Friday, February 26, 2010

I'm still here. Not dead yet.

I realize I haven't made a new blog entry for quite some time, on this or my other couple of blogs that I have or contribute to. I don't know how many times I have started on something and then just faded out, staring and the computer screen in disgust. I don't like anything I am writing anymore, and it seems to be a very large effort to write anything not related to work right now.

I think a lot of my problem is the subject matter. Things are just getting more and more bizarre in this country. It's no longer fun or cathartic to even complain about the insanity. I may try to blog about something here in the near future. But it's pretty difficult right now. For those of you who keep coming back and looking for something, I do appreciate it. Keep with it. I'll find something to write about soon. Hopefully....

So, just to pass the time, here are some Daleks, for all you Dr. Who fans. EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Anti-tax lunatic sets fire to his house and crashes small plane into the IRS office in Austin.

I don’t understand why this isn’t a bigger story. Yes, it’s being covered in newspapers and blogs. Here’s the NYT link. But it’s all very low key coverage, no front page big splashes as far as I can tell. Why? To me, this seems like a huge deal. A deranged man who published an anti-government and anti-tax rant on the web mimics the 9/11 attackers, kills himself and apparently two other people, and the biggest story is that the White House isn’t calling this domestic terrorism?

Screw it, that’s EXACTLY what this is! Why cannot the press and Democrats, for that matter, ever call these lunatics out for what they are? If this had been a liberal mad at… I dunno, Fox News and crashed a plane into their building, wouldn’t it have been the story of the year so far? Why this infuriating reticence to call things what they are? Who would they be offending? Tea Party nuts who already think that President Obama is actively trying to destroy the country?

I think acts like this should get laid at the door of people like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. They are stoking the fires of anger and hatred, essentially telling everyone that, not only is it O.K. to be angry, but it’s O.K. to act our their violent daydreams. Just a glance at some of the right wing blogs and web sites show that many people on the right are hailing this lunatic as some sort of hero! A hero! For flying a goddamned airplane into a federal building! And yet, here is President Obama, rushing out a statement that they don’t believe this is a case of domestic terrorism.

Christ in a bottle... Here we have a fanatic who goes on a violent suicide mission that emulates the worst terrorist attack in the history of this country, killing two people in the process, and for what? To make a statement! If that isn’t a clear-cut case of domestic terrorism, I don’t know what it.

People are actually hailing a murderer as a hero. This country is on it’s way down, and it isn’t going to be pretty. My biggest concern now is that these nutjobs, who apparently really truly believe the insanity they are spouting, will gain control of the federal government through lawful means, i.e., elections. And then, they are going to go wild and do whatever they want, because that’s what a democracy means, right? The winner of an election, as long as you are a Republican or conservative, of course, can do anything they want.

This sounds so much like Germany prior to the Nazis taking power. Yeah, I know. Godwin’s Law, yadda, yadda. If you don’t know what that is, look it up in Wiki. I’m sorry, but this is what I am reminded of.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

You want to tell NBC exactly what you think of their crummy Olympic coverage?

Here's their feedback e-mail address.

Please be polite (meaning no cuss words, they won't even bother reading the rest). But tell them EXACTLY what you think.

NBC sucks.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Comcast blocks CTV's coverage of the Winter Olympics.

That's just great. NBC gives us really crappy coverage, but Comcast is going to make sure those of us near the Canadian border don't get to watch the Olympics on the Canadian network, which provides far superior coverage. Hell, on the west coast, NBC even refuses to show the Olympics in real time. Everything is delayed. So, even though Seattle is 100 miles or so from Vancouver and is obviously in the same time zone, we can hardly watch anything in real time. NBC must be allowed to package up the Olympics so that they appeal to NBC's ideal viewer. Lots of human interest, mostly all American, put all the high profile sports in prime time, even if that means delaying them for hours or even a day. It was not unusual for me to know exactly who won an event and probably even watched it on CBC before NBC ever got around to showing it.

THIS IS WHY THE COMCAST/NBC MERGER WOULD BE A HUGE MISTAKE! Media outlet providers, such as cable television or high speed internet providers, should NOT be allowed to own the content providers. This is such an obvious example of what will happen if the merger is allowed to proceed. NBC and its sister networks (MSNBC, CNBC, a few others) will be favored over the other networks and those other networks may find themselves blocked.

You don't think that would happen? I do. The avarice of U.S. corporations knows no bounds. They will do anything they can get away with in the chase for as much money as they can possible extract from the system.

I have just one question for Comcast and NBC. If NBC's coverage is so superior, so wonderful, as we are told every two years, then why are they both so threatened by the possibility of viewers going elsewhere? If NBC's coverage were that great, wouldn't we all watch the Olympics on NBC? We wouldn't need to go elsewhere.

UPDATE: Boy, am I pissed of at NBC. I knew the results of last night's short track speed skating at about 7:30, thanks to the "crawlers" on ESPN during a basketball game. But NBC didn't get around to showing it until almost 11:00 p.m. Does NBC really think that no one knows the results? Seattle is about 160 miles from Vancouver, and is in the same time zone, but can we watch the event live? No, of course not. And NBC obviously think we are hanging on every work out of Bob Costas and his guests in their sit down studio. Talk some, show some commercials, talk some more, show some more commercials, show Apolo Ono tying up his skates, show some more commercials, THEN show the race. God, NBC sucks. I hope they lose 100 million dollars.

UPDATE 2: I was in error here. The Canadian broadcast is on CTV, not CBC. And my cable doesn't carry CTV. So, I don't know exactly what was the newspaper story I saw where Comcast was blocking the Canadian broadcasts. But I still haven't changed my opinion of NBC's coverage. It sucks. NBC would rather show Bob Costas TALKING about sports rather than actually showing sports. Cripes. I will say that I do like the fact that the announcers for the ice skating events have toned it down. They aren't talking ALL THE DAMN TIME like the usual do. NBC would provide commentary to a symphony orchestra if they could.

UPDATE 3: I do like to watch curling. That's a pretty cool sport. Sort of chess and bowling on ice. And I think I am in love with the Japanese curling team....

Friday, February 12, 2010

A dryad?

At night, the trees sometimes come alive and dance...

From Things That Are Doing It.

"How's that hopey, changey stuff working out for ya?"

That’s what Sarah Palin said the other day to the big Tea Party convention in Nashville, the one that people had to pay about $550 to see her speak. She actually said that. Really. And, of course, she was also caught with scrawled crib notes on her hand. That video (I might try to find it later), where she is holding the microphone and trying to serrupticiously glance at her palm while speaking is hilarious. Third graders cheating on a test are more convincing. And this person is supposed to be considered as a “serious political figure.” After all, David Broder of the Washington Post likes her, he being the Dean of the Villagers.

Well, all I can say is that this country is further along its long decline into irrelevancy than I had imagined if this is the kind of stuff we can expect from our “leading political figures.”

God, I would love to see a debate between President Obama and Candidate Palin. That would be worth paying money to see.

But back to my central point. We have a leading political figure using made-up words that might embarrass your average self-aware 8th grader if he/she were to use them in a conversation. But even past that, the meaning behind this stupid sounding question is the depth of stupidity underneath it, as it discounts the fact that the Republican Party has decided to contest and obstruct every single thing that the Democrats try to do. They don’t want to offer alternative solutions to pressing problems. They don’t want to try to seek compromises. They don’t even want to try to govern effectively. They just want to try to embarrass and harass President Obama every step of the way, every single day. Yes, people who supported Obama, many passionately, during his candidacy and after he was elected, are very disappointed in a number of things. One big one is that he has not been able to, and at times, doesn’t appear to even want to attempt to force the Republicans into a corner or twist some arms. Many people are upset that he continually tries for that elusive “bipartisanship” that Republicans have made it abundantly clear that they have no intention, ever, of allowing. So, Ms. Palin, to answer your question, you are right. Some of that “hopey” and “changey” stuff is NOT working out so great, and it’s because of your stupid Republican Party and idiots like you who want to obstruct every single thing, even things that Republicans have historically been for.

Think on this for a second. Daily Kos points out that some of the loudest applause that Sarah Palin got from the tea party crowd was about seceding from the country. Ms. Palin’s famous First Dude of a husband, of course, is well known for his membership in a separatist party in Alaska. The tea party people want to “take their country back”, without ever really saying who they want to take it back from, and profess to love their country so much they would be willing to shed blood for it. Remember all those town hall meetings where these loons would bring their guns to places where Obama was speaking? And the signs that indicated that democracy needs to be watered with the blood of patriots? They love their country so much that around 50% of self-identified Republicans want to secede from the United States of America, just because they don’t like President Obama and the policies he is pushing. Imagine that! The President of the United States, who won a fair election by a rather wide margin, is actually trying to do things he believes in! To me, the desire to secede from the Union doesn’t sound like they love their country that much. In fact, it sounds like they hate it. And we are supposed to take these people seriously?

Luckily, recent polling shows that, the more that the American people learn about Sarah Palin, the more they believe she is not qualified to be president. From Talking Points Memo:

Sarah Palin has upped her national profile in recent weeks, but a new poll shows that the extra attention hasn't done her any favors. In the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, the amount of people with a favorable view of Palin has dropped to its lowest point ever recorded by the pollster. More than 70% of respondents said she's not qualified to be president.

Those numbers are somewhat comforting, although they leave me to wonder about the 30% that do still like Sarah Palin.

I have always had little patience for idiots. But what really rubs me the wrong way are smug, self-important idiots who are shown to be idiots, over and over, and it never phases them. It’s always someone else’s fault. Someone is always out to get them. They are never embarrassed, because they know they are superior, when in fact they are out and out idiots.

If Sarah Palin is a view into the future of this country, the entire world had better be very careful.

UPDATE: How could I leave out Death Panels?! Now, THAT is the mark of serious politician.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Self-identified Republicans prove they are nuts.

Markos ran a poll of “self identified Republicans” in order to actually have some hard data to back up what he has been saying. Here is a tabulation of some of the more interesting results.

Almost 40% of those self-identified Republicans think that President Obama should be impeached. It’s too bad that they weren’t asked why they thought this. Given what happened to President Clinton, “I do not like the current president” or “I did not vote for the current president” are apparently sufficient grounds for impeachment these days.

Over half of these people think that the 2008 presidential election was stolen. Half. By ACORN. A run-on-a-shoestring national advocacy group that helps minorities and disadvantaged people vote and get their voices heard in local politics. ACORN. Stole a national election. My God, the level of craziness in this is absolutely off the chart. You know, if I were a “self identified Republican”, I would think that they last thing I would want to be talking about is stolen elections.

Almost one quarter of the respondents believe that their state should secede from the union. Again, it would have been nice to ask their reasons behind this. They don’t like the current president? That’s the reason? That is what happened when Abraham Lincoln was elected and look what happened next. You would think people might have a few second thoughts about advocating something like this, yet there they are. It apparently doesn’t even matter that their preferred party might win the presidency back within three years. No, they want their state to secede, and they want it NOW. And the breakdown, which I saw in a different post, had the respondents in the old Confederacy states over 80%. The respondents in the northeast and west were slightly less insane on this question.

Only 33% of these respondents think that President Obama is more qualified to be president that is Sarah Palin. I just don’t even know what to say about that one.

In total, the results of this poll are very illustrative of why the two sides cannot have a substantive dialog about anything. We just have two very different realities. The two sides of this country are as far apart in how we view our reality as, say, the Israelis and Palestinians or maybe the Catholics and Protestants during the Irish “Troubles.”

I actually believe that there isn’t anything short of another World War or invasion from another planet that would pull the two sides together. Republicans and conservatives have decided that it is their duty to God and Country to vehemently oppose anything that President Obama and the Democrats are trying to do. Every single thing, even things that Republicans used to support (such as Pay As You Go, which requires Congress to cut spending by an equal amount to balance out any new spending proposals), they are now against, because their sworn enemy now supports it. This isn’t a policy. This isn’t even rational. This is pure craziness.

And thanks to Marcos, we now have poll results that prove it.

More unusual art: Breckinridge CO National Ice Sculpture Championship Part 2

See Part 1 of this series for part 1 of this series.... Obviously.

More unusual art: Breckinridge CO National Ice Sculpture Championship Part 1

Pretty amazing stuff, considering how much work these people are putting into their creations and yet they will be gone within hours of experiencing warm temperatures.