Spam Comment Of The Week

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From a http cougar slut . whatever web address:

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Oh, and I’m finally back home. Time to rest now.

No Posts For A While….

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Got family stuff I’ve been taking care of. Not a huge emergency, but time consuming. I will be back soon enough.

The Science Of Fracking

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Why the procedure is used.  Even if you are against the use of the practice, you should watch something like this to get a pure scientific explanation of why it’s done.

Note: Start the YouTube vid, then follow this powerpoint, using the YT as audio.

The Hoax, And What It Shows About The Media, And Us.

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By now you’ve all heard about the Manti Te’o hoax. Details so far are here.

I’m not going to go into details about the hoax, as this is just breaking and I’m sure there is much more that will come out.  Here is the point I want to touch on. Within, and outside of the sports media community,  there are a lot of  justifiable mea culpas  being offered by a slew of sports journalists who bit on the story but didn’t do any follow up to verify that Te’s’s girlfriend had died, or, as it turned out, even existed.

In a way, the lack of any effort to verify this story is understandable. I mean, who would make up a story of a long distance girlfriend who dies of leukemia on the same day his grandmother dies!  It would be weird and just about unthinkable. This guy is a major talent, playing for a resurgent Notra Dame football team. There is no reason why he would do this to get publicity since he was getting plenty already.

On the other hand, these sports writers are supposed to be journalists.  Being a bit skeptical, or at least doing some sort of follow-up at the very least, is supposed to be part of the job. Part of the problem is that Te’o is a very likable football player, one that we instinctively hold up as a role model.

Here is the crux of my post. The press, whether it’s covering sports or economics or politics,  is always more lenient toward people and subjects they like, vs those they don’t.  They will not pursue those who are friends. John Edwards and Lance Armstrong come to mind. Maybe more than any other venue, it very much shows when politics is being covered.  Though I tire of Conservatives complaining that the media is biased toward liberals and against them, this Te’o incident does mirror the lax attitude the press takes toward the favored liberal.  If the press would have pursued John Edwards as vigorously as they had, say Sarah Palin, maybe he would have never gotten as far as he did as a Presidential contender.


PS.  This was supposed to be Lance Armstrong’s day in the spot light! He is going to be PISSED!!!! Manti better watch his back!


The Tyrant Makes His Move!!!!

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It’s just like that movie 2016 warned us about!!!!

Just Kidding. I don’t know what that movie warned us about as I never saw it. But I’m sure it had something to do with his evil socialist schemes!

Just thought I’d use that headline to see if i can stir up some traffic. In the eight years of blogging, I’m not sure if I’ve ever done that or not. I just figure… What the hell. It’s an experiment. Lets see if it works.

Anyway, here is the list of directives coming down from the executive branch, followed by any thoughts or murmurings. Just glancing at the list, I’m pretty sure they are mostly going to be murmurings.

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

There is a Federal Background Check system? Is this new, and, if so, did anyone bitch and moan when that was implemented? (I’m betting someone did)

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

Clarification on what can and can not be allowed within the confines of a law is always good. Still of the opinion that the ACA, on the whole, is going to end up being a boondoggle, but this doesn’t really do much to it one way or the other.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

Because the Fed just doesn’t bribe the states enough already.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

OK. No problem with that.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

OK. This does not increase the parameters for gun confiscation..

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

Shouldn’t this have been done a long long time ago?????

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

This is pretty useless. Responsible gun owners already do this. Those who don’t care now will ignore it.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

More pointless stuff that looks good on one side of the political fence.

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

Um… Wait… You mean they don’t already do this? And who exactly will be doing the tracing?

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

Looks like busy work to me. What purpose will this serve?

11. Nominate an ATF director.

Um… Mr. President… Isn’t this something you do anyway???

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

That sounds like a good thing.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

Vague, though I do understand every administration focuses law enforcement more in one direction than in others. And since there are only so many resources to be applied – my favorite economics principle, opportunity cost – what is going to be relaxed… The stupid drug war maybe?

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

More busy work. There is already tons of research on this topic. It’s always inconclusive because there are too many parameters that cloud a formative conclusion. But, that said, this one is easy, and the CDC doesn’t have to lift a finger.


       Causes are:

The drug black market (did we learn nothing from alcohol prohibition?).
Gang culture.
Mentally ill / unstable individuals.




Other than the mental health side of the equation, the CDC is not going to have much in the way of suggestions on what to do to prevent gun violence. It’s not their expertise.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

OK. More busy work. But OK.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

Don’t know why it would prohibit that, as it’s not my doctors place to ask, unless I come in with a gun shot wound every other week or so.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

More busy work. Doctors already know this.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

More bribery. Personally, I’d rather see more money going to the nursing staff, which is woefully underfunded.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

This should be done at the local level. The Fed is going to screw this up for sure.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

Yet more busy work.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

Are we doing one of those Sesame Street “Which if these things does not belong” things? Cause this just doesn’t belong in this list of things to do to adddress guns and gun violence.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

OK. Should have been done years ago.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.”

Well, being that often they seem deranged, this is the equivalent of the blind and insane leading the blind and insane!

Just kidding on that last comment… Well, kind of.

So, while driving around today, and on facebook, I’ve been hearing many exclaim that President Obama, with today’s “Gun Control” speech, is “tearing up the Constitution” and once again “acting like a dictator / tyrant!”.

I’m sorry, but these are about the weakest executive orders I’ve seen in quite a while. There have been far worse, like ones that proclaim the executive branch is immune from certain laws, for instance. And then there are those who say executive orders are illegal and unconstitutional and the President should be impeached for using them… Which is funny when you consider the first U.S. President to use them was….

Wait for it…

George Washington!

Looking at the history of the use of executive order, the previous President sure did issue a ton of them. This President, instead of rescinding some of his predecessors, which was some of the change we were hoping for, is instead on a pace to have issued just as many. Sad really.

My Latest Song…. “The Cost Of Freedom”.

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It only took 27 years from the time I started it to finishing it this week! I’m pretty sure this is one of the ones I came up with while riding my bike the ten miles from Mesa College to my house when I lived in San Diego. The ** indicates the bit that has been floating around all these years. It didn’t have any specific meaning attached to it when I wrote it; I just liked the way it sounded. Last week, at band practice, one of my band-mates was talking about a song with freedom in the lyric. I started riffing on this song, and Chris, our drummer turned guitarist, started playing this way cool funk riff that fit PERFECTLY! I had never thought of putting a funk vibe to this thing! This is why I love working with other people. Forces you to go outside your own limited box.

After band practice, I was driving home listening to some Conservative talk radio. When they are not talking about guns or horrible government,socialist Obama, or the 51% of the country that are freeloaders, they like to talk about “the gay”. As it happens, the story of the Boy Scout who was denied his Eagle badge because he is gay, even though he did everything required to earn it, was the topic of discussion. I happened to tune in when a fevered religious type caller was going on and on about the “homosexual agenda” and proclaiming that we gays are all abominations.

Now, I normally don’t let this kind of thing bother me, as it doesn’t much matter what other people think about me and being gay. They fear what they don’t understand. But, since my creative juices were flowing, and his comments did strike a nerve, I came up with the rest of the song in retaliation to his negative rant on the drive home. I  try to stay away from bashing or commenting on religious beliefs – I’m agnostic, and believe everyone has a right to believe whatever religion they chose – but this caller rubbed me the wrong way. And helped me finish my 27 year old song, “The Cost Of Freedom”.

? ** You gotta count the cost of freedom
You gotta count the cost
You gotta count the cost of freedom
What you learned and what you lost

Was it not you, who told me
You gotta pay if you want to be free
Was it not you, who said
You never loved unless you bled **

You gotta count the cost of freedom
You gotta count the cost
You gotta count the cost of freedom
What you learned and what you lost

Was it not you, who told me
You’ll be saved if you but believe
Was it not you, who said
Succumb or your soul is dead

You gotta count the cost of freedom
You gotta count the cost

Yes I confess I’m a sinner
Can’t change as it’s what must be
But I have love in my heart
And that’s the thing that will set me free

You gotta count the cost of freedom
You gotta count the cost
You gotta count the cost of freedom
Who you love it’s worth the cost

Was it not you, who told me
You gotta pay if you want to be free
Was it not you, who said
You never loved unless you bled

You gotta count the cost of freedom
You gotta count the cost ?

PS. Happy eighth blogaversary to me! Will post something on that tomorrow.

Biting The Hand…… UPDATE: Or, Happily, Not.

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This is something I wish I would have created on my satire web site AlteredNews.Com. But no! It’s real!

AIG, you remember, that company that helped get Wall Street into the mess that created the Great Recession, may sue the Federal Government because it argues the bailout terms were too punitive!

The board of A.I.G. will meet on Wednesday to consider joining a $25 billion shareholder lawsuit against the government, court records show. The lawsuit does not argue that government help was not needed. It contends that the onerous nature of the rescue — the taking of what became a 92 percent stake in the company, the deal’s high interest rates and the funneling of billions to the insurer’s Wall Street clients — deprived shareholders of tens of billions of dollars and violated the Fifth Amendment, which prohibits the taking of private property for “public use, without just compensation.”

Where to begin?

the taking of what became a 92 percent stake in the company

Which has been sold off and AIG is now a privately owned company, thank you.

the deal’s high interest rates and the funneling of billions to the insurer’s Wall Street clients

Oh No!  You had to pay back your clients… How Horrible! Scandalous!!!!

Note to the greed idiot board-members, especially those long term members…

This is YOUR MESS!  YOU OWN IT!!!!

The cost of the bailout for the company may have been high, but I’m kind of thinking the cost of not taking the bailout, which was bankruptcy, would have been far far worse for these stockholders. It saved your and other peoples  assets, asses! Pressure to join the original lawsuit is being brought by former AIG CEO Maurice Greenberg, the guy who directed the company to go into the risky and ultimately faulty credit default swap business in the first place. Why are you even listening to him anyway???? Oh, he still owns a large stake in the company.

Note that there were two lawsuits file by Greenberg, because one apparently is just not enough! One of those got thrown out.

A spokesman for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Jack Gutt, said, “There is no merit to these allegations.” He noted that “A.I.G.’s board of directors had an alternative choice to borrowing from the Federal Reserve, and that choice was bankruptcy.

A federal judge in Manhattan agreed, dismissing the case in November. In an 89-page opinion, Judge Paul A. Engelmayer wrote that while Starr’s complaint “paints a portrait of government treachery worthy of an Oliver Stone movie,” the company “voluntarily accepted the hard terms offered by the one and only rescuer that stood between it and imminent bankruptcy.”

That point can not be made strong enough… They had a choice – either agree to the bailout, or go bankrupt! The Government didn’t force them to take this deal, they chose to do so.

AIG, up to this point, has done a very good job re-emerging from the bailout.

Overseeing that comeback was a new chief executive, Robert H. Benmosche, a tough-talking longtime insurance executive. Mr. Benmosche has won plaudits, including from government officials, for his managing of A.I.G.’s public relations even as he helped nurse the company back to financial health.

But he and the rest of A.I.G.’s board must now confront an equally pugnacious predecessor in Mr. Greenberg.

The board needs to look Greenberg in the eye and just say thanks, but no thanks. You’ve already done enough damage to our shareholders and this company. Pure greed must not win out over good common sense.

“The A.I.G. board of directors takes its fiduciary duties and business judgment responsibilities seriously,” said a spokesman, Jon Diat.

I hope so.

Hat Tip: SlashDot.

PS. Just a reminder of the poisonous business mentality that festered at that company, even during the bailouts – The Bonus Scandal.


UPDATE:  The AIG boardmembers have wisely decided not to join the lawsuit!

Yay!    Common sense wins out.

And I started to wonder – Why would Greenberg want AIG to join the lawsuit. After all, if AIG joins, and they win whatever monetary judgement would be split up amongst the AIG board / shareholders and Greenberg would get less.  Greenberg could be trying to get his old job back. I think it’s more likely that this case is a loser, and he knows it. Bringing in AIG would mean a large third party would be sharing the cost of the lawsuit, and Greenberg and his other company would not be on the hook, at least not as much, for the cost of paying for a failed lawsuit.

I can prove none of this, but, knowing the level of pure greed through which these guys operate, it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Do You Understand The Words Coming Out Of My Mouth?

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Ann Althouse posted a discussion on the “lost art” of lip-synching, brought about by the recent release of the film version of the musical Les Miserables. Funny thing is, when I came across this whiny little news bit of former American Idol loser Adam Lambert being a total queen on the subject, I was going to post something along the same lines on facebook yesterday, but never got around to it.

Worst lip-synching movie ever?

Mad Max – 1979 US release.

OMG… What a horrible job they did on that. And why? It’s not like the actors were speaking Japanese or something. After I found out that the dub was a US release, and that there was an original version with the original voices out there, I longed for many years to find that version. It was released stateside in about 2001, and it’s soooo much better than the dubbed one.

The other thing that really really bugs me is the modern predilection of putting mood music in every single scene. You know, music can be a very effective way of conveying mood. But to have it in every scene???… It’s almost as if the director doesn’t trust the actors enough to convey emotions so that we the audience can perceive them, and gee, I guess they think we need help with music cues telling us how to feel every frame. Nobody understands subtlety anymore!

In the movie “Heat”, during the final 15 minute pursuit, with detective Al Pacino chasing villain Robert DeNiro across an airport tarmac, there is no music except at the very end. It was wonderful!

Try finding the soundtrack to Alfred Hitchcocks “The Birds”. Guess what… There isn’t one! He didn’t have any music in the whole movie! Except This!

What a fantastic scene! And that is the most music that is in this movie!!!

One Day At A Time….

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Remember this guy?

If you recall, after this went viral, Ted Williams was quickly hired by a media firm, and then, just as quickly, got into trouble due to an immediate relapse. For a while, it certainly looked like he was not going to make it.

I’m very happy to see that, after the shock of the sudden fame and the pressures that must have fallen on his shoulders, Mr Williams has found the balance in his life to stay sober and utilize his talents, and finally found the success we hoped he would.

And he’s giving back too. He’s formed a charity to help those who are in the same situation he was.

I’ve not had to deal with addiction myself, and don’t know first hand what it’s like to try and wrestle your life from the grips of addiction. Unfortunately though, I know of too many friends and relatives who have. And some have died from it. Maybe my fight against myself, punishing myself for being gay, trying to force myself to have straight feelings and attractions, and dealing with the stigma that existed in the 80’s is similar, but I doubt it. That’s a different type of personal torture I imagine.

We live in a throw-away society, and, unfortunately, we do the same for people that we do for our belongings. If they are not “useful” to us, we throw them to the curb, sometimes literally. I’m very happy that Mr Williams is on a good road. Nice to see good news break out of the usual insane asylum styled stuff we’re typically offered.