July 2009 Archives

Rook Wants To See!

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I laughed, I cried, I transcended the bonds of mundane human existence and experienced ecstasy.

Oh, okay, I just laughed.

Hat Tip: A Bear In A Canoe

I'm Blind! I'm Blind!

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Like acid in the face; the stupidity burns.

Less than half of Republicans believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States of America, a new public opinion poll finds.

Only 42 percent of Republican respondents in a Research 2000 survey, conducted for the liberal website Daily Kos, said they thought Obama was a natural born citizen; 28 percent said they did not believe Obama was born in the United States; 30 percent said they were not sure.

My God, no wonder the Republican party is floundering in the wilderness. After the exodus of rational, thinking people, all that is left of the Republican party are sheep too stupid to know they are being lied to.

For a short period of time we lived on a farm, where I learned to shovel hog manure, horse manure, cow manure, and sheep manure. That's right, I know how to fling shit. I also know it when I smell it. Hence my not being a Republican. Anyway, from time to time, we'd have a deformed animal born, usually a hog or a cat. In all cases, we'd have to "put them down" in mercy because they'd never be able to live anything approaching a reasonable life.

The Republican party, from it's office holders to it's remaining electorate, has become politically deformed to the point of being unsustainable. It seriously needs to be politically put down.

Millions Do It All The Time

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But when a President does it, it's suddenly a big deal?

All cynicism aside, this is ridiculous. All it really does is prove the lie to the concept "a man you'd want to have a beer with" floated when Bush was running for President. Obviously, considering the media circus around this "beer," I'd never want to have a beer with anyone who's going to be President. I just don't want to have to deal with all the bullshit.

Friday Stolen Code Blogging

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Friday Blogaround

The last blogaround of July. So, here's what the LC has for you.

- A Blog Around The Clock: The lab is open.
- All Facts and Opinions: Summing up the Blogathon.
- archy: take two M&M's and call me in the morning.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof: that settles that.
- Bloggg: mess after mess.
- Dohiyi Mir: sad news from the Atriot community.
- Echidne Of The Snakes takes a well-earned vacation and has turned the keys over to some good folks.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: the Democrats and single-payer.
- Left Is Right: the System at work.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web and a funny trailer.
- Rook's Rant: "If you'd like to pay more for cell phone service, press 1..."
- rubber hose: not so scary movie.
- Scrutiny Hooligans: want to help Gordon win?
- Speedkill: they're all in on it.
- Steve Bates: who flu?
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: watch out for that asteroid.
- The Invisible Library: reviving V.
- WTF Is It Now?? is Hawai'i really a state?
Hey, anyone want to get together for a beer?
Naw. But a cup of coffee - now that's something I can drink while sorting out problems. As long as we keep the cream and sugar off the table.

Floundering In The Wilderness

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The Democratic Party spent many a year wandering in the wilderness, away from power, because of a lack of strong leadership, and an inability to develop a backbone in the fight against conservative propaganda. But through the years, other then Hillary's pronouncement of a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, the Democratic party never actually fell under the control of people who believed in conspiracies like the Republican party has fallen under sway of the Birther movement.

And just out of curiosity, why do people with the last name of McCarthy seem to suffer from paranoia? Case in point: Joseph McCarthy. My apologies to anyone named McCarthy who happens to stop by my humble blog. Unless, of course, you think I am out to tarnish your good name. Point made!

Well, back to my original point.

I understand every system goes through a period where there is a lack of strong leadership, or they just happen to be out of step with the prevailing winds. But the Republican party seems to be suffering from something far worse than either of those two problems; it appears to have incompetent leadership which is unable to purge the worse possible scourge from it's membership. And I am not talking about their base in the electorate, I mean the rank and file politicians who ultimately define and shape the values and messages of the party.

At a time when the country is suffering from the worse recession in it's history, we have congressmen in the Republican party focusing on an already well discredited theory of President Obama's place of birth. Do they honestly believe that an unemployed mother of two, who's worried about where the next meal is coming from, or whether they will have a roof over their heads tomorrow, or - God forbid -  how to get medical help for a sick child, gives a rat's ass about President Obama's place of birth? Do you think a construction worker, who's wondering when he will be called back to work cares? Or the small business owner who's wondering when his customers will resume placing orders?

This, then, is what's wrong with the Republican party. While the Democratic party may have been out of step with the prevailing winds and lacked strong leadership, they never lost sight of what their job was -  to focus on the problems of Americans and work towards solutions. Meanwhile, the Republicans continue to serve up the latest monster under the bed, continues to ignore the problems of average Americans, and fails to offer even halfhearted solutions.

Old Republican Men.jpgThis is fail on so many levels as to be too painful to watch. The Republican party, no longer so grand, but obviously very old, is just too far removed from the majority of the electorate. The are floundering in the wilderness, and some time in the future, when our future electorate stumbles across their fossils, they will be classified as a missing link and examined in amazement and wonder, and maybe with a touch of pity.

Oh, okay, so maybe 'touch of pity' is taking it too far.

2009 Tour De Rook - Leg 10

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Thumbnail image for Tour_Rook.gifToday's stats:

  • Top Speed: 30.0 mph
  • Average Speed: 11.6 mph
  • Elapsed riding time: 1:17:06
  • Total Distance: 14.91 miles
  • iPod: Toad The Wet Sprocket - Dulcinea / U2 - Achtung Baby.
An improvement over Tuesday's leg. Especially when you consider I hit all 5 steep hills this leg. I did develop a side ache when I hit Feather Stone Rd, causing me to stop and do some stretches to work it out.

Feather Stone Rd. is the killer hill, which still slows me down to about 3 mph. I could walk up the hill faster. It's why I hit it at the beginning of my leg. If I hit it towards the end, it would kill me. Even at the beginning, it's torturous. But, it gives me a work out. That's why I try to hit hills after I've gotten myself conditioned; they all give me workouts. Although, others would consider me a masochist. Who knows, maybe I am. But if I am a masochist, I'm a weight losing, conditioned masochist.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've a shower to take, and a run to IHOP with The GirlFriend™ and The Fuskers™. Hey, I'm exercising, not dieting.

I Thought So!

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I always believed the cell phone companies used the extended voice mail instructions to take even more money from me. Now, David Pague has an article up verifying my belief.

In 2007, I spoke at an international cellular conference in Italy. The big buzzword was ARPU--Average Revenue Per User. The seminars all had titles like, "Maximizing ARPU In a Digital Age." And yes, several attendees (cell executives) admitted to me, point-blank, that the voicemail instructions exist primarily to make you use up airtime, thereby maximizing ARPU.
What the hell happened to customer service in this country? It use to be, at least it seemed to me, that ripping off customers was a good way to lose business. I guess when you are able to spend the money to buy a few politicians, you can rig the system to be able to overtly rip off consumers and still make a profit. The above is one example of corporations knowingly ripping off costumers.

Then there is the health insurance industry, which has taken it even farther, buy not only ripping off their customers, but by dumping them, thereby increasing their profits. Not exactly a sustainable business model. Eventually, no one is going to buy their service. Then were do they get the money? Oh, duh, I forgot, mandatory laws forcing people to buy their crappy health insurance coverage.

Now, this is the way to reform health insurance: Bill of Consumer Health Insurance Rights.

  • No discrimination for preexisting conditions.
  • No exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles or co-pays.
  • No cost-sharing for preventive care.
  • No dropping of coverage for the seriously ill.
  • No gender discrimination.
  • No annual or lifetime caps on coverage.
  • Extended coverage for young adults.
  • Guaranteed insurance renewal.
Although, leave it to a Legacy paper to still make it a mouth full. Seriously, Insurance Consumers' Bill of Rights is much easier to say.

Okay, now for a piece of evil: Hat Tip Kevin Drum.

Yes, it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Well, if it don't beat all, now I have to give Atrios a Hat Tip for a link to the White House page displaying Health Insurance Consumer Protections.

I still like Insurance Consumers' Bill of Rights.

Hope The Best For Me

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I've a second interview with Unity Hospital. Keep your fingers crossed for me; would ya? Thanks! I knew I could count on all my faithful readers. On two hands...........

Oh, okay. On one hand.*

My Senator!

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Damn, he rocks!

Found File

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Apropo of nothing; something I found while sorting out old discs from 1998:

This is for people who have a hard time understanding engineering:

The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet
8.5 inches. That is an exceedingly odd number.

Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in
England, and the US railroads were built by English expatriates.

Why did the English build them that way? Because the first rail lines
were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and
that's the gauge they used.

Why did "they" use that gauge? Because the people who built the tramways
used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which
used that wheel spacing.

So why did the wagons have that particular odd spacing? Well, if they
tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of
the old, long distance roads in England, because that was the spacing of
the wheel ruts.

So who built those old rutted roads? The first long distance roads in
Europe (and England) were built by Imperial Rome for their legions. The
roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads? The ruts in the roads, which everyone had to
match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels, were first formed by
Roman war chariots. Since the chariots were made for (or by) Imperial
Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.

The US standard railroad gauge of 4 feet 8.5 inches derives from the
original specification for an Imperial Roman war chariot. Specifications
and bureaucracies live forever.

So the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse's
backside came up with it, you may be exactly right, because the Imperial
Roman war chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back
ends of two war horses.

Thus we have the answer to the original question. Now for the twist to
the story. When we see a space shuttle sitting on it's launching pad,
there are two booster rockets attached to the side of the main fuel
tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRB's. The SRB's are made by
Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRB's
might have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRB's had to be
shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.

The railroad line from the factory had to run through a tunnel in the
mountains. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the
railroad track is about as wide as two horses' rumps.

So, a major design feature of what is arguably the worlds most advanced
transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the
width of a horse's backside!

Don't you just love engineering?

She's A Cultural Icon Now

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Or: She's going viral now!

When you are mocked by William Shatner, you've achieved pop culture stature. And somehow, that Shatner is a Canadian only adds salt to the wound.

She'll never be President after this.

Update: Well, crap. NBC got all pissy. Video is history.

Update II: NBC made it available. Cool. I take back the pissy claim. And yes, I moved it up.

Enough About Them

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There are two subjects I've had enough of. One is the birthers. Seriously, they are a fringe, brain dead group, who's only real threat is they generate a lot of noise at public appearances, and are not afraid to make themselves look completely insane. Maybe because they are. You know. Completely insane.

Second, I am tired of reading about Sarah Palin. Yes, I know, I've got a post of Shatner mocking the citizen of Insanity Exposure. It's humor, it does not have her actually speaking (thank God! I was tired of slapping my forehead), and Shatner's reinvention* of himself as a comedic actor is short of phenomenal. So, I'm allowed.

* Okay, maybe he's not reinvented himself, just discovered his true gift?

2009 Tour De Rook - Leg 9

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Thumbnail image for Tour_Rook.gifToday's stats:

  • Top Speed: 25.0 mph
  • Average Speed: 10.8 mph
  • Elapsed riding time: 1:03:21
  • Total Distance: 11.57 miles
  • iPod: Paul McCartney & Wings - Band on the Run / Smashing Pumpkins - Gish.

What's there to say? I took a few too many days off after the 22 mile trek last week. Not to mention the pizza rolls too late in the evening last night. Still, not all that bad, considering I had one hell of a head wind for half the leg.

Oh, and thanks, Bryan, for the Le Tour de Rook pic.

Interesting Lecture

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Importing Old Entries

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I'm in the process of importing old entries. I figure, since I can't seem to import the whole kit, cat, and kadoodle at one time, I'll do an entry at a time. It will allow me to correct any errors in the individual posts.

Looks Like I'm Finally Back

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I don't know if anyone else had problems getting my site to load, but for the last two days, I've not been able to log on to post, and most of the time, my blog would not load, or took forever. This is the first time I've been able to get to my MT interface. So, sorry if my few faithful readers could not visit. Hopefully, it's finally cleared up.

2009 Tour De Rook - Leg 8

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Okay, went for a nice, leisurely ride. I didn't push myself. I didn't take any huge hills. I took lots of breaks. I took along lots of water. So, today's stats:

  • Top Speed: 18.9 mph
  • Average Speed: 10.1 mph
  • Elapsed riding time: 2:10:49
  • Total Distance: 22.29 miles
  • iPod: LOTR soundtracks; The Fellowship of the Ring - The Two Towers - and started into The Return Of The King.
South of Hastings is flat farm country, which is where I decided to bike. After all these years, I'd never actually headed out that way. With two exceptions, I was on blacktop all the way. The two times I was on gravel roads weren't too bad. The first one was a short distance, I figure not even a half mile. The second time, it was a bit more, probably over a mile, but still not too bad. I had to take a 15 minute break halfway down that stretch, though, when the vibration from the waterboarding of the road began to make my feet and hands numb.


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"So, what is it you desire?" Asked the man.
The other did not respond.
"Then let me guess." the man continued. "Before you a battle field of honor. Behind you an army of mythical proportions at your command."
Still, the other man remained quiet.
"You will lead them into battle, and it will be glorious. The very gates of hell shall be cast open and all the demons of the Universe shall be your foes."
Again, the other did not answer.
"In the end, you shall be victorious, with Satan himself kneeling before you in defeat."
"Such lofty ambitions I have." The other finally spoke. "But better would be a simple cabin by a stream, with fish aplenty. At the bank, with line in water, my son. In the cabin doorway, my wife, with a smile for her family, brighter than all the stars of the Universe exploding at once."
Such a simple desire." said the man.
"Yes, it is." The other said in agreement.
Suddenly, a loud crash sounded in the distance, with horrible screams and howls echoing off the sky.
"That would be the gates of hell being cast open." Said the man.
The other said nothing, he simply sighed.
"What did you expect?" The man asked. "To get what you want?"
"Yes." answered the other, drawing his sword to lead forth his army.

What To Do?

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I honestly didn't know whether to laugh or groan.

Killed by Taser

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Honest to God, don't you think that, like, maybe, police officers ought to be administered an IQ test? Seriously. If you have a weapon that uses electricity, and a man that is covered in gasoline, fire is going to happen. If you don't realize this, then you are too stupid to be a cop.

That it happened more then once scares me.

Let's Do The Viral Again

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Pass this one. You know, embed the code in your blog. Let's Do The Viral Again (sung to "Let's Do The Time Warp Again").


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Proof, once again, that today's conservatives are stupid beyond all reason.

(TheHill.com)"Press reports suggesting that the Recovery Act spent $1.19 million to buy '2 pounds of ham' are wrong," Vilsack said in a statement. "In fact, the contract in question purchased 760,000 pounds of ham for $1.191m, at a cost of approximately $1.50 per pound."

Vilsack put out the statement after the Drudge Report posted several contracts from the government's stimulus website. The contracts suggest the administration spent $1.19 million on two pounds of ham, $1.56 million for mozzarella cheese and $16.8 million on canned pork, among other items. Republicans sent blast e-mails of screenshots from the Drudge Report, highlighting the contracts as wasteful spending.
And they seriously thought they'd have a one party majority?

2009 Tour De Rook - Leg 7

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Today's stats:

  • Top Speed: 28.0 mph
  • Average Speed: 10.8 mph
  • Elapsed riding time: 59' 01"
  • Total Distance: 10.71 miles
  • iPod: John Mellencamp - Cuttin' Heads & Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV (Runes)
A couple of things: One, I took two tough hills. Well, tough for me, being as out of shape and overweight as I am. Also, my ass was still richeously kicked from yesterday. Hence, the poorer stats. However, I still feel it was a good run. Both the Spring Lake levee hill and Featherstone Rd hill; damn hard workout for this blogging bum.

Evil. Pure. Evil.

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Posted with no other comment.

Things That Make Me Laugh

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I checked. Undid the zipper and looked, just to be sure. I think I am reasonably qualified to write from a man's perspective.
HT: Elizabeth Bear by way of Twitter.
Okay, good day. I took The Fuskers™ to the carnival down at the river front. It is Rivertown Days, after all. We rode a few rides, including "The Twister" twice. About the only reason he enjoyed the twister, was because he was able to smash into me, pushing me into the side of the car.

Now, because I am an idiot, I had a BBQ sandwich, some remarkably good french fries, and a Pepsi for lunch, prior to engaging in any carnival rides, with the boy thinking it would be funny to steal from my plate. I made a half-hearted attempt at chewing him out, but that just didn't work. Mostly because of my lack of heart. Besides, I'm going to be able to steal from his plate one day and bring today up in defense. Anyway, I managed to get through the rides without puking. I consider this a major accomplishment.

After the carnival, we headed to Wal-Mart, so the boy could buy himself a knife. He had one he liked, except for it's serrated edge. He can't sharpen a serrated edge. Trust me, he takes great pleasure in sharpening knives. How do I know? If I had a camera, I could show you the devilish, evil grin he has as he moves the knife back and forth across the wet stone. I get chills just typing about it.

Anyway, he had saved up $30.00 to buy himself a straight edge knife, but discovered it was too big for his taste. He ended up buying a similarly styled knife like the one he has, but with a straight edge, all for the exceptional price of $12.00. So, I forced him to buy me a root beer. That makes sense, right? Forcing The Fuskers™ to buy me a root beer? I got to tell you, it makes sense to me.

See, Wal-Mart has a policy of not selling knives to anyone under the age of 16. That required the additional act of The Fuskers™ handing me the money, which I handed to the clerk. Next, the clerk handed me the knife, which I......., well which I did not hand over to The Fuskers™. In fact, I held the knife for ransom, until such time as I got my root beer.

Of course, being I was with The Fuskers™, he just had to start throwing a fit. Quite the dramatic scene he was winding up to perform for all the shoppers at Wal-Mart. Hey, I taught him well, and for half a second was considering to watch this dramatic snit for the express purpose of grading his performance. But, instead, I gave him the knife before we got to the check-out lane. Guess what. He still bought me a root beer.

Now, once in the car, I caught him trying to sneak a drink from my root beer. I, being the cold-hearted bastard I am, refused. He....., well, let me put it in dialogue:

"Aw, come on!" said The Fuskers™. "I should get a drink since you held my knife hostage."

"Ah, but I gave you your knife before you bought me the root beer. So, technically, you bought it from the goodness of your heart." says I.

"No I didn't. You took advantage of me and overpowered me with your oldness."

Ouch. That hurt. I wanted to pull over, hide my face in my hands, and unabashedly cry like a pathetic little baby. So, I laughed.

"You're a little shit. You know that, don't you?" says I.

"Yup." says The Fuskers™.

"And you take great pleasure in being a little shit, don't you?" says I.

"Pretty much." says The Fuskers™.
And he is The Fuskers™, gots to love him.

Sigh. Remember yesterday, when I said there were too many people around because of Rivertown Days? Well, like an idiot, I forgot my own words and decided to take the River front path on Leg 5. Bad move. There were tons of people. I had to walk my frakken bike. And, to top it off, I ended up walking around the craft fair boths, which were situated at the end of the veteran's levee. So, my stats for leg 5, which are forthcoming, suck.

  • Top Speed: 23.0 mph
  • Average Speed: 8.8 mph
  • Elapsed riding time: 58' 29"
  • Total Distance: 8.68 miles
  • iPod: Cheryl Crow - The Basics (iTunes download)
Now, this morning, I heeded my own words, and avoided all things Rivertown days. As a result, I've had a much better leg. So, here are leg 6 stats:

  • Top Speed: 25.0 mph
  • Average Speed: 12.1 mph
  • Elapsed riding time: 57' 15"
  • Total Distance: 11.63 miles
  • iPod: The Tragically Hip - Up To Here & Rolling Stones - Tattoo You
Yes, a much improved performance on leg 6. In fact, my best by far this season. Of course, there is a caveat: Unlike the Tour De France, I am competing only against myself. As such, I can tell you that I am righteously kicking my pathetically fat ass. In other words, I am not in to any type of competition. I am about getting back into shape, losing weight, and stretching out to strengthen my back. So far, it's working.

2009 Tour De Rook - Leg 4

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A short leg today. It's River Town Days here in Hastings, and there are too many people about. Anyway, today's stats:

  • Top Speed: 25.0 mph
  • Average Speed: 12.0 mph
  • Elapsed riding time: 34' 07"
  • Total Distance: 6.88 miles
  • iPod: Melissa Etheridge - Brave & Crazy

This Is A New Fact?

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I am coming up on 25 years of recovery. I've been working in the substance abuse field for close to 20 years. Yet, after all this time, I am still amazed at what simple, obviously know facts suddenly make the news like it's something new.

Honest to God. Our nation has declined in so many ways.

The only positive I could possibly take from this is job security; our nation's decline in knowledge and education will most definitely produce future clients for my industry. Hell of a positive.

What Jeff Said

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Jeff is on a tear. He has written several outstanding posts about the Governor's race here in Minnesota. His latest is about the need for a Primary contest for politicians.

Oh, and about the whole "What ______ Said." Yeah, Mr. Duncan can......., well, I'm sure you know.

2009 Tour De Rook - Leg 3

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Today's stats:

  • Top Speed: 29.5 mph
  • Average Speed: 11.4 mph
  • Elapsed riding time: 47' 49"
  • Total Distance: 9.16 miles
  • iPod: R. Carlos Nakai, William Eaton & Will Clipman - Feather, Stone & Light

Today I took one of my hills; the Spring Lake Bluff hill. It angles up diagonally along the blugg and is moderately steep. Honestly, I didn't try to push myself harder than yesterday. That doesn't mean I didn't work hard on this leg, it just means I didn't expect to better the 2nd Leg average speed by a tenth.

So, overall, I am already starting to feel better. I am stretching a bit better, which has eliminated some back and neck pain, and I am feeling more energetic during the day. Ultimately, though, my goal is to lose weight, That, I haven't noticed yet.

Bush's Legacy

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Make no mistake, this $1 Trillion budget deficit is all because of one man; George W. Bush. He was given a surplus and ended up passing on a deficit. Thank you very much Fucknut.

Well Damn!

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Wow! The job I interviewed for last Friday called and asked to set up a 2nd interview for this coming Thursday. I'll be damned.

What They Said

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And I really don't care who started the What _____ said. Atrios can bite my ass.*

But, for those of you not all that up on Minnesota politics...., well, these two post I'm about to supply links for ought teach you not to count your baskets before the eggs, errr, ah, won't be tricked again........**

Oh Hell! On to the links.

Blog of the Moderate Left: Inevitable
The Power Liberal: Once Upon A Time IN 2007

* Like the back handed way I gave credit?
** What I don't understand; why not more traffic to my site? I mean, a man was elected POTUS for just that type of folksy, unedumacated type sintax. I should be getting more traffic.
Original page here.

  1. My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear Plexiglas visors, not face concealing ones.
  2. My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.
  3. My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell in my dungeon.
  4. Shooting is not too good for my enemies.
  5. The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragon of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object which is my one weakness.
  6. I will not gloat over my enemies predicament before killing them.
  7. When I've captured my adversary and he says, "Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?" I'll say, "No." and shoot him. No, on second thought, I'll shoot him and then say "No."
  8. After I kidnap the beautiful princess, we will be married immediately in a quiet civil ceremony, not a lavish spectacle in three weeks' time during which the final phase of my plan will be carried out.
  9. I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labelled, "Danger: Don Not Push". The big red button marked "Do Not Push" will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will clearly not be labelled as such.
  10. I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum - a small hotel room well outside my border will work just as well.

Early Riser

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For crying out loud. I've been up since 4:30 AM and still there are no Monday morning posts worth bitching about. Seriously, I know Monday's suck, but still..... 6:44 AM and not one new post in Left Blogstonia.

Why Distracted?

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I've been hearing, and reading, a lot lately on how investigating law breaking by the Bush administration would end up distracting Obama from his job of stewarding the country. How, exactly would Obama be distracted. It's not like the White House will be running any investigation. Let's remember, the Justice Department is an independent agency, not beholden to, or controlled by, the White House.

If memory serves me well (large amount of drugs and alcohol years ago make it not so much a possibility), when Nixon tried to control an investigation, he actually sealed his fate and ended up resigning.

Honestly, I think the village idiots are confused. It's they who would be distracted. We are talking about people who willingly, and easily, walked hand in hand with the Bush administration into the Greatest War Against Terror. And by hand in hand, I mean lead by the Bush administration because the villagers seem unable to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Okay, that was unfair. But it felt soooooo good to type.

Anyway, Obama's concern, which does hold merit, is that the American people would be distracted by the investigations, and the Republicans in the congress would step up their obstructionist behavior (and possibly a few complicit Democrats). However, is an increase in obstruction by Republicans any more of a problem then what they are doing now? And with the Blue Dogs already complicit in obstructing Health Reform....., well, I don't think it would be much worse then what he already faces. As for the American people? For the most part they are always distracted by something. Usually with the Legacy Media's help.

2009 Tour De Rook - Leg 2

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Well, today's stats:

  • Top Speed: 24 mph
  • Average Speed: 11.3 mph
  • Elapsed riding time: 38' 48"
  • Total Distance: 7.38 miles
  • iPod: Indigo Girls - Rites of Passage
I can tell you one thing; after two years of not pedaling, it sure feels good to have resumed.

I surprised myself with an improvement over yesterday. I was not expecting to improve at all. Indeed, I expected to do worse. So, I'll take any gain I can get. I did get a small burn in the lungs. However, the majority of the agony was to my thighs and ass. My butt is just not happy with that small seat. Still, I'll eventually get use to it.
This is what Sarah Palin meant when she said it:

I've been struck by this since the beginning. If it is the case that the president can designate an Office of Legal Counsel functionary to immunize government officials and employees against criminal behavior, then it is true, to all intents and purposes that "if the president does it it's not illegal."
And, from this article, we also learn that Cheney, who developed his executive beliefs and values from the Nixon White House, ordered the CIA to not inform Congress about the secret wiretapping programs.

(NYT)The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency's director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.
Next week sure is going to be an interesting news week.

2009 Tour De Rook

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Well, after over 2 years of not biking because of the rollerskating back injury at The Fuskers™' 10 year birthday party, I finally put myself back on the bike. Stats are as follows:

  • Top Speed: 19 mph
  • Average Speed: 10.9 mph
  • Elapsed riding time: 27' 29"
  • Total Distance: 5.02 miles
  • iPod: MatchBox 20 - Exile On Mainstream
We won't discuss my weight other than to say I am probably at the heaviest I've ever been. Still, all in all, I am happy with my first leg. I was expecting to hurt worse than I am right now. Of course, as always, my legs end up hurting worse than my lungs. However, if I stick to a daily routine of biking, I suspect that will change soon enough, and I'll be burning up my lungs.

I doubt if I'll be able to get into shape soon enough, but if I do, I'm going to make a run at bicycling to River Falls towards the fall.

Leap Frog

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John Ensign, Mark Sanford, and Sarah Palin are engaged in a game of media leap frog. Obviously it's just been John's turn. But I've lost track and wonder who's next in line? 
Damn, I was so caught up in getting ready for my job interview, I forgot to steal code from Mustang Bobby yesterday. Well, allow me to make up for that oversight this morning.

Friday Blogaround

Can we get through a week without a Republican making a screaming fool out of themselves? Let's see what the LC had to gape at this week.

- A Blog Around The Clock - Bora interviews a very cool biology teacher.
- All Facts and Opinions - a plan to end the wars.
- archy goes after Senator Jim DeMint.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof - dignity...always dignity.
- Bloggg - oh, deer.
- Dohiyi Mir - pictures from Gaza.
- Echidne Of The Snakes - taxing health care?
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog - Kenneth is running to be chair of the Leon County Democrats.
- Left Is Right is tired of Ahnuld.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web - guess what was on TV last Tuesday.
- Rook's Rant - godless people.
- rubber hose - what's her sign?
- Scrutiny Hooligans - this blows.
- Speedkill - pick a number.
- Steve Bates - another excuse from Harry Reid.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation - government behaving badly.
- The Invisible Library - dinner with Roku.
- WTF Is It Now?? the ten biggest douchebags on TV.
Stay cool.
Working at it, MB. Working at it.
That the nation has voted Democratic does not mean they voted progressive. I know, I know. It saddens me as well. After years and years of the Mighty Wurlitzer vilifying the Democrats as liberals, as if such a term in and of itself were a smear, to see the Democrats now voted into office, one would believe liberal values and goals would hold sway. Of course, you would be wrong.

Let us remember also that as the Mighty Wurlitzer labeled Democrats liberals (even those who were obviously not) it labeled Republicans as conservatives (even those who were obviously not). Because of this constant chatter of stratification, our political parties are now seen by the average, non-inquisitive American voter as ideologically split. Obviously, that's not the case.

Now, truth be told, there was a strong, almost successful, push to drive all but the most staunch conservatives from the Republican party. And when I mean almost successful, I mean totally successful, to the point where even nominally conservative members were purged, leaving mostly arc-conservatives. But, that's not really my point. What's important is that the Democratic party did not mount any type of purge of it's own to clear their ranks of conservatives. If anything, there was a concerted effort to move members more to the right.

So, let us remember, boys and girls, just because we have been told by the Mighty Wurlitzer and the Legacy Media that the Democratic party is liberal does not make it true. Indeed, it is a conservative lie. Therefore, let us not convince ourselves that the Democratic majority now seated in congress is liberal, or progressive, because that would be believing in a conservative lie.
Between you, me, and the lamp post across the street; John's right:

If I had to guess, we will see the end of DADT and homosexuals will be openly serving in the military before a tobacco ban.
It wouldn't surprise me in the least if the smoking ban is used as a means to negotiate the end of DADT.
All sorts of pithy, obnoxious comments come to mind. Not directed at the Hawaii gambler, but at the health industry.

I can't help but wonder, probably inappropriately, if the unexpected medical emergency was due to her having poor coverage and finally having the money to pay for the necessary care.
Jeff Rosenberg has a post up about banning the marketing of prescription drugs of which I support. I remember the warnings, just like the warnings about creating HMO's would increase health care costs, that allowing advertising would drive up prescription drug costs, not reduce them. Indeed, when Wall Street and Madison Ave. were allowed their greedy fingers into the mix, prices started inflating dramatically. The obvious, initially stated goal of containing cost certainly has not come to pass.

The radical in me sees only one option; making health care - anything to do with health care - non-profit. Not just hospitals and clinics, but insurance and pharmicuticals as well. Health care as a business is directly in conflict with the goal of health care. Healing people so they don't come back is guaranteeing a loss of profit. What business wants to lose profit?

Yeah, like that needs to be answered out loud.

With the exception of  war profiteering, people making a profit off the suffering, misery, and death of fellow human beings is by far the most vile, despicable behavior I think exists.

Back in 2006, this story was all about excessive CEO pay. But in reality, this particular issue, which was overlooked, was about a man receiving $1 billion as head of a company that efficiently contained costs by refusing to cover medical procedures.

What's different about the fire this time is that it is singeing respected CEOs like Nardelli, Raymond, and in the biggest brushfire yet, UnitedHealth (Charts) CEO William McGuire.

McGuire has long been hailed as proof that nothing is wrong with paying outlandish sums for outrageous overperformance - in his case a 40-fold increase in total return over fifteen years. ("I don't think we could have anticipated the shares [would reach] this level five years ago," McGuire has said in rejecting the "perceived problem" of his excessive comp.)

In March, the Wall Street Journal raised questions about possible options backdating at UnitedHealth (a practice that, while permissible under certain circumstances, can amount to outright theft of shareholder assets.

No wrongdoing has so far been established, but the company, the SEC, and government prosecutors are all still investigating. Even so, the stock is down 22%, a drop that has lowered the value of McGuire's trove of in-the-money options from $1.6 billion in December to a still hefty $1 billion today

Now, fast forward to 2009, and we learn why such profits were possible:

An investigation by the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations showed that health insurers WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group and Assurant Inc. canceled the coverage of more than 20,000 people, allowing the companies to avoid paying more than $300 million in medical claims over a five-year period.

It also found that policyholders with breast cancer, lymphoma and more than 1,000 other conditions were targeted for rescission and that employees were praised in performance reviews for terminating the policies of customers with expensive illnesses.

"No one can defend, and I certainly cannot defend, the practice of canceling coverage after the fact," said Rep. Michael C. Burgess (R-Tex.), a member of the committee. "There is no acceptable minimum to denying coverage after the fact."
In case anyone is wondering, I'm more worried about Godless Capitalists than I am about Godless Socialists. These corporations are vultures, preying on the sick and dying, all in the name of efficiency and profit. It's disgusting.


About Stupidity

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Seriously, can you be any more ignorant and stupid?

Kilmeade and two colleagues were discussing a study that, based on research done in Finland and Sweden, showed people who stay married are less likely to suffer from Alzheimer's. Kilmeade questioned the results, though, saying, "We are -- we keep marrying other species and other ethnics and other ..."

At this point, his co-host tried to -- in that jokey morning show way -- tell Kilmeade he needed to shut up, and quick, for his own sake. But he didn't get the message, adding, "See, the problem is the Swedes have pure genes. Because they marry other Swedes.... Finns marry other Finns, so they have a pure society."

Did anyone bother to see if he has a swastika drawn in his underwear?

Oh, and other species? Seriously, WTF???????

Rook Want!

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Want Bad!


Sighs Of A Backbone?

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One can only hope that more of this will become common place as Obama's term moves forward

Update: And just after initially publishing this post, I found this.

More please. More. More. More!

Progressive Power!

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The Democratic Party may not yet have power in the Senate; but it's obvious by this C&R post that progressives in the country do have power

Update: As always, Digby is suspicious.

And yes, I moved this up.

Is It Really That General

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FiveThirtyEight has a poll up about McCain/Palin and the move away from polarizing politics. Now, let me start right out and admit I'm about as knowledgeable about polls as Palin is about coherent speaking, which is to say; not at all.

None the less, is the country really moving away from the old, vilifying politics of old?

Okay, I admit it. I'm not really trying to argue with
Damn, I guess the Republicans didn't want to be out done:

U.S. Sen. James Inhofe dug himself in deeper Tuesday trying to explain why he called Al Franken "the clown from Minnesota" last week: "He kind of looked like a clown when I was talking to him."
Hat Tip: MN Independent

Jack Ass Of The Day

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Atrios simply called him a wanker. That's too kind. Evan Bayh is Jack Ass of the Day. What it boils down to; he doesn't want to have to vote on a bill and show his loyalties to the insurance industry.

The End Of An Era

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The Oscar Mayer bologna song is by far the most insidious of ear worms. So too the Oscar Mayer wiener song. The two are only surpassed by "Take Me Out To The Ball Park."

Yet, can the passing of Oscar G. Mayer be any less significant than the passing of Micheal Jackson? Well, yeah, probably. Still, it signifies the end of an era.

I know this sounds goofy, but there's a metaphysical meaning in his passing. It's just, I'll be damned if I can express that meaning.

Better Bloggers Than I

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So why should I waste time writing about what they've already covered?

Jesus Christ!

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Look, I know Michael Jackson was a huge phenomenon. But still, 18 channels?

Home Sick

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Yeah, yeah, I know I'm laid off, so either way I'm home. But today I'm stricken with a bad cold. It started as a head cold, and has now firmly entrenched itself into my chest. Last night, at around midnight, I was awoken with a severe tickle in my throat that turned into a five minute dry heave session. So, yes, today I've a sore throat. As well as congested sinuses, an accompanying headache, and general, all around misery.

So, you damn kids better stay the hell off my lawn.

In case I've actually gained a few new readers, feel free to consider this an open thread. Not that open threads are a favorite activity at this particular castle.
Some of you may disagree with me. Oh, hell, most of you may disagree with me. But, as God (or to whomever HP you profess faith) is my witness, this is the sign of decline of conservatism for the next 30 to 40 years.


It brought tears to my eyes at the same time as I chuckled in happiness.
I know, I know. Most of you already think of  the Republicans as dumb. But seriously, this statement by Palin;

(ABC) As to whether another pursuit for national office, as when she joined Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the race for the White House less than a year ago, would result in the same political blood sport, Palin said there was a difference between the White House and what she had experienced in Alaska. If she were in the White House, she said, the "department of law" would protect her from baseless ethical allegations. [highlight by editorial, i.e., me!]
is nothing more than Nixon's statement "When the president does it, it's not illegal" dumbed down. Palin's statement boils down to the same unitary executive belief as voiced by Nixon and further advocated by Bush/Cheney. Honestly, the point is not that she's stupid, though she sure works hard at projecting stupidity, it's that she is following the same unitary executive ideology.

The ideal question to ask her would be her belief about the separation of powers inherent in the constitution. Her whole "Department of Law" gives evidence that she either doesn't believe in the separation of powers, or is just plain stupid.

Well, yes. Of course it could be both.

Old Metaphor

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Carl, over at Unpopular Ideas reminds us that the introduction of Sarah Palin as the GOP VP selection was a "Hail Mary" pass. In keeping with this metaphor; a reminder that most Hail Mary passes are incomplete. Her resignation from the Governorship of Alaska - that she is leaving with an incomplete term - completes the metaphor.

She's Risigning!

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Wow, she's not just not running for re-election, she's resigning!

What the hell.

Friday Stolen Code Blogging

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Friday Blogaround

A long holiday weekend ahead, so let's look back and see what the LC had to say about it.

- A Blog Around The Clock - from the archives ... clock evolution.
- All Facts and Opinions - Oh, Sarah...
- archy has a great post on the state of God in America.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof - nice talk from the president about gay rights.
- Bloggg - healthy questions.
- Dohiyi Mir - July 2 is really the Fourth of July.
- Echidne Of The Snakes - women, the press, and gauziness.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog - the latest news on Florida politics and politicians.
- ...I Am A Tree checks in.
- Left Is Right - California Dems get cranky.
- Left Turn Only checks in, too.
- Musing's musings hits the vacation trail.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web hits the roof.
- Rook's Rant deals with the Franken/Coleman decision deftly.
- rubber hose - inexpensive health insurance? the horror!
- Scrutiny Hooligans says we must take action.
- Speedkill - overkill
- Steve Bates gets the boot.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation - poor people.
- The Invisible Library preps his next best-seller.
- WTF Is It Now?? on the latest hypocrite.
Have a sparkley blast on the Fourth.
Hehehehe, hehehehe, hehehehe. He said "deftly." Hehehehe, hehehehe, hehehehe.*

* Trying for a Beavis/Butt Head laugh. But it just doesn't translate well into text.

About Blogging

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This is the post where I lament the sad state of my blogging output. Well, actually, probably not. Seriously, I am just not all that gung ho about blogging of late. Even more to the point, I am in a low mood. But than, do you really blame me? I mean, I got laid off, for Christ's sake. I'm suppose to be happy go lucky?

Yeah, I know, I'm whining. Don't blame me. You're the one reading my blog.

Where I occasionally write

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Guy Andrew Hall

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Politics is the control of wealth and power. You are being conditioned to condemn politics as petty and boring, thus granting all the more control to the powers that be. You are either a part of the problem or a part of the solution. The choice is yours.


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2009 is the previous archive.

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