06 January 2012

When I'm on a roll.......

Yes, back again.
Man, when I get all wound up, I don't seem to stop. Well, the Energizer Bunny has no worries, I won't keep this up much longer. I'll run out of steam soon enough. Until then, here are some other things I found out and about on the old net.

A big hat tip to a good friend and frequent commenter at the corner. Thanks John. 
From the latest that he posted at his site; http://robinlea.com/wordpress comes the news that  the folks over at the five sided puzzle palace (the Pentagon) are seriously set to cut military retirement AND health care benefits for the military. Oh, but before you "cheer" any serious military cut backs, they will not stop buying more high tech weapons. No sir, got to have more and fancier toys for those generals to command all over the globe.
Now this just figures doesn't it. Cut retirement and health care for the troops. Get forced to enlist in the military as there are very few jobs available, go off to some damn fool war of choice, get wounded and now, your health care will be drastically reduced if not eliminated totally. How is this going to aid in getting more fresh recruits? Or, is this just part of the plan to further "privatize" the military and the wars? Maybe that is what the intent is, get more "contractors" actually mercenaries, to fight the wars. While the cost per mercenary is higher than for regular troops, the government will not be on the hook for their medical care. That will be up to the companies that provide said mercenaries. Or, better yet, the outfits who supply these hired guns might just claim that these gunslingers are individual, private contractors themselves and are therefore responsible for their own medical bills. Boy, the hired guns had best start getting a savings policy started so there might be some funds in the bank or under the old mattress in case they are wounded. 
How does cutting the retirement and health care for the military support the troops? This idiot government of ours keeps telling us all that we must "support the troops" and they go and do something like this. No doubt our "support" for the troops might even extend to paying the cost of their health care now. Maybe the families of the troops will now get the medical bills for their sons and daughters who are injured while in military service. This way, the government could really save as they will no longer have to provide decent hospitals and long term care and the VA can be cut way back also. The only health care the military may then provide is just the front line medics/corpsmen and possibly some sort of triage hospital. Any care needed beyond that will be billed to the troops and/or their  families. Yes sir, cost savings that can then be used to buy ever more high tech weapons/weapon systems.
No doubt the congress totally approves of this cost cutting method. Support the troops? Not so much.

Well, 2012 sure has got a fast start. So much outrage that even old, broken me has so much to rant about. And today is only the 6th of January. If the rest of the year is like this, I'll be totally wore out before the election in November, assuming we get one.

Another story  has the elephant gang up in arms over an "unprecedented" power grab by Gobomber (aka Mr. Hopey/Changey).  You see, he made a recess appointment of a certain Mr. Cordray to head the Consumer  Financial Protection Bureau. The claim is that congress, or at least the Senate, WAS still in session. From the bit on the Daily Show that they were in session is up for debate. Still, it is a bit odd that they are angry that Gobomber finally made an appointment to that job  that congress created two years ago. Actually, by finally getting the top spot in the CFPB in just two years is fast by the D.C. standards.  How many jobs that were vacant when Gobomber took office are still open? I have no idea, but I am certain that more than a few are still open. Well, getting that "piece prize" and fighting all them that wars be hard work ya know. 

A couple of other items caught my attention, if only briefly. Old McCrazy is really starting to show some early signs of senility. While he was giving a speech to endorse Mittens, he said that Gobomber would turn the country around. One of the handlers had to tell him more than once that he was supposed to say Mittens would turn the country around. Getting old is not for the faint hearted folks. 
The other item was where the folks at  Freddie Mac said they do not care at all if Newt tells us about the terms of the contract he had with that outfit. Seems that Newt was asked about the contract and he had said he could not discuss it, the folks at Freddie Mac didn't want that made public. Poor Newt, caught in his own mess, again. Any bets that he is working on another mistress to replace wife number three yet? Yes, I know that was rude, mean, etc of me. Oh well, he earned it. Dump you wife as she is recovering from cancer and I'll rip you also. Talk about bad timing, or was it just that he is a pure mean spirited jackass? 

America, what a country
semper fi

05 January 2012

A funny thing happened on the way to the caucus.

Well, the first "test" of the 2012 election year is now history. The Iowa caucus is over. As of this morning, 3 January, 2012, it looks like Mittens came out on top with the nutty Santorum a very close second. From the early reports, Mittens won by eight, yes 8, votes. Talk about your close calls. Ron PAul came in third. The "surprise" is Newt. From what I can gather, old Newt finished a rather distant fourth. Yes, he came in 4th.
Why is that a topic here? Well, it seems that Newt is the first "victim" of the nasty bit of judicial ruling, aka, Citizens United. You remember that one, the decision by the Supreme Court that allows for corporations to stoke the election campaigns with unlimited monies and they do not have to report how much they give or who the give it to.
The "super PAC" that supports old Mittens pumped tons of money into the campaign leading up to the Iowa caucus this week. In short, Mitt and his supporters way out spent Newt and every other candidate. My irony meter may not be operating 100%, but to me it is rather amusing that the first politician to "suffer" from that court ruling would not just be a member of the elephant gang, but in fact, one of the biggest members. That Newt is that "victim" has a very nice ring to it for my opinion. Imagine, Newt falling "victim" to a nasty bit of legal opinion that had been pushed by the elephant gang and clowns just like Newt. I would not be at all surprised to find out that Newt himself was behind that move and no doubt he cheered the ruling. Poor little feller, he should have learned long ago to be careful what he wishes for.
Yes, there is a rather delicious flavor to Newt being done in by a right wing bit of garbage.
The unfortunate thing is that some very worthy people will also be done in by that court ruling. This is just the start of the election cycle. No doubt the super PAC that helped Mitt to his "win" will be out to shoot down other candidates and when we get to the general  election this fall, expect more of these super PAC's to be out in force buying the election.
America, what a country.
semper fi.

p.s. Hold the presses! I just checked at Think Progress and they have a report that claims that the nut, Santorum, actually won in Iowa. The claim is that a typo gave Mitt 20 extra votes. Well, no matter, the money did help Newt to end up fourth any way. I did not care who "won" the Iowa caucus. As you know if you stop by here very often, I have no use for either wing of the war/greed party. I support neither the donkey nor the elephant gang. 

03 January 2012


Back again.
I have added another link on the old corner. It is one I should have added long ago, but I'm old, disabled, and lazy. Some days, all at the same time. The old part is more or less constant. Can't seem to escape that, but none of us seem to do it. The disabled part is a constant that I'd be happy to be rid of. If only it were a tradable commodity. The lazy is the part that comes and goes. I hope to get it to go more in the future.
The link is for an excellent site and monthly report by Mr. William Blum. Many of you probably already stop by his site and/or subscribe to his excellent Anti Empire Report. If you have not visited his site please do and sign up for the report while you are there. So far I have not found much to disagree with him on anything he has written in his reports. You might even want to buy  a book he has written. Highly recommended by me.

This caught my attention today as I surfed the old net. There are two companion bills floating through the congress now. They are; HR3166 and S1698. These vile pieces of bovine excrement would allow dear leader and/or the "appropriate authorities" to strip the nationality (citizenship) from anybody caught "engaging in or supporting hostilities against the US. That includes US nationals would lose their US citizenship if they are found to be doing such things. YES, a natural citizen, that is born here in the US of A, would lose his/her citizenship if he/she is deemed to have engaged in or supported hostilities against the USA. This then makes it SO much easier to be sent off for indefinite detention in some dank, dark hole of a prison. And here I was thinking that after the vile crap of the recently signed NDAA, things had hit bottom. Well, it looks like the government is doing what I have done at times when I have been depressed. When they hit bottom, they grab a damn shovel and start digging to see how much deeper they can get. 
It never fails. Every time I think we have seen the absolute worst that this government can do, they come along and stoop even lower. Folks, there is NO depth to which they will not stoop.

A personal not; it has been with extreme care that I have kept my language on the polite side for this post. My brain is screaming the most vile obscenities at this sack of garbage that is being passed off as |"legislation". Mind you, these bills are just now in committee and have not even been voted on by either house. Of course, we have seen this sort of garbage get voted on and passed, then signed into law before, so we need to keep a close eye on these bills. 
America, what a country.
semper fi

02 January 2012

Happy, we all hope, New Year

Greetings good people. 
I hope that the New Year is a better one than last year for all of us. Yes, we will be hearing way more than we ever care to hear on the Mayan "apocalypse" and the end of the world coming to a location near you on December 21/22  of 2012. Oh joy. Well, fear not my friends, according to some really smart folks, scientists even, the "galactic alignment" that will be a major factor in this coming "end of the world" scenario is exactly what we just went through 12 days ago. Yes, you see, according to astronomers, every year at the winter solstice the earth is in alignment with the galactic center. The same alignment will occur on December 21/22 of this new year(2012) just as it was so aligned this past December 21/22 and has done so since , well damn near forever, at least since the earth formed and started its near endless journey around our sun. No doubt there are those who will shoot down any explanation I may offer to "debunk" the "end of the world" scenario they are pushing. Well, if you can put away any conspiracy theories, just go over to the NASA web site and search 2012. Yes, I know, it is a government web site. They still give you the truth about the solar system as far as I am concerned. I trust that the science there is honest and not any part of a conspiracy. You see, some agencies of the government DO tell the honest truth. 
For those who have a problem with any government web sites, so be it. Try one of the observatory web sites of maybe some science museum web site and check what they have to say regards 2012 and the Mayan calendar. Basically, there will be no "world ending" event heading our way, no "mystery" planet entering earth orbit to destroy us all. IF, and it is a very, very big if, there were some "rogue" planet that was going to impact earth this coming December, many astronomers would have seen evidence of it by now. In fact there would have been evidence of it quite some time ago. No way would any group or government be able to silence every astronomer IF such a planet existed. If you still think that the mysterious Niburu is headed our way, well, so be it. Enjoy your ideas, but I don't buy it. 

On a "lighter" note, we have just under 12 months left until the campaign for president in 2016 begins. WAIT!!  Hold ON you say, what about the 2012 election? It has not happened yet. Yes, I am totally aware of that. Way too aware in fact. On some web sites and TV channels it is about all they talk about. I just figured since the candidates for president seem to start their campaigns the day after, if not the very day of, the current election. Look for the folks who will be running in 2016 to come out in early November of this year. Sorry to be the one to bring up this bad news, but it sure seems like we here in the US are in a basically unending election cycle. As more than one observer of the current campaign put it, Mitt has been running since 2008, if not longer. Ah yes, what money can buy for you. Not for me, probably not for most of you good folks who stop by this old corner either, but if one is rich.  Yes, if one is rich, then the "world is your oyster" seems fairly accurate. 
Well, we are at the start of another year, many things await us. New laws and of course new challenges, and more than a few old ones carried over from 2011. An example of a new law; Indiana has proposed a new law that would punish those who "sing the national anthem" inappropriately.  If this becomes law, woe unto those who mess up while singing the "Star Spangled Banner". If you do make a mistake singing that song, you would be fined $25.00.  Schools would be required to keep recordings of each performance for two years. Wow, they take that song seriously in Indiana. Or, do they? Really? How will they judge if the mistake was an honest one? How do you decide? True, it may be easy to point out a blatant butchering of the song, but being nervous singing to a large group, say a full sports stadium, and flubbing a word or line should not be punished. Maybe they will only allow "professional" singers with a long track record of singing the national anthem to sing it at large public events.
Pop quiz, (The first ever on the old corner) How many know the second and third verses of the "Star Spangled Banner"? OK, I will be the first to admit I do NOT know them. Does that mean I am in violation of the Indiana law?  I wonder how many law makers at any level of government know all three verses. Bets that you can count them on one hand and have a few fingers left over. But that just may be me, being sarcastic again. Yeah, I'll buy that.

I'll be totally upfront and honest with you all. I do not do prognostications. No, what I think will happen in the US and/or the world. I am not now, nor ever was or wanted to be, any sort of prophet.  I have no great insight into what may happen. In fact, I cannot even predict whether or not I'll make it out of bed tomorrow. At least not with 100% accuracy. Also, most every site on the net has done or is doing their predictions for 2012. Yes, that includes many who are pushing the Mayan "end of the world" deal.
What I hope happens is, that OWS and the occupy movement continues and grows stronger. I hope that more and more people wake up to the crap the government and both wings of the war/greed party are pushing. Yes, that is the "new" and "improved" name for the donkey and elephant gangs; the war/greed party, of which the two animal gangs are just the two wings of.
I have decided to add the greed part to the description of the war party. Maybe this year will see the rise of a truly independent third party. True, it may be almost too late now for such a party to have much of a real chance at winning. Still, as far as I am aware, it is still legal to dream/hope in the US of A. I did not see anything about dreams/hope in the miserable NDAA that Gobomber just recently signed. 
Which brings me to the first real rant of 2012. The above "rant" on the Mayan apocalypse does not count as a "real" rant, just my opinion. 
An excellent report on 2011 is over at EFF web site. The following is well worth your time; www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/12/2011-review-year-secrecy-jumped-shark. Among the outrageous items listed in their review, one really caught my attention. It is disgusting and at the same time absurd, almost what I would expect from Monty Python or maybe Catch 22. I refer you to the following; "President Obama accepts a transparency award.......behind closed doors. And some of you good people think the government is getting(?) too secret? Naw, no way that Gobomber is "obsessed" with secrecy. Not much, when he only accepts a "transparency" award behind closed doors. As others before me have said, you can't make this stuff up.  I believe it was Will Rogers, I may be wrong, who said he didn't have to write his material, all he had to do was read the newspapers. I think Mort Sahl may have said either that or something quite close to it. Not that I am in their class, no way, they were masters, I'm still working towards my journeyman status. One last item from this list; The government attorneys insisted in court they CAN censor a book which was already published and available for free on the internet! Yes, the list has many such outrageous items on it. Well with the time to check it out. You will not be happy, but you will have a better idea of where the government is headed. This will not get better this year. In fact, here goes a "prediction" form me, it will get worse. No great "prophecy" that, as you all can see that the government is getting much more secret every day.
Back to that vile piece of legislation; the National Defense Authorization Act that Gobomber recently signed. As you are aware, he issued a "signing statement" as/after he signed the damn thing. He made noises about how he would not detain an American citizen captured on US soil without a trial. Oh? Really? Well, even IF, another of those very, very big if's, He may well decide to actually DO allow a US citizen captured on US soil to have an actual trial and not just be sent indefinitely to Gitmo. What, if anything, would stop the next president, the one who gets elected in 2016, from just tossing Gobomber's signing statement in the trash bin? Answer, not one damn thing. Nope, nothing about ANY presidential signing statement is binding on the next person to hold that office. In fact, there is nothing binding on Gobomber himself to abide by his own signing statement. Yeah, he can just "forget" this signing statement any time he feels like it and "no harm, no foul" and we all get screwed, again. 

Now some folks may say that I am ungrateful to Gobomber for his signing statement. Well, they just could be right. He said he would not allow for the indefinite detention of a US citizen without a trial. OK, fine, as far as it goes. But, and it is a kind of big but, he DID kill a US citizen AND his 16 year old son. Neither of them got any trial, not even the kangaroo/faux military tribunal like they run at Gitmo. Nope, Mr. Anwar al-Awlaki and his son were killed simply because Gobomber (and probably his close advisors) thought that Mr. al-Awlaki was some sort of terrorist. Now, how "secure" do you feel with his signing statement?  Yeah, I thought so. Me too.When that drone flies over me and fires a missile of some other weapon, hey, no problem. But, he won't detain me indefinitely without a trial. And.............if he doesn't want to waste all that time on so many trials, well......easy solution, just kill off any suspected terrorist/terrorist sympathizers. See, it is so simple even a president can figure it out. Yes sir, ain't 'Merikkka just grand?

For some extra insight into the minds(?) of senior US military types, I highly recommend an article at the Counterpunch web site, the weekend edition of Dec 30-Jan 1. Here is the link;
www.counterpunch.org/2011/12/30/cross-border-incident/. The author Brian Cloughley is a former military officer. He knows Pakistan and its military very well and he has a wealth of information and knowledge on the country, its military, and that general area of the world. I have read all of his articles that have been posted on the Counterpunch web site since about 2004. I count him as a friend and an excellent source of information.  Brian writes about the "incident" where the US/NATO attacked a Pakistan Army outpost on the border of Pakistan/Afghanistan and killed 24 Pakistani troops. Odd that this happened as the US military has the exact location of EVERY Pakistani border outpost. Read Brian's excellent article and find out more on the minds(?) of some US military officers and one particular US general. The stupid, it hurts. Sorry, that just needed to come out. I am not sure if it is stupidity, hubris, arrogance, or what that some US military officers think, or even IF they think at all. Brain shows one for what he really is.

A further comment on the current election/campaign. I ran across a quote that I must pass along. Somebody was describing Newt Gingrich and came up with this; "Newt is a dumb person's idea of what a smart person sounds like". I forget who said that, but it captures the "essence" of Newt quite well. Hmmm......essence of Newt, eye of toad, pinch of Mittens, dash of Bachmann, slice of Perry, tea spoon of Santorum, dusting of Paul? Yep, sounds like a "devils brew" to me.If I missed any of them, well, tough beans and hard cheese. I find it quite difficult to take any of them very seriously. Although, even Glen Greenwald has some kind words to say about Dr. Ron Paul. Having read his article on the Dr. I have to agree with Mr. Greenwald here. Ron Paul IS talking about things that NEED to be brought into this campaign. No, I will not vote for him though. He holds too many views that run counter to my way of thinking. No, I will not vote for Gobomber, nor did I vote for either war/greed party candidate in 2008. The LAST time any candidate from either wing of the war/greed party got my vote was in 1980. I voted for Carter. Dad was very much against "saint" Ronnie. He had been a disaster as the governor of California and Dad did not want him as our president. Unfortunately, Dad died the Saturday after "saint" Ronnie won that election. For years we used to say that Reagan killed Dad.

I am going to end this rant with another quote. This is for all of us to consider as we support, however we can, the occupy movement. It is by James Baldwin and I think it applies to all who are working to make this a better world for everybody. 
"People don't have any mercy. They tear you limb from limb in the name of love. Then, when they've killed you by what they made you go through, they say you didn't have any character. They weep big, bitter tears---not for you. For themselves, because they've lost their toy."
Something to think about.
semper fi