Archive for April 9, 2010
I was raised to think of the Smithsonian Institution as one of our more valuable resources; a place where our beloved historic treasures were catalogued, revered and protected. Not anymore: Smithsonian Signs Deal With QVC to Sell Copies of Hope Diamond, Other Jewelry.
So — it’s been a long week and I’m topped-up with outrage-overload already — but, in a nutshell, we’re selling our heritage to freakin’ QVC?!
Vice President Joe Biden was in Philadelphia today. While there, he stopped at “Pat’s” cheesesteak. “Geno’s” cheesesteak is across the street. The two have been rivals for years.
Jake Trapper, the “senior White House correspondent for ABCNews” and his colleagues thought Biden’s choice was a big enough deal to tweet about it (this would be what “journalists” concern themselves with these days folks):
Reminder: Disney owns ABCNews. That pretty much says it all.
Oh God. An elephant has killed a circus trainer in Wilkes-Barre, PA:
One person is dead after an accident late Friday afternoon at the Irem Shrine Circus in Wilkes-Barre.
A circus trainer died after being kicked by an elephant. It happened about 5 p.m. at the 109th Armory in Wilkes-Barre where the circus is performing.
Wilkes-Barre police said the elephant was somehow startled, then kicked the trainer. The trainer was thrown about 20 feet.
Don’t get me started on putting elephants in circuses, keeping them in chains and pens, and making them perform cutesy tricks. I pray not only for the trainer but for the poor elephant who undoubtedly has had a miserable elephant-life.
Psycho Fred Phelps and his band of creepy followers descended on West Virginia Thursday to rally against the 25 miners — sinners in their book — who died in the Massey Energy-run coal mine explosion on Monday.
People in Charleston would have none of it and they drove Phelps and his crazy gang out of town:
Ah, finally, an indication that there’s still some sanity left in this country.
(There was a time, not long ago (when I a kid and even a teenager), when the likes of Glenn Beck were seen as pariahs like Phelps. Heaven help us if someone like Phelps is ever welcomed into the mainstream and given a nationally syndicated radio and television show.)
The Optical Illusion “House.”
“House 1,” from the National Gallery Sculpture Garden in Washington DC., created by U.S. artist Roy Lichtenstein.
Don’t ya hate when you’re walking along and this happens?
In a speech last night, Newt Gingrich promised that if Republicans take the House in the fall, they will stop “Obamaism” by shutting down the Federal government (sound familiar?). Thing is — pay attention Tea Partiers — that’s a ruse; they could shut it down today if they wanted to:
Moreover, if Gingrich were serious, the GOP would be shutting down the Federal government now. Whether or not we like it, the fact remains that Republicans in the Senate could filibuster appropriations bills today. They don’t need to win the fall elections to stop appropriations bills. Yet they are not following Gingrich’s strategy because they know — as Gingrich proved in 1995 — that it is political suicide.
So go ahead and vote for Republicans come November but bear in mind, they’re lying.
From The Weather Channel:
Calendar Confusion: April or July?
To be blunt, I had to check my calendar when I looked at the weather the past few days in the eastern half of the nation. Indeed, it claimed it was early April, but the pattern suggested mid-summer!
We had a stationary front stalled from the Northeast into the Midwest. Near that front, thunderstorms were firing up, bringing repeated rounds of severe weather to locations from the Corn Belt to the Great Lakes. These storms were sliding east along and north of this stalled, east-west oriented frontal boundary.
To the south of this front, temperatures had soared into the 80s and, yes, 90s in many locations, shattering daily record highs. In fact, according to the National Climatic Data Center, in the seven-day period from March 29 through April 4, over 1100 daily record highs were either tied or broken in the nation!
Gee. Maybe Al Gore was right.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly touched 11,000 today for the first time since September, 2008.
I swear, the right really does want a civil war. They want us fighting each other in the streets. Here’s the new Big Idea, from right wing hater Neal Boortz (i.e., “Talkmaster”) on Twitter:
Geez. Talk about arrogance and incompetence:
Imagine that you’re a homeowner who has managed to stay current on all your mortgage payments. And then you find out that the bank has not only foreclosed on your house, but they’ve also sold it at auction. That’s exactly what happened to to a couple in Georgia.
The husband says he was outside working on his truck, minding his own business, when a fella approached him with paperwork, saying, “Hi I just bought this house.”
Yep, someone at Bank of America screwed the pooch big time on this one, somehow listing the couple’s $500,000 home with no delinquent payments as a foreclosed property, which was subsequently auctioned off on the steps of the county courthouse. And it all happened without the homeowners knowing anything about it.
When they initially contacted BofA about the kerfuffle, the bank confirmed that the mortgage payments were current, but would not admit that a mistake had been made.
“They sold my house overnight and they need to fix this fast,” said the wife.
Here’s what the braintrust at BofA has to say:It appears that a mistake has been made in this case. We are working diligently to research and rectify the situation as quickly as possible. We apologize to the Achaibar family for this unfortunate mistake.
Undoubtedly the right will be all over this in an attempt to be “fair and balanced,” given their rantings and ravings about how incompetent the government is.
Wonder What the Dead Miners Would Say
The more we learn about the CEO and Chairman of Massey Energy, Don Blankenship, the more he seems like a maniacal capitalist who puts making money literally above the lives of the slaves he employs to make that money for him.
Here’s what the cold, hard, selfish, greedy bastard said in a June, 2009 interview:
They’re very difficult to comply with. There’s so many of the laws that are, if you will, nonsensical from an engineering or a coal mining viewpoint. A lot of the politicians, they get emotional, as does the public, about the most recent accident, and it’s easy to get laws on the books that are not truly helping the health or safety of coal miners. I think we need to be very pragmatic and very careful when we’re passing laws of that nature to make sure that we create as much safety and as much health as can be created for each of the resources we expend.
Shorter: I don’t want to cut into my profit by having to spend money to do what they want me to do.
If our media is so “liberal,” why haven’t they been on this 24/7 since Wednesday? I haven’t heard a peep:
A man accused of dropping more than 30 explosive devices into mailboxes and other locations across east Texas did so out of anger toward the government and was acting alone, federal authorities said Thursday.
Larry Eugene North was indicted Wednesday on charges of possessing an illegal firearm or destructive device. Authorities said they would evaluate whether to pursue more charges.
Authorities believe North is responsible for planting 36 devices between Feb. 5 and Wednesday, said Robert R. Champion, an agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Authorities previously said they had found at least 16 explosive devices, including five pipe bombs.
“These devices, over 30 in number, have caused fear in this community nothing short of domestic terrorism,” prosecutor Brit Featherston said. “Today that fear stops.”
We live in a world that is rapidly aging:
USHI OKUSHIMA is the oldest resident of Ogimi, the most elderly community in Japan – the country where the average age is higher than anywhere else in the world. At 108, she still takes to the floor for traditional Japanese dances. Afterwards she dabs a little French perfume behind her ears and sips the local firewater. Okushima was born when Japan had only recently seen off the shogun warlords. If an ageing population is on the way, she is not a bad advert for what we have in store.
The land of the rising sun has become the land of the setting sun with staggering speed. As recently as 1984, Japan had the youngest population in the developed world, but by 2005 it had become the world’s most elderly country. Soon it will become the first country where most people are over 50 years old.
This is partly because Japanese people live longest: men can expect to reach 79 and women 86. It is also partly because the Japanese have almost given up having babies: the fertility rate is just 1.2 children per woman, far lower than the 2.1 needed to maintain a steady population. The rest of the world is following Japan’s example. In 19 countries, from Singapore to Iceland, people have a life expectancy of about 80 years. Of all the people in human history who ever reached the age of 65, half are alive now. Meanwhile, women around the world have half as many children as their mothers. And if Japan is the model, their daughters may have half as many as they do.
One thing that is almost never mentioned when it comes to Tiger Woods, golf, or the Masters Golf Tournament is that the site where it is held — the Augusta National — bans women from becoming members. Got that? It bans women. How barbaric and tone-deaf is that? And where’s the outrage?
Wow, this is an interesting, wild and maddening idea:
Japan’s largest business newspaper, the Nikkei, joined the trend of other news sites last week by requiring readers to pay to view its Web site. But, in a twist, it also imposed a policy severely restricting links to its articles — or even its home page.
Links to Nikkei’s home page require a detailed written application. Among other things, applicants must spell out their reasons for linking to the site.
I don’t get how people think this kind of thing will work. Seems to me, all it will do is isolate the Nikkei. Nobody — or, very few people — will link to it unless, that is, this trend becomes widespread and going through an application process becomes the norm. Which, in my opinion, is why we’ve got to push back on it.
So…I guess we know what we’ll be doing this summer.
Good morning. It’s a good day because Glenn Beck lost another advertiser. Buy Northland Juices!
Today marks the 7th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Baghdad. Since then, thousands of people have been killed and billions of dollars have been spent.
The Iraq war has gone on longer that World War II.
Please let me know if you see any reports about this anniversary on “the news” today.