29 October 2011

Gee. He's not a Republican after all

The Pope that is.

This from NPR:

Those who read the pope's 2009 encyclical "Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth)" will not be surprised by this new document. In that encyclical, the pope decried "corruption and illegality" among economic and political elites in both rich and poor countries. He told financiers they must rediscover the ethical foundation of their activity and stop abusing savers. He wants a radical rethinking of economics so that it is guided not simply by profits but by "an ethics which is people-centered."

Benedict notes that economic "inequalities are on the increase" across the globe. He does not accept the trickle-down theory, which says that all boats will rise with the economic tide. Benedict condemns the "scandal of glaring inequalities" and sees a role for government in the redistribution of wealth.

Katherine Jean Lopez is NOT pleased.

I, on the other hand...


Labels: , ,

Those wonderful folks who helped break our economy

This time let's focus on one of the "foreclosure mills" that selflessly works to kick people out of their homes, the Steven J. Baum law firm.

Yes. I know. Attacking lawyers is too easy and I should be ashamed of myself.

And I would be if I hadn't read this little column by Joe Nocera about the firm's Halloween costume party. The one where they made fun of the folks they were foreclosing on.

I don't know who Steven J. Baum is, but I'm sure he is very proud to have his name attached to it. Or he would be, if a spokesman for the firm hadn't denied that it ever happened.

Now about those pictures....

UPDATE: After I posted this TPM ran a story, or rather reposted Nocera's story. You should look at it for the reader's comments. Here's a few for your entertainment.

I'm not shocked easily anymore but this took my breath away. The most uncivilized behavior I've seen by supposedly educated and successful people. I pity them for having to live with that kind of darkness in their hearts.

I am (nearly) speechless. In my time as a labor organizer, I have seen too many detestable companies, some familiar household brands, do too many despicable things, up to and including murder. This is the first time I have heard of such crass and amoral celebration of misery. Not only are the decision makers/profit takers making light of our national shame, but the workers/wage earners, who you can bet are one or two paychecks from being in the same predicament are reveling in it as well.

I just sold my house at a loss. I lost all my assets. The bank, my realtor and my lawyer all made a nice little packet off me, though. Maybe they'll throw a party with the proceeds.

Somehow, I doubt I'll be invited.

Some people have no sense of humor.


Labels: , , ,

24 October 2011

Rubio: of course, I could have been wrong

Carmen tells me it has happened before. But I don't remember it.

Sort of like Marc Rubio not remembering, or maybe never knowing, when his parents left Cuba. But, as Carmen, and many others have helpfully pointed out, every Cuban knows the day he left Cuba. And as I can personally report, having heard it a number of times, if two Cuban-Americans meet, one of the first things they ask is "When did you leave?" No explanation needed.

I've never heard any one say in response, "uh, I don't remember" or "gee, my folks never really said."

So maybe I was too easy on the guy. Now even Andrew Sullivan is thinking the same.

I was just trying to hide my true commie, hippie, Leftie, fascist nature. I won't do it again.


Labels: , , ,

OMG! They'er fighting ....

.... well, like cats and dogs.

except cats and dogs are smarter, more honest and a lot cuter.

Labels: , ,

The Newt

I know some smart people.

Smart people are friends of mine.

You sir, are no smart person.

So why do so many "smart" commentators think this over fried clown is the idea man of the Republican party.

oh. you mean in comparison.

Labels: , , ,

Warrants?! We don' need no stinkin' warrants!

At least not if you are ICE. And are dealing with Mexican looking folk.

So here is a question for you. Where are the folks who prate that they just want to go back to the Constitution?

This one, I mean.

Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Now here, 'people' clearly means American citizens, and certainly, white, non-Mexican looking American citizens.

I mean really, that was understood back in Pat Buchanan's day.

Labels: , , , ,

Bonkers over (White) America

I think that Pat Buchanan is working to become a caricature of himself. And after his Hitler-friendly last book had taken it about as far as it would go. I admit it. I was wrong.

Read a few snippets from his latest volume in which, among other thing, he laments the fall from power of the great white race which in his mind is synonymous with 'Americans."

For those few of you in our family, he is lamenting the appearance of, among others, our beloved sister-in-law, our niece and nephew, my little friend Miggs, our cousin in Colorado's family and ... well, just keep filling in the blanks.

Remember the good old days when this paleo-clown was considered too extreme and distasteful for the Republican party? Oh c'mon. It was not that long ago.

although I admit, I've often thought certain family characteristics spelled the doom of Western Civilization as we have known it.

Labels: , ,

22 October 2011

More on Rubio

Over at the Frum Forum the crowd is having a minor meltdown over a Frum post chastising some on the Right for defending Rubio's 'exaggeration.' Some are seeking to claim that Rubio's parents are real exiles because they somehow 'sensed' that things were going to go bad - at a time when Fidel was still hanging around cheap cafeteria's in Mexico City writing his latest manifestos (please see small print).

So far, my favorite comment is this from Watusie:
But what the WaPo has revealed is that he is not the son of exiles; he is an anchor baby for economic migrants.
Which as far as I can tell is literally true.

But of course there are Hispanics, and then there are Hispanics. Get to land as a Cuban and you are welcomed with open arms. Get to land as a Mexican - and you are forever an illegal who should be sent back with your children. A curious dichotomy.

NOTE: I ate at one of the cafeteria's famous as a Castro hangout. He used to pen his famous 'manifestos' there. By an odd coincidence Carmen's godmother and her husband were couriers for Castro. The godmother had the typescript of one of el maximo lider's manifestos with corrections in his own hand. Small world.

Labels: , , ,

About Marc Rubio

I don't like the guy, wouldn't vote for him under any circumstances that I can realistically imagine, and, as Carmen tells me, "All Cubans know the date they left Cuba."

But Andrew Sullivan provides some perspective as he often does on his slip-up about being a refugee from Castro.

No, he wasn't. And he played artfully around the truth for political ooomph in south Somewhere. But he had said publicly on a number of occasions that his family came out of Cuba before the "Revolution."

In other words, not quite the lying bastard I would like to make him out to be. It may be a lot of huffing and puffing about little.

Oh well. It's only a matter of time. And he was both silly and dishonest in his reaction to the death of Qadaffi in not mentioning the role of American forces and the prez.

Labels: , ,

Hooray for our Troops

For lots of reasons, not least for doing a nasty dangerous job in a nasty dangerous place (just ask the Macedonians, or the British, or the Sassanians or the Indians or...). And for doing it while most of us sit in comfort with full tummies in front of our entertainment devices and refuse to even notice that you are out there.

And, of course, for this.

can I have a falafel with that?

Labels: , , ,

21 October 2011

The Republican Candidate Speaks

Andrew Sullivan's quote for the day:
"Muammer Qaddafi, the dictator of Libya, declared that 'we'd be content and happy if Obama can stay president forever.' Such lavish praise...tells you much of what [Obama's] approach to foreign policy is and the audience to which he is playing," - Mitt Romney, in his book No Apology.

Probably explains why some Republicans couldn't bring themselves to mention the US, either our troops or our prez, when commenting on the dictator's sudden exit from office.

Marc Rubio, from that state down there, was particularly silly.

about whom more in a moment.

Labels: , ,

20 October 2011

The allure of immigrant labor

I have been pointing this out to people for some time. When you hire immigrants, legal or illegal, you get hard working adults, many of whom are trying to raise a family. They work under conditions and for less pay than the same kind of folks from America will work for.

Now that Alabama is determined to fill all of its agricultural jobs with citizens and legal immigrants, some farmers are discovering this.
Potato farmer Keith Smith saw most of his immigrant workers leave after Alabama's tough immigration law took effect, so he hired Americans. It hasn't worked out: Most show up late, work slower than seasoned farm hands and are ready to call it a day after lunch or by midafternoon. Some quit after a single day.

And from Georgia, which passed similar laws?
In south Georgia, Connie Horner has heard just about every reason unemployed Americans don't want to work on her blueberry farm. It's hot, the hours are long, the pay isn't enough and it's just plain hard.

"You can't find legal workers," Horner said. "Basically they last a day or two, literally."

I heard this over the years from other small businesses. Of course, one solution would be pay higher wages. But that seems to be anathema to all concerned, including the politicians who are determined to clean up the illegal alien mess.

be careful what you wish for.

Labels: , ,

Two interesting news bits I heard today.

1. Muammar Ghadaffi was dead.

2. Beer helps prevent osteoporosis.

I think you can see the next line coming.


He could have been president

...but, alas.

I especially like the 'ranch.'

Labels: ,

It's not about race

The new South Carolina voter ID laws.

Labels: , ,

19 October 2011

Tea Party Jobs Plan

Let there be none.

Proposed oath for small businesses from Tea Party Nation:

I, an American small business owner, part of the class that produces the vast majority of real, wealth producing jobs in this country, hereby resolve that I will not hire a single person until this war against business and my country is stopped.

I hereby declare that my job creation potential is now ceased.

"I'm on strike!"

It's about nothing sane. And when you find a small business owner who intends not to hire to make a political statement, as opposed to making a living, please get in touch.

they've been drinking the John Galt tea nonsense again.


Labels: , , ,

17 October 2011

Just because I like it

Do I need another reason.

What? It's my blog.

Labels: ,

16 October 2011

Question of the week

How many New York police officers does it take to prevent one young woman from leaving the bank where she is a customer?

Talk it over among yourselves, then write down your answer.

The correct answer is here. Though I don't think that with sidearms and billy clubs they were well enough armed. It's a bit like the vacuum cleaner and the kittens - or clowns in a car. Can you actually count all of them?

We'll file this one under 'malicious twits'


Labels: , ,

15 October 2011

The King James Bible, once again

Having heard something read from the King James Bible in at least one or another of its versions almost every week of my childhood, I often have posted something about it here.

Here is another one, complete with a neat little video I can use in class. It is the 400th anniversary of the work.


Labels: ,

Who am I writing for?

Sometimes this is a good question. I have often wondered when I do my Matins, my morning writing for 30 minutes (too often they turn out to be Nones or Vespers). It is a fast write of stream of consciousness thoughts. In fact sometimes they are not so much thoughts as simply whatever my hand does - kinetic thought. Yet I always end them with "That's all for today, folks." That is the way I end most of my lectures but why do I use it for my writings? The ones that are supposed to be virtually unconscious and for no one? I started doing it years ago for no reason I was aware of.

Joseph O'Neill explained it in The Atlantic last month, to my delight. We write "to find respite from the intellectually and morally chaotic buffoon who goes through the world minute by minute, and to bring into being that better, more coherent human entity known as the author."

There are always two people, the 'folks', reading what I write. Me the author and me the reader. They aren't exactly the same person.

though they are close friends.

Labels: ,

12 October 2011

Without Comment

From Andrew Sullivan.

Labels: , ,

Irony does not get better then this

Actual headline from TPM:

Tennessee Guns-In-Bars Law Sponsor Arrested For DUI...With A Gun

at least he really really believed in his legislation.


Labels: , ,

Lives of the rich and famous

The Obama family dog.

how will this play with the Occupy Wall Street set.


Labels: ,

09 October 2011

Update on Pinellas Co. Stupidity

It was even worse than I first thought.

Read it and weep.

The decision came as a surprise because the county just started fluoridating water eight years ago, so it was considered a debated and settled issue.

It was also unexpected because the 4-3 vote came at a workshop on what was billed as an update on fluoridation.

Why listen to dentists.

"Hillsborough County has been fluoridating water since 1994. The City of Tampa also fluoridates its water."
No evidence it has lowered the intelligence of the population.

but then, how could they tell?

Labels: , , ,

08 October 2011

Without comment

Labels: , , ,

07 October 2011

Republican Truthiness

Also known as counting chickens before they hatch. Michelle Bachman's crack press team released a press release (well, what else do they do?) 30 minutes before her big speech saying she spoke before a standing room only crowd. Attached is a picture of the crowd as Bachman started her pitch.

but if you look carefully, most of those folks ARE standing!


Labels: , ,

It's Working

From that big state to our south:
Pinellas County, Fla., will stop adding fluoride to its drinking water after complaints by anti-government activists. Dentists protested the decision, arguing that fluoridation has dramatically lowered tooth-decay rates across the U.S., but Tea Party activists said it was part of a plot by the "world government to keep people stupid."

Tea Party activists may have complained, but it took elected officials to listen to them. They sure can elect 'em down in that benighted swamp hole to our south.

from The Week

don't get me started on the governor.

Labels: , ,

Question of the week

Or the month, or the year, since I don't do this often. But - here it is:

What famous Arab-American who had an enormous impact on the way you live your life recently died?

Answer will be revealed whenever I feel like, or until someone tries to answer it.

UPDATE: The Old One got it! Don't know how that happened. But here is the answer, straight from Stephen Colbert.

second question: what Arab-American says he will run for president, has run for president, and will never be president?

Labels: ,

05 October 2011

Another Republican speaks

I like reading David Frum, thought sometimes he comes across as a (slightly) more mature and much smarter version of that guy in high school that though Ayn Rand was a brilliant writer. He is a Republican having served in the Bush administration and a true conservative. Here he is unloading on the economic idiocy of the current crop of Republicans and faux conservative:

On the most urgent economic issue of the day – recovery from the Great Recession – the Republican consensus is seriously wrong.

It is wrong in its call for monetary tightening.

It is wrong to demand immediate debt reduction rather than wait until after the economy recovers.

It is wrong to deny that “we have a revenue problem.”

It is wrong in worrying too much about (non-existent) inflation and disregarding the (very real) threat of a second slump into recession and deflation.

It is wrong to blame government regulation and (as yet unimposed) tax increases for the severity of the recession.

It is wrong to oppose job-creating infrastructure programs.

It is wrong to hesitate to provide unemployment insurance, food stamps, and other forms of income maintenance to the unemployed.

It is wrong to fetishize the exchange value of the dollar against other currencies.

It is wrong to believe that cuts in marginal tax rates will suffice to generate job growth in today’s circumstance.

It is wrong to blame minor and marginal government policies like the Community Reinvestment Act for the financial crisis while ignoring the much more important role of government inaction to police overall levels of leverage within the financial system.

It is wrong to dismiss the Euro crisis as something remote from American concerns.

It is wrong to resist US cooperation with European authorities in organizing a work-out of the debt problems of the Eurozone countries.

It is wrong above all in its dangerous combination of apocalyptic pessimism about the long-term future of the country with aloof indifference to unemployment.

Did he leave anything out?

of course, his conclusion is that Mitt Romney is the best thing they've got.

Labels: , , ,

Battle of Ball's Bluff

OK- by Civil War standards it was a skirmish - but it was the nearest battlefield to our farm when I was a kid. And it has a certain salience for Sententiae.

Labels: ,

04 October 2011

Another Republican speaks

From Andrew Sullivan:
"Several recent studies have found that 95 percent of climate scientists are convinced that the planet is rapidly warming as a result of human activity. But a George Mason University-Yale University poll in May found that only 13 percent of the public realizes that scientists have come to that conclusion. You would expect conservatives to stand with 95 percent of the scientific community and to grow the 13 percent into a working majority. Normally, we deal in facts, we accept science and we counter sentiment," - Former Congressman (2010 Tea Party casualty) Bob Inglis (R-SC).

95% - that's as close as it ever gets to consensus.

Labels: , ,

01 October 2011

The True Timelord!

From icanhazcheezburger.com.

Tell the truth. You always suspected, right?

Labels: ,

Vikings in the News!!

In Ireland a re-date has pushed back the date of a recently discovered burial site. Irish hyperbole ensues.
Researchers said a journey back to 7th century Ireland could reveal some surprising
similarities to recent boom times in the country.

Dr Aidan O’Sullivan of UCD school of archaeology said: “This society that emerges out of the darkness of late prehistory was the first Celtic Tiger economy.

It's fun though. Ireland before the Scandinavians messed it up.

not that there is any Norse DNA in the present population. No sir. We're all Celts here.

Labels: , , ,