Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass div

"Poor Boy's Delight" by the Incredible Stringdusters  - - a wonderful, gentle tune.

Last nite however, the wind was anything but "soft through Virginia" (or Maryland or the GWTP for that matter). Over one million people without power  and at least five dead. Temps in the 90s for the rest of the week and more severe storms predicted for tonite. .... ah, Mother Nature.

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Little (HOT) Rock 'n Roll div

The temps in and around the GWTP promise to have the indoor venues packed.
90+ temps and 80+ humididdy (sic) for the next week.
Hope this doesn't getcha too sweaty.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Here Come da Judge .... div

Well, quite a week for the Supremes, eh ???

Let's see  - -

Health Care  - - - guess that'll be alright. Maybe we should join the 21st Century. Can't wait to hear what Rush calls John Roberts (couldn't be a slut, could he?)  On second thought, don't know where to tune the radio and probably would shoot it.
Jail forever for kids  -- nah. Can't kill 'em either.
"Let me see your Papers"  - -  ok, but ......
It's ok to lie  - -  well constitutionally anyhow. Especially if you're a politician (but I repeat myself).
Money is the mother's milk of politics (and maybe government). Kinda like "Ya get what ya pay for."

                "Alito wrote: “Is it true that our society is inexorably evolving in the direction of greater and greater decency? Who says so, and how did this particular philosophy of history find its way into our fundamental law?” Besides, he said, aren’t elected representatives better than judges at gauging society’s standards?"    
 Granted, this bit of prose is from the decision on life sentences  - -  via George Will  (Smilin'Sam disagreed with that too but then again, George disagreed with Sam). But, pardon me for asking' Sam, but don't the folks in Montana know what influence money has in their politics ( i.e. "standards") ??? 

Come to think of it, Smilin' Sam, Silent Clarence and Sarcastic Scalia disagreed with all those opinions (except for the one involving money  - -  life is cheap ya know). Their judicial stance can probably best be summed up with Stonewall Jackson's words after the Battle of Fredricksburg: "Kill 'em, Kill 'em all."

Then there are the rubes in the House of Representatives. Just what made these jamokes ever think that THEY had the right (or privilege) of holding anyone - - except themselves  - -  in contempt ???  Perhaps they don't know the meaning of the word. 

Oh well, let the bloodletting commence ..............

On second thought, let 'em eat broccoli.

Monday, June 25, 2012

RANT !!! (excellent) div

Heard several interviews and analyses of AaronSorkin's new HBO series "Newsroom" last week.
I don't get HBO (and every time I've stayed in a hotel that offers it, it's convinced me that I don't want to) but the first episode was available on YouTube.
The best part starts at about the 4:55 point  and goes on for about 3-1/2  minutes - - but the lead-up from the gitgo is pretty good too.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

We Can't Make It Here Anymore div

Saturday, I went for a walk with my "adopted" brother (he didn't have a brother, so I adopted him). We served together in the Air Force and have grown closer over the years since. We try to get together at least once a month for a walk and breakfast. He asked me if the direction that our country seems to be headed was what we gave over twenty years of our lives for.

I really can't answer the question. I think our service was necessary and successful, but I don't like what I see or hear lately. I think we've lost our direction and have literally sold our souls.

Today's Washington Post chronicled how our "representatives" have traded on the stock market while considering legislation on the affected industries and companies. They say this is legal and not a conflict of interest, but, forgive me, I can't believe that.

We can give billions to the banks to help stimulate the economy, but limiting interest rates on student loans ??  - -  can't seem to make a decision. Maybe we should just make loans to the students at the rates the bank are getting, eh ??
I heard that the "austerity" is the cure for the European problems, yet Spain gets 100 billion (more) in debt to help solve the problem.
I hear that there are derivatives consisting of CDOs for auto loans  - -  It worked so well for the housing market, didn't it ??  Hell, why not for student debt.  These obligations cannot be erased even by bankruptcy.  Funny, corporations can erase their obligations for pensions and benefits through bankruptcy (I think this thought was triggered by passing Bethlehem Steel's abandoned Sparrow's Point mill at the entrance to Baltimore's harbor - boy did they ever screw their employees).

Today's Post also had an excellent op-ed by Joseph Stiglitz on the rise in the inequality in our economic system. Krugman has been saying the same thing.

Next week the congress critters will evacuate the GWTP and head home for the 4th of July barbecues, fund raisers and baby kissin'. One can only hope that each will receive a well deserved beating  - -  but, then again, they don't talk to folks like you and me .......... and as I learned as an undergraduate, reading politics so many years ago, no matter how corrupt or worthless one thinks congress folk are, MY rep is ok.

The news is depressing and I'm afraid of what kind of society we are becoming.
Here's a powerful song to help the mood along ..........

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wonderful Day div

But not for some  - - -

1611: Henry Hudson, his son and seven others were set adrift in the Bay that bears his name after a mutiny. Other than a motor car, a parkway in New York and a famous dry-goods company, he was never heard from again.

1633: Galileo Galilei was forced to admit his mistake in saying that the earth revolved around the sun. This was an early manifestation of the Catholic churchs' religious freedom program. We all know how this turned out.

1808: Zebulon Pike peaked.

1812: Napoleon's Grand Armee invades Russia. Doesn't work.

1868: Arkansas reenters the United States. Imagine, if we hadn't let 'em back in, Bill Clinton never would have been President (and Mike Huckleberry could stop running).

1938: Joe Lewis knocked out Max Schmeling in the first round. So much for the master race theory.

1941: Hitler (no, the real one, not the black guy in the White House )invades Russia. See above for the French guy. Doesn't anyone read history ?? Maybe they just look at the pictures.

2009: A circuit failed on Metro's Red Line. Two trains collide and nine die. Escalators throughout the system continue to be inoperable at the most convenient times.

and ......... this just in .............
2012: Jerry Sandusky convicted on 45 counts of child sexual molestation.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Solstice div

The Summer Solstice occurred yesterday at 1809 EDT (6:09 PM for the civilians).
It's been celebrated for thousands of years (ah, Pagans).

Here's how the Bear celebrated (and yes it was, so far, the hottest day of the year here in the environs of the GWTP). Much cooler on the water.

                                                                  (Photo: Gayle Jackson)

More from the Alice in Wonderland div

One of the PACs working for the Mitt Rmoney campaign is named "Restore Our Future."
Has anyone ever really stopped to figure out exactly what it means ???
Each of the words by itself makes sense**  - -  string 'em together .......  Nonsense.
(I copied this stuff from my Mac's dictionary).
I think  this  is what Restore Our Future is looking for.
Be afraid, be very afraid .....................

restore |riˈstôr|verb [ with obj. ]bring back (a previous right, practice, custom, or situation); reinstate: the government restored confidence in the housing market.• return (someone or something) to a former condition, place, or position: the effort torestore him to office isn't working.• repair or renovate (a building, work of art, vehicle, etc.) so as to return it to its original condition: the building has been lovingly restored.• give (something previously stolen, taken away, or lost) back to the original owner or recipient: the government will restore land and property to those who lost it through confiscation.DERIVATIVESrestorable adjective,restorer nounORIGIN Middle English: from Old Frenchrestorer, from Latin restaurare rebuild, restore.--------------------------our |ou(ə)rär|possessive determinerbelonging to or associated with the speaker and one or more other people previously mentioned or easily identified: Jo and I had our hair cut.• belonging to or associated with people in general: when we hear a sound, our brains identify the source quickly.used by a writer, editor, or monarch to refer to something belonging to or associated with himself or herself: we want to know what you, our readers, think.ORIGIN Old English ūre, of Germanicorigin; related to us and German unser .maker |ˈmākər|nounusu. in combination ] a person or thing that makes or produces something: a cabinetmaker.( our, the, etc., Maker )God; the Creator.PHRASESmeet one's Maker chiefly humorous die.------------------------------------future |ˈfyo͞oCHər|noun(usu. the futurethe time or a period of time following the moment of speaking or writing; time regarded as still to come: we plan on getting married in the near future |work on the building will be halted for the foreseeable future.• events that will or are likely to happen in the time to come: nobody can predict the future.• used to refer to what will happen to someone or something in the time to come:a blueprint for the future of American fast food.• a prospect of success or happiness: he'd decided that there was no future in the gang | I began to believe I might have a future as an artist.• Grammar a tense of verbs expressing events that have not yet happened.(futuresFinance short for futures contract.adjective [ attrib. ]at a later time; going or likely to happen or exist: the needs of future generations.• (of a person) planned or destined to hold a specified position: his future wife.• existing after death: expectation of a future life.• Grammar (of a tense) expressing an event yet to happen.PHRASESfor future reference see reference.in future chiefly Brit.from now on: she would be more careful in future.DERIVATIVESfutureless adjectiveORIGIN late Middle English: via Old Frenchfrom Latin futurus, future participle of essebe (from the stem fu-, ultimately from a base meaning grow, become).

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

For What It's Worth div

Wonderful post at Brilliant at Breakfast this morning.
Wish I'd written it  - -  thought it a bunch ........
Hoyt Axton said it much more politely long ago. Nuttin' changed here, move along  .........

Monday, June 18, 2012

Nostalgia div

Take your mind back to those thrilling days of yesteryear and celebrate the declaration of the War of 1812.
Here, we promptly invaded a foreign country (well, Canada), failed to raise taxes to pay for the conflict, and managed to get the White House burned.
Seems like two hundred years later we haven't learned a hell of a lot, eh ??

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lies 'n Boots ** div

It's a wonder with the internet that we aren't a better informed population. You'd a thunk with all the ease and access to information crap like this wouldn't stand a chance. But, then again, just look at your inbox and ponder some of the stuff that ends up there.

Probably the only prescient quote in the article is the rancher saying:
“It is truly an invasion of privacy,” said Chuck Folken, who runs a farm and cattle feedlot in Leigh, Neb. Farmers worry about photos of private homes and back yards winding up in government files. “We don’t need our own government . . . flying over us, taking pictures of us, telling us what we’re doing wrong.”
Well Chuck, if you're doing something wrong, wouldn't you want to know about it ??? Oh yeah, oops, dumping manure in a public watershed or something contrary to the common good (as in General Welfare - from that Constitution, you know) could maybe getcha in trouble, eh ? 

Then again, I guess it's ok if the police get to use 'em. The cattle (you define the word as you see fit) probably won't care.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Alice in Wonderland ** div

WOW !!! The republican members of the Michigan legislature really believe in free speech. Imagine, denying a legislator the right to speak against a piece of legislation or offer an amendment (heh). But, IOKIYAR. They also banned a colleague for using a medically correct term.

Of course we shouldn't be using anatomically correct terms from some commie, liberal, non-religious book like "Gray's Anatomy". Maybe we should just let Rush Limbaugh give us a proper word for the affected female part ...... given that he's made the term "slut" acceptable to the right-wing, can the "C" term be far behind ??

Maybe State Rep Brown should use the term Kertflufferdoodle instead of "vagina"? Don't think that will offend any of the tender male's sensibilities ......... what dickheads. ............and we think the Taliban is bad ????

** 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.' Lewis Carroll - "Through the Looking Glass

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Can't get there from here div

The nearly two years I spent being unemployed after I left the service were probably the worst of my life. 600 resumes and applications; three interviews, no offers. Manpower Services wasn't even taking applications during the Bush I recession. Thank heaven for the 1990 Census and some construction activity (sanding drywall is about as low as one can get). 
I really feel for those who have been smitten during this recession. Especially those over 50. I don't think they will ever get back to where they were. Of course, their age has nothing to do with their lack of success (snark).
But maybe someone in academia has hit the nail on the head.
I've been saying this for years. Employers don't want good help, they want cheap help...... and training?  that's an expense and the shareholders will never stand for spending "their" money on an expense line item, eh ?

Maybe all we really need is a tax cut, eh ?? Must be a reason for this somewhere out there:

(h/t Angry Bear)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Swim Support div

Got up early on Sunday and spent the day in one of my boats - and all for a good cause.
Every year, the March of Dimes sponsors The Great Chesapeake Bay Swim. This was number 21 and the sea kayaking group I belong to does the safety (kayaks are the only boats allowed near the swimmers) - -  to assist swimmers in trouble or give them a resting platform.

(photo: DJ Manalo)

Was one of the best days weather-wise that I can remember (and I've done nine of these); warm, sunny, not too windy with a nice fetch from the southwest and no extreme tides or currents as in many past years.

The swim (4.4 mile) is always oversubscribed and therefore is done by lottery (and all entrants must have open water and distance experience). This year there were 650 participants and the winner made it in less than an hour and a half !! No stats as yet on the open-entry one-mile swim.

I did safety for both the one-mile and the 4.4 mile (with a "biffy" break in-between) and ended up spending four hours in the boat.

Of course, any day on the water is a good one.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Not Necessary div

Out Driving4$$ today. Beltway was a disaster, but had a nice party of high-schoolers coming to visit the GWTP - the chaperone tipped good.

All the news is about the President sticking his foot in his mouth. Seems to me that the "private sector" --with almost two trillion in the bank (and don't get me started about the banks) just sitting there-- is doing ok. Whatever are these rubes thinking ????????

I remember visiting Philadelphia and seeing some of the medallions on homes from the early "fire protection societies" (insurance companies). If you were insured, they protected you; if not, tough shit.
When did "public employees" such as firemen, police and teachers become the enemy. From everything I've seen over the past four years, they aren't the ones that crashed the economy, eh ??

Have you ever been sitting at home and had the phone ring and been greeted by a fund-raiser for the XYZ County Fire Department ( or Police, or State Patrol) ?? They're soliciting money for widows, orphans, scholarships, sports programs and so on; but it almost sounds like "... if you don't give, you may have to wait for a response." I guess it could be for real very soon.

It's ok, if you can afford it, right ?? We don't need no stinkin' libraries, we got Amazon or B&N, or iBooks  - - just buy it, eh ?? We don't need no public schools, we got University of Phoenix and charter schools; teach your own kids to read. Parks and recreation ??? Marriott and Sandals and Disney have  resorts where you're welcome to go and have a good time. Highways ??? Private toll roads are the answer, just don't tax our gasoline.
Everything that the "gubmint" does (or contributes to), the private sector can do better (and at least they'll make a profit). Those greedy incompetents in "government" are only slackers anyway.

Jesus H. Christ on a bicycle. What are we becoming ?????

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ain't from 'round here div

If you thought the clowns in the GWTP are out of touch, get a load of this.
Words escape me .............
(H/T- Mike's Blog Roundup at Crooks and Liars)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Shipwerck div (in memorium subsection)

On this day in 1983, an Air Canada DC-9 enroute from Dallas to Toronto was forced to land in Cincinnati due to an in-flight fire. Twenty-three people died; among them, Stan Rogers.
"Mary Ellen Carter" is probably his most famous song (and as the video shows, cited by a shipwreck survivor as the inspiration). His song "Northwest Passage" is considered one of the unofficial national anthenms of Canada.

Thanks Stan, RIP