A Falling Tsar

December 2, 2014

in International


PutinFantasies rarely come true. Putin’s is becoming a nightmare for the Russian people.

Perhaps Vladimir would be well-advised to find a copy of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass. The pieces of Humpty Dumpty cannot be put together again. The pieces of the Russian Empire cannot be put together again. The pieces of the Soviet Union cannot be put together again.

The grandiosity of Putin’s ambitions seem laughable in the stark light of reality.

Russia’s economy is smaller than Italy’s. It is about the size of Spain’s. It has been a few decades since either of them dominated the world.

Those numbers, however, are subject to revision. The forecasts for 2015 have dropped from an anemic growth of 1.2% to a negative .8%.

The Ruble has fallen 40% this year. It now stands at about 54 Rubles to the US Dollar. My guess is that the Russian populace already is quite familiar with the word, инфляция, but significantly more is on the way. We, of course, also have incompetent economic managers, so we are quite familiar with the English equivalent: inflation. [click to continue…]

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Lies Equal Lies
 I was sitting on a Delta flight out of Atlanta with Governor Jimmy Carter and Jody Powell. It was January 1976, two weeks before the Iowa caucuses.

Jody briefly explained Ham Jordan’s campaign strategy. It was masterful. I saw the future. Governor Carter would be President Carter. I jumped aboard the bandwagon.

The Governor asked me for my opinion of the situation in the Middle East. Given his passion for detail, I am certain he expected a lengthy disquisition. My response was succinct. To quote myself, “A pox on both their houses.” While he may have come to at least a partial acceptance of my view somewhat later, he didn’t seem to embrace it at that moment. [click to continue…]

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Boot The Freeloaders

November 11, 2014

in Politics


FreeloadersThe Republicans say the poor are not carrying their share of the load. They say they don’t pay taxes. Actually, they pay a greater percentage of their income than does Myth Romney or most of his fellow plutocrats.

Most of the poor have jobs. Many have more than one job but are still poor. They pay 15.2% in payroll taxes. They pay sales taxes. They pay gas taxes. They pay excise taxes. They pay property taxes. The list is long.

But if the poor aren’t the freeloaders, who are they? Let’s ignore the bulk of the Fortune 500 corporations that pay little or no federal taxes. And, let’s emulate Washington and pretend the elite actually pay their fair share.

Is The Suspense Killing You?

Okay, here is something of a ‘Top Ten”of culprits, in alphabetical order: Alabama, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. This is not fully inclusive nor is my list exclusive but it’s unlikely to be featured by David Letterman.  [click to continue…]

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Misrepresentation

August 28, 2014

in Politics


US Corporate FlagI have lately been deluged with requests for donations from various groups. These groups, various organizations of the Democratic Party and several devoted to specific causes, including gun control, veterans, the environment, immigrants and the similarly oriented, badger me constantly.

They ask for a signature on a petition. Then comes the beg. The majority leader of the House of Orange is bringing suit against the president for doing what the Republicans wanted him to do anyway. The cost is to be added to the deficit by those who claim nothing should be added to the deficit.  [click to continue…]

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Police State

August 13, 2014

in Politics


Police StateLand of the suspect; home of the cowed and subjugated.

It appears that not being of European ancestry is now a capital crime. Somehow that doesn’t ring true to the Pablum™ we were served in high school civics classes.

I used to admit to having served as commissioner of emergency services (fire, police and rescue). I was proud of our police department when it was honored as the best in the state. Now, I feel the need to explain that my involvement was in the 1970s.

Things have changed.  [click to continue…]

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Flat EarthRecently, I was contacted by an engineer for a technology company, soliciting my thoughts on the subject of Net neutrality. Back in early June I had posted an article on the subject: You Don’t Matter (I hope you will benefit from spending a few minutes reading it). I made no commitment to another post due to constraints on my time and availability. However, here is such an article.

He provided a link to an article written by a member of his firm’s staff. It is, in many respects a well-written article. However, it attempts the impossible. That is embedded in its title: A Neutral Guide to Net Neutrality

Fox and others incapable of coherent thought claim the mantle of “Fair and Balanced” as though that made any sense.

Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman skewered that quite nicely. He posited that if the president claimed the Earth was flat, a balanced headline would read, “Shape of the Earth in Doubt.” Obviously, however balanced that may be, it would not be fair. Being fair does not require treating  every side of every issue as of equal merit.  [click to continue…]

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Family FuedMore unintended consequences from the putative victory of Hobby Lobby over Obamacare. It’s obvious that the five Catholic males on the Court have not the intellect to think their way out of a paper sack.

The Fatuous Five have proven once more their lack of comprehension of the Constitution, the law, religion, the medical arts and women. Their other manifest deficiencies may be found in their other decisions. They are a total embarrassment to this nation.

In selecting thie accompanying graphic, I was reminded of the Mormon belief that Jesus and Satan are brothers. I considered entitling it “Family Feud.”

My apologies for not coming up with an original post. This is a copy-and-paste of a short article on the Daily Kos by someone with the nom de plume of BruinKid.  [click to continue…]

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What You Did

July 28, 2014

in Law,Politics,Religion


ShariahJust when you think the Supreme Court of Wall Street has set the conservative ideology bar as low as it can go, they return for an encore.

While the rabid fundamentalist Christians are celebrating their victory over their black nemesis, Obama, they unwittingly handed their bogeyman a Christmas whoops . . . Happy Holidays present in the muggy swamp that is Washington, D.C.

Hobby Lobby became the vanguard for the idiots out there masturbating in the sand. To switch metaphors, the doors of Hobby Lobby are the shortcut into the mosque. You know what a mosque is. It’s the place where you learn all about shariah law.

If corporations are people and can be devoted to religion, as the Foolish Five in black robes have proclaimed, there must be a Muslim corporation, er, uh, person lurking somewhere out there in the marketplace. There is also some likelihood that a nefarious corp . . . person will need employees.

There is a persistent rumor, sometimes heard in other countries that there are a few Muslims that are nice people. These atypical Arabs are nice to other people, even employees. Some even wish their underlings good health. I think the word in Arabic is, gesundheit[click to continue…]

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Seth Rogan Is Right

July 5, 2014

in Law,Politics


Seth RoganSeth called the Hobby Lobby people and those supporting them assholes. I would have been somewhat more nuanced than Seth. I see them as ignorant, pretentious assholes.

The conservative “brain bust trust” on the Supreme Court of Wall Street will need to add several like-minded noggins to the mix to reach the double-digit range for collective IQ.

They flatter themselves with meaningless, ridiculous appellations. ‘Strict constructionist’ comes to mind. They wallow deliriously in the fantasy that some of the lustre of the Founders will thereby make them appear credible. Oh, ye of little learning.

The Founders realized that changes in the Constitution would be necessary. They created mechanisms for that very reason. The hubris of these pretenders is appalling; it is repulsive. If only they were sufficiently educated to be embarrassed by such inanities. Willie Shakespeare’s Hamlet nailed them,  “They have a plentiful lack of wit.” [click to continue…]

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Mission Accomplished

A picture that we have seen ad nauseam appears to have been corrected to make it more historically accurate.

The German newspaper, Die Tageszeitung got it right. The photo now shows Shaker Wahib al-Fahdawi, field commander of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an al-Qaeda splinter group.

He’s the newest Bad, Bad Leroy Brown of the religious right, see of Baghdad. A 27-year old former computer science major, he was captured by US forces in 2006 but was part of the group of 110 that escaped escaped during an air raid. He appears to be the only one that does not cover his face as he executes fellow Muslims for being of the wrong sect.

There is a video of Leroy killing 3 of 4 Syrian truck drivers. He questioned them about Islam then, deciding only one was a Sunni, he executed the other 3 on the side of the road. He judged them to be Alawites, a sect associated with the Shia. Below are two still photos from that video.  [click to continue…]

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