Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Straight Flush beats a Full House...

...and the force of Congress beats the Chicago Machine.

Just a piece of advice to our Sociopath-in-Chief. The Chicago Machine may run Chicago, but Chicago is only a city. Congress runs the entire country. I shouldn't have to spell that out for someone who's so 'intelligent' and 'bright' but...

Actually, I'm acting against interest here. Because if you take my advice, it means I'll be missing out on one delightful wave of schadenfruede when Congress grinds you into a little pile of pink paste because you thought you could play Chicago Ball in the Big House.

(Per Karl Rove's article about 'keeping score' Chicago style)

Hat Tip to the Master.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Srsly. WHAT WERE YOU -THINKING-!?!

Wachel Lucas complains about the (lack of) broadband connection at her 'flat' in Britain.
Not that I keep tabs on her or anything, but when did she move there, anyway?

At the end she says:
Just do not give me advice on this issue or I will cut you.
No, Dearie. Wouldn't dreeeeaaaam of it.
The only advice I would give you is too late to be given:
FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY! --DON'T--MOVE--TO--ENGLAND!!!!!

Tip o' me 'att to: Sifu McCain

Saturday, March 21, 2009

"What's Important is that we teach our children the fundamentals now,"

...So that they can be successful in whatever nightmare scenario that they may find themselves in!

Onion News Network (the last honest network news outlet) asks:

Are Violent Video Games adequately preparing children for the apocalypse?

We all knew those hours in front of the screen were a profitable way to spend our time:
playing video games all day alone and friendless is simply the best way that we have to prepare our children for a life of solitude in a barren wasteland.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lesson at the feet of the Master

As I am a recently inducted disciple into Sifu McCain's Blog-fu Academy, I take every opportunity I can to show I've learned a lesson. In this case, Shameless Obedience to Rule 2.

So when the Wise and Powerful Master hands the keys of his blog over to Dr. Freaking S. Goodblog, PhD, and said doctor says to link his post (and tell Smitty you linked it), That's what I DO!

So there's the link (right above). And soon followeth from me the email to Smitty.

UPDATE (next morning): Well, I got my link from the good Dr. Which is kind of a mixed blessing (as many things in life are).
~On the one hand, he posted my email verbatim!
~On the other hand, it was posted under this heading:
Update II: How not to do it when emailing smitty
~On the third hand (yeah, I'm weird like that) I attracted the notice of the Master himself and received this (see comments of this post):
Robert Stacy McCain said...

Righteous fu!

March 21, 2009 12:53 AM
So young padawan, what have you learned today?
I learned that Smitty is a very good platoon Sergeant (I know, he was Navy, but go with the metaphor here). One of his jobs is to be firm, even harsh, to make sure the lesson sticks. This also gives the lieutenant a chance to look good by coming along with a kind word to lift you back up.
I also learned this: Sifu McCain may be bold and brash, and may even seem 'scornful' of his padawans, but the proper response of a padawan of the Blog-fu Academy is not to grovel, but to be bold and brash in return. I can DO THAT.
Absorbing this lesson has earned me much experience. Perhaps I will level up soon!

Correction: By all that is FU, I -WILL- level up soon! Doubt me not on this.

Silver lining? Well, aluminum lining maybe?

or, Pining for the 'Good New Days'

So, just scroll down a bit and read some of my recent articles. Hit up my blog grand-father. Check out some links off The Blogfather. You know things are going crazy with this administration, and things that current 'lawmakers' have been doing for decades are coming to fruition (in the sense of deadly nightshade in bloom, that is. I know, it's not quite a fruit...gimme slack).
Yeah, it's making my head spin, and yeah, I feel like I'm going to drown off the vomit that is always hovering right at the back of my throat.
But sometimes, I read the subtext of some of the articles and I feel that the hubris and overreaching is so overwhelmingly bald-faced that maybe the pendulum will swing back. Swing back fast, and swing back -hard-.
Wouldn't it be nice if in 2010 the buzzword after a sweeping Republican wave of victory is "it'll be a long time before we let those guys get their hands on the power to do that to America again." And then in 2012 the same refrain is repeated and upheld as we swear in President Palin? It would sure be nice if 'liberal' and 'Democrat' became dirty words in America for a while, rather than 'conservative' and 'Republican.'
Perhaps that's the silver lining to all this. The sooner we get this orgy of destruction over with (because it IS going to happen), the sooner we can start cleaning up the aftermath get our heads back on straight again, and rebuild.
Of course, spend a few minutes over at this site, and the silver in the cloud starts getting obscured again...

On Death

Conservatives all know that Ron Silver has died.
I barely knew anything about the man. I definitely know who he is, and I know I've seen him in tons of movies (no, I haven't seen -all- of these). But every time I think of him, I remember him as the clones in that one movie...
(My recollection that it had Charlie Sheen in it too was rather vague, but looking up the link confirms it.)
I also knew that he had taken a huge risk in stepping out for George W. Bush in 2004. In fact, when I watched the convention that year and saw him, I was shocked. There are very few actors who admit to conservative leanings. I didn't know he was (well, had become) one of them.
Anyway, a couple fellows who knew him well, take a few minutes to remember him.
On another note, the Blogfather points out that this man has also died.
Now him, I didn't know at all. Never heard of him. Although oddly enough there is a connection in that I lived in Colorado Springs for a year, and even recall the intersection that they mention where his accident occurred.
I watch this remembrance, and I read this article, and a familiar melancholy overtakes me.
It's a regret that I didn't know these people. Obviously, there would have been little chance that I would have personally known either of these two, and why should they have ever known me? But just the same, I feel the poorer that I never did.
I've gone to memorials of people that I didn't know very well but for some reason I was connected second or third hand, and when the folks would stand up and talk about their departed loved one, that feeling would come over me. I'd kick myself. Why, oh why hadn't -I- taken the time to get to know them that well? But obviously, you know who you know; you don't know who you don't know.
Does anyone else get that feeling? Does everyone? It happens to me each and every time someone I 'know' dies, and even sometimes when the write-up is so well done about a person I don't know at all.
Wow. Didn't I just go all emo.

Postscript: I tried to search on the web to share a specific hometown example I was thinking of, but had no luck. In the searching, I stumbled across an obituary list from my old town's paper, and discovered another example. Never knew the man (and also never ran afoul of him), but heard his name frequently throughout the couple decades I spent there. Huh. Too bad I never knew him.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Save Amy Alkon!

I'm adding her column to my blogroll, because Amy asked Dr. Helen to ask me to.
I would have done it for Amy directly, but I read it on Dr. Helen's blog first.

In fact, I'm adding Dr. Helen, too.
If you're a man, you need to be reading them. They are two of the very few women out there who actually are rooting for our half of the species to survive.

If you're a women, you need to be reading them. 'Cuz our half of the species wants to survive. And I'd hate to see you in a position to be sorry we are gone.

Cheers!

I -REALLY- wanted to fisk MoDo.

That would have been a great way to start my personal quest to adhere to Rule 4.

But, oddly enough, I'm mostly okay with her current column.
1) She's actually -poking fun!- at our Sociopath-in-Chief!
2) She correctly points out that Obama can't even get outraged unless a teleprompter tells him to.
3) She's talking about capitalism like it's good thing! That's way more clear-headed than I ever expect from her...

The only thing that stands out to me is that she (like everyone else) is WAY too focused on those piddly bonuses, allowing herself to be distracted from the nearly 100 BILLION dollars that went straight out of taxpayers pockets, thru AIG and right to France and Germany. Not to mention that none of us would have had to worry about where this money was going if we never gave it to them in the first place.

This is more what caught my eye:
Geithner, who comes from the cozy Wall Street club, and Liddy believe it’s best to... keep on board the same people who invented the risky financial tactics so they can unwind their own rotten spool.
Of course Geithner believes that! It's the same kind of attitude that got him on at the Treasury. The idea that even though he's a disgusting Tax Cheat, only he could plot the course for American economics in these troubled times. Riiight.
Isn’t that like giving bonuses to the arsonists who started a fire because they alone know what kind of accelerants they used to start it?
“Their mythology starts with the false premise that these are irreplaceable geniuses,” says Cuomo.
Careful there, Cuomo, you're hitting Geithner a little too close to the jewels with that one.

Sigh. I'm sorry, Blog-grandfather. I'll try to do better on the rule 4 action next time. I promise.

Zero Hour. or: Sitemeter is evil

Stacy McCain warned me. (this graf is buried in the rule 2 section of the post...)
Every beginning blogger confronts the Zero Hour. You've been blogging steadily for a week or two, sending around e-mails, trackbacking where you can, trying to develop some kind of regular traffic. And then, late one night, you think you might have finally composed your first Instalanche-worthy post and you e-mail it to Glenn Reynolds. You go to bed like a 7-year-old kid on Christmas Eve, then wake up at 4 a.m. and check your Site Meter to discover that your latest hourly traffic is . . . ZERO.

At which point, you want to swallow a handful of sedatives, wash it down with a quart of bleach, slit your wrists and stick your head in the oven. You are a complete and utter failure.
Clever S. Logan hinted at it too:
Where were we? Oh, yes, blogs as babies. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the two are similar in every way. Just most every way. Once you begin blogging, you enter a veritable time warp (they grow up so fast!), then there are the necessary (checks clock) 5:34 a.m. feedings postings, and last but not least the joy you receive from watching it grow. And, by "grow," I mean habitually checking your Site Meter and announcing to no one in particular—because the room is empty—“Whoo-hoo! Two more pageviews ... Oh, wait, I think those were from me.”
(Although, for the record, setting sitemeter to ignore my own visits is the first thing I did. The only thing worse than getting no hits at all would be to realize that all the hits I'm getting were only me. )

But I thought I wouldn't succumb to it. I know I don't get read. I only added the sitemeter account to explore the technology that was being talked about.

But now I've experienced Zero Hour. Makes me a little trembly...
Fortunately, having already read about it, and how to press through it, I'm doing (mostly) okay.

And, whoever it is out there in Shawnee, Kansas that has checked back in here three days in a row; Thank You! I'll have something new up for you in just a few minutes.

Monday, March 16, 2009

AAArrrrggghhhh!!!

So, I was going to start this post out as a rant about our Sociopath-in-Chief. And how sociopaths, who by definition have no conscience, will change their tune at will.

For which, I would present exhibit 2,547,329:

Administration is open to taxing health benefits

Because, as even this article mentions, it's a direct flip-flop from what Obama espoused on the campaign trail. Remember: a sociopath will say whatever it takes to make you do what they want.

All that is the easy part. So consider it ranted.

So in reading the whole article, I'm given another reason why I guess I'm not a republican...
The administration’s receptivity to the idea is owed partly to the advocacy of Mr. Baucus, whose committee has jurisdiction over tax policy and health programs, and to support from Republicans. (emphasis, disgustedly, mine)
and:
Those who want to tax benefits in whole or in part make two main arguments. They say the tax exclusion is a generous subsidy that insulates employees from the true costs of health care, leading them to demand more of it and driving up overall costs. Critics also say the policy is unfair because it favors higher-income people. “It’s too regressive,” Mr. Baucus said. “It just skews the system.”
Generous subsidy? It's PART OF MY COMPENSATION!! Every year, my employer sends a booklet out to -each- employee (all 35,000 of us) outlining just exactly how we're compensated. My healthcare insurance is listed with an exact dollar amount showing me just why I'm not getting paid more cash per hour in wages then I am. For many people (based on anecdotes from my HR people) the -benefits- are often a bigger motivator than the hourly wage. I think we're all aware that our health care plan is valuable and costly.
And again, since when is -not- being taxed, a SUBSIDY?!! -not- being taxed, is the government stealing less of MY MONEY. And on those rare occasions I do take advantage of my HARD EARNED health care benefit, I still have to pay a co-pay. And/or a deductible. And if I need a prescription, it's a generic or my copay is higher. Correct me if I'm wrong (and I'm not) but charging more if you don't choose the generic, and having to pay co-pays/deductibles -are- ways to encourage the managing of costs.

Here's another case of where people hear what they want to hear. You've been thinking the government is always pointing the finger at someone other than you. So you're just fine with the government 'sticking it to' whoever it is they're talking about.
Well I don't know if you noticed or not, but any of you out there who have an employer provided health plan? -You- just became "higher income people." Why, that's only one step away from... well, that's practically "THE RICH". All you greedy, employer provided health-plan having fiends! YOU'RE WHAT'S WRONG WITH AMERICA!!!
Yeah, government, STICK IT TO ME! Er. THEM!!

...And here's the sad part (and where schadenfreude exacts a karmic 'comes-around' cost). If you read the article, you'll find that it's going to be democrats and (spit) unions who are going to be fighting to keep employer paid healthcare tax exempt. Ghaaahhhh.
 
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