Archive for December, 2011

December 31, 2011

The DC Folly Trolley

Soft Terrorism

The army describes protest movements, that is people exercising their Constitutional right of free speech, as soft terrorism.

File:Green Party protestors 2011.jpg

Protestors: Soft terrorists??? (Photo by Midnightblueowl).

So if Obama, or any other president, decrees protestors are terrorists he can send them to Gitmo without trial or benefit of legal representation; he can order drone attacks against them on American soil; or he can send in the tanks to gun them down.

***

Chris Matthews made a comparison of Newt Gingrich to a car bomber. I’m not sure how Matthews came up with the “car bomber” metaphor, but I’m not seeing that. Fat, egotistical, adulterer, yes, sounds a lot better to me. “Car bomber”, a bit extreme, even for Gingrich.

Reportedly, Obama has been referred to as much worse in private conversation.

***

Free Market Mythology

Petroleum sold in a “free” market??? I here that nonsense all the time. If you’ve been beguiled by free market ideologues, you may want to read up on OPEC and monopolies – the very essence of a rigged marketplace.

Adding to monopolistic distortions of the market, the oil industry rigidly controls supply by controlling refinery capacity. The last refinery built in the US was in 1976. Since then the oil industry has closed, rather than upgrade, several older refineries. The reason given is that to maximize profit at a refinery, it has to operate at or near 100% capacity. So to prevent under-use and oversupply, older plants were abandoned and dismantled. Thus the industry can carefully manage supply and as we all know when supply is controlled against continuously rising demand prices will rise.

A third control device is the commodity market. You may recall that gasoline is sold at auction, in much the same manner as wheat and corn, where bidders buy against future supply. When supply is carefully managed the price is bid up.

So if you feel bad because you believed petroleum products are sold in the mythical “free market”, don’t.. I’ve heard economists with masters degrees refer to the “free” market in petroleum. Obviously they have been thoroughly brainwashed beginning with Economics 101.

Your senator or congressman has no doubt uttered the same “free market” manure that oil industry execs and economists spread about the planet. And whether they believe it or not, the politicians are paid well by industry lobbyists to shovel that shit. And they do a remarkable job as propagandists for the oil industry. They earn their payoff money.

So tawdry is the money exchange between industry and dirty politicians that we can compare the activity that occurs in Follyland, DC to the crimes committed by 20th century mobsters who demanded money from businesses to “protect” them from calamity.

Today’s lobbyist eagerly pays protection money to the “mobsters” in Congress and the White House and these scoundrels provide protection through legislation that industry demands. And, if you didn’t already know, many of these laws are written by lawyers who work directly for the industry.

***

Lots of people might be able to swing a vote for Newton Leroy, He is what we used to call in college “a real hair man.” That’s something a lot of men always wanted to be but we could never quite manage it.

I’m not sure of the etymology of the phrase. But I do know a definition was never necessary – provided you were aware of the reputation of the guy being referred to as a real hair man. Context was all that was ever needed. And if you know anything about Newt’s past, well, the phrase applies and no explanation is necessary. And, who knows, his rep could certainly swing some votes his way.

***

The Keystone Pipeline

Oil companies have stubbornly avoided constructi­ng new refining capacity in order to maintain rigid control of supply and therefore price. I suspect control of supply is one reason for the Keystone pipeline in the first place. To put another refinery on line, for example, would increase the supply of gasoline – a no-no when your goal is price control through supply management.

The project does hold the promise of jobs, however, although most will be temporary and the number has been vastly overestimated, at least according to impartial studies. The figure coming from TransCanada, the Canadian company that proposed the pipeline, is 20,000 jobs; other studies estimate 10,000 jobs; the State Department figure is 7,000.

File:Alaska Pipeline.jpg

The Alaska Pipeline, an eyesore at the very least. No telling what the Keystone Pipeline will look like. (Photo by Ryan McFarland from Petersburg, AK).

Other issues prevail as well. The pipeline is slated to cross an aquifer of inestimable value. Can we trust that the pipeline will afford fool proof protection for this water supply? Can we trust that the line will be built to even minimum standards? Or will contractors take short cuts to swell profits? Will regulators and inspectors-now regulated by those they are supposed to regulate-be trusted to perform their sworn duty to ensure the safety of the project, particularly after they have been lavished with wine, women and whatever else is in the corporate bag of bribery tricks.

Will PIGS (pipeline inspection gauges) be properly utilized? Will the information the devices transmit be acted upon?

If an honest inspector reports a defect will it be corrected or will the whistleblower be fired after a backchannel phone call to a senator or representative – a practice that defuses honest inspection.

Whadda you think?

And if all of the standards are rigidly adhered to, do we really want what could easily turn into an eyesore running down the width of this magnificently beautiful landscape? Especially during the construction phase. And afterward when numerous pumping stations mar the scenery.

The better way would be to construct a new refinery.

To put a refinery on line however could increase the supply of gasoline. And you know what happens to price when supply increases. I suspect the reason for the pipeline in the first place is to avoid at all cost bringing a refinery on line so the oil industry can continue its rigid control of supply.

***

I predict the South will rise in unison and sing in praise of Newt. I can hear repressed preachers below the Mason-Dixon line pulpitting in full throated glory: “Any man who treats women the way Gingrich does gets my vote. He’ll end abortion, he’ll save marriage and he’ll end all this equality claptrap. He’ll end sex education; he’ll fire teachers who hand out rubbers in the cafeteria; he’ll stop pre-marital sex by putting kids to work in schools. Got to keep the youngins moral, ya know. Especially after they start lookin’ real good. Uh. Praise the lord.”

***

File:Anacortes Refinery 31904.JPG

Refinery at Anacortes, WA. (Photo by Walter Siegmund (talk)

Two New Refineries Proposed. Now In The Delay Stage. Blame It On the EPA.

Two new refineries are currently on the drawing board. They promise to deliver cleaner fuel from state of the art plants with greatly reduced air and water pollution.

Arizona Clean Fuels Yuma is seeking to build a plant in Arizona and Hyperion Energy is in the permit phase of construction of a refinery in South Dakota. And, as expected, there are delays.

Too often the Environmental Protection Agency is blamed for postponing start up . Signed into law by the socialist president – at least by today’s standards – Richard M. Nixon, agency regulations are faulted for delays and provide a convenient scape goat for the oil industry’s stubborn refusal build needed refineries and bring more production capacity on line .

While strict regulations are in place making delays in the construction of a new plant inevitable, the EPA is only partly responsible. State permits are also required and are often more exacting than the Federal variety.

In addition to air quality standards, provisions for storm water drainage, water discharge and water quality are essential and local regulations are often stringent. Local zoning laws may also need to be revised to permit industrial construction and these revisions take time.

Moreover, issues that have nothing to due with environmental policy impact greatly on new construction. Company lawyers and executives bargain ruthlessly and endlessly with state officials over the incentive packages a state government is willing-or more often forced-to provide, mostly give backs in taxes .

Currently, the biggest factor in delays is the matter of financing. A new refinery costs billions to construct. And in today’s sluggish economic environment, banks are reluctant to lend.

So, while extremists on the right continue to blame the EPA and environmental organizations for the lack of new refinery construction, the agency and green advocates are used as convenient whipping posts for executives who want to control supply, lawyers who insist on ever more state give backs and bankers who are wary about lending.

Eventually the refineries will be completed but be forewarned, if past practice holds, older refineries will come off line and be dismantled. Again, supply will be strictly controlled to support price levels in a rigged market with rising demand.

***

With the rise in popularity of Ron Paul in the polls, you might want to familiarize yourself with his ideology. If you haven’t done so already, you can read up on the Ludwig von Mises Institute, the Austrian School of Economics and refer from time to time to Lew Rockwell’s libertarian blog. These sites bring insight and perspective to the economic nonsense regurgitated by Ron Paul and his ilk.

***

I cannot vote for Mitt Romney because he has robbed numerous banks across the country.

Actually, the foregoing is not intended to be a factual statement. But then most of what Romney says about Obama isn’t either.

On the other hand, a slight revision of the statement bears much truth. Romney was a banker who robbed people and, like so many Wall Streeters, is the modern version of a bank robber. His hedge fund bought up businesses, fired loyal workers whose seniority earned them good wages and benefits, hired cheap labor and then sold off the business for a profit. Highway robbery! That’s how Romney got rich.

***

Religion is like a penis. It’s fine to have one. And it’s OK to be proud of it. But please don’t take it out in public and whip it around. And please don’t try to shove it down everyone’s throats.

Sorry, but I don’t have the name of the author of that statement.

File:Mercury god.jpg

Talk about whipping it out in public. And it ain’t “that ole tyme religion.”  The work is entitled “Well Endowed Mercury”, created between 89 BCE and 79 CE, artist unknown.

***

Now that it’s over perhaps we can discuss Christmas in an unemotional light.

Christmas is and should be a secular holiday for those who wish to observe in that way. I would venture to say that for a very large number of Christians, the holiday is far, far from a religious celebration.

Due to some fiction called the “war on Christmas”, however,many Christians seem to take offense at not being wished “Merry Christmas” in public. This war fiction of course is a blatant attempt to inject the Christian religion into the holiday season and shove it down everyone’s throats. Sadly, such childish insistence may be one reason many non-Christians refuse to join the celebrating.

I myself prefer to say “enjoy the holidays”, unless in church – where I have noticed for many years now that no one – no one – ever wishes “Merry Christmas” except in response to my own greeting.

***

Want to observe the real “war on Christmas” close and upfront? Venture out into what I call the “Christmas asteroid belt.” If you’ve ever gone shopping on a weekend during the holidays, you get my drift. If there’s anything to be grateful for during this season, it’s returning home safely after a foray into the mall. Every year, it seems, a few never return.

***

I’m particularly fond of holiday invitations – gathering together with friends and relatives. Occasionally these visits will produce a “religious experience.” Not to worry though. I am always the designated passenger.

Enjoy the holidays – everyone. There’s lots more to come.

December 30, 2011

Random Musings

Stuff like this fascinates me. The universe keeps expanding. Yeah, that’s right. It keeps expanding. In all directions. At the same time. At incredible speeds. And the speed is increasing.

File:Universe expansion.png

The graphic depicts the expansion of the universe from the Big Bang. This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Fredrik at the English Wikipedia project

So the universe is expanding, every which way simultaneously and it’s always going faster and faster.

How is that possible?

Beats the shit outta me.

***

How do you remove bubble gum stuck in pubic hair?

You cut it out, that’s how.

Very carefully of course. If you’re a guy anything sharp that comes that close is a threat. Many of us have already been there. Personally, I didn’t like it.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? How did it get stuck there in the first place?

***

I never quite understood why Native Americans disliked being called Indians. Sure, there was s stigma attached to the word, mostly because of Hollywood cowboy movies. In the 21st century, however, that name should not be considered stigmatic at all.

Better yet, why not be called by the actual tribal name. Why not take pride in the fact that a great grandfather was a Comanche, or a Mescalero Apache. Or Sioux or Potawatomie.

File:Flag of the American Indian Movement.svg

The flag of the American Indian movement. (It has been released into the public domain).


The men of these tribes were strong, brave warrior hunters. They scratched out survival for themselves and their tribes for centuries under the harshest conditions.

Sure, they often measured their manhood in the number of white men’s scalps they took. So what. We should consider ourselves lucky that they didn’t take too many more or things might be different today.

But all of the scalps they took over the centuries probably don’t add up to a fraction of the lives white generals had butchered in a single day at the battle of Antietam or during many other blood soaked encounters during the Civil War – to say nothing of the mass murder of indigenous men, women and children committed by the White Man.

The Battle of Antietam, by Kurz & Allison, dep...

The Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest single day in American history.  Image via Wikipedia

So the Indians took some scalps, no doubt a cruel practice. But they were usually acting in self-defense. Certainly that’s no reason to condemn a whole race of people.

The only real problem the modern Indian has is that the white men write history. What this country needs is more good Indian historians who will write to reverse the cruel stigma associated with the Indian largely through TV and movies.

And what of the women? They displayed extraordinary courage and stamina, delivering and raising babies while living on the edge of starvation and death. Without these brave and loving mothers, the Indian surely would have passed into history unnoticed.

Incidentally, the word “Indian” apparently comes from the log or a letter written by Christopher Columbus who wrote that the men and women he found were people in Dios (in God) – which in Spanish or Italian or pig Latin became the word by which the natives in the newly discovered territories came to be called.

So I say, Indians, take pride in your tribal past. And if you’re a Kiowa, say so. Forget this “Native American” claptrap. After all, everyone born in America is a native American. Or, if you go back far enough, no one is.

If you’re a Cherokee, say so and with pride.

File:Jimmy Carter with "Iron Eyes" Cody, Cherokee Indian - NARA - 179013.tif

President Jimmy Carter with “Iron Eyes” Cody, Cherokee Indian.

How! Me Cherokee. White Man not be afraid. Indian make peace with White Man. Indian no take from White Man’s wagon train. Indian build casinos for that. Sell much firewater. Deal cards. Put little ball on spinning wheel. Indian make much wampum.

Indian go to White Man’s school. Get degree in finance. Indian invest. Make more wampum.

Indian own White Man’s Mercedes. Drive Lamborghini. Build brick teepee. 26 rooms. Heated swimming pool. White Man cook for Indian. Bring food to table.

White Man not be afraid. Indian make peace with White Man.

.

Indian casinos reportedly earn in excess of 25 billion dollars a year in gross revenue. The tribes share up to 40% of the profits. I have no idea how the profits are distributed. But if the tribal chiefs – the 1% – grab the lion’s share, then the Indian has truly learned the White Man’s ways.

***

Ever thought about what heaven would be like if God loves rich people and they get preferential treatment. If so, here’s an imaginary conversation between the Creator of the rich and George W. Bush at the pearly gates.

God, oh God. This is George.”

George? Oh yes, George. What are you doing way back there at the end of the line. You come on up here. Did you bring your ledger with you?”

Why yes, God. Here it is.”

Hmmm. Very nice, George. Why don’t you just step inside. We’ll discuss the particulars later. After I get rid of all these book reading poor people.”

Well, maybe not. But who can tell.

December 26, 2011

The Tower of Babel

We’ve all heard of the Tower of Babel.  But did you know it was located in Washington, DC?  The truth of the matter is there are more than one such towers in the nation’s capital.  Here are the locations of just three edifices of consummate blather.  One is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Another can be found on E. Capital Street and the third at One First Street NE.

These addresses are of course the sites where you will find the White House, the Congress and the Supreme Court.

The painting is by Abel Grimmer (1570-1619). 

File:Grimmer tower of babel.jpg

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Full moon over the Capitol. Yes, it’s definitely something coming from the moon.

File:Full moon night.JPG

                                                                                (Arun.blue at en.wikipedia)

File:US Capitol DC 2007 003.jpg

Shhhh. Listen carefully and you can hear the howling.

December 11, 2011

The DC Folly Trolley

Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called for an amendment to save democracy in America. It’s a sad circumstance that such an amendment is necessary.

File:Supreme Court US 2010.jpg

The people who decide who rules the country – besides themselves that is.

The intent however should be to restore democracy.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United affirmed the right of the 1% to rule the country without any uppity interference from the 99%. And the word of the five right wing wackos on the Court is final.

Anyway, go Bernie. You are one hell of a fighter.

***

Newt Gingrich insisted today that he is not a lobbyist and has never received a license from any lobbyist group.

An officer for the Certified Lobbyists Association of the Potomac confirmed the former speaker’s statement. The group issues a license known as the Certified Lobbyist Association Plaque and according to the spokesman, Gingrich has never gotten the CLAP.

Actually, Gingrich needn’t bother his egotistically bloated head about a license. There are already numerous lobbyists in Follyland who proudly proclaim they have the CLAP.

***

Here is a bulletin from the UPW newsroom as reported by Senior Analyst Marcy Popindick. Iowa Jesus announced today that he has forgiven Newt Gingrich for all ethics violations he committed while a member of the House of Representatives.

The self-proclaimed prelate also said he has granted full forgiveness to presidential candidates who are guilty of committing the sin of adultery provided they are Republicans.

In his encyclical, Iowa Jesus also included forgiveness for GOP candidates who have no more than two divorces.

A spokesman for Iowa Jesus warned however that if candidates, including Newt Gingrich, committed any more indiscretions they’d have to come across with some fast cash if they wanted to be forgiven.

Ms. Popindick recalled that during his short-lived 2008 presidential campaign, Gingrich received forgiveness for his transgressions from Minnesota Jesus on the preacher’s radio program “Hour of Glory.”. Although rumors were rampant about improprieties, Popindick stated there was never any evidence of cash changing hands between the former Speaker and Minnesota Jesus.

***

President Barack Obama’s speech in Potawatomie, KS this week mirrored the words and ideas of former Republican president Theodore Roosevelt. As crowds gathered, the president was said to be elated at the enthusiasm of the people of Punsxutawney 

Meanwhile, liberal pundits marveled at the president’s rhetorical acrobatics. Not in recent memory has a presidential speech contained as many verbal somersaults as Obama’s did in Osawatunxamie.

While the president called attention to the inequality that exists in America, some reporters claimed that the speech was nothing more than Wall Street approved campaign rhetoric.

Theodore Roosevelt (1904) English: President o...

A man of the people. Where are such men now when their country needs them so desperately? Image via Wikipedia

After all the president’s gotta throw some kind of bone to the people if he hopes to win reelection – even if it’s a dry bone. And if he wins he can always take the bone back.

***

From the award winning UPW local newsroom:

A traffic accident has occurred at the intersection of Booth Street and State Highway 11. Follyland police report a car stalled on entering the highway and was hit in the rear by another vehicle traveling south on the state road. There were no injuries and only minor damage occurred to each vehicle. No summons were issued at the scene. Police said they will investigate further.

Police reported an accident on Dover Road near Lucifer Memorial Hospital. The fender bender occurred around 5:45 this evening slowing traffic during the rush hour. Again there were no injuries.

An incident on Highway 55 backed up traffic on the state road for a short time during rush hour while a wrecker extricated a vehicle stuck on a soft shoulder. The driver of the vehicle stated that he pulled to the side of the road while another vehicle attempted to pass and he was unable to avoid the shoulder The police report noted the incident occurred in a no passing zone.

We’ll continue with the daily traffic accident summary; and in other news city council to vote on Christmas party venue; teen wins skeet shooting contest and more from the award winning UPW newsroom after these messages.

***

The Environment Protection Agency reported the presence of toxic chemicals in the aquifer located near Pavillion WY’. The contamination occurred in an area in west central Wyoming near the cities of Riverton and Lander both just west of Casper. Also included in the unsafe water zone are several national parks the best known of which is Yellowstone.  Though the EPA confirmed the contamination, it remains to be seen how aggressively the agency will pursue its findings.

Toxic chemicals used in the hydro-fracturing process are the suspected source of the contamination. Fracturing, or fracking as it is commonly known, is a natural gas extraction process that injects huge quantities of water, sand and chemicals into underground shale layers using high pressure to crack or fracture the shale and release the gas.

Industry officials claim that fracking is a safe process that does not contaminate drinking water with the chemicals used to extract the gas.

However, many residents in areas where fracking is a common practice claim that the water smells of chemicals and is not safe to drink. Most have been employing filtering systems for years since unfiltered water that enters the home is not considered safe to consume.

Hundreds upon hundreds of wells exist in many areas and industry officials say all such drillings meet safety standards.

Residents refer to rules that dominate the industry. Rule 1: All wells meet safety standards. Rule 2: If a well does not meet safety standards, refer to rule one. In other words, wells are rarely shut down for any reason.

In some cases, the water is so contaminated with chemicals that it can be ignited as it runs from the faucets.

An industry executive, who spoke under conditions of anonymity, said that burning water can be a benefit as it provides additional heating in winter and helps lower utility bills.

File:USGS deep wells 1997.png

Areas of deep well drilling or potential drilling.

December 10, 2011

Random Musings

In the midst of an obesity epidemic, a restaurant chain has taken on the name “Fats.” Actually, it’s been around for a while. I often wonder if investors are beginning to regret the choice of name. Would they consider changing it to “Slim’s” or “Skinny’s”? Not sure I’d want to eat at a restaurant with that kind of moniker.

Anyway, food’s pretty good at FATS. And you can get a drink too.

Full disclosure. I don’t own a nickel’s worth of stock in FATS.

***

I’ve always been something of a smart ass. Not a bad ass smart ass. Just a, you know, smart ass.

Went to a diner once with some of my dorm mates. They knew what was coming when I ordered a half rack of rhino ribs with Congo sauce. A few snickers followed.

Without batting an eye, the waitress said: “Sorry, we’re out of rhino but you can have the Congo sauce on a giraffe dick.

Huge laughter all around. The waitress no doubt had been smart assed for years. After all, I’m not the only one in the world. But I learned then and there never to smart ass a waitress who worked in a college town.

***

Warning! The following article has graphic images and sexual content. So you won’t want to miss it.

If a fly got on a plane in New York that landed in Denver, what would the fly’s reaction be when it deplaned?

What the fuuuuuck?

What would the fly’s chances be of getting on a flight back to New York? I mean he’s only got a couple of weeks before he dies.

He’d do better to find a female Musca Domestica and start his own tribe. And that shouldn’t be a problem. Although females copulate only once, they’re really quite eager for male companionship.

English: Houseflies Musca domestica mating. Pi...

Image via Wikipedia

Two flies screwing around.  

(Photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim).*


Well, I guess you can’t get much more graphic than that photo.

***

I have an idea for a new curriculum for athletes who just want to get the hell out of college and sign on to that big pro contract.

I call it Cake Baking. Now I don’t mean your ordinary Betty Crocker type cake – even though that’s part of the curriculum. I’m talkin’ big event kinda cakes. Like for birthdays and weddings and stuff.

The courses would consist of the following:

Bake-pan Cakes 101 – 3 credits

Two-Layer Cakes 102 – 3 credits

Three-Layer Cakes 103 – 3 credits (Prerequisite 102)

Frosting 104 – 3 credits

Decorating 105 – 5 credits (Includes Laboratory)

Thesis (Two semesters) – 6 credits (Minimum ten paragraphs. Tutoring available).

***

If the Indians had an opportunity to do so, would they really want to take back the country?

***

We’ve all seen bumper stickers displayed by proud parents proclaiming a child’s accomplishments in school.

But how about the kids who aren’t doing so well. I think they deserve a sticker once in a while too. So why not something like the following:

.

My son is a royal fuck up at Lincoln Middle School.

My daughter is an honor student in the boys’ locker room at Mortimer McTurd High School.

My son won the pot smoking contest at Murph the Surfs Charter School for Misfits.

.

You may already have some of your very own favorites.

***

I was in a movie theater once that was evacuated because of a bomb scare. The screen went dark, the lights came up and an announcement came over the speaker system: “Please leave the theater quickly and quietly.”

Police and firemen arrived with sirens blaring. They searched the theater for maybe ten, fifteen minutes, found nothing and declared the place safe to occupy and resume the movie. Sheepishly, everybody went back in.

Afterward, I thought, sure, the squads didn’t find a bomb. But that didn’t mean there wasn’t one there.

On the other hand, if someone wanted to blow up a theater, why would they phone in an advance warning. So a phoned in threat is almost always a prank. Almost.

***

The Bible tells us that the Israelites escaped bondage in Egypt by crossing the Red Sea over a path created by divinely parted waters. So far so good.

There were about a million of them, give or take, and they wandered in the desert for forty years – a situation that would normally give rise to a problem in logistics.

Not to worry. We’re talking God here and he had this whole adventure planned way in advance.

How do you feed a million people lost in a desert for forty years? Manna, that’s how.

Now manna probably isn’t what you thought it was. Actually it’s bird droppings. We’ve all seen bird droppings on a windshield. You may have even witnessed the actual splat from time to time. Not something to look forward to for dinner by any means.

However, to feed a million people with manna would require tens of millions of birds – enough to darken even the desert sky at noon – relieving themselves in a virtual perfect storm.

And this is the diet the Israelites gorged themselves on 24 – 7 – 365, breakfast, lunch and dinner, for forty years.

It always seemed to me that at some time early on Moses should have had a conversation with God about providing a little variety in the diet.

You know, like maybe roast chicken on the Sabbath once in a while. Or London broil, medium rare, seared around the edges.

In any case, stop with the bird shit already.

File:NSRW Quail.png

A quail, the bird that provided manna to the Israelites.

***

I once did a report on Revelation. Not on the writing itself. But on the controversy that surrounded its inclusion in The Bible. Many clerics believed the writings to be sacred and should be included in Holy Scripture. Others thought it was the bat shit crazy work of a tormented soul imprisoned by the Romans on a desolate island in the Aegean Sea.

As we all know the Holy Scripture bishops had their way and Revelation became sacred writings. In my report I sided with the Holy Scripture bishops only out of fear of being burned at the stake if I claimed the writings were indeed the bat shit crazy work of an angry rebel.

File:Burgkmair whore babylon color.jpg

The Whore of Babylon from the writings of John of Patmos as depicted by Hans Burgkmair (1473-1531). Scholars believe John intended the Whore to represent Rome.

I have since come to a greater appreciation of the work of John, the persecuted prisoner on Patmos. With the advent of computer animation and now 3-D, I’ve thought for some time Revelation would make a great movie. And now I wonder: Why didn’t I think of that? I coulda been rich.

*As always click the photo for the URL and full attribution.

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December 8, 2011

Sex On Campus

I have always had an eye for the ladies. But to my everlasting regret, not much more. My success with the fair sex has been, shall we say, modest, at best.

English: Barbara Wiedemann reading from Half-L...

Poetry was never my thing. But I learned early in college life that it could be a path to other pursuits. Image via Wikipedia

Whatever success I have had, I attribute to two things. First is the ability to overcome the fear of approaching a woman that every young man seems to have, and asking her for a date. The fear of course is one of rejection, that you will be turned down.

Now don’t get me wrong. I was never bold or courageous. So, number two, I simply assumed failure from the outset and proceeded because chances were I would get turned down anyway, so what the hell.

The astonishing thing is that I actually succeeded a few times and managed to get dates and even a few relationships.

Well, after being dumped by my first semester squeeze for a member of the goddam swimming team, I had a desperate need to hookup – and with just about anyone.

We were in second semester chem lab together and I was charmed in an instant. After some banter we decided to partner (small school, not enough equipment, two to a Bunsen burner, that sort of thing).

Our first date was going smoothly – she was gabby and I always responded well enough. We ended up at a C- rated diner and she ordered fish and a baked potato. It came with a sprig of parsley.

Always one with a quip, I blurted out “Do you know the difference between parsley and pussy?”

This is a curly leaved parsley plant (the comm...

The flavorful but seldom eaten parsley plant. Image via Wikipedia

Uh-oh. Dead silence.

There was no way to recover from this fiasco so I just followed through: “Nobody ever eats parsley.”

Not a good joke to tell on a first date. I was thankful she didn’t shove it down my throat – the parsley that is.

And worse, we were lab partners on Tuesday. I was sure she’d dump me.

Sounds like a disaster, huh? Well, I learned the next day from my roommate who dated a girl from the same dorm that the joke flashed through the building like fire in a parched cornfield.

In lab class, she invited me to a poetry reading the girls in her dorm were having that Saturday – the one and only poetry reading I’ve ever attended.

Between poems, the girls told some jokes. And when they came to the parsley quip, there was a roaring laugh and I just knew everyone was looking at me. I’m glad my pants were zipped. I checked.

Things worked out well for us until summer when I got dumped for good. She was a counselor in a girl’s camp with a boy’s camp nearby. She met one of the counselors and I was history.

I consoled myself with the idea that he probably told her a dirtier joke than I did.

Now that may sound like sour grapes. But I’ve been growing a vineyard for decades.

***

Johnny Mathis saved my day.

English: Dwight McCann, http://dwightmccann.co...

Image via Wikipedia

I had two tickets to a Johnny Mathis concert on a Saturday night. I broke up with my girl the Tuesday before.

Knowing she would never break the iceberg that had formed between us and that I would have to make the first move if I didn’t want to waste two perfectly good tickets to a Johnny Mathis concert, I walked over to her dorm and asked several girls if they would make my presence known.

I waited for quite a while but engaged in conversations with a few of the girls who were coming and going. Gee, did they not have dates to the concert and would any of them consider going with me? At least I wouldn’t waste the tickets and who knows what could develop after that.

I guess my girl decided she made me wait long enough. She came into the foyer, took my hand and said: “Let’s go to the Seller’s movie.”

I have no doubt it was Johnny Mathis who saved the day.

***

A girl once told me that if they gave a Nobel Prize for smart asses I’d be the first winner.

I said why shouldn’t they give one to smart asses. They give one to economists don’t they?

Incredibly, they still do.

December 3, 2011

The DC Folly Trolley

According to Bloomberg News, Bank of America has dumped an additional $75 trillion dollars in derivatives onto the FDIC.

Additional you say? You mean they’ve done it before?

Ah, yes, as a matter of fact they have. To the tune of some $53 trillion dollars.

Something to think about. A trillion here, a trillion there and pretty soon you’re talkin” real money.

But hey, what’s the taxpayer for anyway.

***

And now back to America’s favorite TV reality show “Dumbing Down with the GOP.”

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

***

John Boehner has reportedly referred to the extension of the payroll tax cut that expires at the end of the year as “chicken shit.”

And maybe he’s not too far off the mark. There are some very serious drawbacks to the cut. First, it reduces everybody’s Social Security benefit at retirement since the amount is based on contributions. Second, the money lost to SS has to be replaced from the general tax fund associating SS to the deficit. Deficit mongers will surely launch an even greater assault on the program when the money comes due.

So in effect the payroll tax cut results in a reduction of future benefits and represents a stealth attack on the program.

Something else to think about is that those who earn the most will receive the greater tax reduction. So this tax too is skewed to the well-to-do as are all others.

Since there are far better ways to cut taxes to the middle class, maybe this Obama scheme is indeed chicken shit.

Boehner will however consider the tax cut by attaching to the bill an easing of environmental regulations and revisiting the Keystone XL pipeline issue.

Boehner Loses Vote On Amendment

GoAnimate – Payroll Tax Cut – Watch animation:

***

Newton Leroy Gingrich said today that the poor are using food stamps to finance vacations in Hawaii.

Well, what’s wrong with that. After all Hawaii’s economy relies heavily on tourism and using food stamps to pay for airfare and hotel rooms would give the state’s economy just the boost it needs.

The state government has also alerted its funeral directors to prepare for a huge uptick in business since it expects many of the new tourists to starve to death before they leave the islands. The state will make use of emergency funds it receives from the federal government to pay for the funerals adding yet another boost to the economy

A spokesman for the Gingrich campaign stated that the former Speaker objected to the use of federals funds to pay for funerals. The spokesman said the corpses should be wrapped in sheets purchased at Walmart and dumped into the ocean. Of course, the Lord’s Prayer would be recited prior to the dumping.

Reports are also coming out of the campaign that welfare recipients are using their food stamp cards to purchase diamond jewelery at Tiffany.

Gingrich said as president he would order an FBI investigation into the misuse of food stamp funds. The statement was immediately withdrawn however when a spokesman for Tiffany said the jeweler welcomed all paying customers regardless of the source of the funds.

***

There’s been a lot of fuss lately about a bunch of Black Friday shoppers stepping over a corpse in the aisle of a Target store. So what’s the big deal. I mean, it’s not like they stepped on the dead body and crushed it or anything. They were really quite respectful and it’s the Christian thing to do. I mean, let’s face it, the guy was dead anyway. What would expect them to do? Stop and say a prayer. I mean it was goddamn Black Friday for Chrissakes.

***

What a way to celebrate the birth of Christ! Talk about a war on Christmas. Take a long look at the photo.

Now there’s the war on Christmas.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

I guess if the cashier says “Merry Christmas” instead of “Have a nice holiday” everything will be honky dory.

At least no one has been crushed to death this year. I don’t think. Although at least one corpse has been stepped over.

But there’s still lottsa time.

***

Black Friday set another record for sales. Wall Street is ecstatic; Chinese officials are elated.

Wage slaves in China may even receive a salary increase from 25 cents to 26 cents an hour.

Well, maybe not that ecstatic.

Boehner Loses Vote on Balanced Budget Amendment

GoAnimate – Wage Slaves in Asia – Watch animation:

***

Here is how Obama’s veto threat shapes up on the latest defense appropriations bill. If he follows through and vetoes the thing, he will embarrass his secretary of defense with a vote of no confidence. Under the circumstances Panetta would be forced to resign and do so during an election year.

More likely the two schemers orchestrated the entire stratagem.

So, on the advice of his secretary of defense, Obama will be forced to abandon the veto and accept the Republican alternative with minimum, if any, war budget cuts.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

The last time Obama took a firm stand on an issue was regarding the White House puppy.

Then he gave in and let the girls have one.