Harvest Time is Upon Us!

And apparently, nothing says “autumn” to my local store than pumpkins and lots of boxed wine!

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Or perhaps you’d prefer the hard stuff?

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Drink that much Jack, and you’ll need the tombstone!

As the nice lady sang, “Cheers to the freakin weekend! I’ll drink to that.”

In Closing: personality test; Carlin; what could possibly go wrong?; Dave on taxes; die with a t on the end; “Armory? Armory? School districts have armories? Hell, we don’t have enough money for textbooks but we have armories?”; Russian Space Sex Geckos!; Uh, “number 2″ is actually #4 by my reckoning (nobody would have recognized 6); not good; and you have got to watch this — a splash mob!

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Well, isn’t this interesting

In California, one out of every ten workers is here illegally. Most of them have lived here for years and live with an American citizen.

Yesterday’s protests seeking an actual living wage for fast food workers resulted in arrests — and remember, if you eat lunch at these places you need to be served by an adult rather than a kid who will someday get a “real job”.

Meanwhile, normal citizens are pressured by low wages, competition from workers here illegally, and are further oppressed by a criminal “justicesystem that is pretty much out of control.

The “powers that be” better tread lightly.

In Closing: Driving “American” might mean buying a “Japanese” car; I bet when they say “diversity” they aren’t really including the ~1 in 5 American women for whom “petite” pants drag the ground; Nudies and the NSA.

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Music Monday: Good Luck Finding One

Happy Labor Day. Do you like weekends? 40 hour [theoretical] workweeks? The ability to say you won’t stand for employer abuses? Safe working conditions? Limited class sizes for your school kids? Thank a union member.

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Newly Remodeled, Enlarged Asian Food Section

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That’s a lot of rice. And in the upper left, a whole bunch of Sriracha!

For the record, this particular store is in the Kroger family of stores, about 5 minutes from the Las Vegas Chinatown.

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News

Even though the stats say people read this little site regularly, the fact is not many people comment. One of the few people who I’d call a “regular commenter” was Cynthia.

It is with great sadness that I must report that Cynthia passed away this morning. She leaves behind a long-term boyfriend, assorted distant relatives, a grandson, and one daughter. That would be me.

In Closing: rubble bucket challenge; an interesting and relevant graph; on inequality and impounded cars; cop cams; one less one less problem; Karl calls ‘em as he sees ‘em; shhh, ancient oligarch secret; and thanks to bankruptcy “reform,” there is no hope of this getting better until the previous item miraculously vanishes; I still wonder why insurance companies haven’t put their considerable clout behind this; and won’t somebody please think of the children (unless of course they are brown).

 

 

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Music Monday: Life Finds a Way?

The Russians think they have found life. Life, on the outside of the International Space Station. It’s from Earth, all right, they just don’t know how it got there.

 

In Closing: hopefully a few last words on Ferguson, the militarization of our police, the death of the right to peaceably assemble, and the press (but it won’t be the last because of race); a “difficult decision“; hey now, don’t get too skinny!; don’t think I’ve forgotten about the NSA; and children in poverty.

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Joe Average and the Economy

The bad news is that hourly wages have declined. Look at the first chart, and you’ll notice that’s even true for the top quintile! In other words, ThinkProgress is soft-selling the fact that most of us — on average — are making less per hour in favor of pointing out that those at the very bottom have it worst.

So then, how can CNN turn around and tell us that wages are up? Two things. First, they mean that median income is up, which can be explained away by more people working and people working longer hours. Second, even they admit that “the gains are not spread evenly“.

So the Very Intelligent People are wringing their hands over the fact that none of us seem to have much savings, and don’t we know we will retire one day, the fact is that for many average people, these savings tips are a cruel joke. Ha, put aside 10-13% for retirement, and reduce your debt (heh), and “Don’t make emotional purchases”? Emotional purchases like what, replacing the dead transmission in the car so you can get to work? Maybe if we just teach the middle and lower class how to manage their money better somehow they can magically make all their bills less.

When one in seven people are at the food bank, they don’t have anything to put aside at the regular bank for a rainy day; it’s already pouring.

In Closing: support staff; No Fly; bulldozer improvements; grittier than Melissa Gilbert’s portrayal; and no, this will not do what it advertises. There is no such thing as a master list of sexual predators; there is only a list of people who have convictions for certain crimes involving genitals. Ways to be put on this list include having a significant other who is underage (even if they lie about it), peeing in the wrong location, or happening to be naked in one’s own home. Schools that use this system will wonder why parents aren’t lining up and spending $20 for a background check and the honor of being allowed to chaperone a field trip or shelve library books.

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More Ferguson

The ASSociated Press has published a little article which my local news picked up. The first paragraph reads:

The fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer has opened a debate over what level of force is appropriate when law enforcement confronts a citizen perceived to be a threat.

Let’s back up just a moment. The question that should be asked in Ferguson and perhaps elsewhere is this:

What should a police officer consider a threat?

We now know that the young man was in fact running away from the officer when the confrontation began. Is someone running away a “threat”? At the very least, the officer can no longer use the “he was headed straight for me” defense without expecting laughter.

Backing up further, is a “thief” who shoved a store clerk a “threat” (even though everyone agrees that the cop didn’t know about the alleged incident)? Well, since it turned out that the theft was trumped up and the film that supposedly proves the young man was a Very Bad Man actually shows him paying, no.

Are photographers and journalists a threat? How about churches?

I leave you with three more Ferguson thoughts. First, what the press might well report if Ferguson were overseas. Second, Ferguson appears to have a rich heritage of discriminatory legal practices. Finally, the police have all kinds of new crowd control toys. One, Taser brags, can incapacitate anybody who happens to be in a target area. Forgive me for wondering how you make a crowd disperse by incapacitating them.

In Closing: I don’t know, maybe you could try doing things voters like?; on privacy and metadata.

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Music Monday: More of the Same as it Ever Was

 

It does look like things are getting a lot more complicated in Ferguson. And that’s before the Fed’s version of the autopsy*, and before any grand jury sees evidence. The Genie’s out of the bottle now.

In Closing: imagine that, mandatory insurance didn’t fix some of the stuff it was supposed to; fake news reinvented; feminism’s benefits for men; cyberweapons.

 

*I’m glad there’s going to be another one, because this last one was done by the guy that testified in the O.J. Simpson trial. Yeah, just what we need is to put a nice controversy icing on this cake of unrest.

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Ferguson

So yesterday — long after Anonymous* claimed to have the information — Ferguson Police finally released the name of the officer who shot an unarmed young man, setting off riots. But then they proceeded to dump poison in the well.

Jackson also gave barebones details about a strong-arm robbery at a local convenience store that took place moments before Wilson shot Brown. He did not connect Brown to the robbery during his press conference, but in police documents he released to reporters during the press conference, Brown is named as a suspect. Jackson released dispatch records and video surveillance of the robbery as well.

Ok. So suspected robbery — not even armed robbery — is grounds for immediate death penalty, no trial required? Good to know.

Except that the cop who shot him didn’t even know about the alleged robbery. Oops. Why bring that up at all, I wonder. Apparently then, there’s an immediate death penalty for walking down the street as opposed to the sidewalk. Further, cops may prevent qualified bystanders from performing CPR.

 

Clearly they don’t subscribe to the Obama Doctrine:  Don’t do stupid stuff.

There is one silver lining to this dark cloud, however. Normal Americans are finally talking about issues like the militarization of our police (here is the must read book), freedom to protest even if you aren’t white (non-white protesters seem to consistently be called “looters” regardless of what they’re doing), and manipulation of the supposedly free press. Sure, “be careful what you tweet.”

* I wonder what Anonymous threatened to do if the name wasn’t officially released.

No in closing today. Too disgusted.

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