Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The end is nigh

Not talking about any rock group or video game here. The world which was never the brightest sphere of intergalactic galactics is experiencing the results of it's even less bright inhabitants.

Me me me me me. It could have been you but it's all about me now. In our narcissic splendor we have pillaged the planet in such an orderly and chaotic fashion. If that sounds psychotic then you haven't been paying attention. No brownie points for you. What's in this for me you might ask? Oh there's the rub. Absolutely nothing my friend! Ha! and you though you'd get out of this with some golden parachute or at least a severance package of sorts. Neigh my un astute student no golden watch or cushy retirement plan for you. No escape plans here. It's either wood coffin or cardboard box for us all lest you be the well to do. Only then can you have choice of down filled head rest or maybe the silk covered pea cock feathers hand embroidered with your name.

A segue a segue my kingdom for a segue. Oh say can you see the bombs bursting in air the rockets red glare then it was the last thing you saw. How deviously adept we've become at destruction with now touted super weapons! (court trumpets heralding their arrival). And lest you fear the messengers of the Apocalypse, have no fear Wyoming is here to save the day with an escape plan meant just for you. Just what you can do with a bunch of northwest greenbacks I leave to your imagination but let me say this: corn cobs just might be at a premium. And as for the leaderly leaders who think that all is forgotten and they can just carry on leading once again they'd better think again. Revenge is such an ugly dish.

Now how do I get out of here before the weight of the world weighs my weary bones? Darn I think I've caught the Graves disease and I'm not talking about the kind that makes your eyes bulge. Reverse memory. Didn't eat pepperoni and marshmallows before bed. Didn't sleep with Poe under the pillow so what could this malady be? No rock and roll fever or (okay you know the rest). Some transmutating internet virus shot through the screen?

Oh what the hell let's all just have a glass of Merlot and leave it at that.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

More stupid things

As if we didn't have enough...

So tuned in to one of my few favorite programs last night only to find Buba and the boys in their fancy fire suits covered in advertising yapping about track conditions. Hoping this was some momentary delay to my usual Monday night spot I watched long enough to hear them say the reason for this interruption to my viewing pleasure. Seems one of the Buba's didn't see a truck used to dry the track filled with jet fuel and crashed into it. This reminds me of the guy here who ran into a ferry boat because he said he didn't see it. Pffft, Our boats are seven stories high and lit up like a christmas tree at night so how drunk were you when you ran into it? As for car races who the hell cares? "Look Buba they're makin another left hand turn!" "Wonder what happens next?"
Maybe they could make it more interesting by taking the governors off and adding combat weapons. That might make it interesting. A couple of 50 cals mounted where the headlights should be with a flame thrower and front and rear missile launchers might spice things up. It would sure thin out the lower end of the gene pool.

Then there's that other fine American "sport" ultimate cage fighting. Come on why not just bring back the real gladiators? You know they want to. Guys swinging real mace and other Roman weapons of that era. Make it really "ultimate"! Or how about the ultimate race through Homs, Syria on foot? You can picture contestants dodging tank shells and sniper fire. But now it seems nearly ever aspect of our daily lives has been turned into a reality show. Sorry but some things are best left at the office or factory because for the most part working is just a means to an end it's only that somewhere along the line we've forgotten what that was.

Now where the hell is my "House" Fox? Oops that's about a doctor and a hospital (Opens mouth wide extracts foot) :-)

Monday, February 27, 2012

A seriously Syrian update

I haven't been monitoring the Syrian portal much lately mainly because not much is coming out of the region. But here are a few snippets of info that I did get on Sunday. It appears that many of Assads' forces have moved to the northern part of the country having left Homs in ruins and many dead. After Homs came Daara the next section over. (Not exactly sure how or what to call these sections towns / suburbs or what have you). At any rate, the next town is called Deir Ezzor in the northeastern part of Syria. Assads' forces were in the process of surrounding the town. You couldn't see much as it was a night time camera phone video but you could hear the sporadic sound of automatic gunfire. I suspect that either this is yet another area inhabited by minorities or it is a stopping place along the long journey to smuggle weapons and supplies from Turkey. All in all I would evaluate the situation in the country as yet another example of ethnic cleansing much like we've witnessed in the past complete with horrors. A national referendum was held yesterday on the acceptance of bringing democracy to the country. Seeing as how those in support of such a bill were busy running for their lives or at best hiding in their homes I see no hope of passage of this piece of legislation. Even Russian TV was calling for a boycott of the vote. What a surprise!

The images above were taken some time Saturday night (actually Sunday morning their time). You might say so what it's a couple of pictures of a street in rubble. The dangers aren't apparent in these shots. The top image shows a view down a dead end alley. Somewhere between the safety of the wall with the peer-a-boo hole and the end of the street is a sniper. Exactly why the photographer choose to continue to the end with the sniper at his back is a puzzlement to me. I can only assume that he was looking for injured or fallen comrades that litter the landscape. Can anyone conceive of the mindset of someone so evil? Even after the worst of battles of prior wars it was a permitted aftermath to be able to remove the dead and dying from the battlefield. Not so in Syria. All of daily life there has now become a risk of death at the hands of this dictator.

More updates as I get them.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Help I'm surrounded by stupid

Stupid here stupid there stupid everywhere.

Look out the window and what do I see? Two guys pressure washing a roof at a business in the area. One complete with safety harness and long tie off rope. The other sans any safety equipment at all, guess he has a pair of wings under that raincoat. I know the business and I even watched when they put the new roof on the place. There's not one tie off point on the roof yet there they are running about one making sure the fall line doesn't get snared causing the guy with the wand to trip. But that's okay because like dominoes if one should slip and fall he'd just take the other guy with him because that's human nature to think we can somehow overcome 2000 lbs. of downward force. I'd call that the thinning of the gene pool. It's much like the fat mother holding her baby in her lap on the front seat of a car never realizing the forces of abrupt deceleration. Maybe that should be a requirement to pass a driving test, experience what it's like to be exposed to g 4 and I'm not talking about some economic summit or new wireless system here. It's okay mom the baby won't know what hit her when your body crushes her against the dashboard. Far be it from me to interfere with the natural order when Mother Nature is doing her job.

Stupid is walking or driving with ear buds in your ears listening to your favorite hits and expecting nothing bad to ever happen.

Stupid is saying the post office can be eliminated because people in rural areas can use Fed Ex.

Stupid is saying colleges are some kind of evil indoctrination program.

Stupid is wanting to eliminate all public schools and expecting the poor to pay for a private school.

Stupid is wanting kids to do the work of janitors thinking that will somehow get them ahead. That's why you go to school so you won't have to be a janitor.

Stupid is eating at a fast food place several times a week and wondering why you're 50 pounds overweight.

Stupid is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. Oops no, my bad, that's insanity a topic for another post.

Stupid is sliding down a railing on a skateboard and thinking you won't eventually get hurt. That only happens to the other guy right?

Stupid is thinking you can drink a half a fifth of scotch and drive home safely. The odds are against you stupid!

Stupid is thinking that a flag, a book, a cross, or any other inert object has more value than a human being.

I guess it's true you can't fix stupid. And life wouldn't be so bad if you didn't have to cross paths with stupid people.

Feel free to add your own stupid comments.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Radioactive wasteland

Top image is the Japanese nuclear plat at Fukoshima. Look carefully at the amount of reinforcing rebar that was used in the concrete. It is very close to the amount used in creating a bank vault and the concrete is actually thicker. You can imagine the amount of force that it took to rip this building apart, but a destroyed building is the least of their worries. It's the aftermath of the waste that will haunt them for years or make that centuries to come. Some people were wondering when this will be "cleaned up". The answer is simple...Never. Not in our life time or our childrens' life time or their childrens' childrens' lifetime. The half life for such radioactive material is somewhere around 10,000 years. People think of nuclear energy as the clean alternative energy source but fail to see the byproducts and the legacy.

You'll note the reading on the dosimeter in the bottom photo 102. (click to enbiggen) Even at a distance that's equal to one chest xray per hour. Not an acceptable level even under normal conditions at a nuclear plant. If memory serves correct it works like this. Workers in a plant carry at all times a clip on pocket meter. It indicates exposures but isn't meant to be an alarm. At the end of the day the worker turns in the meter to be read getting a new on on the next shift. Should a worker be exposed to more than a maximum dosage then he can no longer work there. In large dosages the radiation destroys DNA causing a multitude of physical problems that can be both immediate and long term. That's why it's used to try and fight cancer. The theory is that by interrupting the DNA of the cancer cell it can not reproduce. Unfortunately the side effects from that and the chemotheropy used are not too pleasant.

They say life is slowly coming back to Chernobyl which is true to some extent but it's not a place I'd care to go for a vacation any time soon. And it looks like certain parts of northern Japan are off the list as well.

In an upcoming post stay tuned for my rant on stupid people.

Friday, February 24, 2012

All hail Lava Lamp and the friday pussy

This post was supposed to be about an arcane idea about a non symbolic symbol and the absurdity of worshiping artifacts but as one thing lead to another and after some browser crashes I stumbled upon an article so poorly written that I just couldn't help myself. I hate beating a dead horse or watching a dead cat bounce but the story isn't finished and won't be for some time. Our government is never in a hurry to resolve issues of great importance that is unless there's money to be made like the abundance of oil fields in Iraq. Come on face it you know that's the only reason we went there in the first place. New Orleans of course was another matter, it could wait because the French quarter was barely touched.

Syria one more time, maybe

The writer of this little news ditty forgot to do his homework because had he watched even the slightest bit from the web he would have seen the war up close and personal. He would have known that the area in question is not "held" by anybody but more like a target on a firing range. He'd also know that the streets are empty during the day as the populace tries to avoid at all costs being shot or shelled into the here after. It's only at night that it's safe enough to venture out to look for food, water and attend protest rallies. And as Russia has been supplying the current regime with all the military hardware it could ever hope for, no sanctions imposed will have any effect on the present bloodbath. Hate to say it but this looks like another job like Libya where brute force will be necessary in order to stem the tide of bloodshed. Whether Russia would intervene on behalf of the dictator is still a major question. One thing is certain patience is wearing thin and supplies to the people have run out. The reporter from my first post on this subject was killed that very night yet his family continued as a documentation of the event. If that isn't pure determination then I don't know what is.

As usual the bank fails if any later.

Two more failed one in Ga. and one in Mn.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Women's Health

Reps on both sides of the aisle scream about waste whether it be military spending of $6000 toilets or an overpriced hammer. The ultra right howls at anything that might smell like a pork barrel yet if you look at what they've done the past 20 years or so it's just the opposite. One would think that they would be the party of cutting out wasteful things as this has been their battle cry as long as I can remember. Why then in Virginia would any government require a woman to have a completely unnecessary medical procedure and there by adding to already ballooning budget shortfalls? It won't matter who pays for such a procedure in the steps to a woman having an abortion in Virginia but should this draconian legislation pass it will create yet another government agency. What should they call the newly formed department? How about the Department of Who Who examination documentation? And who gets to verify that the woman was actually pregnant in the first place? Would the ultimate decision fall on the government instead of the doctor? The latest incarnation of this Kafka like bill places the liability on the doctor and then right back on the woman when a conventional ultra sound produces insufficient evidence.

I have a solution that might just fit the bill for you ladies that just might make these "legislators" think twice. Send them the following letter if you would:

Dear Senator/Congressperson

With the current legislation on a particular womens' health issue we the women of the state are about to propose a referendum for a new piece of legislation. We believe that this legislation you will find be no less intrusive than the legislation you are about to impose upon us. It is our belief that you in the process of developing new ideas are not truly focused on all of the ramifications involved. Our new piece of proposed legislation would require all members of the state house and senate to develop and pass or reject all future legislation with a broom stick in their rectum. This would have so many benefits for the citizenry of the state. It would surely keep a keen focus on the issues in front of you and I'm sure would make for a faster pace in the usually slow legislative process. And just so there'll be no cheating we'll have monitors stationed on the floor making absolutely sure that you can experience the pain and humiliation that you have presented to us.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More mayhem Death and destruction

A quick update on Syria where the indiscriminate killing continues. Men women and children are being fired upon by the military with tank guns and snipers on roof tops. No one dare venture into the streets during the day at risk of life or limb. I see no end in sight other than some type of intervention but with Russia and China providing back up for a repressive regime that is not likely to happen any time soon. What our spy agencies can do to alleviate the situation covertly is another question. With such a closed society it would be no easy task to try and infiltrate such a situation.

From the front lines of Homs, Syria

Had hoped to embed this BBC video at the link but forgot how.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A brief interlude of mayhem

From an undisclosed location on a roof top high above the city of Homs, Syria a livestream reporter has placed a camera. With the internet cut off from the country an ingenious workaround has been devised. Rather than the regular DSL line requiring a phone connection (at this point phone service is doubtful) a Satellite internet connection is being used. The one drawback of the process is that no identifiable street scene can be shown lest the government forces hone in on the location. The last reporter to do so was arrested and is now presumed dead.

An eerie quiet fills a viewers ear as an image of across the way roof tops with satellite dishes fills a small frame. Birds chirping and nesting somewhere near the rooftop camera can be heard amongst the whooshing sounds of incoming artillery shells. Then the explosions follow along with black smoke drifting in the air. From time to time small arm automatic gunfire can be heard in the mix. This is life under siege for a small town of mostly unarmed citizens. Their only crime was to protest in the streets. This is an act of government sanctioned murder.

What I witnessed last night was a murder plane and simple. Indiscriminate shelling of buildings and homes is not the act of going after an enemy or tracking down a terrorist. I was informed that so far 12 people had died. Imagine sitting in your home having done no crime when the military started firing. What would you do? Would you hide in your home or try to run to a safer place knowing that you could be gunned down in the street?

All something to think about the next time you break a shoelace or the car won't start. How inconsequential and small our own problems are compared to theirs.

Monday, February 20, 2012

And they're off!

The republican primaries and caucuses are sounding more and more like a horse race every day. Guess it's the only way they can keep their faces in front of the public and their insane views of the world going. Think I'm off on that last statement? Consider that when George W. was making speeches someone threw a hand grenade at him at one speech. The Shrub finally had to resort to speaking only in front of a military audience because they, our military, are bound by law not to disagree with him while he's speaking. That would be insubordination on their part. Obama spoke to cheering fans perhaps because he had replaced the Shrub and because they also knew stupidity had left the building. But I digress this is about a horse race so let me set the stage.

While the crowd is settling into their seats with their iced glasses of mint juleps, ladies are adjusting their over sized hats while the men fumble for the binoculars, the candidates are busy trotting around the paddock. Raising money while burning evidence of their past is tough work in the preparation for this race and is no easy job for this field. The contestants are finally ready and parading to the Iowa gate but wait folks there's been a bit of a spill. Seems Mr. 999 has slipped on a bra that's some how made it onto the track. A group of ladies is approaching insisting that it's theirs and demands his disqualification. Red faced Mr. 999 trots back to the stable but scuffing his hoof says he isn't finished yet. But we know better.
At the gate we have Mint RawMoney at the pole position followed by Sanitarium in the number two spot. Other slots are followed with Eye of Newt, MorRon (what century is this) Paul, Bushs' dumber Cousin Perry, and the lesser candidates Bachawkmann, and Jon (am I in the right party?) Huntsman. Good N Palenty a late entry had to be scratched because he couldn't come up with the entry fee.

The contestants are in position and the race is about to start. The gates have opened and it looks like Mint RawMoney has jumped to an early lead. Close behind is Eye of Newt followed by Sanitarium. But wait folks Mint RawMoney has turned to Newt and is whipping and throwing mud at the second place contender. Mint must have saddle bags full of the stuff as Newt quickly looses his spot. Sanitarium has now gained the second spot and this could be a close finish. Bringing up the rear far out of sight is, Bushs' dumber Cousin, Bachawkmann and Huntsman. MorRon slides into a distant third place and Eye of Newt fourth.
As RawMoney, Sanitarium, MorRon, and Newt round the far turn it looks like a very close race indeed. They come down to the home stretch pushing and shoving jockeying for position. And at the finish it's RawMoney declared the winner by a nose. That was until after the start of the next race when officials did a review and declared Sanitarium the winner instead. While the other candidates pushed on and prepared for the next race MorRon remained behind to gain support from the officials. Some of the officials will be at the Derby to determine the final champion. A sneaky move for the MorRon.

And seeing as how this is Presidents' Day I'd almost bet that our former leaders are rolling in their graves if they could witness what's going on today.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Digging for Greece

No easy task finding scraps of information about the situation. What little is out there is one sided based in propaganda of the financial pages and the far reaches of the back pages. Our world "leaders" would have you believe that this "bail out" is necessary to prevent other Euro zone countries from going under. Nothing could be farther from the truth for what is to stop any of the other P.I.I.G.S. countries from doing just the same? A bail out after all is to bring a business or organization back to solvency and that can not be done with a country when the cutbacks come from taxes. It would be much like a person racking up debt on a credit card and then quitting his job to take on a part time job. It's a recipe for disaster.

We saw this scenario once before in the 1930s. Even the gambling and much of the lack of regulations were the same, look up "bucket shops" if you don't believe me. And how did we get out of the Great Depression? Did we make it out by tightening our national belt and being saddled with a debt we couldn't pay? No FDR stepped up and fought to get this country back on it's feet with one of the biggest building programs in the nations' history. He knew that rather than have people sitting around half starving to death in Hoovervilles it was better to put them to work making something and collecting a pay check and in turn paying taxes back into the system. Did he lower taxes then? He did not. He raised them on the wealthy because hoping for money to trickle down doesn't work.

There is a certain degree of hostility between Greece and Germany. On the face of it I can understand how someone could get suckered into thinking that one side is described as lazy while the other is arrogant. The editors of the papers that wrote that must have chuckled when they came up with that for their corporate masters. But the truth is it's the average people who were hoodwinked into thinking such nonsense. The one article I did find was written by a German woman who married a Greek and moved there several years ago. Having lived both places she knows exactly what's going on. From an LA Times article:


Update: Just found out that many Greeks are leaving the country rather than face no future. Will the last person leaving don't forget to turn off the lights.

Fleeing Greeks

Saturday, February 18, 2012

No greece for you.

While the world has its' attention fixed on wars and rumors of wars a quiet theft is taking place. You won't find it on the front pages because it's being well hidden from world view. This is no ordinary theft though. It is the theft of an entire country and it's happening before our very eyes. I speak of Greece. Go ahead google it and see what you come up with. Not one scrap of information since Sundays' riots and even they were well hidden with but a 30 second clip on the late night news. What got news was the theft of a couple dozen statuettes from Olympia, Greece, a petty crime by comparison. Even Greek news has the blinders on with only a few photos of Sundays' destruction.

Why you may wonder with an entire nation on fire with the rage against austerity measures wouldn't it make even the first sections of newspapers and TV? Quite simple if you look at the entire plan. This is a complex heist involving an elite group of wealthy people who's soul mission it is to own the entire world. You think that's some hair brained conspiracy theory? Think again and look at who is doing what to whom all with the assistance of entire national governments. You have to have some very large deep pockets to pull something like that off. And what a perfect time to execute such a plan. The European Union is only 14 years old and never considered at it's founding what would happen if even one of the member countries went bankrupt. The European Central Bank was set up for one function, to keep inflation under control at no more than 2%. With no other rules in place it's a seat of the pants governing body at this point, making up the rules as they go. There was never any penalties set forth in the beginning to deal with the current situation. The concept of a multi country union may have been great in theory but it was never though out completely from the start or maybe that was the plan. That's hard to say.

Aside from the information about when the bail out will be instituted, that has been batted around like a ping pong ball the last few months, we know the average Greek isn't happy with having their future dashed with the measures of austerity they now face. I have been trying for several days to contact the people over there to find out the true extent of the damage with no real response. It was reported that the riot police (not sure they were even from Greece) were using chemical weapons on the protesters. We're not talking about the usual pepper spray or even military grade CS gas but something new, a gas that causes intestinal distress rendering people incapacitated for days. This is to date not been verified.

And why all the concern for such a small country on the other side of the world? Because if you look at some statistics about national debt and the revenues that cover it (GDP) you will see that nearly the entire world is in the same economic sinking ship. It's just that no government will own up to the facts and especially here in the U.S. during an election year. Many think that China owns us as a country but the actual fact is that our own government holds the bulk of our debt. At some point the bill will come due or in our case when even the interest on that debt can't be paid just like Greece. We however are fortunate enough to be able to adjust our monetary policies. Greece can't do that remember it's part of the Euro zone. But as we've seen the game never really changed when Bush left office. The leveraging continues just as it did before and we know that at some point the bubble will break again. We are tied financially to other nations in this global economy. When the house of cards starts falling we will be part of it. So Greece is the canary in the coal mine. Keep your eyes focused on her to see what could happen here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday already? Time for the Friday feline

This is DJ Kitty the Devilrays' new mascot. Why a platter pushing pussy is beyond me but I guess it's not easy to cart out a devilray on a leash around a stadium. A guy or gal in a devilray costume would look pretty awkward too. The image of Homer Simpson flapping his arms in a ray costume comes to mind.

Not that I watch many sports but for us or any city to try and steal a team seems silly to me especially in this economy. Sacramento can't afford their own team because the city is broke. Los Angeles might have the bucks to shell out but considering the Dodgers are broke that might be bad timing to try and build a basketball arena. We've seen how that scenario works. Team owners sucker the local city leaders into a deal and the residents land up footing the bill. Last I checked it costs upwards of a quarter billion dollars to build one of these palaces. Not something to sneeze at in tight times. And when the glitter wears off in about 10 years the owners like a two year old whines about getting a bike only in this case it's a mega palace complete with jumbo-tron. And why would you need a TV screen 40 X 60 feet in size planted in the middle? Because to be able to even cover the price of admission requires a seat so far away you need a telescope to make out the players. That is if you can afford the parking rates which far exceeds the cost of a ticket.
Greed has taken it's final curtain call, gone to it's logical conclusion. Anymore just because you build it doesn't mean they will come anymore because the days of the Chamberlins and the Byrds are long gone. It's all about the money. It's gotten so bad that I understand that kids can't even play a simple pick up game after school without having to pay a court fee. And we wonder why they'd rather sit on the couch with a game controller in hand. Most backyards aren't big enough now to accommodate a putting green much less a basket ball hoop.

Okay I'll be kind and save the Steve Irwin quips it wasn't his fault you know.

Bank fails later if I think about it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

News you probably can't use or could care less about.

Unemployment claims down to a 4 year low
Sounds like good news until you look at the rest of the stats. For one I know that that number is not a constant. It doesn't take into consideration those that have fell off being counted because their unemployment ran out. It's getting somewhat better but not as cheery as they would have you believe. Overall unemployment stands at around 23.8 million according to the article which is down from around 26 million at the height of the poop storm. Somebody want to turn off the fan now?

Foreclosures in Beverly Hills
The well to do are walking away from their multi million dollar homes even though they can afford to pay the mortgage. You may be thinking that's a stupid move until you discover that California is a "no recourse" state meaning the banks can't go after the borrower for the balance after foreclosure. That's called deficiency of lien. All well and good for them until they try and get a new loan for another house and the bank checks their credit rating. That next house you buy Ms. Diva is going to cost you a bundle in interest payments.

Save those pennies and nickels
The cost of making a penny is 2.4 cents and the government is looking for ways to cut costs (aren't we all?). Pennies haven't been fully made of copper since before 1982. At present they are copper coated zinc. But to date they haven't found a metal mixture as a substitute. I know back in the 1940s one years' production was steel due to the war effort but if you have anything minted before 1982 it could be worth a few cents and any steel coins could be worth a bit more as a collectors' item. And save your nickels too they're worth over 11 cents to produce now.

A college degree in bowling?
Oh come on now tell me we haven't gotten this low in education. I recall some crazy electives in college but they were not the meat and potatoes of a major or even a minor for that matter. Geez maybe you can now major in sex with a minor in drugs and rock and roll. I'll have to check that one out. Coitus 101 anyone?

Deadly Alcohol needs regulation
We now have the 21st century Carrie Nation a health policy expert from Oxford telling us that the WHO should put mandatory regulations on alcohol. True enough there have been idiots who have abused booze but this is nothing new. People have been drinking for thousands of years and we're still on the planet and multiplying. Ms. Devi Sridhar would love nothing more than to try and regulate human behavior. I think we tried something like that in the past. It was called prohibition and it didn't work then. Ms. Sridhars' concerns is for all the deaths caused by alcohol. Here's a better use of funds and resources. How about clean drinking water food and medical care for the masses? I didn't know they offered a major in drinking at Oxford.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

No sex no drugs and no rock and roll

Canada is busy working on a piece of legislation to make it easier for authorities to snoop on your internet browsing habits, The one side pushing this bill says that it's to try and catch pedophiles. Only problem. It wouldn't require any warrant or oversight by those doing the investigating. It would require ISP providers to put tracking devices within their server systems and establish a data base for all cell phones via their sim cards. I can envision all sorts of abuses and misunderstandings in this scenario. Click on a blind link and wind up with the RCMP at your door. And no browsing videos of your daughter or sons' school play on Youtube lest someone get the wrong idea.

There's a drug shortage in this country. Really? You could have fooled me. But seriously, it appears that hospitals and pharmacists are in a real pickle. I was surprised to find that some cancer drugs have a shelf life of only two weeks and then must be tossed. That's part of the problem. What is a physician to do? Administer a drug that may be out dated and ineffective or not give the drug at all? And finding alternatives isn't always easy either. You just know this will open the door to all types of cheating with repackaged or diluted medications. But considering all the side effects you hear from the disclaimer on the TV ads I think I'll take my chances with the disease.

Michael Jackson Whitney Houston and scores of others. While one sector of the population face a drug shortage there seems to be an abundance among the rock and roll crowd but then there always was. The powers at the top would like nothing more than to drug test us all especially those at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder. I have a better idea. Why don't we start with at the top and work our way down then maybe we could weed out the dopers in congress that is if they aren't too busy with their strip clubs and hookers. Take heart ladies of the night the republican convention is coming up fast. And if they have their little SOPA way then the music on the net will surely die. Bye bye miss American Pie.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Martyr Valentinus the Presbyter

Saint who?
Okay drop the lace encircled hearts and put down the Godiva chocolates. The real story behind this day wouldn't make headline news. Oh but maybe the old guys' conviction and sentence would hit the back pages of the tabloids. Here's the back story. Or one of them because you know things get lost somewhere in the story telling down the ages. The dude was a Bishop or a priest, even they forgot, who married couples in Africa much to the displeasure of the Roman big wigs. They threw him in jail. Remember this was back when they were lighting their roads at night with burning christians. They tried beating and stoning him to death. Didn't work. Finally they beheaded him. Talk about some heavy capital punishment. At any rate, they buried him and he was forgotten about. And like all strange traditions of that church made him a martyr a couple of hundred years later even though they couldn't remember who he was or what he did. For all they know it could have been any number of people but that never stops them from adding another saint somethings' day to the calendar. There's only 365 days in a year so I guess they have to double up on their martyrs because they ran out of days a long time ago and just who gets February 29th sure looses out.

And now we get to modern times. Aside from the child molestation cases and all the pay outs from the church that have hit the headlines of late it seems the Vatican is running amuck with it's own internal problems. With kick backs and bribes you'd think they were acting more like the Mafia than a supposed religious organization. But let's face it these are no saints running the show. Contrary to popular belief they aren't just a step below deities. They are humans and just as screwed up as you or I. And all the bells books candles holy water and beads isn't going to change it. So save your veneration. What an epiphany!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Web and I don't mean spider

I was busy yesterday watching the goings on in Greece but not through any old school TV news channel. Just about everything outside Casa Demeur is now presented in real time in your face right here on the net. The thought hit me that nothing like this has ever existed before. As I watched a rather odd ballet of protester and helmeted riot police run back and forth about an Athens main square, I could also read the chat stream from people all over the world. But that wasn't even the best part of the experience. With only a minor delay, 4 seconds, information could be passed from anyone the world over to the reporter on the ground there. He could respond either by voice or typing information into the chat box window. As he was a bit tied up with tear gas canisters being hurled around and I'm sure it's no easy job holding and framing the scene with a laptop camera he gave us a verbal portrait of the action with occasional updates from the other Livestream media team members. A group of very brave individuals if you ask me. But the real beauty of the experience aside from watching history happen in real time from a distance is being able to talk to the people of the country and get a true understanding of their plight without the filtering and spin of some news organization. No corporate ideology being pushed here. In fact no commercials unless the broadcaster chose the cheaper free rate in which case an ad was positioned at the bottom of the video portion of the screen. What will they think of next?

Alternative Internet

There has been much talk of late about SOPA and ACTA and a kill switch for the internet. A bit paranoid if you ask me. Imagine the complexity of trying to scan through hundreds of billions of web pages looking for illegal content. No program could do it accurately without doing damage to the rest of the net. As for a kill switch that wouldn't happen for long without corporations howling about lost revenue. Even in Egypt it was only put out of commission for a few days while the protesters relied on their cell phones.
I remembered having read an article a few years back about the future of the internet stating that a new method was being developed for delivery that could be faster, totally private, and no need for a service provider. This must have scared the bejesus out of governments. I'm not that tech savvy but from what I've read it works something like this. It's a network made up of wifi connections and a simple computer program. Information leapfrogs from one computer to the next and theoretically could travel around the world as it does today. It could therefore get information from the net and yet not be part of the net. The system also doesn't use web addresses so it's basically untraceable.
Then I understand that some Germans are on the verge of launching their own satellite in an effort to create another alternative but I haven't investigated that completely.

It all may be a bit quirky at the present time with pixelated video and distorted sound at times, but then again I remember having to fumble with rabbit ears and fine tune on the TV set many years ago.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The clown circus revisited

(Hat tip to the Rev. Dan for the photo but I think he stole it too.)

And which clown had the best tricks in the latest clown beauty pageant? Hard to say considering most of the contests didn't count for real. And the turn out? As Yogi might say they're staying away in droves. Who else but the craziest of the crazies would come out for this lot.

Cast of characters

Mint Raw Money - Keeps thinking he's the man to beat while his fellow party members are treating him like he farted in a room without windows. Just released the info on his Swiss accounts the Friday before the Superbowl. Oops didn't bother to tell the election committee. A hat tip to Mr. Goldman for that choice of monicker.

Eye of Newt - Wonder if he's found his next notch for his marital gun belt. Long nights on the campaign trail can be lonely you know. Which campaign staffer will grace his next wedding album will be anyone's guess. So you think having to resign from congress doesn't matter when you were caught with ethics violations and fined? You couldn't get a job at a Walmart with that record.

Rick Sanitarium - Thinks he speaks for the entire Catholic church in his quest to rid the nation of birth control. Go ahead boys keep up the fight to outlaw those evil pills and see what big Pharma has to say about it. Not to mention it's cheaper for the insurance companies to dole out pills than pay for babies. So that's two groups that will be pulling their backing. Ricky also seems to have forgotten that most of us older folks grew up in the 60s with sex, drugs and rock and roll.

Ron (What century is this?) Paul - Has an evil plot to steal all the delegates while the rest of the clowns aren't looking. Buying delegates is so much cheaper than having to buy an entire electorate. You'd have thought Mint would have figured that one out.
Ron is just jonesing to take this country back to the 1890s when there was almost no government agencies and pesky regulations. Try Somalia Ron no interference there. Just watch out for the pirates, thugs, kidnappers and thieves.

Sarah Barracuda - Cheerleading from the sidelines but for whom? You need to work on a new routine babe. The old talking points are getting thread bare. Starting to sound like a parrot. Family values raawwk. Lower taxes raawwk. Conservative values raawwwk. She has to have blonde roots. Just has to.

Herman 999 Cain - Okay he fell out after shooting himself in the foot multiple times. But his suggestion is to vote for ourselves. Vote for the American people he says. In other words none of the above. O my god I think he's right. What you witnessed with his campaign was performance art nothing more. Entertaining as it was it did little to further the cause.

Just wonder when the call for more clowns will go out. This bunch just isn't cutting it. Would it be a Bush? Probably not may have name recognition but after his brother tanked the country there still a bad taste in everyones' mouth. A Chris Cristie? A fat clown but with no experience and unwilling. Sarah said she give it a try if no one else would but we know she'd quit half way to the convention because who'd actually want to do real work when adoring fans will pay her for doing nothing.
Makes you wonder who they'll pick for VP. I know Ronald McDonald and Bozo are already booked with full schedules.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Portugal you're up next. Friday pussy looking sad

I had wondered if Greece would take the bait and bite on the "bail out" if that's what you can call it. Come to find out the European financiers threw in one last $380 million condition (translate more job cuts) to the agreement. And now Portugal is waiting at the trough for it's third turn at covering its' debts. No details yet as the banksters are waiting to see how the Greek deal goes even though that deal was signed. (Correction the deal has not been signed yet as I first read.) In digging into Portugals' background I find the usual suspects. Corruption and an inflated investment bubble that popped leaving regular people to face the rounds of austerity programs lavished on them by their government.

What amazes me is how patient people around the world really are at present. One would expect riots in the street with a few heads hanging from pikes. In reading the news this morning, started writing this last night, I find some minor clashes in Greece, but now even the police realize that they are going to receive a financial thrashing with lower wages and pensions. From the Greek news:

Even the police, who have repeatedly clashed with protesters since the crisis broke out more than two years ago, announced resistance to the creditors' demands.

"As we can see you are continuing this destructive policy, so we warn you that you cannot make us fight against our brothers," the Greek Police Federation said in an open letter to the troika.

Portugal is in no better situation having taken two bail outs already and now set to take a third. For a second there I though loan sharks were illegal until I remembered we have our "pay day loans" those 300%+ loans almost guaranteeing perpetual servitude.
A rather astute observation from a professor living in Portugal:
It will be difficult for Portugal to save its way to prosperity. Their attempt to rein in the deficit by reducing government spending while simultaneously raising all types of taxes may prove ineffective in the end. I hasten to add that no one, not a foreigner like myself and, no, not even the “policy elites” here in Portugal, knows for sure what will be the ultimate outcome. That is inherently unknowable. But given the enthusiasm shown by rating agencies for punishing countries no matter how responsibly they try to act, Portugal can depend on facing higher borrowing costs in the future as a result of continued and unrelenting bank and sovereign debt ratings downgrades. How then do the Portuguese outrun lighting?

But I think the analogy is a bit wrong there. It's more like, kindly attach this ball and chain to your ankle while we lower you into the water.

There doesn't seem to be any bank fails of late and why should there be when most are making out like bandits.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dirty rotten lying greedy bastards

Banks got 7.7 Trillion dollars for the mess that they created and what did the homeowners who lost their homes get? Settlement is for $25 billion but for those who actually got kicked out of their homes a paltry $2000. And nothing said about one of these crooks going to jail for the scam mortgages or robo signing documents. Last time I checked forgery on that scale was still a felony.

You've heard of a bank robbery? Well now we have:
Homeowner Heist

Twenty five million homes have been foreclosed on from 2007 to 2011 and I'd bet more are to follow yet little was done to stop or even slow the process. So we were robbed twice. The banks got a bail out and nothing more than a slap on the wrist. The justice department sat on their hands and watched this happen and not until last month did our government even begin to address the problem. It was a multiple win for the banks as I see it. They got the fees for closing the bad loans in the first place. They got the initial mortgage payments that went mostly to interest. Then when the homeowner couldn't pay they slapped on late fees. Unless the homeowner files bankruptcy he gets hit with the foreclosure costs. The bank gets to keep the property. And to add insult to injury the bank can go after the homeowner for the difference between the mortgage balance and what they can sell it for which is called deficiency of lien. And what did banks do when poop met fan? They raised the fees on regular customers checking savings debit and credit accounts many whom probably don't even have a mortgage.

Here's a bit of info that nobody is considering in all this. For all his blather, and you know that's all it is, Newt Gingrich rants about going after Fanny and Freddy (you'd think they were Bonnie and Clyde the way he talks). Well if they did that the big boys Chase, Wells Fargo and all would take a beating for you see they hold secondary mortgages on all or most of these loans. Keep peeling back all the layers of rating fraud, scam mortgages, liar loans and all and you have an onion with nothing in the middle. And Newt for all the BS that he's feeding you was promoting the very thing he's now saying he's against. Historian my butt!

And good luck trying to get a mortgage these days. Be prepared to provide proof of every financial transaction of the last twenty years. It wouldn't surprise me if they didn't ask for a cavity search. Late on a car payment back in 1975 could disqualify you. Credit score better be in the high 700s or higher to pass their approval. One error and they'll show you the door but you think any of them will see the inside of a prison for what they've done?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pot luck

Random bits and pieces today. That's what you get at a pot luck. And don't eat the deviled eggs they've been sitting out too long.

Of all the home sales here in the state of Washington last year one half were either foreclosures or short sales. Saw two places near me go for a song. Lucky I guess to have Boeing in my backyard. Well not that close but you know what I mean. Costs and wages are all relative. When I was a young kid a candy bar cost a nickel and now it costs a dollar but back then a good wage was $50 a week. Today that would just about cover a weeks' worth of Starbucks.

The game of chicken continues with Greece. One side like a pushy salesman wanting them to hurry up and sign the deal and the other knowing that the product is damaged but needs it anyway. No other stores to shop at either.

See another nations' leader has headed for the exit. The head of the Maldives stepped down after the beginnings of a coup came to his door step. Not a good day when you see the police take the protesters' side when you look out the window in the morning.

Speaking of police I see the police of Brazil aren't too happy. They're on strike and about 300 took up residence in the legislature building. Their wages and working conditions must be pretty bad for them to do that. All it takes is a touch of corruption and you don't know who to trust.

And no I didn't bother with the latest political beauty pageants mostly because they don't count anyway. How crazy have we become to waste millions on a primary election that doesn't count? Don't answer that. I know this is a country crazy enough to sell diet pet food so what would you expect?

Contraceptives. What's all the fuss? 99% of the nation uses or has used them. Does this mean the 1% get to dictate? A non issue if you ask me. The problem locally is that the Catholic hospitals here have taken over most of the public hospitals. The clinics have changed hands so many times I don't know what their names are at present. Small "doc in the boxes" as they're called have gotten quite bad over the years. I have no objection to foreign born doctors but when he tells you you might have mange you have to wonder about his past credentials.

Now as you leave my little pot luck here don't forget to tell your friends. And as you depart please pass up the bowl of mints. They've been there for years. They're only for show.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Where do I put the R in P.I.I.G.S.?

And another one bites the dust. Another one gone and another one gone. Think you know the rest of that ditty but this is about Romania. Portugal Ireland Italy Greece Spain and now Romania all on the edge of collapse. The powers that be would try and tell you otherwise but it's the same story where every you go. Racked up debts, not enough revenues to cover the interest and another country slated for austerity. The fascinating aspect in all of this was that back in the late 80s when we were getting our first glimpse into a country dominated by Soviet rule. The nations' leader Nicolae Caesescou (sic) made the fatal error of borrowing an estimated $10 billion from the IMF but in an effort to pay that back drove the country through austerity measures into an impoverished ditch so to speak. The Soviet Union was no help at the time as they siphoned off of that nations' resources. I remember a few news items of the time as western journalists were finally allowed into the country. One thing I recall reading about was that no one was permitted to use a light bulb of higher than 40 watts. Another item about a factory town that produced carbon black for car tires. The streets were literally caked in soot as were the residents and bath soap was at a premium. How anyone could have survived those conditions is a mystery to me. Even the places I've worked in hazardous waste weren't that bad and I've worked in some nasty places.

Now we need to dig through the rest of the old Soviet bloc nations to see more misery. I'm sure it will come out albeit slowly unless main stream media screws up and lets the cats out of the bag too soon. You will note that the large news agencies scramble for any scrape of positive financial news to stem the tide of what's not being spoken. Let's face it folks this world is about totally broke and won't admit it. Start with your city. Are its' books balanced? Mine's not. Is the state budget balanced? Again mine is not. How about the national budget? Are revenues able to pay the interest on the debt? Mine almost not but we're getting very close.

I have to laugh and not in a humorous way. Governments are changing hands but the game remains the same. Like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic the new leader puts more burdens on the people where the last one left off. Just change the party name and don't forget to throw the term Democratic somewhere in the middle. Liberal Democratic, Social Democratic or National Democratic it doesn't matter now.

Should we now call the situation PRIIGS or should we wait to buy another vowel. Oops that's right can't afford another vowel we'll just have to wait for a Euro bail out or an IMF loan. On second thought can't afford the interest so forget it.

(Thought about throwing in a usual cat photo example here but I'll save that for Friday.)

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Greek tragedy

If you thought this was about the play Electra you're on the wrong page.

Greece situation - Good god this amazes me. Greece is set to default on their debt and the European Union wants more austerity for the country. It's as if finding a starving person you tell them to get more food you'll have to eat less and the food they'll be given will need to be stored to pay me back interest on this food. Only here we're talking about money but actually it isn't money. It is debt and promises and bringing hardship on people most of whom had nothing to do with the problem. I can just about see how this will all play out. The loans will be made then neatly packaged and leveraged and sold again to some unsuspecting fund manager in the attempt to rebuild the house of cards. They (investors) will of course buy a hedge against a collapse at a very high price and again the insurance will be underfunded. And when the music stops and the bill comes due we'll be right back where we started.
And what could be gained through a bankruptcy? A default would do no less harm. Greeces' primary problem stems from the fact that the bulk of their income comes from tourism which has been wiped out with the current economic downturn. This could be a glimpse of things to come in the U.S. if we keep outsourcing our manufacturing. It's been reported that we have lost 45,000 factories (not jobs but whole factories) over the last ten years a trend that can not continue. We may have added a couple of hundred thousand jobs in the last month but in what areas?

I see today Merkel and Sarcozy are becoming impatient at Greeces' foot dragging. Can you blame Greece? They get a choice of two poison pills. Take your pick red or green either one will kill you. But if they wait they'll infect the doctor causing him great pain. Interesting Mexican stand off we have here but we know the clock is ticking because Greece has until March to make a decision. Nothing like waiting until the last second before the bomb goes off but in this case it'll go off anyway you look at it. Imagine if you were hit with a 29% tax bill and hearing that the government wanted yet more? I have to ask just how do you squeeze blood out of a turnip Ms. Merkel and Mr. Sarcozy?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thar's gold in them thar hills

hat tip to Friz Freleng (R.I.P.) and Warner Bros.

Can you just picture Yosemite Sam shooting both six shooters. And Bugs chuckling and saying "What a maroon." And today we have the same idiots lusting after the shiny metal thinking they'll be the next Bill Gates.

Canadians tell us that there's a bunch of the stuff in the eastern side of the state here. Only problem is it's a mile down deep. Humm exactly how do they know that? Do they have super x ray vision or something? Maybe all those years of mining uranium has given them super powers. It's funny I seem to recall a tad bit of history on the subject. Of the thousands of glassy eyed Rockefeller wannabes that put every cent they had into going north to Alaska to claim their fortune only a very small handful struck it rich. And you know who made more money than miners? The people here in Seattle who sold them all the equipment to do the job. It took nearly a ton of provisions to make the trek over mountains and into the gold fields of the Klondike. We even have a museum here called the Klondike gold rush museum dedicated to that era.

I get a bit of a kick out of watching Goldrush that new reality show. Watching a bunch of guys (don't get me wrong I'm sure they're sensible somewhat intelligent people on their home turf) turn into glassy eyed gold fever idiots is somewhat amusing. Dad there rushing in to dig holes everywhere is about what you'd expect from green horns. Just about every move they've made is a rookie mistake. No systematic approach for these guys. Interestingly enough if you're tooling along interstate 70 in Colorado and peer to the hills along the route you will notice holes and mine tailings doting the landscape. So I have to wonder if some poor slob got the fever and grabbed a shovel because most of these hill carvings are very small.

And a last thought on all this before I depart. Just what is gold really worth? It's used in manufacturing, gold fillings and jewelry but as an every day commodity we really have little use for the stuff. And beware of the gold bubble. My place at the height of the housing bubble was said to be worth one quarter million dollars. Yeah right! I saw the same thing with gold back in the 1980s. What had once been worth a price of around $40 soon shot to nearly $900. People lined up to dump their coins and jewelry at the nearest shop. I only wonder how many shops went under when the price plummeted and who got burned.

To read our latest local gold rush: Gold in eastern Washington

Don't think we'll be seeing too many backyard prospectors there as it was reported to be a mile under the earth but you never know.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Not so Super

Why is it that in lifes' journey there always seems to be somebody out there that wants to drag you down? You know who I'm talking about. (hate that expression of course you don't I haven't gotten to the meat of this issue). And that reminds me of the expression "you know what you did". But I digress. Is it sheer greed or some sort of inferiority complex that makes these people? Didn't momma love them enough or were they teased but their siblings? Were they the nerd of the class that everybody made fun of? Then these people grow up to become, unfortunately, leaders. And rather than look after the best interests of society they set about to make everyones' life miserable. Is this some payback for an unhappy childhood? One has to wonder.

And now we see the results of a hoard of these outcasts banding together and having become the blue meanies of congress. The very people who tried to scare us to death with death panels for grandma are trying to steal grandmas' retirement and medical. You know the kid. When the old gal is pleasantly baking cookies in the kitchen grandson is stealing cash from her purse. When confronted with the missing funds junior insists it wasn't him and blames her for leaving her purse out where anyone could take it.

This is a tried and not so true tactic for you see people are starting to wise up to what's going on. The "blame the victim" routine might have worked once or twice but people aren't buying it anymore. And to such a grand scale these nerds have taken this scam. So with all this in mind I get to the meat of the matter. Okay what's the point in all this banter? A person becomes employed and when they do they expect to have an understanding of the way a company operates. They are informed from day one what the salary and benefits are. It is by it's nature a contract whether written or not. The worker in turn has an obligation to provide his/her labor or talent and look out for the best interests of the organization as a whole. Those at the top of the organization are permitted to negotiate their pay and benefits either on their own or with legal representative. A worker on average does not have that ability unless backed by a union. Who in this day and age could afford an attorney at their rates? So now it's become an issue of management to try and take away that advantage. They will do whatever it takes to belittle bemoan and berate the workforce as if nobody but their own standard of living mattered. And what major benefit have they provided? Have they stood on the production line or faced the dangers of the workplace? Most I'd say have not.

Now we come to that grandest of sporting events the Super Bowl. Say what you will about fat bank accounts of players and the millions they make but no one sees the billions the owners walk off the field with if they even bother to show up at all. They sit in their high posh glass enclosed suites and watch the play from afar. And I'd bet that the only time they make their presents felt is when there's a championship at stake. But the whole concept is somewhat skewed. A player may be lucky enough to have a long career but at what price. We know that the life expectancy of a player is 50 to 55 years on average. Then there's the injuries and surgeries to face which are becoming far too common. One bad hit becomes career ending and with usually little to fall back on what's a player to do? We have seen more than one pennyless and homeless player ground up from the gridiron.

And to my final point (thanks for staying tuned). Indiana has now become one of those right to work states or as I call it right to starve. No longer is a person there permitted to bargain for their salary and benefits if they are in a group, This will bring down the wages of all at a time when costs of living are going up. The nerds may have won this round but the people will rise up and change things. That is a given. We saw what's happening in Wisconsin and Ohio and soon to a state near you. So as a protest I'll be watching an old movie or something like that when the big game day hype rolls around. The ads may be clever but seeing the end result in all this isn't worth the price of admission.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Asbestos pussy

Watching a report last night about Canada wanting to open up an asbestos mine to start exporting the stuff to India. I got an eyeful about how the people of India handle the stuff (include me out as Yogi would say). Showed workers hand scooping the fluffy stuff into piles with nothing more that a bandana over their face. A couple of Canadian PMs touting how it can be done safely and all the money that can be made by exporting to third world countries.
Okay a reality check here. I've worked removing the stuff for over 20 years. Unlike our foreign workers there I was given extensive training to protect myself and even though I've worked with some less than honorable outfits managed to protect myself because I put my own safety first and made sure that at least minimum standards were used to protect others. I also know that banning asbestos is out of the question because there are certain processes where there is no substitute. We could not produce paper or gasoline without the benefit of chemical resistant asbestos. There's simply no other material on the planet that will withstand the abuse. Now I find that our use of the material has increased here in the U.S. (see below)

According to the 2012 United State Geological Survey of mineral commodities, U.S. industries consumed 1,100 metric tons of asbestos from January through July 2011, compared to 820 metric tons during the same period in 2010. The difference represents a 34 percent increase in consumption, Reinstein said.

The U.S. Geological Survey report estimated that roofing felt materials account for about 60 percent of U.S. consumption of asbestos. The chlorine manufacturing industry, which utilizes asbestos diaphragms in the manufacturing of industrial chemicals, accounted for about 30 percent of asbestos consumption, the report said. The United States still has asbestos diaphragm cell plants.

I find that report kind of odd considering our housing market, the biggest consumer of roofing felt, has been nearly flat for the last three years. So I can only assume that we've been making products and shipping them elsewhere. Many products are still permitted to contain asbestos but I'd bet that they aren't produced due to the liability. We still use the stuff in car brake linings and small amounts in flooring tiles (that's why it has a 15 year guarantee). And one last thought, I'd bet anything that U.S. companies are just itching to get into Canada to get at their asbestos because they probably haven't changed their laws on mining the stuff since much of it was closed down years ago. Mesothelioma is not a pretty way to die killing you slowly over a period of about 12 to 18 months. How does it kill you? Simple, the fibers get into your lungs and get stuck. Your body tries to fight off the foreign material and in the process creates scare tissue. The hard tissue makes your lungs rigid so you slowly suffocate causing heart failure. In all the years I worked with the stuff I've only known of one worker who had asbestosis but then he wasn't the brightest bulb in the bunch.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What was I going to say?

Think I'm starting to lose it. I thought for sure I had a post all set to go for today. Maybe the beginning of that old timers disease? But with age comes wisdom. My usual trick for relaying events when the gray matter has turned to pink slime is to say that it happened about two week ago and that is sufficient. Nobody really cares anyway because I'm not running for public office so so what if FDR was around when there was no TV. This isn't Dragnet and you don't need to know all the facts and nothing but the facts. Now where was I? Can't even remember what little snippet I had set to dump here. Is this the beginning of the end? You know how that goes when mother nature has her way with you. First the vision starts going. Used to be able to read that mouse print disclaimer at the bottom of the ads and now nobody asks if I'd thread a needle for them anymore because they know I can't without multiple magnification and three hands. Then the audio portion of the program starts to fade. But as cover you laugh at the funny parts of TV shows with the rest of the audience because you don't want to look like the dunce. And here's a little something for the ladies. It's not that hubby wasn't paying attention to what you're saying (well most times) it's that he can't hear you. Proven fact that men lose a certain portion of the tonal range when they get older and guess where that range is? Yep it's the pitch of the female voice. Ah there may be a god after all. Hey put that rolling pin down there an explanation here! Men really don't care about all the miniscule details of any event. They don't care one bit if Betty Lou's dress matched her shoes or not or the convoluted genealogical progression of her kin folk. We could care less about how many cousins four times removed because it really doesn't matter you're not writing a police report Sgt. Friday.

Did I mention the beginnings of the lack of patience. Oh course I didn't I just forgot. I think I know the root cause of that. You see people who have been on this planet long enough have experienced just about everything there is to experience. So nine times out of ten they know exactly what's going to happen before it does. Not many surprises left for us old fogies. So as you fumble for your wallet at the store when we know you left it in the car don't blame us for being irritated. We've already been down that road before once too often so get over it. Now where the hell did I park the car?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Statistics and the lies they present us with

(there's that darn cat but he's being stubborn and won't animate)

My old man was a statistician. Yep a number cruncher or bean counter. Take your pick. I'm terrible at math but I did learn a few things from my dad along the way like lying with statistics. I hate percentages. I hate ads in the newspaper that offer sales that say 50% off when they don't tell you the original price because usually it's a lie. So too it is with polling figures. The winner got 46%. 46% of what I'd ask? Okay here's the stats but they mean very little unless you know the whole story. That I will give later. (God I hate teases too)

Statewide Votes
Michele BachmannREP3,959
Herman CainREP3,494
Newt GingrichREP533,038
Jon HuntsmanREP6,197
Gary JohnsonREP1,196
Ron PaulREP117,094
Rick PerryREP6,768
Mitt RomneyREP774,942
Rick SantorumREP222,774
1,669,462total votes cast

Now I peel away the curtain of what lame stream media isn't or won't tell you and we find some interesting facts. Below is the listing of how many registered voters there are in the state of Florida with party break down.

Republican: 4,075,147 Democrat: 4,562,964 Other: 2,638,324 Total: 11,276,435

Floridas' primary is a closed primary meaning only people registered with a particular party may vote for their candidates. No cross party voting. So of all the registered republicans in the state only 40% came out to vote for any republican candidate. South Carolina only saw a turn out of 21%. To reframe this then 60% of Florida republican voters see no sense in voting while nearly 80% of republican voters in South Carolina see no use in voting. That does seem odd seeing as how the pundits keep telling us that if things are bad economically in an election year then the party in power will get thrown out. And we all know how the doom and gloom sayers have been touting Obama's policies as failed. You think maybe just maybe the American people are starting to wake up to the fact that we can't go back to the policies that got us into this mess in the first place? Tax cuts and deregulation does not create jobs. And seeing as how we have an aging population you think anyone would want to give up their social security and medical just so that some greedy people on Wall Street have more money to play with? I didn't think so either.

The clown car rolls on next stop Nevada.