Stephen King’s Bag of Shorties

Red Meat: Well sure, if you’re willing to call a double cheeseburger “unprocessed red meat,” maybe red meat is bad for you. I also liked the fact that the same questionnaires that “prove” the connection also say that 1/5 of women make do on 1200 calories daily — that would be a bare minimum for somebody trying to lose weight, not something sustainable. Think just maybe some people weren’t quite reporting the whole truth?

It turns out that 100% of rapes are committed by rapists: Don’t rape.

Bruce Wayne: Has a hard time at the psychologist’s office.

Senator Lugar: Well, is he a resident eligible to run for Senate, or is he a non-resident who can’t vote?

His name is disgusting: Mr. Santorum thinks Puerto Rico should learn some darn English already so they can become a state! Ok, he actually said they have to make English and only English the official language, and they need to have a “common language” with us whiteys normal Americans. What makes him think they want to be a state? Pretty blatant example of a conservative expressing the idea that “those brown people would be so much better off if they did things my way!” Now he can’t decide if he wants to stand by the comments or not. mmWaffles.

So you want to be a blogger?: Here.

Deregulation: Doesn’t work (HT).

There’s no point arguing with crazy: Ornery Bastard colorfully and succinctly says what many think about the GOP.

Viva Las Vegas: House sales up. That’s right, I said up. And people are noticing.

Glad I’m not in Arizona: Proposed bill would allow employers to ask women if they use The Pill and fire them if they don’t like the answer. Never mind medical privacy. No word on whether they’ll ask men if they take erectile dysfunction meds. Guess they aren’t expecting a lot of women voters. Maybe the next proposed bill is to disavow the 18th Amendment.

If only just Arizona were the problem: Thankfully we have some uterus-having Legislators helping bring balance and/or silliness to some of the anti-woman bills.

Double-you tee eff: An officer but not a gentleman.

Hail Britannica: Someday kids will look at you funny when you talk about an encyclopedia being a big set of reference books that many middle class families owned.

What??: Hotel pools must close or install wheelchair lifts.

You know there must be candy and rainbows for bankers in the foreclosure fraud settlement: JP Morgan Chase announces a hike in the dividend. The investors go wild.

Crash the system: Refuse a plea bargain. Insist on your Constitutional right to a jury trial.

Nixon in Love: Turns out he was a bit of a romantic. Who knew.

I see it around here: More people using public transportation. And as a result, more people walking, at least locally. I think it’s a good thing.

Eastern Germany: Check out the before and after pictures by clicking the pic at top.

And Now for Something Completely Different: A “Life Well Lived” Special Post

Ok, I know this isn’t what most of my readers are used to. If it isn’t your cup of tea, I bet you can find the “In Closing” bits in their usual location at the end.

I’ve been asked by the nice people at BlogHer (see that banner ad over there? Great!) to write a post on “How do you care for your hair in the colder, drier months?” If you would like, go take a look at the official tips first. Back yet? Great. Add your comments here for a chance to win $250.

So what do I do about my hair? The sad truth is “not much”:

  • I make sure I don’t go too long between hair appointments. A lot of bad hair days are caused by split ends and growing out of a good trim. I know it’s tempting for a lady to grow hair out over the winter, but that’s only a good idea if you love ponytails… Every. Single. Day.
  • I already live in Vegas, where it’s “drier” most of the time. There is no substitute year round for a quality everyday conditioner, and perhaps a weekly deep condition. My hairdresser insists I need a leave-in, and I admit that helps on days where my hair is fighting all efforts to be combed.
  • Again, this is one I can only get away with because I live in Vegas. Never ever do this if you live someplace it freezes in winter. I am lousy with a hair dryer, so I just don’t use one! I just “gel, scrunch, and go.” As a result, I don’t have to deal with heat damage.

So no, I don’t do a lot special on my hair in winter. My skin is another story! I get very dry skin, and I have a strategy to deal with it. Of course, it involves a moisturizing sunscreen on my face. It also involves a good quality moisturizer on my hands and legs. But there’s more: my daily supplements include fish oil and Vitamin D (which I’m not getting through sun exposure); and quality anti-aging products selected with the help of a physician.

In Closing: yeah, we’ve really made things better for Afghan women, not! (I particularly like the line about “Shockingly” this is common!); using “facts and logic” — I  know the bumper sticker says that should confuse a liberal like myself — to prove CRA didn’t cause the housing bubble; How to talk to people at Thanksgiving who are likely to have read “How to talk to a Liberal, if you must” and other family members; the new poor; maybe they liked the scenery; the banks finally stole too much; police bust down the door and kill the dogs… over a stolen Xbox that wasn’t even there (ya know, I bet Microsoft would have gladly told cops what IP address it was on!); as usual, Dave Johnson is long-winded but correct (I’d add “water and sewer” to his list); Grayson is hilarious (and knows the Bible); and Shatner on Turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Down And Out on Paradise

Sticklers for detail will notice this is the Strip and not actually Paradise, a few blocks East.

Things are tough all over.

I do hope nobody is surprised to learn that poverty in the United States is even higher than expected. After all, some 15% of our population is on food stamps — and that’s according to the freaking Wall Street Journal! And it is worse than average here in Vegas, where the “recovery” you lucky souls in other parts of the nation have been experiencing the last 2 years has passed us by like some angry Santa:

There’s a newer version of this chart right here. Add to that the fact that Vegas is still the reigning foreclosure capital of the nation, and it shouldn’t be any shock that we have a problem with homelessness and “food security” — a fancy term for “no food and/or no money for food.” Please remember that no matter what you may think of the work ethic of people in these situations, some of the people effected are children. There are mighty few jobs available to children that will pay the family’s bills, and most of them are worse than mere hunger.

Maybe if Wall Street didn’t sell us a pack of lies about how we can run our economy on lattes and cheap imports, we could change things. Even Starbucks is trying to create jobs outside the Latte Economy.

In Closing: is police use of a GPS really different from tailing them (uh, yeah); whites use more drugs, but blacks get sent to prison more (huh, could the War on Drugs possibly be racist??); even a broken clock is right twice a day; Americans would rather have government bureaucrats than insurance company bureaucrats (who could know these things?); amen; and right on, Rick.

Curious No More

When I saw this in a parking lot, I wondered what the heck it was:


Now I know. It’s an old mail truck!

 

Alright, for those of you who aren’t into Volkswagens, here’s In Closing: earthquake shaking things up at the zoo; solving Too Big Too Fail with Even Bigger; I wonder if Blodget is right; the cover-up continues; just in case you didn’t have enough depressing bank news; sure a “high fat” diet can cause diabetes, when it’s also a MEGA sugar diet!; wouldn’t it be terrible if Amy Winehouse didn’t have a drug/booze problem but rather a degenerative neurological disease?; “Hey, if he can stop earthquakes, why can’t he golf and bike at the same time?”; the New Retirement Plan; told you so; in case you didn’t understand that the War on Drugs was racist; only 1 in 5 medical malpractice cases result in anybody getting money (other than the lawyers, of course) (or if you prefer, 4 out of 5 med-mal cases may be almost completely without merit).

A Buffet of Bad Ideas

There’s a restaurant site down the street that does not appear to attract success.

I forget what the place was originally, other than an expensive build. I feel certain that high expenses are what killed the place.

After remaining empty for a while, it became an “Asian fusion seafood restaurant.” Hey, this is Vegas, we can support that sort of thing. Of course maybe if the site weren’t within a few hundred feet of not one, but two nationally known chains of “Asian fusion seafood restaurants,” and down the street from a notable modern sushi bar, it might have done better. Oh yeah, they maybe could have had some advertising. But it was clearly an expensive build, so maybe they didn’t have money to let people know it was actually open.

After remaining empty for another long while, the building got a new paint job in colors that suggested Mexican or some other sort of Latin cuisine, and signage for a new restaurant. It never opened. I remember seeing some sofas out by the dumpster behind the building. Yet another expensive build.

Then the sign changed again, and signs of what was by my count a 4th expensive interior redesign began. The name of the place? Hotel California. Yeah, like this:

Right, because everybody wants to go eat dinner someplace where they’ve got no wine, but plenty of pink champagne on ice. And you have to stab your dinner to death with a steely knife. Oh, and you might not be allowed to leave after you pay your check. Happy Hour indeed.

As if that’s not enough, we have a California Hotel here in Vegas.

Yesterday, I noticed that the sign — which by the way looks like it was painted by teenagers from Acapulco — had changed. It’s now the “Baja California.”

The big, brass, expensive-looking letters on the front of the building still read HC.

In Closing: truth; I hope this really happened; do you think the Republicans would be willing to put tax rates where they were during the Reagan Administration?; Not Gonna Happen! There can never be a Get Out of the Security Line Free card!; when ideology is more important than science; Al Jazeera prints the truth; another victory lap around the shark tank; “die, bitch”; and the last dinosaur.

Cyrus: Shorties of a Serial Killer

8 Years: Somehow I managed to overlook my Blogiversary.

Next time you have a hard time getting through to your doctor’s office: Remember that the Feds are tying up the line trying to figure out how hard it is for you to get an appointment.

He’s just so nice: Matt Damon is trying to find ways to help African people get clean, safe water. And he’s good looking, and he can act.

On Fitness: Ladies, please ignore the fact that it comes from a publication called “Men’s Journal.” The Truth is unisex.

Let’s Get This Out of the Way: Everybody knows that yet another appeals court says there’s no Constitutional problems with the Affordable Care Act, right? Ok, moving on then.

In other news, Bill Gates Doesn’t Understand Capitalism: Ignoring the diseases of poverty isn’t a failure, it’s a sign that there’s no money in it. That’s why it’s called “poverty.”

Shut up and get back to work!: Yeah, it sure would be nice to have paid sick days. I have no idea how you’d do that for those of us who are self-employed.

Professor is Correct Again: Cutting the budget deficit won’t put a single person to work. In fact, it will put some government employees out of work. It will also reduce GDP — which by definition includes government spending. Who are the President’s economic advisers? The ghost of Herbert Hoover? A least he understands that there is no way to balance the budget without taxes.

Computer Security: Don’t stick strange memory sticks in your computer! You don’t know where they’ve been! Stupidity makes hacking possible.

Missing Cute White Girl of the Week Club: Why it’s bad for all of us. Amen, brother.

Senator Bernie Sanders: Speaking Truth in a place where it has been lacking.

To those of you who just got out of medical school: Sage words of a Dinosaur.

Too Big To Fail: Simply must be Too Big To Exist.

Sahara: The sign is going to be at the Neon Museum.

Most expensive used car ever: A painstakingly restored 1963 Volkswagen Microbus.

Looking forward to it: Shatner‘s latest film is a documentary wherein he interviews all 5 actors who have played a Star Trek captain.

Speaking of documentaries: Everything you know is probably wrong.

Screw Infrastructure: Apparently it is more cost effective to build a bridge in China and have it shipped here. We won’t have any lasting recovery until we get away from the Latte Economy.

Tomorrow, I’ll have some exciting news for you. In the meantime, stay cool.

A Plea for Civility

Can we please all stop with the name-calling?

Seriously, I don’t care if you’re liberal or conservative, we need to stop hurling around insulting names. It doesn’t do a bit of good, certainly doesn’t persuade anyone to your way of thinking, and it makes everyone who agrees with you look like an asshole.

I’m tired of hearing about Mooselini, the Chimpinator, McLame, Speaker Boner, Rummy, General Betray-us, Tweetie, Slick Willy, George Snuffleupagus, the O-Bomber, Wiener’s wiener, Rahmstein, Bachman-Poptart-Underdrive, Al Frankenstein, the Koch-heads, Dumb-o-craps, Repuglicants, MoDoDo, GingGrinch, and any other creative insults you can think of. Can’t we refer to people with their names and/or titles like civilized adults? “The President,” or “Senator So-and-so”, or “Mr. Clark”?

Now, I will concede a handful of exceptions. The Governator earned his nickname fair and square. So did “Heckuva Job” Brownie — the President himself gave him that nickname. To refer to Pat “Go F*** Yourself” Leahy is a compliment to his restraint. The Cyborg Dick Cheney, well, he is a cyborg.

The rest of it? Knock it off, already! It’s a distraction from real issues, like our eroding Constitutional rights, the developing American oligarchy, the endangered social safety net, the disappearing middle class, our crumbling infrastructure, the failed War on Drugs; our anemic economy, and the elimination of women‘s rights.

In Closing: Dam, dam, dam; Hollywood‘s out of ideas; the most sensible thing I’ve read about the Wal-Mart ruling; it’s a good start; and exercises at work.

Red Riding Shorties

In other news, sky blue, water wet: The cable industry recognizes that poverty is as big threat to their subscriber base as Netflix.

Duhpartment of Research: What do cats do all day? Mostly sleep and rest.

World’s Oldest Known Museum: Turns out to have been in ancient Babylonia.

Views of Vegas: From the Strip and from one of the mountains north of town.

Couldn’t have anything to do with it: Worker’s share of national income is plunging faster than a supermodel’s neckline.

Congress Can’t Outlaw What They Aren’t Told About: surveillance programs go unnoticed. It’s a bad thing.

Cancer Needs Sugar to Survive: Low carb diets prevent cancer.

Sure Would Be Handy: Let’s see, we have lots of unemployed people, and we have roads to fix, schools to build, and lots of infrastucture that needs to be constructed or repaired. Gee, why don’t we try putting those things together??? Aw, that’s crazy talk.

If you say so: Has anybody come up with a really good use for these things? Lots of people say I need them and then they can’t explain why.

Can’t Resist: I know I said it earlier elsewhere, but HA HA! Righthaven smacked down! Yes, the source of that article was intentionally ironic.

The Recovery

I was reading along, minding my own business, when I came across this USAToday item about how Americans have come to expect that they won’t be in any better financial situation next year. Near the bottom is buried this little gem, emphasis mine:

A typical recovery pattern goes like this: stock market bottoms, economic growth bottoms and then hiring and wage increases return. What’s unique and scary about this recovery is that the last piece of the recovery is not there.

The author goes on to talk about how weak job creation has been throughout this “recovery”. It’s almost like he was thinking of this chart from Calculated Risk:

 

Now let’s keep in mind the various bits of financial news we’ve had this week: there were only 54,000 jobs created in May, barely enough to employ a third of the people new to the job market; housing prices are officially in a “double dip“; major stock market indexes are down for the 5th week in a row; 45 banks have failed this year, and almost a thousand more are in trouble; certain forces in government are talking about severe austerity that would cripple job growth and throw millions of people into poverty and disease, despite the contrary wishes of the American people.

Now tell me, where exactly do we get the idea that despite all this, we are actually in some sort of “recovery”? Only if you measure corporate profits without any regard for Human-Americans do we have anything of the sort.

In closing: history for sale; Roman fishing vessel may have had a live storage tank; sluts must be punished; at least they admit that meat isn’t the only source of protein (I also like the emphasis on fruits and veggies over grains); damned liberal facts!; truth isn’t what the media wants you to believe; I don’t quote the good professor enough; depressing; 3rd grade; 60 small changes; HA! Manager comes up with a check fast when the moving truck and sheriff’s deputies show up!; turns out that physical activity is good for kids (who knew???); and the War On Drugs is officially a FAILURE.

Public Service Announcement

If you’ve noticed that a bunch of your favorite blogs that usually update every day don’t have new posts, there’s a reason. I have it on good authority that Blogger is down. This good authority goes on to wonder how “fun” it would be to have a cloud computing outage when trying to get work done.

In Closing: Nat Geo decides they don’t want any trouble with the Yakuza; dead terrorist; happy; reality; new thing to do in Vegas (no gambling or drinking required); homeless in Vegas; scrutiny; statesrights; McCain regains sanity; awwww; reading; kids are capable when we let them be; on immigration; Social Security; and does Michelle Bachmann know more than a high schooler?