Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ain't it a shame the world's never gonna be the same…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:37 PM Permalink

…I think from my many postings that I have at least tried to lead a good, honest, life, and have tried my best to show I've tried to live a good and decent life, caring for others more then myself, despite the disabilities brought upon me by Agent Orange cancers, trying to remain in good spirits, even as my mind slowly slips away into insanity and the world slowly recedes from view, memories held so strong for so long the it brings about physical pain to realize I'm am losing ever larger blocks of my mind that I will never be able to recover.

One of those memories was the collecting of over 500 of the most beautiful knives in the world, 4,000 layer damascus steel katanas. 37 to 2000 thousand layer Damascus knives, and other specialty knives costing thousands of dollars from custom knife smith's made with some of the finest steels in the world, in some of the most beautiful patterns, and I delighted in playing "knife show" if you innocently commented on some of the pieces I kept displayed. A full "show" could take as long as four or five hours depending on your interest level.

As I have recently started losing more and more of my mind and ability to think and speak cogently, I decided I would once again try my hand at knife collecting. After some minor success and accumulating about a hundred twenty or more knives I decided this would be a maintenance day (Damascus, 1045, 1060, and 1090 tool steels all require care to prevent rusting, those which take edges so sharp the hair jumps off your arm test patch and commits suicide rather than face one of my cutting edges (Remember, I'm from Arkansas where at age seven you were issued your Buck or Schrade cattleman's pattern three blade knife [A clip point, spey, and pen blades], honing oil, and a black Arkansas stone of the kind used to sharpen surgical and dental instruments because the 1000-1200 grit stone polishes while sharpening.

I was having a ball, again, recalling happier times, and enjoying spending a not inconsiderable sum to again begin collecting the knives that seem to carry a small part of the soul of its creator if you know how to feel for it.

So, deciding today was maintenance day, I dug through every box of several hundred knives I have accumulated and found, much to my dismay, that someone within a very, very, small group of family and friends with whom I surround myself, being a total recluse, had taken the liberty of relieving my of a couple of thousand dollars worth of Ros Arms Russian Cutlery knives, including several large bowie, hunting and fighting style knifes, and two specialty knives with blades engraved by hand depicting hunting scenes that were gilded with 24ct. pure gold.

There were fewer than 10 people that even knew I had commenced collecting fine knives again, 2,000 to 4,000 layer Damascus katanas, several Gli Hibben pieces (including one on custom order for Jesse right now) and another thousand dollars or so of knives just since last Friday.

So it leaves me in the ugly position of knowing the only people who enter my home at all (I'm a VERY private person), and further knowing that beside Mila, my Warrior Woman of 35 years, and my son, Jesse, with whom I would without question trust with my life, I am stuck in the very ugly position of knowing it had to be less that a half-dozen future in-laws that secretly entered into mine and Mila's bedroom, which EVERYONE knows is strictly off limits to anyone but us, and stole a most valuable stash of Ros Arms Russian Cutlery and the single-most beautiful pair of engraved blades with 24ct, solid gold gilding I've ever owned.

It crushed me. I took down every single one of the 70-80 knives I had hanging or laying on display, wrapped them, protected them (Cleaned, lubed, polished, etc.) and gave them to my so with the admonition that I I don't even want to LOOK at the other $2K-$2.5K in knives when they arrive next week. I don't think I EVER want to see another quality knife again as long as I live.

Every time i even think of those knives I will know for certain that people I thought I could trust the most in my life stole from me not just knives, but the sanctity, security, peaceful and quiet safety and security that I, hell, ANYONE should have the right to expect and enjoy within the confines of their home.

Not just this incident, but any similar circumstance should never be visited upon anyone in their home surrounded by people who supposedly love them.

Just when I thought I could again live and have a good time my dreams get smashed, rubbed into the dirt, and I guess life will never seem the same again. Oh, I know that I am far from the first and will be far from the last to be ripped off by prospective new family, but this has hurt me far worst then I would have imagined as someone with certain knowledge that, if I'm lucky, I have only lost twenty to thirty years of my lifespan from the ravages of cancer, the permanent damage to every cartilaginous structure in my throat, the eternal pain in which I must live, the handfuls of drugs that damn near leave me comatose, multiple rounds of double pneumonia; I guess I just got cocky and figured it was time for my to get a break.

Well it's finally happened. My spirit is crushed, I must blind myself to that which I must see, and I once again must forfeit any right I may once thought I had to believe that life can be worthwhile living. If the thief had been truly in need, come to me to ask help, they would have gladly received my help if able.

By doing it this way he/she has proven themselves gutless cowards, broken further an already broken heart, broken the bounds of trust among purported future family members, and proven once again that it is easier to steal from someone who trusts them than to seek honest work and pay their own way in the real world. A real puke-faced coward all right.


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Saturday, January 30, 2010

But ain't Dr. Vidiot proud to live in a country where ya only need…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:53 PM Permalink

…three simple words to traverse this entire Nation?
Yep. Nope, and s-h-h-i-i-t!

Friday, January 29, 2010

One of Dr. Vidiot's favorite arguments

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:35 AM Permalink

There is absolutely no difference between a "criminal" organization such as the Bloods or the Crips or even La Cosa Nostra for that matter and the police beyond the fact that one is state-sanctioned and the others are not. Here we see NYPD cops beating up a perp in an alley.
The police report says Benson was "flailing" while cops tried to cuff him, but the video seems to contradict that, showing him prone on the ground as three cops hit and kick him. "These cops seem to act like a criminal organization rather than a municipal police force," Benson's lawyer, Fred Lichtmacher, tells the Daily News.
So somebody ELSE noticed for a change. Good.

Oh, and don't think it's just a "few bad cops." The entire Police force -- all police forces -- act like a criminal organizations. Just like not everyone in La Cosa Nostra is a killer, not every cop kicks a "flailing" perp. However, they ALL fully support their respective institution.

So, can you find a difference? G'head. I dare's ya.

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I know that it's yesterday's news...

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:56 AM Permalink

But Howard Zinn's passing was one of the few "celebrity" deaths that made me gasp a bit.

See, I wouldn't even be doing this blog if it weren't for Zinn. His People's History was my "A-HA!" book. It was the book that turned my thinking around, that opened my eyes, the showed me for the first time that I'd been duped my whole life, that I was an ignorant moron who had better get herself educated fast or else be relegated to the bowels of mediocrity. If it weren't for Zinn, I'd have never met Mr. Vi....oh, sorry, DR. Vidiot... because I met him in a class I wouldn't have been taking had I not gone back to grad school.

So, as you can see, Howard Zinn changed my life. How cool is that?


Totally not political

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:45 AM Permalink

But I can tell you this story is 100% true.
An "alarmingly high" number of high school students are reporting sexual advances from their adult bosses and other supervisors at some of the country's best known fast food operations, according to an official of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
When I was 16, I worked at Burger King. I was more or less told by the manager that if I "played" I would be moved from the whopper board to the front order counter. Needless to say, I never left the whopper board.

That there was REAL sexual harassment, and not the pansy-assed stuff guys are accused of these days. "OOOOOO, I heard him tell a titty joke. OOooo, I feel so degraded!"


Somehow the headline, "Robert Reich: Obama's Tiny Jobs Ideas for Main Street..."

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:06 AM Permalink

…makes incredibility good sense since Robert Reich is a little, teen, tiny, elfin-like little man. I know. I've seen him when I was NOT hallucinating.

Really. He's very small, even on TV where giants among men traverse the globe spreading hugh muddy footprints, which was the last known spotting (Give him a treat!) of Robert Reich, although there is a new rumor that he is hiding in Wolf Blitzer's beard, where what little white hair he retains blends in perfecly.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

I shouldn't do this from work

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:09 PM Permalink

But this is too precious.
Following the recent Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission to allow unlimited corporate funding of federal campaigns, Murray Hill Inc. today announced it is filing to run for U.S. Congress. "Until now," Murray Hill Inc. said in a statement, "corporate interests had to rely on campaign contributions and influence-peddling to achieve their goals in Washington. But thanks to an enlightened Supreme Court, now we can eliminate the middle-man and run for office ourselves." Murray Hill Inc. is believed to be the first "corporate person" to exercise its constitutional right to run for office.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Still crazy after all these years, oh, still crazy after all these years…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 4:05 PM Permalink

…and in a private interchange the Vidiot pointed out that I handled my insanity, let me get this right, "Dude, at least you have a sense of humor about your insanity. A humorless insane person is just not any fun to be around."

And I realized she's right and that I'm done trying to appear sane and normal, which everyone knows is a certain sign of insanity.

It hasn't been too bad for a while, but the other night I awoke, lost in my own home and unable to find the bathroom. Fortunately my son, who looks strange and mysterious disguised as a lamp as he was, and I had a fifteen or twenty minute philosophical discussion on the merits of finding the bathroom and the consequences of not finding it at all.

His argument I found to be more compelling so, I set out on my adventure in the darkness since I was afraid it would hurt his nose to turn on the lamp. I climbed over the love seat, low, so as not to present a silhouette target, crawled forward in the direction of the bathroom and somehow found myself in the kitchen which I recognized immediately 'cause when my head rebounded of the refrigerator and hit the tile floor of the kitchen I knew were I was because the kitchen has really large tiles on the floor, not those tiny ones like in the bathroom.

I realized, however, when the stars stopped spinning and the birds stopped tweeting, that I knew where I was, so I promptly crawled into the garage and realized I was lost again. I fearlessly trekked (can someone fearlessly trek or is there some kind of protocol for that?) back across the kitchen, over the love seat, and promptly knocked the coffee table halfway across the living room using only my head. Quite a feat as we have one of those old and very heavy coffee tables from before the Ice Age.

When the birds stopped serenading me again I followed the edge of the coffee table, which, having been knocked askew by it's previous encounter with my head, no longer lead me right to the left to the bathroom, but straight into a fan I keep going to keep air circulating. I rested there for awhile, holding onto the fan, and then realized that when the fan pointed far left it pointed directly to the hallway and the bathroom door. I made it to the hallway, finally.

Then I realized I had taken an early turn and was standing in front of a shelf of DVDs (I have five of them) which was kind enough to point out the hallway, where I promptly entered the closet at the end of the hall. I started counting doors, being clever enough to know the bathroom would be the second door, got turned around and found myself talking to the fan in the living room, which was kind enough to gently blow me right to the bathroom door. Success!

I have lived one of those "wild and crazy guys" lifestyles, and my Warrior Woman and I have done things many would consider both insane and impossible in the fifteen years I hunted skips after I had pursued a military career and worked in every area of endeavor in the military I could, specializing in those jobs for which insanity was a prerequisite, and I have felt it slowly coming back to haunt me over the last few years.

Those words, "Dude, at least you have a sense of humor about your insanity. A humorless insane person is just not any fun to be around." mean a lot to me, and I will start posting again, on the wall or off, but at least posting again. My few readers already know I'm nuts anyway, so why not?

Ciao, Bill

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Oh, you think she's all sweetness and light

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:30 PM Permalink

But let me tell you what she just did.

We've piddle-pad trained her. She's very good about walking over the to pad, doing her business, and then she looks up to us for her treat for being a good dog.

Well, little missy just walked up to her piddle pad, made sure I was watching, sniffed around, and pretended to do her business. She just left a teeny weeny little wet spot, barely the size of a dime. Then she looked up at me for her treat.

She totally scammed me!

Of course I gave her the treat. I mean, she's cute dammit.


Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

posted by The Sailor @ 5:24 PM Permalink

While Vid, Mr Vid and I are celebrating good times with our respective NFL teams' wins on Sunday (go Colts & Saints), I'd like to mention one other, teeny, tiny event that may have escaped your notice.


You can read previous blogiversary posts to us here, here and here. And if you can't do the math, this is number four!

Special thanks go out to skippy & co, SteveAudio, Bartcop Entertainment, WTF!? and Crooks & Liars, all great sites and all early supporters of us, but most of all we want to thank our readers, we could of done it without you, but what would be the fun in that?

We love you guys,

* The Vidiot
* The Sailor
* Mr. Vidiot
* Bill Arnett
* Global Patriot Worker


Thank you St. Anthony

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:32 AM Permalink

I know your supposed to publish a thank you if St. Jude pulls one out of his hat for you, but just in case you're supposed to acknowledge St. Anthony in some way, I'm thanking him on the blog. I really don't want my house to burn down.

(I'm Italian. 'Nuff said.)


Whatever you think of Castro

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:04 AM Permalink

He may be a bully and he may rule his country with and iron fist, making life difficult and unpleasant for so many. HOWEVER, the man sure knows how to win a PR campaign.
In conformity with the position publicly announced by Cuba, medical staff from different countries ­namely Spain, Mexico, and Colombia, among others - worked very hard alongside our doctors at the facilities they had improvised. Organizations such as PAHO and other friendly countries like Venezuela and other nations supplied medicines and other resources. The impeccable behavior of Cuban professionals and their leaders was absolutely void of chauvinism and remained out of the limelight.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Made me LOL

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:24 PM Permalink

Since we're in the process of moving, there will be the requisite trip to Ikea to buy something cheap but oh so useful for the new digs. I just really hope they have a few more of these.

"Ladies and Gentleman, the "Nääpper". (via The Gothamist, via Laura Holder]"

Well, at least he had manners enough to not put his shoes on the couch.

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Cui Bono?

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:58 PM Permalink

Read these headlines and bits from some of today's headlines and ask yourself "Who benefits?"
Democrats consider dropping insurance ban on pre-existing conditions

SEC mulled national security status for AIG

The top Senate Democrat
wants to make it more difficult to run up the deficit with new tax cuts or expansions of federal benefit programs.

In the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Court ruled that corporations may spend unlimited amounts of money at any time to influence elections.

EVERYTHING YOU need to know about the U.S. aid effort to assist Haiti
in the wake of the catastrophic earthquake can be summed up by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s touchdown in Port-au-Prince on Saturday, January 16: they shut down the airport for three hours surrounding her arrival for “security” reasons, which meant that no aid flights could come in during those critical hours.

Gates Pledges “Steady Growth in the Pentagon’s Budgets”

Geithner Warns That Markets Could Dive If Bernanke Is Not Reconfirmed
You may not always be able to pinpoint who the benefactor is, but you can always pinpoint who the losers are: We, the people.

Still think they work for us?

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Who Dat!

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:37 PM Permalink

Rusty Costanza / The Times-Picayune
Penny Cheramie and T-Man, both of Larose,
cheer from their seats at Deanie's Seafood Restaurant
in the French Quarter as the Saints scored their first touchdown on Sunday.

Back when Mr. Vidiot was in high school making everybody's life miserable, he used to say, "You wait and see! I'm going to get my PhD!" and everyone would say, "Yeah, right. You'll get your PhD the year the Saints go to the superbowl."

Well, he did... and they are!

Update: From the local NOLA paper, the Times Picayune:

Earlier in the day, Bishop Shelton Fabre seemingly extended a spiritual aura well beyond the walls of St. Louis Cathedral.

He presided over an 11 a.m. Mass filled with Saints fans, many not hiding their intentions as they filled the church for a final round of pre-game prayers.

Fabre used his final blessing to speak directly to the black-and-gold congregation.

"St. Paul reminded us in the second reading that we are part of the body of Christ. Today we are also reminded that we are all part of the Who Dat Nation," he said to thunderous applause and cheers.

"Let us pray that there is great rejoicing this afternoon."

And there was.

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Shocked? Not.

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:05 AM Permalink

I suppose when most folks read what this guy said, it will cause shock and outrage:
Bauer said that parents should be required to “pass drug tests or attend parent-teacher conferences or PTA meetings.” To make this argument, however, he compared people receiving government assistance to stray animals:
I'm not shocked or surprised. Rather I'm liking his honesty. See, this is how those in power view the underclass. It has always been that way and always will be that way. It's just that the power elite never said it out loud in front of the underclass before. If you think for one minute that Obama or Reid or Pelosi or any of them think of you as anything more than an animal, then you are delusional.

Try to hold on to that for a minute. Don't let it go no matter how distasteful. OK? Now, think of everything that has been done to the people; the wars, healthcare, our schools, the recent SCOTUS decision, our food supply, all of it. Now, if you look at it from their perspective, that we're little more than animals, then all of those seemingly insane decisions make perfect sense, don't they?

You know I'm right.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Definition of Dichotomy ...

posted by The Sailor @ 2:13 PM Permalink

... is watching American Beauty and I walk The Line at the same time.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Idiocracy is here!

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:45 AM Permalink

I swear, you could totally see something like this in the movie "Idiocracy"
Gimme a Whopper, fries — and a beer.

Those words are no longer wishful thinking. Friday, Burger King (BKC) will unveil plans to sell beer and burgers at a Whopper Bar — a new BK concept to compete with casual dining restaurants — in Miami Beach's tourist-heavy South Beach. The South Beach Whopper Bar is scheduled to open in mid-February.
Beer and fast food! What more could you want?!

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It's more honest this way

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:40 AM Permalink

With yesterday's SCOTUS decision removing the limits of corporate money in campaign advertising, a whole new chapter in political honestly is upon us. Now, corporations can do legally what they've been doing underhandedly all along. Think of the money they'll save on lawyers and front groups!

God bless America!

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Somebody's Watching Me

posted by The Sailor @ 5:30 PM Permalink

Spies that don't like US:
Inspector general cites 'egregious breakdown' in FBI oversight

FBI agents for years sought sensitive records from telephone companies through e-mails, sticky notes, sneak peeks and other "startling" methods that violated electronic privacy law and federal policy, according to a Justice Department inspector general report released Wednesday.

The study details how the FBI between 2002 and 2006 sent more than 700 demands for telephone toll information by citing often nonexistent emergencies and using sometimes misleading language. The practice of sending faulty "exigent" letters to three telecommunications providers became so commonplace that one FBI agent described it to investigators as "like having an ATM in your living room."
At times, what the inspector general called an "egregious breakdown" extended to misstatements to the special Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court about how sensitive information had been obtained by federal law enforcement, the report said.
As part of a leak investigation, the FBI used exigent letters to improperly obtain toll phone call information from Washington Post reporter Ellen Nakashima and New York Times reporters Jane Perlez and Raymond Bonner, all working in Jakarta, Indonesia, about six years ago. The letter was not followed up with a subpoena and it did not secure the approval of the attorney general, which is required when seeking reporters' phone records under Justice Department policy, the inspector general report said.
At the very least every agent that lied to a Federal Court should go to prison for perjury. And everyone involved should be fired.

It ain't gonna happen, but it should.

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010


posted by The Vidiot @ 7:52 AM Permalink

I did not see this coming. Ted Kennedy's seat went to a Republican.

The Boston Globe reports that Martha Coakley has called Scott Brown to concede, according to a Brown aide.

Two Democrats confirmed the concession to POLITICO.

Her concession marks the most dramatic political upset in a generation, one that will be plumbed for meaning and spun over the next few days.

I don't know who this Scott Brown is, beyond a google search that led me to a semi-nude picture of him from a 1982 Cosmo, but whoever or whatever he is, you can be sure he's going to piss off the Democrats. It should be quite a show.

Let the fun begin!

Republican lawyers fear that if Brown wins, Democrats will use stall tactics to delay certification of his victory till after the U.S. Senate casts its final vote on President Obama's healthcare bill.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Anybody here seen my old friend Martin? Can you tell me where he's gone?

posted by The Sailor @ 7:39 PM Permalink

Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor in America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours.
Martin Luther King, Jr., The Trumpet of Conscience, 1967.

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967.

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. "
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: - 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.' "
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

More here.
I remember Martin Luther King, and I remember what was said about him at the time. 'He's a communist', 'he's a puppet of outside agitators', 'just a ni**er that doesn't know his place', 'he's uppity for a boy.'

I remember separate drinking fountains, 'colored entrances' and attack dogs and fire hoses and Bull Connor and George Wallace.

What I don't remember is any Republicants marching with him. Sure, there were a lot of southern democrats opposing him, and a lot of pure hate that survives to this day, but to march with him you literally had to put put your life on the line.

Maybe as a country we always take 2 steps forward and one step back.

Martin Luther King was always speaking to our better angels. Maybe we can, as a country, recover that optimism. With all that he'd been thru he still held out for hope.

I do too.

Cross posted at SteveAudio


Sorry for the NON posting

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:05 AM Permalink

I haven't stopped blogging. It's just that life has gotten in the way.

Since I last blogged:
As you can see, my plate is too full to blog.

I will be back after we settle in or something so monumental happens, I have to yap about it.

Thanks guys for holding down the fort.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tell It Like It Is

posted by The Sailor @ 5:31 PM Permalink

President Obama talks the talk:
Remarks of President Barack Obama As Prepared for Delivery
Weekly Address January 16, 2010

Over the past two years, more than seven million Americans have lost their jobs. Countless businesses have been forced to shut their doors. Few families have escaped the pain of this terrible recession. Rarely does a day go by that I do not hear from folks who are hurting. That is why we have pushed so hard to rebuild this economy.

But even as we work tirelessly to dig our way out of this hole, it is important that we address what led us into such a deep mess in the first place. Much of the turmoil of this recession was caused by the irresponsibility of banks and financial institutions on Wall Street. These financial firms took huge, reckless risks in pursuit of short-term profits and soaring bonuses. They gambled with borrowed money, without enough oversight or regard for the consequences. And when they lost, they lost big. Little more than a year ago, many of the largest and oldest financial firms in the world teetered on the brink of collapse, overwhelmed by the consequences of their irresponsible decisions. This financial crisis nearly pulled the entire economy into a second Great Depression.

As a result, the American people – struggling in their own right – were placed in a deeply unfair and unsatisfying position. Even though these financial firms were largely facing a crisis of their own creation, their failure could have led to an even greater calamity for the country. That is why the previous administration started a program – the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP – to provide these financial institutions with funds to survive the turmoil they helped unleash. It was a distasteful but necessary thing to do.

Many originally feared that most of the $700 billion in TARP money would be lost. But when my administration came into office, we put in place rigorous rules for accountability and transparency, which cut the cost of the bailout dramatically. We have now recovered most of the money we provided to the banks. That’s good news, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s not good enough. We want the taxpayers’ money back, and we’re going to collect every dime.

That is why, this week, I proposed a new fee on major financial firms to compensate the American people for the extraordinary assistance they provided to the financial industry. And the fee would be in place until the American taxpayer is made whole. Only the largest financial firms with more than $50 billion in assets will be affected, not community banks. And the bigger the firm – and the more debt it holds – the larger the fee. Because we are not only going to recover our money and help close our deficits; we are going to attack some of the banking practices that led to the crisis.

That’s important. The fact is, financial firms play an essential role in our economy. They provide capital and credit to families purchasing homes, students attending college, businesses looking to start up or expand. This is critical to our recovery. That is why our goal with this fee – and with the common-sense financial reforms we seek – is not to punish the financial industry. Our goal is to prevent the abuse and excess that nearly led to its collapse. Our goal is to promote fair dealings while punishing those who game the system; to encourage sustained growth while discouraging the speculative bubbles that inevitably burst. Ultimately, that is in the shared interest of the financial industry and the American people.

Of course, I would like the banks to embrace this sense of mutual responsibility. So far, though, they have ferociously fought financial reform. The industry has even joined forces with the opposition party to launch a massive lobbying campaign against common-sense rules to protect consumers and prevent another crisis.

Now, like clockwork, the banks and politicians who curry their favor are already trying to stop this fee from going into effect. The very same firms reaping billions of dollars in profits, and reportedly handing out more money in bonuses and compensation than ever before in history, are now pleading poverty. It’s a sight to see.

Those who oppose this fee say the banks can’t afford to pay back the American people without passing on the costs to their shareholders and customers. But that’s hard to believe when there are reports that Wall Street is going to hand out more money in bonuses and compensation just this year than the cost of this fee over the next ten years. If the big financial firms can afford massive bonuses, they can afford to pay back the American people.

Those who oppose this fee have also had the audacity to suggest that it is somehow unfair. That because these firms have already returned what they borrowed directly, their obligation is fulfilled. But this willfully ignores the fact that the entire industry benefited not only from the bailout, but from the assistance extended to AIG and homeowners, and from the many unprecedented emergency actions taken by the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and others to prevent a financial collapse. And it ignores a far greater unfairness: sticking the American taxpayer with the bill.

That is unacceptable to me, and to the American people. We’re not going to let Wall Street take the money and run. We’re going to pass this fee into law. And I’m going to continue to work with Congress on common-sense financial reforms to protect people and the economy from the kind of costly and painful crisis we’ve just been through. Because after a very tough two years, after a crisis that has caused so much havoc, if there is one lesson that we can learn, it’s this: we cannot return to business as usual.

Thank you very much.
Now will he walk the walk?

Please give it up for Aaron Neville, Gregg Allman & And Bonnie Raitt as they Tell It Like It Is

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

You're the devil in disguise

posted by The Sailor @ 6:07 PM Permalink

To anyone who reads my posts you've seen the addendum at the bottom that says I cross post at SteveAudio. For the first time I'm cross posting a post from Steve of SteveAudio here. Hold your applause, just send money.


The Sailor

Google Pat Robertson today, and the top 2 auto-fills Google returns are "pat robertson haiti" & pat robertson haiti earthquake". Wonder why?

Well, Robertson has pissed into the punchbowl of decent people everywhere:
"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about," Robertson said Tuesday.

"They were under the heel of the French, you know Napoleon the third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the prince.' True story. And so the devil said, 'Ok it’s a deal.' And they kicked the French out. The Haitians revolted and got something themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another," Robertson said.

First, your history is wrong. Napolean Bonaparte, not 'Napolean the third and whatever' sent 20,000 French soldiers to retake the island after they wrote a new constitution. Problem was that yellow fever decimated the French army which was then beaten by Haitian forces. Satan had no part in this struggle. Napolean III wasn't even born until 1808, 6 years after the Hatian Revolution.

Second, what in Hell is wrong with you? I'm pretty sure Jesus, who you claim to worship and adore, wouldn't discuss the reason for the earthquake before wading in to help the poor Haitian people. And He might take issue with your bitching about it:
'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'

So for the first time in 2010, I hereby award our Golden Douch award to Pat Robertson:


Places to donate to Haitian Relief:

Wyclef Jean:
Either you can use your cell phone to text “Yele” to 501501, which will automatically donate $5 to the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund (it will be charged to your cell phone bill), or you can visit and click on DONATE.
American Red Cross:
Those wanting to aid in relief efforts can also text "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross.

Doctors Without Borders:
Your gift today will support emergency medical care for the men, women, and children affected by the earthquake in Haiti. Please give as generously as you can to our Haiti Earthquake Response and help us save lives.

Sailor here, what SteveAudio said and some more links:

Oxfam-Earthquake hits Haiti – help urgently needed
I've worked with Oxfam before at benefits. They are among the best international charities I know of.

You want to volunteer, but not sure how? These people may be able to help.
I'm going to mostly ignore politics for the moment, except to point out the differences in response between Haiti and New Orleans.
- Haiti has 8 million people. New Orleans had 1/2 a million.
- Haiti is 700 miles to the east of the USA. New Orleans is in the USA.
- Haiti was struck by a natural disaster, and President Obama immediately responded. New Orleans was struck by a natural disaster and pResident Bush said 'heckuva job Brownie.'

The next time someone says there's no difference between Bush and Obama? You have my permission to set them straight.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

And the white knight is talking backwards, And the Red Queen's "Off with her head!"

posted by The Sailor @ 4:29 PM Permalink

The wrongwingers are constantly calling for various people in President Obama's administration to be fired. Whether it's because this person supports unions or that person is gay &c, it's just so much noise, even if at times it's succeeded.

But I'm joining them today to call on one member of the admin to not only be fired but to be indicted for conspiracy and manslaughter charges.

Meet Nina Dozoretz:
Officials Hid Truth About Immigrant Deaths in Jail

In February 2007, in the case of the dying African man, the immigration agency’s spokesman for the Northeast, Michael Gilhooly, rebuffed a Times reporter’s questions about the detainee, who had suffered a skull fracture at the privately run Elizabeth Detention Center in New Jersey.
But, records show, he had already filed a report warning top managers at the federal agency about the reporter’s interest and sharing information about the injured man, a Guinean tailor named Boubacar Bah. Mr. Bah, 52, had been left in an isolation cell without treatment for more than 13 hours before an ambulance was called.

While he lay in the hospital in a coma after emergency brain surgery, 10 agency managers in Washington and Newark conferred by telephone and e-mail about how to avoid the cost of his care and the likelihood of “increased scrutiny and/or media exposure,” according to a memo summarizing the discussion.
Among the participants in the conferences was Nina Dozoretz, a longtime manager in the agency’s Division of Immigration Health Services who had won an award for cutting detainee health care costs. Later she was vice president of the Nakamoto Group, a company hired by the Bush administration to monitor detention. The Obama administration recently rehired her to lead its overhaul of detainee health care.
Read the whole thing. I'm with the Red Queen on this one. Off with her head.

Now for some brain bleach:

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Friday, January 08, 2010

They've warned you as it drains away, But you don't listen

posted by The Sailor @ 8:39 PM Permalink

What's up with Fire Dog Lake these days!? First Jane Hamsher joins Grover Norquist and now Marcy Wheeler aligns with large corporations. I expect smear tactics from Faux News, but this is a non-story that's now all over the news. Here are some of the headlines:
FDL:Jonathan Gruber Failed to Disclose His $392,600 Contracts with HHS

Faux News actually had a more accurate headline: Economist Was Under Contract With HHS While Touting Health Reform Bill
Here is the relevant part of The New England Journal of Medicine's conflict of interest policy:
Public funding sources, such as the NIH or the MRC, need not be disclosed.
Professor Gruber wasn't paid by the Obama Administration, he had a grant from HHS. Just like my work is paid for by a grant from the NIH. Obama can't just call up any Federal agency and get a paper written, all of these grants are peer reviewed at multiple stages.

How do these people think research gets done? Would they rather corporations pay for it? So what if reporters didn't do due diligence, they don't even fact check, and no one has suggested that anything Gruber has said isn't factual. And it's not like he gets all the money, there's overhead for MIT, technical and administrative support services, researchers.

The folks at FDL are doing everything they can to stop health care reform, even dishonest smear tactics like this, trying to make some conspiracy theory out of what is publicly available information. In fact, their 'source' was a website setup by the Obama Admin.

Their stance on HCR aligns them with insurance companies, the US Chamber of Commerce and drug corporations.

I still have hopes we'll get a better bill, but my god if all those folks are against it, then I'll take what I can get.

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Stupid movie reviews my dog, Xanatos, could have written…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:58 PM Permalink

…with greater intelligence, lucidity, thoughtfulness and vision than David Brooks [I never link to Brooks, people are suffering enough nowadays. Bill], who wrote of the movie "Avatar":
Every age produces its own sort of fables, and our age seems to have produced The White Messiah fable

This is the oft-repeated story about a manly young adventurer who goes into the wilderness in search of thrills and profit. But, once there, he meets the native people and finds that they are noble and spiritual and pure. And so he emerges as their Messiah, leading them on a righteous crusade against his own rotten civilization.[…]

Still, would it be totally annoying to point out that the whole White Messiah fable, especially as Cameron applies it, is kind of offensive?

It rests on the stereotype that white people are rationalist and technocratic while colonial victims are spiritual and athletic. It rests on the assumption that nonwhites need the White Messiah to lead their crusades. It rests on the assumption that illiteracy is the path to grace. It also creates a sort of two-edged cultural imperialism. Natives can either have their history shaped by cruel imperialists or benevolent ones, but either way, they are going to be supporting actors in our journey to self-admiration.

It’s just escapism, obviously, but benevolent romanticism can be just as condescending as the malevolent kind — even when you surround it with pop-up ferns and floating mountains.
Xanatos tells me Brooks has it all wrong, that most real life stories and fables end with the White Man overwhelming the foreign civilization, if not with open warfare then with blankets used by smallpox infected invaders, razing their crops, killing their women and children, and utterly destroying their civilization.

But, hey, what does Xanatos know (that's his thumbnail picture next to my comments with his favorite green tug-toy in his mouth) as he is just a vewy, vewy smart dog and thus has a clearcut advantage over David Brooks, who is, after all only…David Brooks.

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Happy New Year!... Sorta'

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:50 AM Permalink

I haven't posted due to holidays, Teen Vidiot strife and dealing with the fact our landlord is selling the building and wants us out by March (If anybody knows of an affordable 2BR in downtown Brooklyn...). Obviously, I have my hands full.

But I'm still reading the news and here our the things that outrage me the most:


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Well, now, I ain't sayin' this fer sure…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:52 AM Permalink

…but it's being rumored that the reason that underwear bomber couldn't get it…uh …set it off, yea, couldn't set it off was that his male member failed to reach sufficient turgidity to strike the matched taped underside it.

Well, that's just what I heard.

Maybe they need to look for more mature nuts.

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Monday, January 04, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside

posted by The Sailor @ 8:28 PM Permalink

How can a place be 100 degrees in the summer and 7 in the winter!?


Sunday, January 03, 2010

A reminder for all the cowardly pukes currently occupying our congress and senate…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 9:34 AM Permalink

…not a reminder from me, but from a speech given by Osama bin Laden in 2004, which has proven to not only be true, but downright prescient:
"All that we have to do is to send two mujahedin to the furthest point East to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaeda, in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies.

"This is in addition to our having experience in using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers, as we, alongside the mujahedin, bled Russia for ten years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat... So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy."
Osama thought it was funny that his interests and Bush's converged so closely:
"That being said, those who say that al-Qaeda has won against the administration in the White House or that the administration has lost in this war have not been precise, because when one scrutinizes the results, one cannot say that al-Qaeda is the sole factor in achieving those spectacular gains.

"Rather, the policy of the White House that demands the opening of war fronts to keep busy their various corporations – whether they be working in the field of arms or oil or reconstruction – has helped al-Qaeda to achieve these enormous results.

"And so it has appeared to some analysts and diplomats that the White House and us are playing as one team toward the economic goals of the United States, even if the intentions differ."
The analysis of this speech continued:
Although Osama bin Laden's (quite successful) tactics certainly represent the fringe, it would be a mistake to think that his opinion of American policy does as well. His view of U.S. aims is shared broadly in the Middle East. The more violently the U.S. government behaves, the more people are going to join up with the suicide bombers. The benefits of our policy to jihad recruiters everywhere and the American warfare state are nearly endless. The new terrorists we've created help to justify the reach of the national security state into the pockets and lives of the American public. They also create pressure to allow the "former" radical intellectuals to have their creatively destructive world revolution, Bush his legacy, the Army their permanent bases, Ariel Sharon his undisputed role as regional hegemon, the oil companies their continued delay in bringing Iraq's oil to market, and militaristic conservatives their feeling of toughness that comes with bombing faraway lands.
This speech and the following interpretation remain every bit as valid today as when it, and the subsequent comments, were made in 2004, and apparently will remain so forever, as we have not learned the lessons of the past and are therefore doomed to repeat them over and over and over again.

This posting was prompted by my response in a comment below titled, "Just how stupid do you have to be to blame people, criticize people…."

I thought it important to remind ourselves why and how bin Laden has won and continues to win the "war on terra," so people understand why the supposedly "richest" country on earth is sinking ever deeper into the mire of the swamp into which al Oaede leads us for a couple of thousand dollars and how America has been almost bankrupted by bin Laden's cheap, cheap, cheap. but superior planning and has literally transformed the panicked America, from the "home of the brave," into America, "afraid of its own shadow."

'Specially if that shadow has a turban on it.

NOTE: I used to tell all the terrified congress critters and others, and it is still as valid today, that if you are so terrified of bin Laden and his rag-tag band of bandits, while you are hiding under your beds, quivering in fear, the collecting, sorting by size and color, and the naming of dust bunnies can be an absolutely fascinating hobby to pursue. (Look for the the light gray ones; I understand they respond to blowing puffs of air on them better than the heavier, denser, dark ones. Just a tip, I have no personal experience.)


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