Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Morning Musings

When is your last request subject to change?  When you happen to be a Catholic Cardinal who is one step away from "Sainthood".    It seems that Cardinal John Henry Newman had requested that he be laid to rest next to his long time friend Ambrose St.John and that's where he's been since he died in 1890.  Now that he's one step away, the Vatican wants to move his remains to a special sarcophagus in another town.  The Vatican's excuse?  So the remains will be more accessible for venerating faithful.  Hmm, sounds more like trying to remove any inference that he might be gay.  It almost cracks me up because it is so hypocritical.   Through the years Popes have had mistresses and even children, but that some people might think that one of the saints was a homosexual is something that must be covered up.   Religious tolerance is rarely tolerant or religious.

The first mention of Obama and his speechfound in my Google Reader News was at spot 26, Sarah Palin was the number two article.  The press has found a new darling and she's photogenic.  For a Republican.  I wonder how long it's going to take the Demowienies to learn how to play politics?  After so many years of doing the same old thing and getting the same old bad results you would think they could get a clue.  But time after time the Republicans manage to steal the stage and make the news world revolve around themselves.   The only way the Dumocrats are going to be able to steal the political stage back would be if Obama decided to either not run or appoints Hillary as his new Veep pick.  And we all know that isn't going to happen.  The Republicans got just what they wanted, which was to run against Obama and not Hillary and the American citizenry are going to get four more years of McSame. Oh joy.

There is one other thing that pissed me off about John Edwards and his "liason" with what's her name, and it's something I haven't seen mentioned in the news.  Has the man never heard of protection?  The all weather raincoat should always be used when liaising with anyone other than your spouse.  With an HIV infection rate of one American every nine and a half minutes, the odds are not on your side if you ride bareback.  Personal raincoats also reduce the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy, but I guess condoms might be hard to hide from your wife and buying them yourself or asking an aide to do it would have been a dead giveaway that you were having an affair.  You set more than a bad example of behavior by having sex after taking marriage vows and your wife having more on her plate than she should have to deal with in one lifetime, you have given the impression that unprotected sex is okay.  It isn't and many more children will be born with a disease that could have been prevented by a little forethought.  Something you didn't think was important.  That's why I'm pissed.  In that one, or however many it took, act, you showed a lack of leadership and glorified irresponsibility.

The list of noshows at the Republican Convention is quite impressive.  And it can't be blamed on Gustav.  Or the California budget crisis.  No matter how hard they try.  Minneapolis is nowhere near where Gustav is expected to make landfall.  And they can't really think that we would believe that they want to be available to help those who can't afford to leave their homes.  And that budget thing?  Total BS since the Republicans are the ones who are holding everything up by insisting that the poor make up the difference in the budget instead of those who can afford to pay taxes.

I was never a Warren Zevon fan until it was too late, but here is a video that Billy Bob Thornton made with Warren and John Waite and a few others before Warren's last appearance on the Letterman show.  It isn't the whole song, but you can tell everyone knew it was going to be the last time.  Knockin' On Heaven's Door. It's enough to bring tears to your eyes. He had some great friends.

And because I'm really pensive this morning, Johnny Cash and his rendition of Hurt by the Nine Inch Nails..


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Shattered Dreams

Yippee! Life is coming back. I really enjoyed the show. It was as quirky as Dexter, but not as violent. Why ABC is touting it instead of NBC, the network it's really on, is beyond me. Whatever it takes to bring it more viewers attention is okay by me.

In the it's about time category, the Hubbard Act has been amended so that it doesn't punish the sole veteran survivors for the last 65 years. And Bush signed it without a veto threat, what a concept.

In regards to this experience to be President thing.  The only candidates that run for office and have the experience to do the job, are called incumbents.  Every single President has had to learn on the job.  Every single one, from George Washington to George Bush.  Nobody has a clue until they start doing the job.  Let's move on from a lack of experience to a lack of substance.  That applies to all the candidates.  Anyone who wants to be President, should be disqualified immediately.  I've known people who aren't in politics that could do a better job than the crop we've been saddled with since 1980.  Although I'm willing to admit that my life circumstances were so much better under Clinton.  Heck, I was living better than I am now when Carter was President.  I was even able to buy a house in California and make the payments.

Turns out mom had a slight fracture of her hip but the orthopedist didn't feel like doing anything about it (not even call and tell her to stay off of her leg, which I was already making her do) and when we went for mom's follow up with her primary care idiot, I had to beg for a walker for her.  We're on our way to get one now.    Pain medication was nonexistent for her and if it wasn't for a good friend who had some Lidocaine patches, she wouldn't have been able to function at all.  It doesn't matter if you have insurance or not, they just don't care about the patient anymore.  It's a good thing I have a medical degree or she would be toast.  Her doctor hates me and it doesn't bother me at all.  If I didn't speak up, they would just let her die.  Painfully.

How about a little music for the morning?  Back to the eighties with Johnny Hates Jazz.


Friday, August 29, 2008

It's Finally A Horse Race

Ever since I realized we were once again going to get stuck with choosing the lesser of two evils, I've been saying that if McCain picked a woman it would do serious damage to the Democratic platform.  Since everyone decided that McCain was too old and might not be able to serve his term completely if he picks who I think he might, the Democrats will have a much harder slog uphill.  With a lot of unhappy women leaving the party in droves.  Bet the powers that be wish they had listened a little harder to the discontent of Hillary's supporters.

McCain and his advisers were smart, they picked exactly who I thought they would.  Sarah Palin.

So much for the convention bump.  We're gonna have fun now.  Yup, the Demowienies have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Spoonful Of Sugar

Is supposed to help the medicine go down and the medicine must be pretty bad if the Democratic convention is any indication. 

I used to read about 182 feeds a day (can we say info junkie?) and geek that I am, I've been tracking my Google Reader Trends and can honestly say that in the past few weeks I've gone from a 100% reader completion rate down to less than 70%.  Which seems to reflect my attitude about the hype that most around the blogosphere lives for.  The same old stories, told over and over again.  Ad nauseum.  The only Olympics I watched were when I was at someone else's house and Michael Phelps was on for the few minutes I was there.  The same will probably hold true for the Demolympics and the Repubolympics the following week.  Almost like the Truman show except the buck never stops being passed around.    Though the pictures of our Commander in Chief trying to raise the roof or having to be helped from his seat by several men were pretty entertaining.

Fortunately the Dark Wraith (Ron Paul had the same reasoning of why Republicans should have voted for Kerry in 2004 and wasn't afraid to say so) published Ted Kennedy's speech (courtesy of YouTube) over at the Big Brass Blog so I didn't have to suffer through the constant inane twitter of the Dan Rather, Chet Huntley, Walter Cronkite and David Brinkley wannabes.  If today's"newsmen" had the talent of their predecessors, half their gravitas and any ability to research their own sources of information instead of reading a daily transcript handed to them from whichever contact person is in charge, we wouldn't be in the mess we are now.  Seriously, since when did an Obama child swinging the gavel and making the press corps laugh, become news?  Trust me, it's nowhere near the equivalent of JFK Jr saluting his father's casket as it went past.  Not even close.  And you can't make it so.

I tried to read the transcript of Michelle Obama's speech but found the reaction to be overhyped as well.  Letter perfect?   In whose language?  The Obamas are not the Second Coming and if the people who consistently ignored all the signs, portents, Katrina, extremely conservative Supreme Court judges, Executive Orders, an inept Attorney General, a politicized Justice Department, the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act until it was too late are now excited because they smell some sort of change in the air, they should check their diapers.  Because they are full of it.

Our country is in deep doodoo and instead of pointing out how, where, when, what, and why, we get...the promise of change.  No concrete plan, no pointing out the perpetrators of the country's downfall so people can see why there is going to be a difference between a Republican and a Democrat administration other than a somewhat historic black candidate.   Because there isn't one.  The Democrats enabled Bush and his crew without a clue and can't afford to point it out.  The Republicans won't miss that opportunity to point out the obvious next week.  Nope, instead we got a touchy feely opening, we are just like you speech.  I'm surprised she didn't say I feel your pain.

Obama has been so busy backpedaling, reversing promises he made to the progressives who helped him to get where he is, that he can't be trusted.  I don't believe a word he says, not that I ever really believe politicians.  For Obama, his FISA vote was an excellent example of him looking toward the future and making sure that there would be that much more power to grab than it was about standing up for the Fourth Amendment and what this country used to stand for.  There is not one guarantee other than his word that changes with the Republican wind, that we won't end up with more conservative judges and the elimination of the little that's left of the Bill of Rights.

Shirley Chisholm must be turning in her grave.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

What I Did Yesterday

First, I spotted a Smart Car in the wild.  Isn't she pretty?  I really want one these babies.  It's all I need to get around town and parking looks like it would be a breeze.

Then, after making sure that all of the stop lights in San Jose were working, I went to my friend's house and we started pickling less than a peck of peppers. So we threw in other veggies.  Cucumbers, cauliflower, onions and garlic and soaked them in a salt bath.

 Then we filled the jars and topped them off with a brining solution that had Orange Muscat Champagne vinegar from Trader Joe's.

And put them in the water bath.
Voila' the finished project.  All the jars popped nicely and are now resting on various peoples shelves.
In the last few weeks I learned how to bottle my own barbecue sauce and salsa to store for the winter and now I'm working on learning how to pickle my veggies instead of letting them go to waste.  Next year should set me up nicely to weather the Depression.   Even if I don't have a home, I can still eat relatively well, as long as the jars don't break.

As a side note, finding jars was somewhat of a mission.  Between the economy and Alton Brown's pickling lessons this week, most stores were out of stock.

All in all, it was a fun day.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Lazy Saturday Musings

I had occasion to use a very busy public restroom a few weeks ago, something I really hate to do, and finally understood something guys have been asking for years.  Why do women use so much toilet paper?  All around me you could hear the rolls spin.  Wheee!  I'm no Sheryl Crow, but unless I have to do more than blot, I only use two sheets.  They don't always use the best paper in these places and I don't like my fingers wet, but there is absolutely no reason to wrap your hand like it needs a bandage.  Just saying.  Sorry about the TMI.

Just finished The Race by Richard North Paterson.  The shenanigans behind running for President are more interesting in print than in real life.  At least until this "election".  First person he mentions as inspiration.  John McCain.  For being a POW.   Patterson wrote the book because he felt that politics as currently practiced are destroying America and the Republican Party is leading the way downhill.   It may have been fiction, but it was better than most of the reporting done by the established media.

Somebody needs to explain the definition of change to Obama.  Not that I was going to vote for him anyway, but Biden?  If McCain is smart enough to pick a woman this farce of an election is all but over.

Why do animals know what to with babies and humans have to be taught?  So much for those theories that animals can't reason the way humans do.

What's up with the weather?  It's the middle of August, it's a little after 9 in the morning and it is 61 degrees, overcast and windy.  Just like last year, I'm still waiting for summer.  In California.  Eight years ago we were roasting for most of the year (remember the blackouts?) and now we're lucky if we get two weeks over 90.  All year.  The tomatoes were growing well and now they are back on hold because the night time temperature just can't seem to make it above 59 degrees.

The tomato tart project.  All the ingredients except the tart.  I will make it from scratch next time, but I was intimidated and didn't have the correct pan.
And this is what we ate.  Pie crust was a little too crispy, so next time I will definitely make the tart.  It was still tasty as heck.  Yum!  And yes, the basil was from the garden also.
Next up, I'm going to try and pickle the hundred or so serranos that are making the leaves touch the ground.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

And That's The Truth

As a black female in America, many years of observation have honed my instincts and taught me which battles are worth my time to try and win, and which are worth fighting for but will never change minds that are permanently closed under the guise of everyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps.  Guess which one this is.

The last few years have plainly shown that anyone who thinks that racial issues are okay in America, are obviously not one of the races that have been historically shunned in this country.  There has never been an Italian, Asian, Indian, Black or Hispanic President.  We can't even address the blatant sexism that exists and is glorified every day in this country by people who should know better.  If Muslim countries where the woman walks three feet back and to the right can elect a female Prime Minister or President, what's our excuse?  Other than the obvious?
One of the peculiar media memes of the past year has been a lot of tormented nonsense about whether the ascendance of Barack Obama means that race is somehow off the table as a defining issue in American life. Of course his prospective nomination is a historic moment, but I can't even begin to understand why this is a controversial topic. How can anybody suggest with a straight face that pervasive racism is not the reason why, in a year when every imaginable factor favors the Democrats, Obama is even or trailing in the polls behind an addled, war-hawk septuagenarian who is disliked by his own party?
To me it is Katrina that puts the lie to any fantasy of a race-neutral America. And it's Katrina, not 9/11, that displays the nation's potentially fatal 21st century weakness. While countless billions have been spent converting our society into a police state to prevent another unpreventable attack by a handful of neo-medieval wackos, the story of the ongoing destruction of a historic, majority-black American city -- before, during and after that storm -- has been briskly swept under the carpet or, more accurately, abandoned to investigative journalists, documentary filmmakers, NGO social workers, corrupt or incompetent bureaucrats and other irrelevant social debris.
As time passes on, it will be the blatant lack of response to Katrina that identifies this country.  Identifies her as the liar and hypocrite she is.  Today's Americans, having got their piece of the "pie", are determined to maintain the status quo by making sure that nobody else gets a slice.  They are no longer interested in the tired, the poor, the hungry or the hurting, it might upset the apple cart of their self induced superiority.  Unfortunately, compassion wasn't written into the Constitution and even if it was, it would have been eliminated right along with the rest of the Bill of Rights in a futile effort to protect us from a bogeyman in a cave half the world away. Because a frightening majority of the people in power, are determined to stay there.  No matter what the cost.

Our Founding Fathers must be so proud.  Not.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Born To Serve

Once again the Demowienies are in the process of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.  Why am I not surprised?  So much for that much lauded theory from the usual Democratic pundits who haven't rubbed elbows with the common man in years.  You know the theory that said that Obama had a better chance of beating McCain than Hillary would.  This election cycle has been rigged since day one and anyone who thinks that things are going to change in January needs to share their psychedelics with the rest of society.

An untried, unproven (did you know he's black?) political upstart against a professional politician whose main claim to fame was to be shot down in Vietnam and held as a POW; who left his first wife while she was recovering from a car accident for his current and much richer wife; who can barely tell the difference between Iraq and Iran, much less Shia or Sunni;  was closely related to the Keating scandal and hasn't accomplished much since then except to keep running for office and now he's ahead in the polls.

And the best part?  The Republicans haven't even brought out the big guns yet.  One of Hillary's greatest strengths (yes, she had some to go along with her baggage), besides her experience and her previously shown ability to work well with others, would have been that they couldn't dig up any more dirt on her than has already been thrown.  Not so for the anointed one, have you seen the story about the brother? This is just the beginning.   I hope Hillary takes the Gray Davis approach and decides to live a life of happiness away from all the lies and selling of souls for votes.   She and Bill will be able to laugh sadly at the mess that people who supposedly knew better have created and left the American people to drown in.

As goes California, so goes the nation.  Down hill and into the sewer ditch.  Californians were so sure that getting rid of Gray Davis and installing Schwarzenegger would make things better for the state.  Several years later and now look at where we are.  No budget, deeply in debt and no way out except to either hurt the people who have nothing more to give or give to the people who keep finding things to take.  You remember the takers from when we all used to go to grade school together before they destroyed one of the best educational systems in the country.  They had all the best toys, hung around in cliques that the average (read poor) person couldn't get into and made sure they were the only ones on the cheerleading squads and running for school offices. The original '09ers. Obviously they haven't changed one bit.

What has changed is that the American people still believe in royalty and have decided to appoint those with money as the sole arbiters of what is best for the common man.  That would be the other 99% of America, soon to be known as the poor and downtrodden.  Or in the language of the Dark Ages, serfs.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sisyphus And I Are Related

My landlord could care less that the state hasn't paid me for taking care of my mother.  He wants me out so he can rent to someone who has a steady paycheck.   That used to be me.  And thanks to the state budget impasse, there is no where to take my mom while I search for another job.  Did I mention that the other day I came home and the house was full of gas because she didn't turn the stove off completely?  Caught her just before she lit a cigarette.  Or that she fell down a few weeks ago and can still barely walk? 

I hope the the California Governor and Republican representatives spend whatever afterlife there is in hell.  Pushing a rock uphill until it rolls back down and flattens them.  Time and time again.  I'm so glad I was in such a hurry to grow up and be responsible.  I'd run for office but as Kevin Costner put it so eloquently, I've lived a colorful life.  I believe that makes me ineligible since I'm not squeaky clean enough for the hypocritical voters.  To say nothing of the press.

Has anybody else noticed that the FDA lies?  Like the proverbial rug.  They don't care how many people die and they certainly don't care if it's induced by pharmaceutical companies or bad food.  Accountability, it's only for the people who weren't born with a silver spoon in their mouth.

Nothing else matters.

Oh well, gotta run.  I just might be able to get food stamps.  For myself.  Isn't that special?  I've been boxed into a corner and there is no guarantee that I'll even have a place to cook the food if I qualify.  I'm really tired of fighting the same battles over and over again.  Getting my Masters was supposed to prevent that.  Instead all it did was saddle me with debt I'm never going to be able to repay.  Life is so wonderful.   I should have quit when I was sixteen.  At least the fridge was always full and the rent was always paid.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Critical Thinking Went To The Dogs

Pot calls the kettle black.  With absolutely no trace of irony. Or shame.

Good luck with that.  If the courts think that committing treason by outing a CIA operative is okay, they won't give a flying fig about politicizing the Justice Department.  This is what happens when everyone kowtows to a leader whose objective was to destabilize the government, remove the protections of the Constitution and install extremely conservative judeges to prevent undoing the changes.  Things are going to get much worse and may never get better in our lifetime.

I personally can't stand Obama, but requiring him to dumb down his rhetoric so the Wal-Mart voter will understand him says more about how far behind America has fallen in critical thinking than it does that Obama is an elitist.  At the rate we're going, in twenty years our Nobel prizes will disappear and all our new doctors will be from foreign lands who go to third world countries to get a little experience.  That would be us.

I was wondering how long that would take.  As if building cities in the desert was a brilliant idea with long term potential during a global warming cycle.  There have been some rumblings recently and now McCain has decided to apply the economic plan for the poor to the water supply in the western states. But in reverse.  Take from those who have and give it to those who don't.  Because in this instance, those who don't, have the money and need the water for their playgrounds.  Next thing you know, they'll suggest taking it from the headwaters and divert it around the states that the Colorado used to run through. 

Hoo boy!  The Gateway Pundit must be desperate if the opinion of a man with questionable sexual history can be seen as more patriotic than a presidential candidate because he got goosebumps when he held his Olympic uniform for the first time.  Wow!  And then he bags on the the commentator as a liberal tool for asking the questions.  It's funny how conveniently El Pundito and his commenters, forget that said commentator was very good at an American sport himself and was considered a hero by those who watched him play.  And unlike the person he was questioning, he doesn't pretend he's an amateur at a sport that he has been getting paid millions for the last 12 years. Dumb de dumb dumb.

Our day has come and gone.  As an acupuncturist trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine I can say that yes, China is on the move and has every intention of dominating the world.  Both financially and power wise.  While Americans are content to think that history is last season's episode arc of Lost, the Chinese take the long view and include centuries of history in their decision making.  Then they plan for centuries in the future.  Unlike Americans whose idea of the future is January 20, 2009 and not much else.  The Chinese laugh at us because we like to wait until we're thirsty before we think about digging a well.  Or as our grandparents used to know it, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Which goes along with a penny saved is a penny earned.  Not borrowed.  From China.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wednesday Night Musings

Old news.  The Food Network ran a biography of Julia Child and at the very beginning it states that she worked for the OSS during wartime and that she met her husband there.  After they were married, he was stationed in Paris and she attended cooking classes and finally learned how to cook.  The information was out there if you were paying attention.

Somehow, I don't think Russia cares.

Mom is almost a walking example.  Especially since she has difficulty walking.  Add a good breeze and she falls over easily.

I thought Kissinger was the worst, but this is a new century and there is always someone trying to see how low they can go.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bank Of America Sucks The Big Weenie

I cannot stand B of A. They may be my bank but they are trying to balance their bad mortgage loans on the backs of their poorest consumers. In addition to reordering how they do their debits, they have now instituted the practice of charging overdraft fees on pending items. Items that haven't been paid and may drop off for any reason, such as they aren't authorized. But that doesn't stop them from charging you a fee even if they haven't paid it.

My Netflix was due yesterday and I went to put money in the bank before the day was over. I'm living really close to the bone while I wait for the state to get its act together. This morning I check my balance and discovered three overdraft charges for items that weren't overdrawn, they were pending and the money was in the bank before they cleared. This is $105 that they won't give me back and has left me with the grand total of $35.82 until the third of September or the state sends me another check. Whichever comes first.  And even though there was enough money in my account, they didn't pay Netflix.  The last entertainment mom and I had is in the process of being canceled.

I have no gas in the car, very little food (why did Shadow have to dig up my peas and green beans?) in the fridge, (we won't even talk about the rent I can't pay) and absolutely no possibility of ever getting my finances in order because no matter what I do, Bank of America keeps instituting new fees and new ways to take my money, even when I have done nothing wrong. I guess you are supposed to keep a minimum of $1000 in the account to protect yourself from their thievery and that isn't the type of account I signed up for. If I had a $1000 I wouldn't be suffering as much and mom and I wouldn't be on the verge of being homeless.

Plus, they are paying .050% on savings, down from the 3% when I opened the account. Why keep money in a savings account that doesn't pay? Why keep money in this bank at all? Did you know that their Keep the Change scam takes the money out of your checking account at the end of the day but doesn't transfer it to your savings account for another 24 hours? They are using your money for a whole day to make money for the bank and calling it a savings plan. Yeah, for them.

The economy in the Bay Area is so bad that they didn't even have to turn on the metering lights on the Bay Bridge this morning. It isn't a holiday, but people have no jobs to go to. I can't find a job that lets me work from home so I can keep an eye on mom, who has taken to removing items of clothing in public and is rapidly forgetting how to walk or eat properly, but I can't afford to put her in a home and she is still too aware to be in a place that you go to die.

I'm tired, depressed, stressed and I hate Bank of America with a purple effing passion. I hope they go under and all their executives go to jail for fraud. As if that would happen with Bush and his cronies in power. I think I'll start using a check cashing service and keep my money in a mattress because the fees would actually be less.

Bank of America really sucks.  And I hate them.

I really hate them.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Dear John

What is it with politicians and their inability to keep their zippers closed?  After Gary Hart, how could you be so dumb?   I guess now we know why you dropped out of the presidential race so early.  Unless you are a Republican like McCain or Gingrich, being outed will derail a campaign.   You were probably hoping that the press wouldn't find out since they had proved incapable of researching the lies that led us into a war that you have admitted was wrong..  Surprise!  If you could admit you made a mistake about a vote that cost people their lives, why not admit you had messed up before it became a campaign issue?  For another candidate.

Along with most other people on the planet, let me express my disgust and displeasure at your actions and the sorrow it is causing the innocent members of your family.  As I'm sure you are well aware by now, you should be ashamed of yourself.   Did you think you were a Republican and could get away with it?

I know that Mark Foley's inappropriate behavior with male pages was glossed over and forgotten, that David Vitter's predilection for prostitutes and diapers has been forgiven and forgotten, and that Larry Craig's wide stance is considered more humorous than sexual, but you of all people should have known better.  The media loves nothing more than to run with a sex story, especially one that involves a candidate with expensive haircuts.  It saves them the hassle of reporting on stories that affect the country such as the Saddam forgery letter.  Or how bad the economy really is.

You were my preferred candidate, I thought the rest were pale imitations of a man with principles.  I hate when I'm proved wrong.  So, in the words of my friend L, don't let the doorknob hit ya where the Good Lord split ya.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Indict, Impeach, Imprison

Sounds good to me.  Riddle me this.  If you've lied about WMDs, lied about al-Qaeda involvement, lied about outing a CIA officer, why should I believe you when you say that you didn't forge documents to start a war under false pretenses?

From the nucking futz department. The crew without a clue is putting every American outside the country a moving target. For torture.

I've been a poker player for about 18 years and absolutely loved the game until Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker with a 7-2 offsuit.  It was a disaster for the game.  Now everyone and his brother wants to play poker and go all in on almost every hand, even if they're playing $3-$6..  Odds don't matter, logic doesn't matter, position doesn't matter.  A big stack you can bully someone with does.  The San Jose card clubs are in a word, deficient.   From the food to the lack of services.  There are so many rules and regulations, they can't even replace your drink if the floorman knocks it over.  You don't even get a deck of cards when you make a Royal Flush.  Nothing, nada, not even a picture.  If they would let us have jackpots, bring back the masseuse while playing, anything, and if I had money to play I wouldn't mind the proposed tax hike in the card rooms to save city services.  But what do the players get in return?  Higher table fees that don't go into the pot, which will mean less players per hand.  49 tables sounds nice, but shouldn't there be some money in the pot to fight over?  Otherwise, what's the point?

Oh joy, another taser death.  Aided and abetted by police brutality.  I guess he was supposed to yell fire instead.  With the usual cover-up.  The Swissvale police also don't seem to understand the First Amendment.  Specifically the part that deals with peaceful assembly.  I guess they think that since they aren't Congress, the Amendment doesn't apply.  To people without badges.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Oysters get herpes?

At the usual place

Waking Up To Reality

Yesterday Pravda the New York Times, the wonderful paper that gave us Judith Miller and forgot to cover the facts that led us in to an illegal and devastating war, had an editorial about the Hamdan monkey trial.
It is impossible, in any case, to judge the evidence against Mr. Hamdan because of the deeply flawed nature of this trial — the blueprint for which was the Military Commissions Act of 2006, one of the worst bits of lawmaking in American history.
At least when John Adams was defending the British soldiers of the Boston Massacre he had a snowball's chance in Hades to win and was able to use something called proof so that justice could be served.  Such liberties are not encouraged by the diaper wearing crowd that purports to be the "daddy" party (And we found out what they meant by that, didn't we Misters Craig, Vitter and Foley?)are currently destroying everything that our Founding Fathers held dear.  The truth is no longer self evident.  Nor are we created equal, especially if you believe in the wrong maker, have brown skin or wear a turban and a beard.

For seven years Bush and his cronies have ridden unbridled through the Constitution, laying waste wherever they went.  From the Patriot Act forward they have done nothing but seek more and more power with less oversight than almost any junta in history.  Currently Bush is in China blowing smoke out his ass by chiding them gently (since we need their money to survive) for human rights violations.  Cynical people might consider this more than slightly oxymoronic once one remembers Katrina, the destroyed country of Iraq, spying on American citizens at will before 9/11, outing CIA operatives for revenge, the highest prison incarceration rate in the world, his gleeful enforcement of the death penalty while Governor of Texas and since becoming President bringing death penalty cases in states that don't have the death penalty, and then because it continues to be bad, New Orleans.  Yes, our bobble head in chief is giving advice in humanity.  As if he knew what it was.

A dire assessment, but unless he quits pandering to the right, probably accurate. Then we'll end up with McCain and even less of the Constitution will apply to the average American, who isn't going to be what they think it is.

Majority rules.  But what happens if the majority changes? It's like the old saying.  Be kind to your kids, they're going to pick your retirement home someday.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

On The Backs Of The Poor

If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullsh*t. Our lovely Governator is proposing an immediate "temporary" one cent hike in one of the most regressive taxes known to man, the sales tax.   And this is right after demanding that state workers earn the federal minimum wage of $6.55 an hour in a state where the cost of gas is still well over $4 a gallon and Los Angeles is intent on removing the dollar value menu from poor neighborhoods.  Because no food at all is better than Latinos being fat, isn't it?

Why are poor people and those who the governor intends to make poor, expected to bail out the economy of a state that has so many millionaires?  Why can't the rich pay a little more in taxes on the exorbitant amounts of money that they spend on vacations, expensive cars they don't know how to drive and eating at restaurants featuring edibles that aren't really food?  Why are the people at the bottom of the economic ladder expected to bear the brunt of the state's fiscal mismanagement and political grandstanding by having their benefits cut to the bone and then adding insult to injury by taking what little money they have go to support prisons and corporations instead of being funneled back into programs to help them make everyone's lives better?  Things like real education for children, public transportation and rebuilding the infrastructure.
Democrats have been open about their desire for higher taxes to help solve the deficit, though the sales tax is by no means their first choice. The Democratic budget proposal includes $9 billion in new taxes, but they are aimed mostly at corporations and the wealthy. Sales tax increases, by contrast, tend to hit lower- and middle-income residents harder because they spend a bigger share of their income on taxable sales.

One political analyst said the governor should explain his tax plan to the public, rather than having it leak to the media.

"This is Mr. Salesman, the guy who could sell anything," said Tony Quinn, co-editor of the California Target Book which analyzes legislative races. "If he's going to sell his party on a sales tax, and the Democrats who view it as regressive, he ought to lay it out before the people."
Nope that's called honesty with a dash of cojones and it isn't something that politicians are known for.   Requiring a two thirds majority to pass a state budget when all the Republicans are interested in are playing games with people's lives and pretending that they have the people's best interests at heart has not worked for the people of California for many years.  Every July we go through the same thing and meanwhile the state is falling down around our ears.

Eventually, like when the state isn't considered a player in the world economy and only the movie stars have money to spend on purchases that aren't required for daily survival, things are going to have to change.  Unfortunately, it's going to be too late for the majority of Californians.  They will have already moved to Mexico in order to have a better quality of life.



My back goes out more than my car does, but then it doesn't have to pay for gas.

Yes, I can't afford the freeway and no, I don't have a lot of money.

Mom's birthday is Saturday and I can't afford to buy her a card, much less take her out to dinner or do something really nice for her.  I don't even have a truffle from the Minstrel hidden away to surprise her.  No matter how much I do for her, I still feel like a failure.  She falls at least once a day and her eating and drinking are slowing down to almost nothing, which is a pretty good indicator that even if she makes it to her 78th, it will more than likely be her last.

And no, my brother didn't get in touch with her for his birthday on the first and she's been pretty depressed not being able to talk to the baby of the family since he graced her with a phone call for Mother's Day.  I think he's 47 but he's acting more like 4.  Just the way I remember him.



Too Funny

Today's chuckle is provided by a commenter at HuffPo on a Max Blumenthal article about Toby Keith's lynching song and his follow up remarks on the Glenn Beck show about Obama acting white, as if Obama isn't half white and educated, but all black and a thug rapper.  Take it away Intruder.
Political commentary from Toby Keith is about as meaningful as a music critique from Helen Keller.
The bras aren't really bulletproof, but they will prevent the dreaded underwire poking or even better, being injured by little pieces of metal if policwomen are shot at while wearing a vest.  And there's more than one model.  Though I doubt if they will make Avedon's bra of the week list.

All is clear now.  The Pentagon studied ancient empires to find out how to rule the world.  I guess they missed the part about all the empires weren't all that successful.  Otherwise they would still be ruling the world and the United States wouldn't exist.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Baghdad: City Of Walls

By way of the Guardian.  You will never see this on American television.  It isn't entertainment, it's reality.  The reality of living in Baghdad after years of war.  First you can't get around.

The graves of those who were killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the wrong religion, the wrong whatever.

And then there are the children.  The true innocents and the ones who are paying the highest price. The orphans being recruited to continue the terror that was visited upon them. By us.

What have we done?


Are The Trains On Time Yet?

Nothing says politician like reversing yourself to meet the results of a poll.  Even when they know the poll is hogwash, that the resulting answers are bogus and that it won't solve the problem at all.  In true political fashion, Barack Obama once again sways with the breeze in his effort to become the Decider's heir.  I remember how badly I was treated when I pointed out on another site that the closer to the election the more of his true self would be revealed.  That he would say or do anything that gets him closer to the goal.  Opportunistic?   Most definitely.  Between FISA, drilling off the coasts, and now wanting to let the Florida and Michigan delegations have full voting powers restored to" reunite" the Democratic party (under his banner), some of them must be feeling a little betrayed by now.  Betrayed by their own naivete.  I can hardly wait until his VP pick when the shaft slides all the way in.

Um duh!  Low wage workers usually tend to be people of color and are therefore more likely to be predisposed to liking Obama over McCain.  For those who are melanin impaired, it's easier to identify with someone who hasn't always had a silver spoon in their mouth.  And after years at the bottom of the economic ladder, poor people  realize that rarely does a change in presidents improve their individual lives.  Nice of the WaPo to point out the glaringly obvious.

Another strike against the consumer.  All in the name of progress.  Wherever Orwell is, he's probably sitting in stunned amazement with mouth agape, bewildered by not only was his book off by several years, but it would cover areas he never thought about.
"Some insurers can make a decision in the same day, or right on the spot," Franzen said. "That's the real 'value-add.'"


When an insurer makes an online query about an applicant, Ingenix or Milliman's servers scour the data and within minutes or less return reports to a central server at the company. The server aggregates the information going back as far as five years, including the drugs and dosages prescribed, dates filled and refilled, the therapeutic class and the name and address of the prescribing doctor.
Obviously that decision will be no.  There is a new world order and the have nots won't be eligible for it.  The really sad part?  There didn't used to be so many have nots.  Isn't it wonderful how the Republicans and their Demowienie enablers have been able to cull the herd in such a short amount of time?


Friday, August 01, 2008

Jaw Dropping Crap

Asking if  Congress deserves a vacation is like waking up and smoking a joint to decide if you want to smoke a joint.  Shouldn't they have to do some work first?  At least occasionally?  In the never ending run for the White House, how many votes have McCain and Obama missed while they were running for another office because the one they're in isn't good enough?  And please, using the example that the Demowienies don't want to cave in to the Republicans is foolish since there are more than enough examples to go around.  Fortunately 472 of them are up for reelection this year, maybe they'll get a surprise at the polls.

Things are getting better all the time.  Pretty soon the only people employed in America will be those who provide personal luxury services to our overlords.

The police are sticking with their story that the kid with the broken back and foot tried to get up and walk into traffic so that's why they had to taser him 19 times.  Do they drug test cops?  Because if they don't, they should.  On a daily basis.  Especially hallucinogens.

Hmm, I see the cojone missing stormtroopers have struck again.  What possible excuse (other than revenge) could there be for placing a compromising package (you know they did it), bursting into the mayor's home and then shooting his two Labrador Retrievers, one of whom was hunted while running away, to death?  No arrests were made.

I joined the Army in 1974 and I can honestly say that other than a few bawdy jokes (that I enjoyed because they were funny) and the occasional "accidental" brush against my tits, only one person ever harassed me and he ended up at Leavenworth doing hard time for a few years. Hhis conviction ostensibly had nothing to do with me since my First Sergeant wouldn't take me seriously, but I knew something else that caused his incarceration and had no hesitation about making sure the MPs found out about it.   Other than that, my troop mates were my friends and they treated me just like the other guys.  Now it seems that a woman serving in the military is as likely to be assaulted by the people who are supposed to be watching her back as she is to be killed or wounded by a terrorist.  I thought it was supposed to be you were more likely to be killed by a terrorist as to get married after forty?  Methinks that order in the military isn't what it used to be.