Saturday, April 26, 2008

Quote of the day II

Public Policy Polling predicted a win for Obama in PA (oops).

"The networks have called it for Hillary and I think after Florida in 2000 they're not going to make that mistake again, so obviously our polls were wrong. First off, please do not call us or e-mail us and tell us we suck! We are well aware, and it does not feel good."

-- Public Policy Polling
-- Polling service

Via Public Policy Polling.


Quote of the day

"The way the loser loses, will determine whether the winner wins in November."

Rahm Emanuel
Illinois Representative

WTF ?????

Via NYT.


We got a twofer

This is all about the "Extreme" ad for McCain in NC. Yes, I provide the link, but hate myself for doing so.

Face it, folks. The ad itself would never have gotten so much attention without all this fucking controversy. It is goddamn ingenious marketing

Not Pulled



Sorry about that

Via Jonco.


Friday, April 25, 2008


Bloggered v. Fucked by Blogger.

Don't know when I might get to post this, but need to explain my erratic blogging.

Most of the time over the last several hours, when I try to post, Blogger gives me a Not Found ... Error 404 message. When a post does work it is followed within minutes by one which won't.

It also prevents my updating/editing earlier posts and won't upload images. All in all, every feature you would want from a blogging software package.

There are other problems, but they affect me and not you.

If I don't commit seppuku, I'll get rolling eventually.

All this is aligning as an "Oh man!" moment* because of my ISP, motherboard problems.

* "Oh man!" moment. In a movie when one or more bad things happen to a character and, when they think everything is fine, another hits them and the response is "Oh man!"**

** Or "Damn", or "Shit!" or "Fuck!" or ... it all depends on the movie's rating or the country showing the film.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Afghan farmers turn away from opium

Sometimes unintended (unanticipated?) consequences aren't so bad.

Better the cost of illegal drugs rise rather than that of food.
Afghanistan's opium harvest could fall by up to half this year after 2007's record levels, as evidence emerges that some poppy farmers are switching to legal crops because of rising food prices.

Via Financial Times.


Border Agents Can Search Laptops W/Out Cause

Ya better be careful what you store on your laptop because TSA agents may just see it.

Took digital pictures of your wife nude in your hotel room? Show them to the TSA if you want to.
Federal agents at the border do not need any reason to search through travelers' laptops, cell phones or digital cameras for evidence of crimes, a federal appeals court ruled Monday, extending the government's power to look through belongings like suitcases at the border to electronics.

The unanimous three-judge decision reverses a lower court finding that digital devices were "an extension of our own memory" and thus too personal to allow the government to search them without cause. Instead, the earlier ruling said, Customs agents would need some reasonable and articulable suspicion a crime had occurred in order to search a traveler's laptop.

On appeal, the government argued that was too high a standard, infringing upon its right to keep the country safe and enforce laws. Civil rights groups, joined by business traveler groups, weighed in, defending the lower court ruling.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the government, finding that the so-called border exception to the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches applied not just to suitcases and papers, but also to electronics.

My personal take on this is it fucking stinks. I have no problem with agents searching my luggage for bombs or other dangerous items. That makes sense for the safety of the other passengers, but how will a digital picture bring down an airplane?

This is just out of control. "Sorry, can't let you on the plane and you're under arrest. Those things in that picture [breasts] look like bombs."

Via BlackListedNews.


Congress close on bill to ban genetic discrimination

Its good to see such a law put into affect. But come on, do you really think your appearance, education, experience won't be sited as why you weren't hired even when your DNA did you in? Just asking.

There are age discrimination laws on the books and older employees are weeded out of organizations on a daily basis. They are passed up for promotions too.

An employer can always find some other legitimate reason for their actions.
Lawmakers have agreed to make it illegal for employers and insurance companies to deny applicants jobs and health care coverage because DNA tests show they are genetically disposed to a disease.

Via Boston Globe.


Republicans block pay discrimination bill

Including McCain.
U.S. Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked legislation to reverse a Supreme Court ruling that makes it tougher for workers to sue for pay discrimination.

No need to actually follow link below. Whole story is here.

Via Capitol Hill Blue.


19-year-old girl Alia Sabur world's youngest professor

Sorry, but I couldn't pass this up even though I should have.

This is for all of you who are still students.
Alia Sabur, 19, was announced the youngest full-time college professor in history by the Guinness Book of World Records, media reported Tuesday.

That happened last month, when the venerable publication named Sabur the world's youngest college professor.


Via Xinhua.


Toronto police seize 8,000 pot plants in opium raids

Might I point out to the headline writer marijuana and opium are different?

I only bring this up because opium is never mentioned in the actual, uh, story and I suspect the headline writer might be on one or the other of those drugs.
Police in Canada's biggest city Toronto dismantled 18 indoor pot planting operations, seizing 8,000 pot plants worth more than 8 million Canadian dollars (8 million U.S. dollars) during raids in the past two years, authorities said Wednesday.

Via Xinhua.


AAJ: U.S. Chamber's Phony 'Rankings' Serve Extreme Corporate Agenda

Hey, don't even contemplate playing with the big dogs. Ya ain't got a chance in hell.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce's so-called think tank, Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), today released its phony report* that claims to rank the best and worst state legal systems in America. American Association for Justice (AAJ) obtained a copy in advance of U.S. Chamber's formal release tomorrow [today].

"This latest propaganda is further proof that U.S. Chamber serves at the behest of elite corporate insiders," said Jon Haber, CEO of American Association for Justice (AAJ). "U.S. Chamber's goal is to make sure people can't get justice in the courtroom, especially against the corporations that finance this front group." ILR's 30-person board is composed of drug, chemical, and insurance corporations with combined 2007 revenues of $1.4 trillion.
Here is what's wrong with this report:

-- Only corporate defense lawyers from companies earning $100 million or more were surveyed. No local experts, attorneys, judges, or media were surveyed.

-- The methodology has been debunked. U.S. Chamber's own pollster admitted to Copley News Service in 2004 that there is no way to measure the fairness of a state's legal system.

-- In 2006, U.S. Chamber's CEO and the same pollster confessed to the Charleston Gazette that only a fraction of corporate defense lawyers knew anything about West Virginia's courts, even though they ranked poorly at 49th.

-- There is no margin of error or evidence the "rankings" is statistically valid. U.S. Chamber lists multiple tables pretending to detail the methodology without actually revealing the response rate or accuracy of its poll.

Ironically, ILR released these "rankings" in Louisiana as the state continues to recover from Hurricane Katrina. An Allstate vice-president and State Farm's CEO sit on ILR's board, two companies that have notoriously stiffed Gulf Coast policyholders.

"As the Gulf Coast's residents and business community rebound from Katrina, U.S. Chamber is trying to undermine their progress to do the bidding for greedy insurance CEOs," said Haber. "U.S. Chamber should stop spending millions on junk studies and tell their insurance company board members to pay out just claims instead."

Via News Unfiltered.

* Full release.

Note: Edited for readability.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ethanol's Failed Promise

And slowly they come around to what I've been telling you.
The willingness to try, fail and try again is the essence of scientific progress. The same sometimes holds true for public policy. It is in this spirit that today, Earth Day, we call upon Congress to revisit recently enacted federal mandates requiring the diversion of foodstuffs for production of biofuels. These "food-to-fuel" mandates were meant to move America toward energy independence and mitigate global climate change. But the evidence irrefutably demonstrates that this policy is not delivering on either goal. In fact, it is causing environmental harm and contributing to a growing global food crisis.

This has always been about politics. Sure, all things are in one way or another, but this was never a good idea scientifically or socially and anyone with any sense knew it.

Ah, but the political mileage... we can't forget the political mileage.

Via Washington Post.


Its all relative I suppose

McCain picks failing Ohio factory to laud free trade

Who the hell in McCain's camp is giving him advice on choosing this fucking location? And then he touts free trade? He's lucky he got out of there alive.

I smell a DNC mole in their camp. Maybe two. One who chose the site and one who wrote the speech.
Standing before a nearly shuttered factory pocked with broken windows in a city devastated by the erosion of its industrial base, John McCain on Tuesday urged Americans to reject the "siren song of protectionism" and embrace free trade.

Via McClatchy.


Do you suppose Bush's advisers recently watched the movie American Dreamz? Just asking.
Frightened by the President's apparent nervous breakdown, his Chief of Staff (Dafoe) pushes him back into the spotlight, booking him as a guest judge on the television ratings juggernaut (and the President's personal fave), the weekly talent show American Dreamz.

Life imitates art as they say.
With his duties at the White House increasingly minimal, Bush found time to appear on the popular game show 'Deal or No Deal'

Via Guardian.


VA Debated PR Plan on Vets' Suicides

This is enough to make you sick.
Faced with new data this year showing a stunning number of suicide attempts by U.S. war veterans, senior Veterans Administration officials exchanged e-mails on how to craft a possible P.R. strategy to minimize the negative impact of the news.

Never mind trying to actually do something about the problem. Just work out a plan to refute there is one or deny the VA is in any way at fault. Or whatever...



Carter's Middle East visit irks Bush aides

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday that former President Jimmy Carter's recent talks with the Palestinian group Hamas had not been helpful, and she disputed Carter's claim that no one in the government had tried to dissuade him from his mission.

The actual focus of this story isn't really news. By now everyone knows Carter pissed off the administration and Rice claims she tried to stop his visiting with Hamas.

Nope. My focus is: Who ya gonna believe? A known liar like Rice or a straight arrow like Jimmy?

Via International.


Clinton threatens to 'obliterate' Iran if Israel attacked

OK, she is far more hawkish than I care for, but read what she really said.

She didn't threaten fucking obliteration, she said the US would have the capability. This is something I believe needn't be pointed out to any country. Of course the US could obliterate any country and they all know it.

I'm not defending HRC. Far from it. But that headline or a variation is all over the news and it isn't exactly accurate.

There is an implied threat, but not an overt one.
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton threatened to "totally obliterate" Iran if the Islamic Republic was ever "reckless" enough to launch a nuclear attack on Israel.

She later said her remark was an attempt to lay out a rationale for a Cold War-style system of deterrence with Iran, but her rival Barack Obama accused her of sabre-rattling, as Pennsylvania held its crucial presidential primary.

Clinton took her hawkish line in an interview with ABC television, when she was asked what she would do as president if the Islamic Republic were to launch a nuclear strike on Israel.

"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran," Clinton said.

"In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them." [emphasis mine].

Via Channel NewsAsia.

I've been reading blogs and news items for the last several hours because Blogger gives me a Not Found ... Error 404 message whenever I try to post.


Possibly the best sports headline...EVAH

The heading of the article:

Three synchronized swimmers rescued from pool

The sub-heading of the article:

Girls passed out while practicing at Kenmore

There is more to the article over at Bits & Pieces. I would have stolen it whole but can't post images on Blogger.

My reaction: Damn! They really are synchronized.

Via Bits & Pieces.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Army doubled felony waivers for recruits

I've read where some are questioning how effective such recruits will be. That makes no sense to me. Just because someone has been in prison should make them no less competent nor capable of being trained. It just doesn't seem it should be cause for concern.

However, posting convicted sexual assault felons in foreign lands should be of great fucking concern. A few in the military periodically are accused of and/or convicted of rape already.

Ignoring the moral dilemma involved and the harm to those raped, how will the US explain a situation when a convicted sexual assault felon rapes someone in Japan for example? That is the real problem with such recruits.
The Army doubled the number of waivers it issued to allow convicted felons to enlist between 2006 and 2007, while felony waivers issued to Marine recruits increased by nearly 70 percent, according to newly released numbers from the Pentagon. The House Oversight Committee released the Department of Defense statistics Monday, and requested more explanation for the increase in criminals who have been allowed into the military's ranks. The Army issued 511 waivers in 2007, compared to 249 in 2006. The Marine Corps issued 350 waivers last year compared to 208 the year before. According to the new data, the Army and Marines have allowed recruits who have been convicted of assault with a dangerous weapn, burglary, drug abuse, sexual assault; in a few instances recruits were cleared to join after convinctions on terrorism or bomb-threat related charges.

Via Raw Story.


John McCain's temper

Might John McCain's temper jeopardize the US and the world as some are wondering?
The legitimate issue, of course, is, would his judgment as commander in chief be clouded by fury at a key time?

That seems to me a logical question to ask considering he would have that damned (nuclear) button he could push.

Temper? What the fuck are you talking about?

According to Cindy McCain, her husband doesn't have a temper. She was a little more polite about commenting on the subject and didn't resort to profanity which I can't avoid.
Cindy McCain on Monday beat back accusations her husband is known to have a bad temper, saying it’s often mistaken for his passion for the issues.

“He is passionate about the future of this country,” Mrs. McCain, wife of presumptive Republican Presidential nominee John McCain , said while serving as a co-host on ABC’s “The View.” “Some people mistake that for temper.” Mrs. McCain also insisted the issue is one of the biggest misconceptions people have of her husband.

Ah, but Cindy is calling John a liar.
[John] McCain himself noted in a 2002 memoir (written after his 2000 presidential race) that, "I have a temper, to state the obvious, which I have tried to control with varying degrees of success because it does not always serve my interest or the public's." [emphasis mine].

So who's in favor of replacing a petulant child who always wants to have things his way with a hot head who always wants to have things his way? Don't all raise your hands at once. Thank you.


No, I'm not dead...yet

Blogger has a problem uploading images. So I'll add a really kool one later if I think of it.

I have a few things to do to get back up to speed, but wanted to post this to explain why I’d disappeared for so long. Having problems with Blogger, and there are several, just seems to fit in with the theme of the last six weeks.

File under blogging and miscellanea. Actually more like non-blogging.

Or file under shit I hope you don’t have to put up with.

My ISP died. I was gonna go into the whole comedy of errors that occurred, but it would probably bore you and tell you nothing you haven’t run into.

The point is it was inoperative for weeks. It finally came back up and... surprise!

Just as I was cutting and pasting this post my motherboard died. Three resistors or transistors (I have no idea which) burned up. It took days for the shop to get replacements.

But we’re back.

I have a few items I wrote about offline and will just put them all in one post.

Did you happen to notice the tipping point for oil prices? Ya must have. It couldn’t have been just li’l ol’ me.

Over and over oil flirted with, feigned at, skirted near, threatened $100 per barrel. But it never quite happened. Oh, maybe for a few minutes at a time, but clearer heads always prevailed.

Ah, but when it did top $100, all bets were off and oil immediately skyrocketed to $117*.

I mean it was astonishing how quickly the oil speculators drove the price up after the “magic” number of $100 was broken.

Humans are so fucking stupid.

Is it too late to deny I’m human? Just asking.

* After initially writing this, I’ve had to update this cost from $106+ to $108+, to $110+ to $111+ to $117.

This is the first in a series of questions I’ll ask you from time to time from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock PHD.

" For a person you loved deeply, would you be willing to move to a distant country knowing there would be little chance of seeing your friends or family again? "

Via The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock PHD.

If your prayers were always answered, you’d have reason to doubt the wisdom of God.

On CNN there was a scroll saying the last remaining WWI soldier was being honored. It didn’t say where, but I’m guessing McDonalds.

Jesus H Christ in fatigues; imagine that. WWI!

Three cheers to the guy. And thanks.

WWI was one of the most brutal wars in which this country has ever engaged.

Having no ISP support, I meander around my brain which is always dangerous.

Sport fans are very interesting. At least most of them are.

NASCAR, figure skating, Formula 1, downhill skiing, speed skating, bullfighting, road rally, hydroplane, drag and bicycle racing fans, in my estimation, are not watching for the thrill of victory, but the agony of defeat. They’re in it for the disasters.

I have nothing more to add; just an observation.

I was watching Hannity and Colmbs a while back. I don’t know why. It rots your fucking brain.

Anyway, Hannity asked a guest (don’t know who, but wish I did) if such and such would be an issue for Obama in the election.

I’m paraphrasing here, but the response was great and Hannity had completely set himself up for it.

“If you’re on the air of course it will.”

Did I mention Kevin Madden and Steve Murphy are complete tools?

Anyway, I have no idea why I subject myself to the cesspool of Faux news even for a few minutes. It is so fucking Republican they should change their logo to an elephant.

Hey, never miss Red Eye on Faux News. It’s great. Its most likely the only thing good on Faux News.

No sour grapes or anything, but again this year SPIIDERWEB™ did not get an Oscar® which is spiteful because of the category I’m in: best non-moving feature film staring a mime. I’m hands-down the favorite because I’m the only one in that category and the music soundtrack is great, but no…

Each year they deign it inadvisable to hand out an Oscar® in that category. They see my offering as only an art gallery picture, with music.

But its so much more than that inasmuch as it speaks to the inertia and despair of the masses.

Yeah, I’m pissed off.