Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Too little, too late

The Washington Post's photo of Scott McLellan, paired with their story on his new book -- what a beautiful example of photo bias! Way to cast this asshole into the darkness of his own soul, WaPo!

Seems little Scotty "they told me what to say!" McLellan thinks he can put out a book claiming that President Chimpy "misled" the American people about the Iraq debacle.

WOW. Tell me something I don't know, Scotty. For instance, tell me how you woke up every day and faced your own lying self in the mirror. Tell me how you somehow managed to cash your paycheck every week, despite the fact that you KNEW your boss was, in your words, creating a "poisonous atmosphere in Washington" by using propaganda and lies to sell a war. Tell me all about the emotional toll of standing by and defending Bush, Cheney, and LeCondel, even as they spun their webs of lies and took this country into the shitter.

My heart fuckin' bleeds for you, Scotty.
Sadly, like all the political tell-alls that inevitably follow resignations, it's just a little too little, a little too late.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Playing with the maths--on the highway

I’ve been wondering for the last few years about gas prices, income, and the cost of getting to work, but I’ve never actually done the numbers. I guess I was too afraid, or I figured that predictions of $10/gallon gas were unrealistic--not because it couldn’t happen, but because Bush would be out of office before it would happen, and the American people would elect someone who could figure out how to get us off oil before gas prices got to that ridiculous figure.

This morning, though, after seeing gas go up yet again at my local corner store ($3.89 last night, probably higher by end of today, given the holiday weekend) and after reading DCap’s brilliant post, I decided I needed to do the numbers—just to see what would happen.

The question I’ve been asking in my mind, but avoiding doing the numbers for, is this:
At what point would gasoline become so expensive that people would consider it impossible (or useless or stupid or whatever) to even go to work?

Let’s say that you make, oh, about $35K a year (don't cry for me, Argentina--many people in my area make less than that). If you work for your average American corporation or whatever, then after your company fucks you for insurance coverage and other benefits, and after the government fucks you for tax money to finance their ridiculous occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan (and the rest of the world), you take home about $22,500 a year. (Remember, this is only an example. Random. Not at all in any way related to my little paycheck. Really. Seriously. I mean it. Okay, just read the post already.)

Let’s put some numbers into an Excel spreadsheet, then, shall we? First, we’ll put in the price of a gallon of gasoline, then the number of gallons I use per week (I'm going to use the best-case estimate of 20 gallons), then we’ll do some mathin’:
So when gas hits $4 a gallon here in Central PA, which is only 11 cents away, I’ll be spending almost $80 a week to fill my tank. (I drive a Saturn Ion that gets about 33 miles per gallon on my mostly small-highway route to work and Kat’s school. We commute together, as we only have the one car.) $80 a week over 12 months = $4,357. That’s almost 20% of my sample take-home pay spent on getting myself to work and Kat to school, plus trips to the grocery store and such (all carefully planned to use the minimum amount of gasoline, by the way).

Well, 20% is a lot, but it's not going to make me think something crazy like I'm paying more to get to work than I'm making, or whatever. But let's fill those cells with a little bit of future pricing and see what happens:

So if gasoline were to hit $10 a gallon anytime soon, I'd be spending fully HALF my take-home income just to drive my car. (We won't even factor in the cost of insurance and maintenance.)
Want to really get sick?

These prices are not that far off. Should the country go insane and elect McNutJob (or should the repugs continue their now traditional practice of stealing the presidency and install McNutJob as our next Decider Guy), you can pretty much bet that these prices will be here within a year of the geezer's taking office.

Math hurts sometimes.

alternative energy plan

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Oil for "civilian" nuclear technology--to the SAUDIS?

Did anyone else see this? I found it in an Israeli online newspaper; it claims it's from Reuters but I couldn't find it on the Reuters site:

U.S. President George W. Bush, visiting the Saudi capital on Friday, hoped to normalize new agreements that would give the relationship between the two countries a boost. Among them was an agreement for the U.S. to assist the kingdom in developing civilian nuclear power. Another agreement involves U.S. promises to help protect any Saudi nuclear infrastructure with training, the exchange of experts and other support services as needed. Hadley said it would not involve U.S. troops.
Assuming this is true---Let me get this straight:

1. Mr. Anti-turrist goes to Saudi Arabia, fake cowboy hat in hand, to beg for oil.

2. He promises "civilian" nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, home country of ALL FUCKING 19 OF THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN 9/11.

3. He claims that the US will "help protect any Saudi nuclear infrastructure" without any US troops.

Now this ain't Mathman's or Matty Boy's blog, and it's not Mathy Wednesday, but let's add up these numbers anyhow:

1 + 2 = any future Saudi-based/Saudi-funded terrorists will have access to nuclear material. Fuck shoe bombs and learning how to fly jumbo jets. That's gonna be old school to future pissed-off Saudis.

2 + 3 = Blackwater's mercenary murderers will continue to bilk us out of billions of dollars by "protecting" these nuclear facilities in Saudi Arabia, and Halliburton will continue to bilk us out of billions of dollars by agreeing to build these facilities (but of course, they won't build a goddamned thing).

1 + 3 = Mr. Oil-Chimpy is fucking INSANE.

I tried to google again to find out what other sources are publishing this oil-for-nuclear-technology story. Here's what a google search at 4:28pm Eastern time showed:

Those are hits from the Jerusalem Post (the same outlet that published the story about Bush planning to bomb Iran before he leaves office), Al Jazeera, Voice of America, and --okay--Firedoglake--who's also asking what the fuck?

What the fuck indeed.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My rant against the media

I’m so sick of the mainstream media I could just burst. It seems like there’s virtually no major media outlet where we can get unbiased coverage of events anymore. The MSM has completely abandoned journalistic principles in favor of “what sells” or “what the corporate bigwig boss tell us to do.”

Even NPR, which is the only mass media outlet I listen to daily, has gone downhill.

Yesterday during “All Things Considered,” Melissa Block was discussing with a reporter the Clinton/Obama race, and they just couldn’t help but inject their own oversimplified and idiotic “analysis” into it. A reporter in Oregon claimed that if Clinton had gotten the kind of landslide victories she won in West Virginia earlier in the primary season, we'd have a different campaign now. To me, that makes it seem like the whole thing is about the MSM-supported idea of momentum and hype, instead of who has the best ideas and is the best candidate for the job. Now I know there are sheeple in this country who buy whatever spin and hype the MSM puts out there, rather than taking the time and trouble to do a little research on the candidates and make an informed decision, but the idea that it’s all about momentum or hype, that it's all dependent on the primary schedule and who wins big early, just pisses me off.

Then they continued to talk about how Obama will win in Oregon because of the "Starbucks democrats"--white, educated, and monied--while Clinton will win in Kentucky because of "Walmart democrats"--white, uneducated, “working class.” At this point I had to just turn the radio off. I hate the way the MSM oversimplifies and pigeonholes Clinton's (and Obama's, for that matter) base! If this is such an accurate analogy, just where do I fit in?
1. I support Hillary.
2. I been boycotting WalMart since 2002.
3. I am firmly rooted in the middle class, with a mid-level marketing job.
4. I'm hispanic.
I soooo hate the MSM's idiotic generalizations and the way they push for Clinton to drop out, instead of giving every state the opportunity to have a say. You'd think the media controlled the race, instead of us voters.

While I’m on my media-induced rant, get a load of this, from Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen:

That Clinton will lose this time is a foregone conclusion. That she deserves to
lose is a widely accepted opinion, strongly held by women as well as men, which,
you would think, should mute the growing chorus that Clinton is the victim of
vicious misogyny. Anyone who thinks this ought to scan the bookshelves for the
yards of anti-Hillary books written by women or read the op-ed pages, where
women go after Clinton without, to say the least, sisterly restraint.

Oh, I get it now! If any woman writes something that “goes after” another woman, then anything the men say just can’t be misogynist! Ass-wits like Maureen Dowd write stupid shit about Clinton, so we can just give all the men who've written misogynistic crap about Clinton a pass! It’s a good thing that smart men like Cohen are here to explain this stuff to women like me.

Fucking idiots.

Pardon my absence...

...but I was finding out just how many cannibals I could feed:

So if we're ever stranded on a desert island or in the snowy mountains of Peru, remember:

I'm meaty.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Just when I was finally getting over that cough...

...I've been infected with a new virus: iSplotchy Storyformia. Thanks a lot, FranYouAre, for that sip of bourbon from your shot glass. Who knew I'd come away with more than just a burning sensation in my throat?

Splotchy's ominous beginning:
"I had been shuffling around the house for a few hours and already felt tired. The doorbell rang. I opened the front door and saw a figure striding away from the house, quickly and purposefully. I looked down and saw a bulky envelope. I picked it up. The handwriting was smudged and cramped, and I could only make out a few words."(Splotchy)

FranSheIs continues, heightening the tension:
Despite the throbbing pain in my knees and the dull ache in my lower back, I bent down slowly and picked up the envelope...

Oh no. It did not say this, did it?

Oh yes, it did. It did.

The handwriting was familiar in a way that inspired a cold sweat and a bout of nausea. It was the penmanship of my former husband. You know - the one that was presumed dead.

He disappeared in a suspicious blogging related accident a number of years ago and was never heard from again. I was devastated. I had hated the blog, loathed the thing. What began as a hobby that took but a few minutes a day had morphed into an addiction, the proportions of which could not be measured. It was pure evil.

The blog turned into a cruel and demanding mistress and her siren song was more than I could compete with. One day he left for an evening event, never to return again.

All fingers pointed to one blogger, but I could never get the charges to stick. That one is slick- slick, slick, slick. He can talk a good game and write like nobody's business. But there is something about him, it just is not right.

So my husband was gone, that other one kept blogging and I had to rebuild my life, which I did.

So I finally had the bastard declared dead. And now this. (FranIam)

My contribution:
I took the envelope inside and got out a magnifying glass. I studied the scribblings on the front and made out the words “This is for you. You KNOW why” just above the undead bastard’s name. What the hell?

What could it be? What did he mean, I “KNOW” why? What did I do? I had never been anything but faithful to him and his "interests." I followed his stupid blog as it meandered through the vapid expanses of his small mind, trying my best to be polite when he talked about some comment he’d gotten on a particular post, or a funny link he’d dropped into a post.

Just thinking about it made my stomach hurt.

Despite a fleeting fear that there might be anthrax powder in the envelope, I opened it and pulled out the contents. (dguzman)

- - - - - - - -
And so, dear readers--who will continue? I'm going to cough on the following people and spread the virus:
Jess Wundrun
Matty Boy
Better get out the Nyquil, folks--this one's gonna be rough.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

One of these things is not like the other

Gandhi: went on several hunger strikes as nonviolent protests against British rule as well as religious and ethnic persecution

Mother Teresa: dedicated her life to serving the poor and downtrodden of the world

GW Bush: gives up golf because "playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal"

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tag, I'm it.

Somehow I wandered onto the playground and into the middle of a game of Tag with the Bad-tempered Zombie from Canada.

I hear she’s pretty tough, even pulling a spike out of her own head, so I figure it’s safer to just play along. However, I’m not tagging eight people—I barely know eight people!

Remove one question from below, and add in your personal question, make it a total of 20 questions, then tag 8 people in your list. List them out at the end of this post. Notify them in their chat box that he/she has been tagged. Whoever does the tag will have blessings from all.

1. Who is your all-time inspiration?Boy—that changes a lot as time goes on, but I think there’s a common thread. When I was a kid, I was inspired by Jacques Cousteau, Carl Sagan, Galileo, and Neil Armstrong. Later, it was Quincy, the Jack Klugman character who was a medical examiner. Then I started watching all those crime investigation shows and was inspired to gut it up and get a degree in forensic science (still in progress). In short—I think I’ve always been inspired by scientists, because they discover so many new things and never stop learning.

2. Have you given your first kiss away?
Uh—not sure what you mean here. Do you mean have I ever kissed anyone? Good god, yes, man, I’m 43 years old!

3. If you were stranded on a deserted island, who are the three blog buddies you'd take with you and why?wow—only three. I’d probably take Julie Zickefoose, so she could Science Chimp stuff and make sure we don’t eat poisonous berries or anything. I’d also take Dcap, because I’m sure he would keep me entertained with his considerable intelligence and humor. Third, I’d probably beg Matty Boy to come with, so he could ‘splain everything.

4. Where is the place you want to go to the most?Anywhere but work.

5. If you could have one dream come true, what would it be?The one where I win the lottery and get to bird and goof around with friends and travel whenever I want.

6. Do you believe in seeing a rainbow after the rain?In the scientific sense, no—the sun doesn’t always come out after the rain stops. In the optimistic sense, no as well—it seems like just when the rain stops, another monsoon comes in.

7. What are you most afraid of losing right now?My parents.

8. If you win one million dollars what would you do?Put it someplace safe like a bank where it can draw a decent amount of interest, then I’d quit my job and just live. I might open a little café/bookstore place, but we’d have to move to a better area first--where there are people who would appreciate and frequent such a place.

9. If/when you meet somebody that you love, would you confess it to him/her? That’s basically what I did to get Kat, so yes.

10. List out three good points of the person who tagged you. Barbara:
--lives in Canada, that lucky dog
--still loves music in a way that I just don’t anymore
--has survived a spiky tree attack

11. Three weird facts about yourself
Oh gees—I don’t know how weird these facts are, but:
--I don’t really like chocolate. It’s just not that good to me.
--I hate to try on clothes. If I can’t tell whether it will fit just by looking at it or checking the size, I just don’t buy it.
--I like studying.

12. Which type of person do you hate the most?
The kind who refuse to learn new things outside of their narrow frame of reference.

13. If you have faults, would you rather the people around you point it out to you or would you rather they keep quiet? Well—yes, I’d rather they said something, but in a kind and gentle way. That is, of course, if I had any faults.

14. What do you think is most important in life?Learning new things and sharing them with people you love.

15. Are you a shopaholic? Definitely not. I hate shopping for everything except groceries (that’s just fun).

16. State one of your desires.To be able to go to school full-time, so I can move on to career #6 or 7 (I lost count).

17. Which part of your character would you like to change?I’d like to have more discipline and desire when it comes to exercising. I’ve gained weight, and I just have no motivation to work it off – I just find myself expecting it to melt away all by itself while I’m planted on the couch reading Harry Potter.

18. What have you been putting off doing lately? Exercising.

19. What's your favorite smell? Flowers--especially orange blossoms.

20. Describe yourself in three words.
Um. Does that count as one? No? Okay. Uh… dangerously desperately curious

As for tagging, I’ll go with… anyone who wants to play!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Win some, lose some

As you probably know, Obama won big in North Carolina (which surprised me) and Clinton pulled out a victory in Indiana. Of course, there are now rumors buzzing about that Clinton will be dropping out after the West Virginia primary -- to end things on a high note.

I don't know what will happen; this theory sounds plausible. I only know that an "Obama-Clinton" ticket would be stronger than an "Obama-anyone else" ticket.

I've watched the MSM's eager dick-licking of McGeezer this year, and I fear that many people will vote for him just to NOT vote for Obama, despite the fact that they'd be voting for a continuation of the ruinous policies of the Bush-Cheney era. Just this morning, I heard yet another pundit calling McCain a "maverick" and "an independent thinker," both of which are complete falsehoods. McCain is GWB with a war record, plain and simple. He's a traditional repug, supporter of American Empire, believer in war war war as the solution to all problems.

And where does that leave us? On the brink of ruin, with a bankrupt economy, no real manufacturing, dependence on foreign oil and goods, and a rotten broken system that's so corrupt as to inspire nothing but disgust from the rest of the world.

I think there are many Americans who still believe in the Politics of Old White Guys--that rich old white guys actually give a shit about regular people like you and me. They deny the evidence all around us that those old rich white guys in government really don't give a flying fuck about us, about our kids, or our schools, or our futures, or our jobs, or anything else. They only care about living here:
and really couldn't give two shits if you're this guy:

What do you think of an Obama/Clinton ticket? Do you want that? Do you think they'd win?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Mission Demolished

Compare and contrast:
MAY 1, 2003

"Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.... The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on Sept. 11, 2001, and still goes on."

--Commander Codpiece von Fucker

MAY 1, 2008:

courtesy of Newsmeat