Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sarah Palin Wants Tea Baggers To Harass Drivers?

That ditzburger has got to be kidding this time, doesn't she? She wants Tea Baggers to stop cars with Obama stickers and ask them how that hopey changey thing is going for them?  I'll tell you what - if one of those fanatical loony tunes ever, ever tries to stop my car I will surely call 911 and I just hope things don't get out of hand to the point where it might seem necessary to ram into him or her before the cops arrive.. As far as I'm concerned those people are dangerous and very possibly armed and I don't want any of them within fifty feet of me. As to the hopey changey thing, it's going just fine, thank you,  you low information psycho-bitch from hell. We got a start on health care and some improvement in the student loan situation and that was just what happened  last week.

There, that feels better. And a good Pesach to all.

Monday, March 29, 2010

New One On Me

I don't know if this one is going around. I heard it in the local drug store, not the media. I walked in while one of the pharmacists, the counter clerk and a customer were discussing yet another reason that Health Care reform is no good. Not enough Primary Care Physicians. The pharmacist wondered  with 32 million more people in the system who would take care of them? The counter clerk said it wouldn't matter because it would take six months to get an appointment. The customer said it was scary, was what it was. Just scary. 

Scarier than having a huge portion of our population without access to health care? Scarier than being priced out of the insurance market? I guess that was the idea. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Former Prez makes Handy Wipe for Former Prez

I know there are much more relevant Republicans to make fun of right now. It's kind of silly even to bother with Dubya at this point, and to be fair, he's been staying out of the current president's business unlike Darth Cheney. So, it's almost wrong to highlight this video of him being him, but like the mountain, it was there.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Misinformation Age

I followed a link on Facebook and got drove through a backwater on the Information Superhighway.  Even the name of the group is born of delusion - 304,059,724 against Obama's Healthcare takeover. A question for physics majors out there -  Does ignorant really travel faster than informed or does it just seem that way?

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Dumbest Contention Of Them All?

President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Martin ...Image via Wikipedia
The Take - Washington Post
....former Republican House speaker Newt Gingrichsaid Obama and the Democrats will regret their decision to push for comprehensive reform. Calling the bill "the most radical social experiment . . . in modern times," Gingrich said: "They will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years" with the enactment of civil rights legislation in the 1960s.

Well, let's take a look at where the similarities lie.
  • A. Both are monumental and contentious pieces of legislation that change the social contract between the government and the people. Check
  • The Democratic Party is a big tent coalition with diverse major factions. Check
  • Two of the largest of the Democratic factions are pro-labor New Dealers and conservative Dixiecrats. Oh, wait just a minute on that. 
The latter started moving to the Republican party after the aforementioned Civil Rights and the GOP finished the job by appealing directly to them in what we all recall as the Southern Strategy. And the modern Democratic equivalent of those people would be? Who among the Democratic Party gathers at night in hoods  to burn a caduceus on the lawn of the wrong sort of health care consumer? I'm thinking that's not really such a faction in the party these days.

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Proud to be an American

OK, not as proud as if we had single payer, but this is such a sweet moment. And to the racist, willfully ignorant teabaggers out there - well, you'll benefit, too. And that's as it should be. I guess.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

G.E. Still Hearts Ronnie.

President Reagan with William French Smith mak...Image via Wikipedia
G.E. is sponsoring the Reagan Centennial. And you might have noticed they're running TV commercials about it. A lot. I particularly enjoy the part where he would talk  to G.E. employees and inspires them. Of course, once he became president he could inspire even more workers. The picture on the right depicts President Reagan saying inspiring things about air traffic controllers.

 Dick Meister remembers Reagan's attitude toward working people the way I do, only better. If you'd like your memory refreshed read his Ronald Reagan's War on Labor

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Life As A Dog

I said, a few posts back that I'd been considering helping my dog blog. Well, I'm doing it. Not instead of this blog, but along with it. She's got her own blog  and it's fun and it's easy. Not only that, but it's really  therapeutic after a day of dealing with  funding cuts and whatnot. I can take a break from human concerns and the Big Picture out there and really contemplate the joy of squirrel chasing.

This post is not meant to promote Lola's blog. In fact, I don't even know if I'm going to blogroll her. So far she won't blogroll me as hers is for animals only. No, this is more along the lines of a confession, because we went fully anthropomorphic on her blog. Yes, she's blogging in the first person and I'm just the ghostwriter. It's a little embarassing because  I'm  normally kind of nauseated by cutesy stuff.  but I have to say that a fair number of blogging dogs out there are anything but cutesy. Quite a few have a pretty acerbic wit.

Of course there are those who argue that anthropomorphism isn't just silly, it's  wrong, wrong, wrong. We must accept our furry, feathered or scaled brethren  for what they are and not try to make them human and all that. Maybe. But where's the fun in that for anyone? Dogs and humans have lived, worked and played side by side for thousands of years. I think we're capable of understanding each other pretty well by now.  Doing things this way has the side effect of making me look at things from what might really be her point of view. The only thing is, I think that all this attention may be going to her head, just a little.

Album Cover Mix and Match

New design form or something you can try at home when you have insomnia and absolutely nothing left to do? You decide.

Album Cover Mix and Match

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Daylight Savings Time - Could be better

Time change at the start of Daylight Saving TimeImage via Wikipedia
It's come to my attention that today begins Daylight Savings Time and it's an hour later than I thought it was. While the trade-off is kind of worth it and we get the hour back in the fall, I believe we can improve the way we do this.

My proposal is simple. We leave the end of Daylight Savings Time the way it is. The change officially arrives at 2AM on the designated Sunday morning. Nothing wrong with getting an extra hour on Sunday. However getting an hour less of Sunday is not as good. How about we move the Spring Ahead time to, say, around 4PM on a Friday? What do you think?
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WTF, Zogby?

Zogby InternationalImage via Wikipedia
Zogby's e-mailed surveys often seem to be a little odd to me. I signed up to weigh in on political and social issues but sometimes I'm a couple of screens into it before I realize it must have been commissioned by someone interested in marketing something about  which
 I have zero interest or information. This latest one seems eclectic to say the least.  Along with typical political questions it seems to be designed to fulfill contractual  obligations to various entities. If I had to guess I'd have to say the entities in question might be Apple, some apparel marketing firm and the Heritage Foundation. It wouldn't be Zogby if there wasn't a question that raised my blood pressure. There were, but there was one clear winner.
Last month, the President proposed raising taxes on U.S. companies who do business overseas. The higher taxes would significantly increase the operating costs that these companies must pay. This additional burden would make it even harder to compete in the global marketplace against companies based in countries where the taxes are lower and overhead costs like health care are paid for by the government. Would you support or oppose changes to the U.S. tax code that would hurt American companies trying to compete internationally? 

Push polling much? The emphasis there is mine. Support or oppose, right. And the answers are...

Not Sure

As in "Yes, I support or oppose it.", "No, I don't support or oppose it."  I guess "Not Sure" works with the wording of the question, but a lot of us are sure. So, it's not only push polling but the writer of the question seems to have been drunk at the time he wrote it. Keep up the fine work, guys.
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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Glenn Beck, meet Bruce Springsteen

Born in the U.S.A.

Glenn Beck got hold of the lyrics to Born in the USA and, like other conservatives before him, was chagrined.  It happens over and over and demonstrates what must be obvious to everyone by now. Conservatives don't listen. Or read. Most albums used to come with lyric sheets. Springsteen is, of course, one of the most consistent, outspoken progressives in rock music. But then, who can a conservative rely on, musically speaking? Well, there's always good  Ted Nugent. They've got Ted on their side all right. There are a few others in the world of rock music but not a whole lot of the important ones. The conservative will find greener pastures in the world of country music, but it's certainly not monolithic so even there, they'll need to listen to the words to be sure.

Conservatives need to give it up and chill with some nice Lawrence Welk. Rock music is inherently free-thinking and it was the idealogical forebears of Glenn Beck who saw that in early rock and roll and tried to kill it in its cradle. To put in high school terms -  which seems appropriate - rock music is the always alluring Rebel and the Glenn Becks of the world are the Hall Monitor. And the Hall Monitor was pretty much beneath contempt.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Giant Leap for Blogger

You can read about it on the Official Google Blog, Blogger Buzz or for the most detail the Blogger in Draft blog. Blogger is introducing Template Designer. I know there are a lot of very iimportant things going on right now, but I have to admit that when I caught the post about this on the Google Blog it took my breath away. Of course there were some mixed feelings. I'd just finished finding a three column template and installing it and customizing it. That was a few days ago, really. And now you can do the same thing with a few clicks of the mouse.

This is why I came back to Blogger after a sojourn at Wordpress. Blogger, like many Google products, will seem to take forever to upgrade features like this. Their template sets had grown so old that they were recommending other sites to find more up to date ones not too long ago. Now, in a very short time they've burst forth with the features bloggers dream about. First they added  pages about month ago. A much valued feature in Wordpress, pages can turn your blog into a whole website if you should want that. And now Template Designer, which lets you choose a more up to date template, and then customize it completely. The best thing about it is the way you can choose one, two or three columns, change that around whenever you want, and rearrange the layout of the columns. All very tricky stuff in CSS and now there's no need to hurt your brain doing it.  You can also change the width of....everything. You can, in fact, have it your way.

So what are you waiting for? Go fool around with this.It'll take your mind off the health care debate and/or  tea baggers for a while. Just save the old template first, just in case.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Somebody Blinked

After an exciting stand-off that lasted all day some sort of face-saving agreement was reached all around and ABC was back on Cablevision in time for the first award. However, you would have missed two hours of pre-game excitement if you were relying on a Cablevision connection. So, there. We turned it on when we found out about it, mostly for my sister. She's a movie buff and makes sure to see each and every contender for the main Academy Awards. She fell asleep before the best supporting actor was announced. I don't blame her. I wasn't paying total attention, but it did seem like the show was a bit of a snoozer.  I did notice one thing. Was it my imagination or did the actors and actresses seem to be going for looking good instead of bizarre this year? If so, it's a nice trend, but I may not have seen enough to judge.

All in all the show we got here leading up to it all day - Will they or won't they? - was a lot more exciting than the actual program.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The War Continues

The war between Cablevision and ABC has gotten uglier. If you're accessing the web through Cablevision today this ad is EVERYWHERE.

Clicking it brings you here. If nothing else, this little contretemps is an advertising bonus for someone in the intertubes. That's got to be a good thing. Meanwhile, Cablevision is offering all on demand movies free of charge for today. Oh, wait, they just sent me another e-mail....

OK, back. They just wanted to keep us updated on where you can find the most online coverage of the Oscars in case you didn't run out and buy a digital antenna today. I say screw the Oscars. I'm never awake past a lot of "best short subject in a foreign language" stuff anyway. I want popcorn for this fight. It's more entertaining than the Oscars ever are.

The Monster In Our Living Rooms

Early 1950s Television SetImage by gbaku via Flickr

In the years just B.C. - Before Cable - every time we went to the movies there would be a short feature warning of the dangers of Pay TV. "The monster in your living room..." was the only line that I can remember. The movie industry was terrified that access to full length, uncut movies at home would empty the theaters. No one was yet envisioning VCRs, let alone DVD sales. Nor were they thinking about the time when a few companies would own everything - movie studios, television networks and theaters, so profits would all flow in the same direction no matter how the public was viewing Weekend at Bernie's.

So here we are, a few decades later, and everything has turned out just fine. Instead of three networks and a handful of local channels for free we get to pay a small fortune each month for a bazillion channels. We have options we never had before. Shopping channels, for instance. More of them seem to spawn every day. Now even agoraphobics can be shopaholics without killing trees for catalogs. It's a win/win/win.

Reception is much improved unless the cable goes out and that doesn't happen nearly as often as it did in the early days. If you like that sort of thing you can set up your TV and computer to mate in some Byzantine way. Even if I could figure that out, I would not do it. It's just giving them license to gang up on us. Who knows what they'd get up to while we're out working to support them? The only things is, if you have Cablevision and you have a yen to see the Oscars - or anything else on ABC channel 7 - you better start working on that hook-up now because as things stand it won't be on your TV.

Cablevision and ABC are having a big fight. ABC wants more money. Cablevision says "no". This sort of thing happens a lot now. There was a big argument about the Yankees network a few years ago. That was a bit galling to Yankee fans because before cable, sports teams didn't have networks and their games were televised on local channels. For free. More recently HGTV and the Food Network were embroiled in one of these fights and were pulled from Cablevision. It was resolved after a grueling few weeks and everyone was able to go back to redecorating their homes and cooking up gourmet meals.

Whenever one of these squabbles occur Cablevision airs its own ads explaining how it's unfair to their subscribers to have to pay these inflated rates for whichever channels are involved. As one of those subscribers, I'm willing to buy into that. In fact, I think we're paying way too much already, considering how often there's nothing worth watching on. (I should admit here that most of what we do watch is on cable channels, not broadcast TV, so it would seem that I do rather like it.) Anyway, what with Cablevision owning Newsday it's unlikely we'll have to read about any other point of view. That may sound like a conflict of interest, but, hey, if Cablevision hadn't bought Newsday, Rupert Murdoch was going to.

All I'm saying is that it appears that media has turned into a regular old clusterf*ck in so many ways. It kind of provides its own kind of entertainment - at a price.

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Thank you Bob Cesca, thank you John Cole

First I saw this by Bob Cesca which linked to this by John Cole. All I want to say is, yeah, what they said. And to thank them for saying it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Blogger Jon Swift

Jonathan SwiftImage via Wikipedia
"Sometimes there are no words" was the headline of the last ever post at Jon Swift's blog. It's a brief post in response to the loss of a son by a fellow blogger and commentor. And now, almost a year later the mother of Jon Swift - who was in fact Al Weisel - has posted in the comments section of her own son's blog to tell his friends and fans that he has died.

It turns out that Al Weisel was a professional writer, which probably comes as surprise to no one. His political satire was brilliant. He didn't ever post every day. His posts were mostly long and written perfectly. Usually there was one a week. Once in a while, two. But always worth checking for, back in the old days when you actually had to go to someone's site to find out if there was a new post.

I never knew him personally, of course, but I think he was probably a great guy. Even though his entire blog was impeccably done with a satirical persona his real humanity somehow made itself known. He kind of hung out with the little bloggers even though he'd earned himself a seat at the A-list table. Not only did he champion liberal linking policies, he'd take the time to leave comments on little blogs - like this one, for instance. If he was that generous to others in Blogtopia* he must have been one hell of a guy in real life.

My heart goes out to his mother and the rest of his family and real life friends. If so many people who never got to meet him feel his loss as we do, how devastating this must be to those closest to him.. He will be so very much missed.
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Monday, March 1, 2010

Google + Picnik=Yummy photo editing goodness for all

I saw it on Shelly's blog first. I was hoping for this day. Picnik had to get acquired. It was just a question of by whom. It's always had a Googlish attitude about itself, I thought. It does these impressive without letting on that it takes itself all that seriously. I love Picnik. It's incredibly handy to use from work where I don't have Photoshop. Actually, at work they think that the Adobe photo album thing that comes with most all PCs is Photoshop. For my rather simple needs there, Picnik does just fine. Sometimes I use it at home, too, where Photoshop is always available just because it's more fun and has such a pretty website.

Congratulations to both companies and their users. May this turn out to be a match made in Heaven.

Harold Ford Will Not Be NY's Senator

Harold Ford photo portrait.Image via Wikipedia
Well, just in the last couple of days we've learned who will not be New York's next governor and now we know who will not be the next Senator as well. Harold Ford has decided that it's not such a good idea to run a primary challenge for the nomination. I don't really know what in the world Gillibrand has done wrong that Democrats should be mounting challenges instead of supporting her. I admit I'd never heard of her before she was appointed to the seat but she seems just fine.Harold Ford, on the other hand, I'm not so sure. But then, who is?

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