Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Government Tracking Of Cars By Satellite Coming To A State Near You

Oregon using Satellite to Charge Mileage Tax

Follow the bouncing ball folks.

As people drive less because of both increasing fuel costs and their consideration of their "Carbon Footprint" this causes a problem for the tax man.

As people conserve down goes the tax digest.   The state needs the money to pay for road maintenance, salaries and new construction projects.

What to do?  What to do?   
Got it!  We can switch to a "usage based" tax scheme.  That way if you use Crisco oil to fuel your car or electricity generated from solar - the tax man can still get his "fair share" out of your wallet.

But wait!   With this type of tracking of your vehicle what is going to stop you from becoming the next "OJ Simpson with the White Bronco"?

Some of the most stalwart protectors of privacy will likely yeild because they like the money streaming into the government.  

Friday, December 26, 2008

United Auto Workers - Stick It To the Executives But Leave Our Pay Alone

UAW to fight pay cut proposal

The nation’s automakers are preparing to ask for wage and benefit concessions from their workers in early January to meet the conditions of a $17.4 billion federal aid package, but labor officials say they will seek to renegotiate the terms of the bailout rather than make those sacrifices.

The remarks by union leaders have set up yet another contentious battle in the auto industry.

In agreeing to provide federal assistance to General Motors and Chrysler, the White House demanded the companies cut worker compensation to the levels paid at the U.S. divisions of Toyota, Nissan and Honda. But Ron Gettelfinger, president of the United Auto Workers, said this week that he would seek to remove the wage-reduction provision of the loan, calling it “an undue tax on the workers” who have already made “major” sacrifices for the benefit of the auto industry.

Gettelfinger said what is being asked of the autoworkers — who agreed to concessions in 2003, 2005 and 2007 — is “unrealistic.” He has said he wants to work with President-elect Barack Obama to remove the wage provision.

The White House defended the terms of the auto bailout, saying that every stakeholder in the car companies would have to make sacrifices for the companies to survive.

The Unions didn't hold that Democratic/Union Rally in Chicago during the campaign for nothing.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Atlanta Based Web Design Firms Remain Exclusive

AJC: Atlanta firms struggle to lure top web designers

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
At one time they were just the scrappy little kids at large Web-design agencies.

Years later, they consider themselves some of the pickiest around when it comes to hiring for their own interactive Web shops.

“You have to be creative, and you have to enjoy what you do. That’s hard to find,” said Gabe Aldridge, one of three principals with The SuperGroup, which operates out of an eclectic high-tech office in Inman Park.

It’s an ironic situation — a company that is hiring but can’t find the right people with ease — given that the state’s unemployment rate in November rose to 7.5 percent. But The SuperGroup’s owners place most of the weight on the “interactive” part of their work — and finding local talent with those skills is still tough, they said.

Though Atlanta is ripe with technology companies, it does not have the same cache as New York or San Francisco when it comes to cutting-edge interactive design companies. That limits the talent pool and the attractiveness for out-of-town recruits.

Joe Schab, a managing director for digital marketing company LBi, said finding highly skilled designers is problematic regardless of economic conditions.

“This industry is growing so rapidly,” Schab said. “We’re in a perpetual war for talent. We largely have not had difficulty in attracting really good people. That being said, we also know those people are in demand elsewhere.”

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Guantanamo Bay Detainees Seek To Confess About Their Involvement In 9/11 Attacks Before Bush Leaves Office

Accused 9/11 plotters say they want to confess

They must have been tortured into saying this. No way! We all know that those ware innocent men being detained and beaten in Gitmo.

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men charged with coordinating the Sept. 11 attacks say they want to enter guilty pleas, apparently challenging the U.S. government to sentence them to death before President-elect Barack Obama takes office.

The Guantanamo detainees said they decided on Nov. 4 — the day Obama was elected — to abandon their defenses in their death-penalty trials. Obama opposes the military war-crimes trials and has pledged to close Guantanamo's detention center, which holds some 250 men.

Mohammed said Monday he will confess to masterminding the attacks that killed 2,975 people. The four other defendants did the same, in effect daring the Pentagon to give them death sentences.

The judge ordered lawyers to advise him by Jan. 4 whether the Pentagon can apply the death penalty — which military prosecutors are seeking — without a jury trial.

Mohammed, who has already told a military panel he was the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, said he has no faith in the judge, his Pentagon-appointed lawyers or President George W. Bush.

Sporting a chest-length gray beard, Mohammed told the judge in English: "I don't trust you."

The defendants' announcement shocked victims' relatives who watched from behind a glass partition, the first time family members have been allowed to observe the war-crimes trials.

Alice Hoagland of Redwood Estates, Calif., told reporters that she hopes Obama, "an even-minded and just man," would ensure the five men are punished, though she believes they should not be executed and become martyrs.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Report Shows Republicans Were Lobbied To Kill Freddie Mac Regulations - Watch The Attacks Turn Course On This News

How Freddie Mac Halted The Regulatory Drive

According to confidential company documents obtained by The Associated Press, Reps. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, and Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., spent the evening in hard-to-obtain seats near the Nationals dugout with Freddie Mac executive Hollis McLoughlin and four of Freddie Mac's in-house lobbyists.

Kanjorski declined comment through a spokeswoman. Ney ultimately served a federal prison term after pleading guilty to trading political favors for a golf trip to Scotland, other gifts and campaign donations in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

The Nationals tickets were bargains for Freddie Mac, part of a well-orchestrated, multimillion-dollar campaign to preserve its largely regulatory-free environment, with particular pressure exerted on Republicans who controlled Congress at the time.

Internal Freddie Mac budget records show $11.7 million was paid to 52 outside lobbyists and consultants in 2006. Power brokers such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were recruited with six-figure contracts. Freddie Mac paid the following amounts to the firms of former Republican lawmakers or ex-GOP staffers in 2006:

_Sen. Alfonse D'Amato of New York, at Park Strategies, $240,000.

_Rep. Vin Weber of Minnesota, at Clark & Weinstock, $360,297.

_Rep. Susan Molinari of New York, at Washington Group, $300,062.

_Susan Hirschmann at Williams & Jensen, former chief of staff to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, $240,790.

Freddie Mac's chairman and chief executive, Dick Syron, and McLoughlin, senior vice president for external relations, used Clark and Weinstock extensively, Weber said in an e-mail Friday.

Obiturary - Mike Kavanagh, 57, TV, radio veteran

Mike Kavanagh - financial expert

That unique, authoritative voice will be missed.  I often listen to his Sunday morning show while getting dressed for church.  

In listening to his perspective on finances I have been moved at times to reconsider some of my own financial decisions and to get my house in order.

Friday, December 5, 2008

US Employers Shed 533K Jobs In November 2008

This is going to get more ugly before it gets better.

The credit market collapse has put companies in a defensive mode. They feel that it is time to make their balance sheets look more solid. They are more risk averse in the process.

Some of the markets that had three or more competitors are seeing of of these competitors fall by the wayside (ie: Circuit City and CompUSA). Where as previously they were building locations as a means of keeping up with their competitors; the market soon showed that it is not able to bear the presence of these multiple competitors. When spending slowed as consumers scaled back on their use of credit - these competitors that were already ailing - received the death blow. The employees that were working because of the expansion, now find themselves out of work.

Employers Shed 533,000 Jobs In November

My prediction: This number is going up to 8.9% in 2009 before it starts going down.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Family Business Owner Gives A Bonus To Employees Even When They Didn't Have To

Ill. family thanks employees with surprise bonuses

CHICAGO – Even though employees at the Peer Bearing Co. no longer work for the Spungen family that recently sold the Waukegan-based ball bearings maker, they still received a turkey each this Thanksgiving in keeping with tradition.

But even better was the gift that came in mid-September, when the Spungens threw a party to celebrate the company's acquisition by a Swedish company.

They gave away $6.6 million in year-end bonuses to Peer's 230 employees, decided by a formula based on each worker's years of service.

"My grandfather was always charitable," said Danny Spungen, grandson of Peer founder Nathan Spungen. He said Laurence and Florence Spungen and their four children decided on a bonus formula a year before the acquisition closed.

He said the decision was "a gamble that we would come out OK as well."

Family members signed two thank-you cards to each employee, one in Spanish and one in English, expressing gratitude for "the loyalty and hard work of our employees over the years."

"They treated us like extended family," said Maria Dima, who works at the company along with her husband, Valentin. "We won the lottery."

On the day the checks were distributed, Valentin Dima watched as co-workers broke down in tears over their bonus checks. He drove home first, then opened his envelope: $33,000. His wife received a check for a smaller amount, and the two Romanian immigrants have since taken a Caribbean cruise to celebrate.

"This company gave us stability, so we dare to spend some money on such a thing," Valentin Dima said.

While neighbors and friends faced new financial strains, the bonuses have helped Peer employees breathe easier.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

"Playing Sports With A Hard On" - Viagra Used As A Doping Agent

They may have to redesign the athletic supporter if this keeps up.
The cheerleaders had better watch themselves as well.

AJC: New suspect in sports doping is, no joke, Viagra

Except that the Marywood study does not involve the bedroom, but the playing field. It is being financed by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which is investigating whether the diamond-shaped blue pills create an unfair competitive advantage in dilating an athlete’s blood vessels and unduly increasing oxygen-carrying capacity. If so, the agency could ban the drug.

Viagra, or sildenafil citrate, was devised to treat pulmonary hypertension, or high blood pressure in arteries of the lungs. The drug works by suppressing an enzyme that controls blood flow, allowing the vessels to relax and widen. The same mechanism facilitates blood flow into the penis of impotent men. In the case of athletes, increased cardiac output and more efficient transport of oxygenated fuel to the muscles can enhance endurance.

“Basically, it allows you to compete with a sea level, or near sea level, aerobic capacity at altitude,” Kenneth W. Rundell, the director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Marywood, said of Viagra.

Some experts are more skeptical. Anthony Butch, the director of the Olympic drug-testing lab at UCLA, said it would be “extremely difficult, if not impossible” to prove Viagra provides a competitive edge, given that the differences in performance would be slight and that athletes would probably take it in combination with other drugs. Scientists have the same uncertainty about the performance-enhancing effects of human growth hormone, though it is banned. But some athletes do not need proof — only a belief — that a drug works before using it, Butch said.

“I think it’s going to be a problem,” he said.

Through the decades, athletes have tried everything from strychnine to bulls’ testicles to veterinary steroids in a desperate, and frequently illicit, effort to gain an edge. Several years ago, word spread that Viagra was being given to dogs at racetracks, said Travis Tygart, the chief executive of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, based in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Interest in the drug among anti-doping experts was further piqued by a study conducted at Stanford University and published in 2006 in The Journal of Applied Physiology. The study indicated that some participants taking Viagra improved their performances by nearly 40 percent in 10-kilometer cycling time trials conducted at a simulated altitude of 12,700 feet — a height far above general elite athletic competition. Viagra did not significantly enhance performance at sea level, where blood vessels are fully dilated in healthy athletes.

A 2004 German study of climbers at 17,200 feet at a Mount Everest base camp, published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, found that Viagra relieved constriction of blood vessels in the lungs and increased maximum exercise capacity.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mariah Carey's Two Best Songs

I could sit here all day long and play these two songs over and over again and WASTE my time doing nothing else.

(What the hey! No embedding allowed for this video)
Mariah Carey - Don't Forget About Us

We Belong Together

In truth I only made this post so that I can have easy access to these two links on YouTube.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

As Oil Goes - So Goes Dubai?

Survey Signals Dubai Housing Boom Has Ended

DUBAI -- This city's six-year property boom appears finally to be over, with asking prices for some homes here falling as much as 19% in October from the previous month, according to a closely followed survey.

Home prices were climbing sharply as recently as the first half of this year. But over the summer and fall, tightened local lending collided with the global financial crisis to choke off easy credit. That scared away buyers, especially local and international property speculators who have helped fan years of price increases.

Other factors were at work. Dubai has been rocked by a series of arrests and probes at several big property developers and financial institutions. No charges have been filed, but the dragnet alarmed investors. Government officials themselves moved to tighten regulations in order to slow down run-away speculation and property flipping.

Analysts at HSBC Holdings PLC said Wednesday that average asking prices for homes in Dubai fell 4% in October from September. Advertised prices for upscale Dubai "villas"--typically stand-alone homes in a master development--fell by 19% month-on-month, the bank found. In next-door emirate Abu Dhabi, average home prices fell 5%.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bill Moyers Journal - "Afghanistan - The Good War"

I can see how the leftists in the media are going to play out this "Obama Administration" commentary. The "Bill Moyers Journal" on PBS prides a wealth of information and a telegraphed plan.

The guest host called Afghanistan "The Good War". Of course Iraq was the "Bad War" and was a diversion. As I listened in to the details about the challenges of Afghanistan I am beginning to see that the "Neglected War" as the guest host called it was really a strategy acknowledging the near insurmountable task that stabilizing Afghanistan represents. This near stone aged nation has few of the standard "military targets" which a modern military can focus upon.

My initial appraisal of the Obama Administration will be by its ability to distance itself from the "Left Wing" media and advocates who have thus far been using Afghanistan as a bludgeon for the Iraq War. In their message the real COST of the Iraq War was the fact that Afghanistan has fallen into chaos and drugs are now pouring out of this nation. It seems that they are about to get what they have asked for. As Iraq settles a bit that one battalion that Obama suggested be shifted into Afghanistan from Iraq just might be going after all.

It is also clear that America will one day come to a decision point -do we cut out of Afghanistan or do we escalate the fight? If you believe the new "Peace War Hawks" some might believe their smelling salt and drive for an escalation - the very thing that the Soviet Union failed at.

But oh the magic of the cheerleaders that come to sit with Bill Moyers. They seemed pacified by a "REGIONAL SOLUTION". President Obama - not having a meddling Vice President who sought to thwart the plans of others - a REGIONAL SOLUTION involving Pakistan and Iran might just be the cure for Afghanistan. The "Peace War Hawks" seem willing to accept a longer road to stability than that which war can bring forth.

For some strange reason - I believe that if the enemies don't buy into the peace THEY will be blamed for killing innocent civilians. Compare this to Iraq and the previously administered Afghan War where when civilians got killed it was the American military that FAILED TO PROTECT them.

Oh this will be an interesting 4 years - seeing the press spin like the Poltergeist.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Right Wing Terrorists" Send Powder To Mormons To Shift The Blame To The Left-Wing Gay Activists

Only joking for comic relief.

We all know that most terrorism is done by "the right" who is filled with hate in this country. The "left" is all about freedom and justice. They would not do such a thing.
No way.

Mormon church blames powder hoax on gays; Leaders say opponents of marriage ban are behind the mailings

I bet that the Mormon church did it themselves as a publicity stunt.

Right progressives?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

California Gay Rights Activists Upset Over Ban

Fox News: Gay Marriage Ban Protesters, Police Clash in California Streets

The irony of it all.
I watched former Star Trek crew member "George Takei" doing an interview telling the audience how disasterous the Bush Administration has been. I figured that he was looking forward to the return of "law, order and justice".

It appears that those who march have the very same plans.......AS LONG AS THEY GET THEIR WAY.

If the majority speaks and it is counter to what they believe then you should expect violence in the streets. (Oh wait - It was the police who started the riot in the 1968 Democratic Convention. I had better wait for the dust to settle on yesterday's events before I start blaming the gay activists. Sorry).

Mr. Takei has already hinted that regardless of the outcome of the people's voice - his faction will continue to fight against this will of the majority.

His has the trend on his side. The liberal judges have already overturned "the will of the people" in the previous law by saying that the other law was "unconstitutional". Then another judge refused to free gay marriage until the people have spoken. Compare this to the national freeze that was placed on lethal injection until the Supreme Court has spoken. (For some strange reason I figure someone will ask me how I can compare gay marriage to capital punishment. I DIDN'T! I compared the legal directives given in these two instances)

Mob Rule 101 - either give the people what they want or they will take to the streets and tear sh_t up.

Note - this was a small minority of the gay population who has acted out in such a way and is not representative of this diverse community who has a number of ways to accomplish their goal.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Afghanistan - The War That Obama Values

PBS Frontline: Taliban Rising

This was an excellent episode of Frontline.

Finally some news source told of the great difficulty that the terrain and the culture of Afghanistan pose to all who dare to enter.

If Barack Obama is elected president then so much of that which was thrown up as a straw man by him (and Michael Moore) will be put back into play. As the documentary indicated - catching Osama Bin Laden is not as easy as just throwing some troops on the ground (rather than having "outsourced them to the Pakistani Army) and going to root him out.

The Soviet Union experienced a massive and embarrassing military loss in this same nation a short time ago. I can only hope that a President Obama doesn't follow this same course of action. It is clear to most who are honest that the mere capture of Osama Bin Laden is not going to change much in this particular land nor can it be our primary goal. His capture will only be as symbolic as the claim of "hope and change" but won't mean much in the end. There will be many to take his place.

More than anything else - this documentary showed that the area of Afghanistan/Pakistan/Iraq/Iran is far more complex than what we are likely to hear on a campaign stump speech. The easy rhetoric of "make them like us again by building schools rather than bombing them" is not the answer.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Beware Of Teenagers While Driving

Without question - the streets of my town turn dangerous for drivers and pedestrians alike during the morning hours and in the afternoon - WHEN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE DRIVING!!!

This morning as I was driving back home from the store I saw first hand how dangerous these new drivers are other people. I was driving in the right hand lane of a 2 lane state highway (2 lanes north, 2 lanes south). As I approached an intersection that also had a yield lane I encountered this "threat on wheels" first hand.

This young female driver was in the yield lane, seeking to enter into the lane that I was in. Instead of coming to a full stop upon seeing me approaching she kept rolling forward.

Upon seeing her rolling forward I slowed down.

Upon seeing me slow down she THOUGHT that I was yielding for her to enter into the lane.

By the time she GOT A CLUE she was aiming straight for the side of my car!!!

I did not have enough time to look out of my driver's side rear mirror to determine if there was another car to the left of me so that I could take evasive action. My only choice was to slow down as she continued on the side of me in the median.

We were side by side and then I allowed her to keep going. She never did come to a complete stop. In any event I would far prefer her IN FRONT OF ME rather than to the side.

I have no idea who gave her driver's lessons. There is never, never, never a time in which the merging traffic has the right of way (ie: a car driving on an open street like I was - is NEVER going to come to a complete stop nor YIELD to her).

She almost caused a big time accident with ME being the victim either with her hitting me or me moving left and crashing into someone else as I attempted to evade her car ramming me. It is possible that she could have come away unscathed while my car receiving damage from hitting the car on the left.

This episode ruined my morning until I regained my sanity.

Sure enough she turned into the parking lot of the local high school.

I will stay away from that place during this time interval the next time.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Republican Senator Ted Stevens Of Alaska Convicted

The Republican Party is poised to get a big time whipping during these upcoming elections. The same expose of political fraud that killed them in 2006 is poised to flip a long time GOP Senate seat to the Democrats in a few weeks.

Alaska Sen. Stevens found guilty in corruption case

The Republican Party had better do some deep soul searching over these next few years. On the one hand there is little doubt that with the Democrats having so much rope that they are bound to hang themselves just like the Republicans did.

At the same time if there is a new Republican Party that stands as an alternative to the Progressive threat that this nation has turned to during its time of individual need and thus the collectivist spirit has been born then this would be for the best in the long run.

The sad truth is that a nation of "national entitlements" does not prove to be the best backdrop for a conservative party. With the expert implementation of incrementalism there is no one who is going to be able to pry entitlements from the hands of the masses.

It will only be from massive economic erosion that people will be forced to yield for the good of the whole. Until then - its going to be a long hard ride for the Republicans.

American are starting to see that they can "vote their way" into other people's wallets.

The Republicans had better make sure, until this time, that their members stay out of the wallets of their lobbyists.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cheaper Oil Prices Threaten "Green Energy Plans"

Newsweek: Solar and Wind Energy in a World of $70-a-Barrel Oil: RIP?

So goes that 'Global Warming' bit.

Now that gasoline is becoming more affordable I guess some of the people who "Got Religion" though Al Gore will return to their sinning ways

Friday, October 17, 2008

Why Does John McCain Bother To Site In The Den With His Enemies?

MSNBC: McCain tells Letterman, ‘I screwed up’

After weeks of "McCain bashing" by David Letterman for (on the surface that is) cancelling a previous appearance on the show John McCain returns to the show and apologizes for cancelling.

Does John McCain really believe that the only reason why Letterman is attacking him is because of this incident? If Barack Obama did the same thing - do you believe that Letterman would have crafted such a sustained attack? Sometimes it is best to understand that your enemies are going to do what they are going to do. Why pretend that the are not who they are and that you can actually convert them if YOU try? What are they expected to do to sustain the relationship? It does go both ways. Right?

Study: Late Night Talkshow Hosts Attack McCain over Obama - 7 to 1

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - And "Now That You Know"

Alright I did it!

I have been hearing about the book "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" for several years from many of my left leaning friends and debate adversaries. I have no problem consuming information that might run counter to my "right of center" beliefs. As always I prepare myself to receive some ideologically jolting news that will have me to question my fundamental beliefs. Yet again - after listening to this man's version of events I was pretty much unmoved.

Rather than read the entire book I reactivated my subscription to "Audible.com". Thus far only "Atlas Shrugged" has had the revolutionary impact on me via the consumption of an audio book as a means of expediting my reading.

The accounts of John Perkins were compelling. I do not doubt that the narrative which detailed both the actions and, in some cases, the motivations of the US foreign policy were correct. I have little doubt that the gloves that my country wears are soiled in many areas around the world.

As I listened to Mr. Perkins and cross referenced his views with those that I know from others who view this book as an affirmation of what they know about their nation I could only ask "Now that you know what have you done to change YOUR OWN consumption habits so that you are not a co-conspirator?"

I noticed that Mr. Perkins "got religion" several times during his tenure and realized that what he was doing was not totally above board. It was comical, however, when he acknowledged his complicity and tacitly expected forgiveness from the reader because now he was spilling the beans. (Snitching - in street parlance). After his career as a EHM he said that he purchased an energy services firm.

(to be continued)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Islamic Country Coalition Attempts To Use United Nations To Supress Free Speech

US Mounting Effort To Counter Limits on Speech Critical of Islam

The non-binding Resolution 62/145, which was adopted in 2007, says it “notes with deep concern the intensification of the campaign of defamation of religions and the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities in the aftermath of 11 September 2001.”

It “stresses the need to effectively combat defamation of all religions and incitement to religious hatred, against Islam and Muslims in particular.”

It's a shame that many of these same nations did not go out of their way to ban "honor killings" nor fortify the rights of women.

Monday, September 29, 2008

AIG Owner Of Atlanta's Atlantic Station - Turned A Brown-field Into A Gold Mine

AJC: Subsidiary of big insurance company is majority owner of Atlanta development

On any given weekend evening you'll find a large crowd of young Atlantans "getting their groove on" in the newly developed "Atlantic Station". For years this patch of land sat abandoned. The shell of the steel mill that once operated there and the long abandoned union hall stood near by showing a time that had passed for this land that had no productive use. After hundreds of millions of dollars in land prep and clean up of this urban "brown-field", having been contaminated by the residue of capitalistic exploitation - Atlanta's heart started beating again as this planned community sprouted out of the ground.

The concept was to place one's residence, city-view and recreation, entertainment and job (business) all in one concentrated area. This was to be a model from which others would take note. This was done in the context of an anti-sprawl theme were all of the above accoutrements are now spread with double digit mileage and an hour's commute separating them today.

This dream was turned into reality by the two forces that drive capitalism - the desire to profit from one's plans and .......obtaining the seed money to make it all happen in the first place. There are plenty of dreams floating around in all of our heads. It took the MONEY from AIG to make it all happen.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Have To Agree With A Guest On Bill Moyers - "Individualized Profits, Nationalized Debt"

I watch Bill Moyer's Journal on a weekly basis. He makes no bones about his ideology. The current financial crisis in the USA has allowed him to ratchet up his sabre. His viewpoints cut the wrong way with me and his selection of guests only intensify this sentiment.

I am forced to agree with the statement of one particular New York Times business columnist who was a guest. He made the comment "today we have a system that provided for Individual Profits and then Nationalized Debts when it all went wrong".

This is a very astute comment of the current state of affairs.

This current system allowed certain well placed operatives to make money from the arrangements of the market. After the entire system failed - they looked to the same government that they had asked to "stay out of our bedroom" to come in and rescue them.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Cost Of The Iraq War In One Fell Swoop!! $700 Billion!!!!

Bush wants OK to spend $700B
Bailout proposal sent to Congress seeks authorization to spend as much as $700 billion to buy troubled mortgage-related assets.

This is an outrage! Despite the fact that most Americans are as disconnected to this current financial crisis as we are to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq - the figures that are being presented to us are staggering.


What is going on here? I am a solid capitalist but this all stinks to high heaven.

There is little difference between the "funny money" that we have in Monopoly and that which is present in our wallets. It is the faith and confidence that we all place in the US currency that makes all of the difference in the world.

$700 billion for a bail out.
$1 trillion each year for entitlements.

All of these expenses are being tallied on the books and the day of reckoning will some day come back to us.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Last Thing We Need Now Is A Great Leader - Sounds Pretty Logical To Me

Commentary: Last thing we need now is a great leader By Penn Jillette

(CNN) -- Everyone I talk to seems to think the president of the United States right now is stupid.

The Bush presidency is stupid speeches, stupid high gas prices, stupid bad economy, stupid war on terrorism, stupid war on drugs, stupid hurricane fixing, stupid global warming, stupid war -- stupid, stupid, stupid.

They all seem to think we need to get a smarter guy in the White House fast, and Bush is so stupid, that task shouldn't be too hard.

Not me.

I'd like to say that I believe every president in United States history, including the stupid one we have now, is smarter than me. My alma mater is Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth Clown College, so I'm damning with faint praise, but I'm stupider than this here stupid president.

Maybe I'm less stupider than Bush than I'm stupider than Jefferson. But I'm stupider than all the stupid in both of them put together.

The idea, especially from the Democrats that I know, is, we just get a smarter guy in the White House, and all the problems will go away. We'll have smart speeches, smart high gas prices, smart bad economy, smart war on terrorism, smart war on drugs, smart hurricanes, smart global warming, smart war in Georgia -- smart, smart, smart.

Barack Obama is way smarter than Bush -- so way, way smarter than me. Obama is way more charismatic than me. He did his big speech for about 80,000 people; I'll do my show tonight in Vegas for about 1,000 people. He's more ambitious than I; he's going to be the next president of the United States, and I couldn't even get to week three of "Dancing with the Stars."

Obama is a great leader. He can fire people up and get them to do what he wants. He does smart speeches that promise everyone everything they need and make us feel good about our country and how much greater our government could be.

But I don't think our next president being a great leader is a good thing.

I'm worried about someone smarter than Bush taking over that tremendous power. Charisma and ambition increase my fear exponentially, and a great leader scares me to death.

We need someone stupid enough to understand that the president of the United States can't solve many problems without taking away freedom and therefore shouldn't try. The only reason John McCain scares me a little less is because I think he's a little less likely to win. They both promise a government that will watch over us, and I don't like that.

I don't want anyone as president who promises to take care of me. I may be stupid, but I want a chance to try to be a grown-up and take care of my family. Freedom means the freedom to be stupid, and that's what I want. I don't want anyone to feel my pain or tell me to ask what we can do for our country, or give us all money and take care of us.

Gene Healy at the Cato Institute explains that the Founding Fathers wanted the president "to faithfully execute the laws, defend the country from attack and check Congress with the veto power whenever it exceeded its constitutional bounds."

That sounds like plenty to me. You gotta be smarter than me to do all that, but you don't have to be as smart as Obama, and you sure don't have to be a great leader.

Our first seven presidents averaged a bit more than three public speeches a year, and they didn't promise jobs for everyone, day care, dental exams and free stuff.

It's really hard to find someone who trusts Americans to take care of themselves and each other without government force. It's hard to find someone running for president who would be content to be what George Washington humbly called the "chief magistrate."

I think Ron Paul and Bob Barr mean it when they say they want much smaller government. But the government is already big enough, powerful enough and bipartisan enough (and "bi" means exactly two and no more) that Ron and/or Bob won't even be in the debates. People won't even hear someone suggesting that our president should do less and individual citizens should do more for themselves.

The choice shouldn't be which lesser of two evils should have the enormous power of our modern presidents. The question should be, who would do less as president? Who would leave us alone?

If we could find a lazier, less charismatic, stupider person than me to be president, I'd be all for it. But, it's not going to be easy; stupider than me is rare breed.

So remember, the only way to waste your vote is to vote!

Friday, September 5, 2008

France In An Uproar Over The French News Paper's "Marketing For The Taliban"

Paris Match Taliban photoshoot shocks France

So let me understand this one (in the context of the new talking points by the American left):

Where as Iraq was a "diversion" from the REAL "War On Terrorism", Afghanistan was a just war because "We are fighting those who attacked us on 9/11".

Yet as we see in the article it is "Bush's fault" that the various troops are in Afghanistan.

Help me out here - if Afghanistan is the real war on terrorism isn't it in the world's best interests to be fighting in Afghanistan as they all have an interest in the outcome here? Why then is it made to be "About Bush"?

The French have an overpowering presence of 3,000 troops in Afghanistan. As a comparison the US is planning to pull about 8,000 troops out of Iraq alone and put them into Afghanistan. As the world attacks evil Bush for "staving the fight in Afghanistan" why don't they logically demand that France and Germany and Spain add more troops to bring the battle up to the necessary levels?

I am glad to see that the French don't like their own people implicitly working for the benefit of the Taleban with their propaganda. I only wish that someone goes after the "Anti-America Americans" who do the very same thing all of the time from within the states.

Paris Match Taliban photoshoot shocks France

By John Lichfield in Paris
Thursday, 4 September 2008

Politicians of the right and left blasted the magazine Paris Match today for publishing a photograph of a Taliban guerrilla dressed in the combat uniform of one of the ten French soldiers killed in Afghanistan last month.

The defence minister, Hervé Morin, accused the magazine of taking part in a Taliban “propaganda” exercise. The Green politician, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a leader of the French student revolt 40 years ago, said that Match was guilty of “abject voyeurism”.

The photograph was taken by a Paris Match photographer a few miles from the scene of the ambush in which ten French paratroopers were killed 30 miles from Kabul on 18 August. It showed Taliban fighters, who claimed to be part of the force which attacked the French troops. One of them was entirely dressed above the waist in French uniform, helmet, goggles and bullet-proof vest.

Further pictures in the magazine’s ten-page spread showed Farouki, the “leader” of the Taliban force amid seven young men holding assault rifles and other “trophies” taken from the bodies of the French soldiers. Anger and revulsion in France at the pictures was deepened when the newspaper Le Monde reported this afternoon that Taliban fighters had cut the throats of four of the French soldiers as they lay wounded on the ground.

The French military has insisted until now that the dead men died instantly. Le Monde, quoting the report of an official investigation and other military sources, said that three paratroopers had died from their wounds because other French, and other Nato, forces were slow in reaching the battle scene. Four other wounded men had their throats slit by Taliban fighters.

"It's a shock to see our children's killers parading their uniforms and their weapons," said Joel le Pahun, the father of Julien Le Pahun, who was shot dead while trying to give first aid to a wounded comrade.

M. Morin accused Paris Match of taking part in a sophisticated Taliban propaganda war.

"Should we really be doing promotion for people who understand the importance of communication in the modern world?” he asked.

“This is a communications war that the Taliban are waging. They understand that public opinion is probably the Achilles' heel of the international community that is present in Afghanistan.”

The publication of the photos was also condemned by left-wing opposition politicians, including M. Cohn-Bendit, who is likely to lead the French greens in the European Parliament elections next year. “There has always been an abject side to the voyeurism of Paris Match,” he said.

The magazine, once known for the power of its photo-reportage, became an outright celebrity magazine in the 1990s. In recent years, it has returned to its origins as a seeker of “hard news” scoops, as well as “people” images.

The meeting with the Taliban fighters was arranged by Eric de Lavarène, an experienced and respected Paris Match war correspondent, accompanied by a photographer, Véronique de Viguerie. M. de Lavarène today rejected suggestions that the magazine had allowed itself to be manipulated by the Taliban.

“No one talks of propaganda when we set off embedded with Nato troops, yet information is always very tightly controlled on those occasions," he told i-Tele TV. “However it is true that the Taliban have become masters in the art of communication.”

In an interview with M. de Lavarène, Farouki, the leader of the Taliban force, said that he had nothing against France or the French people. He also denied reports by the French investigative newspaper, Le Canard Enchainé, that French soldiers had been tortured before they died.

“These men died because of Bush and your president,” he said “We did not want to kill your husbands and your sons. We have no ill feeling for the people of France. If you you go, all will be well. If you stay, we will kill you. All of you.”

In a full-page article on the deaths of the French soldiers today Le Monde said that a preliminary military investigation suggested that the paratroopers had been ordered too far into Taliban territory and that ground support had taken more than three hours to arrive after the first shots were fired.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bill Maher's Rant Against Religion

Fox News: Bill Maher's Anti-Religion Movie

......not that he has an alternative construct for societies to order themselves off of. But when did anyone expect valid alternatives from Abstract Theorists.

Indeed GOVERNMENT is Bill Maher's alternative to Religion.

“Religion is detrimental to the progress of society.” That’s my favorite quote from Bill Maher’s often brilliant, but often unfocused “documentary,” called “Religulous.” It opens in early October right after its debut at the Toronto Film Festival.

The articulate, quick-witted comedian sets out in this film — which was supposed to have been released last Easter — to prove that line is true. Directed by Larry Charles, the man who put "Borat" together so skillfully, "Religulous" is blatant about Maher’s feelings: religion is bad. All religions are bad. They are ruining everything.

If you go for that, then "Religulous" is for you. Unlike Michael Moore, whose controversial films at least allow stories to be told, Maher is not interested in other viewpoints. Rather, "Religulous" is a long Maher spiel that pauses only to underscore his own points.

At first the film is very funny as Maher gently mocks one organized religion after another. He questions just about everything in Catholicism, even though he was raised Catholic. (His mother is Jewish, but threw it all over for the father.) Everything from the Immaculate Conception to crucifixion re-enactments are covered. By the time “Religulous” is over, the faith-seekers in the audience will have scratched Catholic off their possibilities.

Not that the other major religious groups don’t come in for razzing, either. Maher is brutal to Orthodox Jews and just as nasty to Muslims. (He interviews gay Muslims in Amsterdam, a city where he also smokes a lot of pot and finds many easy laughs.) Mormons get it, and so do Scientologists, whom Maher mocks in London’s Hyde Park.

Maher sends up everything outrageous and unusual in religion, cherry-picking the fringe elements wherever he can find them. There’s no question that he’s serious in his endeavors, and for a while following him feels like it’s going to lead somewhere.

Alas, it doesn’t. Unlike "Borat," or even a Moore film, “Religulous” is a dead end. In the last quarter, the laughs peter out as we realize the exploration is pointless. The film concludes with a long, very not funny, tedious speech by Maher — in which he rails against religion — that should clear theaters before the credits start rolling.

Right now you can see a trailer for "Religulous" on LionsGate’s Web site. Interestingly, it’s linked another site called disbelief.net. Obviously, a parody site designed just for the film, disbelief.net is registered to an unknown group in the Cayman Islands. It features the quotes of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, videos from the Church of Scientology Web site and a link to a Christian yoga video collection starring (whatever happened to) ‘Northern Exposure” star Janine Turner.

“Religulous” is a tough call. Will audiences flock to theatres to see it? That depends on just how many atheists there are at the popcorn stand. Maher’s point, that the world would be a better place without any religions, that wars would be eliminated and there would be universal understanding, comes across simultaneously as utopian and cynical.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

"Iron Man" Movie - A Super Hero Movie Filled With Hidden Messages

I took my kids to see "Iron Man" over the weekend.

Let me get past the surface comments: This was a great movie with great special effects and a good story line. It hit upon the classic "good versus evil" theme and was entertaining.

I could not help to notice some of the underlying messages in the movie:

* The "US Military Industrial Complex" having the US Government working for it

* The ability for the "US Government" to be bought

* The notion that corporations are "playing both sides" of the field in regards to global conflict and they have no national loyalties

Col. James 'Rhodey' Rhodes, the character played by actor Terrence Howard was the character that most closely portrayed the indistinguishable partition between corporations and the government. At the opening of the film this Air Force colonel flew on the private plane owned by Stark Industries, the weapons manufacturer. Tony stark was able to persuade him to lower all of his guard in protecting the interests and integrity of the US Air Force.

In the scene in which the new missile system built by Stark Industries was tested for the US Military it was Tony Stark, the weapons manufacturer who put on the show. I assure you in real life the tables are turned. It is the US Military that defines the specs for the missiles and the construct for the tests. In the Hollywood version of events - Tony Stark - high flying corporate elite - ran the show and the US Military as well.

Tony Stark, Iron Man was portrayed as being above the law. He was seen speeding in his expensive high performance automobiles without having to worry about any police man being around to give him and the personal attendant who had to follow him a ticket for speeding.

I doubt that a child viewing this movie would understand these messages that were inserted into the movie script. I have little doubt that there were put there for a particular purpose.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Clay Aiken Has A Baby? A Baby What?

AJC: Clay Aiken’s baby has arrived!

I just wonder how he was stimulated to ejaculate and by whom?

As a straight man if I was going to give a "sperm donation" I would require that it be done the old fashion way.

TMZ reports that Clay Aiken now has a son named Parker Foster Aiken.

Aiken provided the sperm for his friend 50-year-old Jaymes Foster to be artifically inseminated. This is similar to the David Crosby/Julie Cypher/Melissa Etheridge deal a few years back.

Aiken’s mom Fayes told a local Raleigh, N.C. TV station that the dark-haired Parker weighed 6 lbs. 2 oz and was 19” long. She says her son is “smiling from ear-to-ear.”

Aiken and Foster met while he was on the “American Idol” in 2003. She’s the sister of record mogul David Foster.

According to msnbc.com,, he posted the following note on his Web site (though I didn’t see it on the home page.)

“My dear friend, Jaymes, and I are so excited,” Aiken wrote. “Wow … 8:08 … 08/08/08. The little man is healthy, happy and as loud as his daddy. Mama Jaymes is doing quite well also.”

Pastor's Wife: Jesus Please Forgive Me For Attacking That Flight Attendant

AJC: Witness: Joel Osteen's wife threw tantrum on flight

I like Rev Joel Osteen but something tells me that he catches "hell" at home. :-)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Though They Make More Than Most CEOs.....These Men Will Not Be Attacked

Forbes Highest Paid Actors List

Its very strange how people think and react to certain information.

The news that the corporate executive that used to make no more than 40 times the amount of the rank and file workers but now makes 400 to 4000 times more draws outrage. "How dare they make so much money yet pay their workers a minimum wage?!?".

The truth is that the high flying corporate executives are often atop of financial or high tech firms and their compensations comes from stock related gains rather than a straight forward salary.

But what of these actors and entertainers? Where as a CEO who is paid a $35 million compensation package will draw a congressional investigation by the Democrats.....the news that Will Smith pulled in $100 million in cold cash last year - does not draw even a whimper from the usual suspects.

To add insult to injury - these are not corporate titans who employ tens of thousands of people. All likely have their own entertainment production companies that employ at most a couple hundred people. If there was a ratio of "personal wealth to employment generated" these entertainers would have numbers far larger than the CEOs who are so frequently subjected to attacks.

The truth is that the paying public are the ones who reach into their own wallets and drop down $10 to watch these guys in a movie. This is purely discretionary spending where as the balance of the corporations in existence make things that have a more tangible benefit to the consumer and the economy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Barack Obama's War On Terrorism And Other Abstract Legalisms

Barack Obama. You listen to him long enough it is not easy to apply his populist strategy against him - if you are so inclined to be bound by abstract legalism as he is. For me personally - I realize that a "President Obama" is going to have to vacate another line of rationalization IF he ever gets to sit in the seat of power. His positions are as unsustainable in many areas as his rants said during the Democratic Primary in order to addict leftist oriented voters. His goal is to WIN the election, not to be practical and pragmatic.

Thus we have the current debate between Obama and McCain over Iraq and Afghanistan. According to McCain - our recent success in Iraq via the surge has allowed the US forces, having stabilized most of the provinces, to shift focus upon Afghanistan. If it was not for the "Surge", which Obama said would fail - Mr Obama would not have been able to do his "photo op" inside of the country.

In the view of Barack Obama, however, Iraq was a "diversion" and a "tactical mistake" from the "actual front on the WAR ON TERRORISM". Oh I'm sorry, Barack didn't call it "The War On Terrorism". This term has been trade marked by the "Bush Administration" according to Obama's friends at the New York Times. Barack called it the "Battle against Terrorists". Obama said "the 9/11 attacks were PLANNED IN AFGHANISTAN, NOT IRAQ".

I now have "Obama's card" on this line of reasoning, just as I do on so many other tactics that he uses. Thus HE needs to be held up to his own standards rather than being allowed to exclusively apply them to others. Since Iraq was a "diversion" to the actual key front on TERRORISM which is in Afghanistan......we must apply the very same reasoning to Obama's policies.

First some constraints that Obama and his supporters use against the Iraq policy and the FAILURE in Afghanistan because "we took our eye off of the prize":

1) Al Queda was not in Iraq prior to Bush's tactical mistake to invade
2) We should be fighting those who attacked us, not creating new enemies because of our militarism and aggression
3) The battle against Terrorism is a better handled by the legal system than by military aggression and imperialism
4) Our actions have been disturbing to other nations

OK - let us apply this same reasoning to Barack Obama's Afghanistan plans.

1) 19 men who are now dead, Osama Bin Laden and a few other specific operatives plotted 9/11. How is it that we can justify an invasion of Afghanistan and the mass killing of those who had NOTHING TO DO WITH 9/11 rather than fighting those who SPECIFICALLY had something to do with the plotting? We are attacking an entire nation rather than the guilty party. Obama is using "Adrian Fenty of DC tactics used upon the Trinidad section of DC" against an entire nation of people. Obama should limit his attacks upon our actual enemies, not everyone.

2) Are we sure that those who are fighting us in Afghanistan are not DEFENDING THEIR NATION AGAINST A HOSTILE INVADER with murderous intentions rather than being "terrorists"? WE ARE CREATING NEW "TERRORISTS" WITH OUR ACTIONS IN AFGHANISTAN.

3) We are torturing people in Afghanistan in that MURDER of these people who had nothing to do with attacking the United States is the worst form of TORTURE

4) Obama would have invaded Pakistan in pursuit of Osama Bin Laden. The United Nations - the "International Law" did not authorize this action. Thus Obama believes that he is above the law - "Might makes right".

In summary - Barack Obama is no different than George Bush regarding the END RESULTS - US Military Aggression against people who did not attack America, leaving a row od dead bodies in the wake. He is only benefiting from the SILENCE of the usual suspects who are not holding him to the same technical and theoretical standards. These people are "Against Bush" more than they are interested in fighting against our enemies.

Adding 2 more brigades to Iraq, as Obama wants, in order to stabilize Afghanistan is NOT a fight in the "War On Terrorism". It is only a smooth, abstracted spin on reality.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sudanese President Charged By The International Criminal Court

ICC Charges Sudanese President I assure you that President Omar al-Bashir is shaking in his boots from this action.The International Criminal Court is see as the "international law" by many who would love nothing else than to have the United Nations as the final word on all world matters. In my view President al-Bashir will live a long life, FREE of any concern that the "sheriffs" sent out from the ICC will bring him to the "arraingment hearing" to face his charges.This shows the key problem with those who see international affairs as a law enforcement matter rather than using military power to get show who "don't hear" to act within certain boundaries.I frequently make the case that certain operatives with a certain ideolgy have problems dealing with people who "DON'T GIVE A DAMN" about what they think and are not interested in living up to any particular set of standards. The moralizing that this highly intellectual crowd fails to move their intended target.In the wake of these legalisms - people continue to be exposed; people continue to die.

Bush - You Are Right - You Are NOT An Economist!!

Fox News: Bush Says Country in 'Challenging Time' But Economy 'Basically Sound'

President Bush was asked a question during a press conference that involved analysis and prediction about our economic future. He responded saying "I don't know, I am not an economist". I thought that this was an arrogant and aloof response.

Bush has never been good on the stump in responding coherently to ad hoc questions asked of him. At a time of great economic distress - his response simply gave the "Daily Show" more ammunition against him.

For me I have been tired of all 2 term presidents after their 6 years. For this particular president - he has earned the level of fatigue that people have for him.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

How Did Life Begin?

I am watching a documentary on National Geographic's "Naked Science" which explores how life began on Earth. There is an array of scientists who are exploring various hypotheses of how life began in a "gooey center" of a comet who's otherwise solid mass was radiated by solar radiation and turned into a mash of enzymes and proteins that became life.

The interesting thing about all of this is that the narrator made reference to how societies in the past believed that frogs and other forms of life magically appeared from the mud rather than making note of what we know today. We know that microscopic eggs that are fertilized are the origin of these frogs from the mud.

Yet the various experiments that they are showing during the show are little more than the understanding that these ancient people believed in. The scientists keep talking about the ELEMENTS OF LIFE - amino acids and proteins. They want us to believe that this highly complex animal ecosystem that we live in evolved to the point that we are today AND the origin of all of these systems were crafted by happenstance in the appropriate "space vehicle" that floated through the vacuum of space.

If religious belief is to be rejected because of the reliance on the "logical leap" of faith rather than displaying the ability of reproduction within a laboratory environment then certainly the theories that they are operating on should also be rejected.

I will yield that they will make the claim that these are "working theories" of which they continue their testing in order to come to a more accurate set of conclusions. By comparison they might say - religious dogma has no similar pursuit of knowledge but instead seek to cut off all investigation because "God did it".

As it stands today - the scientist can no more answer the question "How did life begin?" any more than a person who follows one of the world's major religions who believe that "God did it"

Friday, July 11, 2008

Canadian Oil Sands - Painful Choices

Energy Hunt: Fort McMurray was a sleepy town on the Canadian frontier until oil transformed it into a boomtown with tons of opportunities - and concerns.

Money pouring into the town allows residents to enjoy the highest per capita income in Canada. Even low-end service jobs, like flipping burgers, waiting tables, or pumping gas, pay upward of $15 an hour.

"You can say all the bad things you want about this town," challenged Jesse Brether, a Ft. McMurray Oil Sands worker. "You know what? For fifty dollars an hour, I'll deal with it... I'm making over a hundred thousand dollars a year, and I'm twenty-two!"

Native Canadian groups who once thrived on the area's abundant natural resources are worried. While jobs have been created, and contracts have been awarded to native small businesses, the gains are overshadowed by reports of deformed fish and discolored meat in the wildlife. A local health board study found unusually high rates of cancers and other illness, although both the Alberta government and the oil companies dispute those claims.

Turning Oil Sand into usable energy is an arduous, resource intensive process. Oil sand is mined in giant pits, then the oil has to be separated from the sand. To do this, Oil Sand is washed with warm water, a process that uses large quantities of natural gas. Once the sand and the oil are separated, the oil must be further processed into a lighter form of crude that can be easily refined into gasoline, diesel and heating oil.

Critics claim that the extra step of "upgrading" the viscous, molasses-like oil into usable crude emits three times as much carbon dioxide as drilling for and transporting conventional oil. While the industry calls that number is inflated, Shell, one of the major operators in the area, puts that figure at around 200%.

And then there's the water. Taken from a local river and used to wash the oil from the sands the water is left to evaporate in huge, lined ponds. The ponds are required by law to prevent contaminated water from leaking back into the water table.

Assuming oil prices stay above $50 a barrel, Canada can optimistically increase its daily Oil Sands output from 1.5 million barrels per day today, to four or even five million barrels per day within a decade.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Cats Lay With Dogs: Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch Bury The Hatchet

Seems to me that as the titans and billionaires fight and then make up - those of us who don't have as many digits in our net work may pick sides but in the end it doesn't matter.

Ted Turner, Murdoch have ‘buried the hatchet’

By Maria Saporta | Monday, July 7, 2008, 02:29 PM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Arch rivals in the media world — Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch — are no longer at war.

When Murdoch announced that he was going “green” with his media empire by buying carbon offsets and instituting stronger environmental practices, Turner sent Murdoch a letter.

‘I had to congratulate him for it,” Turner told a luncheon crowd today at Atlanta’s Rotary Club. “Not many people take the time to write letters any more. I haven’t sent George Bush many notes.”

When Murdoch received Turner’s letter, he reached out to Turner and invited him to lunch, which happened a couple of months ago.

“I have buried the hatchet with him so I’m officially not at war with anybody,” Turner said.

Turner and Murdoch had been arch rivals with major philosophical differences.

Turner ran CNN, a 24-hour cable news network that some critics have said has a liberal bent, but one that Turner saw as a channel to increase global understanding.

Murdoch started Fox News, also a 24-hour cable news network, that often provided a conservative slant on its channel and described itself as a fair and balanced source of information.

Their competition did get personal. But as Murdoch’s empire grew (it now includes the Wall Street Journal), Turner lost control of Turner Broadcasting System and CNN after the acquisition by Time-Warner and merger with AOL.

At today’s lunch, Turner was asked what he would do differently if he was still running CNN.

“I would make Lou Dobbs shut up,” Turner quickly responded. After he thought about it some more, Turner said: “They don’t run as much international news as I’d like.” He also said the news is “lighter” and more “frivolous.”

Turner did say he misses the sports scores on the ticker of Headline News. And then he acknowledged: “I’m an old fuddy duddy now.”

As has become customary in his talks, Turner mentioned his estrangement with Time Warner. He got quite a laugh when he said: “A Time Man of the Year (Turner) got let go by Time.”

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Socialist Rapper Boots Riley Learns About Limits On Free Speech

I will not lie to you - I haven't liked this guy since his days guest appearing on Bill Maher's show where he announced that he was a SOCIALIST. I am blessed that he has no power and authority over me.

I am glad, however, that a community is enforcing their level of decency upon him.

Rapper Boots Riley Disputes Abusive Language Charges

By Chris Richburg

A recent concert featuring Boots Riley resulted in charges of "abusive language" against the rapper. Sources told AllHipHop.com the charges originated from a law that had never been applied to a performer and was enforced for the first time in 26 years at last week's event.

Riley, who is best known as the front man for the Oakland, Ca.-based rap group The Coup, was performing at the Bayou Boogaloo and Cajun Food festival at Towne Point Park in Norfolk, VA on June 21, when he was charged. "City Officials claim that they are making the statement that profanity will not be tolerated," Riley said. "Obviously, since no one has been charged with this in 26 years, profanity is tolerated. The statement they are making is that the culture and the people they feel I represent won't be tolerated."

The Park is located in an area populated by recently built high-priced condos. Plans are currently underway for the location to receive an $11.5 million makeover.
According to sources, the language in questions centers around a song Riley performed which included the phrase "What the F***? in the chorus. The rapper maintains that the festival organizers, FestEvents, knew about the song beforehand.

He also claims he was told that neither the company nor the city were concerned about swearing. Riley also disputed reports saying there was a "slew" of profanity. Riley believes the charges were racially motivated, as part of a backlash from the recent Afr'Am Festival in Norfolk.

During that event, several "noise complaints" were made against gospel and R&B performers who adhered to the same noise decibel parameters that were required for other festivals in Norfolk.

Riley further stated that he was already off stage when authorities arrived.
"This happened at 10 p.m., and it was far from a 'family' atmosphere, most of the audience was intoxicated after drinking at the festival's bar - 'The Missing Kidney'," Riley noted. "There was also a VIP section where free alcohol was distributed by the keg. Anyone who has been to a music festival on a Saturday night understands the scene."
Despite claims by FestEvents that he left the park after the incident, Riley maintains that he remained at the event as he disputed the "validity of the charge with police and festival promoters."

As a result, the rapper believes the incident reflects a deeper issue at hand.

"It is clear that this is part of a larger debate that has nothing to do with profanity, one that is being dealt with nationwide," said Riley. "That debate is about racism, gentrification and the ownership of public space."

At this time, the city of Norfolk plans to move forward with the charge against Riley

It figures doesn't it that.......

Forget About "Living Wage" Does Jay-Z's Club Even Pay Minimum Wages?

By Ismael AbduSalaam

A class-action lawsuit against Jay-Z and his 40/40 Club has been approved by a New York City judge. The New York Post reports that the plaintiff, former employee Celeste Williams, is claiming the club did not pay minimum wage or compensate for overtime hours.

Due to this allegation the courts have ordered 40/40 management to disclose the names of all employees since 2005. “This is a good day for restaurant workers all over the city,” said Williams’ lawyer Maimon Kirschenbaum in a statement to media.

Kirschenbaum also revealed that he plans to contact hundreds of other current and former employees to gauge their interest in joining the lawsuit. He claims that 10 to 20 former and current workers have joined the suit, which includes waiters and bartenders.

However, Kirschenbaum did not speculate on possible settlement sums, as he has not had the chance to analyze’s 40/40’s financial records.

Representatives for Jay-Z and the 40/40 club have yet to comment on the case.

There will be none of the standard "executive villainization" of Jay Z for he is still 'from the streets' despite his hundreds of millions of dollars. Funny how that works.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Economic Reporting - Dire News from My Colleagues

Talking down the economy.

"It's been described as the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression. And it brings with it grave dangers for all American families ... ," said Martin Bashir on "Nightline." "Recession looms .... "

On the "Today" show June 20, David Faber referred to "the recession ... these tough economic times." Yet that very day first-quarter GDP was revised upward again to 1 percent.

America is not in recession, and who knows -- maybe we'll be less likely to have one if my compatriots would just chill. A recession is defined as two quarters of negative economic growth. We haven't even had one quarter of negative growth.

Yes, growth has slowed, and many people are suffering because of falling home prices and higher food and energy prices. These are real problems, but watching TV, you'd think we were in a recession so severe it must be compared to the Great Depression.

Maybe I was just watching at the wrong times and just catching some outliers? No. A study by the Business and Media Institute (BMI) found that ABC, CBS and NBC regularly "hyped similarities to the Great Depression."

BMI took a novel approach. It compared the economic-news coverage by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post from Oct. 28 to Nov. 3, 1929, around the time of the stock market crash, with the coverage by ABC, CBS and NBC from March 13 to 19 of this year.

"The difference between how the 1929 and 2008 media handled a crisis was profound -- with modern journalists hyping every event." Today's coverage is much more alarmist. In 2008, few reporters pointed out "the differences between today's economy and the nation's darkest economic years, or bothered to note that America is not in a depression."

So let me stop here to repeat that. We are not in a depression. We are not even in recession. Get a grip, guys. We ought to point out that whatever today's problems bring, we are far away from reliving the Depression.

As Amity Shlaes points out in her book "The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression" -- which has just been released in paperback -- by November 1933, unemployment had skyrocketed to over 23 percent. Think about that: 5 percent unemployment today vs. 23 percent during the Depression. Amidst today's talk of stock market "collapse," remember that during the Depression, the Dow plummeted to 90, a loss of nearly 75 percent of its previous value. "This downturn is to the Depression as a drizzle is to Katrina," says Shlaes, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. "In the Depression, America confronted deflation. There literally wasn't enough money. People made their own scrip, Monopoly money, to pay their bills. In Utah, they made a currency called the Vallar. Today, we are in an inflation. If this period is like anything, it is like the 1970s."

Positive news doesn't fit the narrative. On a day the Dow rose, writes BMI's Dan Gainor, ABC "Reporter Dan Harris seemed puzzled during the ... broadcast of 'World News with Charles Gibson' when he asked: "The sky is not falling. Why not?"

All three major broadcast networks are culpable. But BMI says CBS was the worst. That's typical when it comes to economic coverage, BMI added. "Business reporter Anthony Mason was even called 'the grim reaper' by his own anchor Katie Couric." "Early Show" co-host Julie Chen talked about "a world financial crisis" as if a "crisis" was just a given.

The state of economic reporting in this country is abysmal. We might laugh at it if it didn't have bad consequences. But the more people hear such inappropriate comparisons, the more apt they are to believe them and change their behavior accordingly -- investing less and taking fewer economic risks -- thereby aggravating bad economic conditions.

No wonder, as the Associated Press reported, "U.S. consumers are the gloomiest they've been since the tail end of the last prolonged recession."

I am not saying the 1929 coverage was great; looking back, much of it was naive. I'm also not saying there are no economic problems today. But today's problems are no excuse for reporters to make glib comparisons to the Great Depression.

Report: California's Death Penalty 'Close to Collapse'

Fox News: Report: California's Death Penalty 'Close to Collapse'

Wow. What a surprise here. High murder rate in the state. Few actual executions in the state since the death penalty was restored and yet the state's death penalty system is near collapse due to the expense. Does anyone believe that this is by accident?

It kills me (sorry) to listen to people complain that it costs more to go through the legal proceedings to put a person to death than to have him live the rest of his life in jail. They fail to acknowledge that THEY are the one's that demanded the checks and balances in the system that is costing the big bucks to insure that no innocent man is put to death and yet they STILL make the case that the system is unjust despite these checks.

There is little doubt in my mind that their ultimate goal is to bankrupt the system of capital punishment because they want only life imprisonment. We'll talk later about their complains of the expense of imprisonment and the large number of people contained within.

SAN FRANCISCO — California's 30-year-old death penalty, which costs more than $100 million annually to administer, is "close to collapse," according to a new report issued Monday.

The California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice, appointed by the state Legislature to propose criminal justice reforms, issued a 117-page report detailing a deeply flawed death penalty system that has the biggest backlog of cases in the nation.

The commission stopped short of calling for the abolition of the state's death penalty, but did note that California would save hundreds of millions of dollars throughout the criminal justice system if capital punishment were eliminated. It said most condemned inmates are essentially given life sentences because so few executions are carried out.

The commission blamed inadequate legal representation, a broad death penalty law that makes nearly all first-degree murder cases eligible for the death penalty and a host of other issues that has made California capital punishment system "dysfunctional."

"It is the law in name only, and not in reality," the report stated.

The commission did recommended that California double its annual amount of capital punishment spending to hire more defense lawyers and prosecutors, among other improvements.

There are 673 inmates on California's death row and 79 inmates there are still waiting to be appointed attorneys to prepare their automatic appeals to the California Supreme Court.

California has executed 13 inmates since the death penalty was reintroduced in 1978 and none since 2005 when a federal judge ordered a de facto moratorium until state officials fixed flaws he found in the how California prison officials deliver the lethal three-drug cocktail during executions. The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year upheld Kentucky's lethal injection system, which is nearly identical to California's.

Still, California's executions remain on hold while the federal judge awaits the resolution of a separate death penalty challenge in state courts.

It takes an average of about 17 years in California between the time a killer is convicted and executed on the exceedingly rare occasion when an inmate is executed. The national average is about 10 years.

"The families of murder victims are cruelly deluded into believing that justice will be delivered with finality during their lifetimes," the report stated.

The commission also suggested changing the law to limit the number of crimes eligible for the death penalty to those who commit multiple murders, kill law enforcement officials or witnesses or torture their murder victims. As it stands, the commission said 87 percent of all first-degree murder charges could be prosecuted as death penalty cases.

The commission said it "found no credible evidence" that an innocent person has been executed in California in the last 30 years, but lamented that many inmates suffer from poor legal representation.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against prosecutors in 38 of the 54 death penalty cases that have reached the court since the reintroduction of the death penalty in California. The appeals cited ineffective legal representation more often than any other legal reason to toss out a death penalty case.

The report recommended nearly doubling the number of state public defenders to 78 lawyers.

"The strain placed by these cases on our justice system, in terms of the time and attention taken away from other business that the courts must conduct for our citizens, is heavy," the commission concluded.

The state Senate created the commission, which is composed of victims' advocates, lawyers and law professors, in 2004 and its chairman is former California Attorney General John Van de Kamp.

The commission has issued reports on a wide-range of criminal justice issues, including how to reduce the risk of sending innocent people to prison.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed three of its recommendations passed by the state Legislature that would have changed the handling of eyewitness identifications, false confessions and testimony of jailhouse informants.

This is the final report of the commission, which disbands Tuesday.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

African Leaders Unlikely To Confront Mugabe After "Election Win"

Clearly the "moral stance" claimed by many of these leaders when it comes to other issues doesn't span to include their ability to forthrightly condemn this man for his anti-democratic antics.

African Union not likely to confront Mugabe
Despite calls to isolate him, AU ready to greet dictator after disputed vote

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt - Fellow African leaders showed little willingness to stand up to President Robert Mugabe and condemn the longtime Zimbabwe ruler's disputed, violent reign Sunday ahead of his arrival at an African Union summit.

Despite international calls to isolate Mugabe, the AU readied to welcome him as a legitimate head of state.

"It will be none of this summit's business to choose the titles for leaders, it is the business of this summit to see what we are going to do for the suffering people and masses in Africa," Tanzanian Foreign Minister Bernard Membe remarked when asked if he would address Mugabe as president.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Contact High In Vegas

Right now I am sitting on the lawn of some amphitheater in Las Vegas attending the "Reggae In The Desert" concert.

True to the Woodstock athsmosphere there is a circle of White kids smoking weed in front of me.

I see several Bob Marley t-shirts as well as piercings on any number of body parts. There are more White folks here than Black - no problem at all. More of them have dreds in their hair than do the Jamaicans that are around.

Even the chronic candy that was banned where I live is on display here

I am now looking at a waif girl in front of me and then another girl with a ring through the septum of her nose.

In line with the anything goes style of Vegas no one has told them to put out the fire.

These are the people who will assist in electing our next president. We are screwed as a nation.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Amy Winehouse Sings "Racist" Song

This just proves to me that she is indeed a CRACK HEAD!

This fool and her fool girl friend believed that the camera was not recording when her loser ex-husband had it pointing at them. Drugs make you do crazy things.

I don't hand over my personal nor racial dignity for someone else to validate. This girl has major issues in her life. I like her one song but she looks like she is one injection away from an O.D.

Get help girlfriend.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

7 Year Old Causes Death For 10 Month Old

This is the type of story that breaks your heart.
On the one hand I know that my 7 year old has enough consciousness of mind to know that a baby is a human being and not a toy doll and thus throwing it on the floor would hurt it. At the same time the 7 year old might have been jealous and/or frustrated by the crying of the 10 month old and she acted out in such a way - unaware of the consequences of her actions.

I am sorry for the loss of the family of the 10 month old.
I am sorry for the situation that the family of the 7 year old is now in. There are no winners here. Jail time or juvenile detention is not going to change anything for a little girl of 7.

Please be clear - if she was 12 my views would be very, very different.

This is just sad.

Infant dies after thrown by child in daycare

PITTSBURGH — An 10-month old girl died Friday after a 7-year-old girl threw the baby to the floor at least twice at a Pittsburgh daycare center, police said.

Marcia Posten was pronounced dead at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh after being found unresponsive around noon at a daycare center run out of a private home, said Lt. Daniel Herrmann.

"Right now, we're discussing what we should do with the (7-year-old) girl," Herrmann said. "She is not going to be arrested." He said the girl will likely be evaluated by a psychiatrist.

Authorities haven't decided whether the girl will be returned to her parents or turned over the Allegheny County child welfare officials.

Police said a 20-year-old daycare provider was with six children in the basement of Bray's Family Day Care when she went upstairs to change a diaper.

The woman told investigators minutes later she heard something and went back into the basement and noticed Posten was on a love seat and not in the child's seat where she had left the infant, police said. The woman said the infant appeared to have blood near her ears.

The woman told police she called 911 immediately.

Investigators later learned the 7-year-old girl had taken infant out of the child's seat, police said.

The 7-year-old said she picked up Marcia and threw her to the floor at least twice, which is made of cement but covered by carpet, according to police.

Bray's Family Day Care was last licensed for two years in October 2006. It will remain open for now, Herrmann said. The county district attorney is evaluating the case to see if any charges against the daycare center operator are warranted, Herrmann said.

An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Public Lesbian Kiss In "Gay Friendly" Seattle

Article: Lesbian kiss at Mariners game stirs up Seattle

It so interesting that at the local NBA games they have the "Kiss Cam" gimmick in which they go around the arena with the camera prompting hetrosexual couples to kiss each other as their images are displayed on the "Jumbotron". The last scene is always a video shot at the opposing teams bench. The camera man frames two males in the scene and then the announcer yells out repeatedly "Kiss Cam! Kiss Cam!!". The audience bursts out in laughter.

Someday in the future - our societal norms will degrade to the point where the two male players, having expressed their love for each other will follow through and give each other "tongue".

This will be seen as a SOCIETAL ADVANCEMENT by some.

New York City Taxi Cab

Despite Danny Glover's previous difficulty at hailing a cab in NYC I was able to do so quite easily. Trying to walk from Penn Station to my destination with two computer bags and a suitcase proved to be a challenge. When I found out that the street numbering had changed mid-way on the street that I was walking on and thus I had 11 more blocks to go rather than 1 I decided to catch a cab.

When the cabby dropped me off at my destination - I gave him a $10 and asked that he give me $2 back. He gave me a $1 and a $10 back. I told him "I am not going to take your money from you because I know you work hard for you money but you gave me too much money back." He saw his mistake and thanked me profusely. He said "Thank you - you are an honest man". The cabbie seemed to be from India.

Thinking about the difficulty of getting a cab up to the Bronx - I said "Now that you see that I am an honest man....who is Black - you will start driving people to the Bronx - right?". He laughed and said "No No No I don't do that. I am fair".

Now if I can only do something about the Black guy who was standing in front of a store as working people whizzed by him. He had some coins in his hand, jingling them around saying repeatedly "Can you help me out? Can you help me out?". I couldn't help but think - the best way to "help you out" is to do as these other people all around you are doing - GET A JOB rather than spending your time on the street begging them for their money. What do you have to offer in exchange?"

"Lethal Injection" vs "Cali Gay Marriage" - Different Judicial Responses

Recall earlier this year that when there was a ruling on the constitutionality of Lethal Injection - states around the world paused all executions until the process was completed.

Recently the Supreme Court of California, having ruled that prohibitions against same sex marriage was unconstitutional - despite the voice of the people saying otherwise was asked to delay the imposition of this ruling until the pending vote on a change in the constitution scheduled for November 2008. The California court refused to delay their mandate per the outcome of the vote of the people.

It appears that this court in California is quite hostile to the voice of the people.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Arianna Huffington = Circular Logic

Let me understand this per the argument made by Arianna Huffington during an interview with conservative commentator Laura Ingram.

Ms. Huffington stated that George W. Bush HAS FAILED in his foreign policy. AMERICA IS LESS SAFE TODAY then prior to his war of aggression. OK I understand.

But when the next series of questions came up where Ms. Ingram made the case that we have not had a terrorist attack at home since 9/11......Ms Huffington focused on the TERRORISTS and made the case that they ARE STILL AT IT, SEEKING TO DO US HARM.

Did you get the license plate number of that truck?

If your central focus is upon THE TERRORIST THREAT then why have you and your cronies on your blog site done nearly everything necessary to UNDERCUT any specific focus on TERRORISTS that even you say are plotting against us?

Indeed the "sex" might be better on the left but certainly the line of reasoning is not.

Using their focus we would thing that GEORGE W. BUSH is the bigger threat to the USA.