Friday, October 31, 2014

Space Ship Two Has Crashed

 

Tragic....

Our interest and our appetite for space exploration seems to be on the rise because of the films being produced in Hollywood. What also drives this interest is the occasional accident. The rocket explosion on the East Coast and this event will have people thinking about space exploration.

Look for someone who calls themselves a Republican to blame Obama before sundown.

Aviation in North Korea


Morbidly obese young men are unable to fly planes in almost every air force in the world, save North Korea. This is notwithstanding the fact that it is almost impossible to become morbidly obese in North Korea, period.

And while Kim Jong Un has been hobbled as of late, and even though this is a stationary plane that he has been sandwiched into for propaganda purposes, the reality is that North Korea's air force would be hopelessly outclassed in a modern air battle. The best thing for their enemies is the continued leadership of the lesser Un.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

America is Going to Hell, Continued


If the Bible was the foundation and structure of America for our first 200 years, then I think it's plain to see how we ended up with slavery and bigamy and floods and pestilence. And that whole thing with the jawbone of an ass--we're living that nightmare every single day.

In 1976, Jimmy Carter was elected President of the United States. I'm just sayin'. History's Greatest Monster signaled the secular end of all things American. We've been on the road to hell ever since the Peanut Farmer was handed the crystal goblets of democracy.

Americans fought a civil war against one another to end slavery, thereby going against the Bible. Perhaps we should have gone to war against the Bible. We could have lined up all of our troops and had them blast away at the Bible (with a few Korans thrown in) and we could have declared victory over books without losing anyone (save, of course, the clowns who would inevitably shoot off their feet or mishandle their weapons.

Really, though. Who is this crazy? What's a day like for someone who thinks that Americans are Biblically ignorant people without Christian standards of morality and honor? That they have become carnal and are easily led by corrupt, subversive politicians?

If that's the case, then how do you account for Republican control of the House of Representatives? How do you keep from wringing your hands when that Kenyan Ursurping Muslim in the White House dances with Beyonce?

Mind boggling...

Why Isn't Jian Ghomeshi Already in Jail?


I still can't figure any of this out:
Eight women from across Canada now accuse former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi of abusive behaviour ranging from allegations of beating and choking without consent, to workplace sexual harassment.
The allegations the Star is probing range from 2002 to the present.
One of the women, popular Canadian television actor Lucy DeCoutere, has agreed to be identified. DeCoutere, who plays Lucy on Trailer Park Boys , recalls an incident in 2003 when she alleges Ghomeshi, without warning or consent, choked her to the point she could not breathe and then slapped her hard three times on the side of her head.
I have no problem believing these women and I can see a great deal of clarity in their allegations--Jian Ghomeshi is a violent man who sexually assaults women. What I cannot understand is how he has avoided accountability until now.

Scott Lemieux breaks it down, and this is what's so awful about the collision between online stalking and in-person real-life stalking--they are often one and the same. Our legal system has to come up with ways to deal with these kinds of things, privacy be damned.

All societies should empower women to make an accusation and have it handled responsibly. The first time that this happened, the person being assaulted by Ghomeshi should have felt safe enough to report it and the case should have been handled in a respectful and responsible manner. Yes, in our legal system, you can face your accuser. In Canada's legal system, who the hell knows what they can do? Is it based on the English system where old men in wigs direct barristers to and fro?

Somewhere, in this vast knowledge gap of mine, is an answer I probably don't want to know. 

How the hell is this asshole not in jail? 

Leave the Damned Owls Alone




How many posts have I had to write about this? Too many:

A Utah man is facing federal charges for allegedly chasing a barn owl with a motorized paraglider.


The United States Attorney's office in Utah on Tuesday charged Dell Schanze, 45, with two misdemeanor counts of "knowingly using an aircraft to harass wildlife" and "pursuing a migratory bird." The alleged incident happened in March, 2011.

The first count alleges that Schanze violated the Airborne Hunting Act, and count two of the document alleges Schanze violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Schanze did not return a call to NBC News Thursday.


Schanze is a minor celebrity in Utah who once owned a chain of computer stores and worked as a TV pitchman. As a candidate for Utah governor, he received less than 3 percent of the vote in the 2008 election, according to NBC affiliate KSL. He also failed in a 2009 mayoral campaign.

Do you remember that scene in The Shawshank Redemption where the warden says "I'll pull you out of that one-bunk Hilton and cast you down with the Sodomites?"

That's the part of the jail where owl chasers are sent.

Leave the Damned Owls Alone


How many posts have I had to write about this? Too many:
A Utah man is facing federal charges for allegedly chasing a barn owl with a motorized paraglider.
The United States Attorney's office in Utah on Tuesday charged Dell Schanze, 45, with two misdemeanor counts of "knowingly using an aircraft to harass wildlife" and "pursuing a migratory bird." The alleged incident happened in March, 2011.

The first count alleges that Schanze violated the Airborne Hunting Act, and count two of the document alleges Schanze violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Schanze did not return a call to NBC News Thursday.
Schanze is a minor celebrity in Utah who once owned a chain of computer stores and worked as a TV pitchman. As a candidate for Utah governor, he received less than 3 percent of the vote in the 2008 election, according to NBC affiliate KSL. He also failed in a 2009 mayoral campaign.
Do you remember that scene in The Shawshank Redemption where the warden says "I'll pull you out of that one-bunk Hilton and cast you down with the Sodomites?"

That's the part of the jail where owl chasers are sent.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Wait for the Backlash






Will Marvel really make all of these films? I guess if they're in the planning stage and can target specific release dates, then it means that there is financing in place to make these films.




What I think will happen is that there will be a backlash against these kinds of films--a readjustment of some kind that will kill off the superhero films or at least cause them to be scaled back in a dramatic fashion.





They used to make a lot of Westerns in Hollywood, and then Sputnik happened, or so they say. There are no films for adults anymore, so what will happen if one or two of these superhero films tanks and goes down in flames next to a billion dollar hit made for a fraction of the cost?





Rest assured, I'm just trolling. Marvel's announcement proves one thing and one thing only--the teenaged boys of China will have films to watch for the next six years and these films will be made specifically for them and for no one else.





If there is a backlash, it will be short-lived because the foreign market for films is where the money is. And Hollywood chases money better than any other industry.

Wait for the Backlash


Will Marvel really make all of these films? I guess if they're in the planning stage and can target specific release dates, then it means that there is financing in place to make these films.

What I think will happen is that there will be a backlash against these kinds of films--a readjustment of some kind that will kill off the superhero films or at least cause them to be scaled back in a dramatic fashion.

They used to make a lot of Westerns in Hollywood, and then Sputnik happened, or so they say. There are no films for adults anymore, so what will happen if one or two of these superhero films tanks and goes down in flames next to a billion dollar hit made for a fraction of the cost?

Rest assured, I'm just trolling. Marvel's announcement proves one thing and one thing only--the teenaged boys of China will have films to watch for the next six years and these films will be made specifically for them and for no one else.

If there is a backlash, it will be short-lived because the foreign market for films is where the money is. And Hollywood chases money better than any other industry.

America is Fat


America is fatty fat fat. Why should Wal-Mart apologize or saying that this is what's happening? If anything, it should come as a wake-up call. Stop buying cheap food from Wal-Mart that makes people fat.

I would give Wal-Mart another tax credit for speaking the truth to the millions of Americans too dumb to stop eating themselves into oblivion. If you can afford a Halloween Costume, you can afford stomach stapling. It's your fault that your ass won't get through the door.

And on and on and on...

Compassion and American Society




When I look at a story like this, I can see several things at play.

First, we are privatizing institutions that should be under state and local oversight. Privatization shifts money to areas where rampant abuse can be allowed to persist because this involves prisoners, and we don't care about prisoners in this country. At all.

Second, this affects women and minorities. We don't care about them, either, so privatizing their incarceration or their punishment is easier than figuring out how to correct our society's indifference to their situations. These people are less than human, you see. They commit suicide with their hands bound behind their backs. They die in a hail of gunfire of their own making. They are beaten and abused and attacked by corrupt people who operate without fear of reprisal. If there's an outcry, all they have to do is retire.

Third, we are held in the thrall of a right wing rage machine that has a juvenile response to anyone put in jail for anything--serves them right! These same "originalists" and believers in the sage wisdom of our Founders would be shocked to find out how they treated their prisoners and those accused but not convicted of any crimes.

Fourth, let's not forget the wave of people freed from jail by revelations of prosecutorial misconduct, DNA evidence, and people who recanted their testimony. Chances are always good that the local jail in your town has at least one innocent person in it, maybe you some day. Oh, well. Too bad.

Fifth, the law only serves people who have money. If you're broke, you're looking at time. Got cash? You get to go free. Our society is woefully indifferent to the plight of anyone who can't raise bail money.

There is no compassion for anyone anymore. This story won't even raise an eyebrow with people in most cases because they tuned out immediately after learning that this happened in an American jail. Don't want to die of gangrene? Don't go to jail, sucker. Never mind if you were put there by accident, beaten, neglected, or used to work out someone's anger issues.

America used to be a compassionate country where people cared about the rule of law. Now, it's about money and the wrath of God. If we let this take over our society, we'll end up with more jails full of dead people and with absolutely no right to tell anyone how to conduct their affairs.

Compassion and American Society


When I look at a story like this, I can see several things at play.

First, we are privatizing institutions that should be under state and local oversight. Privatization shifts money to areas where rampant abuse can be allowed to persist because this involves prisoners, and we don't care about prisoners in this country. At all.

Second, this affects women and minorities. We don't care about them, either, so privatizing their incarceration or their punishment is easier than figuring out how to correct our society's indifference to their situations. These people are less than human, you see. They commit suicide with their hands bound behind their backs. They die in a hail of gunfire of their own making. They are beaten and abused and attacked by corrupt people who operate without fear of reprisal. If there's an outcry, all they have to do is retire.

Third, we are held in the thrall of a right wing rage machine that has a juvenile response to anyone put in jail for anything--serves them right! These same "originalists" and believers in the sage wisdom of our Founders would be shocked to find out how they treated their prisoners and those accused but not convicted of any crimes.

Fourth, let's not forget the wave of people freed from jail by revelations of prosecutorial misconduct, DNA evidence, and people who recanted their testimony. Chances are always good that the local jail in your town has at least one innocent person in it, maybe you some day. Oh, well. Too bad.

Fifth, the law only serves people who have money. If you're broke, you're looking at time. Got cash? You get to go free. Our society is woefully indifferent to the plight of anyone who can't raise bail money.

There is no compassion for anyone anymore. This story won't even raise an eyebrow with people in most cases because they tuned out immediately after learning that this happened in an American jail. Don't want to die of gangrene? Don't go to jail, sucker. Never mind if you were put there by accident, beaten, neglected, or used to work out someone's anger issues.

America used to be a compassionate country where people cared about the rule of law. Now, it's about money and the wrath of God. If we let this take over our society, we'll end up with more jails full of dead people and with absolutely no right to tell anyone how to conduct their affairs.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Astrology and the Reagan Presidency




The historical record has been far to kind to the Reagan presidency. Ronald Reagan has been sainted by the Republican Party which, in its present incarnation, would never admit him as a candidate for anything anywhere. The thing that always stuck with me about Reagan's time in office, which I remember because I lived through it, was the astrology part.

Astrology, for those of you who don't know, is pure, unadulterated bullshit masking itself as made-up nonsense. It has always been bullshit. Astrology will always be bullshit. And, right there on television tonight, ABC News was running a story about astrologers who were bilking people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. But, wait, there's more. ABC News allows an astrologer to peddle her wares on their "health" page.

It's 2014, for God's sake. I mean, honestly. The ridiculousness abounds. So much for "entertainment."

The Reagan Presidency relied on astrology and it has gotten a pass for this fact. I think this sums it all up:

“Virtually every major move and decision the Reagans made during my time as White House chief of staff was cleared in advance with a woman in San Francisco who drew up horoscopes to make certain that the planets were in a favorable alignment for the enterprise,” he wrote in the memoir, “For the Record: From Wall Street to Washington.”


Just so we're clear on how delusional all of this thinking really was:

In an interview with “CBS Evening News” in 1989, after Reagan left office, Miss Quigley said that after reading the horoscope of the Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev, she concluded that he was intelligent and open to new ideas and persuaded Mrs. Reagan to press her husband to abandon his view of the Soviet Union as an “evil empire.” Arms control treaties followed.


Let us bear in mind that the Central Intelligence Agency's collective analysis of the Soviet Union was about a hair better than that of Miss Quigley's, which was based on the bullshit practice of astrology. Whenever you hear someone venerate the Reagan record, think of the astrology.

Which is bullshit, by the way.

Astrology and the Reagan Presidency


The historical record has been far to kind to the Reagan presidency. Ronald Reagan has been sainted by the Republican Party which, in its present incarnation, would never admit him as a candidate for anything anywhere. The thing that always stuck with me about Reagan's time in office, which I remember because I lived through it, was the astrology part.

Astrology, for those of you who don't know, is pure, unadulterated bullshit masking itself as made-up nonsense. It has always been bullshit. Astrology will always be bullshit. And, right there on television tonight, ABC News was running a story about astrologers who were bilking people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. But, wait, there's more. ABC News allows an astrologer to peddle her wares on their "health" page.

It's 2014, for God's sake. I mean, honestly. The ridiculousness abounds. So much for "entertainment."

The Reagan Presidency relied on astrology and it has gotten a pass for this fact. I think this sums it all up:
“Virtually every major move and decision the Reagans made during my time as White House chief of staff was cleared in advance with a woman in San Francisco who drew up horoscopes to make certain that the planets were in a favorable alignment for the enterprise,” he wrote in the memoir, “For the Record: From Wall Street to Washington.”

Just so we're clear on how delusional all of this thinking really was:
In an interview with “CBS Evening News” in 1989, after Reagan left office, Miss Quigley said that after reading the horoscope of the Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev, she concluded that he was intelligent and open to new ideas and persuaded Mrs. Reagan to press her husband to abandon his view of the Soviet Union as an “evil empire.” Arms control treaties followed.

Let us bear in mind that the Central Intelligence Agency's collective analysis of the Soviet Union was about a hair better than that of Miss Quigley's, which was based on the bullshit practice of astrology. Whenever you hear someone venerate the Reagan record, think of the astrology.

Which is bullshit, by the way.

Friday, October 24, 2014

This is Obama's Fault, Too






Nina Pham didn't get the memo.

She wasn't supposed to survive the Ebola virus and end up being declared free of it. She was supposed to be the face of the Republican Party's concerted effort to say stupid things about the Ebola virus and scare the hell out of everyone.

Now that a healthy young person has survived it, how is the Republican Party supposed to gain seats in November and take control of the Senate?

I mean, as long as we're in a tizzy, let's take it up a notch and do things like this:


NYC Ebola Patient Dr. Craig Spencer Had 100.3 Fever, Not 103


The New York City doctor who tested positive for Ebola had a fever of 100.3 degrees, not 103 degrees, as was first reported, health officials said Friday.
Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, the city health commissioner, gave the new figure on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC. Dr. Craig Spencer, who had treated Ebola patients in the West African country of Guinea, was rushed to a New York hospital and isolated after he reported the fever. He later tested positive for the virus.


Aaaah! Aaaah! Cue the ghost of Sam Kinison and his endless screaming.

Shouldn't Pham have put her country first and told everyone that she had a fever of 108 like she was supposed to? How do you think this makes the fear mongers feel?

No one takes a minute to think about them, do they? This is the sort of thing that can ruin your weekend.

Good for Nina Pham, but, really, this is all about how President Obama wants everyone to die from Ebola. She should have gone with the prevailing media narrative and not fought against the virus. We simply cannot have the idea that, yeah, you can SURVIVE having EBOLA get out there. Someone might start thinking that Obama isn't entirely to blame for everything anymore.

This is Obama's Fault, Too


Nina Pham didn't get the memo.

She wasn't supposed to survive the Ebola virus and end up being declared free of it. She was supposed to be the face of the Republican Party's concerted effort to say stupid things about the Ebola virus and scare the hell out of everyone.

Now that a healthy young person has survived it, how is the Republican Party supposed to gain seats in November and take control of the Senate?

I mean, as long as we're in a tizzy, let's take it up a notch and do things like this:
NYC Ebola Patient Dr. Craig Spencer Had 100.3 Fever, Not 103
The New York City doctor who tested positive for Ebola had a fever of 100.3 degrees, not 103 degrees, as was first reported, health officials said Friday.
Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, the city health commissioner, gave the new figure on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC. Dr. Craig Spencer, who had treated Ebola patients in the West African country of Guinea, was rushed to a New York hospital and isolated after he reported the fever. He later tested positive for the virus.
Aaaah! Aaaah! Cue the ghost of Sam Kinison and his endless screaming.

Shouldn't Pham have put her country first and told everyone that she had a fever of 108 like she was supposed to? How do you think this makes the fear mongers feel?

No one takes a minute to think about them, do they? This is the sort of thing that can ruin your weekend.

Good for Nina Pham, but, really, this is all about how President Obama wants everyone to die from Ebola. She should have gone with the prevailing media narrative and not fought against the virus. We simply cannot have the idea that, yeah, you can SURVIVE having EBOLA get out there. Someone might start thinking that Obama isn't entirely to blame for everything anymore.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

This is Now the Gilded Age






Dear Prudence, 
I live in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, but on one of the more “modest” streets—mostly doctors and lawyers and family business owners. (A few blocks away are billionaires, families with famous last names, media moguls, etc.) I have noticed that on Halloween, what seems like 75 percent of the trick-or-treaters are clearly not from this neighborhood. Kids arrive in overflowing cars from less fortunate areas. I feel this is inappropriate. Halloween isn’t a social service or a charity in which I have to buy candy for less fortunate children. Obviously this makes me feel like a terrible person, because what’s the big deal about making less fortunate kids happy on a holiday? But it just bugs me, because we already pay more than enough taxes toward actual social services. Should Halloween be a neighborhood activity, or is it legitimately a free-for-all in which people hunt down the best candy grounds for their kids?
—Halloween for the 99 Percent

Someone needs to check their privilege at the door and acknowledge that, when you argue that paying more in taxes means you shouldn't have to tolerate the presence of the poor, you're the scum of the Goddamned Earth.

Just so we're clear, lady--your taxes aren't anywhere nearly high enough to compensate for what a parasite you've become.

This is Now the Gilded Age


Dear Prudence, 
I live in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, but on one of the more “modest” streets—mostly doctors and lawyers and family business owners. (A few blocks away are billionaires, families with famous last names, media moguls, etc.) I have noticed that on Halloween, what seems like 75 percent of the trick-or-treaters are clearly not from this neighborhood. Kids arrive in overflowing cars from less fortunate areas. I feel this is inappropriate. Halloween isn’t a social service or a charity in which I have to buy candy for less fortunate children. Obviously this makes me feel like a terrible person, because what’s the big deal about making less fortunate kids happy on a holiday? But it just bugs me, because we already pay more than enough taxes toward actual social services. Should Halloween be a neighborhood activity, or is it legitimately a free-for-all in which people hunt down the best candy grounds for their kids?
—Halloween for the 99 Percent
Someone needs to check their privilege at the door and acknowledge that, when you argue that paying more in taxes means you shouldn't have to tolerate the presence of the poor, you're the scum of the Goddamned Earth.

Just so we're clear, lady--your taxes aren't anywhere nearly high enough to compensate for what a parasite you've become.

A Senate Full of Nuts




Are you prepared for the crazies to be in charge of the Congress? You'd better get ready.

As I said before, the fact that Joni Ernst is speaking like an unhinged crazy person will not hurt her one bit with the voters of Iowa. They have checked out. Thirty years ago, she would have been laughed off of the stage, lucky to get 5% of the vote. Now she's well on her way to being Senator Ernst, gun nut and testicle remover.

A statement along the lines of using a gun to defend herself against her own government--that old trope from G. Gordon Liddy where you go for a head shot when ATF agents enter your home--used to mean you weren't leadership material. Now, in Iowa, it means you get to act like Yosemite Sam, only crazier.

If you want to know what's wrong with this country, look at Iowa for a change. It is a highly educated state where the pride and joy of most families is to send their daughter off to a liberal arts college and their son off to receive a Bachelor's Degree in agricultural science (or vice versa, since women have always been our best farmers, by far). It used to be that walking around with a bleary-eyed hankering for guns would be seen as a firm negative and proof that the candidate doesn't have control over their emotions and has no regard for public safety.

There's no need for gun control in a place like Iowa. Everyone there should be free to own guns. The thing that has gone off the rails is this belief that being an irresponsible gun owner is a positive in a leader.

A Senate Full of Nuts


Are you prepared for the crazies to be in charge of the Congress? You'd better get ready.

As I said before, the fact that Joni Ernst is speaking like an unhinged crazy person will not hurt her one bit with the voters of Iowa. They have checked out. Thirty years ago, she would have been laughed off of the stage, lucky to get 5% of the vote. Now she's well on her way to being Senator Ernst, gun nut and testicle remover.

A statement along the lines of using a gun to defend herself against her own government--that old trope from G. Gordon Liddy where you go for a head shot when ATF agents enter your home--used to mean you weren't leadership material. Now, in Iowa, it means you get to act like Yosemite Sam, only crazier.

If you want to know what's wrong with this country, look at Iowa for a change. It is a highly educated state where the pride and joy of most families is to send their daughter off to a liberal arts college and their son off to receive a Bachelor's Degree in agricultural science (or vice versa, since women have always been our best farmers, by far). It used to be that walking around with a bleary-eyed hankering for guns would be seen as a firm negative and proof that the candidate doesn't have control over their emotions and has no regard for public safety.

There's no need for gun control in a place like Iowa. Everyone there should be free to own guns. The thing that has gone off the rails is this belief that being an irresponsible gun owner is a positive in a leader.

Barney Fife is Alive and Well in Freeborn County Minnesota


If even a tenth of this story is true, then my previous call to bring the State Police to Albert Lea, Minnesota and take over the Freeborn County Sheriff's Department should be repeated:
On April 7, I discovered that a substantial amount (over $13,000) of hog equipment and tools had been stolen from one of our locations in Freeborn County. I immediately called our local sheriff’s office. A deputy was dispatched, and he investigated the scene and a report was filed.
Sensing that not much was going to be done about it, I did a little investigating on my own. In less than 24 hours, I found not only where my stolen property was, but who did it, and where they lived. A scrap-iron yard in Kensett, Iowa, had a receipt with the thieves’ name on it and a picture of them with the stolen items. They are Albert Lea residents with a long criminal record who local law enforcement know well.
I excitedly called the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office back with the information expecting that something would be done about it. I was then put in contact with detective Marc Johnson. To my disappointment, he told me that they could not cross the state line (which was not the truth according to other law enforcement officials I contacted). I also told him that if he were to go to their residence, he would find my additional stolen items that were not scraped out. He proceeded to do that and found them just as I described.
Asking him what he was going to do about it, he said that I should have the Worth County Sheriff’s Office take the case because it could probably do a better job. He also told me that he didn’t want to look like a fool if he couldn’t prove it.
Frustrated with detective Johnson, I then made several attempts to contact Sheriff Bob Kindler, who never once responded to my calls. Charges were never made by the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office.
Somewhere in there, I would imagine something is missing--as in, what's the real truth? Is this campaign boilerplate? Is this a fabrication? I highly doubt it since it was signed by a Freeborn County resident with his own name. This is not the same as creating a fake website or anything like that.

I mean, wow. Just. Wow.

If you go and find your property has been stolen, and if you find that it has been sold for scrap, and have proof of this, you've got to have the law on your side to try and make things right. If you go to their residence and find your stolen property, you've got to have someone backing you up. What happens if you don't is exactly what should never happen, which is a community where people have to take the law into their own hands.

I said it before and I'll say it again--this isn't about politics or who should run things. This is about public safety. If you want a community where incompetent cops run around saying things like "he didn't want to look like a fool if he couldn't prove it."

North Carolina's Foundation of Lies




Unbelievable:

For 18 years, thousands of students at the prestigious University of North Carolina took fake "paper classes," and advisers funneled athletes into the program to keep them eligible, according to a scathing independent report released Wednesday.


"These counselors saw the paper classes and the artificially high grades they yielded as key to helping some student-athletes remain eligible," Kenneth Wainstein wrote in his report. He conducted an eight-month investigation into the scandal, which has plagued the university for nearly five years.


Four employees have been fired and five more disciplined because of their roles. One other former employee had honorary status removed, Chancellor Carol Folt said Wednesday.


Wainstein is the former federal prosecutor hired by UNC to independently investigate the academic fraud brought to light by CNN, the Raleigh News & Observer and other media outlets.


In all, the report estimates, at least 3,100 students took the paper classes, but adds the number "very likely falls far short of the true number."


Given that this was a pervasive, institutional fraud of a magnitude that is difficult to believe, the death penalty is well warranted for Division I athletics at North Carolina. At a minimum, all victories and championships should be invalidated.





That would mean Roy Williams, for example, would have to look elsewhere for a legitimate national championship title. 





If they find the same thing at Duke, I would invalidate everything accomplished in the whole ACC forever. I mean, damn. How do you get away with cheating like this? I expect this sort of thing out of Kentucky. I didn't expect to find out that a degree from the University of North Carolina isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

North Carolina's Foundation of Lies


Unbelievable:
For 18 years, thousands of students at the prestigious University of North Carolina took fake "paper classes," and advisers funneled athletes into the program to keep them eligible, according to a scathing independent report released Wednesday.
"These counselors saw the paper classes and the artificially high grades they yielded as key to helping some student-athletes remain eligible," Kenneth Wainstein wrote in his report. He conducted an eight-month investigation into the scandal, which has plagued the university for nearly five years.
Four employees have been fired and five more disciplined because of their roles. One other former employee had honorary status removed, Chancellor Carol Folt said Wednesday.
Wainstein is the former federal prosecutor hired by UNC to independently investigate the academic fraud brought to light by CNN, the Raleigh News & Observer and other media outlets.
In all, the report estimates, at least 3,100 students took the paper classes, but adds the number "very likely falls far short of the true number."
Given that this was a pervasive, institutional fraud of a magnitude that is difficult to believe, the death penalty is well warranted for Division I athletics at North Carolina. At a minimum, all victories and championships should be invalidated.

That would mean Roy Williams, for example, would have to look elsewhere for a legitimate national championship title. 

If they find the same thing at Duke, I would invalidate everything accomplished in the whole ACC forever. I mean, damn. How do you get away with cheating like this? I expect this sort of thing out of Kentucky. I didn't expect to find out that a degree from the University of North Carolina isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

Chrissy Teigen Won the Internet Yesterday


Chrissy Teigen was criticized today for saying something that's true about guns and violence, and we do, in fact call that a regular average day around here, so, you know...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Everyone Should Know the Story of Walter White




I don't pretend to understand how we are still governed by the Puritans. They were, after all, noted for their hatred of Christmas celebrations and their inability to dance.

You see, the Puritans are still running things. They have an undue amount of influence in our society. All it takes is for some mother somewhere to get upset and use the Internet and, voila, we are rolling on down a barely-there country road in New England and the horse is hacking up a lung and the disapproval of the locals is upon us. Whatever our sins, we are wrong, and the Puritans are there to remind us that fun is for sinners and sinners burn forever in Hell.

They have, for the most part, died out. But your moms is still outraged and, when she sees something she doesn't like, it tends to go viral immediately because self-important outrage is the gasoline that runs the Internet. And that's why Facebook is the Devil.

What did you win, lady? You got some toys off of the shelf. What you won was this--you made us think about Breaking Bad and you made people go tsk tsk. That's about it. You did no harm to the culture but you did make a laughingstock out of the idea that people should maybe explain why drugs are bad to their kids. An action figure is a great conversation starter. Oh, you want to talk about Heisenberg? Well, let's put in Season Four and have a look.

I would be remiss if I didn't point out that, if you don't want your dumb kids on drugs, you should show them Breaking Bad. You should acknowledge the show and the central theme it presents and you should make your dopey offspring watch it. You should introduce them to the idea that, yeah, you can do drugs and things will be fine, but if you're not careful, you'll end up like Jesse's girlfriends.

Breaking Bad should be shown in every school in America. We ought to be teaching this to our kids. We ought to use the action figures as props so we can discuss what matters. Does a barrel full of cash matter more than your family? Why not? Does selling drugs make you rich? Why does the decision to "break bad" look foolhardy and how did the show teach us that lesson? Set against the history of America after twenty years of fighting a war on drugs and the collapse of health care insurance  benefits for teachers and the desperation felt by people living in poverty, well. It's the Great American Novel, as told in blocks of TV episodes.

Someone got some phony outrage to play out in the lazy media and we're arguing about some toys? Those overpriced television show tie-in toys that feature characters that will never come out of the box and will end up in that douche's cubicle over there? Really?

As a famous philosopher said, drugs are bad, mmmkay? and Walter White is an essential American character who will end up being part of the academic history of our literature. Instead of Cotton Mather, your idiot kid and his dumb little buddies should go as Heisenberg for Halloween (good luck banning that, Principal Dumbass). They should get out their Gus Fring impression and go to town. Me, personally, I'm more of a Hank but I want to be Mike. You should be Ted Benecke or Tuco, just so everyone can praise you for your taste. Your son is Jesse because Jesse is not Junior. Your daughter can be Skyler but the old hag who pushes an ATM onto her husband is also a good choice. No television show has ever made prostitution look as unsexy as Breaking Bad. Nobody ever took the Fedora and did with it what Frank Sinatra could not. And nobody gets to be Don Eladio, friend.

Remember Hillbilly Teeth? All you need are meth teeth for the kiddos and then you've got something. The Puritans had terrible teeth. They pulled them out with pliers made out of something found under the bed in a kinky room behind the bad whorehouse outside of town. They made a fetish out of misery, and they lived their lives like the Palins but with fewer snowmobiles.

Seriously, are we that shriveled up and dead as a country? We're talking about toys and we're not talking about the failure of the War on Drugs as it relates to the destruction of at least a million lives if not more? Really?

Everyone Should Know the Story of Walter White


I don't pretend to understand how we are still governed by the Puritans. They were, after all, noted for their hatred of Christmas celebrations and their inability to dance.

You see, the Puritans are still running things. They have an undue amount of influence in our society. All it takes is for some mother somewhere to get upset and use the Internet and, voila, we are rolling on down a barely-there country road in New England and the horse is hacking up a lung and the disapproval of the locals is upon us. Whatever our sins, we are wrong, and the Puritans are there to remind us that fun is for sinners and sinners burn forever in Hell.

They have, for the most part, died out. But your moms is still outraged and, when she sees something she doesn't like, it tends to go viral immediately because self-important outrage is the gasoline that runs the Internet. And that's why Facebook is the Devil.

What did you win, lady? You got some toys off of the shelf. What you won was this--you made us think about Breaking Bad and you made people go tsk tsk. That's about it. You did no harm to the culture but you did make a laughingstock out of the idea that people should maybe explain why drugs are bad to their kids. An action figure is a great conversation starter. Oh, you want to talk about Heisenberg? Well, let's put in Season Four and have a look.

I would be remiss if I didn't point out that, if you don't want your dumb kids on drugs, you should show them Breaking Bad. You should acknowledge the show and the central theme it presents and you should make your dopey offspring watch it. You should introduce them to the idea that, yeah, you can do drugs and things will be fine, but if you're not careful, you'll end up like Jesse's girlfriends.

Breaking Bad should be shown in every school in America. We ought to be teaching this to our kids. We ought to use the action figures as props so we can discuss what matters. Does a barrel full of cash matter more than your family? Why not? Does selling drugs make you rich? Why does the decision to "break bad" look foolhardy and how did the show teach us that lesson? Set against the history of America after twenty years of fighting a war on drugs and the collapse of health care insurance  benefits for teachers and the desperation felt by people living in poverty, well. It's the Great American Novel, as told in blocks of TV episodes.

Someone got some phony outrage to play out in the lazy media and we're arguing about some toys? Those overpriced television show tie-in toys that feature characters that will never come out of the box and will end up in that douche's cubicle over there? Really?

As a famous philosopher said, drugs are bad, mmmkay? and Walter White is an essential American character who will end up being part of the academic history of our literature. Instead of Cotton Mather, your idiot kid and his dumb little buddies should go as Heisenberg for Halloween (good luck banning that, Principal Dumbass). They should get out their Gus Fring impression and go to town. Me, personally, I'm more of a Hank but I want to be Mike. You should be Ted Benecke or Tuco, just so everyone can praise you for your taste. Your son is Jesse because Jesse is not Junior. Your daughter can be Skyler but the old hag who pushes an ATM onto her husband is also a good choice. No television show has ever made prostitution look as unsexy as Breaking Bad. Nobody ever took the Fedora and did with it what Frank Sinatra could not. And nobody gets to be Don Eladio, friend.

Remember Hillbilly Teeth? All you need are meth teeth for the kiddos and then you've got something. The Puritans had terrible teeth. They pulled them out with pliers made out of something found under the bed in a kinky room behind the bad whorehouse outside of town. They made a fetish out of misery, and they lived their lives like the Palins but with fewer snowmobiles.

Seriously, are we that shriveled up and dead as a country? We're talking about toys and we're not talking about the failure of the War on Drugs as it relates to the destruction of at least a million lives if not more? Really?

Is Martha Coakley For Real?


How could you be this bad of a politician?

Martha Coakley has figured out how to lose, as a Democrat, in an overwhelmingly democratic state. She should change her party affiliation to Republican and move to Mississippi.

The way things are going, they'll nominate her for the presidency or something like that. I mean, damn. Whose side is she on?

This is Why We Shouldn't Go to War in Iraq Ever Again


There used to be a thing called a "warblogger."

Mainly, these were folks with a lot of information and little, if any, analytical experience. They knew the military, they knew something about strategy and games, and they figured that was enough to give them credibility when it came to speaking about how America was conducting itself in Iraq before the war was ended by the Obama Administration.

Some of these people went belly up when their wars wound down--there was nothing to blog about. Their audience shrank because they were a one-trick pony and hating Obama was already being done by people with more talent and skill.

This case is a bookend to the Iraq War, a verdict that should resonate for anyone who has ever been criticized by a warblogger or mocked for not knowing that Petraeus would never Betray Us.

How's your war looking now, son? Are you happy for the results? Did we accomplish everything you thought we would? Or did we just manufacture more enemies and create more Veterans than we could ever handle and did we cut loose a generation of mercenaries who simply had too many guns and too many brown skinned people to shoot?

The great blogger Kos actually served in the military, and his response when some Blackwater guards were left dangling off a bridge was to say, in effect, fuck these people. They were mercs and they were out for profit in exchange for sending rounds through bodies. These men inherited the fight, stepped up to the plate, and emptied their weapons into civilians. Fuck them, too,

We will be paying the price for the Iraq War for the next fifty or sixty years, and we will pay dearly for it, and no one will bother to go back and read the ranting and the raving of the cheerleaders for that war, except to have a good laugh and see what could be done about scrubbing the Internet clean of their filth.

This is Why We Shouldn't Go to War in Iraq Ever Again


There used to be a thing called a "warblogger."

Mainly, these were folks with a lot of information and little, if any, analytical experience. They knew the military, they knew something about strategy and games, and they figured that was enough to give them credibility when it came to speaking about how America was conducting itself in Iraq before the war was ended by the Obama Administration.

Some of these people went belly up when their wars wound down--there was nothing to blog about. Their audience shrank because they were a one-trick pony and hating Obama was already being done by people with more talent and skill.

This case is a bookend to the Iraq War, a verdict that should resonate for anyone who has ever been criticized by a warblogger or mocked for not knowing that Petraeus would never Betray Us.

How's your war looking now, son? Are you happy for the results? Did we accomplish everything you thought we would? Or did we just manufacture more enemies and create more Veterans than we could ever handle and did we cut loose a generation of mercenaries who simply had too many guns and too many brown skinned people to shoot?

The great blogger Kos actually served in the military, and his response when some Blackwater guards were left dangling off a bridge was to say, in effect, fuck these people. They were mercs and they were out for profit in exchange for sending rounds through bodies. These men inherited the fight, stepped up to the plate, and emptied their weapons into civilians. Fuck them, too,

We will be paying the price for the Iraq War for the next fifty or sixty years, and we will pay dearly for it, and no one will bother to go back and read the ranting and the raving of the cheerleaders for that war, except to have a good laugh and see what could be done about scrubbing the Internet clean of their filth.

Ottawa




Ottawa is under attack:

The Canadian government has informed the United States that one shooter is dead in Ottawa, a senior U.S. official said. So far, there is "no indication the shooter has ties to violent Islamic extremism," but it is still extremely early in the investigation, the source said.


In response to the ongoing situation at Canada's Parliament, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, has increased its alert posture, CNN has learned. That means that it has increased the number of planes on a higher alert status ready to respond if needed. NORAD and Canadian authorities are in contact, an official told CNN.

Never underestimate America's ability to panic and make something worse than it is. The media will go nuts with this until the facts are in. If this is domestic Canadian terrorism, the American opportunists will use this to attack President Obama. It is entirely possible that this attack on Canadian soil will be viewed as an attempt to attack America and panic will take hold in places like New York City or Chicago and you'll see armed men everywhere in response to absolutely no threat whatsoever. This will be done because to be seen doing nothing is politically untenable.

One disaffected loner with a grudge against women can trigger a massive counter-terrorism response. We don't know if there actually are multiple shooters or if this is a Mumbai-styled attack. We don't know anything, other than the fact that this will be "Obama's Katrina."

And no, none of this is supposed to make any sense. Fear is the only partisan tool the Republican Party is eager to use on a regular basis.

Ottawa


Ottawa is under attack:
The Canadian government has informed the United States that one shooter is dead in Ottawa, a senior U.S. official said. So far, there is "no indication the shooter has ties to violent Islamic extremism," but it is still extremely early in the investigation, the source said.
In response to the ongoing situation at Canada's Parliament, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, has increased its alert posture, CNN has learned. That means that it has increased the number of planes on a higher alert status ready to respond if needed. NORAD and Canadian authorities are in contact, an official told CNN.
Never underestimate America's ability to panic and make something worse than it is. The media will go nuts with this until the facts are in. If this is domestic Canadian terrorism, the American opportunists will use this to attack President Obama. It is entirely possible that this attack on Canadian soil will be viewed as an attempt to attack America and panic will take hold in places like New York City or Chicago and you'll see armed men everywhere in response to absolutely no threat whatsoever. This will be done because to be seen doing nothing is politically untenable.

One disaffected loner with a grudge against women can trigger a massive counter-terrorism response. We don't know if there actually are multiple shooters or if this is a Mumbai-styled attack. We don't know anything, other than the fact that this will be "Obama's Katrina."

And no, none of this is supposed to make any sense. Fear is the only partisan tool the Republican Party is eager to use on a regular basis.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Nobody Gets to Have an Opinion




Who is entitled to criticize Renee Zellweger for how she looks? There's absolutely nothing wrong with her appearance. Everything else is just hatin' and that's that.

That sort of thing is well outside of the scope of what I normally write about and comment on so I know that I don't have the right to issue an opinion. She can certainly be criticized by people who know fashion and makeup, hair and styling, and I think that this is where the distinction is for celebrity commentary. It's not a world I understand, so the people who do that, and don't do it for nastiness or whatever else can weigh in on seeing Zellweger in public and let you know what they think.

You can see, in this piece from The Daily Beast, a ready admission that imperfection is appreciated but rarely rewarded with actual acceptance in our culture. Yes, Zellweger put on weight to play a character. No, that didn't mean that there weren't media interests who were dignified about that fact.

I see a woman who has been absolutely done wrong by the culture and has modified herself surgically to the point where she doesn't look anything like how she used to look. Everything natural has been stripped away and what's left is very similar to what Nicole Kidman has and that is a taut face that doesn't move anymore. And that's the sad thing here--some invisible pull from the culture at large and some worthless standard of beauty has been applied to someone who, like all the rest of us, has aged and changed and should have moved on.

Something about the movie business has gone wrong for all the terrible reasons we're familiar with--there's no chance that Zellweger could work without doing something to modify her appearance and that's the reason behind the changes. I still don't think there should be a linkage to appearance and talent--if you don't put her in a movie solely because of how she looks, you're missing the best reason to have her there in the first place and that reason is obvious--she's capable of acting at a high level and holding a film together. She has a proven track record of success. She just doesn't look the same way anymore. But, who does? Grow up.

But, as I said, no man should ever criticize a woman for how she looks.

Nobody Gets to Have an Opinion


Who is entitled to criticize Renee Zellweger for how she looks? There's absolutely nothing wrong with her appearance. Everything else is just hatin' and that's that.

That sort of thing is well outside of the scope of what I normally write about and comment on so I know that I don't have the right to issue an opinion. She can certainly be criticized by people who know fashion and makeup, hair and styling, and I think that this is where the distinction is for celebrity commentary. It's not a world I understand, so the people who do that, and don't do it for nastiness or whatever else can weigh in on seeing Zellweger in public and let you know what they think.

You can see, in this piece from The Daily Beast, a ready admission that imperfection is appreciated but rarely rewarded with actual acceptance in our culture. Yes, Zellweger put on weight to play a character. No, that didn't mean that there weren't media interests who were dignified about that fact.

I see a woman who has been absolutely done wrong by the culture and has modified herself surgically to the point where she doesn't look anything like how she used to look. Everything natural has been stripped away and what's left is very similar to what Nicole Kidman has and that is a taut face that doesn't move anymore. And that's the sad thing here--some invisible pull from the culture at large and some worthless standard of beauty has been applied to someone who, like all the rest of us, has aged and changed and should have moved on.

Something about the movie business has gone wrong for all the terrible reasons we're familiar with--there's no chance that Zellweger could work without doing something to modify her appearance and that's the reason behind the changes. I still don't think there should be a linkage to appearance and talent--if you don't put her in a movie solely because of how she looks, you're missing the best reason to have her there in the first place and that reason is obvious--she's capable of acting at a high level and holding a film together. She has a proven track record of success. She just doesn't look the same way anymore. But, who does? Grow up.

But, as I said, no man should ever criticize a woman for how she looks.

Asamkirche Balcony




A shot looking up at the ceiling and balcony, Asamkirche, Munich.

I visited the place in the summer of 2011, and it was a spectacular example of the macabre and the gothic and the weird. Atlas Obscura has picked up on that and you can see some more photos here...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bored in Sweden




They must be feeling the need for attention or something along those lines in Sweden right now. How could they be shocked that the Putin-era Navy of the former Soviet Union is incapable of doing anything underwater without losing another submarine or failing to cover up their activities?

It's tough out there for a former superpower with no money and a fading and rusting naval force.

I'm reminded of what happened with the disaster aboard the Kursk, a submarine that sank in shallow waters (if you could have stood the Kursk on its nose, it would have extended up out of the water in which it sank). Russia was dealt a humiliating blow when this happened, forced to decline assistance from numerous NATO countries with the money and technology to do what Russia simply could not do, and that's why I suspect that what's happening near Sweden is a repeat of some sort of blunder, triggered by incompetence and outdated technology.

Bored in Sweden


They must be feeling the need for attention or something along those lines in Sweden right now. How could they be shocked that the Putin-era Navy of the former Soviet Union is incapable of doing anything underwater without losing another submarine or failing to cover up their activities?

It's tough out there for a former superpower with no money and a fading and rusting naval force.

I'm reminded of what happened with the disaster aboard the Kursk, a submarine that sank in shallow waters (if you could have stood the Kursk on its nose, it would have extended up out of the water in which it sank). Russia was dealt a humiliating blow when this happened, forced to decline assistance from numerous NATO countries with the money and technology to do what Russia simply could not do, and that's why I suspect that what's happening near Sweden is a repeat of some sort of blunder, triggered by incompetence and outdated technology.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ensign Coke Head




The war on drugs is absurd beyond comprehension. We are incarcerating people when we should be medically treating their addictions. And then we see something like this:

The Navy Reserve discharged Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter this year after he tested positive for cocaine, U.S. officials confirmed.


The discharge of Biden, a 44-year-old lawyer and managing partner at an investment firm, was first reported by the Wall Street Journalon Thursday. He confirmed the report in a statement to CNN.


"It was the honor of my life to serve in the U.S. Navy, and I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge. I respect the Navy's decision. With the love and support of my family, I'm moving forward," he said.

Just so we're clear, Vice President Biden helped create legislation in the 1990s that started to address drug addiction. The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 set aside money for things like this:


Drug Treatment
$383 million for prison drug treatment programs, including $270 million
in formula grants for states.

There were also "gang related" aspects to the legislation that fought drug trafficking. Was Hunter Biden a seller as well as a user? Was he using while on duty? How long did the family know of this? Did he use drugs while in proximity to the Vice President?





Joe Biden's embarrassment here is what it is. He's not quite the hypocrite that people are making him out to be. When your adult child does this to their own life, what are you going to do?





Clearly, Hunter Biden should be in prison getting treatment for his addiction to cocaine. That would serve as a wake-up call as to how inadequate things are and what we need to do to deal with people who have addictions. The difference between what a black male would get in terms of punishment for crack is not what a privileged white man would get after testing hot on a drug test while serving in the Navy Reserve. What punitive efforts were undertaken by the Navy are unclear right now. They kicked him out--what else did he do besides admit that, prior to military service, he had used drugs?





Treat everyone the same and let's see how fast we see "modern" legislation that addresses drug addiction in this country.

Ensign Coke Head


The war on drugs is absurd beyond comprehension. We are incarcerating people when we should be medically treating their addictions. And then we see something like this:
The Navy Reserve discharged Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter this year after he tested positive for cocaine, U.S. officials confirmed.
The discharge of Biden, a 44-year-old lawyer and managing partner at an investment firm, was first reported by the Wall Street Journalon Thursday. He confirmed the report in a statement to CNN.
"It was the honor of my life to serve in the U.S. Navy, and I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge. I respect the Navy's decision. With the love and support of my family, I'm moving forward," he said.
Just so we're clear, Vice President Biden helped create legislation in the 1990s that started to address drug addiction. The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 set aside money for things like this:
Drug Treatment $383 million for prison drug treatment programs, including $270 million in formula grants for states.
There were also "gang related" aspects to the legislation that fought drug trafficking. Was Hunter Biden a seller as well as a user? Was he using while on duty? How long did the family know of this? Did he use drugs while in proximity to the Vice President?

Joe Biden's embarrassment here is what it is. He's not quite the hypocrite that people are making him out to be. When your adult child does this to their own life, what are you going to do?

Clearly, Hunter Biden should be in prison getting treatment for his addiction to cocaine. That would serve as a wake-up call as to how inadequate things are and what we need to do to deal with people who have addictions. The difference between what a black male would get in terms of punishment for crack is not what a privileged white man would get after testing hot on a drug test while serving in the Navy Reserve. What punitive efforts were undertaken by the Navy are unclear right now. They kicked him out--what else did he do besides admit that, prior to military service, he had used drugs?

Treat everyone the same and let's see how fast we see "modern" legislation that addresses drug addiction in this country.

Everything Will Kill You




We are the most panicky people on the face of the Earth. What happened to being resilient or tough? What happened to not giving a shit? What happened to context and actually having useful information?

I don't know about you, but lightning is way worse than Ebola:





If we treated the flu like we have treated Ebola, we'd have lost our mud long ago:

The number of seasonal influenza-associated (i.e., seasonal flu-related) deaths varies from year to year because flu seasons are unpredictable and often fluctuate in length and severity. Therefore, a single estimate cannot be used to summarize influenza-associated deaths. Instead, a range of estimated deaths is a better way to represent the variability and unpredictability of flu. An August 27, 2010 MMWR report entitled “Thompson MG et al. Updated Estimates of Mortality Associated with Seasonal Influenza through the 2006-2007 Influenza Season. MMWR 2010; 59(33): 1057-1062.," provides updated estimates of the range of flu-associated deaths that occurred in the United States during the three decades prior to 2007. CDC estimates that from the 1976-1977 season to the 2006-2007 flu season, flu-associated deaths ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. Death certificate data and weekly influenza virus surveillance information was used to estimate how many flu-related deaths occurred among people whose underlying cause of death was listed as respiratory or circulatory disease on their death certificate.

And I'm not even going to go into car accidents, cancer, or being near someone with a gun. Good grief. We're the wimpiest of wimps nowadays.

Everything Will Kill You


We are the most panicky people on the face of the Earth. What happened to being resilient or tough? What happened to not giving a shit? What happened to context and actually having useful information?

I don't know about you, but lightning is way worse than Ebola:



If we treated the flu like we have treated Ebola, we'd have lost our mud long ago:
The number of seasonal influenza-associated (i.e., seasonal flu-related) deaths varies from year to year because flu seasons are unpredictable and often fluctuate in length and severity. Therefore, a single estimate cannot be used to summarize influenza-associated deaths. Instead, a range of estimated deaths is a better way to represent the variability and unpredictability of flu. An August 27, 2010 MMWR report entitled “Thompson MG et al. Updated Estimates of Mortality Associated with Seasonal Influenza through the 2006-2007 Influenza Season. MMWR 2010; 59(33): 1057-1062.," provides updated estimates of the range of flu-associated deaths that occurred in the United States during the three decades prior to 2007. CDC estimates that from the 1976-1977 season to the 2006-2007 flu season, flu-associated deaths ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. Death certificate data and weekly influenza virus surveillance information was used to estimate how many flu-related deaths occurred among people whose underlying cause of death was listed as respiratory or circulatory disease on their death certificate.
And I'm not even going to go into car accidents, cancer, or being near someone with a gun. Good grief. We're the wimpiest of wimps nowadays.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Here's Your Sign




After being told not to, Ralph Colavita's campaign put a campaign sign in my front yard. I have reported him to the Howard County government officials who are charged with destroying these things. Expect updates throughout the year...

As I have said many times, campaign signs do not matter. What an idiot.

Here's Your Sign


After being told not to, Ralph Colavita's campaign put a campaign sign in my front yard. I have reported him to the Howard County government officials who are charged with destroying these things. Expect updates throughout the year...

As I have said many times, campaign signs do not matter. What an idiot.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

America Wants Nothing to Do With These Boobs




And, just so we're clear--I'm not talking about the ladies.

What you see above was the incredibly sexist marketing photo designed to get people excited about half-baked opinions and crosstalk. It accomplished nothing. Jon Stewart was right then and he's even more correct now--no one is well served by having a show this monstrous on the air.

Crossfire was a tremendous failure and a reeking pile of disastrous programming decisions. CNN decided that America needed to see Newt Gingrich on the televisions every day or whenever it aired and that was just too much for the people.

How does Gingrich continue? Easy, by showing up somewhere and holding out his hand, there will always be a ready-made bunch of suckers willing to pay him for his Friedman-esque nonsense. Hell, there are alternative history buffs who lose their mud when he's within fifty feet of a lectern and a dollar bill.

What a tragic waste of human endeavor television news is these days.

America Wants Nothing to Do With These Boobs


And, just so we're clear--I'm not talking about the ladies.

What you see above was the incredibly sexist marketing photo designed to get people excited about half-baked opinions and crosstalk. It accomplished nothing. Jon Stewart was right then and he's even more correct now--no one is well served by having a show this monstrous on the air.

Crossfire was a tremendous failure and a reeking pile of disastrous programming decisions. CNN decided that America needed to see Newt Gingrich on the televisions every day or whenever it aired and that was just too much for the people.

How does Gingrich continue? Easy, by showing up somewhere and holding out his hand, there will always be a ready-made bunch of suckers willing to pay him for his Friedman-esque nonsense. Hell, there are alternative history buffs who lose their mud when he's within fifty feet of a lectern and a dollar bill.

What a tragic waste of human endeavor television news is these days.

Gas Prices Plummet




I can still remember Election Day, 2008.

In our little corner of Maryland, I went to the polling place and voted. Some jackass was driving around in the parking lot, obstructing people from voting, and he was campaigning from his car window in violation of the law. On his bumper were two stickers:

Get Ready for $5.00 gal/gas If Obama Wins

Still waiting, asshole. Still waiting.

One of the traditional measures of how a President was doing was centered around the price of a gallon of gas. Nothing affects working people more than what they pay at the pump. You can't just "cut down" on the amount of gas you buy because people use it to get to where they have to be. As in, work, school, and to the store. Nobody buys gas they don't need. And so the impact on our economy is felt when the cost of gas is high because you HAVE to buy gas--you cut back on extras after you buy the gas you have to have. That's what drives down our consumer consumption.

This President can't even campaign for other Democrats because things are so toxic, and there is no shortage of those who believe he has been a tyrant/apologist/sellout/failure. None of those people remember the days when President Bush was clueless about why our endless wars in the Middle East were causing massive disruptions in the oil supply. The same people who apologized for Bush are deranged about Obama, and vice versa.

The best case for voting for Democrats? Cheap gas, baby. Enjoy it while you can.

Gas Prices Plummet


I can still remember Election Day, 2008.

In our little corner of Maryland, I went to the polling place and voted. Some jackass was driving around in the parking lot, obstructing people from voting, and he was campaigning from his car window in violation of the law. On his bumper were two stickers:

Get Ready for $5.00 gal/gas If Obama Wins

Still waiting, asshole. Still waiting.

One of the traditional measures of how a President was doing was centered around the price of a gallon of gas. Nothing affects working people more than what they pay at the pump. You can't just "cut down" on the amount of gas you buy because people use it to get to where they have to be. As in, work, school, and to the store. Nobody buys gas they don't need. And so the impact on our economy is felt when the cost of gas is high because you HAVE to buy gas--you cut back on extras after you buy the gas you have to have. That's what drives down our consumer consumption.

This President can't even campaign for other Democrats because things are so toxic, and there is no shortage of those who believe he has been a tyrant/apologist/sellout/failure. None of those people remember the days when President Bush was clueless about why our endless wars in the Middle East were causing massive disruptions in the oil supply. The same people who apologized for Bush are deranged about Obama, and vice versa.

The best case for voting for Democrats? Cheap gas, baby. Enjoy it while you can.