ONE of two men who survived a fatal boat capsize off the New South Wales north coast has told a Sydney court how the ship sent to rescue them "creamed" them by going straight over their heads.
On its way from Queensland's Whitsundays to Sydney in September 2002, Excalibur hit rough seas off Seal Rocks. The crew tried to change the sails and head back towards Port Stephens, but the keel split and the vessel overturned, tossing all six crew members into chilly waters.
I don't blame the cargo ship trying to rescue them, I sure don't blame the sailors, and I don't even fault the boat builders. Racing boats like this are always on the bleeding edge of technology. ********************** Posting the 1st Amendment on your business is now illegal in Clearwater Florida:
[...] The federal lawsuit alleges that Clearwater is trampling on the shop’s First Amendment rights. City officials say the fish painting amounts to an unauthorized sign under Clearwater’s laws. They have fined the store nearly $700 and ordered it to paint over the mural.
But Herb Quintero, owner of The Complete Angler at 705 N Fort Harrison Ave., insists the mural is art, not a sign. Last month, in response to a city deadline to remove the mural, he covered it with a banner displaying the text of the First Amendment.
City officials said the mural violated an ordinance that bars businesses from depicting what they sell.
The city recently cited the store again for the mural and the banner.
Not only is Clearwater Farked, they actually have an ordinance that bars businesses from depicting what they sell? WTF!
The most amusing thing to me was the comments of all the folks saying they don't like the ACLU, but in this case the ACLU is doing the right thing. Gee, the ACLU fights for free speech. Jus' som' folks don't like it when it ain't their speech. ********************* And speaking of Florida:
Although the Oasis on Mountain Drive has admitted to nude dancing on the premises -- something that breaks Destin rules -- the city must catch them in the act before taking action, City Manager Greg Kisela says.
"It sounds strange to say we have to observe it ourselves, but that's our plan," Kisela said. "We're going to go in and do some inspections; if we observe that, that may be one of the steps" we take.
I don't know whether the headline was unintentional or snarky, but either way; it's nice work if you can get it.
posted by The Vidiot @ 1:59 PM Permalink
Sometimes, when I read the New York Times Op Ed section, I just want to pull my hair out. I mean, it’s usually riddled with flat out misrepresentations. Those polemicists have the good fortune to get paid well to write crap; really stupid crap. Meanwhile, they tend to base their arguments on oft-repeated, ‘common knowledge’ information that nobody ever bothers to challenge. Like, for instance, they'll say, "democrats are for big government" or "republicans are corrupt" when the truth of the matter is that both dems and repubs LOVE big government; the bigger the better, all the more to skim off the top for themselves. Additionally, ALL politicians are corrupt, not just republicans. The tools of the trade for these folks are false dichotomies, misrepresentations and half-truths.
So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when Gail Collins wrote something incredibly stupid. She was busting on Jindal’s Obama-rebuttal speech and she wrote:
Louisiana has gotten $130 billion in post-Katrina aid. How is it that the stars of the Republican austerity movement come from the states that suck up the most federal money? Taxpayers in New York send way more to Washington than they get back so more can go to places like Alaska and Louisiana. Which is fine, as long as we don’t have to hear their governors bragging about how the folks who elected them want to keep their tax money to themselves. Of course they do! That’s because they’re living off ours.
Had she been much of a deep thinker or even remotely intellectually curious, Ms. Collins would know that Louisiana is a mess because they’ve been REPEATEDLY SCREWED by the oil companies, with the collusion of the Federal government.
In 2001, the Minerals Management Service collected over $7.5 billion in oil and gas revenues from federal offshore leases. Of the $7.5 billion, $5 billion came from offshore Louisiana. 80% of oil and 87% of gas from this nation’s offshore waters comes from offshore Louisiana.
On federal lands within a state, the state shares 50% of the revenues. In 2005, Wyoming received over $878 million in revenues.
Outside of 6 miles offshore, Louisiana receives no share of revenue. In 2005, Louisiana received only $32 million, less than of one percent of the federal revenues generated off of its coast.
In 2005, the total revenue collected by MMS from OCS was $5,705,953,872. Offshore Louisiana provided 74.2% of that total.
Although Louisiana is now an oil and gas processing state instead of a major producing state, the system adopted 86 years ago collects a tax ONLY on minerals produced in Louisiana. But 95 percent of oil and gas produced and processed in Louisiana--most of it from foreign oil companies and companies owned by foreign nations--is untaxed. That’s unfair to producers in Louisiana and allows foreign companies to use our offshore waters and coastal wetlands without charge
So it's really not like Louisiana is sucking off the Federal teat. The fact is the Federal government, which is nothing more than a enabler and policeman for corporate interests, has been, for all intents and purposes, raping Louisiana.
If I were governor of Louisiana, I would secede from the Union and I would do it now. Between the royal screwing pre- and post-Katrina, the long history of ransacking oil revenue and taxes, and the destruction of the wetlands by the oil companies, there's no benefit to Louisiana being a part of the United States.
By redirecting enormous streams of deficit spending toward programs like health care, education and energy, and paying for some of it through taxes on the rich, pollution surcharges, and cuts in such inviolable programs as farm subsidies, the $3.55 trillion spending plan Mr. Obama is undertaking signals a radical change of course that Congress has yet to endorse.
The deficit he inherited, a shortfall of more than $1 trillion as the current fiscal year began, has continued to swell in recent months with additional bank bailouts, the first wave of spending from a newly enacted stimulus plan and the continuing costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Conservatives and Republicans will disapprove of this effort. They will oppose it. Can they do so effectively?
Perhaps -- if they can find reasons to obstruct and delay. They should do their best not to permit Obama to rush his agenda through this year. They can't allow Obama to make of 2009 what Franklin Roosevelt made of 1933 or Johnson of 1965. Slow down the policy train. Insist on a real and lengthy debate. Conservatives can't win politically right now. But they can raise doubts, they can point out other issues that we can't ignore (especially in national security and foreign policy), they can pick other fights -- and they can try in any way possible to break Obama's momentum. Only if this happens will conservatives be able to get a hearing for their (compelling, in my view) arguments against big-government, liberal-nanny-state social engineering -- and for their preferred alternatives.
So there it is in a nutshell.
While the Democratic Party, lead by President Obama, seeks to improve the country, create jobs, provide care for our citizens and educate our children, the republican party seeks nothing but the destruction and obstruction of government after having raped and pillaged America for the last eight years.
There MUST be a lot of decent people in the republican party that despise the fact that the republican leadership continues to seek the destruction of our government, and thus the country will fail to recover and possibly collapse under the weight of the financial crisis, two wars, and all because they don't want President Obama succeed.
Where are these people and why are they not screaming at the rnc committee and minority leaders of their party to stop the BS and actually do something good for America, even if it doesn't serve the GOPs arrogance and Machiavellian desires to rule everything at any cost, to the detriment of the entire country.
Does patriotism, comity, and a wish to improve our lives no longer exist?
posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:24 AM Permalink
…the republican party, the very ones who damned near bankrupted the country, stuck us with two useless wars, ruined our economy, possibly damaged our national identity beyond redemption, and that has done nothing but put up one obstruction after another in order to block the Democratic Party and make it appear that Democrats are unable to govern as the GOP has finally, irrevocably, and for all time proven beyond doubt that they cannot.
I think that with all the polling numbers coming out in favor of President Obama even the republicans recognize that they are just roadkill awaiting the vultures to consume their dead, foul smelling bodies.
In his first weeks in office, President Barack Obama shut down his predecessor’s system for reviewing regulations, realigned and expanded two key White House policymaking bodies and extended economic sanctions against parties to the conflict in the African nation of Cote D’Ivoire.
Despite the intense scrutiny a president gets just after the inauguration, Obama managed to take all these actions with nary a mention from the White House press corps.
Wow, President Obama shut down Bush's "system for reviewing regulations". That's a good thing! We may actually have professionals in charge of reviewing regulations instead of incompetent politicians. (e.g. 'Heckuva job, Brownie')
And the "Despite the intense scrutiny a president gets just after the inauguration" is just plain stupid. Republicans get a honeymoon, Democrats just get f*%ked.
Oh, and the "nary a mention" quote, well if you actually read this diatribe, (it's not a news article,) you find out they DID mention all of the changes. It's called the Federal Register. Freakin' morons!
BTW, this POS article penned by JOSH GERSTEIN of Politico is just another example of Politico's mission statement:
THE MISSION: Politico journalism drives conversation in official Washington, making us ESSENTIAL READING for anyone who is or wants to be a player, and a KEY OUTLET for anyone who is trying to shape a political or government debate.
They even admit they have no interest in reporting, um, ya know, actual news. *********************** Now this is actual news:
Republican politicians on Thursday called for a sweeping new federal law that would require all Internet providers and operators of millions of Wi-Fi access points, even hotels, local coffee shops, and home users, to keep records about users for two years to aid police investigations.
What morons these Republicans are. In the first place, even with my humble servers, I can't afford the disk space to keep 2 years of logs! Are the rethugs going to pay for additional personnel, ($30k minimum, per year, per server, for IT professionals to perform this service), or do they think magical ponies will work for free to harvest this $hit!
In the 2nd place, it's a huge invasion of privacy! Why don't they just require the United States Post Office to open and copy every letter that is sent via snailmail? ************************* Submitted without comment:
Veterans advocates are venting anger and frustration toward the biggest charity within the U.S. military after revelations that it has been packing more money into reserves than it has spent on aid during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. [...] From 2003 to 2007, the charity, also known as AER, packed $117 million into its own reserves while spending just $64 million on direct aid, records show. By contrast, smaller Navy and Air Force charities both put far more of their resources into aid than reserves. Also, more than 90 percent of AER's aid was given as no-interest loans, not outright grants. [...] Though tax-exempt and legally separate, AER operates largely under Army control, the AP found. Soldiers are squeezed for contributions, often rewarded for them in violation of regulations, and sometimes delayed in transfers or promotions when loans aren't repaid.
************************ And finally a bit of good news:
"My friends, I didn't do it. I didn't even know it was going on."
That's the line former Republican presidential nominee and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is taking in a federal lawsuit that claims he violated the copyright of Jackson Browne's 1977 hit song, "Running on Empty," when it aired in one of his presidential campaign commercials. [...] McCain claims the Republican Party is solely responsible for his campaign ad, not him, and has asked that he be stripped from the case.
The federal judge handling the case disagreed. Judge Gary Klausner said McCain and the GOP have an "agency relationship," meaning that "once an agency relationship is established, the principal is liable for the acts of her agent, even if the principal does not expressly authorize or instruct her agent to take any action." He also questioned how using 20 seconds of the song in a TV ad constituted fair use, as the RNC claims.
posted by The Vidiot @ 6:01 PM Permalink
The British government has been ordered to release the damning minutes of a meeting from the lead-up to the Iraq war. Now, we all know what those minutes will reveal. They will reveal the the government lied, knew that they were lying and were not particularly bothered by having to lie. Of course, Jack Straw said, "no, uh-uh"
He added that the public interest in disclosure of the minutes could not "supplant the public interest in maintaining the integrity of our system of government".
"It is a necessary decision to protect the public interest in effective cabinet government," he said.
Read that again: "[Maintain] the integrity of our system of government." AS IF government has any integrity left to preserve in the first place. Basically, he's saying the facade must be maintained, damn the people's desire to know.
I love it when these politicos tell the truth without meaning to.
posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:04 AM Permalink
…but I think I think I found it so I'm back now. The source of my latest brain freeze is very simple for an person ordinary intelligence to understand (and I'm hoping I passed my Ordinary Intelligence Test Series administered, monitored, checked, rechecked and certified by the University of Ordinarily Intelligent People, a division of Monsanto [Better Living Through Better Chemicals Consumed by Persons of Ordinary Intelligence]) and to wrap their minds, already tired, weary, and beginning to lose their Ordinary Intelligence through watching such nonsense as that I berate below.
On one of news networks the brain dead watch to try and understand just how badly Republicans have phucked up America, it matters naught which one, actually had yet again another Rebublican Talking Head on the air whining, and I mean whining, that President Obama has been in office for ONE MONTH and has yet to solve the financial meltdown of America and, on top of that, he complained Obama hasn't won either one of the foolish wars in which bush engaged America.
It was just too much. Any person of ordinary intelligence, and here I am deliberately excluding any members of the Republican Party, should use the brains with which their creator endowed them and arrive at the same conclusion of University of Ordinary Intelligence graduates, and start calling a lie a lie, a thief a thief, and begin naming brain dead bad politicians failing to recognize had badly the Republican party phucked up America, deliberately, with apparent malicious intent, and then take those Republicans out and have them shot by persons of ordinary intelligence.
But that's just my opinion and I could be wrong, but as long as there are Republican talking heads spouting such bullchit and totally brain dead newsreaders of cable news either not smart enough or who by choice never contradict these Republicans. I doubt it.
[...] One of the Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton, writing in the Federalist Papers told us how to deal with betrayals. In Federalist 28, Par., 6 Hamilton wrote: "If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, . . . . . The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair."
In case you don't understand what Hamilton meant, he meant that we should pick up guns and shoot them. I agree with Alexander Hamilton.
In my opinion, it would be right for us to pick up guns, walk up to each of the 246 members of the United States House of Representatives who just spent a trillion dollars without reading the spending Bill and shoot them. Dead.
This weekend, I will be researching the home addresses and private home telephone numbers for each of the 246 members of the House that betrayed us. I will publish those addresses on the internet through file sharing sites and/or through public newsgroups so the private info is dispersed quickly and widely.
I want members of Congress to be confronted at their homes -- where they don't have massive security protecting them. I want members of Congress to be intercepted when they drive from home to the store.
I want to create the conditions necessary so that Congress never again dares to do something like this for fear what happens to these present political whores might happen again.
Oh, and if any of you US Attorneys, federal Agents of federal Judges start getting uppity and think you can do anything at all to stop me from inciting my fellow citizens to pay a visit to members of Congress, YOUR personal private info will get published too.
Nope, there's no mistaking that he just advocated the killing of 246 members of congress, federal judges, US Attorneys and anyone who disagrees with him.
[...] Coleman declared himself the winner of Tuesday's election, but Franken said he would let the recount play out, hoping it would erase the incumbent's 475-vote lead out of nearly 2.9 million ballots. [...] "Yesterday the voters spoke. We prevailed," Coleman said Wednesday at a news conference. He noted Franken could opt to waive the recount.
"It's up to him whether such a step is worth the tax dollars it will take to conduct," Coleman said, telling reporters he would "step back" if he were in Franken's position.
After two adverse rulings, Coleman team says panel has created a "legal quagmire."
[...] Norm Coleman's lawyers reacted to a pair of adverse rulings by accusing the judges hearing the suit of creating "a legal quagmire" and a "fatal inconsistency" by refusing to consider some rejected absentee ballots that resemble others that have already been counted.
Well Norm, actually Franken couldn't 'opt out', it was state law, people can't opt out of laws, (unless they're in the Bush administration.) And now that you're behind, and the state is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and you and the RNC are spending millions, shouldn't you step back, step off the bus, step under the bus?
BTW, Norm's last hope is to have the US Supremes do a Bush v. Gore. Since that decision was declared at the time a one time decision it probably won't happen.
posted by The Sailor @ 4:43 PM Permalink
Ladies & Gentlemen, I present you Benny the Rat (and devil take the hindmost): I'm not sure why these folks are apologizing, it's not like they Photoshopped it.
And maybe this image is just as 'sanctified' as all those images of the Virgin Mary that appear on walls, and potatoes, and toast.
BTW, I've never mentioned this before, but did you know Pope Benny was a member of the Hitler Youth?
We all should be forgiven our youthful indiscretions, but when we choose to do them as adults it's fair game. *********** What has become a STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I have nothing against Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Mormon ... &tc, &tc, believers. I do have a problem with some leaders of those religions who insist on ignoring facts and killing other people or justify the killing of other people. I'm just funny that way.
The GOP is composed of naught but liars, schemers, takers…
posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:58 PM Permalink
…and generally has become the most evil political party ever seen by Man.
And yes, this may be only my opinion, but what else do you call a party that initiates wars for control of natural resources, the extermination of entire races of people, conducting genocide in the manner of "gentlemen," not down in the mud, blood, guts, and gore that teaches the folly and horror of such ventures, but a party willing to spend billions of dollars every year surveilling innocents, bombing innocent women and children, driving millions from their ancestral homes, and managing to do it from 20-30,000 feet in the air so our pilots could kill freely without fear of injury or repercussions to themselves; those whose families are thousands of miles safely removed from the theater of combat and risk nothing while Republicans spend every red cent that becomes available to America fostering nothing but more greed, avarice, killing sprees, and all the other things the GOP has done since Ronnie Raygun, semi- senile when elected, became the puppet of those who would wield the might of America without prospect of punishment or indeed, any accountability whatever.
The GOP has become the rabid dogs ravaging our planet, killing any who disagree with their stated policies of greed and complete, utter, absolute gridlock of the now rogue government that did so much to aid the world in the past.
Our days of Empire have expired, which will still not impress in the GOP, who would take it all, steal it at the point of a gun or threat of nuclear war, taken at the detriment and to the actual harm of the hapless citizens of the world by a party a willing to leave behind nothing but the smoking embers of a planet gone mad.
May the GOP ultimately be destroyed at the hands of those governed who misplaced their trust so badly.
posted by The Vidiot @ 8:45 AM PermalinkThisNew York Times op ed piece about the importance of newspapers is pretty ridiculous. Saying, basically, without newspapers, nobody will be watching government and exposing corruption... as IF they've done any of that for that last 20 years or so. (Or maybe much longer)
Can anybody still think that newspapers have been doing their job as the fourth estate? Other than the guy who wrote the article? I mean really!
I say damn them. They're owned by corporations and therefore play the music the corporations want them to play. They support the status quo. They DO NOT challenge it.
Senator John McCain said on Friday that President Barack Obama should include Republicans in his plans sooner if he really wants their support after the bitter debate over the $787 billion economic stimulus bill.
McCain, who lost the 2008 presidential election to Obama, and other Republicans complained they had been left out of negotiations on the legislation by Democrats who hold majorities in both houses of Congress. [...] The Arizona senator said many other issues coming up will require a bipartisan effort that he said has been lacking so far from Obama and the Democrats.
"I hope they've learned a lesson," he said. "I hope that they will reverse course, and sit down, negotiate from the beginning, so you're in on the takeoff, so you can be in on the landing." [...] "The message of the election was, sit down and work together."
Oh, and the last quote from you? Nope the message from the election was YOU LOST. Big time! And all you and your cohorts have done since then is try to make sure the country fails so you can say 'I told you so.' Your tin god Rush Oxycontin has stated as much. Your policies failed, deregulation failed, tax cuts failed. You failed.
Re: "The problem with prisons" immediately below this post…
posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:07 AM Permalink
…it has been a lot of years since I last read A Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein, undoubtedly one of my all time favorite books.
The subject matter of the book (fiction) was the discovery of one last human being found alive from an expedition previously sent to Mars. Young Michael Valentine, as the crew called him, was kept a virtual prisoner as no one could know how a human raised by large, amorphous, cloud-like Martians, so totally advanced beyond man that there was no need for prisons would react to the laws of man.
If, for some unlikely reason it was found that a Martian had done something offensive to the group, they would think about what to do with the guilty party and, since they lived on a totally different plane of time this thinking might go on for a thousand years or more. If they found that the individual had violated any of their precepts they would simply stop, as a group, and "think" the offender away never to be seen or heard of again.
As they got Michael to earth and confined him to a hospital a kind nurse, Jill, realized that all the authorities wanted was to be able to claim rights to Mars and that they would forever confine him or kill him. She smuggled him out of the hospital and whisked him off to the home of a dear friend, an attorney named Jubal who also recognized Michael's fate and took Michael under his protection.
Enough background, the upshot was a statement made by Jubal that always stuck with me (paraphrasing here).
Jubal told all assembled at his home that he understood this Martian justice, saying, "It may be necessary to kill a man who has grievously violated the law, but to incarcerate him offends the dignity of both the prisoner and the ones imprisoning him."
Somehow that statement has always resonated with me. Why have prisons that offend the dignity of all? If capital punishment is warranted for a proven offense, then by all means execute him/her and remove them from the gene pool.
Everyone else can be rehabilitated, not by imprisonment which offends all, but by persons and institutions to reshape and clarify the thinking of the individual to return him to society as a productive citizen.
America has 2.2-million prisoners, the majority of whom are being held for drug crimes and whose only influences in prison are fellow prisoners educating the individual in more risky and dangerous crimes, so when their time is up an animal is released back among the sheep.
If they hurt no one else while doing their drugs, and most are indeed working citizens who lose families, careers, and everything they ever knew, incarceration is simply the way society inculcates the flawed thinking of society into the person, again causing the release of animals forced to survive not only the brutality of their fellow prisoners, but the extreme brutality of those who would cage and treat him/her as an animal.
Just a thought. But I wholeheartedly endorse the Vidiot's thoughts on this matter.
posted by The Vidiot @ 9:28 AM Permalink
What is the motivation of private business? To make a profit. How does a business make a profit? By minimizing costs and increasing revenues. Now, when it comes to privately owned prisons, minimizing costs is easy. Just reduce what is spent per prisoner. But how does one raise revenues? Well, one way is to try getting as many prisoners as possible.
Two US judges charged with taking more than $2m (£1.4m) in kickbacks from a privately-run detention centre have pleaded guilty to fraud.
Prosecutors say Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan took the money in return for giving young offenders long sentences to serve in the centre.
I'm I the only one who thought that the whole concept of private prisons was outrageous? There's just too much greed and avarice within people in positions of power for it to ever work. Besides, I'm not the only one who thinks this way.
Companies involved in building, financing and operating private prisons gave $3.3 million over two election cycles, channeling nearly two-thirds of the money to candidates and party committees in states with some of the toughest sentencing laws. This report looks at overall giving, as well as contributions by the companies and their lobbyists in 10 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.
But I'm not sure that even the Ron Paul libertarians meant private prisons with all their free-market mantras.
And yes, I'm little miss anti-government these days, but that doesn't mean that the government should hand over the prison reigns to private industry. I want the government out of incarceration altogether, but that won't happen until we destroy the system we live in. As long as there is capitalism, as long as people are demoralized and marginalized, as long as wants and desired far exceed access, prisons will be necessary. But without those things, without profit and money as motivators, crime would practically disappear. Sure, they're be the occasional sociopath, but communities would be able to deal with that, not government.
posted by The Vidiot @ 7:57 AM Permalink
They're the brunt of many jokes, but for good reason usually. Last night on Colbert’s show, he set up a debate with two lawyers about the AP v Shepard Fairey issue. The one that was arguing against Fairey was led down a path by Colbert who, at the end of it said:
SC: Ed, can I point something out. Is that you have defended the AP, the photographer [he meant the artist] and Obama without distinction. Ed: Of course. SC: How is that possible? Ed: I’m a lawyer. SC: Who do you really think is right? Ed: Who’s paying me?
posted by The Vidiot @ 7:41 AM Permalink
And this was before half the margarita was downed. I paraphrase: "The corporations, with the collusion of the governments of the nation states are holding the people of this planet as prisoners. We are prisoners of the capitalist system with no escape. How can people not see this?"
posted by The Vidiot @ 7:34 AM Permalink
When I first read that two satellites had collided over Siberia, I initially thought that perhaps we'll see some pieces coming down and making a mess down here. But there's something else to consider: what if the pieces stay up there and make a mess up there? What if those chunks bounce around up there and knock other satellites out of their orbit causing them to crash into other satellites... and so on and so forth? And what if one of those satellites that gets smashed is one of those super secret ones with the nuclear warheads? Huh? Huh? Has anyone thought about that?
Just perusing the headlines over at raw story and I find:
The FBI is investigating over 500 cases of corporate fraud, which I'm sure couldn't be halted or investigated over the last 8 years. Meanwhile, the owner of the peanut company knew full well he was spreading his poison peanuts all over the land saying "Well, I wasn't about to eat them. Somebody had to". The supposed "pillorying" of the bank execs is just a dog and pony show and the biggest corporate pig of them all, the one who could possibly be responsible for me being laid off at the end of this fiscal year (May), Madoff, is getting a sweet deal from the SEC.
So what have we learned? Have we learned that running the world where the only motivation is profit is not necessarily a good thing and may even be a bad thing? Have we learned that the institutional logic of the capitalist system supersedes any good human intentions? Have we learned that whatever posturing and preening our "selected" officials may do, the system will remain, nothing will change, and only some of the players may be moved around?
I'm not being negative here. It's just the way it is. I just want to know if anyone is paying attention.
Hey! I gots a great idea! And simple to implement, too…
posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:50 PM Permalink
…If we have such an ineffectual, waste of time and money Food and Drug Agency, let's do our testing of food and other products in such a way that will go much further to protect the public than the government without spending a penny of taxpayer dollars.
Make the board of directors or whatever S.O.B. what's in charge of producing or importing food or other products PROVE by affidavit, videotape, and statements from their family members that they themselves and their families eat that food or use the product in question.
If it's safe enough to foist off onto the public shouldn't they be required to provide empirical, hard data, that the food or product has been proven to be safe through actual use by CEOs, their families, and friends? Until a lengthy trial period conducted to give time for any poisonous or dangerous aspects of the product to become clear?
Refusal by CEOs and their cronies to do this would help eliminate any chance of poisonous foods or products from reaching the American consumer.
None of the peanut people would voluntarily eat a sample of their own product before a congressional committee, so jail 'em and give them nothing but their own products to eat or use until they are willing to admit they have or had direct knowledge of the dangers posed by that food or other products.
Draconian to be sure. But not nearly not nearly as draconian as watching a family member grow sick or die from consuming a product that even its producer won't eat or use.
On 2/7/09 at approximately 6:35 PM a suspicious incident occurred at Hilltop Apartments, in the parking lot between the Beard and French buildings. A male approached a female from the opposite direction and came up within several feet of her personal space. The female turned around and left the area. The male walked away in the opposite direction. The male did not say anything or make physical contact with the female. The intention of the male is unknown.
I know we should err on the side of caution, but WTF does "came up within several feet of her personal space" mean!? ***************************** Religidiculous!
An Air Force colonel is being criticized for improperly referring airmen under her command to a far-right religious Web site. [...] In the Feb. 2 letter to Toney, Thompson contended in his letter that the e-mail violated Air Force regulations regarding religious proselytizing. He also said the Web site 4marks.com "explicitly promotes an atmosphere that is hostile to our commander-in-chief, which is potentially detrimental to the good order and discipline of our unit."
One posting on the Web site features President Barack Obama in a Nazi uniform with a Hitler-style moustache, while other content claims Obama "wants to murder babies that have survived abortion."
Gosh, it's a good thing she lives in a democracy where calling your CIC a baby killer is protected by Freedom of Speech. *************************
As it fights two wars, the Pentagon is steadily and dramatically increasing money spent on winning what it calls "the human terrain" of world public opinion. In the process, concerns have been raised that this is spreading propaganda at home in violation of federal law.
An Associated Press investigation found that over the past five years, the money the military spends on winning hearts and minds at home and abroad has grown by 63 percent, to at least $4.7 billion this year, according to Department of Defense budgets and other documents. That's almost as much as it spent on body armor for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2004 and 2006.
This year, the Pentagon will employ 27,000 people just for recruitment, advertising and public relations — almost as many as the total 30,000-person work force in the State Department.
4.7 BILLION DOLLARS and they still can't give Pat Tillman's family a straight answer!?
I have a humble suggestion for the Pentagon: Stop raping, torturing and murdering innocent civilians and you won't need 4.7 BILLION DOLLARS to convince folks here and abroad that you aren't raping, torturing and murdering innocent civilians! And then you can spend the money on body armour & MRAPS to protect the troops who have no choice in playing your game of RISK.
Of course the 1st option would be bring our troops home. 4.7 BILLION DOLLARS buys a lot of 1st class seats on aircraft heading away from an illegal, immoral, war founded on lies.
ANNAPOLIS — Saying child-abuse victims are often not ready to confront their attackers until middle age, a senator on Thursday urged her fellow lawmakers to raise from 25 to 50 the age by which a person may sue his or her abuser.
“Ideally, there shouldn’t be a statute of limitations for a crime such as this,” Sen. Delores G. Kelley told the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. But Kelley said 50 was an appropriate age limit because victims of abuse, until they themselves are well into adulthood, cannot “muster the courage, the emotional ability” to confront their attackers, let alone take them to court. [...] The proposed 25-year increase to the limitations period has drawn opposition from Catholic groups [...] The Catholic Church has acknowledged that sexual abuse by priests has occurred and that the church has settled many of those cases, even when the alleged offenses occurred decades earlier, the conference’s statement said.
It told the committee that the fight against child abuse would be better waged the way the church is fighting it: by requiring all employees and volunteers to undergo criminal background checks and training, and by paying for and providing counseling for victims. Conference members include the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Wilmington.
Yeees, the Catholic Church has done such a wonderful job policing themselves. ******************************
Upset about the shooting death of two dogs during a botched police raid at the home of a Prince George's County mayor, some Maryland lawmakers have proposed a bill to require state police departments to better monitor their use of special tactical SWAT teams.
Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo visited Annapolis yesterday to urge passage of the measure, which would require every police department that operates a SWAT team to submit a monthly public report on its activities, including where and when it was deployed and whether an operation resulted in arrests, evidence seizures or injuries.
Calvo said he thinks police forces are using SWAT teams, tactical units usually equipped with heavy-duty weapons, more often for ordinary police work.
From the comments on that article it appears cops insist on the same self policing that Catholic priests want. And for the same reason. ****************************
The Houston Police Department is considering changes — possibly even expansion — to its red-light camera program after a city-commissioned study showed that crashes went up at intersections where the devices have been installed.
Because it's worked so well in the past! ***************************
This is truly an indication of clouded thinking and a ridiculous…
posted by Bill Arnett @ 2:13 PM Permalink
attempt at rehabilitation of the republicans image. 100% pure bull excrement.
Senator Joe Lieberman just announced that three republicans who are going to vote to pass the economic stimulus should be considered extraordinary people to whom we should kneel and genuflect at the mere mention of their names. "These three should be recognized as great American heroes. They should be given the Congressional Medal of honor."
For what? Finally doing the job they are being paid to do is no occasion for a special reward, idolatry, and vapid attempts to make republicans be seen in a more favorable light (Although I believe if you could drag the republicans into the sunshine they would singe, burst into flames, turn to ashes, and be blown away by the wind to the nearest landfill.)
Do the republicans still not think what fools they made of themselves while taking a wrecking ball to America? Are they stupid enough to believe they had nothing to do with the crash of our economy, the loss of millions of jobs, and the highest unemployment numbers seen in decades?
Can they really consider they benefit the their constituency by obstruction, obstruction, obstruction?
How much longer must our country suffer the slings and arrows of a now minority party that has proven beyond doubt they cannot govern, didn't govern when they could, were naught but war and fear mongers whom did nothing but borrow and spend our way into the worst financial state we've seen since the Great Depression, with foolish wars to steal resources (oil from Iraq), seeking the domination of a country that did not attack us, Afghanistan and planning further wars already. It was Osama bin Laden, with his support group, the Taliban, and a handful of 19 Saudi Arabians who attacked us, and despite the expenditure of almost unimaginable, gargantuan, sums of money that I (and I believe others) cannot understand the amounts of money wasted in these past misadventures is positively staggering. When you get past six zeros you lose me, and we are off into Oz country, but without a yellow brick road to follow to prosperity once more.
Virtually every recent article I've read places the one who done us wrong, bin Laden, in Pakistan, where we seem to be waging a covert war against large weddings and funerals of the men, women, and children we have willfully killed in our zeal for revenge and whom were guilty of doing other than trying to make a meager living is some of the most savage terrain on the planet.
The republican theories of "trickle down economics" are nothing but a way to further enrich the few, while ignoring the plight of so many millions of our citizens, the very people for whom our government was created over two-hundred years ago. This failure on the part of republicans to provide effective and competent government while borrowing money overseas, instituting hugh tax cuts for the rich, and still spending as if it was 1969 again has been ruinous.
Even now, as the minority party, republicans only wish, apparently, is to keep rewarding the rich at the expense of the poor, the elderly, the children, the destitute, and the unemployed. They are simply obstructionists, acting as roadblocks to legislation they despise for two reasons: they have theirs and have gotten the greatest sums ever from our Treasury ( our money!), and the gop would rather see ordinary citizens out of work, barren of the benefits we formerly enjoyed before the trickle down theory was in its infancy.
bush and his cohorts-in-crime oversaw the greatest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in history and done almost irreparable damage to America along the way.
Now we have a president who came up in life through hard work, believing in the inherent good of people, who is willing and now able to fight for this country, knowing that he is facing the most daunting task any president has ever faced.
The republicans and sycophants that serve them are now out there talking about "fiscal responsibly," the audacity of which amazes me, they still consider themselves as the party that knows best how to govern America. Do you reckon that they will speak of the 22-million jobs created, the stock market rise of 180%, the balancing the budget, leaving a surplus for bushwad, and the most prosperous economy ever under the leadership of their arch nemesis, (Of the horror!) and the person they considered to be Satan, hisself, Bill Clinton?
Or will they admit that their party has lead America directly into the crisis we now face?
I'll let you guess.
In the meantime the filibuster should be temporarily suspended to give Democrats a fighting chance to right the disaster he inherited. One dumbass Senator, I forget his name, actually sat there with his bare face hanging out stating last Sunday said , "Well the Democratic Party has been in power for a month and haven't gotten anything done," as if the past fifteen years of a republican run congress and Senate did nothing but line their pockets and the pocket of their cronies and pushing republican propaganda upon America and alienating the world.
Washington, D.C., and other coastal U.S. cities could find themselves under several more feet of water than previously predicted if warming temperatures destroy the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, a new study based on a model predicts.
The FRANKLIN SCANDAL is the story of a nationwide pedophile ring that pandered children to a cabal of the rich and powerful. The ring’s pimps were a pair of Republican powerbrokers who used Boys Town as a pedophiliac reservoir, had access to the highest levels of our government, and connections to the CIA.
The frozen remains of two mice infected with the bubonic plague are missing from a New Jersey bioterror research facility, and the facility waited seven weeks to report the incident to federal and state authorities.
Although Fox News and CNN are not telling you about it, a growing number of states are declaring sovereignty. Washington, New Hampshire, Arizona, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, California, and Georgia have all introduced bills and resolutions declaring sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment. Colorado, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Alaska, Kansas, Alabama, Nevada, Maine, and Illinois are considering such measures.
Life has not yet been found on Mars, and no one is sure whether it will be. But some researchers say it is not too early to consider the possibility that humans could do irreversible damage to indigenous Martian life.
A group of international experts will meet as early as this September to discuss whether it is time to revise policies that protect Mars from contamination.
*The Sailor thought it would be good to have a consistent header for being able to identify for our readership when we're being lazy and just link to several news stories w/ minimal or no commentary. I agree with him. And so it is.
posted by The Vidiot @ 1:42 PM Permalink
First off, let me just say I FINALLY got around to reading "Black Elk Speaks". I know, it's an old book. I know, everybody who read it already read it in the seventies. Whatever.
Black Elk's descriptions of what it was like to live on the plains with no interference from Wasichu was idyllic to say the least. They wasted nothing and wanted for nothing. I'm not saying it was perfect. They did steal a horse here and there and kill folks here and there, but for the most part, they were deeply satisfied with life. The way he spoke about the way the Wasi'chu wasted the bison herds and broke up the land and spoiled the water, it was hard to read. (The hardest part to read was the chapter on Wounded Knee. I was crying on the subway.)
Anyway, I bring it up because the Wasi'chu STILL waste and pollute. Now, I've always disliked nuclear energy. My main reason for feeling that way is the waste. What the hell do you do with that waste? They haven't really figured it out and if, heaven forbid, something catastrophic happens to the energy grid or the human population for that matter, all those holding facilities are going to run amok and kill whatever life is left. (Hint: Head to Canada. They have the fewest nuke facilities.)
The other thing I go batty over is the idea of "clean coal". I mean, who are they trying to fool? There's no such thing. There never has been and there never will be.
"There's been a nationwide campaign by the coal industry to promote the use of clean coal. But clean coal is an oxymoron." Volz says it's true that new technologies can limit atmospheric emissions. "But the law of conservation of matter means that the toxins that don't go into the air simply get transferred to wastewater and coal ash," he says. "If a toxin is in a lump of coal and you burn it, it has to go somewhere."
So why don't we figure out a way to live within the ecosystem without destrying it? So-called 'primitive' Native Americans had it down pat.
The Israeli military has defended the actions of its troops in an incident last month that resulted in the deaths of three daughters of a Palestinian doctor in Gaza.
A niece of Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish was also killed.
The tragedy unfolded on Israeli television Jan. 16 as the doctor was being interviewed via cellphone by an Israeli reporter. The 55-year-old physician related the deaths of the children moments after his house was bombed.
Abu al-Aish's story deeply touched the Israeli audience: even Prime Minister Ehud Olmert acknowledged crying as he heard the doctor speak. [...] The Israeli military said its personnel contacted the doctor by phone "several times" in the days before the incident, urging him to evacuate his home because of fighting in the area, as many of his neighbours had done. But Abu al-Aish insisted on remaining. [...] "I am telling you 100 per cent no," said Abu al-Aish. "There is no need for them to falsify."
He said the Israeli military action was unprovoked.
The Israeli military said its forces in the area on Jan. 16 came under mortar and sniper fire from Hamas gunmen located in a building "adjacent" to the one occupied by the Abu al-Aish family.
"During the counter-fire opened by the IDF forces, suspicious figures were identified in the upper level of (Abu al-Aish's) house and were thought to be spotters who directed the Hamas sniper and mortar fire," the Israeli military said.
The military said its field commander assessed the situation under the pressure of combat and gave the order to open fire on the suspicious figures. Shortly afterward, two tank shells slammed into a bedroom occupied by four of the physician's daughters and a niece.
It seems to me that Israeli troops deliberately targeted the bedroom of the doctors house, and I suspect their targeting optics could identify exactly who the 'suspicious figures' were. This was pure and simple retaliation on the doctor's family. Approved by Israel's government and carried out by their military.
If you think I'm engaging in paranoia or hyperbole, read the following:
An Israeli army officer who fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl and then said he would have done the same even if she had been three years old was acquitted on all charges by a military court yesterday.
The soldier, who has only been identified as "Captain R", was charged with relatively minor offences for the killing of Iman al-Hams who was shot 17 times as she ventured near an Israeli army post near Rafah refugee camp in Gaza a year ago. [...] The military court cleared the soldier of illegal use of his weapon, conduct unbecoming an officer and perverting the course of justice by asking soldiers under his command to alter their accounts of the incident. [...] A recording of radio exchanges between Capt R and his troops obtained by Israeli television revealed that from the beginning soldiers identified Iman as a child.
In the recording, a soldier in a watchtower radioed a colleague in the army post's operations room and describes Iman as "a little girl" who was "scared to death". After soldiers first opened fire, she dropped her schoolbag which was then hit by several bullets establishing that it did not contain explosive. At that point she was no longer carrying the bag and, the tape revealed, was heading away from the army post when she was shot. [...] On the tape, Capt R then "clarifies" to the soldiers under his command why he killed Iman: "This is commander. Anything that's mobile, that moves in the [security] zone, even if it's a three-year-old, needs to be killed." [...] Capt R claimed that he had not fired the shots at the girl but near her. However, Dr Mohammed al-Hams, who inspected the child's body at Rafah hospital, counted numerous wounds. "She has at least 17 bullets in several parts of the body, all along the chest, hands, arms, legs," he told the Guardian shortly afterwards. "The bullets were large and shot from a close distance.
When I read this today it made me sick. I mean that literally, I scan the news on my lunch hour and after I read that I left the lab and walked around outside trying not to vomit. When I came back in, pale with frozen tears on my face, my boss asked me if I needed to go home for the day. She thought I had the flu until I showed her the article.
posted by The Vidiot @ 8:01 AM PermalinkPerhaps you heard that our local groundhog, Staten Island Chuck, bit our mayor Bloomberg. While I appreciated the sentiment, I should've expected that Chuck would end up a hero with his own t-shirt.
posted by The Sailor @ 6:04 PM Permalink
Justice William W. Bedsworth is my best friend, OK he's a pen pal, uh ... would you believe we've exchanged emails a couple of times!? Anyhoo, he's an Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal. He writes a blawg called A Criminal Waste of Space. His latest offering contains:
No lipstick on the collar, no long unexplained business trips, no emotional withdrawal, no couples counseling, nothing! The sonofagun just said, “I divorce you,”(5) and moved on. Without explanation. Just left her there to fight the monsters alone.
She was, of course, distraught. Divorce is always difficult. And this one was greatly complicated by the whole monster thing.(6) Apparently unable to retain a virtual Gloria Allred, Ms. Doe released her own statement: “I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry.”(7)
But as commonplace as her public statement might have been, Ms. Doe’s revenge was a tour de force of imagination befitting someone with a background in monster eradication. Using login information she obtained when their characters were happily married – virtually – Ms. Doe logged in with her virtual husband’s password and caused his avatar to walk in front of a truck.
Yep. Flattened him. Dead before the virtual paramedics arrived.
Read the whole thing, the Beds Notes alone are worth the price of admission.
And speaking of The California Court of Appeal, (notice the lack of an 's' on Appeal, man that's a tough system!), Beds' colleague is the Presiding Justice David G. Sills who recently saw red, but couldn't see the cameras, or maybe it was en camera. Well, it might as well have been en camera because the city didn't bother to send an attorney:
[...] The district attorney was properly served with all briefs and notices required during the course of the court's proceedings, but Fletcher insisted that the city attorney's office had sole jurisdiction over the matter. Neither party showed up for proceedings before the appellate division. In a pair of letters to defendant Thomas Fischetti prior to his trial, the city attorney's office denied that it had jurisdiction over his case.
"The district attorney's office is charged with prosecution of California Vehicle Code violations," Deputy City Attorney Laura A. Rossini wrote on March 13, 2008.
"As we discussed on the telephone, the Santa Ana City Attorney's Office is not the prosecuting agency for this citation and therefore does not have authority to dismiss it," Rossini wrote in a second letter dated March 27.
Now INAL, but even I know that if you don't show up for your court date there are bound to be consequences! The DA & the CA were AWOL!? I'm LOL!
posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:18 AM Permalink
…along with now ex-Vice President cheney (Gosh that has a nice ring to it!).
cheney is all over the news today saying President Obama will be making a grave error by closing Gitmo, as future attacks will be much more severe, possibly including nuclear, biological, or chemical attacks.
I'm certain that just the fact Gitmos exists will alone be sufficient to prevent all these types of attacks and the resulting carnage that would strongly resemble the devastation left behind by the bush/cheney maladministration.
It did make me start thinking about the possibility there are other types of attacks cheney has not yet thought of and the resulting damage:
1. A lone satellite could crash into one of our notoriously deficient silos and cause the detonation of one of our missiles. 2. The incompetent missile silo crews that failed their last disastrous inspections, many totally asleep throughout the exercise, could get carried away betting on poker and accidentally detonate a nuke themselves (I'll see your New York and rasise you by Los Angeles). 3. The next time six cruise missiles are sent on an unannounced tour of the American midwest one missile could accidentally fall off into a blue state, causing great mischief and inspiring gales of laughter as cheney and pals reminisced about it. 4. The Evil Ones are breeding a herd of blue giant mutant mice that eat people with minimal infrastructure damage, of which we already enough, and that can only be controlled by a special radio concealed in an unknown location which cheney has already stocked with ducks, geese, pheasant and the faces of fellow hunters he has shot off. 5. Weaponized sea snakes could at this moment be circling Florida as a prelude to an attack on Gitmo (What can I say? Florida drew the short straw). 6. Radio controlled vampire bats called Bat Predators, are hiding in cave and hollowed out trees all over America just waitining for the attack. The only drawback here is miniaturizing Hellfire missiles. 7. Lynn Cheney might start hitting the news rounds, presaging an attack. 8. Our government might stop inspecting toys completely, engaging in chemical warfare with hugh and unsafe amounts of lead in our future toys, leaving America a pack of blithering idiots (like cheney?) drooling and scavenging for bits and scraps of melamine-tainted, nutritionally deficit food.
This is just a small sampling of what our country faces, unless the Chinese just forecloses on America and evicts us all.
posted by The Vidiot @ 7:51 AM Permalink
I don't really pay all that much attention to blog trends, but The Sailor posted on Blogroll Amnesty Day and I feel the need to chime in with my picks.
A wonderful blog done by a sociologist, James Petras, is a must-read for anybody interested in Latin American politics. Read it. You'll learn something.
Over at Two Glasses, Toast will give you a chuckle every now and again. If you like your politics mixed with sports and beer (and some bird and squirrel blogging), well, that's the blog for you. (I recently made a stink in his comments section about US democracy and the real viability of anarchy so I might have ticked a few folks off over there. But hey, that's just me.)
I rather like Posthuman Blues. Mac Tonnies is a futurist trapped in the wastelands of Missouri (NOT Minnesota. That's what I get for blogging on the fly.)
And finally, search out your local blogs and read them. If there aren't any, then start one. They provide endless entertainment and information. Obviously, here in New York, we have many many many local blogs. Brooklyn alone has an endless array of blogs dedicated to the various neighborhoods. Some of my favorite New York/Brooklyn blogs are: Lost City, Brownstoner, Gowanus Lounge, Curbed, and Gothamist.
posted by The Sailor @ 7:03 PM Permalink BAD could be Big Audio Dynamite ... or ... it could be Blogroll Amnesty Day! skippy, Jon Swift and Blue Gal are sponsoring the blogiversary of blogiversaries yet another year. As skippy puts it:
the basic rule for blogroll amnesty day weekend is simply this: take a moment to write a post linking to (and pointing out to your readers) 5 blogs w/traffic smaller than yours. this inclusive and magnanimous yet easy-to-do gesture will not only expose your readers to new voices and those voices to new readers, it will foster a sense of community, support and all-around kumbaya amongst the progressive infrastructure.
We totally support this concept, but we're not sure if the blogs listed below qualify for 'smaller than ours', but we like them!
Fafblog! the whole world's only source for Fafblog I forget how I originally discovered Fafblog but they cracked me up and they were a must read until they went off the air., They're back now but they were gone so long that another site started an homage. I miss Fafblog, (since Fafblog's come back from hiatus they've changed their name to I Like Pie, Spot! They crack me up too!
Ms Sparky (A political blog exposing KBR and corporate greed among DoD contractors.) She was an electrician in Iraq and knows what she's talking about. Her commenters are incredible. Some posts and comments make me weep.
Pole Hill Sanitarium/Dr. Sardonicus In the first place Dr. Sardonicus is one of my favorite albums of all time, and when I googled it and up came this link I put it on my blogroll. It makes me laugh, cry and think.
Only in America I first met the author in comments on TalkLeft. We got to corresponding and then I asked him to contribute to VidiotSpeak. He's a fellow sailor, and sailors tend to be independent cusses, so he started his own blog.
Click thru all the links, they're like CrackerJacks. There's a surprise in every box!
It's thinking like this from people such as these…
posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:13 AM Permalink
…that got us into such dire financial straits. The Republicans figure they haven't done enough to almost destroy America and its ideals. They are determined, after all those years of spending and borrowing such as never imagined, to complete the job and kill off our government. After all, they've gotten theirs already.
No greater indication of their desperation could exist to surpass this one:
Fresh off his stint as a war correspondent in Gaza, Joe the Plumber is now doing political strategy with Republicans.
When GOP congressional aides gather Tuesday morning for a meeting of the Conservative Working Group, Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher – more commonly known as Joe the Plumber — will be their featured guest. This group is an organization of conservative Capitol Hill staffers who meet regularly to chart GOP strategy for the week.
Wurzelbacher, who became a household name during the presidential election, will be focusing his talk on the proposed stimulus package. He's apparently not a fan of the economic rescue package, according to members of the group.
If nothing else, GOP aides are using the appearance to get staffers to attend the 9 a.m meeting.
“In case you weren’t planning to attend CWG tomorrow morning, you might want to reconsider because Joe the Plumber will be joining us!” Kimberly Wallner, an aide to South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, wrote in a message to her e-mail list this afternoon.
Hooray! We can all sleep easy tonight knowing that an unemployed/never employed plumber and erstwhile political reporter will be on the job, round the clock, shirtsleeves rolled up as an indication of the hard work he has to do to help his desperate party, the GOP, recover their swagger, learn to spit chewin' tabaccy, start real physical fights with reporters from nations friendly to America, and, in general, show those wimpy, sniveling, girly-man, effete snobs that are clearly out to obstruct everything President Obama does or wants to do how to get the job finished off and end our freedoms.
I wrote President Obama yesterday to tell him that if the rethugs are refusing to vote, the Senate rule against filigusters should be temporarily suspended until the Democratic Party can show those @ssholes the good things government can do for America without the stupid, purely partisan politics of hate and bias as practiced by the God-cursed Obstruction Party
LoBiondo signaled out the following examples of provisions within the House bill that do not meet the explicit requirements of immediately stimulating the economy:
* $1.9 billion for high-level physics research;
* $1.5 billion for universities to improve their biomedical research programs;
* $600 million for the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to purchase new satellites to improve weather forecasts;
* $600 million to buy new cars for federal government workers, adding to the existing inventory of 640,000 vehicles; and,
* $335 million for education and prevention programs regarding sexually transmitted diseases.
Now reporters get a lot of things wrong. But since this is from The Honorable's own office I guess it's straight from the horse's ass.
And, while I don't know his voting record, and his office had a disclaimer before what I quoted, I say he's wrong to vote against this bill. But he's a republican and they vote in lockstep just to be obstructionists. They want President Obama to fail.
For one thing, all the provisions he can find to complain about only amount to 5 billion out of 800 billion. (1/160th of the bill.)
Now let's toss some more numbers around. 1.9 billion for 'High level physics research.' I don't know what programs he's talking about, but I do know that if this bill passes physics labs don't have to lose scientists, grad students, lab workers, janitors &c, &c, &c.
The same with biomedical research programs.
$600 million to build, buy and staff and launch weather satellites. Well gosh, the ones we have are failing and now more than ever we need to predict the weather better so our farmers, fishermen, neighbors &c, &c, &c can prepare and survive extreme weather. And an ounce of prevention IS CHEAPER than a pound of cure. And the folks in those fields get to keep their jobs and this will add new ones. It's sure nice to know that if you can graduate college you can get a job in a highly technical field that you love and the world needs.
$600 million to buy federal workers' cars that are cheaper and more fuel efficient from our Big 3 auto companies. Yep, no new jobs there! Just the autoworkers, designers, managers, parts makers, truck drivers, waiters & cooks and maintenance and sanitation workers, and their mangers &c, &c, &c.
$335 million to keep our children safer thru education and treatment that replace the failed abstinence programs that Bush & republicans insisted on. (BTW, nice job Gov Palin for keeping your daughter from getting pregnant out of wedlock ... and how is that shotgun marriage coming?)
Gee, all those are immediate jobs and infrastructure spending and pay off in the long run. And did I mention they were only 160th of the spending bill? And the only parts republicans are using for talking points?
Pardon me if I sound cynical, but republicans, all the way from their spokes model drug addict Rush Limbaugh, down to and including their rank & file members of congress, don't care about America or Americans.
Don't listen to what they say, watch how they act. 68% of the country has caught on. The only folks left are the rich, the pundits (also rich), and folks who can't afford teeth or health care for them or their kids and are too stupid to figure out that they've been lied to.
President Obama, We don't need bi-partisanship, we need solutions and fast. By catering to these copperheads all you are doing is slowing down the rest of the country's desperate needs and it won't help you get us what we need to survive.
Now you knew damn well they were snakes, Before you brought them in.
[...] [Citigroup] While trying to keep a low profile, the company is still fielding an army of Washington lobbyists working on a host of issues, including the bailout. In the fourth quarter, it spent $1.77 million on lobbying fees, according to its lobbyists’ filings. [...] During the last three months of 2008, at least seven other firms receiving bailout funds — American Express, Capital One, Goldman Sachs, KeyCorp, Morgan Stanley, PNC and Bank of New York Mellon — all lobbied the government about the bailout, according to a review of their most recent disclosure reports.
Does anyone else see a problem with that?
Or how about this, Wall Streetwalkers (OK, maybe they take a limo but that doesn't mean they aren't whores) are trying to justify the 18.4 BILLION DOLLARS they gave/got in bonuses of our tax money for failing. And not just a small fail, a fail that is epic beyond belief. Greed works my ass! I'm with Senator McCaskill:
"We have a bunch of idiots on Wall Street that are kicking sand in the face of the American taxpayer," an enraged McCaskill said on the floor of the Senate. "They don't get it. These people are idiots. You can't use taxpayer money to pay out $18 billion in bonuses."
I agree with the Senator on most counts, but I'm thinking she isn't allowed to call them greedy bastards from the Senate floor.
And then there's the justification from the greedy bastards (faithfully scribed by AP mediawhores):
[...] While Wall Street investment banks and other financial firms make headlines for the millions paid out to certain executives, more modest bonuses go to workers from human resources representatives to secretaries as well as employees who actually made money for their companies last year.
Jason Weisberg, vice president of the Wall Street brokerage Seaport Securities, said bank employees count on performance bonuses like salesmen count on commissions.
"What are you supposed to pay them?" Weisberg asked. "Or are you not supposed to pay them? And if you don't pay them, how do you expect that employee to stay employed at that company?"
One, salespeople work on commissions, managers & secretaries don't. Two, 'little people' in your Wall Street office aren't your waiters or waitresses, they make a salary, not rely on tips. Three, If you want to retain those workers, DON'T LAY THEM OFF! I'm pretty sure they'd be just happy to have a job right now. Or maybe they should unionize and force you to pay them what they're worth.
I know the HR people and secretaries where I work, along with me and every employee that I know of, work for our wages. One employee each year gets a $500 bonus. And that employee is voted that bonus by their fellow employees. And I still think $500 is a lot of money.
And I work in a nice place with wonderful people who are going to make a positive difference in peoples lives, not like these greedy bastards who have done nothing for this country or the world except cause misery while they insist on profiting thru their skill & heartlessness at clever manipulations of other people's money. And now they're bitchin' that they might lose money too!
That's not a skill to be proud of, that's a parasite that bleeds & bleeds the host until the host dies. The host has died and now they want more. Parasites always want more.
p.s I apologize to the whores and bastards I've known and worked with over the years. They've mainly been good people, and I've really got to come up with some new terms for this level of evil and incompetence.
posted by The Vidiot @ 7:20 AM Permalink
It's beginning to look like the "terror" manufactured by the banking industry might've been more like the manufactured terror leading up to the Iraq war.
Key members of Congress were stunned to hear Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson say on Sept. 18 in a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill that the country was “days away” from a complete financial meltdown—one that could lead to Depression-like runs on banks, widespread violence and ultimately even to a possible declaration of martial law. It was a vision of Armageddon, but, of course, 10 days later, the House rejected a Wall Street bailout package sent over by Paulson, only to pass one in a more limited form—the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act—a week later that gave Paulson less power and only half the money he wanted.
Meanwhile, the financial system did not collapse and while a few banks were failing, there were no runs on them, and martial law wasn’t invoked. One reason things didn’t fall apart when Congress didn’t immediately act as Paulson and Bernanke demanded, may be that there wasn’t any danger of a meltdown in the first place. So say three senior economists working at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, who in October examined the Fed’s own data, and concluded in an article titled Facts and Myths About the Financial Crisis of 2008 that the claims that interbank lending and commercial lending had seized up were simply not true.
Could it be? Would they lie to us? Really?
Not only that, as you've no doubt heard, they've continued to give themselves hefty bonuses, ostensibly to keep their good employees right where they are, rather than have them leave their jobs for say, some other bank that pays even more. The fact though is that every single one of those folks who got bonuses to keep them happy are really keeping their heads down and are praying they don't get laid off or fired. There's no worry of them going elsewhere because, frankly, there's no elsewhere to go. Not only that, they have to know that their employers might be looking to fill their jobs with foreign workers to save money.
The dozen banks now receiving the biggest rescue packages, totaling more than $150 billion, requested visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers over the past six years for positions that included senior vice presidents, corporate lawyers, junior investment analysts and human resources specialists. The average annual salary for those jobs was $90,721, nearly twice the median income for all American households.
So, bottom line, Paulson et al bamboozled the US Taxpayer, while the banks siphoned off that money to line their own pockets and to continued to do business as usual with no repercussions.
Outside of a few scattered and quickly contained protests, the citizens of the U.S. -- a country born of revolution, but with an elite that's been terrified of that legacy since immediately after its founding -- have been calm, despite opinion polls showing that Americans are more dissatisfied with the direction in which the country has been headed since they began measuring such things.
It's a baffling disconnect, considering that real wages for all but the top 10 percent of the economic pile haven't increased in 35 years.
1.(sometimes capital letters 'V' and 'S' with no space) a style of writing or saying something using emotion and/or logic and snark, esp. in order to elucidate the obvious while pretending to be objective.
2. anything written by The Vidiot, The Sailor, Mr. Vidiot and anyone else they allow to post on the blog “vidiotspeak”
[Origin: loosely based on new + speak, coined by George Orwell in his novel, 1984 (1949)]
And for godsakes, stay away from FOX, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC.
It's ALL CRAP!!!
Watch the BBC news or ITN news instead.
"POSSE COMITATUS ACT" (18 USC 1385)
A Reconstruction Era criminal law proscribing use of Army (later, Air Force) to "execute the laws" except where expressly authorized by Constitution or Congress. Limit on use of military for civilian law enforcement also applies to Navy by regulation. Dec '81 additional laws were enacted (codified 10 USC 371-78) clarifying permissible military assistance to civilian law enforcement agencies--including the Coast Guard--especially in combating drug smuggling into the United States. Posse Comitatus clarifications emphasize supportive and technical assistance (e.g., use of facilities, vessels, aircraft, intelligence, tech aid, surveillance, etc.) while generally prohibiting direct participation of DoD personnel in law enforcement (e.g., search, seizure, and arrests). For example, Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDETS) serve aboard Navy vessels and perform the actual boardings of interdicted suspect drug smuggling vessels and, if needed, arrest their crews). Positive results have been realized especially from Navy ship/aircraft involvement.