Saturday, August 31, 2013

Something to Know - 1 September

Rob Rogers
1.  What a difference 12 hours makes.  As I started gathering a few articles to forward on to this forum, I chose those that articulated a view point that I believe is fundamental to the entire position that the United States must take on the question of Syria - the U.S, Constitution.  I am of the position that I would really like to see the Congress do its job first, in a case like this, and that is to authorize any military incursion.   For too long, presidents have gone out and put us into some costly messes over many decades.  The vigorous discussions that many of us have been having on yes or no on going into Syria need to be taking place on the floor of Congress.  Perhaps the House will get off its Dead -Boehner Ass and do some constructive work, rather than play games with the debt ceiling, sequestration, or naming some interstate road after some war hero.  Also, if military action is approved, it should damn well come with the funding backing for doing so.  If the Congress does not give its approval, then it gives Obama an out as to why we are not invading, and maybe he will forever keep his mouth shut when he fancies talking about any more "red lines".  This first editorial was written before Obama's announcement today:

Here's another concern from Charles Blow:

2.  Roger Cohen of the NY Times concerns his column with the issue of the Brits breaking with Obama's initial sentiments on Syria.   The British Parliament engaged in a civil, but noisy and rigorous (as they usually do), debate, and set up an example of how to debate this issue for our own Senate and House.  My only frustration with Obama's statement today is, that if approval of an incursion into Syria is so important, why did he not call Congress back into session immediately?  But no, he is willing to wait until they come back from their break, Labor Day home speeches, and fund raising.  Congress is on its "Constituent Work Period" 5 August- 6 September, and won't be back to do the Peoples' Work until Monday the 9th of September.  So, you Hawks will have to wait a couple of weeks, at least:

3.  How Wrong can the Right be?:

--
****
Juan
 
The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun..
-- Ralph Nader

Friday, August 30, 2013

Something to Know - 30 August (okay, a bit more)

Ben Sargent
1.  With all of the emphasis on the different ways to respond to the Syrian Problem, the gun nuts in this country are going about their business of in-your-face-we-can to the point that it proves that we are unable to really affect a moderate peace accord with the world:

2.  David Brooks comes through with a pretty broad assessment of what could happen from the different options available on the table to cool down the Syrian/Middle East inferno.   Unlike some, he is not recommending anything, but is making it known what the downsides are from the options available.  Yes, it is a mess, but the point is that we should be mindful of what kind of mess might be made from what we do, or do not do:


--
****
Juan
 
The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
-- Andy Rooney

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Something to Know - 29 August


Pat Oliphant

(My thanks to the Syrian Electronic Army for now screwing up my main source of reading for today)
1.  An argument for the continuation of humanities being taught at the college/university level is always sure to stir a good discussion.   There really is no reason not to.   Here is a good argument from a Pomona College alum from the class of 1974:

2.  Charles Blow puts MLK Jr. into the context of a person who inspired many, but scared the the white infrastructure so much that the FBI put surveillance on him.  Where have we come in 50 years, and what is to become of the seed that was planted in overcoming the inequalities that existed before and now?:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/29/opinion/blow-the-most-dangerous-negro.html?emc=eta1

--
****
Juan
 
The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
-- Andy Rooney

Andrew Borowitz

The multitude of discussions, opinions, and options are all around us as red lines, moral superiority, obligations, historical track records, and political considerations are laid before us.   Perhaps this might be the solution that is the least offensive and appeases no one:

The Borowitz Report

AUGUST 29, 2013

OBAMA PROMISES SYRIA STRIKE WILL HAVE NO OBJECTIVE

POSTED BY 

boro-obama-syria.jpg

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Attempting to quell criticism of his proposal for a limited military mission in Syria, President Obama floated a more modest strategy today, saying that any U.S. action in Syria would have "no objective whatsoever."

"Let me be clear," he said in an interview on CNN. "Our goal will not be to effect régime change, or alter the balance of power in Syria, or bring the civil war there to an end. We will simply do something random there for one or two days and then leave."

"I want to reassure our allies and the people of Syria that what we are about to undertake, if we undertake it at all, will have no purpose or goal," he said. "This is consistent with U.S. foreign policy of the past."

While Mr. Obama clearly hoped that his proposal of a brief and pointless intervention in Syria would reassure the international community, it immediately drew howls of protest from U.S. allies, who argued that two days was too open-ended a timeframe for such a mission.

That criticism led White House spokesman Jay Carney to brief reporters later in the day, arguing that the President was willing to scale down the U.S. mission to "twenty-four hours, thirty-six tops."

"It may take twenty-four hours, but it could also take twelve," Mr. Carney said.

"Maybe we get in there, take a look around, and get out right away. But however long it takes, one thing will not change: this mission will have no point. The President is resolute about that."



--
****
Juan
 
If God had intended us to fly he would have made it easier to get to the airport 
-- Jonathan Winters

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Something Else to Know - 24 August

There are wonderful and emotional stories passed around as we approach the anniversary of 9/11.   I am passing this one one because of the collateral good that came out of that tragedy, and the demonstration of the humanity that we all have when we realize the depth of the compassion that exists.  The fact that the airline mentioned is the one I finished my career with is nice, but this could have been any airline that day:


Subject: Wonderful story... 9/11 Delta Flight 15
 
 
Good stuff---

It is almost 11 yrs since 9/11 and here is a wonderful story about that 
terrible day.

Jerry Brown Delta Flight 15... (true story)

Here is an amazing story from a flight attendant on Delta Flight 15, 
written following 9-11:


On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of 
Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic .


All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the 
cockpit, immediately, to see the captain. As soon as I got there I 
noticed that the crew had that "All Business" look on their faces.. The 
captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta's main office in 
Atlanta and simply read, "All airways over the Continental United 
States are closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest 
airport. Advise your destination."


No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious 
situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly.. The captain 
determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander , 
New Foundland.


He requested approval for a route change from the Canadian traffic 
controller and approval was granted immediately -- no questions asked. 
We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving 
our request.


While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, another 
message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity 
in the New York area. A few minutes later word came in about the 
hijackings.



We decided to LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air. We 
told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we needed 
to land at the nearest airport in Gander , New Foundland, to have it 
checked out.


We promised to give more information after landing in Gander . There was 
much grumbling among the passengers, but that's nothing new! Forty 
minutes later, we landed in Gander . Local time at Gander was 
12:30 PM! .... that's 11:00 AM EST.


There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over 
the world that had taken this detour on their way to the U.S.


After we parked on the ramp, the captain made the following 
announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these 
airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The 
reality is that we are here for another reason." Then he went on to 
explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the U.S. There 
were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. The captain informed 
passengers that Ground control in Gander told us to stay put.


The Canadian Government was in charge of our situation and no one was 
allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to 
come near any of the air crafts. Only airport police would come around 
periodically, look us over and go on to the next airplane. In the next 
hour or so more planes landed and Gander ended up with 53 airplanes 
from all over the world, 27 of which were U.S. commercial jets.


Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and 
for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World 
Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC. People were 
trying to use their cell phones, but were unable to connect due to a 
different cell system in Canada . Some did get through, but were only 
able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines 
to the U.S. were either blocked or jammed.


Sometime in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade 
Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted 
in a crash. By now the passengers were emotionally and physically 
exhausted, not to mention frightened, but everyone stayed amazingly 
calm. We had only to look out the window at the 52 other stranded 
aircraft to realize that we were not the only ones in this predicament.


We had been told earlier that they would be allowing people off the 
planes one plane at a time. At 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our 
turn to deplane would be 11 am the next morning. Passengers were not 
happy, but they simply resigned themselves to this news without much 
noise and started to prepare themselves to spend the night on the 
airplane.


Gander had promised us medical attention, if needed, water, and 
lavatory servicing. And they were true to their word. Fortunately we 
had no medical situations to worry about. We did have a young lady who 
was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The 
night passed without incident despite the uncomfortable sleeping 
arrangements.


About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th a convoy of school buses showed 
up. We got off the plane and were taken to the terminal where we went 
through Immigration and Customs and then had to register with the Red 
Cross.


After that we (the crew) were separated from the passengers and were 
taken in vans to a small hotel. We had no idea where our passengers 
were going. We learned from the Red Cross that the town of Gander has a 
population of 10,400 people and they had about 10,500 passengers to 
take care of from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander ! We 
were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be contacted when the 
U.S. airports opened again, but not to expect that call for a while.


We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting 
to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started.


Meanwhile, we had lots of time on our hands and found that the people 
of Gander were extremely friendly. They started calling us the "plane 
people." We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town of Gander and 
ended up having a pretty good time.


Two days later, we got that call and were taken back to the Gander 
airport. Back on the plane, we were reunited with the passengers and 
found out what they had been doing for the past two days. What we found 
out was incredible.


Gander and all the surrounding communities (within MATCH about a 75 
Kilometer radius) had closed all high schools, meeting halls, lodges, 
and any other large gathering places. They converted all these 
facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers. Some 
had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up.


ALL the high school students were required to volunteer their time to 
take care of the "guests." Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called 
Lewisporte, about 45 kilometers from Gander where they were put up in a 
high school. If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that 
was arranged. Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers 
were taken to private homes.


Remember that young pregnant lady? She was put up in a private home 
right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility. There was 
a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with the 
crowd for the duration.


Phone calls and e-mails to the U.S. and around the world were available 
to everyone once a day. During the day, passengers were offered 
"Excursion" trips. Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and 
harbors. Some went for hikes in the local forests. Local bakeries 
stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests.


Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the schools. 
People were driven to restaurants of their choice and offered wonderful 
meals. Everyone was given tokens for local laundry mats to wash their 
clothes, since luggage was still on the aircraft. In other words, every 
single need was met for those stranded travelers.


Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. Finally, when 
they were told that U.S. airports had reopened, they were delivered to 
the airport right on time and without a single passenger missing or 
late. The local Red Cross had all the information about the whereabouts 
of each and every passenger and knew which plane they needed to be on 
and when all the planes were leaving. They coordinated everything 
beautifully.


It was absolutely incredible.


When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. 
Everyone knew each other by name. They were swapping stories of their 
stay, impressing each other with who had the better time. Our flight 
back to Atlanta looked like a chartered party flight. The crew just 
stayed out of their way. It was mind-boggling.


Passengers had totally bonded and were calling each other by their 
first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.


And then a very unusual thing happened..



One of our passengers approached me and asked if he could make an 
announcement over the PA system. We never, ever allow that. But this 
time was different. I said "of course" and handed him the mike. He 
picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone 
through in the last few days. He reminded them of the hospitality they 
had received at the hands of total strangers. He continued by saying 
that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of 
Lewisporte.


"He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 
(our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide 
college scholarships for the high school students of Lewisporte. He 
asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers. When the 
paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone 
numbers and addresses, the total was for more than $14,000!


"The gentleman, a MD from Virginia , promised to match the donations and 
to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that 
he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to 
donate as well.


As I write this account, the trust fund is at more than $1.5 million 
and has assisted 134 students in college education.



"I just wanted to share this story because we need good stories right 
now. It gives me a little bit of hope to know that some people in a 
faraway place were kind to some strangers who literally dropped in on 
them.


It reminds me how much good there is in the world."


"In spite of all the rotten things we see going on in todays world 
this story confirms that there are still a lot of good and Godly people 
in the world and when things get bad, they will come forward.



"God Bless America ... and God Bless the Canadians."

 
 
****
Juan
 
If God had intended us to fly he would have made it easier to get to the airport 
-- Jonathan Winters

Something to Know (resend) - 24 August

082513-toon-luckovich-ed


1.   As the Rim Fire rages into Yosemite, and concerns for water and power issues for the San Francisco Bay Area emerge, we have to wonder if the rests of the world is also going all to hell.   Here is an article about the continuing civil strife in the Middle East.   We now know that national borders are meaningless.  The anger and hatred of tribes, ethnicity, and differences in religious beliefs (in particular) is sweeping through like an uncontrolled fire.  Too bad we think we might be able to fix the problem - we probably cannot on our own:

2.  Re-thinking nuclear power, because it is cleaner than fossil fuels, I think is a mistake.  Yes, it is cleaner on the front end, in the generation, however, it is horribly dirty in the long run.  The only way that I can even think of going along with the idea is that private enterprise cannot be allowed to produce the power.   As has been demonstrated, there are too many instances where the past failures of nuclear generation have been shown to be mostly caused by decisions made out of cost considerations as a result of making a profit.  That is not to say that government run nuclear plants are any better, but what we know now, and what we need to follow through with is costly, particularly in what is done in handling spent radioactive fuel.   We need to concentrate on wind and solar and other sustainable and renewable forms, and work to remove or lessen the carbon foot print that we are currently leaving:

3.  This Gail Collins column reminds me of the time back in 1987 when we moved to Georgia to keep our jobs we had with the airline industry.   Several California transplants arrived in Peachtree City, and after all the unpacking and setting up house chores were getting done with, the ladies from Western Airlines-now Delta went to the department stores, and started signing up for the store credit/charge cards.   They could not do it by themselves, since ONLY the men were allowed to open up the accounts for their spouse.  Shucky-Darn, welcome to the South.  As time went on, that antebellum policy went by the wayside:

--
****
Juan
 
If God had intended us to fly he would have made it easier to get to the airport 
-- Jonathan Winters

Something to Know - 24 August

082513-toon-luckovich-ed


1.   As the Rim Fire rages into Yosemite, and concerns for water and power issues for the San Francisco Bay Area emerge, we have to wonder if the rests of the world is also going all to hell.   Here is an article about the continuing civil strife in the Middle East.   We now know that national borders are meaningless.  The anger and hatred of tribes, ethnicity, and differences in religious beliefs (in particular) is sweeping through like an uncontrolled fire.  Too bad we think we might be able to fix the problem - we probably cannot on our own:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/24/world/middleeast/lebanon-bomb-attacks.html?emc=eta1&_r=0&pagewanted=print

2.  Re-thinking nuclear power, because it is cleaner than fossil fuels, I think is a mistake.  Yes, it is cleaner on the front end, in the generation, however, it is horribly dirty in the long run.  The only way that I can even think of going along with the idea is that private enterprise cannot be allowed to produce the power.   As has been demonstrated, there are too many instances where the past failures of nuclear generation have been shown to be mostly caused by decisions made out of cost considerations as a result of making a profit.  That is not to say that government run nuclear plants are any better, but what we know now, and what we need to follow through with is costly, particularly in what is done in handling spent radioactive fuel.   We need to concentrate on wind and solar and other sustainable and renewable forms, and work to remove or lessen the carbon foot print that we are currently leaving:
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/23/the-new-nuclear-craze/?emc=eta1&pagewanted=print 

3.  This Gail Collins column reminds me of the time back in 1987 when we moved to Georgia to keep our jobs we had with the airline industry.   Several California transplants arrived in Peachtree City, and after all the unpacking and setting up house chores were getting done with, the ladies from Western Airlines-now Delta went to the department stores, and started signing up for the store credit/charge cards.   They could not do it by themselves, since ONLY the men were allowed to open up the accounts for their spouse.  Shucky-Darn, welcome to the South.  As time went on, that antebellum policy went by the wayside:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/24/opinion/collins-where-credit-is-due.html?emc=eta1 


--
****
Juan
 
If God had intended us to fly he would have made it easier to get to the airport 
-- Jonathan Winters

Friday, August 23, 2013

Fwd: Sean Hannity: Stand Up to John McCain and Stop Obamacare

Something to Know - 

This is how bad it is getting out on the fringe of the extreme.  Sean Hannity has, of late, been slipping in his audience rating, and has lost his anchor spot on Fox to someone else.  So, his only solace is to find comfort with the Tea Baggers who are currently on a rampage against anything that resembles sympathy to sympathy.  Here is what was in my mail box this morning - DESPERATION !!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tea Party Patriots <newsletter@teapartypatriots.org>
Date: Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 8:41 AM
Subject: Sean Hannity: Stand Up to John McCain and Stop Obamacare
To: juanma2t@gmail.com


You are receiving this email on behalf of Tea Party Patriots. 100% Grassroots, 100% of the Time.
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.

**A Special Message from Sean Hannity**


Dear Patriot,

Tea Party Patriots is going toe-to-toe with John McCain, Lindsey Graham and the rest of the moderate Republicans who don't want to stop Obamacare.

These inside-the-beltway compromisers let Barack Obama exempt big business from Obamacare. Then, they exempted themselves. But they refuse to exempt you and me!

That's why I've made it my personal mission to help Jenny Beth Martin and Tea Party Patriots raise the money they need to win this battle to Exempt America from Obamacare!

Please, make an urgent generous contribution of $15, $25, $50, or whatever you can afford immediately to help fund Tea Party Patriots' Exempt America from Obamacare campaign.

I believe every Tea Party supporter out there has a moral obligation to assist this anti-Obamacare offensive in the Senate.

Senators Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz are leading the fight to stop this mess.

But "moderate" Republicans like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Richard Burr are fighting them!

Conservatives want to strip Obamacare out of the upcoming government funding bill.

But Senator Burr of North Carolina has told the press that "I think this is the dumbest idea I've ever heard." Lindsey Graham said stopping Obamacare was "a bridge too far." John McCain says it's a "nonstarter."

These senators actually believe that keeping this horrible law is politically popular!

And that's why Tea Party Patriots is trying to fight back by launching this massive grassroots Exempt America campaign.

But they can't do it without your help. They're going to need a major influx of resources if they're going to go toe to with the Republican political establishment!

Please, make the very best gift you can today.

So far this year, the IRS mess and all the battles over taxes, gun control, and immigration have put a major dent in Tea Party Patriots' budget.

And right this minute, Tea Party Patriots is running TV ads all over the country to inform uninformed Americans about the IRS's targeted harassment of American citizens.

But they're getting ready for their biggest offensive yet – a massive, day-long rally on the steps of the Capitol the day that Congress returns from the summer recess.

That's why I am calling on you today.

I hope you'll join me in making this historic rally a day to remember.

We can't let the Washington "ruling class" get away with this! They MUST Exempt America from Obamacare!

As a personal favor to me, please make the very best gift you can to Tea Party Patriots right away.

This truly is an emergency.

Tea Party Patriots is readying the logistics, the advertising, the equipment, and the transportation they'll need to make this massive rally a success.

They're partnering with several other major national conservative grassroots organizations.

But Jenny Beth Martin and Tea Party Patriots desperately need your financial help to make this rally the bombshell that it needs to be.

I've seen Tea Party Patriots execute some amazing events, and I'm confident that they can do it again this fall - but only if you help them.

Remember, career politicians like John McCain, Richard Burr and Lindsey Graham are going all out to protect Obamacare. They believe that giving Barack Obama what he wants and standing up to the Tea Party is good politics.

We must show them they are wrong. We must demand that they Exempt America from this disaster!

Tea Party Patriots is going to fight to the last gasp to get these Senators in line, but they can't do it without your help.

They urgently need the necessary funding to put this plan into action.

Please, don't let me down. Don't let John McCain and his go-along-to-get-along buddies in the Senate save Obamacare.

Make the very best contribution you can right away.

Thank you in advance for all your help, and may God bless America!

For Freedom,

Sean Hannity

Tea Party Patriots, Inc. operates as a social welfare organization organized under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to Tea Party Patriots, Inc. are not deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.

Paid for by Tea Party Patriots, Inc., Debbie Dooley (Treasurer)
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Support: 404-593-0877
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--
****
Juan
 
When a place advertises itself as 'World Famous,' you may be sure it isn't.
-- Herb Caen

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Something to Know - 22 August



1.  Since it is worth speculating about the re-incarnation of Joseph McCarty's candidacy for pres, in the form of Ted Cruz, this article starts the revealing process of the baggage from his past that could haunt him.  (Thanks to the Santa Cruz news bureau):

2.  Check out this narrative and video of T. Cruz as he does his "town hall" presentation to Defund Obama Care.   Unfriendly crowd:
--
****
Juan
 
The trouble with born-again Christians is that they are an even bigger pain the second time around. 
-- Herb Caen

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Something to Know - 21 August

Clay Bennett

1.  Okay, all you "birthers".   Time to figure out the big question as it relates to Senator Ted Cruz.   He's the darling of the Tea Baggers, and they want him to run for president.   Cruz is doing all the political moves to do so.   You can find the issues right here:


2. The most entertaining and interesting show in town (D.C.) is the Lucha Libre going on in the GeeOpie, Republican, or whatever other name you want.  The extremists do not have any best interests of the people of America at all - just their own selfish agenda, and they don't care who or what dies as they carry out their agenda.   September will be an interesting show:

--
****
Juan
 
A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.   
-- Herb Caen

Andy Borowitz


The Borowitz Report

  • AUGUST 20, 2013

CHRISTIE FORCED OUT OF G.O.P. RACE BY EMPATHY SCANDAL

POSTED BY 

christie-boro.jpg

TRENTON (The Borowitz Report)—New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie withdrew from consideration as a Presidential candidate today after becoming embroiled in what a leading Republican strategist called "a career-ending empathy scandal."

After signing a law barring licensed therapists from engaging in so-called gay conversion therapy, Mr. Christie stunned his fellow Republicans by seemingly expressing compassion for gay children, thus disqualifying himself from any further role in the G.O.P.

"Showing empathy for gays or children would have been bad enough," says Republican strategist Harland Dorrinson, one of many party leaders who called for Mr. Christie to withdraw. "But empathy for gay children is a flat-out betrayal."

In a brief statement to reporters, Mr. Christie expressed remorse for what he called "my unfortunate and ill-considered display of understanding for people different from myself," and urged the people of New Jersey to remember "my strong record of cutting funds for schools and the elderly."

While Mr. Christie might try to regain his fellow Republicans' trust by vetoing more assault-rifle bans, G.O.P. strategist Tracy Klugian says that the governor does not deserve another chance, citing his "dangerous flirtations with compassion" in the past.

"After Hurricane Sandy, Chris Christie worried a lot of us with his recklessly sensitive behavior," says Mr. Klugian. "But we really thought he had put this problem behind him."

Mr. Christie's latest empathy scandal has left Mr. Klugian, like many other Republicans, shaking his head: "It's sad to see such a promising career end this way. But maybe this will force him to get the help he needs."

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Something to Know - 17 August

081813-toon-luckovich-ed


1.  When I moved from Georgia back to California, after 24 years of economic exile, many folks back there questioned why I would want to go back to LA-LA land, broken hippies, and a failed state.  California has a great base of attraction with all of its natural wonders, its ethnic diversity, and dynamic economic engine.  Its great to be back as the state pulls itself on the road back to the greatness it once had.  Other than its strong DNA and talent, Jerry Brown as Governor is doing what he does best - govern well without fanfare:

2.  The Tea Party.   Here is a nice little analysis based on an Aesop Fable:

3.  An inner-city kid from Jefferson High, in South Los Angeles, struggles against 9000-to 1 odds, and is successful in getting accepted to UC Berkeley, where he promptly struggles to avoid flunking out.   What does this tell us about his high school education, the abrupt change in social environment, and the agonizing disparities bred by the widening canyons of economic wealth and its impact on education?:
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-c1-cal-freshmen-20130816-dto,0,1908727,print.htmlstory

--
****
Juan
 
The best cure for sea sickness, is to sit under a tree.  
-- Spike Milligan

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ben Sargent

This is a resend, since I noted a problem with URLs not getting properly coded for opening.  This is a continuing problem with Google now.

1.   For the past few days I had some issues with the NY TImes articles opening up after I copied the URLs into this forum.   I am sending you two pieces from the NY TImes, to see if this is okay now.  Here is an piece on the mess in Egypt by a writer who is against the removal of Morsi by force, and why he is:

2.  Here is Paul Krugman on the apparent continuing misinformation, or at least the continuing perception that the federal budget deficit keeps on going up.  Why does it persist?   Is it because the GeeOpie guys keep saying so?:



--
****
Juan
 
Wood burns faster when you have to cut and chop it yourself. 
-- Harrison Ford

Something to Know - 16 August

Ben Sargent
1.   for the past few days I had some issues with the NY TImes articles opening up after I copied the URLs into this forum.   I am sending you a trio of pieces from the NY TImes, to see if this is okay now.  Here is an piece on the mess in Egypt by a writer who is against the removal of Morsi by force, and why he is:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/16/opinion/egypts-blood-americas-complicity.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

2.  Here is Paul Krugman on the apparent continuing misinformation, or at least the continuing perception that the federal budget deficit keeps on going up.  Why does it persist?   Is it because the GeeOpie guys keep saying so?:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/16/opinion/krugman-moment-of-truthiness.html?ref=opinion&pagewanted=print

3.  Timothy Egan has some very good reasons why Presidents should go somewhere different for their vacations.  True, Hawaii was kind of new, but Martha's Vineyard is kind of old now.  There are some real neat places, like Blackwell's Corner and Pahrump that are highly neglected, and need attention:
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/15/under-the-dome/?ref=opinion&pagewanted=print
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Juan
 
Wood burns faster when you have to cut and chop it yourself. 
-- Harrison Ford

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Something to Know - 14 August

Ben Sargent
1.  Germany is experiencing a decline in its population, which is affecting the support of its aging workforce and pensioners.   Germany has had very stringent immigration laws, and has had very poor relations with "temporary workers (Turks)" imported to do the work the Germans do not like doing.  How is Germany going to survive?:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/14/world/europe/germany-fights-population-drop.html?emc=eta1&pagewanted=print

2.  The replacement for the head of the Fed, Ben Bernanke, has brought forth just a whole bunch of negative feelings about Lawrence Summers.   And, rightly so.  Maureen Dowd explains:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/14/opinion/dowd-summers-of-our-discontent.html?emc=eta1&pagewanted=print

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Juan
 
A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing. 
-- Emo Philips

Monday, August 12, 2013

Something to Know - 12 August

Rob Rogers

1.  I put this Paul Krugman piece here on the free-market idology and Milton Friedman just to bug my Ayn Rand friends.  Enjoy:

2.  Joseph Stiglitz, another Nobel Prize winner, is capable of parsing out the bullshit and leaving us with the lessons to be learned from the financial woes of the city of Detroit.  The economic segregation (the wealthy disassociating themselves of any burden), and the feeling that the city's problem is just a collateral event from the "free market" is just a normal thing - is contrary to what we are as a nation:
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/11/the-wrong-lesson-from-detroits-bankruptcy/?emc=eta1&pagewanted=print

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Juan
 
You know you're a redneck if your home has wheels and your car doesn't  
-- Jeff Foxworthy

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Something to Know - 11 August

Ben Sargent
1.  David Gresham has a new book - "Project Innocence".   His contribution this morning to the NY Times puts a face on a Gitmo detainee that will open your mind up a bit as to what is actually going on at the expensive prison on the small end of Cuba.  Mostly, it puts a face on the way in which injustice gets mixed up with political twists, greedy snitches, and a government that is unable to face up to its Constitutional obligations:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/11/opinion/sunday/after-guantanamo-another-injustice.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130811&pagewanted=print

2.  Maureen Dowd is now involved in puffing up some interest in the Hillary-for-President discussion.  I think you will enjoy this piece, especially how it smooths out all of the angst and misgivings of past relationships, while creating a new one:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/11/opinion/sunday/dowd-madam-president.html?emc=eta1&pagewanted=print 

3.  There is a whole block of political influence that does not read newspapers, or watch much of any news media, or pay much of any attention to those of us geezers who do.  So, how is this demographic moved to action?  Enjoy this commentary on the impact of social media and all of the related #hashtags business:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/11/sunday-review/i-flirt-and-tweet-follow-me-at-socialbot.html?emc=eta1&pagewanted=print

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Juan

I've been married to a communist and a fascist, and neither would take out the garbage.  
-- Zsa Zsa

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Something to Know - 10 August

Jen Sorensen
1.  The insurance industry estimates its risk assessment in taking on the business of assuming liability.  It figures that it needs to avoid situations where the risk is too great, or where the premiums need be beyond reasonable.  So, how does the insurance industry evaluate its risk on deniers of climate change and opposition to gun control regulation?: (Thanks to Bob Gereke)

2.  A "Town Without Pity".  Which town is that?   Charles Blow points it out, and with good reason:


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Juan

I've been married to a communist and a fascist, and neither would take out the garbage.  
-- Zsa Zsa

Friday, August 9, 2013

Something to Know - 9 August

lk080913_color


1.  With Congress in recess (from what?), there is not much to comment on.  About all there is to observe is this hell-bent obnoxious attitude that the Tea Party has taken on in its campaign to smear those who are to the left of them in the GeeOpie.  I say, let them have at it and destroy themselves.  However, I am hoping that saner voices in the Republican ranks start taking a stand and begin to voice their opinions in greater numbers.  As much as I am categorized as a Liberal Progressive and an Atheist/Agnostic with Unitarian Tendencies, I do think our nation would be better off with the Republicans taking on an appearance, at least, of a responsible political party.  Right now, it looks like Flash-Mob mentality of a very selfish nature.  So, let's see what David Brooks has to say today.  What is wrong with a little bit of social paternalism in regulating the behavior of a dysfunctional political party?  Of course the regulation must come from the internal wisdom of the GeeOpie itself.  Can it once again be the old GOP?:

2.  Paul Krugman has his presentation on the debunking of the usual fear mongering among the usual detractors of government programs devoted to improving the economy.   As is noted, the fear mongers are usually wrong and add to the problems:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/09/opinion/krugman-phony-fear-factor.html?emc=eta1&pagewanted=print


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Juan

The only reason they say 'Women and children first' is to test the strength of the lifeboats.  
-- Jean Kerr

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Something to Know - 7 August

Tony Auth
1.  The social media, as well as the regular news media, is all agog about the guy who owns Amazon.com buying the Washington Post.   It is an important event, for many reasons.  Here is The New Yorker magazine's take on it:

2.  The Tea Party is really a gaggle of mad men gone wild.  There is no real political interest on its part to enhance the Republican Party.   This is no way to win friends and influence people.   There is no room for anyone to the left of this group.   Will this inspire any modicum of sanity within the regular GOP, or will it resort to its GeeOpie behavior?    Stay tuned for someone's obituary:

3.  Maureen Dowd picks up on the leader of the GeeOpie, and his infantile behavior in trying to push back on Hillary while she is just an idea in collective conjecture:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/07/opinion/dowd-reince-is-right.html?emc=eta1

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Juan

After the game, the King and the pawn go into the same box.  
-- Italian proverb

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Andy Borowitz

The Borowitz Report

  • AUGUST 6, 2013

AMAZON FOUNDER SAYS HE CLICKED ON WASHINGTON POST BY MISTAKE

POSTED BY 

Jeff-Bezos-Post.jpg

SEATTLE (The Borowitz Report)—Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, told reporters today that his reported purchase of the Washington Post was a "gigantic mix-up," explaining that he had clicked on the newspaper by mistake.

"I guess I was just kind of browsing through their website and not paying close attention to what I was doing," he said. "No way did I intend to buy anything."

Mr. Bezos said he had been oblivious to his online shopping error until earlier today, when he saw an unusual charge for two hundred and fifty million dollars on his American Express statement.

After investigating with the credit-card company, he was informed that he had been charged for the purchase price of the entire Washington Post, which, he said, was "pure craziness."

"No way in hell would I buy the Washington Post," he said. "I don't even read the Washington Post."

Mr. Bezos said he had been on the phone with the Post's customer service for the better part of the day trying to unwind his mistaken purchase, but so far "they've really been giving me the runaround."

According to Mr. Bezos, "I keep telling them, I don't know how it got in my cart. I don't want it. It's like they're making it impossible to return it."

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Juan

As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind - 
every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder. 
-- John Glenn