Archive for the ‘WTF Friday’ Category.

WTF Saturday

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My associate (Sophie) and I discussing world events and deciding what we will write about in a pre-production meeting for this blog.

In our wonderful Senate the nomination for Surgeon General is in trouble:

The nominee, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, an internist and political ally of the president’s, has come under criticism from the National Rifle Association, and opposition from the gun-rights group has grown so intense that it has placed Democrats from conservative states, several of whom are up for re-election this year, in a difficult spot. Senate aides said Friday that as many as 10 Democrats are believed to be considering a vote against Dr. Murthy, who has voiced support for various gun control measures like an assault weapons ban, mandatory safety training and ammunition sales limits.

The NRA now decides who our chief doctor should be? If the Flat Earth Society gained traction in red states would our chief scientist have to declare the world is flat, the sun revolves around the earth, oh, and global warming does not exist? Really? This is what we elect to high office?

Yesterday it was reported that the Senate had put together a more comprehensive package of aid for Ukraine and sanctions for Russia, except Mitch McConnell and the boys are holding it up until the President agrees to hold up on more stringent IRS regulations to ensure that 501 organizations still get their tax exempt status while they pour billions into political causes. We have a crisis in the world, they want the President to stand tall, and they are willing once again to use political blackmail on an unrelated issue? What a fine group of people. Even John McCain went ballistic on this one.

I see where Scott Brown has moved from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to run for Senator. Once he was a man of Massachusetts, you know, a man of the local people driving around in his pickup truck. Now he is a man of the people in New Hampshire driving around in his pickup truck. Or said another way, he is a man who will go anywhere and say anything if it gets him elected. He ought to fit right in.

I watched an episode of VICE last night reporting on the billions wasted in Afghanistan, and the true nature of Rio and the slums prior to the World Cup and the Olympics.  All I could think of was, isn’t this the kind of reporting we used to get from normal news and now we have to turn to HBO and this group to see the world as it is.  They are giving us the definitive reporting in Ukraine.  Whatever happened to CNN?  Oh wait!  We do have in depth knowledge of the charges against Justin Bieber.

And finally there is new information that 7-hours after contact was lost with Malaysia Flight 370, there was communication with a satellite indicating it was still flying and apparently the Malaysians have finally decided to investigate the two pilots. Is any of this true or verified? Don’t know, but it came from the Prime Minister of Malaysia who we know is an expert on aviation crashes. The other day I irreverently joked that maybe we should see if there is a used 777 for sale on ebay. Sadly that is not looking so crazy.

Well another Saturday morning sitting on my hill wondering how the human race got as far as they have.

Friday Morning Musings

Well first it is nice to see someone else start to notice that the conservative musing of Abby Huntsman on MSNBC are based upon a shallow reading of conservative blogs, which are shallow readings in and of themselves, not real economics (See Abby, Abby, Abby!). Dean Baker takes her on with her fear of dire consequences of the Social Security entitlements with facts. Oh, those pesky facts. It is a prime example of pseudo science applied to politics. On the other hand, it is the prime mode of thinking these days just about everywhere.

Speaking of wild speculation masquerading as fact, we had a moment of calm in the search for Malaysia Flight 370 when one expert actually told us that based on the known facts, speculation about what happened is just wild ass guessing. But today we have the specter of possible human intervention as a cause, and wild speculation of hijacking has commenced. You know pings from a satellite system leads to a nefarious plot. I guess from my perspective, I still have questions about what are facts and if the pings are verified as true indicators of engine operation. In other words, what a mess.

Meanwhile Putin seems to be trying to reinvigorate the Cold War and prove that the capitalist West is gutless. Now I think he will find that trying to control a new Soviet Union is going to be a disaster, but in the meantime we have to see if the West has the stomach to enforce economic sanctions. If it affects the bottom line of many of our corporations, well then let the people be subjugated. It will be interesting to see if this is really just about the money and we all lose.

It was interesting to see Paul Ryan try to walk back his words about the poor. You really have to pay attention to the first thing he says, not his clarifications because he said what he really means the first time. The poor are lazy and helping them makes them more lazy. End all entitlements because it just enables them. That is what he means.

Finally, as President Obama tries to get businesses to pay a fair minimum wage and to actually recognize and pay overtime, let the squawking begin. The basic argument is that this will hurt stockholders. Said another way as productivity increases along profits, they don’t want to share that with workers. The other argument is that workers choose these jobs in a “fair” marketplace and the government shouldn’t intervene. Fair would be defined as it was in the South before the Civil War or in the 19th century when the robber barrens turned workers into indenture slaves.

Oh, and all those entitlement programs like Medicaid and Food Stamps are not give aways to lazy poor people. They are give aways to corporations so people can work at slave wages and still survive. Think about it. Wine time.

WTF Friday

Here are the headlines this morning that make you wonder if we are a brain dead nation:

Falluja’s Fall Stuns Marines Who Fought There – I wonder if there was a similar headline back in 1975 when the fall of Saigon represented the fall of the entire country and where at one time we had over 500,000 troops in-country. Or even more germane, was the lesson that we were fighting a battle we should not have been fighting just totally forgotten in Iraq. Both were civil wars where the real issues were internal and we had no real understanding. In both we decided we were fighting the wrong kind of war and had to learn guerrilla tactics, but we never got that all we could do was hold the two sides apart until we left when the root cause of the conflicts had to be sorted out. Yes Virginia, Iraq was Vietnam all over again and we learned nothing the first time. Apparently after reading the article and listening to those who think we should have stayed there, we learned nothing this time either.

U.S. Economy Adds Only 74,000 Jobs in December – That number is not enough to sustain the number of people entering the job market and that is in December when retail hiring should have been at its peak. Now remember all those end of year stories about how Wall Street was at record highs and the outlook for next year is just peachy. Tell that to the ever increasing number of people looking for a job, and no, the unemployment rate does not reflect the real unemployment. So in the meantime, we are fighting about unemployment insurance with no real plan to provide jobs. We are just waiting for things to get better and they are not. Maybe it will finally dawn on most Americans that the Republican agenda to make the wealthy wealthier and wait for flow down is not something they should be voting for. Oh, I forgot. Be afraid of the debt.

At Issue Two Troubling Cases, What to Do After the Brain Dies – Speaking of being brain dead, this article raises the two case I wrote about yesterday in California and Texas, but misses the larger story. While it gives us a look into what it means to be brain dead, it does not ask the really tough questions (which I did) about when the state should step in against the family’s wishes, or said differently, whose life is this anyway. This is the critical issue about who has the final authority and who it affects and the article danced around what is the central question.

After Chris Christie’s Performance – This op-ed in the NYT tells us that, ” If the governor wants to regain any creditability, he has to admit he set a tone or vindictiveness.” There are so many problems with his defense that he is not a bully and these people acted outside his knowledge or control. Just his statement that “he fired his ‘stupid’ and ‘deceitful’ deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, ‘because she lied to me’ about the gridlock scheme,” raises all kinds of question about whether he is not a bully and just who he will throw overboard to protect his skin. Just from a personality point of view, this man is unfit for national office, and no one has yet examined his truly conservative economic and social stances to see how out of step with America he really is. Right now the whole discussion is on form over substance, but now the substance is coming up and he is screwed. But we are better for it.

Chemical Spill leaves thousands without Water in West Virginia – Actually it is hundreds of thousands and is the result of an industrial leak into the Elk River. That coupled with the calls for investigation into the derailments and fires resulting from moving oil from shale oil areas through the United States by rail should tell you all you need to know about less regulation. Cheaper is not always better and there is a lot at risk when we let industries self regulate (like the banking industry back in 2007-2008). But the Republicans never change their tune and we seem to never learn.

Just another Friday in clueless America.

WTF Tuesday

Well an international panel of scientists commissioned by the UN has found with near certainty that human activity is the cause of most of the temperature increases of recent decades, and warns that sea levels could conceivably rise by more than three feet by the end of the century if emissions continue at a runaway pace.

Meanwhile many Republicans deny the obvious and here in California, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) told constituents over the weekend that climate change “is a total fraud” designed by liberals to create “global government.” Rohrabacher issued a challenge to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) over the weekend, after the Democrat suggested the current uncharacteristically extreme wildfire season warranted a serious discussion about how climate change is affecting the temperature and length of the state’s dry season.

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WTF Monday

I don’t know why, but I woke up thinking about the Kentucky primary and wondering, gee, is it this year? Nope, it is May 20, 2014. We are already campaigning for a primary a year in advance? We have lost our collective minds.

Then of course was all the news about the suspension of A-Rod and others for using performance enhancing drugs (PED). I am wondering once again why this is so important and is not a routine thing when athletes abuse their bodies. Other random thoughts were why would A-Rod have to use them considering his athleticism, and why not just admit it and move on? Then I heard Andrea Mitchell say something to the effect that A-Rod could persevere like Jackie Robinson did. Really? One was so obsessed with winning he would cheat and had no internal strength to resist the temptation, and the other one, through his strength of character, set an example for all of us. How could you say the two in the same breath.

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WTF Friday

So it is Friday and shortly there will be a cold beer or a glass of wine later in the evening, or maybe a bottle. So as I await that moment, I watch the news with something akin to horror. Let me summarize:

  • San Diego Mayor is going to undergo therapy. I assume that would be a frontal lobotomy
  • The press continues to focus on mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and his wiener and I am wondering why anyone outside of New York City cares. I am sure they will spend just as much time on the Mayor of Sacramento right?
  • Oh, and while we are on it, isn’t it his decision whether he stays in the race or not, and the people of New York to speak with their votes, not the pundits? And what really pisses me off is speculation about what his wife’s motivations are. This is not news, it is voyeurism at its worst, and also explains why the media gets most stories wrong the first time and most of the American public are clueless
  • Anybody who watched the video of the train crash in Spain knows the driver took the turn too fast. The question one has to ask based upon his reckless behavior chronicled on Facebook and his love of speed, why this is a surprise. Oh, and was he the only one in the train control cabin and why? Could it be cutbacks and austerity so no one was checking?
  • I think I get the cantaloupe calf analogy Steve King used. If you have cantaloups for brains, everything is a cantaloupe. Wouldn’t he and Michele Bachmann make a great couple? Both of them are probably wearing aluminum foil under their clothes to ward off x-rays from the government
  • Oh, and the guy who told us that we don’t need the Voting Rights Act anymore (John Roberts) is picking the justices for the secret FISA court. Now I feel reassured…

Just another Friday in America where we are so far off the rails we don’t even remember what the rails looked like. See Spain.

WTF Friday

Oh, let’s see:

  • We had a major speech, and if this time he walks his talk, some real action on global warming, with probably tons of lawsuits from conservatives who are still in denial and would rather sacrifice their kids future that cut jobs in the coal industry for better jobs in alternate energy
  • The Senate passed a draconian immigration bill that in any other time would look just plain stupid. We will have an armed border where the net immigration into this country is negative and more stupid fence when all we need is a real immigration status employment system, an extremely long path to citizenship, and garnishing all their contributions to Social Security prior to bill passage. Oh, and a choice for John Boehner whether he wants to save the Republican Party as a national party or stay speaker of the house
  • We have Supreme Court cases in Affirmative Action and the Voting Rights Act that have set our country back 50 years. Oh and there was another one that kind of ended rational land planning
  • We have had major admissions by the federal government on their level of spying, but the real focus is on where in the world is Edward Snowden
  • And there is an unparalleled attack in state’s legislature on women’s right to choose and be equal citizens

And what do we get on TV? Endless coverage of the George Zimmerman trial and you be the judge. This is highly ironic considering that most people in this country make up their minds early and don’t let facts or testimony sway their opinion anyway. Is this a great country or what?

Now I Get It

Nazi commander discovered living in Minnesota. Now I finally get how Michele Bachmann got elected.

Oh, and on Jeb Bush’s comment of immigrants being more fertile, I heard the speech and although immigrants do have more children (not more fertile) he was defending immigration and everything he said was true. If you doubt it, check our history. Man we have to chill out.

WTF

According to the lastest poll, 48% of Americans approve of the surveillance program.  Say what?  We do not know the extent, we don’t know the rules, we don’t know how it is safeguarded (apparently not very well), we don’t know how long it is going to be kept, and we don’t know by any objective measure if it is effective.  And there you have why Republicans still get elected with no discernable plan for our future.  A large portion of population are brain dead and critical thinking is a foreign language to them.  Let’s vote on whether climate change is happening!

Friday Follies

Well, what is there to say? The News can’t get any stranger:

  • Michele Bachmann is retiring and when one of her advisors was confronted with her many wild ass claims, he said that sometimes she got things wrong, but she spoke and stood up for many people. Sadly those people she spoke for didn’t need a spokesperson, but probably a therapist
  • In the vein of can people think, Animal Planet has aired two shows on Mermaids which claim evidence to finding Mermaids, both of which were hoaxes, but netted their largest audiences. Quick, get them to a voting booth so the Republicans can win a national election
  • Unemployment hit an all time high this week in the Eurozone. That austerity thing working out for you? Just need to hang in there a little longer because the good times are just around the corner? What does it take to finally admit you were wrong and change course? Well the people who need to make that decision are not suffering the brunt of austerity so it will be a long time coming. Meanwhile back here in the good old USA, we have, (drum roll), austerity. Anybody seen a jobs plan?
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