Monday, October 31, 2011

Headlines (My Version)

Yard Eats Man (Getting newspaper far more dangerous than believed)

People Don't Like Rick Perry But Only Those Who Have Met Him (Cain Leads in Texas)

Herman Cain, "I did not have sex with that woman those women." (No need to type anything in here)

Ghadaffi: Getting Killed Pain in the A## (OK, don't click on this one, please)

Bernie Madoff's Wife and Son Will Never Forgive Him (Have you noticed that Wall Streeters only go to jail if they steal from RICH people?)

Global Warming Skeptic Changes Mind (Announces Energy Cartel Money Not Enough to Cheer Death of Planet)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chesapeake Bay Island And Way of Life Going Away







Link if Embed isn't working

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thank You Clay Bennett

See it full size:   Clay Bennett at the Times Free Press

US Health Care System Most Costly, Care Substandard

As we've been saying, Americans pay the most for healthcare and get crappy service to boot. Where's my public option?
Sharply rising costs are putting both access and budgets at risk. Health care spending per person in the U.S. is double that in several other major industrialized countries, and costs in the U.S. continue to rise faster than income. We are headed toward spending $1 of every $5 of national income on health care. We should expect a better return on this investment.
Lowering insurance administrative costs to benchmark country rates could alone save up to $114 billion a year, or $55 billion if such costs were lowered to the level in countries with a mixed private–public insurance system, like the U.S. has.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Science...The Search for Truth, and Those Who Love It

It's a sane position to think that science should answer to science and not religion. How many times have we watched some religious leader make fools of his congregation when the world didn't end at the appointed moment of his biblical calculations? Religion is a dismal failure at predicting scientific events, but a master at the destruction of rational thoughts that contradict its teachings. I think the church still holds a grudge against Galileo. Science asks questions, posits answers, and ruthlessly tests each component of those answers to determine if any of them belong to the body of work dedicated to the search for truth. Religion has no such scruple.

In a similar manner ti follows that science should answer to science and not some commercial venture dedicated to the generation of confusion and blather aimed at supporting a forgone point or position. In today's world we call these commercial ventures "Think Tanks". They are basically public relations machines but have massive sway over public opinion. In a just society they wouldn't. 

Here is today's must read (Well maybe should read is more like it. Massimo goes all professorial at times but there's great stuff in here) :
...intellectuals have a duty to be so engaged with society because often their vantage point is the result of a privileged position granted them by society, most obviously in the case of academic intellectuals (but also journalists, some artists, and assorted others), who are somewhat shielded from most direct political influence or financial constraints, and whose professional ethos requires intellectual honesty and rigor.
(Gee, wouldn't it be nice if journalists were all intellectually honest and rigorous?)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Uber Christian Mike Huckabee Advocates Dirty Tricks

So Republicans only care about Democratic voter fraud, not theirs:
Former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has some advice for people who support the anti-union law passed in Ohio that faces a statewide repeal vote on November 8: Find out who's voting to repeal the bill and block them from ballot box. The onetime Arkansas governor suggested deflating tires and giving these voters the wrong election date. "That's up to you, how you creatively get the job done," Huckabee quipped.
 Read the whole thing
You know, I think that is Un-American. Huckabee is a traitor to the democratic process.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cain Kills in TN

I am stunned at the reception GOP Leading presidential candidate Herman Cain got in Tennessee. If he had said he's going to raise taxes on poor people and the middle class, end Social Security, and raise Sales tax to 18% in Tennessee, the crowd would have cheered...Oh, wait...That is exactly what he said!

The U.S. should secure its border with Mexico by building a 20-foot, barbed-wire, electrified fence, Cain said (with) signs, in English and Spanish, saying “it will kill you,’” 
 “No, I’m not going to change” the 9-9-9 plan, Cain said in Cookesville today. “I’m not going to back down.
 “He is ultra conservative and that’s what I like,” said Stevens, a spokesman for the Humphreys County Tea Party, which helped organize the event. “We don’t want moderates or Republicans in name only.”
The Bloomberg Story

Cain's plan would financially destroy the middle class and immediately bankrupt the US. Rich people would have their taxes slashed. It's like Republican candidates are defending the deregulation and tax cuts for the rich that have gotten America into near financial default and killed our jobs by claiming that the reason their plan to hit us in the head with a hammer hasn't worked so far is because that Obama won't let them hit us hard enough.

Note to the GOP: A successful parasite does not kill off its host.

So how does Cain keep going with so little money and no organization? The Tea Puppets look like they've been given their marching orders:

Long Ties to Koch Brothers Key to Cain Campaign

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Elizabeth Warren

Must Read Post of the Day, or Week or whatever for that matter

Thanks to Newscoma for the link on this writer. This is good stuff and you better read the whole thing, or else...

I understand you don’t care about me. I understand that because I am not a corporation, because I have a uterus, because I don’t make $250,000 a year or more that I am not now, nor will I ever be, important to you. I get it. All I have is my vote. So I understand that even if you were to read this, you would ignore it. I understand that even if I were standing in front of you reading this, you’d act as if you were listening, pat me on my head, and send me on my way. But I’m going to keep going. Because I foolishly believe that my vote counts. That my voice counts. And that if I keep yelling, maybe one day you will pay attention.

An Open Letter to Congress

Friday, October 14, 2011

Banks Failed the Public Trust So Why Not Public Option In Banks?

Today's must read:

[T]he demand isn't simply to make a public bank, but is to treat the banks generally as a public utility, just as you treat electric companies as a public utility.... Just as there was pressure for a public option in health care, there should be a public option in banking. There should be a government bank that offers credit card rates without punitive 30% interest rates, without penalties, without raising the rate if you don't pay your electric bill. This is how America got strong in the 19th and early 20th century, by essentially having public infrastructure, just like you'd have roads and bridges.... The idea of public infrastructure was to lower the cost of living and to lower the cost of doing business.
People scream about taxes but what's the difference between taxes and fees? Isn't the fee on using a debit card to access your own money actually a tax levied by industry instead of government? There is no value provided by the bank that is any way equal to the fee charged. It is simply a tax levied by private industry the use of which the people have no vote on.

An analysis

Also read Krugman

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Quote of the Day: Naomi Klein Speaking to Occupy Wall Street

An excerpt from today's must read...

We pointed out that the deregulation behind the frenzy came at a price. It was damaging to labor standards. It was damaging to environmental standards. Corporations were becoming more powerful than governments and that was damaging to our democracies. But to be honest with you, while the good times rolled, taking on an economic system based on greed was a tough sell, at least in rich countries.
Ten years later, it seems as if there aren't any more rich countries. Just a whole lot of rich people. People who got rich looting the public wealth and exhausting natural resources around the world.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Even Republicans Don't Like Republicans

The echo chamber blather this morning is all about Romney backing into first place in the Gallup poll for GOP presidential nomination, mainly because Rick Perry is a Christian and Romney belongs to the Mormon cult. Here are the numbers:

Romney: 20 (24)
Cain: 18 (5)
Perry: 15 (31)
Paul: 8 (13)
Gingrich: 7 (5)
Bachmann: 5 (5)
Santorum: 3 (2)
Huntsman: 2 (1)
Other: 1 (4)
Undecided: 20 (10)

Morning Joe puts these up without the former rankings (in parentheses) and without the last line. With the additional info in place you can plainly see that Romney, far from advancing into first place, has actually lost support. Perry is getting his ass handed to him as people learn what he's really like and two candidates have benefited as a result., Herman Cain, who has moved from fifth place into second, and Undecided, moving from fourth place into first.

 At the end of the day I predict that Undecided will trounce Herman Cain.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Earth A Lujah!

I've been thinking... We need a new religion.

The ones we have now aren't working. I suppose we shouldn't expect all that much from current religions when the Big Three all have the same Eden myth. You know, the one where Adam and Eve get kicked out of paradise for getting smart and becoming aware of their genitals because they were talked into eating a magic apple by a talking snake. How do you learn to think when our current religions want us to believe that  knowledge is the root of all evils and understanding is the greatest of all heresies.  From that common beginning each of the big three spirals off into dysfunctional unreality in its own way but with the apparent purpose of providing most of the benefit to the top of the food chain. The acolytes wind up worshiping the ideology while ignoring the resulting misery it brings to the boots on the ground. Can we have a "Hey, wait a minute" moment here? I say we form a committee to rewrite religion based on taking care of sheep and wolves and grass all at the same time with fairness and justice to all. Nobody wins big, nobody loses big and the goal will be rebuilding Eden and getting back inside.

So let's start a new religion that benefits the 99%.  All religions have commandments so let's start with a few. We can pick and choose and rewrite from the commandments that are already out there as a way to get going. Moses, Paul, Jesus, Mohammed, Joseph Smith, and L. Ron Hubbard did it so why can't we? Let's see...

Let's change the one about having no other gods before me to, "You shall tolerate no ideology that brings not the greatest good to the greatest number of people." I realize this will not sit well with the right wing but if properly applied there won't be a right wing.

We can keep "Thy shalt not bear false witness". It's probably the most violated of all the current commandments but I believe it's a worthy goal. It hasn't worked well standing alone, however, so let's make it stronger by adding another one:

"Thou shall cast out falsehood, adhere to the scientific method, critical thinking, and seek facts and truths." Our current religions tend to execute heretics rather than honor truth. The church may have accepted Galileo but they are still attacking Charles Darwin and Al Gore. That has to stop.

Let's change "Thou shalt not kill" to: "You must have near unanimous agreement to commit murder." or something of the sort. Nobody really believes in the absolute of "not killing" but a just society should tolerate it only in extreme circumstances. War and capital punishment should be very very difficult to enact.

How about, "Care for your planet at all costs." It dies, we die. Why is this so hard? I have trouble articulating into a commandment this corollary: "Actions that affect others must be carefully considered and may not be justified because someone makes money."  Help me work on this will you?

We're just getting started here so remember this is a work in progress. The inevitable religious war can come later, as long as later is fairly soon. I'm pretty flexible and open on all this except for the bottom line of maximum happiness benefit for maximum people and generating a fact based society. One more thing I think is absolutely necessary is something many other religions outlaw at great peril to happiness...The last commandment:

"You shall sing and dance as often as you can, with as many people as you can." Someone beat me to it but we can call it "Joining the Earthalujah Chorus."

Can I get an Amen?


ps: I plan to work on this and hope everyone will contribute. Check back often.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Where's Jesus When You Really Need Him", or "The Zombie Theme Seems To Be Big This Year"

We had nuclear zombies at the TVA Board meeting and now we have money grubbing corporate zombies on Wall Street. At least the media is grudgingly admitting that something is going on even if it's two and a half weeks late to the party.

Can America toss the money changers out of the temple?

"At this point, we don't anticipate wider unrest," said ... an FBI spokesman in New York, "but should it occur the city, including the NYPD and the FBI, will deploy any and all resources necessary to control any developments."

Wall Street Protests

Monday, October 3, 2011

From Our Hank Williams Jr. is a Jerk and We'll Never Listen To Him Again Dept:

ESPN drops Hank Jr after he compares Obama to Hitler

Well, Ok...I dropped Hank Jr long ago but this just justifies me in a strong way.

Hank...You suck as a human being!

Everything Nice I ever Said About Belmont U...I take it Back!

Alberto Gonzales Named 'Distinguished Chair of Law' By Belmont University

Gonzales was the AG who authorized torture and forever tarnished the moral worth of the United States of America. What are you people thinking?

Today's Top Story Not Mass Uprising against Wall Street

So hundreds of people have been arrested for peaceful protests on Wall Street, the Brooklyn Bridge was shut down by thousands of people who want government to be "Of, By, and For The People" instead of the Wall Street financial interests. Protesters were roughed up and a police supervisor walked over and maced several women who were standing on the sidewalk leaving them blind and screaming as he turned and walked away. In  the last days of the Bush Administration America bailed out Wall Street to the tune of a trillion dollars or so and they haven't even said thank you and continue to send American jobs overseas and generally run our country into the ground. You would think that a spontaneous uprising against America's financial sector by thousands of people would make headline news but the number one story on NBC this morning was an Italian murder appeal court proceeding. 

Thank you, Clay Bennett