Yeah It’s Good For Some

Good-Economic-NewsThe Stock Market hit a new high.

Corporate profits are probably at all-time highs as well.

The people who do the work? Not so much.

Between 1979 and 2007 59.9% of gains in income went to the top 1%, 36.7% alone going to the top 0.1%. During that period, gains by the 90%? A mere 8.6%.

Productivity has increased since 1950 by 254%. During that same period, wages went up 113%, and most of that increase occurred by 1975. Productivity, on the other hand, has risen steadily and continues to rise.

The response of the corporate board room to the recession has been to find more efficient ways to accomplish their target goals. They devote their R and D to the purpose of creating a cheaper way to make their product. Cheaper never involves hiring workers. They would make their products devoid of human workers if that were possible. Machines don’t require health care benefits and pensions. They don’t need money devoted to safe working conditions and lunch breaks.

Don’t tell me, please that corporations are job creators. They are profit creators, and hiring is now the last resort to accomplishing that goal. That’s why Wall Street is doing so well, and yet the unemployment figures are still so high. It’s got zero to do with regulations or very little. It’s got very little to do with “uncertainty” about what the buffoons in Congress are going to do. It’s got to do with profit. There is no morality here. It’s not part of the capitalistic model.

Kim-Jong-RodmanMeanwhile, there was this farcical drama in North Korea.

The pity is that the media thought any of this worthy to report upon. Dennis Rodman is a delightful entertainer. As an intellectual, well, he leaves a great deal to be desired.

His “opinion” is about as useful as that of a three-year-old. And I like the dude. He’s had a tough life as a kid, and he’s managed to make a good life for himself. I give him credit.

Kim? Oh good lord, he never got spanked as a child, that is certain. And I’m not much for corporal punishment either.

But he definitely needed spanking. In fact he needs spanking now. He’s always in the middle of a tantrum.

And dude, find a new barber. That haircut is silly. Seriously.

ScaliaIt’s hard to judge this Supreme Court. I’m not sure if we haven’t had this kind of horror before, when the Court was filled with really nutty people who make a mockery of the Constitution.

The Dred Scot Court comes to mind. That must have been an awful one.

But it would be hard to argue that this one is close to the top of the list of really awful benches.

Scalia is an intellectual joke, playing word games about original intent of the Framers, when all it comes down to is his personal disgusting beliefs.

Calling the right to vote a “racial entitlement”. And then suggesting that instead of testing a law against the Constitution, he has a new job–doing the dirty work for Congress, meaning that Congress is too beholden to special interests and can’t do the “right” thing because it might cost them an election.

So Scalia to the rescue. Doing the “right” thing. What a douche.

DronesLet me get this straight.

Some Republicans are all upset at the use of drones against US citizens.

Got that.

No Republicans ever raised this issue when Bush starting using them.

Don’t get that.

In American courts, EVERYone, citizen or not, is gets the same rights.

Got that.

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith is arrested in Turkey. He is moved from Turkey to Jordan (Turkey prohibits the extradition of prisoners to those few countries that still practice the use of the death penalty and we are one of THOSE countries) and then transported from Jordan to the US for trial.

Got that.

Republicans are incensed because he can’t be interrogated properly except at Guantanamo (he was interrogated by an elite force of experts in Turkey and talked to the tune of some 20 pages), and because he is a bad dude and has no right to the rights granted him in our civilian courts.

Don’t get that.

Morality sure winds a crooked course in the Republican mind. And incidentally, in a good many Democratic ones as well.

Just a word about something I care about.

I am now the Sunday morning cat adoption “cleaner” for Pet Smart. I do this through a local adoption group in my area called A.W.A.R.E. What I learned is that Pet Smart joins with local animal groups across the country to adopt out animals. That’s a good thing.

My job is to clean the cages, feed and water where these cats live, and to play with them as much as I wish while I’m there. This is done twice a day, seven days a week, all serviced by volunteers.

My only point here, is that if you are interested in adopting a kitten, think of them as a source. You are not getting a “kitten” mill animal, but one that has been rescued and needs a good home. Prices are typically $50, and all animals are already spayed or neutered and have all their shots. In some cases the animals may come from the local shelter. You will probably get a bit better animal, since these kittens get more socialization than those typically housed in shelters.

I have no agreements of any kind with Pet Smart or A.W.A.R.E. in return for these statements. It’s only because I care about the animals. Perhaps other pet stores do the same. I haven’t inquired.

kittensandpuppies

 

 

It’s All in How You Look at It

On the one hand, we can breathe a sigh of relief that the North Koreans remind us more of a group of Keystone Kops than they do a serious nuclear threat.

Li’l Kim Jr. seems about as silly as Li’l Kim Sr.

Both employ the world’s most awful barber, and both look like munchkins from the Wizard of Oz.

But there is a human side to all this too.

How would you like to be the group of “scientists” who Li’l Kim will call to his throne to ” ‘splain exactly how it was you made me look like a fool in front of the rest of the world?”

I mean, Gulag time in North Korea must be rather unpleasant given that most North Koreans would welcome transfer to the old Russian Gulag as a step up in living standards.

The GOP acted like a dog with a new bone, and since it’s been so long since they had a bone of any kind, they gnawed the hell out of it.

First of all, Ms. Rosen has zero connection to the Obama re-election campaign. She is a paid pundit for CNN and lobbyist for a whole array of companies.

Second, what we said here yesterday.

But the GOP will beat the heck out of this until it no longer resembles anything that anyone can even remember any more. When you are that short on actual policy, well, that’s what ya gotta do.

Back in Wisconsin, the GOP is busy making mischief in the upcoming primary for a Democratic candidate to replace the Koch-backed Scott Walker.

It seems to them a good idea to create “temporary Democrats” from their own ranks to “enter” the Democratic primary and run against real Democrats.

Why they think that is smart, moral, logical, or American I do not know.

But then I never claimed to understand the mush that passes for Republican brains these days. And given the scary stuff we see from them, I don’t think I’m going to start any time soon.

Is this what they assume is a wise use of tax dollars? Running faux candidates? Do they actually have any real policies that help people? I mean people in the sense of real working folks instead of the people in the sense that Willard means when he says, “corporations are people too my friend!” ?

Well, never let it be said in AmeriKA that elections can be bought! No sirreee!

Remember in AmeriKA we say, “any boy, err (politically correct correction) child, can grow up to be president.”

Yes they can.

As long as daddy was the president of a car company, and you made millions as a venture capitalist and you married a rich girl.  Not much more than your average kid has growing up.

Nope, not much more.

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Yesterday we learned that Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, saved a woman in a burning building. All manner of humor on Twitter then ensued. My favorite?

Chris Christie raced into a burning bakery and saved a pan of cinnamon buns.

I am mean aren’t I?

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Speaking of corporations.

Yes, I think this says it.

Which reminds me that Connecticut is gonna end the death penalty in that state.

For people who place such an emphasis on protecting life, I expect the TeaNutz are ecstatic.

Ya think?

Oh yeah, logic, logic, logic. They missed it at the brain deli. Should have labeled it pink slime. Then they might have dug in.

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It’s good to know that high-powered business men no longer are sexists. I know that’s the case when I read about Roger Ailes remarks at a talk he was giving to journalist students the other day. He was referring to Soledad O’Brien, journalist for CNN. (my paraphrase)

She’s that girl that’s named after a prison.

Yeah, I guess that was really funny Roger, and so appropriate for JOURNALISM students, you freakin’ idiot.

 I know little guy. I feel the same way.

I’m praying that old Newtie sticks around a while longer.

What with bouncing a $500 check, and selling his donor list to raise some cash, the poor guy must be staying at Best Westerns now.

No?

Oh, he and Callista are still using the private jet? And still demanding security? And she requires two assistants still? And one dresses in a rabbit suit to promote her book at all times? Wow.

Are we really sure that they are NOT on a book tour instead of running for office?

And we hear Newt said that he wants a UN resolution that every person on the planet should have a gun. For protection ya know.

He said that at the NRA, “love your gun, and hate that Kenyan President” fest just yesterday.

Newtster just wants a bit of extra cash to flow his way, even if it is stuck on the end of a bayonet–the latest in home security. Damn that Russian caviar is sooo expensive.

You do not want me to get started on the NRA and that LaPierre poop jackass, idiot, hate-mongering, death applauding, single good reason to maintain a death penalty, miserable grifter, president of the Guns R Us fanatic brigade. No you do not.

 

 

 

Which Scares You Most?

I have to tell you, I’m pretty much stumped here.

Both send shivers down my spine I tell ya.

If you knocked on your neighbor’s door and looked upon either of these alternatives, I think you might start digging that bunker about now.

While I applaud devices that tend to bring families together, I kinda draw the line at footed jammies complete with hoodies and fingerless mittens, all to enjoy the frigid environs of one’s own family room.

Oh, and you can get your name on yours so you never have to be concerned about getting into somebody else’s stinky jammie.

I understand that next year’s fashion mavens are already calling for an embedded microwave and poo bag attachment, all to eliminate those troublesome trots to the pee-room.

On the other hand, nukes in the hands of the spawn of an idiot is not a pleasant thought either.

I hear tell the spawn-apparent, Kim Jong-un has already set off a couple of missiles that fell into the ocean, in celebration of his ascension to the top of the nut-tree.

So, it’s a toss-up in my view.

Meanwhile, back in our own circus tent, Newty seems to have begun to fall already. Paul is now in the lead in Iowa, which proves something, I’m just not sure what. Mostly I think it means that Iowan’s are just bored as hell this time of year. Fallow fields, and a general color of grey-brown, is after all, boring.

But don’t get your hopes up Ricky S., the bell tolls, but not for thee. See, Ricky, we here in Iowa, just dad-gum-it, don’t like you. It’s just that simple. Go home.

Newty, ya barely kept the lead for two weeks! We thought you had better staying power than that. But you just can’t do it can ya? You just can’t keep your mouth in check. Talking about having judges arrested to justify decisions you don’t like, well, good grief Oh Slimy One, that was just not gonna catch on. Not even here in Iowa. And we like to punish judges here as good as the next guy. But REALLY.

You did not think that one through Gangsta Gingrich. You can’t ignore and intimidate judges and then talk about how you’re a constitutionalist. See they have courts in Iran my grifter friend, and they do quality stamp the state’s decision there. And if we do that here, well, it really screws up the argument that we gotta get ready to force  regime change there, cuz of their Mullah-dictatorships.

Getting my drift, NG? Well, it’s probably too late now. So it’s probably best you high tail it down to Callista’s next kiddie book signing, cuz my buddy, that is your future.

We could have had lots more fun, but your mouth got in the way. I guess we always knew it would.

Well, we understand that the President (whom we rather like most all of the time) has agreed to sign a bill that allows for the detention of enemy combatants arrested on American soil, for virtually as long as forever given that a war on a thing, (terrorism) is not likely to ever end.

Now we understand that the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed with the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals that “undocumented aliens” are not entitled provisions under our Constitution, such as freedom from search and seizure and so forth. Such provisions are, in the Constitution, “reserved to the people.” Both courts now claim that “people” refer to “political community” and that “illegals” are not part of that.

My question, (or comment) is this: If we think these concepts are “human rights” and we are always trying to export them, sometimes with force, around the world, then how do we justify in not applying them to what I would term “inconvenient” subsets of humanity in our own land?

I just don’t get that. Not at all. Maybe this scares me more than hoodie-footies.

If you go grocery shopping this week, don’t expect to find any cayenne powder around. It’s all be sold out. I gigantic order was placed by North Korea, and sprayed liberally over crowds ordered to appear in the streets to show their sorrow at the passing of Kim Jong-il. If you hadn’t noticed, people are crying all over the place there.  And they have the pictures to prove it.

The Contrarian argues that God was too busy weeping over the Packer loss yesterday to pay his customary attention to Tim Tebow’s Denver Broncos. Well, he can’t be everywhere!

Bryan Fischer, all around equal-opportunity hater of huge chunks of humanity, just had to speak up on the death of Christopher Hitchens. In a brilliant tour-de-force of logic, Fischer assures us all that Hitchens is in hell.

Now you might say, well, what would you expect Fischer to say? And I agree, but his logic, now that’s the real sweet spot here. He claims that God sent him there out of His perfect love. Hitchens asks for it, and he got it.

So, God, hey, I would like to move to New Mexico, and find a $5 million dollar house, on a foreclosure sale for only $25,000. It’s what I am really asking for.

Is it just me, or didn’t the GOP jackasses in Congress swear that with their ascendency in the House there would be no more bills with riders that have zero to do with the major portion of the bill? Okay, leaving that aside, once again The House GOP has found itself caught between its own stupidity and the TeaNutz®. Or in other words, it’s caught between itself and itself.

They have, in their infinite dumbness, stopped the implementation of regulations designed to put in place the energy-efficient light bulbs. Now they have done this for a couple of reasons. First, their insane drooling miniscule crazies in the trailer-parks they pander to, think having “light bulbs of choice” is a “freedom” that must be fought to be retained. And second, the word “regulation” makes then salivate and lose their ability to hear.

Well, industry folks, you know, GE, Phillips, Osram Sylvania, you know, the JOB CREATORS WHO MAKE BULBS, are livid. Since they have all retooled and are busy about the business of making the new bulbs, they WANT THE FREAKIN’ RULES TO CHANGE. The  moronic TeaNutz® sit and scratch their nether regions, all the while shrugging and wondering what they did wrong.

Okay. Now get the shovel and start digging that bunker.

 

 

 

Just a Little Off the Top?

I stopped after church yesterday to get my hair cut. It’s a fancy place, La Cost Cutters. French I think. They are intent on bringing high coiffure to the average jane, so they locate in Wal-Mart.

Now let me explain that my hair grows like the worst weed you’ve ever encountered. I imagine zillions of little guys on bicycles pedaling away, spinning out my hair.

For years I solved this problem by not getting it cut and wearing it loooooong. This finally grew tiresome and I started whacking it off around the shoulders and then just twisting it up and clipping it. I am tres chic.

Finally I grew tired of this, so I decided to get ‘er done in a short style, something most old women (which I’m now approaching) finally do. I wanted it short. The first stylist did a great job. That was several months ago. Since then, I’ve had a line of stylists who seem to have difficulty with the word “cut.” They nibble around at the edges.

“Go ahead and cut it. It grows so fast that no ‘to short’ will last more than two weeks,” I encourage.

But they don’t get it. They are afraid. Or, it’s a conspiracy to get more money out of me by getting me there more often.

But what gets me is the strange questions. “Cut it about one inch,” I order, while showing them with my fingers.

They cut the crown, and then ask, “Do you want any taken off the sides?”

“I dunno,” I want to say, “does it not all grow at the same time?”

I mean if it needs an inch cut off, wouldn’t that mean all over? Or from their perch above me, are they seeing something up there that I don’t? Am I a genetic abnormal?

I probably could solve all this by requesting the same stylist. But I go on Sunday after all, and they rotate those schedules. And further more, I really don’t give a flying floozy much about my hair, just want it presentable. I like the convenience of “walking in” and have no desire to make stupid appointments.

Perhaps I have the wrong insider language. You know, hair lingo. Help me here. Am I somehow saying things wrong?

Anyway, mostly I like my hair. A quick wash, a little “do” and let it dry, and brush it. And, well, it’s good to go. All this because the Contrarian assured me that he never was with a group of men who saw a great looking woman go by where anyone exclaimed, “look at that hair-do! wow, isn’t it great?” They seemed, he noted, to be more enamored of certain other features, mostly on the front end above the waist, if ya get my drift.

My hair thanks them for this.

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I don’t have links to this but I read it over the weekend. Someone reported that John McCain is talking about “regime change” in North Korea. Now that sends a major chill down the spine doesn’t it? Thank God he is not the CIC.  And on the DADT front, John, who cannot get anyone in the military to agree with him, came out with this nasty mean remark:

There was never anything wrong with DADT. It was working fine, until an inexperienced” candidate for President decided to mess with it. (paraphrased)

John is just the worst sort of sore loser I’ve come across.

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I’m not sure how I feel about the “wikileaks” thing. I guess my government is more incompetent than I thought. Generally I’m not in favor of secrets. But I recognize that sometimes very sensitive negotiations require it. In the end, I guess openness all the way around works best. But I’m persuadable on this issue. What say you?

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Another thing I noted in reading over the weekend. STD’s are way up in Southern Alaska, home of “just say no” abstinence. HIV infection is up in the South where states embrace abstinence only and other tactics to make it difficult for people to get HIV inhibitor drugs. Doncha just love the compassion of the religious right? How’s that abstinency thing workin’ for ya Sarah, as someone noted.

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A new Palinism:

I want to help clean up the state that is so sorry today of journalism. And I have a communications degree.”—To Sean Hannity, in a Fox News interview, Nov. 22, 2010.

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Palin continues to demonstrate her complete lack of comprehension about much of anything. She apparently recently tweeted that since she was able to stop publication of parts of her latest ghostly written book, the government should be able to stop the wikileaks. To equate her silly book and government secrets in the same breath is breathtakingly stupid. The laws and court cases governing are NOT remotely the same. But of course, she doesn’t read so we can’t expect her to know that.

Okay, so my fascination with this train wreck continues. I find her laughable, but I also find her dangerous should she continue to manipulate the public for her own personal aggrandizement. AlterNet provides you with some provocative reactions to Sarah’s testing of the waters.

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If it comes as a surprise that the GOP has so many women in the mix these days, think again. This doesn’t mean that women are finding their voice in the GOP. They are there because they assist in the Repucklian plan to reduce women to the stay at home little non-entities they think they really are. Read the Republican War Against Women.

The Wacko Right Has Lost it’s Giblets

The first couple  six times I read posts about this, I ignored it as the work of some nut case in Hoboken or Alabama. But then I started seeing more, and I realized that this issue has legs!

The wacko religious right is at it again. You see, when you decide what the bible means, then you cram, twist, turn-inside-out, turn-upside-down, and otherwise thoroughly alter reality to fit your notions. Then the world is okay. See? History agrees with ME.

Not content to trying to believe that our Founding Fathers (FFs) set up a Christian Nation upon a high hill in Plymouth Massachusetts, they are now trying to involve the poor Pilgrims in their revisionist ideas of what really happened.

It should come as no surprise that Rush-me-some-Oxycoton-Limbaugh is onboard. Ditto, Glenn-bend-you-mind-around-me-Beck. Singing the praises is nutjob-wannabe, John Stossel. Soon to be climbing upon the Silly Express will no doubt be Michele-which-way-to-Bellview-Bachmann and Sarah-worshipin-my-bank-account-Palin.

It goes, (the NEW and improved history) sumpin’ like this:

For reasons unknown, the pilgrims upon landing decided to engage in socialism. So they pooled all their stuff and lived in a big old commune, takin’ from each, and givin’ to each as was their due. This, bein’ unGodly, and most unbiblical, brought the wrath of the One Truest God down upon their heads, and they was a close to starvin’ come winter time. The dear Indians came to their rescue and saved ‘em.

Well, that was enough of that. The Pilgrims stopped that socialism stuff, and discovered capitalism and free market economies and they became fat, rich and sassy and lived happily ever after, until that Muslim black man came along and tried to undue all their Godly work.

That’s it in a nutshell, though why you would want it in a nutshell is not before us today and seems slightly weird. Perhaps so it could be hid away and protected from destruction from Godless socialists.

Well, none of it is true of course. In fact Stossel just changes the dates of the first Thanksgiving in an attempt to make it appear more in line with his bilge. Rush has been runnin’ this crap for some time it seems, but now it’s caught on, which just goes to show you that lies, damnable lies, have a viral impact and are catchin’.

Crooks and Liars has a fine refudiation of the urban myth and some actual facts about the earliest of our settlers, coming from actual and real historians and not the fake ones Foxy and it’s brigands unearth.

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It is reported that the Dems will be making another attempt to pass the Dream Act during this lame duck session. Border Explorer has an excellent piece on the truth of what the Act is and is not. Please read and familiarize yourself with the facts so that you can explain it to your more limited friends and neighbors. 

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I read a book review of Nobel Laureate Günter Grass’s latest book, The Box.  After reading what Adam Kirsch from Slate has to say, I think you might take a look. A serious book, but perhaps a very good one. You decide as usual. I seriously need to read more fiction!

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A topic of conversation for some time now, has been the unhealthy and unfortunate state of our media. While I don’t in the least subscribe to the right-wing blather than the MSM is liberal, I do subscribe to the belief that it has become mostly awful. Newspapers and serious magazines are on the wane. Can we trust our democracy to untrained folks like me to keep people somewhat informed?

Moe over at Whatever Works has a good piece that is an eye-opener for sure. The US ranks something like 21st in having a free press. Yes, 21st. It turns out that those countries that rank highest, subsidize their free press, something we don’t. It’s worth the time to look at this and perhaps follow a few links.

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I’ve found a new poet that is really special. I invite you to see the works of FadedRomantic.

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I don’t know about you, but I’m watching carefully the goings on in the Korean Peninsula. It is mildly chilling to watch the cold-dead eyes of Kim Jong Il, and the even colder eyes of his chosen successor, child-man Kim Jong Un. This IS a time for Sarah to shut her damn mouth, as well as all the politics-first GOP. The situation is just too tense. So please, for once in your sorry lives put the country first.

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Since food has been the focus of the week, I thought you might be interested in this new book, Empires of Food. You can read a review of it at History Today Magazine.

Speaking of which, oh the leftovers yesterday were sublime. Just like the original meal, and sometimes even better. Today it’s work on the sides, but we are having turkey sandwiches with (for me at least) swiss cheese, lettuce, slices of green pepper, paper-thin onion slices and mayo.

One of the best items was a new recipe for shredded Brussel sprouts. It was a surprise hit. I’ll probably write out the recipe in the next day or two. I do love to try at least one new thing every year, and this will definitely be a repeat!

Off to nosh.