Modern Patriotism

Nothing says “I love my country” and “support our troops” like a great t-shirt. This one makes sense, mostly. What could be more American than Rock and Roll?

Then again, maybe you prefer patriotic stars-and-stripes dolphins on a lavender background. Maybe they are helping our Navy!

Surely, nothing represents remembering our fallen troops like a kitten sitting in a flag-bordered red-white-and-blue flowerbed watching fireworks! How A-MEOW-ican!

Don’t dare tell Sigfried and Roy that white tigers can’t be patriotic Americans too. Roar!

And finally, patriotism is not just for American cats. Japanese cats can love America too (offer not valid during World War 2). Heck, Hello Kitty loves America so much, you can co-ordinate patriotic Hello Kitty shorts with your patriotic Hello Kitty t-shirt.

I think I need some nice, American bourbon.

In Closing: TED; poor deliberately made poorer; space for profit; Robert Reich; bloody Romans Government; more Mitt on education; should have expected this; and castles.

Music Monday: Computer Generated?

I’ve become convinced that the Black Eyed Peas are actually performing songs written by a sure-fire no-fail hit writing computer algorithm. How else do you get lines like “Beats so big I’m steppin’ on leprechauns”? People in the place, give it up:

Of course, I prefer the Bad Lip Reading version:

Now, at some point I think the algorithm got “borrowed” by LMFAO:

There. Doesn’t that explain a lot?

In Closing: Scam; is there some reason they couldn’t have raided the store in daytime?; Stereotypes; not normally something one does alone; and that’s why they have to disenfranchise as many people as possible; hope he’s right; look, you silly man, the reason it needs to be better regulated is that if the shareholders and owners lose everything, the FDIC — that is the taxpayers — are on the hook.

Mulholland Shorties

Was I Wrong About Rahm?: He’s not even sworn in yet, and he’s announced that something he wants to do is enlarge a good old-fashioned public works project! Granted, it’s just bike lanes, but it will put people to work and help other people get around when it’s done.

Food Insecurity is just a fancy word for Going Hungry: Here’s a viewpoint from somebody who once had to endure it. It turns out there are a lot of issues in play.

So You Want to be a Revolutionary: This man wrote a book about non-violent revolution. There’s a link to the PDF, which is credited with change around the world.

Income Inequality: When people in other nations notice it, it’s bad. If that has too many words, this one has lots of pretty pictures. Here’s more.

Release the Hounds: An Indiana Deputy Attorney General suggested using live ammunition on protesters in Wisconsin. Thankfully, he didn’t have the authority to order such a thing. But sanity did prevail: he is now unemployed on the grounds that a man in his position must demonstrate civility.

Speaking of Shafting the People who Teach Your Kids: Providence just sent lay-off notices to each and every teacher. They will decide later who actually gets the axe. Way to promote morale! And just a reminder, the average teacher in Wisconsin makes less than the Wisconsin median income.

Your Insurance Company Believes in Global Climate Change: Because 2010 was one of the worst years for climate disasters ever! That would include things like storms. Oh, and I sure hope those of you in San Francisco enjoy the expected snow.

Too Big to Fail is Too Big to Exist: Seriously, even people from the Fed say so.

Making the Situation Worse: Banks are moving branches from poor neighborhoods to wealthy ones — despite laws requiring them to serve the entire community. In this vacuum, payday lenders and check cashing businesses spring up out of need. And did you know that one in nine banks is in danger of collapse?

Some People Have Never Heard of the First Amendment: Some people think you can outlaw “shariah.”

Who Knew: It turns out Americans like having clean air and water.

Priceless: It turns out you can download sheet music of the classics for free. Mozart’s copyright rights are long since expired.

Truth in Comics: Drew and Bors.

Can we Stop Calling it the Party of Lincoln?: It turns out President Lincoln would disagree with almost everything the current Republican party stands for.

They Really Would Prefer All Women were Pregnant: No word on whether they think we should be allowed to wear shoes.

Plastic Tubes and Pots and Pans, Bits and Pieces: Kids need to do more science.

Batshit Crazy: Qaddafi.

The Only Evidence that I am “Moderate”: I’m clearly somewhere between these two crazy extremes. Honestly, I think of myself as left of center. You know I think that the banks are the root cause of much of our current economic woes, but it would be childish to assert that “Wall Street causes all bad things.”

Placebo: Dogs just want to please their masters. That’s why drug sniffing dogs only have an accuracy rate of 44%. That rate drops to 27% when the person in question is Hispanic.

Lily the Pink: Or, Who Knew Moldovans Drank So Much?

Advice for Democrats: Stop using the Republican’s terminology! I want to scream every time i hear one of you talk about the “death tax” or “tax reform” or “Obamacare” or “Social Security reform.” For pity sake, all these things have names that don’t admit that their way of looking at it is correct!

What Happens When This One Pops?: College textbook price bubble.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

Taken at Clark High School in Las Vegas.

In Closing: Foreclosure mess (update, Bank of America has halted all foreclosures nationwide); new 300 year old Vivaldi concerto; progressive agenda; we have to be better; I hope the FDIC bankrupts these [redacted]; always check your work; on Afghanistan; 30% of unemployed have been out of work for at least a year, and the number of jobs in the economy went down last month (no wonder bankruptcies are up); good idea; speaking of food stamps; “none of the above“; new style CPR; sometimes it’s how you say it; and cell phones don’t and can’t cause cancer (“physics shows that it is virtually impossible for cell phones to cause cancer”).

Oh and one more thing! Surf over to Vegas Video Network to see my new show later today!

Rosencrantz and Shorties Are Undead

Volcanoes!: Ok, the Eyjnafjallajökull eruption was bad, but usually when it goes the far more dangerous Katla volcano goes as well. Icelandic volcanic eruptions are blamed for temporary climate change that resulted in the Mississippi river freezing as far south as New Orleans and causing famines that eventually resulted in the French Revolution. Here’s 5 more great volcanic eruptions.

Real banking reform, now!: Mr. Reich presents what I consider to be a minimum regulatory laundry list. In the meantime, here’s some things you can do to figure out who really owns your mortgage. Oh, and if you are having trouble with your mortgage (or are in bankruptcy), pay extra close attention to this. Crap like that would not happen if it weren’t for “deregulation.” If you are a little lost figuring out the Goldmann Sachs story, here’s a nice analysis. Don’t forget that there’s a criminal investigation into what happened at Countrywide. Could it bring down Bank of America? We can only hope.

The recession is over? Like hell: The economy is very far from normal (and in my opinion will stay that way until the fundamental banking issues and certain insurance issues are solved).

Oh yeah, it’s 4/20: Did you know that a majority of Americans in the West support legalizing (and regulating) marijuana?

Stupid School Administrator Tricks: The story of a school district in Pennsylvania secretly using webcams in school issued notebook computers to spy on children gets deeper and weirder. They now admit to having some 56,000 pictures (and those are just the keepers and the ones they admit to having). Yet somehow, even though they have pictures of sleeping students, they miraculously don’t have any nudies? Yeah, I’m with Amanda on this one: suuuuure they don’t.

On the other hand: The Supreme Court isn’t amused by a SWAT officer who was reprimanded for texting his wife and girlfriend — both!? — on a police issued phone. Justice Stevens asked “Wouldn’t you just assume that the whole universe of conversations by SWAT officers who were on duty 24/7 might well have to be reviewed by some member of the public or some supervisor?”

Stupid Tax Tricks: Teabaggers who don’t know what they are talking about, and the myth that somehow corporations will pass on the cost of taxes on profits to customers.

Stupid Legislator Tricks: Apparently they are using some “new math” on Capitol Hill, as Senator Coburn is going on record as saying more money is “wasted” on Medicaid than is actually spent on it. Can’t he just admit he hates poor people and thinks any money spent on them is a waste? Either that or sign him up for Kumon.

Chemo sucks: but it is better than dying of cancer.

Almost makes me want to take up guitar: light-up guitar picks!

A cool cookbook, I hope: The Primal Blueprint Cookbook. Mine is on pre-order. So far all the recipes shared on Mark Sisson’s blog have been winners.

I will have more to say about this soon: Local interest lawsuit with nationwide ramifications.

Building a castleIn the Ozarks. Now. It’s a pretty cool project!

Star Wars Japan Filter: Did you know that Mark Hamill went to High School in Japan? He’s working on a new movie project, by the way. And just to wrap things up, here’s an artist’s impression of what Star Wars characters would look like as done by Akira Kurasawa.