Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Democracy denied: millions of American denied right to vote

Al jazerra has the story here.  the story is accurate.  How does this make the USA look in the middle east?  we invade Iraq and Afghanistan to bring democracy, only we don't have democracy in our own country.  We are the only country with an alleged democracy that does not have a parliamentary system of government.  even when we create new gov's like in iraq and afghanistan, we import a parliamentary system. We have a strange kind of democracy in the US, and the resistance to same day voter registration, the resistance to allowing all Americans to vote, the resistance of allowing the District of Columbia representation in Congress, is hypocritical.

Monday, October 29, 2012

birth defects in Fallujah

here is the story.  The battle for Fallujah was intense, and used much depleted uranium in bombs.  uranium tipped bombs-missiles can penetrate metal easier than non uranium tipped.  of course, radiation is left behind.  the irony of the Iraq war is that WMD's turned out not to be there, until we entered, and we brought WMD's into Iraq in the form of depleted uranium and white phosphorus.  here is another resource about the destruction we brought to Iraq that is long lasting.

The least we can do after we introduce toxins to a nation is to clean up after ourselves.  in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, there is lots of unexploded ordinance, land mines, and left over toxins from agent orange.  of course, we didnt put in all the mines.  but the least we should do is to help those countries clean up the unexploded ordinance.

its so easy to drop bombs, much harder to clean up afterward.

No doubt the battle for Fallujah took many lives of US soldiers.  It was not clear however if the iraqi men who were fighting in Fallujah were Al queda terrorists, of if they were Iraqi men defending their city.

What a mess.  Now there has been a significant increase in birth defects in Fallujah and other locations across Iraq.  This will effect an entire generation of people.

And there is a video game called "Six days in Fallujah," a real shoot em up game where you can kill terrorists.  making money off the misery of these people.  off the deaths of our own soldiers.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Human Stain by Philip Roth

I have read this book before, and it is fantastic.  Roth rails against academia, against shallow political correctness, against racism, against sexism, against violence.  I enjoy the main character, Silky Silk, because he works hard to create his own existence, his own identity, in a very existential fashion. Contrasted with the empty, shallow whining of his colleagues, his marginal students, Professor Silk wants to live life on his own terms.  i remember the title of a biography of James Baldwin (my master's thesis) "The furious passage of james Baldwin"  this book could be called the furious passage of Coleman Silk.

It was made as a movie.

It reminds me of the self righteous faculty at SRU.  the shallow feminism.  the smug condescension of the deans and provost and president.  Go along, get along.  Embrace the popular metaphors, the popular myths. Live the illusion.

But Coleman Silk wants to live life on his own terms.  he is a hero.  misunderstood by many, even his own children.  but the alternative?  to live as a black man, to survive academia as a black man in the 50's, 60's, 70's ?  Would he have become a professor of classics?  would he have married who he married?  Silk was born into a racially obsessive culture, he was a brilliant student, gifted athlete, but he was black (or should we  say light almond?)  Like Thomas Jefferson's children, he decided life would be easier, and more successful, a a white man, as a middle eastern looking Jew.  He could live out his potential better by passing himself off as jewish.

But jews are not immune to suffering from racism.  and men in academia are also subject to being reduced as a cultural stereotype.

I was once accused of being part of a "male conspiracy" at SRU - yeah, that was one reason i retired early, what absolute bullshit. but some people thrive on the petty opportunities for grandstanding, for making accusations that make them look superior in some "goldfish bowl" way.

Coleman Silk was true to himself, as he defined himself.  great book.  i think Roth's best book.

Political Scientists predict Romney win

the article is here.  these two political scientists are legitimate, and their economic model is surprisingly accurate.  political scientists know that economics matters more than politics.  This goes back to research in the 1960's where policy differences among the American states were explained (mathematically) by the economic conditions of states, and not so much on the unique political culture variables of the states.  But something is lacking here.  yes, their model predicts the last 8 presidential races.  but that does not mean that extraneous variables, not included in their model, were not at play.  In 2004, for example, Bush relied on fear, on commander in chief issues, on boots on the ground feelings among the voting public.  He also had his operatives pass out campaign literature in churches in Ohio the sunday before election day:  he used christianity, the prostestant evangelical version, to get votes.  In 2000, the economic condition was good for gore; however, there was election day ballot problems in florida, and the Nader campaign also took away votes.  I would have to say that these two political scientists were lucky in the past.  I mean, a sample of 8 elections isnt enough for me to be convinced, and they leave out important variables (such as the church stuffing, the fear mongering....)

Besides, politics does matter:  i found in the case of Medicaid reform, that the political culture of a state was a better predictor of reform success than economics:  oregon and massachusetts had effective reform, due in large part to their political culture.  Both these states now have affordable, accessible, and quality health care programs:  and all their citizens are covered by some kind of plan.

If these two professors are correct, however, we will be having a President the next 4 years who wears funny looking religious underwear, and believes that God talked to a farmer and have him a religious text printed on the inside of a hat.  Then again, people believe that some jewish guy lost in the desert climbed up a mountain and received commandments from God written on stone.  so maybe mormonism isnt that weird.  but the underwear stuff is just too weird for me.  I can see wearing a kippah to cover the head out of modesty before God, but the underwear stuff (i mean no one can see it!) is just too weird.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

six toed Halle Berry

so we all know that the Nihilist in Big Lebowski had only 9 toes, ("....nihilist with a nine toed girlfriend!"  Walter says during the epic fight scene where he bites off the nihilist's ear, I guess that makes him a one eared nihilist with a nine toed girlfriend....) anyway,  here is a pic of Halle Berry with 6 toes.

This is not a "defect" - our hominoid ancestors had 6 fingers and 6 toes.  It is a dominant trait of humans.  Still is.  however, in a rare moment of adaptation, the recessive trait of 5 fingers and 5 toes is now prevalent. Not dominant, but prevalent.  every once in a while, a child is born with one dominant 6 finger or 6 toe gene, and exhibits what is a dominant human trait.  Usually, it is amputated right after birth.  In Halle's case, it was not, so she has a 6th toe on one foot.  which is dominant, normal for humans, but unusual since most of us have two recessive genes for 5 finger 5 toe expression.

have i cleared that up?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

shirtless politicians: the winner is....Vlad Putin

here are the contestants:

Vlad the bad ass.

Don't vote for Ron Paul

Paul Ryan says if you don't want Obama re elected, then don't vote for Ron Paul.  The question was about an alternative to Romney or Obama, about the third party candidates.  But Ron Paul is not running for President, he was candidate in the primary.  he is not the Libertarian candidate.  At first i thought Paul Ryan maybe was being metaphoric, but i really think now that Ryan thought Ron Paul was running as an independent and might be on the ballot in november.  Moron.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Romney thinks airplane windows should roll down

In his latest gaffe, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lamented the fact that airplane windows don't roll down.
Romney's wife Ann's plane had to make an emergency landing Friday (Sept. 21) because of an electrical malfunction. Discussing the incident at a fundraiser the next day, he said: "When you have a fire in an aircraft, there's no place to go, exactly, there's no — and you can't find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don't open. I don't know why they don't do that. It's a real problem. So it's very dangerous."
ok mitt, i am a licensed pilot so here is why airplane windows don't roll down.  (1) planes fly at around 30,000 feet, its damned cold outside (2) there ain't enough O2 at 30,000 feet for anyone to stay conscious for more than 3 min so...(3) airplanes are pressurized, which requires strong fuselages, and at 30,000 feet the cabin equivalent altitude is about 7,500 feet (which is why drinking alcohol is so intoxicating on planes) and  (4) opening a window at 30,000 feet would depressurize the plane (remember Auric Goldfinger, getting sucked out of Pussy Galore's jet after he shoots a gun at James Bond and depressurizes the plane?  which really wouldn't happen but.....) (5) planes that are not pressurized have windows that open, for example, a Piper Cub has a window on the port side that rolls down, and the door on the starboard side opens up and latches on the underside of the wing.  But you don't want to fly cross country in a cub (80 mph, maybe 90 with the wind) (6) and even in non pressurized planes, like a Cub, or a Piper cherokee, or a DC3, you don't open a window if there is an onboard fire, because that fuels the fire with O2.    
Basically, if there is a fire onboard an airplane, you are SOL, which is an aeronautical terms for "shit outta luck."  You land immediately, airport or no airport.  Ann Romney was lucky, it was a small fire, contained, plane landed safely.  good thing Mitt wasn't onboard or he would have opened the  door and probably would have been sucked out.  Which is the only way his campaign could descend any lower than it has so far........

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Paul Ryan another "canned hunter" phoney

Wow!  this guy Paul Ryan is an incredible hunter!  Imagine, tracking a beautiful buck like this through the Wisconsin countryside, armed only with a high tech high velocity bow.  and what a shot!  using only a high tech bow he was able to shoot his arrow at a considerable distance into this big buck.

But wait......this took place in Medill oklahoma, not wisconsin.  what was Paul doing in oklahoma hunting deer?  I mean, there are lots of wild coyotes in oklahoma, but only in the ozark region of oklahoma are there deer.  Ah hah!  It was a game farm!  So Paul went to Oklahoma to hunt deer on a game farm.  Where game is bred and raised for the purpose of selling the right to kill it to someone with the money.  So is this a wild deer, or a domesticated deer?  did Paul pick out this deer before shooting it?  How much does it cost to pick out a big buck like this and kill it?  Did paul have to shoot at a distance, or because this deer was raised domestically, was he able to get up real close to shoot it?

But hey, Paul isnt the only politician to go on expensive, canned hunts.  Dick Cheney was notorious for it.  What Dick liked to do as Vice President was to go on a friend's property (lobbyist?) have a buffet lunch, with beer - a catered picnic - and then shoot hundreds of tame domesticated birds that someone would release to one side.  kind of skeet shooting only with real birds instead of skeet.  for example, it has been documented (previous link) that on one occasion, 500 birds were released, and 417 killed.  If you shot at 500 skeets, and hit only 417, you really suck at skeet shooting (I have shot skeet with a shotgun, so i know what i am talking about).  Dick also shot his buddy while on a canned bird hunt, but perhaps the beer he had first had something to do with that (Dick Cheney was convicted twice of drunk driving in Wyoming, during his reckless youth while dodging the draft).

Paul's wife is from Oklahoma, so thats probably how he got down there from wisconsin, visiting relatives.  I wonder, how did he get the deer meat home?  i looked up processors on google, and there is a deer meet processing company in Medill OK (probably connected to the game farm, right?)  but how did he get it home to eat?  can you freeze a whole cut up deer quickly, then travel with hundreds of pounds of deer meet in your car, or plane?

Dick cheney and his buddies did not eat any of the birds they killed - they were gathered and burned.  so i wonder if Paul Ryan ate this beautiful, tame, domesticated buck?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Condoleezza Rice and American Exceptionalism

"The amount of poverty and suffering required for the emergence of a Rockefeller, and the amount of depravity that the accumulation of a fortune of such magnitude entails, are left out of the picture, and it is not always possible to make the people in general see this."

The above quote is from Dr. Ernesto Guevara de la Cerna.  I often am reminded of these quotes whenever i hear Mitt Romney speak.  When he tells college students to ask their parents for a loan to start a small business, when he talks about how "welfare" (he never gives his operational definition of welfare - does he mean the tax code that favors the rich?) prevents people from succeeding, from taking initiative, from pursuing the American dream of business and wealth, that's when i think of how intellectually shallow he is.

it is the American dream, right?  We are all free, can start our own business, get wealthy, hide money in off shore accounts, pay less taxes than most teachers, fire fighters and police officers (not to mention military service men and women).

and now condoleezza Rice chimes in about American Exceptionalism.  what does she mean by exceptionalism?  Its a buzz word, a code word, for American superiority of our economy, our fair capitalist system where everyone has the potential to be successful, and of our military superiority to mold the world in our own image, or at least control it for our own exploitation.

condoleeza Rice forgets that it was American exceptionalism that brought us the Iraq invasion - she advocated it. on the backs of over 3000 dead Americans, they find an excuse to invade Iraq, which George W. said in the 2004 debates had nothing to do with 911.  How did we pay for it?  One billion $ a month of debt.  China gave us the money $1 billion a month.  And the cost in human life, thousands dead American servicemen, contractors, and over 100,000 dead iraqis.  And the hatred of Iraqi men who were detained without reason and tortured.  (despite our denials of torture, i mean, look at the pictures.....)

And the ultimate result?  Iraq is aligned with Iran, and more iraqi;s are killed every day in bombings.  Saudi Arabia is not any safer (the whole Iraq war, both wars, really about the Saudi's hatred, fear of Iraq).

We are NO SAFER after the Iraq invasion.  We are NO SAFER with rebellion in syria, and neither is Israel safer.

So when Rice talks American Exceptionalism, read that as invasion of Syria, invasion of Iran, more war, more debt.  What she is really doing is trying to defend her policies under George W.  She doesn't want to go down in history as a complete moron, a foreign and international security clown.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

where have we seen Paul Ryan before? the Munsters!

i think i see a similarity.  the first pic is of Paul Ryan as a child with his favorite doll.  the second is of Paul grown up (no longer holding the doll).  there are strange Republicans out there who somehow get elected despite holding delusional viewpoints:  they run on the politics of morality, the politics of nostalgia, for a time period that never existed (the US without hispanics, or freed blacks, when people remained virgins until marriage, no abortions, and we fought wars to make people free).  Santorum is one of them.  We have another in Pennsylvania, Pat toomey, a real nut.  I think Paul ryan is Sarah Palin on testosterone.  Is the USA ready for small town Wisconsin thinking?  Paul is George W without Karl Rove.

If he gets elected VP i am moving to Nova Scotia.  seriously.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Picasso's post war peace art available through WalMart

Yes, you can buy a post WWII Pablo Picasso peace artwork through Walmart.  I am reading a book Dreaming in French  Jackie Kennedy, Susan Sontag and Angela Davis's experience in Paris during a "college abroad" experience during their young years.   Its a good insight into France post war, emerging through the 50's into the 60's, the changes of politics, economics, and even the appearance of Paris itself.  But also an insight into the lives of these three amazing young women who would have such an impact on American culture, politics, art.  Anyway, one thing mentioned is Pablo Picasso's artwork, his peace artwork, post war in Paris, how he would lend a hand designing Posters that were put up all over Paris organizing Parisian Youth for peace rallies ("never again" i guess).  So i did a google search of Picasso peace artwork WWII, and this picture came up, available through Walmart on line.

You can buy a classic Picasso print, post war peace artwork, through walmart:  already framed.  I dont know if Picasso ever met Andy Warhol (I did a quick search on google but the results were confusing, imagine a search containing both words "picasso" and "warhol.").  But this is certainly a "warhol moment" for me, finding a picasso peace print at walmart.

BTW, here is a portrait. of what someone thought Picasso would make of Warhol, if Warhol ever sat for a portrait.  

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Dan Richards - Asshole of the month

The head of California's Fish and Game commission was FIRED after killing a cougar in Idaho, as part of a free $7,000 hunting trip provided by lobbyists.  He says he followed the law: its illegal to kill cougars in California, but not in Idaho.

hey Dan, who's the "Ho?  You a Ho?  Yes you are, you are a whore of the hunting lodge that paid for your trip.  Of course, Dan paid back the lodge once it was publicized.  and he didnt break the law.

But look at the picture:  what a beautiful cat.  You are a heartless murderer Dan richards.  If you are ever out hiking in one of California's parks, where cougars live in the wild, watch out:  you have the scent of dead cougar on you.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Jenna jameson endorses Mitt Romney

Well known LDS porn star jenna jameson has endorsed Mitt Romney for President.  She really looks terrible here: anorexic, bleached, orange tan.  She says if you're rich you want a republican in the white house.  great reasoning.  doesnt she have a lot of gay friends?  I thought she preferred doing lesbian porn, in order to be faithful to her husband.  dear god.....

cheetah breaks world land speed record

11 year old Cheetah (77 in human years) runs 98 mph, but receives no Olympic medal.  cheetah ran on a special course created by national geographic.  3 times as fast as faster human.  

Chik fil A: about as gay as it gets

Ok, so here is a milk cow, artifically kept milk producing with hormones, long after her calf was born, riding cowgirl style a large floating phallic symbol.  "Eat more chikin."  the term, "eat mor chikin" i believe is from the song "Backdoor Man" by Muddy Waters.  the song is about a black man, who has to use the "back door" when seeing his girlfriend. or its about a black man having anal sex with his girl friend (the chorus is "I'm a backdoor man!!!!")  and another lyric from song is "I eat mor chikn any man ever seen"  i dont think he was referring to chicken, but to cunninlingus (Col. Lingus from SNL).  So the whole idea that a fried chicken chain, featuring waffle fries, would adopt a slogan that is about anal and oral sex, is humorous, given that the same chain is against gay marriage.

So these guys who run Chik fil a are back door men who eat more chicken any man ever seen, then close on sunday to go to church, hopefully after taking a shower after their extremely hetersexual sex.

Chik fil A success is based on expansion: first, they started in malls, low overhead. then, they went the franchise route, but only sold operator's franchises - the operator runs the restaurant, has a profit after expenses, but the corp owns it, makes decisions about marketing etc.  It only takes $5000 investment to be an operator, if you are chosen.  they expanded quickly, and kept expanding.  Can they operate successfully once their expansion stops?

They were sued in Calif for selling steam cooked chicken- supposedly, the plantiffs argued that high temperature causes the chicken to become carcinogenic (or more so), the suit was thrown out.  chik fil a can cook a chicken sandwich as fast as a hamburger, supposedly.  they are all precooked, sit there on the warmer, look awful.  they probably taste good:  fat, deep friend, spices, lots of salt, then waffle fries, more fat, more salt, then milk shake more fat and sugar and so forth.

So all those back door lovin, chikin lovin, conservative evangelical men and women who love steamed and deep fried junk food are lining up to show their support against gay marriage.    get me out of this country - societal insanity.  a bunch of lemmings running over the cliff of pure reason.

Uncle Charley's sausage business for sale

Uncle Charley's is for sale.  Uncle Charley lost his son in plane crash, tragic, and now is reluctantly running the business again (age 79).  His remaining kids dont want the business (stupid).  he says business expanded with his own profits, no debt.  Business has been good, steady sales.  Local distribution, but internet sales too.  good product.  made in Pittsburgh (Vandergrift) not china, has no sawdust in ingredients.  undercapitalized, can it expand, compete with national brands?  i think so with right financial backing.  unfortunately, a successful local company, with no debt, is a prime candidate for Bain Capital takeover:  sell the business to some national brand, move it to mexico, fire everyone, pocket the profits.

I am a vegan, but i would love to own this business. Lots of potential.  good food if you're into local sausage, food made by pittsburghers.  

We lose so many businesses here in pa:  The Clark bar - sold.  Rolling Rock beer - sold.  Iron City beer - sold.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Alan Furst new novel Mission to Paris

This is a 1938 Panhard Dynamic, featured in alan furst's latest "night soldiers" book, Mission to Paris.  Unlike other historically based novels, Furst gets his history correct, and grasps the mood of the time.  i have read, and re read, his novels many times.  Other authors attempt to write novels combining history with fiction, like Newt Gingrich or Bill O'Reilly, but they fail because of (1) poor history, history manipulated for their own purposes or (2) they have a hidden agenda, packaging history for a market that has been researched for its political values.  thus, Lincoln's assassination takes on a new meaning for O'Reilly, namely terrorism, and Gingrich's novels portray Grant et alia as moralistic southern evangelicals fighting for our traditional values (and the Yankees, as it turned otu).  anyway, Furst's latest novel is great, not as great as the others, but a pleasure to read.  I prefer Alan Furst's espionage novels to health science textbooks anyday!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Black Bears in Pittsburgh Mills Mall

"The black guy is up to no good...."  a black bear was spotted near the pittsburgh mills mall, and one actually got inside.  Finally, that mall is attracting some business.  the bear probably wanted some cappucino from starbucks.  so now everyone is going nuts about bears, bear attacks, 'are we safe?"  the above black bear is the one that inspired Winnie the Pooh, and we all know how dangerous Winnie is.    Black bear attacks on humans are rare, usually related to food, not to humans themselves.  these are omnivorous eaters, they esp like cadavers.  dead stuff.  we have nothing to fear from black bears.  other than our gardens being eaten.  So the township is trying to trap the bears in these big bear containers - why not just leave the bear alone.  some guy photographed a black bear on his deck!  OMG!  the black guy moved into the neighborhood.  he is up to no good.  just leave the black bear alone and he or she will leave you alone.  why is this so hard?

Saturday, June 02, 2012

income inequality - trees from space

this is great article, you can see income inequality from Google earth, poor neighborhoods have fewer trees than wealthier.  So "greening of the neighborhood" is directly proportional to income inequality.  Above is example from chicago, top is hyde park, Obama's neighborhood at the Univ of Chicago ("the only neighborhood where whites and blacks join together against the poor....") and Englewood, a neighborhood currently under renovation with a humongous federal grant, but still remains economically challenged (or poor). notice the green difference?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ann Romney's $1000 shirt, John Kerry's thousand dollar ties

As Billy Crystal would say, " you look Maaarvelous!"  So ann's shirt is $1000 - how much do you think mitt romney's suit cost?  Or what about john kerry's thousand dollar ties - silk, hand painted by an artist from Provincetown, Mass).  there are Italian suits at Nordstrom for $3000, on the rack.  My british shirts cost couple hundred dollars, same with ties.  Look at the members of congress when they appear on cable, on Fox - look at their suits, their tailored shirts - seriously, a $1000 shirt for a woman is nothing controversial.  Voters need to take a closer look at how our politicians are dressed, the expensive clothes they wear - they are from the 1%, no one complains about Speaker of the House John boehner's clothes (they are mucho expensive, like the fake tan he wears - what is his tanning monthly cost do you think?)  Besides, the falcon on the front is the symbol of the US Air Force academy.

how much do you think Mitt's tailored shirt cost?  Or Obama's suits?  BTW, they look maaaarvelous too!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tom Mix jumping Beale's Cut in Santa Clarita

Tom Mix was a real Oklahoma cowboy who ended up in hollywood pictures.  Above is the famous picture of him jumping Beale's Cut.  Supposedly, impossible.  the myth is that he did it, but several stunt men have taken credit, and there is some question if the picture is a composite or fake.  My read:  Mix was a stunt man himself, he jumped it, the picture might be touched up because of the poor focus, but its him and its real.  I dont doubt other stunt men jumped it.  Only Mix would be a "ham" enough to wave while jumping.  The cut isnt all that wide, i mean it is wide, but the horse is proportionate to the actual cut.  so the picture is "real." or as real as pictures were in the 1920's before photoshoot.

below is the type of car, a a1937 cord phaeton, in which he was killed.  supposedly, he was driving 80 miles an hour over a road with the bridge out, he swerved, went over the edge, was killed when his metal suitcase hit the back of his head.  what a way to go.  80 miles an hour in a Cord, at night, over a collapsed bridge.  maybe if he was on his horse he would have made it.

The Tom Mix Museum in Dewey Oklahoma.  I was there once with my sons, a former grad student was city manager there.  Small town, nice museum.  the only thing that ever happened in Dewey, other than some oil wells.  and steers.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

whatever happened to Malcolm X's message?

so now i work in nursing, and i see black men coming in to the emergency room, after a crack binge, with track marks on their arms, dehydrated, needing fluid, food, sleep.  prescription drugs.  every week there are drug murders in pittsburgh, in the hill district.  sometimes in daylight - i mean, in the afternoon.  some teenage guy running across vacant lots in the lower hill, guy with gun chasing him, shot repeatedly, dead, murderer arrested, two lives lost.  black on black crime. home invasions.

What happened to malcolm X's message?

Is it possible for a young black man in america to grow up not hearing about malcolm x?  reading his autobiography?  seeing spike lee's movie even?

I had a student in my political film class, black man from the hill, we watched Spike Lee's film, Clockers.  "Another stain on the sidewalk."  black men selling crack to pregnant women, killing each other, ending up dead or in prison.  turns out, my student was dealing weed on campus, got pulled over 2:00 am in his smoke filled car, had 3 lbs of marijuana in the back and a loaded gun under the seat.  It was his last semester of college.  he almost graduated.  he is in in state penn now.  convicted drug dealer, felon.  is life is f'd.  what happened to him?  no hope after graduation?  easier to sell weed?  he wasn't paying attention to clockers movie?

Its not like the message isnt out there.  Black man shows up in ER last week, 1:00am, paramedics brought him and his sister, he passed out after smoking crack, drinking, he was overweight, awful circulation in his extremities. with him was his pregnant younger sister - she was with him while he was smoking crack?  What does this guy do for a living?  Can you have a job and drink booze and smoke crack at 1 am?  He wanted to eat (he couldnt, he was nothing by mouth because doc wanted to do stress test asap in morning), he wanted this, he wanted that, is the ER a freakin' hotel room?

I know, white folk do crack, meth, and of course they can afford cocaine and they have health insurance and  doctors who write prescription pain killers (legal addicts).  and i know, black folk get sent to jail for crack, white folk go to Betty Ford clinic.

But my point is, aren't these black brothers buying into the same slave mentality that brother Malcolm was talking about?  At the end of his life, Malcolm X preached universal acceptance, love, and saw his struggle as part of a global struggle against dominating power, the post colonial powers, what we now call "globilization" --  isn't his message still powerful?  relevant?

I am a 60 yr old white man and i am wondering....WTF?  What happened to his message?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Gray whale that died had swallowed golf ball

reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer was using the ocean as a driving range......

SEATTLE — A gray whale found dead in Washington state’s Puget Sound had been feeding on shrimp and also had some debris, including a golf ball, in its stomach, but scientists don’t know what killed the animal.
The stomach examination Monday found the shrimp, woody debris, algae, pieces of rope and plastic, the golf ball and some flat spongy material, NOAA Fisheries said.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cancel USPS service: Cosmo Kramer versus Sen. Susan Collins

Sen. Susan Collins from Maine  defends the US Postal Service.  There was a Seinfeld episode about Kramer deciding that the USPS was outdated, because of email, and he resented getting Pottery Barn catalogs constantly.  the USPS is outdated, its an elephant for politicians who want to satisfy an older population who sees the local USPS office as the identity for their community.  Fact is, the sense of community has become so fractured in today's society, that the USPS office is about the only thing many small communities have for their "sense of place."  My opinion:  shut the whole thing down.  Contract out for delivery.  It would save billions of dollars. the example below is the problem: why should the federal government subsidize a national enterprise so someone in small town maine can send a letter to someone ten miles away?  Heard of email?  Phone?  send an attach file?  Facebook?  come on.....
Collins passionately defended a mail processing center in Hampden, a town in northern Maine. Closing it would mean that a letter sent from one town in northern Maine to another town just ten miles away would take a 600-mile roundtrip, she said.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

we are NOT leaving Iraq - why?

New report:
A January 31 report from the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, for instance, estimated that the State Department will spend $25-$30 billion in Iraq over the next five years. The panel said that U.S. diplomatic operations in Iraq in fiscal year 2012 will spike to at least $3 billion, roughly a quarter of the State Department's global operations budget. Other State initiatives here--like the large and growing Office of Security Cooperation--will push the fiscal 2012 numbers even higher.

so one more time, why are we in Iraq?  Oil?  we are spending far more than we will ever get from oil.  Geo political influence?  what influence? Iran dominates Iraqi politics.  Does our presence help the Israeli -Palestinian conflict? No, its worse.  Looks like Israel is intent on keeping west bank.  so again: what are we doing there?  Even at the height of the British Empire, the height of european colonialism, at least those countries got something from their colonies.  what are we getting from Iraq? 

Obama cant get out, or wont.  who is keeping us there?  what is Obama facing?  some kinda cabal of industrial-military contractors, sunk cost military-diplomatic thinking that we just cant leave?

Australian think they should "cull" sharks: why not "cull" dumb ass divers?

here is a story about another shark attack in australia, this time a young boy was lost.  Tragic of course.  but why was the boy's dad diving in water known to have sharks?  What precautions did the dad take?  Sharks live in the ocean, duh.  Its not like they crawl up on land and attack us while we sleep.  we go out into their playground, in a black dive suit, dive underwater, act like we are seals or prey, and the sharks attack us.  Its out fault, not the sharks fault.  Sharks play an important role in ocean ecology.  there are plenty of places to dive without fearing shark attack in australia.  and there are ways of diving in shark waters and still be safe, like having spotters, calculating the time of day sharks are active.  Easiest just to avoid shark infested water.

and BTW surfers know there are sharks in the water, surfers paddle far out, in deep water, even in shallow water there can be sharks, when there is a shark spotting surfers feel safer because at least someone SAW the shark.  Sharks are there, we just cant see them.  Sharks wont attack a surfer while surfing, because the surfer doesnt look like prey when surfing the board on a wave.  but when a surfer is paddling, waiting for a wave, they look like a seal.  and you dont necessarily see sharks if they are swimming around you.  the whole dorsal fin thing (da da, da da, the shark soundtrack with the dorsal fin) is a myth.  sharks are invisible usually, they stay under water. you see the dorsal fin only in shallow water.  but surfers love to surf, so sharing the ocean with sharks is part of the challenge of surfing. Like jean paul sartre said:  "No complaining!"  (but i dont think he surfed......)

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Wyoming wants to shoot wolves on sight: why does Wyoming even exist?

Here is a story about how Wyoming wants wolves to be off endangered species list, listed as predators, and killed on sight.  They would still be protected in yellowstone and grand tetons parks.  Says some in Wyoming dont think federal gov understands people out west blah blah.

First, wolves shouldnt be allowed to kill cattle being raised by ranchers.  If a cow is killed, rancher should be reimbursed by fed gov.  I dont believe wolves are that big of a problem.  Ranchers never liked the idea of reintroducing wolves to national parks to begin with, this is just excuse to kills stuff.

What this raises a larger question: why do we have states in which the federal government owns much of the land?  If we eliminated the states of montana, wyoming, idaho, north and south dakota, wouldnt we save money?  No expensive state governments.  No more right wing nuts from those states in the US Congress (Dick Cheney).  the fed government owns about half the land in those states anyway (altogether as a territory) so why not just make it a US territory?  Appoint a territorial governor: Pres Obama could appoint Dennis Kucinich (he just lost his congressional seat).  Appoint a liberal environmentalist as territorial governor.

People in these states complain about the federal government - hell, they are lucky to even have a government.  I think we should make them all part of one big US territory, call it Dakota Territory,  or Satchquach territory, or just Northwest Territory.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Nissan van is new NYC cab of choice

new york city has new cabs, but they wont all be hybrids.  Bloomberg has tried to mandate hybrids, but the federal courts have shut him down.  Here is a story about hybrids and ford's attempt to create  a new cab.  looks like nissan won out, the cab shown here.  its not a hybrid, but a 4 cylinder.  dont know why its better than the ford van.  curious.  with the global car market i guess its doesnt matter, but NYC was known for its fords and chevys, esp the ford crown vics.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Odd resemblance? Coincidence? Dwayne Hoover and Robert Smith?

I just watched Breakfast of Champions movie, with Bruce Willis as Dwayne Hoover, great book by Kurt Vonnegut.  I couldnt get over the resemblance to bob smith, former pres of SRU.  Or was it the paranoid behavior?  Either the behavior or the hair and glasses.  

santorum about to get kicked out of race

the reason GOP elites want Santorum out?  First, Romney has the nomination wrapped up, so why spoil the party?  Second, he doesn't have $ to win.  Rick's problem has always been a lack of money.  Romney has outspent him every race.  Rick doesn't have money for the TV ads to counter Romney's.  Its all about money.  Money might not buy an election, but it does buy a nomination.

Obama was a long shot in 2008 because......the Clinton's had the money.  it wasn't until Obama was convinced he could attract some loyal Clinton contributors that he got into the race:  the FOB (friends of Bill) turned out to be not so loyal, and they jumped to Obama.  First a few brave souls, then more.  The clinton's of course threatened revenge, but if hillary didnt get the nomination and Obama won, then there would be no revenge.  and there has not been any revenge.

Money.  its all about money.  A schizophrenic patient of mine tells me every time I see him: "Hey, have you heard the expression, Money talks, and Bullshit walks?"  he thinks that is so funny.  but it is so true.  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cheney gets new heart, but new soul rejected

they tried to transplant a new soul into cheney, only his new heart rejected it.....Fire bad, cheney good.......

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Who's better dancer, george W or Pres. Obama?

Here is george, dear god, make him stop dancing with African performers.  And here is Pres Obama on the Ellen show dancing, after he throws a right overhand.

Ok, Obama's got my vote. he sings the blues, "sweet home chicago,"

Romney sings America the Beautiful (all the verses) and Santorum sings.....god only knows...but Obama sings the blues, "Sweet Home Chicago."  and "Let's Stay together" the al Green song.  And, he shoots long jump shots too

this guy is Thomas jefferson, we are in for the 21st century Era of Good Feelings, he will be followed by Madison and Monroe,  the Republicans have nothing on this guy.  

Sunday, February 19, 2012

will the real Rick Santorum please stand Up???? Republican culture wars are back!

Ok from the top: rick santorum in high school disguised as "McLovin."  Rick preaching in a turtle neck and sports coat.  Rick in his sweater vest - smoking'    and finally, Rick as a radical hippie college student (not really, the beard and long hair thing was popular with the babes).  so who do we get?  McLovin?  the hip roman catholic priest in a turtle neck?  Mr. Sweater vest, or Mr. frat from Animal House?

One thing Rick has taught Romney and Obama: its not about the economy, nor is it about jobs.  its about culture.  rick has brought back the culture wars of the George W. years.  Remember?  It was all about culture, not about iraq war, wall street, mortgage back securities and housing price inflation, not about the deficit, not even about mis management of Iraq and Afghanistan military action ---- it was about morality, culture.  Bush's cowboy boots, his phoney southern accent, his phoney shallow right wing born again brain injured pseudo faith (his mother DID drop him on his head as a child, true story).

so here we are: Obama isnt a Christian, obama wants amniocentesis funded by health care reform act so more mothers can abort their genetically deformed children (yes, Obama is looking for ways to increase abortions and have the american people pay for it with deficit spending), - all this culture stuff, even the sweater vest is culture statement.  

Leaving for Nicaragua in 4 days

I will be in Nicaragua for about 10 days over spring break, doing health assessment in Managua and some rural areas.  we are mostly undergrads, with myself and another 2nd degree nursing student, and several faculty.  We are staying in a hotel in managua for most of the time.  We get at least part of one day on a beach, so it won't be all work.  I am looking forward to this:  i have never been in a 3rd world country before, and this is something i think i want to do in the future: international nursing.

Here is daniel Ortega, current PM of Nicaragua
He was elected once before, then the US tried to overthrow him by supporting a right wing contra army.  US congress eventually shut off funding they didnt like overthrowing constitutional democracies in latin america, i mean whats the alternative?  Somoza family dictatorship that ran Nicaragua like a plantation system?  Controlled by American fruit companies?  So Reagan decided to fund the Contra's by selling surface to air missiles to Iran during the Iran-Iraq war (we were supporting both sides, selling arms to both sides, fuck em all i guess) and then taking the profits, laundering the money, and sending it to the contras.  Ah, democracy.

So Ortega held another election, lost, became the opposition, and he won election again, as a new, recycled candidate (how American!)  here are some murals, very cool:

I am leaving my two che Guevara t shirts home, i dont want to wear them in Nicaragua, might give wrong idea about Pittsburgh catholic nursing students.  But i am looking forward to this adventure.

I am going to Sams Club today to buy boxes of multi vitamins, and childrens shoes and clothes.  I plan to pack both my suitcases with extra nursing supplies contributed by my fellow nursing students and shoes and clothes.

I keep thinking about Fielding Mellish in the movie Bananas.......might i end up like him?????

Or like this guy?