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Sunday, November 30
This is my favorite time of the year for stargazing... and even if you don't have a telescope, there are wonderful things to see if you have clear skies. Have you noticed Jupiter and Venus in the southwestern sky right after dark? You can't miss it.
From The Sky Report:
This week brings the climax to the pairing of the brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, in the evening sky. This spectacle is best seen at about 6:00 p.m., when the two planets are about 17 degrees above the southwest horizon. Jupiter is nearly 5 degrees to the upper left of brighter Venus on Wednesday night, the 26th. They continue to draw closer until they reach conjunction, their closest approach to each other, on Sunday night, November 30. The planets are then separated by just over two degrees. The grouping is made even more spectacular by the presence of the slender crescent moon, just 7 degrees below the planets. This trio will be at their most attractive on the next night, Monday, December 3, with Jupiter 2.2 degrees to the right of Venus, and the moon only 4 degrees to the upper right of the pair. On following nights, Jupiter will appear farther from Venus, moving down and to the right. The planets set at about 7:40 p.m.
This conjunction is simply a chance alignment of objects separated by tens and hundreds of millions of miles—they are not actually close to each other in space. At the time of the conjunction, the moon is about 240,000 miles from us, Venus is the same distance from us as the sun, 93 million miles, and Jupiter is about as far away as it can be from us, 539 million miles.
Later at night, the brightest star of the night time sky, Sirius, in Canis Major the Big Dog, sparkles 40 degrees high in the south at 2:00 a.m. Located to the south east of the belt of Orion, Sirius rises in the south east just before 9 p.m., and is low in the south west before dawn.
Saturn, in Leo the Lion, rises in the east half an hour after midnight, and is well placed for telescopic viewing in the south east in the early morning hours, attaining a height of 54 degrees above the horizon when dawn starts at 5:11 a.m. The planet is now providing the best views of its nearly edge-on rings that will be visible until the year 2025.
THAT'S what happens in civilized countries after events such as this.
In THIS land of incompetent retards and semi-literate barbarians, having such events occur is rewarded by re-election, raises, and promotions for the individuals responsible for our protections.
The U.S. rewards those most incompetent in our society and THAT is why the great American Empire will surely fail and come to ruin. Even the folks at Citibank think so: Financial Disaster Will Lead to Civil Disorder in 2009 or 2010, Says Secret Citibank Memo.
(Add/Edit): And from back in July of '07: The former head of China's State Food and Drug Administration, Zheng Xiaoyu, has been executed for corruption, the state-run Xinhua news agency reports.
(Where shall I file this? Hmm. Wonder if I have a category entitled "Heckuva job, Brownie.")
Saturday, November 29
Glowfur lets you light up the night!
Far out! Groovy, Man!
All we need now is some color organs, The Yardbirds, Buffalo Springfield, The outsiders and...uh, The Archies?
More information here (if you have the bread for the kewel stuff)!
And it's not to worry about any animals being hurt, they say!
I spent the holiday weekend at Stephen King's Bed and Breakfast in Maine in a tiny and quaint little town on the seacoast. I met so many lovely people while I was there. Quite a few conspiracy theorists though. I had no idea just how f*cked we really are! They told me so many things I did not know. As a gracious traveler, I simply either agreed with them and added to their horror when I could think of something good to say.
Did you know that currently in San Francisco, there are medical marijuana shops as numerous as Starbucks? And, and, and, the drug pushers are buying pot there and selling it to high school students. Yeppers. I was dumbfounded (and jealous.)
Did you know that Sarah Palin is more qualified to run this country than Bill Clinton was? He was a dumb old hillbilly. Yesiree. It turns out that Gov. Palin was set up by Katie Couric to fail in the interview. Couric is a puppet for the liberal media. Gov. Palin is very smart and you can certainly see Russia from Alaska and that is so the US can keep an eye on them. Sarah is smarter and more qualified than Hillary to run the country too.
I found out that every single thing that ever happened in this country including the economic meltdown and the bombings in Mumbai can be traced back to the Clinton administration. Bill Clinton outed CIA operative Valerie Plame too. I was given specifics but I can't remember them all. So I had to agree with it all and added that the Clinton presidency contributed to Bush's drinking problem.
Do people ask me where I'm from just so that they can say that I'm not a real American? I'm pretty sure I was born here although my birth certificate could have been forged by illegal aliens for all I know. I was reminded on several occasions that NY is NOT the real America. I agreed wholeheartedly of course because I already knew that. I added that here in Gomorrha, we're all gay, Muslims, terrorists, atheists and abortionists who smoke crack. And those were illegal aliens who trampled the man to death at Walmart on Long Island. No one flinched.
But wait, there's more. Obama went to a Muslim high school. He's only 9% white(?). If we don't drill in the ANWR we will never be free of foreign oil. Anything that isn't Clinton's fault, is Pelosi and Reid's fault because they don't let ANYTHING get through congress. They are obstructionists, doncha know? Obama will get rid of all the coal plants in America and will get rid of guns and outlaw bibles too. God help us, we will be wearing Burqas before long.
I politely asked these lovely people where they got all this information that I didn't know and the resounding answer was Fox News because it was fair and balanced. It was strongly suggested that I watch that channel so that I could find out how much trouble we are in. Oh I will. I will! And I thought that only lefties were the conspiracy theorists. Silly me.
The relatives, thank goddess, didn't talk about politics or current events. I just got my earfuls from the locals and travelers staying at the B&B. It's fun traveling to blue states. You have to try it some time!
Friday, November 28
I was sitting here loading up the tune library in preparation of picking the perfect 20 songs for my xmas cd that I am making for gifts this year. I wouldn't go near the mall if you paid me. Besides, I have to save every penny for the college tuitions this year. No problem with the kids not getting gifts under the tree this year. We are all committed to only buying food (i include beer in this group) and gas. We're having a contest to see who can go the longest!!
I CANNOT believe the headling -- shoppers out in force but cautious.
Read this story and tell me if the word cautious isn't the word you would have used if you wrote this headline for this story.
I think I'll do another post for our favorite top 20 xmas tunes from the library. This story is just so wrong on so many levels.
Here's a nice tune to forget about it.
(it's always the first one on the playlist)
Mary's Boy Child - Boney M
Thursday, November 27
Click the image to see it full size.
Then right click that image and save it as... whatever you want to call it.
You can them print it out and solve it.
I'll print the solution in a couple of days.
Videos courtesy of Dailymotion
ThanksgivingDo not get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
- Galatians 6:9
and from the God Web -
Thanksgiving: Mirror Unto the Soul of a Nation
A House Divided ... Can and Shall Stand. Here's How.
Thanksgiving is the only American holiday in which an act of prayer is front and center. On Thanksgiving Day the President of the United States will lead the nation in a prayer. This happens at a time when the nation is deeply divided over the appropriate connections between politics and piety, church and state. It happens at a time when the law forbids a public school principal from doing exactly what the President is doing, and if he or she did try to lead such a prayer, the same government which the President heads would step in and forbid it.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court continues to wrestle with the place of prayer in our public schools, and Congress passionately debates legislation designed to circumvent prior court decisions. Ironically, in countless local communities across the United States, people of different faith traditions will gather in a common act of prayer on Thanksgiving Day, even though their understanding of what such prayer signifies varies wildly.
More than any other holiday, Thanksgiving has been the time for ecumenical and interfaith services all across this country; yet, it is also a holiday which reflects the deep divisions and fissures in American society perhaps more than any other.
It was Abraham Lincoln who, rephrasing Scripture, said: "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
Yet our differences over the proper place of faith in our nation's public life clearly show no signs of being resolved. Today it is becoming clearer and clearer that consensus on such issues is impossible. We are coming to realize that a nation divided over questions of basic belief and practice cannot stand .... unless there is a greater degree of appreciation for religious difference than there has been in the past. Also required is an appreciation of the experience and point of view of those who have no religion.
Unless we disenthrall ourselves of the notion that the purpose of Christianity or any other religion is to triumph over all others, it is likely that the Scripture's warning about the nation's fall may prove relevant at this time in our history.
On the other hand, as we learn to appreciate and even celebrate our differences, then all Americans shall truly have something to be thankful for.
May the house in which we render thanks be large enough and welcoming enough to include even those who are not prepared to pray!
Wednesday, November 26
Russian Analyst Predicts Hurricane “Colossal Shitstorm” Headed for the U.S.
“I got my head out the window, and my big feet on the ground.”
We’re goin’ down. Igor Panarin, a leading analyst and professor at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has confirmed his long-held view that the United States is heading for collapse, and will divide into separate parts. When asked who would replace the U.S. in regulating world markets, he said:
"Two countries could assume this role: China, with its vast reserves, and Russia, which could play the role of a regulator in Eurasia."
How many areas of will the U.S. be divided into? Oh, around six parts, as Panarin offered this prediction:
“The U.S. will break up into six parts - the Pacific coast, with its growing Chinese population; the South, with its Hispanics; Texas, where independence movements are on the rise; the Atlantic coast, with its distinct and separate mentality; five of the poorer central states with their large Native American populations; and the northern states, where the influence from Canada is strong.”
How exciting! "the Atlantic coast, with its distinct and separate mentality”? Got that, New Yawkas? And what type of “mentality” might that be? Oh well. Thanks for the heads up, Igor. We have only ourselves to blame.
Then we'll probably hear about how the northern autoworkers make $70/hour (they don't) and how good it is that southern autoworkers make a pittance with no health insurance and that's why the relatives only buy foreign cars because it's the American way to exploit those who make slave wages...
I agreed to put up with the catholic, conservative, homophobic, right wing that is my son's father's side of the family for Thanksgiving as long as Christmas is spent with liberal people of my choice who are mostly not my relatives. I did that last year and it worked out fantastically.
My plan of non-attack for tomorrow is to start drinking heavily upon arrival in New Hampshire and sit with the children. I vow to keep my mouth shut for the most part except that I promised myself to interject that "I like Hillary" when her name comes up just to make things interesting.
What kind of thanksgiving do you expect tomorrow? How will you deal with wingnuts?
Trying to save money and cut back? Well 'screw you', says Long Island Power Authority
LIPA wants to raise power bill
Cut back on your power use this year? You may have helped to raise your LIPA bill.
The Long Island Power Authority said yesterday lower customer usage has cut revenue, one of the factors behind a proposed 4.8 percent bill increase for next year.
The hike in LIPA's 2009 budget comes despite a record drop in the cost of fuel and on the heels of two increases this year. It translates into a $7.50 monthly increase on average residential LIPA bills, and represents a power supply charge increase of more than 9 percent.(continued)
Why in tarnation does al qaida want to target NY all the time? We're not the REAL AMERICA! Ask anyone. Really.
Breaking News: Feds warn of terror plotting against NYC subways
"...the threat may also be directed at the passenger rail lines running through New York, such as Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road, which are particularly busy with Thanksgiving holiday travelers."
Tuesday, November 25
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas!
A Christmas Lullaby - by Cary Grant 1967
The poll of 3,000 people found that 58 percent believe in the supernatural, including paranormal encounters, while 54 percent believe God exists. Women were more likely than men to believe in the supernatural and were also more likely to visit a medium.
SCOOP: McCain and Obama Camps Coordinated on Building Staff Rosters for Next Government
Don't they make a divine couple!
A senior Obama campaign official shared with The Washington Note that in July 2008, the McCain and Obama camps began to work secretly behind the scenes to assemble large rosters of potential personnel for the administration that only one of the candidates would lead.
Lists comprised of Democrats and Republicans were assembled, sorted into areas of policy expertise, so that the roster could be called on after the election by either the Obama or McCain transition teams.
This kind of out-of-sight coordination is rare between battling presidential camps and provides some indication that both Obama and McCain intended to draw expertise into their governments from both sides of the aisle -- or at least they wanted to appear interested in doing so if the information leaked out about the list development process.
Fascinating tidbit on cooperation behind battle lines.
Monday, November 24
During the1929 financial crash, some Wall Street stockbrokers and bankers actually jumped from their office windows, committing suicide when confronted with the awful shame of their firm’s and clients’ financial ruin. Awful shame?
The catch phrase “moral-hazard” since then has been downgraded to junk status, with antiquated concepts like ethics and morals taking a backseat to “toxic-hazard” in board rooms from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. But those were the good ‘ol days.
Many people were said to almost feel a little sorry for them.
In 2008 the attitude has changed somewhat…
My Little Town
Maybe apropos of the coming century!
“Great Scott, Jim! I’m a doctor, not an acupuncturist!
Have your own Hall 9000 on top of your monitor (but you have to do a little work!).
My God! It’s full of paper!
This looks really kewel! Maybe you can project videos anywhere; “Star Wars” on the back seat of the car; “Deliverance” on the side of a tent; “Behind the Green Door” in front of the toilet…
And it precisely echoes my sentiments concerning this:
Obama Skips Church for Gym
I have a number of observations about this.
One, I can hear Fox News and the "Christian Right" sharpening the knives over this, along with the Truly Insane (so ably led by MichelleMalkin and Rush Limbaugh). They will automatically contend that Obama is the secret Muslim they've squealed like castrated pigs about all this time.
Two, while I will be the first to say that while the President of this country, in its current state, needs all the help he can get (natural, supernatural,eldritch or otherwise) and bearing in mind that George Washington went to prayer services at St. Paul's Chapel in New York after his first inauguration, I feel that Presidents shouldn't go to public worship services. Don't want to be seen endorsing one sect over another, now do we?
Three, the point made in the article is correct. People go to church to find a quiet spot where hymns and rituals can supply a focus with which to meditate; do you really want that mucked up by a Presidential entourage and the Secret Service?
Four, if the "Christian Right" get all huffy about this, I will simply smile and lay this on them:
"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thouprayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." - Matthew 6:5-6
Of course, far be it from the "Christian Right" to pay any real attention to what Jesus said.
The decor is slightly modern minimalist, with several fish tanks and plasma screen TVs; the lounge area is composed of low, plush sofas and chairs set with lighted plastic cubes that act as tables. The bar has a waterfall-style sculpture behind it and the backlighting for the bottles changes colors.
There's an actual sushi bar in the back where you can sit and watch while the chefs prepare your nigiri or maki in front of you. And there are cooked entrees and appetizers.
Wanting to get a second opinion, I took my Mom along with me.
As an appetizer, Mom ordered a selection of tempura-fried veggies (mushrooms, onion, green peppers, cucumbers) with a tasty dipping sauce. I ordered nigiri as my appetizer, and selected salmon roe. The roe, small orange balls, were presented in a bowl made of half a lemon with the pulp scooped out and served on a bed of shredded daikon and carrot. The obligatory pickled ginger and wasabi were on the side.
Both: Highly recommended. I'll certainly come back to try more varieties of their nigiri.
The entrees came with a delicious broth, and a garden salad with a ginger dressing. Mom ordered teriyaki style beef and vegetables, while I asked for tempura-fired chicken and shrimp, which came with a soy-based dipping sauce.
Both: Highly recommended.
Dessert was taken home, and consisted of two pieces of tempura cheesecake, drizzled with chocolate and raspberry sauces and a dollop of whipped cream.
Verdict: While not exactly cheap (the tempura chicken and shrimp were $14.95, the priciest thing ordered) the food was exceptional, the service excellent and the setting quite calming.
The Blue Sapphire earns four spoons.
People who are very near and dear to me have lost their jobs or on the verge of losing their jobs. More people that I don't know are in the same boat. Newsday reported that 26,000 Long Island families can't afford turkey dinners for thanksgiving. That's up from 20,000 last year. I'm going turkey shopping today, although I think missing out on a turkey dinner is the tip of an iceberg.
During the last recession, I was in the financial situation that I could help out people who were in dire straights. Man oh man, you lose more friends that way. Either they fall off the face of the earth or they turn around and kick you in the ass. I don't have the means to bail anyone out this recession, but I will be sure to contribute what I can anonymously to people I don't know.
Obama worse than Bush? I don't think so.
You get a chance to muse in the comments.
Sunday, November 23
Don't expect to hear about the real war on Christmas from Faux news.
It's not preferable, but all major U.S. financial companies will eventually be under government control because the alternative is so much worse, Hugh Hendry, chief investment officer at hedge fund Eclectica Asset Management, said Friday.
"All financials will be owned by the U.S. government in a year," Hendry said. "I bet you."
Nationalizations take dramatic losses from the private sector and places them on the larger balance sheet of the public sector, he said.
"It's not good," but society is vulnerable and society is going to have to intervene, Hendry said.
Shareholders Should Get Nothing
Because the taxpayers are forced to foot the bill for bailout out the banks, shareholders shouldn't be compensated, Hendry added.
(Watch the accompanying video for Hendry's full comments...) (See Link)
"Actually the shareholders of Citigroup have looked the other way for more than a decade" while management took excessive risk, he said.
Shareholders should take nothing away if it is nationalized, because the taxpayer will be "paying this for a long, long time," he added.
I'll let the politico-econo-socio experts decide if such a situation comes to pass whether or not the U.S. can then be termed " A Fascist State." Whatever it might be changing into though, I hope most of us feel good about it.
Got sidetracked again at youtube folks!! Just came across this old "Your Hit Parade" video -- had to post it.....My My My how things have changed.
OMG I'm coughing up a lung here!! ROFLMFAO!!!!! (fast forward video to 3:40)
So round - so firm --- So Fully Packed
so free and easy...... on the draw
oh the historic chant of the tobacco auctioneer.....
one of the true traditions of our country!!!
I only stumbled on that video cause I was watching this video
Incredible Sonovox - Kay Kyser - 1940 film "You'll Find Out"
**(The ending is precious!!)**
and I only watched that video cause I was looking up some info on my NEW FAVORITE SONG by Desmond and the Tutus
"Kiss You On The Cheek"
now I want a cig
better go clean the house now
Except you, blackdog.
US officials flunk test of Amerian history, economics, civicsIt should be noted that according to the results after I took the test, the national average score for this quiz is now 77.6%.
US elected officials scored abysmally on a test measuring their civic knowledge, with an average grade of just 44 percent, the group that organized the exam said Thursday.
Ordinary citizens did not fare much better, scoring just 49 percent correct on the 33 exam questions compiled by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).
"It is disturbing enough that the general public failed ISI's civic literacy test, but when you consider the even more dismal scores of elected officials, you have to be concerned," said Josiah Bunting, chairman of the National Civic Literacy Board at ISI. continued
I imagine that many political junkies will score quite well on this test since we do a lot more reading and discussion of public policy than most people. I wonder what Sarah Palin would get on this test?
Saturday, November 22
Something tells me that the root cause of youthful drinking is not "happy hour" discounts. Although, come to think of it, I do most of my imbibing when there are drink discounts at pubs and restaurants. But I'm older and cheap.
He may have lost a little hair....... but nothing else -- SIMON STILL ROCKS!
You can watch the interview with Simon that preceded the song here
Here's a video of Paul Simon singing American Tune from 1975
Here are the lyrics from Songmeanings followed by a reader's comment (interpretation) of the song's meaning
Many's the time I've been mistaken
And many times confused
Yes, and I've often felt forsaken
And certainly misused
Oh, but I'm alright, I'm alright
I'm just weary to my bones
Still, you don't expect to be
Bright and bon vivant
So far a-way from home, so far away from home
And I don't know a soul who's not been battered
I don't have a friend who feels at ease
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered
or driven to its knees
but it's alright, it's alright
for we lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the
road we're traveling on
I wonder what's gone wrong
I can't help it, I wonder what has gone wrong
And I dreamed I was dying
I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
And I dreamed I was flying
And high up above my eyes could clearly see
The Statue of Liberty
Sailing away to sea
And I dreamed I was flying
We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the a-ge's most uncertain hours
and sing an American tune
Oh, and it's alright, it's alright, it's alright
You can't be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow's going to be another working day
And I'm trying to get some rest
That's all I'm trying to get some rest
A Comment from the songmeaning discussion:
Yes, the music of "An American Tune" is in a sense a "flagrant rip-off," since it's at least 400 years old, which is when it turned up in a love song by the German Baroque composer Hans Hassler. And =he= probably stole it from an old Bavarian folk song.
It was next stolen by no less a personage than Johann Sebastian Bach as a motif for his "St Matthew Passion," and soon became a utiltity tune for singing many different hymns in the Protestant church.
So it was a favorite of the Pilgrims when they came to America, and eventually was used by the American labor movement for some of their marching songs.
And that was why singer-songwriter Tom Glazer chose it for "The Whole World Around," a song he wrote for the folk group The Weavers (which included Pete Seeger), later popularized as "Because All Men Are Brothers" by Peter Paul & Mary.
As the saying goes, "Good artists borrow, great artists steal outright."
So we have to assume that Simon had his tongue in his cheek when he call the song "An American Tune," since like most Americans, the song is an immigrant.
Paul Simon began thinking about writing the song in the early 1970s during the preparations for the American Bicentennial in 1976. He was planning something upbeat, with a reference to the American Moon Landing in 1969
But by 1972, Watergate happened, the economy was in a tailspin, and the antiwar movement and civil rights movements had become increasingly violent. And he and Art Garfunkel stopped performing. There was a lot of talk about the "decline of the American Empire," and some people were wondering if we would even make it to the Bicentennial in one piece.
There's a story that Simon actually had the dream, which is spelled out clearly in the song, of hovering high above New York Harbor, watching the Statue of Liberty sail away over the horizon. And when he woke up, the song wrote itself.
The point of the song, I think, is the same as that of Arlo Guthrie's "Patriot's Dream." We can't give up on the struggle for freedom, even when times are hard and things look hopeless.
Hmm. Might be time for another cover of this one.
Giant pandas are cute, from cubs all the way to full-grown adults, but they are still wild animals. A man snuck into a zoo in Guilin, China and found out the hard way when he went to hug the panda and the panda started biting him.
You can read all about it here.
Many things that we consider "cute" are actually quite nasty. Koalas, for example. They look rather cute with their placid eyes, bootleather noses and Einstein-like tufts of fur sticking out of their ears.
But try to pick one up. That's when you find that those huge curved claws on their paws have uses other than clinging to trees and they wet you down with strong eucalyptus-scented urine.
So the next time something looks so gosh-darned cute (or kyoooot) you just feel the overriding urge to pick it up and cuddle it, be warned.
Yeah, you think about how nice seeing all that snow is.
Somehow, those heavy snows and shoveling and slipping and falling and skidding from last year seem so far away...
Try to Remember...
Click on the image to enlarge.
Student arrested for 'passing gas' at Stuart school
STUART, Fla. (AP) -- A student at a Florida school has been arrested after authorities say he was "passing gas" and turned off his classmates' computers.
According to a report released Friday by the Martin County Sheriff's Office, the 13-year-old boy "continually disrupted his classroom environment" by intentionally breaking wind. He then shut off some computers other students were using.
The Spectrum Junior-Senior High School student was arrested Nov. 4.
A school resource officer placed the boy under arrest after he confessed about his behavior, according to the report. He was charged with disruption of school function and released to his mother.Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All right reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
People have passed wind throughout the ages (according to a famous story, the Earl of Essex accidentally farted in front of Queen Elizabeth I and was so embarrassed he went away for seven years), and farting is one of the quintessential methods of generating humor. Joke books and plays from as far back as the Roman Empire and earlier show that.
In school passing gas is the occasion for shame, embarrassment and of course laughs, but this is the first time I've EVER heard of it being the cause of arrest.
This is political correctness and sensitivity run amok. Farting is a bodily function and in some cases is inescapable - people have to vent noxious gases overboard.
Friday, November 21
NBC confirms that the Secretary Of State post is offered to Hillary Clinton, and she will accept it. The announcement will be made official after Thanksgiving Holiday.
For all the naysayers who doubted his resolve or executive spine, President Elect proves that he has the right stuff to be Chief Executive.
So far, all the appointments show his thrive for excellence of the new administration. I wish him well! He will need all the competent people in this country to deal with the tremendous task he is set to accomplish.
Challenging times enable Presidents to achieve greatness.
I saw this video on the news last night and almost couldn't believe what I was watching.
Sarah Palin pardoned a turkey yesterday at a turkey hatchery. After that she gave a press conference right in front of a man who was killing and draining the blood out of turkeys. You have to watch this. (they blurred the really gory parts.)
Man caught with penis in pasta jar ... near Nobbys BeachThe Herald, Newcastle
November 20, 2008
A man caught near Nobbys Beach with his penis in a pasta sauce jar led police on a 20 kmh car chase, Newcastle Local Court heard yesterday.
Police drew their weapons when they suspected Keith Roy Weatherley, 46, was armed.
Instead, they found him partially clothed with his genitals in a jar, a police statement said.
Weatherley, of Promontory Way, North Arm Cove, attracted attention parked in a no-stopping zone before noon on October 26.
Police believed Weatherley was doing something with his hands in his lap and thought that he might have a weapon.
Weatherley saw the police and drove away, despite them flashing their lights.
The chase lasted five to 10 minutes, with a top speed of just 20 kmh, before Weatherley was stopped at Centenary Drive, Newcastle. He refused to leave the car.
Four officers used batons and capsicum spray to remove him.
They found a 750-millilitre jar around his penis and noted that Weatherley attempted to continue "pleasuring himself in between bouts of wrestling".
A search of his car uncovered pornography, a home-made sex aid, women's stockings and a Jack Russell terrier.
Weatherley pleaded guilty to offensive behaviour, resisting police and disobeying a police direction.
Magistrate Elaine Truscott asked Weatherley, who represented himself, why he behaved the way he did.
He said he resisted police because he was trying to make himself "decent".
He was fined $600 for offensive behaviour and convicted of the other two offences without further action taken.
My only question is this - I can see the pasta jar, the "homemade sex aid," and all that.
But a Jack Russell terrier?!
Thursday, November 20
Remember all those neato keen "Clean Coal" commercials we all were forced to sit through during the recent De-lection Campaign? Well, it looks like they were pure carbon dust. Yup!
Clean Coal maybe really isn't!
Editor's note: This post is not to inflame a north-south war at the blog. It is the politicians who are working with the corporatists to bust up unions and exploit southern workers.
Should taxpayers in Alabama be required to bail out automakers whose plants are concentrated in Northern states like Michigan and Ohio?
Well tough titties. Perhaps auto workers in the south ought to unionize and tell their congresscritters to F--- the hell off for not fighting for them to make more money. I read that they make about $12/hr and get no healthcare benefits in southern auto plants. Are they proud that they make shit wages and are among the working poor (and sick)? You can make more working in a supermarket in NY and you get bennies. I'm not defending the big 3, but I am tired of reading how the blame should go to the auto workers. The CEO's flew their corporate jets to DC to ask for money. Their salaries and bennies are lavish while the autoworkers live firmly in the middle class. If anyone should be punished and blamed, it should be the executives. Over 3 million jobs are at stake.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R- Ala., told reporters Wednesday, “I can not imagine a real justification for a worker in Alabama who does not have any health insurance at his company to be taxed to maintain a Cadillac health care plan for somebody in Detroit.”
UPDATE: Speaking of the auto industry, today Michigan Democrat John Dingell was voted off his post of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and replaced with Rep Henry Waxman of California. Dingell fought tightening fuel economy standards for the auto industry and his wife is a lobbyist for GM.
"The ascension of Waxman, a wily environmentalist, recasts a committee that Dingell has chaired since 1981 with an eye toward protecting the domestic auto industry in his native Michigan," Politico noted Thursday. "The Energy and Commerce Committee has principal jurisdiction over many of President-elect Barack Obama's top legislative priorities, including energy, the environment and health care."
UPDATE 2. Speaking of union busting, read this story by David Neiwart at C&L.
Read Chilling Reports by Students: Classmates With Guns Talk of Shooting Obama -- And Racism in Wasilla, Alaska
I'm not sure that Obama knew about the new EPA rules, but Obama seeks immediate action to curb emissions
"Now is the time to confront this challenge once and for all," Obama said. "Delay is no longer an option. Denial is no longer an acceptable response. The stakes are too high, the consequences too serious."Obama's plan will force companies to pay for emitting green houses gases. "As a result, alternative energy technologies should become more cost-competitive with fossil fuels."
He repeated his campaign promise to create a system that limits carbon dioxide emissions and forces companies to pay for the right to emit the gas. Using the money collected from that system, Obama plans to invest $15 billion each year in alternative energy. That investment - in solar, wind and nuclear power, as well as advanced coal technology - will create jobs at a time of economic turmoil, he said.
"It will ... help us transform our industries and steer our country out of this economic crisis by generating 5 million new green jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced," Obama said.
Everyone in my family including moi will be lining up for one of those well paying green jobs that can't be outsourced.
Wednesday, November 19
It would be a really great idea, considering all the dumb asses serving in the US Congress.
• During a television debate against incumbent South Carolina Sen. Fritz Hollings in 1986, candidate Henry McMaster challenged his opponent to take a drug test. "I'll take a drug test," Hollings said, "if you'll take an IQ test."
Read more here
I served as a county committee member locally for three years. I've never seen so many stupid people running politics locally.
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Life, the Universe and Nearly Everything
- Spike Milligan, The Goon Show: Confessions of a Secret Senna Pod Drinker
Many countries have a national health care system. I'm not exactly certain this kind of service is covered, though:
A CENTRAL COAST [New South Wales, Australia] doctor and his girlfriend had sex in his surgery up to 80 times during their five-month relationship in 2004, a court heard yesterday.
Read on ....
November 15, 2008 - 2:33pm
WASHINGTON -- A Maryland lobbyist was attacked by a deer outside his home and says the buck repeatedly stabbed him with its antlers, before he was able to wrestle the animal to the ground.
Gilbert Genn, a former state delegate from Montgomery County, says the bizarre incident occurred Thursday, as he left his Gaithersburg home to walk his dog, Yuffie. When the deer appeared on the front lawn of his home, his chocolate labrador ran to chase it off, but the buck didn't budge.
"[Yuffie] started circling it, and the deer didn't run. After a couple of seconds, I realized this was going to be a serious situation, because the deer then put its antlers down and was getting ready to charge Yuffie, who was barking at her," Genn said. "At that point I tore down the driveway screaming 'Yuffie get away.'"
But it was too late. The deer cut the dog off from his owner and went into attack mode. Before he knew it, Genn found himself face to face with the wild animal.
"It came right at me, from about 10 feet away. I tried to run at an angle, but it caught me flush in the back right leg, impaled me with its weight, knocked me to the ground. It started to come right at my face with its antlers."
The buck impaled Genn in the chest, but in the tussle he managed to land a swift kick to the animal's underbelly, causing it to momentarily abate. Genn said he then screamed for his wife to get the dog. As his wife approached the dog, the deer rammed Genn for the third time.
"It impaled me in the groin area. At that point, literally, I took the antler and pulled it out of me."
Genn said his mind flashed to the tragic death of "Crock Hunter" Steve Irwin and he realized he had to prevent getting stabbed in a vital organ. Genn then grabbed the deer by the horns and pinned it to the ground for a couple of minutes, until the animal tired out. He said he then released the animal and quickly ran the other way.
He sustained injuries to his leg, chest, and groin.
"I looked down and already my blue sweat pants from my groin area on down had turned purple, so I knew I was pretty badly injured and needed some medical attention. It was a pretty frightening experience."
But Genn did not go straight to the hospital. He tended to his groin injury with a paper binder clip, cotton and disinfectant, so he could make it to a long-planned meeting with Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch in Annapolis, close to 40 miles away.
"There was no way I could miss this meeting," Genn said.
The lobbyist, who served as a Democrat in Maryland's House from 1987 until 1999, joked that the attack may have had political ramifications.
"Not to get too partisan, but I'm convinced it was a Republican deer, because it happened right where we had our Obama sign. And all the deer could do was attack, attack, attack. So it had to be a Republican deer."
Only after the meeting in Annapolis did Genn get himself to a hospital. He's now doing fine, following the attack, though he has been getting rabies shots as a precaution.
Genn said he also spoken to county animal control officials, who note that deer can be very aggressive during the rutting season, when they mate.
(Copyright 2008 by WTOP. All rights reserved.)
When the new Democratic majority took power in the Senate in 2006 I (along with many others) expected things to slightly improve. By "slightly improve" I mean that the Senate would insist more on its Constitutional prerogatives and fend off the Bush Regime's more egregious assaults on the rule of law and common decency.
Instead I was treated with the spectacle of watching Harry Reid (D-NV) whimper and roll over faster than a Nevadan hooker at the prospect of scoring some john's gambling winnings by taking it up the ass. On virtually every subject.
Which brings me, mercifully, to the subject of Joseph Lieberman (CT-Quisling).
Instead of actually punishing Lieberman for Party disloyalty or at least giving him a wedgie, the Democratic Senate Caucus is allowing him to sail on virtually unscathed, losing a relatively unimportant subcommittee chairmanship and giving what was probably a facile, insincere apology written for him by a Republican staffer.
It makes me wonder, particularly in light of the win by Anchorage Mayor Begich over incumbent Ted Stevens. That puts the Dems to within two seats of a filibuster-proof 60 seat majority, with the Minnesota and Georgia races still in contention.
If the Democrats can pull 60 seats in without Lieberman caucusing with them, I say cut his ass loose and good riddance. Then throw the pasty-faced wad an anvil when he runs for re-election in 2010.
In the meanwhile, I seriously advocate the Democratic caucus picking someone other than Harry Reid for the majority leadership. I've heard tell that Reid was once a boxer - how the hell did he win (if he ever did)? Conciliate them to death?
He is still the longest serving Republican in Senate history.
Tuesday, November 18
I don't about you all, but this reeks. What's the matter with Harry "Joe Lieberman is a Democrat, he's a part of this caucus" Reid?
From the CS Monitor.com:And whose fault is this?
The consumer is in no mood to spend.
With only a few weeks to go before the holiday season officially kicks off, retailers are saying this is the worst consumer environment since World War II. Big box retailers are fighting for survival, department stores are preparing massive promotions, and some stores are asking manufacturers to take back their products even before Thanksgiving.
An unenthusiastic consumer has wide ramifications for the US economy because 70 percent of the nation's production of goods and services is oriented toward consumption...
"I have said repeatedly that America doesn't torture, and I'm going to make sure that we don't torture," Obama said Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes." "Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America's moral stature in the world."It was good news but today I read that there would be no investigation into the prosecution of those who ordered the torture nor the torturers themselves. Obama advisors and Sen Patrick Leahy said that there was no sense in going backward- that we should look forward. There is also the possibility that bush will preemptively pardon all the war criminals. Stay tuned for more on that.
Like others, I don't see how we can move forward and regain moral stature in the world without investigating those who dragged the US into abyss.
There is talk that the top candidate for the CIA may be John Brennan who served under George Tenet. With Tenet we discovered that prisoners were being waterboarded. Critics say that John Brennan's appointment would not mean change. This is hearsay at this point so I will reserve comment.
Obama advisers: Bush era war criminals will walk
ACLU: Bush may 'sabatoge' Obama, force 9/11 'mastermind' trial
Monday, November 17
These two lovebirds were meant for each other from the very start, here.
The Guardian has learned today that Hillary Clinton plans to accept the job of secretary of state offered by Barack Obama, who is reaching out to former rivals to build a broad coalition administration.
"Obama's advisers have begun looking into Bill Clinton's foundation, which distributes millions of dollars to Africa to help with development, to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. But Democrats do not believe that the vetting is likely to be a problem. Clinton would be well placed to become the country's dominant voice in foreign affairs, replacing Condoleezza Rice. Since being elected senator for New York, she has specialised in foreign affairs and defence. Although she supported the war in Iraq, she and Obama basically agree on a withdrawal of American troops."
Whoever said the Democrats don't know how to unite?
And from Reuters/Hollywood Reporter via yahoo news -- New PBS series exposes Old Testament fairy tales:
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Bill Maher, on HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher," frequently refers to the Old Testament of the Bible as the Book of Jewish Fairy Tales. The description might anger the pious and the fundamentalists, but guess what? Maher's close to the truth.
A visually stunning two-hour special edition of "Nova" examines decades of archaeological studies that contradict much of what is in the Bible. The entire Exodus story is debunked, as is the idea that the Israelites were monotheistic following the contract made between God and Abraham. It turns out idol worship was common through the reign of King David and right up to the Babylonian exile.
Is the Bible the word of God? Only if God dictated it to dozens, maybe hundreds, of different writers, each of whom wrote and modified stories using different patterns of language over a period of centuries.
To be sure, writer-producer-director Gary Glassman does not dismiss the Old Testament as a collection of fairy tales. He asserts that the stories, though provably false in many cases, were intended to give identity to the Israelites, a group likely made up of former Canaanites, nomads and runaway slaves. Also, the Bible provided the Israelites with a moral framework.
The special, narrated by Liev Schreiber, is not likely to sit well with those who believe that the Bible, despite its internal inconsistencies, should be interpreted literally. Then again, science and religion have had a long history of conflict until, ultimately, the former prevails.
"A Collection of Writings of Unknown Date and Authorship Rendered into English From Supposed Copies of Supposed Originals unfortunately Lost."
~The Bible Unveiled, M.M. Mangasarian, 1911; Chicago: Independent Religious Society
Hey Tom, how’s that whole “world is flat” thing working out?
Not so good…Former billionaire Tom Friedman has watched his net worth plummet from $3.6 billion to less than $24 million, and now he wants all Americans to fuel up those outdated SUV’s and go spend borrowed money from China that they don’t really have on inferior goods they don’t really need in any flat, hot, smelly, and overcrowded shopping center they can find “to go shopping to save the economy.”
Flatworlder Thomas “The World is All about Me and other Elitists Only” Friedman’s world is flat broke now, and his fall from the billionaire’s club is a testament to the greed induced downside of the free-market fundamentalism he's been preaching for so long. While he has raked in millions of dollars in “best sellers” and commanded up to $50,000 in speaking engagement fees to stomp an insider cronyism profits over people message to gullible American audiences for far too long, he has reaped what he has sown. As Vanity Fair’s Peter Newcomb reports:
“But based on the bad news coming out of shopping-mall owner General Growth Properties [GGP], it is no wonder Friedman is feeling crankier than usual. That’s because author’s wife, Ann (née Bucksbaum), is an heir to the General Growth fortune. In the past year, the couple—who live in an 11,400-square-foot mansion in Bethesda, Maryland—have watched helplessly as General Growth stock has fallen 99 percent, from a high of $51 to a recent 35 cents a share. The assorted Bucksbaum family trusts, once worth a combined $3.6 billion, are now worth less than $25 million.”
Going shopping is, of course fine – providing one has a good paying job to afford the nation’s former pastime. But the hidden little secret that best-selling authors like Friedman won’t tell you is that for over the past fifteen years, corporate America and the beltway have been busy selling off American white collar jobs to Indian citizens willing to work here for a fraction of the pay, eliminating job opportunities for American citizens and lowering wages in the process. Guess who thinks this wholesale sell out of the educated white collar workforce is just swell? President-elect Barack Obama. The Great American white collar labor shortage myth has been propped up by elitist corporate greedsters who view Americans as objects of “trade” to eliminate employment opportunities for local citizens in favor of importing cheap labor.
Today Citigroup announced another cut of 53,000 jobs in addition to the recent 23,000 jobs this year with rival JP Morgan set to slash thousands more jobs. As Obama says, “we are facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression” so why would he want to see this country’s citizens replaced by foreign workers? Progressives need to embrace the myth of the Great American Labor Shortage and take the president-elect to task on one of the two most critical issues affecting the welfare of our citizens: jobs and access to quality healthcare.
Where are our ethics? Is the soul and spirit of the “progressive” movement one of elitist groupthink that blindly aspires to be just like the sociopathic corporate executives who pine for imported cheap labor in order to ensure profits for themselves and their cronies? Progressives need to unite against this war on America’s middle class and demand a stop to the legalized importation of cheap labor to take our jobs. True progressives need to demand a stop to legalized corporate welfare policies that enrich executives of insurance companies and corporations whose mantra is profits over people.
We don’t need to keep shopping for any more cheap crap. We need to start making stuff here again, and to start valuing our own neighbors to put the spirit of community back into our own communities first. How abundant are the destructive, inhumane forces of so called “free-trade” labor agreements when they seek to destroy employment opportunities at home in exchange for lucrative labor deals that only serve elites of our country and those of third world nations? As countries across the globe struggle with their own deteriorating economies, the only thing we have left in our own is our collective goodwill. I don’t doubt the lack of integrity in people across this country, but I have my reservations about the controlled direction our media are taking to silence the message as they gatekeep a few One World information elites who feed them.
As China’s President Hu Jintao said last week: “Beijing's priority is to "put our own house in order" and ensure domestic stability. Will America’s President-elect, Barack Obama change to put the welfare of Americans first or will he follow through with his allegiance to corporate welfare practices first? Will Obama quit “shushing baby boomers and stop telling them to “get over themselves” and start putting us first?
After eight years of criminal lies and neglect, now wouldn’t that be something?
OK. How’s this for solving the “bailout crisis?” Since everyone in power (and out) is in someway responsible for our current situation (either actively or by implication and ignorance), I suggest we hold a nation-wide lottery for Current and Retired:
Businessmen, Federal, State and Local Congressional Representatives and Senators, Cabinet Members, Lobbyists, Political Advisors, Governors, CEOs, Upper Level Management, Lawyers, Union and Religious leaders, Media Pundits (with extra picks from Fox News) and non registered, eligible age voters.
Each month, every Thursday, 100 “winners” from the nation-wide pool would be selected. These would be escorted by local authorities and presented to the nearest local town square or equivalent each Saturday where they would then be shot, in public. The event would be broadcast live on C-Span at 2:00 P.M. Eastern - 11:00 A.M. Pacific. Those unfortunate selectees would be left to lay in public until the next Thursday’s choices, who would be required to remove their predecessors to the proper facilities then ready themselves for their turn the following Saturday. (Any advertising profits would go 100% to senior citizens).
The lottery would continue, each week, with another 100 selected from the pool of participants with the same Saturday actions until the remaining lottery entrants get the idea, change their ways and straighten out the country. As a bonus, 100 additional winners would be selected during the weeks of National Holidays.
This should serve as an effective stimulation for the surviving participants to very quickly enact policy to benefit the public.
Each month the public would vote, (straight up or down) by email whether those remaining then acted in our best interest. Less than 50% would ensure the next month’s lotteries. Over 50% would delay the lotteries for at least one month.
As an added opportunity for the general public, a nationwide betting pool for $1.00 per chance would be instituted on who the next 100 would be. Winners would be provided with tax free status for the remainder of their lives.
Suggestions are welcome!