Thursday, March 31, 2011

there is nothing more to say

Obama secretly accepts transparency award - The Hill

i dare you to find something more revealing, more ironic, more humorous, more sarcastic, or more accurate than this... go on... i dare you!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

meet the new boss

We cannot drill our way out of our addiction to oil : Audacity of Hope
Drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution : Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama
(emphasis added)
Drill, Brazil, Drill!
  • "We want to help you with the technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely. And when you're ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers."
(emphasis added)
Obama's Goal: Cut Oil Imports By One-Third : NPR
Obama Lays Out Plan to Cut Reliance on Fuel Imports : NYT
  • "Meeting this new goal of cutting our oil dependence depends largely on two things: finding and producing more oil at home, and reducing our dependence on oil with cleaner alternative fuels and greater efficiency."
(emphasis added)

ALSO favorite "blast from the past":
We Can't Drill Our Way Out of Our Energy Problems : Van Jones
  • "The people who told us they could bomb and torture our way to a peaceful world, they had their turn. It's our turn now. People who say we could drill and burn our way to a good environmental and energy outcome have had their turn. It's our turn now. The people who say they could borrow and spend their way to a healthy economy, they had their turn."
(emphasis added)

so, what are we doing now?... bombing, drilling, and borrowing.
this is the "Change" you can believe in?

improve on Cheetos?

while Cheetos may be the world's most perfect snack (light, crunchy, filling-but-not-heavy, cheesy, etc.) it is possible for these to get better... don't believe me?

i present you with: Chocolate Covered Cheetos (via The Cereal Baker)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Republicans hate the environment, and other nonsense

just so we're clear, Republicans aren't evil, anti-environmentalists... quite the contrary... below are some simple facts from our history:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

South Dakota Abortion Bill Signed Into Law By Governor Dennis Daugaard

too bad all the hate is directed at those who want to save childrens' lives... perhaps if sex was viewed as something other than recreation­, we could have a rational discussion about abortion.

no sane person suggests victims of rape or incest should be denied abortions.­.. but when do the rights of the person about to be murdered get to be heard?... you don't want us telling women what to do, and i agree with that... but explain to your children why you killed their brothers and sisters because they were too inconvenie­nt (or a "burden" to quote President Obama).

and for those who are attacking Republican­s and compare them to the 1950's in regards to civil rights... please remember it was Southern Democrats who were pro-slaver­y (even sucession)­... it was the Democrats who represente­d the Klan and voted against civil rights... it was Senator Gore, Sr. and Senator Byrd, both Democrats, who filibuster­ed against the Civil Rights Act of '64... and remember that Dr. King was a Republican­... know your history.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Why We Need Universal Service

"We cannot merely stand by as a minor segment of our population make continuous sacrifices on our collective behalf."

isn't this what Democrats want from the rich?... to support and pay for the rest of us?

Democrats want the federal government to control the major corporatio­ns, from the auto industry to the petroleum industry.

now Rangel wants to impliment involuntar­y conscripti­on... and yet he calls the Republicans "fascist".

i simply can't believe what i'm seeing happen to our country.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thomas Sowell - Basic Economics

ever wanted to know in simple terms how economics works?... this is the man... Thomas Sowell discusses the facts and fictions of economics.
why, historically, raising taxes doesn't raise revenues... why the Great Depression had decreasing unemployment until federal involvement... why a trade imbalance doesn't cause unemployment...
things i thought i knew are no longer so.
Watch Uncommon Knowledge: Thomas Sowell - Basic Economics RIGHTNETWORK

Thursday, March 17, 2011

ode on a broken urn

If you consider that there has been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theatre of operations during the past 22 months, and a total of 2112 deaths, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers.

The firearm death rate in Washington DC is 80.6 per 100,000 for the same period.

That means that you are about 25 per cent more likely to be shot and killed in the US capital, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the US, than you are in Iraq.

Conclusion? The US should pull out of Washington.

SSAA - Australian Shooter magazine (Oct, 2006)
while the statistics are dubious (at best), i thought it was a logical argument to make... what are the troop levels versus the mortality rate of those troops?... how does this compare to our nation's capital, Washington D.C.?... moreover, what conclusions can you make regarding these facts?... so, i did some (very) quick research... i thought i would share my findings.

Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan
US soldiers killed = 1,503 (via Casualties by year and nationality - 2001-2011 )
US soldiers in theater = average 36,530 (via Average Monthly Boots On the Ground FY2002-2012 )
Deaths per 100,000 = 411

Homicide Rates - Washington, D.C.
Persons killed by homicide = 2,057 (via Metropolitan Police Department - Washington, D.C. )
Median population = 582,049 (via Google Public Data from U.S. Census Bureau )
Deaths per 100,000 = 35
so, what does this tell us?... two conclusions are clear to me.

#1 - figures don't lie, but liars often figure.

#2 - i'm not visiting either Afghanistan or Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Obama Is Receiving An Award For Transparency


okay... full disclosure on MY part:
this is a Republican document... that doesn't make it false, but sure slants it!... but the Ironic-Award-Award must still go to the Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Barack Obama... even the GOP can't make some of this stuff up! (plus, they give sources, including Associated Press)

  • The Obama Administration Responded To Fewer FOIA Requests, Despite More Inquiries.
  • Obama Even Censored Emails About His Open Government Directive.
  • Obama Has Done Fewer Than Half Of The Small Q&A Sessions That His Predecessors Had Done By This Point In Their Presidencies.
  • Obama’s Prosecutions May Be Having “A Chilling Effect” On Government Whistleblowers.
  • Two Instances Over The Past 2 Weeks: TV News Coverage Was Barred At DSCC And DCCC Fundraisers Addressed By Pres Obama.”
  • In 2009, It Was Reported Obama Awards Top Donors With “VIP Access To The White House.”
  • The Obama Administration Meets With Lobbyists Off The White House Grounds.
  • The Obama Administration Is Pushing Lobbyists To Sign Confidentiality Agreements.
  • "Obama administration officials told a group of housing proponents this month that they must sign a confidentiality agreement to continue participating in talks..."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Open letter to Congressman Steven Palazzo:

the current plan to cut back to 2008 levels is a start... but it is a poor start, not a good one... we have to cut back to a yearly SURPLUS, rather than deficit... you will never pay off a credit card when you keep using it and only pay the minimum and/or interest... you have to pay it down... that means spending less... saving more.

in the US economy, that also means encouraging business growth... and you don't encourage growth by taxing those who operate businesses... you don't encourage growth by making it difficult to do business in the US... you don't encourage growth by making it financially better to operate outside the US... so, yes, you have to give businesses a REASON to grow... you have two choices... one, government owned businesses (also known as fascism) where corporations are nationalized... two, regulate market forces through tax breaks and incentives, thus creating a demand for US business growth.

but, what spending do you cut?... well, there is little to choose from... however, no previous Congress may bind future Congresses (U.S. v. Winstar Corp. and Manigault v. Spings by proxy)... so those programs which have been legislated to mandantory may be re-legislated non-mandantory... it just takes the will to do so... however, of the current discretionary spending, difficult cuts must be made... the difficulty is made easier when you look at what is available... the 2012 mandantory spending is around $2.1 trillion... the 2008 total budget was more than $2.9 trillion... that gives you (approximately) $800 billion of discresionary spending... that is less than the projected discresionary for security... that means, everything MUST get cut to some degree... you have no choice.

Steven... you have spent a lifetime understanding the principles of accounting and taxes... it's time to use that knowledge and teach the rest of Congress how to do their jobs... don't let us down.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

do or do not... there is no try

we (collectively) know the Golden Rule... "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." - Luke 6:31... but how do we really put this into action?... William Barclay's Parables of Jesus just enlightened me to something i did not see... the vast majority of us, myself included, actually think of this in the negative... that is to say "Don't do unto others that which you would not want done to you."... simply put, if you wouldn't want to be kicked, don't kick someone else... notice the negative... would not... do not... we practice the Golden Rule in the negative... almost, in the reverse... we may even say, "I don't want my money stolen, so I will not steal from others."... some may hide the directness of their selfishness in phraseology... using empathy to imply, "If I were in your place, I would not like that treatment," but that isn't what is meant.

practicing the Negative Golden Rule is simplicity, itself... all i have to do is not be a horrible person... i can justify my "goodness" by showing how much bad i did not do!... by my inaction, i'm a defacto great guy... the best part is, i didn't do anything to receive the self-bestowed title!... by this logic, my sitting at home on the couch watching television is the equivalent of Mother Theresa working with lepers... she went out and helped them, but i'm equally great because i didn't curse at them, steal from them, or murder them... all the things i didn't do, but could have.

salvation by inaction.

but that's not what the Golden Rule actually says... it takes the positive view, not negative... it says "Do"... that requires action... "Do not" is easy, but doing is hard... the Golden Rule is more than a suggestion; it's a command... it demands that we go out and "Do unto others"... but more than that, we must do things which we would want done for ourselves... if we were in need, would we want someone to give us help?... of course!... therefore, when we are not in need, we must seek out those in need and help them... would we feel better if someone paid us a compliment?... yes; so find something and someone to compliment.

today, right now, someone is cold, hungry, drug addicted, afraid, or lost... are we doing to others as we would have them do unto us?... or are we one of those who "Do not"?

i don't care if you believe in God, Allah, Vishnu, or none-of-the-above... if you're atheist, you should still read these words and understand their meaning... this isn't religion... this is how you treat your fellow human... this is a moral understanding of the world... it also just happens to be recorded in the Christian Bible... Quid est veritas?

Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
- Luke 6:30-31

[W]hen you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.
- Matthew 6:2-3

Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get. But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
- Luke 18:9-13

If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
- Romans 12:20-21

Monday, March 7, 2011

now that's false advertising

i just saw a commercial for Ed Schultz's show on MSNBC... i don't watch much MSNBC, but on occasion i'll admit they have actual news... (not this time; i'm watching some celeb-gossip about Charlie Sheen)... it's a simple ad, showing Ed walking to the studio... a voice-over of Ed talking... he says:
Why can't America seem to find solutions to its problems? Why are we letting the top 2 percent of the population win over the other 98? What happened to common sense? What happened to reason? Is it dead? Hell, no. It's alive, and more than kicking.
despite my seething dislike for the sentiment expressed, i'd rather address the hilarity of the message... an appeal for "common sense" and "reason"?... from Ed "Im-going-to-torch-this-f#$king-place" Schultz?... this is Mr. Yell-At-Callers on his radio show... this is the guy who curses and screams and shouts about crushing anyone who disagrees with him:
We do a TV and we do a radio show. I'M TRYING TO TELL YOU WHAT THE HELL'S GOING ON! But you sit back, and Harry [Reid], you are ball-less! You won't do the nuke option for the American people and shove the Republicans into the ditch! SHOVE THOSE BASTARDS RIGHT INTO THE DIRTHOLE! This is about power! It’s about winning! It's about saving American lives! *That's* what this is about! And if I'm too excited or too passionate for you, I'm giving you the finger right now! Because I don't give a damn!
and THIS is the guy calling for "common sense" and "reason?... it is to laugh.
or cry.
but i have come to expect nothing less.