Tuesday, June 11, 2013
You've got some
Lines you quote
Well here's some
Rhymes I wrote
I've got a beard like a model
You've got a beard like a billy goat
Wait it seems like I maybe got that backward
Considering the fact that I lack girl
And you don't,which is weird, what a whack world ( ;) )
When i'm the single one of the River world
Nah, i'm just bein silly
Please don't waste on me a bit o pity
I'm quite content with time spent in this big city
I'm doin fine
All my doctors believe it, hey
They said I was so happy
That it was time I could leave the place
©2013 Ben Tigert
Thursday, December 01, 2011
Open Memo To Occupy [insert location] Protestors
You guys make a lot of good and valid points. You really do. There are many of us out here who agree with a lot of what you have to say, and we'd like to see those things come to be. However, there are among you some who are completely insane. And, frankly, they're making you look bad. If you really want to be taken seriously, you're going to have to get rid of the crazy people. Ok, I know you can't really “get rid of them”. They're not going anywhere, I get it. But you can still disavow them and their often unintelligible rantings.
The other thing I'd like to mention is that there is a problem with, what seems to me to be, one of your primary complaints. You make this same complaint about any of a number of valid issues: wages, health care, the housing crisis, the income gap. All of these things could be argued in various logically sound ways. But, often, you attack them with the oft-repeating refrain of “It's Not Fair!”. You're right. Absolutely correct. It's not fair. None of it is. Not at all. Here's the problem though, no one ever promised you “Fair”. No one. Not "the people", not "society", not the Constitution of the United States of America, God doesn't even promise us that things on Earth will be fair. So, maybe you could drop that complaint?
These are just some brief notes. I hope they help.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
always hoped for more
knew it wouldn't come
knew twas bound to fail
knew it is just what it was
feared this day forever
curse the sunrise and the weather
curse the third and fourth one
curse my name in big bold letters
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Politics And Area Rugs
So you’ve just come back from a home furnishing store where you purchased a nice new area rug. This particular rug is reversible. One side is mostly purple and blue tones, and the other is mostly burgundy. Both colors work with your room, but you decide to go with the burgundy side for now.
However, there is a problem. You find out that the rug is infected with anthrax, botulism, and the bubonic plague. Faced with this horrible new information, you make the most logical and sensible choice: you flip the rug over and use the purple side. Right?
No! You drag the whole damn rug outside and throw it in the incinerator and buy a new rug from a different, and non-infected, store.
This is, more or less, the situation we find ourselves in, in current American politics. We have the 2012 POTUS race upon us. We know that, realistically, one of two things will happen when all is said and done. We will have a Democratic president, or we will have a Republican president. The problem is that the two parties are simply two slightly different colored sides of the same infected, infested rug.
But until we, as a nation, face up to the fact that our election system is screwed up, and we get rid of the Two Party System, among other changes, we’re stuck with buying the same damn rug from the same infected, infested dealership and turning it over, over and over again.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
That doesn't mean normal gold and silver trading will be outlawed, but it is, well, odd. This stems from the Dodd-Frank Act, you can check that out here. As for the subject of this post, here's a link. And here's another.
And here's an excerpt from that first linked page:
On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed into law the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act” (the “Dodd-Frank Act” or “Act”). The Dodd-Frank Act most likely will bring about sweeping regulatory changes within the financial services industry. However, at over 2,300 pages in length, few people have read this legislation in its entirety. Of those individuals who have read the Act, few can comprehend the implications of such sweeping reform. As a result, I have teamed up with attorney Nicole Kuchera, from Chicago’s Henderson & Lyman, to review the content of the Dodd-Frank Act. Through this process we were able to identify some areas of the Act that are most likely to affect Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) regulated entities and National Futures Association (“NFA”) member firms.
Some of the language gets rather technical, but it's worth wading through. Stay strong, my friends.
Buy gold, buy silver, buy ammo.
2010 = 1980 ?
In 1980, the USSR was 'known' to be a permanent, relatively stable, and growing power. However, within 10 years, it was little more than dust. Eaten from the inside by the parasites of inefficiency and bloated bureaucracy and by the growing power of a middle class and the growing anger of the poor.
Could 2010 turn out to have been China's 1980? The same necessary elements are present and they are moving. To precipitate the reaction, one need only to add heat.
Just a thought.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
On this Memorial Day weekend, I would like to offer my love, respect, and gratitude to all the members of our Armed Services, be they currently active or be they retired veterans.
You men and women are our best. I thank you for your service.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
i would like to applaud the Supreme Court for ruling correctly, i believe, and defending the free speech rights of the reprehensible fred phelps cult. they are evil people, and what they say is awful, but they should absolutely have the right to say it. however, rights carry responsibilities.
that is, if i were to have a friend or relative die in war, they have a right to lawfully assemble and protest. but they also have the responsibility of dealing with the repercussions of their free speech. specifically, those repercussions would be multiple contusions and broken bones caused by me.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Friday, December 03, 2010
Aaaannndddd, we are headed back to double-digit unemployment. Late 10 or early 11. Yay us. Did i mention that you should look into buying silver or gold? And you may want to get a passport too, you know, just in case.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Rest In Peace Michael David Larsen, AKA Eyedea, November 9, 1981 – October 17, 2010
We have lost one of the greatest artists of our generation. Eyedea was a hip-hop artist from Minnesota and involved in the Rhymesayers consortium. He was a lyrical genius. His words were both personal and global, brilliant in their rhyme schemes and also poignant. No one writes like he did. No one wrote like he did.
I had the opportunity to attend one of his concerts about this time last year, in Atlanta. The show was under the guise of the group Eyedea and Abilities, a group consisting of Eyedea with his best friend and DJ, DJ Abilities. They had been friends since childhood. I attended the show with my two best friends, my brother, and my friend that I have known since early childhood. The show was fantastic. I found it interesting that he always referred to himself as “Michael”, never “Eyedea”. Don't know why I found that interesting.
After the show, I had a chance to speak with Michael for a couple of minutes. I met a man who was kind, clever, and sad. I greatly admire his work, and I am sad that we have lost such a voice.
May your words resound for ages, Michael.
Sunday, September 05, 2010
For those of you with whom I speak on a fairly regular basis, you know that I believe we are headed toward the second dip in a double dip recession. For those of you who I do not speak with as often, I believe we are headed toward the second dip of a double dip recession.
The specific, technical definition of a Double Dip Recession: When gross domestic product (GDP) growth slides back to negative after a quarter or two of positive growth. A more basic definition would simply be to say that a DDR is a recession that is followed by somewhat of a recovery, and that recovery is then followed by another recession. I believe we are now in that recovery period before the second dip. Further, I believe that the second dip will be worse than the first one. I sincerely hope I'm wrong here, but I'm not the only person that is thinking this way.
Nouriel Roubini is a Professor of Economics at New York University's Stern School of Business and chairman of Roubini Global Economics, an economic consultancy firm. A recent column for the UK Telegraph quotes him from this year's annual Ambrosetti conference on Lake Como:
The US has run out of bullets [to defend against a DDR]. More quantitative easing (bond purchases) by the Federal Reserve is not going to make any difference. Treasury yields are already down to 2.5% yet credit spreads are widening again. Monetary policy can boost liquidity but it can’t deal with solvency problems.
He's basically saying that the Fed can't fix this. And he's dead right. We're in a mess people.
He goes on to hypothesize that the US growth rate is likely to fall below 1% in the second half of this year, “despite the biggest stimulus in history: a cut in interest rates from 5% to zero, a budget deficit of 10pc of GDP, and $3 trillion to shore up the financial system.” To put things in perspective, at this stage in a normal post-war recovery, the growth rate is generally between 4% and 6%.
Here's what I see happening. In the next 30-50 days, I'm looking for a 2-6% correction (that is, a drop) in the US markets. I'm also expecting DEflation. This deflation will be overcompensated for, which will bring about INflation. I expect the unemployment rate to remain stagnant for a few months, but I expect it to start slowly increasing again. I believe that the second dip will be worse than the first. Will it be a depression? I don't know, part of that depends on how you want to define depression. But I really don't know.
I'm not trying to be pessimistic, I'm just trying to be realistic. But, again, I will be very happy to be wrong.
Have a great Labor Day weekend, my friends. Much love to all.
Sunday, February 07, 2010
the New Orleans Saints made it to, and won, their first Super Bowl today! WHO DAT!!!
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Nigh on 3 in the morning
and here our power's still on
3 days ago come tomorrow
the fault lines, they groaned,
and shuddered and shouted,
the earth murdered thousands.
but still i hear questions of blame and about
who did/didn't do this thing or that one
which meeting was muffed and which bill was flattened
to fatten the fattest of fat cats or not
or the changing of insurance rates, well the lot
of all those spin talking heads can all burn, yes they'll burn
burn bright and burn long, as far as i am concerned
and one need not commission a poll to be shown
that the truth is the mangled bodies and bones
and small bony children, fighting for food
after their parents were crushed 'neath a roof
and you dare, and YOU DARE, to make this politic?
may you burn long and bright, as we and God tend the sick
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Let me preface my comments with the following: I don’t much care about professional golfing or professional golfers. I have for some time, of course, been aware of who Tiger Woods is, and I know he is a fantastic golfer. (I’ve also heard of Jack Nicklaus and Paine Stuart and a few others) But I can’t stomach more than a couple minutes of watching the stuff, and I never have any clue who is winning or leading in the whatever-it-is championship. I do somewhat enjoy playing golf, I just righteously suck at it. I also enjoy golf of the electronic variety, having only a few moments ago taken a break from my 2-under-par game at Bethpage in Tiger Woods 10. Ok, done with that.
Now, I don’t really care about any of this mess. My comments aren’t even really about Mr. Woods’ affair (pun intended), but really the coverage of it. Here’s the thing; I am so frickin sick of pundits and other assorted idiots referring to this mess as Tiger Woods betraying “us”. What the hell? The argument is that he, and his handlers and sponsors etc. played him up to be this goody goody family man who also is a great golfer. First, I’m not aware of this “image” being so highly touted. Again, as I said, I don’t keep up with the golfing world, so maybe I’m missing something. But as I see it, it’s less of a matter of him being portrayed as a saint, as it is simply not mentioning his sins.
Ah yes, his sins. He has, ahem, “allegedly” had affairs and has, recently, “allegedly” gotten caught by his wife. Ok, and people are surprised by this why? I’m not, by any means, saying that it is right or good, but the fact remains that, more often than not, rich and/or famous men have affairs. Actually, a study was published in a 2000 issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family that showed that the more money one made, the more likely he was to cheat on his wife. J. Treas and D. Giesen, found, in a piece titled "Sexual Infidelity Among Married and Cohabitating Americans", that individuals earning $75,000 or more per year are more than 1.5 times more likely to have had an affair as those earning less than $30,000 per year. Quite interesting, but again, not surprising.
Ok, so he screwed around. That was bad, and I do feel sorry for his wife and family. I get it. But a betrayal of “us”? I still can’t get there. He most certainly betrayed his wife and family. But I can’t see how he owes “us” anything at all. He may have betrayed his sponsors, as most of those sorts of contracts contain a morality clause. The same goes, perhaps, for the PGA. But you and me? Nope. The only ones that I can see being so terrifyingly offended by Woods’ infidelity are those who saw him as somehow more than a mortal anyway. And THAT is the problem here. Not Woods’ transgressions, but the fact that there are people who saw him, and who see anyone actually, as more than a man, a creature virtually guaranteed to transgress.
I’ve always had a problem with the idea of seeing peoples as idols or heroes. There are certainly people I admire and respect, but none I idolize. None I worship.
This sort of idolization of stars, athlete or otherwise, is for small children and idiots. I would argue that even small children should be dissuaded from this. You’re only going to be let down by your expectations. Not betrayed by the people because they turn out to be human; you’ve only betrayed yourself by looking to others for greatness, rather than looking inward.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
State of the
Psychologically, ideologically, we are a failed state. We are a nation adrift. Yet we maintain our
Change. Obama promised change. And now, even his most ardent supporters are becoming disillusioned at the lack of it. At his indecisiveness. At his lack of plan, a backbone, for his great behemoth of a vision. But what is the alternative?
The alternative is a rudderless Republican congregation, lacking not only a rudder, but even a captain. A party with no leader to deliver its message, but, no matter, it has no message to deliver.
And yet, we should not be hopeless.
Or should we.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
First, her comment:
I can't tell you guys how many times you've brought up issues in this blog that I'm learning in class. It really makes me feel like the kiddie tagging along with the big people, and I probably have no business touching this kind of thing, seeing as how I don't understand government systematics and details, but I'm going to sneak in my not-even-worth 2 cents here (I actually just read an ethics book, unfortunately it was Peter Singer's, the child-rapist-looking asshole, and he talked about this issue more of less).
All in all when it comes down to it, isn't it ethics? Torpid obviously has a strong sense of helping people in need in a way that it actually makes a difference, and encouraging others to do so as well. Of course we'll never have a utopia, you can take a look at basic ecology and know that nature, and the design of life on this planet as we know it, has a system of living and dying, population rising and falling, new species and extinct ones, and competition for resources. Now it wouldn't be fair to use this to excuse not helping anyone ever, but it's just a way to point out we'll always have resource issues, people will always be in need (and doesn't the definition of what condition to be able to live and not live in fluctuate?).
But as Torpid's example said, what's the priority? Personal life pleasures or helping someone? I think all of us have scales of compassion vs guilt, and they usually keep us in check, but who's to say you can't help just by living a less wasteful life (tie in to the efficiency talked about earlier)? I look around and see so much wasted...and I know all the food from this campus that's thrown away could feed a great deal of the homeless in downtown St. Pete. But I haven't made it my mission to make a petition or organize meetings, talk to the dean of the school, or set up a system with a homeless shelter. As RM said earlier, we should help how much, to what extent? Responsibility is a tricky beast, and when it comes down to it, perspective is the whip that controls it.
Maybe I'm missing the whole point here, and that as Americans and the extremely generalized things we believe in, we 'should' make sure that charity has a more flawless way to distribute supplies. I guess I don't know.
I'd like to say I'd help someone who needed it if I saw it, and I can't explain how embarrassed I get by the display of wealth in my family, but I haven't been faced with a lot of situations. In the end I guess I just agree with what you guys said...sorry for the side rant.
Wick | 09.12.09 - 11:46 am |
and now, my response to her, and to the quandary in general that we have been discussing:
well, you know, we try to help :) and as always, there are no needs for apologies.
as usual, my friend, i'm afraid you self yourself short. you've shown here that you have quite a grasp on the issues at hand. believe in yourself. i do.
responsibility...yes, tricky indeed. but who says i have any responsibility to anything or anyone? the law, the threat of punishment? my morals? morals are subjective, and fear of pain is a terrible motivation for philanthropy.
my point being, i suppose, is that there is no 'right' answer here. as you said, definitions of a good or, at least livable, life are in flux. but so are the definitions of most everything else we're discussing here. what is poverty? what is wealth? what must a society provide to its downtrodden to be seen, and to actually BE, a good and noble society?
that last question is, as i see it, the crux of the matter here. and i can't see any system of logic which would allow us to reach one final and true solution that is agreeable to everyone. there is too much emotion involved, too much subjectivity. for all practical purposes, there is no objective reality to this.
so, what do we do? do what you believe is right. volunteer at a soup kitchen. start a letter writing campaign to Congress to increase welfare disbursements or food stamps or Medicaid. in the end, as with most things, moderation will out. the extremes will yell, and as their echoes receed towards the middle, they meet action. and that action, as it always is, will be a compromise.
and, as someone once said, a good compromise pleases no one.
good night, my dearest friends. and sweet dreams.
see more Fail Blog
House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, far right, speaks while colleagues play solitaire on their computers as the House convenes to vote on a new budget for the fiscal year in the Capitol, in Hartford, Conn., Monday, Aug., 31, 2009.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
First, Aaron's comment to which TT is responding
Wehell, i do agree with you that individuals should, on some basic level, take matters into their own hands when it comes to helping others, and if govt. helps to facilitate this process, and possibly inspire it, then i am all for it; and i am not opposed to personal volition being a major instigator of aforementioned charity, but i feel we, as an enlightened and ever increasingly liberal society, must take it upon ourselves- ie our govt.- to give a hefty push in the direction of what some know to be right in terms of domestic policy- universal healthcare.
But, really, how are we, in this ever increasingly fast paced world market we operate in, supposed to find time in the day to go help someone with something as specialized as healthcare? It would decrease productivity on many levels when we are in dire need of it. When we install govt. programs to take care of the poor, we are just doing the inevitable- outsourcing charity. We outsource everything these days- everything- and not just businesses, either. Manual laborers, food service employees, accounting, production of computers, etc, etc. Those are examples of how we are becoming more specialized as a society, which means we dont have time to putt around on things like charity.
Not to say charity is bad- not at all. Just take a year or two after college to volunteer nationally or, dare i say it, internationally. All arguments about not wanting the govt. to take more of your money, mainly because it is inevitable, aside, i feel this is a noble cause. It is the mark of a truly enlightened society, i feel, to help every one in the populace it can, and it is the responsibility of that populace to bear the burden.
And that is my 27cents. I know with you being a libertarian and all that we will disagree on this, but its the way i feel. Still got mad respec for your, highly nuanced, and intelligent ideas. The floor is yours, sir. haha.
Response to Aaron regarding the incarnation of outsourcing and specialization in charity:
"When we install govt. programs to take care of the poor, we are just doing the inevitable- outsourcing charity. We outsource everything these days- everything- and not just businesses, either. Manual laborers, food service employees, accounting, production of computers, etc, etc."
- Outsourcing and specialization do not require centralization.
- As I recall, outsourcing has had some rather negative effects in the U.S. when it comes to the lower economic classes.
- On the other hand, if outsourcing is such a great solution, and since said outsourcing is performed from an expensive source to an inexpensive source, maybe we should outsource public education too. We could bus all of our kindergartners down to Ecuador, and bring them back when they're in their mid-twenties (or late teens since they are presumably so much more efficient). I'm sure that would work out well.
- As for specialization, it's great if we're talking about only surgeons performing surgery or only experienced banjo players playing the banjo in public. Even choosing to invest in some individual or organization that you believe is providing a worthy service is, to my mind, an admirable decision. But, outsourcing the very selection of charitable organizations or individuals to some other individual or organization seems a bit, well, apathetic. If you have no control over the use of that money and do not care to have any control over it, but rather, you simply assume it is being used in an acceptable manner (based upon your own definition of acceptability), did you really give in order to help, or did you give to assuage guilt? If that money is in fact used "for a good cause," then I am glad, but you have no guarantee of that, and you do not seem to desire one. Your solution really only simplifies your interface to it. You are merely pushing the complexity (and I would argue the responsibility) onto others.
- Who indeed has the time? And yet, I would venture to guess that you eat most days, which takes time. You may even take vacations. Why not? You've worked for them. You've earned them. But, what is the priority, your Alaskan cruise or the kid that is going to die tonight in Atlanta from malnutrition? Well, if we all have a responsibility to help others, how is it that the act of moving money around, in hopes of somehow at some point positively affecting the life of someone somewhere who may or may not need it, able to magically remove that responsibility? If you are required to help the less privileged among us, doesn't that require or at least imply your responsibility to ensure that you and your money are in fact helping? If so, what metrics do you use to judge choices you have paid others to make on matters you are unlikely aware of concerning people you have never met regarding situations you likely don't even comprehend? Does charity require a college degree to comprehend? Must you be an engineer to discern the inner workings of this aged groaning old mechanism? Is charity a mysterious black box to be poked and prodded in order to analyze the response, waiting for that wonderful day on which we finally unlock its mysteries? Wow, it really shouldn't be that complicated.
- Find someone with a need, and help provide for the need. When approached by someone with a need, help provide for the need.
- If your response to someone that asks for money is "I gave it to the government to give to you. Go talk to them." then I do not think charity is really your concern.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
a response to Sanford that got way too long for the comments
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Beck fan. Way back before he killed that puppy live on the radio.
Granted he's quite excitable, but I find it easier to appreciate a man that prefaces unlikely predictions with the admission that he might be wrong over a man that publicly flaunts his own childhood struggles in an attempt to gain credibility while simultaneously proclaiming his sorrow for the next generation and claiming a some righteous desire to eradicate the very hardship that made him what he is.
...imagine a segue into health care here...
Legislation is a poor substitute for cultural change. If you find someone that needs help, help them. If the threat of arrest for tax evasion is the only way to procure funds to help those in need, we have much larger problems, problems that will simply not be fixed by any added statute.
That is not to say that we already live in a utopia. Rather, there is no utopia. There will be no utopia. Striving for a better world is admirable, but gamble with your own property. Accountability will either sharpen your senses at first or dull your pride in the end. I suppose it is a hackneyed reference, but our right to the pursuit of happiness is not a guarantee of success. Nor does the right to life imply any particular quality of that life. It is liberty that gives you permission to embark on the former and thereby define the latter.
The largest hurdle I run into in the area of charitable giving is the fear of being swindled, taken, cheated. And, that fear will by no means be lessened by the helping hand of Father Government. And yet there is comfort in the assumption that the people redistributing my money "must" be doing so lawfully since they are government employees and are thereby directly accountable to the laws that our own representatives (or at least a majority of them) agreed upon (assuming they read all of the bill and researched current relevant law and precedent that might affect the interpretation of the text therein). Perhaps I should then say that we need more legislation to somehow make me safe from thieves and free to give to anyone that asks, secure in the knowledge that if they ask then they must have been approved by the board in charge of such things. How very complicated that simplicity would be.
In general I find efficiency to be a very good thing. Lithium based battery, better solar panels, sterling engines (not necessarily efficient conversion, but better than the relative nothing we have currently when it comes to affordable heat harvesting), algae ponds for CO2 utilization, et al. Great stuff. And yet there seems to be some important loss between an novel and the sparknotes for the novel. It's the same plot, the same characters. They're neatly organized and sectioned and titled. If efficiency is the highest goal, sparknotes should be better. Perhaps a synopsis or abstract does seem better to you, reader. However, based upon the popularity of the Harry Potter series for example (even with grown men, sad to say) I believe it is reasonable to conclude that there is some non-trivial portion of our society that does seek a deeper, albeit less succinct, experience when it comes to human stuff (pardon the scientific jargon).
Human life is complex. Even if you believe there is a simple motivation at the root of life, be it self-preservation, pleasure, fear, or something else entirely, to assume that a simple rule set inherently assures simple behavior is madness. Consider fractals or the various examples presented in I Robot (the book, not the movie).
We are not in and will never attain a Utopian society.
Human lives will be complex and imperfect leading to at least one of the following: discomfort, pain, agony, and death. If troublesome complexity exists in your own life, what makes you think that strangers hired by other strangers are more qualified than you to deal with it. More importantly, what makes you think that it should be their problem?
If you think we should help those who cannot help themselves, then do so yourself, encourage others to do likewise, and debate those that disagree. Don't whine to the government to "do something about it." Coward! If people are starving in your neighborhood and the government truly has the power to change their lives and you desire "something" to be done, then it is currently your fault that they are starving. There is nowhere to hide. How do you have the authority to lay blame and the immunity against it? There is no god-code here. This isn't Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.
I encourage you to find an efficient mechanism to convert hollow stagnant pity into hand-delivered foodstuffs. Perhaps, you're not an engineer and feel frightened by the idea of converting potential energy into kinetic energy yatta yatta yatta. For you there is always the conversion from hollow stagnant pity into mindless train-like repetition of Work, home, bed Work, home, bed... But, be advised that while soothing, this alternative method is not very efficient (and thereby not trendy) losing about 40% to wave after wave of self-loathing.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
as most of you know, i've long held the belief that this would be a "W" or double-dip recession. we are currently in the false recovery part of it, but the second dip is coming guys. get ready.
i'm sure you all know what a leading indicator is, right? if not, a leading indicator is:
An economic indicator that changes before the economy has changed. Examples of leading indicators include production workweek, building permits, unemployment insurance claims, money supply, inventory changes, and stock prices.
the Baltic Dry Index, "is a number issued daily by the London-based Baltic Exchange. Not restricted to Baltic Sea countries, the Index tracks worldwide international shipping prices of various dry bulk cargoes". it is a much observed and respected leading indicator and it is falling at a quite noticeable rate, just like it did around December last year. don't just take my word for it, check it out:
Baltic Dry Index Down 45% From High in June
BDIY:IND BALTIC DRY INDEX via Bloomberg
The most obscure but perhaps the most important economic indicator we've got
other leading indicators are tracking down as well.
i really, REALLY did not want to be right about this.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
there is simply no excuse for this sort of thing.
OXFORD, N.C. — Sixteen-year-old Ashton Lundeby's bedroom in his mother's Granville County home is nothing, if not patriotic. Images of American flags are everywhere – on the bed, on the floor, on the wall.
But according to the United States government, the tenth-grade home-schooler is being held on a criminal complaint that he made a bomb threat from his home on the night of Feb. 15.
The family was at a church function that night, his mother, Annette Lundeby, said.
"Undoubtedly, they were given false information, or they would not have had 12 agents in my house with a widow and two children and three cats," Lundeby said.
Around 10 p.m. on March 5, Lundeby said, armed FBI agents along with three local law enforcement officers stormed her home looking for her son. They handcuffed him and presented her with a search warrant.
"I was terrified," Lundeby's mother said. "There were guns, and I don't allow guns around my children. I don't believe in guns."
Lundeby told the officers that someone had hacked into her son's IP address and was using it to make crank calls connected through the Internet, making it look like the calls had originated from her home when they did not.
Her argument was ignored, she said. Agents seized a computer, a cell phone, gaming console, routers, bank statements and school records, according to federal search warrants.
"There were no bomb-making materials, not even a blasting cap, not even a wire," Lundeby said.
... continued here.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I am all the more bullish on gold. not only is it, as it has always been, an exceedingly safe investment, it looks like it will be a better and better investment as the next year or two go on.
Inflation seems to be the mode of the day, and it will continue. and seeing that the government will most likely simply try to inflate our way out of debt, as that is basically the only option they've got, i don't see inflation going down appreciably any time soon.
Yes i am, just still lazy too.
i have a twitter account now, so feel free to join up and follow my tweets on Twitter; my username is TheRiverman81. See ya there!
Monday, March 09, 2009
Be aware, be vigilant, be alert. I believe a Bear Rally is coming. The best thing to do is just to be aware of the possibility and what to look for. To help with the latter, here are a couple of links:
Keep a stiff upper lip, soldiers. Much love to all.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
January 19, 1809 - January 19, 2009
in commemoration of Poe's Bicentennial, I will be posting shortly an mp3 of me doing a dramatized reading of one of his short stories. i haven't decided which one? if anyone has any requests or suggestions, please comment and let me know.
much love to all.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Rally Around The Family With A Pocket Full Of Shells
Thus Playeth The Sanford.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
you can find the whole story here. i've posted an excerpt below.
Voter rolls stuffed with dead and absent registrants
By Bert Case
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Mississippi's voter situation is hard to believe. Places like Madison County have over 123% more registered voters than people over the age of 18.
Sue Sautermeister, First District Election Commissioner in Madison County, tried to purge the rolls, but ran into trouble when it was discovered it takes a vote of three of the five election commissioners and the purge cannot take place within 90 days of a federal election.
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann is the first to admit the situation with voter registration in this state is terrible.
"It is terrible," he says. "Combined with the fact that we don't have voter ID in Mississippi, anybody can show up at any poll that happens to know the people who have left town or died -- and go vote for them."
the story continues at the WLBT website.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Please allow me to clear up a few misconceptions about our two Presidential candidates and the GOP Vice Presidential Candidate.
McCain / Palin
McCain was not brainwashed to attack the US, or brainwashed at all, while he was a POW in Vietnam.
McCain did not father an African-American child.
Palin did not cut funding for Special Needs Education in Alaska. Not by 62%, not at all.
Palin did not demand, suggest, or ask that books be banned in the Wasilla Public Library.
Palin was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party.
Obama is not a Muslim.
Obama was born in the United States, Hawaii to be exact.
Obama does sing the National Anthem, he does say the Pledge of Allegiance, and does place his hand over his heart while reciting it.
Obama is not a secret terrorist spy.
Obama does not support Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc.
Obama is not gay.
i hope this helps to clear up some things. if you're going to vote, please vote on the issues, and not based on this bovine excrement.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Poll workers clash at Falls nursing home
Police, elections board investigate alleged assault over marked ballot
By Stephanie Warsmith
Beacon Journal staff writer
Published on Tuesday, Oct 14, 2008
Poll workers from opposing sides in the presidential race apparently clashed in a physical altercation Friday at a Cuyahoga Falls nursing home when one accused the other of improperly marking a ballot.
George Manos, the 75-year-old Republican, told police that Edith Walker, the 73-year-old Democrat, jumped on his back and struck him in the head three to four times with her fists. Manos said two other elections workers had to pull Walker off his back, according to a report filed with Cuyahoga Falls police.
Chambers' suit against God tossed out
BY Christopher Burbach
World-Herald Staff Writer
You can't sue God if you can't serve the papers on him, a Douglas County District Court judge ruled in Omaha Tuesday.
Judge Marlon Polk threw out Nebraska Sen. Ernie Chambers' lawsuit against the Almighty, saying there was no evidence that the defendant had been served. What's more, Polk found "there can never be service effectuated on the named defendant."
Chambers had sued God in September 2007, seeking a permanent injunction to prevent God from committing acts of violence such as earthquakes and tornadoes.
Although the case may seem superfluous and even scandalous to others, Chambers has said his point is to focus on the question of whether certain lawsuits should be prohibited.
"Nobody should stand at the courthouse door to predetermine who has access to the courts," he said. "My point is that anyone can sue anyone else, even God."
Chambers, an avowed atheist, said he decided to make that point after at least two attempts in the Nebraska Legislature to limit "frivolous lawsuits."
Though I must say, if the purpose of this lawsuit is what the guy says it is, then huzzah for him. Hope it works...
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Today at the G8 Summit, World leaders had an eight-course dinner before talking about the worldwide food crisis.
The Prime Minister was served 24 different dishes during his first day at the summit – just hours after urging the world to reduce the "unnecessary demand" for food and calling on British families to cut back on their wasteful use of food...
...The dinner consisted of 18 dishes in eight courses including caviar, smoked salmon, Kyoto beef and a "G8 fantasy dessert"...
...The dinner came just hours after a "working lunch" consisting of six courses including white asparagus and truffle soup, crab and a supreme of chicken...
Sunday, June 08, 2008
(my sincerest apologies for the lame pun-ing there)
Celebrity funnyman Chris Rock was the victim of a practical joke while on tour in South Africa, after being pranked with accusations he had sex with a British minor, a prosecutor said Saturday.
"It was a hoax, it was for one of the US (United States) reality television programmes," said National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Tlali Tlali.
The US comedian, who is on his "No apologies"tour in the country, was duped by rumours he was about to be arrested for sexually assaulting a minor in Britain.
"They pulled one on him, information got to him that the South African Police Service was going to arrest him. Acting on that information he quickly approached lawyers who brought an urgent application at the Johannebsurg High Court where judgement was in his favour," Tlali told AFP.
Tlali said Rock had sought clarification on the charges to be brought against him.
A fake prosecutor, one of the cast members for the television show, appeared in court Monday urging that Rock be taken into custody, however the judge ruled he could not be arrested or detained without a proper warrant.
"This one went far, it must have been organised quite carefully," said Tlali, who said when prosecutors discovered the following day it was a prank there were mixed reactions with some slamming it as a waste of time, while others saw the funny side.
It was not known which television show was behind the prank.
You know, I just can't imagine caring enough about a joke to take it that far (literally and metaphorically that far). I would like to know who pulled this off.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
u r soooo cute and awesome in this vid! i luv you!
i jus wish i wuz old enuf to date u! i luv u sean!
So what happens to all those webs and such that Spiderman leaves hanging and stuck to things all around New York? I mean, does it biodegrade or do people keep getting stuck in it or what?
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Well, he made millions making fake bands, should anyone be surprised that he made up fake money? I mean, come on...you know...come on.
Willoughby Mariano Sentinel Staff Writer
10:43 AM EDT, May 21, 2008
Boy-band mogul Lou Pearlman was sentenced this morning to 25 years in federal prison for running a lengthy, systematic con that artificially inflated his net worth and cheated people out of $300 million.
During Pearlman's sentencing in U.S. District Court this morning, Senior U.S. District Judge G. Kendall Sharp offered Pearlman an incentive to pay back his investors: For every $1 million he puts back in investors' pockets, he gets one month off of his sentence.
Since Pearlman's sentence is for 300 months, he can avoid prison altogether if he forks up the cash.
"I'm most concerned for the investors, even more so than the institutions," Sharp said.
Pearlman, 53, was once the toast of Orlando. His financial empire once included popular musical acts the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync; an airplane-charter business; and Church Street Station, an iconic piece of real estate in Orlando's downtown.
Quite Possibly Less
Yesterday, Senator Kennedy was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, specifically, a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe. The parietal is a brain lobe that works with other regions of the brain to control things such as sensation, movement and speech/language. Malignant gliomas are fairly rare, being diagnosed in only about 9,000 Americans a year. However, almost half of those who are diagnosed die within a year of the diagnosis.
Regardless of my general disagreement with the Senator's positions and votes, I do respect his political abilities. And I respect him as a person. It is terrible that anyone and any family should have to endure this sort of thing, their political backgrounds being completely irrelevant.
Our prayers go out to Senator Kennedy and his family that they may have strength to make it through this terribly difficult time, that they may have the wisdom to discern the best decisions to make, and that they may have the peace that passes all understanding.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Ok, this angers me to the point that I really have no analysis, no comments, no words at all. I'm just going to post a couple of excerpts and leave links to the four or five articles about the "incident" that were published by the Clarion-Ledger.
Family begged deputy not to shoot
(i added the bold/italics)
A Jackson man shot and killed by a Hinds County Sheriff's deputy had threatened to kill family members and had pulled a knife on police at his home last week, according to an affidavit.
But family members of 67-year-old K.C. Battle, who they said had a history of mental illness, maintain he made no threatening move toward the law officer on Monday and should not have been shot.
"I begged them. 'Please don't shoot him,' " a crying Mattie Graves said about an hour after her brother was killed at the 3526 Cromwell St. home they shared. "They could have Tasered him. They didn't have to shoot him."
Capt. Ken Magee of the Hinds County Sheriff's Department said that when two deputies arrived to serve papers on Battle about 11 a.m., Battle wouldn't put down a knife and attempted to attack them.
Only one of the deputies, however, fired after the other had left the room where Battle was, according to a family member.
Battle was shot four times, once in the stomach, once in the face area and twice in the chest, Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart said.
Continued at: http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008805130368
Three more articles on the killing:
Hinds deputy shoots, kills man
Family decries man's killing by deputy
...The family of a mentally ill man who was shot and killed Monday by a Hinds County sheriff’s deputy are speaking out against the use of force this evening at a news conference in their community.
The family, along with City Councilman Kenneth Stokes, are at Mt. Mariah Missionary Baptist Church on Medgar Evers Boulevard, less than a mile from the home where K.C. Battle was killed.Officials with the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department said the shooting occurred after deputies arrived at Battle’s Cromwell Road home on Monday morning to serve papers. Battle, they said, threatened a deputy with a knife...
...He [K.C. Battle] had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia decades ago and had been sent to the state hospital in Whitfield. Pullen said she did not recall exactly when he had been committed but that pepper spray kept her brother from resisting.“He didn’t know the deputies were coming. We didn’t tell him,” Pullen said. “We thought it would be like last time where they sprayed him and cuffed him. We didn’t think they would shoot him.” ...
Family offers shooting details
...The shooting is under investigation by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, and the results will be turned over to the Hinds County district attorney. Meanwhile, according to protocol, both deputies have been placed on paid administration leave.
Jackson City Council President Leslie Burl McLemore called local law enforcement "trigger happy" Tuesday and said he was concerned he is seeing a trend of officer-involved shootings in the metro area.
"We need to make sure our law enforcement is about the business of serving and protecting and not trying to eliminate people," McLemore said. He also called on JPD and the Sheriff's Department to be more transparent about its officer-involved shooting investigations...
Much Love To All
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
As of a few minutes ago, John McCain has officially clinched the Republican Presidential nomination for 2008. So, the next big question is, of course, who will he pick for his running mate.
The way I see it, he needs someone a little more conservative than he is perceived to be (though not too conservative so as to alienate the much-needed Independent vote). Also, he needs someone with administrative experience, someone like a current of former Governor. Finally, he'll most likely want someone from the South. Taking the South in the General Election is a make or break proposition for the GOP. Also, he might possibly pick a woman.
My best guesses, as of now, for names are: Huckabee (Gov, AR), Haley Barbour (Gov. MS), Bobby Jindal (Gov. LA).
Of course, it's quite possible that I'm completely off-base...we shall see.
Friday, February 08, 2008
To any Christian Conservitive Right-Wing Republican whom it may concern:
I have found the Defense Of Marriage Act quite incomplete in supporting true Biblical marriage. Therefore, as I would like to help you all to define marriage in the most Biblically proper way the Defense of Biblical Marriage Act ( previously known as the Defense Of Marriage Act), I propose that it shall hereafter read as follows:
Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women (Gen. 29:17-28; II Sam. 3:2-5).
Marriage must not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam. 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron. 11:21)
In order to be considered valid, a marriage the bride must be a virgin. If she is not a virgin, she must be executed. (Deut. 22:13-21)
Marriage of a believer and a non-believer is unlawful and will be prohibited. . (Gen. 24:3; Num. 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh. 10:30)
Given that Biblical marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. (Deut. 22:19; Mark 10:9)
When a married man dies without children, his brother must marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not give her children, he must pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen. 38:6-10; Deut. 25:5-10)
And there you have it. I’m just trying to do my part for all the CCRwR’s out there…
Monday, January 07, 2008
My thoughts on this may change, of course, as events warrant. But as of now, this is my best hypothesis as to how the NH Primaries will come out.
With a very small margin seperating 1, 2, and 3
With Obama leading Clinton by a respectable margin.
There you go. Don't forget to watch the Primary results tomorrow night. I know I'll be :). And we'll all see how well (or how poorly) my projections are.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
effectively restacking rhyming schematics
my semantics erratic; my lyrics belong in straight jackets
pedantic, am i, sometimes
i can admit it
but you too must admit it, kid, the shit i script is gifted
this Tig is lifted
like a jack's beneath my rear end
but above all that i'm miffed at
the fact that i ain't dead yet
and yet the better part of me says "come on son and talk ta me.
you bottle me and coddle me but never look inside a me
what is it that so scares ya, b?
afraid that you might like me?"
Thursday, December 13, 2007
This is an excerpt from an article on the New York Daily News website. I thought it was interesting. :
Teams of federal agents swooped down on up to 10 close associates of the Rev. Al Sharpton Wednesday, demanding the flamboyant clergyman's financial records since 2001.
Sharpton's former chief of staff said he was roused at his Harlem home about 6:30 a.m. by two FBI agents who handed him a subpoena to bring the records to a federal grand jury the day after Christmas.
Several employees of Sharpton's National Action Network also got wakeup subpoenas to testify before the Brooklyn panel, the rabble-rousing reverend's lawyer said.
The FBI and IRS are investigating whether Sharpton improperly misstated the amount of money he raised during his 2004 White House run to illegally obtain federal matching funds, a source familiar with the probe said.
Sharpton, although forced to return $100,000 in matching taxpayer funds after an investigation two years ago, denied any wrongdoing at the time.
Dang...i hope they don't take Sharpton down. He's always so fun.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
i don't even feel like commenting on this. but i'm pretty damn sure that you guys and gals know exactly what i'm thinking.
below are some excerpts from this story from The Globe And Mail newspaper:
Astonishing video footage released yesterday shows Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski did not resist police or confront them before officers zapped him with a taser, setting off a struggle that ended in his death in the international arrivals area of Vancouver's International Airport.
The footage, shot by Victoria resident Paul Pritchard, was released to the news media yesterday and widely broadcast, providing a raw look at events that have prompted a furious debate in B.C. about the police use of tasers.
The release comes a month after the incident that ended in the death of 40-year-old Mr. Dziekanski, who had come to Canada on his first-ever airplane flight to begin a new life with his mother, who lives in Kamloops and had been eagerly awaiting his arrival.
He began acting erratically after more than 10 hours being processed - the footage picks up as he was positioning chairs and a table in a manner that caused the automatic doors to remain open. Security guards look on...
...Someone yells "hit him again." He was tasered twice. Police pile on, seeking to restrain him. One officer places his knee on Mr. Dziekanski's neck.
Mr. Dziekanski went into medical distress and died there. The footage shows officers attending to him. One man in a suit checks for a pulse. It is impossible to tell from the footage whether he is dead at that point, although he appears non-responsive.
An autopsy later found no sign of drugs or alcohol in Mr. Dziekanski's system, but failed to come up with any specific cause of death....
gotta love the cops. nice to know that Canada's police are the same sort of psychos that we have. at least we're not alone.
for more on the story, follow the link a few paragraphs back up, and there is more of the story at http://mvdg.wordpress.com/2007/11/15/the-vancouver-taser-affair/
sweet dreams all.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Is God exothermic or endothermic?
( i'm using the upper-case inclusive "God" here. that is, the supreme supernatural being of any religion or combination of religions or a hypothetical being existing simply for the sake of argument)
Since the introduction of the C6 Corvette, there has been a "super-Vette" sighted, by car mag guys and industry insiders, being tested at various tracks and roads around the world, including the Nordschleife of the Nurbugring. this Uber-Vette has been, heretofore, codenamed The Blue Devil. However, last month, Chevrolet announced that it will be going into production, and it will be under the ZR1 moniker (non-hyphenated, as of now, unlike the early 90's version).
Here are some specs and some differentiations from the venerable 90's Monster Vette:
• The engine in the C6 ZR1 will be, like the early 90’s ZR-1, an all-aluminum mill. But, unlike the early 90’s model, it will remain a pushrod, overhead-valve design, as opposed to the ZR-1’s DOHC design
• The engine will displace 6.0 liters, be supercharged, and produce around 650 bhp
• The roof and A and B pillars (and probably the hood as well) will be made of carbon fiber, unlike the aluminum panels that make up the rest of the car. This is done, of course, to lower the total weight of the car and to lower its center of gravity.
• The projected price is $99,000. Steep, for me anyway, but there will be no other vehicle on the planet that is even nearly comparable in performance that is less than $60 grand more than the ZR1
• Also, according to spy shots, there appears to be a Plexiglas or Lexan or some other clear polycarbonate window in the hood. My guess would be that it serves purely to showcase the engine.
• The wheel and tire packages on the ZR1 will be massive. Larger even than the P325/30ZR19’s fitted to the current Z06.
• Current spy shots of the ZR1 show Carbon-Ceramic brake rotors, at least on the front. This suggests that they’ll also be available on the production version, but probably as an option. This marks a first for Carbon, Ceramic, or Carbon Ceramic brake rotors on a Corvette.
• The C6 ZR1 will most likely go on sale in late 2008 as a 2009 model, and it will probably have a production run continuing not much further than the 2011 model year.
And that’s about all I know now. I’ll update as conditions warrant.
Have a wonderful day, and a wonderful week, my friends.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
There are numerous sources confirming leaked information that the US is going to execute one of its long-admitted plans for a bombing campaign against Iran. There is no date apparent, but it would be of course before 09 Jan when Bush leaves office. Most sources, however, are reporting that the attacks would begin sometime between 07 October and 08 August.
More to come, developing.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
And i mean HOT. this hasn't even hit Drudge yet. the latest buzz has Bush et al. tapping Joe Lieberman to fill the AG position now that Gonzales has resigned.
when Lieberman takes the job, remember, you heard it here first!
(and if he doesn't...you didn't hear it from me)
Yes, my friends, you read that correctly. Alberto Gonzales, the heretofore Attorney General, has resigned.
In a related story, Lady Justice has been taken off of Suicide Watch.
Under orders from Der Eksekutive Branch, Gonzales has continually waged a campaign of destruction against the Constitution of the United States and the rights of Her citizens. There are numerous examples of this. I'll just list a few here, from the ACLU. I don't always agree with their politics, but, despite O'Reilly's proclamations from the mount, their fact-checking is first rate.
Quoted from the ACLU:
During his tenure as attorney general, Gonzales championed policies that eroded civil liberties protections, including:
1. Failure to investigate and prosecute criminal acts committed by civilians in the torture or abuse of detainees and repeatedly rebuffed congressional inquiries into the matter.
2. Failure to investigate and prosecute criminal acts and violations of laws as a result of the National Security Agency's warrantless spying program. Recent reports indicate that Gonzales may have recommended to the president that he block the Office of Professional Responsibility's investigation since he himself may have come under scrutiny.
3. Championing renewal of the Patriot Act despite serous civil liberties concerns from Republicans and Democrats alike. A recent audit by the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General found that the FBI underreported, misused and abused the National Security Letter authority. In fact, Gonzales and others at the DOJ had to send letters to Congress retracting previous testimony on the use of NSLs after the OIG report was published.
4. Failure to investigate possible perjury committed by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez before the Senate Armed Services Committee. A memo drafted by General Sanchez, who commanded the war in Iraq, laid out specific interrogation techniques including sleep management, the inducement of fear at two levels of severity, loud music and sensory agitation, and the use of canine units to exploit fear of dogs. During sworn testimony before Congress, General Sanchez flatly denied approving any such techniques.
5. Tried and failed to have his deputy White House counsel, Timothy Flanigan, confirmed as deputy attorney general. At the White House, Flanigan was one of a handful of administration lawyers responsible for opening the door to abusive interrogation and detention policies in the war on terrorism.
What a lovely man, no?
Sunday, August 26, 2007
did any of you know that Laurel has a web site? you're dang right it does, jimmy.
hey, i didn't necessarily say it was a good site. it's not bad though. has a few interesting things.
huzzah for Laurel entering the digital age.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Chip Pickering to retire from US H of R. he will leave office at the end of his term and will not be seeking re-election.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
how can such these empty things
and yet maintain,
such a convincing façade
for years on end
on toward and atop
this cross of stone
heart mended so
as to resemble a newly
but no heart
now the lingering thread
of that final slipknot
has presently been pulled
yarn curls down
and coils itself
at hoof level now
as a woman knits a crown
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Two German scientists claim to have coaxed photon packets to move across a 3 ft. distance at a rapid rate faster than the speed of light (186,000 miles per second.
This is fascinating for many, many reasons. One of which being that moving something at a speed faster than light is physically impossible, given Einstein's Theory Of Special Relativity.
However, it has long been known that Quantum Mechanics and Einstein's theories view the universe, and the laws governing it, in very different ways. Quantum Mechanic theories allow faster than light speed movement, though under specialized and indescribable conditions.
Regardless, this is amazing stuff.
You can read the rest of the story here.
Monday, August 13, 2007
AP BREAK AT 5 AM CDT
Karl Rove, the embattled cheif advisor to Presdent George W. Bush has announced that he will be resigning at the end of the month.
Monday, August 06, 2007
so i'm just posting it as is. this is the entire story....on with the show:
Man living in car since '00 upsets city
PITTSBURG, Kan. - Steve Graham might not be in the doghouse over a dispute with his wife, but as far as his neighbors are concerned, he's not far from it. For the past seven years, Graham, 55, has been living in his car parked in the backyard of a house he and his wife, La Donna Graham, own.
Graham said the two have "been having troubles" since 1999 and that he's been out of the house since about 2000. His wife still lives in the home.
"She's not going to support me not having a job and bumming around," Graham said. "I'm trying my best to get a job and get up out of this rut."
But his neighbors, who say Graham plays loud music, often spouts obsenity-laced tirades and uses his yard as a toilet, aren't amused. They have asked the city to prohibit such living arrangements.
"You can't enjoy your backyard," said Linda Sanders, whose backyard is across the alley from Graham's property.
Sanders and her family are among more than a dozen neighbors who presented the Pittsburg City Commission with a petition in July asking it to prohibit people from living in their cars on private property within city limits.
Kenny and Cathy Waring live in property adjoining Graham's, near a park and across the street from Lakeside Elementary School.
"Every day he's out there. He never goes into the house," Kenny Waring said. "He sleeps out there, he eats out there, he watches TV, he plays guitar. ... Everything that you do in your house, he does out there."
Graham acknowledged that he watches TV, listens to music and sometimes sleeps in his blue, 1989 Buick Century. The car is parked on a concrete slab, mostly covered by a large, blue tarp that is secured with bricks and cinder blocks.
An extension cord from the house to the car provides power for a 13-inch TV, an oscillating fan and a radio.
"I get better reception there than I do in there," he said, pointing at the house. "I listen to Rush (Limbaugh) every day, just about."
[^HAHAHAH!!! i don't know why, but i just find that particularly funny^]
The Warings said they tried at first to get along with Graham, but by the second year, they were calling the police on a regular basis. At first, they were the only neighbors upset by Graham's living arrangement, but now they say more neighbors with children are moving into the area.
The neighbors say one of their biggest complaints is that Graham may be using his yard for a toilet.
Sanders said when her son-in-law was back from Iraq in mid-June, Graham began to burn trash and other debris across the alley.
"I walked out there, and (the smell) was terrible," she said. "Then Ronnie came out the back door and said, 'It smells just like back in Baghdad.' He said he'd been on detail where they have to burn excrement and said that was exactly what it smells like."
Graham denied that he used the yard for a toilet.
"No, I go elsewhere," he said. "I don't expose myself to people."
To all the idiots and hypocrites: "Family Values" do not begin and end at hating abortion and stopping the gays from getting married.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
The story is titled, Freak Accident: Cop Shooting at Snake Kills 5-Year-Old Boy, and here is a link to the video.
First question, why is a cop shooting a snake in the first place? Was it a 100 ft long anaconda choking 14 people or something? This makes no sense to me. For the sake of discussion, let's assume that the cop had a legitmate reason to shoot it, and we'll go from there.
The boy who was killed was about 150 yards from the gun. He was standing on a dock, fishing. He was five, so he was what, about 3 feet tall? That's a nice round number. Now, we'll assume the cop was maybe 6ft maybe. That would put his gun firing from a height of no more than probably 5 feet, tops. So, let's do a little math. The gun was fired from 5 feet off of the ground; it hit a boy's head that was 3 feet off the ground. Actually, we'll throw in a little benifit of the doubt here. Let's say he was sitting, so 2 feet. That gives a 3 feet differential. With a little 9th grade trigonometry, we see that the gun was fired at…..ok….even sitting here with my Machinist’s Handbook, Revised 21st Edition, I can’t remember all the sine cosine crap. Let’s just say that he fired his shot at an angle just a little less than parallel to the ground. Why? If anyone knows even the slightest bit about gun safety, you know that a bullet can go well past your target, if you miss it especially, and hurt and/or kill someone hundreds of feet, even hundreds of yards, away.
Just as a “for instance”, my little box of little .22 Long Rifle rounds here has a warning that the round can hurt or kill someone up to 2 miles away. Me personally, I do my target shooting down at the pond. In the direction I face when I shoot, there is no occupied or populated area for about 4 miles or so. But still, I always make sure that my trajectory puts my bullet into the ground no more than 15 ft or so beyond my target.
For anyone to discharge a firearm almost straight ahead of himself is dangerous, even down at the pond. To do it in a populated area is completely insane. But for a cop to do it, someone who is supposedly super-duper trained in firearm use and safety, is an action that amounts to depraved indifference to human life. Such an action is also known as Murder In The Second Degree in most jurisdictions.
I really hope this guy is prosecuted.
And I really want to know why he was shooting at a snake in the first stinkin place.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Barry Bonds hit his 755th home run yesterday, tying the career home run record set at 755 by Hank Aaron. this means that Aaron will now be sharing his spot in the record books with Bonds and an asterisk.
...kill some time playing this little game that is crack-like in its addictive nature:
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
(...i'm not even going to try to pretend that i'll be doing this...or anything....regularly or in a scheduled manner)
everybody's goin crazy. i'm just cuttin in line.
Friday, July 27, 2007
odd things i've found on craigslist
This is the first entry:
I'm quoting now:
Will barter or trade stuff for car, like a Geo Metro, Suzuki Swift, or any car that can get 40 miles per gallon or better, like a VW Diesel (Jetta, Beetle or Passat). I have my head/heart set on breaking the 40mpg barrier. (I plan to install a bed in it, so I can have an affordable bedroom.)
What I have as of this posting date: Magnepan MG-I speakers ($300). Vulcan Wood lathe ($100). Fire Safe ($20). Heads, Intake Manifold, Carb, Water Pump, for a GMC/Chevy 305 ($99). "Hot VWs" magazines ($20). Antique dresser ($150). Engine stand ($40). Electric 50ft sewer snake ($350). "Rocky Boppers" ($15). Honda 250cc road bike, (Scout?). UPS Batteries ($10). Guardian Ware. Benchtop Drill Press. Collectibles? Other stuff. Cleaning out storage unit.
(in Australian accent) How ta speak San Franciscan: ^ = normal business proposal
Here’s a link to it.
The language, of course, is highly convoluted. But here’s what it boils down to. The Executive branch has now created and claimed the power to sieze the property of anyone who:
(i) to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of:
(A) threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq; or
(B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;
(ii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, such an act or acts of violence or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order...
So, if anyone speaks out against our occupation of Iraq, or even threatens to speak out against it, can have their land seized.
Does anyone believe me yet that we now live in a fascist state?
Back on June 4, I wrote a post under the title of Speaking Of Politics. The point I was making there was that, when a number of people are asked why they support President Bush invariably more than half answer with some form of "he's a man of God". You want to support and vote for Godly politicians? Awesome, go for it, more power to you. My problem is that i could find no evidence to support Bush's numerous assertions that he is indeed a "man of God".
So, I asked around. Friends, family, anyone I knew that supported Bush, at least in part, because he is a "Godly man", were asked to give me an example, one example to back up their belief.
I recieved zero responses.
(before I get into this, I would like to state, for the record, that I don’t really have a strong stance either for or against abortion. i don’t have a dog in this fight, as they say.)
Why does it seem that most of those who believe that life begins at conception don’t really seem to care about that life after its birth?
Let’s look at this for a moment, shall we?
The anti-abortion industry is a booming behemoth. Millions of dollars and thousands of hours are put into ad campaigns, sit-ins at clinics, chaining clinic doors shut, organizing marches, organizing and putting on conferences, etc.
There is enormous effort thrown behind the anti-abortion/pro-life movement by churches and individual religious people. All this money and time is spent to try to make abortions illegal. Or, in a more localized way, the effort goes to trying to drastically reduce the number and availability of abortions. Ultimately, then, the goal is to have the maximum number of children born at all times. But what about after they’re born?
I’m generalizing here, I know. But, as generalizations, they’re true.
• The PL’s don’t care about WIC
• They either don’t care or are against welfare, even for single moms
• They don’t care about the conditions of schools anywhere except the ones their kids are in.
• They don’t care about college loan rates going up and government grants going down.
• They don’t care about the many kids growing up in bad situations, with a mom who might’ve wanted an abortion.
• They don’t care that that kid exponentially more likely to:
o Do drugs
o Get pregnant
o Join a gang
o End up in jail
I know that what I just said isn't true for all pro-lifers. Many would probably chime in now and say that they really do care about the above issues. Fine, maybe they do. I can't know. But I can know that whether or not they care about the issues or not, they're not doing a thing about them. Better to buy more chain for the clinic doors I guess.
Just my 3 cents.
When you're being pragmatic, don't let anyone tell you you're cynical.
When you're being realistic, don't let anyone tell you you're jaded.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
tonight i've been thinking a lot about the current situation in Iraq; about my friends who are, or have been, deployed over there for multiple tours; about the American mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends deployed there who are performing (and being deployed) far above and beyond the call of duty, and are being mentally and physically destroyed; the Iraqi men, women and children who are also being mentally and physically destroyed; and, at a far, far less important level, the billions upon billions of dollars that our country is shelling out month after month, week after week, day after day.
i can grasp all of the arguments for and against "staying the course". most all of them have at least one or two valid point. i always become a little bit emotional when i'm sitting around reading, watching, and/or writing on the subject of Iraq. it's usually a smorgasbooard of many emotions. but for the past 36 hours or so, that has changed.
now i am just angry. not at anyone, just angry. and i don't have any answers on what to do. there are a million options, and it seems that, no matter which one is picked, it will simply be the lesser of the million evils.
i said all that, to get to this point and a very simple question that i want anyone who can, to answer.
the administration, over the years, has repeated the mantra that they are for "victory in Iraq" and the Democrats want defeat (which is, of course, nonsense. nobody in America wants to see more Americans wounded or injured, that's what a true "defeat" would be: a slaughter of Americans.
so, the Iraq thing is over when we 'win'. we'll withdraw troops when we achieve 'victory'.
therefore, i have a simple question. let me preface this by saying that i am asking this honestly, in hopes of getting a real answer. there is no sarcasm, no toungue-in-cheek, it's not a rhetorical question. and i don't want a general answer, a dictionary answer. i'm asking this in terms of right now in Iraq...
...What Is Victory?
i hope i get some responses.
thank you for your time...sweet dreams, all.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Prediction: Fred Thompson will be officially announcing his candidacy within 2 hrs.
posted 5:45pm CST
Friday, June 29, 2007
ok guys, i realize that this is going to sound like the setup for a good joke, but no, it's a real story. wait...let me rephrase that. the story here is true...but it could still be the setup for a good joke.
Al Gore's son, Al Gore III., was pulled over for speeding...in his Prius. the cop smelled weed, searched the car, and found a little marijuana and some pills including Valium, Xanax, Vicodin, Adderall and Soma.
here's the beginning of the story, and here's a link to it.
Al Gore's son busted for drugs in hybrid car
Wed Jul 4, 2007 10:22PM EDT
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The 24-year-old son of former Vice President Al Gore was arrested for drug possession on Wednesday after he was stopped for speeding in his hybrid Toyota Prius, a sheriff's official said.
Al Gore III -- whose father is a leading advocate of policies to fight global warming -- was driving his environmentally friendly car at about 100 miles per hour on a freeway south of Los Angeles when he was pulled over by an Orange County sheriff's deputy at about 2:15 a.m.
The deputy smelled marijuana and searched the car, said sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino. The search turned up a small amount of marijuana, along with prescription drugs including Valium, Xanax, Vicodin, Adderall and Soma. There were no prescriptions found, he said.
Gore was arrested on suspicion of drug possession and booked into the Inmate Reception Center in Santa Ana, about 34 miles south of Los Angeles, on $20,000 bail. Although he quickly identified himself as the son of the former vice president, Amormino said Gore received no special privileges.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
happy birthday, wherever you may be.
odd that this is one of only 5 or so birthdays of friends that are burned into my head.
This is a Press Relase from the POTUS Press Secretary trying to spin...I mean...clarify, yeah, clarify, the President's earlier remarks. Bush's statement that's being clarified is italicized:
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
Tue Jun 26 2007 11:57:55 ET
Earlier today, in speaking about comprehensive immigration reform, President Bush misspoke. He told a group, “You know, I’ve heard all the rhetoric – you’ve heard it, too – about how this is amnesty. Amnesty means that you’ve got to pay a price for having been here illegally, and this bill does that.” This has been construed as an assertion that comprehensive immigration reform legislation before the Senate offers amnesty to immigrants who came here illegally. That is the exact opposite of the president’s long-held and often-stated position.
(title edit due to factual error)
the meaning is in the being, in the doing, of the thing
not so much in seeking, seeing what that meaning be
the walk is long, and often cold, tis rare you're not alone
but the stepping reps, the feet in step, is an answer all its own
stop the trying and the crying just to make yourself insane
remember when, i told you then, your sadness makes the rain
when the wind it strengthens, structures weaken, therein lies the fault
of believing seeing something, is more real than is a thought
and if on your journey homeward, or if you just journey on
the light that guides, can also blind, and destroy house and home
Free Writing Partial Definition From Wikipedia
Automatic writing is the process, or product, of writing material that does not come from the conscious thoughts of the writer. The writer's hand forms the message, and the person is unaware of what will be written. It is sometimes done in a trance state. Other times the writer is aware (not in a trance) of their surroundings but not of the actions of their writing hand.