A few random thoughts about Baltimore

So on one side we have a lot of people saying stuff that boils down to “those people are animals and that’s why they can’t have nice things.”

This attitude ignores the realities on the ground: no jobs, no economic development (because after all who would open a factory there?); a minimum wage that won’t get you above the poverty line and barely allows you to pay rent. Oh yeah, and there’s a teensy weensy double standard in play too.

And hey, why not punish “those people” for daring to want things like the right to get arrested without dying on the way to the station? “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” is for other people?

Sometimes, you need a comic writer or two to put things in perspective.

Of course, it turns out that the situation was at least in part caused by the police — no, not just because they killed somebody. When you show up in riot gear, force adolescents off school busses so they can’t go home, and then wait for trouble, you are the problem and will never be the solution. They came prepared for a problem caused by their own preparation.

And lest we forget that police-delivered death sentences occur in many places around our great country, Raw Story has these “tips”.

In Closing: don’t forget TPP; I bet we’d get “reform” real quick if cops shot up a banker or two; a couple feminism items; really #5 should be first, because you won’t get an interview without it; shipwrecks.

Wacky Democrats

So today I received a “One question poll” on which Democratic accomplishments make me the most proud. Let’s examine these a little more closely.

Health Care Reform: You mean Romneycare 2.0? I concede that Obamacare is an improvement over what we had. However, it still “fixes” the problem by forcing us to do business with the very profitable corporations that got us into this mess. I’d feel better if there were a public option. I’d feel a lot better if there were some concession that kids can’t control coverage: they don’t have employers to provide it and they don’t have a way to make their parents able to afford coverage. Don’t tell me this can’t be fixed, because Howard Dean DID. By the way, it’s not in any way health care reform, but rather health care insurance reform.

60 Straight Months of Private Job Sector Growth: Tell that to JP. If the there’s so much job growth, how come there’s no wage growth? How come Forbes has to promise it will start any minute now? How come underemployment is such a huge problem?

Rescuing the Auto Industry: Yeah, I guess they did that. Of course the corner that used to have a HUUUUGE Chevy dealer in town is now a vacant lot.

Reforming Wall Street: Big reform. Now the bankers have to be more careful how they screw you. Too Big To Fail still exists, banks still only follow their own rules, very few corporate criminals have ever even been charged let alone convicted, and the attempts to water down an already watered down law continue.

Historic Action on Climate Change: Really? Activists had to work too hard to kill Keystone XL, the gas industry still markets itself as “clean,” and we’re all excited about a “target“?

Expanding Equality: I have not the faintest idea what they’re talking about.

So six items, all but one done at best halfway. I am not proud at all.

In closing: my mom would have liked that manager; still an awful idea; not all ideas are equal.

The Town that Dreaded Shorties

Dinosaur Mystery: This huge-armed dinosaur is stranger than imagined.

Underwater Mystery: Amazing shipwreck pictures.

Women’s Issues: OTC birth control pills?

Obama: Apparently somebody else realized that the guy is a tweak to the right of Nixon. Oh yeah, and how dare he actually work with others around the world rather than just telling them all how shit is going down because we’re America and we know best.

A few random food and diet items: milk; resistant starch; sweetened soda isn’t just bad for you, it’s bad for your chromosomes.

Taking care of business: some of the oldest operating businesses in the world; and the history of money.

Halloween is coming: and that means sexy costumes are coming for no good reason.

Mormons: They would like us to know that it’s not really magic underwear.

Some random economy items: rent is going up faster than wages; wealth is growing faster than income, too; and of course that assumes that workers are being paid at all.

I hope nobody is surprised: banks behaving badly.

And check out some new music: Mixtress B.

Fear-mongering at its finest.

The TSA really doesn’t like that Apple and Google both have products they can’t just hack remotely. As in, they are trying desperately to make them stop it. Poor babies may actually have to get search warrants. Oh, and here’s a nice article on some of the NSA’s computing issues and an item on how this mess got started.

In Closing: our rising police state; bankers gone wild; be afraid!!!; don’t you have anything better to do?; and adorable kittens.

Federal Judge Rules that Banks Must Follow the Law

More specifically, a Federal judge has ruled that MERS tried to circumvent state law, costing counties millions of dollars in lost recording fees, compromising public records, and confusing consumers. Needless to say, executives form MERS disagree with the judge’s interpretation of state law.

This ruling could cost MERS millions of dollars — billions if other jurisdictions are included. Since I have always felt that the entire purpose of the corporation was to get around the law, I hope they get what legal penalties they have coming to them.


In Closing: Yeah yeah I’ll keep posting NSA links as long as there are links to post (bonus anti-terror link!); tax reform; maybe it’s because nobody can afford overpriced organizing stuff; that does sound a little unfair; it turns out that Medicaid is better than nothing– for hospitals!; a couple diet, exercise, and obesity items; about nothing, “not that there’s anything wrong with that”; and “take our puppet, please!”

5150 Shorties Way

Let’s clean up some tabs here…. It’s supposed to be cold in Vegas tonight. First person to say that disproves global warning gets smacked upside the head.

It’s called “math”:  Someone notices that rent can be more than a mortgage these days. Funny thing, your landlord is entitled to a profit over paying his own mortgage!

Go ahead, opt out. They dare you: The TSA. And be sure you have an ID with your age on it if you look young.

Drink Up: Red wine seemingly increases testosterone, and reduces the amount peed away.

Musique Concrete: How Dr. Who changed music.

That leaves 1-3 hours for eating, pooping, demanding attention, and running around like a fuzzy maniac: Cats spend the rest of the time sleeping and grooming.

Defused: The latest school shooting rampage was not stopped by “a good guy with a gun.” It was stopped by a teacher talking him into laying down the weapon. Hmm.

Free Gift!: You can now play CDs you bought from Amazon from the cloud in many cases. Even if you bought them 15 years ago. Surprise!

Dave Johnson: He tends to be a bit long winded, but he’s correct.

Too Big To Fail must be Too Big To Exist: Robert Reich.

Didn’t anybody else think the headline didn’t make sense?: It turns out there was a lot more to the story of the woman fired for being too attractive.

And now back to their usual silliness: The American Academy of Pediatrics thinks it would be wonderful to have a doctor in every school. Well sure it would, particularly since I’m sure they would want that doctor to be one of their members! I’m not sure where they think these doctors are going to come from, since there is a shortage which will only get worse as Baby Boomers retire. And I’m certainly not sure where they think school districts will come up with the money. After all, average (median?) pay for a pediatrician is $156,000, and that’s one of the low salary specialties. That kind of money could pay for at least 3 teachers. Which do you think will give the district the most bang for the buck in this age of budget cuts?

Last but not least: The best time to buy almost anything.

Diet Research? It must be January.

Yes indeed, it’s the first week of the year, and that means millions of Americans are trying to shed between 5 and 500 pounds. Some scientists were even willing to stick their necks out there and say fructose is a culprit in weight gain (a culprit not the culprit). Check the archives and you will find me many times saying that every weight loss diet that works requires drastically reducing if not altogether eliminating added sugars.

So Loyola University wants to help you out. They’ve got what they think are the top 4 reasons diets fail. Let me save you some reading:

  1. Underestimating calorie intake (e.g. eating too damn much)
  2. Overestimating activity and calories burned (e.g. imagining that an amble around the mall is just like a 5 mile run)
  3. Poor timing of meals (the dreaded “starvation mode“)
  4. Inadequate sleep (having a job and other responsibilities)

Really? I’m on board with reasons 1 and 2, although I see them as two sides of one coin. But do they really think that sleep is a bigger issue than unrealistic expectations in the first place, or diet plans that are for whatever reason unsustainable? Do they think that eating at the wrong time is truly a bigger issue than unsupportive friends and family who –subtly or openly — undermine the dieter’s efforts?

Want to lose weight without torturing yourself? Try eating reasonable portions of real food: plenty of veggies; adequate protein; no sweets, no crap that comes out of a box, no food-like chemistry sets. Hey, it’s no dumber than the other diets you’ve tried over the years.

In Closing: free classes; Downtown Vegas and F15; maybe now somebody will ask banks to follow the law pretty please?; Onnabugeisha; ha!; conform or be called a terrorist; Malala; why oh why did Texas give him a second term?; more employment data than you probably want; somebody inform Scalia that 24 is not a documentary; the estate tax is not a wealth tax, it’s a wealth moving into the hands of someone who didn’t actually earn it tax; it turns out you need facts before you can figure out what to think about them; well that’s gonna have conservative panties in a wad; the Romney Loophole; is anybody surprised by this?; and I think Brent may have been playing Black Ops 2.

Sign of the Bankpocalypse

Praise Sandy Weill, for he hath told the truth — and delivered you from Shorties.

Seriously, I thought I’d have to resort to Shorties today until I saw this little gem: Sandy Weill, the same man who had a giant game of “chicken” with Congress, forcing them to pass laws that allowed his company to become a huge “financial supermarket” now says that we should go back to the way things were after the Great Depression and break up “too big to fail” banks “so that the taxpayer will never be at risk, the depositors won’t be at risk, the leverage of the banks will be something reasonable, and the investment banks can do trading… they can make some mistakes, but they’ll have everything that clears with each other every single night so they can be mark-to-market.” He goes on to drop a second bomb: “There should be no such thing as off balance sheet.”

Really, Sandy? Why the change of heart? Has it suddenly occurred to you that if We The People don’t have any money, we don’t put it in the bank and we don’t buy things? Perhaps you realized that Japan never got out of it’s doldrums until the “zombie firms” were allowed to fail? Have a “spiritual” moment where fair play and the bigger picture somehow seemed important? Don’t get me wrong, glad you joined the “common sense” bandwagon. Just wish you’d popped aboard in the 90s instead of pooh-poohing sensible and necessary banking laws as “archaic” and “not reflecting the needs of the next century.

Too Big To Fail simply must become Too Big To Exist. Seriously.

In Closing: 1 in 5 companies misrepresents freaking lies about their profits; a conservative would probably say they need to get jobs!; two must see video clips; outlawing abortion kills women; what’s retirement?; wasn’t expecting that one; no wonder the “news” doesn’t say anything anymore; what a coincidence [you don’t want to get me started about Pyschiatric Institutes of America and why you’ll never ever get mental health care parity]; Give a big LOL to the State Department Anti-Terror Troll Team; and neither will I.

Food Fight

Maybe you heard the story of a blogger who was threatened with jail time for blogging about his experience in a non-mainstream diet called “Paleo” or “Primal” eating. Never mind for just a moment that his diet doesn’t conform to what The Experts think it should. That wasn’t the issue at all: the issue and his “crime” is that he was giving dietary “advice.”

That’s exactly what the American Dietetic Association is trying to make illegal across the nation: giving “advice” without having their name-branded license. Don’t believe me? Go  on to page 3 where you’ll learn about a lady with a freakin Masters Degree in Human Nutrition who was told by her state to shut down her practice of, well, nutrition. Now, if she’s not an expert, I’m really not sure who would be!

So, could I run afoul of these laws by pointing out that veggies are good for you?

What if I link this article on how sugar may be bad for you? Never mind that too much sugar is absolutely bad for you, that article was written by journalists, not dietitians or nutritionists.

How about if I link to this infographic about nutrition for athletes and those who wish to get into shape?

This is foolishness and must be stopped.

In Closing: the case that will show “stand your ground” laws have gone overboard involves a grade school teacher who was killed because the stereo was a little loud; Depak Desai has some ‘splainin to to to the bankruptcy court; funny how you can be a loose cannon when you aren’t running for anything; he admits it; anybody surprised??; Click and Clack retiring; electric race car going up the mountain; I thought impersonating a police officer was a crime?; yeah right; and have a great weekend.

It worked out so well for King Saul


Making sure a Convent’s mortgage bill is paid off? That’s a worthy mission from God. Getting food and medical supplies to kids in a war zone? That’s a worthy mission from God. Disaster relief? Worthy mission from God. Providing medical care to kids with cancer or congenital defects? Worthy mission from God. Charity work in general? A worthy mission from God.

Becoming — arguably — the most powerful man in the world? NOT a worthy mission from God!

Let’s make this perfectly clear. God doesn’t send those kind of messages anymore. He hasn’t since John the Baptist, and that didn’t work out so well either. We don’t do “Divine Right of Kings” in the United States of America. The very existence of the United States of America denies the concept of Divine Right of Kings. The idea that someone is actually running for President and saying in public that it’s because God wants him to should scare the hell out of all of us, whether we believe God exists or no.

Only dangerous men and madmen claim that God wants them to seize power. I’ve even heard preachers say that from the pulpit.

Way back in 2007 I pointed out that even a divinely appointed government can be corrupt, and it seems clear that Herman Cain is somewhat less than a paragon of virtue.

Listen, Herman. You want to make this country better? Go back to creating jobs making crappy pizzas. The only industry you will help as President will be comedy writers.

In Closing: if “global climate change” is a hoax, why is every big company preparing for it? [or, “Not without my bourbon!”]; loss of faith; never give up; tyranny of pr0-“life”; Child Rape in an Infotainment World; I guess I gotta hold my nose to vote; in summary; banks will just lie to follow new rules; and “Oh F***, the Internet is here!”