Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Trickle-Down Citizenship

Imagine this scenario: 

• Candidate Bob Ginkel runs for president saying, "All big business owners get a million dollars of taxpayer money every year! For nothing!"

• You, like millions of other Americans, work for a big business.

• The owner says to you, "You've gotta vote for Ginkel. And you've got to donate money to him too. Or I'm going to fire you."

• You've got kids to feed. A mortgage. Jobs are scarce.

• What are you going to do?

What are they going to do?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Paul Ryan's WWI Navy Comment [update]

Did you notice that Paul Ryan said during his debate with Vice President Biden last night that because of Obama's military-hatin' ways our navy is on its way to being smaller than it was during World War One? Based on the number of ships?

Does Paul Ryan know that one of our current navy ships—a submarine especially—could obliterate our entire WWI navy - along with the rest of the world's WWI navies, every last ship - without anyone ever even knowing what it was that had hit them?

Here's a really neat graphic that Congressman Ryan might appreciate, showing what you can find inside a modern submarine - and this is actually already an old one:

Is it too much to ask that this kind of stupid get called out by his own party? It really shouldn't be.

Update: Hey! The president reads my blog!
"You mentioned the navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military's changed," [Obama] said to laughter from the audience. 
"We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines," he continued. 
"So the question is not a game of Battleship where we're counting ships. It's: "What are our capabilities?"

Martu People Agree to Uranium Operation on Their Land

The crux:
ELIZABETH JACKSON: A controversial uranium mine will be established in the East Pilbara after the traditional Aboriginal owners signed an agreement with a Canadian mining company. 
DAVID WEBER: Environment groups have maintained strong opposition to uranium mining in WA.

[Martu Leader] Noel Whitehead says they should respect the decision of the Martu people.

NOEL WHITEHEAD: I say to those groups, come to the East Pilbara, sit down with Martu people and hear for themselves the views of the significant majority of Martu who've made the decision that they support this mine.

Martu are not stupid people, they understand it fully, they have made the decision with all of the information before them.
The Martu People. (Wiki.)

2 Retired Cops Shoot and Kill Own Sons 4 Months Apart [updt 2018]

Both times the cops mistook their sons for burglars:

• July 2012: Former New York Police Captain Mistakenly Shoots, Kills Son, after mistaking him for an intruder

• The other day: Retired Chicago cop fatally shoots son after mistaking him for burglar

Both involved legally-owned guns, and obviously very well trained gun owners.

Related: One hell of a list of stats from the The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence:
A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used in a completed or attempted suicide (11x), criminal assault or homicide (7x), or unintentional shooting death or injury (4x) than to be used in a self-defense shooting. (Kellermann, 1998, p. 263).
Updated, 2018:

More (father shoots and kills son mistaken for burglar, 2012).

More (father shoots and kills daughter mistaken for burglar, 2013).

More (father shoots and kills daughter mistaken for burglar, 2014).

More (mother shoots and kills daughter mistaken for burglar, 2015).

More (father shoots and kills son mistaken for burglar, 2016).

More (family member shoots and kills teen mistaken for burglar, 2017).

More (husband shoots and kill wife mistaken for burglar, 2017).

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Finding My Songs in YouTube Videos

I got a FaceBook message from a stranger today who wrote this:
Hey, Thom, I found your song Sigh on Muvio's podsafe music directory. I love the groove, and if you don't mind, I'd like to use it for the theme song to my independent music podcast. It's connected with Owldolatrous Press, linked here. I will happily give credit and a link to you.
For a washed-up never-has-been like myself - that's just nice.

That sent me looking on THE GOOGLE for another podcast that already uses a song of mine ("Inside Joke")—and I just found this, by the Tufu Guru. The first few seconds are weak, frankly, but this is a really well done video. And one heck of a theme song!

That actually looks like a good blog - or looks like it was: it's unfortunately been dead for more than a year. Oh well.

Someone else used it in a video of their kid. That's just funny. (Just confirmed that I saw this one years ago. Thought it looked a little familiar. Thanks, JeeklaFunk!)


Oh - found the podcast: Katye and Kyliemac. They closed up shop just a few months ago after many years and nearly 500 episodes. Well, done, K and Km, well done.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Vine and Tree, Blue Mountains

That's one fairly enormous vine, emerging from the ground in a fistlike bundle in front of the tree, climbing up and wrapping around the tree, continuing upward.

Taken at the Cathedral of Ferns, Mt. Wilson, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, 8 October 2012

Forgetting How Many Houses You Own...

...for most of us would be like forgetting how many arms we have:
The Thompson campaign was later forced to admit that a $1.3 million condo near Lake Wisconsin had completely slipped his mind.
Sometimes I think we all need a reminder of what the word "representative" means. Or could mean.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Christine and I will be incommunicado as of alright-already!-o'clock this morning (afternoon?) until Monday-o'clock evening.

For those of you not into big words: "incommunicado" means that during this period we will be communing with our inner avocados. I will say no more.

We're going to a cabin d'amour in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney to celebrate our 10th anniversary of still being married. So stay away, nosies.

Peace and Love, T&C

Note to self: Do NOT forget avocados.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy Ten Year Anniversary to Us

Ten Years Ago Today

We put on funny clothes and laughed

And held hands

And smiled in each others' eyes.

Blanchie the Blue Heeler said "Arf!" very importantly

And we were married.

Happy anniversary, my friend, Christine.

Thank you, I love you, thank you.

T. Little Hammercans the Romney-Obama Debate

Obama: Well I think the proper role of government is...  
Romney: A giraffe is a breed of insect. Specifically a type of walking stick, in the genus Quazicalidocious.  
Obama: What the...?  
This has been "T. Little Hammercans the Romney-Obama Debate."

Editors Note: I have know idea what "hammercans" means. I'm hoping I find out soon.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

UN Dispatch: Turkey Launches Airstrikes in Syria [updates]

 UN Dispatch:
Reuters is reporting that the Turkish military has carried out air strikes inside Syria. Those attacks come in response to mortar fire from Syria over the border in Turkey that killed at least five people, today including a woman and her three children. 
This is a very crucial moment for the potential internationalization the Syria conflict. 
The conflict in Syria has been a grave matter for Turkey for the past several months. Refugees are pouring over the border at a rapid clip, and Turkey has previously warned that it can no longer handle the influx. In the meantime, about Turkish schools [sic] near the border have been shut down the border and residents in Turkey’s border towns are increasingly anxious of the conflict spilling over.
The Reuters link:

Update 1: USA Today:
Wednesday, Turkey struck back. According to the Turkish prime minister's office, Turkish artillery fired on Syrian targets after deadly shelling from the Syrian side hit a Turkish border, killing five people. 
"Our armed forces at the border region responded to this atrocious attack with artillery fire on points in Syria that were detected with radar, in line with the rules of engagement," the Turkish government said in a statement.
Update 2: Russia Today:

Related to the video here.

Chevron Tries to Get Blogger's Google (Email?) Info

Still digesting this:
Last week, while I was participating in a conference, I received an email from Google with a puzzling subject line: “Subpoena Notice from Google (Internal Ref. No. 257121).” I opened the email, assuming that it was some kind of sophisticated phishing attempt. It wasn’t. It was Google informing me — more than a little cryptically — that Chevron had subpoenaed my account information and that it intended to comply unless I filed a motion to quash. [...] 
My first reaction was shock. As regular readers know, I have often criticized Chevron’s actions in Ecuador. But I could not imagine why Chevron was subpoenaing my private information; the sum total of my interaction with Steven Donziger, the Ecuadorian plaintiffs’ lead attorney and the defendant in Chevron’s lawsuit, consisted of two emails, neither of which contained anything substantive. What did Chevron think I had that would help them? Or were they simply trying to intimidate me? 
My second reaction was anger.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

TPM: "As a biracial man..."

Must read letter to TPM. Excerpt:
All this makes me wonder what white people in America, especially the ones who will be voting this year, are really thinking when they listen to me speak. It makes me livid. And it makes me lonely.

News Anchor Jennifer Livingston Kicks the World's Ass


Please watch it all. This really took guts.

Excerpt: "If you're at home, and talking about the fat news lady, guess what: your children are probably going to go to school and cal someone fat."


Just beautful. Thank you, Jennifer Livingston.

Shorter George Will: "Those ni**ers and their ni**er-lover friends keep playing the race card!"

This has been shorter George Will.

Update: George Will is a spoke in a wheel.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Romney "Smashes" Obama In First Debate

WASHINGTON - U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney arrived back from the future today and announced that he had won his first debate against Barack Obama - scheduled for this Wednesday - in what he said the press called "smashing" fashion.

"It was the zingers," Romney said. "I totally zinged him."

He added that he might not even go to Wednesday debate, since he had already won so decisively.