The chocolate ration is being increased to 25 grammes per week.

Monthly Archives: May 2012

OK, I owe you all something on the lighter side

After all the heavy stuff I dropped, I owe you this:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Forgot to mention, these pics were from Picture This….


The death penalty is wrong, here’s proof

Yes, America, We Have Executed an Innocent Man.

It’s been really bugging me for some time.  The lack of anti-death penalty ground swell, that is. If you believe it is a crime to kill innocent people, whether the government or some criminal does it, you can’t eat your cake and have it too.

And, on top of this, you have our own government denying the testing of DNA before executions to rule out killing of the innocent. I’ve seen far too many statements from prosecutors that refuse to test old evidence, that it makes me sick.

“Naked short selling” is not a more fun version of “short selling”

Matt Taibbi, the guy who loves to write about the 2008 financial collapse, writes about a fortunate (for us!) and unintended release of documents:

Accidentally Released – and Incredibly Embarrassing – Documents Show How Goldman et al Engaged in ‘Naked Short Selling’.

I’m reading this and thinking “how did we get here?”  This practice, naked short selling, should not be possible.  It’s beyond belief that no regulatory agency or law in the US has made this illegal.

Add to the above I finally watched Inside Job yesterday.  The entire situation just boggles the mind.  The people that caused the financial collapse of 2008 came out of it without being prosecuted and with more power and money than before.

This isn’t one of those Republican rants.  In this case, both the Democrats and the Republicans set the stage for the financial collapse and neither of them are willing to do anything about the conditions that made it possible.  Glass-Steagall was repealed during the Clinton’s last term, with his blessing.  Some are calling for the return of the depression-area limits on what banks can do in the investment arena.  I really hope they do bring it back, but I’m not going to hold my breath.  The foxes are in charge of the hen house, with the revolving door between Wall Street and top finance positions in the government.

It will happen again.  We will say “why didn’t we do something last time?” and nothing will be done again.  The only way to fix this, is to outlaw lobbying of Congress.  Congress needs to do their own research on problems and vote the way that best represents their constituents.  Not holding my breath on that one, either…

Who are the job creators?

This TED talk might not have really been banned and it might not be the best of TED, but I agree with the premise: people with lots of money and people that run businesses do not create jobs all by themselves.  Jobs are created by a cycle of supply and demand, and if you have no demand there will be no supply.  In other words, if the middle class shrinks then there will be fewer people to buy goods and companies that sell said goods will order less and the people that make it will make less, which all means there will be fewer people employed.

Banned “Tax the Rich” TED Talk slides and text here.

Those who know me have heard this before: those in power (right now that’s the GOP in Congress) should want a strong middle class.  They might say they want that, but their actions speak differently.  Tax cuts for the rich are not how you make a strong middle class.  Cutting the budget deficit in the middle of a recession is not the way to spur growth.

The GOP’s current plan is only going to make things worse and lessen job creation.

Those chemicals in your couch

This illustrates what is wrong with the power that lobbyists have and how wrong things can go when those exercising that power have no ethical boundaries.

Are You Safe on That Sofa?.


And so it begins, the cleansing of the voter rolls

Florida Tries to Clear Illegal Voters From Rolls – NYTimes.com.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, there is a consistent and determined effort to win every election by any means and one of those means is to reduce the number of voters.  Who benefits from this, do you think?  The lead sentence from the article (emphasis mine):

In an attempt to clear the voter rolls of noncitizens, a move that had set off criticism and a threatened lawsuit, Florida election officials decided on Thursday to use information from a federal database to check a list of 182,000 voters who they suspect are not citizens, officials said.

Let’s be clear, they don’t suspect very many of the people are not citizens.  They just want to reduce the potential Democratic voters.  For example, how many citizens would be able to do this?

Election supervisors were asked to send letters to these voters, requiring them to provide proof of citizenship within 30 days, or their names would be dropped from the registration roll.

Here we have the government of Florida working against those that they represent.  This is disgusting.

You can call me alarmist, but this is very serious.  The end game for this is ugly.  Very ugly.  It’s not not called  democracy.

Cats are insane

These are animated. Click on them to see it.

That is all.

This is why I love reddit.com, and the internet in general

Paul Krugman, nobel prize winning economist, decided to do an IAmA (“I am a…”) today.  The way this works: questions are submitted as comments and the comments are rated.  The person doing the IAmA then replies to the comments.  The current top rated question (it might change over time) got this response:

So, hi — I’m here and on.

Let’s start with the inflation issue. What we want is “appropriately” low rates — which in this case means negative in real terms. Excessively low rates can cause problems, but we’re nowhere near there right now. And for what it’s worth, I don’t buy that story about the bubble at all; what went wrong in 2000-2007 was runaway unregulated banks, not too-low rates.

About the deficit: the thing you need to realize is that a weaker economy means lower tax receipts. Slashing spending now hurts the economy in the short run, offsetting a large part of the initial saving. It also hurts the economy in the long run. So when you do the full arithmetic, you probably make the debt problem worse, not better.

About partisanship: I don’t think I’m being partisan, I think I’m being honest. The way many people try to seem nonpartisan is by pretending that bad ideas aren’t really bad, which I won’t do. It’s not partisan to say, for example, that Paul Ryan’s budget is a fraud. It’s just the uncomfortable truth.

This answer illustrates why I love Krugman, too.  Honest, direct and very simply written (he’s much better in print, IMO).  The comment about partisanship is dead on.  Wrongly throwing that label around is a desperate play by actual partisan hacks.

Here’s a summary of all questions and answers.