Thursday, September 30, 2010

They're prepping us for something

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:44 PM Permalink

Have you noticed lately all the hubbub in the news about aliens and UFOs lately? Everything is screaming "the answer is out there." Here's a list of what I'm aware of:

And not there's been a new development. Now, scientists are saying they've found an earth-like planet that they're practically 100% sure has life on it.
An Earth-size planet has been spotted orbiting a nearby star at a distance that would makes it not too hot and not too cold — comfortable enough for life to exist, researchers announced today (Sept. 29).

If confirmed, the exoplanet, named Gliese 581g, would be the first Earth-like world found residing in a star's habitable zone — a region where a planet's temperature could sustain liquid water on its surface.
Also, that planet is oddly mentioned over a year ago in an article about a signal picked up by a SETI scientist. Just sort of an odd coincidence in my book. Or maybe not, I mean, they've been poking around the region for a while so I guess it's logical to mention it in an article about a possible sentient signal. BUT, knowing how things are manipulated in the media, how little subliminal slices are tossed here and there to manufacture the reality that they want to you believe, it's not hard to imagine a coordinated effort on the part of the powers that be to manipulate the public.

Hell, think about it; what could possibly unify the planet, all its peoples, under one government, better than an alien invasion? Especially since the public is becoming aware of just how much they've been screwed and are starting to turn on their masters. (Well, not here in the US where the people or overfed and over fluoridated, but in Europe and South America, folks are going nuts with anger.)

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Did I miss something the last couple of weeks…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:32 PM Permalink

… as the teabaggers and rethugs seem to have shifted gears with all the subtly of great-great-grandpa double-clutch shifting from 2nd to 3rd gears in his favorite '49 Chevy pick, while swigging homemade white lightening, blowing smoke from homegrown tobacco rolled into a cheroot hanging from his lips, another oddly-scented cigarette making its rounds from person to person, with one really hot babe next to him, and her two friends with no teeth riding in the truck bed.

I mean, last week the rethugs, gop, teabaggers, neocons, conservatives, gop-ers and all others of that ilk were growing from the rooftop, although some like Newt Gingrich crowed from the shitbox, that the evil democrats, the WORST existential threat to America EVER, the socialist that were going to bring America to it's knees (rethugs like to take 'em from behind, that way gender is of no consequence), and that were certain to bring the wrath of god down on anyone who doesn't worship the same god, in the same way, and at the same general times and locations, the democratic party that was to be removed from the pages of time, SUDDENLY has a pretty good chance of containing their losses and majorities for the next congress, and I'm just wondering what I missed?

Did the teabaggers suddenly realize that they were tearing apart the former great brand of the gop/republicans and, it would seem to me, splitting the republican vote to the benefit of their opposition? Or that they were making a not-at-all-funny loss of respect for the party by their rabid and vicious attacks against illegal immigration (there goes the Latino vote) or their hyper hyperbole comparing Obama to Hitler, Nazis, and Ronald Raygun (there goes the black vote and every thinking person of any race, creed, origin, religion, etc)?

Ya think people suddenly realized the full import of returning control of the country to the very party that capsized the nation?

I could not help note the "dumbing down" and "minimizing expectations" by the rethugs who had formerly crowed that they would take back everything, restore everything to the old status quo that broke the country to start with?

Suddenly the talk is no longer, "…(w)e're going to win back hugh majorities in both houses…," and is now instead,"…(w)e might win back several seats, but it will only be by a small number and not enough to regain any majorities…"!

I say, "Hurrah, sirra!" and that it's about time some of the dumbf*cks in the teabaggers figured these things out and finally got the word: White women are now a minority and will soon be followed by white men. By 2050 (I think that was the last date I saw) the majorities in this country will be Hispanic-Black. Makes me wonder if the then majorities will really remember, and remember well, all the indignities, hatred, vitriolic speeches, and jibes made against them in that near future.

So I don't know what happened, but maybe they suddenly (by accident I'm sure) hired a couple of forward thinkers that filled the ears of party leaders with the figures above and many, many more such considerations.

It has always been my life policy that: When you are confronted with a dumbfuck, BE NICE, because when the dumbfucks take over the earth, that dumfuck standing in front of you may be the one in charge.

But if anyone has a different opinion to this seemingly new development, I'd love to hear it.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Meet me at the bottom, don't lag behind, bring me my boots and shoes

posted by The Sailor @ 5:27 PM Permalink

I call bullshit:
Factory Jobs Return, but Employers Find Skills Shortage

BEDFORD, Ohio — Factory owners have been adding jobs slowly but steadily since the beginning of the year, giving a lift to the fragile economic recovery. And because they laid off so many workers — more than two million since the end of 2007 — manufacturers now have a vast pool of people to choose from.
Sounds good so far but ...
Here in this suburb of Cleveland, supervisors at Ben Venue Laboratories, a contract drug maker for pharmaceutical companies, have reviewed 3,600 job applications this year and found only 47 people to hire at $13 to $15 an hour, or about $31,000 a year.
Wait, isn't this where your beloved 'the free market' comes into play!?

If you can't find a skilled worker at $15/hr shouldn't you pay better wages? And/or pay for training?

Not to mention companies like this shipped as many of their jobs overseas as possible to make their stockholders happy, (IOW, help the rich get richer), and now they complain that their dog they wouldn't feed is biting them.

Just a guess, but if you didn't pay upper management 100x more than labor then maybe you could afford to find/train qualified workers. At the least qualified workers could afford to move there.

Not since right before the Great Depression has income inequality been so large. One would think MBAs and CEO's would get this: Henry Ford was an *hole in so many ways, but even he understood if people can't afford to buy your product it severely limits your product's profitability.

Now for the post's title song, Working Man's Blues #2

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When will we advance to the point of realizing we have done a seriously bad thing in educating our children?…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 2:29 PM Permalink

…This is another area in which I lack any formal training or experience at training students and I am therefore just as qualified to speak on this matter as anyone else. My opinion of how we broke our education requires a step back in time, not too far back, and I think could produce superior students to the majority today (an easy statement to make as we have an over 50% dropout rate). My solution?

Little schools on the prairie. That's right, when Americans were among the best educated people on earth it was back 100-200 years ago when schools did not seek to segregate classrooms with b.s. reasons like age, level of education, a severe shortage of teachers, leading to the morass we have today that serves our children and country so ill.

Think about it: a teacher might have thirty students in his/her one room school. The teacher taught the elder students and then those elder students were responsible for helping pass that education down to the youngest of students, facilitating overall education. They all received a "classical" education as the elder students read aloud the classic literature, debated openly with younger students lacking the skills to understand with the older student learning the material better thru the teaching of it. (I long ago forgot who told me or where I read that the fastest way to learn a subject is to teach it, but I believe it is true.) Math, science, the Arts, great literature, history, music, and many, many other subjects could be covered in day's school drills.

What do we do now? We pigeonhole, divide, separate by educational level, and tell "elementary" students that they cannot keep up with "Middle" and "high" school and the colleges and Universities that follow.

Back then the curriculum had but a single purpose: providing the finest education by maximizing the teaching of the available curriculum without the teacher alone carrying the whole burden as they do today. A burden obviously too heavy to carry as they must "teach to the test" instead of providing that classical education with the help of older students teaching the young, fostering amity, interest in learning, and with the certain knowledge that it will soon be their turn to aid in educating their fellow students.

Another thing about which I have adamantly averred (I just love adamantly averring!) is that discrimination of any type will never cease as long as as the government oversees the gathering of information with which to discriminate. I believe this holds true for education.

Instead of applying labels to separate and seemingly diminish the worth of individual students they should be educated in this "Little (School) House on the Prairie," style that would instead have each student actively involved in teaching each subject, the level of their active schooling of others determined only upon their understanding of the subject and their communication skills constantly monitored by their elders and not any other factor like age, race, creed, sexual preferences and any other form of bias, discrimination, and hatred taught actively or subliminally.

Why must we teach discrimination, bigotry, hatred, segregation, lower, upper and middle classes, and use religion as a psychological weapon against each other when we so easily could revert to those types of schools that insured a classical education? Don't we have more of that than we ever needed?

Ciao, bella ami.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

I've got to admit it's getting better (Better) A little better all the time

posted by The Sailor @ 5:24 PM Permalink

From Dan Savage:
Another gay teenager in another small town has killed himself—hope you're pleased with yourselves, Tony Perkins and all the other "Christians" out there who oppose anti-bullying programs (and give actual Christians a bad name).

Billy Lucas was just 15 when he hanged himself in a barn on his grandmother's property. He reportedly endured intense bullying at the hands of his classmates—classmates who called him a fag and told him to kill himself. His mother found his body.

Nine out of 10 gay teenagers experience bullying and harassment at school, and gay teens are four times likelier to attempt suicide. Many LGBT kids who do kill themselves live in rural areas, exurbs, and suburban areas, places with no gay organizations or services for queer kids.
I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better.
Dan's right, and he did something about it, the It Gets Better Project. and it's catching on.

Here's Dan and Terry

If you have a problem with someone's sexuality or sexual orientation? GO FUCK YOURSELF ... regardless of what teabagger [ironic, ain't it?] Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell says.

And here's some brain bleach

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I didn't watch Ahmadinejad's speech

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:36 AM Permalink

I was too busy this weekend. But I don't have to. I speak MSM, that strange sort of newspeak that the MSM uses to convey their propaganda. When I saw a few headlines that said, "Ahmadinejad said the US was behind 9/11" I could easily translate that to "Ahmadinejad alluded to the various theories of who or what was behind the events of 9/11 and suggested that they be more thoroughly investigated by an impartial international tribunal."

And, if you go to the transcript if his speech, on page 5, you find this:
It is proposed that the United Nations set up an independent fact-finding group for
the event of the II September so that in the future expressing views about it is not
I'm going to paste the 9/11 part of his speech right here so you can see that he doesn't say anything offensive at all. Not even a little bit. In fact, he sounds like the rational one.
B) The Global Management and Ruling Structures
The League of Nations and, then, the United Nations were established with the
promise to bring about peace, security and the realization of human rights, which in
fact meant a global management.
One can analyze the current governance of the world by examining three events:
First, the event of the II September 2001 which has affected the whole world for
almost a decade.
All of a sudden, the news of the attack on the twin towers was broadcast using
numerous footages of the incident.
Almost all governments and known figures strongly condemned this incident.
But then a propaganda machine came into full force; it was implied that the whole
world was exposed to a huge danger, namely terrorism, and that the only way to save
the world would be to deploy forces into Afghanistan.
Eventually Afghanistan, and shortly thereafter Iraq were occupied.
Please take note:
It was said that some three thousands people were killed on the II September for
which we are all very saddened. Yet, up until now, in Afghanistan and Iraq hundreds
of thousands of people have been killed, millions wounded and displaced and the
conflict is still going on and expanding.
In identifying those responsible for the attack, there were three viewpoints.
1- That a very powerful and complex terrorist group, able to successfully cross
all layers of the American intelligence and security, carried out the attack.
This is the main viewpoint advocated by American statesmen.
2- That some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack to
reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order
also to save the Zionist regime.
The majority of the American people as well as other nations and politicians agree
with this view.
3- It was carried out by a terrorist group but the American government supported
and took advantage of the situation. Apparently, this viewpoint has fewer proponents.
The main evidence linking the incident was a few passports found in the huge
volume of rubble and a video of an individual whose place of domicile was unknown
but it was announced that he had been involved in oil deals with some American
officials. It was also covered up and said that due to the explosion and fire no trace of
the suicide attackers was found.
There remain, however, afew questions 10 be answered:
1- Would it not have been sensible that first a thorough investigation should have
been conducted by independent groups to conclusively identify the elements involved
in the attack and then map out a rational plan to take measures against them?
2- Assuming the viewpoint of the American government, is it rational to launch a
classic war through widespread deployment of troops that led to the death of hundreds
of thousands of people to counter a terrorist group?
3- Was it not possible to act the way Iran countered the Riggi terrorist group who
killed and wounded 400 innocent people in Iran. In the Iranian operation no innocent
person was hurt.
It is proposed that the United Nations set up an independent fact-finding group for
the event of the II September so that in the future expressing views about it is not
I wish to announce here that next year the Islamic Republic of Iran will host a
conference to study terrorism and the means to confront it. I invite officials, scholars,
thinkers, researchers and research institutes of all countries to attend this conference.
And MSM wonders why their reader and veiwer numbers are dwindling.

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Did you know....

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:33 AM Permalink

that it's illegal to make contact with E.T.?
If the government has no knowledge of aliens, then why does Title 14,Section 1211 of the Code of Federal Regulations, implemented on July 16 1969, make it illegal for U.S. citizens to have any contact with extraterrestrials or their vehicles?
Uh, what if that contact wasn't exactly, uh, willful?

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Dr. Vidiot vs. the NYPD

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:45 AM Permalink

It was a hot day here on Friday and Dr. Vidiot was riding the subway home from his field research. The first train he got on had broken air-conditioning so he did what any other tired and hot New Yorker would do -- he walked through the cars to the next car.

Also, keep in mind Dr. Vidiot, even though he's a PhD in his mid-thirties, looks like a 19-20 year old Hispanic kid who could easily be up to no good.

Next thing he knows, two cops are standing in front of him in a very intimidating way. When the train pulls into the next station, they order him off the train.

"Sir, do you know why we removed you from the train?"

"Uh, no, I have no idea," watching his train pull out of the station.

"Sir, why did you walk between the trains?"

"Uh, because it's hot and the air conditioner was broken."

Very menacingly": "We're going to have to issue you a citation."


"Walking between subway cars is against the law."

"But guys! It was hot!"


"Does it help my dad was a cop?"

"Your dad was a cop?....No. That doesn't help."

"Does it help that I'm a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice?"

"What do you teach."

With a shit-eating grin: "Deviance."

Cop pauses.... "No, that doesn't help."

"Oh, c'mon man! I'm professor. My dad's a cop. It's too hot!"

They probably thought about the field day a professor from John Jay would have with getting a stupid citation and agreed to let him go on a warning.

But can you imagine? With all the terror terror terror crap, they decide to bust the chops of what appears to be some young Hispanic kid. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact that their whole racial profiling thing bit them in the ass.

NYC is a complete police state. The Big Apple is covered in chicken wire.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

This is a yawl, ya'll

posted by The Sailor @ 8:11 PM Permalink


Friday, September 24, 2010

While I was absent, writhing in pain, I was roaming the corners of my mind and came across Jesus, boy was that a surprise…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:58 PM Permalink

…since I have made no bones about being an atheist. Much of what I recount here is still very hazy as the VA blew all the shipping dates for my pain meds, both slow-acting and instant-relief morphine, and by tomorrow I may not remember this at all.

I had just received my meds by UPS, taken them, and was kicking back waiting for them to start taking effect, so I was just kinda roaming around in the back rafters of my mind, you know, where all the bats are ensconced in their belfries, spiders create cobwebs for B-grade horror films, where waves of fog are rolling in, that weird bird-like sound comes echoing in along with the foghorns, and the sound of waves splashing up against the sides of a boat on their journey to the dark and distant shores.

I spend a lot of time there so I know my way around fairly well. You can imagine how surprised I was when I ran into Jesus Christ himself, what with me being such an avowed atheist and all. Obviously I could not pass up this opportunity to interview a deity, even one in whom I no longer believe. It went thusly:
Me: Jesus Christ!
He: Yes, that's me. What may I do for you?
Me: Uh…nothing really, I was just using that exclamatory Jesus Christ! as an expression of surprise and disbelief at meeting you here. By the way, what ARE you doing here? You surely must have heard that I am a nonbeliever, though it was not always so.
He: Yeah, I heard about that. It used to bother me when someone disavowed belief in me, my Pops, and that Holy Ghost guy, which was always confusing to me 'cause every time I hear someone saying, "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost…" I thought it was kinda redundant, seein' as how I am the Holy Ghost as far as I could figure it out from the sequence of events Pops had some clown write down for him. But that's not the reason I'm here.
Me: Well, no disrespect intended but just why the hell ARE you here?
He: I have decided that I am an atheist, too, and have come to commiserate with you and assure you that I feel the same way you do about many, many things.
Me: Wow. I've had my reasons for a long time, but whatever possessed you to dispossess yourself?
He: I just couldn't take all the hypocrisy of so-called "true believers" anymore. It's gone past the point of being just sinful and has reached the point of obscenities, bigotry, lies, misrepresentations of my teachings, and people using my name as the reason they hate someone of a different religious creed, nationality, political party, and even all the way down to where infants are being taught to hate others that differ from them in my name, and Pops knows that was never what this whole gig was about.
Me: Jesus, that's quite a revelation. Can you give me a few examples?
He: A few? Holy shit, there are thousands!
Me: Yeah, I figured that out a long time ago, but I don't have enough bandwidth to catalog the entire litany, so could you keep it short?
He: Well, I could start with Eddie Long, Jimmy Swaggert, Southern Baptists, the rabid religious right, as they refer to themselves, and those that profess to be Holier than thou when all their priests want to do is bend young men over and and show them extreme Holiness. I mean christ, man, I was a simple fucking carpenter. I walked and lived among the least of us, washed the feet of the ill and infirm, I fed thousands with a single fish and a loaf of bread and now those bastards want to teach their children to "eat the flesh" and "drink of the blood" of ME! I tried to teach people that it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a moneychanger to pass through the gates of heaven and you see where THAT got me. Cannibalized by the masses at the behest of the wealthiest entities on earth! And, no, I don't mean banks! They're mere pikers when it comes to the wealth accumulated by churches. Especially the germ warfare, torturing, wicked, tax-evading, prime-property owning, silken gold brokaded-robed priests eating off real silver plates, drinking from real golden chalices, whose titular head lives in his own city - a fucking city! - filled with a vast fortune, the-worth-of-which-is-beyond-the-calculation-abilities-of-the-fastest-supercomputers-ever-invented, the Catholic church!
Me: Christ, Jesus, slow down man before you drive yourself right into an aneurism with a flow rate that makes the Amazon look like a placid mountain spring! I really had no idea that we had so much in common. Much of this is exactly what destroyed my faith in you and your Pops, and that other fella that's really you, too. If I were to start a Church of Bill would you accept a position on the board of directors? Do a little preaching? Lead by example?
He: Only if you agree to divest yourself of wealth, use the money collected by the church for the benefit of the donors, house the homeless, feed the hungry, treat the ill, aid the infirm, and do all the things these now worthlessly corrupt and evil "men of God" were supposed to do.
Me: Done! The Church of Bill is now open for business!
He: Great! Now, let's see, I know pops will help…
Me: We'll hammer out the details later, ok?
He: Absolutely! And may Bill bless you!
Me: Hey, thanks, man.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

I never wanted 2 be your weekend lover, I only wanted 2 be some kind of friend

posted by The Sailor @ 10:40 PM Permalink

Music for the rages
Purple Rain - Prince
Willow Weep For Me - Chad & Jeremy
Put A Little Love In Your Heart - Lennox & Green
For Your Love - The Yardbirds
I Can't Make You Love Me - Bonnie Raitt
You And I - Earth Wind & Fire
Space Child - Spirit
I Ain't Missing You - The Babys
As Tears Go By - Rolling Stones
Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
Just because you love someone with all your heart doesn't mean they have to love you back.


Friday, September 17, 2010

I finally killed my TV

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:32 AM Permalink

Having a teenager in the house, one of the most frequent arguments usually starts with 'turn off the g-ddamn TV.' Also, the programming, sans a few bright spots, has just gotten worse and worse. I mean, I can't even watch "The Simpsons" anymore. All the subtlety is gone and all the characters are doing things their characters shouldn't do. Hell, one episode I watched and Mr. Burns doing something benevolent! I mean, what the hell?!

Anyway, we just got sick of it. We really only want the TV for a few things. Two of the biggies are football and a few series we like. By killing it, we save like nearly $100 a month! I mean seriously, what a rip-off.

Turns out, almost all of what we want to watch can be had either via a Roku or through the computer. We happen to have the TV and the computer right next to each other and they're both are big screens so either/or is fine.

Here's our plan: for broadcast shows we like, and there are only a few, there's Hulu and Justin, for the cable channels, you can pay a little bit through iTunes ("Walking Dead" on AMC, "Being Human" on BBC.) and for movies and some TV shows, you can do Netflix on the Roku. The only issues are football and HBO/ Showtime. There are a few shows I like ("True Blood" I LOVE LOVE LOVE "Fuck the authority!" Russell) HBO is totally retarded with their marketing strategy. They've totally avoided the whole streaming thing for non-Comcast people. They we're supposed to work out something with either Netflix or Roku but they refused to do it. They don't understand that if people are willing to pay $9/month for a Netflix account, they'd be just as willing to pay $10-15 bucks more a month to watch HBO on-demand over the internet. NFL is just as stupid. It seems they have some sort of broadcast monopoly so, you have to go to to get a poor quality of the game. Or just go to a sports bar. Or buy one of those satellite tv things for your computer, but most reviews I've read of similar products really slam the whole concept.

Any suggestions for the football?

That's the only stickler and Dr. Vidiot is going to wish we kept the TV for one more week so he can watch the Saints on Monday. (I already kept it an extra week so I could watch the season finale of "True Blood." He's not all that aware I did that however. Shhhhh.)

(Notice I didn't once mention watching the news.)


You know all those 'end of the world' movies,

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:21 AM Permalink

(That ain't no highway.)

you know, the ones where there are 'signs' that point to the apocalypse, seals are broken, bible references are made, those sorts of movies.

When you're watching them, you're like, "Yeah, that's definitely a sign. Can't ignore that. It's so obvious." And it all makes perfect sense so when, in the movie, it's the end of the world, you like TOTALLY saw it coming.

Well, this, frankly, makes me want to head for the hills... not that anybody will be any safer in the hills, mind you.

At first glimpse, it looks like the devastating effects of an environmental disaster - thousands upon thousands of dead fish choking a waterway.Coupled with the fact that the gruesome discovery was made in the Bayou Chaland on the coast near New Orleans - an area affected by the notorious BP oil spill - initial reports understandably put two and two together.
Yeah, that picture up there is dead fish. A LOT of dead fish. Yikes.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Depression in America and finding out about it the hard way…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 3:00 PM Permalink

…Until the age of forty-two I had no real idea of the nature of depression and the debilitating effect it has on Americans of all stripes. Up until then I had no time for depression and I believed depression only affected those who had suffered a tragic loss of someone near and dear to them, those suffering a severe illness themselves, the post partum depression of new mothers, the empty nest syndrome of older mothers, and, as callus as it now sounds, even to me, those people who lead an unfulfilling life, just didn't have the ability to shake it off, and those who used depression as an excuse for a whole raft of regular lifetime events that they could not or did not wish to handle.

Since today, and the last few days preceding it, has been a particularly hard stretch of depression for me I thought I'd take some time to do a little light research. The statistics are stunning:
Depression Statistics

Depressive disorders affect approximately 18.8 million American adults or about 9.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. This includes major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, and bipolar disorder.…
Everyone, will at some time in their life be affected by depression -- their own or someone else's, according to Australian Government statistics. (Depression statistics in Australia are comparable to those of the US and UK.) …
Pre-schoolers are the fastest-growing market for antidepressants. At least four percent of preschoolers -- over a million -- are clinically depressed. …
The rate of increase of depression among children is an astounding 23% p.a. …
15% of the population of most developed countries suffers severe depression. …
30% of women are depressed. Men's figures were previously thought to be half that of women, but new estimates are higher. …
54% of people believe depression is a personal weakness. …
41% of depressed women are too embarrassed to seek help. …
80% of depressed people are not currently having any treatment. …
92% of depressed African-American males do not seek treatment. …
15% of depressed people will commit suicide. …
Depression will be the second largest killer after heart disease by 2020 -- and studies show depression is a contributory factor to fatal coronary disease. …

[Herein I used … (three dots) to replace footnotes not given. Bill]
I was clearly one of the 54% of people who believed depression is a personal weakness, with the exceptions I noted above.

Then I was hit with the two Agent Orange cancers that damn near killed me and for the first time I understood depression on a more personal level, but I still wrestled with the belief that I could handle this as I had handled everything in my life since I left home at age 16 - I neither asked for nor received anything I didn't work for, ever, and I thought the occasional times when I felt down were just the normal worries of anyone faced with working, school, trying to have a social life, etc.

After all, what reasons did I have to be depressed? I did manage the juggling act above, I was in absolutely superb physical condition, running miles and miles through the desert and mountains flanking Las Vegas, swimming several miles through Lake Mead or Lake Mojave, learning Karate (eventually earning blackbelts in two different forms of the art), and this continued until I graduated H.S. and enlisted in the Air Force where my drive and penchant towards public service resulted in training in Law Enforcement where I was as happy as a hog in slop.

When I got out I lucked into a job as a bounty hunter for fifteen years, jailing hundred and hundreds of felons and misdemeanants, something I also considered a public service that happened to be extremely lucrative, highly physically and mentally demanding. No time to get depressed.

Then the cancers hit me like a ton of bricks and I started to understand how such brutal medical treatments could cause depression, but I was still in denial. It was only in 2002 that the truth about depression became evident, as I was falling asleep at night with tears in my eyes from having to suffer through another day of awful chronic pain and awakening each morning with tears in my eyes at the thought of having to face another day.

Very real depression; I had a complete nervous breakdown in 2002 from the massive depression and the anxiety and panic attacks that accompanied it. I now take several meds a day to help level my moods, lessen my anxiety, and help with the panic attacks, but I still, and I guess forever will, suffer from all of these mental health problems.

It is the main reason I sometimes disappear from these pages for days or weeks at a time when the grip of depression refuses to allow cohesive thought but delights, seemingly, to enjoy keeping my anxiety level high and keeping those panic attacks going strong. So I have learned the hard way about depression and know firsthand the damage it can do to a person's self-esteem, confidence, the ability to think and retain thoughts, and function as a normal human being, if there is such a thing.

So please look again at the statistics cited here and read the article to which I linked if you are so inclined, and remember, "80% of depressed people are not currently having any treatment…"

If you should be among those suffering from depression, if you have a spouse or a child that is suffering depression, the loss of confidence and self-esteem, lethargy brought about for reasons unclear, an obvious lack of concentration performing everyday tasks, and or the anxiety and panic attacks depression can bring upon you I urge you to seek help and/or counseling, see a mental health professional at your school, through your employer provided health insurance, or the low cost or free treatments and medicines that many states, counties, and cities provide.

As I write this I am caught in a negative feedback loop where the chronic pain causes me to be depressed, the depression aggravates my pain, the increase in pain causes me great anxiety, the anxiety causes me to feel panicked, and the panic feeds right into the loop amplifying everything until my mind freezes up and I feel as though I must isolate myself, curl up into a ball, and create even more depression because I do not have control of this feedback loop. I suppose it will always be so.

So don't make the same mistake I did and ignore it until depression pimp-slaps you, drags you and everyone around you down, and to help avoid permanent damage to your mind - the very malady that causes me the most angst - and set yourself on a course towards a happier, less stressful life and escape from a potentially deadly disease.

Ciao, bella ami.

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Thursday, September 09, 2010

"Lobbyists Rush to Hire G.O.P. Staff Ahead of Midterm Vote"…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 4:17 PM Permalink

… read the headline in the NYT.

The article continues:
With Democrats in danger of losing control of Congress, some prominent lobbying shops, trade groups and contractors are already moving to bring more Republicans on board to bolster their political fortunes.

Lobbyists, political consultants and headhunters all say that the going rate for Republicans — particularly current and former House staff members — has risen significantly in just the last few weeks, with salaries beginning at $300,000 and rising to as high as $1 million for private-sector positions.

“We’re seeing a premium for Republicans,” said Ivan H. Adler, a lobbyist for the McCormick Group in Washington, which specializes in executive searches. “They’re the new ‘It’ girl.”…

If Republicans succeed in regaining control of the House and perhaps even the Senate, firms seeking influence over federal policies are looking to gain an edge by tacking toward the right. That will become particularly important, they say, if Republicans try to roll back some of the major initiatives in health care, business regulation and other areas that Democrats have pushed through Congress in the last year.
Nothing new here. Big Oil, business, and corporations are on a hiring spree to again gain control of the most corrosive force in America: the gop.

It's pretty clear that lobbyists expect to be playing footsies with the usual bandits raping, pillaging, and leaving America beaten to shit, moaning and groaning as if the danger and expense republicans bring to the table was much like the rapist that strikes from behind, does unnecessary damage, inflicts pain on those who can least defend themselves and, truly, there is no way that anyone with any semblance or pretension to being intelligent, fair, and able to make a values-based decision can deny that the republican party has been naught but an utter disaster for America.

They more than doubled the deficit. They borrowed and spent more money in our history than any party ever.

They engaged us in two wars that they financed "off the books" to conceal the true cost to America.

They broke our military and so damaged it that for almost eight years there were only three places with a combat ready force: Afghanistan, Iraq, and South Korea. For years America has been barren of a fully trained and equipped combat brigade, leaving the country unable to mount a defense if CONUS had suffered an attack.

We have troops all over the place in Afghanistan where we know bin Laden hasn't been in years.

They made killing long distance with Predator drones and have used those drone to make killing an art, damn the collateral damage like the over 300,000 innocent men, women, and children killed and millions more displaced.

They narrowed our rights to the point that our civil rights are close to becoming extinct, and are PROUD OF IT.

They openly called for and prayed for Obama's failure and deliberately obstructed virtually every piece of legislation that would have helped America and its citizens and did it with cold, unfeeling, evil efforts to demonize Obama and openly prayed for Obama to be killed. Don't know about you, but that adds up to a party that doesn't give a damn about America and are seeking control once more not to uplift, support, and held our citizens, no, they are already planning on trying to take back everything good Obama and the democrats have done for America so they can go back to lining their pockets with special interest dollars as they do everything possible for the rich and ignore everyone else.

So, fellow Americans, the most corrupt political party ever, republicans, will once more give tax breaks on top of more tax breaks with a side order of tax breaks for the rich while fighting "green" power technologies at the behest of Big Oil, trying to repeal health legislation, attempt again to eliminate social security, unemployment benefits, and seek to dismantle every other safety net for the elderly, infirm, unemployed, and seriously ill.

And they, the gop, will continue on a path almost certain to forever destroy this once great country. A reprise of gwb, the worst president in our history, once voted the world's number one terrorist, generally despised overseas, and the man who made America the laughingstock of the world.

And once again, somehow, the republicans will lie, cheat, steal, corrupt, and still convince people to vote for them against their own self-interests, while the party wants to destroy everything for which America used to represent.

If the rethugs do regain a majority in either house of congress all tourists going to Europe will once again have to break out their Canadian citizen indicia so they suffer less derision when they travel the world.

But if you enjoy being a citizen of a third world banana republic - without the bananas - and think things are tough now just wait, things will get much, much worse courtesy of the party that is doing its best to enrich themselves and the top 1% while screwing everyone else.

And to anyone saying these things I've said are untrue I refer you to the records and job, and damage done to America during the tenure of bush and cheney.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

I had every intention of posting another dazzling…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 4:18 PM Permalink

…article today, but I got sidetracked trying to put an ad on Craig's List, the first time I have ever even looked at it, much less trying to place an ad. As usual the combination of morphine and inexperience made the process much more difficult than it should have been and I spent almost two hours to get the job done.

As with all endeavors I undertake nowadays the mental gymnastics of doing such a thing has left me as exhausted as actual physical gymnastics used to do (but which I dare not try to replicate now).

Still, as I was listening to the MSM doing everything possible to falsely inject drama, excitement, and suspense regarding the mid-term elections. It would be hysterically funny were the consequences for the country were not so dire.

Fortunately even if the teabaggers, neocons, religious right, gop, republican, mouth-breathing, subversive party should happen to regain a majority in either legislative branch President Obama will beat down any poorly or stupidly passed ignorant rethug bills with that mighty tool at his disposal: the veto pen. And in this day and age there is no way either house could get the two-thirds majority vote in both houses to override a veto, and, as well, we must hope that our democratic party members will be just as quick to stop bills using the power of a senator's hold and/or the filibuster, although I believe the rethugs will commit themselves to striking down filibusters altogether, something the democrats have unfortunately lacked the balls to do.

Anyway, I have sirens and flashing lights in my head (s-o-o-o p-r-e-t-t-y!) warning me of an impending crash, wherein my mind will trip all the circuit breakers and shut down almost completely, depriving me of the pleasure of writing for your amusement, edification, or that natural impulse that makes people watch a train wreck, which is how I will feel very shortly.

A train wreck that is, neither amused nor edified. I am often amazed that when this happens I am somehow still able to muster the brainpower to maintain autonomic tasks like breathing, blinking, keeping my heart beating, etc., et al., all or part of the above, with or without whipped cream, chopped nuts, or a cherry on top.

I did manage to change my picture to a black and white photo of me and my G-dog, Goliath, one of the finest, smartest, friendliest, and wonderful dogs I have ever had the privilege to have as my companion for ten years until he died from eating the canned, poisonous, dog food which I gave him daily as a special treat, not realizing he would die from that love and kindness.

The coolest thing was that he had a different sound, bark, growl, or combination for every different person who came to my door. If it was a friend approaching G-dog would tell me who it was, a stranger would be identified by a single bark, and he was the finest peacekeeper I've ever seen: he wouldn't even allow horseplay that looked like fighting, he would thrust himself between the two people, gently grab their hands and make them cease fighting..

He was the best. I have very short hair in this pic, it has now grown past my shoulders on the way down to my waist which is where I prefer it to be. I apologize if anyone's computer was damaged by this posting of my corporeal image.

Ciao, bella ami.

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Things I didn't know about my dad.

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:25 PM Permalink

It's sucks that he's dead 'cause I'd sure like to ask him about this. My mom recently circulated an email around her aging hippie friends, reminiscing about the Vietnam war and the way they protested. My dad, at the time, was bursar of a university in Ohio.
Stu kept the FBI at bay when they wanted to snoop into faculty files so "radical subversives" could be fired. He saved a lot of jobs for guys, including my husband at the time. Stu [didn't tell you because he] probably wanted to protect you and not have you worry about him getting fired. It was very ballsey of him, because as Bursar, he knew when the FBI was on campus so our friends and the handful of faculty who actively opposed the war would be forewarned and not make speeches 'inciting' the students.
And you can be sure the FBI didn't know he was screwing with them. He was so damn affable, they probably didn't have a clue.

Cool to find out just how much dad rocked.

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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The new Smallville is here! The new Smallville is here! And I'm talkin'…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 4:16 PM Permalink

…Season 9 in Blue-ray, super hi-def, spectacular sound (a workout for my sound system! What's the sense in having a couple of thousand of watts of power available if you aren't gonna use it occasionally?), and every single episode of the season. (Of course I have to put the doggies out back, no sense making them deaf as I am!)

I threw in that last part because it always seems that no matter how diligent I am about setting the DVR to record the whole season there is somehow, and mysteriously so, at least 3 to 5 episodes that I somehow missed during the year. Never ceases to amaze me, but all you regular readers already know that I am easily amazed.

Anyway, I must once again delay gratification as today I have one of those most enjoyable doctor appointments, yes, yes, that's right! THE DENTIST!

I am quivering with excitement and must go now. I just had to let everybody know that Smallville Season 9 has come to a store near you!

Ciao, bella ami.

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4,719° it was yesterday in California, and even though my thermometer lied to me shamelessly…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:39 PM Permalink

…and did its digital best to convince me that it was only 110º inside the house, I've lived in the deserts of America before and I know heat when I feel it. Besides, when all five dogs have collapsed in various positions of repose on the cool, cool tile of our kitchen floor, reclining beneath the cyclonic winds created by four electric, count 'em, four commercial grade electric fans, it's either become too hot for any kind of activity other than seeking respite from the heat or the dogs are again pulling impractical jokes on me to try and amuse me so that the stress of this superheated air as it peels the skin from my body doesn't feel quite so bad and/or without some modicum of appreciation for their efforts to take my mind off my plight.

This is why I'm not sure how apt is Obama's claim that the gop talks about him like a dog to the cheers, jeers, and screams of whatever crowd he happens to be addressing. I wish he would stop bringing disrepute upon dogs which, thousands of years ago took one look at man and thought, "Oh, shit. Those assholes won't last a century without our help. Look how pitiful and pitiable they are! They can't see in the dark, they couldn't outrun a fat bear heading to hibernate, their hearing is atrocious and utterly lame - can't even hear all those fat, well fed field mice right beneath their feet! - and though they themselves smell awful their sense of smell is so bad they don't realize their social gaffe and discomfort this causes others, indeed, making them prey for larger beasts, and every time they try to growl, act threateningly, waving their spears about and shouting unintelligibly, somewhere a large predator dies laughing. Besides, we'll work cheap, for whatever scraps of meat they want to give us remaining from the hugh beasts we help them kill for food, a place by the fire, an appellation by which we shall be known among our peers, a scratch behind the ears, and once in a while a full-body massage. Why I predict that one day Man, as he is known, will so come to appreciate us that they will allow us indoors, a special place by the fire, and food we don't even have to hunt! I know, I know, but as unlikely as this sounds I do believe it is time to hook our rising star to that of Man, laugh all you want you frickin' hyenas!"

And how do we honor an animal this noble, by citing them as a cause for derision and contempt. Puh-lease! If the gop, republicans, conservatives, religious right, neocons, party of no, teabaggers or whatever they want to reinvent themselves to be and to be called today consulted their dogs they would learn what a bunch of pussy…cats they really are.

Think about it. Dogs come in all sorts of recognized categories: hunting and sport dogs, companion dogs, working dogs, etc., etc., etc., but cats? Long hair, short hair, and no hair. Just like the gop, all flash and pomp and not a working bone or brain in their body, 'cept for that portion of the lizard-like, primal primitive brain that controls the autonomic systems of most people (you know, important stuff like breathing, eye-blinking, beating heart, fight or flight responses), but that seems to have, in republicans, devolved to the point where, incapable of honesty, empathy, and the usual survival instincts that no longer function normally and instead allow only the pursing of their lips and the uttering of a single monosyllabic response to everything: no.

These are the people who would depose President Obama and return us to those idyllic days of illegal and unnecessary wars, the slaughtering of millions and displacement of millions more in their continuing efforts to more efficiently run and manage genocides, once again doubling the size of government and completely blowing out any possibility of ever having a balanced budget, healthy citizens, informed discourse, an adherence to our Constitution which the gop has many times taken an oath to preserve and protect and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic and then gone way out of their way to denigrate the document, call for judges to strictly enforce its provisions, except where it comes to all those provisions providing for the life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that annoy the gop because they empower mere citizens and constituents and endow them with the unalienable rights granted them by THEIR maker, and not the maker, the christian god, the gop desires.

Oh! And pity the poor press! Those poor asses have the unenviable task of trying to portray the country as ready to lynch Obama and return to the good old days of gwb. The republicans are always so ready to point out endlessly that polls are "…merely a picture of how people feel at this moment of time and not accurate in the long term," when the polls are running against them but that polls are infallible predictions of the future when they are running with them. Of course, that is one area where they shine, talking out of both sides of their mouths at the same time, without using their brains and sometimes without even moving their lips! Amazing!

Look! Up in the sky! It's an endangered bird falling dead from pollution! It's an utterly unnecessary and monstrously expensive war plane! No! It's the gop! Able to allow tall buildings to be downed by terrorist-manned aircraft! Spend money faster than a speeding bullet train! More powerful smelling than an aromatic votive! Yes, born on another as yet unidentified planet destroyed by their own folly they have now arrived on earth to repeat their dismal performance, just as on the last planet they blew up with newly designed weapons no one needed anyway!

Whew! I told you the heat does funny things to me, and the heat of yesterday still has its grasp on whatever is left of my enfeebled mind today. I feel like Wimpy from the old Popeye cartoons, "I'll gladly repay you with some literacy Tuesday for some relief from the heat today!"

Ciao, bella ami.

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Saturday, September 04, 2010

Saturday Sailboat Blogging

posted by The Sailor @ 7:47 PM Permalink

The above pic is from a relatively calm moment today. Winds were 8 Kts, gusting to 25!


All Hail the Sailor and to the Sailor let us all Hail…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 4:09 PM Permalink

…for is it not easier to immolate a single Sailor than to curse the Darkness until a Sailor to immolate may be found? Is it untrue that a Sailor is better able to sail the ship than the boat anchor? I think it is and shall remain so, beautiful person, and that, truth be known, it has been so since the beginning of time and even before the advent of time itself.

Is it not the Sailor who discovered that a sextant has absolutely nothing to do with tantric sex upon the wild, tempestuous seas? Is it not the Sailor who invented projectile regurgitation long before it came into vogue and before the practice fell into disrepute?

Was it not a Sailor, sinking his boat from a sail hanging overboard, who discovered the principle of osmosis? And that the very name for the phenomenon comes from Captain Orville Osmosis, the first Sailor to prove that water can indeed move uphill as well a downhill, despite the uproar of the then scientific community which fervently denied the existence of this phenomena?

'Twas a Sailor as well that discovered that the killing of and the hanging of an albatross around thine neck led directly to naught but tears and hard luck.

And from the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner is it not clear that 'twas a Sailor who noted:
"Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink.
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any a drop to drink…"
Proving positively that the boards from which the ship was built could still shrink and that people could still die of thirst while surrounded by seas and oceans?

So yea! Verily! It is with great pride that I note the return of the wisdom, charm, knowledge, and talent of Sailor, celebrate his return, and anxiously await the pearls of knowledge, invaluable in today's misguided society, content with the certain knowledge that he will actively amaze, amuse, and provoke thought on those inner, hidden shelfs of the mind where the forgotten questions of your youth reside and which only the Sailor's provocative, piercing, poignant, prevarication-less, and perfect prose may purposely provide you with edification, the inner peace that comes from finally understanding why that priest propounded that only you possessed the Horn of Gabriel and that only by allowing him to blow your special horn would Jesus know that you are truly ready to accept him in your life and posterior orifice.

So all Hail the Sailor and to the Sailor all Hail! Welcome back, sirrah, you have been sorely missed (and no, I'm not talking about that last time!).

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Thursday, September 02, 2010

Summertime, And the livin' is easy/There Ain't No Cure For The Summertime Blues

posted by The Sailor @ 6:34 PM Permalink

I apologize to my blog colleagues and our readers that I haven't posted lately. Sometimes life just gets in the way. I think this is a good way to get back into my groove.