politics, hypocrisy and meanness in public affairs, alligators, anti-empire-ism, occasional personal stuff

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Halfway through the year - June 30th Edition

Confirmation [so-called] hearings for Elena Kagan - a woman with no views and no personal life, avoiding questions asked by people with few apparent brains or ability to actually form coherent lines of inquiry (although perfectly capable of harassing the witness and a dead and heroic former Justice).  What a shame - what a sham.  Those who claim to be conservative originalists should ponder what The Founders would think of this charade. This is shameful, but no one seems ashamed. Except me.
Future-Justice Kagan has no moral qualms about the death penalty; I, now, have moral qualms about her. Does she have moral qualms about anything the "High" court has approved?

Monday, June 28, 2010

24% of Americans are delusional; well, likely more than that.

24% believe the Prez was born outside the U.S., is therefore illegitimate.

Two points:

McCain was born in Panama and HAS NO BIRTH CERTIFICATE - his birth was registered at the Embassy - but these people don't care about that.

The Constitution requires that Prez and V-P be residents of different states.  Bush and Cheney had both lived in Texas for years before the Repugnican convention in 2000.  Then, Cheney hopped a plane to his FORMER home state, registered to vote, and WOOHOO, the Constitution was satisfied.  Really, is that what all conservative, non-interventionist, originalist judges and legislators would say 'complies with the intent of the Founders?"

Robert Byrd - many lives or many incarnations

He was the major voice in the Senate against the Iraq war, echoing the many, many of us 'small people' who spoke and rallied against it before it began.  If Hillary had listened to him, she'd be Prez.  (Of course, if I'd listened to my then-wife and not rallied and spoken against that upcomingness of war, I might still be married and have avoided the long-term horrors and short-term thrills of the last six years!) Aw, shit.

Byrd was a lot of things, and had been a lot more, long ago; but he stood up against this war, as opposed to other idiots like the [haha] EX-Senator from Oregon who lamented the war by 2008 but pled that he - A U.S. SENATOR, FOR GOODNESS SAKE - had "just tried to be a good soldier" [for Bush].  Well, he was a fucking 'good soldier' and thousands died.  But, Robert Byrd, already ancient, ill and impaired, stood up.

I've made plenty of errors, so I find it easy to forgive and forget his KKK activities in the distant past - he evolved, he improved, and finally ... when it really counted on a crucial and actually life-and-death issue, he stood up, and stood tall, and took the heat.

But, then, there is ...

7 NATO Troops Killed as Karzai Dickers with Insurgents and Panetta Scoffs http://ping.fm/bswLW

I love this & did not make it up!

REYKJAVIK, Iceland — A polar bear display for the zoo. Free towels at public swimming pools. A “drug-free Parliament by 2020.” Iceland’s Best Party, founded in December by a comedian, Jon Gnarr, to satirize his country’s political system, ran a campaign that was one big joke. Or was it?


Hordur Sveinsson
Jon Gnarr is now the fourth mayor in four years of a city that is home to more than a third of Iceland’s 320,000 people.
Last month, in the depressed aftermath of the country’s financial collapse, the Best Party emerged as the biggest winner in Reykjavik’s elections, with 34.7 percent of the vote, and Mr. Gnarr — who also promised a classroom of kindergartners he would build a Disneyland at the airport — is now the fourth mayor in four years of a city that is home to more than a third of the island’s 320,000 people.
In his acceptance speech he tried to calm the fears of the other 65.3 percent. “No one has to be afraid of the Best Party,” he said, “because it is the best party. If it wasn’t, it would be called the Worst Party or the Bad Party. We would never work with a party like that.”
With his party having won 6 of the City Council’s 15 seats, Mr. Gnarr needed a coalition partner, but ruled out any party whose members had not seen all five seasons of “The Wire.”
A sandy-haired 43-year-old, Mr. Gnarr is best known here for playing a television and film character named Georg Bjarnfredarson, a nasty, bald, middle-aged, Swedish-educated Marxist whose childhood was ruined by a militant feminist mother.
[more - http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/26/world/europe/26iceland.html ]

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Once again, I could not make this up.

A U.S. Congressperson, today, said that "if the American people had known that this would be the longest war in American history, there would have been more debate."

I don't really give a fuck what she thinks, but this has got to illustrate intrinsic American exceptionalism at its worst (not to mention American insipidity and stupidity).  Here was the idea: We will go to war in a place we know absolutely nothing about, against people we don't know, with impunity, lack of care and concern, and we will enjoy happy, sleep-filled nights IF. ... IF ... we don't anticipate that this war will be the longest in our history.  Goddamnit - it is amazing how idiotic we are.  I'll only mention that there were lots of us who did know some history and political geography AND WHO SAID "This is a terrible decision; this is a mistake; this will be a disaster," but those in power - and those out of power who are nevertheless in the political elite - didn't listen, didn't care, exposed/expressed the hubristic viewpoint of those who have are "in" but no clue.  For Chrissakes, I said it about the Soviets when they invaded Afghanistan in 1979 .... this will be a disaster, their Viet-Nam, and will destroy the Soviet Union.

Baffling posts

Just saw a post by a woman who said she travels world-wide, constantly, making and marketing items for "the metaphysical trade" - didn't know there was one.
Another woman said she was a "hungry-yogini" - sounded oxymoronic, to me; but what do I know?
I can certainly feel that nagging hunger of "having tried yoga and failed" and also "wished I had 'New Age needs' but don't."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

So glad the World Cup fervor in U.S. is gone.

Hardly anyone in U.S. cares about soccer, but there has been great uproar that - IMHO - is just because it created another opportunity for people to get all jingoistic - rah-rah-rah, we are the best nation in the world.  I loved watching kids play soccer till they got to be about 11, when they just got too strong and fast for the game.

Go ahead - hate me.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dave Weigel

I am stunned that he is out at Washington Post for privately ridiculing jerks who happen to be conservatives.  It would have never happened the opposite way. Why are libs and progressives so reactive to what some mean, dishonest jerks think and say (and I am not asserting that all conservatives are dishonest jerks).

I've been doing lots of Twitter - most of my comments have been on there for a couple of weeks (ricksahm).  ADD rears its hideous head and gets in the way of this blog!

Reading that there is lots of oil on Pensacola-area beaches - usual suspects will deny that this is an issue, or is even happening.  Thank goodness there is baseball.

Wow 10+ days since posting -

I didn't realize I'd taken so much time off - other-oriented for awhile. Hope no one has been experiencing the hideous pains of withdrawal!

I'll try to get something worthwhile going today.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fried Green Tomatoes

[ Judge ]

(And, somehow, that finishing touch hits me right here.) 

Dealing with instructions for those w/ADD

Just called up Hilton Honors about a promotion that I only happened to see in small print on a receipt - "Stay 4 nights, get one free," [but you have to have signed up for it].

I call - "I never got a notice of this promotion; how could I have signed up?"

"Sir, we have promotions every quarter; you have to call."

"But why?  You know who your Hilton Honors members are, and what our numbers are." 

"I don't know, sir, and I see you had the same problem last quarter with that promotion."

"Yes, I did, but I don't know to sign up if I have no notice!" [temp/voice/anger rising]  "That's what you have to do, SIR!" [youthful irritation w/old, stupid people rising]

"OK. Thank you." 

"Thank you for your business, sir. HAVE A GOOD DAY."

Thanks a whole lot to you, too, youthful cretin.  Thanks for your assistance.  :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Perhaps we will stay awhile longer ....

WASHINGTON — The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.

The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.[NY Times]

Friday, June 11, 2010

What a day of surprises, and it's only 6:23 a.m.!

USC (Ur Sons Collect) has been found to have violated 8,345 provisions of what [pause for hearty laugh!] is known as the Rules of Ethics for Scholar-Athletes - and that only covers the last 4 years.  I guess a certain coach saw this coming and, having gotten all he could out of his 'Scholar-Athletes,' headed for Seattle of the NFL. I am shocked ... shocked that there has been cheatin', going on.

I started my day with a new treat that was exceptionally tasty - Blackberry ... uh, uh, ... not armadillo ... damn, what was that fruit?  (They had a lot of them in the bible.)  POMEGRANATE, that's it - Blackberry-Pomegranate yogurt by Yoplait. Try it.

Headline in USA Today (which I am not making up): "Outcome could rest with key players on the field." (World Cup)  Hmmm, let me see, here - outcome (result) could (might, maybe) rest (be the result of) with (no comment) key players (stars?) on the field (DURING THE GAME, which is when the game is played).  Yes, I suspect the headline-writers got it right.  (With this level of professional output by writers, why is it that I cannot get a job?)

Newberry, South Carolina (near another USC, where another 'great' coach has a way with players) is a lovely little town with its own college - Newberry College, not surprisingly - a neat old opera house which featured Arlo Guthrie, as well as Percy Sledge, a few months ago, and some fine restaurants (so I am told).  I can say from my experience that it has a fine coffee shop-deli-ice cream shop combination that can't be beat (Arlo's words about another restaurant).

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

In our name ... Part 2 for today

Officials: Border agent shoots suspect at bridge
EL PASO, Texas — Mexican authorities say a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed a 14-year-old boy after a confrontation at an international bridge near downtown El Paso.
Chihuahua State officials released a statement Tuesday demanding a full investigation into the death of Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereca.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Doug Mosier says preliminary reports indicate one person was shot Monday evening on the U.S. side of the Paso Del Norte bridge, across from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

In our name, folks, ... in our name; remember the number - 41

Amnesty International says that they have evidence American missiles were fired in a “target killing” attack against Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen in which 41 civilians were killed including 14 women and 21 children. The use of such strikes, either conducted by drones, in the case of Pakistan or Afghanistan, or by missiles fire from ships and submarines have increased under the Obama administration.

The photographic evidence, obtained from a Yemeni source and released by Amnesty International today, shows  US Tomahawk cruise missiles were used in the raid. The attack took place on December 17, 2009 and at the time Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh strongly denied any US involvement. For its part, the Obama administration has refused to confirm reports that it had fired cruise missiles, but the new evidence provided by Amnesty support the hypothesis that the raid was conducted by the US.

“A military strike of this kind against alleged militants without an attempt to detain them is at the very least unlawful. The fact that so many victims were actually women and children indicates that the attack was, in fact, grossly irresponsible, particularly given the likely use of cluster munitions,” said Philip Luther from Amnesty International.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Uh-huh. Justice? Delayed?

A court in India has sentenced seven ex-employees of the Indian unit of US chemicals firm Union Carbide to two years in jail after finding them guilty of negligence over a deadly gas leak that killed thousands in 1984.
Mohan P Tiwari, the chief judicial magistrate, pronounced the verdict in a packed court room after a trial that had dragged on for 23 years.

Of course, Dick Cheney's trial has not yet begun, and it's been how many years?

Friday, June 04, 2010

Let me see if I understand this ...

American citizen is murdered by commandos who rappel from a helicopter, armed, in open sea, and shoot the victim FOUR TIMES IN THE HEAD - and once in the chest - so The Prez:
1. Raises holy hell with the country that ordered this attack,
2. Sends attack jets off nearest U.S. aircraft carrier to intercept, stop or destroy the platform off which the atttack was initiated
3. Demands that all involved be brought "to justice" - or there will be war,
4. Starts lining up a coalition of the willing, to punish the country that killed the American, or
5. Holds an extravaganza honoring a British rock star and states he (He?) hopes that there will be a full and fair investigation of the matter [only applies in the case of the unnamed country being Israel].

Pick an answer.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

28 year old climber goes blind on Mt. Everest, must be abandoned, dies.

"Two more sherpas arrived and for the next eight hours they all struggled to bring Mr Kinloch,28, down the mountain, administering drugs and oxygen. But they were now dangerously close to needing rescue themselves, and had to abandon him and struggled back into camp at 5.30am, exhausted and suffering from hypothermia and frostbite.Mr Kinloch's body is still in Mount Everest's "death zone" and may never be recovered. He is the 30th climber to die on the mountain in the past five years." [The Independent, June 3, 2010]

HE IS THE 30TH CLIMBER TO DIE ON THE MOUNTAIN IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS, and people continue to do this?  So that they can say/know that they have "conquered" the mountain?  Words fail me, .... again.

Just read a nauseating account of Israeli attack on USS Liberty in 1969

and other activities harmful to US, covered up/not pursued by U.S.


There must be a parallel universe involved here.

Nice day to be in north central ... well, that would be telling.

Palm trees are a treat for me, wherever I am.

Just had a haircut, and - inevitably - Fox Pretend News was on.  Why does Fox take the position that Israeli stone killers could lawfully (even fairly, justifiably?) drop down onto someone else's boat, in international waters, and kill people? Why does Fox think it is justifiable for Israel to whine that Israel is unfairly catching shit for it?  Normally, Fox, right-wingers, Tee-Pee-ers and lots of other people think that international waters are, in fact, waters in which no government has control - whereas they believe that INSIDE a country's territorial waters, any government (that is not leftist, communist, Muslim, oil-exporting, America-hating) can maim, kill, tear asunder anyone and anything that invades/intrudes inside those sacrosanct territorial waters. How can so much of America be - at the same time - profoundly anti-Semitic and fanatically, murderously pro-Israel?

Israel is a client - we pay it to exist.  Why do we let it control what our government believes, lies about, says it believes, does?  CLIENT - we pay it, in order that it can survive and do stuff for us; what does Israel do for the U.S.?  When does it help us?  What do we get in return for sending huge sums of money to Israel?  Would Israel crash to the ground without our financial support? No. Would it have to spend more of its money on lattes and machine guns? Yes.  Why do we support the fanatical and nutty Netanyahou; what is our purpose?  Is this change we can believe in?