Aug 30, 2012

The Big Speech

I doubt you all watched Paul Ryan get on stage and talk about his 6 pack abs last night?

Oh, well, my local news guy couldn't stop talking about that. He's just so dreamy. Right?

A lot of words against the current administration, a showcase of a beautiful family, a small town boy done good, and a mother who was a business owner - you know, and a detailed discussion of his workout regimen. And his iPod playlist ("starts with AC/DC and ends with Zeppelin.")

There were a couple other little, er, misrepresentations we'll call them, in the rousing speech to get grandmas with goofy glasses and stupid little pins in their hats to be mildly excited about their ticket... and speaking of, if these are the dyed in wool delegates - the actual soul of the Republican party, shouldn't they be clamoring and banging on stuff every time there's an applause line? These people looked half dead or mildly annoyed to have to sit though all those speeches. They should hire actors, multi-ethnic actors, to fill in the seats. At least that way the Republicans can say with conviction that they've created jobs! Oh, sorry, off track a tad. Back to the fact checking...

US Credit Rating - Well, it was only one agency, S&P, that knocked the US down a peg.  And a lot of that had to do with Paul Ryan. He was part of the leadership that was going to refuse extending the debt ceiling. And when the dust settled - it happened anyway. And that triggered the issue no one is talking about: sequestration. No one thinks it's going to happen, since after the election, that's when it'll get solved. And that used car on Craigslist? A little old lady drove it to church on Sundays. Honest.

The GM Plant that all Ryan's graduating class went to work for? Well, how can you complain that some plants got bailouts and yours didn't? Second, it was closed before Inauguration day 2009. So, we'll chalk that one up to Nancy Pelosi's Congress then?

The bi-partisan Bowles-Simpson Debt Commission - Yeah, Mr. Obama didn't do anything they said to do, but Paul Ryan also voted against their findings. And, so did the pannel's House Republicans - following Paul's lead.

Helping the poor and Medicare are still being debated - but, let's be honest, does either party really know what the hell they're doing with those two issues. Except sticking their hands, and their cousin's hands into the well of money that's supposed to help these people?

I'm beginning to believe that when a Republican talks of "recovery" and "jobs" they're talking directly and honestly -- but about their fraternity brothers and unemployable cousins. They want THEIR jobs back. And that would be a RECOVERY.

Aug 24, 2012

A Lot of Balls, or, The Dirty Cheater Comes Clean

USADA to ban Armstrong for life, strip all 7 Tour de France titles

After a decade of "outrunning" accusations that he had doped during his celebrated cycling career, Lance Armstrong, one of the most well-known and accomplished athletes in history, finally "threw in the towel", tarnishing his legacy by ending his fight against charges that he used performance-enhancing drugs.

Armstrong, who "won" the Tour de France an unprecedented seven straight times, said on Thursday night that he would not continue to contest the charges levied against him by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which contended that he doped and was one of the ringleaders of systematic doping on his Tour-winning teams.

Armstrong’s decision, according to the World Anti-Doping Code, means he will be stripped of his seven Tour titles, the bronze medal he won at the 2000 Olympics and all other titles, awards and money he won from August 1998 forward. It also means he will be barred for life from competing, coaching or having any official role with any Olympic sport or other sport that follows the World Anti-Doping Code.

Folks, it would have only been worse if he were betting on his performance.

How's that Australian Gun Ban Working Out?

It has now been over 10 years since gun owners in Australia were forced by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own Government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars. The statistics for the years following the ban are now in:

Accidental gun deaths are 300% higher than the pre-1997 ban rate The assault rate has increased 800% since 1991, and increased 200% since the 1997 gun ban.

Robbery and armed robbery have increase 20% from the pre-97 ban rate. From immediately after the ban was instituted in 1997 through 2002, the robbery and armed robbery rate was up 200% over the pre-ban rates.

In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 171 percent.

Amazingly - when law-abiding citizens turned in their gun collections, guess who didn't? The bad guys. Now, fearing nothing, the bad guys are doing pretty much anything they want. They know their victims are unarmed. Actually, are the citizens nothing more than subjects at this point? Or the subjugated?
"The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental."~ John Steinbeck

Aug 23, 2012

Scientific Creation

When Good Intentions Meet Reality

Aug 20, 2012

Pursuit of Romney's Returns

In American politics, you're lucky to get one or two non-important but-it's-sensational-television debate fodder/editorial page ink spilling discussion threads. One of my personal favorites, the great flag burning debates of Michael Dukakis v. George Bush Sr., flinging mud at each other for such a non-issue, took the preverbal apple pie of a fight over absolutely nothing.

With the grand daddy of MTV's question of "boxers or briefs" levied at candidate Bill Clinton being the trophy of American stupid questions, it took wild card Ross Perot to come in and actually ask hard questions before anyone seemed willing to accept that there were any hard questions to ask.

So in this cycle we have the most important question of "What's in Mitt's tax forms?"

The left is clawing their eyes out, not being able to contain themselves, as if in section 138 b he took a deduction for his membership dues to the Illuminati.

The right has been standing on chairs demanding that Mitt should hold out until we see Mr. Obama's transcripts from his college career first. Great idea, but shouldn't folks have asked for that in 2007? Seems a little late to be doing a background check after the man's been in the chair for three years, don't you think? And if there was any dirt in those sealed transcripts, it's my half informed opinion that Team Mrs. Clinton would have presented it a long, long time ago.

And really? This is the most important issue of our time? How Mr. Romney used the system to pay no taxes, or how rich he really is? Maybe he's embarrassed that he tithed over 10% to the Mormon church?  I didn't hear about how rich Bush or Kerry were - and Kerry married into his wealth.

Look, I'd be a lot more respectful of the Democrat's unrelenting drum beat to see his 1040 forms if they spent even 1/8th this much energy hounding Iran and their intentions with a nuclear program.

Aug 17, 2012

What Would Jesus Drive?

Finally, the answer to the hotly debated holy question of What Would Jesus Drive?

Aug 16, 2012

Beer and Porkchops

"Secret Muslim" Mr. Obama went to great lengths to make sure he was photographed eating pork and drinking beer while in Iowa and also Ohio this week.


Because Mitt Romney drinks water.

Why is that? You mean Mitt isn't a heavy Scotch drinker? Nope. Mitt's a Mormon. Mitt doesn't touch the stuff.

Mr. Obama also made a point to visit a couple coffee shops while on his SuperBus Tour.

Yep, because Mitt doesn't drink hot caffeinated beverages. No coffee. No tea. Just tea parties.

And to add to that, Mr. Obama added a BREWERY to the White House. President Obama told some Iowa residents that he had some of its product stocked aboard the bus he's using for a three-day tour of the Hawkeye State.

"There is a home brew, if you will, at the White House," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
It's called White House Honey Ale, with both light and dark varieties.

Last year, Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor recipient, reported sharing some of the White House brew with the president.

We're informed that the honey for White House Honey Ale comes from another relatively new facility, the garden created by first lady Michelle Obama. Small batches of beer are made for special events, such as this year's Super Bowl party.

And, yes: Home brewing is legal in Washington, D.C., but I am not aware of the rules for brewing in government facilities.

What's the big deal? The White House is laying the brickwork to knock Mitt over the head with the fact that Mitt is, in fact, a secret underwear wearing practicing Mormon. At the very least, it's a not so subtle attack... and it might cost Mr. Obama Utah in November... (*ahem)

Fairly sure Mormons can eat pork chops though.


Doesn't seem that long ago, but that kid might as well be chewing cigarettes in the classroom.

Aug 11, 2012

Watch the Double "R"'s Run

Mitt Romney has officially tapped Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice presidential running mate on Saturday, turning to the architect of a conservative and intensely ignored long-term budget plan to remake Medicare and cut trillions in federal spending.

He's 42, he might help Mitt in Wisconsin, and the tea party people and conservative base ought to be fairly happy with the choice.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell are probably sighing relief, or in the case of Florida Senator Marco Rubio - Twitting - relief they weren't selected.

Red Dawn Remake Trailer

Watch Chris Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and Adrianne Palicki take on the invading North Korean army from their mountain cabin. With a tagline like "welcome to the home of the brave," there's no doubt in our minds this remake is going full-on ridiculous. They even recreated some of the secret attacks from the original film. Fantastic. November 21st 2012.

Aug 10, 2012

Interesting Day in Banking

U.S. regulators directed five of the country's biggest banks, including Bank of America Corp and Goldman Sachs Group Inc, to develop plans for staving off collapse if they faced serious problems, emphasizing that the banks could not count on government help. [1]

The Fed supplied Reuters with the letters requesting plans from banks, but not the banks' actual plans because they were deemed confidential supervisory information. The regulator said it was withholding 5,100 pages of information.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department has announced that it will NOT prosecute Goldman Sachs over their alleged concealment of betting against securities related to the housing bubble bursting. [2]

I'll feign surprise, as why the fraternity brothers in Justice aren't arresting their fraternity brothers on Wall Street.

Wonder where the money goes? Chuck's pockets....

Aug 6, 2012

Mars Rover Evolution

I made a joke earlier about the first pictures from the newest rover. Yeah, I made light of it, but it's a major success in a program that has all but been shuttered.

As you all know last night the Mars rover Curiosity landed successfully. Here’s a picture of the 3 rovers all together sent to me last year by one of the NASA scientists. Click the image to enbiggen it.

Notice just HOW much larger the new one is over the previous versions?

Only in America, or from America, would you get larger and more bloated robots - as they evolve. Like our cars, software and soft drinks. It really is amazing.

And only an American would think of sending a car to space. No one else does that, or would think of that. Hell, after the first Apollo mission - "Hey, wouldn't it be great to drive to that rock over there?"

Now we've sent an SUV onto Mars. That's friggin' awesome. Once they figure out how to mine the Iron Ore out of Mars or how to make rammen noodles out of martian water - watch out. This thing is opening up. Deadwood, Agassiz - with the reality show on E! to help fund it.

"Get your ass to Mars!"

Got My Permit Today

Exclusive: First Photos From Mars!

Yeah, yeah, it's from the first one, the Spirit Rover... luckily the cold germs we 'accidentally' put on the blankets we sent them... er, sorry, that's classified information.

Aug 3, 2012

Ba ba ba ba ba-bomb Iran?

Former Mossad head: Iran should fear next 12 weeks

Suspected uranium-enrichment facility near QomFormer Mossad chief's statement comes as Netanyahu warns time for diplomacy running out amid speculation an attack may take place before US elections.

Former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy added to speculation of an impending Israeli military strike against Iran's nuclear program in a statement published by The New York Times Wednesday.
"If I were an Iranian, I would be very fearful of the next 12 weeks," Halevy said.
Speculation in the media and in political circles about the timing of a potential attack on Iran has focused in recent weeks on whether it needs to happen over the summer, before the US elections, or if it can wait until afterward, maybe as far away as next spring.
Earlier in the week, both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned that time was running out for sanctions and diplomacy to have an effect on Iran's nuclear ambitions. Both men made the statements during a visit to Israel by US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
“We clearly have something to lose by this stretched time [during] which sanctions and diplomacy takes place, because the Iranians are moving forward, not just in enrichment,” Barak said.
Speaking before meeting Panetta in his office, Netanyahu said the constant rhetoric about all options being on the table regarding Iran has not moved the ayatollahs.
Although acknowledging that sanctions have had an affect, and predicting the recent sanctions US President Barack Obama and Congress have advanced will have an even greater impact, Netanyahu said neither the sanctions nor the diplomacy have had any influence on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear weapons program.
Noting that Panetta said recently that if all else fails America would act, the prime minister said that “however forceful our statements, they have not convinced Iran that we are serious about stopping them. Right now the Iranian regime believes that the international community does not have the will to stop its nuclear program. This must change and it must change quickly, because time to resolve this issue peacefully is running out.”

Aug 1, 2012

The United States of Amnesia

Visit his books on Amazon
Gore Vidal, the author, playwright, politician and commentator whose novels, essays, plays and opinions were stamped by his immodest wit and unconventional wisdom, has died in Los Angeles…
His works included hundreds of essays; the best-selling novels Lincoln and Myra Breckenridge; the groundbreaking The City and the Pillar, among the first novels about openly gay characters; and the Tony-nominated political drama The Best Man, revived on Broadway in 2012.

Tall and with a haughty baritone not unlike that of his conservative arch-enemy William F Buckley Jr, Vidal appeared cold and cynical on the surface. But he bore a melancholy regard for lost worlds, for the primacy of the written word, for “the ancient American sense that whatever is wrong with human society can be put right by human action”.

He was widely admired as an independent thinker in the tradition of Mark Twain and HL Mencken about literature, culture, politics and, as he liked to call it, “the birds and the bees”. He picked apart politicians, living and dead; mocked religion and prudery; opposed wars from Vietnam to Iraq; and insulted his peers like no other… and made some very interesting points about Timothy McVey.

Vidal had an old-fashioned belief in honour but a modern will to live as he pleased. He wrote in the memoir Palimpsest that he had more than 1,000 “sexual encounters” – nothing special, he added, compared with the pursuits of such peers as John F Kennedy and Tennessee Williams.
Vidal was fond of drink and alleged that he had sampled every major drug once. He never married
and for decades shared a scenic villa in Ravello, Italy, with companion Howard Austen.

He was a rhetorician. His condemnations of bigotry and imperial arrogance were always worth quoting. His defense of liberty and advocacy for democratic rights never relented. He will be missed.