Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's eve pussy

Especially when it's self inflicted!

Well here's a year I'd like to forget. I'll be kicking back and listening to all the monkeys out there getting stupid and crashing into each other.

Resolutions? Oh I've kept the one I made several decades ago and that was never to make new years' resolutions. Now let's see what banks collapsed just before the year end deadline. So far nothing but I'll check later. They don't seem to get recorded until later this evening. Until then be safe. Don't do anything I wouldn't do and if you do don't name it after me.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Who's a wuss?

Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell calls us a nation of Wusses after the NFL canceled the football game in Philadelphia after a blizzard was predicted.
A couple of things here: First the governor isn't the one who does the driving he gets driven anywhere he wants to go.
Second the gov I guess didn't bother to read the advice from his own department of transportation:
"Anyone with travel plans should be aware that there is the potential for a major winter storm that could have a significant impact on all or parts of Pennsylvania this weekend," said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. "It's essential for motorists to carefully monitor weather forecasts and check conditions along their entire route before traveling this weekend.

"If a winter storm does strike, our advice is to avoid traveling unless absolutely necessary – for your own safety. If you must travel, use common sense, pack an emergency kit, have realistic expectations of road conditions and remember that if winter precipitation is falling, roads will not be completely free of ice and snow."

Lastly this was, as it always seems to be, about money. By moving the game to Tuesday the NFL was able to have four games in five days thereby increasing their coffers. And would Eddy expect the folks from Swarthmore to trudge a couple dozen miles in knee deep snow to the stadium because you know most people from Chester can't afford tickets these days not after most of their jobs were shipped to China? And most of those Chinese would be walking because they can't afford the high speed rail tickets in their country. So yes I think not. The Swarthys wouldn't consider warming up the Mercedes even if it had all wheel drive.

Wusses? Wuss indeed.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The audacity of no hope

Wondering what the end is like. No, not the end of life. That's something left for another post. We start out with a bit of education thinking we can conquer the world only to be told that our lack of experience precludes us from the job. Somehow we manage to get that experience and then some along life's journey. But low somewhere along the way the years catch up and we become over experienced. Our usefulness has somehow been erased by a birthdate. Why hire a 50+ worker with 30 years experience when we could hire two 20 somethings at less than half the price or even better outsource the whole operation to China or India?
Like Charlie Brown we fell for it. Lucy held the football (hope) up there and didn't crack a smile. Hope for whom I must ask? Was this for our grandkids if our kids can even afford to get to that point?

Four and a half million people are quietly eating through their life's savings. They can't spend money of frivolous things like Chia pets and Clappers. It makes me wonder if it's better to have been born poor with no hope from the beginning or have to endure the slow loss of the current economy. It also makes me wonder if all of that Christmas spending by those who were working wasn't just some ruse. Come and get it because today it's 50, 60, 75% off our regular store price. It sure was great. All wrapped in a red bow under the tree and it was all mine to do with whatever I wanted. And it will usually land up somewhere in the back of the closet gathering dust until the summer garage sale. And yes the Charlie Browns fell for it one more time. They translated joy into pretty wrapped things. After all the retailers had to make room for the Presidents' Day Sales. And the process continues but will the consummate consumers have the funds to keep the game going? There's the 64.99 dollar question. They're not quite as dumb as they were the last time around. They kept the credit cards tucked into their wallets and used cash. You think maybe they're starting to catch on to the master and slave game going on here? Or should I say indentured servant?

Never before in this nations' history have we witnessed such greed as we see now. In the past we've had to spend to get out of hard economic times. There was the New Deal and WWII. That money was borrowed but it was also paid back by those at the top who had more than enough money to spare. So I just have to ask those at the top of this heap what are you going to do with all your loot? Seems you won this great game of Monopoly and came out with all the hotels and the railroads and the utilities. What are you going to do when nobody can afford these services? What are you going to do when profits keep shrinking? Oh that's right just sell the whole operation to some overseas investment company and walk away. But may I remind them that they are never satisfied with the bounty. Like a drug it's never enough. But may I also remind them that every bubble breaks. What will happen when they have nobody left to sell to? We saw that in the housing market and with the dot com bust.

As I've said once before it's all a matter of balance. Too much power or money or rain or snow makes the whole system out of balance. Maybe what this country needs is a corporate enema. It sure looks bloated to me.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas pussy... It is Friday after all

Kitty is ready for Boxing Day

So as you rush around buying those last minute gifts thinking that the holiday will be a bust if you can't get scarf for aunt June or that book uncle Harry wanted, stop for just a sec and remember what this was all supposed to be about. It was all supposed to be about hope. Hope that somehow with the execution of one man that by some strange magic those who have been beaten down by life's ills will have hope of a better life. That somehow cruelty and greed would be washed aside if only for just one day. That people would stop focusing on themselves long enough to see the suffering around them and do something about it.

And there is my Christmas present to you.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Silent night and today's news

Silent night
# Two explosions at embassies in Rome injure 2
Holy night
# North Korea threatens 'sacred' nuclear war if attacked
All is calm
# U.S. press should fear being targeted, WikiLeaks founder says
All is bright
# Romanian survives jump from balcony in Parliamentnly
Round yon virgin
# Nude Aphrodite on Cyprus passport causes controversy
Mother and child
# High-tech Christmas: How to track, contact Santa online
Holy infant so tender and mild
# Bainbridge Island police killing found…- Seattle Times
Sleep in heavenly peace
# Man suspected of stealing elderly woman's…-
Sleep in heavenly peace
# Lakewood, University Place firefighters…- Tacoma News …

Hat tip to Simon and Garfunkel and Yahoo News 12/23/10

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

News and a little background behind it

New S.T.A.R.T. deal nearly done.
The treaty would limit each country's strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550, down from the current ceiling of 2,200. It also would establish a system for monitoring and verification. U.S. weapons inspections ended last year with the expiration of a 1991 treaty.
Scientist back in the late 80s calculated that it would take just 24 of the current warheads to eliminate life on this planet.
So I have to ask why do we need thousands of these things when a couple of dozen would do the trick?
This program is considered the black hole of a military career. It's where military officers go to be forgotten.

Oil over $90 a barrel
Merry Christmas everyone now fork over the cash. And what happened to the $12 a barrel Bush promised? Remember he was going to go over to Saudi Arabia and give those guys a good talking to. Ah such short memories we have. Any wagers as to how high prices at the pump will go?

Don't ask don't tell signed into law
I think the military wasn't actually expecting this to become a reality. Now they need to figure out living arrangements and a code of conduct. And nobody thought about what to do with bisexuals. Gad this could get real complicated. Also a certain Monty Python bit comes to mind. I'll see if I can pull that one up later.
Hope this works. Tres funny.

Senators press EPA on carcinogens in tap water.
There's 31 cities with high levels of the cancer causing chemical hexavalent chromium. If you remember the movie Erin Brockovich this was the chemical we're talking about here. And if republicans had their way the standards would be all but eliminated because after all that'd be getting in the way of corporate profits and we can't have that now can we?
I'd love to hold a republican banquet and use their safety standards for the meal. Dirty water contaminated food and plenty of chemicals would make for an interesting evening especially when I told them at the end what they'd just consumed. And when they asked exactly what that was I'd tell them "sorry boys that's proprietary information I can't tell you".

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lies lies lies and other random stuff

You ever get the feeling we're just moving deeper and deeper into Orwell's 1984? I can't off hand remember all of the details of the movie and never got around to reading the book but it's looking like we're there when it comes to Orwell's basic premise. We have cameras nearly everywhere. Our phone calls and electronic communications are being monitored. All for our safety they say. It all started long before 911. You remember guys trying to fly to Cuba don't you? That was the beginning of the end of our freedoms. With that became the advent of searches a violation of our 4th amendment by the way (no probable cause). But hey it's for your own safety they said. And now you can't even get a job in this country without someone knowing when you ran a red light 30 years ago. You can only hope that the report once locked in a file and now occupying hard disk space is accurate. They tell us to be on the look out for suspicious activity. Just what am I supposed to be looking for? I know when a group of teens are about to pull a prank, but some radical group? A single bag sits on the carousel at the airport going round and round long after the flight has landed. Eventually an employee will come and pick it up and drag it to lost luggage. Should I be concerned? Nope because I know the odds of any ill happening are higher than being hit by lightning.

Ah but to the lies. Draped in the U.S. flag the powers that be would have you believe that these wars we're fighting are the most important thing since the founding of this country. They'd have you believe that this is about spreading democracy in far off lands. Those people are just primitives who need to be shown how to live. (Do the American Indians come to mind here?) Nope what you're watching here is part of the largest theft in world history. Billions and billions of unfunded tax dollars are being thrown at a problem. And billions more are being siphoned off by corrupt officials on every side. I saw this at the start of the Iraq war when pallets of hard cash disappeared in short order. Only one of our guys was caught dipping his hand in the cookie jar. We're told that the Afghan war is going swimmingly well. Yeah swimmingly well for those lining their pockets with our money. There really is no incentive for this to end. We give no bid contracts to Haliburton. The locals get some scraps to play policeman while the elders and even the Taliban are paid off. There's enough money flowing into Afghanistan at present we could have rebuilt the place twice over, but you see they don't want the gravy train to end and they don't have to because they've been fighting so long that it's become a way of life. This very type of behavior has been going on for centuries if you bothered to read your history.
There's the massive wealth of minerals in that country but I don't see them benefiting from it any time soon. The Taliban and local warlords think too small. At my graduation a high ranking official from our federal government spoke. He said something to the effect that with a high school education you might be able to break into a train car and steal some of its' contents, with a college degree you could steal the whole car and with a higher degree you could steal the entire railroad. How prophetic of him as this was about the time of Watergate. Little did he know that near 30 years later our nation would be going on a robbery spree on global scale.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas and FU

(The assailants were described as well dressed Wall Street banker types armed with foreclosure notices)

The Obama administration and Walgreens on Friday announced a partnership to provide free flu shot vouchers to 350000 uninsured Americans and others with inadequate health benefits.

Only problem with this is that there are 50 million without health care coverage so how is this going to work? A lottery? For the 99ers it's like telling them please drop dead and be quick about it. If you find yourself in that situation here's the reality. You may find yourself with just enough to get by for the next couple of months maybe longer but since you have assets you'll get no help from this government or even charity organizations. Charities are about broke unless you need a toy for Tiny Tim. Forget about Scrooge turning nice in this real life story. Cratchet and family will be living under the overpass, Tim will be buried in a paupers' grave with Bob facing a bill from the state for his burial. The max you can own in assets is $100 before you'll get so much as a crumb of help.
Need medical help? You better find a sympathetic doctor who's willing to reduce his fees and doctors who aren't tied to some HMO or insurance giant are very rare. And if you look closely at this Obama gesture you'll be seeing just a taste of the republican plan that's yet to come. (Spirit of the future?) They'll eliminate Medicare and Medicaid and give out little chits that won't cover anything. I guess what they want is the remainder of your assets to go to the wealthy and Wall Street because that's where they're going now.
I can almost envision their plan now. Need to see a doc for some expensive tests? You'll get a voucher for $100. Only problem is when the test costs $1000. So the vampires will suck the very life blood from your still warm body. What they fail to realize is that the host isn't supposed to die or the sucker fish will have to find a new host. Soon they will have no one left to leach from but themselves. This very thing happens in nature when the population becomes overcrowded. The physically strongest take over and start eating the weaker when food is scarce but in this case those at the top have become obese overbearing pigs. I don't think they'll fair as well this time around.

Almost forgot the bank fails. Six more hit the skids mostly in GA. Oh well what's a few more laid off workers when the bigger banks take over the smaller ones? And beginning next year as a nice merry christmas my bank will be charging me to have MY money in THEIR bank.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A message for congress

Sorry for the light posting but life has a way of interfering with such things.

To those who proport to make our laws (or not) I must wonder exactly what drugs they have been taking. They vote against any decent thing while protecting the very top of the heap. At this rate we'll be a third world country in short order. Estimates have it that 8000 more will be hitting the unemployment lines in the state come January. And once again we hear not one peep from the Tea Party. This Christmas gift to the wealthy is after all borrowed money. But here's the truly scary part of it. When the bill starts coming due who do you think gets stuck with it? Keep your eyes pealed as to what rethuglicans do come January when they take the reigns. Raygoon was known as the slasher because he cut many of the safety nets. You ain't seen nothing yet. With a 2% shortfall to Social Security the difference will have to be made up somewhere. Cuts to retirees? Or just kick a few more disabled to the curb because after all they're not really people.
If I could sell my place and head somewhere else I'd be out of here in a New York minute but with yet another foreclosure in the neighborhood and I'm sensing one more after that making a total of 5 when all is said and done, the likelihood of that is slim to none.

Bank fails later as usual.

So to congress I say hang up the bong, extinguish the joint and for God's sake dump the white powder. Sober up and get busy doing the right thing for once.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Memory loss

Don't you just hate it when you had that whiz bang idea for a post and somewhere between going to the bathroom and the breaking news it slips past the gray matter down the Alzheimer hole of lost thoughts? It was here just a minute ago. Now where did it go? Is this what we have to look forward to when age takes it's toll? Of all the stuff I used to know, the places I've been and the people I've worked with it's all slowly fading like a morning mist. There were instructors who taught many a recertification course and I know of one who I just can't remember his name when I think of him. Every time the thought of him comes to mind I can see him. I remember what he said but I'll be damned if I can remember his name when I try to remember it. Then sometime later when I least expect it that name pops up like it should have been there all the time. Funny how the human brain works. So fear not it'll come to me sometime. Maybe tomorrow or maybe not. Now what was I saying?

Monday, December 13, 2010

How about a nice winter vacation?

A wonderful experience at the Chernoybl nuclear reactor. Take a dip in our heavy water self heated pool and marvel at the glowing material at the bottom. Stroll the grounds and experience flora and fauna unique to planet earth. Let the kids scavenge for souvenirs and as an added bonus they'll won't need a haircut for months to come (thyroid treatments at extra charge).

Our highly trained staff is here to serve your every need.

Our lead towels are the heaviest of any tourist resort.
You'll learn to speak the newest area language of Full Face Respirator but with a little practice you'll be communicating with the staff in no time.

And when you fully enjoy this experience you may be interested in our other worldly tours to Kandahar or Darfur. They're wonderful experiences especially in the springtime. (seasonal rates apply)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snow blasts the midwest

What do you mean you can't get out to get cat treats?

One of the many reasons I moved here. We don't have to shovel rain. And as I'm not much of a water person I don't live near a flood zone.

There's flood warnings all over the place here but at present it's stopped raining here. They say there will be a lot of rain in the mountains which will melt the snow and flood the rivers. We'll see. Now if we get one of those Canadian cold fronts coming down from the north while the pineapple express is dowsing us with rain, watch out. It's happened once back in the early 90s. What's the worst snow storm you have experienced? Mine was back east in the late 70s with about 26 inches in two days and I wasn't living in Minnesota at the time either.

Looks like a go ahead for the tunnel to replace the Alaska Way Viaduct. This is Seattle's answer to Boston's "Big Dig". I can tell you now that they'll have problems with that due to a couple of factors. One is that when they built the bus tunnel under 3rd Ave the soil shifted causing most of the buildings on that street to drop by one inch. Not a good thing to happen when a high rise must be level. Second is that the soil from 3rd Ave. down to the waterfront is nothing but sand and fill. Not something to build a structure on and I'm no building engineer but on face of it it doesn't sound good. Third and last is that there's a fault line at Royal Brougham near Safeco field which is where they'll be putting the entry point to this tunnel.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Not to be outdone by a certain Fodder

Too busy to post much bank fails later.
Two banks failed this week in WI and PA.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pain and suffering

I didn't get to hear all the stories of the people at the meeting but of the ones I did, I heard enough to give you just a glimpse of what's going on out here in the real world. A trucker in his late forties unable to get work. He was promised six months work driving a rig only to be told after a couple of weeks that the job was done. For him it was just one of the temporary economic green shoots that sprang up and died. In the mean time he faces trying to get medical treatment so he can pass the physical to be able to continue to drive. A veteran he can get it all done through the VA if he can jump through the hoops to get an appointment. He doesn't have the funds to pay for a doctor or the expensive tests required. To top it off or add insult to injury as they say, our state is about to cut medical funding for those least able to afford it.

Another a woman appearing to be in her early fifties wondering how she'll pay her rent when her unemployment runs out shortly. Having worked all her life with no family in the area. She appeared to be shattered, beaten down by the current economic situation. She didn't look like someone who had frittered away a lot of money on toys for herself. Just one of the many who thought that with some retraining and right timing she could make it back to the workforce and a steady pay check. If she doesn't find something soon she'll be just another statistic looking for a shelter. But shelters have a waiting list and there's no time or place to wait.

More on these bits and pieces of hardship later.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas caroles

You better watch out
You might as well cry
Sure can pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus ain't coming to town
He's making a list
Checking it twice
Gonna pay back corporate donors
They sure were nice
Santa Clause ain't coming to town
He passes you when you're sleeping
He ignores you when you're awake
He don't care if you've been bad or good
He sure is a snake
O! You better watch out
You might as well cry
Sure can pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus ain't coming to town
Santa Claus ain't coming to town

Light posting this week too many things going on. Later.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

News round up or at least they way I see it.

And in today's headline news:

GOP talk temporary extension of Bush tax cuts
They want to extend it so that the top one percent can finish stealing what the bottom 99% have left.
Iran says it can make yellow cake.
I make a mean devils' food cake with fudge icing does that count? Of course this is all about spreading more fear. Sorry senators and MSM the only thing that scares me now is starving to death from your inaction.
Swiss to look at WikiLeaks bank account.
Smart enough to avoid all the worlds' police but not smart enough to have a numbered account. Or do they still do that sort of thing? You know the Swiss won't touch him lest he take his money elsewhere. I'm sure a banker in the Caymans or Luxembourg would just love to have his money. No free toaster opening that account.
Fires in Israel
The Palestinians have been doing it all wrong. Why use expensive weapons when a cheap Bic will do the trick?

Odd no bank fails this week. Is the FDIC on vacation or have they run out of money too?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas pussies

I iz republican cat waiting to spoil your crismas

Too lazy to blog bank fails later.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's about friggin time

Nigerian authorities to issue arrest warrant for Dick Cheney

Justice for Shooter
It took 6 years to investigate this but Cheney may finally be brought up on charges of bribery for greasing the palms of some Nigerian officials to get a fat natural gas contract. It would truly restore my faith in the justice system to see oil can Dick doing some hard time in a Nigerian prison. Now if Holder would grow a pair and hook the Shrub for his admission of torture (remember Pinochet went to prison for the same things) and this was in writing (his book).

Normally I don't post more than once a day but this was just too good not to share.

Debt Commission Report

I'll save you the trouble of reading it. A quick break down:
1. Essentially cuts spending for things like emergencies or should I say puts a cap on that spending? Exactly how they can determine the extent of an emergency is the $64K question.
2. They want to raise retirement age to 69, because after all we're all living longer so what the hell. You can still sling a sledge hammer into your late sixties.
3. Change the tax rates. And if you're not watching what's in their right hand while they take it away with the other and then some then you weren't paying attention. They say they're lowering the rates but if you look closely you'll note that the top rates go down while those at the bottom have their rates increase. Then as an added kick in the teeth they eliminate deductions which hits the middle class right between the eyes. (Oops mixed metaphor)
4. Cuts to military spending would include some weapon systems ( until a senator sneaks it back into an appropriations bill). Cuts to support contractors (Humm will they be using Chinese labor to transport supplies then?) The wording of this section is so convoluted that you'd need a translator to figure if there was any actual savings. Just how do you budget for a war and do it on the cheap? Wonder how much they'll cut personnel? Sorry soldier we only have enough in the budget to cover the cheaper artificial leg. If you want the better one you'll have to pay for it yourself.

So once again it's a give away to the wealthy. The soup Nazi has nothing on these guys. It's a simple plan for taking away what few crumbs have left but they better hurry up or there won't be anything left but a skeleton.

But all of this doesn't matter since all they want to do is cut. It leaves no alternative but for states to cut their already cash strapped budgets. And of course they never start at the top when cutting a state budget. Sorry to think it but maybe it will be time to invest in some home protection and I'm not talking about a guard dog either.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Merry Christmas and screw you from the republicans

(I've got a finger for you Mr. Tan Man)

Out of work for a long time? Benefits about to run out? Don't count on congress for any help. They're like Scrooge only this time he didn't make it to the end of the film. No ghosts this time around as congress voted down unemployment extensions. Leaving 1.8 million with no Christmas.

Maybe we could get together with a campaign to have the children of the unemployed write a letter to congress and ask them why their Daddy said Santa isn't coming this year.
If you can't afford the stamp then pop down to the local library and send an email. At least while you're there you can get a book, CD or DVD for your holiday entertainment.