Saturday, March 19, 2011

On Civility and politicians in trouble

Peter Kelly, the mayor of the city where I used to live  (Halifax, Nova Scotia) is in a spot of trouble. It appears that his administration "loaned" several million dollars to a concert promoter that subsequently went bankrupt with the city holding the bag on 400k in bad debt.
Of late his facebook page has been overwhelmed with people calling him nasty names. His response to this is to say that all discourse on his page must be "respectful".

Personally I think that using the city as a slush fund is pretty fucking disrespectful but that is just me


Senate blackballs Pima County from border crime funds - East Valley Tribune: Politics: "But not Pima: SB 1621 spells out any county with a population of between 500,00 and two million 'shall not receive any monies from the Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement mission fund.''"

video - Tarja Turunen - Poison, Live in Sofia

Died of a cute overload?

Cuddly Catastrophe: Knut the Polar Bear Dies - TIME NewsFeed: "Heiner Klös, a bear expert at the Berlin Zoo, said Knut was swimming in the water at the time, with more than 600 people looking on. NewsFeed can't imagine their shock when the celebrity bear collapsed. An autopsy will be performed on Knut to determine the cause of death."

Fuckwittage: Bobby Franklin edition

GA Republican Compares Gaddafi to American Doctors, Says United States is Worse :: Georgia Politico: "Georgia Republican Bobby Franklin today compared the brutal violence perpetrated by Muammar Gaddafi against his own people to American Doctors providing safe, legal abortions. He also referred to the Obama administrations, along with the world’s, actions to protect those who are being brutally murdered as “pure evil.”"

Pakistan beats Australia

Pakistan ends Australia's Cup run - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): "Australia's 34-match unbeaten run in the Cricket World Cup dating back to 1999 was finally broken by Pakistan when Ricky Ponting's team were beaten by four wickets."

Oddly familiar

Andrew Sullivan on Libya

This Is Not A "No-Fly Zone" - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan:

"By changing the narrative, by not letting the Arab world find its own equilibrium, the administration may have unwittingly done damage to the revolutionary momentum.How many time can one insist: this is not about us. But Clinton, reared in the 1990s, cannot resist interjecting the US where it does not belong. And Obama's alleged remark - 'days, not weeks' - is a hostage to fortune. Let me just say I will hold the president to his word. After a week, if the US has not withdrawn its forces from the Mediterranean, we should ask Obama: why not?"

This is fucking rich coming from the man that spent half his time cheerleading the invasion of Iraq.
Yeah, I know that he now says he was wrong but some of us knew it was a dumb fucking idea (as this is) from the start.

Andrew Sullivan as concern troll. I think that he is hanging around with Conor F too much

Stephen Lynch on American Exceptionalism

Video - A special song of sweetness and love

So it is called "the Masochism tango"...
Tom Lerher ... brilliant

On Ann Coulter in Small doses

Video - Jonathan Coulton

Yes, I am divorced and yes I do love Ikea. What?

Video - Weird Al - Polka Your Eyes Out

Oddly satisfying

Video - Time Warp

Video - Stephen Lynch - Down To The Old Pub Instead

Video - Taylor Mali - What teacher's make

How Many Years did the GS Execs get?

Goldman Sachs Programmer Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison for Code Theft | Threat Level |
"A former Goldman Sachs programmer convicted of stealing the bank’s high-speed trading software was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison."

High velocity trading should be illegal.

On Florida Real Estate

Nearly 20% of Florida homes are vacant - Mar. 18, 2011: "In Florida, the worst-hit county is Collier -- home of Naples -- with a whopping 32% of homes empty. In Sarasota County, 23% of the housing stock sits vacant, while Lee County (Cape Coral) has a 30% vacancy rate. And Miami-Dade County has a vacancy rate of about 12%."

On measured responses

Eschaton: We Only Have One Tool: "We only need to compare the cost of our public response to numerous recent natural disasters to the likely cost of any military intervention to know what American elites think is important."

Video Randy Rhoads Solos

29 years ago today

Ann Coulter will say anything for money

Geeky Post of the day - OBIEE

This is what I actually do for a living. Yeah, I know.

What a douchebag - Stephen Harper Edition

Harper links Japanese quake, opposition threat of snap election - The Globe and Mail: "“The fact of the matter is this should be a wake-up call that we cannot afford to take our focus off the economy to get into a bunch of unnecessary political games or, as I said, an opportunistic or unnecessary election that nobody was asking for.”"

On Aflac firing Gilbert Gottfried

Aflac Discovers Gottfried is a Comedian : Dispatches from the Culture Wars: "The part of this that I find amusing is Aflac's sudden discovery that not only is Gilbert Gottfried a comedian, he is the undisputed king of inappropriate humor. Had they never actually seen his act? Did they not even google his name before they hired him? There is no subject that he won't go after. His whole goal is to make you uncomfortable. I've seen him do a half hour straight of Hitler material."

Comment of the year so far at PZ Meyer's place

This is about right

I may get slammed for saying this but...
After seeing the way things work first-hand, I think the only RESPONSIBLE thing a person on any kind of assistance can do is cheat.
I said it, cheat. Break the rules. Become an "abuser." You HAVE to.
Not by buying a beer (though fine by me if you do.) Rather, by HIDING MONEY.
They take away your benefits if you have a dime to your name - yet you can't escape that without scrimping and saving. You HAVE to cheat. You HAVE to have a secret stash of cash, somehow, somewhere. If you have ANY hope for your future, if you have ANY dreams of getting out of the hole - YOU HAVE TO CHEAT THE SYSTEM.
Because the system is rigged to be against you. The system is immoral.
I know a few people who managed to better their lives, get out of some of the worst slums around (while the slumlords, with literally THOUSANDS of violations in their properties, with people house in condemned buildings, got paid tens of millions of dollars for their property as a solution to end the blight they caused.
You got it - slumlord with literally thousands of legal violations? The way to fix that is give him millions. His VICTIMS try to save a few bucks in hope of getting the hell out? CUT OFF THEIR BENEFITS!
These few people who managed to escape this escaped because they "cheated." They hid money, money they weren't "allowed" to have, until they gathered up enough to GET THE HELL OUT.
FUCK you people that think that the only thing a poor person deserves is JUST enough to keep them alive and dreading their life, dreading each day. Who think that the life of a child born into poverty must be spent not only sitting around hopeless with nothing but the clothes on their back, waiting for the decades to pass before they die, but that they also have to feel GRATEFUL to you for allowing them your spare bread crumbs.
They don't get to have hopes and dreams, or a chance to socialize, have a moment's peace or pleasure, or a chance to participate in a culture that has been deliberately stolen, privatized and turned into a pay-per-view event.
The WISE thing, the RESPONSIBLE thing for a person on any assistance to do is to break the rules not with the hope to defraud, but with the hope of ESCAPE.
And if they are mentally ill, too physically ill, or too old to fight their way out and escape by saving, maybe their only way to escape is that beer. That joint. That TV to stare at. Not an optimal situation, but let's get clear here - for many THAT'S ALL that they have to hope for. They will NOT be getting a job at Google or even McDonald's. They're too old or ill.
They have no choice but to sit around.
Health programs to get them off booze if they're addicted, absolutely.
But if that 68 year old disabled guy in a section 8 room with a toilet down the hall and screaming neighbors and noise and stink in the hallways who will NEVER have a better chance (that isn't handed to him?) LET HIM HAVE A FUCKING BEER.
Put it on MY tab if you're too fucking selfish to have a fraction of a cent of your precious tax money go to him.

Did I pick the right field or what?

Business Intelligence ‘Not Easily Outsourced’ – Informatica Perspectives: "Evelson says there are five good reasons why BI/analytics can be a real career accelerator:

BI/analytics is drawing corporate funding
BI/analytics is not easily outsourced
BI/analytics initiates face-to-face contact and deeper relationships with the business
BI/analytics is constantly evolving, requiring increasing levels of engagements – and more projects
BI/analytics hiring keeps climbing, since it is in great demand"

Sunday Booze sales coming to Georgia?

Ga. Senate OKs Sunday liquor sales | Atlanta Business Chronicle: "Legislation that could lead to Sunday retail sales of liquor in Georgia cleared the state Senate Wednesday, marking the most significant progress on an issue that has languished for years."

Running of the Brides

Running of the Brides® | Filene's Basement: "When the doors open at 8:00am, brides and their helpers rush to the racks, grab wedding gowns and immediately start trying them on. After this initial frenzy the real sale begins, when helpers roam the floor to trade sizes, colors and designers with the other teams. Once you get in the flow of this unique event, it will all make sense. Here are a few guidelines that will help make your experience at the ROTB more successful and fun."

On going cashless in Minnesota

So that's what they mean by the “War on Poverty” : Pharyngula: "Minnesota Republicans are pushing legislation that would make it a crime for people on public assistance to have more $20 in cash in their pockets any given month."

Small government my ass

GOP Bill Will Require IRS to Audit Abortions | MyFDL: "Another step towards smaller, less intrusive government, courtesy of the libertarian-minded teabagger-dominated House majority: Internal Revenue Service agents will be required to determine whether your abortion was paid for with tax dollars. Even more horrifying, income tax return filing forms may need to ask if you’d had an abortion and how you paid for it."

On Economic inequity

The Moral Underground: How Ordinary Americans Subvert an Unfair Economy by Lisa Dodson: "Paycheck inequalities
Today, one in four U.S. workers earns less than $9 an hour—about $19,000 per year. Thirty-nine percent of the nation’s children live in low-income households. And African-American and Latino families are much more likely to be poor or low-income and are less likely to have assets or home equity to offset low wages."

On ARK Music Factory

Rebecca Black and the new era of faux pop stars, stage parents, and child exploitation — The Good Men Project Magazine: "The Internet’s been pretty cruel to Rebecca Black—and, in fairness, her song is laughably awful. But we don’t need to be criticizing middle schoolers. We need to be looking critically at the Ark Music Factory, not just for marring pop music and ruining our favorite day of the week, but for exploiting their clients. The company is exploiting the child performers for their own fame gain, and in the process turning them into oversexed adults before they’re even able to drive."

Video - Rocket Powered Matchbox Cars!

Because it is Friday night and I am bored...

USB Keyboard Made from Old Typewriter

USB Keyboard Made from Old Typewriter | HACKOLOG - Amazing Hacks and Mods:
"Looking for a unique gift? Here’s an antique typewriter which has been modified to function as a USB Keyboard for PC, Mac, or even iPad. That’s very cool, isn’t it?"

I actually find this vaguely disturbing.

Video - LCD Monitor Teardown

Just because it is cool

Friday, March 18, 2011

Smoke Em if You got em Blog » Blog Archive » Floating-point MCU operates at up to 210 °C: "Texas Instruments has launched a floating-point microcontroller (MCU) for operation under extreme temperature conditions from -55 °C to 210 °C, which it says is an industry first and exceeds the traditional 150 °C limit for high-temperature semiconductors devices."

Insane Townhall Comment of the day

John Kerry's Recycled Government Slush Fund Recipe - Michelle Malkin - Townhall Conservative: "Yes a Muslim!
What 'Christian would change his name to Hussein?
What Christian would cover a crusifix of Jesus in a speech?
What Christian would forsake Israel's Biblical land to her enemies?
What Christian would encourage abortions with fed dollars?
What Christian would bow to a Muslim King?
What Christian would deny Christian prayer yet support Muslim prayer in public arenas?
What Christian would skip prayer breakfast, but attend it's Muslim version?
Yeah.. simply by his actions I can see where lib hack idiots would believe he's not a Muslim. Oh wait... You guys say he isn't a Muslim because he and his handlers say he isn't. I say that makes you guys twice as stupid for believing face value what a politician tells you.
One born every minute
Words of wisdom; 'You will know a tree by it's fruits."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Expensive damn donuts

Guy Who Won A Year's Worth Of Doughnut-Shop Coupons From The Astros Whines About The Tax Bill: "Brian Hickey — When Bob Choate won a year's supply of coupons from Shipley's Do-Nuts at Astros Fan Appreciation Day in October, he 'went up to the customer service window, fat, dumb and happy, and signed a form and picked up a fistful of certificates.' Well, last month, the tax bill for free gluttony arrived. He owes $927.61."

Homeopathy as a radiation treatment

Send in the clowns : Lawyers, Guns & Money:
"(R)adioactive material carried by wind and air currents may spread contaminated material to neighboring islands and countries. For all concerned, there are protective steps that can be taken with homeopathy. Key remedies that have been used either in research or historically to prevent or treat radiation poisoning include the following: Cadmium iodide; Cadmium-sulph; Phosphorus; Strontium-carbonicum; and X-ray. If at risk of radiation exposure, any one of the above remedies may be taken as an emergency response, three times a day in a 30C potency. Do not exceed 6 doses without guidance from your homeopath."
Another case of these fucks being deranged and dangerous.

video - Brian Eno - Thursday Afternoon

PZ Meyers on Marriage

Why I am an amoral, family-hating monster…and Newt Gingrich isn't : Pharyngula: "I think I understand, though — it doesn't matter what you do, all that matters is what you say. The Republicans support a version of marriage that rests on tradition, authority, and masculine dominance, and everything they do props up one leg of the tripod or the other. Public piety reinforces religious tradition; the insistence that there is one true form of marriage, between a man and a woman, which represents a legal and social commitment is part of the authoritarian impulse; and of course, if a man steps out of the matrimonial bounds, it's an expression of machismo and patriotism and entitlement."

On Intervention in Libya

Booman Tribune ~ A Progressive Community: "So, I'm serious. Don't dick around with no-drive zones and military advisers. Either stay out of it entirely, or go get the bastard and put him in the Hague."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More evidence that the NRA is not a rational organization

NRA won't meet with W.H. on guns - Jennifer Epstein - "“Why should I or the NRA go sit down with a group of people that have spent a lifetime trying to destroy the Second Amendment in the United States?” said Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president, in an interview with The New York Times on Monday. He cited Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — the latter of whom has little to do with gun policy — as examples."

GOP Priorities - Jobs, jobs, jobs

Just Kidding:

"But in the larger context, I'm curious, will congressional Republicans ever even pretend to focus on job creation? We've seen Republicans targeting abortion rights, access to health care, Muslim Americans, and a variety of domestic priorities, but the elusive GOP plan to create jobs is still nowhere to be seen."

KV Pharmaceutical is Evil

Preemie birth preventive spikes from $10 to $1,500 - Yahoo! News:
"A drug for high-risk pregnant women has cost about $10 to $20 per injection. Next week, the price shoots up to $1,500 a dose, meaning the total cost during a pregnancy could be as much as $30,000."

There is no, none, not any, justification for this. KV Pharmaceutical and especially its CEO one Gregory J. Divis Jr deserve all of the scorn and derision that can possibly be heaped upon them.

WHy Does this remind me of Robocop?

The new Emergency Financial Manager law in Michigan (pdf here) is strangely reminiscent of the movie Robocop. Even the fact that Detroit was the city that was in the leading role.


Why the fuck is yoko ono on my tv?

I really don't give a flying fuck what she has to say about what is going on in  Japan

On the Incumbent Protect Racket - Virginia Edition

Va. House delegation protects itself - Richard E. Cohen - "The new map, according to multiple sources in both parties who are familiar with the plan, was crafted in the past month chiefly by Virginia’s eight GOP members. But it has received crucial private support from the state’s three House Democrats — notably Rep. Gerry Connolly, who barely survived reelection last November and whose Capitol Beltway-area district would get a Democratic bump."

On Conservative Pundits

d r i f t g l a s s: Those Bastards Stole My Meth!:
"Because if they did, the answers they would have to face would end their careers, and the careers of hundreds of other who have risen to great and influential positions even though they have spent much of their lives as public intellectuals getting the Big, Important Issues wrong, wrong, wrong."

I am reminded of my Facebook status from yesterday ...

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it." - Upton Sinclari

More bad news from japan

Radiation-leak fears at Japan plant - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English: "A radiation leak is feared after Japan's Nuclear Safety Agency reported a third explosion at Unit 2 of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant in the country's northeast.

Shinji Kinjo, an agency spokesman, said that 'a leak of nuclear material is feared', after the explosion was heard at 6:10am local time (21:10 GMT) on Tuesday."

Monday, March 14, 2011

We're #1!

U.S. Defense Spending: Still #1 : Dispatches from the Culture Wars: "And by an astonishingly huge margin. According to a new report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the United States spends 60% of all money spent on defense in the entire world, a whopping 4.5% of the entire GDP of the country. By comparison, China spends 2% of their GDP on defense -- but their GDP is only about 1/3 the size of ours."

Video - Lewis Black on American Exceptionalism

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Missing the Point - William Pesek edition

I somehow think that this fool missed the point of Naomi Klein's book. It was NOT an endorsement of disaster capitalism.

Japan might well benefit from any shakeup that encourages entrepreneurship from the ground up, increases competitiveness and imposes change on the decidedly change-resistant bureaucrats who really run the nation. For years, pundits said only a major crisis will bring about change in Japan. March 11 provided the shock; leaders just need to act accordingly.

Bring On the Locusts

I mean really ... What is next for Japan? A volcano? Are you fucking kidding me?

Another Explosion at A Japanese Reactor

New explosion rocks stricken Japanese nuclear reactor | Reuters: "TOKYO (Reuters) - A new explosion rocked Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex on Monday, sending a plume of smoke into the air."

Snickers wonderful commercial

On intelligent Political discourse in America

From President Obama's Facebook Page
I believe that if common sense prevails, we can get beyond wedge issues and stale political debates to find a sensible, intelligent way to make the United States of America a safer, stronger place.

OK, go ahead and impeach him. He is obviously delusional.

Politco Comment of the day

POLITICO Forums:POLITICO CLICK: Obama, Daniels score laughs -

The band struck up Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A.," drawing big laughs from the some 650 government officials, political figures, news executives and journalists in gathered at the Washington Renaissance hotel for the club's 126th anniversary.

I am glad that these slobs think it is funny that our Commander in Chief may be a foreign born imposter. He spends millions hiding his past from the American people with the help of the corrupt news organizations who cheer him for doing it. I have to question the sanity of our media and our gov't officials who think this is the least bit funny. We have an economy on the brink of disaster, the middle east in complete upheval, Japan completely destroyed, a health care bill that even the Democrats won't talk about, and what does our President do this week? He talks about school bullying, Equal pay for women, and has a party at the white house to watch basketball. After that he golfs and puts on a stand up comedy routine at a dinner for his worshipers. Even if you voted for this man who calls himself President of the U.S. you cannot be happy with his track record. He seems completely oblivious the seriousness of the problems around him. My assesment is that he is a very immature, arrogant man who has had every opportunity in life handed to him because of the fabricated image he has built for himself. If you voted for him the first time, realize you made a big mistake and correct it.

Shawn L.
Dear Shawn L,

Go fuck yourself

Love Rob :)

Hopeful news on Gabrielle Giffords

Giffords Making Miraculous Recovery, Could Attend Husband’s Shuttle Launch | FDL News Desk:

"Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, just two months from the tragic shooting in Tuscon where she suffered a bullet wound to the head, is doing so well in rehabilitation in Houston, Texas, that she may attend the shuttle launch of her husband, Mark Kelly, on April 19.

Giffords’ doctors, who held a news conference Friday, said that the patient can speak in complete sentences, and is improving tangibly with each passing day. She is able to walk with some assistance. Giffords has no memory of the shooting itself, but doctors described that as normal."

I don't like the characterization of it as "miraculous" but this is very hopeful news.

I agree with McMegan on this.

The American President - Megan McArdle - National - The Atlantic:
"So too, I suspect, with tormenting prisoners, and civil liberties. Maybe if Mark and I were president, we'd support this stuff too. Which is not, by the way, an argument for doing it. It's an argument that we need to serve as a check on the president. Because we're not going to fix it by just electing a better person to be president. Whoever we elect will still be president, with all that implies."

I like to think that I am a better person than that but I have a horrible feeling that I just might not be. Are any of us?

Sunday Night Book Club

Shock Doctrine - Naomi Klein

Collapse - Jared Diamond

The Black Swan - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The logical end of Michele Bachmann's ideas

Michele Bachmann writes a letter : Pharyngula: "I must also note something else. She is a woman. She is also working outside the home. And she has displaced a man, who could be holding down the position she is occupying. Under normal conditions, this would not be a problem, except that Ms Bachmann would like to return our country to the high moral state that it held in the 17th century, before the Enlightenment and secularism tainted our government with its ungodly latin motto of E pluribus unum, and impious independent women who deprived men of their exalted status really are guilty of a great crime."

Manning and Crowley

I want to make it clear that I think that PJ Crowley was precisely right about the way that Bradley Manning is being treated. The point that I made earlier was that as spokesman for the State Department it was incompatible with his job to make the statement that he did.

I do agree with whomever is posting this weekend at the Daily Dish that Obama now owns whatever mistreatment Manning is subjected to and he should be judged accordingly.

Because football is more important than learning

Austin and Central Texas High School Sports | "Head coaches in Classes 5A and 4A - schools with 950 students or more - are making an average of $73,804 while teachers in those classifications average close to $42,400, according to records obtained by the Austin American-Statesman through the Texas Public Information Act."

When you start losing the Beckites

Does Raw Video of NPR Expose Reveal Questionable Editing & Tactics? | The Blaze: "Anyone looking at the edited version of the Project Veritas video would be concerned about the conduct and views expressed by the NPR representatives. But should we also be concerned about the deceptive nature of some of the video’s representations? Some will say no — the end justifies any means, even if unethical. Others may be bothered by these tactics and view similar projects with a greater degree of skepticism."

Yet another antt-gay politician is gay

Anti-Gay State Senator's Secret Gay Life Is Revealed In Bribery Indictment | TPM LiveWire:
"Carl Kruger is a Democratic state senator from Brooklyn. His vote against gay marriage last year was crucial in stopping the measure in New York. Funny thing: He lives with his gay lover, who's the bagman in their bribery racket."

The really sad part about this is that as a Democrat Kruger probably didn't have to worry much about coming out.

PJ Crowley had to go

State Department spokesman steps down amid flap | TPM News Pages:

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley is resigning his post, the department said Sunday, after reports that Crowley had called 'stupid' the Pentagon's treatment of a soldier accused of leaking secret documents that appeared on the WikiLeaks website."

I am not going to deny what he said was true. The problem is that when you are spokesman for a government you can never go off message. If you are uncomfortable with that then you don't take the job. This isn't about the White House not allowing dissent. The place for dissent though is on the inside, you don't get to freelance.

GOP are willing to blow up economy to save it


Mitch McConnell

"Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued a stern warning Sunday that no Republican senators would vote to raise the debt ceiling if Democrats don't take what he called a 'credible effort' to deal with the country's debt.

'I don't intend to support raising the debt ceiling and I don't believe any Senate Republicans do, unless we do something important related to spending and debt,' he told Fox News' Chris Wallace."

And John Boehner

"I think raising the debt limit is the responsible thing to do for our country, the responsible thing for our economy," Mr. Boehner said. "If we were to fail to increase the debt limit, we would send our economy into a tailspin."

should have a little chat.

Grownups my ass.

SATSQ - Daily Dish Edition

Another Neocon War! - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan:
"It is, I understand, too much to ask of such war-mongerers whether they have any sense of shame left - that tends to be surgically removed during Fox News contract negotiations. But is it too much to ask that they acknowledge that the last two wars they argued for with such moral preening led to a human catastrophe, with no long-term security gains for the US, and vast amounts of debt? Is a total lack of reflection or responsibility now mandatory with these people?"

Yes and Yes.

This has been yet another edition of Simple Answers To Simple Questions.

Tea Party are a bunch of pikers

Madison Rally Bigger Than Biggest Tea Party Rally: "But yesterday's rally in Madison is noteworthy because at 85,000-100,000, it was bigger than the biggest tea party protest, the September 12, 2009 rally in Washington, D.C., which turned out only an estimated 60,000-70,000."