Monday, August 31, 2009
The Hulk should be kicking Mickey's ass.
LOS ANGELES — In a deal that redraws Hollywood’s architecture, the Walt Disney Company said on Monday that it would acquire Spider-Man and his Marvel Entertainment cohort for $4 billion.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Homeless Man Fined For Camping In Wyoming ForestJACKSON, Wyo. (AP) ― A self-described homeless man has been fined $50 in U.S. District Court for overstaying the number of days allowed while camping in the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
Raymond James was fined Thursday by Judge James Lubing.
"I feel my right to access the forest has been denied," James said at the trial, the Jackson Hole News And Guide reported. "It seems we've solved the problem of homelessness by making homelessness illegal."
Camping is limited to between two and five days at dispersed campsites around Jackson, a tourist area, following a 1995 special order intended to prevent people from living illegally in the forest.
Residents at the time complained that the forest wasn't safe because of the illegal campers, and tests found that fecal coliform counts in a creek emanating from the illegal camping areas exceeded water quality standards.
"It was not uncommon to observe 20 to 30 vehicles that were pretty clearly residents commuting into Jackson every day," Daniel Bauer, a former Bridger-Teton law enforcement officer, testified.
He said an estimated 200 people were living on the forest illegally at the time.
James argued that forest officials neglected to properly issue him a special-use permit for "botanical studies" for July that would have allowed him to stay past the camping limit.
But Dale Deiter of the Jackson Ranger District denied James' request for the permit because James didn't say why he needed to camp in the forest to conduct the studies.
James represented himself at the trial, wearing shorts, an empty leather knife sheath, and a Rage Against the Machine T-shirt with a picture of Argentine-born revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara.
James received two tickets, but Lubing threw out an Aug. 17 citation after James argued officers relied on hearsay to establish he camped on the site for three days starting Aug. 15.
(© 2009 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
Friday, August 28, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
We, the Friends of the SH Knight Geological Museum, have made a major impact on the visibility surrounding the closure and "reopen" of the Geological Museum on the University of Wyoming campus. We have navigated public opinion, administrative decisions, and big academic egos, in my view, with the smoothness of a baby's bottom, with aplomb.
So, I have issued very civil requests to both President Tom Buchanan, who received a raise in the same amount as the entire annual salary of the museum's Curator/Director, who was fired with the closing of the museum, and his mouthpiece Jessica Lowell (since he didn't respond to me). The requests were to answer two or three questions the public continually brings to us, so that we can give the people the facts.
Guess what, peeps: You got it! Neither one of them has replied! Yet, if I were a newspaper or radio reporter who would listen to their spin and accept it as the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth and then publish or air that story... You got it! "Sure, we'll talk to you!"
The Friends of the SH Knight Geological Museum has throughout the past several weeks been scapegoated as not being "friendly" to university administration and personnel. We have been portrayed as agitators. Well, you know what? When you agitate me, I AM GOING TO AGITATE!
While I continue to hold my tongue in my formal guise as a founder of the Friends, I am so thankful to have this outlet. People, we are screwed. How long are we going to let these people call the shots? I vote "NOT ANY MORE!"
Monday, August 24, 2009
The Economic Warrior
Volume 1 Number 3
Taxation without Hesitation is Vapidity
You just can’t fix Stupid
There are causes and effects in any economy. An economy is a living thing. If according to Karl Deutsch "Politics is the authoritative allocation of value for all of society.", then what is "Economics"? Roughly, it’s the study of commerce, and financial interactions between members of a society. That’s just my working definition, and I don’t have anyone else to blame for it. I’m not going to go into the etymology of the Ancient Greek "Ekonometrika" unless you are buying drinks and paying for dinner. Yes, I know this word looks funny. It’s from a dead language that’s pretty foreign to English, and it’s been a dead language since before "The Power of Rome and the Christian Heart" reared their ugly heads. Don’t let it break your heart there sweetbreeze. They have also used an alphabet that has looked funny with funny characters for several thousand years. I don’t even have those characters on my unadulterated computer keyboard…don’t bother looking… you probably don’t either. I tend to spell words from dead languages with different alphabets as I pronounce them for better or for worse. Sue me later?
Economics, or the financial interactions of a society, are generally seen either a large view (macroeconomics) or in a small view (microeconomics). Although much easier to spot in a microeconomy, a person who is aware "of things" can see trends and causes & effects in their daily life experiences. It’s a learned skill. Depending upon the economic conditions of the times and a number of other factors, one may note these shifts more or less easily. It is more difficult to just noting these same trends from a macroeconomic, or larger level. That’s where those Dixon Ticonderoga #2 Pencils come into play. Don’t worry I’ll keep the math homework purty simple. The subtle, and not so subtle, trend changes may be traced using advanced economic tools, if you can get accurate data. Don’t rely on the government lie. I’ll do a whole article on "How and why the Government lies" at some point. It’s better to derive your own data. It’s time consuming, but it will give you the better accuracy. Here’s a fun exercise that my good friend …let’s call him Edgar… got me started thinking of for a quickie data gathering game. When you go somewhere, generally driving on a known route, count two (or more) things. Edgar is another one who adds his grocery list prices in his head at the check-out kiosk. We often shop together. Woe unto TacoHell, the Pythagoreans want bean paste. The two or more things that you choose to count doesn’t matter a lot at first, just count them every trip. I’ll start two new counting lists of my readers choosing, and then use them as analysis examples. I am currently tracking things like Foreclosure Signs, For Sale Signs, Trashed Old Cars, New Cars, and Average Cars on the road. I haven’t recently tracked things like dead skunks in the middle of the road and significant other historic events.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I maintain several lists with multiple e-mail addresses on it for communication purposes, both personal and professional. I have used Gmail for several years because it has been easy to use and convenient. I am extremely angry to have just sent the Sunday morning announcements I release on a weekly basis TO A LENGTHY LIST OF PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD WHO DEPEND ON RECEIVING THEM, and to have subsequently tried to send an e-mail with a press release to another small group of people and find that I WAS UNABLE TO DO SO because of this absolutely ridiculous control policy. The "type in this word as you see it" feature is designed to limit spam. Spam folders are designed to reroute spam. People should expect some amount of unwanted e-mail to enter their boxes. There is a limit to the control you should exercise over those who use your services. You have exceeded that limit by limiting me from using your services. I will post this on my blog and will return to Yahoo or some other means of sending e-mails if this new control is not eliminated from Google.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Yesterday I got an e-mail from my sister asking me to send someone I don't know, a birthday card from Wyoming. He is in Afghanistan and will be there for his birthday, and his best friend wants to surprise him with cards from someone in every state of the disunion. I thought that was a pretty cool idea, and just plain nice, so I'm sending one of my sweet sweet cupcake cards, made even sweeter by their being half-price at the bookstore, and I checked out the site my sister sent me to as well.
It's called "Woof! A Boston Terrier Board." My sister's Boston terrier Bella has been featured here on this blog. Tara says the people on the board are a great group. What the hey? Even if you don't have or want a Boston terrier, it's worth checking out: http://www.woofboard.com/
Monday, August 17, 2009
OK, everyone, here is how this works: The people running the show in DC and in your state and even in your town have MONEY. They get money from other people who have money so that they can hold office and do those people's bidding. They don't particularly care about the majority of their constituency. They mostly care about getting their agenda met, and they will pretend they have your interest in mind so that you will vote for them and continue to vote for them, and they will throw you a bone when they find you getting disgruntled- a BONE, not a steak.
And those of you working class people who maybe have jobs right now, maybe not, and who are somewhat or even a lot conservative, for whatever reasons (I myself am pretty conservative, financially, materially, and environmentally. It's fine! It's good!), who believe that the Republican party is your party because that party totes the "conservative" label... Well, guess what? They are not your party.
Example: You may be invited to attend the Albany County Republican Party Rendezvous if you live here in Albany County, WY, and are a registered Republican. But can you ATTEND? Do you have $100 for the event? I don't. Now, this is the meeting at which the Republicans of this county decide their agenda. Are you part of this process? My guess is, not so much!
Now, let's move to the big health care discussion going on right now in this country, and let's talk both major parties. Ready? You know those "angry" people showing up at town hall meetings on health care to yell and scream because they think they might lose their insurance or be forced into a system that provides insurance they can't choose themselves? Well, those people, while in the majority- ie. having insurance- are not speaking for the 15+% of us who don't have it and can't afford it and currently do not have any options at all for it. Are they speaking for you?
But let's not let the Democrats off the hook, and particularly Mr. Obama, about whom the FFM was fuming this morning- and he's right. You can talk about men like Lincoln and FDR who stood against the forces of disagreement to get a job done, but that is not the same as walking their path and actively standing against those forces and getting something done.
There will not be any reform if Obama and the Dems allow the free market private company rhetoric to call the shots for them. Let's be honest here: Because the Republicans get together at their fancy meetings and make decisions together, they have a very loud front. (I looked up the Albany County Democratic Party website to find out how much this year's dinner meeting would cost, and they don't even have an event listed on the calendar beyond last November's election.) Pandering to big money and corporate over individual interests is just not going to cut it anymore. Or is it? I thought we voted against that last November; maybe not.
People, what did you vote for? Status quo? If so, you have no right to complain. If not, then SPEAK UP!
Friday, August 14, 2009
I know it's a tall order. The one reminder with which I was left as I walked out of my counselor's office yesterday morning was that just because I am a pretty cool person who tries to understand and get along with other people doesn't mean I can expect everyone else to be that way because dang they just are not necessarily and I will only be disappointed. (Which I am on a regular basis.)
By the way, the FFM counsels me such, but he charges $95 an hour and whines that the check's always in the mail, whereas when I go to a regular counselor, I only pay a buck a session because I'm broke and marginally employed. So, it's way cheaper- though I am finding with time that the FFM offers up such fine advice basically for free.
Anyway, check out this picture and imagine it's a gun-toting capitalist and a welfare-state commie drinking at the bowl of harmony or something. And they both can afford to go see a doc for their diarrhea when they learn the milk is spoiled. Or at least buy a bottle of Immodium AD or take a day off from work to sit on the toilet.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I just said that because it's mostly what I have had on my mind today, aside from aliens and dirt, and I figured I'd share before offering up the end of Edison's last piece on big boxes and retail. I don't recall exactly where I left him off, weeks ago now, but we have chatted, and he's on another tear, and I told him I'll put the rest on here, having thought I already did, but he is correctamundo: you never got your homework assignment. Here it is:
I’ll discuss the concept of Economic Indexing in more detail at some point, but there is something that you can do for me or for “us” to make this all the more meaningful. When you go to a convenience store keep notes on what you buy, and the prices you pay. We will want to know the name of the product, the size (quantity), the price, the date, and a rough location of purchase. This Economic Warrior Research will take a couple months. In the meantime, I’ll be giving you some theory that will help you to understand why we are doing this. Feel free to include or exclude items that may have shock factors involved like condoms an Kotex? If you have questions or comments, you send them through MissDangerPants.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
You might need to be registered at the site to get it. If so, here are some numbers to chew on:
- There’s about $598 billion of federal education loans outstanding and about $132 billion of private student loans outstanding, a total of about $730 billion.
- Only borrowers in active repayment and who are current on their loans would derive a cash flow benefit from loan forgiveness. While borrowers who are in a deferment or forbearance, delinquent or in default might derive a financial benefit from having their debt canceled, such forgiveness would not translate into increased consumer spending.
- About half of all private student loans are in repayment, and of those, about one-fifth are either delinquent or in a forbearance. So only about 40% of outstanding private student loans are in active repayment and current.
- Nearly 60% of federal education loans are in repayment, and of those, about a third are either delinquent or in a deferment or forbearance. So only about 40% of outstanding federal education loans are in active repayment and current.
- 40% of $730 billion is $292 billion.
- Most borrowers of federal education loans consolidate their loans to obtain an extended repayment, typically with a term of 20 years. Most private student loans also have a repayment term of 20 years. Assume an average interest rate of 7.0% on federal education loans and 11% on private student loans. Then the current annual payments on the education debt that is in active repayment total about $28.8 billion, 9.9% of the debt in active repayment and 3.9% of the $730 billion in outstanding debt.
That's my question. I already know the answer. NO.
Monday, August 10, 2009
So, I am sitting here enjoying my morning coffee, the type of which I sorely missed while away this weekend, and I heard on NPR a story about how more people are "urban gardening" and how that's great- until you try to grow a garden in your front yard.
You have to avoid where there may be digging or shoveling going on, and you have to avoid where utilities go, and all this makes sense to me. But then, these people decided to avoid those things and grow their garden in their front yard, and imagine, the town council people came down hard on them for growing a garden on a parkway?
I don't get it. Remember those victory gardens, peeps? (Well, neither do I because I also am not that old, but I have heard and read of them.) Here we are in Hard Times, and people need to eat -not have to eat, like the edict from the council that you have to avoid dadidastuff. But need to eat, as in if you don't you will eventually die.
Now, granted, we are not all going to die if we don't grow our own food, but isn't it pretty cool to think that people finally want to get off their asses in greater numbers and grow a garden so they can be a little more self-sufficient, as opposed to relying on trucks, microwaves, and so on? I think so. But apparently my libertarian leanings in that direction are not in keeping with the local governors of at least one burg in this great land.
Jeebus Cripes. What really is the world coming to? It scares the crap out of me sometimes- but more often, as the FFM will corroborate, just makes me mad.
Speaking of the FFM and gardens, here is a poem he sent last week that I like:
that gathers under my fingernails
when I am in the garden.
The quiet bacteria and fungi,
all the little insects and bugs
are my compatriots. They are
idealistic, always working together
for the common good.
I kneel on the earth
and pledge my allegiance
to all the dirt of the world,
to all of that soil which grows
flowers and food
for the just and unjust alike.
The soil does not care
what we think about or who we love.
It knows our true substance,
of what we are really made.
I stand my ground on this ground,
this ground which will
recruit us all
to its side.
"Patriotism" by Ellie Schoenfeld, from The Dark Honey. © Clover Valley Press, 2009.