Monday, October 29, 2007

Hard questions for GOP

I read these Questions For The Candidates who claim they would be so tough on terror by torturing people and anti-abortion.

  1. Would you have sex with a man to stop a terrorist attack?

  2. If lowering taxes results in increased revenues then would lowering taxes to zero result in infinite revenues?

  3. If you had a time machine, would you travel back in time and abort Bin Laden?

  4. Would you torture and kill Jesus to ensure mankind’s salvation? And how does that work?

  5. If you believe abortion should be illegal, how much jail time should women receiving an illegal abortion receive? Should prosecution be retroactive

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Feds flunk audits

As reported by the AP the other day, Federal agencies flunk their audits. What does that mean for you and me? We have no way of knowing what we are really paying for as taxpayers. Congress passed legislation 11 years ago so that taxpayers could have more accountability and transparency, yet 2 of the largest departments (Defense and Homeland Security) cannot even meet the basic accounting requirements.

Even better, there are no repercussions for continued failure or wasteful spending. If a public company had performed this way, they would no longer be able to continue trading on the market as they would have had their stock delisted.

Congress really needs to step up and make these agencies accountable. Then again, if we had a real leader instead of a do-nothing President, perhaps some of these agencies would have cleaned up their act.

Monday, July 30, 2007

"Internets" Senator's House Raided

Cranky, old, Alaska Republican Senator Ted Steven's house was raided today by the FBI. Its about time somebody started to look into this old loon. This is the same guy who thinks the Internets is series of tubes and wanted to build the $315 millon Bridge to Nowhere.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Vegoose 07 Artist Update

The Vegoose music festival sent out an artist addition e-mail today with some good news enclosed. What good news?

  1. moe. (+ a Vegoose at Night show)
  2. Robert Randolph & the Family Band
Let's hope they keep adding good artists.
I need more love everyday of life

Monday, July 23, 2007

Vegoose 07 Initial Lineup

The initial lineup for Vegoose 2007 was announced today and I was rather disappointed compared with 05' and 06'.

I took a screenshot from the Vegoose site.

Vegoose 2007 Lineup

With the exception of Rage, Umphrey's, Queens of the Stone Age and Michael Franti there isn't much of a draw for me. Why in the hell would Daft Punk take second billing? Who cares about Iggy Pop?

Right now, $146.50 + fees just isn't worth it. Hopefully, future annoucements will include bands worth seeing. The 05 festival had such acts as Dave Matthews + Friends, Trey Anastasio, North Miss Allstars, moe., Gov't Mule, Jack Johnson, Phil Lesh + Friends. Even 06 had a kickass lineup (though I missed it) Phil Lesh + Trey Anastasio, Tom Petty, Keller Williams Incident, Black Crowes, The Roots, Damian Marley, G. Love, Yonder Mountain, Guster.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Enemy Friends

The article Deals in Iraq Make Friends of Enemies in todays Washington Post revists this bone-head approach that was first reported by the New York Times a month ago. The US is informally making friends with our insurgent enemies.We are now arming insurgents.

Jon Stewart of the Daily Show described it beatifully a month ago.

Its a plan so crazy, it might just be...FUCKING crazy. What are you thinking?
He broke down this catastroFUCK of a plan.
For example, Al Qaeda is our enemy.
Al Qaeda 
Now the Sunni Insurgency is becoming their enemy, so Sunni Insurgency, they're our friends!
Al QaedaInsurgents
Of course the Sunni Insurgency is most responsible for the IEDs used to attack our troops making them our enemies.
Al QaedaInsurgents
And the Shii Death Squads who have been targeting Sunnis are thus our friends!
Al QaedaInsurgents
InsurgentsDeath Squads
But they are controlled by Muqtada Al-Sadr and Iran who have sworn to defeat us, making them our enemies.
Al QaedaInsurgents
InsurgentsDeath Squads
Although, Muqtada Al-Sadr, of course targeted by Al Qaeda, thus making them..
Al QaedaInsurgents
InsurgentsDeath Squads
Al-SadrAl Qaeda

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Old New Rule

This New Rule from March 31, 2006 was just as true a year ago, as it is today.

People who run everything can't complain that they're underdogs. To whit, this week, there was a highly-attended conference in Washington called "The War on Christians." Because nothing quite says "I'm oppressed," like the opulent Regency Ballroom of the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

Ah, yes, whatever happened to that plucky little cult, Christianity? Oh, that's right, they're 80% of the American people, and have taken over all three branches of government, country music, public schools, the bestseller list, and until recently, Katie Holmes. You know, Christians, I don't mind that you're part of a dress-up cult that hates sex and worships magic but the paranoia, that does scare me.

Did you know that the Missouri legislature recently felt the need to propose a resolution declaring Christianity Missouri's majority religion. No kidding. Really, you mean people ar

en't saying, "Gosh, I'd like to go to Missouri, Jewish." In Savannah, recently, a children's book about a baby penguin who is raised by two male penguins - ahh! - was removed from the library for its homosexual overtones. Because you know penguins, in those tuxedos, with the dreamy eyes. Huge fags!

The Christian right are now officially the party of paranoia. Secularists are attacking Christmas! Gays are attacking marriage! Liberals are attacking values! White girls are being abducted at an alarming rate! You know, if you're going to be that paranoid all the time, just get high.

And the worst part is, the people bitching loudest about being persecuted for their Christianity aren't Christians at all. They're demagogues and conmen and scolds. And the only thing they worship is power. If you believe Jesus ever had a good word for war or torture or tax cuts for the rich, or raping the earth, or refusing water to dying migrants, then you might as well believe bunnies lay painted eggs.

And Jesus - and Jesus never said a word about gay marriage. He was much too busy hanging out with 12 guys. Now - now I know George Bush says Jesus Christ changed his heart. But believe me, Dick Cheney changed it back. The only thing Bush has in common with Jesus is they both went into their father's business and got crucified for it.

Thomas Jefferson called the type of Christian who trumpets his own belief in the divinity of Jesus rather than the morality of Jesus "pseudo-Christians." And that's who's running our country today. And since they thrive so much on turning water into "whining"—and get off on their endless pretend persecution, this Easter season, let's give them what they want. Let's go to the zoo, get some lions, and feed them Tom DeLay.

All right. That's our show. I want to thank my guests: Seth Green, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Erica Jong, Robert Wuhl and Jorge Ramos. Thank you very much, folks. We'll see you next week.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

New Rule #2

Another rule from Real Time with Bill Maher that makes me angry. Bill made several great points about what a fuckup the President and his henchmen are in his New Rules segment. The fact that these jackasses have this idiotic mentality and call people who don't agree with them unpatriotic disgusts me. George W. Bush truly is destroying America.

I copied an excert from New Rules March 23, 2007 below:

Traitors don't get to question my patriotism. What could be less patriotic than constantly screwing things up for America? You know, it's literally hard to keep up with the sheer volume of scandals in the Bush Administration. Which is why I like to download the latest scandal right onto my iPod. That way, I can catch up on this week's giant fuck-up on my drive in to work. In fact, Bush has so many scandals, he could open a chain of "Bush Scandal and Fuck-up" theme restaurants. "Ooh, should I get the Harriet Miers meatloaf or the Katrina crab cakes?

You know, not to generalize, but the 29% of people who still support President Bush are the ones who love to pronounce themselves more patriotic than the rest of us. But just saying you're patriotic is like saying you have a big cock. If you have to say it, chances are it's not true.

And, indeed, the party that flatters itself that they protect America better is the party that has exhausted the military, left the ports wide open and purposefully outed a CIA agent, Valerie Plame.

That's not treason anymore? Outing a spy? Did I mention it was one of our spies? And how despicable that Bush's lackeys attempted to diminish this crime by belittling her service, like she was just some chick who hung around the CIA. "An intern, really. Groupie, if you want to be mean about it."

No. Big lie. Valerie Plame was the CIA's operational officer in charge of counter-proliferation. Which means she tracked loose nukes. So, when Bush said, as he once did, that his absolute, number-one priority was preventing terrorists from getting loose nukes, okay, that's what she worked on. That's what she devoted her life to, staying undercover for 20 years, maintaining two identities every goddamn day. This is extraordinary service to your country.

Valerie Plame was the kind of real-life secret agent George Bush dreams of being when he's not too busy pretending to be a cowboy or a fighter pilot.

CIA agents are troops. This was a military assassination of one of our own, done through the press, ordered by Karl Rove. He said, of Valerie Plame, quote, "She's fair game." And then Cheney shot her.

George Bush likes to claim that he doesn't question his critics' patriotism, just their judgment. Well, let me be the first of your critics, Mr. President, to question your judgment and your patriotism. Because, let's not forget why they did it to her. Because Valerie Plame was married to this guy, Joe Wilson, who the Bush people hated because he busted them on one of their bullshit reasons for invading Iraq.

He was sent to the African country of Niger to see if Niger was selling nuclear fuel to Iraq. They weren't. It was bullshit, and he said so. In fact, his report was called, "Niger, Please!"

Valerie Plame's husband told the truth about their lie, so they were willing to jeopardize an entire network of spies to ruin her life. Wow, even the mob doesn't go after your family.

Mark Twain said, "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." And I say Valerie Plame is a patriot because she spent her life serving her country. Scooter Libby is not, because he spent his life serving Dick Cheney.

Valerie Plame kept her secrets. The Bush Administration leaked like the plumbing at Walter Reed.

In the year, 2008, I really think that Hillary Clinton should run for president on a platform of "restoring honor and integrity to the Oval Office."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

New Rule #1

I've been watching alot of Real Time with Bill Maher and like most things political, it makes me angry. The New Rules segment from several weeks ago covered what the majority of Americans don't realize they've sacrificed for the "War on Terror". Sadly, its the one thing I hold most dear than any inalienable rights bestowed upon us by the Constitution. Liberty.

I copied an excert from New Rules March 16, 2007 below:

Liberals must stop saying President Bush hasn't asked Americans to sacrifice for the war on terror. On the contrary, he's asked us to sacrifice something enormous. Our civil rights.

Now, when I heard George Bush was reading my emails, I probably had the same reaction you did: George Bush can read?! Yes, he can. And this administration has read your phone records, credit card statements, mail, Internet logs. I can't tell if they're fighting a war on terror or producing the next season of "Cheaters." I mail myself a copy of the Constitution every morning just on the hope they'll open it and see what it says.

So -so when it comes to sacrifice, don't kid yourself. You have given up a lot. You've given up faith in your government's honesty, the goodwill of people overseas, and six-tenths of the Bill of Rights. Here's what you've sacrificed: search and seizure, warrants, self-incrimination, trial by jury, cruel and unusual punishment. Here's what you have left: hand guns, religion, and they can't make you quarter a British soldier. If Prince Harry invades the Inland Empire, he has to bring a tent.

You know, in previous wars on the home front made a very different kind of sacrifice. During World War II, we endured rationing, paid higher taxes, bought war bonds, and in the interest of national unity, people even pretended Bob Hope was funny. Right, like you laughed at him.

Okay, women, donated their silk undergarments so they could be sewn into parachutes. Can you imagine nowadays a Britney Spears or a Lindsay Lohan going without underwear? Bad example.

But, look, George Bush has never been too bright about understanding "fereigners." But he does know Americans. He asked this generation to sacrifice the things he knew we would not miss: our privacy and our morality. He let us keep the money. But he made a cynical bet that we wouldn't much care if we became a "Big Brother" country that has now tortured a lot of random people.

And yet no one asks the tough questions like, "Is torture necessary?" "Who will watch the watchers?" "And when does Jack Bauer go to the bathroom?" I mean, it's been five years. Is he wearing one of those astronaut diapers?

In conclusion, after 9/11, President Bush told us Osama bin Laden could run but he couldn't hide. But, then he ran and hid. So, Bush went to Plan B: pissing on the Constitution and torturing random people.

Conservatives always say the great thing Reagan did was make us feel good about America again. Well, do you feel good about America now? I'll give you my answer, and to get it out of me, you don't even have to hold my head underwater and have a snarling guard dog rip my nuts off. No, I don't feel very good about that.

They say evil happens when good men do nothing. Well, the Democrats prove it also happens when mediocre people do nothing.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Texas lawmaker wants to buy your baby

That's right, a Texas state senator has proposed offering women $500 to not abort their pregnancies and give the baby up for adoption. If life is so precious, then why is only worth $500? Right-wing conservatives have really lost it with this one.

Read the article at Yahoo! News.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Gingrich is a Hypocrite

Newt Gingrich recently admitted to having an affair during Clinton probe. He claims he is not a hypocrite because he isn't the one that lied to a Federal judge. Perhaps that's because he's the one that initiated the whole probe into Clinton's behavior. Perhaps if Gingrich hadn't put President Clinton in such a predicament; he wouldn't have lied in the first place.

Clinton lied about a blow-job from a woman who wasn't his wife. How does that affect his job as a world leader? It's not like he lied about the justifications to take America into an unwinable, endless war.

Read the article where Newt claims he is not a Hypocrite.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Americans Falling Behind

I've been reading The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century by Thomas Friedman and makes me extremely nervous for the future our nation. Not only are developing nations like India, China, and Russia increasing their education systems, America's education system is severely falling behind. Our children's curriculum is less stringent and less focused on subjects like math and science, that have been driving our nation's innovation for the last 50 years.

As the world gets flatter, more and more white collar jobs will shift overseas due the amount of knowledge that these other countries will now possess and their ability to do it for less. If our knowledge base continues to decrease, as is the current trend, our standard of living will be affected as well. Corporations don't care where their workforces come from and if Americans don't wake up, we will only have ourselves to blame.

Further driving home this point is Bill Gates, who was testifying in Congress asking to remove limits on H1-B visas. These visas are designed for professional workers like engineers, computer programmers, scientists, and other individuals in the technology and related fields.

Despite America being a leader in rollout of high-speed internet connections several years ago, we have actually fallen behind and France has almost caught up to us. When President Bush took office in 2001, we were 3rd in the world in total high speed connections, now we are 13th. Why? Because tax cuts for the wealthy were more important than allocating more funds for education of America's children or training programs for people who have lost jobs to automation or even more training for our educators.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

2008 Federal Budget to further ruin US

President Bush's 2008 proposed budget will further ruin America worse than a Britney Spears head shaving. Sadly, the American people are more preoccupied with a dumb bimbo who shaves her head then with the proposed tax cuts for the super-rich and the budget cuts for programs that actually help people the poor.

For further proof that our President is destroying America, read this article from Rolling Stone's The Low Post, Medicare vs. Britney.

Friday, February 09, 2007

EMI to remove DRM?

Well, it looks like one of the four major players in the music industry took notice to Steve Jobs posting earlier this week [see article] on the future of downloadable music. Read EMI in talks to sell unprotected MP3s.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Another reason to remove DRM

Finally, someone with real clout is calling for the declining music industry to abolish DRM (Digital Rights Management). Steve Jobs, the Apple, Inc. CEO, published some of his thoughts on the DRM debate today.

He brings up a great point that the Big 4 in the music industry are selling 90% of their music DRM free via CDs. Yet, they make the biggest stink over the bottom 10%. Instead of wasting the millions of dollars in protecting DRM, companies like Apple or Microsoft and the music industry could be innovating new devices and applications that aren't dependent upon such wasteful requirements and profits would surely rise.

Read his Thoughts on Music.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What's a Trillion dollars?

More incompentence from our President and his ability to not deal in facts. Read this article that appeared in the NY Times.

What $1.2 Trillion Can Buy
January 17, 2007
NY TIMES - Economix
NY Times Source

The human mind isn’t very well equipped to make sense of a figure like $1.2 trillion. We don’t deal with a trillion of anything in our daily lives, and so when we come across such a big number, it is hard to distinguish it from any other big number. Millions, billions, a trillion — they all start to sound the same.

The way to come to grips with $1.2 trillion is to forget about the number itself and think instead about what you could buy with the money. When you do that, a trillion stops sounding anything like millions or billions.

For starters, $1.2 trillion would pay for an unprecedented public health campaign — a doubling of cancer research funding, treatment for every American whose diabetes or heart disease is now going unmanaged and a global immunization campaign to save millions of children’s lives.

Combined, the cost of running those programs for a decade wouldn’t use up even half our money pot. So we could then turn to poverty and education, starting with universal preschool for every 3- and 4-year-old child across the country. The city of New Orleans could also receive a huge increase in reconstruction funds.

The final big chunk of the money could go to national security. The recommendations of the 9/11 Commission that have not been put in place — better baggage and cargo screening, stronger measures against nuclear proliferation — could be enacted. Financing for the war in Afghanistan could be increased to beat back the Taliban’s recent gains, and a peacekeeping force could put a stop to the genocide in Darfur.

All that would be one way to spend $1.2 trillion. Here would be another:

The war in Iraq.

In the days before the war almost five years ago, the Pentagon estimated that it would cost about $50 billion. Democratic staff members in Congress largely agreed. Lawrence Lindsey, a White House economic adviser, was a bit more realistic, predicting that the cost could go as high as $200 billion, but President Bush fired him in part for saying so.

These estimates probably would have turned out to be too optimistic even if the war had gone well. Throughout history, people have typically underestimated the cost of war, as William Nordhaus, a Yale economist, has pointed out.

But the deteriorating situation in Iraq has caused the initial predictions to be off the mark by a scale that is difficult to fathom. The operation itself — the helicopters, the tanks, the fuel needed to run them, the combat pay for enlisted troops, the salaries of reservists and contractors, the rebuilding of Iraq — is costing more than $300 million a day, estimates Scott Wallsten, an economist in Washington.

That translates into a couple of billion dollars a week and, over the full course of the war, an eventual total of $700 billion in direct spending.

The two best-known analyses of the war’s costs agree on this figure, but they diverge from there. Linda Bilmes, at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate and former Clinton administration adviser, put a total price tag of more than $2 trillion on the war. They include a number of indirect costs, like the economic stimulus that the war funds would have provided if they had been spent in this country.

Mr. Wallsten, who worked with Katrina Kosec, another economist, argues for a figure closer to $1 trillion in today’s dollars. My own estimate falls on the conservative side, largely because it focuses on the actual money that Americans would have been able to spend in the absence of a war. I didn’t even attempt to put a monetary value on the more than 3,000 American deaths in the war.

Besides the direct military spending, I’m including the gas tax that the war has effectively imposed on American families (to the benefit of oil-producing countries like Iran, Russia and Saudi Arabia). At the start of 2003, a barrel of oil was selling for $30. Since then, the average price has been about $50. Attributing even $5 of this difference to the conflict adds another $150 billion to the war’s price tag, Ms. Bilmes and Mr. Stiglitz say.

The war has also guaranteed some big future expenses. Replacing the hardware used in Iraq and otherwise getting the United States military back into its prewar fighting shape could cost $100 billion. And if this war’s veterans receive disability payments and medical care at the same rate as veterans of the first gulf war, their health costs will add up to $250 billion. If the disability rate matches Vietnam’s, the number climbs higher. Either way, Ms. Bilmes says, “It’s like a miniature Medicare.”

In economic terms, you can think of these medical costs as the difference between how productive the soldiers would have been as, say, computer programmers or firefighters and how productive they will be as wounded veterans. In human terms, you can think of soldiers like Jason Poole, a young corporal profiled in The New York Times last year. Before the war, he had planned to be a teacher. After being hit by a roadside bomb in 2004, he spent hundreds of hours learning to walk and talk again, and he now splits his time between a community college and a hospital in Northern California.

Whatever number you use for the war’s total cost, it will tower over costs that normally seem prohibitive. Right now, including everything, the war is costing about $200 billion a year.

Treating heart disease and diabetes, by contrast, would probably cost about $50 billion a year. The remaining 9/11 Commission recommendations — held up in Congress partly because of their cost — might cost somewhat less. Universal preschool would be $35 billion. In Afghanistan, $10 billion could make a real difference. At the National Cancer Institute, annual budget is about $6 billion.

“This war has skewed our thinking about resources,” said Mr. Wallsten, a senior fellow at the Progress and Freedom Foundation, a conservative-leaning research group. “In the context of the war, $20 billion is nothing.”

As it happens, $20 billion is not a bad ballpark estimate for the added cost of Mr. Bush’s planned surge in troops. By itself, of course, that price tag doesn’t mean the surge is a bad idea. If it offers the best chance to stabilize Iraq, then it may well be the right option.

But the standard shouldn’t simply be whether a surge is better than the most popular alternative — a far-less-expensive political strategy that includes getting tough with the Iraqi government. The standard should be whether the surge would be better than the political strategy plus whatever else might be accomplished with the $20 billion.

This time, it would be nice to have that discussion before the troops reach Iraq.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Glad I'm not on the Watch List

Be glad you are not on the US no-fly or terrorist watch list. A Syrian-born Canandian man was deported to Syria and tortured for nearly a year before being released. Once the President and his henchmen couldn't get what they wanted out of him they put him on a plane to Syria to be tortured. They didn't deport him to Canada, where he is a citizen, they sent him to a state-sponsored terrorist state according to Washington.

Once released, he fought to clear his name and did just that (in Canada). He was even rewarded compensation for the whole ordeal. Wow, a country admitting it was wrong and actually rectifying it. What an odd concept?

The US refuses to remove him from the lists due to national security reasons. They are probably related to the WMDs that Saddam supposedly had.

So the US will work with Syria to torture people, but not on securing Iraq???

Read Canada apologizes to deportation victim on Yahoo! News.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Bush's new tax break

Our great President has proposed yet another tax break. This time it has the facade of actually helping people who are in dire need of healthcare. The US currently has millions without coverage and the President is doing something about it. Or so it appears.

The tax break would be for people who struggle to get healthcare. This tax break would help these individuals purchase the health care that they currently can't afford. The only problem is the income level of these poor individuals is so low that they don't even pay taxes. How can you offer a tax break to people on taxes they don't pay? Much less, how can they buy health insurance with money they won't be receiving.

Yet again, more of the President's stupid logic.

Or better yet, the way Stephen said it on the The Colbert Report last night.

It's simple. Most people, who can't afford health insurance, also are too poor to pay taxes. BUT if you give them a deduction, from the taxes they don't owe, they can use the money they're not getting back, from what they haven't given, to buy the health care they can't afford.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

da Bears

Last weekend I went to Chicago for the hell of it. Back in the Fall JetBlue ran a special on flights for $39.99/each way. I figured what the hell and went.

On top of such an awesome flight price, the Bears were in the NFC Championship game. The town was packed and geared for a Bears win. And did they deliver with a pounding of the Saints. The Monsters of the Midway are heading to the Super Bowl! Finally, I will get to see my team play in the big game after watching year after year with little to hope for. It was pretty cool to be in Chi-town last weekend for such a huge win.

Lookout of for the Super Bowl Shuffle. Dikta is God!

Friday, January 12, 2007