Monday, September 28, 2009

Who's going to get the blame for these, do you suppose?

Witness: Census worker's hanging body naked, bound

BIG CREEK, Ky. – One of the witnesses who found a part-time census worker's body hanging in a Kentucky cemetery says the man was naked and his hands and feet were bound with duct tape.

Jerry Weaver of Fairfield, Ohio, told The Associated Press on Friday that he was among a group of relatives who discovered the body of Bill Sparkman on Sept. 12.

Sparkman was a substitute teacher who worked part-time for the census. Law enforcement officials have released very few details on his death, only saying he died from asphyxiation.

Weaver says the man also was gagged and had duct tape over his eyes and neck. He says something that looked like an identification tag was taped to the side of his neck.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Chicago Teen Beaten To Death Outside School

Sep 27, 2009 3:00 pm US/Central
Video shot by a witness Thursday shows the beating of a 16-year-old Chicago student who died from his injuries, and a family member says the youths who are responsible are likely to be arrested soon, CBS station WBBM-TV reports.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Quit bitching, please.

You know, peeps, this morning I got an e-mail bitch from someone who had read an ad I had placed on a list, thinking, as had the person who passed it on to me, that it was legit, and then had forwarded the ad. She found that the ad was in fact a hoax (of which I am still not certain, because someone else e-mailed me about the ad saying not that it was a hoax, but that the problem being advertised had been solved quite a while ago.)

Regardless, the person who bitched at me, did so because she had been humiliated to have forwarded this ad to her coworkers and then learned it was bad information. First of all, if my coworkers ever harass me to the point of humiliation for making a fairly minor mistake- in the larger scheme of things- then I will probably quit my job because it will be clear that those coworkers are not folks with whom I cannot have a collegial relationship.

But, I apologized to this offended writer and offered to apologize myself to her coworkers for her passing on bad information. Really!

Then, I was just sitting here at the dining table in the Lodge of the Log Cabin Motel in Pinedale, Wyoming, where we are staying for the weekend and which I recommend highly, and a woman came to the front desk. The office is separated from the main lodge by a door, which is open because it is an absolutely gorgeous, clear, slightly breezy, balmy autumn evening. The woman came in with a thundering and only slightly veiled aggressive, "HELLO?" No one answered. The manager has been outside watering the mixed flowers hanging in pots from cabin rafters- nice.

Finally, I get up and go to the door and say, "She should be right around here. She has been out watering the flowers." Well, the woman disappeared out the door and came back soon enough, bellowing, "Have you seen her back here yet? How can a person get any help?!"

"I haven't seen her yet, no, but I know she is on the grounds."

"I just walked all around the grounds and didn't find her! I guess my cabin is the only one that doesn't need watering!"

I said, "I don't work here, so I can't help you. But I can give you a piece of paper if you want to leave her a note on the desk there." (I am trying to do homework. Now I have been distracted. But I don't mind offering some little token of assistance to someone who is obviously all worked up about something. Really!)

"He's already going out to get one. That won't help!"

You know what? Screw you. I have thought this a couple times today. And I felt sympathy for the young woman going about her business working here, for not having been in the office at the exact moment this woman wanted- something. Excuse me: needed help.

Honestly, peeps, there are some ways you can really piss off a pretty good-natured and accommodating person, and the first is to act like you are better or more deserving than that person, and even more so, by expecting that person, who is accommodating you, to go above and beyond the normal call of duty simply because you know you can rely on her to take care of you. Those people need some care, too, and all the more, for the shite they take on from insensitive, self-centered folks with exorbitant "needs."

Yes, I am bitching.

OK, now I am hearing the owner saying the people cannot stay here. The woman is going berzerk, and they have to leave. Good. Boot her ass out.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dear Mr. Netanyahu,

I heard you just a few minutes ago on the BBC saying that you are concerned about Iran's wish to "eliminate Israel and overthrow world order."

First, though I don't disagree that Amadinijhad is a flake and a liar to deny the holocaust, I am not sure where you've had your head lately, but Israel's existence does not equate with there being "world order," nor its demise, were that the case, with some sort of chaos. It just means other people would be able to live where they used to live.

Second, "world order" is a misnomer in the first place, as it refers to absolutely nothing that exists in this particular world.

Whoa, does this dude's expression (dick cheney) look like any one else's expression you've seen lately?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

God Bless America

Or Yahweh or Allah or whoever. We are in the fortunate position, once again... as reported on NPR, "the ball is in America's court-" not Israel's, not Palestine's- to try to get those politicians over there to behave like adults and stop fighting. Peace in the Middle East.

Good luck, America. It's all on your shoulders. No one else should be held accountable for the years and years and years and years and years and years these people have been duking it out with each other.

Hooray. We can do it this time- right?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Latest MEGA VOTE

While I find politics infinitely fascinating, as you know, I'm most perplexed that the people we send to Washington, and pay a lot of money, even though they don't need it, waste their time on:
1) Acting like spoiled adolescents and
2) Acting like morally superior older siblings.

Jerbus Cripes, people, I'll say it again: This country is a mess. It's absolutely no wonder the FFM has to constantly bemoan the attitudes of grown up kids any more.

House vote on Rep. Joe Wilson

On Agreeing to the Resolution
House Roll Call No. 699
111th Congress, 1st Session

Passed: 240-179
(see complete tally)

The House voted 240 to 179, with 5 voting present, to formally disapprove of the conduct of Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., who shouted during a speech to Congress by President Barack Obama.

Vote Map: House Roll Call No. 699
Votes For : 240
Votes Against : 179
Voted "Present" : 5
Not Voting : 10

By the way, I am with my girl Cynthia on this one- though for very different reasons, I'm sure.

Rep. Cynthia Lummis voted NO

Monday, September 21, 2009

U2 - MLK (Rattle and Hum)

Thanks for the reminder, Marta.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

All You Unemployed People

take heart; you are not alone. Sheesh.

Yeah, I know. It's tough times all around. Well, not all around.
Yesterday I was in the field for my Soil Gen and Morph class, and we
drove through Big Hollow, and the prof told us that every single one
of the 40 acre parcels in the Wild Horse Development reportedly has a
down payment on it now, all sold via the interstate and internet,
basically. Second homes. While some people don't even have jobs. I
mean, many people don't. I admit, though I felt like a redneck to
think it, as we turned to go onto Big Hollow Road, I took some obscene
pleasure in noticing that the road sign had been all shot to shite by
somebody out shootin'.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Speaking of Sleep

If you don't, much, this will make you laugh until your gutsack hurts. (It did me, anyway.)

Friday, September 11, 2009

I can't stand it, people!

They're so close. Tell me it's possible...

Rockies win seventh in a row

Sweep caps 9-1 homestand, draws Dodgers closer

By Thomas Harding /

DENVER -- The most successful 10-game homestand in Rockies history finished with third baseman Garrett Atkins finally having a chance to feel at home.

Atkins' two-run homer in the third inning Thursday afternoon was his first at Coors Field in nearly five months. It was part of a five-run inning that helped the National League Wild Card-leading Rockies to their seventh consecutive victory, 5-1 over the Reds.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

No Child Left Behind?

To Paul:
If you like, you can participate in the rally against the Cheney Center when Dick comes to dedicate it this fine day. Bleaaaahhhh! Here is something: Because he is coming to do this, everyone must vacate the Center, which means that the English Language School where I used to work, which is now located there, must leave the building and not hold their regular school program. Well, this seems quite in keeping with the Republican call to not have their children listen to Our President speak to them about staying in school and working hard. What has become of America's values?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Poverty- It's the Law

Everyone, I have been lax, and I apologize. It's just been one of those weeks... On Thursday, UWYo President Tom Buchanan announced a generous gift from the Mears family which will be used to get the ball rolling in the "reinvention" of the geological museum on campus.

In all honesty, I have spent more time devising ways of trying to help people understand that this man, who is a servant of the public at a land grant institution and who is, fundamentally, a liar (his words on air Thursday elevated him from the realm of spin doctor to LIAR), ought to be fired outright for biting the hand that feeds him, and then struggling to convince myself if the public doesn't want to stand up for themselves, I need to let that one go because it's not my job and it's stressing the hell out of me... than I have spent on pretty much anything else.

Yesterday the FFM and I escaped to Fort Collins where we shopped and ate sushi, and I feel better today. And I remembered it was days ago that I said Edison is back to guest on a favorite subject of mine: Poverty.

In this case, Rathbane further enlightens us from a socioeconomic perspective. I will print that below, while I continue to chew on the social poverty that pervades our daily lives, here in America. Here ya go, and it looks like he'll be back soon with "The Makings of Monsters and Criminals." (Perhaps he will have an answer to the plague Tom Buchanan has brought upon my soul.)

Poverty, on the whole, isn’t created by low income. It’s created by lack of work. At say Fifteen Samoleans an hour times 50 hours a week, one is well past the power curve of One Hundred and Fifty George Washingtons an hour at null hours. Financial hardship drives everyone crazy, and carries with it other vices that tend to multiply the effect of poverty and drives the crime rate through the roof. I had a recent discussion with a friend of over 25 years who is a very successful criminal attorney. When the economy started heading south, he started smilin’ & stylin’. He’s putting together some statistics for me, but on the whole crime is up. If you don’t believe me, go to your local cop shop or District court and compare the numerosity of criminal cases. Small crimes are becoming more popular, and these will be followed by an onset of the larger crimes including murder and mayhem.

1. Law The offense of willfully maiming or crippling a person.

2. Infliction of violent injury on a person or thing; wanton destruction: children committing mayhem in the flower beds.

3. A state of violent disorder or riotous confusion; havoc.

Yes… it’s a real crime. There’s a great case that was defended by good old Honest Abe, in which an altercation resorting to fisticuffs ended with one mutual combatant biting the nose off of the loyally opposing and, slightly less, cheeky fellow. It’s still taught in "Evidence" classes when they cover cross- examination techniques.

In bad economies, people cut corners when things get tight, and a lot of this cutting begins to becomes criminal behavior. Repay the little people that you owe first. Hire little people rather than large companies when you can. Look where they spend their money, and see where your dollars support your community. Not only will you enhance the economics of your community, but you will also save money. I’m not advocating stupidity here. Don’t hire people that you don’t want around your kids, or in your home. Don’t hire incompetence, the uninsured, lawbreakers, or the grossly unreliable. Large companies, and corporations tend to have a need for additional profits. They are often heavily financed, and are also expected to generate additional profits for their shareholders. Granted, they create opportunity for profit investing, but they only benefit the banks and shareholders. They don’t benefit you. I have a former, ex, and "never again" client who once made a fortune by running crews of workers without withholding, FICA payments, worker’s compensation insurance, or unemployment benefits. He was able to quote projects for less than 75% of legitimate companies. He has also been prosecuted.

Becoming a criminal is sort of like the velveteen rabbit, it doesn’t happen overnight. Yes, I realize that there is a criminal culture, in which children learn to be criminals as part of the family business. I have seen it, and have defended it. These are the dyed-in-the-wool drug families, rip-off clans, and so on. Nevertheless, most become criminals out of perceived necessity. The perception is that the need of the self and family can’t be met in any other ways. Yes, we have charity. Yes, we have food stamp programs. Yes we have programs for women with infant children. Yes, we have food pantries. Yes, we have welfare of many kinds. None of these alone or in consort meet all perceived needs. In bad economies people tend to pick-up vices in rates grossly exceeding the norm. Alcohol consumption and illegal drug use increases. Cigarette consumption increases. It is for this reason that during recessions and depressions there is generally more competition in the basic vice areas. Smart governments also don’t increase taxes on the minor vices. They leave folks alone, and let them hide in their vices as long as the people behave. I am at this point, just prior to the Laborday weekend of 2009 willing to say that the depression will be announced sometime just after Columbus Day. I doubt that even Obama would be daring, or stupid, enough to announce that we are already there. They will wait and possibly delay third quarter reporting until the last moment. All of the Czarships, and bail-out plans will have been in vain. So, what did the governments do? They increased taxes on minor vices. What is happening? Stores are cutting inventories, and hoping to have enough supply to meet sales. This change is visual, as is the general inventory reduction in many stores except the big boxers. The other thing is that we find that the theft of alcohol and especially cigarettes is jumping. This is increasing supplier and retailer costs. As cold weather approaches, you will actually see people pocketing beer (most commonly) in convenience stores. I have already seen this on client tapes. Cigarette deliveries are being hijacked. The deal is simple. A two-wheeled handcart at today’s prices will hold about $7,500 of retail cigarettes. The truck backs up to a store, and runs a load into the store. One guy distracts the delivery person in the store. Another loads a vehicle with cases of cigarettes. Cases hold 30 cartons. The whole operation can take less than two minutes. Mow the delivery person has to lock the truck before leaving it, or the wholesale distributor needs to hire a second delivery person. It pushes prices higher, and raises the probability of criminal activity. The solution isn’t adding more police to arrest criminals, it to remove the probability of crime.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

So far, so good.

Above photo: SOURCE GAS Customer IDontCare Representatives

SOURCE GAS is a pain in the ass! Is your time not as important as theirs? The plummer makes a 3:30 appointment and shows at 3:30; the cable company, Bresnan in this case, makes an appointment from 3-5, and since that is a long time to wait when maybe you have other things to do, the tech will call a few minutes in advance of arrival so you can race home if necessary. And, if we miss each other, will come back!

SOURCE GAS, on the other hand, expects you to wait for 4 hours- hey, big boy, you wait fohl houl- and if their scheduler mistakenly sends the tech out at a time when you said you would not be home and were assured you would be scheduled otherwise, and then doesn't reschedule you for two more days though you have been waiting to take a shower, cook a meal and wash dishes, and have some heat on a chilly night for nearly a week (we Americans are so spoiled rotten). So, you tell them that your time is also valuable and you are going to charge them for every hour you wait, beginning with the 8 you waited on the originally scheduled day for someone to return and hook you up, there is an uncomfortable silence on the phone followed by, "You can't do that."

Guess what people? You tell me I can't do something, and I am liable to throw that right back in your face. SOURCE GAS, expect a bill, and collection action if you don't pay. I am saving my money for the local little guy.

And with that, here's Edison:

The Little Squeaky Wheel gets the Grease First

How much lead ya got in yer pencil Spanky? How much grease ya got in yer gun? Wouldn’t those make great lines for a bluegrass song? I have actually been screwing around with words to this song, and may record it an put it on youtube if I can line up the usual suspects to record it with me. I am hoping to have a five string banjo player over this week for a "Porch Session" or "Kitchen Junket". Darest I invite an accordion player? I am a very strong advocate of the "Trickle-Up" theory of macroeconomics. Yes, I realize that you haven’t heard that phrase before. It’s because it’s one of my microeconomic theories that actually will work if applied to macroeconomics. I do have notebooks of calculations written in pencil for this kind of stuff that resembles Albert Einstein on Acid…hey we share birthdays… so why not? It’s probably not interesting to most so I will leave out the math with the Greek letters in it. It’s fairly simple in concept. If you want to think globally and act locally, pay the little guy first. Sever the financed albatrosses if you must. Let the bank take back your four wheelers, boats, and snowmobiles. Who can afford to run them with gas prices as they are? Go on modest vacations and get-a-ways, and let the overpriced hotels stew in their own juices. Let the real estate market continue to plummet until it hits the bottom…then buy. Be creative, and push your income as far as you can go with it… legally. This will take a bite out of crime, as I’ll get into in a bit.

Tomorrow, we continue with a favorite subject of mine: POVERTY.