29 September 2008


That's My Solution

$700 x 10^9 / 350 x 10^6 = $2 x 10^3.

If they're going to give away $700 x 10^9, just distribute it equally. There aren't enough rich people to make a difference. $2000 to everyone might make enough of a difference.

I'm just sayin'.


23 September 2008


Let's Get Real, People

I don't begrudge the McCains' their wealth. Good for them! But I know who I think will better consider the interests of ordinary folks when going through "what's good for the country?" thoughts.

Stolen from Joe. My. God., but who knows where he go it from.

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21 September 2008


The Bailout Is Bogus

This bailout is a scam, and don't you forget it.

Its possible intent is to tie the hands of whoever follows Bush, likely and hopefully Obama, so that they can't do what's necessary to restore power, political and economic, rightfully to America's households from the rich fools who've held onto that power and wielded it terribly irresponsibly for the past eight years. (Don't like "fools"? Think of the plural of another word that starts and ends like "firetruck." Don't like "bogus"? Think of another word that starts with "bull" and ends with "shit.")

Not content to have mismanaged the overthrow of a heinous dictator, resulting in years of unnecessary American occupation of a foreign nation; to have handed our potential adversaries incredible leverage in the form of our national debt, since the then-Republican Congress enacted tax cuts for the wealthiest among us; the Bush administration wants (1) sole authority for decisions regarding which "financial instruments" to assume responsibility for to exist only with the Secretary of the Treasury, (2) no relief for households who bought into the scams promoted by the get-rich-quick shell game of contemporary home financing, and (3) no accompanying broader economic stimulus package.


They're incompetent. Haven't we learned this by now?

So, first thing tomorrow (MON, 22 SEP 2008) morning, you've got to call (1) your Representative in the U.S. House and (2) both your Senators, regardless of party affiliation, and tell them "NO!" Tell them that this stinks to high Heaven. Tell them over your dead body. Tell them that there's no way that the Bush administration is getting yet one more blank check with which to screw the American people.


This is a bad deal until further amended. A financial amnesty may be necessary, even if those money-grubbing Republican [word for illegitimate children] were trying to rip everyone off in a bogus financial restructuring scheme, but that amnesty has to extend to the people at the bottom, not just those at the top.

p.s. Mack and I, even though we bought at near the top of the crazy real-estate market, have a decent 30-year fixed-rate loan. I'm talking about people who got snookered into crazy variable-rate, balloon payment, screwed by the bottom dropping out. Yes, I'd like the real-estate market to rebound, but we didn't buy our house to make a killing; we bought it because it met our requirements.

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16 September 2008


"And I Am Not Frightened by Dying"

R.I.P., Rick Wright, of Pink Floyd. Obit here in the NYT (registration required).

His keyboards were never flashy in the mode of a Keith Emerson or a Rick Wakeman; instead, they were workmanlike, solid, and based in the blues. Pink Floyd's drummer, Nick Mason, did more of the synthesizer work sometimes associated with their sound, but Wright's piano and organ playing—he was a master of when to change the speed on the Leslie, like Booker T.—was foundational to what Pink Floyd was (well, before he was shut out by Roger Waters in making The Wall). He should be remembered for his many contributions to their gorgeous sound. At least Mason and David Gilmour seemed to keep him in mind as they all tried to move forward after peaking.

I admired his playing tremendously. Think of "Echoes." Think of "Sheep."

Here's "The Great Gig in the Sky," his own piece.

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14 September 2008


What Are You Doing?

I've recently started using Twitter, and I like it. Posts of 160 characters or less answering the question, "What are you doing?" go to other subscribers who are "following" you. It also auto-updates my Facebook status. You can have the posts ("tweets") sent to your cell phone as an SMS message, but that costs money under most plans. If your phone supports applications, there might be a Twitter-serving application for it; example: Twitterific on the iPhone (and the Mac, as well).

So, if you're following me on Twitter or see my Facebook updates, then these are old news. But, to answer "What have y'all been up to?", we went to an old friend of mine's wedding last night, got up this morning and took the dog to the dog park, then drove around DeBary checking out where there's still flooding three weeks after Tropical Storm Fay. After we got home, I took some pics of the cats in the back yard, then spent a couple of hours messing around with the pictures and uploading them to our Flickr site.

There's not that many photos overall, even though I put some of them into sets, so maybe the best way to proceed is to start here and work backwards through the photostream. Some representative samples:

Me, curiously earnest in performance of the very serious task of checking my gas gauge.
Why So Serious?

Lake at Paradise Cove Watersports, where the wedding took place.
Lake and Moon with Party Lights

Jim and Amy cut the cake.
Cut the Cake

Mack and Ursa, after the dog park.
Slobber Dog

Hoses, still pumping flood waters from Tropical Storm Fay away.

Carrot, on the go, on the fence.
Carrot, On the Go

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13 September 2008


Another Matter of Character

From M. J. Rosenberg, here, at TPM Cafe:
You would never know it from the media coverage but John McCain is not one of America's greatest war heroes. He is a former POW who survived, heroically. He deserves to be honored for that heroism.

But one thing distinguishes McCain from other war heroes, the kind whose heroism changes history rather than their life stories.

America's two greatest war heroes were Ulysses Grant and Dwight Eisenhower. Grant saved the union. And Ike saved civilization.

And neither one ever bragged about their experience. (Can you imagine Ike smacking down Adlai Stevenson by saying that while Adlai ran a nice medium-sized state, he was the Supreme Allied Commander who ran D-Day, defeated Hitler, and liberated Europe?).

Impossible. Like Grant, Eisenhower did not brag.

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Palin vs. Palin

Today's Get Fuzzy:
Used without permission.

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12 September 2008


For the Nervous Nellies Out There

Obama: Everyone Chill the Fuck Out, I Got This

From Pundit Kitchen, via Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic.

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Donald Rumsfeld's Remarks at Pentagon Memorial Dedication Ceremony

I heard this speech while I was driving into work yesterday. I don't care what you think of Rumsfeld—and I would appreciate it if you have strong feelings about him, the war, etc., that you save those for some other time or place—I thought these were thoughtful, moving words.
Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, Madam Speaker, Chief Justice, Mr. Secretary, Mr. Chairman;

Members of the families of those we are here to honor;

Jim Laychak, Joyce and I are so grateful for your leadership. And we thank all of those who have done so much to help establish this important memorial;

Dick Myers, it is good to see you.

Men and women of the Pentagon -- military and civilian -- what a high honor it is to be with you again. We went through a great deal since September 11th, and I will always treasure our time together.

This morning we gather to dedicate this ground, where a great building became a battlefield, where stone became dust, steel became shrapnel; and where flame, smoke and destruction stole the lives of 184 men, women and children.

This memorial tells the story of their last, terrible moments on this Earth -- moments when families were destroyed, when a symbol of America’s strength was scarred, and when our country became, in the words of an American poet, “acquainted with the night.”

Today we renew our vows to never forget how this long struggle began, and to never forget those who fell first.

Remembered and honored are fellow workers, friends, and family members. They were men and women at their desks in the Pentagon, who one morning kissed their loved ones goodbye, went off to work and never came home. And they were the passengers and the crew aboard Flight 77, who in their last moments made phone calls to loved ones, and prayed to the Almighty, before their journey ended such a short distance from where it began.

Each with different backgrounds and different dreams, it was here that their fates were cruelly merged forever. In the flag that flies above this memorial, we will be reminded of what they had in common. They fell, side by side, as Americans. And make no mistake, it was because they were Americans that they were killed here in this place.

Those of us who were in the Pentagon on September 11th share -- and we will always share -- a very special bond with each member of their families and with each other. We will not forget the way this huge building shook. We will not forget our colleagues and friends who were taken from us and from their families. And we will not forget what that deadly attack has meant for our country.

In the sinister logic of its perpetrators, and in the suffering of its victims, September 11th was among the darkest of days for Americans. But it was also the day that America can be said to have rediscovered its special grace -- the American people’s capacity for courage, for goodwill and for sacrifice.

Here, beneath the sloping fields of Arlington National Cemetery -- fields that hold our nation’s fallen -- this building stands as a silent monument to the resolve of a free people. And so too this memorial in its shadow will stand not only as a symbol of a nation’s grief, but as an eternal reminder of men and women of valor who saw flame and smoke and stepped forward to save and protect the lives of their fellow Americans on September 11th.

Let it also remind us of each of those who have volunteered to serve in our nation’s armed forces, before and every day since. Our nation’s military has stood guard in this new age of peril, determined that what happened here, seven years ago, must not happen again.

We have been “acquainted with the night.” We have taken its measure. In the darkest of times, we have stood together. In defiance, our nation has pressed on toward morning. With resolve renewed, and with the certain strength of the American people, our nation will force the dawn.

My constant prayer is that God will bless the families of those we remember this day. And that the good Lord will bless all of those who have lost loved ones in the long struggle that has followed. We are deeply in their debt. And each of us will remain so for the rest of our lives.

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11 September 2008


9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon

On this seventh anniversary of the 11 September 2001 attacks, a memorial to those lost at the Pentagon, and on American Airlines flight 77 which was crashed into it, is to be opened. The Washington post has stories, including this one about how the families of those lost there raised the money for the memorial. I found the accompanying photo essay moving. If the attacks on the World Trade Center hadn't happened, the attack on the Pentagon would remain the single largest mass murder in the history of the USA.

One of the losses that day was the first officer on Flight 77, David Charlebois, an Embry-Riddle graduate, a member of the National Gay Pilots Association, and someone who had led the kind of life leading to increased recognition by governments and communities and businesses and families and other individuals of the rights that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people have, but often aren't recognized or respected.

For all the horribleness of that day, one good thing that came of it—at least for many, at least for an extended moment—was recognition for what we have in common, from the base but important "we're all the same in death," to an elevated awareness of the great degree to which the shared aspects of our lives can supersede our focus on the matters that separate us. We can't pretend the differences aren't there: we just have to keep them in perspective as aspects of our being, not necessarily defining qualities. If we can increase the number who share that perspective, extend the moment of our awareness of it, while taking appropriate measures to defend ourselves and to attempt to bring to justice those who perpetrated the murderous hatefulness of 9/11—even as we might be failed instruments to execute that justice—we can, in spirit and in deed, be better people, leaving this world improved for what happened while we were in it.

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10 September 2008


Harsh, but True

Matthew Yglesias, here, now writing at Think Progress, says something very important in his part of a discussion of why some campaign journalist are so happy to be played by liars:

But if lying works as a campaign strategy, rather than backfiring and getting the liar branded as an untrustworthy character, then what’s the campaign journalism for? On some level, like everything else in the media, it’s there to make a profit. But what’s the intended audience? ESPN News’ coverage doesn’t have any higher purpose, but it’s there for people who want to learn about the day’s sports news and it gets the job done. But what’s the campaign press doing? It seems to me that if the practitioners of campaign journalism can’t figure out a way to make it so that lying is punished, rather than amplified and rewarded, by the press then they ought to pack up their bags and go do something else. Pretty much all the other branches of the press — from the film critics to the foreign correspondents to the weathermen to the investigative reporters to the “news of the weird” guys — seem to have a clear role in the ecology.

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"You Can Put Lipstick on a Pig, But It's Still a Pig"

At this spot, I'd like to put The Plasmatics, "A Pig Is a Pig," video, but it's currently unavailable on YouTube. But, a pig is a pig, and that's that.

Those rat bastards at Fox and the GOP who are trying to claim that this has anything to do with Gov. Palin are lying through their teeth. If they'll lie through their teeth to get elected, what will they do if they win? Furthermore, even if it were, do they think our enemies are going to treat them softly? Whining is unbecoming of wannabe leaders. They must be wimps.

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08 September 2008


"You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up"

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06 September 2008


Joe Biden, Doing Exactly What He Ought To Be Doing

Via James Fallows, here.

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01 September 2008


Photo Caption Contest!!!

That's NBC's Chuck Todd on the left; NBC's Tom Brokaw on the right.

Enter via comments. We've got prizes. Really!

Me? Lie? About prizes? C'mon. Enter anyway!

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