Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
With a ferocious determination to fly again and a tough physical therapy regimen, he got his wings back and not long after was awarded command of the Navy's largest aviation squadron, VA-174, at Cecil Field in Florida. Blue-chip connections in the Nixon administration helped. [...] He first angled for a position at the prestigious National War College, but the Navy balked because he was only a lieutenant commander. So McCain gained entry by appealing directly to John Warner, then secretary of the Navy and a close friend of McCain's father, an admiral commanding Pacific forces during the Vietnam War. "John wasn't the only one who got some consideration," said Warner, now a Republican senator from Virginia. It was Pentagon policy to assist returning POWs in reestablishing their careers. [...] When Ross Fischer, an instructor pilot, helped talk down an injured student pilot to a safe landing, McCain said: "I owe you one." Years later, when Fischer was leaving the Navy and searching for a pilot job, he received a call from McCain, then the Navy's liaison officer in the Senate. "Continental Airlines will call you in a few hours with a job offer," McCain told him. He had arranged the job through Continental's lobbyist, Fischer surmised. [...] Flight hours, a key measure of operations, declined by 27% from 1975 to 1977. And the squadron trained fewer pilots, dropping from 117 to 98 over the same period, according to annual histories of VA-174. McCain's tenure as commander ran from July 1, 1976, to July 28, 1977. A statement issued by McCain's office said any decrease in performance during his command "is explained by factors unrelated to the senator's performance as the commanding officer of that squadron."Excuse us, but isn't the CO ultimately responsible for everything? Are we going to get this kind of cop-out if McBush is cheated into office?
The squadron history for 1976, also kept at the naval center, mentions a number of programs, milestones and official communications but does not note McCain's spare parts program. A Meritorious Service Medal later awarded to McCain does cite the unit's morale, training and his spare parts effort. It was signed by longtime McCain family friend Adm. Isaac C. Kidd Jr., who had worked under McCain's father in politically sensitive matters.Nice to have friends in high places, isn't it? Personally, we at Just Another Blog™ hate suck-ups like this, probably because our mental problems prevent us from being a suck-up. (What kind of fucking awful society considers not being a suck-up brown-noser a mental problem, we ask.) Last & least:
"It speaks for itself," McCain said in a recent interview. "You implement the principles of leadership."What in the name of whatever does "implement the principles of leadership" mean? You, uh, lead? That's mighty far from any "straight talk" we've ever heard. Sounds like MBA-speak, & we don't need any more of that double talk anywhere on our benighted planet, & especially not in the Whitey House.
"There are literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of unadjudicated indecency complaints sitting at the FCC," said Dan Issett, director of corporate and government affairs for the Parents Television Council, whose members filed many of those complaints after receiving alerts from the watchdog group encouraging them to object to offensive programs.& one really must wonder where democracy went in this country. (No, we've never truly had any, but it's a good whine.) X million viewers watch a program or listen to Howard Stern or whatever, & the only people who complain to the FCC are a tiny minority of constipated party-poopers who can't even write their own complaints, but the form e-mails of these losers are treated as if they meant something. A clue for the FCC: If a program is highly rated, popular, much watched, etc., & the complaints are from less than, let's say, one percent of the viewing/listening audience, the program, by definition, in no way shape or form violates any mythical concept of "community standards." Added sense (no charge): Rather than send every tax-filer in the U. S. of A. a check for "economic stimulus" (basically a trick to make people think "Oh, look, George Bush sent me money, I'm voting for McSame then") why not hire more people to clear up this backlog at the FCC, as well as the backlog in Social Security disability appeals, & maybe some more inspectors for the FDA, & USDA so we can eat safely? Not to mention investment in our collapsing infrastructure. Real jobs are much greater economic stimulus than hand-outs that will end up in the hands of the credit card cos.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
If I could kill myself first, to prove to you my good intentions, I would. Then I could go on this murder spree, just like I've been planning to for six and a half months, knowing full well that all your doubts and concerns were adequately answered. Unfortunately, that's not the way these things work. But I swear on the lives of the children I killed earlier this week that I will follow through on this promise. It may not sound like much, but given the situation, it's the least I can do. Think about how much better my death will make all of your family members feel—that is, presuming those family members are not there at the time, in which case I will of course have to kill them, too. At least they'll have the knowledge that some emotionless killer isn't still out there on the loose, waiting in the darkness to strike again. It may not be the closure that someone who just went through an unthinkable tragedy would want, but it should be comforting nonetheless. I sincerely hope it gives you some kind of reassurance to know you'll have died in a mass murder/suicide, and not just a mass murder. Even if it helps only a little, I'll have done my job.We still don't understand why the ONION is thought of as a "satire" operation.
For the record April 12, 2008 Presidential race: Rosa Brooks' Thursday column cited Center for Responsive Politics statistics on military donations to the candidates for the first two months of 2008. The figures were for contributions from January 2007 through February 2008.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
McCain has said he hasn't had time to read the bill and isn't sure if he could support it. It's hard to believe that neither he nor anyone on his staff has had time to read such an important bill, which has been around since before he started running for president.Oh, we don't find it so hard to believe. Per Wes & his co-author, Jon Soltz, chairman of VoteVets.org, all the other Vietnam vets in the Senate support the bill, as well as former SecNav John Warner.
[Jason] Bensley, who served in southern Iraq, Mosul and Diyala province, is in debt, trying to pay for college. "I wouldn't have the faintest idea why a member of Congress wouldn't want to support the GI Bill," he says. "Sen. McCain should know how hard it is for veterans to transition back into civilian life."Well, no, Jason. By the time Sen. "Bomb-bomb" was going to "transition," he'd married a millionaire beer heiress & served as the U. S. Navy's liaison to the U. S. Senate. Makes the "transition" one hell of a lot easier, doesn't it? Not to mention being the son & grand-son of the first father-son combo to make four-star admiral in the USN. The Senator could have gone straight into full-time
The White House has voiced concern on the bill, arguing that if returning troops are offered a good education, they will choose college over extending their service. This is as offensive as it is absurd. First, it is morally reprehensible to fix the system so that civilian life is unappealing to service members, in an attempt to force them to re-up. Education assistance is not a handout, it is a sacred promise that we have made for generations in return for service. Second, falling military recruitment numbers are just as serious as retention problems. To send the message that this nation will not help you make the most of your life will dissuade a large number of our best and brightest from choosing military service over other career options.Frankly, we don't support the fucking troops. People so stupid that they volunteer to defend a nation that won't provide them w/ adequate educations or decent jobs, leaving them only the option of military service or starving pretty much deserve to be part of thinning the herd, if you know what we mean. And of course if these stupid people didn't enlist, warmongering assholes wouldn't have a military w/ which to bully the rest of the world. So fuck 'em, as we said. Also on the military front, we heard on the radio last night that in an ABC News report asking Americans in Iraq who their presidential choice was, almost all those shown (unscientific, of course) were for the sane Senators, Clinton or Obama. (Granted, that's pretty second-hand, and we can't find the story on the ABC News website. Maybe it's been censored already.) And in Rosa Brooks cage-liner column today, we see that Republican predominance in the ranks is not what it used to be.
The same trend has been true among military personnel, for decades a solidly Republican constituency. In 2004, 60% of active-duty military personnel who responded to a survey sent to Military Times subscribers identified themselves as Republicans. By 2007, that had dropped below 50%. (Military personnel tend to take screw-ups in Iraq pretty personally.)Maybe those people aren't as stupid as we implied above. Obviously not, as they are making that college money by stealing gear from Uncle Sam.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The United Nations defines the crime as the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group." Intentionally left out of this definition are "modern" political labels for people: the poor, religious people, the middle class, etc.Other than the obvious problem w/ the above (The difference between "religious groups" & "religious people" would be?) it seems the word
"genocide" was coined by a Polish Jew, Raphael Lemkin, who was responding to Winston Churchill's 1941 lament that "we are in the presence of a crime without a name"has more to do w/, well, genocide, rather than plainly simple mass murder. We've had a phrase for that for a while. The whole point of genocide is that a specific group that cannot change its identification is being targeted merely because it is that group, which has often been stigmatized or scapegoated in order to establish boogey-men w/ whom to scare a populace or nation.
Under the more narrow definition that was approved, it's genocide to try to wipe out Roma (formerly known as Gypsies), but it's not necessarily genocide to liquidate, say, people without permanent addresses. You can't slaughter "Catholics," but you can wipe out "religious people" and dodge the genocide charge.Personally, we're opposed to wiping out "people w/o permanent addresses," but all in favor of letting Catholics or plain "religious people" have it. They're all stupid & shouldn't be allowed to waste oxygen. Then he goes on to this:
[A] moral hierarchy of evil, which in effect renders mass murder a second-tier crime if it is done in the name of social progress, modernization or other Enlightenment ideals. This can lead to a dangerous way of thinking in which people who are perceived to be standing in the way of progress -- middle-class farmers opposed to collectivization, aristocrats, reactionaries -- can be more forgivably slaughtered than ethnic groups because they're allegedly part of the problem, not the solution. After all, you've got to break some eggs to make an omelet.Speaking of dangerous ways of thinking, this moronic bastard can't think past the "Enlightenment" as anything besides an excuse for mass murder. And we should certainly point out that there are few people claiming that
In general, the Soviets and the Red Chinese elude the genocide charge -- and hence the status of ultimate villains -- despite having murdered scores of millions of people in the 20th century, in large part because their victims stood in the way of progress.Just who in any legitimate discourse has been claiming this, Mr. Goldberg? We guess that "shock & awe" wasn't mass murder because it was directed against people who happened to live near Saddam Hussein, rather than the Iraqi people. Last & least:
Of course, the climate of anti-Semitism made the Holocaust possible, but so did Enlightenment bias, which holds that almost anything can be justified in the name of progress.This really must be the stupidest thing he's ever written on which Just Another Blog™ has had the misfortune to waste three mins. of reading time. He gets his knickers in a knot over a resolution passed by the Duma (which, like Russia itself, is hardly the pinnacle of Enlightenment values) & then gets a blanket condemnation of the Enlightenment out of it. Perhaps a return to such pre-Enlightenment values as the Inquisition would please Mr. Goldberg. He's really the definition of a self-hating Jooo, isn't he? Qualifiers noted in Jonah's work: "somewhat," "implicitly," "in effect." As if that wasn't enough of an insult to those of us w/ two brain cells to rub together, directly underneath Goldberg's pathetic tripe in both the dead-tree & online versions of the Times was a wonderment from Max Boot, the well known chickenhawk/warmonger. (Is that redundant? Does "hawk" pretty much = "warmonger?" Whatever.) Brace yourselves, here it comes. Max paints a rosy picture, but realizing that one can't fool all of the people all of the time, he does mention a few buts (even italicizes the buts).
The security forces are growing in size (from fewer than 500,000 in 2006 to more than 600,000 today) and competence (although a few deserted in Basra, most do not run away from a fight), but they still need U.S. support, especially for higher-level functions such as command and control, air cover, logistics and intelligence collection.Note well the "higher-level functions." Guess the "security forces" are cannon-fodder to be "supported"/directed by U. S. "support." And they don't all run away now. According to Max, withdrawal
would be not only a terrible stain on our honor (we might be indirectly responsible for genocide) but a significant strategic setback because it could destabilize the entire region. Victory -- defined as a democratic state that does not oppress its own people, provide a haven for terrorists, proliferate weapons of mass destruction or threaten its neighbors -- remains eminently achievable if we listen to the best advice of Petraeus and Crocker and resist the urge to pull our troops out too fast. If we ignore their warnings and head for the exits, we are assured of the worst military defeat in U.S. history and a major victory for Shiite and Sunni extremists who will continue to attack us in the future.Ah yes, "honor." Nothing more honorable than attacking an essentially defenseless nation that never attacked us, but had a big-mouthed asshole in charge, who used implied threats of WMDs in a vain hope of not being attacked & holding onto power. (Bush or Hussein? You decide.) And there's that genocide word again. At least we got a definition of "victory" out of Max. Most of his long-distance baby-killing buddies can't even come up w/ one. Frankly, this country deserved to be defeated in this mess, but once again we must make clear that "we" won the war handily, but, for various reasons (incompetence & ignorance being the top two) the occupation hasn't been going too well. We can certainly bet that Iraq is much less likely to threaten its neighbor Iran now (oh wait, he means Israel, we wanted Hussein to threaten Iran during the '80s & '90s). The likelihood of any colonial construction of two principal ethnicities & one religious schism not threatening its "own" people is pretty low. The terrorists are already there. Look at Palestine & how they feel about Israel. Every Iraqi killed, wounded, raped or humiliated by American forces is going to feel the same way about us. As well as the Iraqis who endangered themselves & their families by helping Americans, who are forced to stay there because we won't let them emigrate here. As far as those WMDs, stop crying "wolf," chickenhawk.
Davis had no such issues despite facing what Torre, himself a cancer survivor, called "a more important game coming up." Davis gave up two runs and six hits in six innings and also had a big day at the plate, collecting two hits and driving in a run. Torre, who underwent surgery for prostate cancer in 1999, said he felt an affinity for Davis. He recalled his fears upon hearing his own diagnosis, saying, "The only connection with cancer is death in your mind when you hear it."Our best wishes do go out to Mr. Davis. John Wayne licked the "Big C," you can too, Doug!! Bleeding Cardinal Red Also, in case the sexist "mainstream" media wasn't all over it (17th item on the L. A. Times.com sports page) our could-have-been alma mater, Stanford, was whipped by Tennessee in the NCAA Bitchball champeenship.
Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident involving McCain's intemperateness. In his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by his wife, Cindy, as well as campaign aide Doug Cole and consultant Wes Gullett. At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain's hair and said, "You're getting a little thin up there." McCain's face reddened, and he responded, "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt." McCain's excuse was that it had been a long day. If elected president of the United States, McCain would have many long days.And some hot poop on Hagee:
Hagee holds many other radical beliefs. In a 2006 address to CUFI, Hagee declared: The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West…a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ.Is it a great stretch of the imagination to connect this w/ the alleged evangelical/fundamentalist infiltration of the U. S. Air Force? When we have generals who have declared that their allegiance is to "God, family & country," in that order, it would seem that anything is possible. Slim Pickens, any one? (We forget the name of his character in Dr. Strangelove.)
Speaking to the 2007 AIPAC conference, Hagee compared supporters of a two-state solution in the Middle East to Nazis. Hagee also echoed right-wing Israeli politician Binyamin Netanyahu, telling the audience that “Iran is Germany and Ahmadinejad is the new Hitler.”
P. S.: This item should have appeared yesterday, but the devil-box was cut off, & we didn't manage to get to a different secret location to publish it. But it's timeless, therefore a classic, & we were able to add the bits about Hagee to it.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
But we'd like to give a shout-out to the staff at Starbucks #05738, located @ the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. & Pontius in West Los Angeles, just a blk. W. of Sepulveda Blvd. As Your Editor staggers in there each early a. m. that he has the scratch to shell out $1.95 for a large (or "venti") coffee, hair greasy, breath possibly funky (we ain't gwine brush our teeth in a public restroom before the coffee) dragging several bags w/ us, the staff are always cheerful & respectful, even realizing there won't be any tipping involved, remember that we want a large coffee (Sometimes it awaits us!) & gave us a free croissant yesterday when their stupid point of sale computer system rang it up as $0.00.
And, they leave the cabinet in the men's room unlocked, resulting in all the toilet paper rolls an urbane urban camper could want. Thanks, guys & gals! Keep up the good work!!
Monday, April 7, 2008
UPDATE (7 April 2008 @ 1938): We advised the Times of their computational error, & they have corrected the subhead.
UPDATE II (9 April 2008 @ 1250): Here's the first draft, which we wrote on 5 April & then forgot (a peek at our behind-the-scenes machinery):
Seventy-five yrs. ago today, the prohibition of
alcoholbeer was over as the bars reopened & boozesuds began flowing legally & openly again. Fortunately, this little experiment in imposing the morality of frigid old biddies on the rest of the nation had no long lasting effect, other than giving organized crime, La Cosa Nostra, the Mafia, etc., all the power they ever needed to corrupt already corruptible gov't. agents & agencies.
Seems like a fair exchange; peoples' lives are ruined, boozing, now having the cachet of being "forbidden," is made more popular than previously, & another source of income for criminals, politicians & Joe Kennedy is created. A perfect example of the "free" market & gov't. working hand-in-hand for the good of gov't. & those w/ the funds to start a bootlegging business.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
The Associated Press reviewed the "Acceptable Use Policies" and "Terms of Service" of the nation's 10 largest ISPs — in all, 117 pages of contracts that leave few rights for subscribers.It is not pretty. You have no rights, though you may get a refund.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Sorry, we've no available, digitized picture of our bald pate.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., just after 6 p.m. on April 4, 1968. Within hours, Life magazine photographer Steve Schapiro was on that balcony and through the door of King's room.
"The physical body of Martin Luther King Jr.," writes Schapiro in a new book of his photographs, "Schapiro's Heroes," "was forever gone, leaving a few small material remains behind: a wrinkled shirt, a book, a Soul Force magazine, an old Styrofoam coffee cup. The half-drunk coffee cup gave me a moment of pause. He had left his room planning to return."
The TV was on. When King's face appeared on a newscast, Schapiro took this photograph -- history preserved. Now the two motel rooms that housed the King party, along with parts of the rest of the Lorraine Motel, have been turned into the National Civil Rights Museum. In 2006, Schapiro went back to the scene. "The wall on which the television had been mounted was ... gone, replaced with a sheet of thick clear plastic," he said. "Visitors could peer into King's room, but no one will ever get to see that eerie image that is forever imbedded in my mind."
life, like those of other historical figures -- Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt -- has been simplified, scholars say, his anger blurred, his militancy rarely discussed, his disappointments and harsh critiques of government's failures glossed over.Also in that story: info on the Memphis sanitation workers strike, & Dr. King's last hours. There were reasons that transvestite whack-job J. Edgar Hoover thought Dr. K. (not fucking war-criminal Kissinger!!) was a commie. Why, King might even have thought that there were better methods than the economic fascism that's been practiced in this country since the original Euro-genocide was committed. (We're guessing that a few Origino-Americans may have committed some genocide against other Origino-Americans before whitey showed up, but at least capitalism wasn't involved.)
King's conclusion? "There must be a better distribution of wealth, and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism." He didn't say this in the mainstream but to his black colleagues.Imagine, a pissed-off guy whose anger is swept under the rug until he's murdered. Only in America, right? (And that brings it back to us, us, us!!)
Thursday, April 3, 2008
A British tabloid, The News of the World, reported Sunday that the 67-year-old Mosley participated in sex acts with five prostitutes in a scenario that is believed to involve Nazi role-playing.Max is the president of FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) .
A video posted Sunday on the News of the World's Web site showed a man identified as Mosley arriving at an apartment and taking part in sex acts with women, one in a prisoner's uniform, while speaking German. The video can no longer be found on the paper's Web site. Mosley is the son of British Union of Fascists party founder Oswald Mosley, a former British politician who served in Parliament for both the Labour and Conservative parties. Oswald Mosley died in 1980.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Skulls. Black cats. A naked woman riding a killer whale. Grim reapers. Snakes. Swords. Occult symbols. A wizard with a staff that shoots lightning bolts. Moons. Stars. A dragon holding the Earth in its claws.Uh, are we sure this isn't the fantasy world of a 12-yr.-old boy? Granted, one w/ many of our tax dollars w/ which to play. And in our best 12-yr.-old. boy vein, there are some interesting patches to be viewed.
No, this is not the fantasy world of a 12-year-old boy.
It is, according to a new book, part of the hidden reality behind the Pentagon’s classified, or “black,” budget that delivers billions of dollars to stealthy armies of high-tech warriors. The book offers a glimpse of this dark world through a revealing lens — patches — the kind worn on military uniforms.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Evolution of religious bigotry The cowardice and intolerance of slapping a Darwin fish on your car bumper.Dead tree edition:
Christian BaitingFirst there's blather about the Dutch movie stating the Quran is pretty vicious & violent. At least as bad as the Old & New Testaments, yes, possibly even worse. But Doughbob doesn't even bother to condemn the dirty Moooooslims, he whines momentarily that
European and U.N. leaders are going through the usual motions of theatrical hand-wringing, heaping all of their anger on Wilders for sowing "hatred."Then comes what's really on his tiny mind, Jeezis fish & those "Darwin" stickers:
In America, the easiest place to find this ancient symbol is on the back of cars. Recently, however, it seems as if Jesus fish have become outnumbered by Darwin fish. No doubt you've seen these too. The fish symbol is "updated" with little feet coming off the bottom, and "IXOYE" or "Jesus" is replaced with either "Darwin" or "Evolve." I find Darwin fish offensive. First, there's the smugness. The undeniable message: Those Jesus fish people are less evolved, less sophisticated than we Darwin fishers. The hypocrisy is even more glaring. Darwin fish are often stuck next to bumper stickers promoting tolerance or admonishing random motorists that "hate is not a family value." But the whole point of the Darwin fish is intolerance; similar mockery of a cherished symbol would rightly be condemned as bigoted if aimed at blacks or women or, yes, Muslims.First of all, you stupid fuck, what "cherished symbol" of black people or women is there to "mock?" (You want to make up some bumper stickers that say "Martin Luther Coon?" And of course no woman has ever been mocked by a conservative. Is the "Iron My Shirt!" bumper sticker order ready yet?) Secondly, do you not understand (of course you do, you can't really be as fucking dense as you pretend to be) the difference between something that one is born (a breeding group or a sex) & something that one chooses to be (a Catholic, a Moooooslim, a libertarian, a flat-earther, a UFO-believer, whatever).
It's not that secular progressives support Muslim religious fanatics, but they reserve their passion and scorn for religious Christians who are neither fanatical nor inclined to use violence.Actually, they're just sick & tired of seeing that stupid Jeezis fish on the cars of morons, so they came up w/ an answer to it. Try unbunching your panties for a few seconds, J. G., it's just a bumper sticker. And in a nation that identifies itself to pollsters as somewhere around 85% Xtian, what exactly is the point of the Jeeezis fish anyway? It's not like the stupid story you tell of the Turkish guy you met in Istanbul, who thought he had to sneak you (a goober of Jewish extraction but not much faith) the "fish sign." And let's think again about statements like "neither fanatical or inclined to use violence." Kansas Board of Education? Eric Rudolph? Some of your little "harmless" Xtian pals are just as ready to impose their religious law over everybody in this country as any Mooooslims are in other nations. And don't think that any Jooooos would get a break, either.
The Darwin fish ostensibly symbolizes the superiority of progressive-minded science over backward-looking faith. I think this is a false juxtaposition, but I would have a lot more respect for the folks who believe it if they aimed their brave contempt for religion at those who might behead them for it.Just as gay rights advocates condemn, for example, the executions in Iran of people for homosexual activity, but don't make as big a fuss about it as they do about various issues here in the U. S., an alleged democracy where the rights promised to all can, once in a while, actually be extended to all, so there is little point in aiming our brave contempt for obscurantist superstition of the Moooooslim ilk against any one in a country where five-time-a-day foot washers number some two per cent of the population, & are much more likely to be scared of crazed Xtians & /or Jooooos (Remember when Sikhs were killed after 11 September, 2001 merely because they wear turbans, Jonah?) than we are of them. As soon as we see as many crescent moons w/ stars as we see Calvins pissing on somebody on the rear windows of moron-mobiles, we'll find something w/ which to get back at the towelheads. In the meantime, Jonah, who started it? Whose holier-than-thou activities began this entire fish war? Huh?
The New York Times leads with a lawsuit that claims insurance companies are costing the Social Security system millions of dollars every year by forcing people who file disability claims with them to also apply for money from the federal program even if it's clear that they'll be denied. These insurers often force claimants to appeal the denial, thus costing more money and delaying benefits for people who really need the government program.And adds:
Insurers who pay out long-term disability insurance want claimants to try to get Social Security benefits because it would cut down on the amount of money the private company would have to pay out every month. The problem is that the government program defines disability much more stringently than private companies and usually doesn't pay out money unless the person can't do any job at all. But everyone still has the right to apply for Social Security benefits and each case must be investigated, which is why even the ones that are obvious denials cost time and money for an already-strapped system. These costs are then multiplied when insurers force claimants to appeal a denial again and again.We thought we had mentioned this item, covering the underfunding aspect of the backlog, when it first came to our attention, but perhaps it was in private correspondence, as we couldn't find anything in Just Another Bum™ concerning it. Today's story reveals another cause, corporate greed & malfeasance. What would Megan "Free market solutions are groovy, the gov't. always screws things up!" McArdle type about this, one must wonder. A huge backlog, caused in part by fascist corporations, & partly by gov't. underfunding, directly affecting us, the editorial we here at Just Another Bum™. Whom do we murder first?
Monday, March 31, 2008
Bush's first pitch: More cheers or boos?
or (a few hours earlier): Bush on the mound: More cheers than boos
The AP story doesn't decide one way or the other:
He was greeted by plenty of loud jeers, but also determined cheers, as if the fans in both camps were trying to outduel each other.The comsymps at the LAT:
President Bush set the script into motion, delivering the ceremonial opening-day first pitch, albeit to a chorus of mostly boos.Voice of America ("A trusted source of news and information since 1942") ignored the whole thing:
The game opened with a ceremonial first pitch thrown by President Bush. Manager Manny Acta caught the ball and says the visit by Mr. Bush made the day special.The founder of Fire Megan McArdle, brad, was especially unhappy w/ the president's hogging time on the ESPN cablecast:
"Sitting there in the clubhouse and seeing the President of the United States walk in. He talked to all of us. And he made everybody feel real good," Acta said.
A former Major League baseball team owner, Mr. Bush has showed interest in the construction of Nationals Park. He seemed at ease in the clubhouse, an oval dressing facility in the shape of the President's office at the White House.
Motherfucker. He stayed after the commercial break. Bush is just hanging out. The President of the fucking United goddamn States is chillin with the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball crew. I'm trying to watch baseball, you assholes. Joe Morgan is bad enough. Next they'll call up Camille Paglia.As if any more were needed.
He stayed through a second commercial break. I can't even mute it, they keep showing the shit eating twins grinning at each other in the booth.
This is proof God does not exist.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
the stop-loss military provision that can legally re-conscript combat veterans -- even against their wills -- creating what has been decried as a "back-door draft."(We think there's something else of a "back-door" nature there. Ouch!) Unlike real wars, WWII for example, where enlistments or conscription were "for the duration," the "professionals" of the American armed services currently enlist for a fixed term. Just one little problem: If it is decided that a soldier or Marine is somehow better at ground pounding, baby bayoneting, or interrogating insurgents, he or she can be kept in the service by means of the "stop-loss" provision in the enlistment contract. How much honor do you think was involved in the recruiter's explanation of the enlistment papers? Even subtler, though perhaps not quite as dishonorable, is the old "you'll be able to get a really good job when you get out, 'cause the Army/Navy/Air Force/Marines will train you for something," schtick they pull on the yout'. Don't believe a word of that either. From the L. A. Times of the day after the above Stop-Loss marketing story. Bear in mind that this is the VFW talking, not the Hippie-Dippie Peacenik Association:
Daniel M. Ortiz, department service director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., says the military misleads young recruits into believing that a stint in the armed forces turns them into attractive job candidates. "I don't put it past our military to spin stories that soldiers will get the best training and, when they get out, they'll have the world at their feet," said Ortiz, a veteran of the first Gulf War. "It is a false promise." The transitional assistance program run by the Department of Defense is insufficient, Ortiz said. And when veterans get intimidated by the lack of job opportunities, many give up on finding civilian work and reenlist, he said. Discouraged by an unsuccessful job search, with no gas money to go to interviews or college, Fabian Serrano, 27, of Riverside County, said he was tempted to rejoin the Marines. He doubts he will ever find his ideal job as a cartoon designer, or any other worthwhile post. And with a wife, parents and younger brother to support, Serrano said he can't take a minimum-wage position and hope for a promotion later. A fellow Marine persuaded the sergeant, who served in Iraq and is now in the Reserve, to attend his first job fair. But Serrano had no resume -- only a high school diploma and nearly a decade of experience shooting cannons and working as a military policeman. "I have no good sense of direction of where to start and where to go. None of my experience transfers," he said. "There's nothing out here for me, so I might as well go back to active duty and stay there."So assuming you weren't stop-lossed from getting out in the first place, you're screwed if you can get out, & may end up re-upping, Never forget that words like "duty," "honor," "patriotism," "integrity," & so on are w/o meaning. They are used merely to cause knee-jerk reactions in the naive & trusting (or just plain stupid) so they'll follow orders & die for this country, even though this country won't educate them or provide jobs that would give them something worth defending. Noble warriors, our ass! Suckers, every last one. An Army of Rubes, as it were.
Friday, March 28, 2008
[T]he experiment might create globe-gobbling black holes or never-before-seen strains of matter that would destroy the planet.Hope springs eternal. The waiting is the most difficult aspect.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Boyfriend in toilet case accused of exposure He's arrested after allegedly exposing himself to girls Updated 2:01 p.m. PT, Thurs., March 27, 2008 NESS CITY, Kansas - A man whose girlfriend sat on a toilet for so long that the seat adhered to her body has been arrested in a separate case. Kory McFarren was arrested Sunday for alleged lewd and lascivious behavior, police said. He allegedly exposed himself to a neighbor's teenage daughter and her friends. He spent the night in jail before posting bond. No charges had been filed by Thursday. The 36-year-old McFarren could not be reached for comment. He was charged last week with a misdemeanor count of mistreatment of a dependent adult. That was after his girlfriend was found stuck to the toilet in late February.What a species we are.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Good job all around Richard. You won't really be missed, as we''ll always have your representations to amuse us.
Why is our foreign policy continually considered only in terms of bellicosity? Oh, right, highest murder rate of any developed nation, etc. Kill for Peace, or Peace Through Strength, or something.
Who is Janet Murguia? Oh, she's just the president of a group called the National Council of La Raza, which -- despite what they'll tell you -- means "the race."We don't know "what they'll tell you" (& if Jonah knows he doesn't bother to tell us either) but it is the impression of Just Another Blog™ that "La Raza," in this case, refers to the fact that many or most of the people known as "Latino" or "Hispanic" in this hemisphere are, to varying degrees, descended from all three major breeding groups that compose the single "human" race, that is, the people from Asia who got here first, the Europeans who decided they should be running things & the Afrikan people who so kindly swam here under their own power & offered themselves & all their descendants for all eternity to help the Euros build things up in exchange for room & board, & maybe one of Massa's old shirts every couple of yrs. So there, Mr. Jonah Goldberg. One race, the human one, recombining here in the New World. The very "tea-colored world" that strikes fear in dedicated whitey-lovers all over. Not as much chance for advancement by nepotism in that new world, is there, Mrs. (Lucianne) Goldberg's son? The rest of the paragraph:
In fact, doesn't it seem like the majority of people begging for a "new conversation" on race are the same folks who shout "racist!" at anyone who disagrees with them?In fact, doesn't it seem that most people who cry "Class Warfare!" when confronted w/ the facts of surplus labor, economic inequality & the shrinking of the middle-class are indeed those committing the class warfare against the classes underneath them on the economic ladder? Final Note: Fish wrapping version of the Times entitles the piece:
When haven't we talked about race?While were one to go on-line, one would see:
A race conversation? What are you talking about? Judging by the reaction to Obama's speech, you'd think Americans had never uttered a word about race.We're well aware that column titles are usually written by the op-ed editor at whichever paper (as columnists love to screech when called on an especially offensive title) but why/what's the diff here? Separate editors for cage-lining & web-viewing? Or...
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
According to the most recent information provided by the Los Angeles Housing Service Assn. (current as of October), about 73,000 homeless people seek shelter or are on the streets on any given night in Los Angeles County. There are fewer than 13,000 shelter beds in the county, so more than 60,000 people live in the streets. Twenty-five percent are part of a homeless family, 15% are under the age of 18, and according to a study by the nonprofit group Shelter Partnership, there are from 3,000 to 4,000 homeless people older than 62 in L.A. County. When considering the causes of homelessness, the following statistics may provide some insight. Seventy-four percent of L.A.'s homeless are disabled in some way; 33% suffer severe mental illness; 35% are physically disabled; 42% struggle with addiction; and 50% are clinically depressed.Jeez, no wonder we can't find "shelter." This article should have been headlined: "L. A. County to Homeless Low-Lifes: 'Fuck You!'" Hey Doc, a question: What, if any, is the difference between "severe mental illness" & "clinical depression?" Don't be slighting us here at Just Another Blog™. Just because the editor isn't a raving paranoid schizophrenic doesn't mean he's not totally screwed up. Not for much longer though. Here's another stat:
The Los Angeles Coalition to End Poverty and Homelessness [More accurate name for this group: Coalition to Smash Capitalism.] released a document in December that presented the results of a study of homeless mortality in the county from January 2000 through May 2007. This study presented the sobering statistic that the average age of death was 48.Shee-yit, we're living on borrowed time already.
If a disease emerged that struck hundreds of thousands of people and killed its victims at an average age of 48, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would jump to attention and commit enormous resources to curing it. The National Institutes of Health would grant millions of dollars for research. Scientists who developed effective treatments would rightly be celebrated.Here we must believe the doctor is being optimistic. Pollyannaish, even. Or naive.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Mr. Pickles gave his weekly radio address today, violating the First Amendment as usual.
Easter is a holiday that beckons us homeward. This weekend is an occasion to reflect on the things that matter most in life: the love of family, the laughter of friends, and the peace that comes from being in the place you call home. Through good times and bad, these quiet mercies are sources of hope.(Read that last sentence again. Does it have the slightest meaning, or is it just another platitude – if that – from the most platitudinous president ever?)
Funny, we thought Thanksgiving was the holiday where all America ran like lemmings to some relative or another's house to drink. Isn't Easter the holiday where throngs of drunken collegians run like lemmings to the seashore & act like George Bush used to, before he found Jeezis & (allegedly) got off the sauce? George's connection to actuality is about as tenuous as Sen. McSame's.
On Easter, we remember especially those who have given their lives for the cause of freedom. These brave individuals have lived out the words of the Gospel: "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." And our Nation's fallen heroes live on in the memory of the Nation they helped defend.Say, kind of a fucking shame that those almost 4,000 "brave individuals" (most of whom probably died with their skivvies full of shit & piss) won't be coming back to life in another three or so days, as Bush's favorite political philosopher, Jeezis Hussein Christ, is rumored to, isn't it? Not to mention the uncounted contractors & mercenaries. Or the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, & the millions of Iraqis who don't have "the peace that comes from being in the place you call home?" Not even an afterthought to our president. What a holy man he is. Read this if you doubt it:
Presidential Message: Easter 2008
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies."
Laura and I send greetings to all those celebrating the joyful holiday of Easter.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ reminds people around the world of the presence of a faithful God who offers a love more powerful than death. Easter commemorates our Savior's triumph over sin, and we take joy in spending this special time with family and friends and reflecting on the many blessings that fill our lives. During this season of renewal, let us come together and give thanks to the Almighty who made us in His image and redeemed us in His love.
On this glorious day, we remember our brave men and women in uniform who are separated from their families by great distances. We pray for their safety and strength, and we honor those who gave their lives to advance peace and secure liberty across the globe.
Happy Easter. May God bless you, and may God bless our great Nation.
GEORGE W. BUSH
Friday, March 21, 2008
Saying baristas were entitled to $86 million in back tips plus interest, San Diego Superior Court Judge Patricia Cowett also issued an injunction preventing Starbucks’ shift supervisors from sharing in future tips. Cowett said the practice was a violation of a state law prohibiting managers and supervisors from sharing in employee tips. Starbucks Corp. spokeswoman Valerie O’Neil said the company planned an immediate appeal, calling the ruling “fundamentally unfair and beyond all common sense and reason.”Pardon us Val, it's, how do you say it, "against the law?" And if you don't like the law, you can always bribe some legislators to change it, fascista. Valerie went on to say:
“This case was filed by a single former barista and, despite Starbucks request, the interests of the shift supervisors were not represented in litigation.”Then who exactly was Starbucks'™ team of legal eagles representing, assuming there was representation? Won't you even stand up for your managers?
Terry Chapko, an attorney for the baristas, said the ruling was a victory, but the case was far from over. “Starbucks should be paying their shift supervisors a supervisory wage, not compensating them through tips that legally belong to baristas,” he said.Oh, now we get it. Starbucks™ is interested in paying its overseers & plantation managers the least possible amount it can, just as w/ its "baristas." Don't believe Valerie for a minute. Their hearts do not bleed for their management wage-slaves either. It shouldn't be hard for the urbane sophisticates who read this to locate one of their ubiquitous stores; we suggest you heave a heavy object through a Starbucks™ window tonight. A heavy object like a Starbucks™ shareholder, or an executive vice-president.
who died Wednesday at age 90 and left explicit instructions that no religious ceremony accompany his death. (For good measure: In what was possibly his last interview, in BBC Focus magazine last December, he said the greatest danger humanity faced was "Organised religion polluting our minds as it pretends to deliver morality and spiritual salvation.")No shit.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Dear Friend: I have joined in an effort to ensure that seniors, people with disabilities, and children who rely on Medicare and Medicaid can continue to receive care under these programs. As you may know, the Bush Administration recently proposed unprecedented cuts of nearly $200 billion to services that patients and communities rely on. Medicare alone would see funding for hospital programs cut by $135 billion. I recently joined other Senators in writing to the Senate Budget Committee, and asking that the proposed cuts in Medicare and Medicaid funding be rejected so that people who depend on these services will have assurance that they will continue to receive care. Many people who rely on Medicare and Medicaid already are facing challenges, including rising pharmaceutical and specialized care costs and physicians who may decline to take new patients. This is not the time to create new challenges by slashing the budget for these programs. You can count on me to continue working to ensure that the people who need medical services the most can receive it. Sincerely, Barbara Boxer United States SenatorSenator Babs wrote a fucking letter!! Wowie Zowie! That's really kewl. I know it'll be a big help to losers like The Editor here, who is asked "Do you have Medicare/MediCal?" by every single gov't. or private agency he has any contact w/ in his effort to find someplace inside to sleep. Really, is this what these fucking people do all day in Washington, send letters to each other? "Please don't hurt dem po' folks no mo', Sen. Brer Fox, don't cut off they funds, an' please don't throw me in the briar patch!" "Fuck you!" is a waste of three and a half perfectly good vowels & an exclamation point on crap like this. Tell you what, Senator Babs, why don't you write a fucking letter to the damned Social Security Administration & tell them to get a move on w/ their obligatory turn-down of The Editor's first application so he can hurry up & get the appeal going? That might be a service to your constituents. Or at least one of them.
The left has monopolized the arts for so long that some on the right have lost the knack of them. We love to denounce Hollywood and indulge in paroxysms of rage about the latest artistic insults to patriotism and God. But when it comes actually to producing mature and complex works of art -- or supporting the people who produce them -- a good conservative can be very hard to find.You don't suppose that has anything to do w/ '"conservatives" being brain-dead receptors of conventional wisdom, authority & tradition, do you? Note, for example, the linking of "patriotism" & "God." Or his summation of Mamet's plays:
searching for remnants of heroism in the rubble of modernity through a hilarious and poetic tough-guy vernacular.
The journey 60-year-old Mamet has made from being what he calls a "brain-dead liberal" to acknowledging the genius of philosophers such as Thomas Sowell and Milton Friedman is a difficult one for an artist. We in the creative world swim in liberalism like fish in water. It's hard for us even to imagine that one might evolve and walk on dry land.Note that Thomas Sowell is a "genius philosopher."
So now Mamet has grasped the nettle. He will come to find out just how small-minded, exclusionary and intellectually corrupt many on the left can be. Colleagues may abandon him; theater critics will contrive to ignore and attack him; his dependable audience may turn away.If Mamet's going find "intellectual corruption" anywhere, it'll be coming from the mouth of Thomas Sowell. And wasn't the deservedly dead Milton Friedman alleged to be an economist, rather than a philosopher? That may explain the problem w/ most of his ideas. That & the fact that people like Chile's Generalissimo Pinochet are the ones most likely to carry out his "reforms." And if any one "turns away" from Mamet's art, it'll probably be because it's become propagandist shit, not because he's no longer a "brain-dead liberal." This is awfully repellent too:
Will they turn out for his plays and embrace their excellence? His is a hard language of four-letter words and scorching insights. Will rightists, despite their commitment to good behavior and values, remember that art is an examination of the world as it is, not as we would have it be?Good behavior, huh? Wholesale murder & torture is excellent behavior, but don't say "poopie-doodie" on stage. Values, he says. They "value" everything, but know the worth of nothing, to coin a phrase. And art (although what Klavan knows of it is beyond us) as examination of the world as it is is exactly why the arts are hardly filled w/ the right wing fantasists who worship Reagan & think Cheney's "So?" is the height of clever discourse. The right wing, however, is filled w/ louts. But Klavan thinks that Mamet may still be able to get some:
He will meet women of intelligence and competence who -- mirabile dictu -- don't despise men and manliness but openly admire them."How 'bout belching for me again, big boy? You're such a man, not like those nancy boy artists! And your vernacular is tough as nails!! Ravish me, you brute!!" And let's take a peep at what passes for art (& manliness) in the Klavan klavern. This is straight from Andy's website:
There's further disgusting crap in Klavan's screed, & we can't let this one pass:
Damnation Street They are two sworn enemies with a single obsession: a woman on the run from them both. Scott Weiss is a private detective. John Foy is a professional killer. The woman is Julie Wyant, a hooker with the face of an angel. Julie spent one night with Foy - a night of psychopathic cruelty that Foy called love. Desperate to get away from him, she vanished without a trace. And Foy wants her back. There's only one man who can find her: Weiss, the best locate operative in the business. She's begged him not to look for her, fearing he'll bring the killer in his wake. But Weiss can't stay away. Now, from a town called Paradise, through a wilderness that feels like hell, Weiss searches for Julie - and the killer follows, waiting for his chance. They are two expert hunters matching move for move - until it ends in gunfire on Damnation Street.
Rather than the low and tiresome obsession of the left with the color of people's skins, he will find people who embrace a philosophical colorblindness.Jeezis Hussein Christ, you fucking asshole, who was obsessed w/ the color of people's skins, & their superiority or inferiority, & how one "race" should be in charge of all other "races" for most of the history of this country? For the right to deny history, & then accuse the left of being "low and tiresome" in its efforts to bring about that "philosophical colorblindness" is as good an indication as any that Mamet is unlikely to
discover thinkers who seek historical and moral truth as if it really mattered[.]on the right. So Klavan, you pin-dicked overcompensator, if you're man enough to live in Southern California, I cheerfully challenge you to an ass whuppin'. Show us what a hero you are. It'd be worth a few days in jail if we could keep you from writing another book or "adapting" another Japanese movie.
After a reporter cited polls showing that two-thirds of Americans oppose the Iraq war, Cheney responded: "So?"Yeah, this is a unitary executive, not a republic, let alone a democracy, & don't any of you peasants forget it.
"I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls," he added in an interview in Oman with ABC News. "There has in fact been fundamental change and transformation and improvement for the better."Sure has. That Iraqi gov't. is united & moving as one, the insurgents are just a few dead-enders in their last throes, there's no more sectarian squabbling, blah blah blah. Meanwhile, in the real world...
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Parsley claims that Islam is an "anti-Christ religion" predicated on "deception." The Muslim prophet Muhammad, he writes, "received revelations from demons and not from the true God." And he emphasizes this point: "Allah was a demon spirit."Just Another Blog™ does support the eradication of Islam, & all other religions. One of the first steps would be to recognize that "Allah" was not "a demon spirit," but the hallucinatory delusion of a mentally troubled merchant from Medina. Again, check the DSM-IVTR. (Sadly, no longer available on the innertubes. Try any chain bookstore or the lie-berry.) Rod's take on This Great Nation of Ours™ vis-a-vis Islam:
He traces this back to Christopher Columbus. Seriously. And is, of course, a dominionist. Well, fair enough, "Bomb-bomb" thinks this is an "Xtian" country, & you might remember he was a little nervous at the prospect of a Moooslim pres. a few months back, 'til he made a U-turn w/the "Straight Talk Express." Flip. Flop. Flip. Flop. P. S.: This just in, as we type:
I do not believe our country can truly fulfill its divine purpose until we understand our historical conflict with Islam. I know that this statement sounds extreme, but I do not shrink from its implications. The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed [.]
McCain: Sunni? Shia? What? Where did all that vaunted national security experience go? WaPo: Sen. John McCain, traveling in the Middle East to promote his foreign policy expertise, misidentified in remarks Tuesday which broad category of Iraqi extremists are allegedly receiving support from Iran. He said several times that Iran, a predominately Shiite country, was supplying the mostly Sunni militant group, al-Qaeda. In fact, officials have said they believe Iran is helping Shiite extremists in Iraq. Speaking to reporters in Amman, the Jordanian capital, McCain said he and two Senate colleagues traveling with him continue to be concerned about Iranian operatives "taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back." Pressed to elaborate, McCain said it was "common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that's well known. And it's unfortunate." A few moments later, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, standing just behind McCain, stepped forward and whispered in the presidential candidate's ear. McCain then said: "I'm sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda."Emphasis theirs. Either MoJo's or WaPo's. Being a prisoner of war does not foreign policy experience make.
Sadly, just in our brief time on the streets, we've had to turn down more than one offer from attractive but aging women to take us into their homes. Hard to believe that a parasite such as Just Another Blog™ would pass up such opportunities, but we're just a little nervous due to the (alleged) activities of the septuagenarian slaughterers, Helen & Olga, whose trial on charges of taking in homeless men & staging hit & run fatalities for the insurance they took out on said hard cases has just gotten underway. Boy, we could be on easy street right now, but we're just a little too nervous.
Helen & Olga are
accused of murdering a pair of Los Angeles homeless men in a chillingly deliberate scheme that required them to feed and shelter their victims for two years -- the period after which insurance companies often cannot contest policies -- before crushing them to death under cars in dark alleys.Grim, eh? And no rest for the weary (us).