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MEMBER FOR 4 years 21 weeks


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Cubans cheer historic renewal of US relations

So typical of today's crappy journalism: ten paragraphs with lines about bells ringing, pithy quotes from (2 or 3 out of a million affected) real people, gathering around TV sets and pretty much nothing about what policy change has taken place. It's not just the politicians banking on our population being totally engrossed in fluff and demanding little factual substance

posted @ Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 07:39

St. Louis officer to be disciplined over Wilson name tag

@bobbidiboo: That's bull: the officer was on duty and specifically handling duty at an impassioned, but legal public demonstration, in clear violation of department rules: of course, he'll get suspended for the same reason that the DA office employee did back in the Trayvon situation: he was being paid, but not doing what he was being paid to do

posted @ Monday, December 15, 2014 - 05:35

Stossel: Fossil fuels improve life on Earth

Actually, I agree completely with this guy on this point: the debate should be about what balance should we aim at between the costs of human induced global warming vs the benefits of those human activities known to be inducers...pretty hard to have that debate when one side spends virtually all of its energy and propaganda money claiming that the science is all made up

posted @ Thursday, December 11, 2014 - 07:34

Growth for US health tab may have hit bottom

With all the politics around health care spending, sane discussions are hard to come by. But I for one believe that a major part of the health care problem is misguided love: please respond if you want YOURSELF to be maintained indefinitely on a bed that people have to turn you on every few hours, or with a feeding tube, or without the ability to speak or understand another human being. The rest of us can consider why it is that hardly anyone WANTS to be treated those ways, but millions of people ARE. The answer, in my view, is what I said: the decision makers, usually the close family members of the decrepit person,feel that letting someone who's become incapacitated just up and die is implying that they don't love them; they somehow feel that doing everything medically possible to keep the heart beating is a measure of their devotion. But frankly, that's stupid. People die: it's OK, it's what happens to everyone eventually. Real love, in my view, is accepting that when we've declined to the point of uselessness, we should just get outta the way and rapidly turn into a memory (and one not fogged up with grotesquery).

posted @ Thursday, December 4, 2014 - 06:46

Stanford: Can congressional Republicans hold themselves together?

Out of all the hoopla around this particular situation, the one that was the most bizarre was Republican Congressional leadership saying that Obama's action had prevented any chance of future compromise...that is just plain beyond irony

posted @ Friday, November 28, 2014 - 19:50

Snowstorm strands 150 vehicles on New York thruway

OK: I find it highly unlikely that the following statement, from paragraph one, is true:

when temperatures fell to freezing or below in all 50 states.

Hawaii had subfreezing temperatures??? FWIW, Honolulu is currently at 76

posted @ Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 09:45

Study finds as world warms, US gets more lightning

@TeeWee: you seem to have missed that science is pretty clear that the pause in atmospheric temperature rise is because the oceans are holding more heat than they used to, and at greater depths.

posted @ Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 16:54

Hull man hospitalized after shooting

@snarkydude: That's malarkey snarky: I believe that gun control should be substantially strengthened, and that the black community you call out here would be a main beneficiary, for the simple reason that (as with all the other cultural subgroups except nuns) the frequency of law-abiders savings themselves via a legally-managed firearm is way lower than the number of shootings that do not follow that pattern (ie, accidents, impulses, and criminal acts). And it goes beyond who can buy guns: ammo should be limited to reasonable use and people who screw up (even a person who gets into a drunken scuffle at a club) should have their guns taken away until proving significantly greater reliability.

It's so funny you want to jump on this: I suspect the pro-gun crowd would like for their own group to have their god-given guns rights to protect them in all the 'bad neighborhoods', which in the white subculture means where black people live...but they are so dogmatic that it sounds too much like prizing the guns from their fingers.

And before its starts:


posted @ Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - 17:11

NCAA president calls UGA handling of Gurley case 'commendable'

@Oistrakh: What do you expect? He plays for the Criminoles

posted @ Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - 14:18

Dorminy, Freechild: People's Pledge will keep secret money out of politics

I am particularly struck by one quote from this:

The Supreme Court’s more recent 2014 McCutcheon ruling further spurred the increase, continuing to rule that money given or spent in elections is the same as speech.

This is where the interpretation veers unacceptably from reality: when a person speaks, in the normal sense of the word, listeners know who something about who they are. As humans, we make a lot of interpretations based on 'who' someone is, and how they are speaking: they may strike us as sincere, or disturbed, or scarily detached. We see them as believable, manipulative, desperate, or drunk. Furthermore, we can always exceed the limits of decorum and tell them to STFU, or challenge their facts or assertions.

Money contributed anonymously to fund electioneering, though, is, through these new contortions of the law, stripped of all these human responses on the part of us the voters. But if we the people don't hold the power, then who does? The answer is simple: the people with the money to spend on politicians.

posted @ Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 05:58

Knox: Athens traffic light photo-enforcement flawed

Maybe that facility is messed up? I happen to have seen the photos that came with the tickets that a couple of family members and associates got from Alps at Broad, and they were all dead on evidence of an infraction

posted @ Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 12:45

Basu: Congress is threat to U.S. national security

I think the key here is we need to compromise: but the emphasis is on 'we' not on 'compromise'. People blame congress (and other elected officials) for being too this and too that, but they VOTE FOR THEM ANYWAY! I am going to pick on the right, for the moment, but concede that the exact same thing happens on the other side. In the Republican primaries, the whole race usually comes down to who can make the biggest, most effective mudslingings about who raised taxes and who voted against our men in uniform. Vitriolic, one-issue, extremes lead nowhere: the people that votes for the clowns that win contest on that basis deserve exactly what they get, rhetoric, not decisions. On the left, any candidate that doesn't howl about any program being cut is knee-jerked right out of the picture.

We are getting what we (collectively) deserve

posted @ Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 12:31

#Ebolanta: Will Atlanta become one of 4 central Ebola treatment centers?

[quote][b]TeeWee[/b] - So now this guy is 'reevaluating' the  position of the CDC.  When will we understand that jumping from crisis to crisis by our federal agencies stems from a lack of leadership and a failure to understand the basic tenements of management. [/quote]

I suspect you meant 'tenets' of management, not:

a room or a set of rooms forming a separate residence within a house or block of apartments.
a piece of land held by an owner.

In any case, if you think that situations are simple enough that everybody ought to get right to the final story right off the bat, then apparently you don't participate in complex environments very often. Or maybe you prefer leaders that make a decision on Monday and execute it on Wednesday, no matter what happens on Tuesday.

posted @ Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - 10:39

Dallas health worker tests positive for Ebola

I have to say I agree with TeeWee here up to a point: the CDC (nor anyone else) doesn't yet know how the infected worker contracted the disease, they just seem to be saying "We 100% know our protocols must work, therefore if someone got sick they must not have followed them"...While I don't doubt that they have pretty rigorously established that the disease is generally transmitted by very specific body fluid exposure, and that they are also trying to keep hysterical reactions to a minimum (which is a good thing), they just don't know (and may never) exactly what happened in this case.

In my paramedic days, I transported a fellow dying with aids from his folks' house to the hospital (where he died died after). I was so exaggerated in my reaction to all the media hype, I went home, got a different uni and burned the one I was wearing. Later though, I called someone at the CDC and found out a much realer picture of what the actual risks were: while I guess the only real tangible harm was the loss of a brand new uniform (separate from the personal harm of a dying guy and his parents being treated by people who feared he was a terrible contagion), it was an example of just how reactionary we humans can be.

posted @ Monday, October 13, 2014 - 10:04

Iraqi Yazidi girl tells of captivity in IS group

@yeti: I agree with you BUT have to point out: all of these depredations (more ore less, not the 'convert to Islam') are equaled or exceeded by what (in WWII era) the Japanese did in China or the Germans in Russia. The point is that no matter what a story aggregating about the actions of a group (such as IS or the Nazis of the KKK), each individual is continuously responsible for the actions and inherently capable of holding or changing their course for the (far) better or worse. Nathan Bedford Forrest, for example, commonly associated with the KKK, made the following statement in his last public speech, addressed to an organization of black southerners in 1877:

It has always been my motto to elevate every man- to depress none. (Applause.) I want to elevate you to take positions in law offices, in stores, on farms, and wherever you are capable of going.

posted @ Sunday, October 12, 2014 - 04:54

Army War College revokes Sen. John Walsh's degree

"His spokeswoman said he was not available for further comment."

He couldn't have just wiki'd some other politician's caught up in their own shenanigans and issued a compelling statement pasted in from that?

posted @ Saturday, October 11, 2014 - 03:20

Ebola patient arrived at Dallas ER with 103-degree fever

One angle on this story is the apparent double-standard (which my years in health care made me very aware of): so the media is all over a nurse ( very professional, not nearly as well-paid or powerful or enabled to make vital decisions) is blamed for 'withholding' somehow that the man was recently in an Ebola area, while a much more paid-revered-authorized-supported physician somehow had no responsibility to ascertain that. The hospital, like all of them nowadays, undoubtedly saves lots of money by prizing the time of their expensive doctors (which is why you see them for about two minutes at most) and covering you more with less-expensive workers. Just like Abu Ghraib: when the sheet hits the fan, find a foot soldier to take the blame.

posted @ Friday, October 10, 2014 - 15:12

Indiana newlyweds die in apparent murder-suicide

Guns don't kill people. People with guns kill people.

posted @ Friday, October 10, 2014 - 05:42

Report details Alaska brawl that involved Palins

And just think: this could have been in the White House!

posted @ Friday, October 10, 2014 - 05:40

GOP, White House clash on Secret Service scandal

Little congressman sees a chance for advancement

posted @ Friday, October 10, 2014 - 05:36

Obama: US 'underestimated' Islamic State threat

@TeeWee: Nope: no need to blame Bush, except for his mistake in imagining there was ever a benefit to the US in putting substantial American forces in a fighting mode in the chaotic middle east. Now the issue is whether or not the unimpeded growth of forces sponsored by the meanest and dogmatic elements in the islamic middle east is more expensive to us, in political, financial, and ethical currency, than spending some of our super-expensive killing power with some acquiescence by moderate or at least less clearly antagonistic forces in the area. I see that McCain (and perhaps the previous commenters) seem to be arguing that relative permanent expense and exposure of our troops in faraway lands is just 'the right thing to do'....

posted @ Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 19:00

Nunn hits back at Perdue on terrorism ad

The Republicans keep losing the major fights, though winning the ones people pay less attention to, because they have nothing to suggest in the way of policy, just swift-boating (or whatever they ended up calling the Max Cleland senate candidacy). These things go together though: the R is just a shill for corporate America, which routinely pays lip-service to scared white people, fearful of reality and susceptible to every conspiracy theory they machine can come up with. 20 years of pushing the immigration button, but never doing anything policywise: this is because the people who are pocketing the difference between legitimate domestic labor costs and the government shortfall from undocumented illegal workers are mostly on the right. They can spout about it (and have for 20 years) while marching firmly in place. The solution is trivial: make it a crime to hire an undocumented worker. In 2008, the reduction in employment here drove very large numbers of illegals away.

We have real problems, and can only make progress with them by dealing with truth: anything else is a waste of time.

posted @ Sunday, September 28, 2014 - 14:39

Ferguson video shows witness raising hands in air

@theold33: so you seem to have some definition of fact that is a little slippery: no one has suggested any alternative to the 'fact' that Wilson shot and killed Brown. There's a video, earlier, in which Brown is seeing in the convenience store, roughing up the apparent proprietor. So, I wouldn't quibble with the first statement being a fact, and the second one showing an interaction with Brown clearly doing nothing we'd be proud of in our own flesh-and-blood...but without a longer video, it's not clear much beyond the fact that his actions constituted reasonable cause for a policeman to accost him and apply the procedures appropriate to non-lethal assault, probably other crimes quite possibly including theft.

But you say:

[quote][b]theold33[/b] - was smoking pot, hit Wilson and tried to take his gun and was shot and killed by Wilson.[/quote]

So, unless you have access to information outside the media, then you are just parroting some people's claims and posting them as 'fact' while other ones are just media whatever. So what is your source of what you call facts? Or rather, your standard of evidence for calling them facts?

posted @ Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 12:26

Ferguson video shows witness raising hands in air

@theold33: and you've pretty much exonerated him? I guess you are impyling that if a suspect has a physical alteration with an LEO, then that LEO is entitled to shoot him to death later, even if he's standing with his hands up?

You know, I don't think our legal framework can (or should) stop sensational evidence from appearing in the media, although I think we have a serious problem with the media (for whom sensational evidence is a huge profit-opportunity) having no accountability when due process takes it's course. And it's crazy how, as in the case, the same people who would be inclined to judge for or against a party in these unfinished legal disputes can find wonderful detailed evidence in the media to establish that their inclination is correct. Not the I think the system is perfect, but in the end I trust the legal process, properly regulated to adhere to our guidelines, yields a closer and more dispassionate approximation of the truth that everyone else's (possibly anonymous) opinion

posted @ Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 10:42

Today's editorial cartoon

[quote][b]TeeWee[/b] - The Occupy movement was largely financed by the sections of labor movement  and other wealthy activist to counter the TeaParty movement. [/quote]

Do you have a shred of evidence of that?

posted @ Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 20:28

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    Blog: Watching movies by myself

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