Sunday, March 29, 2009

Surprise ...

The chemical --poison the food supply-- industry is against Michelle Obama's organic garden.
Organic White House Garden Puts Some Conventional Panties in a Twist
The fact that the chemical industry is considered conventional and the use of ages-old gardening techniques is considered radical says way too much about our world.

Today's QUOTES:

... I wish news reporters knew how to do things like simple math, if they did, they might take less of a cheerleader stance for the Feds.
--Ahí Vamos de Nuevo by Michel Marizco,

Friday, March 27, 2009

Obama and openness ...

Obama's 'Open for Questions' website is "No longer accepting new questions at this time."

Wonder if he'll apologize to the millions of Americans he ridiculed because they had the temerity to ask a question about the despotic US Drug policy.

I suspect not. He probably can't take time away from sucking up to the bankers.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'll second that ...

The Dithering Society

Organically Grown Corrections ...

I linked to a C&L post in Organic vs GM ...

C&L has a correction post up about the subject: Monsanto and HR 875, Take Two

Obama chooses to ridicule millions of Americans ...

While apparently deliberately misquoting a question about marijuana from his 'open for questions' website, Obama makes fun of the question writer and those who voted for it. To paraphrase this erudite President: 'the answer is no.'

The query, which received more than three million votes, was: "With over 1 out of 30 Americans controlled by the penal system, why not legalize, control, and tax marijuana to change the failed war on drugs into a money making, money saving boost to the economy? Do we really need that many victimless criminals?"

Obama actually interrupted the M.C of the event -- Jared Bernstein, chief economist to the Vice President -- in order to tackle the topic. He kept his answer brief.

"There was one question that voted on that ranked fairly high and that was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy and job creation," he said. "And I don't know what this says about the online audience, but ... this was a popular question. We want to make sure it's answered. The answer is no, I don't think that's a good strategy to grow our economy. All right."

Responded Bernstein: "Thank you for clearing that up."

Thank you for nothing, Obama-baby.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

twittering ...

OK, I was wrong about the Kindle. Seems a good enough reason to attempt to understand Twitter.

What makes a twittering twit twitter ;)


Monday, March 23, 2009

Obama, being conned?

(albeit by the expert conners)

Paulson’s Geithner’s TALF Plan">Kabuki or Bust? Experts Reject Paulson’s Geithner’s TALF Plan

Today's QUOTES:

It's over — we're officially, royally fucked. no empire can survive being rendered a permanent laughingstock, which is what happened as of a few weeks ago, when the buffoons who have been running things in this country finally went one step too far. It happened when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was forced to admit that he was once again going to have to stuff billions of taxpayer dollars into a dying insurance giant called AIG, itself a profound symbol of our national decline — a corporation that got rich insuring the concrete and steel of American industry in the country's heyday, only to destroy itself chasing phantom fortunes at the Wall Street card tables, like a dissolute nobleman gambling away the family estate in the waning days of the British Empire.
--The Big Takeover by MATT TAIBBI,

AIG scandal vividly reveals how corrupt and self-interested are the people who are still exerting primary control over this process, which is why our establishment class is so eager to demand that everyone look away. For months, Americans have been told that they must sacrifice and trust the Government to engage in extraordinary actions if they want to stave off another Great Depression, only to watch as hundreds of billions of dollars fly to the very people who are the prime culprits. ...
--The virtues of public anger and the need for more by Glenn Greenwald,

What is so depressing is that the goal still seems to be to save banks when it should be to save the economy.
--depressed by Jerome a Paris,

They chose to go down with the ship. Can’t they stay drowned?
--Conservatism as Urine by John Cole, Balloon Juice

Organic vs GM ...

Too bad it's a contest, or perhaps a war, but the US corporate greed model makes it so. Otherwise we could scientifically determine and use the best of both. But that will never (at least in the foreseeable future) happen in the United States.

Here's an excellent post on the subject: To GM or Not To GM. Be sure to read the quoted material from Jill Richardson towards the end of the post.

It's the 'Democrat' that's at issue ...

The GOP media machine openly questioned whether it was appropriate for President Barack Obama to travel to Los Angeles this week, when his "business" should be on the economy, the implication being that Obama was not capable of multi-tasking.
This is what Democrats get from Republicans. Democrats do this to Republicans also but Democrats don't have the same access or control of the media loudspeaker that the Republicans usually have. This overwhelming Republican access only breaks down on occasion (such as when McCain and his pard' became scarier than even a Democrat to the rich and malign).

The media loudspeaker not only amplifies and shotguns GOP trivia around the country, but it also diffuses, attacks or ignores any Democratic trivia in the same process. So either Democrats are not as skilled in this practice and/or they don't have the same media access (which they don't) and/or they know the media may cause it to blow up in their faces so they hold back. In the end some/most of them start talking like moronic Republicans for a few pats of approval from the infection that is the media in the United States.

With an overwhelming Republican media (which Pelosi and Holder propose to make even more entrenched, if that is possible) we get trivia and tripe shouted at us 24/7. With a death grip on the public megaphone, the Republicans and their servants in the media question whether the President should go to California, whether his wife should have a garden, whether the President should send a New Year message of hope to the Iranians, whether his wife should wear sleeveless dresses and on and on.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Food makers worried how to present their products in Depression-America ...

Food makers gear marketing to tough times
Not to worry. Their customer's health will be no more an issue in bad times than they were it good times. Chemicals will continue to fill the bill.

[Sara Lee Corp] is emphasizing the value of its Jimmy Dean Skillet product, Barnes said, noting that a consumer just has to add eggs and can feed a family of five a hearty breakfast for about $5.00.

Just what heartiness will you find in one of Jimmy Dean Skillet meals (other than the eggs you add yourself? Here's the list of ingredients as listed on the package:
Potato cubes with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Don't you just luv the fact that these 'food' makers don't even know what kind of oil they are going to use: could be soybean or perhaps cottonseed. Then they leave the option that they may not use just partially hydrogenated oil. They may combine it with non partially hydrogenated oil (how sweet of them). You realize these makers of 'food' know that partially hydrogenated oil is harmful. Well not to worry, a country that has transferred all the wealth to a very few can't complain about what's left, poisonous food not with standing.

Silly idea, but how about just buying a couple potatoes, some olive oil or canola oil to go along with those eggs. Dice and saute them yourself. Maybe a little bit of sausage for flavor. Garlic perhaps. Yum.

Then you could skip the following:
Corn and or black beans would be nice, but a little broccoli might be better. Cheese, too if it appeals to you. But why use this processed gunk. A little grated cheddar, Monterey jack, longhorn cheddar, swiss, gouda, whatever sprinkled on the top of the dish would be nice. That way you can skip the
Such a meal would taste very good with much less salt than the 670mg per recommended serving (four servings per packages). Adding your own fresh green pepper and/or onion if you wish, and whatever spices you prefer. I would use turmeric on the potatoes, no pepper but generous use of anaheim chili peppers (that is before I quit eating chili peppers and tomatoes because of arthritis).

I see no reason to add cream to this dish. I think if it needed more filling power I would use another potato and a little more broccoli instead of the cream.

Chavez says ...

... that Obama is an ignoramus.
Venezuela's Chavez calls Obama "ignoramus"
And after reading this
President Barack Obama on Saturday stepped up his weeklong defense of much-criticized Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, saying he would not accept his resignation even if it was tendered.
perhaps he's right. Certainly my appreciation of Obama's intelligence has taken a nose dive as I watch him emulate BushCo's lead in the financial crisis. Don't know what to do, just turn the problem over to a crook. Just like Bush, Obama's mind is made up and he don't need no stinking input from no real economists. Specially those who predicted the mess we are in. Obama plans to stick like glue to the crooks, liars and robber barons who got the US (and the world) in this mess, thank you very much.

Obama Admin. to pay off the perpertrators of the biggest Ponzi scheme ever ...

... Some $600 Trillion were handed out to any and all comers. So is the world in hock to the masters of the universe for this immoral, and frankly fraudulent gamble? Thus far, it looks like the answer is yes. ...
Most of Obama's CHANGE comes in the form of more, more, more of the same ...
What is depressing is that people are again being steamrolled into "bailouts" - 5 years after being steamrolled into a war against mushroom clouds by essentially the same people - and the Serious People are still wrong, utterly wrong.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Business as usual ...

Holder, Pelosi etc. They apparently are only concerned about corporations making money. They have no concept of breaking up news and editorial control already in the hands of too few as a means of addressing the propaganda as news that is presented to Americans by the media monopolies we are already blessed with.

Their solution? Bigger monopolies.
U.S. law chief open to antitrust aid for newspapers
Yah, save the newspapers but not the news. Why not just one Orwellian Republican governmental propaganda source. We don't have far to go as it is. Oh, that's right, the profit must be in the private hands of a few.

These people can't compete so they must be protected by law. And the rest of us must compete for their leavings. If they need more money then we must give up SS. If they are not making exponentially increasing profit then how could we possibly think we should have national health care. It they are not happy with the magnitude of their wealth as compared to the rest of us then we should expect pay cuts and job reductions.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Obama does some things right ...

If only he would get the Republicans and DINO's out of his administration. Why, oh, why would we want BushCo remnants managing the same areas they corrupted so thoroughly. Obama is not clear sighted or, most likely, lacks progressive ideals in the economic realm.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Who knew ...

You can't spend six months frightening people by warning them that they're headed into a Great Depression and then be surprised when they're "outraged" that hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money are being shoveled into the pockets of those who helped bring the situation about. ...
One wouldn't think this would not be a difficult concept.

Many, or most, of the citizenry saw Obama's candidacy as a potential for real change from a government for the Robber Baron elite to a government for the people, the citizens. The media that switched to Obama, or at least stopped hindering his candidacy, did so, probably with the acceptance of those same Robber Barons, because Obama gave enough indications that any plans he was proposing to change the governance of the US back to considering the people over the continued transfer of wealth to the Robber Barons were very malleable.

The more we see, the more it's apparent that those plans were not only malleable, in the details they are designed for the Robber Barons at the expense of the people. While pretending change, it's still the people who pay and the Robber Baron corporations who reap the benefits. And do the people pay, directly and indirectly, in the form of taxes, fees, lower wages, joblessness, poor education, poor health care, destruction of their environment, a poisoned food supply, and on and on. And the people pay morally because they are held responsible for all the ills of the system, after all if they were responsible people they would have a job and would be rich, that's the American way, so if they are jobless or poor then obviously it's their fault.

Of course it's not their fault in the Republican talking point sense. But it is their fault, in another sense, as long as they accept the lies, don't make their will known, and allow themselves to be played off one against the other.

Today's QUOTES:

"I want change I can believe in," he told me in an interview late yesterday. "I don't think I have change I can notice."
--Dem Rep. Miller Interview: No 'Change I Can Notice' At Obama's Treasury by Elana Schor,

... Isn't it funny how "reform" always means citizens get less while corporations get more?
--Here We Go Again: Does Malpractice 'Reform' Mean Less Protection for Victims? By Susie Madrak,

This was bad analysis, bad policy, and terrible politics. This administration, elected on the promise of change, has already managed, in an astonishingly short time, to create the impression that it’s owned by the wheeler-dealers. And that leaves it with no ability to counter crude populism.
--AIG by Paul Krugman, NY Times

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bringing the Obama admin's competence into question ...

Shades of Bush:
And to make matters worse, now the administration wants us to believe that Obama was only told about the AIG bonus payments last week. Either the administration is flat-out lying, or Tim Geithner is incompetent and should be fired. ...
I think this behavior follows from an attempt to continue to project the image that Obama believed in his claims during the campaign with his capitulation to monied interest of the banking industry, the insurance industry, etc.

Obama has the backing of an electorate that wants certain things done, but those are not the ones he's serving so far. He's catering to those who hate his guts. I don't see how this can turn out well ...

Sleeveless dresses and, oh my god, bare arms ...

Elegant Jacqueline Kennedy wore sleeveless dresses frequently. I don't remember all the personal attacks about appropriateness and motivation.

Tall, statuesque and elegant Michelle Obama looks good in her sleeveless outfits.

There is no culture of hiding arms here in the US. To even suggest, as at least one cretin with access to the media loudspeaker has done, that Michelle Obama should not wear sleeveless dresses because someone in the world might be offended is ludicrousness magnified by trillions.

Can't we do anything about the insipid, trivializing, brain-damaging media in this country?

Another woman whose body is considered fair game by the media loudspeaker is Meghan McCain. Paradox discusses Laura Ingraham's regression to pre-teen years in Inexcusable

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Authoritarianism, Binge Drinking and the French ...

BBC Global News podcast
GlobalNews: 11 Mar 09 AM Africa IMF/Madoff plea/Afghanistan heroin/France binge drinking
Duration: 26mins
refers to a binge drinking problem that has developed in France, mostly among the young I gather. There are open bars in France, like all-you-can-eat specials here in the US.

Looking at this from the out side and from across the ocean and with only the BBC blurb to guide me, it appears that the French reaction to alcohol abuse is much like that of the US. The authorities see a problem (real or perceived doesn't matter), legislate making an activity or organization illegal and as a result, drive a real problem under ground and/or create a new hidden problem. Here, I thought the French understood 'life, the universe and everything' better than we did. Or at least I thought they thought they did. Oh well, at least one of us was wrong.

The BBC broadcast didn't indicate if there are any ideas why the French youngsters are indulging in binge drinking in a country with a reputation for more responsible use of alcohol than most.

I however, am interested in the causes. Binge drinking is being reported as a big problem here in the US and now as a new problem in France. Binge drinking always existed. Is it really increasing, that is increasing at a higher rate than the population and is it really a new problem among the young in France. If so and if I were an 'authority' I would look into what factors may contribute to this development. Driving another problem underground seems self destructive, not that the most expensive, self destructive approach is not humankind's usual choice.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pretty picture ...

Larisa Alexandrovna at at-Largely writes:
"The role of government in the modern era has become rather clear to me: it acts as a broker for the transfer of public money to private hands. There is no actual governing."
Certainly, Obama-baby is proving her point. So far Obama has lied about most things he professed that he would do or that he believed in and for the rest he has Rahm Emanuel to ensure that his fake proposals to Congress get sabotaged. Being personally less offensive than Torturer Bush doesn't make Obama a good-guy by default, no matter how much one may wish it so. Obama may not have taken up the torture-banner completely yet but he is in the process, or at least very close, to doing so. Since open-government Obama appears to relish secrecy almost as much as Bush did, it's possible that Obama has already done so.

Not much hope so far ...

Friday, March 13, 2009

I find these clips painful to watch ...

[Updates below]
Jim Cramer Interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show
In the United States of America the truth can only be told on a comedy show ...

And don't come away from viewing these clips thinking this is all about Cramer. He was just one cog in the corrupt wheel of TV analysts, TV host and reporters. Well except for a handful ...

ADDED: Glenn Greenwald writes
"The point that can't be emphasized enough is that this isn't a matter of past history. Unlike Cramer -- who at least admitted fault last night and said he was "chastized" -- most establishment journalists won't acknowledge that there was anything wrong with the behavior of the press corps during the Bush years. The most they'll acknowledge is that it was confined to a couple of bad apples -- The Judy Miller Defense. But the Cramer-like journalistic behavior during that period that was so widespread and did so much damage is behavior that our press corps, to this day, believes is proper and justified."
ADDED II: From digby -
"He just doesn't get the joke. None of them do.

"If you doubt that, here's Cramer's reaction on his own show to Stewart's smack down."

Today's QUOTES:

The real goal [of the actions of Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer and others in scuttling the Charles Freeman appointment], as always, was to ensure that there is no debate over America's indescribably self-destructive, blind support for Israeli actions. ...
--The agenda of Chuck Schumer by Glenn Greenwald,

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Whatever the military’s plans are for Mexico, brace yourself, we’re in for a whole new adventure."

Posse Comitatus Revisited

The elephant(s) in the room ...

If we humans do not address world population in an organized, humane and inclusive manner then wars (religious, political, ethnic), disease and an increasingly hostile environment will reduce the earth's populations in spite of us.

After watching the greedy bankers, insurance-ers and other corporatist hacks of the US take from the taxpayer, with the help of Congress and both the Bush and Obama administrations, to refresh their own coffers I'm not sure any better outcome is possible for a species bent on such long term self destruction while fillings the pockets of a few with all the goodies as their fellow humans suffer, sicken and die.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Catholic Church's anti-woman skirt is showing ... again!

To the Catholic Church raping a girl is something to be frowned on, and possibly punished (unless of course the rape was performed by a priest, in which case a transfer and silence may be the most likely result).

But should a nine year old girl abort a pregnancy that resulted from a rape, a pregnancy that may very well kill her, well that is really, really, really evil and the Catholic Church must show its displeasure and GOD's WILL by excomunicating the cretins who allowed this abortion to happen.

The Catholic GOD can forgive the rape of children (as not a few priests themselves have been known to indulge themselves in these activities) but not an abortion by the raped child (after all priests, who are only men, cannot have abortions as they are incapable of becoming pregnant so they are safe from ever wanting or needing an abortion themselves).

I suppose that that means that the Catholic GOD has plans for rapes, rapists and any resulting pregnancies caused thereby. But plans and compassion for the victims of these rapes does not enter into the Catholic GOD's thinking? Otherwise why would the Catholic God show more mercy and understanding to the rapist than the victim? Could it be because only men represent the Catholic GOD? Very narrow minded men, at that.

(Link: Hullabaloo)

Today's QUOTES:

... Real justice doesn’t allow someone with vast resources to ‘freely’ use them while the opposition has no such resources. Any judge that pretends they are administering justice in such an unequal match is a fraud. A real justice system would make certain that the resources brought to bear in legal cases were the same.
--Real Freedom is Dependent on Equality by Anthony McCarthy, ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES

Photos in a forest in Prescott ...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lucy and a few other photos ...

Except for the photo of Lucy with a green 'bone,' these photos were taken at the roadside rest area on I10 (heading toward Tucson, from Phx).

Click on small images to see larger version.