11, still feeling pretty bad, so I watched the news in the morning and got the story; 300 million eggs recalled because of salmonella poisoning. That explains it I guess, it was a Ralph's brand. The funny part is that the eggs on Monday were the last three of the dozen.

I had some stomach gurgling after eating the other eggs but nothing too serious. Since I have IBS and get sick all the time anyway some extra gurgling doesn't get much attention. I wonder if the salmonella had time to multiple in those last 3 eggs after being in my fridge for a week?

Still not feeling great today and have no desire for lunch, although yesterday I had some pepperoni pizza. I always want awful foods when I get sick, I don't know why, maybe craving the grease? I donno.

Anyway, I'm off eggs for quite some time now, maybe forever. Even toast, which I ate with the eggs on Monday, sounds bad right now.

Fun times.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Obama vs FDR

President Barack Obama addresses the House Dem...Image via Wikipedia
Jeff Shesol writes about the differences between Obama and FDR:
Heading into his first midterm, Roosevelt, too, faced an ailing economy and critics blasting him as a socialist. Jeff Shesol on how he beat the odds—and what Obama needs to tell America now.
FDR was not subject to a mid-term disaster that Obama seems to be heading toward, because he had vision.
One of the main reasons FDR prevailed—then and thereafter—was his ability to paint a clear, consistent picture of the kind of country he wanted America to be, the kind of country we needed to be in the industrial era.
....
In his inaugural address, President Obama spoke of a “new era of responsibility,” but soon dropped the idea in favor of another unifying theme (wrapped in a laundry list, inside a mixed metaphor): a “new foundation… built upon five pillars that will grow our economy.” The pillars—financial reform, education, clean energy, health care, deficit reduction—tell us a lot about his priorities, but little about his basic objectives. Where does this all lead? What defines Obama’s America? Absent a clear answer, Obama has, in effect, asked the country to infer his goals by inductive reasoning—to assume that on the basis of policies A, B and C, Barack Obama seeks X, Y, and Z.
I'm not sure if Obama is lacking in vision or is just unable to communicate it. What he has done is a number of individual acts, each that stands on it's own. It adds up to something very similar to what FDR did, but they don't reflect an overall vision for the country, nor do most people even know what he's done.

I sure hope he can turn this around. If we have fewer Democrats in the House and Senate things will jsut get tougher for him.
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Brett is Back!

Brett is coming back to the Vikings:
Brett Favre at the 2006 Seahawks game - croppe...Image via Wikipedia
Steve Hutchinson, Jared Allen and Ryan Longwell were dispatched to Favre's home in Hattiesburg to convince the 40-year-old quarterback to return. He was contemplating retirement yet again because of a surgically repaired left ankle that was hurt in the NFC title game.
I was one who didn't want him coming back, he's just too old and it was obvious in the last game of his last season. He was clearly out of steam and struggling. Maybe he plays pretty well, but he just doesn't have the endurance any more.

But he's getting $25 million for a 2 year contract.

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There are different Muslim sects

William Dalrymple writes at the New York Times about the mis-named 'Ground Zero Mosque.'
Feisal Abdul Rauf of the Cordoba Initiative is one of America’s leading thinkers of Sufism, the mystical form of Islam, which in terms of goals and outlook couldn’t be farther from the violent Wahhabism of the jihadists. His videos and sermons preach love, the remembrance of God (or “zikr”) and reconciliation. His slightly New Agey rhetoric makes him sound, for better or worse, like a Muslim Deepak Chopra. But in the eyes of Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, he is an infidel-loving, grave-worshiping apostate; they no doubt regard him as a legitimate target for assassination.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Mosque at Ground Zero

There is no mosque and it isn't at ground zero, as Keith more than adequately explains in this special comment. This entire fiasco has left me feeling that Americans are petty, small and cowardly. We seem to be scared of everything these days, and the minute some Republican tells us to be scared people start crying out.

At the end of this special comment Keith explains what REAL Americans should do in this situation. Maybe our fathers or grandfathers would have done that but we didn't. The fact is that putting a Mosque at Ground Zero would have been the most American thing to do, but that was in some past America, not this one.

Follow this link back to MSNBC and watch the video of an American Muslim woman who was one fo the first responders at Ground Zero. Look at the pain in her eyes as she realizes few fellow Americans would see her as being American at all.


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What Voters Want

Here is a great article on what the American people want.

The good news is that it fits with the Democratic's stance on every issue, the bad news is that few seem to know that those ARE Democratic stances, they think the Republicans will make all those things happen and have completely missed the fact that the Republicans want exactly the opposite of what most Americans want.

This is a complete failure of the Democrats to get their messages out, most of the blame falls on Obama, he seems to have very little interest in telling people what he's done and what he intends to do. He seems to think that if he just does a good job he will get all kinds of accolades for that, not realizing he'll get no credit at all if no one knows he's done any of it.

So the Democrats are going to lose badly this November even though the public wants what they stand for and want to do.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Zemanta

In the PinkImage by dragon762w via Flickr

I use Zemanta to add content to my blog posts, such as pictures. I've been having problems with it after switching to Chrome so I uninstalled it.

Now I've reinstalled it, so I know I have the latest version, but I suspect the problem is with Chrome, the Google browser doesn't work well with the Google Blogger.

Why this picture? Why the hell not? I have no idea who that is but it caught my eye ;)

Edit: Well it worked as far as publishing, which is where my problem was. I was getting error messages for illegal HTML code. heck, Blogger adds the code on it's own. I am still having a weird problem, I can't hit Return and move down the page for a new paragraph. I have to start the paragraph, then back space to the start of the paragraph, THEN his return.

Then it works. What a hassle. Much as I like Chrome I might have to use Firefox whenever blogging.

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Tax Cuts for the Rich

Ezra Klein has a great picture to illustrate what the Republican tax cuts are all about.

If you are not rich the Republican party is NOT for you, period. They are the party that ONLY represents rich people and corporations, like their whining that Obama was being too tough on BP in making them pay for the oil spill and it's consequences. Boo Hoo, poor, poor BP people. Tony Hayward had to take his multi-million dollar salary and move to Siberia. How terrible.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

An Encounter at Ground Zero

A friend of mine who lives in New York City sent me this email, which is such a great story and so well written I just had to post it:
Apart from being a moment of true, embarrassing old-fuckitude, I'm not quite sure in what venue where this wonderful story would fit -- apart from the old Playboy Party Jokes page -- except it's true. Maybe the Times NYC Diary, but then again no.

I boarded a downtown R train at Lexington Avenue and 60th Street and sat down in the last car to watch Rachel Maddow on my iPod. I put my huge back pack on the seat next to me, enjoying the illusion that it was somehow cleaner than the floor.

At 57th Street however, the crowd started to build, and this being a new train, and the seats being fewer, I put my bag on the floor. Across from me, a Muslim woman about 22 sat down. Fully wrapped, but for her intoxicatingly beautiful face (I'm a sucker for Persian eyes), she had a brown and white head-thingie, a blouse I can't remember and a flowing, silken, full length blue and black dress.

As we continued downtown I found myself wondering if she was getting off at City Hall Station -- my destination. Park Place where the Cordoba Center is to be and the WTC are just upstairs. With all the publicity about the Cordoba (now Park51) center downtown, the fact that an old Arab Muslim community (and mosque) has been downtown for ages made my speculation make sense. I kind of felt sorry for her. With all the vitriol and rage directed against them this summer, Muslim women in NYC must feel naked despite their conservative dress. Frankly I don't get the cover up, and find it not the least bit modest. In fact, I find it oddly provocative. Especially with a woman as beautiful as the one sitting across from me -- dirty old atheist that I am. And she had that whole Cleopatra eyes thing going on. Woo. Did I mention that?

Well sure enough, as I prepared to get off at City Hall, so did she. I hoisted my backpack over my shoulders and stood at the door. My iPod still going. As I stepped off the train, I felt a light tapping on my shoulder...

It was that woman. I thought she was going to ask me directions. I took out my earbud, and she hers, and she gently put her hand on my shoulder, leaned close enough for me to smell her perfume and feel her breath, and she whispered in my ear, in that exotic Middle Eastern accent the women on "24" use -- "Your zipper is open."

She laughed quietly after patting me on the back, royally I would even say, and went on her way smiling while I sputtered thanks and damn near broke my zipper pulling it up in spasm of sheer terror.

AHA!

Take THAT Tea Party. Open Fly Diplomacy! Bill Clinton would approve!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Obama's Accomplishments

Ezra Klein talks about Obama's accomplishments on his blog, talking about the cash for clunkers program, which was wildly successful in every possible way:
But the policy wasn't popular. Few liked it. Some thought it socialism. Some thought it cronyism. Which presents, of course, a difficulty for the White House: Saving millions of jobs and the American auto industry at an ultimately very small cost to the taxpayer is the sort of major policy accomplishment you should be able to run for reelection on. But what if people don't really understand that you did it, or that it worked, or that it didn't cost them much?
This isn't the only time this has happened. Obama changed health care in America, the biggest accomplishment of it's kind since Medicare was passed in 1964, he should be riding high off of that, but he didn't get the credit he should have.

Republicans bashed him and what they called "ObamaCare" they called socialism. It seems like those so upset over socialism haven't a clue what it means because there is nothing socialist about the new health care bill, and that upsets those on the left. We all wanted a single payer system but Obama took that off the table right away, then we wanted the public option but he sold that option to the health care companies so they wouldn't oppose him.

And people are still complaining about the government getting in between you and your doctor even though there is no way for that to happen. It will STILL be what it's always been, your insurance company getting in the way of you and your doctor. That's because the government has little to do with any of this except to subsidize some people who are too poor to meet the insurance companies outrageous fees.

Why do so many still think absurdities about ObamaCare? Because the Republicans are excellent at getting their message out and Obama is very feeble at it. The right wingers lie all the time and because there is a huge amount of right wing media out there the lies get told over and over until many people believe it. But Obama's message doesn't get told very often at all.

Obama and every member of his administration should be out there talking themselves up 24/7 but they don't do it. The single sound bite they get out gets lost in the conglomeration of of media out there these days. Obama has accomplished a lot, most nobody knows about and the rest are unpopular because the right wing has lied about it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kindness

A few days ago Lorena asked me where I got the first quote over to the right about kindness. I couldn't remember but got curious, best I could find is that Plato was the first to say a version of that and many version have been said many times since then.

I also came across a website that I like very much called Quotations About Kindness. There were many good quotes, I will only share a few so go to the site to read the rest.
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these. ~George Washington Carver
I have to say that this comes damn close to the heart of my own personal philosophy.
Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something. ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
If every man's internal care
Were written on his brow,
How many would our pity share
Who raise our envy now?
~Peitro Metastasio

One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him. ~Booker T. Washington

Life is short but there is always time for courtesy. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson,Social Aims

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Stimulus

Paul Krugman, Laureate of the Sveriges Riksban...Image via Wikipedia

Despite what everyone says Obama's stimulus WAS successful, it kept us (and possibly the world) from going over the cliff. The problem was that it was too small, which Paul Krugman tried to warn them about.

The Obama team made 2 major miscalculations; the first was that they underated the severity of the recession, they didn't think they need something huge, that the economy would bounce back like it always does, boy, were they wrong. The second was that they thought they would be able to come back and do a second stimulus, not realizing that there was no rationality left in the Republican party, they were perfectly willing to let the economy collapse in order for them to get elected and win back majorities in both houses.

Ezra Klein goes into more detail, here's an excerpt:
Ten percent unemployment and a terrible recession ended up discrediting the people trying to do more for the economy, as their previous intervention was deemed a failure. That, in turn, empowered the people attempting to do less for the economy. So rather than a modestly sized stimulus leaving the door open for more stimulus if needed, its modest size was used to discredit the idea of more stimulus when it became needed.
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

23rd Kinda Annual Dead-Dog Party. . .

. . . at the San Diego Comic Con International. Bob Chapman and I have worked together for almost 20 years but I've never made it to his well-known, end-of-Con party because I've never stayed until the end of it and haven't been there in years.

I've even done separations and films for all Graphitti Designs' official Comic Con T-shirts, and Volunteer tees, over the years. Maybe next year I'll make it.

I've even helped him put together a number of invitations for this party over the years, so it was fun to find these photos. Lots of famous comic people there, only a few have I actually met, although I've worked with many of them. I've worked on their art to turn them into T-shirts and books and things but always through Bob.

The image below is Bob and his wife, Gena.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Antennagate

Steve Jobs shows off iPhone 4 at the 2010 Worl...Image via Wikipedia

I don't own an iPhone and never have, that's because I'm with Verizon where I have no dropped calls or reception problems at all in the last ten years.

Steve Jobs showed everyone how other smart phones had the same problem, that it's perfectly normal. So I took out my VerizonBlackberry Storm and covered it with BOTH hands in multiple places to see if I got a drop in bars. Nothing. I completely covered the thing with both hands and it never went down from 5 bars at all.

I think it's clear that it's ATT that's the problem, which is why I don't have an iPhone. The rumor is Verizon will have them in January 2011 if that is true then I will get one. Works out perfectly for me since my contract is up in November.

I think I will wait a month, after it comes out, though, to make sure there are no major problems.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Republican Logic

The Republicans have their new strategy - they are against the deficit as an evil, horrible, awful thing that is causing joblessness, and they want to extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich. If those two ideas seem to be diametrically opposed, well, they are. But the Republicans aren't ones to let the facts get in their way.

Their narrative now is that tax cuts don't add to the deficit and don't have to be paid for. This is complete nonsense and even they know it, but that doesn't matter if they can get people to vote for them.

If you look at the chart you can see this is completely false, the tax cuts are THE reason for our current deficit, adding up to almost as much as both wars, the recovery, TARP and the economic downturn combined.

Yet the Republicans think they can get elected by stopping unemployment insurance for those out of work because it MUST be paid for and can't be added to the deficit. You know how much those unemployment benefits will add to the deficit? .01%. Yes, you are reading that right, one tenth of one percent. The Republicans won't add that to the deficit but are willing - and even anxious - to keep those tax breaks for the very rich when they will be 45% of the entire deficit.

And those tax cuts to NOT increase economic activity, each dollar spent in tax cuts results in $.35 of economic activity. 35 cents on the dollar, while unemployment payments creates $1.64 for every dollar spent. The rich put those tax breaks into savings or off shore banks to avoid taxes so there is little economic stimulus, while unemployment checks go to people who are struggling and all of that check gets spent, causing economic activity.

The sad part is that this ridiculous ploy will probably work because most voters are stupid.


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Monday, June 28, 2010

What Obama Has Done

He's been busy, Rachel Maddow goes over the list and it's impressive. A lot of progressives are upset because of the things he didn't do and seem to forget what he has done. Even something as simple as removing the ban on stem cell research shows why we need a Democratic president over a Republican one. Obama didn't put the public option in the new health care bill, which is serious but no one has been able to do as much since Johnson passed Medicare back in 1964. Yes, there have been disappointments but I'm not sure any other president could have done more under the circumstances.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fake President

Tonight Rachel Maddow decided to give the speech she really wanted President Obama to give last night. All I can say is - too bad Rachel isn't our actual president.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tony Hayward

The head of BP is upset, the oil spill is disrupting his life. "I want my life back," he says. Poor baby. He should go to the bank and take out the many millions of dollars he made last year in hundreds, then take them home and spread them all over his bedroom and roll around in it. I'm sure that would make him feel better. All the inhabitants of the Gulf have to roll around in is oil.



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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Spill, Baby, Spill

Barack ObamaImage via Wikipedia

Obama's "brand" is competent government, that's one reason so much is expected of him, and this particular disaster is probably the worst possible for him because he has limited choices on what he can do. That's why it's essential he give the appearance of being in charge even if there is little he can do.

A lot of this is the media's fault. I've been watching the TV coverage carefully all along and my constant question has been "Where are all the boats out there sopping the oil up?" An Obama representative was on Meet The Press this morning saying there were 1,400 boats out in the Gulf doing all kinds of things to get rid of the oil. Well, then, WHY THE HELL HAVEN'T I SEEN THAT!! Or even heard it. We see the footage of the oil hitting the marshlands over and over and over, but pictures of boats in the Gulf are few and far between.

It's been my suspicion for a while and this adds to it, that the corporate media is doing it's best to deliberately put Obama in a bad light. They ignore news that would make him look good and focus only on news that makes him look bad.

But Obama is helping them. He believes in substance over appearance so he doesn't spend much time boasting over his accomplishments when he should have everyone in the administration announcing them every second of every day. I thought he had learned that but apparently he hasn't.

Make no mistake, I am not a big Obama fan, it's clear he is just another corporatist, but there have been dozens of things that show why it's better to elect Democrats over Republicans, but few people know about it. Taxes are the lowest they have been since the 1950's because Obama has lowered them (I got an extra 20% off my taxes this year), but when the Tea Party people were polled 80% of them thought he had raised them.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Rand Paul

Rand Paul by Gage Skidmore 5Image via Wikipedia

Watching the news the last few days has been hilarious. It seems that everyone is shocked and surprised at the idea that Rand Paul is against the civil rights act from 1964. I don’t know why they are surprised, there were articles on this in a Kentucky newspaper earlier, besides, this is basic Libertarianism. They want the government out of everything.

Imagine if people could do whatever they wanted on their property, which is one of the main Libertarian principles. Anyone could keep any kind of person they wanted out of their shop which operates in the public domain. In one place that is owned by a Muslim there would be no Jews or Christians allowed, or if he wanted to charge black people twice as much he could do it. Nor would he need to follow even the most basic safety needs.

Libertarians say that the free market will work these things out for themselves, someone restricting certain people from their establishment would not be able to stay in business long, or if people started dying in there people would stop shopping there. The problem with that is - people have to die first! You would think that maybe we could do something that keeps people alive - well we have, it’s called regulation.

And businesses in the South stayed open during 100 years of Jim Crow laws, so the market doesn’t always correct itself and sometimes there is a huge price to pay when there is a correction. The Libertarian view is that freedom doesn’t come cheaply, besides, they think only stupid people would get hurt and who cares about them, anyway?

The free market is a fraud, it doesn’t exist. It would be like a football game with no rules, brutal and no fun to watch. On top of that without government interference it’s the rich who are in control. Over time all the small businesses get swallowed up by the big corporations and when there are only a few places someone can work the corporations effectively have slaves who have to accept whatever ridiculous wages and working conditions they want. So in a very real sense it’s like a football game where all the rules were written by one team and only for their benefit. Any doubts who would win?

So libertarianism and smaller government is not about freedom, at least not about the freedom of you or me. It’s all about the big corps being able to do whatever they want at any cost. This is what we have seen happening because of the 8 years rule of the Bushies. The idea is that business can “self-govern” - what a joke. The banksters were self-governing when they crashed the world’s economy. British Petroleum was self-governing with that oil rig, where the spill is in the process of destroying the Gulf. They couldn’t even be bothered to have an emergency plan in place just in case anything did go wrong.


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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Frank Frazetta, Master Comic Book and Fantasy Illustrator, Dies

The cover artwork for Conan the Usurper by Fra...Image via Wikipedia

Frank Frazetta, the master illustrator whose brooding, epic painting style shifted the tone of comics and fantasy paperback covers forever, has died. He was 82.
He was the Grand master of comic and fantasy art, I'm sorry to see him go. I think all art in the field today was influenced by him. I rarely cry when famous people die but I'm feeling misty right now. I spent a lot of time from my teenage years on studying - and copying - his art.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Immigration

Ed Schultz has really been raking Arizona over the coals lately for the new, racist law that is just waiting for the governor's signature. It ended up being longer than I intended so I thought I'd post it here:
ED:

This is the most complicated issue we have today and I really don't think there is a good solution. And both sides are split on it, each having reasons for and against.

For the Right, the business owners want cheap wages first, and to drive down wages in general. But the rest of them want all the brown people out of their country.

On the Left, first there is just plain old compassion for people in trouble, people who left everything and risked everything to find a better life. And we are a country of immigrants, it's just a matter of when our ancestors came here. On the other hand, they are driving down wages for all workers, and in some cases, such as construction here in SoCal, have pretty much destroyed the industry for American citizens. And if you happen to be an American born Hispanic good luck getting a decent job with a decent wage.

There is a price for Mexico, too. All the best and brightest, the strong and brave, are leaving to come up here. These are just the people Mexico needs to bring their country out of poverty. The only real solution is for Mexico to improve enough that it isn't worth it to come up here, but how does that happen when all the entrepreneurs, the risk takers, are up here?

Amnesty is a bad idea, when Reagan did it there were 2 million illegals here, 25 years later and there are 12 million of them because amnesty was great advertising.

I've worked in a business for 30 years where the entire warehouse crew is always Hispanic, most not speaking English. These are very nice people, when my wife died they all chipped in and bought a big bouquet of flowers to throw on her ashes when we spread them out at sea. There is no way for any employer to tell who is legal and who isn't. Every place I've been at was very strict about every employee having the correct ID, and all the illegals had them, it's a big business down here.

The Republicans always come up with draconian solutions that are always unworkable, and frankly, evil. That's what this law in Arizona is. Not only is it racial profiling so that any dark skinned citizen will get stopped and maybe go to jail because what citizen has "papers"? But it makes the police the enemies of immigrants, illegal and legal. None of them will call a cop if they are robbed. None of them will come forward to be a witness or even talk to a cop if they can avoid it. This means evil people will prey on them and the cops will not be able to do real police work.

Here in California a few years ago there was a big stink about illegals at ER's, getting expensive medical care the state had to pay for. The stink was so bad that illegals stopped going to the ER when they needed to and we started to get a TB epidemic. One idiot even put it on the ballot that all ER workers, doctor's, nurses and everyone else who worked there was supposed to keep an eye on everyone and call the cops if anyone looked suspicious. That's all we need, doctors and nurses moonlighting as immigration workers.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jon Stewart vs Fox News

He's at his best in this one, maybe the folks at Fox will learn to leave him alone.

Bernie Goldberg Fires Back
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
www.thedailyshow.com
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Too Funny

Richard Dawkins giving a lecture based on his ...Image via Wikipedia

On a blog called Living Better Skeptically – The Blog of the Jackson Skeptical Society I found this great posting. He envisions Hitchens and Dawkins as cops similar to the guys in the Bad Boys movies, going after the Pope:
A busy intersection was ahead, the traffic no longer halted by the terrified police who now had no idea what was occurring.

“We’ve got half of four horsemen here, a full one-fucking third of the unholy trinity!” Richard Dawkins shouted from the passenger seat. “I told you to get a car with a sunroof! My plan required a sunroof! I’ll never hit him at this range.” Dawkins drew his sidearm, a long-barreled Colt Anaconda with the phrase “Malthusian Solution” engraved across the grip, which was inlaid with the actual shell of a Galapagos tortoise.

“Make a new plan!” Hitchens snapped. He wheeled around an old woman with a baby carriage. Dawkins leaned out the window with his .44 and fired, but the bullets hit God’s Protection – 40 mm of armoured glass and plating.
The whole story is well worth a look.

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