July 2008 Archives

A Coincident? I Think Not!

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About Chess

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Yes, I have actually produced the graphic of Jim's latest move, as well as my counter move. However, I am about to go for a walk to help relieve myself of this belly ache (there are all sorts of ways to play of that, but I won't) and when I return, hopefully I'll be up to creating the post.
The Reality-Based Community

Still, this has to remind you of a political rival's remark when a tumor on Lord Randoph Churchill's lung proved benign: that the doctors had "found the one bit of Randolph that wasn't malignant and cut it out."
Somehow, I can't help but agree......

Of course, Mark's email notice for his post said it best:

McCain's skin biopsy: benign. It's only the rest of him that's malignant.
Update: Changed the title because it was just too damn mean, instead of being an attempt at snark. Hey, what can I say? It was early in the morning, I hadn't had my cup of coffee, Wheaties, or daily serving of fruit. Of course, it could be worse, I could eat corn flakes with Mountain Dew instead of milk. Although that would be a sight better than crow in the morning.

Half-priced oil by end of year?

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Ladies and Gentlemen, if any stop by to read my lonely, little blog, I present to you the hit of the summer:

The Price Decrease In Oil!

Just in time for an election near you.

Star Tribune

The sharp drop in energy prices since the beginning of the month is turning into a rare bright spot in a bleak economic landscape.

For the moment, at least, fears of a prolonged energy shock seem to have subsided a bit.

Oil has fallen more than $23 a barrel, or 16 percent, since peaking July 3. Gasoline has slipped below $4 a gallon and is dropping fast as Americans drive less. Natural gas prices, which had risen the fastest this year as traders anticipated a hot summer, have shed 33 percent since the beginning of the month.

When Extremists Attack

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About damn time.

TIME: Swampland

I don't think a war with Iran is coming, thank God, but this time I am not going to pull any punches. My voice isn't very important in the grand scheme of things, but I'm going to do my job--and that means letting you know exactly where I stand and what I believe. I believe there are a small group of Jewish neoconservatives who are pushing for war with Iran because they believe it is in America's long-term interests and because they believe Israel's existence is at stake. They are wrong and recent history tells us they are dangerous. They are also bullies and I'm not going to be intimidated by them.
Now, if he'd just pull his head out of his arse in regards to the state of today's professional journalism (and yes I actually managed to say professional without biting my tongue), because when it comes to the Legacy Media, he's got belly button lint in his vision.

H/T: Jeff Fecke
Army Of Dude

The 'awakening group' movement first appeared in Anbar in late 2005 (or if you're John McCain, it started in a time warp before and after the surge) and has since grown to a large, lethal force that battles elements of al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State of Iraq. That is usually where the media narrative leaves you, insinuating that these groups are patriotic volunteers casting out the demons of al-Qaeda. What they don't mention is both the original motivations for these groups and their history of battling American soldiers. One of the latest to operate (and propped up by my unit in Diyala Province) is the 1920 Revolution Brigade. I covered their nationalist history a year ago, citing their name was a throwback to the 1920 revolution to oust British influence. So this group in particular didn't start in 2005, 2006 or even 2007, but in 2003 for one reason: to attack and kill Americans.
So the enemy of our enemy turns out to be our allies only because we pay them not to be our enemies:

Unfortunately, we couldn't take out the trash that easily. We grudingly worked with the 1920s as per our orders. We were moderately successful in tracking down al-Qaeda operatives (or possibly doing in-house cleaning) and caches. But the point isn't the success of turning over a new leaf with insurgents, though. We traded in our values, our self reliance to get things done, for $300 a head. We did not destroy our enemy but rather aided them. We secured not only their future success, but the future instability with the Iraqi government. Maliki and his Shia government adamantly oppose the Sunni groups and have said in the past that they will never become a permanent part of Iraqi forces
So, one part of why the surge worked is because we managed to buy our Sunni allies with $300. But, in all things, inflation may appear to be a major factor in our purchase. Also, a rose by any other name......

But they don't pay the former insurgents, we do, as taxpayers. That's why they're trying to leverage the American military into giving them more money, the ol' "pay me more or I'm going back to killing you" ruse. And for their part, they'll probably be successful. Commanders know that they're important not for killing al-Qaeda, but for not fighting us. They're not allies, they're enemies with benefits. And they're holding the cards.

Why isn't there an outcry from the media and citizenry about these people? Quite simply, the military led the media by its nose when they characterized insurgents as "concerned" and proudly spoke of them as volunteers. To further confuse people, they were renamed 'Baqubah Guardians' and then finally 'Sons of Iraq,' each name a brighter shade of lipstick for the same dirty pig. They're only growing stronger and more experienced as time goes on, watching coalition forces close up, looking for every weakness. They've already discovered a big one: our over-reliance on their dirty, sectarian work.
By way of TPM



My God! If he really was a crappie, he'd beat himself to death with all the flopping about.
Okay, I've decided the only route to go is to continue with the pressure. I managed to eek out an offensive move and I guess I should maintain that small advantage as long as possible: Pawn to b4.

MRBlack 26.gif

Let us see what Jim does now. Will he ignore my pawn and attempt an offensive move of his own, or will he work on his defense?
Sorry for the dearth of post and the delay of putting up Jim's latest move. I have had a rough couple of days, both physically and emotionally. This not knowing what is wrong with me is taking its toll. However, I am a bit better today, and so am now able to sit at the computer long enough to post Jim's latest move in our ongoing Blogger's Chess Match: Queen to g2.

MRWhite 26.gif

Hopefully, my mind and body willing, I'll be able to post my move soon.

Blogger's Chess: My 25th Move

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Okay, hidden move or no hidden move, he can't do anything until he deals with my threat to his Queen: Knight to e5.

MRBlack 25.gif



Limit At The Desk

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Okay, I have pretty much reached the limit to sitting at my computer. I have at the most maybe 4 hours available to me before my side gets to uncomfortable. And that is with some extended breaks among those 4 hours. So, there is a good chance this will be my last post for today. 

B-52 Crashes Off Guam

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New York Times

HONOLULU (AP) -- The Air Force says a B-52 bomber with six crew members has crashed off Guam. The Coast Guard says two people have been recovered from the waters. Their condition was not immediately available.
What the hell has happened to the Air Force? They have had more troubles of late. First there was the B-52 bomber that unkownly carried nuclear warheads, then the base that sent the warheads out fails a nuclear safety inspection in May of 2008, and now there has been a 2nd crash of a bomber.

What scares me is that this degradation of the Air Force is indicative of the leadership of George Walker Bush. We have already been witness to stories about political malfeasance at the Justice Department, the cover up of global warming, and the politically motivated acts of misconduct by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Considering the current makeup of McCain's campaign staff, I doubt there will be any real move to clean out the incompetent and down right amoral political appointments of the Bush administration, which means we will see a continuation of incompetence and failure. With Obama remaining strong on his commitment of no lobbyists, there is some hope of a cleansing. Mostly because he appears to be running a top notch campaign.

In the end, the ability to bring together a good team, whether it is for a campaign, or for an administration, is the true marker of a competent leader.
Okay, I must be missing something, because his move, Bishop to h6, seems a bit premature.

MRWhite 25.gif

Well, it appears I am going to have to spend some time looking for a hidden danger.

I Get Emails*

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You know, Moveon.org produces some good videos.
 


It is amazing. These idiots actually think it's okay to talk down to the electorate, and tell them it's all in their heads. Just you wait and see. Next the GOP will be trotting out some new ad with the song "Don't Worry, Be Happy" as the background music.


*Actually, my website email server seems to be having problems, so I am not receiving any emails for my rooksrant dot com addys.

Blogger's Chess: My 24th Move

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Okay, I obviously need to keep Jim from getting one of my major pieces for free, so: Bishop to d6.

MRBlack 24.gif

This is a purely defensive move that gives me no advantage what-so-ever. It does not put me into the offensive. It does not give me any future develomental choices. It does, in fact, leave me vulnerable to further offensive moves by Jim. And Jim is being very offensive at the moment.

Okay, I am sorry, I couldn't help myself. I will behave from here on out. Oh, and I've got that title for the bridge I have been meaning to sell.
By way of ASZ:

SF Gate

(07-17) 14:57 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco voters will be asked to decide whether to name a city sewage plant in honor of President Bush, after a satiric measure qualified for the November ballot Thursday.

Backers of the measure, who for several months circulated a petition to place the measure on the ballot, turned in more than 12,000 signatures on July 7, said organizer Brian McConnell. The Department of Elections on Thursday informed those supporters, the self-proclaimed Presidential Memorial Commission, that they had enough valid signatures - a minimum of 7,168 registered San Francisco voters - to qualify for the November ballot.

I love it! And no doubt it can easily pass in San Francisco. An appropriate institution to indicate the true quality of President George W. Bush.

I wonder if this will catch on across the nation. I mean, think of all the schools out there named after presidents in honor of their legacy. Since our current president has openly mocked educated people, it seems only appropriate that some other form of institution be available for his legacy.

Friday Stolen Code Blogging

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Bark Bark Woof Woof

Friday Blogaround
Summertime...and the blogging is easy... for the LC:

- A Blog Around The Clock: blog is software.
- archy: what's in a name?
- Bark Bark Woof Woof: not funny.
- Bloggg: here's hoping for Hillary.
- Dohiyi Mir: as NTodd notes, "just pics" for now.
- Echidne Of The Snakes: savage advice.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: Kenneth reports from Netroots Nation.
- Iddybud Journal: a reporter's request.
- Left Is Right explains Freddie and Fannie for you.
- Musing's musings: alchemy is the only way.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web: what if the Beatles had recorded "Stairway to Heaven"? The mind boggles.
- Rook's Rant: get well soon, Rook.
- rubber hose: the trade.
- Scrutiny Hooligans: the latest from JibJab.
- SoonerThought takes on yet another lie about Barack Obama.
- Speedkill: there's more to The New Yorker this week than its cover.
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat: the wheels of justice.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: Does Barack Obama have a plan for Iraq?
- The Invisible Library: Congratulations to Keith on his new job.
- WTF Is It Now?? Chris out, Rachel in?
This is a big weekend for a lot of things, including a car club picnic, a birthday, and a fond memory of a dear friend. Have a good one in your own way.
Thanks MB. I am patiently waiting for my appointment.
New York Times

Heather Browne, a KBR spokeswoman, would not comment about a company safety study or the reports of electrical fires or shocks, but she said KBR had found no evidence of a link between its work and the electrocutions. She added, "KBR's commitment to the safety of all employees and those the company serves remains unwavering."
Of course KBR is going to deny any wrong doing. They don't want to be sued. Once again, the hallmark of BushCo™ is on display: incompetence in all they do or touch.

I wonder if there will be any war profiteering hearings after the new administration takes power. That has been the most glaring problem with BushCo™. They have made no effort at ensuring competence and integrity with government contractors during their entire tenure at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. But than, their focus has not been on running the government, it has been on lining Dick Cheney's pockets, as well as the Carlyle Group's accounts.

FDA: It's OK To Eat Tomatoes

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Star Tribune

The government still doesn't know just what caused the salmonella outbreak, and Thursday's move doesn't mean tomatoes are cleared. Early on, there was good evidence linking them to the sick, but it's unlikely that any field where tomatoes were harvested in April and May still is in production.
So, they have not yet discovered the source of the outbreak.  Am I suppose to feel secure in this announcement? The Bush administration and the people it has placed into government sector jobs has not been able to find it's head in an asshole, even when it is shoved up their own asshole. So, you'll forgive me if I choose not to believe the outbreak is over.

More than likely, the culprit discovered the problem, did a quick cover up, and is hoping against hope the government continues it's usual incompetence and so not be held accountable. You know, that really is not hoping against hope; it's a sure bet.

Under the Bush administration, you can easily get away with murder.

Darn! I like DBK's suggestion instead. However, Jim has chosen to move his Queen to f3.

MRWhite 24.gif

Now, I was hoping he'd finally take my Bishop. But, instead, he's moved His Queen into position, rendering my Queen's protection of my Bishop ineffectual. Also, he maintains the momentum, remains on the offensive, and has serious developmental opportunities. I, on the other hand, am looking at a deteriorating pawn defense for my King.

I hate when that happens.

A Quick Post

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This is just a quick post to let you know what's happening with me.  In regards to my physical health I've yet to discover what has been causing my abdominal pain which continues on unabated.  I do have a urologist appointment set for July 29, but I have been calling every day to try to get in earlier.

Today is not a good day.  My gut feels like it's about to pop.  In fact my pants, which are very baggy, are extremely uncomfortable today.  Currently there is a sharp pain located just under my liver and to the right of my stomach.  I guess I should be grateful my balls aren't aching today.

At the moment things are looking rather scary.  Since we can't discover what is causing my discomfort I am unable to get a doctor's note stating it is okay for me to go back to work.  I haven't been back to work in over two weeks and do not know when I'm going to be able to go back to work.  So once again I am faced with an impending financial doom.
New York Times

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The Taliban insurgents who attacked a remote American-run outpost near the Pakistan border on Sunday numbered nearly 200 fighters, almost three times the size of the allied force, and some breached the NATO compound in a coordinated assault that took the defenders by surprise, Western officials said Monday.
Is our intelligence gathering ability that degraded? Or is this because of our deteriorating relationship with Pakistan? In either case, this should not be happening. Our forces are simply not getting the support from the administration that is needed to ensure their safety.

Ventura Won't Run

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All I can say is: Thank God!

Blogger's Chess: My 23rd Move

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Well, I have no choice but to move my pawn up; Pawn to g6.

MRBlack 23.gif

There is no way I am taking his pawn with mine. Nor am I interested in taking his Bishop with mine, as it solves his fractured pawn structure and eventually opens the h file for his Rook. I like his pawns all separated like that, and certainly do not want his Rook staring down my h7 Pawn.

Still, his f Pawn down in the 6th rank is problematic.
Crap, he didn't take my Bishop: King to b1.

MRWhite 23.gif

Trust me, I am not going to take his Bishop. That makes all sorts of future complications I am just not willing to confront. But, what to do next? What to do next? More of that damn irritating thinking. Seriously, why do I put myself through this?

That last was a rhetorical question.
Mustang Bobby has his usual question of the day, which happens to be up my alley:

What films from the current era (including the last twenty-five years or so) would you add to the list?

Here are my answers.

  • Raiders Of The Lost Ark
  • Rain Man
  • Unforgiven (Eastwood's movie)
  • The Princess Bride
  • The Usual Suspects
  • The Bourne Movies (all three together make the Bond movies look childish and amateurish)
  • Sneakers (like wine, it gets better with age and also, considering today's warrantless wiretapping in the computer age, very prophetic)
  • The Sixth Sense
  • The Matrix
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • Body Heat
  • The Fugitive
  • Spider Man (and also Spider Man 2)

I have more, but they start to fade from the all time classic plateau into great movie range.

New York Times

In short, in a nation that holds itself up as a citadel of free enterprise, the government has morphed from lender of last resort into effectively the only lender for millions of Americans engaged in the largest transactions of their lives.
All things said and done, it is the government that controls the money. From printing, to distribution, to control of credit, etc., etc., etc. The government is the Alpha/Omaga. There is just no way to get around this simple fact. That is why the cry about getting government out of our lives makes no sense. Without it we have no security, no safety, no pursuit of happiness.

Also, if free enterprise is so damn self-sufficient and efficient, why the hell are we encountering a recession? Why are we seeing one financial crises after another?

And yes, all the following are rhetorical. If I had the answers to those questions, I would be a billionaire to rival Gates.

Actually, I do have a hunch. It has to do with leadership and competence. The state of our country has much to do with who sits in the Oval Office.
Star Tribune

U.S. officials say militant attacks in Afghanistan are becoming more complex, intense and better coordinated than a year ago. Monthly death tolls of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan surpassed U.S. military deaths in Iraq in May and June. And last Monday, a suicide bomber attacked the Indian Embassy in Kabul, killing 58 people in the deadliest attack in the Afghan capital since 2001.
This should not be a news story. Afghanistan should not be a problem right now. But, because our piss poor excuse of a president decided to prove he was better than his father, we blundered into an invasion of Iraq. This depleted the military strength required to take out the people truly responsible for the attacks on September 11th, 2001. So, instead of a secure, safe Afghanistan, we have Afghanistan slowly degrading into chaos -- if ever it really had seen stability.

Blogger's Chess: My 22nd Move

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Okay, time to start causing some mayhem; Bishop to f4.

MRBlack 22.gif

Let's see what develops now.
He's marching that pawn right up there to my King's row of pawns; Pawn to f6.

MRWhite 22.gif

Well, I have a few possibilities here. Obviously, I have to attend to that threatening pawn at my door step. However, there are other irratating developments I have to attend to as well. So, it is a matter of timing and order. I have a bit of thinking to do. And trust me when I say that is the hardest part of playing chess -- thinking. It's why I suck at this game.

Friday Stolen Code Blogging

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Friday Blogaround
Here, for your delectation and delight, the LC's weekly blogaround.

- A Blog Around The Clock: knew your meat.
- archy: PZ Myers and the holy cracker.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof: Why is no one taking John McCain to task for his 61 documented flip-flops?
- Bloggg: looking to buy a car? Read the obits.
- Collective Sigh bids farewell to Jesse Helms.
- Dohiyi Mir: The Epic Journey continues.
- Echidne Of The Snakes: blogging while naked.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: We need your help; please donate. Thanks.
- Iddybud Journal: impeachment will get a hearing.
- Left Is Right: what will Obama's FISA vote cost him?
- Lefty Side of the Dial: wow...I have a blog?
- Musing's musings: still on vacation.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web: Elayne is still catching up, but she gives us Silly Putty University.
- Rook's Rant: patiently -- or not -- waiting for UPS to show up.
- rubber hose: none of the fun is getting there.
- Scrutiny Hooligans: gambling on Elizabeth Dole.
- SoonerThought: Econ 101.
- Speedkill: commenting on comments.
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat: revising the War Powers Act.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: a cross teacher.
- WTF Is It Now?? John McCain on Viagra.
On that note....[shudder]... have a great weekend.
Well, I suppose I should mention that I have my computer back up and running. Now that I have a new power supply, I realize the old one was bad from day one. It made a horrible noise right after setting it up back 4 or 5 years ago. This new power supply is so damn quite, I sometimes wonder if the fan is working at all. It is, it is just so spooky after having a noisy power supply.
The fight has only just begun. I understand many people believed that the passing of this new FISA law was going to signal the end of our Constitutionally created country. But the passing of a law -- hell, the passing of an amendment -- is not set in concrete. The only thing set in concrete is the existence of the will of the people.

Hope people. Hope. The Fourth Amendment has not been repealed. It is just a law that was passed. They get struck down quite a bit.

Religious Rights

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I learn something new every day. Today, I was informed of a strange Quaker ritual.

Dead Desktop PC

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My power supply died on my hp pavilion 754n. But, a quick search on the internet garnered me a replacement power supply. Until it arrives via UPS, I am stuck using my laptop with Windows Vista. It is slow and clunky. It works well enough, but is missing some important programs, which I do not want to install. So, until my desktop pc is up and running, I am going to have to put the Blogger's Chess Match on hold. Sorry Jim. My chess program was one of them, and it does not run on Vista worth a damn.

Okay, after much examination I have decided to take the pawn at g3.

MRBlack 21.gif

It was a freebie. Besides, I now am caught up in pawns. And, I have an advantage. He has a broken pawn structure in front of my King. His h pawn no longer has a pawn for support, and will require the guard of a Bishop or a Rook. Granted, he can move a Rook onto the g file, a strong threat against my pawn and Kings. But it is a threat not yet fully developed. I have time to figure out some sort of strategy. I think.

Remember, I suck at chess.
Okay, this is confusing. Jim's move f4 to f5 gives me a pawn free and clear.

MRWhite 21.gif

Obviously, I am going to study this a bit before I move. A free pawn must mean a trap. Or, he's planning on moving one of his Rooks to g1. Still, it might delay my capture, but I think I can still get that pawn.
New York Times

The aides said Dr. Gerberding told him he would not be reappointed. Dr. Howard had signaled his desire to continue in the job, which pays $174,612 a year, in April in a letter to Michael O. Leavitt, secretary of health and human services.

Calls to Dr. Howard's office in Washington and to the C.D.C. were not immediately returned. But The Associated Press quoted a spokesman for the agency, Glen Nowak, as saying that Dr. Gerberding had decided to "go in a different direction."

I wonder if Dr. Howard is going to become an author. It's all the rage with former government workers, I hear. Especially those whom clashed with the White House. I guess he failed to read the memo about glorifying the efforts of the White House and President Bush at ground zero.

Naughty naughty. Mustn't sully the image of the Great Savior.

Let's see what hard work Mustang Bobby has done for this 4th of July day.

Bark Bark Woof Woof

Friday Blogaround
Happy Fourth of July! Here's what the LC is writing about this week.

- A Blog Around The Clock - fourteen science/technology questions for presidential candidates.
- archy: what happened a hundred years ago in Siberia?
- Bark Bark Woof Woof: let's talk real estate.
- Bloggg is bugged.
- Collective Sigh: crazy talk.
- Dohiyi Mir: the coffee retrenchment.
- Echidne Of The Snakes: polygamy fashion.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: action alert against the war.
- Iddybud Journal: the netroots, FISA, and Barack Obama.
- Left Is Right: GM meltdown.
- Lefty Side of the Dial: questions of the day.
- Musing's musings: the Wow of Yellowstone.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web: something to do while you're stuck on the subway.
- Rook's Rant: Bush's tour.
- rubber hose: the price of threatening Iran? $4.09 a gallon.
- Scrutiny Hooligans: the dancing Matt.
- SoonerThought: Fox News acting infantile again.
- Speedkill: another Chinese import.
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat: obey the FISA law, Mr. Bush.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: the irony of reversal.
- The Invisible Library: trips from the journey to Salem.
- WTF Is It Now?? Bush with nothing do to.
The weather forecast calls for natural fireworks here in Miami tonight. That's to make up for the city of Coral Gables canceling -- again -- the fireworks at the Biltmore Hotel.
Ah yes. Grand code to be stealing for this holiday. To bad about the cancelled fireworks. It's got to suck to have the 4th of July situated right in the middle of hurricane season.
Sigh. He's targeting my Rook. White Bishop to h3.

MRWhite 20.gif

So, I guess that requires a move to b8.

MRBlack 20.gif

Of course, what he doesn't realize is that he has played right into my diabolical plan of total board domination. Remember that. Total. Board. Domination. TBD. As in my board. My game. My domination!

MWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Gasp......

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

His Most Finest Hour

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Los Angeles Times

DENVER -- Squeezed by soaring energy prices, governments around the nation are reacting just like consumers -- changing basic routines, and scrimping and saving in order to get by.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Department in southeastern Colorado has ended car patrols of its 2,000-square-mile jurisdiction. One Ohio sheriff is putting his deputies into golf carts. Stillwater, Okla., has stopped mowing the grass on nearly half of its parkland. Cleveland is remapping its trash pickup routes to cut costs.

"I know it's a step backwards," said El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa, whose deputies will now respond only to calls for help. "But when the dollars aren't there, they aren't there."

High energy costs have taken a toll on government budgets already strained by the housing collapse. "They have a much more direct role in affecting consumer confidence, which can affect sales tax revenue, which accounts for one-third of state revenues," said Arturo Perez, an analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Expect crime statistics to increase. Another wonderful legacy of the Bush administration.
Joe Cocker at Woodstock with subtitles.



Hat tip:
PSoTD

Medical News About Me

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I have been hesitant to post anything about my ongoing medical issue. Mostly because I have yet to learn what is wrong. So far an appendicitis has been ruled out, as has any problem with my gall bladder. After two ex-rays, all possible conditions to my digestive track have been ruled out. And finally, after two weeks of anti-biotic treatment, my prostate is still mildly inflamed, though much improved. In fact, the dull, constant ache of my balls has subsided.

Really, I just don't know how to say it any less crudely.

Unfortunately, I am now experiencing a sharp pain down in my right pelvic area. Or more accurately, just above and to the inside, alone side my crotch. In addition, there is pain radiating from this point to just behind my right kidney, down the inside of my leg, up into my lower right chest cavity, and occasionally into my right buttock. This radiating pain comes and goes, though lately more coming than going.

Now, I am not upset with my doctor. Having been involved in the health field for as long as I have, I understand that diagnosing medical issues is as much an art as it is a science. Honestly, diagnosing addiction is easier than medical conditions.

I have been consistent with my reported symptoms. However, I am starting to get worried, which means I begin to wonder about other, probably normal, transitory physical conditions. Usually muscle aches I have been able to recognize as the result of physical exercise, etc. But I have not been riding my bike since this whole issue first started becoming serious (six weeks ago) and I have been haphazard in taking walks.

Anyway, after my visit with the doctor, to inform him of my continued suffering while taking the anti-biotic, and discovering that I've developed a physical abhorrence to apples, strawberries, and honey (extreme gastric/abdominal distress), it has been decided to perform an MRI.

I am expecting a call from the clinic today about the appointment. I suspect I should exercise restraint and patience and not call them immediately, but I haven't been exercising much lately.

However, I am going to attempt just such an exercise now and go take a shower. Though sitting tends to aggravate the condition, I have to put food on the table and make the mortgage, so it's off to work I go. Before I do go, I should note the pain is not yet consistently debilitating. If I am careful, and do not eat anything acidic, such as the aforementioned apples and strawberries, or honey (why honey? I love honey!), I am able to remain at work and perform my job.

I am hopeful a diagnosis and treatment will occur before I can no longer perform my job. But to deny I am scared would be a lie. In moments of doubt, I fear the worst. Thankfully, I rarely experience those moments which are currently much more uncomfortable than the pain I am experiencing.

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Guy Andrew Hall

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