Sunday, November 29, 2009
Here is Jon Meacham writing an op piece for Newsweek, "Gallup is not asking about him in its prospective polling, and his daughter Liz's recent Fox News Sunday allusion to a presidential run provoked good-natured laughter, as though the suggestion were just a one-liner. Float the hypothetical in political conversation, and people roll their eyes dismissively.
But I think we should be taking the possibility of a Dick Cheney bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 more seriously, for a run would be good for the Republicans and good for the country. (The sound you just heard in the background was liberal readers spitting out their lattes.)
Why? Because Cheney is a man of conviction, has a record on which he can be judged, and whatever the result, there could be no ambiguity about the will of the people."
I disagree, Cheney is a man who SHOULD BE CONVICTED. Those thinking of a cheney run for President should read this article about Angolagate, guns for oil deal in which the french, the israelis, the russians, and the US were involved. The source is a very liberal paper, however, I think they have the cast of suspects correct. Dick Cheney and Halliburton and KBR are involved, as is Condi Rice (who served on board of Chevron, oil company, which also named a supertanker after Rice, since renamed). long and short of it, back stabbing the government of the Angolan leader (Reagan called him the George Washington of free Africa) and instead giving guns, money to his opponent, all in the name of oil contracts. thus, guns for oil. Also, blood diamonds are thrown in too. So we have guns, diamonds and oil contracts. cheney and Rice were involved, this is a major political scandal in France, no mention of it here in US (so much for free press, investigative journalism, Ha!). First, I believe Cheney is the source of the bs yellow cake Saddam was seeking in Africa, never happened, he set up Sec of State Powell to make a fool of himself in UN; second, cheney is figure in guns diamonds for oil scandal in Angola; third, cheney is source of leak in the Joe Wilson affair outing wilson's wife Valerie Plame as a CIA agent. All of these must have been impeachable offenses while cheney was VP, in two of the cases, outright treason.
Heres another piece on cheney from CorpWatch, calling cheney the benchmark for the "revolving door" of Washington DC:
Vice-president Dick Cheney has brought new meaning to the term "revolving door" says Bill Hartung, senior research fellow at the World Policy Institute in New York. His easy transition from the army to private industry and then to the White House has earned him millions, Dallas-based Halliburton billions.
Cheney made a fortune in the oil industry when he took over as chief executive of Halliburton, the world's largest oil services company in 1995. In 1998 he took home $4.4 million in salary and benefits and in 1999 he was paid $1.92 million, according to the company's own financial reports. In May 2000 he cashed in 100,000 Halliburton shares to net another $5.1 million and then sold the rest of his shares in August 2000 for $18.5 million, adding up to a total of almost $30 million in just two years, a fortune for a man with no previous experience in running a company, let alone an oil multinational.
Well, Cheney comes with even better qualifications; he was Secretary of Defense during the Gulf War and worked in the Washington scene for 25 years before he took the job with Halliburton. He brought with him a trusty Rolodex and his former chief of staff, David Gribbin, whom he appointed as chief lobbyist. In the last two years the pair of them notched up $1.5 billion dollars in federal loans and insurance subsidies compared to the paltry $100 million that the company received in the five years prior to Cheney's arrival.
The federal subsidies supported Halliburton's oil services contracts in Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh and Russia. In addition the company garnered $2.3 billion in U.S. government contracts in that time, or almost double the $1.2 billion it earned from the government in the five years before he arrived.
Most of the contracts have been with the U.S. Army for engineering work in a variety of hot spots, including Bosnia, Albania, Kosovo and Haiti. Not surprisingly all this work stems from a new scheme to privatize operations of the U.S. military that were drawn up by Halliburton itself under contract to Cheney in 1992.
Today the company is working on major contracts to build oil infrastructure in Brazil and Nigeria for companies like Chevron, Petrobras and Shell. And Cheney also oversaw the company's merger with Dresser Industries, one of the companies that helped Saddam Hussein rebuild Iraq's oil infrastructure after the Gulf war despite the fact that Cheney was one of the architects of the economic sanctions against Iraq. Under his leadership, Halliburton used two foreign subsidiaries to do $23 million worth of business with Iraq, more than any other U.S. company.
Get that? Cheney wanted sanctions against Iraq while Sec of Defense, paid Halliburton to conduct a study of contracting out with the Army, then became CEO of Halliburton after leaving office, obtained $1.5 billion in contracts and loans for Halliburton , also negotiated contracts with Iraq to rebuild oil infrastructure after the gulf war, of which he was a key architect. Whats that expression? Heaven doesnt want him and hell's afraid he'll take over?
Cheney for President in 2012 would divide the country, he didnt get any pardon in advance upon leaving office, I dont understand why he isnt charged with something right now. Probably Obama is afraid of Cheney's friends, opening up a can of worms about US policy toward Angola, who knows how many democrats were in on these deals?
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I think she should sell it on ebay.....you can make your own burned celebrity toast here for the original virgin mary on grilled cheese, check out this site, it has everything anyone could imagine about Mary and grilled cheese sandwiches. and yes, I know i am going to hell for posting this.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Almost every multiple choice test has question with one of the possible answers, "Stompin' Tom Connors." for the record, this is Stompin' Tom Connors, a popular Canadian folk singer. yes, he stomps, an old canadian tradition.
And Stompin' Tom Connors is NEVER the correct answer.
And Stompin' Tom Connors is NEVER the correct answer.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
I read this story, thought at first, how pathetic,stealing a 9 yr old's birthday gift card at Walmart. Then I looked where it happened: Bedford, PA. Why would they do this? Desperate? The poverty and near poverty rate (up to 200% over the poverty rate, the "working poor") is at least 1/3 of every rural county in pennsylvania, including my county, Butler County, which includes Slippery Rock Univ an institution that pays good professor salaries. That means Bedford must have more than 1/3 poor or working poor, I bet approaching 50%. What leads people to steal at a Walmart? Drugs - I dont know, stealing gift cards and shop lifting cant get you much drug money, unless you shoplift and then try to return purchases for cash. Stealing a girl's birthday gift card? No, I think poverty. Being dirt poor, having no hope, living in Bedford country, looking for a steady job, a full time job, with benefits, above minimum wage. Thats very hard. So these two women were humiliated for 4 1/2 hrs, instead of GOING TO PRISON. And the congressional bastards who take trips to Europe for "fact finding missions" and charge the american taxpayers arent also crooks. another estimate just released: 50% of all current children will be fed from food stamps at some time during their childhood. I think the Judge in this case is nuts: should have told the women to repay the child, apologize, and then get them set up for social services - do these women get food stamps? WIC coupons? housing vouchers? TANF payments? Are they disabled? so much is left out of this story. What happened to investigative journalism?
BEDFORD, Pa. -- A woman and her daughter are outside the Bedford County Courthouse holding signs saying they stole a gift card from a 9-year-old girl on her birthday.
Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins says in exchange for 56-year-old Evelyn Border and 35-year-old Tina Griekspoor, both of Bedford, agreeing to hold the signs, he'll ask for probation instead of jail when they plead guilty.
The signs read: "I stole from a 9-year-old girl on her birthday! Don't steal or this could happen to you!" The mother and daughter were to be outside the court for 4 1/2 hours, until 1:30 p.m.
Mr. Higgins says they swiped a gift card which the girl set on a shelf while a Wal-Mart employee helped her.
The girl's mother planned to drive by the courthouse to teach her daughter the importance of obeying the law.
Monday, November 02, 2009
Opponents of wind farm on Cape Cod include environmental groups, a native American tribe and the Kennedy family. Look, if you are going to be liberal and are concerned about global warming, then NIMBY is self defeating and down right phoney (Not In My Back Yard). I think wind farms are way cool, look great, and i am constantly reminded about how much energy they are producing that doesnt involve oil from the GD middle east or from coal. And its renewable. yes, wind farms kill birds, thats a major problem, so lets fix that. there must be a way to keep birds away from wind farms - on SRU campus, we keep pigeons away from ball park by broadcasting calling sounds of birds of prey (yes, it is spooky, hearing hawks and eagles screech and not seeing anything, but pigeons and ball parks don't mix).
Instead of drill baby drill, lets blow baby blow. Lets also have more solar farms, and start developing wave farms. Lets eliminate our reliance on middle east oil, and then work on eliminating reliance on all non renewable energy.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Following an absolutely remarkable preformance by Monsieur Thibaudet on piano, the packed audience in Heinz Hall gave him a standing ovation, he came out repeatedly, finally sat down to play an encore. As the orchestra sat and waited, along with the audience, Jean-Yves thought for a few seconds, then said, ah yes, Chopin's Waltz in D minor. What else? What could a pianist play for an encore after so many ovations than a Chopin piece. The moment was so incredible, In political film, I try to explain why Chopin is played throughout the movie The Pianist, about Chopin's music, the emotion, the beauty, the heartbreak it captures. What else could accompany a film by Roman Polanski about his memories of the holocaust as a young boy?
So yes, jean-yves had to play Chopin, and he was amazing.
The performance after intermission was Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, written while he was high on opium. What? yes. Carlos Santana dropped acid and then was told he had to go out and perform at Woodstock (oops, bad timing) and Berlioz got high on opium and wrote his first symphony. It was great, the sheer number of bass violins, violas, tympany, large drums, and tubas suggested a loud and full range piece. We werent disappointed. What i liked was the second Tuba player, he had to wait until the last movement, final part, to finally play. It was worth the wait, the Tubas were important, including his part. Great performance.
If you know me, you realize I am a big Joel and Ethan Coen film fan, or else you're obviously not a golfer, man. I absolutely had to see this film, tried to go thursday night but noooooo i had to do the Afghanistan program. The film was very cathartic. I understood what Larry Gopnick was going through, with all of the disasters and expectations thrown on him (at least I havent yet had to hold a Mishnah for my ex wife's dead lover) and the dreams that made him wake up screaming at night (I dont have those anymore). The humor was incredible, and the symbolism/metaphors were not all that subtle (Dr. Gopnick is a physics professor at one point explaining Heisenberg's uncertainty principle mathematically, as fast as possible, to an auditorium full of overwhelmed students, funny to rush through a presentation on uncertainty, then he says, "You probably will not understand this but you still need to know this for the mid term" - great metaphor ) (Gopnick is constantly trying to adjust the TV roof antenna for channel 4 so his son could watch F Troop, bad reception, life depends upon reception, all for a mindless or meaningless messages - F Troop as a metaphor for our meaningless existence) (the film starts with his wife complaining about his impotence, that Larry manages to get out of bed in the morning is itself amazing) and the Rabbi's who had no answer (except the last one who spoke to his son, from the Jefferson Airplane classic song: "When the truth is found, to be lies. And all the joy within you dies...what you gonna do then?"). But the ending was a shocker. Not funny. Really hard to be a human being on this planet. Funny funny film, until the end. nothing funny about that.
I think in many ways this is the Coen brothers best film. Profoundly spiritual (the old jewish dilemma, "why do the wicked prosper?") profoundly philosophical (our understanding of the world is dependent upon our perception) and dead-on existential. I really, really liked that ending.