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Showing posts from July, 2012

Today's Pix

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Reconfirmed

Low-Effort Thought Promotes Political ConservatismScott Eidelmaneidelman@uark.eduChristian S. CrandallJeffrey A. Goodman

A Quick Tho't

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Almost got into it a bit with some Goddies (on facebook; where else?) over a CS Lewis quote about how he (Lewis) couldn't very well not believe in god since god gave him the capacity for belief in the first place - or some such malarkey.  Anyway, as it almost always does, one of the places the thread got to was the question of "where do think you'll spend eternity?" - and - "don't you care what happens after you die?" - and - "it's better to believe because what if it's true?"  blah blah blah.

Here's the thing:  these bible-thumpers are really really hung up on the part of eternity that comes after they're dead, but nobody - and I mean NO-fucking-BODY - ever mentions anything about wondering where they spent the part of eternity that came before they were born.


Affordable Care Act

From healthcare.gov, with a hat tip to Balloon Juice:
If you have a new health insurance plan or insurance policy beginning on or after September 23, 2010, the following preventive services must be covered without your having to pay a copayment or co-insurance or meet your deductible. This applies only when these services are delivered by a network provider. BTW: Can somebody please explain to me how the fuck the GOP has managed to make this whole thing about "sluts wanting free birth control pills"?  And then, I'll need you to explain to me how the Press Poodles can't figure out how to say something to these assholes like, "You're being an asshole".


Covered Preventive Services for Adults:
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm one-time screening for men of specified ages who have ever smoked
Alcohol Misuse screening and counseling
Aspirin use for men and women of certain ages
Blood Pressure screening for all adults
Cholesterol screening for adults of certain ages or at h…

Politics And Capitalism

"Conservatives" love to carp about "lefties" bringing politics to the marketplace until of course some bonehead like Dan Cathy at Chick-Fil-A steps on his own dick.  But even then, it's still not supposed to be about the stupid politics of being stupidly anti-gay; it's supposed to be about the "freedom" of a very powerful business empire to fuck over anybody it chooses to fuck over.

(God love The Onion)
"The Queer-Hatin' Cordon Bleu is our company's way of showing our firm commitment to strong, Christian family values," said Chick-fil-A spokesman Robert Gary, before adding that the vehemently anti-gay rights sandwich comes served in a combo with waffle fries and a medium soda for just $6.95. "From the very first morsel of this savory meal to the very last bite, customers can envision gays burning in hell with their sodomizing cohorts, and know that our sandwich is on their side.” If I needed another reason to avoid fast food,…

Today's Pix

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Brood Parasitism

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The Brownheaded Cow Bird is one of those species that uses the nests of other birds to lay its eggs, leaving it to other bird parents to raise its young.  It evolved this strategy because it was so busy following the bison herds on the Great Plains of North America, that it could never make it back to a nest of its own to lay eggs, so it took whatever opportunity that presented itself.

The Cow Bird is an open country bird, so it's Interesting that it's become a problem here in Virginia until you stop and consider the rather extreme deforestation that's gone on for the last 150 years.  Anyway, it's a threat to the songbird species on the east coast now, and I'm bringing this up only because there's a lot of these "little evidentiary things" that really start to add up to a big fuckin' problem after a while.  Kinda important to pay attention to 'em.

So actually, I dunno what to think about having found this egg on the top rail of the pool fence …

Two From Mr Orwell

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. ” --and--
“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” --George Orwell

No Hell Below Us; Above Us Only Sky

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Heaven is almost always a vision of what we value most - and don't possess.

Tell me what you think heaven is and I'll tell you what's lacking in your life right now.

Vaccination Against Idiocy

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Top 25 Creationist Fallacies - also, a useful primer for doing combat with the Common Wingnut.

Urinalysis

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This one makes the rounds every so often.


I was thinking that if one of you "conservative" geniuses ever once tho't of challenging the Pee Test in the courts on 4th and 5th Amendment grounds (eg), maybe you'd feel a bit less inclined to shit on poor people all the fuckin' time.  Cuz that's really it, right?  You need to be absolutely sure that you never have to admit that the guys you're always voting for are bending you over the table and fucking you with your pants on; you can't stand thinking that everything they've told you over the last 30 years is total bunk; and how they're using you to do their dirty work on everybody else.

So it just can't be that you're allowing yourselves to get fucked over.  It's really all about how you need that shit to roll on down the hill, so you can feel a little better about the whole filthy mess - that you helped create - that you help perpetuate every time you buy into this cynical manipulatio…

Today's Quote

"I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshipped by many who think themselves Christians."

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard Price, Jan. 8, 1789 (Richard Price had written to TJ on Oct. 26. about the harm done by religion and wrote "Would not Society be better without Such religions? Is Atheism less pernicious than Demonism?")

And Now...

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...Mr Diety himself - Brian Dalton, at Imagine No Religion in Canada last year.

It cuts early at the end, but it's just Dalton doing some plugs for the Mr Deity series.

God-Given Rights(?)

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The First Step

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From the premier episode of The Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin's latest attempt to remind us of the true greatness of what (and who) we once were; and to get us to think about how we can be great again.



As usual tho', reading the comments is depressing.

Today's Bumper Sticker

via Democratic Underground

Romney Loves America The Way A Tick Loves A Dog

A Real Comparison(?)

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Sometimes I have a kind of Love/Hate relationship with myself.  Especially when I do shit like this.  It feels like I'm goin' along with the crap I absolutely loathe about our current state of "debate".

That said, how am I supposed to resist an opportunity like this?

Let's see if we can spot some tiny hint as to the difference in the work ethic of our major party candidates this time around.


Vacation 2012

Spending some time back home in Colorado.  I'm never not amazed at how spectacular the weather can be here.  Just the fact that it can be a roasty toasty 90˚ during the day, but if you sit in the shade, it's not bad at all (the wonders of low humidity).  But the best part is that when the sun goes down, it cools off.  Practically no such thing as 85˚ and muggy at 11 o'clock at night.

So anyway - I'm being kinda lazy, so the prospects of getting any serious blogging done for the next several days are pretty slim.

Today's Quote

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute -- where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote -- where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference -- and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish -- where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches, or any other ecclesiastical source -- where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials -- and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.    -- John F Ke…

ACA Starts To Pay Off

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Don't let the Repubs know, but Obamacare is starting to come thru in a way that's gonna piss off "conservatives" somethin' powerful.


A friend in Charlottesville is a small business owner; single, 2 not-quite-grown-and-gone kids.  She's almost always somewhere between OK and Ah Crap, with the occasional tight-roping along the edge of Holy Fuck.  The way an awful lot of people have had to live for  a good 20 years or more.
Today, she showed me this little slice from her insurance carrier, informing her that they've cut her a rebate check because they didn't quite meet the new 80/20 Rule.  Under ACA, insurers have to maintain a Medical Loss Ratio of 80%:20%.  Simply put, of all the dollars in premiums they collect, they get to keep 20% of it for Admin and Salaries and Bonuses and Shareholder bennies (profit), etc - but they have to pay out at least 80% of that money to Healthcare Providers (docs, nurses, hospitals, etc) in the form of Medical Care Claims…

Here We Go Again(?)

“The Republicans say they don’t want to raise taxes on the middle class, and I don’t want to raise taxes on the middle class, so we should all agree to extend the tax cut for the middle class. Let’s agree to do what we agree on,” he said in the East Room of the White House, flanked by people who would benefit from the extension. “Let’s not hold the vast majority of the Americans and the entire economy hostage while we debate the merits of another tax cut for the wealthy.” Read more at Politico.


C'mon, "conservatives" - you sat there all night; you had a nice dinner; you downed some decent wine; you had a whole squad of cocktails; you listened to the band, and you even got up and danced a little - but now the check's here and somehow it's Obama's fault that you have to settle up?

Repubs love pissin' and moanin' about somebody getting a free ride; so how come they refuse to pay for their own shit?  Buncha fuckin' pussies.

From Outa Da Past

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Some of my earliest memories of music are pegged to my mom's collection of Leroy Anderson's records.  This one's a fave - along with The Syncopated Clock and Trumpeter's Lullaby from the same album (I think).  She'd put this on and plop me down in the dining room - and then go do what moms did around the house on a random weekday in the middle 50s.

Here There And Everywhere

Repubs never seem to understand that information has become really really portable.  Actually, it seems they've confused the portability of facts with the pretense that reality is fungible; but then again, the difficulty of "conservatives" even to recognize facts as facts is getting to be a very old story.  So maybe, because they understand that facts are pretty much immutable, they have to work as hard as they do to convince people otherwise.

Anyway, here's a pretty good one (kinda dated, but this silliness apparently must be repeated and revisited because, well - see the paragraph above).

via Addicting Info:
In 2009, Michael Steele, then chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC,) called President Barack Obama’s plan to overhaul health care “socialism,” at a National Press Club event.Mr. Steele obviously was not aware of the fact that his very own party- the GOP helped Iraqi lawmakers to draft and pass their constitution with a single-payer guaranteed healt…

Moyers

Ol' Bill gets a bad case of the "Centrisms" once in a while, but he can stand on my back anytime he wants to repeat this one.

(hat tip = The Agonist)

Vote Suppression

People with power use their power.  Sometimes to get more; sometimes to keep what they have; sometimes just to make sure we all know who has it.

From Balloon Juice, here's a pretty good rundown:

(from the Pennsylvania voter ID law)
All photo IDs must contain an expiration date that is current, unless noted otherwise. Acceptable IDs include:
• Photo IDs issued by the U.S. Federal Government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
•Pennsylvania driver’s license or non-driver’s license photo ID (IDs are valid for voting purposes 12 months past expiration date)
•Valid U.S. passport
•U.S. military ID - active duty and retired military (a military or veteran’s ID must designate an expiration date or designate that the expiration date is indefinite). Military dependents’ ID must contain an expiration date
•Employee photo ID issued by Federal, PA, County or Municipal government
•Photo ID cards from an accredited Pennsylvania public or private institution of higher learning
•Photo ID cards issued by …

Today's Pix

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What About The Women?

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If abortion is illegal, what should happen to a woman who breaks that law by having an illegal abortion?

Beware The 9th Of July

Per snopes.com, this is a real thing and you should prob'ly check it out.

via Better Business Bureau's website:
Scammers in Estonia infected computers worldwide with malware that turned off virus updates and redirected consumers to fraudulent websites. When the FBI busted the scam ring last November, they set up clean servers to replace the ones running the scam. Victims have been redirected to those new servers ever since, usually without any knowledge they’d been infected in the first place. While this appears legit, there's always that chance it's a good enough hoax to fool everybody.  But what I find truly delicious is that there's probably a whole big bunch of rubes out there who'll believe this is some kind of nefarious attempt on the part of Obama and Eric Holder to spy on the 'Merikun people.

I'm seriously considering planting the seeds on facebook (eg) that "consevatives" should avoid this at all costs, especially if they own any guns,…

Yo, Rubes...

...this is your guy?

From Mother Jones:
The Stericycle deal—the abortion connection aside—is relevant because of questions regarding the timing of Romney's departure from the private equity firm he founded. Responding to a recent Washington Post story reporting that Bain-acquired companies outsourced jobs, the Romney campaign insisted that Romney exited Bain in February 1999, a month or more before Bain took over two of the companies named in the Post's article. The SEC documents undercut that defense, indicating that Romney still played a role in Bain investments until at least the end of 1999. So let's see some of what we got here:

Romney made a boatload of dough disposing of "humans" (ie: living, fertilized embryos).Romney, as MA Gov outsourced a consumer call center in India to the tune of $160k/monthRomney scratched tens of thousands of jobs as he and his partners pocketed millions of dollars - a lot of which came from the pension funds of the people who'd…

Connections

Bank of Credit and Commerce Int'l (drug money laundering scandal)
The First Gulf War
Big Tobacco
Fracking

What's the common thread?  Hill & Knowlton

The Sky Is Pink

It seems pretty important that we get this one right.


THE SKY IS PINK from JFOX on Vimeo.


And BT-fuckin'-W, it's time to consider something I've been proposing for a very long time on how to make sure these corporate buggers are telling us the truth about the effects of their operations on any given local water supply (eg).  Once a month, the whole executive committee plus one of their family members have to show up and drink a full glass of water straight from the tap of a homeowner selected by his/her neighbors.  Let's see how long it takes to clean this shit up.

Ed Note

We got slammed pretty hard by the storms last Friday.  We're OK, but electrical power is a problem.  We bought a generator during the monster snow storm of 2009(?), so I can power the fridge and the computers and a couple of window AC units.  We're far better off than lots of our neighbors, but there's very little about this whole thing that doesn't suck.

One thing - Americans behave like spoiled children the majority of the time, but when the real shit happens (like 80mph Derecho winds that knock the crap outa the power grid), people tend to rally together in a weirdly self-sufficient way.  I don't know how to describe it.  Like I said, our situation is considerably better than most, but when I offer the neighbors refuge in our relatively cool family room, they've all thanked me kindly and said more or less, "we're doin' OK for now" or "maybe take you up on that in a day or two" etc etc.  It just feels a little odd; like people don&…

Grandstanding

This is about as bad as it gets.

via Little Green Footballs:
The Justice Department announced today that the House Republicans who voted to find Eric Holder in criminal contempt are a bunch of grandstanding buffoons.Not in so many words, of course: Justice Department Won’t Pursue Case Against Holder. So Darrell Issa makes a big show of "investigating" Fast & Furious, building up a head of steam that finally explodes on Eric Holder in a dramatic vote to hold the AG in Contempt of Congress - knowing the whole damned time that NOTHING WILL COME OF IT.

The vote itself may have given us a wee peek at how "seriously" everybody was taking the thing: YEAS = 95, NAYS = 14.  Keep in mind the entire House of Reps voted on this piece of shit, and there were 324 NO VOTES.  435 Representatives, and almost 75% of 'em either registered NO VOTE or skipped the little charade altogether.
“The longstanding position of the Department of Justice has been and remains that we will n…

Everybody Pays

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Here's WIllard talking with DumFux Cavuto about having just signed the Romneycare bill into law in 2006.

Highlites = 2:00, 4:00, 5:30.

"We already have universal healthcare..."



When it comes to Obamacare, it's not hard to accept the notion that "conservatives" aren't against the policy - they're against Obama.  That makes a kind of weird political sense to me here in 2012.  What I really don't get is that so many people are so adamantly opposed to something that brings a solid benefit to them, and fits with the "stand on your own feet" approach (Individual Mandate), AND which fits the Competitive Markets model.