Friday, May 30, 2014

Out For A Bit

Gotta be off-line a for a few days.

Back by next Tuesday, if not sooner.

Like Charlie always says, "Play nice, ya bastids."

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Today's Eternal Sadness

Just the latest in the parade of carnage that accounts for the death of a child every three days.
PAYSON, Ariz. (AP) — A 3-year-old Payson boy shot and killed his 1½ -year-old brother after the boys found a handgun in a neighbor's apartment and took it to another room, the eastern Arizona town's police chief said Wednesday.
Police Chief Don Engler said his department's investigation of the Tuesday shooting will take about a week. Results will be forwarded to the Gila County Attorney's Office for a decision on whether to prosecute anybody, he said.
"What we're taking a look at is the circumstances regarding the securing of the weapon" and how the boys were able to get ahold of it, Engler told The Associated Press. "We are continuing our investigation, and we haven't ruled out criminal charges at this point."
He said it was too early to say what recommendation his department might make to prosecutors.
The boys and their mother were visiting the 78-year-old neighbor in their apartment complex when the shooting occurred in a bedroom.
The brothers found the semi-automatic pistol somewhere in the living area where it was not in plain sight, the police chief said without elaborating. Neither adult knew the boys had the weapon, Engler said.
The boys were playing when they found the gun, police said. The weapon discharged, and the toddler was shot in the head.
Engler said the mother was just entering the bedroom when the shooting occurred and there was nothing she could do to stop it.
The younger boy was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Names of those involved were not released.
Engler said he didn't know whether the 3-year-old grasped what he had done.
"That'd be a difficult stretch for me to make that assumption," the police chief said.
However, he said the shooting was a tragedy that was felt by many in the community, including members of his department. Payson is about 90 miles northeast of Phoenix and has a population of approximately 15,000.
Engler noted many of the department's young officers have children of their own. "Certainly it's difficult for our officers in those circumstances," he told KPHO-TV.
But hey - freedom ain't free, so we'll need to continue these little sacrifices because what's good for the Ammosexuals is good for America.  And besides, your dead kids don't trump my constitutional rights.

Check this out at Pacific-Standard:
Since 1996, when a small CDC-funded study on the risks of owning a firearm ignited opposition from Republicans, the CDC’s budget for research on firearms injuries has shrunk to zero.
The result, as we’ve detailed, is that many basic questions about gun violence—such as how many Americans are shot each year—remain unanswered.
 And this at The New York Daily News:
Guns kill 32,000 Americans a year, but not one penny is given to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to find out why.
Victims of gun violence can thank the National Rifle Association for squeezing off that funding.
The NRA began lobbying Congress in the 1990s to limit the CDC’s funding after the agency gave financial backing to an independent study that found that keeping a gun in the home was strongly associated with an increased risk of homicide.
The pro-gun behemoth succeeded in ramming legislation through in 1996 that forbade the CDC from using federal funds for studies that “advocate or promote gun control.”
Whenever it becomes obvious that you have a real problem - and when that problem seems pretty obviously epidemic and systemic - then certainly the last thing ya wanna do is find out what the fuck might be causing it.

And finally, from The Onion, here's the checklist for enacting gun control legislation:
  • Write gun control legislation. Pass gun control legislation.
  • Before voting on gun control bill, try, if you can, to remember any recent examples in which guns have been used to kill innocent people.
  • Acknowledge that it’s going to be hard to buck the pressure of the high-powered gun lobby, but not that fucking hard, dumbass.
  • Consider if overwhelming public support for a particular measure is something you want to be associated with or not.
  • Inform your decision by researching whether guns are good or bad when placed in the wrong hands.
  • Muster everything that’s left in your black, desiccated heart to do something that might actually be of service to someone other than yourself.
  • Carefully assess the other side of the argument wherein mentally unstable people can buy weapons at a gun show with no problem whatsoever, and then realize there is no other side of this argument.
  • Put on your stupid little suit, run a comb through your greasy hair, go to the U.S Capitol building, pick up your fancy little gold pen, and pass a fucking gun control bill.

Today's LOL Cats

Turn About's Fair Play(?)

I'm not buying into this one 100%, but there's a point worth considering.

hat tip = Bored Panda

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Take Me Back

The bad old days, when 42nd Street was something kinda wild and dangerous (also fun):

I'm not convinced this qualifies as "improvement":

But I have to keep reminding myself that 'Nostalgia' was considered a mental disorder until mid-20th century.

Dodging Bullets

Like anybody needs more reasons to avoid Wal-Mart:
PHOENIX -- Police said a man accidentally shot himself in the leg while at a Wal-Mart store in Phoenix on Saturday.
Phoenix police spokesman Officer James Holmes said the man had a gun on his hip and it went off.
Christa Allejandro was checking out at the store near 16th Avenue and Bethany Home Road when she heard a loud bang.
“It sounded like a balloon,” she said. “We were in the aisle paying for our stuff and then the next thing you know, a couple of aisles down from me, we hear a gunshot and we see a man cover his belly."
Holmes said the man's injuries were not life-threatening.
“I was just trying to get stuff for my son's birthday ... and next thing you know, all this chaos, and now it's shut down,” Allejandro said.
The whole ordeal caused confusion, shoppers to panic, and the store to be evacuated.
“I was tripping. I was trying to just get out of the store,” Allejandro said.
No one else was hurt.
COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) -- Police say a gunshot wounded a woman inside a central Indiana Wal-Mart store after a man's handgun fell from his pants and fired.
Columbus police Lt. Matt Myers says the 26-year-old woman was treated for an upper arm wound by medics at the store but declined to go to a hospital.
Myers tells The Republic that city Police Chief Jon Rohde was inside the Wal-Mart store Saturday evening when he heard the gunshot and called for assistance.

Myers says a 56-year-old man told officers that his handgun was in a holster when it fell from his waistband. One bullet hit the woman who was pushing a shopping cart with her newborn son inside.

Myers says officers confirmed the man had a handgun permit and he wasn't arrested.

Wasted Weaponry

An unused weapon is a useless weapon.  Could we just stop fuckin' around with this shit now please?

And maybe do something with all that junk that might actually be of some use to somebody?

We really do deserve better than what we're getting out of all this.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Patron Geek

How rich is Bill Gates?

What's The Matter With Wal-Mart?

The short answer, of course is, "Who fucking cares?"  but there's something that feels like a bellwether in this, from CNBC:
At the center of the discounter's domestic woes is its appeal among shoppers who are facing stagnant wage growth and simply can't afford to spend on discretionary items—or in some cases, food.
"They're lowering prices and they're still not getting the traffic," said Belus Capital Advisors analyst Brian Sozzi.
First, Wal-Mart is making all the right moves if what they're attempting to do is to drive a deflationary downward spiral.  They cut their prices which means they have to hammer their workers and their vendors to cut costs, which means their vendors have to hammer their workers and their vendors and on and on and on - until nobody's making enough to spend the few pennies it takes to buy any of the piece of shit merchandise available anywhere.  It's an obvious over-simplification, but that's basically how an economy works.

But there's a kicker - a delicious extra bit of irony.  From the comments at the CNBC site:
walmart can have it, went yesterday, stopped stocking three things we went there to get. no customer service, the place is full of third world village idiots who have no discipline with themselves much less five or six anchor babies in tow. Their prices may be cheaper, but I'll pay more just to stay away, or car insurance?? whats next?? baby birthing stations for illegals??????
This rube has grown up believing the bullshit about how differences between people are all about ethnicity and skin color and everything except economic class. So the guy we tend to think of as the "typical Wal-Mart shopper" is now going to avoid shopping at Wal-Mart because it's filled with people just like him.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Today's Quote(s)

A couple from Bertrand Russell:
"It's a good idea to hang a question mark on things you've long taken for granted."
"Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes....A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men."

Today's Eternal Sadness

"We wear our Widow's Weeds like nuns, and perpetuate war by exalting its sacrifice."

Memorial Day is actually the one day I wish we could forget.  But as long as we seek  retribution while mistaking it for justice; as long as we see the extreme cowardice of brute force and insist on calling it gallantry; as long as we're willing to cover the stench of corpses rotting on the battlefield with dress uniforms and neatly folded flags, then we'll continue to have wars - which means we'll continue to have the dead and broken warriors that go with it, which means we'll continue to pretend there's something noble in sending people we love to fight and to bleed and to die in some shit-hole halfway around the world in order to get some dickhead politician re-elected so he can make sure ExxonMobil and Pfizer and Halliburton and Grumman and Goldman Sachs can add a few extra pennies to their quarterly earnings per share, which makes sure those companies have lots of extra cash to contribute to other dickhead politicians so we can keep this parade of war porn cranking along smoothly and efficiently.

In the meantime, maybe we could take just a moment away from our little celebratory circle-jerk and try to focus on a few of the reasons for this particular day.

One lousy fucking day - 0.3% of the year.

Anyway, take a look at this from Addicting Info:

Twenty-Two: the estimated number of veterans who commit suicide every day.

Three hundred and fifty: the number of active-duty military members who killed themselves in 2012.

Eight hundred and forty-one: the number of active duty troops who attempted suicide one or more times in 2012.

Eight thousand: the estimated number of troops who die by their own hand each year and that is a low estimate.

Military Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Military One Source: 1-800-342-9647

Wounded Soldier And Family Hotline: 1-800-984-8523

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Today's Quote

"Negro poverty is not white poverty. Many of its causes and many of its cures are the same. But there are differences—deep, corrosive, obstinate differences—radiating painful roots into the community and into the family, and the nature of the individual. These differences are not racial differences. They are solely and simply the consequence of ancient brutality, past injustice, and present prejudice." --Lyndon Johnson

Ta-Nahisi Coates does nothing to help me as I wrestle with what I do or don't need to do about "Reparations".

Sometimes, I understand completely why people spend so much time and energy longing for the good old days, when (they think) everything was so much simpler and easier.  Shit makes my head hurt.

God Love The Onion

Friday, May 23, 2014

Sitting Waiting Wishing --Jack Johnson

Now I was sitting waiting wishing
That you believed in superstitions
Then maybe you'd see the signs
But Lord knows that this world is cruel
And I ain't the Lord, no I'm just a fool
Learning loving somebody don't make them love you

Must I always be waiting waiting on you?
Must I always be playing playing your fool?

I sing ya songs I dance a dance
I gave ya friends all a chance
Putting up with them wasn't worth never having you
And maybe you been through this before
But its my first time
So please ignore
The next few lines cause they're directed at you

I cant always be waiting waiting on you
I cant always be playing playing your fool
I keep playing your part
But its not my scene
Wont this plot not twist?
I've had enough mystery.
Keep building me up, then shooting me down
Well im already down
Just wait a minute
Just sitting waiting
Just wait a minute
Just sitting waiting

Well if I was in your position
Id put down all my ammunition
I'd wondered why'd it taken me so long
But Lord knows that I'm not you
And If I was I wouldn't be so cruel
Cause waiting on love ain't so easy to do

Must I always be waiting waiting on you?
Must I always be playing playing your fool?
No I cant always be waiting waiting on you
I cant always be playing playing your fool, fool

Today's Yeesh

Can't imagine why Repubs are having such difficulty appealing to Them Wimmins.

This lunkhead says it straight out - women are ornamental.  And so what he obviously thinks is a great idea is to treat them like so many prize heifers to be won (ie: owned) by the awesomely virile and irresistible manliness of GOP candidates and party organizers.  Because we fucked up 94 years ago when we "gave" them the vote, so now I guess we gotta pay some attention to 'em, even tho' they're not really people, they're just "the gals".

Y'know fellas - they don't even pull this kinda high school fuck-around bullshit in high school anymore.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Yay, Free Enterprise

The whole banana by Col Bateman guest-posting on Charlie Pierce's blog:
Last week I mentioned the harassment that the women of Mothers Demand Action Against Gun Violence received in the past few months since the group was initiated on Facebook. The hatred is real, violent, and should not be ignored. What I did not appreciate at the time is the reason why the rabid gun advocates were so angry with these women. Now I know.
"Open Carry Texas" (which I think of as "Wimps With Mommy Issues"), conducted an open carry, en masse, at a Chipotle Restaurant — then the moms shared the word. They posted pictures of these morons carrying rifles in a family restaurant. Then they asked that the chain bar weapons on their private property. As Founder Shannon Watts put it: "The Chipotle petition received more than 10,000 signatures within just a few hours." The corporation realized where their business interests lie and that guns are wrong in their establishments across the entire nation.
In a statement Chipotle released Monday, the company said, "the display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers."
These women are doing what nobody else had managed to do before now. They are actually affecting change. Not through legislation, but through the free choice they have to patronize, or to NOT patronize, private companies that allow guns to be carried in their stores, restaurants, malls, and more.
Watts has become a target, and a heroine. She is the sort of woman that I want my daughters to grow up to be, facing a threat to our nation and taking it head on. Is she afraid? Of course. Anyone would be in her situation. Gun advocates (most who identify themselves as such are also NRA members) have threatened her life, they have threatened to rape her, they have threatened her family, and they have demonstrated their earnestness by showing up at her house. But she has not stopped, she has not quit, and she has not backed down.
This is moral courage, and indeed physical courage, of the highest order.

Today's Pix

Logical Fallacy # 14 - Band Wagon

Just try to remember that once upon a time (1974), the Ford Pinto was the best-selling car in the US - and that was after it was discovered they had an annoying tendency to explode (of course that little gem of consumer information would be a well-guarded secret for another 3 years, but that's a different rant - or better yet, just watch Fight Club again).

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

In Contrast

Two kinds of people in the world - those who have more time than money and those with more money than sense.

People (and remember, "corporations are people, my friend") who have enough money get to pay for their crimes by donating cash to whatever government agency gets in on the action.  When the government is being starved of the funds it needs to operate properly, you're going to see the evolution of semi-entrepreneurial efforts to make up those short-falls.  Eventually you get exactly what we're seeing now - people in government selling freedom to wealthy law-breakers for whatever price can be negotiated over a few breakfast meetings downtown.

So Credit Suisse "pleads guilty" and mails a few big fat checks to Eric Holder and to Andrew Cuomo et al, and they go on their merry way.  A few upper management suits have been fired, but are you willing to bet they don't land on their feet somewhere else?  Or that they didn't picked up a nice severance package on their way out the door?

Meanwhile, a woman named Cecily McMillan is going to prison because she elbowed a cop who (essentially) sexually assaulted her while trying to arrest her during one of the dust-ups between NYPD and Occupy Wall Street - and she was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 5 years probation even tho' something like seven jurors wrote letters to the judge saying that while they had to vote to convict, they think she deserves leniency and shouldn't be punished by having to serve time in jail.

No peace without justice.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Crank It Up

The fact that there are 100,000 gun casualties in the US every year starts to look like little more than prelude.

Quick Review: We have a self-sustaining cycle where the NRA floods our election process with money to peddle the bullshit about how Da Gubmint is coming to take yer guns, which riles up the rubes who go to the polls to put their local gun freaks in office, who then press for ever-more liberal "gun rights" and gun-related policies, which makes a shitload more money for the gun makers, who then boost the NRA, which collects more money from the whole Ammosexual Community in order to flood the next election with more money...

Not that the NRA's the only outfit that does this, mind you - that's how the game is played.

But there's a nasty little twist when it comes to the guns.

The NRA has had to contend with it's own bit of paranoia for a good long time; afraid that people would eventually wise up and see that simply having access to a gun is a big part of the problem we have with gun violence.  So every time there's been a big deal shooting, they've had to spend significant time and money and energy on damage control, which kinda cuts in on the profits, y'know?

Anyway, they hit on the brilliant notion of doubling down (big surprise, right?), but that's getting to be old hat now, so they had to dress it up in a fresh new jumper and smear even more lipstick on it by sloganizing it with, "Good guy with a gun vs bad guy with a gun", which of course is hooey because once everybody has a gun, how the fuck are you supposed to know who's who?

Enter Gary Kiehne, running in the GOP primary for the nomination in Arizona's 1st district:
“If you look at all the fiascos that have occurred, 99 percent of them have been by Democrats pulling their guns out and shooting people. So I don’t think you have a problem with the Republicans.”
“But I can assure you that if you don’t have a firearm, you ought to go buy one.”
So there it is:  The Good guys with guns will stop the bad guys with guns, and the bad guys are Democrats.

We are so fucked.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Today At Fox Nation

Here're 3 of the top stories at Fox Nation today, and I've circled the numbers of the comments for each article.

OK - we're all about hyped up nationalistic pride and compulsory expressions of patriotism, so yeah - yay, troops!

But wait - problems at the VA?  Problems that are real; and problems that probably can actually be laid at Obama's feet?  But crap, that means I'd hafta consider acknowledging that I want Da Gubmint to do something - it just confuses me.  So y'know what?  Uhm... if these guys didn't have the guts to die on the battlefield like they were supposed to, then they can't expect me to go outa my way to do anything special about it now.  Buncha moochers.  Fuck 'em.

Now you're talkin'!  All we need is a little glimmer of daylight and we'll be able to find some quack to speculate wildly about Hillary's "condition", and that means we can go on ignoring our problems while we squat in the dirt chanting Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi!

No soul and no honor.

About That Spring Thing

"Conservatives" are always telling us that Da Gubmint is too big; that we need to down-size congress and if we could just spend a lot less money on it, government would shrink back to a more manageable thing - like what we had back in the - whatever the fuck - 1920s(?)

So, how come what they wanted was a massive collection of 10-30 million "Patriots" to show up in DC in order to take down the Kenyan Usurper's International House of Tyranny?

Well - Operation American Spring turned out to be a demonstration of just how powerful the idea of "small is better" can be.  And wow - they caught us way off guard this time.

Word is that almost a thousand Strict Constitutionalist Warriors rallied on the mall, and then, when they amassed by the nearly dozens in front of the White House, it took all of Washington so completely by surprise that the TeaBillies were able to pull it off beautifully, and everybody's pretty sure Mr Obama and Cruella Moochelle are packing up and leaving for exile in Morocco any minute now, because who could witness such a compelling thing and not be moved to comply with the will of the (several cement-for-brains) people?

But wait - ya gotta figure an awful lot of these yahoos were probably wearing camo. So maybe they really did number in the several millions, but we just couldn't see 'em!?!

Damn clever.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Today's Pix

Larry Wilkerson

"...the invisible hand of Adam Smith in "Wealth of Nations" is not an invisible hand - it's now the hand of oligarchs..."

One of the great mysteries of the colossal cluster fuck known as the George W Bush administration is that (apparently) nobody was listening to Larry Wilkerson.

Or was it that Larry wasn't speaking quite as clearly then as he is now?  Dunno, but we'd better start listening to him now if we're to have any real chance of stickin' around long enough to find out.

Anyway, from The Real News:

Friday, May 16, 2014

Little Wing (cover) --The Corrs (Jimi Hendix)

Sweet Harmony (cover) --Maria Muldaur (Smokey Robinson)

If you can dream it, it can be done
And tho' a task was made for two,
It can still be done by one

New From Heckbender

Logical Fallacy # 13 - The Gambler's Fallacy

The gambler's fallacy, also known as the Monte Carlo fallacy or the fallacy of the maturity of chances, is the mistaken belief that if something happens more frequently than normal during some period, then it will happen less frequently in the future; likewise, if something happens less frequently than normal during some period, then it will happen more frequently in the future (presumably as a means of balancing nature). In situations where what is being observed is truly random (i.e. independent trials of a random process), this belief, though appealing to the human mind, is false. This fallacy can arise in many practical situations although it is most strongly associated with gambling where such mistakes are common among players.

Today's WTF

Idaho.  (That's it - I've got nuthin' else cuz there's just nuthin' else to get.

Watch this clip and then tell me there's anything anybody can say to make sense of what's going on up in here.

You might be able to make one point:  Gov Butch "insisted" on including the Wacko Biker and the Old Bible Sage, and maybe he did that to try to show people he's inclusive and not threatened by out-lying opinion, but - seriously, I mean...just...holy fuck, Idaho.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It's Just Business

Old White Dicks


John Oliver is stretching the envelope:

The Adventures Of Voteman

The Danes are getting pretty insistent on the whole Get-Off-Your-Ass-And-Go-Vote thing.

hat tip = Democratic Underground

A Prediction

Repubs continue trying to spin Benghazi into something more than the standard-issue mundane little fuck up that happens in big organizations every day.  This one happened to get 4 of us killed in rather gruesome fashion - and of course that really sucks and I wish we could figure out how to keep that shit from going down - but since when did Americans getting killed in service to their country become so worrisome to Republicans?  They love that shit.

Anyway, the point here is not about making trouble for Obama and that should be obvious to everybody outside of the Rube Demographic - the 25% of the GOP's voter base who'll swallow any dick the RNC waves in their face.

They'll do everything they can do to keep it all simmering; and I suspect they'll go on fishing for anything that Winger Media can use to fan the flames during the Mid-Terms, but the strategy is to make trouble for whoever the Dems run in 2016, and the tag line will be a redux from 2000 - "aren't you tired of all the scandal?"

They're betting on Hillary getting that Dem nomination, and since they're taking some real hits on their Do-Nothing-Block-Everything-Stall-For-Time-So-We-Can-Go-On-Doing-Nothing approach to "governance", recalling "The Scandal Fatigue" is about all they've got.

You know I'm right.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

One From The Rude One

This is a guy after my own heart:


GOP Senator Marco Rubio Is a Frighteningly Stupid Man Who Thinks He's Ready to Be President

One-time Savior of the Republican Party, Senator Marco Rubio, he of the muy beneficial Cuban background (although, you know, Hispanics aren't idiots - believe it or not, they can tell a Mexican from a Puerto Rican from a Cuban), he of the parched lips, he of the allegedly once-reasonable side of the GOP, thinks he's all grown up and ready to be president of these here United States. Oh, sure, he was a bit coy during his Sunday interview, saying that his party of lunatics, whores, and lepers is just filled to the brim with potential candidates. But, yeah, he's ready.

And how can you tell he's ready? Because Marco Rubio talked about complex issues like a brain-damaged Twitchy commenter. "I think a president has to have a clear vision of where the country needs to go and clear ideas about how to get it there," he told ABC combover Jonathan Karl. And part of his clear vision is that you can go fuck yourself with your climate change.

When Karl asked him about it on Sunday, Rubio answered, "I don’t agree with the notion that some are putting out there, including scientists, that somehow, there are actions we can take today that would actually have an impact on what’s happening in our climate." Here's the fuckin' deal: unless you are a scientist and you have slam-dunk evidence in your hand, you don't get to disagree with the "notion" that nearly every climate scientist is wrong. It's like when a fan thinks he can tell the coaches of a pro football team what plays to run by screaming at them from the stands. You know, Senator, a law degree from the University of Miami entitles you to a lot of things. Ignorantly questioning climatologists with statements like "I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it" is not one of them. "These scientists" will kick your ass all over your soon-to-be drowned state.

But let's put aside the usual blah-blah-blah climate change denialism. We're pretty much fucked there, and we're not gonna do a goddamned thing about it until we're having Road Warrior-esque drinking water battles. (*)

Instead, have a read of Rubio's erudite statements on how Democrats want to keep people working at Burger King: "I want people to look at the Republican Party as the party that shows them the way to a new American century versus a Democratic Party that shows us how this is the new normal and we just have to get used to it, that the cashier at Burger King will always be a cashier, and all he or she can hope for is an increase in the minimum wage...And what we say is: No, the cashier at Burger King might be a cashier today, but he or she will be a manager tomorrow, and maybe they're paying for school so she can be a doctor in 10 years."

In order to understand that mindbogglingly stupid paragraph, picture this: The skeleton of Ayn Rand has Marco Rubio sitting on her lap. She's got her bony hand up his ass, operating his mouth like the meat puppet he is. Got it?

What is the magical path by which that Burger King worker becomes a doctor, something that is totally within the realm of possibility? So let's use our brain TVs and imagine that Burger King worker. Let's call her "Claudette." Claudette maybe has her high school diploma, so let's say she's around 20. Chances are that, as a full-time worker at Burger King, she'll make somewhere around $7.40 an hour. Even after working a second job, she might make under $15,000 a year with no benefits. If you can imagine someone like that, she might inform you that, after three years at BK, "I still live at home with my mother and try to go to school on the side. I do dream of something more, but it's really hard to get jobs right now."

Oh, wait. We don't have to imagine Claudette because she's a totally fucking real Burger King employee.

How the fuck is she becoming a doctor, Senator Rubio? Only through the government helping through programs like student loans, health care, and, yes, a higher minimum wage so that she can actually save something and not just exist to serve your kids Whopper, Jrs. And Claudette's a best case scenario (other than middle class kids in high school, the GOP fantasy minimum wage workers). What if she had kids? A sick parent? No place to live? That's where government is supposed to step up and says, "Hey, you wanna be a doctor? Let us help you try to achieve that dream." Not "It's your fault you can't make more than $7.40 an hour after 3 years at Burger King."

Show us the way to the "new American century"? Motherfucker, it's 2014, not 2000. We're in the century, the real century. Deal with what's happening, to the climate, to the people, now, not in some fake future constructed in the cash-stuffed offices of think tanks and SuperPACs.

(* from Raw Story)

By the end of this century, billions are likely to be gripped by water stress and the stuff of life could be an unseen driver of conflict.
So say hydrologists who forecast that on present trends, freshwater faces a double crunch -- from a population explosion, which will drive up demand for food and energy, and the impact of climate change.
"Climate change can alter the availability of water and therefore threaten water security."
Already today, around 768 million people do not have access to a safe, reliable source of water and 2.5 billion do not have decent sanitation. Around a fifth of the world's aquifers are depleted.

Lost In The Noise

So, how come you sign all those petitions and you try to send money to 37 different organizations for 162 different campaigns and/or people and/or issues and/or causes, but nothing ever really gets done; and it always seems like the Congress Critters you're bombarding with all of this "input" send you "replies" that say practically nothing about anything you've been trying to get across to them?

Could somebody please explain to me why we're lagging behind places like Finland and Brazil, when we're talking about the high-tech tools that we fucking invented!?!

Here's the POPVOX website cited in the podcast.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Illusion Of Asymmetric Insight

The Misconception: You celebrate diversity and respect others’ points of view.

The Truth: You are driven to create and form groups and then believe others are wrong just because they are others.

Well we all have a face
That we hide away forever
And we take them out and
Show ourselves
When everyone has gone
Some are satin some are steel
Some are silk and some are leather
They're the faces of the stranger
But we love to try them on

Well we all fall in love
But we disregard the danger
Though we share so many secrets
There are some we never tell
Why were you so surprised
That you never saw the stranger
Did you ever let your lover see
The stranger in yourself?

Don't be afraid to try again
Everyone goes south
Every now and then
You've done it, why can't
Someone else?
You should know by now
You've been there yourself

Once I used to believe
I was such a great romancer
Then I came home to a woman
That I could not recognize
When I pressed her for a reason
She refused to even answer
It was then I felt the stranger
Kick me right between the eyes

Well we all fall in love
But we disregard the danger
Though we share so many secrets
There are some we never tell
Why were you so surprised
That you never saw the stranger
Did you ever let your lover see
The stranger in yourself?

Don't be afraid to try again
Everyone goes south
Every now and then
You've done it why can't
Someone else?
You should know by now
You've been there yourself

You may never understand
How the stranger is inspired
But he isn't always evil
And he is not always wrong
Though you drown in good intentions
You will never quench the fire
You'll give in to your desire
When the stranger comes along.

God Love The Onion

Crushing On Elizabeth

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced a bill addressing two of her top legislative priorities: The crushing burden of student debt and tax loopholes that allow the wealthiest Americans to shell out a smaller share of their incomes than do many of those in the middle class. The measure would allow people who took out student loans at a higher rate than they could get today to refinance their debt the same way one might refinance a home mortgage. It would also give people with high-interest private loans to roll them over into the Federal Direct Loan program.
The measure would cut into the government’s revenues, and Warren would make up that shortfall by implementing the “Buffett Rule,” which would raise taxes on those making $1 million or more in income.

Seriously, I wanna have babies with that woman.

Today's Pix