Friday, September 30, 2011

They Still Want My Money

Joe Biden is writing me now:

If you're going to be a part of history in 2012, it's time to get off the sidelines.

So, before midnight, will you chip in what you can and say you're in?

Whenever I hear the administration invoke history or historic self referentially, the Hindenburg disaster comes to mind.

And on the subject of self-reference; what is this: "If asking a billionaire to pay the same rate as a plumber or a teacher makes me a warrior for the middle class, I wear that charge as a badge of honor.”

Wait a minute. Who "charged" you with being a warrior for the middle class?

And back up to the beginning. Billionaires pay a higher rate than plumbers and teachers. And you want them to pay the same rate? Seems to me you're going the exact opposite direction from the middle-class warrior one.

But now we know where we stand:
  • Nobody accused you of being a warrior of any kind.
  • You're possibly historic, but that may not be a good thing.
  • We have progressive tax rates and billionaires pay a higher rate than plumbers.

Men in Black

"It's ok sir, I got this one."


forget where

Before I Close Photoshop

Thursday, September 29, 2011

You're Not Tough Enough

A little soft? Watchyou sayin? We take too many vacations? We should be more competitive like who? Like the Chinese?

So what we're lacking is a willingness to subject a segment of the population to near slave conditions in order that the labor component for an assembled Elmo doll be 18 cents? We need to be lean and mean, like that?

Or do you think maybe our competitive edge might be dulled by endless layers of bureaucracy and regulations that make it impossible for Gibson Guitar to satisfy the government on every point without sending employees out into the forests to sit with each tree as it grows from sapling to slab to Les Paul.

What would make us more competitive? More labor unions? Stopping companies from building plants in right to work states because, well because, because we said so?

Heck, I can see someone reading this blog for the first time coming to the conclusion that I'm anti-Obama. I am NOT anti-Obama. He's our president and I'll support him until he's reduced us all to ashes.

No my only problem with Obama is with the things that he says. And does. And probably thinks. The rest, I'm A-OK with. His dog - big thumbs up. His regulation making - big No. I only oppose what he says, does, thinks, and is.

You say choke. Well I say you're getting soft! Now Giddyup!

Diamonds and Gold, and Vinyl Shoes Made in China

Look for more of this: the media noticed and publicized the First Lady wearing a $ 42K diamond bracelet the other night. So now she gets sent to Target to prove she's one of us.

Never mind that she flung the bags into the trash can on her way out of the store. (no, I made that up. She probably has someone to throw out unwanted purchases for her)

Attack Watching

I think I'm going to stop turning myself in to Attack Watch. The only result seems to be a rash of fundraising e-mails to the snitch's address (me).

The latest:
On Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 3:00 PM, Rufus Gifford, wrote:


...From the beginning, we've refused to take money from D.C. lobbyists and corporate special interests.
Our operation is fueled by people inspiring each other to take ownership of this campaign.

That's why we've been emailing this week, and that's why I'm obligated to remind you once more that the deadline is coming up in a matter of hours.

If you're able to, will you chip in just $3 today?

For all of us here at HQ, and all of the staff and volunteers across the country counting on these resources, I really appreciate your help....

"Refused to take money from corporate special interests"? Is there maybe a special character, perhaps a wink-wink nudge-nudge emoticon, that doesn't show up on the Mac? Obviously Rufus brings this up because he knows that I know, and he expects that I know he knows that I know, so denying that shady deals like Solyndra even happen is his way of saying that he knows that I know he knows that I know. You know? Yes, multiple-knowing to this degree means that Rufus considers me an insider. One of the elite. He's probably wondering if he's seen me around Martha's Vineyard.

So I figured I should probably reply:

Tell you what. Get the boss to push through a half billion dollar grant and I'll donate whatever the going rate is for that kind of larceny. Just let me know what kind of kick-back the president usually expects.
Lumberjack friend
In a lawnchair,
Martha's Vineyard

I guess this can go two ways. One: they can ignore the e-mail completely because I"m reading this wrong and they don't ever read what the "little guy" has to say, or two: I'll get details on how to do the standard corruption deal. It could be risky, but I've dealt with Nigerian scammers before, so I think I'm up to the task.

A Little Help Please

Rule Two of the Internet should be:

Don't ever ask strangers to photoshop a picture for you.

The temptation to go full wise-ass is just too great.

This is one of the funnier ones, and one of the few that are safe for work.

No, I didn't do it.


Kids These Days

Homework can sometimes wait.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Court Update

I was up early today to go to court. No, no big thing, just me being hauled up before the Man for being free. They hate it when you're free in Amerika, man. The "reason" for me being there was that they say I supposed to be at the last hearing they scheduled.

I had an iron-clad excuse though. I told them that my yin and yang were out of whack and as a result my chi was messier than a crack house on Saturday morning. Plus, I forgot. Luckily they bought the "I forgot" part.

So, good news. They didn't find me contemptible. Or if they did, they kept it to themselves. Well most of them did. The bailiff was a little miffed because I announced, "I know my rights! I know my rights!" as he tried to wrestle me into the courtroom. Though to be fair, later reflection led me to conclude he was probably just holding the door open for me.

Some advice, should you ever find yourself in a similar situation:

  • Take a pass on the on the Al Pacino "I'm out or order? You're out of order..." spiel. (no matter how good you've gotten practicing it in front of the mirror) Apparently this one has been done to death already, so don't try it unless you're looking for a sure fire way to get the bailiff to draw his tazer.
  • It never hurts to address the Judge "Your Majesty." Also a winner: "Your Excellency".
  • Cheering the Judge's admonitions and orders to other litigants can't hurt but don't take it too far. You'll have to ride the elevator with some of them on your way out of the building.
  • And if you absolutely must do your Al Pacino: be sure to take your toothbrush and a carton of cigarettes with you to the courthouse.

Raise My Taxes!

Well isn't this Al Gore like in it's obvious hypocrisy. A guy who is no longer on a payroll asks the president to raise the taxes of those who are. No problem for him; all his income comes from capital gains. He just wants taxes raised on those who still work.

It bears repeating: anyone who feels the need can give money to the government. They'll accept it gladly.

But did this guy (Doug Edwards) say "I no longer have taxable income so I gave 15% of my net worth to the Federal government and I'd like to see taxes raised as well."? Did he say, "I'd like the capital gains tax raised."?

Nope. He said, in effect, "I'm rich and I'd like to see you raise other people's taxes." What a guy.

It's an Adventure

Can you draw a stickman? A key? A sword? The bitter disappointment of a champion defeated? Well then you might like to give this a try. Don't worry, perfection isn't required.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Let's Not Nit-Pick, Shall We?

Those of you who delight in finding mistakes made by the smartest man in the room, house, country, world, jumped right on it when he mentioned us building the "intercontinental railroad".

Let's not be so petty, OK? Obama was referring to the intercontinental railroad that we are putting the finishing touches on right at this moment. That's right, the same stimulus money that brought you high-speed rail has been busy building the first intercontinental ballistic railroad. You Republicans may have been unaware of this project because you hate science.

The fine craftsmen of the United Auto Workers Union have made transportation history with this project. And they accomplished this with half the workforce getting paid to sit in union halls "ready to work".

And before you go off yelling accusations of boondoggle, you should be aware that the grants for this project are being paid to men who really know how to handle money. Most of them were picked because of their connection to the President's own reelection campaign finances. If the President trusts them with your money, shouldn't you?

There you have it: Science + Government Money + UAW Workers = hello? WINNING!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Racists Revealed!

Poor Morgan Freeman, he's noticed our racism. And how can he ignore it? It's all over the web. Got this from the google and 5 minutes cutting and pasting:

Membership is down and balance sheets show problems. But members of the National Rifle Association, celebrating their 125th anniversary here, declare their power is undiminished as they aim to defeat "the most anti-gun president in U.S. history."

NRA members say when asked who they'll support in November. "Anybody but Obama."

...[the candidate] and his entourage
of reporters drove past the armies of "ABO" signs
(Anybody But Obama) that adorn U.S. 99...

Floating next to Mitch Sikora in the Carlton Tower swimming pool, James Kotchevar said he's voting ABO - Anybody But Obama.

Reagan pointed to the overwhelmingly red electoral map as proof of a landslide, affirming this broad mandate to rule. Yet it was essentially an ABO – Anybody But Obama – mandate. So many Americans soured on Obama’s tentative, apologetic debate performance after a year of disasters, especially the continuing Iranian hostage crisis.

Wait a minute. That last one, Obama didn't run against Reagan, right? And the Iranian hostage crisis, that's Jimmy Carter's baggage. Um, oh, my bad. It seems all the above are quotes about Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton.

They must have been black, too. It's funny how you forget these things.

Hi How Are Ya

Faster than Light

Michael Potemra, at NRO, posted the first joke I've seen re the faster than light neutrino:

“We don’t allow faster-than-light neutrinos in here,” said the bartender.

A neutrino walks into a bar.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fast, Scandinavian, and Furious

("Scandinavian" has nothing to do with it, I'm just trying to attract Minnesotan readers)

Michael Walsh in the NY Post -- Rep. Darrell Issa has called for a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of the festering mess known as Operation Fast and Furious:

“There is an ongoing coverup of a pattern of wrongdoing,” Issa noted earlier this week. “Even though I have subpoena ability, I don’t have the ability to lock people up for contempt until they fess up and give us what we want.”

Locking people up will probably have to happen. For the evidence strongly suggests that Fast and Furious was hatched in the Justice Department in an attempt to paint law-abiding American gun dealers and gun owners as renegades, to give the administration an excuse to crack down.

In other words, it was a deliberate provocation, undertaken without a thought for how it might affect our relations with Mexico -- or how many people might die.

I'd say "I knew it!" except for the fact that as soon as the thought entered my head I dismissed it as something so heinous as to be impossible. It's impossible, right? To facilitate murders for political gain, impossible.

Imagine knowing you're responsible for deaths, but not taking responsibility because you tell yourself that you're just part of the group; a cog in the machine. Well I'm going to assume there is some other reason for Fast and Furious. I'm just not seeing it yet. If this turns out to be the underlying reason, I say jail everyone involved. And the horse they rode in on. Yes, jail their horses too. And their pets as well.

Along those lines, I suppose most everyone knows that I'm off the reservation on the death penalty. I oppose it, and not just because we might make a mistake.

Soros and Doom

George Soros

If George Soros doesn't like a policy, that's probably a good indication that it's the right way to go:
Billionaire investor George Soros said he believed the United States was already experiencing the pain of a double dip recession and that Republican opposition to Obama's fiscal stimulus plans was to blame for sluggish growth.

Asked by CNBC if he believed the US risks falling into a double-dip recession [cnbc explains] , Soror said: "I think we are in it already."

"We have a slowdown and basically a conflict about whether the rich ought to pay taxes to create jobs or not and there was a deal in the making which would have balanced the budget over the long term, but would have allowed short-term fiscal stimulus, which would have been the right policy," Soros said in an interview late Wednesday.

"That was rejected, it fell apart… so it will come to the electorate next year to decide what they want," he added.

You can read about the man on the intertubes. He has enough money to manipulate small economies (and who knows, maybe big ones too) And he's been accused of causing currency collapses in order to profit from his "no" bets.

He's like the guy betting don't-pass at the craps table. He's irritating but no threat so long as he can't influence the game. The problem is that he's a short seller in a game he can influence, politically. And him pushing a liberal agenda is evidence enough that it's the wrong way to go.

Born to be Wild

If I was the type to have unsolicited audio start up when you open a page, this would be the post I'd do it on. And the tune would be Steppenwolf's Born to be Wild.

From the Smoking Gun:

Here are the booking photos (click to enlarge) of the eight members of an Amish sect who were ordered jailed by a Kentucky judge after they refused to pay fines for failing to affix orange safety triangles to their horse-drawn buggies.

(btw - Another thing most Amish avoid: having their picture taken)

Seems to me some sort of compromise could have been reached on the triangle sign controversy. There is nothing especially alarming about a triangle shape, and the colors don't especially alert you to trouble. Anything that makes the buggies more visible would work.


One Binary

xkcd h/t:brudi

Will Rogers

Bits and Pieces posted some sayings from Will Rogers - mainly good advice:

1. Never slap a man who’s chewing tobacco.

2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

3. There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither works.

4. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

5. Always drink upstream from the herd.

6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back into your pocket.

8. There are three kinds of men:

The ones that learn by reading.

The few who learn by observation.

The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.

9. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

10. If you’re riding ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.

11. Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier’n puttin’ it back.

12. After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Obama Goes All "Hi Mom!"

I heard about this image from Rush Limbaugh today. He thought it was a photoshop but I'm thinking not. (in the first picture anyway; the second one? that's my doing)

Mika Protects Her Prez

Noel Sheppard keeps an eye on the Morning Joe show so I don't have to:

Doing her best Clarence Darrow, Brzezinski grilled her "Morning Joe" guest leading Joe Scarborough to smartly observe, "She didn't cross-examine Ron when he wrote books about Bush like this"

So Scarborough makes a bit of progress, but I would have completely reset my estimation of him if he had said, "Why don't you settle down and make me a sandwich, Mika."

My Obama Poster

We can make a game of it - see if you can guess which one is mine.

Attack Watch

You just better watch it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Can you imagine the Smug if he owned a Prius?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Buy this Guy a Coffee


Head Scratcher

Justin Credible (I suspect this is a French name) noticed something:

"...First Lady Michelle Obama announced that Darden restaurants—which include the Olive Garden and Red Lobster--will only be serving French fries to youngsters ordering from the children’s menu if an adult authorizes it."

While in California, and many other states, a child doesn't need parental consent to have an abortion.

So, either twelve year olds are somehow irresponsible when tubers and deep fryers are involved, or babies are less important than side dishes.

It's a head scratcher.

BTW - the quote has been changed:
"I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."

is now:
"I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby, or, you know, a french fry."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Banana Head Fork

I guess it's true, the old saying: "If you live long enough you'll see all your dreams played out in real life; usually by Brazilian women in Berlin."


Friday, September 16, 2011

Flushing Money Down the Toilet

Are we supposed to believe that Solyndra would have gotten all that federally insured money if they hadn't been big Obama benefactors? It's criminal: you get to steal half a billion because you donated a million or so. I don't know what's worse - the fact that our politicians can be bought, or the fact that they can be bought so cheaply.

Anyway, Solyndra isn't the only firm to take the money and run:

Solyndra, the solar panel company whose highly publicized failure and consequent investigation by federal authorities has flashed across headlines recently, isn't the only business to go belly up after benefiting from a piece of the $800 billion economic stimulus package passed in 2009.

At least four other companies have received stimulus funding only to later file for bankruptcy, and two of those were working on alternative energy.

In other news: remember the GM shares that the government unloaded? I noted the price at the offering and have been tracking it. If you'd bought early, you'd have lost 32% by now.

To be fair, a lot of the wasted stimulus probably didn't involve fraud. But when you've got a president who let a criminal slumlord buy his front yard for him, you have to wonder what he's doing now that he has the biggest checkbook in the world.

Do what you love to do

and you'll never work a day in your life.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Jedi Kittens Strike Back

h/t: lumberbrudi

Obama Unveils Big Big Cracker

The President's economic team calculates that
production of the new Obama-sized cracker will
employ an additional 17,000 workers in Ohio alone.

No word yet on any potential markets for crackers this big, though Michael Moore has expressed an interest.

On the Other Hand, They Were Delicious


I did this once and it took the rest of the day to get back again. Plus, I lost my shoes on the other side.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thought Crimes and Misdemeanors

So yesterday I turned myself in over at Obama's Report the Thought Crime site. I included a picture just in case they didn't believe I was much of a threat.

And today I get this letter from Barry himself:

Today, I want to ask if you'll join me and three other supporters for a meal and conversation sometime soon.

Please donate $5 or more to be automatically entered for a chance to join me for dinner....

They're a chance for me to talk one on one with people like you who are taking ownership of this campaign and connect with the work going on every day in neighborhoods across the country.

So that's why they wanted my e-mail address. They weren't interested in catching outlaws at all.

Foreign Policy

John Bolton nails the current administration's "foreign policy" in an article that very appropriately borrows from Mark Twain - Innocents Abroad:

So what emerges from a president who is basically uninterested in foreign affairs, who doesn’t see our manifold threats and challenges as worthy of presidential time and energy, who repeatedly stresses devotion to negotiations that are divorced from their substantive outcome, and who believes that multilateral fora rather than American resolve and power can address foreign problems? The now-indisputable answer is a failing, collapsing U.S. foreign policy.

The first Obama campaign got a boost from people who liked the sound of his squishy "let's extend an open hand to friends and enemies alike" policy. Possibly they couldn't hear me shouting "Nooooo!" at the TV. But it was doomed from the start, and now those supporters aren't asking why the enlightenment-dividend hasn't materialized.

Anyway, read the Bolton piece. He explains it in gooder english than me do.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Escaped from the What You Lookin At Convention

can't remember where I found them

Trained Duck

We had a couple of ducks when I was growing up in Texas. They were nothing at all like this domesticated fellow. (by the way, you can't train ducks to fight like chickens) Pretty much, our ducks just pooped, ran from the dog, and escaped the yard.

When Rusty the dog finally caught one of them we expected carnage. But it turned out that he didn't want to kill and eat them - his was more of a romantic interest. Great, I thought, as Rusty pinned him to the ground and did the romantic dog dance: one more reason to avoid eye contact with the neighbors.

Funny thing. I can't remember whatever happened to those ducks. I'm sure we didn't eat them. Maybe my dad "took them to live on a farm" somewhere.

So, turning this into an educational post: don't get ducks as pets. Oh, even more important: don't get monkeys as pets. Monkeys are like ducks who can throw poop.


Lean on Me

Using this line of reasoning, absolutely everything, including Stimulus II, will help (and has helped) reduce unemployment.

Perhaps unemployment would have been 12% if not for that drunk Swedish moose getting stuck in an apple tree.

The reason I posted the video though: watch how this argument is made with body language. The guy, Ali Velshi, does a lean-in on Dana Loesch. "I'm right," he says, "if I wasn't right, could I violate your space like this with my elbow? Tell me, could a man who is wrong make you lean back quite this much?"



Krugman Produces Krug Again

The Krugman 9-11 blog post (no I won't link to it) was so bad that I considered canceling my free registration to the NYT site. In fact, I considered getting a subscription just so I could cancel it.

Now I see that just about the entire internet agrees with me. The man can be despicable.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Was a Coffee Snob Before It Was Cool

I suppose these coffee commercials were successful; they made a ton of them. Still, it's hard to imagine them being done today. I can imagine a few of them working, but only if they ended with a close-up of the wife looking deep in thought and musing to herself, "Perhaps if I quit getting the brew water from the toilet?" (followed by a quick head-shake, "Nah")

video h/t

Friday, September 09, 2011

In Memoriam - Thomas H. McGinnis

In Memoriam - Thomas H. McGinnis
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
(Revelation 21:4)

Thomas McGinnis, 41, was a commodities broker for Carr Futures and he usually worked on the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange. However, on September 11 he had a business meeting at Carr's offices on the 92nd floor of One World Trade Center. It was there he lost his life in the tragedy we now call 9-11.

I received Thomas’s name at random as part of the 2996 project. And while researching his life, it struck me that if Thomas H. McGinnis represents an average victim of this tragedy, then we have lost much more than many of us can ever comprehend. He was by all accounts an exceptional man.

Thomas touched many people’s lives, and I was able to find many comments on his passing from those who knew him best. The following is just a sample of what was said:
When Iliana invited Thomas to our house, Thomas was a teenager,very tall and skinny. Through the years, he worked part time, studied and visited frequently. So they finished college ,got a job and finally any mother's dream came true, they get married. Since the beginning, my younger daughter Eva, and myself, loved Thomas and his family.

Thomas was a very hard worker, extremely intelligent and charitable. In reunions people gathered around him laughing at his jokes. Though the years, I not only saw him as a son , I learned to talk to him like a friend. The happiness was culminated when my beautiful granddaughter Caitlin was born. I am so happy I had the opportunity to tell him how proud I was of him and my daughter Ililana, he was surprised but he knew it was true. Thomas we miss and love you very much. God bless you, we will always remember you.
Love, Mom Ofe
I only knew Tommy for too short of a period of time and only saw him at family gatherings and at his outstanding holiday parties. But I got to know him to be a terrific and genuine all around person. He was kind and considerate, very intelligent with super high-energy. I will most remember his wonderfully funny and impeccably timed sense of humor. My heart goes out to Iliana, Caitlin and all family and friends who loved him for their loss. We will always remember Tommy.
Thomas was my cousin. We spent our childhoods together in NYC as our mothers were best friends. I remember calling his mom, Patsy, on 9/11. we we're still very much in shock but shared a prayer. It was so tragic as Thomas was moving on & up with his own seat on the board. So his meeting at WTC was to be one of his last with Carr. Tragic. His murder his loss... I am proud to call Thomas my cousin and will always remember those day at Washington HS grounds playing with Thomas and his younger brother James.
Tommy worked with my father, Tommy Reynolds, in the commodities business when I was a teen-ager. He came to visit us in Tyler one year and made an amazing impression on me. We took him to the State Fair of Texas and had a blast. He had such charisma and energy that you just wanted be near him and hear more of his crazy stories. He talked about his girlfriend Illianna, who became his wife, with such awe and tenderness. When my family reaches heaven, we will look for his spirit because it was one that brought peace, happiness and joy to all!
My name is James R. McGinnis and Thomas is my Brother. He was incredibly proud of his Irish heritage and one of the proudest days of his life was the day he met and had dinner with Gerry Adams. The greatest memories of my brother will be of the trip the two of us took to Ireland 2 years ago. It was the best trip I ever had.
The Murder of my brother has crushed my heart and it is so hard to rebuild. I have wonderful memories of my brother and he will live on forever in my heart.
''He read everything,'' said his wife. ''If he wanted to know more about Ben Franklin, he'd pick up four books and read them all.''

I was grateful to find so many testimonials to the life of Tom McGinnis. But even if I hadn’t been able to find these people’s good words, I still would have known what a great man he was. It is reflected in his last actions that morning, as shown in this account:

At 10:18, Tom McGinnis, one of the traders summoned to the special meeting, reached his wife, Iliana McGinnis. The words are stitched into her memory.

"This looks really, really bad," he said.

"I know," said Mrs. McGinnis, who had been hoping that his meeting had broken up before the airplane hit. "This is bad for the country; it looks like World War III."

Something in the tone of her husband's answer alarmed McGinnis.

"Are you OK, yes or no?" she demanded.

"We're on the 92nd floor in a room we can't get out of," he said.

"Who's with you?" she asked. McGinnis mentioned three old friends - Joey Holland, Brendan Dolan and Elkin Yuen.

"I love you," McGinnis said. "Take care of Caitlin." Mrs. McGinnis was not ready for that.

"Don't lose your cool," she urged. "You guys are so tough, you're resourceful. You guys are going to get out of there."

"You don't understand," McGinnis said. "There are people jumping from the floors above us."

It was 10:25. The fire raged along the west side of the 92nd floor. People fell from windows. McGinnis again told her he loved her and their daughter, Caitlin.

"Don't hang up," Mrs. McGinnis pleaded.

"I got to get down on the floor," McGinnis said.

The phone connection faded out.

It was 10:26, two minutes before the tower crumbled. The World Trade Center had fallen silent.

When he knew the end was near, Thomas’s thoughts were for his wife and child. A selfless and loving father, husband, son, brother, and cousin until the end. I pray that time has lessened his family’s pain. I pray for the soul of Thomas McGinnis as well, but I suspect it is little needed.

***Update: A Nephew's Remembrance:
I'm moving the following up from the comments section of Thomas's remembrance. It's the memories of his nephew, Brian, on that dark day. I thought they deserved to be up top. Thank you, Brian.

I thought I would share my memories of the day:

I was in 12th grade. I was looking forward to school that day to discuss the Broncos latest triumph with my classmates. I awoke to my mother pounding on my bedroom door. Figuring I had overslept again, I simply made an annoyed grunt to indicate I was awake. She told me to turn on the TV. I watched in shock before going to school. On my way in from the parking lot a classmate told me that another plane hit the pentagon, I distinctly remembering saying the following, "shut the fuck up, that isn't funny." I limped through my first period music appreciation class, where my teacher who had been holed up in his classroom since 5 that morning had no clue what was going on and conducted class as usual. During the break the secretary pulled me aside as I walked past the office and told me my parents had called and asked for me to return home. Knowing that my uncle was a commodities trader I knew this was a possibility but tried not to think about it. I remember walking to my car, saying to myself, "someone is dead. no everything is fine." I got home to find my mother in tears saying everything was fine, it was a false alarm. Reliable information was so hard to come by that day. I hugged my parents and told them I loved them and returned to school. I made it through my free period and micro-economics like the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders. During lunch, I passed on eating opting instead to watch the news coverage with about 50 other people in the green room of the theater. I'll never forget watching one girl burst into tears as they replayed the second plane hitting. We went to our afternoon classes, Calculus and English, where none of us knew what to do or what to say. Soccer practice that afternoon was cancelled, so I went home. When I got there my mom was in tears, she met me halfway up the driveway "We lost Thomas." 92nd floor Tower 1. It hit me like a ton of bricks, my uncle Thomas was a hero of mine, the smartest and funniest man I've ever known. I was confused, "What? How? I thought everything was fine?" As I said reliable information was so hard to come by. He usually worked across the street at NYMEX, but was at a meeting in his brokerage house's office. The funny thing was that he never even should've been there. He had a bought a seat on the exchange and was going to start his own firm. He was covering for one of his many friends that was on vacation. The meeting he was in had no bearing on him, it had to do with the benefits of the traders in his firm. But that was the kind of man that he was. He'd give you the shirt off his back and never ask for a thing in return and he was always there to back up his friends. So when something came up that would affect his friends he was there to show that he was behind them fully.

From the NYT, Portraits Redrawn:

God and Man and the Number 42

Another great Uncommon Knowledge is up: Science & Religion with David Berlinski. (part 5, click Uncommon Knowledge link to get to the others) Berlinski and Robinson discuss a favorite subject for me - Science vs. Religion. Or, as I believe - Science doesn't vs. Religion.

I didn't always think the two could coexist in harmony. I was once more of a Hitchensbot, thinking that we were an amazingly lucky consequence of a mindbogglingly complex universe. In that mindset, God always stood in the shadows, sort of an aspect that I didn't want to examine because examining the possibility of God would seem to put me under an obligation of coming to a conclusion on the matter. It became easier when I realized that I could allow for the possibility of God without negating any of the other things that I believed about this place.

Also in the shadows was something I wanted to think about even less than a deity: in the Hitchensverse, if we are all just a lucky chemical reaction, then a Charles Manson or Hitler would be pretty much equivalent to a Mother Teressa. The universe wouldn't much even notice Hitler, wanting to continue on with its expansion and formation of quasars and such.

If life means anything at all, it must be more than a lucky chemical reaction.

Listen to Berlinski, he's got his feet firmly planted on this stuff. But listen like a scientist, open to the possibility that there might be a reality out there that you would like better than the one you currently embrace.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Opposite-Day can be brutal in the third world

Who Won the Debate?

Well, not moderator John Harris:

Go Newt.

They're Only Pretend Shotguns

N. O'Really (I'm pretty sure that is his name) sent me the link to Tea Party Zombies Must Die. First person shooters give vertigo or wendigo or whatever, so I didn't play it a lot.

It is rather disturbing though. No, not the blood and guts -- but if they put this much effort into solving the economy, we could be in real trouble. What am I saying? They'll never put this much work into solving economic problems.

What we'll get is..... wait for it.... drum-roll here..... Borrow $300 billion and do another stimulus! Yeah, because second or third time is a charm. And the first stimulus got us where we are today: just finishing up our second recovery summer.

We're going to spend ourselves to prosperity. Even if it kills us. In the meantime, the mean-time, there's diversions like this.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


I can see this happening. What I can't see is admitting it. Also, I'm curious as to how he found out he was making a mistake.

Probably a Good Time for Cute


(found photo) Doesn't it look as if kitty has got a paw raised, asking for a "little help here"?

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Now They Ask Who He Is

Bella Abzug is disappointed.

Politico says Robert Redford is disappointed:
“One reason I supported President Obama is because he said we must protect clean air, water and lands. But what good is it to say the right thing unless you act on it?” Redford writes. “Since early August, three administration decisions -- on Arctic drilling, the Keystone XL pipeline and the ozone that causes smog -- have all favored dirty industry over public health and a clean environment. Like so many others, I'm beginning to wonder just where the man stands.”

Spoken like a man who really wouldn't notice if the price of gas went over $6.00.

Obama has done plenty to regulate us back to the stone age. He just can't finish the job until he gets reelected. Obama's EPA only suspended its Boiler MACT rules because the immediate effect would have been too noticeable. An election is coming up.

But Obama promised magic, Robert. Aren't you old enough to know that there is no magic? I only ask because apparently you're not old enough to know that there's only one ozone.


A sharp-eyed Wry Mouth spotted an error in the image above. Just to set the record straight, that is not Bella Abzug. This is Bella Abzug: