Monday, August 31, 2009

This just gets to me

E waste

If you look to the left of the buildings in the photo you'll see a smoldering pile of trash. That pile is made up of all the computer monitors and components, TVs and cell phones that the U.S. and other countries throw away. Dumping them on China where they make one of the most toxic places on earth is not being a nice neighbor. I know of all the chemicals they speak of in this article. I've dealt with them all in my eighteen plus years of removing hazardous waste. What saddens me is that in spite of cheap labor that this is a very expensive way to do the job. The costs will be in terms human life and the clean up of the ground and water at some point.
As I said I've done this for many years. So how do I know the nasties I've handled didn't land up being dumped by the side of the road? First the way the paper trail is set up it wouldn't be in my best interest financially to just dump it. Hazardous waste has a cradle to grave paper work. What's that mean? It means that the person who owns the property where the waste was removed is the legal owner of that waste from the time it's removed until it is put into an industrial land fill or recycled. There are criminal charges for doing otherwise. I'll be damned if I'd go to jail for some lazy supervisor or corrupt company owner.
Now there are those that just hate government getting involved in anything we do but to go back to when there was no EPA would not be a smart move. In the past companies dumped their waste in their own backyards because they didn't know better. It was out of sight out of mind until people started getting sick.

All it will take to end the dumping problem here in the U.S. will be for a couple of company executives to do some hard prison time. They would be, by their actions, comitting a form of murder. Economic penalties aren't going to do it. With the protection of the corporate structure and legalities a company can go bankrupt, forfiet any assets as penalties, then open its doors under a different name. We've seen that enough times in the past

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Here's one I know I'll want to miss

Jenna Bush Hager will be doing work for the Today show. I believe the photo above was taken just before the country they were visiting asked them to leave.

And it seems Jenna has her father's mastery of the English language by the following:

"I hope to focus on what I'm passionate about because I think I'd do them best job on them — education, urban education, women and children's issues and literacy," Hager said.

God and she's a teacher!!?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Idiots on the freeway

Last night we got to watch live breaking news of shots fired near a mall in Seattle. Two guys described as being in their late teens or early twenties. One was arrested shortly after it all started while it took police a few hours to round up the other. Here's a note to all the dumb criminals out there. The technology that the state and local police have far out weighs anything you might have. They have night vision on planes and helicopters as well as infared sensors and dogs. Today I don't think Houdini could get away from them.
Police car chases are so common anymore that I don't consider that news because we all know how it ends. The perp rams a few cars, hits a few light poles and it all ends with a pit manouver or at the end of a cul de sac after a foot chase. Give it up guys. You're not about to out run a police cruiser in your souped up Honda because they have an eye in the sky and wait until they upgrade to drones. They'll be able to phone in your location while eating donuts at their desks. That is unless you're a sex offender with young girls living in your backyard then you're safe.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Beaver friday

A fine wet on for a friday night.

I told her not to try and fix the car

Or add you own caption in the comments.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lying with statistics

Call it what you will my father was a numbers cruncher statistical anaylist statistical engineer bean counter. He always said you could make numbers say anything you wanted to. I see the numbers for new unemployment claims dropped this week and you'd think that was a good thing but the way numbers are kept I wouldn't be so sure. On the surface it might look good but then there's the underlying factors that they never seem to talk about. You'd think that the rise in unemployment is slowing. What they don't tell you is how many fell off the rolls because they ran out of unemployment.They aren't counted you know. And there's ones that couldn't get quite enough hours to reapply and of course the temp workers that fall through the cracks or could be considered underemployed. So they say the national unemployment rate is at 9.4% when in actuality it's more like 15 or 16%. I've also heard of some small towns at 25 or 30%. And of course you have Michigan that's been well over the national average for quite some time
So how does this all end? What will happen that will be the turning point. To know that is to look back at what happened. This is in many ways a repeat of the 1930s. Greed and speculation took hold. The rules were eliminated so that leverage was the king for a day but then fear set in and the great financial house of cards collapsed. So where are we now? The banks got a nice bail out but rather than use the money to get things going they went out like a teen with his first pay check and blew it. They bought other banks in hopes of being king of the hill when it was all over. Consumers aren't spending for fear they may be the next to hit the unemployment line so they're saving like never before. All that cash is being parked in the banks that still won't make very many loans so the banks are busy making the next bubble. The only thing keeping the economy going at present is the government but even the bulk of its' spending won't kick in until next year. That should give the banks plenty of time to become bloated to the point where they have no choice but to lend again. Even the federal reserve is playing along by keeping rates at near zero. So with one foot on the brake and one on the gas it should be interesting next year when the brake is released.
Now if you'll excuse me I need to get on the phone to some potential employers because I just love hearing those three magic words "No work here".

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Persuasion Kitty

We're sending persuasion kitty to see you senator Grassley. He'd like you to change your mind.

Ted Kennedy is gone

The one senator who actually seemed to care about the working man is gone. He had his ups and his downs throughtout life, but it was his bill that got the ball rolling for healthcare for all. I sure hope it passes and they name it after him.

As an honor here's and old Irish blessing and I think it goes something like this:

May the sun rise to meet you
may the wind always be at your back
and may the devil know you've gone an hour after you've passed.

R.I.P. Ted

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The long awaited Sibel Edmonds deposition

I wouldn't doubt that this doesn't make MSM any time soon. But between this, the torture investigation and the other high crimes of the past administration I do wonder exactly who will face prosecution and prison. Of course they'll go after the low hanging fruit first but if they ever get to the higher ups then a good chunk of the republican party and a few past democrats could be seeing the inside of a jail cell. This is nothing more than a case of greed and corruption that permeated the Bush administration. To try and deny it under the gize of national security or states' secrets is nothing more than a lie.
In looking at this pdf file via the Brad Blog you can start with page 19 as the first 18 pages are just opening formalities. For the Justice Department not to persue this matter would be a great miscarriage of justice. Yes we need to move forward but not until the misdeeds of the past are accounted for and proper punishment handed out.

Sibel Edmonds deposition

As you read this document you'll start to feel like you're reading the latest spy novel, but stop to consider that this is real and not some make for TV movie.

Hat tip to the folks at the Brad Blog for keeping on top of this.

So you think that you can get the government out of your life

If you're sitting there at your computer reading this then you are using a benefit of governemnt research. Brought to it's current state by universities funded by the government. The chair you sit in is on a floor built by building and fire codes. You walk to the kitchen and flip the light powered by a public agency and fill a glass from the tap - water another public agency. You open the fridge for some ice (government standards for energy efficiency there). Okay you'll just head down to the store for some doughnuts. You walk to the car with it's emisson standards and air bag and buckle up (all government requirements). You pull out to the street - built and maintained with tax dollars to the state highway - state tax dollars there. You walk through the door of the 7-11 that must have a government liscense and grab a box of your favorite powdereds - covered by the Dept. of Agriculture and the Health Department. Driving home you notice a fire truck pass you - a public agency and a police car with lights and sieren sounding - another public agency. You get pulled over and asked for your license - DOL a government agency.
You flip on the radio - FCC there. Nothing on radio so you flip open your cell phone - again covered by government rules and agencies. You call your aging mother at the home built and supported by government funds. Did she get her check this month? - a government check. She thinks it might have been stolen from her mailbox a government agency. She better call the Social Security Office (government) to report it. Did she get the right medication (FDA) from her doctor (AMA)? You tell her you'll be flying out (FAA) next month for a visit. You tell her to be careful because someone is stealing medications from nursing homes (DEA). You tell her you'll check on her retirement funds (SEC) when you can.

And it goes on and on and on. You might think that you can hide from the government but you can't, it's there in everything you do. There isn't one thing you touch that doesn't have some government involvement in one way or another.

Topless protest

As the news is rather depressing today thought I'd switch gears and post something on the lighter side. Hey and don't shoot the messenger here. I only report on what somebody else is doing.

Far be it from me to prevent a woman from her rights and getting in the way of this protest.

A quick disclaimer though: The woman in this photo is wearing pasties so she's not really bare on top.

Wonder if this will now put my blog in the R rated category?

Monday, August 24, 2009

How many people will die?

I hear a figure of 18,000. What am I talking about? Not some mass bombing. Not some invasion of a country. Not even the number of annual traffic fatalities. I'm talking about the people of this nation who will die because they have no health care coverage and the ones who do have coverage yet get denied what they were promised. These people who did nothing wrong other than be a living creature born and working in the U.S. People who have paid their taxes and paid their bills who now face a medical emergency. But it isn't really a medical emergency as much as it's a financial emergency. Most of us could easily face an operation, proceedure or treatment but it's the bill that does the most damage. Just one trip to the ICU and an overnight stay can wipe out any savings, cause the loss of a home and tear a family apart.
Rather than fixing the system and niping medical problems in the bud before they become expensive burdens on not just the poeple involved but to the taxpayers as well,some would leave the system as is. What they fail to realize is that the system can not stay the same. With the boomers set to retire even Medicare as it is right now can not continue. When a patient can't pay there's bankruptcy and the price must be covered but with no assets the burden falls ultimately on the taxpayer and to the nation as a whole.
As I see it the health care system will go the way of the auto industry with the costs and prices going beyond what anyone except the very wealthy could afford. At that time the burden will fall on the entire nation in terms of more money going to pay for the mess and a loss of GDP. We've waited so long that we can not afford to kick the can down the road any longer. The tipping point is now upon us.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Plaxico hires a prison coach?

Maybe he could hire Martha Stewart to show him how to make woodland animals out of the prison soap. Or how about decorating your cell with navel lint? Any suggestions?

A nice can of worms

I really didn't want to post about this but then again I'm one who supports the truth no matter how ugly. So here goes.

The Lockerbie bomber was just let out of prison. The world response was to have him carved up limb from limb and let him rot in a jail cell. But with a little detective work everyone should know that Megrahi would have been let out of prison anyway even if he hadn't been on the grounds of compassion. What's that you say? That is correct. Megrahi was in the process for filing a second appeal and for that reason would have been let out to defend himself again. Seems there's a few snags in the way the case was prosecuted and I'm not talking about some minor technicality here. And to add to the confusion he could still legally file that appeal but with only three months to live that is doubtful. So here's the gist from the wiki entry on him:

On 28 June 2007 the SCCRC concluded its four-year review and, having uncovered evidence that a miscarriage of justice could have occurred, the Commission granted Megrahi leave to appeal against his Lockerbie bombing conviction for a second time.[15] The second appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal was abandoned in August 2009, as an impediment to the legal power to release him to Libya under the Prisoner Transfer Scheme then operating in the United Kingdom. Ultimately, he was not released under this scheme, rather, on compassionate grounds due to his ill health. There was in the event, no requirement to drop his appeal against conviction.
New information casting fresh doubts about Megrahi's conviction was examined at a procedural hearing at the Judicial Appeal Court (Court of Session building) in Edinburgh on 11 October 2007:
His lawyers claim that vital documents, which emanate from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and relate to the Mebo timer that allegedly detonated the Lockerbie bomb, were withheld from the trial defence team.[16]
Tony Gauci, chief prosecution witness at the trial, is alleged to have been paid $2 million for testifying against Megrahi.[17]
Mebo's owner, Edwin Bollier, has claimed that in 1991 the FBI offered him $4 million to testify that the timer fragment found near the scene of the crash was part of a Mebo MST-13 timer supplied to Libya.[18]
Former employee of Mebo, Ulrich Lumpert, swore an affidavit in July 2007 that he had stolen a prototype MST-13 timer in 1989, and had handed it over to "a person officially investigating the Lockerbie case".[19]
On 1 November 2007 Megrahi invited Robert Black QC to visit him at Her Majesty's Prison, Greenock. After a 2-hour meeting, Black stated "that not only was there a wrongful conviction, but the victim of it was an innocent man. Lawyers, and I hope others, will appreciate this distinction."[20]
Prior to Megrahi's second appeal, another four procedural hearings took place at the High Court of Appeal in Edinburgh between December 2007 and June 2008.[21][22]
In the June 2008 edition of the Scottish lawyers' magazine The Firm, the UN Observer at the Lockerbie trial, Professor Hans Köchler, referred to the 'totalitarian' nature of Megrahi's second appeal process saying it "bears the hallmarks of an 'intelligence operation'."[23][24] Pointing out an error on the FCO's website and accusing the British government of "delaying tactics" in relation to Megrahi's second Lockerbie appeal, UN Observer at the Lockerbie trial Dr Hans Köchler wrote to Foreign Secretary David Miliband on 21 July 2008 saying:[25]
As international observer, appointed by the United Nations, at the Scottish Court in the Netherlands I am also concerned about the Public Interest Immunity (PII) certificate which has been issued by you in connection with the new Appeal of the convicted Libyan national. Withholding of evidence from the Defence was one of the reasons why the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred Mr. Al-Megrahi’s case back to the High Court of Justiciary. The Appeal cannot go ahead if the Government of the United Kingdom, through the PII certificate issued by you, denies the Defence the right (also guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights) to have access to a document which is in the possession of the Prosecution. How can there be equality of arms in such a situation? How can the independence of the judiciary be upheld if the executive power interferes into the appeal process in such a way?
The FCO corrected the error on its website and wrote to Köchler on 27 August 2008:[26]
"Ultimately, it will be for the Court to decide whether the material should be disclosed, not the Foreign Secretary."
On 15 October 2008, five Scottish judges decided unanimously to reject a submission by the Crown Office to the effect that the scope of Megrahi's second appeal should be limited to the specific grounds of appeal that were identified by the SCCRC in June 2007.[27]
In January 2009, it was reported that, although Megrahi's second appeal against conviction was scheduled to begin on 27 April 2009, the hearing could last as long as 12 months because of the complexity of the case and volume of material to be examined.[28] At a preliminary High Court hearing in Edinburgh on 20 February 2009, Megrahi's Counsel, Maggie Scott QC, was informed that a delegation from the Crown Office was due to travel to Malta to "actively seek the consent for disclosure" of sensitive documents that could determine the outcome of the second appeal.[29]
Scottish ministers denied in April 2009 they had clandestinely agreed to the repatriation of Megrahi before the start of his second appeal on 28 April.[30]

The Lybian government had paid several hundred million dollars (about 8 million of which went to the victims' families) to have the UN and US sanctions lifted. Had Megrahi lived long enough and won his appeal which looked very likely then the UN, the US and yes even the families of the victims would have had to pay back that money. So in a strange way Megrahi is a hero. He may have done some unsavery things in his life. I don't know but by dropping the appeal he did one last act of compassion for the families. They can blame him even if he's not guilty and have closure.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Traffic noise could be ruining sex lives of frogs

Instead of the Friday beaver thought I'd post some other animules.

From fellow blogger Blog Fodder

Someone took exception to my use of “Christian Republican” as a derogatory term. Actually derogatory doesn’t even begin to cover how I feel about it. (Canadians can play along by substituting appropriate political party names).

Republicans claim to have a lock on Christianity. The only thing they have a lock on is hypocrisy.

They preach morals and family values but their personal track record says otherwise. They preach fiscal responsibility but spend tax money like there is no tomorrow. If you look at the record, the Republicans have gotten the USA into financial messes which the Democrats then have to sort out. Raegan-Clinton and now Bush-Obama are just the most recent. They don’t tax and spend, they just spend. They preach free enterprise but are firmly attached to the government teat for favourable legislation, big contracts and cash handouts. They preach against big government but expand it exponentially.

They are anti-poor, anti-sick, anti-“Coloured”, anti-women, anti-minority of any kind, anti-science, anti-education, anti-intellectual, anti-environmental stewardship. They are pro-violence, pro-guns, pro-war, pro-accumulation of wealth by fair means or foul, the latter being their only measure of personal value. They believe the wealth of a nation should not benefit the people of the nation, only a select few. Their social safety network can best be summed up as “I’m OK; f**k you!”

This may an acceptable political ideology and it certainly has its adherents but it is not Christian. It is the antithesis of everything Christianity stands for. They love to call the Democrats godless atheists, though Dems do a far better job of living true Christianity and I suspect they have as many or more actual Christians voting for them.

So if you want to call yourself a Christian Republican, that is your choice. But please don’t talk to me about your kind of “Christianity”. It sickens me.

Hat tip to Blog Fodder for leting me steal (borrow) this.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Why for profit medical is morally wrong

I haven't checked but I just wonder what the profit margin is on healthcare in this country? I know that the insurance industry just reported "earnings" of $146 billion dollars. Stop for a minute and think about that. Where exactly did those earnings come from? It wasn't because the insurance companies became so efficient that their balance sheets became bloated. No it was because they could stall and deny coverage and make a system so complex that only a Phd could understand it. Notice how there are pages of exclusions in coverage book but only a few of what is actually covered. I always find it interesting how when the bill comes that it doesn't really match up to what was in the book. And the excuse is that there were special circumstances in your case and therefore extra charges applied that aren't covered. And I'll venture to say that there are charges in there that shouldn't have been there but since hospitals are for profit as well they look for ways to slip the cost of one more cotton ball at $5 each. Yes I've experienced that myself when I was charged for a proceedure that wasn't done. But you can't expect the patient to weed out that kind of corruption as the bill is something even one with a degree in english can't understand. Why is it that usual and customary charges are rarely on the bill and when they are there's always some exception in your case?

So why is it immoral for medical care to be for profit. First you have the selfserving insurance companies. Their primary purpose is to amuse and confuse. You create confusion and you have an open door to someones' wallet. And the more confusion the higher potential profits. Then their's the oh what would you call him? I'll call him the hit man for lack of a better term. His job is to see how much profits he can squeeze out of a claim or better yet to deny the claim altogether. When you get a letter from this guy you feel like you've just been mugged. You'd have no less a feeling if he'd have hit you on the head with a metal pipe and stole your wallet. But he's more evil than that. So obsessed with making one more dollar for the bottom line he'll even resort to denying legit claims. He now comes in the form of the grim reaper and you won't get so much as an I'm sorry to inform you at the beginning of the letter. So with an emotionless cold (most are form letters) you get the news that instead of getting that needed cancer treatment that might have saved your life you're now on your own unless of course you can come up with the $100,000 to cover the costs which were jacked up by big pharma making mass profits.

And this profit incentive isn't just limited to insurance and hospitals but to private medical schools as well. If you can cut corners there you can up your bottom line. It's what they aren't taught that could fill volumes. There's little taught on end of life issues and nothing for geriatrics unless that is a choosen field. In watching a conference by those in the medical field today I got a real eye opener as to the motivation of doctors facing a dying patient. The doctor may order test and treatments for the patient knowing that it will do little or nothing for the patient. This may be profit motivated but more likely it is the only way a doctor can show his concern for the patient. The question for them is what do you do when you know that nothing do will benefit the patient at end of life? With no end of life directive the doctor has no choice but to continue a standard line of treatments and care even if that subjects the patient to pain and suffering. And here's a kicker. Doctors are not properly trained in pain management.

Again I've said it once and I'll say it again. How much is your life worth? How much is a the life of a son or daughter, aunt or uncle, mother, father or grandparent worth? $1000? $10,000? $100,000?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


If your sitting there wondering how you'll pay that last overdue bill with a shrinking bank account and no job prospects stop for a moment and consider that if you were living in Zimbabwe you would now be a trillionaire. Not billion with a b but trillion. Bill Gates would have nothing on you. The zimdollar is now worth 2 trillion to the U.S. dollar. The one twist to the economic windfall would be that there's nothing to buy with all that loot and a bus ride costs 1 trillion. People there have gotten creative with their transactions relying more on U.S. dollars and South African currency. One woman wanting a bus ride presented the driver with a trussed chicken bound with wire. I wonder if she got her change in eggs or did she need exact fare?
And that leads me to the reason that this country will never fail by our own hand. We could be wiped out by some natural disaster but there are enough greedy bastards out there who rely on us to support their champaign and caviar lifestyles. They might make the best widgets in the world but they realize that if us poor schleps at the bottom can't afford their fancy widgets then they'll have to cancel the order for that bigger yacht they'd been drooling over. But who'd really want to be that wealthy? You'd have to worry about which house to occupy and were the caretakers really honest. Are my children safe or should I worry about kidnappers? And we think we're not that well off by American standards until we look in the storage closet and see all the crap we haven't used in years while some poor bastard on the other side of the globe is wondering if he'll make enough Zims to even eat today. So take solace because there's worse. There's always worse.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Interesting turn of events

A delegation from North Korea has agreed to meet with New Mexico governor Bill Richardson. What their intentions are is anyone's guess at this point. Stay tuned...

"The governor will meet tomorrow in Santa Fe with a delegation from the North Korean mission to the United Nations," Richardson spokeswoman Alarie Ray-Garcia told AFP.

He said Kim Myong-Gil, a minister at the North Korean mission at the United Nations, had requested the meeting. The senior North Korean diplomat was to attend the talks with a deputy.

Is this a thawing of relations or has the recession reached North Korea? Time will tell.

Forget Bipartisanship

I happened to turn on C-span yesterday and much to my displeasure it was a republican bloggers conference. I quickly held my nose and dawned my moon suit and respirator and watched for about ten minutes. Luckily it was at the very end or my TV would have had a shoe thrown through its screen. The very end and the gist of this meeting was that the republicans realize that they have no power left in this country so their stratigy will be to be nothing more than a road block to any legislation, no new ideas or bipartisanship from their side of the isle. Now if these guys worked for any private company in the U.S. it wouldn't be long before they'd be out on their ass and they wouldn't be collecting unemployment either. Remember if you're fired for just cause no check for you. I can think of two good examples that come to mind with these guys. The first is my cat in the morning. I no sooner wake up and head for the bathroom and that cat must go from wherever she is in the house directly to an underfoot position. We could sign her up as a tackle for the Seattle Sea Hawks and she would do quite well. The second example is that braty kid at the supermarket checkout. With tears and snot running down his face he's screeching at his mother as loud as he can "Mommy I want more tax cuts!!" And you know mom won't have peace until jr. gets something from the tax cut candy rack.
And that brings me to the last bit. of one Ronald Raygoon the Jesus Christ of the republican party who once said "the problem IS government. We need to shrink it down small enough that we can drown it in a bathtub." Only problem there is that the bathtub was forclosed on and there wasn't enough taxes to pay the water bill.

Monday, August 17, 2009

They say Obama's a socialist

With photos of Obama looking like Hitler and the right wingers calling him everything from a communist to satin. Thought I'd do a little research into the claims. Seems Hitler was far from a socialist even though that label was tied into the party name. In order to take power Hitler needed to remove any opposition to his plan. There was at the time a group called the SA (brownshirts) that was busy dispensing their form of justice on the population but that's another story. Even before Hitler rose to his full power his first order of business was to rid the population of socialists and communists which he did with his SS. The SA had brought a form of law and order to a Germany that had been crushed by WWI. The population must have been glad to have any form of law and order and were content to have the SA run things. But Hitler had other ideas. With the "night of the long knives" Hitler was able to eliminate the last remaining opposition between him and complete power.

So the ignorant right are once again too lazy to do their research leading me to believe that they get their info from old hollywood movies and we know how accurate those were. And as for dictatorial powers, who was the president that ignored more ammendments of our constitution than anyone I know? Who was the administration that said the Geneva Convention was quaint and the U.S. didn't have to follow it? What vice president sat down with the oil companies to make national policy with no input from congress? Who dumped habeus corpus? Who held an american as an "enemy combatant"? Who spent more money than all administrations combined and kept most of it off the books and out of the federal budget? Who wanted to eliminate the fillibuster?
I could go on and on but you get the idea. But if the right keeps obstructing the process and has no positive input or ideas then I hope we'll be seeing more of them hit the exits on the next election cycle. If any in their party call themselves moderates then it may be in their best interest to break with the party and form a new party.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What no beaver?

I usually post a beaver on Friday or Saturday but I liked this photo so much I just had to spread it around. This couple and squirrel now gets their fifteen minutes of fame.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The new Republican healthcare plan

Hot off the presses the republicans have come out with their plan. The new plan will first eliminate both Medicare and Medicade. They never liked those programs anyway. They wanted to let you know that their plan will take a while to put in force as they debate amongst themselves about the exact details and give the insurance companies more time to make even more obscene profits. Their plan will establish a new savings account for each and every American and to add to the fine plan the republicans will offer bonds and stamps just like during WWII. The stamps will be sold everywhere. Kids will be able to buy stamps at school and if they save enough they'll be able to turn those stamps into bonds. The bonds will be good for one year after which their value will be forfeited. Grandma will be delighted to know that she can by bonds and stamps at her local bank using what funds she has left in her savings. We'll also have an arangement with the bank where grandma can set up a reverse mortgage to pay for the bonds. Or she can charge them on her credit card. How convienent. And since social security is in trouble They'll just eliminate that pesky plan and save everybody that headache. And with the money we save there they'll just pop that money over to those banking executives that have done such great job a fixing the mortgage crisis. I think they all deserve a round of applause. Let's hear it for them.
The bond program wil be tied to a medical credit card program where grandma can use it at any hospital, clinic or doctors office. And the card will also be tied directly to grandma's reverse mortgage so there'll be no over the limit fees. That is until all of the equity in her home is used up. At which time she'll have finished her medical care program and be on her own. But then grandma will qualify for the republican safety net she'll get absolutely free a large blue tarp from the government but in order to qualify she must prove with all the right documentation that the bank did indeed take posession of the home she lived in for the last forty years. The tarp comes with full instructions on how to make a model shelter that her friends would envy. And where will grandma be staying? At the homeless camp of course with all her friends and neighbors. That is for at least 90 days until the city makes her move. She'll be delighted to have a new location around the city every three months. Who wouldn't get bored with the same scenery every day. If she's lucky that church in the upscale neighborhood just might agree to sponsor the camp once they fight their city hall. But don't get too comfortable there granny and don't get sick ever again because now no doctor will see you because they won't take a blue tarp as payment.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Now I know where future republicans come from

Eighty percent of children in a Northern China province have high levels of lead in their blood. Some 600 children tested with levels at 506 mcg. per decalititre of blood. This according to Chinese athorities is 10 times the limit by China standards.
A little side info, this is over 50 times the legal limit in the U.S. and the U.S. wants to make the current limit even less. A quick lesson on lead. Background levels of lead (that's what you could expect as an average with no high exposures) would be around 6 mcg. The exposure limits for adults working around is at 50 mcg and that's with protection. What does lead poisoning do? It causes brain and central nervous system damage as well as intestinal and kidney problems. This was the reason why they took lead out of gasoline. The dirt by your local road or highway is still contaminated even after all these years of no lead in gas.

Future Republicans

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hanford cleanup?

Just caught this article about the state and the Department of Energy finally agreeing on a plan to " clean up" the Hanford nuclear site. If you want to know why I'm hell bent against nuclear energy here's a couple of things. When I first got my Haz Mat certification and that was in 1994 the state was just beginning to start this process. There was several billion dollars committed to the project and that was just for the legal process to pay for the laywers so they could sit around and point fingers at each other. At that time the technology didn't exist to even begin any type of actual work. So it's now 15 years later and what did they land up with? They call it a "clean up". It's not. The best anyone could do is contain what's there. There's no way to process nuclear waste into something harmless. You can condense it to a smaller form but the half life is in the thousands of years.
Did I ever consider working in that field? No. Not after I saw how they dealt with the stuff. On one reported accident workers were measuring a tank half full of contaminated water by taking a rock and a string and dropping it into the tank. When they pulled it out they contaminated themselves. Well Duh! When I spoke to a worker about this a few years later he said that was standard proceedure. Another standard practice was to check for radiation on the floors. If a high level was detected a worker would dawn the proper gear grap a gallon bucket of lead paint and throw it on the area. But the final job killing thing for me was that you had to be monitored for radiation which isn't bad until you consider that once you hit max dosage for radiation that's it job over and try and find a new job with that in your background.

So go check out the article and note when the "clean up" begins and when it ends. Hanford

Waiting for Godot

I've been hanging around waiting for some news to break the last few days. I had considered going to a local town hall meeting to give up front and personnal coverage but it was to be held at a fire hall here and I figured I'd not get in and be left standing outside listening to the screeming morons. In a stroke of fate our Rep. Rick Larson had the genious idea to change the venue to a baseball stadium. Kudos to Rick for the forethought. In a baseball stadium a mob of fifty people would sound like a mouse screaming in a concert hall. Rick could easily drownd them out over the stadiums PA system. Needless to say it was a bit more civil than what you've witnessed on the nightly news. As they changed the venue on this at the last minute I didn't attend, but yes some of the same stupid talking points were brought up even though the president disproved them the day before. Again I'll say it "don't confuse me with the facts I've made up my mind." I can only conclude that much like a drowning victim we'll have to save the other side from themselves because they won't do it.

Then there's the other issues I wait patiently for. Will there be the deposition transcripts from the Sibel Edmonds meeting on Saturday? Will Holter actually appoint a special prosecutor for the torture issues? Will the investigations into the attorney firings lead to criminal prosecutions? Only time will tell. All I know is that you can only sweep so much dirt under the rug before everyone knows that all you have is a mound of dirt with a rug on it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

This one just blew me away

You remember last summer when gas was $4 a gallon? It was an unusual thing considering demand had plummeted and there were overflowing storage tanks not just here but around the world. What was driving such high prices? Speculators looking for the next bubble. And now they're looking for their next bubble but this time it's going to be food but to get that food they will need land and that is exactly what they are doing now. Aquiring land like something not seen since the land rushes of days gone by only this land grab makes the ones of the past pale by comparison. Large tracks of land in Africa and Asia in of course poor nations are being bought up at bargin basement prices with the lion's share of the crops leaving the country. The land is being bought right out from under poor farmers who will see little to nothing in return.
I saw a similar situation in Brazil where European nations are backing soy farms for animal feed. The local farmers have been pushed off the land and must rely on handouts from the government that is when the government is feeling generous which isn't too often.

Land grab

The all new privatized U.S. of A

Buried deep in the healthcare bill was a tiny little amendment slipped in there by a group of sneaky republicans. The amendment requires all public services to be privatized within thirty days of the signing of the legislation. What exactly does this amendment do you ask? Simply put it makes all the public services we now enjoy and turns them over to a private corporation. You will now be getting a bill for all services so keep your credit cards handy when you leave for work. Oh that's right you can't leave for work until you swipe your credit card at the end of your driveway to pay for road usage. And don't forget the service fees and mark ups added to your credit card statement. You say you were headed to the post office to drop off the electric bill? Don't forget that Enron is now back from the dead alive and well so your bill is now three times what it once was.
Did you hear a strange noise at the back of the house last night and thought about calling the police? The first thing they asked was not "are you all right or what's the problem but please state your name and have your credit card number handy. We will process your request as soon as we verify your card number. If you'll be needing medical attention that will be extra plus shipping and handling no CODs please. And should you need assistance with this call we'll be more than happy to redirect your call to our service center in India".

Then there's medicare and medicade. Grandma will be delighted to find that she now must be forced to take a reverse mortgage on her house for her new pay as you go medical. No more discounts for her. Doctors will be delighted to know that they'll be getting 100% of their costs paid for by granny, that is if she can afford them. If not too bad you're on your own now granny. And with profits soaring why not make more by throwing more old people out of the system. Those old people are just too expensive you know. First we can say we didn't get their payment. Then when they can prove it we'll tell them the time to file that has expired. That they were too late. When they need a treatment send a denial letter stating the they need to refile the claim in a few months because the billing department is being remodeled and that girl who works there is on maternity leave and won't be back for several months. But don't forget to get the claim in before the end of year deadline or you'll have to start over and since you now have a preexisting condition we'll be forced to deny your claim.

All I can say is that I've seen all of this crap on healthcare and it needs to stop. Drop an email to your senator and congressman and tell them to ignore all the scare tactics and lies and get something done.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sibel Edmonds

Some time ago a translator for the FBI was fired. With the deluge of information coming out of the middle east after 911 Sibel Edmonds was one of the many translators who was able to translate several of the arabic languages. When she was asked to change what she had translated she refused and was terminated. The FBI labeled her a trouble maker yet in a review of her claims the information she provided about coruption within the agency proved true and not just about her translations. The Justice Department (remember this was under Ashcroft) put a gag order on her stating "state secrets". She was kept muzzled until a law suit by Ohio congressional candidate John Krikorian against Jean Schmit (R) Ohio (you might remember Mean Jean saying that John Murtha a decorated marine was a coward) required Edmonds to testify. Seems Jean may have been taking bribes from the Turkish government or so the law suit says. At any rate Sibel was able to testify during a six hour deposition on Saturday and from the beginning and from what can be gathered she spilled the beans on the Justice Department, the FBI, Dennis Hasert and a bunch of others.
I don't know about now but had this happened several years ago a whole bunch of people would be doing life in prison or worse. Remember when the Rosenbergs were put to death for revealing nuclear secrets? Well this involves the same thing only on a higher level. A summary of the deposition should be up some time later today.

A big hat tip to Ornery bastard and The Brad Blog for the news dump. To see a 10 minute clip pop over to THE BRAD BLOG

Sunday, August 9, 2009

When the rains come

I got to thinking. This is about the driest year on record here which lead me to think about the Dust Bowl days. We think we have it bad now? This is a picnic compared to what they went through. Most houses in the midwest back then were little more than clapboard tents. The dust would blow right through the gaps in the clapboards. No pink insulation then. Mothers would take rags soaked with water and flour to try and fill the gaps. Kids had to go to school with a kerchief on their faces and wear it all day. One old guy remembers the dust being so bad that you couldn't see the teacher standing at the front of the room.

So I wonder are the spirits angry or is this just mother nature's way of thining out the herd? If you look around your place here you'll see the damage from a hard winter and the brown lawns and dead plants. The trees are starting to shed leaves and it's not the time of year for that. What will survive and what won't? I've been able to half bring back a few plants with water and food. But then what about people? The old weak ones will leave us as will the very young and uninsured. Makes you wonder if you're on the list. Did I save enough? Will I make it through without some medical or financial emergency? Will there be an end to the drought? I've cut back to two meals a day. Will that be enough to to make it to better times?
Needless to say it's overcast here today. It hasn't rally rained yet but you can see the mist. Kind of a tease. And when the rains come will we go back to our foolish ways of buying so much junk that we'll need to rent a space to store it? Maybe or maybe not. We just might become like our parents who always said "you didn't live through the depression" and they were right but we now have one to call our very own . It may not be as bad by comparison but it's bad. So like an expectant father we wait for baby good times to get here. When is anyone's guess but we can all agree it's not soon enough.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Busy beaver?

This was listed as a busy beaver but he doesn't look very busy to me. I've been busy getting no where so don't call me a beaver.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday mixed nuts

We had some nasty hot weather here last week with a couple of people dying from the heat. But no sooner did the local coffee stand put up a sign about ice cold shakes than the weather changed like somebody flipping a switch. It's one of those odditys of life I tell you. It can be dry for weeks on end but once you drag out the sprinkler and give the plants a good soaking it will rain hard the next day. An indian rain dance could do no better. And why is it that when your up to your eyeballs in work with offers of overtime that at least two other companies call wanting your services. It's feast or famine hot dogs or steak. It's a conspiracy I tell you. The forces of the universe having their own town hall meeting except they all agree to screw with the human.

Speaking of town hall meetings they're having one up here next week and I'm half tempted to go, take pictures and post them here. Sort of a moron montage if you will. This sure sounds like the death rasps of the republican party.

And speaking of the republican party I hear Mel Martinez senator from Florida is calling it quits. Florida must have been holding its' breath as of late because I hear it's starting to turn blue. I guess if the republicans in that state don't like it they can all scamper over to Texas and together can all succeed from the union. But with a wall around the new country who'd do all the manual labor for all those senior citizens. No unions there. And by leaving the union they'd be giving up that evil social security and medicare. But don't worry about grandma because there'll be plenty of room under the overpasses down there for her but she better empty her retirement fund to try and pay for medical insurance. And as soon as the insurance company drains all her retirement money and makes that $146 billion profit they'll kick her to the curb.

Speaking of curbs anyone of us could land up on the curb even though they say the economy is doing better. We've gone from a spirting wound to a mere dripping of blood in terms of unemployment. The patient isn't dead but he sure is looking peked. In my calls to potential employers this week I got to talk to a couple of company owners and I must say they weren't sounding to enthused. No work now is the repeated phrase.

With that I'll sign off until I can find a good beaver to post (maybe later)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Michael Steele indeed

Michael Steele continues to perpetuate republican BS. Stating in an Email that the "demonstrations" against any change in healthcare are real and that the Democrats are only out to smear republicans, Michael fails to realize that with a little digging anyone with half a brain can see what's going on here. The republicans and the blue balled democrats are fighting to keep their corporate masters pleased. This is simply a war of for profit against non profit. We know that republicans are always against non profit organizations like public TV. Bush cut funding to it during his reign. The corporations and lobbying groups behind this astro turf movement didn't do a very good job of covering their tracks. When a lobbying group has to bus people state to state and hand out scripts of what to say and do that's not a grass roots movement.

Like the spoiled rich kids they are Steele and his republican cohorts seemed to have come up with a new plan, a continuation of their conract against America to try and maintain the status quo they once had. What they fail to realize is that with so many loosing their healthcare that the system as it now stands will stand no longer. When it does fall it will bring the rest of the nations' economy with it. And it is now in the process of falling. One small business owner in the midwest just had his insurance premiums raised by 42%. He will have no choice but to eliminate coverage for his workers and hope that his own family doesn't get sick. And that's the real truth Mr. Steele. If anyone should be angry it should be the people who have lost their coverage and can not afford any COBRA. They and I should be angry at you and the party you represent because we could be drowning and you wouldn't even be bothered to call 911 because it might cost you 50 cents. And in the true republican ideology as Obama pointed out in his campaign for president, if you get into trouble don't bother calling a republican because with them "you're on you own".

So it appears that since the republicans have no new ideas other than more tax cuts for the wealthy that the Democrats will have to rise to the challenge, come up with a plan and get it passed on their own because you are no help at all. Like the firemen at the front door of a burning house the Democrats are trying to spray water on the fire, while you stand at the back door pouring on gasoline. The people in the house are hoping the firemen win the fight or they could end up dead before the fire is out. Fifty million people are watching you each day and another 14,000 are joining their ranks and they see you holding that gas can.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I can now prove that I too was born in Kenya

From incentives for SUVs to Cash for clunkers

Hard to believe that it was six years ago that Bush put into the tax code a deduction for SUVs. It was obvious who this tax break was geared toward. At $75,000 it only benefited those at the very top, the wealthy. CEOs doctors and lawyers could now stroll into a showroom and pick out their wet dream Hummer or Navigator knowing that most of the cost could be written off in taxes. It was once again Bush thumbing his nose at the environment as well as the middle class. And why not he was a representative of the "conservative party". You remember them. The ones who were supposed to be tight with a buck. The ones who wanted to shrink government and drowned it in a bathtub.
Who else did this wonderful scheme benefit? Most of those SUVs had the highest profit margins of anything made in Detroit and not to mention that the gas milage was the worst of anything on the road. Even Detroit had to blush and redesign the Hummer to a smaller more fuel efficient version.
Then there's the Ford Explorer. I haven't checked the milage on this gas guzzler but I have to assume that it hit's the top of the charts as the number one fuel sucker. The top three trades in the Cash for Clunkers program are Explorers of different years. What no Hummers? That's an easy read. With the older Hummers original sales price topping out at over 100 grand who in their right mind would dump it for a meager $4500. So you just might be stuck with that white elephant and hope somebody steals it for a joy ride or maybe you could park it in front of Green Peace headquarters with a sign that says Screw the Environment.
Who benefited from Bush's little scheme? The car companies were cranking out high profit rigs while the oil companies saw a spike in their sales. And where did the blame fall when the economy collapsed? It wasn't the CEOs or the White House that hatched this little plan. Of course you must blame this on the worker who was finally making a decent wage and benefits yet gave concessions to try and save his job while CEOs got fatter wallets by cutting costs and jobs that fell on the line worker.

So now finally the adults have taken over and put some true conservative thinking into play. How's spending $1 billion considered conservative you ask? Simple, it's just like you adding insulation to the attic or changing to CFL bulbs in your lights. Yes it costs a little up front but over the long haul it saves quite a bit. It saves tons of gas. It gets the dealers back to work instead of playing cards all day or worse hitting the unemployment line. It will eventually get the parts people back to work. And it helps the environment. This is a win win situation. Not to mention it gets some much needed tax dollars back in state coffers.

It's so obvious that all that Bush and the republicans did to this country was WRONG. It should be easy to see that the best way to undo the mess is do just the opposite of what he did. Can we now call George W. "professor backwards"?

Monday, August 3, 2009

The latest from lollypop land

Now the birthers say they have a copy of Obama's birth certificate from Kenya.

How ever when a closer look is taken, several issues arise that question it's authenticity. The document lists Obama's parents as Barack Hussein Obama and Stanley Ann Obama, formerly Stanley Ann Dunham. The date of birth is listed as August 4th, 1961 and the hospital is listed as Coast General Hospital in Mombasa, Kenya.

Now no doctor is listed but the alleged certificate is signed by the deputy register of Coast Province, Joshua Simon Oduya. It's supposedly a certified copy of the original, its dated February 17th, 1964.

Problem number one with the document, is the February 17th, 1964 date on it. Kenya gained Independence on December 17th, 1963, yes, but it was not declared a Republic until December 17th of 1964. It shows Kenya as being a republic on the alleged birth certificate from 1964 but Kenya was not a Republic till December of that year. Huh? You may be asking how could a birth certificate be issued from a Kenyan Republic in February1964, when no such Kenyan Republic existed in February 1964?

The biggest problem is that the hospital listed in Mombasa was part of Zanzibar at the time.

Ann Coulter has called Taitz and the birthers "Cranks", Karl Rove has come out and said the birth certificate released by Taitz is "probably a forgery". Everyone from Bill O'Reilly to Michael Steele, have said Obama is a citizen and the birthers need to give it up.

Hat tip to one Ruben Sarmiento of the Examiner for hitting the history books on this one.

Then there's the case of one John McCain. On a recent news program he was being interviewed. One of the questions was about the republican shrinking popularity with hispanics. McCain proceeded to say that the republican party needs to do a lot to regain hispanic support. Sooo what does McLaim do? He decides to vote against Sonya Sotomayer. Way to go McShame nothing says support like voting against what is probably one of the most qualified hispanic candidates for the position.

Wonder if we can get John to go hunting with Dick Cheney. John would shoot himself in the foot and Cheney would shoot him in the face.
Lastly we have the childish disruptions of the Democratic town hall meetings sponsored by a republican DC lobbying group (the outbreaks not the meetings). Gee wasn't it just a few years back that anyone who even asked an out of line question was escorted out by police?

As promised a list of Blue Dog democrats

Rep. Barrow
Rep. Gordon
Rep. Hill
Rep. Matheson
Rep. Melancon
Rep. Ross
Rep. Space

And if you want to get an idea about what this bill would mean for the folks in these guys districts pop over to Tin Foil Hats Unite and click on the links NorthCountry Liberal has there.

Foil Hats Unite

If you live in one of these districts I hope you'll keep track of how they vote and remember it the next election cycle. When they vote against this consider that you pay for their coverage (some of the best in the country) while you'll get nothing. Nothing like saying "I've got mine to hell with you"!

Thanks for the leg work NCL.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Good ole republican liars

How many time must we listen to their lies before we finally get smart and vote the far right out of government for good? First it was Sadam has chemical weapons. Then Sadam was developing nukes. Then it was Sadam was tied to terrorists. Then it was Sadam was part of 911. Then it was Obama is Muslim so he must be tied to terrorists. Now it's Obama was not born in this country. Obama is responsible for the (pick one): banking crisis, auto industry failure, stock market collapse. I'm surprised they haven't tried to tie him to the Lindberg baby kidnaping and the cause of the great Depression. And the mouth breathing knukle dragging fools will believe this crap. Maybe we should have that endocternation camp set up for the Rushs and the Becks and the Malkins along with about a dozen senators and congressmen who perpetuate the lies of the far right. They seem to have this dillusion that if the keep pushing this BS that people will believe it. Bush did have one thing right when he said "you have to keep repeatin the propaganda over and over again". What they fail to realize is that there is now the internet and their facts can easily be checked from government web sites that say exactly what's being voted on in any given day. But I guess their base is either too stupid or lazy to check the facts.

So Congress is working on a healthcare bill right now or at least they were until the kids were let out for recess. You could sit there and watch the attempt at creating a fix for a dying healthcare system. It's really sad that instead of coming together and having each side of the political isle add some positive piece to the solution puzzle, the republicans are lock step in rejecting any idea presented by the democrats. I was fearfull that the republicans would just keep adding enough ammendments which would need debate (and they did present some 364) that the bill could never get to a full floor vote. Little did I know that there is a proceedure for dealing with this tactic. You simply delay any debate on an ammendment thereby shoving the matter back at one's opponent. Much like someone lobing feces at you and you are able to deflect it into a box in the corner.
Then there's the issue of commentators and our own neighbors trying to tell us what's in the bill. I think I covered that in an earlier post. How can they say they know what's there when there are three bills at present? There are two in the house and one in the senate. The republicans once again are using peices of the bill mostly out of context to get in their talking points and politicizing something that should not be politicized. We've seen how the republicans have dealt with healthcare over the years. Their last big addition to healthcare was the doughnut hole drug plan. Makes me wonder how many people that plan bankrupted and what was the logic behind it other than to make the drug companies more money?

So let me conclude by saying that something will get passed in the fall. And I don't expect it to be a perfect end all piece of legislation. I'd expect that there will need to be adjustments to it later as the American people see exactly how well it works or doesn't. But it's time to call out the liars and coerse those that want some status quo because as we all know the status quo will no longer survive.

Fact Check

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Unemployed beaver

Well things may be looking up. A small company south of me might have some work in a few weeks. Gad I need to get back in shape. I've been hangin in a chair like that beaver for too long.