Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oral Roberts: To Heaven or Hell?

Given that the flamboyant Oral Roberts died nary a day or two ago, I'm taking an informal poll. What do you think? Given his never-been-proven nefariousness and dubious preachings, do you think he is shining in heaven or enjoying the warm climes of hell?

The expanse of Mr. Roberts’s ministry, coupled with his fiery preaching, tycoonlike vision and jet-set lifestyle, also attracted persistent questions throughout his career about his theology and his unorthodox fund-raising techniques, although no credible evidence of malfeasance was ever produced on his watch.

Here's a hand full of minutes of some creepiness:

Friday, November 27, 2009

34 Homeless, 13 Hells Angeles & One Infant

Delayed post as I've been up to my neck in a whole mess of other thing, and one massive deadline. I did my usual run on Thanksgiving. The same route as usual, except for one part through the park that is undergoing renovation.

Two things that were remarkable.

1) I found out why the Hells Angels are always in town for this day. Apparently, they donate a whole bunch of time to cook dinner for needy folks in town. They treat themselves to breakfast afterward. It's always the same cafe, for some odd reason. It's not even the best cafe in town. Must be because they are willing to put up some cones to reserve the parking spaces out front so they can ogle their bikes as they much on their scones and lattes.

2) Of all the years that I have been conducting my informal survey on the run, I've never seen a baby in the mix. This year, I saw a clump of folks, one looking much like a proud father, hoisting an infant into the air, making googly noises at the baby. There was a woman nearby, that seemed like the mother, sucking on a cigarette.

So, when it gets down to it, the numbers were not overly large, but not astonishingly small. I spotted 34 homeless, including one infant. This, again, is a low ball estimate as you never know how many I missed as you can't see every one in the clusters. I make a point to only people whom I can actually see.

There were 13 Hells Angels already gathered at the cafe. As I pushed on from there, heading home, I saw a flock of other bikers headed to the rendezvous. So, the numbers were growing there.

Well, I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday, and spend the day pushing down some grandmother on your way to some black Friday deal for some trinket you didn't really need.

Blog on friends. Blog on all.

"I Don't Want The Retarded Baby"

I don't know if I buy a whole lot of Levi Johnston's story. But when he says this;
Sarah would call Trig—who was born with Down syndrome—“my little Down’s baby.” But I couldn’t believe it when she would come over to us and sometimes say, playing around, “No, I don’t want the retarded baby—I want the other one,” and pick up Tripp. That was just her—even her kids were used to it.
That doesn't sounds like compassionate conservatism to me. Does this sound like a woman you can trust to lead anything?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Is What Makes These Sexist? The Fact That Sweaty Palmed Masterbators Love These?

Does any one have a clue as to why Sarah Palin would consider the snapshot of her on a Newsweek cover sexist?

Could be because they are free porn from the poor mans' playboy.  Perhaps it is because images if Mrs. Palin are posted in the rooms around the US and used as brain candy for sweaty palmed masturbaters?  If the one above is a problem for Mrs. Palin, how about this one?

Or these other ones?

If you ask me, these are offensive because she may claim to be a runner, but from the looks of her, she looks more like a jogger.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The (sex) Appeal Of Sarah Palin

I hit on it this morning. With the forthcoming Oprah "interview" (as if they didn't feed her the questions ahead of time), it seems that America cannot get enough of the Sarah Palin.

Really, the reason why folks are drawn to Mrs. Palin like bugs into the zapper boils down to sex appeal and the hope to see carnage as she explodes in public. It's much like NASCAR Fans enjoy a great race. The autos, finely tuned sexy machines are fun to watch racing round the oval. Yet secretly, the masses in the stands wish for a most spectacular wipe out where those extremely expensive, sexy automobiles splinter into pieces and spill carnage about the track.

Sadly, with a long tradition of rubber necking at automobile accidents, the American people can't seem to get enough eye candy like Sarah Palin. And so, even though Palin has lost an election, quit as a governor, stumbled over numerous extemporaneous interviews, and most certainly had some kind of help "writing" her book, it will probably sell like red fish candy to kids on their way to school after they stole some coins out of their parent's change jar.

Never mind whether you buy the book (to have and to hold), or fall prey to her version of what's spelled out inside.  We all know that for every reader who succumbs to Palin's sex appeal, they and many others are secretly hoping she spins, crashes into the wall, flames out and splinters apart in a most spectacular wipe out and we are there to witness it.

Of course, I'm not the only one who may think this:
"There is something about her which is very hard not to be drawn into," says Colin Robinson, co-publisher at OR Books, which is putting out a collection of essays pulled together by two senior editors at The Nation magazine. "It might be a sort of adoration. Or it might be that one is appalled. But you can't stop watching."
Blog on friends. Blog on all.

Monday, November 02, 2009

How To Create Better Schools? Get Better Teachers?

The fix for public schools has often swung a bat at teachers rather than for teachers. Here's another article that may be interesting to consider:
ARNE DUNCAN, the secretary of education, recently called for sweeping changes to the way we select and train teachers. He’s right. If we really want good schools, we need to create a critical mass of great teachers.
Nice sentiment, but until teachers are paid an attractive wage, I'm not certain there will be enough bait in the mix to persuade great people toward the profession.

Just compare how much Barry Bonds was getting paid to swing a bat each time he was at bat with how much teachers are paid annually and you will see what's really broken in our society. People are much more willing to shovel buckets of cash for entertainment than they are for something wholly necessary, like high quality education for every one.

The California current fiscal calamity is Q.E.D. Clearly, the good people of the great state of California have abandoned the notion of public education as a public good. If the opposite were the case, they would be willing to put their money where their mouth is.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Another Reason To Love Chickens In The Back Yard Coup

If you didn't need another reason not to get a dog (or cat for that matter) have a look at this:
The eco-pawprint of a pet dog is twice that of a 4.6-litre Land Cruiser driven 10,000 kilometres a year, researchers have found.

Victoria University professors Brenda and Robert Vale, architects who specialise in sustainable living, say pet owners should swap cats and dogs for creatures they can eat, such as chickens or rabbits, in their provocative new book Time to Eat the Dog: The real guide to sustainable living.

The couple have assessed the carbon emissions created by popular pets, taking into account the ingredients of pet food and the land needed to create them.

"If you have a German shepherd or similar-sized dog, for example, its impact every year is exactly the same as driving a large car around," Brenda Vale said.
If I had a favorable back yard, I'd have chickens - fresh eggs daily? What's not to love.

Blog on friends. Blog on all.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fantastic Video

This is the reason why the traditional mainstream media "news" outlets are toast. Any one with a Canon 5D Mark II has got their number:

Egypt / Lebanon Montage from Khalid Mohtaseb on Vimeo.

Watch this in full screen HD mode. It should blow you socks off.

Blog on friends. Blog on all.

P.S. try this one for fun as well:

Ilulissat icebergs from icescapes on Vimeo.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The People Want It. The Doctors Want It. Why Don't The Republicans Want It?

In a recent survey sponsored by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, 65 percent of physicians indicated approval of the concept of a “public option” to expand health care in America.
Well, 65% is a pretty big number. Read the remainder of the article. It's very good and the author is no slouch, political hack.

But, what about ordinary people:
A clear majority of Americans -- 72 percent -- support a government-sponsored health care plan to compete with private insurers, a new CBS News/New York Times poll finds.

But of course, America and the popular media is fixated by some prankster kid and a balloon:
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Intro - Balloon Boy Is Safe
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorRon Paul Interview

Friday, October 09, 2009

Definately the Anti-Bush

Earlier this spring, I hypothesized and asked if perhaps Barak Obama was the Anti-Bush. Today, the answer to this question is Q.E.D:
President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a stunning decision designed to build momentum behind his initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the Muslim worldand stress diplomacy and cooperation rather than unilateralism.
Clearly, Mr. Bush would not have even been on the consideration list for such an award. Let's hope this award cements Obama's determination to take us and the world in the opposite direction that Mr. Bush was leading us toward. And may we not be in a position to consider carpet bombing an entire nation ever again.

Blog on friends. Blog on all.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Caveat Emptor or Should There Be A Law Against Preditors Like This

If you ask me, it's buyer beware, but really, these companies have lost their moral compass - if they ever had one:
For many people who do not have bank accounts, or cannot get a credit card, the appeal is irresistible, making the reloadable cards among the consumer banking industry’s fastest-growing products. But their convenience comes with a catch: fees, often hidden in the fine print.

The MiCash Prepaid MasterCard docks cardholders a $9.95 activation fee. Like many competitors, it then charges numerous recurring fees, including $1.75 for each A.T.M. withdrawal, $1 for each A.T.M. balance inquiry, 50 cents for each purchase, $4 for monthly maintenance, $2 for inactivity after 60 days and $1 for a call to customer service.
Caveat Emptor, indeed! Banks are looking more and more like loan sharks, but they are not likely to break your knee caps before the bankrupt you.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Why Can't Politicians Come Clean Like Letterman?

I have no idea what kind of field day the right wingers are having with the revelation that Letterman - of all people - had sex with people who worked for him. What I do know is that his confession was very classy, and well, funny. The Politicians muck around in their mire. Dave swooshed right through it to a higher plane. Of course, the French must love Letterman more, but I don't have to condone his action to appreciate his classy approach to this confessions.

Me, I don't approve. But I can forgive him. What makes him different from some of the others is a lack of hypocrisy? Don't know....will have to chew on it.

Moreover, you have to give it up to a man who begins such proceedings thusly: "Do you fell like a story?"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Guns: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

Lately, I've been going to a gun range and shooting a 40 cal Glock. I'll admit it. It's fun, and mui macho. Afterward the guys and I go for beers and a guy's guy movie - you know, like the Hurt Locker.

I don't own a gun, and I don't plan on getting one, but I have a healthy respect for them and I know how to use one. I think it's safer for me and my family NOT to own a weapon. I am not planning for Armageddon, storing food in the basement and loading up on ammo. Yet, there are some Second Amendment freaks out there who believe that weaponizing themselves is the only way to roll.

Unfortunately, there's a bad and an ugly side to weapons that people on the "gotta have 'em" side of the argument often forget. Case one occurred last night where two men were gunned down in cold blood. Case 2, also happened yesterday where some 8 year old kid now has to live the rest of his life knowing he killed his two year old sister.

And, if you review the comments on both those articles, you see the extremes. None of them can erase the tragedy, which brings me to the point.

My security minded and enforcement agent friend that we typically go to the range to shoot with explains it this way: Not every one should be allowed to own and carry a weapon. There should be a battery of tests, and proof that you know what you are doing before you are considered for a license, let alone actually own one. When you finally pass through all the tests and make it through the mandatory training, you would have to prove that you would store your weapons and lock them properly. Unfortunately, that won't even save you from yourself, it seems. Knuckleheads abound.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The World Has A Taste For The Flavor Of Sarah

No doubt Ms. Palin got paid an obscene amount of money to deliver this speech reported today. But if you ask me, it sounds like 80 minutes too much of Sarah.
In a wide-ranging, 80-minute speech to fund managers in Hong Kong today, Palin spoke about issues ranging from Alaskan fishing to energy independence to U.S.-Sino ties. She repeated calls for “market-oriented” health-care reform and said governments shouldn’t regulate executive compensation.

The Fed and the government sent a message to companies that “the bigger that you are, the more problems that you get yourself into, the more likely the government is to bail you out,” Palin said in the closed door speech, according to a tape of the event given to Bloomberg News. “Of course the little guys are left out then. We’re left holding the bag, all the moms and pops all over America.”
Well, right there we see the fundamental flaw in Palin's logic. She doesn't believe the government should control executive pay, but we should be looking out fot the Moms and Pops who will have to burn their life savings to cover the costs of their "insurance" premiums in order to ensure the fat cats at the top are stuffed to the gills with profits? Can you protect the fat cats while watching out for the "little" guys? When Sarah Palin claims to speak for the people, the US of A is in for a bumpy ride.
"I'm going to call it like I see it and I will share with you candidly a view right from Main Street, Main Street U.S.A.," Palin told a room full of asset managers and other finance professionals, according to a video of part of the speech obtained by the Associated Press. "And how perhaps my view of Main Street . . . how that affects you and your business."
Since when does a former Veep candidate, a former Governer who quit, and turned highly paid public speaker represent the "people" of America? I'm left wondering how the people in the "packed" audiance was able to stomach the event, and also how much she was paid to deliver this horse manure.

I've found at least one person who was there discussing it. I'm sure there's more.

Blog on friends. Blog on all.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"I Seved With John McCain In the Tonkin Gulf..."

This is an interesting and valid perspective:
I served with John McCain in the Tonkin Gulf and later served on the staff of CTF-77 staff where I learned the truth about high ranking military commanders. They always want more resources and those resources are always comprised mainly of troops. They promise their political masters in Washington victory if just given a little more. And they present the terrible vision of defeat if they don't get their way. That way they can blame Washington when they, as they know they will, fail. President Obama is being set up to be the President who failed in the war on terror by the men wearing stars on their shoulders and colorful evidence of their bloody experience on their chests.

Friday, September 18, 2009

What We Need Is A Fundamental Overhaul Of How We Finance Public Education Across The Board

Take a look at UC President Yudof's address and tell us what you think:

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Elephant Is Squashing It's Own House

If you ask me, the GOP has a serious amount of house cleaning to do. And only they can do it:
I’ve been loath to admit that the shrieking lunacy of the summer — the frantic efforts to paint our first black president as the Other, a foreigner, socialist, fascist, Marxist, racist, Commie, Nazi; a cad who would snuff old people; a snake who would indoctrinate kids — had much to do with race.
Racism is the GOP's elephant in the room that no one is dicussing. Unfortunately, the right thinking republicans (if there are any), may not have the spine to challenge their racist peers.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Food (and a song) For Thought

This was fun. Catchy tune. Good point:

Number One in Prisons: Number ? in public schools?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

More-on Good Ol' Fashioned Republican "Family Values"

Those of you who pay attention to hypocrisy may have already seen this bit on the Talking Points Memo. But really, can you find a bigger zealot for "family values" that violates the very principles they are trying to foist down our throats?

Spasmodic objections to "perverted" behavior followed up with actual real perversion can't get anyone reelected. Any one taking bets as to how long the taxpayers of Orange County decide they don't want to cover his salary and yank his seat? Better yet, where's the outrage from the "moral" majority?

Blog on friends. Blog on all.

P.S. Looks like Duvall Resigned on his own accord. Would you hire the man for anything other than working in the porn industry now?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The No Controversy Controversy

In another of a long list of clues that the extreme right is out of touch with America, there apparently some controversy over the fact that the President addressed the student body of the U.S.A. today. That is, if your school was fortunate enough to have the wherewithal to have an internet connection that worked, you could have watched the President deliver the most non-controversial speech ever.
  • Stay in school.
  • Respect your teachers and parents.
  • Some kids come from disadvantaged backgrounds, but don't let that hold you back.
  • Don't quit.
  • Failure is an excellent teacher, etc....
Perhaps the most controversial thing in the whole talk could have been when he suggested that "When you quit on yourself you, quit on your country." Come on, if I give up on myself, the country swings in the balance? I don't think so.

What's really out of balance is a set of arguments that suggest the President speaking to the student body of America is something inherently bad (even before you hear the content) and to be feared. Come on people. Wake up. This is America. We were founded on the honest critique of government, but you can't criticize if you don't listen.

Blog on friends. Blog on all.

P.S. Here's some more liberal indoctrination if you didn't get enough of it on the other links provided:

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Another Example Of Right Wing Warped Values And Hypocrisy

On September 8, in what the Department of Education is touting as a "historic" speech, President Obama will be talking directly to students across the U.S., live on the White House website. But some parents and conservatives are blasting the president, calling the speech an excuse to brainwash American children.
Interesting. Instead of marveling at the fact that the President is using new technology "broadcast" a live discussion to students across America about the importance of education, the right wingers do what? Of course, if the riechwingers witnessed GWB doing the same thing, and talking about abstinence, would their tone be different? You betchya.

Friday, August 28, 2009

What Would Sarah Say At Kennedy's Funeral

Not to make light of a serious time, but I'm just wondering what Sarah Palin - the quitter - would say at some one honorable like Edward Kennedy's funeral?

Make a comment to let us know what you think she would say.

Blog on friends. Blog on all.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Two Interesting Links To Juxtapose

Have a look at these two links, and let us know what you think.

First, looks like the UC top execs don't feel like this is an inopportune time to accept pay increases.

Meanwhile, back in tent city # 4.

Blog on friends. Blog on all.

P.S. Here's a diversion for the weekend, so we don't end Friday on a sour note.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

"Should Andrew J. Hall Get His Bonus?"

When folks are basically gambling, legitimately, in the arbitrage and futures market, should they be allowed 100 million dollar bonuses?
Mr. Hall and his colleagues -- there are about 55 in the Westport office, and handfuls in London and Singapore -- specialize in a variety of hedging and arbitrage techniques.

Generally, Phibro looks for anomalies in the market and pounces, taking advantage of unusual spreads between the spot price of oil and the price of an oil futures contract.

The company, for example, often wagers that the price of oil will rise so fast during a particular period, say six months, that it can make money by storing oil in supertankers and floating it until the price goes up. (If the price rises by more than it costs to lease the tankers, he makes money.)
With Vegas, at least the house wins. In this case, these free-marketeers wreak havoc on the pricing of such things as oil, continually screwing with the American people. Where's the conscience? Where's the regulation?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Don't Mope In Your Room

A friend forwarded this link. One of my favorite lines was "Don't mope in your room..."


Blog on friends. Blog on all.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Beer, "The Cone of Silence," and a "Teachable Moment"

In today's press briefing, much ado was made about the meeting of the President, Prof. Gates, and the Officer Crowley, the cop who arrested Gates. While the press was concerned that they drink the proper brew, we continue to be diverted by some serious matters facing our country that is the legacy of the W, Rove and Co.

Frankly, I think the President made the wrong choice. Bud light? Come on. Certainly a can of Dale's Pale would have been much more flavorful. But let's see what the mainstream media asks about this incident...

First, is the press overly distracted with polls or should the American people be more concerned with Gates getting arrested v. the massive problem we have with health care in America?
Q So, polls. Two of them, one on health care, showing 46 percent disapproving of the President's handling of health care, and then on the Gates issue, with 41 percent disapproving -- different poll, but 41 percent disapproving of how the President is handling -- handled that incident. Is this something that --

MR. GIBBS: Forty, I'm sorry --

Q Forty-one disapproving of how the President has handled the Gates incident. Is this something that you are all worried about? They're coming at the same time. The Gates incident is pulling away from attention on health care; even the President has said that. How are you -- how are you going to get past this?

MR. GIBBS: No, I think he -- well, I think he said that last week. I don't -- I haven't noticed that --

Q Actually he said -- I believe it was yesterday, didn't he? That people aren't talking about health care as much?

MR. GIBBS: I don't remember that.

Q Maybe I'm wrong.

MR. GIBBS: I know he said that last Friday. I don't think the President believes that that incident has posed a distraction; here we are next Thursday.

Q Well, it's pulling down his approval rating, particularly among working --

MR. GIBBS: The Gates situation?

Q Yes, among working-class --

MR. GIBBS: I think that's a lot to extrapolate into one --

Q I'm just telling you what the poll has said, so I'm wondering if you're worried about it and what you guys can do about it.

MR. GIBBS: I neither believe the premise nor am I worried about it.
Humm...sounds like a Bush Administration deflect, doesn't it? Further...
Q And back to the Gates event today at the White House, why not allow the press to get closer to the table to be able to at least have some sort of conversation or something with the parties involved?

MR. GIBBS: Again, I think I mentioned to Jake, if those two gentlemen want to talk to you guys, there's no prohibition --

Q Right, but that's if they want to, but typically when you have events --

MR. GIBBS: In other words, shouldn't I just simply make them talk to you. (Laughter.) I appreciate the -- that's --

Q Well, no -- no, I do want to follow up on that. I mean, specifically, there are events that happen here at the White House, we're invited in, we get a chance to either ask questions of the parties there, and if they choose to come out we can get additional information from them. In this case, we won't have anything there and most likely won't get anything when they come out.

MR. GIBBS: Well, you'll have to ask them on the latter part.

Q But what about on the earlier part?

Q What about the President? I mean, why is the President in a cone of silence on this? (Laughter.) You're saying those two can come out and talk, but he can't.

Q He wants to make it a teachable moment. Why --

Q What's the lesson he wants to teach?

Q We're students, we're his students, Robert.

MR. GIBBS: The President feels comfortable with the way this is laid out, and looks forward to --

Q But why doesn't he see this as an opportunity, if he wants to make it a teachable moment, to come out and talk and teach what he learned, what he wants the nation to learn?

MR. GIBBS: You guys will have a chance to talk to the President -- one of you will later today, and maybe you can ask him.
Well, given that the President, Gates and the Officer involved are all intelligent men, I'm not certain what that teachable moment might be, but I don't think the press has the right to sit at the same table of a private meeting among three people trying to work out a great misunderstanding.

But don't let this stop the press from pressing further.
Q Two questions, Robert, first one having to do with the Gates-Crowley meeting today. If we're not going to be able to listen to the conversation and the three men are not going to talk to the press afterwards --

MR. GIBBS: Well, I don't know -- the decision by Sergeant Crowley or Professor Gates to talk to the press is entirely up to them.

Q Okay, but you're not going to orchestrate it here at the White House is all I meant.

MR. GIBBS: Again, I've not talked to them or their representatives. If they want to go to the stakeout they're certainly welcome to do that.

Q Okay. But I guess the question, as the President said -- the President said he wants this to be a teachable moment. How do you envision this being a teachable moment?

MR. GIBBS: Well, I think the -- I think many people would have hardly imagined something like this happening this time last week. I think having them get together to talk -- the President talked to both of these men last week. They're decent, honorable, good men. To get together and talk about what's going on in this country is a positive thing, even if you're not able to hear each and every word of it. I think that kind of dialogue is what has to happen at every level of -- every level of our society if we're going to make progress on issues that have -- we've been dealing with for quite some time.

Q I guess I could just request I'm sure on everybody's behalf that we find out and have as thorough a debrief from you as possible so that we can make it as much of a teachable moment as possible.

MR. GIBBS: I will try to get that -- like I said, I won't be there, but I will endeavor to see what I can get.

Q Right, but you're close with one of the guys who will.

MR. GIBBS: I know the President, yes.
Of course, the press,presses on, and we find out that the families of the gentlemen will be attending, and of course, the Union Rep will be the consigliery for the cop.
Q If you could provide us with some more logistics of the event this evening, apparently you decided you don't want to splash beer on Malia and Sasha's picnic table -- probably a smart thing. Can you talk about --

MR. GIBBS: Well, I -- (laughter) -- I don't -- yes, for any number of probably good reasons, that's a -- I don't know if -- I know there were a couple of different locations that were being talked about -- some of this, weather permitting. Obviously there's a couple of different tables, one right out by the Oval Office and then one down a bit in the Rose Garden, and I'm not sure where we landed on that yet.

Q The picture we're going to get appears to be the three principals, but there are a number of people coming here, by my understanding. Are they all going to get together? What are you doing with the other guys?

MR. GIBBS: I don't know what -- I know that each of -- each -- Professor Gates and Sergeant Crowley have family that are coming with them. I know there -- they will arrive here, be greeted, taken on a tour. They'll have a chance to get some pictures, they'll see the President. And I don't know if -- I don't know if the President will meet together with all of them as a big group or not. I can certainly check on the logistics of that.

Q You've got police union officials coming, as well?

MR. GIBBS: They may be coming certainly with Sergeant Crowley.
Interesting. But really, how does this meeting advance the conversation and public discourse on race dynamics in America might have been a better question. Instead we get this.
Q Robert, going back to Sergeant Crowley and Professor Gates, what do you hope, tomorrow morning when you wake up, what do you hope you will have accomplished?

MR. GIBBS: No more questions about what kind of drink they're going to drink? (Laughter.)

Q Okay, but besides that, what do you hope you will look back --

MR. GIBBS: Small expectations.

Q -- what do you hope to -- what's your best-case scenario for looking back and seeing, we accomplished this last night; we were able to --

MR. GIBBS: Well, I don't think -- let me answer this not as the press secretary to the President but as a -- just as an average American citizen. I'll take my tie off and I'll be right back. Look, I think, again, just as the President said, this is -- obviously you had a situation many days ago that got a lot of attention, not the least of which was because of his word choice, which he's come out and said he wishes he hadn't used those words -- or that word; that each of these two individuals, again, are accomplished at what they do; they're honorable, decent men; that he believes this entire situation -- if we step back and have a better dialogue amongst each other and have a conversation about common hopes and common opportunities and common dreams, that we can make headway on some of the issues that have -- that we've been wrestling with for a long, long time.

And I think the President hopes that -- I don't think the President has out-sized expectations that one cold beer at one table here is going to change massively the course of human history by any sense of the imagination, but that he and the two individuals -- Sergeant Crowley and Professor Gates -- can hopefully provide a far different picture than what we've seen to date of this situation, and hopes, again, as I've said both today and before, that this is a conversation and a dialogue that happens not just because it's sponsored by or at the invitation of a participant or the President, but happens in communities, large and small, all over the country, in order to make progress through better understanding. And I think that's what the President wants to do today.
Wow, did he really take off his tie, or is Gibbs talking for the President? Even so, that's one long run on for one Presidential Press Spokesmodel.

Of course, the press is not satiated
Q Can it be a teachable moment if the American people do not hear something that several of them -- several sides have asked for, including Professor Gates, I think, and that's the word "apology" during the conversation today?

MR. GIBBS: Well, look, I don't want to get ahead of what may or may not be talked about. I think that's a bit premature, and I'd leave it obviously to individual participants, to Mr. Gates and Mr. Crowley, to make those comments and conversation.

Q You don't expect them to --

MR. GIBBS: I have not talked to either of the individuals so I can't even surmise on what to expect.

George, do you have a follow-up?
But the press goes on.
Q I've a question on the health care event yesterday. But on the Gates thing, the President has said he wants this to be a teachable moment. Regardless of who --

MR. GIBBS: I'm sorry, are we on health care or Gates -- I'm sorry.

Q Gates.

MR. GIBBS: Okay, I'm sorry.

Q So he said he wants it to be a teachable moment. Regardless of who first proposed it, he, through his surrogates called these guys to the White House. But is he the teacher in this teachable moment?

MR. GIBBS: I think all of us are participants in a moment that we hope can teach all in this country that dialogue and communication will always improve the situation. I don't think today is -- I don't think the President looks at himself as, and I don't think today the President believes or the situation will be that one will be the teacher and others will be the students. I think the President believes that, hopefully through the example of communication and dialogue, that that can be a positive and lasting lesson for others.

Q Dialogue about what?

MR. GIBBS: About the situation that happened in Cambridge.

Q But how is that teachable for everybody? How is that teachable for the nation if it's just an incident between two men?

MR. GIBBS: Jake, it's something that's been covered quite a bit. I think it's something that has been -- you all have spent an awful lot of time covering. I don't think it's about an incident just involving two men. I think if it was an incident involving just two men you might not have done so many stories.

Q Well, some people think it's an incident about racial profiling; some people think it's an incident about disrespect for police; some people think it's -- I mean, there are a million different things that it could be a teachable lesson about, and we're not getting any --

MR. GIBBS: Not a million, but I don't doubt that there are more than just one.

Q We're just not -- you say it's a teachable moment. About what? Communication? I mean --

MR. GIBBS: No, I think it's a -- well, I think communication will help be part of -- I don't think -- again, Jake, I hate to surmise -- I hate to sort of move backwards in a hypothetical. I doubt you could have imagined a week ago in reporting this story that you'd have these two individuals here drinking beer with the President, right?

Q But we wouldn't have imagined that they'd be here and we wouldn't hear anything that's going to happen -- from the President. (Laughter.)

MR. GIBBS: I think you're feigning surprise on that one, Mr. Reid. But I think --

Q No, I really -- he's not using this as an opportunity.

MR. GIBBS: Well, I appreciate --

Q The only thing we're hearing that's a teachable moment example is we're going to get a photograph out of it or some film. I don't understand -- I mean --

MR. GIBBS: We don't have to do that.

Q Do you think the coverage has been -- it's been good that people have been covering this issue? You said there's been a lot of coverage. Is that a good thing?

MR. GIBBS: Some of it I think has, sure. I think --

Q Think how much more you could get if he came and talked to us.

MR. GIBBS: I feel like I'm trying to -- I feel like I'm buying a car.
Perhaps Gibbs should have said something like he's trying to sell a used car here. There's no good answer to the questions the press pose like the questions the press pose are not really good questions. Gibbs and the press are endeavoring in an unnecessary rhetorical charade, where Gibbs started to use the "teachable" moment as a means to deflect an honest answer to a small set of legit questions; which should have been like this:
Q - Can we come to the table and record the conversation?

Gibbs - No.

Q - Why not?

Gibbs - because it's meant to be a private conversation among the President, Gibbs, and Crowley to square away some major misunderstandings over a beer.

Q - Oh.

Gibbs - Perhaps the American people can find this as an instructive and productive way to sort out difference. Let's move on to something more important.

Really, the teachable moment is that the event occurred and that people are talking about it & the main players are sorting it out, no? Or is it that the press expects a conversation among three (or more men) about this incident be instructive when we learn the outcome of the conversation?

Regardless, if you haven't had a conversation about the state or race relations in America based on what happened in Gate's home, maybe you should.

What say you blogosphere?

Blog on friends. Blog on all.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Bye Bye Ms. American Pie

Unless you are hiding under a rock, you should know now that Sarah Palin has resigned as Governor of the great state of Alaska. Puts new meaning on the phrase "Cut & Run," doesn't it?

Of course, the media circus will have a field day trying to ferret out the real reason Sarah no longer has a taste for public service. Do we really care?

She's finished. At one time I thought Ms. Palin might try but not win any higher office, but that she may have a future on television. Not any more. She's going to be a stain on the GOP and America from this point forward. Like the Grinch, most won't want to touch her with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole.

There are two larger questions here: A) what went wrong with the Republican Party that their national leaders are imploding , and B) what WAS McCain thinking when he tried to elevate this woman to the Veep position?

Blog on friends. Blog on all

P.S. Happy Independence Day.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Is It Time To Dredge Up The "Culture Of Corruption" Label For The GOP Leadership Again

Turns out the storied SC Governor (once favored to possibly run for President) seems to have used taxpayer funds for his trist
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admits he used taxpayer money to see his mistress in Argentina and plans to repay the cash.
Why any one has any faith in the GOP leadership at this point in the game is beyond me.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

This Whole Charade Is Just Another In A Long History of Republican Attacks On The Institution of Marriage

Well, the "liberal" media is having a field day with the SC Governor with wandering pants, who has been thinking with his little head instead of his big one for who knows how long.

Sample 1 -
On behalf of the people of Illinois and New York, I’d like to thank South Carolina for giving us Mark (“I’ve been unfaithful to my wife”) Sanford. Finally, a governor who’s weirder than Rod Blagojevich and less responsible than Eliot Spitzer.
Sample 2 -
The news that Senator John Ensign had had an affair with a former aide who was married to another former aide was fading. Polls showed some voter impatience with President Obama’s policies, if not with the president himself. And the Politico, the insidery Web site that is widely read in the capital’s political precincts, even featured an article exploring the possibility of a Republican Party comeback.

Then Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, a fiscal conservative seen by many Republicans as an attractive standard-bearer for the next presidential campaign, went missing. Worse, he returned.
Sample 3 -
But his confession and apology, in a rambling, nationally televised news conference, left other mysteries unsolved, like whether he had lied to his staff members as late as Monday about his whereabouts, whether the affair had definitively ended, whether he would resign from the governorship and whether he would even have acknowledged the affair had he not been met at the airport in Atlanta by a reporter upon his return.
Sample 4 -
Three and finally, while all the things above are all too true — at the same time we are in a hopelessly — or as you put it impossible — or how about combine and simply say hopelessly impossible situation of love. How in the world this lightening strike snuck up on us I am still not quite sure. As I have said to you before I certainly had a special feeling about you from the first time we met, but these feelings were contained and I genuinely enjoyed our special friendship and the comparing of all too many personal notes (and yes this is true even if you did occasionally tantalize me with sexual details over the years!) — but it was all safe. Where we are is not. I have thought about it and in some ways feel I let you down in letting these complications come into a friendship that I hope will last till death. In all my life I have lived by a code of honor and at a variety of levels know I have crossed lines I would have never imagined.
Well, if that just doesn't sum it up, I don't know what does. Even so, I'm still wondering where's the moral outrage from those self-proclaimed "protectors" of "traditional" marriage? Where's the multimillion dollar machine that works for legislation that prevents republicans who cheat on their wives from ever getting married again? Doesn't Sanford's transgressions warrant some kind of litigious response? Really, Proposition H8 supporters aught be up in arms over Sanford's shenanigans.

Ah, but what can you expect from the party that brought you the following equations:

President gets a BJ in the oval office = Impeachment
Shoot friend in face = still love the Veep
Invade Iraq because of WMD = No WMD, but, shoot, we are spreading freedom
It's not okay to blow yourself up in the name of a cause = It's okay to waterboard your enemies

They now bring you the following -
It's okay for to cheat on your wife = But I still vow to protect "traditional" marriage

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Latest Chapter Of "Where's The Outrage From The Prop H8 Supporters?"

COLUMBIA, S.C. – After going AWOL for seven days, Gov. Mark Sanford admitted Wednesday that he'd secretly flown to Argentina to visit a woman with whom he'd been having an affair. He apologized to his wife and four sons and said he will resign as head of the Republican Governors Association.
And they say gays are bad for marriage? Where's the moral outrage from the Prop H8 supporters now? Sure the "right" doesn't have a corner on the hypocrisy market, but it sure seems like they have trademarked the whole spoiling the institution of marriage routine.

One must wonder if it's endemic to the GOP; given this from the same article:
Sanford's announcement came a day after another prominent Republican, Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, apologized to his GOP Senate colleagues after revealing last week that he had an affair with a campaign staffer and was resigning from the GOP leadership.
Perhaps it's time for the Prop H8 supports to abandon their favored party.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another Celebrity Break Up. Where's the Out Cry of the Protectors of Marriage?

Thus just in from the boo-bleeping-hoo department. We all now know what the popular rags have been ragging about for the last two to three weeks - John and Kate are breaking up.

And they say Gay Marriage hurts Straight Marriage? Where are the defenders of traditional marriage on this? Why are they not taking to the streets?

...thought so, comfortable in their own hypocrisy.

In another from the, you-would-never-see-a-Bush-First-Lady-doing-this department, Mrs. Obama actually got into the mix putting up a playground for elementary kids in San Francisco. Good on you Michelle. Good on you.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's the Republicans, In This Case, That Are The Perverts

Just one question: What's wrong with the republican mind to construe these jokes by Letterman in the perverted way that they did? Have a look at how the Palins go off their rocker here.

It seems to me that we should ask who actually are the perverts in this case - Letterman or the Palin's who misconstrued the jokes as they did? My vote is the latter, not the former.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Who Gets More Hits, And What Does That Say About Us?

Take a look at this video:

Now, watch this, if you haven't already. Why do you suppose this first video is less popular (judged by number of hits)than the latter? What does this say about our society?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

This Is Definitely Not A Speach George Bush Could Have Delivered Effectively

Very, very interesting.

What say you blogosphere?

Blog on friends. Blog on all.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

How Prop 8 Hurts Families

I know this family personally. These two men have adopted this lovely girl. They love one another, and the fathers are raising their daughter in a fantastically positive environment. When these two men cannot marry, it hurts their family.

As to how these two men being married would hurt the institution of marriage or any one else's straight marriage is beyond me. That I know and appreciate their example of a loving family, it is my firm belief that not only does their relationship do no harm to any one else, their commitment amplifies the strength of marriage all around.

Does proposition H8 hurt their family? Absolutely.

The vote of the majority should not be allowed to stand as it presents a tyranny over the minority. Simply because you can vote your "values" doesn't make you right, or your position correct. It's time to repeal Proposition H8.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

18,000 Gay Marriages Have Harmed Straight Marriage How?

In light of the recent CA supreme court ruling that is mixed, I'm just wondering a couple of things.
There have been 18K married gay people in California for several months now. How has that hurt the straights who have married?

Really, the argument that there just might be some other obscure allowance for marriage (read polygamy and the like) is not an argument against allowing gays to be married today. I still have not heard one plausible reason why two people in a monogamous relationship (consenting adults) can't be married regardless of gender that doesn't involve bigotry or the bible or both.

Care to try again folks?

Blog on friends. Blog on all.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Reflections on Memorial Day

Given that many view Memorial Day as simply a time to cook outside, consume large quantities of beer, and the like, I thought it would be helpful to remind ourselves what it really is about. These are snaps I took from the National Cemetery yesterday.

Judgement Day

Del died a few months later, before Proposition 8 passed. She died a married woman. As far as I know, we're still married. They haven't ruled yet about the people who got married, but most people think they're not going to cancel those marriages.
Where's the harm if Del and Phyllis are married?
They were a San Francisco couple who had been together 51 years at that time. Talk about a relationship of love and devotion and constancy: It was really what marriage should be about.

Isn't it about time the bigots lose one? I suppose we will know in a handful of minutes.

Blog on friends. Blog on all.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

After Tuesday, We Will Know

Of course, the Supreme Court of the State of California will finally make public their ruling on the Prop H8 case: Tuesday at 10:00 AM. I'm hoping they stay sane and prove that the tyranny of the majority will not inflict it's warped sense of values on a minority that deserves protection under the law. After all, the Court is there to prevent such things from happening; protecting those who cannot protect themselves.

As to why any one would suggest that there is something sanctimonious and worth protecting about straight marriage is beyond me. Spare us the biblical references as I'm quite certain even those who most strictly follow the teachings therein violate some obscure and mundane rule stipulated in black and white. You can't selectively preach, teach and follow only those rules you like. As they would say, those who are without sin should cast the first stone.

This issue is about basic human rights. People should be allowed to marry and obtain the same freedoms no matter their sexual orientation. Those opposed are bigots.

Really, I know both gay and straight parents and found that some gay people are substantially better parents than the straight ones. As to why you would want to invalidate that family by disallowing their marriage simply based on gender is really foolish. If you really were wanting to do what is right for families and children you would ban three types of marriages: among the obese, smokers and celebrities. All have led to very dysfunctional and unhealthy upbringings for children. If you are about protecting families and marriage, why not start where there is some proof of harm.

I'm still waiting for the plausible explanation as to how two same sex individuals getting hitched will harm a straight marriage. Care to give it a whirl?

Blog on friends. Blog on all.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

So, Let Me Get This Straight

In case you have not been watching moves that the CSU Board has been taking to offset costs of running an operation that the State seems increasingly reluctant to cover (Well, shit, lets be blunt here- it seems like the public really doesn't care much about education across the board as a social good otherwise they may complain more profusely that kids/students are being regularly used as political pawns), they have resolved to hike tuition, which would be calculated as much as a 78% increase in cost to some students. Here's the irony. Bend your mind around this.

Let's say, you are a starving student, working part time on your MBA at a CSU school. Granted, the economy is in George Bush's inelegantly-built-over-eight-years crapper and you expected tuition to go up, but here's the irony. According to the resolution: university presidents
are directed to set aside a minimum of 25% and not more than 33% of the Graduate Business Professional Fee revenue for need-based financial aid, with such funds to be used first to meet the demonstrated financial need of student in campus professional graduate degree programs in business....
So, they increase your fees and collect your money which causes you to be in greater financial duress. This in turn requires you to petition for financial aid because you need help to pay them the increased fees. Essentially, you are loaning the University your money so that they may - at best give back to you and at worse loan to you to cover that additional set of fees which you may not have needed had they not increased the fees.

Of course, the top level CSU folks make a combined total of over 10 million dollars and perks. And what does that get the students? Any one else there want to holler WTF from the roof tops yet? I say cut at the top first.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The GOP: America's Cancer

With the resurgence of the Big Dick Cheney grabbing the microphone, and the effervescent challenges to Nancy Pelosi, it seems like the GOP has become a cancer for America.

We know full well that for 8 years, the W, Rove and Co was in the business of spreading propaganda, mongering fear, and building a case to justify an illegitimate war in Iraq. But as of late, it seems the GOP cannot seem to pull itself away from their icons even though they are being led from the fifth to the sixth layer of hell by them.

Any one who believes that the CIA was fully disclosing all the details to congress way back in 2003 or earlier forgets that initially there was no congressional oversight for the moves the W, Rove and Co made back then. And, whatever oversight was allowed, it was completely de-powered and the moves were perfunctory. The W, Rove and Co had unleashed the hounds, and there was no calling them back.

There is a litany of reasons why I believe the GOP is a cancer for America, but I thought I would toss this out as a conversation generator. What say you blogosphere?

Is the GOP a Cancer, a boil that should be lanced? Or, will the GOP be able to help us out of the mess their leadership accelerated by tossing the gasoline on the fire one signing statement at a time?

Blog on friends. Blog on all.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

10 June 2009 - Marking 5 Years On the Blog

Okay peeps, been a bit sidetracked as I took on a hefty volunteer assignment and needed to spend some ramp up time getting a blog rolling for the group - bringing an organization into the new Millennium isn't easy when they operate like it's 1979.

I've got two questions for today. First, as I roll up on 10 June - my five year blogaversary - I thought I would ask regular (or irregular) readers what topic I should cover. I've never asked readers for their thoughts on what to post about. Perhaps it's time to see what interests you. So, this comes up on question 1 - What would you like me to blog about as I mark the five year milestone?

Second, lately, the Big Dick Cheney seems to be getting a lot of air time. Why does the media continue to give him the microphone?
I'm wondering how much he gets paid for his "testimony" on various "talk" shows. "I don't think we should just roll over when the new administration ... accuses us of committing torture, which we did not, or somehow violating the law, which we did not," Cheney said. "I think you need to stand up and respond to that, and that's what I've done."
Last I checked water boarding was a lot like torture & the W, Rove and Co spent a great deal of time, energy and taxpayer dollars bending the law to suit their wanton lust for torture.

So, question 2) What's up with the Big Dick? Isn't he undermining the authority of the President, exactly the thing he would profusely and vociferously lament while Veep?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

GIs Still Coming Home In Flag Draped Boxes

George Bush thought that letting people snap and share photographs of GIs returning home in flag draped boxes was the wrong message and disallowed it. I say, not.

The American people are not made of solidified high fructose corn syrup and we won't melt in the face of bad, rotten, or even worse news. In fact, sharing the grim reality helps us a) come to terms with how bad things really are, and b) possibly more readily contribute to a solution.

There was a lot wrong with how George Bush ran his Whitehouse. His legacy lives, unfortunately. And, the war that George Bush and his cronies brought us, is still delivering sadness in the form of dead GIs in flag draped boxes.

Fortunately, the new President is treating us like adults rather than children, and is hopefully going to put an end to the unnecessary expense of American GI lives. In the meanwhile, for the families that lost their loved ones, the grief is very real.

Blog on friends. Blog on all.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Coming Up On Five Years of Blogging

I may be a relic, with the advent of facebook and twitter which were only a twinkle in some profiteer's eye when I first started. But tempus fugit.

Come June, I'll be five years old in the Blogoshpere. Can't really explain why I'm still around. Haven't cracked 100K hits, but maybe by then.

Is it's the fame and glory that drive me? Nope. I'm not certain I'm even famous to 15 people let alone had my fifteen minutes.

Or, it's all that money I made with adsense? Given that I've not made enough so far to even have google send me my first check, nope.

Or is it the ability to exercise the First Amendment almost daily? Perhaps.

Mainly, it feels like I've been pissing in the wind, occasionally doused with my own urine. Some times it feels nice, warm and refreshing. Others, cold damp and foul, like the stench of having consumed asparagus at the last meal.

In the end, I'm feeling like I'll continue. What say you blogosphere?

Blog on friends.

Blog on all.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Windspike's Wacky Weekend Query - Subtitle: Torture; Good, Bad, or Ugly?

Given the flap related to the releasing of the "torture" memos, and the onslaught of W, Rove and Co cronies and the usual reichwinger pundits suggesting that Obama has harmed America for releasing them, I have a question:
Drum roll please....Windspike's Wacky Weekend Query........
Even if we found proof (which is debatable this exists) that torturing "detainees" led to information that stopped some kind of "terrorist" plot, did/do the ends justify the means? Explain.

As a bonus follow up question, do you think those who authorized the use of water boarding and other torture techniques should be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Something You Couldn't Have Gotten From The Bush Whitehouse

Cool, now you can download some higher resolution images direct from the Whitehouse.

I liked this one, and the President met Tiger Woods. Of course, these are just publicity photos. The real meat of the day has revolved around the press for a releasing of further torture memos. I say, bring it on. The American people are hearty, and can't solve the problems without all the information. They do no favors by keeping the information from us.
Q So is that an indication that you don't want to see an independent commission? I'm trying to understand.

MR. GIBBS: By dint, an independent commission would probably not be something that I would weigh in on if Congress were to create one of those. I think that -- from the larger perspective, the President believes, as both of us have said, that the release of the memos are not a time for a retribution but to reflect on what happens and that we're all best suited looking forward.
But even so, the door is left open later in the briefing.
Q Robert, does the President believe someone ought to be punished for allowing waterboarding? He changed the policy, but does he believe somebody ought to be punished?

MR. GIBBS: Well, I think that determination is going to be left up to, as I've said for any number of days looking backward on this now, that that's going to be made by a legal official.

Q And that legal official is the Attorney General?

MR. GIBBS: In our Constitution it is.

Q And what about this idea of the Attorney General appointing a special prosecutor?

MR. GIBBS: Well, I addressed this --

Q Is that his -- is that the Attorney General's decision or is that ultimately the President's decision?

MR. GIBBS: I'd have to look up, honestly, the legal statute to determine that. I don't -- I don't think the -- I don't believe that there's -- I think the Justice Department is fully capable of weighing the law.

Q You don't think a special prosecutor is necessary?

MR. GIBBS: I don't -- I don't think anybody has presented a compelling case why the Justice Department couldn't do this.

Q And then one final thing on this. Did Vice President Cheney make a specific request -- is it an official request that he wants these other memos declassified as far as you guys know?

MR. GIBBS: I would have to double-check with CIA. I think that the -- that request -- as I understand, what the Vice President has said, a request came to -- several weeks ago to the CIA. I don't -- but I have not talked to him.

Q Given that General Jones apparently was involved with helping to expedite with Jay Rockefeller, does that mean you guys will have a role in deciding whether this gets declassified or not?

MR. GIBBS: I believe so. I mean, I believe that --

Q It will come to your desk, it just hasn't happened yet?

MR. GIBBS: I think that's the case. I mean, I think declassification happens here.

Q Okay.

MR. GIBBS: Yes, sir.

Q Do you know if President Obama has read these memos to which Vice President Cheney is referring that showed that the enhanced interrogation techniques saved lives and didn't make America less safe, as you just said?

MR. GIBBS: I don't know if he -- I don't know if he has read the specific memos that Vice President Cheney may be referring to. But, Mark, let me broaden your question a bit. And I think you would get this from virtually every intelligence official who objectively looked at this, and that is that the efficacy of this is in many ways ambiguous, that whatever information -- I think people will tell you that there was information that was procured that was helpful, and information that was procured that was made up. Nobody could ever likely tell you that any information derived couldn't also have been derived from another mean.

But as I've said, and the President have said, what the -- if you look at the totality of the impact of this on our national security, building off of what I told Ed, our team, and many others outside of our team, have weighed in on the notion that the cost and the benefit of this -- that the benefit is greatly outweighed by the cost to our national security.

There are things that this country doesn't do. That's part of the criteria that the President used to -- on the -- in the very beginning of this administration outlaw these techniques from being used. The existence of and the use of these techniques became a recruitment tool and a rallying cry for terrorists all over the globe. And, as I mentioned, it makes it harder to -- the use of these techniques makes it harder to protect our own troops, and that that is the -- those are the reasons in total why this makes our country less safe.
There in lies the fundamental problem with the Bush approach - they authorized torture. Doing so becomes reason for others to join the terrorists. So, as to if the information gained was useful, there is no real way to measure how harmful it was, but it makes perfect sense how harmful it was to us, our way of life, and the very fabric of our Constitutional foundation.

Of course, you can question the whole of it, might the ends justify the means?
Q You also said that -- you also said that the intelligence that was derived that Cheney is talking about could have been derived from another means. You said that to Chuck.

MR. GIBBS: Well, I think it is -- what is unknowable is whether that could be derived. I mean, again, that is -- part of this whole process is when you decide to do something it's -- you can't then go back and decide if the same action could have happened as a result of something else. That's why I think that whatever question is discussed here, it's -- I'd go back to my answer that I gave to Mark, which is that all of this is bigger than one certain amount or one smaller question, because you have to take into account the totality of our security -- whether or not the use of and the existence of certain techniques become a rallying cry and a recruitment tool for those that seek to do us harm each day. And that the -- there are things that this country does do and certain things this country doesn't do, and that this President has determined that we are going to -- we can protect the security of our country and our people and uphold our values and not have those two conflict.
I would have to agree with the President here, at some point, the ends do not justify the means and they may actually do more harm than good.

At the tail end of the press conference, we see the President has hired some very smart guys. Do you buy this close?
MR. GIBBS: The best way to determine -- the best way to determine who's going to -- the rule of law is to have it determined by lawyers who can determine whether or not somebody knowingly broke the law.

Q We've started talking in the last 24 hours more and more about very high-ranking people -

MR. GIBBS: I haven't talked about --

Q -- Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney --

MR. GIBBS: -- you guys have.

Q If in fact it reaches that level, would the President weigh in?

MR. GIBBS: Okay, you guys and Jay Rockefeller. (Laughter.)

I'm sorry, what was --

Q Would the President weigh in --

MR. GIBBS: Now, that we've --

Q -- turn to very high-ranking levels of the government? What does he think, for example, of the fact that Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon? Was that a breach of the presidential duty, or should that have been left to the Attorney General?

MR. GIBBS: I think the President has seen Frost/Nixon, but I do not know whether he's determined the efficacy of such a pardon.

Thanks, guys.
Very interesting. I think we see that there is a very good reason certain members of the W, Rove and Co are squawking more than others. They don't want to go to jail for doing what what they believe was right, even if in the end, it was indeed wrong and illegal.

There in lies the difference between leadership by faith versus leadership by fact. And, we see what we get from the current administration is fact based decision making. Thankfully, we have a thinking president in the Whitehouse these days. Will the rule of law win? The jury is still out on that no doubt.

Blog on friends.

Blog on all.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Whatsamada? You Can't Handle The Truth?

Of course, the republican nut balls that led our nation down the foul, stench filled, unethical and illegal path to the tawdry torture that will eventually led the perpetrators to hell are all aflutter.
A former Bush White House press secretary, Ari Fleischer, said if a probe is opened up, "Barack Obama will regret this as one of the worst moments of his presidency, because it will set off a multi-year, extraordinarily divisive, all-consuming Washington scandal/controversy and everyone will end up looking bad."
I would suggest the American people have a stronger stomach than many of the republicans believe, and we actually can handle the truth, and indeed will prosper for having known the full extent of the damage. I say let the investigations begin. The reason why Rove et. al. protest to much is that they know they have crossed the line for no aparrent gain, but to the detriment of the very Constitutional fabric of our great nation. The only way to fix this is to clean the stench by washing the stains out of our flag with the swift, blind and full application of justice.

Open it up. Put it on youtube. The people have a right to know what their elected officials (and their unelected but appointed chronies) did to bring us the America we have today.

As Shakespeare would say, Rove "doth protest too much:"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Don't Lay Off The Teachers, Lay Off The Superintendents

Why don't these headlines every read, "Cuts Made to Education, Starting At the Top?" Instead, we get:
Los Angeles school district officials moved forward Tuesday with plans to lay off more than 5,000 teachers, counselors, custodians, clerks and other employees, but the battle over funding will rage on for weeks -- affecting who goes, who stays and what schools and classrooms will look like for students next year.
Bottom line, kids will be injured by this move.

As a modest proposal, I suggest we cut the from the top down rather than the bottom up. This way, less people need to lose their jobs to realize savings. If we cut all the Superintendents first, the savings would be enormous. What harm would it cause the children? Not much, is my bet.

Next move would be to dissolve the Superintendents offices and push out the people who work there to serve the kids directly, if they can. If they can't, give them pink slips. Sell off or rent the office complexes that house the superintendents, and bingo, more savings that could be put toward smaller class sizes and perhaps even music, physical education, drama, and language arts, among other things.

Lastly, allow every one who is inclined to volunteer time at their local schools. This would afford everyone an opportunity who believe in high quality education to personally put their money where their mouth is. The trouble with all these cuts and threats is that the kids are being used as political pawns, and that's just reprehensible.

Blog on friends.

Blog on all.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Nice Sentiment For Monday

We wanted more ‘Dumbo’ and less ‘Star Wars,’”
Shan't we all make this our slogan for Monday?

The article in the times is skeptical of Pixar's ability to make another hit film. Of course, you could judge for yourself by watching the trailer here. I challenge you not to laugh, if you dare watch it.

Hey, Could You Live Working One Day A Week?

Larry Summers can.
$5.2 million in just the last of his two years at one of the world’s largest funds, according to financial records released Friday by the White House.

Impressive as that might sound, it is all the more considering that Mr. Summers worked there just one day a week.
Oh, my. Should a man who has made a bundle in a hedge fund gambit be the top Econ adviser to Obama?
Unlike most hedge funds, which lost money as the markets plunged in 2008, Shaw posted returns of about 7 percent in its so-called macroeconomic fund.
Seems a little spurious. But then again, Summers, who knows how the system works, may be the best one to craft regulations to secure the system as he knows how they can cheat the system to win.

How's your one day a week job working out for you?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Is Barak Obama The Anti-Bush?

I don't know about you, but I didn't have time at work to listen to more than ten minutes of the live Q & A. But I like the format. I can't imagine a more different president than Obama. He's like the anti-Bush, like Bush was the Bizzaro President to Obama's Superman version.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Take A Look At The Canopy

A Monday Kind Of Day

Found this at the end of a short article on kids taking a "field" trip to the boys restroom. No doubt, the quote should lighten your Monday:
"I'm OK with urinals," said Chessy. "It's just another kind of toilet. It makes things easier for boys, and boys need all the help they can get."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Something You Wouldn't Have Heard From GWB

The folks of the Bush Administration were experts at deflecting and playing the blame game, despite their insistence that we not play it. Shoot, it was not for us to play, but when it came time to deflect responsibility, the W, Rove and Co were straight up experts.

In a clearly decisive position, Obama, plays quite differently. By stepping up, you see, there is power to be had by assuming the responsibility:
“Washington is all in a tizzy over who’s at fault,” Mr. Obama said. “Some say it’s the Democrats’ fault, the Republicans’ fault. Listen, I’ll take responsibility. I’m the president.”
Even if GWB uttered these words, he and his crack team of propagandists were so good at deflecting responsibility and blame that W's words were not trustworthy. Moreover, we knew W's words were empty based on his follow through and lack of action.

Obama and his team, in direct contrast, are brilliant. Now let's hope he has a chance to make good on his word. The proof, indeed, will be in the pudding.

The republicans, who voted against the stimulus and are now praying for failure so they can re-win their seats to Congress, have to be squirming in their boots at this point.

Monday, March 16, 2009

AIG Top Dogs Set To Get Giant Buckets Of Bonus Money

Welcome to George Bush's America, where the people who lead borrowers down the primrose path to foreclosure are set to reward themselves for one of the biggest failures in corporate America amounting to the biggest governmental bailout in history. Shall these folks be allowed to get their bonuses, or not?


Blog on friends.

Blog on all.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Avoiding the Mahem of the Irish Bars on Tuesday, Here's a Dose of Traditional Irish

Micho Russell died a few years back, and we are all worse off for it. He's the whistle player here:

The Bothy Band Kicked Ass when they were together, their music still fills the set lists of many a trad session:

Altan has been on the circuit for a great long while, and I've seen them live twice. Kick ass smoothness:

And Mary Bergin, perhaps one of the best whistle players of all time. Any time I need an ego check, she humbles me:

A second dose of perfection:

The attraction of traditional Irish is that many people can do it, with a bit of practice, can become quite good:

Lastly, these guys are taking it to a new rockibily level and are playing the Great American Music Hall on Tuesday - get your tix now, they are bound to sell out.

Not only is the band super hot, their box player, Rene, makes playing the accordian look super hot!

Blog on friend.

Blog on all.

And, Erin go Bragh