Anagram: Family Planning/Flying In Napalm

       I have been reading up on a few things about the stimulus package, and some of the things you here are just plain wrong595px-dollarnote_siegel_hq.  EXAMPLE:  A portion of the plan calls for more funding for medicaid family planning services.  What do the Republicans call this? Spending hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives!!!!    Now let’s take a close look at this, shall we? First off let’s do the math here.  The number i have seen floating around for this part of the plan is $200,000,000.  Sounds like a lot of money doesn’t it? Well, not as much as you would believe once you break it down. 

     How many states do we have?   To all you Republicans, put away your maps and calculators, i did the math for you.  The answer is 50 states.  Averaged out, the total expenditure is $4,000,000 per state.  Suddenly we are talking about not that much money per state on average, now are we?   Break it down by population and the numbers shrink to almost nothing.  We have over 300,000,000 people in this great land of ours, and we are talking about $200,000,000.  Total cost per person? Less than 66¢ per person. 

     And where exactly are you seeing that this is going ONLY to contraceptives?  Where the hell exactly do you see that it comes to pass that medicaid family planning Automatically mean CONDOMS and IUD’s and other such things exclusively.   Don’t the Medicaid people themselves get money, or their corporate infrastructure, other portions of the actual business of being Medicaid’s family planning services? Show me where exactly where it says that.  This I HAVE to see. 

      Oh, One more number I want to throw at you.  Do you know how large a percentage of the Stimulus package this medicaid family planning services package takes up?

      .00023%

     There are other issues out there with the arguments out there against the stimulus package, and I invite one and all to click here read an excellent Op-Ed piece by Paul Krugman from the Sunday New York Times on precisely this subject.  It really is a good read.

    Let’s talk about what thmorone Stimulus package actually does, not what people want you to think it does.  It gives:

     Up to $500 for individuals making less than $75,000 annually, and $1,000 for couples making less than $150,000.

    A Tax credit of up to $2,500 for college expenses.

    A five year carry back that allows companies to write off current losses against previous tax years. Current law goes back only 2 years. Companies receiving tarp funds need not apply.  They are excluded.

    A write off  of up to $250,000 in capital expenditures for small businesses.

     There is also:    $30,000,000,000 in Highway construction expenditure.

    $26,000,000,000 for building new K-12 schools and for higher education construction.

    $11,000,000,000 earmarked for modernizing America’s energy grid, and there is much more money for modernization and energy infrastructure in here besides this.

    $10,000,000,000 in New transit expenditure.  $2,000,000,000 in existing transit expenditure.   

     $6,000,000,000 to expand broadband for businesses in rural areas.

      For all the complaints about pork in this bill, there is much good in this bill that America desperately needs.   To argue  minutiae when the bulk of the bill is better than anything 43 or Paulson came up with looks very much like sour grapes from people who want to obfuscate the issues rather than really talk about them. 

    Opponents of the stimulus here seems to be using this old adage as their guide. “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with Bullshit.”

     That’s it for that.  A quick viddy, a few quotes and I am done.

   S.O.D.!   MILANO MOSH!  MOSH!!!

      

    That’s it for me.  Later!

Today’s Nugget, Via Wikisource:  What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.   James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 51

Anagram: Night Running/Grinning Hunt

 

 453px-george-w-bush

 

 

 

 

       I didn’t see it, I did not see it, dammit I missed it!  I cannot believe that I missed the final press conference for President Bush this morning.  I wanted to catch it, but I just didn’t. Things were busy around the rhino hacienda this morning and kept me moving, but i have caught bits and pieces edited on the news here and there.  Here it is for ya, in it’s entirety.  All 47:04 of it.  I haven’t heard it all but I’ll be listening to it as I write this. Thanks to C-Span for this.  Enjoy!

       I, Democrat though I am, am completely surprised that I agree with President Bush’s Position on the Gaza/Israel war.  Except the part that this particular Administration has advanced the cause of peace in the region.  THAT is a laughable concept from it’s base to it’s apex and everywhere in between.

       The man though is clueless about Katrina.  And Iraq.  But we knew that going in.

      Next up: Madoff stays under house arrest.

       This is insane.  Bernie Madoff clearly broke the rules imposed by the court on his freedom of movement, by sending items to relatives and united_states_dime2c_reversefriends, in direct violation of his bond.  This man stole a vast majority of $50,000,000,000 in the biggest ponzi scheme on earth and after sending expensive items, if i remember correctly worth over a million dollars, and he still remains in house arrest in an apartment that is worth Millions of dollars in the lap of luxury.  Someone needs to fry this freak’s balls in boiling oil, for screwing people far and wide of that much money, and he’s not doing time? WTF is that about? If you or I so much as stole a twinkie and then violated any portion of a court ordered agreement, we’d be doing 30 days in the hole.  No question about that.

       So why is Bernie free? One has to (OK I have to) openly wonder whether a man as obviously corrupt as Madoff may be influencing the justices and other members of the court.  I’m sure he’s not destitute if he can afford the digs he’s in right now, and from what I hear they are still trying to figure out where all the money is.

       Missing Billions + unusual decisions by the court in Bernie’s favor may = Madoff paying someone off.

      Do I have proof? No, but I don’t need proof, I need to know that there is justice somewhere in this case, and Madoff sitting in his multi-million dollar penthouse tells me that something is fishy here.  If I were a reporter with some newspaper, I would be watching the judges and everyone else involved here.  Hell, though I am just a free citizen, I am moved to look into this myself, with mine own eyes.  Someone needs to keep an eye on these bums. And I don’t mean just Bernie.

      That’s it for the Anti-Bernie rant.  Next up,  The Illinois junior senator gets a seat.

       It’s Official, Roland Burris will be the junior senator from the great state of Illinois.  Jesse White, The Illinois Secretary of State sent a letter to the senate, affirming Sen. Burris’ stature as a legal and rightful senator from the state of Illinois, and it has been accepted by both Senate majority leader Harry Reid and Illinois senior senator Dick Durbin.

       It really is good to see that Illinois now has the full compliment of senators it is supposed to have.  It was clearly a harder row to hoe for Mister Burris than most senators go through, it must be gratifying to finally get the post that he was legally and rightfully given by the governor of his state.  Just because Blago is corrupt does not mean his pick for senate will be.  Good Luck Sen. Burris, now get to work.

      And while New York does have two for the moment, that will not be the case for long, with Sen. Clinton moving up to S.O.S.,  and I would like to hear my governor, David Patterson, make a choice for senator from the great state of New York.   Andrew Cuomo, Carolyn Kennedy,  Me,  somebody dammit!!

     And yes, that does mean that I would like Governor Patterson to think of me as a potential candidate for the post.  America NEEDS a Rhino running wild in the Senate to shake things up a bit.  :-)Run

     One personal note.  I don’t like to talk about this stuff too much anymore, but I am back running everyday again, hence the running in the title.  The reason I don’t like talking about it is simple.  Every time in the last 16 months that I have spoken about “being a runner” again, or being happy being back on the trail, something happens and I get laid up again. I’ve run as many days as i possibly could, but have yet to run more than 4 miles.  I haven’t run faster than 8:00 minute mile average, which is slow, for me, but which is about the best I can do right now, given I’m just starting out and it’s not exactly warm out there. I am doing night running now, having done it twice in the last few days after not doing it for at least 3 years.  If you want to know how my running is going, look me up on facebook, I’m posting my numbers there.  Look me up under my real name, Michael Walsh.

       I’m almost done.  A metal video, a few quotes and I am done.

       Another one of those album cover only Metal Viddy’s. Ozzy. I Don’t Know. Enjoy:

       That’s all Folks!  Later!

Today’s Nuggets, Via Newspeak:   Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error… They are the natural enemies of error, and of error only… If [free enquiry] be restrained now, the present corruptions will be protected, and new ones encouraged.  Thomas Jefferson

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.   William Pitt

Anagram: Year Of The Rhino/Any Thief Or Hero

     Happy New Year

 

 

 

 

 2008 has been eventful.  But it’s over now, or as close to over as to make no difference whatsoever.  Just gonna toss out a few Videos showing some of the best and worst of the year.

      Silliest moment of 2008? There are plenty.  Obama visiting all 57 states.  Joe Scarborough dropping the F-bomb live on the air.  McCain calling people at a rally of his  “My Fellow Prisoners”.  The best though?  Hillary under sniper fire.  This was just silly.  Watch our Secretary of State in action.

      Worst Moment of 2008?  There are plenty of them here as well, and they all merit attention.  The South Ossetian War.  The Mumbai Attacks.  The Earthquake in China.  Darfur.  The situation in Zimbabwe. But the Worst moment has to be the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis.  Don’t remember that?  Myanmar? The Irrawaddy delta? Over 130,000 dead? Ring any bells?  Watch the Video and thank the lord you don’t live in that shit-hole of a country.

      Honorable mention for worst Moment, and the only reason this didn’t win is that the economic forces at work behind it are still at work, and may well turn into the worst moment of 2009.   The economic meltdown.

       Best Moment of 2008?  There are plenty.  But here it’s only best if you were on the winning side.  So here goes a short list.  The GiGiantsants beating the Patriots to keep the dream of 18-0 from coming true in New England.   Michael Phelps wins 8 Gold Medals in Beijing.  The Ron Paul Revolution.  But hands down, at least for this Democrat, was the victory of Barack Obama in the General Election over his Republican rival John McCain.  I voted for Gore, and my guy lost.  I voted for Kerry and My guy lost.  Feels good to be on the winning side.  He’s got one helluva road to travel, wish him luck, he’s gonna need it, with things the way they are in America economically right now.

     The sound craps out at about the 5 minute mark, but it’s just cheering crowds.  it’s December 31st.  You want to hear cheering crowds, turn on your tv and watch the new years celebrations.

  

george-carlin     A moment of silence for all those who died this year.  The notable deaths this year were many.  Bo Diddley, Charlton Heston, Isaac Hayes, Tim Russert, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Arthur C. Clarke, Heath Ledger, Harold Pinter and many others besides. Each notable and noteworthy in their own way, but the one that struck me the most this year was a man whom I thought of as one of the funniest, wittiest, most intelligent humans to grace the face of the earth. The world is a better place for his having been here.  I am trying to think of glowing adjectives to describe this man, but rather than do that, lets just listen to the man himself.  Ladies and gentlemen, George Carlin is dead and that SUCKS.  May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008.

       And here’s my pick for the best Piece of Music of 2008, a live version of the song “All nightmare long” off of Metallica’s 2008 offering “Death Magnetic”.  Great fuckin Album:

      You can argue Shakira and Beyonce and all that other weak ass Dance bullshit, but they both suck.  Great ass don’t mean great music.  Neither one has a voice worth listening to.  Hip hop sucks.  Country? thanks but No thanks.  As far as new music goes, if it ain’t metal, it ain’t worth it. And Metallica is the best metal band, hands down.

       That’s it for me.  Happy New Year to one and All!  Later!

Today’s Nuggets:    That’s another complaint of mine – too much use of this prefix “pre”. It’s all over the language now – “pre”-this, “pre”-that, place the turkey in a “pre-heated” oven. It’s ridiculous! There are only two states an oven can possibly exist in: Heated or unheated! “Pre-heated” is a meaningless fucking term! It’s like “pre-recorded” – “This program was pre-recorded.” Well, of course it was pre-recorded! When else are you gonna record it, afterwards? That’s the whole purpose of recording; to do it beforehand! Otherwise it doesn’t really work, does it? “Pre-existing”, “pre-planning”, “pre-screening” – you know what I tell these people? Pre-suck my genital situation! And they seem to understand what I’m talking about…   George Carlin

I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory.
If such a determination is not embodied in our political vision we have no hope of restoring what is so nearly lost to us — the dignity of man.   Harold Pinter

Anagram:Death Magnetic/It Changed Meat

          News from the financial front first.  Oil prices are going up due to the Conflict in the Gaza Strip.  The fear seems to be not that tanks are on the Gaza border read to pounce on Hamas, or that Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak says this will be a war to the death with Hamas, but that, quoting a bloomberg report on the subject, “Any Iranian escalation or more visible Iranian involvement would push the price higher.” 

       The report does also say that China has a hand in the increase as well.  China is backing up its emergency stockpile of oil problemswhile prices are low, and that helped push prices up with the increase in demand by the worlds #2 oil consumer.  These two things apparently more than made up for the drop in demand from the U.S.,  as American Fuel consumption dropped by 4.2 % in the 4 weeks leading up to the week before Christmas.

     Still, oil prices are only up to around $40 a barrel, up from $37.  It was up as high as $42 a barrel before futures prices went back down.  Even with a decrease in global and American demand, I am expecting with the increase in hostilities in the Gaza strip with Iranian backed Hamas fighters to last a while and for prices to move up a few more dollars in the next week or so.  Nothing dramatic, $147 a barrel oil is nowhere in sight.  I don’t think we’d hit that number anytime soon even if Iran declared war on Saudi Arabia. 

   That’s the end of the line for that story….kinda.  Next up.

        More fun with Hamas and Israel.  According to a story in the Jerusalem post, some 1,000 Hamas “reservists” have been called up to fight against Israel. There have also been thousands of volunteers asking to join the fight against Israel and the  Israeli defense force (IDF).  The story does seem to say that most casualties seem to have been policemen who had no connection to hamas whatsoever, and that the Izaddin Kassam, the armed wing of Hamas, has been little affected, and in fact has a ground force of around 15,000 in the strip ready to repel the IDF. 

    For their part, the IDF has confirmed that Hamas’ military wing is by and large intact and is capable of carrying out  “substantial operations” in the near future.  The IDF also says that Operation “Cast lead”  is preparing it’s next phase, actual ground operations.  Tanks and other heavy machinery are already in place for the ground assault.   Not being fools they are also watching the west bank and southern Lebanon, should trouble come from those areas in support of the Izaddin Kassam.Their have been several minor incidents in the west bank, and nothing at all from the Lebanese to the north. 

      There’s no stopping this from happening.  Israel wants it.  Don’t think they would build a military operation like this witroepen_idfthout expecting it to become a full blown war. They are ready to fight.  Hamas wants it. They are desperate to hold onto what is theirs and will defend to the death what they have, and the movement of tons of military and other supplies from Egypt over the last few months through their underground network of tunnels proves that.  They are ready to fight.   It’s going to happen and all the begging and pleading and cajoling from world leaders and everyone else will not stop the latest conflict from escalating. 

     If I were a betting man I would say ground forces will move into the strip to exterminate Izaddin Kassan before Friday rolls around. And exterminate is the right word there i think. 

   We’ll see. 

   That’s it for the News.  A video, a few quotes, and I am done.

     Words before music.   I have been listening to a lot of Metallica lately, having gotten the new Metallica album “Death Magnetic” for Christmas.  Now I was gonna play the new stuff for you, but I decided against that, if only for today. I’ll do that soon, but not yet.  I thought Id toss the old stuff out, the stuff that made me a fan.  The video that follows is just some compilation thing some guy put together,war movie clips and live metallica video clips interspersed. 

      Oh, BTW, the new stuff?  It is, hands down, the best album Metallica has put out since Master of Puppets.  It’s that good.  Their best album in 20 years.  Ripping good from front to back.  If you are a Metallica fan and you haven’t picked it up or downloaded it or whatever, GET IT.  Now, enjoy “For whom the bell tolls”.  That’s an order.  

  That’s it for me.  Later!

Today’s Nuggets, Via Wikiquote: Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.   Dwight D. Eisenhower

Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out…and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel … and in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for “the universal brotherhood of man” — with his mouth.   Mark Twain

Anagram: Back To The Grind/Rock The Dingbat

   The Great Wave at Kanagawa   A short aside before the news of the day

  It’s just short of 1 pm here, and I am getting ready to head back to work.  Ya, it’s a bit of a stretch (helluva stretch actually) to call it a grind, seeing how i make copies for a living, but it’s work, and I expect there will be some work tonight, and can’t really call it going back to the grind because I am not back in the office after this until next Saturday, and I’m taking next Sunday off, seeing how it’s my wife’s birthday and all.  So, knowing all that, why did I go with back to the grind for my title today?

     How could I not?  I am going back to the office, after all, but more importantly, how could I pass up a chance to “ROCK THE DINGBAT”?

       Onto the News…

    Yesterday I dropped a short blurb of a blog on you, and spoke about The Israeli attacks on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.  Today’s breach of the peace is one that may happen but hasn’t as of yet.   The Pakistan India Border has gotten hotter over the last few days, with Pakistan moving troops from their northwest, where they were fighting the Taliban, to the Indian border.  This is a move that the Indians see as provocative.  The tension has been high between these two ever since the attacks on Mumbai by the Deccan Mujahadeen, who murdered 171 people a few weeks ago.  These killings were launched from inside Pakistan.  Read a quote from today’s Wall Street Journal :     

Diplomats and political analysts said Pakistan’s moves appeared intended to warn India from attempting any kind of retaliatory strike against militant targets inside Pakistan — and not a mobilization for war between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

       Leaders in Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad said early on they would pull all 100,000 of their troops from the fight against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in their northwest if India moved aggressively against Pakistan.   And one report I read claims that the some Pakistani officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have intel that suggests they may well come under attack from India within the next week. All of this on top of already existing tensions between these nuclear powers over the Kashmir region in northern India/Pakistan, and you ha800px-agni-ii_missile_28republic_day_parade_200429ve all the ingredients for a full on war between these two nuclear powers, despite what the WSJ story says.

       Should be a fun week on the Pakistan/India Border.   I don’t know enough about these two combatants to be able to speak with any clarity on whether this troop deployment is just a diplomatic ploy to back the Indians down or if this could really turn into a war, but knowing people and knowing the world in which we live, I’m not counting on peace between these two. 

       That’s it for that.

   A second viddy,  a few quotes and I am done.

     Black Sabbath. War Pigs:

That’s it from me.  Later!

Today’s Nuggets, From George Orwell, Via Wikiquote:  Nearly all creators of Utopia have resembled the man who has toothache, and therefore thinks happiness consists in not having toothache. They wanted to produce a perfect society by an endless continuation of something that had only been valuable because it was temporary. The wider course would be to say that there are certain lines along which humanity must move, the grand strategy is mapped out, but detailed prophecy is not our business. Whoever tries to imagine perfection simply reveals his own emptiness.

The whole idea of revenge and punishment is a childish day-dream. Properly speaking, there is no such thing as revenge. Revenge is an act which you want to commit when you are powerless and because you are powerless: as soon as the sense of impotence is removed, the desire evaporates also.

Anagram: A Very Quick Blog/Overly Big Quack

           The dsl sucks yet again.   After months of no problems, all of a sudden the damned line completely crapped out.  RindBut this time it may be an actual line problem.  Ice and snow today may well have done the line in.  But the phone works….unless the line that goes to the dsl connection is plugged in…then it knocks out the phone.  no dial tone, and any call to the line is met with a busy signal.   Curious and annoying.  The Verizon tech will be here tomorrow. 

 

      I’m on the wife’s computer and she has stuff to do, so…

 

 

 

    A few viddy, a few quotes (no news, no politics, sorry) and I am done.

    First up, Black Sabbath; Fairies wear Boots, with a slide-show:

   Second and Final viddy from fora.tv, Cassandra Wilkinson talking about free speech on the Internet:

    That’s it for me.  Later!

Today’s Nuggets, Via Wikiquote:  Western society has accepted as unquestionable a technological imperative that is quite as arbitrary as the most primitive taboo: not merely the duty to foster invention and constantly to create technological novelties, but equally the duty to surrender to these novelties unconditionally, just because they are offered, without respect to their human consequences.  Lewis Mumford

All that stuff about heavy metal and hard rock, I don’t subscribe to any of that. It’s all just music. I mean, the heavy metal from the Seventies sounds nothing like the stuff from the Eighties, and that sounds nothing like the stuff from the Nineties. Who’s to say what is and isn’t a certain type of music?  Ozzy Osbourne

Anagram: Today’s Anagram Is/In A Gassy Matador

matador2sm

         Matador Farts, the REAL reason for Global Warming.     🙂       And now the news…

     GMAC seems to be closer to pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps today.  They raised slightly more than 10 billion dollars  in a bid to become a bank and become eligible for more federal help.  They did this by selling off  outstanding notes for preferred stock, among other things  in a debt swap to sweeten the deal for investors so they could raise as much money as possible.  Now, any organization wanting to do what GMAC wants to do here has to have $30,000,000,000  in capital to be declared a bank to my knowledge.  I believe they had about 8.3 billion dollars before, I remember reading that somewhere, so this raises their total capital to 18.5 billion dollars.  They have until Tuesday at 5:00pm to raise the additional 11.5 billion in capital. 

    Hell, they raised 10.2 bill in one day, why not 11.5 the next?  Good luck!

     The electors met today to make their votes official for the Presidency of the United States in state capitals across the nation today.  It is expected that they voted they way the people have asked them to, in favor of Barack Obama, but they are not in fact legally obligated to do so.  Odd, but true.  Only 26 states have actual laws that mandate that electors vote for the person who won that states popular vote.  And there have been a number of occasions that one elector either makes a mistake or purposefully votes for someone other than whom they were supposed to vote for.  Nixon had it happen to him all 3 times he ran, in 60, 68 and 72.  In 1988 an elector named Margaret leach voted in reverse order in West Virginia, thus giving one electoral vote for president to Lloyd Bentsen and One for V.P. to Mike Dukakis. 

    At least congress has the power to not accept these votes, these “Faithless electors” as they are called.   Remind me to send in an application to the state democratic party.  I want to be an Elector! I want to be one of the 538 most powerful people in America!   🙂

     It’s nice to want things, huh?  Onto other news…

   The auto bailout is still on hold, but there are reports that the White House and GM are in negotiations to get the bailout funds rolling, at least No Bullsh*tenough to get GM and Chrysler to Jan. 6th.  The South Carolina governor has asked the President not to a bailout for automakers, as this would open up the floodgates for other troubled industries.   Umm…Governor, I know there are parts of the south that are a bit rural, and the news may take a little while to get there, but those Floodgates are ALREADY OPEN.  Or don’t you remember the $700,000,000,000 we gave Wall Street to save the Financial Industry?  You know, the loan that made this crap possible?  ENOUGH…Sorry, the stupid in that statement sidetracked me there for a second….It looks like it may happen this week, with one report out that puts the date  for the worlds biggest auto loan to happen on Wednesday, contingent on its capacity to actually survive and compete in order to receive the money.

    That 11.5 billion debt swap that GMAC needs that I mentioned earlier would be REALLY helpful in getting this done.  For all we know that could be what Paulson, Bernanke and Bush are waiting on.  We’ll see what happens tomorrow after 5pm.

    A video, a few quotes, and I am done.

     Today’s Viddy, again one of those “Just a picture of the album cover” type of videos, This one is Anthrax, Metal Thrashing Mad:

   That’s it for me.  Later!

Today’s Nuggets, By Ernest Hemingway, Via Wikiquote :   Bullfighting is the only art in which the artist is in danger of death and in which the degree of brilliance in the performance is left to the fighter’s honor. 

The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.

The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.