Seen on the street in Kyiv.

Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

“The Mob takes the Fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?” -- The TOFF *

"Foreign Relations Boil Down to Two Things: Talking With People or Killing Them." -- Unknown

“Speed is a poor substitute for accuracy.” -- Real, no-shit, fortune from a fortune cookie

"If you believe that you are talking to G-d, you can justify anything.” — my Dad

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys in the ground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"The Dildo of Karma rarely comes lubed." -- Unknown

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

* "TOFF" = Treasonous Orange Fat Fuck,
"FOFF" = Felonious Old Fat Fuck,
"COFF" = Convicted Old Felonious Fool,
A/K/A Commandante (or Cadet) Bone Spurs,
A/K/A El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago, A/K/A the Asset,
A/K/A P01135809, A/K/A Dementia Donnie,
A/K/A Dolt-45, A/K/A Don Snoreleone

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pet Doors May Not Be a Good Thing

Ruminants shit almost constantly, as anyone who has ever been around sheep knows.

Another Republican Calls For the Waaabulance

According to FDL, in the special election in NY-20 to fill the seat of Kirsten Gillibrand, the GOP candidate filed a motion to overturn the election results several hours before the polls closed.

Most politicians wait to see whether they have lost before they start whining about the result.  But not Jim Tedisco.

Creepy Church Signs

One of the points about being both a non-Christian and as religious as Malcom Reynolds is that I miss the references that the signs are invoking. As a result, my reactions are probably not what they desire.

For example, this is probably not the Community Church of the Level Three Sex Offender, but it does sound like an act that used to be performed in the peep shows before they disneyfied Tiems Square: 

I don't  know what medical procedure this is meant to invoke, but it sounds as though it could be very bloody and highly fatal.

George W. Bush: The After-Effects Never End.

Now it seems that his Administration of incompetent dolts figured out another way to cost us hundreds of billions (if not trillions) of dollars.


Dick Cheney's Assassination Squads

Almost certainly true, it seems. As noted in the second piece, given that the Bush Administration defined the "battlefield" for the "Great War on Terror" as "anywhere between the orbits of Venus and Mars", the idea that Dick Cheney did not order killings carried out within the borders of the United States is not credible.

It is worth noting that every abuse that the civil-rights folks have warned about, and which the Wingnuts protested "they'd never do such things," from massive wiretaps, intercepting Internet traffic to torture and murder, have all been shown to have, in fact, taken place.

Monday, March 30, 2009


This is so true for me:

song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs

Assault Rifle (and ammunition) Ban

Isn't going to happen.

(I told ya so, people. I went on a few of the pro-gun blogs and explained how gun control was not going to happen, but do people listen? Nooooo.)

(H/T to Mule Breath)

Here's the Latest TEOCAWKI Scenario

2011: The electrical grid around the world collapses in seconds. All communications fail.

It is called a Carrington Event, the cause is a massive solar storm. One occurred in 1859 and it disrupted the only operational electrical system of the day, the telegraph.

The problem is that if it takes years to bring the electrical grid back on-line, many of us won't live long enough to see it. Even the people with six months' worth of food in their pantries will run out before the trains and trucks start running. Gas stations use electrical pumps and the railroads are so based on electronic traffic control and centralized switching systems nowadays that they may be completely disabled for a very long time. 


(TEOCAWKI= The End Of Civilization As We Know It)

I Can Think of Other Words to Change

GOP leader Rush Limbaugh wants to change the word "dike" because it makes him uncomfortable when talking about the flooding in N. Dakota.
I think we ought to change the word "douchebag", because it makes me think of Oxycontin-man when I perform an act of feminine hygeine.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

What the Hell?

I was browsing through my stats-a-majigger and noticed that Salmon Alley, a new blog, had linked to me.  Cool, I believe in reciprocity, so I went to the blogger control gizzie to open up the layout and add it.  The initial buttons are "new post," "edit posts" (which I have to do a lot because I am a lousy poofredder), "layout" and "view blog."

Well, they've added a new one, called "monetize."  

What the fuck?  "Monetize?"  If I click on it, will my printer start pumping out Benjamins?  I don't do Federal criminal law, but I'm pretty sure that's illegal.

The Man Who Helped Ruin the Economy

Joseph Cassano, the head of AIG's Financial Products Group.  Not only did that greedy skell push AIG into insuring credit default swaps, he managed to keep AIG's risk managers from investigating what the FPG was doing.

Why this guy is not being indicted and put into a cell with Bernie Madoff is beyond my understanding.

Traffic Cameras: Nothing to Do With Safety

They are all about raising revenue, which is why there are at least two companies that are making a boatload of money putting the cameras in various cities and towns.

Anyone who does not recognize that a lot of places use traffic tickets as a revenue generator has to either believe in the Easter Bunny or is seriously addled.  There is one town in Ohio, Linndale, that has a few hundred feet of I-71 going through the town; they put a cruiser out there almost around the clock to hand out tickets.  If you are going 0.0025mph over the speed limit, you get a ticket and the fines make up 80% of the income for the town's government.

That is just morally wrong and it breeds contempt for the law.  That is right up there with the towns that have parking meters that are set to run fast in order to generate parking tickets (or money from people who overfeed the meters).  Money from traffic fines should be prohibited from going to local governments.

Here's Another Shocker For the Clueless: Dick Cheney Lied to Us

There is a lengthy article in today's WaPo about how the CIA tortured Abu Zubaida and all he told them was stuff he made up to get them to stop torturing him. Contrary to the lies of Dick Cheney and George Bush (both of whom may be arrested some fine day), there were no plots disrupted, no terrorist attacks averted.

You might remember the Summer of 2004, when the DBP was changing the color of the Stoplight of Death from yellow to orange and back again on a weekly basis. There were security sweeps and increased police patrols. Millions of dollars were spent on those clusterfucks. And it was all based on information given by a torture victim who was making shit up.

Sooner or later, the Administration of War Criminals will be called to account for their crimes. Maybe not all of them, but some of them will most certainly live to hear a cell door slam shut behind them.

Quiet Morning

I had to get up around 7:30 or so to feed the cats.  Between Jake's plaintive cries and George's routine of lying next to my head and purr-bombing me, sleep was impossible.  So I got up, fed them, got dressed, and drove to the mini-mart to buy the dead-tree edition of the NY Times.

I came home, made a cup of coffee, and sat on the couch to read the paper.  Other than the compressor of the refridgerator occaisionally kicking in, the loudest sound was from Gracie, who was lying next to me and purring.  The other sounds were from the rain, which was lightly falling, the ticking of a clock and the birds in the trees, which are about a hundred feet away.

It's a little noiser, now, as the dryer is running and I can hear faint strains of music coming from an adjacent apartment, but not by much.  Occaisionally a car door slams and a car starts up, but on a day such as today, not a lot of people are finding a need to go places.

Just a quiet Sunday morning.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Torture Nation

The wheels of justice may grind slowly, at times, but grind they do:
Spain’s national newspapers, El País and Público reported that the Spanish national security court has opened a criminal probe focusing on Bush Administration lawyers who pioneered the descent into torture at the prison in Guantánamo.

I wonder if we can start a fund-raiser to buy plane tickets to Madrid for the Bush torture lawyers. The story has a link to the 98-page criminal complaint, which may be fascinating reading if you're a lawyer who reads Spanish.

Aanyone who thinks that Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld and those folks are not also at risk would have to be smoking crack.

They Grow Some Real Morons in New Jersey

First, there is the 14 year-old girl who posts a bunch of nude photos of herself on MySpace.

But the no-holds barred top morons of this story are New Jersey State Attorney General Anne Milgram, Passaic County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Susan Greco and the jackbooted goons in the Passaic County Sheriff's Department, who arrested and are seeking to charge the girl for child pornography, thereby branding her for life as a sex offender.  

Nice way to teach a young girl a lesson, people:  Threaten to completely destroy her life for the next sixty or seventy years.  That'll learn her, but good.  

Greco says that they'll probably plea-bargain it out.

I have a better idea:  Drop the charges.  Then make everyone involved; the girl, Greco, Milgram, the officious jerks at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (who called the cops) and the cops walk back and forth for four afternoons in front of the New Jersey Statehouse while wearing sandwich boards that say: "I am a Stupid Person."  Passers-by will be encouraged to throw eggs at the adults.

Burn, Baby, Burn

I have written a number of posts on the subject of naval damage control over at one of my other blogs. With that in mind, when I read about the size of the crew on the Navy's new "littoral combat ship", I was a bit dismayed.

Let me explain why.

Fires at sea are fought from General Quarters, which is "all hands man your battle stations."  The teams assigned to damage control are in the Repair Lockers, of which there are three on ships the size of frigates and more on large ships.  The Repair Locker team has a minimum of six hose men on two hose teams who actually go in and fight the fire.  Investigators check the surrounding spaces.  There are one or two sailors with advanced first aid training.  There are sailors to relieve the hose teams when their air tanks (SCBAs) or oxygen canisters (OBA) run out, for fire-fighting in a shipboard compartment is very hard and hot work.  (Even in a fire simulator, walking with a hose into a steel compartment with a fire burning is like charging into Hell.  A major fire in a ship is orders of magnitude worse.)

I've forgotten how many sailors it took to properly man a repair locker, but 25-30 may be a good estimate for one fully-manned repair locker.  A warship the size of a LCS would have three repair lockers.  The repair lockers' actions are coordinated by the Damage Control Assistant's team in Damage Control Central, which is another five or six people.  if you have been doing the math, that is close to a hundred sailors.

Fires are among the worst threats a warship commonly faces.  There will be a fire, maybe minor, maybe not, on every warship during her lifetime.  It is a rare sailor who will go through his or her career without hearing the words "Fire! Fire! Fire in Compartment ..." broadcast over the 1MC (ship's PA system) at least once.  Forty people on a LCS means that if there is a major fire on board, the word may be passed to "abandon ship", for there will not be enough people on board to fight a large fire.  

The article said: "there are still questions about whether the smaller crew, and all the "smartship" tech can really handle the kind of damage control emergencies that crop up on military ships."  I don't think there is any question about it.  Hoping that a fire won't break out or, that when one does, that it is small enough to be contained by miniscule damage control party, is not a plan.  It is wishful thinking that, in my opinion, may well result in the loss of a ship.

A Severe Threat to the Taliban

Cell phones, for they enable passers-by who don't care for the Taliban to quickly rat them out to the authorities. That makes sense; if a dozen people in this country see something wrong going down, you probably can count on one of them calling the cops in very short order without having to run four blocks to find a pay phone. In Afghanistan, the timeliness of a report to the authorities shrinks from days to minutses.

Whining Man With No Spine

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday that liberal groups targeting moderate Democrats with ads should back off, saying pressure from the left wing of his party won't be helpful to enacting legislation.

"I think it's very unwise and not helpful," Reid said Friday morning. "These groups should leave them alone. It’s not helpful to me. It’s not helpful to the Democratic Caucus.”
I don't give a shit what Harry Reid thinks is helpful or not. Reid's primary duties in the Senate as majority leader seem to be (i) caving to every bit of opposition by the party of Hoover and (ii) justifying why he keeps folding like a cardboard house.

The Only Thing That Goes With Crocs is Social Ostracism

From I Can Haz Cheezeburgers.


Two siblings, born about 14 months apart.

Rocky seems to be part Maine Coon. He is very much a one-person cat, and even then, he seems to barely tolerate his owner. 

Gracie. She is skittish around new people, but her curiosity wins out and in a little bit, she is gathering all the attention she can.

Friday, March 27, 2009

How to Get Your Meds for Free

Eat more fish. Zoloft and Prozac were found in fish tissues, so eating fish may slightly improve your mood. Which is a good thing, since it is probable that more people are fishing in rivers as a way to supplement their diet at little cost.

The Smear of the Day

The New York Times ran an extensive article today to smear Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. The thrust of the article is that Gillibrand is an evil person because as a lawyer, she worked to defend tobacco companies.

This just bullshit. One of the guiding principles of the American legal system, in both civil and criminal systems, is that everybody gets to hire the best lawyers they can. If you prosecute someone, they get to defend themselves vigorously; the party bringing the action has to prove their case, regardless of how venal the defendant is alleged to be.

The New York Times is propagating the same old bullshit of "those people are evil and some must be their lawyers." This is an attack, not only on Senator Gillibrand, but on the entire legal system. The New York Times is basically advocating mob justice; there is no real difference between that article and a lynch mob's attitude of "we don't need no trial, we know he done it."

So here is my hope: If the two reporters who wrote that putrid piece, Raymond Hernandez and David Kocieniewski or if their editors are ever arrested or sued, I hope that no lawyer takes their call.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Step Into the Wayback Machine

Crimus. It was such a long time ago.

Has John Connor Been Born Yet?

The Pentagon is researching autonomous robots that will be armed and will make their own decisions as to whether or not to kill people.

I, for one, would be willing to see an amendment to the Geneva Conventions that would make the employment of such robots a war crime, punishable by death. The idea that "oh, we can program these things to obey the laws of war" is laughable.

If we are so stupid as a species that we are going to start making terminator robots, then we will richly deserve the consequences.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A True Sign That the Zombie Apocalypse is Near

Hollywood is going to make a "Three Stooges" movie, with Sean Penn playing the role of Larry Fine.

Sean Penn as Larry? Penn looks as much like Larry Fine as Leo, the MGM lion, looks like Elizabeth Hasslebeck.

Here are photos of the two men. See if you can tell them apart:

If you're having trouble telling them apart, ask your Seeing-Eye dog for help.

They Call Them "Bushvilles"

As the operations manager of a homeless outreach center [in Freso, CA], Paul Stack is used to seeing people down on their luck. What he had never seen before was people living in tents and lean-tos on the railroad lot across from the center.

"They just popped up about 18 months ago," Mr. Stack said. "One day it was empty. The next day, there were people living there."
Let us all hope that things aren't going to get much worse than they already are. But that may be a forlorn hope, as employment almost always lags any recovery in economic indicators.

Found: The TSA's Ideal Airport

Franz Kafka International, the airport that is the model for the TSA"

Prague's Franz Kafka International Named World's Most Alienating Airport

Even the Wehrmacht Had Honorable Soldiers

That was my reaction when I read the resignation letter of Jake DeSantis, an AIG executive. He understandably does not like being tarred with the brush of scorn being used to paint AIG.

Cry me a river.

AIG, among with many other companies, engaged in betting humongous sums of money that the worthless mortgage-backed securities would never fail. AIG insured not just junk securities, but rotting, putrid securities on a belief that the housing market would continue to grow. AIG, by insuring those valueless heaps of decomposing offal, was at the core of the meltdown of the financial credit markets.

All that is beyond dispute. So there were hard-working and honorable people at AIG, and that most folks at AIG were the salt of the Earth? OK. But there were enough skells there to bring down the economy of the planet. Of course everyone at AIG is going to be tarred with that. That is a fact of life.

DeSantis should have his Tough-Shit Card stamped and he should be loaned the key to the Weep Locker. If he is so incensed, if he is so certain that he is entitled to all of his bonus payments, then he ought to at least be man enough to say "frell all y'all, I earned it, I'm keeping it."

But no, he's not that gutsy.

Cry me a river.


Two clouded leopard cubs were born yesterday at the National Zoo's Conservation and Research Center.

There are more photos in the WaPo's story.

I Am Shocked, Shocked, To Learn That

it has been proven that the Food and Drug Administration under George Bush made decisions on drugs based on political pressure and not based on scientific data.

A federal judge has ordered the FDA to lift the age restrictions on the Plan B birth control pill.

The Needle of the Surprise-o-Meter Hardly Moved

The Bush Administration so eviscerated the Department of Labor that the investigators in the Wage and Hour Division were refusing to do their jobs. All it too to get one of those lazy-ass fucks of an investigator to drop an investigation was for an employer to refuse to call the investigator back.

The Bush Administration gave a green light for employers to screw over workers at the bottom of the economic ladder. It was a naked plan to exploit the working poor to enrich the employers. There was no ineptness involved here, it was a willful policy not to enforce the laws on the books.

Which ties into this post.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Battlestar Galactica- "Daybreak, Pt. 2"

Let me say this: I had planned to buy the box set of the series sometime down the road (or at least amass the DVDs).

Not now. The ending left a bad taste in my mouth, for reasons I described here. It was almost as sour as the ending of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, where Capt. Sisco flies into the wormhole and tells the entities who live there "you hold yourselves out as gods to the Bajorans, well, step up to the plate and act like gods"; they do and they wipe out the 2,500 ships invading through the wormhole.

Are the writers that lazy? Do they have to keep writing themselves into a hole where they have to resort to having an omnipotent Sky-Fucker step in and save the day?

A friend of mine noted that Star Trek: The Next Generation kept going to plots that hinged on the actions of a godlike creature, Q, and that the end of the Shadow War in Babylon 5 depended in no small measure on The First Sentient Being What Ever Lived stepping in to rally the ancient civilizations. Why is it that science-fiction shows keep feeling a need to have a supernatural entity ride to the rescue?

I contrast that with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a fantasy show that was steeped in the mystic and supernatural. The conclusion for the show did not depend on a god stepping in (in fact, Buffy defeated a god at the end of the fifth season). Neither, for that matter, did its spin-off series, Angel, depend on a deity rescuing them at the end- the show ended with hordes of demons attacking the good guys and the sense of it was that the good guys were all going to be killed.

So why is it that two of the most memorable fantasy shows of the last decade didn't have to go to the Flying Spaghetti Monster Saves the Day, yet most of the so-called hard science fiction shows had to resort to that crutch?

I think I'll pass when Caprica starts to air on the Sci-Fi channel. I'm tired of being disappointed.

Is There Anyone In the Congress Who is Dumber Than Michele Bachmann?

Seriously. What were you morons in Minnesota thinking when you re-elected her?

More Regulation?

The Obama administration plans to ask Congress for the authority to take over financial institutions in distress, expanding its existing powers to include insurance companies and other less-regulated market players, officials said on Tuesday.
All that shit is fine, but it won't matter worth a damn if the regulators are asleep at the switch. The regulators under the Bush Administration turned a blind eye to everything. The SEC refused to investigate reports of securities fraud. The FDA didn't inspect food plants. (You think it's a coincidence that the last the the FDA inspected that peanut processing plant was in 2001?) The FAA was "partnering" with airlines instead of "inspecting" them. The Comptroller of the Currency did everything it could to reduce oversight of banks. The Federal Reserve was doing nothing at all. The Department of Defense fired auditors who were making life uncomfortable for contractors.

And the list goes on and on.

Congress can pass all of the laws and provide for all the regulation it chooses, but if we get another administration of thugs and scofflaws like the last Bush Administration, we will be right back where we find ourselves today.

Resetting the Iraqi Insurgency- Lessons From Grammar School

Whether due to corruption, inefficiency of sectarian distrust, the Iraqi government is running the risk of restarting the Sunni insurgency.

One of the time-honored tactics for coping with an insurgency is to take the opponents into the government, to give them a piece of the action.  It is just like a farm subsidy program, except you're paying people not to plant land mines instead of crops.

I saw this work when I was in grammar school.  The school announced that they would form a "safety patrol" of sixth-graders; they took the top three students from each class and gave them white cotton Sam Browne belts.  The teachers took those kids to the office, leaving the classrooms unattended.  Near revolts erupted.  The other kids in the classrooms began yelling back and forth and some of them were loudly talking about ambushing the members of the safety patrol and beating them up.

What none of us realized, at the time, was that those PA speakers in the classrooms worked both ways, they could listen in on the classrooms.  Which they apparently were doing.  The teachers were listening to the uproar and identifying who the kids were who were most active in plotting to beat up the safety patrol.

The administration had a plan, of course.  The teachers reappeared in the classrooms and took the plotters to the office, where all of the plotters were also given the white belts of the safety patrol.  None of the kids, of course, were sophisticated enough to realize what had just happened and they all were thrilled to now be cops.  They kept order.

That lesson works for insurgencies as well.  The Iraqi government would do well to keep those Sunni former insurgents on the payroll.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Maybe They Should Look In His Mattress

The trustees trying to find all of Madoff's cash found $75 million salted away in an account in Gibraltar.

Maybe they ought to also try digging up the backyards in his various homes.

Battlestar Galactica- "Daybreak, Pt. 2"

My thoughts on this are here. If you haven't seen the series finale yet, and if you intend to, then do not click on the link.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ah, Nope.

No much today.  I did watch my tape of the finale of Battlestar Galactica.  

Thoughts later, maybe.

For now, I'm going to take the clean sheets out of the dryer, make the bed, take a shower, and go to bed.  

Saturday, March 21, 2009


George is doing what he does best: Being hostile and uncooperative.

Fantastic, George.

Jake has a new place to lie. I was using that comforter to stay warm when I had the chills as my recent illness manifested itself last weekend. Jake has now made it into his nest. He finished up his course of antibiotics yesterday. He's happier now that I'm not giving him pills twice a day.

Gracie the chiaroscuro cat:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Battlestar Galactica- the Finale

If you, like me, have to manually set a VCR or DVR to catch the shows, remember that tomorrow's finale is two hours long. If you routinely set your machine to catch a 1hr episode, you will be frakked.

The Correct Word is "Crayon"

Headline: George W. Bush to pen book about decisions

I can't wait for the satirical pieces to crop up around the Intertubes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Toothless, Pt. 3

Jake had his followup visit to the vet this afternoon. His mouth is healing up well, no problems. The stitches will dissolve out, so he doesn't have to undergo the fun of having them removed.

He is such a pleasure to give meds to; just open his mouth a tad, pop the pill in and it's done. Gracie's the same. George, on the other hand, well, that's like getting into a bar brawl with a pint-sized wolverine.

Who Knew There Were Such Benefits to Higher Taxes?

Coulter is claiming that the prospect of higher taxes is forcing her to stop publishing books. (H/T)

Cry me a river.

There was a time when there were over fifty tax brackets, there are six now. Apparently the top tax bracket during World War II kicked in at $200,000, which is equivalent to over $2 million now. Why don't we bring back more brackets and ramp them up into the "slam the frakking hedge fund vultures" range?

Heck, if we set the top tax bracket to 95% for those making over $30 million, maybe el Rushbo will go back to his old job of swinging a sledgehammer in a slaughterhouse.


Jon Stewart on IndigNation `09:

Earlier, he referred to Ben Bernake as "Harmid Karzai's stunt double."

I ought to give a tip to Lisa, for without her writing on her old blog, I'd have not known what the hell Stewart was talking about.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

So, What's Happening in the Clean World?

I am starting to feel better.  My fever is way down, less than a degree above my normal.  Today is the first day in awhile where I actually have an appetite.  I'm going to have "white people comfort food," steak and potatoes.

Yesterday was not a good time.

Hmm. AIG Bonuses.

While reading the various press reports of the bipartisan political outrage over the AIG bonuses, does anyone remember that it wasn't very long ago when it was the party of Hoover which was against capping the pay for banks receiving bailouts?

This Trial Balloon Should Be Shot, Along With the Idiot(s) Who Launched It.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance.

This is such an incredibly bad idea.  Those men and women got injured serving our country. We owe them, plain and simple.  As a nation, we have to do what we can to give as much of a hale-and-hearty life back to them. 

Besides that, I can think of no better detriment to recruiting than to say "and if you get hurt on duty, you're on your own."

Whoever dreamed up this idea needs to either find a job with the RNC or take up clubbing baby seals.

(H/T to CrankyProf)

Stand By for Heavy Rolls

As the Department of Defense comes about.

SecDef Gates is going to try and kill several weapon systems programs.  The F-22 and the DDG-1000 are on the chopping block.

Good luck with that.  Think of the most difficult creature to kill in fiction, and I'm not referring to run-of-the-mill critters like vampires or zombies.  Something that is implacable and utterly unstoppable.  Now try to kill that several times over.

That is what killing a major defense procurement program is like.  The armed services are, at times, both complicit and victims of this.  When they can, the contractors site the final assembly plants in the districts of powerful congressmen.  The armed services, when it suits them, are all too happy to show how many states and congressional districts benefit from any given program. If one of the seinor senators had a plant in their state that made muskets, the Army would still be buying them.

I don't think Gates will succeed, but I wish him luck.

(H/T to Abu Muqawama)


Monday, March 16, 2009

I Am So Glad I Had a Flu Shot Last Fall

This is no ordinary cold. Fever comes and goes.  It sure feels like the flu to me.

Hit the blogroll, folks.  Nothing to see here.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Discovery in Orbit

Discovery launched about 14 minutes ago.

I watched it on NASA TV (online), it sounded as though they went up with one APU offline. The flack doing the PR voiceover said that they had three good APUs and 3 good fuel cells.


What the hell do I know.

Torture Nation

At the direct command and consent of the White House, people were tortured. When George W. Bush said "we do not torture," he was lying.

Question is, now: What are we going to do about it?

Joe Galloway wrote:
We cannot be the shining city on the hill if our gleaming buildings have dungeons and torture chambers in their basements. We cannot be a beacon of hope in a chaotic world if our hands are bloody and our ears still ring with the screams of helpless prisoners.
I ask every American citizen: What are we going to do about it?

Battlestar Galactica, "Daybreak, Pt.1"- another thought

Thoughts here.

Or what passes for thoughts.

Solo Hazards

I live in a smallish 1-br apartment with my cats. It's probably a good think I live alone, there is hardly room for my stuff as it is. But one of the drawbacks is when you're not feeling chipper, there is nobody to back you up.

I was out of yogurt, chicken broth and some other essentials, so I went to the grocery store. I did my shopping, slowly, and when it was my turn, some other checker came by, and gave the one on the checkout lane her keys. The check-out clerk started into this long dissertation of where she thought she had left her keys and where she had looked.

I felt like shit.

I was about thirty seconds away from yelling: "I've got a cold or the flu, lady. I am leaning heavily on this buggy, not because I am lazy, but because I have very little energy. So unless you want to see me pass out, barf all over your fraking work station or both, I suggest that you shut the frak up about your goddamn keys and check out my fraking groceries, you stupid cow!"

But I didn't. I kept my cool.

Battlestar Galactica, "Daybreak, Pt.1"

Since it is a two-parter, I'm not commenting until the conclusion.

If you have to manually set your VCR/DVR, please note that the conclusion of the series is two-hours long.


I have a wicked cold today. If it wasn't for the spell-check, this post would be unreadable. I have the heat all the way up to 68 degF, I'm wearing sweatpants, a sweatshirt, I'm draped in a heavy quilt and I've got a heating pad.

Anyway, if you want to stoke your outrage, go read this story about how AIG, despite taking nearly $200 billion in our money to stay afloat (with no assurance that they won't need another hundred billion or three), is handing out big bonuses to its people.

I've worked for companies that did well and ones that did not, and ones that did both. If they were doing well, they handed out bonuses. If they didn't, they didn't hand anything out. There was an old Army armor commercial along this line that said: "If the tank wins, you win."

This tank lost. The bonuses for their top executives should be limited to a choice of whether, on their last day, they want a freshly-boiled rope or five rounds of .308 hollowpoints.

But if you want a story about overcomng adversity, then read this one.

Or go watch this slideshow on the Concorde.

I'm done for now. So please, visit the other blogs on the blogrolls and don't forget to tip the waitresses and bartenders.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Shut the Frack Up About 12/21/12

I'm home with a cold. Good thing it's a weekend, costs me nothing to veg on the couch. So, in my mindless channel-surfing, I came across some dumb-ass show on the History Channel about "how the Mayan calendar predicts that Really Bad Shit Will Happen on December 21, 2012."

My response is on several levels, but basically boils down to this: "Shut the fuck up, you stupid morons."

Unless the Mayan gods were real, there is no way that the Mayans could know anything about the galaxy beyond what could be seen with the naked eye. They probably were excellent astronomers and observers, but they had no telescopes or any other known method of enhancing what can be seen with a Mk1 eyeball. So do not give me any crap about they knew that the center of our galaxy has a black hole and the 2012 Winter Solstice is some magical date.

You might recall all of the "end of times" predictions that were set for 2000 and the closest we came to that was the hijacked presidential election later that year.

Second, suppose, for the sake of argument, that there is something to all of this "end of the long calendar" shit and there is a planetary shaking that results in either the fall of civilization or another mass extinction event. What, practically, can you do about that, especially the "mass extinction" part?

My belief is that, unless someone has some firm proof to the contrary, and that does not include a bunch of mystical horseshit, then the resetting of the Mayan calendar has no more significance than the resetting of our annual calendar.

And I think it is time that I remove the History Channel from my TV's channel list, for they have clearly gone right over the fraking edge of rationality.


I am featuring Jake today, since he is lying on a comfy chair in my bedroom while he recovers from having his remaining teeth pulled.  He is eating, drinking and using the litter box.

This morning, after the cats had breakfast (and I had gone back to bed), he jumped on my bed, crawled under the covers and began kneading my stomach.  I petted him and he was purring away, the first time he has purred since I brought him back from the vet's.  So it would appear that he is getting better.

He's very good at taking pills; I just shoot them into the back of his mouth with a pill-popper and he gulps them down.  He is on antibiotics for a week and he gets liquid pain meds.  I remember the days when they didn't  give pain meds to animals (hell, they didn't give them to preemies).

I took the next two photos the morning that I took him in for his dental work.  I just had a very bad feeling about it that fortunately, turned out to be unfounded.

Here is one for the foamers. It is probably an example of one of the ugliest locomotives in use these days. There is no style to it, it looks like a wedge.

As I said back when I started this blog, diesels are boring.

No, It Is Not Named After Bruce Willis

The Willis Tower in Chicago, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.  

It will still be the "Sears Tower" to most people.

Exclusive Photos From the Republican Congressional Caucus

A photographer just happened by as the staff members for Reps. Cantor and Boehner left the Capitol for lunch.

(H/T to the Dependable Renegade)

I'm running late on Caturday.  It'll be up sometime today.  (I'm neither on a time clock nor am I getting paid for this gig.)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Nickel and Diming the Unfortunates

This time, the fees charged to unemployed people by states who give them debit cards. Both the states and the banks are making money from this.

This is just as evil as the states who set up arrangements with telephone companies to charge unconscionable fees for collect calls from prisons. In both cases, it is profiting from those who are down on their luck.

Those black-hearted thieves who dreamed up both ways to fuck over the unfortunates in our society should have their souls blasted.

Martha Stewart and the Financial Meltdown

A few years ago, Martha Stewart did a few months of Federal time after her conviction for conspiracy, obstruction of an investigation and lying to investigators. (Note that she was not convicted of insider trading. She had dumped her shares of ImClone stock to avoid losing $45 grand.)

The Feds went after Stewart hammer and tong. I am not arguing that they shouldn't have.

What I am angry about, however, is that the Feds locked up Stewart, but I have not seen the legions of bankers and stock manipulators going off to prison over the financial melt-down that has cost the American people trillions of dollars. If you have an IRA or a 401K that is in anything other than cash, you have lost money, and it is not too hard for you to have lost far more than the amount that Stewart avoided losing.

So I want to know this: Where are the investigations of the people who dreamed up this shady shit of mortgage-based securities and credit default swaps? Where are the trials of the bankers who willfully originated the "liar loans?" Where are the imprisoned mortgage brokers who rigged the loan paperwork, the appraisers who inflated property values, the lawyers who knowingly failed to advise their clients of the risks involved? There should be so many people in prison over this that the Bureau of Prisons should have to take over old Army bases to hold them all.

And as for the corrupt legislators who changed the laws so all this could happen and the Federal regulators who were willfully asleep at the switch while this was going on? We should rent Devil's Island from the French and send them there.

None of this was rocket science at the time. Some of it was foreseeable, especially the risks of the adjustable rate mortgages. A lot of people participated in this massive fraud, from brokers to the bankers to the hedge-fund guys; they turned their heads, grabbed all the cash they could with both hands, and left us, the American people, hell, the working people of the entire planet, holding the bag.

Stewart went to prison for four months over $42,000, the financial equivalent of spitting on the sidewalk. The fuckers behind the mortgage meltdown should be thrown into cells until Hell freezes over.

Battlestar Galactica- "Islanded in a Stream of Stars"

At the end of last week's episode (passing over the latest in the "Skin-Job Soap Opera"), Admiral Adama has told his XO that he will order a halt to the repairs to the Galactica and abandon the ship.

Which leads to the inevitable question of what will happen to the ship. I cannot imagine them stripping the Galactica down to an ignominious hulk and abandoning her.

I have two ideas how this is going to end. Either way, the Colonials are going to get intel on where the new Cylon main base is. Then the Galactica will either go all "wild bunch" on them or the Galactica will come in as a diversion, allowing the Colonials and their rebel Cylon allies to break the back of Cavil's Cylons.

Two episodes left to wrap this story up.

Who Licks the Boots of the Cell Phone Companies

The FCC. If you file a complaint against a cell phone company with the FCC, the FCC will ask the cell phone company if the complaint is valid. If the cell phone company says "no" (which they always do), the FCC says "roger that, Boss" and closes the file.

So if the FCC ran the courts, you could commit any crime you felt like and, when you pled "not guilty" at the arraignment, the judge would dismiss the charges and let you go scot free.

Such a deal. I hope the Administration adds this outrage to its list of "things to fix that Bush fucked up."

Items For Sale

at Bed Bath & Beyond.

(For permissions reasons, I'm not posting the item itself. Click on the link.)

(Updated to fix their whining about hotlinking)

Toothless, Pt. 2

Jake was pretty wobbly last night, the dental work took longer than the vet thought and Jake had been under anesthesia for awhile.

In the middle of the night, he crawled under the covers and curled up next to me. Now he's lying on the back of the couch (next to my head). He's not happy, though. He's getting pain meds each evening and antibiotics twice a day.

The dental work was necessary, though. He was showing signs of discomfort when I touched his jaw. The gumline of his teeth looked nasty. He's had three sets of extractions before yesterday. It was necessary, but I can't begin to tell you how lousy I felt on Wednesday night when I dropped him off at the vet's.

Stewart v. Cramer

There is a lot more of the interview on the Daily Show's web site than what aired. To Jim Cramer's credit, he was stuck with having to defend the indefensible and he didn't try to defend it.

This is the intro to the show.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Jake went in for dental work.

He had ten teeth left, now he has none. He's pretty rocky on his feet, but it doesn't seem to have affected his appetite.

Name Change Proposed For Chairman of the Republican National Committee

He ought to change his name to "Michael Tinfoil".

Every time that he says something that offends one of the Hindenbergs of the Wingnut branch of the party of Hoover, Tinfoil folds and restates his positions to appease that particular gasbag. His very public grovelling and kissing of the ass of Ye Olde Fatte Druggie Rushbo is well known.

Now it's abortion where Tinfoil went from pro-choice to anti-choice in a femtosecond.

To the Tree-Huggers Who Have Been Spamming This Blog

Fuck you. No, seriously, go fuck yourselves.

You are not winning any friends by spamming blogs to promote your pet cause. None at all. In fact, you are making enemies. If you come by again and ask me what I'm going to do to support "Planet Millisecond" (my paraphrase of your cause), I will tell you that I will pledge to collect a large truckload of old car tires, dump them on your front lawn, pour dioxin and gasoline over them and set them on fire.

In order to deal with your spam, I have re-enabled word verification. I will go to full moderation if I have to.

So fuck you, your supporters, and the horses you rode in on.

A Caution on "Cheney's Hit Squad," If You Please

Seymour Hersh has spoken very recently about an alleged hit squad that was run directly out of Vice President Cheney's office. You can read blog posts about that here and here.

It may be true, I wouldn't put anything past those bastards. On the other hand, I have lost track of the number of times that Hersh reported on the "imminent bombing of Iran."

Hersh is making an extraordinary claim. As the old axiom goes, he now needs to furnish the level of proof required. For without proof, proof which is confirmed by other reporters, Hersh's claims are nothing but crazy talk.

When Can You Count on Republicans to Stand Up for the Rights of Sexual Predators?

I know, one would think that the party of Hoover, which prides itself on being "strong on crimes" and such noise would be all in favor of legislation to hold abusers of children accountable for their actions.

But you'd be wrong to think that.

2% Pork

For all of the flailing about earmarks in the budget bills, the earmarks amount to less than two percent of the total amount.

Jon Stewart has the inevitable comparison.

And Now, a Word from the Blog Mother

Rule 2:

A. Play nice. This is my place, you do not get to shit on my floor. You are free to disagree with me and with each other, but please do it nicely. Do not use words that you would not use face-to-face. Please give each other the courtesy and respect due to a person who is armed.[1] If you need to respond snarkily or nastily, then say "my response is here", throw in a link to your blog and post it there (but be a stand-up person and let readers comment).

B. Comment moderation is back in effect, due to an assortment of bad actors. They know who they are.

C. Included in "playing nice" is not dropping comments that are off-topic and only serve to promote your pet cause or, worse, a commercial product. This is my soapbox, not yours. You do not make any friends or persuade people when you spam a blog or use another person's blog to promote your hot-button cause. Trust me on this one. If you have a cause to promote or a product to sell, set up your own blog. If you do not know how to do that, send me nine grand (in non-consecutively numbered bills) and I'll set one up for you.

D. Hijacking a comment thread by posting long screeds about anything will be handled without mercy. If you have a very long comment, then write about it in your own blog and then post a link to that post in the relevant comment thread.

E. If you have something good to say about somebody, don't keep it to yourself. (This isn't just a blog rule, it should be a general rule of life.)

F. Yellow cards are warning. Red cards mean that the offending comment has been deleted. Yes, I have a delete button for comments. I am not adverse to using it.

G. If it seems to me that a comment thread is becoming circular (the same arguments keep being made) or that the comments are devolving into insults, I reserve the right to shut off further comments.

H. Holocaust denial is off-limits. (I see no need to explain this one to you.)

I. Election denialism is now off-limits. Comments that deny that Joseph Biden is the duly-elected 46th President of the United States and/or repeat Trump's big lie that the election was stolen will be deleted without warning. (Added on 9/29/21)

J. So is blatant racism, homophobia and sexism. If you would normally preface a remark by saying "I'm not a bigot, but..." then can it.
[1] In other words, if you would not say what you are going to say to a person standing before you who has a loaded pistol in their hand, then shut the fuck up.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

If My Call is Important to You

Then why do I have to be on hold for a half-an-hour before I get to talk to a customer service rep?

If it was all that important to you, somebody would have picked it up, no?

Give It a Rest, Jon

Twice was funny. The third time, however, was crossing the line into "pathetic."

See for yourself:

I gather that Cramer is going on the Daily Show tonight, so it looks as though this will continue. One would think that there would be no shortage of Republicans to make fun of, but I guess the producers and writers want to see if they can do to the financial networks what Stewart did to "Crossfire."

Oh, and I Forgot to Mention

in this rant that my dishwasher also shit the bed.

And it is only Wednesday morning.

OK, This is Serious Shit

If I were the Almighty, I would smite the inventors of the Blackberry (and all of the copycat devices) and rewrite the laws of physics so those infernal devices would explode when turned on. Cell phones were bad enough, but those damnable mobile e-mail gizmos were a horrible idea.

The inventors who dreamed them up, the investors who funded their development and the engineers who made them work should all be tossed into a prison two levels below the Black Hole of Calcutta. Their bodies should be turned into liquid fertilizer and spread over distant fields. The records of their existence on this Earth should be expunged so that nobody will ever know who they were.

Damn their evil souls.

May He Live to Be 120

That is so Bernie Madoff can get to spend fifty years in the Federal slammer.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"Firefox Had a Problem and Crashed"

Story of my fucking life right now. What did they do, hire a bunch of software mungers from MicroSoft?

I'm switching to Opera for awhile.

Piece of Panasonic Shit

I bought a Panasonic combo unit that records to DVDs and VHS tapes a little over a year ago.

"A little over a year ago." As in "55 weeks ago."

The piece of shit brickified itself tonight. I can press the resent button and the power reset (hold the power switch in for ten seconds). It comes back to a normal power-off configuration by displaying the time. When I try to turn it on, it shows a "HELLO" display and never moves from that.

I am mindful of a friend who sent me an e-mail several hours ago that said: "There is no technological problem that cannot be solved with a suitable application of explosives."

I still have my old monaural VCR somewhere, it's just that I have a smallish cabinet for the TV and VCR; swapping units out means taking the dozen or so screws out of the back of the cabinet so I can access the wiring. Pain in the ass. I can pull the unit out the front and unplug the power line from the unit (and maybe a night without juice will improve its mood), but I can't get the old unit plugged in without yanking the back off, not unless I want to have extension cords running around and looking like shit.

Plus George thought it would be fun tonight if he barfed up his dinner.

(I picked one sweet time to run out of liquor.)

I've Had Days Like This, Too

Only I have wanted to use either a 3lb. sledgehammer (or a .45).

Pissing Into the Wind; Right-Wing Pundit Edition

David Brooks offers some ideas of what the party of Hoover could be doing. However, at the end of his piece, he concedes that the Hooverites are not going to do anything other than their current course of conduct, which is to march in lockstep behind Mount Rushbo.

There aren't too many times that Bobo gets to look back and say "I toljaso," but this could be one of them. The lemmings in the party of Hoover are following Ye Olde Fattie One right off the edge of the cliff; the cries and warnings of conservative pundits like Bobo and Whatzerface in the Washington Post are just wasted column-inches.

Underwater Like a Sunken U-Boat

America's five largest banks, which already have received $145 billion in taxpayer bailout dollars, still face potentially catastrophic losses from exotic investments if economic conditions substantially worsen, their latest financial reports show.

Citibank, Bank of America, HSBC Bank USA, Wells Fargo Bank and J.P. Morgan Chase reported that their "current" net loss risks from derivatives — insurance-like bets tied to a loan or other underlying asset — surged to $587 billion as of Dec. 31.
I ought to stop reading shit like this, for there is really not a damned thing I can do about it. It's just depressing as all hell.

Which gets me back to this point: If these banks are "too big to fail," are they also too big to be allowed to exist?

The Smackdown of CNBC Continues

I was wrong when I posted the "Daily Show vs. CNBC" clips last week: They were going to do the first two segments to welcome Larry Santelli.

But then, of course, he smacks CNBC some more.

With an additional smack for the Moment of Zen:

Monday, March 9, 2009

That Ship is Fraked!, Part V

The Navy says that the USS Port Royal suffered between $25 million and $40 million in damage when she ran aground last month off Pearl Harbor. The Navy says that the Navy Times got it wrong as to the level of damage. The article implies that all they have to fix the sonar dome, replace the screws, "refurbish the shafts" and repaint the bottom and she'll be good to go.

I think that is just bullshit. I have no current expertise in costing out ship repairs, if I ever did, but my sense of it is that $40 million is very low. My gut feeling is that if they are quoting $40 million in "damage," that figure only is the projected cost of all of things that will need to be replaced. It probably does not include the cost of drydocking the ship for months on end or the costs of labor.

The true cost of repairing the Port Royal will be spread out over a shitload of budgetary line items and categories and years and nobody, outside of a small handful of officers and engineers in NavSea, will really ever know how much the repairs will cost.

But if there are not three digits before the word "million," I'll be very much surprised.

The Naked Treason of the Party of Hoover

It is crystal clear: The party of Hoover is not about doing what is best for the country, it is only about doing what is perceived to be best for the party of Hoover. And if that means devastating this country economically, then that is what they will try to do. (H/T)

I have been beating th
is particular drum for many months and I will continue to do so: The GOP only cares about itself. They are Republicans before they are Americans. The whole "Country First" slogan from the McCain campaign last year was one motherfucking huge-ass lie. If Democrats had acted this way, the Hindenbergs on the Right would have been calling for shipping the Democratic congressional leadership to Guantanamo Bay.

The GOP wants to economically wreck this country. Either that, or they are terminally batshit insane. In the middle of the worst economic downturn since the dawn of World War II, Rep. John Boehner (R-Nutbarn) called for a freeze on government spending. Who the fuck does he think is going to get the economy rolling, the über-rich? Ask yourself this: Why are the people in the GOP so enamored of following the economic policies of Herbert Hoover? Have they not realized that those policies did not work so well? Or are they so blinded by reality that they really think that naming the shantytowns of the Depression "Hoovervilles" was a term of affection?

There is zero sign that private enterprise is able to do anything of the scale needed to get our economy moving upward; the only player out there who can is the Federal government.

Ignoring that fact is a clear sign that the person so advocating a government abrogation of any role in saving our economy is either a crazy-ass coot or is an active saboteur of this nation. The party of Hoover, therefore, is comprised of either lunatics or traitors.

I see no third choice. At least, not one that doesn't involve shooting up heroin (or snorting Oxycotin).

Our Economy: The Difference Between the Party of Hoover and the Democrats

It seems to come down to this: The Party of Herbert Hoover wants to use the current recession as a tool to break the backs of the working and middle classes. The Democratic Party wants to preserve the working and middle classes and if that means raising the taxes on the richest Americans, so be it.

What I have to laugh at, though, is the idiots who are saying "well, if the taxes go from 35% to 39%, I'll just make less than 250,000 and fuck them."

Fortunately, most people who make over $250,000 are either smart enough (or have accountants who are smart enough) to realize that is all bullshit.

Let's say, for the sake of discussion, that all income over $250,00, regardless of filing status, is now taxed at 35% and will be taxed at 39%. That is income over that amount; income less than that amount is not taxed as highly. If you make $500,000 a year, that entire $500,000 is not now taxed at 35%.

Here is how it works, and again, for the sake of discussion, I'm simplifying greatly (and I am ignoring all deductions and differences in filing status. Suffer.)

From the first dollar you take to the first $10,000, you pay 10%.
From $10,000 to $30,000, you pay 15%. Note that if you make $30,000 that year, you pay 15% on only $20,000 of that income.

And so it proceeds up the scale.

So if you make $500,000 a year, your taxes on the income over $250,000 are 35% of that, or $87,500. If that goes up to 39%, that would rise to $97,500.

Now let's assume that you follow the bilge of "hey, I'll cut my income to avoid paying 39% in taxes" and that you are making $500,00 a year. You give up $250,000 of income in order to not to pay $10,000 more in taxes; that means that you give up $152,500 in after tax income. You are throwing away $152,500 in cash from your pocket just so you can have the satisfaction of not paying income taxes on the $250,000.

This is where your family and your accountant smack you upside the head and let you know, in no uncertain terms, just how goddamned stupid you are.

And then, if you're stubborn enough to say "I don't give a fuck," then please be so kind as to send us a weather report from Planet Utopia, and please enjoy your stay on whatever locked ward you reside in.

Then we can get into the various people who make far less than $250,000 a year, the ones most at risk for losing their homes, savings and jobs if this recession drags on for many years, and who are so outraged by the proposal to raise taxes on the richest Americans. You may wonder why they are shedding such tears, but that's a topic for another day.

The Bind Moggles

16 arrested in fight at nonviolence concert
The "Promote Abstinence" concert the following week should be a real hoot.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Shit That Republicans Should Have Done

With their vaunted "we're better on defense" crapola, one would think that a Republican president should have been the one to crack down on this sort of pork-based defense spending. Rummy, when he was not starting wars with insufficient forces, did manage to kill the Crusader gun and the Comanche helo; at least he got something positive accomplished. He should have done more, a lot more.

Never mind the inferior body armor or lack of Army EW capability or the persistent allegations that the M-4 is a piece of shit, our Congress is busy porking up the DoD budget with F-22s and DDG-1000s and C-17s, because at the end of the day, it is never about buying what the military actually needs.

It never has been.

Why I Should Not Watch Network TV

It seems that if I like a show, it gets axed.

ABC has canceled Life on Mars

I thought the show was a little too quirky for network TV. It probably would have done OK on basic cable. ABC will probably replace it with another one of those fucktard "reality" shows.

At least they are going to wrap up the storyline.

Weather Changes

Six days ago, it looked like this around here:

Today, not so much:

Overnight Guests, the Sequel

Sure enough, George welcomed my guest by taking a dump next to her bed at 3AM.

Oh, Hell No!

In an effort to find an alternative to higher gas taxes, Congress is considering taxing motorists by how far they drive.
Not only no, but hell, no!

I have no intention, ever, of letting anyone put a GPS tracking device on my car. I can think of nobody in any government anywhere who has any legitimate reason to know where I am driving at at what time. They have no need to know what shopping center I may go to at what time. They don't need to know when I go to a rifle range, to an airport, or to Ye Olde Salte Mine.

If we have learned anything from the abortive military dictatorship which was undertaken by the Tsar of the Baboons, it should be that (a) any information that can possibly be collected by the Federal government will be collected and (b) any restrictions that Congress or the courts on what can be done with that information will be circumvented or just flagrantly disregarded. The Federal government (or any state or local government, for that matter) simply cannot be trusted to follow privacy rules.

So hell, no. Scrap this idea and tell them to come up with something else.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Principled Competence of the Bush Administration

They really did a shitty job of putting competent and ethical people into the Federa government.
A former top NASA official has been indicted on charges of steering $9.6 million in agency funds to a consulting client.

The U.S. attorney's office announced a three-count indictment on Friday against Courtney Stadd of Bethesda, Md., who had served as NASA's chief of staff and White House liaison.
Bush's legacy is going to live in the indictments handed down by grand juries, the convictions (or plea deals) and the legions of Bush appointees doing prison time. There will be no shortage of former Bush officials begging the next GOP president for pardons.

If they can live long enough.