Sunday, August 29, 2010
Also, while I don't fancy myself a myopic jingoistic type patriot, I love this country and am blessed to live here and not somewhere more restrictive (so those of you who fancy yourselves patriots yet would like to make it more restrictive, you're not real patriots and maybe shouldn't even be Americans), I got home and found this from my Dad, via Aunt Jane. One this, I agree:
At a time when our president and other politicians tend to apologize
for our country's prior actions, here's a refresher on how some of our
former patriots handled negative comments about our country.
Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60's when
De Gaulle decided to pull out of NATO. De Gaulle said he wanted all US
military out of France as soon as possible.
"Does that include those who are buried here?"
did not respond.
could have heard a pin drop..
When in England
at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the
Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of
'empire building' by George Bush.
He answered by saying,
"Over the years, the United States has sent many of
its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom
beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for
in return is enough to bury those that did not
could have heard a pin drop..
There was a conference in France
where a number of international engineers
were taking part, including French and American. During a break,
one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, "Have you
heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft
carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he
intend to do, bomb them?"
A Boeing engineer
stood up and replied quietly: "Our carriers have three
hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are
nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to
shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to
feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand
gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a
dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and
from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships;
how many does France have?"
could have heard a pin drop..
A U.S. Navy Admiral
was attending a naval conference that included
Admirals from the U.S. , English, Canadian, Australian and French
Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a
group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries.
Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a
French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many
languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, "Why is it that
we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than
the American Admiral replied, "Maybe it's because the
Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't
have to speak German."
could have heard a pin drop..
THIS STORY FITS RIGHT IN WITH THE ABOVE...
an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane.
At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport
in his carry on.
have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked
admitted that he had been to France
you should know enough to have your passport ready."
The American said,
"The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."
Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France !"
The American senior
gave the Frenchman a long hard look.. Then he
quietly explained, ''Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day
1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchmen
to show a passport to."
could have heard a pin drop..
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
But you know what? Politically correct or incorrect, what you are up to these days is just mean-spirited and not very bright. You don't know what it's like to be a regular American.
Why don't you wrap your entire body in duct tape? When I get there, we can have a reasoned talk, at which point I will decide whether or not to take it off.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
He was escorted out. The situation caused quite a stir, as might be expected, and as I am sure he hoped. Embarrassment, hushed exclamations, shifting in seats. I thought, "Hell, let this guy stay. Sit him down, feed him lunch and ask him some questions. Get him to talk instead of yell. Have a conversation. You know, maybe not all his buddies would get a decent meal, but he showed the nerve to come out; give him some respect for that." Nah. How could that happen? Get him out and get back to "normal" as quickly as possible.
Seriously, though. I wasn't at that point, hadn't been before, and likely never will be, in a position to sit in a fancy room like that and have a fancy lunch on a regular basis. This was a kind of special occasion, but I surely would not have been disappointed if my place of employment had paid less money to send us to a less chi chi oua joint for our conference and we had dined on PBJs, or preferably baloney sandwiches, and those little bags of chips- as long as they were Lay's and not Doritos. Whatever. The ostentatious nature of the conference did feel to me a little out of whack, considering our cause.
I just thought of that when I read this article that just came in via the NYT, about how Wall Street... stocks are down, people worried about the huger drop in housing purchases last month, lowered Asian markets and so on. And then that a "gathering of Federal Reserve officials at the end of the week was also generating some apprehension, especially after the central bank’s decision to buy government debt. “There is almost a fear of what they are going to try,” Mr. Colas said.
"The Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, will address the annual symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyo., on Friday."
Come on, people: Jackson Hole! Every year the Kansas City Fed-sponsored event takes place here, no longer in Kansas City or even Denver. And this year the guys are going to be rafting, hanging out with a horse whisperer and other fun stuff in between their debates about economic research and crisis. At least they pay their own fees. But hellz, really, how many of these attendees know anything about what it's like to be a regular person who works for a living and maybe has to worry about losing his or her job or being able to pay rent or go to the doctor, say nothing about buying stocks? In 2007, 1% of the American population owned essentially half (49.7%) of the total investment assets in this country. (http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html)
Jackson Hole... Better them than me.
Wall Street Hit Again, This Time by Housing Data
Published: August 24, 2010
The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index ended lower Tuesday for a fourth consecutive day, unable to rebound from a disappointing report on existing-home sales.
The Nasdaq closed lower for a second day, missing a four-day losing streak by rising less than a point on Friday.
“There is basically a bubble of negativity right now,” William Smith, the president of Smith Asset Management, said. “The market has got a very short memory. It is day to day. Today it is terrible housing numbers, which were anticipated.”The National Association of Realtors said in its latest report that existing home sales in July were at their lowest level in more than a decade. The purchases of existing homes declined 27.2 percent last month to a 3.83 million annual rate. Analysts had expected a 13.4 percent decline.
The rest at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/25/business/25markets.html?nl=&emc=aua21
That was the quote of the day to which I woke this morning. Sweet.
Last night, though, I was driving home from playing softball, the first game we've one and in which I finally got not only a run but an RBI as well, and ahead of me was this old Volvo station wagon with a bumper sticker saying, "Have you tugged your kite today?" and going really slow, like 20 in a 30 zone. I wasn't feeling terribly hassled, in no particular hurry and thinking it was a pretty beautiful evening to be enjoying the sights while I was on my way. We approached a red light, the Volvo crept to a stop, I stopped behind it, another older car behind mine, and then a shiny big pickup truck behind that car. At first I couldn't see what the vehicle was because the sun was behind us, lowering in the west, so when I looked out my rearview mirror to see who was out there yelling, all I could see was some thin guy's form, backlit, at the driver side of the car behind me, spewing obscenities. I thought the guy was going to reach in the car window for the driver or open the door and yank the driver out, but that didn't happen. He just finally decided, I guess, the light was going to change so he better get back in his own vehicle. Then I could see it was a truck.
Now, I don't know what offense the driver behind me caused, beyond stopping at a red light, but it clearly had ticked off the truck driver, and as traffic moved again, he rode that car's butt in that big pickup truck, for the next 4 blocks, where the Volvo stopped at the 4-way stop near the library on campus, then I stopped before turning right, allowing the car to my left to pass through the intersection, and then the car behind me slowed but rolled through the stop sign, clearly intimidated by the prospect of stopping with the big truck behind him, and that truck remained about as close to the rearend of the vehicle in front of it as could be without climbing up onto the trunk.
And I just thought, "Why is the driver of that old car behind me the asshole? The worse that could have happened back at that light was that when the guy stopped, the truck driver stopped short of hitting him because he wasn't paying attention- or tapped the back of the car and decided that rather than apologize, he'd act like it was the other guy's fault- which we know is not the case in an accident of that sort. No one ever blames the guy in front. The guy who does the rear ending is always at fault." So, wtf? And I was also tempted to call the cops. Turn left at the next intersection, see if I could find the two vehicles and get a license plate number and call the cops.
Because you know traffic stupidity will be the death of me, and that I just can't stand when people are mean all like that. Maybe I missed something, but I can't imagine what it would have been.
And then this morning when I read that quote, it made me think of that situation last night, and how we were all it seemed following traffic laws and allowing others their right to safety. Well, except this guy in the truck who decided he had to have some reason to spout off at someone, someone I am pretty sure he didn't even know.
And then I thought about mean people in general and how people who are mean just won't allow others the same basic rights they enjoy. Like the story I read a couple days ago about this woman who is big, and she always has been, but she takes care of herself, and she was getting a coffee one morning at a coffee shop, and some guy came in all in a hurry and rushed past her, hitting her coffee so it spilled on her (and she was probably heading to work and couldn't just go home and change), and she said, "hey, take it easy," in a tone she described as "lightly," and the guy turned on her and said something like why didn't she get out of the way, "fat bitch?"
And I'm thinking we are all just too stressed. Either too stressed trying to stay ahead to give a crap about anyone else, or so stressed trying to get by that we just explode at the drop of a hat. I mean, crap, both the FFM and I have been stressed lately, and we had a fight the other day, and I still feel bad about it. Never should have happened. Stupid. I guess, how many of us walk around feeling so cheated every day of our existence in some way or another that we take it out on someone else? Or so preoccupied we screw up and then get all defensive?
Eh, whatever. I have to get in the shower and head out before I really get started.
Have a lovely day.
Monday, August 23, 2010
What I Did On Summer Vacation
on August 23, 2010 5:32 AM
Thanks, Shaun, for today's little gem. I'll wander through my work with the images of behemoth sloths plying the surf dancing in my head.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Poll: Growing Number Believe Obama Is Muslim
by The Associated Press
August 19, 2010
Americans increasingly are convinced - incorrectly - that President Barack Obama is a Muslim, and a growing number are thoroughly confused about his religion.
Nearly one in five people, or 18 percent, said they think Obama is Muslim, up from the 11 percent who said so in March 2009, according to a poll released Thursday. The proportion who correctly say he is a Christian is down to just 34 percent.
The largest share of people, 43 percent, said they don't know his religion, an increase from the 34 percent who said that in early 2009.
The survey, conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center and its affiliated Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, is based on interviews conducted before the controversy over whether Muslims should be permitted to construct a mosque near the World Trade Center site. Obama has said he believes Muslims have the right to build an Islamic center there, though he's also said he won't take a position on whether they should actually build it.
In a separate poll by Time magazine/ABT SRBI conducted Monday and Tuesday - after Obama's comments about the mosque - 24 percent said they think he is Muslim, 47 percent said they think he is Christian and 24 percent didn't know or didn't respond.
In addition, 61 percent opposed building the Muslim center near the Trade Center site and 26 percent said they favor it.
The Pew poll found that about three in 10 of Obama's fiercest political rivals, Republicans and conservatives, say he is a Muslim. That is up significantly from last year and far higher than the share of Democrats and liberals who say so. But even among his supporters, the number saying he is a Christian has fallen since 2009, with just 43 percent of blacks and 46 percent of Democrats saying he is Christian.
Among independents, 18 percent say Obama is Muslim - up from 10 percent last year.
Pew analysts attribute the findings to attacks by his opponents and Obama's limited attendance at religious services, particularly in contrast with Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, whose worship was more public.
Andrew Kohut, the Pew Research Center's director, said the confusion partly reflects "the intensification of negative views about Obama among his critics." Alan Cooperman, the Pew Forum's associate director for research, said that with the public hearing little about Obama's religion, "maybe there's more possibility for other people to make suggestions that the president is this or he's really that or he's really a Muslim."http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129291805&sc=fb&cc=fp
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
So, assuming that all the presidents we are going to consider have taken or are taking, these working vacations, and just calling that good, like if you are POTUS, you take working vacays, sorry, let's take a look at some of these presidents' vacation times in terms of vacation like We the People for the most part know vacation: you get a couple weeks off a year (those weeks being 5-day work weeks.) Maybe you get more if you have been on the job longer, or if you are a teacher, or whatever, but you get what I am saying.
Here's a breakdown of two presidents mentioned in the article: George W Bush and Jimmy Carter.
I took the number of vacation days Bush took over his 8 year tenure as President (533) and cut them up into 5-day vacation weeks. Then I divided those weeks by the years in office. What I came up with for Mr. Bush was a total of 13 1/3 weeks of vacation a year, which is a little more than a week a month, which when one figures there are 4 weeks in a month, or 52 in a year, means that W spent one quarter of his time as Prez on vacay. Yup.
Doing the same for Mr. Carter, I figured that his 79 days in 4 years equated to just shy of 4 weeks a year, or about a week every quarter.
Now, there has been some grousing by some Republican friends of mine about Mr. Obama's preference for golf and how much time he has taken off during his tenure as President thus far. As of July 10, after a CNN story in which it was noted that Obama had taken 65 vacation days during his time in office thus far, we can figure now that over 18 months, that is 13 weeks, or 8 2/3 weeks per year, more than twice as many as Mr. Carter and about two-thirds those of Mr. Bush. Of course, we have to take into account that this particular presidency is still in its infancy, relative to the other two, and that the number of weeks may increase or decrease over the length of the term.
But why stop here? All that said, here is a comparison of a bunch of recent presidents' vacation days taken during their first year in office, a letter to the editor of the Tennessee Opinion. (Thanks, Sarah Webster, for doing this little bit of research so I don't have to; I am out straight with other things I should be doing, but this little topic is reeling me in.)
Aug. 11, 2010, Letter to the Editor
A few facts and a basic understanding of “more” and “less” will clear up the subject of presidents’ vacation days.
During his first year in office, Barack Obama took 26 vacation days. During their first years in office, George W. Bush took 69, Bill Clinton 21, George H.W. Bush 40, Ronald Reagan 42 and Jimmy Carter 21.
Trips to Camp David, which were not included as vacation days, were: Obama 27 days, George W. Bush, 78 days.
I leave the reader to determine more and less.
Sarah Webster, Franklin 37064
I guess the next question would be whether those first years set precedents? Yesterday the Democrat and Republican sitting at the table with me were very interested in this subject and thought it would be good to go back as far as JFK to determine how much time recent presidents have spent on vacation. Please, if you have information to add to this little investigation, regale us with it. Your participation is welcome.
Thanks. Back to the grind.
Monday, August 16, 2010
First, it's too early to go back to school. All this talk of not having a summer vacation... whatever. It's a good thing. Summer vacation is.
Second, they fill the town, the streets, the parking spaces, campus... There they are, with there mamas and their daddies, mostly their mamas, rolling big suitcase rollers down the sidewalks toward the dorms, piled with crap.
It's like playing house. I just can't help but wonder if kids are just too sheltered any more. Do they have any idea? For instance, do they know that in this country, the good old US of A, there are 73 million people who go hungry every day, who go to a soup kitchen line, straight from work even, because their jobs don't pay enough? And that's only the hungry people we can count.
That's just crazy. But, that's another story. And speaking of money, I should have been fine tuning this research budget at least an hour and a half ago. So, that's all for today, folks.
I think it's enough, eh?
Today's picture courtesy of the Anonymous Monetarist at Blogspot. Thanks, Anon. "If your mother doesn't understand what you are saying than neither do you." That's what his blog says. I am not sure I understand what he is saying, but check it out if you want.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Peeps, I gotta ask (even though it's Friday, about happy hour time, when I should be relaxing): is this country getting better for all when those with the money hoard it? And even moreso, expect those with less to be the ones to haul up? And even more disturbing, call those with less "lazy," just because they're not rich?That's my thought, after meeting with the head of SER, who has agreed in principle to fund half my research, given industry keeps their commitment on the other half. Not because of what he said, but because of the letter I subsequently found in my mailbox from the head of the Wyoming Mining Association saying the WMA thinks that given the importance of the nature of my research, that SER should pay the full cost from the funds appropriated by the State of Wyoming legislature for uranium research.
Don't get me wrong: The nature of my research is vitally important, and I would not complain if those funds paid for it all. But I built this proposal in a way that I believe strongly will benefit not only the public but industry public relations. And industry agreed to the importance and to the fact that what I am requesting from them in dollar terms is a drop in the bucket that they could handle.
Then, suddenly, it's like that changed. It's not like the companies have less money with which to work. And while the funds appropriated by the legislature are there to be used for just this sort of thing, and should, it's just not like the operators can't afford to help out, too. After all, this research will save them far more than I have budgeted for the project.
And I guess, frankly, I feel affronted, having handled my research proposal in a way that could benefit industry public relations, yet here it is: the letter from the WMA, if not ignored, will make the uranium industry in this state look as though it lacks integrity. And folks, that's not something mining needs.
I am supremely disappointed. I trust that the operators who understand the value of this project and its being funded in part by them, will come through, but in the meantime, I play politics honestly, and if it doesn't work out that way, I'll make sure that people know they were right and I was wrong and that industry can't be expected to act with integrity after all.
And selfishly, shite, people, I have worked for months to build a research project that is inexpensive yet useful. What the hellz? Throw me out? Over an amount of money that is so little to you all that it doesn't make a dent in your change purse, but it pays my bills?
The price of staying in the game
Oil companies are now developing a system that could cap deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico in a hurry
Aug 12th 2010 | From The Economist print edition
WITH 500 barrels of hard-set cement now gumming up the Macondo well, a number of inquiries are looking back at the loss of the Deepwater Horizon rig and the subsequent spilling of 5m barrels of oil. How much of the fault is found to lie with the well’s design, how much with the way the design was implemented and how much with the way the rig was run will determine how such ventures will be regulated from now on. It will also settle whether BP, the well’s operator, was grossly negligent—a finding that could be worth well over $10 billion in fines and liabilities.
Meanwhile, the oil industry is already getting to grips with the question of what to do if such a thing should happen again. This is in part prudent politics: credible assurances that a future blowout could be better dealt with will be vital to restoring the industry’s fortunes in the Gulf of Mexico. It is also a matter of economic self-interest. The costs facing BP would have been far smaller if it had been possible to shut the well down a lot quicker.
The position taken by ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell, which are clubbing together to put $1 billion into creating and equipping a new not-for-profit firm, the Marine Well Containment Company, is that the capability to do much better than at Macondo depends on having hardware designed for the job and available from day one. The companies outlined their plans at a public meeting held in New Orleans on August 4th by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
The rest at:http://www.economist.com/research/articlesBySubject/displayStory.cfm?story_id=16789834&subjectID=381586&fsrc=nwl
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Here is what I don't get:
Why can idealism and practicality not coexist?
Obama has been at his post for how long? (not very) Some incremental steps have actually brought some amount of decent change to this country, but there is still plenty more to do. What's been done isn't enough, so why think it should just stop here and complain? Hellz, there is a lot more time left on the clock for this administration to get some real stuff done. Why is it "idealistic" and "impractical" to call for further action- and to expect it?
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I like gardens. Guns? Well, I don't shoot them, but hellz, there are some pretty nice ones out there. And James McMurtry? Yup. By Rick Bass? Absolutely.
Monday, August 9, 2010
I'm not a big fan of the tanning tax either, but really...p.s. Don't neglect to click on the links. Some of them are just priceless.
Black Power's Gonna Get You Sucka: Right-Wing Paranoia and the Rhetoric of Modern Racism
July 11, 2010, 7:00 pm
Prominent white conservatives are angry about racism.
Forget all that talk about a post-racial society. They know better than to believe in such a thing, and they're hopping mad.
What is it that woke them up finally, after all these years of denial, during which they insisted that racism was a thing of the past?
Was it the research indicating that job applicants with white sounding names have a 50 percent better chance of being called back for an interview than their counterparts with black-sounding names, even when all qualifications are the same?De rest at:
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I just heard this guy just pulled ahead in the polls, too. Not only are we a mean country; man, are we stupid.
Bike agenda spins cities toward U.N. control, Maes warns
The Denver Post
Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes is warning voters that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper's policies, particularly his efforts to boost bike riding, are "converting Denver into a United Nations community."
"This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed," Maes told about 50 supporters who showed up at a campaign rally last week in Centennial.
Maes said in a later interview that he once thought the mayor's efforts to promote cycling and other environmental initiatives were harmless and well-meaning. Now he realizes "that's exactly the attitude they want you to have."
"This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms," Maes said.
He added: "These aren't just warm, fuzzy ideas from the mayor. These are very specific strategies that are dictated to us by this United Nations program that mayors have signed on to."
Read the rest at:
So, I only have time to spit this out quickly: Republicans have nothing, NOTHING worthwhile to say- or do. Please, do NOT vote Republican this fall. Please. The Republican agenda is a non-agenda, a no-agenda. I've had it up to... beyond my neck. I am drowning in bitterness toward a bunch of people who have stooped to the piss poor tactics of attacking everyone else as "bad" because they have nothing good to add to this country's agenda.
The end. Seriously, folks, when I turned 18, I registered to vote as a Republican. I thrilled in the early 90s when the young moderate Republicans, many with Teddy Roosevelt-style conservative republican values, began to run for office. What the hell happened?
Don't do it. At risk of sounding like an icky Republican, do NOT. It's a misguided and misguiding lost cause. We're Americans. We deserve better, but we have to stand up and get it, not wait for it to happen.
Off to talk U. Have a day.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Well, this is all-American, too. Whereas some people might say, "Good! Impetus to do things safely and properly in the first place!" true Americans would say, "We don't want anyone to have to take responsibility for anything they do wrong. My God, we don't want anyone to lose a chance at making the largest profit they can possibly make, regardless. Money is the aim, after all, not people's safety, or the ecological stability of the surrounding environment, our children's lives down the road... Hell, that's how the native Americans or the commies, those kind of people think, and look at what happened to them, Who's number one in the world, after all?"
Cheers, opponents of taking responsibility! You are true Americans! Cheers, Lindsay Lohan! You are our future! Let's drink to that!